Thursday, July 15, 2004

Marriage and the Government, Modern Science?

On my last post, about the issue of gay marriage and its debate in Congress, i recieved and interesting coutner argument from a "Non-Denominational Chirstian" or to pick a name out of a hat that is probably not anywhere near to his real name, Casey. If you, like me, are too lazy to scroll down and read his comment here are the relevant quotes:
"The majority of social scientists agree that a man and a woman are distinct and important to the raising of children."
I'm not sure if this is factual or relevant, but for now lets assume that its both.
He says he is aware of "some studies have been made on same-sex couples," but he adds "those who conduct them are members of the homosexual agenda, and thus bring a strong element of bias to their work." Of course, he does not comment on his own bias involved in his selection of "facts," but his bias is obvious and I don't feel he is obligated to depreciate his argument if there is no intent to decieve.
"Their findings suggest redefining marriage could very well undermine the social structure that works, albeit far from perfectly."
On what grounds? How was the study conducted? What was its hypothesis? What are the relevant facts? Who conducted the study? Do they have an agenda? Who doesnt have an agenda? What evidence is there that out social structure works? How can you call this anything more than a subjective (easily biased) report based upon qualitative data that can be interpreted differently?
Why can there be only one social structure? Isnt change ineveitable and underway? If so, shouldnt we seek to adapt and embrace the inevitable rather than persecute its innocent messengers?
"Point taken, we are in the midst of a marriage crisis, given the high levels of divorce in this country. However, do we want to risk putting more strain on this institution?"
I disagree that allowing gay people to have a recognized union a strain on any institution. And the solution to your perceived crisis is not upping the proverbial poll tax or reenforcing a new grandfather clause.

And finally:

"As long as the findings of social science case studies point to heterosexual unions as the best method of raising children, lets have our legal system support it."
I assume "Casey" understands that homosexual relations can't produce offspring, which means hes talking about adoption, i hope. Since i can't comment on whatever science hes talking about with out some details beyond the generalities he provides, i am forced to offer simply my own opinion. Adoption is preferable to abortion, the orphans/wards of the state are continually lost in a reportedly horrible system and denied many building blocks that they will need to account for later in life as a result of not having a family. If there are more avenues for those children to be out of the foster homes and into real ones i say unless there is quatitative proof that a gay family is inequipped to raise children (which there isn't and can never be without tools that can measure the intangible) you cannot litigate against it.
Just becuase certain heterosexuals find it icky to see two dudes kissing, it is not a value judgment on the character and worth of the people that make up that smooch. NO one will convince me that homosexuals are incapable of raising young, and no one can say truthfully) that every heterosexual family produces the best results in the young they raise.

That being said, I think this gets a little off the point of Federal involvement in the institution of marriage. Adoption, which is predominantly run by the private sector, is close to irrelevant (of course there is the argument concerning the series of court decisions that could eliminate the irrelevance if gay unions are recognized federally but let me get to that in second). I personally believe in a gay person's right to marry anybody they choose, but as far as politics are concerned i would not support a bill garrunteeing that right if it uses the word marry. Civil unions, on the other hand, carry none of the religious baggage associated with the term marriage and i would whole heartedly support/vote for actions protecting homosexuals couples' right to be recognized if they are willing to accept that responsibility to each other and the law.
Furthermore any actions to deny members in the affected segment of the population, or anyone in the citizenry, the right to love another person is morally, ethically, and legally unjust. If two people can legally love eachother why can't two others?

As i said in the original post, despite your personal (or religious, "gag-reflex"ional, etc) feelings regarding the issue, the legal grounds based upon our Constitution are not there. Pretty up the words any way you like, use (junk) science to progress your agenda, utilize scriptures all you want, to deny any person natural rights as defined by the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the U.S. is discrimination on par with what produced the Civil Rights Movement in the 60's. That movement also had its detractors, wondering about the adverse societal effects of intergration and interracial marrigaes (dilution of racial purity), but as we look back we can see that African Americans deserve equal protection and opportunity under the law and so do Homosexual Americans.

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