It seems that the same arguments and points keep coming. I wanted to make a reply but am a bit tired. Therefore, I think I will repeat myself and make reproduce two earlier posts I wrote and two other articles I found on this same issue. For those who had already read them, I apologise:
1) Vote: â€œWill of the people argumentâ€
Opponents of the same-sex marriage state that both in polls and actual votes the majority of the population are against same-sex marriage. The response is that just because the majority supports a position does not mean that it can ignore the needs of the minority or discriminate against them.
a) Parallels with Interracial marriage:
In 1967, the US Supreme Court in Loving v Virginia struck down laws that banned interracial marriage stating â€œUnder our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides within the individual and cannot be infringed by the state.â€ Do the words of the Supreme Court no longer make sense just because we substitute the words â€œanother raceâ€ for â€œsame gender?â€ This decision and the earlier decision of Perez v Sharp (1948) came at a time where public opposition to interracial marriage was extremely high.
While the laws against interracial marriage were not enforced, they were not completely repeals until 2000. It was not until 1998 that South Carolina repealed their laws against interracial marriage and in 2000 Alabama. It should be noted that in South Carolina 38% of the votes were against the repeal and in Alabama 41%.http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/...a.interracial/http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stori...age/index.html
b) â€œActivist Judgesâ€:
So it seems that without the acts of these â€œactivist judgesâ€ the ban against interracial marriage would have carried on until 2000. The fact is that often in civil rights cases it is these â€œactivist judgesâ€ that are protecting the rights of the people especially those in the minority. If you think about it, these judges are not â€œactivistsâ€ but merely people who are upholding the constitution.
c) Tyranny of the majority:
A society where majority rules and the rights and interests of the minority are not protected is not democracy in action but that of failure. What is more insidious than having laws that discriminate, teaching people to discriminate then turning around and saying that the majority supports such discrimination hence it is valid.
2) Social Collapse Argument:
It is claimed that if same-sex marriage is allowed, society will be split apart, culture will crumble and the moral fabric of the nation will be ripped asunder. If that claim was true then they would have made a very strong argument. But merely repeating a conclusion over and over again without proof or even an explanation as to how society will decay and collapse does not make oneâ€™s conclusion correct. Countries which have granted same-sex marriages have yet collapse.
a) Parallels with womenâ€™s rights and interracial marriageâ€
It would seem that the arguments against same-sex marriage are very similar to the arguments made against womenâ€™s rights and interracial marriage. One of the opponents against interracial marriage in Alabama stated that â€œInterracial marriage is bad for our Southern culture.â€ (http://www.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/...a.interracial/
It should be noted that some members of the House panel in Alabama reportedly balked at approving the interracial marriage bill until they were assured it would not open the door for homosexual marriages in the state. (http://www.cnn.com/US/9903/12/interr...age/index.html
Christian fundamentalist oppose and defeated the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment to the US constitution as that would go against the â€˜traditional familyâ€™ structure of obedience and submission which would result in the further decline of Western Society.
b) Bad influence on Children argument
The argument that same-sex marriage would be a detriment on children betrays a sense that the person still operates on the notion that homosexuality is a disease that can be spread. Studies have shown that children raised by same-sexed parents are not maladjusted nor do they automatically become a homosexual. In fact same-sexed parents adopts children with disability at a higher rate and giving them a loving home, which detracts from the idea that somehow or other same-sex couples or marriage will result in the collapse of society.
c) Fine with Homosexuality but against same sex marriage argument
There are more â€œmoderateâ€ people who claim that they have no objections against homosexuality but are against same sex marriage. One must question whether have these people thought out their position or do they harbour thoughts against homosexuality. After all, if homosexuality is not a crime and there is nothing wrong with it then what is wrong with same-sexed marriage?
d) Same sexed marriage today, polygamy and incest tomorrow argument
Unlike same-sexed marriage, polygamy or other forms of more extreme examples such as incest can be shown to be actually detrimental. For example children of people who are closely related have a high chance of deformity.
3) Civil Union v Marriage
Marriage is not simply a nice ceremony and bouquet throwing but brings with a bag of legal rights.
a) â€œWhat is in a name?â€
Some opponents of same-sex marriage are willing to grant same-sex couples all the legal rights in a marriage but that it is to be considered as a civil union instead of a marriage. The Massachusetts court stated recently that â€œthe history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal.â€ If asking certain racial groups to move to the back of the bus is discriminatory despite the fact that all are offered public transport why is this any different.
b) â€œSacred and Specialâ€
It has been argued that marriage is sacred and special and that allowing same-sex marriage will destroy that. Again, such statements offer conclusions and no reasoning other than repeating the conclusion over and over again. How does allowing same-sex couple marry affect oneâ€™s marriage? If something such as same-sex marriage of another person can destroy oneâ€™s own marriage then that couple is facing a whole lot of other problems.
4) Religious rights does not act as a trump
As much as one should protect oneâ€™s freedom to religion, that right does not trump all other rights. The preamble of the Human Rights Charter promotes among other things equality but makes no specific reference to religion, thus suggesting that the dignity of each individual human being and their rights are of paramount importance and should not be abrogated.
a) Parallels with apartheid, gender and slavery:
In the past when South Africa was under apartheid, their government tried to justify their position based on their religious belief. Religion has also been used to discriminate against women.
Also slavery has been justified through the use of religion but that does not mean that religious rights should take precedence.
Genesis 9:24-25 Noah awakens from drunkenness and curses Ham that Canaan shall be a â€œservant of servantsâ€
Leviticus 25:44-46 God tell Moses that Hebrews should not sell their own brethren but should buy slaves â€œof the nations that are around you.â€
Alabama Senator argued that those bitter about slavery â€œare obviously bitter and hateful against God and his word, because they reject what God says and embrace what mere humans say concerning slaveryâ€ (Alabama House Candidate Quits After Slavery Defence, Washington Post, May 12, 1996)
The point is not whether such interpretation is â€˜correctâ€™ but rather the danger of promoting one set of religious belief over every single citizen.
b) Separation of state and religion
Freedom of religion does not mean simply the freedom to worship but also the freedom not to worship. For without any choice the freedom of religion clause would be without meaning.
After all if there is same-sexed marriage, it does not mean that every one must be forced to enter into same-sex marriage. No rights of the individual are lost if same-sex marriage came into being yet on the contrary a lot of people are affected not just in a theoretical â€œsacred and specialâ€ way but in a real way if same-sex marriage is banned.
--------Post 2: There are some parts that are repeated but mostly it expands on certain points.
INHERENT STRUCTURE & PROBLEMS
There are real differences between same-sex marriage and the other examples relating to incest and polygamy. Incest and Polygamy (notice how poeple always talk about one man multiple women rather than Polyandry which is multiple men, one woman) produce distinct harmful effects to society. Incest can lead to severe sociological problems for the person especially the child involved and if there is a pregnancy the chances of a deformed baby is extremely high. As for Polygamy, studies have shown that in many cases there is sex abuse in the family and that women in the family are treated badly. Furthermore as mentioned above many of the polygamy familes involves the patriarchal structure of one man, multiple women and that the belief often is that the husband hold authority over the women, for example the fundamentalist mormons.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE and MYTH
However, with regards to homosexuals, non of the above problems is engaged with homosexuality. The only difference is the sex ratio. Many of the arguments raised against same sex marriage are quite weak and down right makes no logical sense
Myth 1: Traditional Marriage
It has been argued that marriage has been around for a long time and as such should not change. This argument has serious logical flaws. Just because something is old does not mean that it must remain the same. For a long time women were given no rights and that people could not choose their own government and yet these were changed.
Furthermore, marriage have changed over the years. For example, interracial marriage use to be banned, woman use to be treated as property and what about the Fundamentalist Mormons who use to be able to practice Polygamy until they were threaten with excommunication from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Myth 2: Same-Sex marriage produce no children
Just because a couple are not able to produce a child does not mean they are not allowed to get married. If not infertile couples or senior citizens are not allowed to get married.
Myth 3: Children being tormented
I could just as easily state that this is an argument relating to adoption rather than same sex marriage but I will tackle it since it makes no logical sense.
The argument about a child being tormented makes little sense. If for example, there is a group of people who believe that a certain race should not reproduce and that these people should be kept as slave. Should we allow the argument that just because the kids may be tormented they should not reproduce? Furthermore, such an argument suggests that as long as you can show that a significant portion of society believe in a certain action even if say that action is repugnant we should allow it.
Should not the focus be on educating the children who bully and making them go for counselling rather than punishing the parents and child who did no wrong. It is as if one is punishing the victim and protecting the criminal. It is akin to suggesting to a rape victim that the rapist is a popular person in society and that if you make a report people would look down on you, therefore you should suffer in silence and not make a report.
Myth 4: Parents from Same-Sex marriage 'corrupts' the child
Well this argument is really silly. If homosexual parents can only bring up homosexual children then it must mean that hetrosexual parents only bring up hetrosexual children, which we know is not true.
Myth 5: Pedophilia
There is no connection between pedophilia and homosexuality. A study by Groth and Birnbaum found that out of 175 adults convicted of child abuse only 2 were homosexuals (less than 1%). Also Dr. Carole Jenny in a Denver hospital shows only 2 of the 269 cases of child abuse were homosexuals. (Again less than 1%) Which shows that there is no connection between pedophilia and homosexuality and that if there is any connection it would seem that it may be safer for a child to spend time with a homosexual.http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainb...olestation.html
There are however reports that show otherwise BUT there are multiple problems with such reports. Firstly they are conducted by people with an active anti-gay agenda, specifically the some conservative elements of the religious right. Secondly they make the assumption that just because a boy is molested by a male makes that person a homosexual when in reality pedophiles show no attraction to adults and are attracted to both boys and girls.
Myth 6: Religious Support
Firstly, one would wonder why in a democracy would the main and only support for a particular law come from a religious scripture. There is nothing wrong with say taking something from a religious scripture and making it a law if there are other support. For example laws relating to killing people or stealing things. There are other social and important factors that support this law and the mere fact that it is in a religious scripture is an interesting point to note and not the basis for the law.
Secondly, it has been argued that there are equally viable views which shows that the bible is not against homosexuality at all. The differences can arise from 1) Inaccuracy of translation from the 'original' or translation to English where the translator for reason or other place certain emphasis against homosexuality. 2) Interpretation of the bible is varied and different. A charge by the conservative that the alternative interpretation is wrong because the people behind is support gay rights can easily be turned against the conservative that their interpretation is wrong because they themselves are projecting their biased viewpoints on to their interpretation. 3) Furthermore at one point in time the bible can be interpreted to support slavery, oppose interracial marriage, promotion of the supremacy of a particular race and other actions that are condemned today. Are not these people usurping the ideas of love and tolerance of the bible to create and fuel their devilish hate of not just others but also of a fellow human being that equally comes from God?
The reason for support of same sex marriage is that there is no logical reason at all against it. And that even the religious viewpoints against same-sex marriage are questionable.
Here are few articles I have picked up along the way:The "Traditional" Concept of Marriage
12 Biblical Principles of Marriage
1.\tMarriage consists of one man and one or more women (Gen 4:19, 4:23, 26:34, 28:9, 29:26-30, 30:26, 31:17, 32:22, 36:2, 36:10, 37:2, Ex. 21:10, Judges 8:30, 1 Sam 1:2, 25:43, 27:3, 30:5, 30:18, 2 Sam 2:2, 3:2-5, 1 Chron 3:1-3, 4:5, 8:8, 14:3, 2 Chron 11:21, 13:21, 24:3).
2.\tNothing prevents a man from taking on concubines in addition to the wife or wives he may already have (Gen 25:6, Judges 8:31, 2 Sam 5:13, 1 Kings 11:3, 1 Chron 3:9, 2 Chron 11:21, Dan 5:2-3).
3.\tA man might chose any woman he wants for his wife (Gen 6:2, Deut 21:11), provided only that she is not already another manâ€™s wife (Lev 18:14-16, Deut. 22:30) or his [half-]sister (Lev 18:11, 20:17), nor the mother (Lev 20:14) or the sister (Lev 18:18) of a woman who is already his wife. The concept of a woman giving her consent to being married is foreign to the Biblical mindset.
4.\tIf a woman cannot be proven to be a virgin at the time of marriage, she shall be stoned (Deut 22:13-21).
5.\tA rapist must marry his victim (Ex. 22:16, Deut. 22:28-29) - unless she was already a fiancÃ©, in which case he should be put to death if he raped her in the country, but both of them killed if he raped her in town (Deut. 22:23-27).
6.\tIf a man dies childless, his brother must marry the widow (Gen 38:6-10, Deut 25:5-10, Mark 12:19, Luke 20:28).
7.\tWomen marry the man of their fatherâ€™s choosing (Gen. 24:4, Josh.15:16-17, Judges 1:12-13, 12:9, 21:1, 1 Sam 17:25, 18:19, 1 Kings 2:21, 1 Chron 2:35, Jer 29:6, Dan 11:17).
8.\tWomen are the property of their father until married and their husband after that (Ex. 20:17, 22:17, Deut. 22:24, Mat 22:25).
9.\tThe value of a woman might be approximately seven yearsâ€™ work (Gen 29:14-30).
10.\tInter-faith marriages are prohibited (Gen 24:3, 28:1, 28:6, Num 25:1-9, Ezra 9:12, Neh 10:30, 2 Cor 6:14).
11.\tDivorce is forbidden (Deut 22:19, Matt 5:32, 19:9, Mark 10:9-12, Luke 16:18, Rom 7:2, 1 Cor 7:10-11, 7:39).
12.\tBetter to not get married at all - although marriage is not a sin (Matt 19:10, I Cor 7:1, 7:27-28, 7:32-34, 7:38).
----------Another Article I picked up:
As recently as March, a CBS poll found that religion is a factor in peopleâ€™s views of same-sex marriage: â€œThree in four people who say religion is extremely important in their lives would favor a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, and three in five think there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.â€ And a Pew Research Center survey released in November, 2003, concluded that a personâ€™s religious beliefs are a â€œmajor factorâ€ in determining how one feels about sexual minorities: â€œhighly religious people are much more likely to hold negative views.â€
Clearly, religious views ... regarding sexual orientation and sexual minorities continue to have an enormous impact on public policy. The current political row over civil marriage equality is only the most recent example of this fundamental reality. And it is all the more ironic considering that the Bible really has very little negative to say (some argue nothing) about sexual orientation and quite a bit to say in a positive vein about same-sex relationships. One might logically conclude that a systematic and concerted effort to educate the public mind about the Bible and same-sex marriage might help stem the anti-gay tide. Yet, with the exception of several notable religious activists, we in the LGBT community devote little time and energy to informing ourselves or others about what the Bible really says regarding sexual orientation.
Discrimination directed at sexual minorities derives its moral justification from supposed biblical condemnation. For nearly three decades, however, credible scholars and theologians have systematically and repeatedly debunked and refuted the antigay interpretations of the "Terror Texts" found in Genesis 19, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. According to Ezekiel, Sodomâ€™s real sin was pride and ignoring the needs of the poor.[i] The sexual proscriptions found in Leviticus were most concerned with ritual impurity and had nothing to do whatsoever with the ethical or moral behavior of persons engaged in same-sex intimate relationships.[ii] Like the ritual proscriptions of Leviticus, Paulâ€™s famous alleged condemnation in Romans is also about idolatrous worship practices, not homosexuality.[iii] Finally, most translations of â€œmalakoiâ€ (lit. soft, effeminate) and â€œarsenokoitaiâ€ (lit. â€œman-bedâ€) in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy are linguistically dubious. When one objectively and rationally considers the historical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of these five sets of verses, one conclusion is inescapable and irrefutable: the Bible does not condemn sexual minorities.
In fact, the Bible hosts an abundance of same-sex intimate relationships and holy unions. The story of David and Jonathan is one of several queer-friendly stories in the Bible. Ruth and Naomi is another. The Roman centurion's encounter with Jesus is another. There are also many stories of eunuchs throughout the Bible which might be interpreted in a "queer" context. These stories belong to us! We must drag them out of the closet where theyâ€™ve been hidden all these centuries, dust them off, and lift them up for the entire world to see: â€œLook! Here we are â€“ in the one refuge others never thought theyâ€™d find us â€“ the Bible!â€
Some of these relationships more closely resemble the archetypal â€œtraditionalâ€ marriage propagandized by the radical religious right than do many biblical or even contemporary heterosexual couplings. For example, Davidâ€™s and Jonathanâ€™s holy union covenant contained four identifiable components: the bonding of two souls in love, the familial aspect of their relationship, a mutual exchange of obligations and covenant oaths between David and Jonathan. David and Jonathan were bound to each other by their love. Jonathanâ€™s soul was â€œknitâ€ to Davidâ€™s soul. â€œQasharâ€ (H7194), the Hebrew word used in 1 Samuel 18:1, meant, â€œto tie,â€ or bind and to, â€œgird, confine, compact.â€[iv] This meaning is strikingly similar to the meaning of the Hebrew word used in Genesis 2:24[v] that is translated â€œjoinedâ€: â€œdabaq (H1692) to cling, cleave, keep close.â€[vi] David and Jonathan perceived that their holy union made them each a member of the otherâ€™s family. â€œJonathan said to David: â€˜Go in safety, inasmuch as we have sworn to each other in the name of the Lord, saying, The Lord will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants forever.'"[vii]
That the evidence in their case is so conspicuous is part of what makes David and Jonathan unique. They conducted their relationship openly. David and Jonathan lived in a culture that accepted their relationship without a second thought. Their story played a prominent part in the narrative of 1 and 2 Samuel. This prominence is further evidence regarding social and cultural acceptance at the time the story was told and written. The biblical validation of their holy union is that David â€œwas prospering [acting wisely] in all his ways for the Lord was with him,â€[viii] and that their covenant was made, â€œbefore the Lord.â€[ix] If God viewed their relationship poorly, these pieces of textual evidence simply would not exist. Through their story and others, God affirms our existence and sanctifies same-sex, same-gender holy unions.
Thousands of years ago, David and Jonathan joined with each other in a holy union that was affirmed and validated by God. The time has now come for our state and federal governments to follow Godâ€™s lead and legally recognize the validity and sanctity of our relationships.
[i] â€œThis was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, surfeit of food and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy,â€ (Ezekiel 16:48-49).
[ii] What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality: Millennium Edition. Daniel A. Helminiak, Ph.D. (2000) Alamo Square Press; P.P. 51-67.
[iii] Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse. Dr. Rembert Truluck, Ph.D. (2000) Chi Rho Press; P.P. 208-213.
[iv] H1285. Vineâ€™s Concise Dictionary of the Bible. W.E. Vine, edited by James A. Swanson, John R. Kohlenberger III, and Multnomah Graphics. (1997, 1999) Thomas Nelson Publishers. â€œVineâ€™s Concise Dictionary of the Bible combines in one handy volume condensed versions of W. E. Vineâ€™s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words and Nelsonâ€™s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Merrill Unger and William White, Jr. For the first time these popular works are blended into one continuous presentation,â€ (publisherâ€™s note from the foreword). P. 73.
[v] â€˜For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.â€™(The Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Barker, Kenneth, General Editor (1999) Zondervan Publishing House.)
[vi] H1692. Vineâ€™s Concise Dictionary of the Bible. W.E. Vine, edited by James A. Swanson, John R. Kohlenberger III, and Multnomah Graphics. (1997, 1999) Thomas Nelson Publishers. â€œVineâ€™s Concise Dictionary of the Bible combines in one handy volume condensed versions of W. E. Vineâ€™s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words and Nelsonâ€™s Expository Dictionary of the Old Testament by Merrill Unger and William White, Jr. For the first time these popular works are blended into one continuous presentation,â€ (publisherâ€™s note from the foreword). P. 57.
[vii] 1 Samuel 20:42.(The Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Barker, Kenneth, General Editor (1999) Zondervan Publishing House.)
[viii] 1 Samuel 18:14.(The Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Barker, Kenneth, General Editor (1999) Zondervan Publishing House.)
[ix] 1 Samuel 23:15-18. (The Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Barker, Kenneth, General Editor (1999) Zondervan Publishing House.)