Monday, May 19, 2008

Gays Unions, Polygamy, and Marriage, Oh My!--UPDATED

I don't want to do it. I just don't. But I feel compelled, based on Rachel Lucas' provoking prose to do it. Blast that woman and her infernal commitment to casting a spot light on popular culture. So, last week the dumbasses that rule California decided against the people and for the few, the out, the proud and the inclined to marry. It's a clear case of judicial activism, but it's California. No one should be surprised.

Of course, this finding begs the question: Why shouldn't gay people marry? Why can't anyone marry anyone?

First, let's discuss definitions. Semantics--Marriage is, by definition, a union between one man and one woman. Anything else is not marriage. Call it something else, just don't define away marriage.

Second, this discussion is about social sanction not legal remedy. There are legal remedies for people who want to give, share, commit to, or in some way, shape or form, entwine their life with someone else's life. For example, an acquaintance who hated his wife (who hated him) but didn't believe in divorce, gave his true love the Power of Attorney at the end of his life. Well, you don't want someone who hates you deciding when to pull the plug, right? Any person can will anything to anyone for any reason. There are no stoppers there. If you want to mingle your life's possessions with someone else, you are legally free to do it. It's called a contract.

Third, marriage is an ideal. All the clap-trap about same sex partners who love each other being better parents than a father and mother who hate each other is a stupid argument. And a loving father and mother is a better situation for children than loving gay parents--in ideal terms. A child needs both positive male and female role model in their daily lives. And before you start hating on me, there is plenty o' evidence for this. Look at the inner cities where father-involvement and two parent families are scarce. Kids with divorced parents want their parents married. Kids with same sex parents want a "mom" or a "dad"--whichever one they're missing. There are consequences for mucking around with a social arrangement that has worked for thousands of years.

Fourth, polygamy is stupid. By it's very nature, women (and I don't want to hear abut societies where women marry multiple men, let's be real here) are denigrated in polygamous marriage. Go back to the old bible story about Jacob and Leah and Rachel. There will be an alpha female. There just will. The rest of the women are relegated to lesser status. But it's their choice, goes the argument. No it's not. In America, we are all viewed as created equal, therefore we are not going to encourage social relationships built on fundamental inequality. It is wrong. And forget the consenting moronic women who enter these relationships. Kids come from these relationships and they suffer. They don't get a choice about their freak parents. A polygamous relationship is unstable for the kids, it is socially isolating, it is weird. Oh, and lets not even get into the younger, horny guys who can't get a woman because all the old dudes scoop 'em up.

Fifth, marriage the sacrament should be taken out of the government realm. This is where I part ways with many conservatives. What is between a couple and God is between them. A religious ceremony is just that. I think it's a great thing. I'm all for it. I believe that when people marry, they are uniting themselves in ways that are physical, material and spiritual and that no amount of God-avoidance changes that. And that's exactly why many gays want to get married--they want the religious sanction. Their problem is with God and they need to take it up with Him. Find a church that believes the part of the Bible that speaks out against sexual sin is bunk and get unioned there. The same goes for heteros. Marriage as a sacrament is acknowledging God in your marriage. That belongs in a church.

Sixth, marriage is about the children. As a social construct, marriage is meant to protect kids and keep them supported. A man and woman who have sex chance having a child from their union. Birth control does not work 100% of the time. Abortions are the lazy man's answer to unthinking sex. The best environment for a child to be born into is one where there is a committed man and woman. You see, shit happens. Sometimes children have health problems that require one parents 100% devotion. Sometimes one parent gets sick or is otherwise incapacitated. Sometimes a parent loses his or her mind. Sometimes one person loses her job. A two-parent family is a family with back-up. A gay union, in contrast cannot, without going outside the union, create a child. Gay unions are not for the express purpose of having children. They are for the express purpose of displaying commitment to each other. There is a difference. Now, there are childless couples who choose to not have kids. Fine. Marriage is an ideal and not defined by the exceptions.

Seventh, anyone who wants a marriage-like relationship with all the implied benefits should write up a contract. Some (smart) rich people have prenups. Everyone should have them. Explicitly state what your expectations are and put them in writing. Yes, it would be more trouble on the front end, but it would be less on the back end. Too many people head into the biggest decision of their lives without thinking a rational thought. A contract would slow people down. Most people who would never dream of entering a business agreement without a contract, get married without one. The whole, "love, honor, cherish" is rather vague. What does that mean? Because people in committed marriages having children is such a good thing for society, society should encourage these relationships (as it already does, to an extent). Tax breaks, generous whatever the state wants to encourage. Bottom line, make marriage challenging to get into and a sweet deal once it's entered. Societally, we want committed, dedicated, loving, rational people to get married and procreate. That is, we want this if we value the continuation of our species, our society and our culture.

Western Civilization is built on the family, equal rights, and freedom. People are free to enter contracts (not children or animals) with whomever they'd like. People are free to go to the church of their choice and take part of the sacrament of their choice. People are free to get married if they meet the requirements of being a man and a woman of legal age. The problem with Gay "marriage" or polygamous relationships is that neither are a "right", no matter how much the California Supremes want it to be. The will of the people determines what is best for the people. And the people decided against gay marriage. They have thousands of years of evidence and wisdom to back them up--the wisdom that the Constitution itself was written from.

By what authority do the California Supreme Court Justices claim their ruling beyond their own?

Aside: Jeff Goldstein has some of the best views on this topic that have been expressed.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

UPDATE: Ann Althouse wonders about Obama: Is he a modern segregationist and support "separate but equal"?


Jewels said...

Wow. That's actually the best thought out and logical argument I've ever heard regarding gay marriage. I wish the people arguing against it in the courts could be that articulate.

Chalmers said...

I agree with your post. I have long supported separating the Marriage Document from the Contractual Union recognized by the States.

Here is the thing though, Legislating from the Bench is what took down segregation. The majority of people in the South did not support desegregating anything. It was courageous Civil Rights fighters, some politicians and courageous judges that forced that change. I am not in any way equating desegregation with gay marriage, but the majority rule approach does not always reflect what is "right."

Great post sis,
Little Brother

Melissa Clouthier said...


This isn't a civil rights issue and that's just the problem. I cannot, no matter how much I want to be, be called a National Football Player. Now, I can call myself anything, but that doesn't mean it's true.

Marriage is not a civil right any more than being a NFL player is a civil right.

Gary Baker said...


I have to respectfully disagree with at least part of your argument. While I can agree that the majority is not always "right" or "fair", the example as applied to desegregation (or segregation) is not the same. The judges did not "legislate from the bench." They took action to ensure that the law was enforced as written and approved by the legislatures. This was an interpretation with a firm foundation in law, history, and custom. While I don't want to take anything away from their contribution, it was a proper use of judicial authority. To the contrary, the California justices are inventing law according to their own design.

Joe said...

I just find hearing a gay man call his partner his "husband" or a lesbian to call her mate her "wife" to be extremely irritating. If they simply agreed to never to that, I'll concede on their use of the word marriage.

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