[Lounge #371] »« Why I am an atheist – MD

The same old bad argument against gay marriage

Riley Balling, patent attorney, is certain that gay marriage will affect his marriage. Why? Well, he splutters on in a long op-ed in the Star Tribune, but all he manages to say is the children, because…the children, that’s why.

For many of us who favor traditional marriage, marriage is about raising children in a healthy environment. Thus, any change to the definition of marriage affects our marriage. Our “traditional” marriages and the children they produce are our greatest source of happiness, and we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

Shorter Riley: “I have defined marriage, and marriage is defined this way, and therefore changing the definition of marriage changes marriage by definition. Oh, and my marriage is all about pooping out kids, therefore your marriage damn well better be too.”

You know, my marriage is pretty much the very definition of straight, conventional, and middle class: I married the girl next door when we were in our twenties, we had three children approximately 3.5 years apart, we have a mortgage and live in a nice middle class neighborhood, we sent the kids to public school, they grew up, they moved out and got jobs and lives of their own. If there’s a poster for the standard nuclear family, just like one in a 1950s sitcom, we’re on it.

But our marriage was about us, not the kids. We got married because we loved each other and wanted to make a partnership in all things…and kids weren’t even on our radar in the beginning. We were finishing our educations. Our marriage was about cooperation and sex and shared interests and mutual respect. We also had kids later on, and we were happy about that, but that was never solely what our relationship was about, and we’d still be happy together even without them. We had our last child in 1990; finishing that chore did not lead to the dissolution of our partnership. We now have a completely child-free home, and we’re not at a loss for things to do with our lives.

So I can appreciate that if Riley and his spouse want to marry to build a home for kids, that’s just wonderful, they can do that with no obstacles from me — I won’t be sponsoring bills to prohibit his reason for getting married. But I hope for the sake of his and his wife’s sanity and happiness that they also have additional reasons to want to live together. They don’t have to have all of our reasons — if he doesn’t need a mutual support partnership to get through the strains of graduate school, that’s fine — but I don’t understand why he can’t grasp the idea that people have a huge cloud of reasons to find happiness and productivity in a long-term relationship, and that not everyone will have an identical set of reasons.

There are many who tout the modern definition, and we are susceptible to these influences. As we listen to these influences, we change our view of marriage and our marital relationship accordingly. Same-sex marriage will only increase these influences and make it harder to promote traditional marriage.

Yes! Exactly! Our view of marriage will…evolve!

Mr Riley seems to be a Mormon (and isn’t it sweet that the Mormons continue their tradition of afflicting other states outside of Morridor with their narrow and bigoted views?). I presume he’s not in a polygamous relationship. Or is he trying to argue that we should promote the 19th century traditional Mormon marriage?

Why should we accept the dogmatic views of a member of a freaky-assed Christian cult as an authority on what constitutes “traditional marriage”? We’re in Minnesota! Clearly, that means we should only listen to lonely Norwegian bachelors of the Lutheran persuasion… or was that a second-generation Hmong medical student? Or a recent immigrant from Somalia? Or maybe we should be really traditional, and consult the Dakota elders on one of the Indian reservations — they’re the ones who’d have a good handle on exactly what the longest tradition on this bit of earth has been.

Or, just maybe, we should let people living in the now decide what social arrangements give them the greatest satisfaction, happiness, and success.

Although not all are able to participate in a traditional marriage that yields children, we all benefit by its establishment in creating strong homes for the next generation with strong direction from self-sacrificing parents. The disestablishment of this ideal affects us all.

OK. But, you know, “creating strong homes for the next generation with strong direction from self-sacrificing parents” sounds precisely like what some gay families want to do. Why don’t we let them?

I also don’t think that telling everyone that there is this magical ideal which is the sole purpose for marriage is a good idea. Some people are not suited to, or not interested in, having children. Are we going to tell them that they can’t get married unless they buy into Riley Balling’s narrow definition of what marriage is for, even if they’re boring straight people? Are we going to stop by their house after they’ve been married for a few years and chastise them if the woman hasn’t gotten knocked up yet?

Also, I’ve got to say that if your ideal is the two-person heterosexual lifelong relationship, the greatest enemy of that are the patriarchal religious assholes who turn a partnership into a prison for women…who naturally and intelligently want to escape. If we really want to improve the likelihood of progeny-producing stable relationships, I say we should ban religious marriages, not gay ones. Godless relationships based on romantic love all the way! Yes, the only marriages allowed should be marriages exactly like mine.

I’m sure Riley Balling will be able to sympathize with that sentiment. We have found common ground.

Comments

  1. whheydt says

    Probably the “biggest threat” to Balling’s ideal of what marriage is and should be is *divorce*. But I don’t see him and his “fellow travelers” trying to eliminate THAT.

  2. Amphiox says

    For all that jaw flapping, he still hasn’t managed to coherent explain how same sex marriage will materially affect his childrens’ individual choice of marriage one whit.

  3. ibbica says

    My husband and I are one of those boring straight couples. A boring straight couple who aren’t interested in children.

    Well, I might be, if I could guarantee they’d support me in my old age. But I think we all know that that’s not *entirely* realistic. Also: I don’t really care for the thought of taking care of babies. Or toddlers. Or small children. Or bigger children. Oh, and the thought of having a teenager living under my roof fills me with so much dread I start to shake.

    Yes, I remember being a teenager, and no, that wasn’t hyperbole.

    A bunch of mothers I know have told me that “oh that all changes when you’ve had them!”. Uh-huh. Except, you know, when it doesn’t. Because I know some of *those* parents (yes, of both sexes!), too.

    The more I hear about how marriage is supposed to be “all about the children”, the more I despise the message.

    Please please please can’t people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together and act as family members for each other not be treated as pariahs for not living up to some dead guy’s idea – or of some living guy’s interpretation of some dead guy’s idea – of what that’s supposed to entail?

  4. says

    I would like to add that for Mormons, sex without procreation is a huge no-no*. But it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to attack heterosexual childless/child-free couples than it is to demonize gay men and lesbians.

    *Not like American Catholics who just flat out ignore their church leaders when it comes to sex and child bearing.

  5. Pierce R. Butler says

    … we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

    And, of course, no Christian’s kids ever turn out gay.

  6. says

    I want one of those abraham-style traditional marriages. That’s what I want! But it sucks that I have to wait ’till I’m in my early eleventies. I forget how old Keturah supposedly was – wasn’t she 12 or something? Aaaah, traditional biblical marriage!

  7. says

    Actually, Pierce, it’s possible this guy ins one of those people who is worried about just that, that if being gay is normalised his kids will decide to be gay. For some reaosn some of these folks not only think gay is a choice, but that it’s a tempting choice. I suppose they think Satan uses his magic powers to make it so.(The magin powers that supposedly omnipotent God can’t counter or is unwilling to counter.)

  8. anteprepro says

    Liberal definition of marriage: Two people who love each other enough to want to spend their life together and are trusted enough to gain legal benefits with respect to the other partner.

    Conservative definition of marriage: Holy tradition of contractual baby-making that, if changed even slightly, will cause society itself to collapse because Magic.

  9. Rodney Nelson says

    Mr Riley seems to be a Mormon

    The Mormons are not the people to be talking about traditional marriage.

  10. Beatrice says

    Traditional marriage… Meaning marriage between one man and however many women he can buy?

    Oh yeah, I’m so sorry we’re over that. What a shame.

    For individual couples marriage can be a spiritual, super-special thing that holds great value for them by being a symbol of their commitment to each other. That’s fine. That’s great.
    Objectively, marriage is a contract between two (or in some cases more) people. It makes them recognizable as a unit and not just individuals, for various practical purposes. Those rights should be equally granted to all adults. At some point in time, interracial marriages were illegal. That wrong has been righted. It’s only a matter of time until this wrong is righted too. I hope I’ll live to see full* marriage equality (since I’m 26 I think that’s not unreasonable optimism).

    *no, civil unions don’t count. you either have equality or you don’t, almost equal isn’t equal

  11. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    The Mormons are not the people to be talking about traditional marriage.

    Oh, I dunno. Some of the families down around St. George are right in line with Old Testament traditional biblical marriage. Multiple wives? Check. Wives under absolute authority of husband? Check. Child brides? Check. Sounds pretty damn traditional to me.

    And yes, I know that the LDS frowns on polygamy. However, the LDS controls the Utah government and the ways that the welfare system has been tweaked to allow plural marriages, with children, to take advantage of AFDC payments is amazing. Man marries woman and then ‘divorces’ her. Does this multiple times. All those ‘divorcees’ are now unwed mothers and the people of Utah get to subsidize the polygamous marriages. So the LDS ban on polygamy seems to be honoured less in spirit than the rules would make one believe. (From a personal conversation with a Mormon from the Arizona Strip.)

  12. robinjohnson says

    we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

    This is apparently some use of the word ‘choice’ with which I have been hitherto unfamiliar.

  13. Beatrice says

    In rereading what I wrote, it’s possible to be interpreted as saying that non-hetero couples couldn’t consider marriage “a spiritual, super-special thing that holds great value for them by being a symbol of their commitment to each other”, but only a contract. That’s just my bad writing.
    Marriage can be super-special thing and not just a contract for everyone, of course.

  14. says

    It seems that we’re about to see the legalization of same-sex marriage finally here in France. Of course the church doesn’t like it, neither does the Pope:

    The family that is the foundation of social life is threatened in many places, following a concept of human nature that has proven defective.

    … but that’s nothing ; French Catholic Church Cardinal Philippe Barbarin warned the Christian’s RFC radio station: (the note in brackets comes from the source)

    Gay marriage would herald a complete breakdown in society. Afterward they will want to create couples with three or four members. [Speaking of linguistics, Cardinal: A couple equals two people.] And after that, perhaps one day the taboo of incest will fall.

    !!!

  15. says

    Ing:
    Not from the Mormons I know. Girls are taught to track their menstrual cycles from the get go and married couples are only supposed to have sex when she’s ovulating (so no “rhythm method” for you!). I’m not sure if this is really practiced among Mormon couples or not.

    Oh look, a relevant Wonkette article!

    LDS President Harold B. Lee: I was shocked to have you raise the question about ‘oral lovemaking in the genital area among married couples.’ Heaven forbid any such degrading activities which would be abhorrent in the sight of the Lord. For any Latter-day Saint, and particularly those who have been taught in the sacred ordinances of the temple, to engage in any kind of perversions of this sacred God-given gift of procreation, would be sure to bring down the condemnation of the Lord whom we would offend were we to engage in any such practice.

    Sure, it’s specifically about oral sex, but it kind of shines a light on whether or not sex for pleasure is permissible. http://wonkette.com/485389/mormons-apparently-not-allowed-to-do-sex-with-their-mouths#idc-cover

    (Dammit, where is Lynna when you need her?)

  16. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The editorial reminds me of the adults in the Peanuts televised cartoons. Wah-wah-wah, making no sense.

  17. RFW says

    Riley Balling’s talking points smell a great deal like the parents who don’t want their kids to even be exposed to the fact “gay people exist.”

    As an earlier reply pointed out, people arguing from that position appear to think that being gay is some kind of choice, hence protecting kids from knowledge of gays helps prevent their choosing ungodly ways and indulging in buttsecks.

    All of which is bullshit, it goes almost without saying. One is left with a lingering doubt about the arguer’s own sexuality: are they closet cases who have chosen not to act on their inborn nature, hence they think everyone is in the same boat they are? Do they believe that heterosexuals are so by choice too?

    “Gee, I think I’ll be straight this week.”

    Another view of this see-no-evil-hear-no-evil attitude is sheer prudishness. The anti crowd are mere prudes to whom any mention of sexual activity, be it gay, straight, or purple with bells on, is dirty. We can dismiss this attitude with equal ease as simply childish, as opposed to the stupidity of the earlier analysis.

  18. truthspeaker says

    Allow me to translate:

    If gay people are allowed to get married, people might start getting the idea that there’s nothing wrong with being gay. I want to raise my children to believe that being openly gay is shameful and wrong, and legal same-sex marriage would make it more difficult for me to do that.

  19. Nepenthe says

    my marriage is all about pooping out kids

    Huh. Apparently Mr. Balling needs a refresher on mammalian female anatomy. His poor, poor wife.

  20. ladyatheist says

    I completely agree that people of a religious persuasion should adhere to the rules of that religion.

    I’m not aware of any religion that requires people outside of that religion to follow its rules.

  21. hexidecima says

    I want to vomit every time I see this “argument” that marriage is only about children. What a pathetic little man Mr. Balling is, and I can pretty much guarantee this idiot would make it impossible for anyone to adopt children who didn’t meet his “moral” requirements. Better they be warehouses then have a real family.
    My husband and I married each other. No children needed to make us happy or to make us more “married”. I’ve seen enough “good Christians” married to produce children and have a totally loveless marriage when they realize they only married for that reason. No one benefits from a marriage like that at all.
    My husband and I, and any couple who doesn’t want or can’t have children are much better people than vermin like Mr. Balling.

  22. 33lp says

    Gay marriage will ruin the world in which his children will someday live, but global climate change is of no concern.

  23. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    Procreation = Marriage OK. Sterility = Permanent single-hood.

    I am voluntarily sterile. Have been for 18 or so years. Does that mean that I should have divorced Wife immediately after the procedure?

  24. dianne says

    that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

    Critical failure for any parent. Your kids are not you and what brought you happiness may not bring them happiness. Even ignoring all the other fail in the quote.

  25. madknitter says

    I’m a gay man who wants to slap the crap out of these crazy christers who whine that marriage is only for having children. Does that mean that all marriages that are childless, either through choice or through inability to have children, should be disolved? How long should people be married before their marriage is disolved because of lack of children. Should people who know they cannot have children not be allowed to marry? What about couples where one member has passed the age of childbearing? Does that mean marriages should end when the kids are grown and out on their own?

    I live in Massachusetts, where we’ve had marriage equality the longest in this country. Not a single straight marriage has experienced a negative impact because of marriage equality. People have not started to marry their dogs, cats, horses, or cars. While I know some polyamourous couples, none has tried to marry more than one spouse. I haven’t heard of anyone leaving their opposite-sex spouse in order to marry a same-sex spouse because marriage equality is the law of the Commonwealth (in fact, MA has the one of the lowest divorce rates in the country). Churches that don’t approve are not forced to perform same-sex marriages. Most of my gay friends aren’t members of those churches, anyway (most of them are Unitarians and ultra-liberal Jews, and a few are even atheists).

    The crazy christers who use these arguments against marriage equality don’t really have anything except whipping up fear of what could happen, but probably won’t (if what’s happened in MA has been any indication of how marriage equality affects society).

    If the crazy christers are so excited about “saving” marriage, then they should be working to end divorce. Divorce has a greater negative impact on marriages than marriage equality does.

  26. NitricAcid says

    @18- If first cousins are considered sufficiently distantly related that marriage between them is legal, then sex between them is not considered incest.

  27. stonyground says

    I think that truthspeaker @ #27 has it about right. like PZ, my marriage is also boringly conventional. Eighteen years and counting, one fifteen year old daughter, three bedroomed semi*, two cars and a motorbike, garden with a vegetable patch. The notion that these arrangements would be under threat should gay marriage be legalised is absurd. The Riley Ballings of this world are desperate for a good logical reason to be opposed to gay marriage but the fact is that there isn’t one.

    *Two houses stuck together, I believe that over the pont it is called a duplex.

  28. hockeybob says

    PZ, your lead-in sentence was cut off for some reason… it should have read “Riley Balling, patent attorney, and Talibangelical fuckwit…”

  29. roggg says

    we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

    Jebus H. Columbus, what does that even mean? Not only do you want your kids to have the ability to follow in your footsteps (nobody has suggested otherwise), but you want the entire WORLD to promote that ability? You need a fucking billboard telling your kids they can have a straight hetero marriage?

    Word salad.

  30. anteprepro says

    If first cousins are considered sufficiently distantly related that marriage between them is legal, then sex between them is not considered incest.

    You are as related to your cousins as you are to:

    -Great grandparents and great grandchildren
    -Children of niece/nephew
    -Siblings of your grandparent
    -A parent’s half-sibling
    -The children of your own half-sibling

    Your definition of “not incest” seems vaguely circular. Such that “incest” can never be legal, it could only be defined out of being “incest” once it becomes legal.

  31. truthspeaker says

    madknitter
    28 September 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I’m a gay man who wants to slap the crap out of these crazy christers who whine that marriage is only for having children. Does that mean that all marriages that are childless, either through choice or through inability to have children, should be disolved?

    Of course not!

    As always, the Bible has a solution. If your wife is unable to conceive, you buy a concubine and father children on her.

    Then when your wife miraculously conceives later, you kick the concubine and your children by her out of the house.

    It’s all in the Bible.

  32. NitricAcid says

    The Oxford Concise Dictionary calls it “sex between people too closely related to be married”. Incest can be legally tolerated, but marriage between an incestuous pair cannot be legal by this definition.

    I’m not about to do a search through a dozen dictionaries to do a survey of definitions, but if you want to define incest as “sex between close relations” or “marriage between close relations”, then you have to decide exactly what “close” means.

  33. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    For many of us who favor traditional marriage dinner, marriage dinner is about raising children in a healthy environment drinking good wine with good food. Thus, any change to the definition of marriage dinner affects our marriage dinner. Our “traditional” marriages dinners and the children they produce wine we drink are our greatest source of happiness, and we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices dinner continues to be served with the wine that brought us happiness.

    Seriously, the logic behind this argument escapes me. I’m pretty sure that the fact that many people don’t drink wine with dinner doesn’t constitute a threat to my dinner.

  34. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Probably the “biggest threat” to Balling’s ideal of what marriage is and should be is *divorce*. But I don’t see him and his “fellow travelers” trying to eliminate THAT.

    You would be mistaken, whheydt. Check out something called a “covenant marriage”. The main idea is that marriage must be like how it was described in their holy book and divorce must be discouraged. A handful of states in the US have “covenant marriage” as a legal status, including Arkansas. In 2005, when current Faux News mouthpiece, Mike Huckabee, was governor of Arkansas, he and his wife were part of a group wedding that changed their marriage to a “covenant marriage”.

    But Huckabee is so charming, how could he be one of the leading faces of bigotry and intolerance? I hate it when Huckabee appears on The Daily Show and he and Jon Steward laughs it up. Laughter should not mask the harm that Huckabee has done to people.

  35. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    …we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

    This is making the assumption that what made him happy will also make the children happy.

  36. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    This is making the assumption that what made him happy will also make the children happy.

    Or that he doesn’t care about his children’s happiness, but just that they make the same decisions.

  37. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    What are children but a bunch of mini-mes. Well, the boys, anyways. Who cares about the happiness of the girls. They are a different creature all together. Their purpose is only to serve.

  38. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Yes, it’s really too bad that we can’t sell our girls into slavery marriage when they’re 12.

    I mean, our high school daughter is learning about things like chemistry and economics. How can that possibly help her be a good slave wife to her future master husband?

  39. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Janine, I checked out covenant marriage, and found at the top of http://www.covenantmarriage.com/ a banner saying they are “applying the timeless principles of God’s Word”. I did snort, and didn’t get much further. I was idly curious as to whether they claim to have actually read God’s Word, but not enough to slog on through.

    As for children being the purpose of marriage, I know of one “traditional” marriage where the woman devotes herself entirely to the children, seemingly with the goal of fulfilling their every need and whim—not with raising them up to be civilized and/or happy. The marriage is not a happy one.

  40. whheydt says

    Re: anteprepro @ #42:

    Try this one… My father’s brother married one of my mother’s sisters. They had three children. Those three are “first cousins” of mine, but I share all 4 grandparents with them, which true of no one else except my two siblings.

  41. anteprepro says

    NitricAcid: So, your problem with number 18 is that incest is illegal by definition (for certain definitions that are specifically relevant to the law)?

    I will agree, however, that “close” needs to be defined more clearly and is up for debate.

    My father’s brother married one of my mother’s sisters. They had three children. Those three are “first cousins” of mine, but I share all 4 grandparents with them, which true of no one else except my two siblings.

    Funny thing. I have three cousins. Their father’s brother and my aunt (their mother’s sister) are in a relationship together. So, if they get married and have kids, those three cousins will be in the same situation as you.

  42. Sastra says

    If this was really about marriage being concerned with “creating strong homes for the next generation with strong direction from self-sacrificing parents,” then people like Riley would be agitating that gay people get married provided they agree to become parents, either through adoption or some other means. You know damn well that’s not going to be their happy proposal. The anti-marriage crowd is NOT interested in children, they’re obsessed with creating or maintaining a cultural atmosphere which grants a narrow form of Christian marriage status as everyone’s ideal.

    I’m fine with Christians promoting “covenant marriages.” Let them have their own special style of holy matrimony and leave marriage for the rest of us alone.

    Really — what do they propose to do with families where the parents are gay but unmarried? Argue that in this case marriage is BAD for kids? Better they see their parents living in sin?

    It’s only bad if the real goal is to convert everyone you can to conservative Christianity … and people falling into it because it’s easier is acceptable. “I found Jesus when they turned my dads away at the church AND at the courthouse. I learned what was right.”

  43. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I’m fine with Christians promoting “covenant marriages.” Let them have their own special style of holy matrimony and leave marriage for the rest of us alone.

    That’s fine until they try to give the extra covenants force of law. Which you know they’ll try to do when they get the chance.

    Really — what do they propose to do with families where the parents are gay but unmarried? Argue that in this case marriage is BAD for kids? Better they see their parents living in sin?

    A xian I used to work with once commented that if you’re not born again when you’re married, you’re living in sin anyway.

  44. karamea says

    This is from nearly 200 years ago, regarding non-religious marriages: don’t they ever get sick of prophesying the collapse of society? At least this has a sort of poetic rabidness to it.

    The bonds of domestic happiness will be slackened; libertinism, emboldened by the prospect of impunity, will spread its sickening influence around, and they, who believed that in passing a Dissenters’ Marriage Act they are merely listening to the just claims of a wounded conscience, will find that they have dislocated and deranged the very joints and hinges of society. There is no example on record of a country which has generally or permanently dispensed with a religious ratification of marriages. If England is destined to try the experiment, we pray that she may pass uninjured through the fire; but we apprehend that every institution will be endangered, and every tie relaxed, and the overflowings of ungodliness rush like a torrent over our miserable land.

    (insert the 1820s version of that “effects of gay marriage” pie chart here).

    A great many things that Riley Balling thinks of as natural parts of “traditional marriage” are, of course, not at all traditional. He’s not arguing that we should ban divorce, and he probably thinks that a married woman should be able to own property separate from her husband.

    If he has no problem with the thought of a widower marrying the sister of his late wife, he might be surprised to know that this bit of widely ignored canon law was only officially removed from the law books here in the UK in 1907.

    And, unlike the writer quoted above, he probably doesn’t have any problem with non-religious marriages, provided the participants have what he thinks is the traditional number and configuration of sexual organs. How untraditional his view of traditional marriage is.

    It’s also ridiculous how they always act as if all the places where gay marriage has already been legalised just don’t exist. If he wanted to see the effects of gay marriage first hand he could always drive north for six hours or so and visit the post-apocalyptic wastelands that were once known as ‘Canada’, before the date of July 20 2005.

  45. fastlane says

    Quoth senor Poopyhead:

    Our marriage was about sex and cooperation and sex and shared interests and sex and mutual respect and sex.

    Mid 20s? Fixed that for ya. ;-)

  46. A. R says

    That may have taken the cake as the worst argument I’ve seen this week! And I watched a few Mitt R(money) speeches.

  47. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    The bonds of domestic happiness will be slackened; libertinism, emboldened by the prospect of impunity, will spread its sickening influence around, and they, who believed that in passing a Dissenters’ Marriage Act they are merely listening to the just claims of a wounded conscience, will find that they have dislocated and deranged the very joints and hinges of society. There is no example on record of a country which has generally or permanently dispensed with a religious ratification of marriages. If England is destined to try the experiment, we pray that she may pass uninjured through the fire; but we apprehend that every institution will be endangered, and every tie relaxed, and the overflowings of ungodliness rush like a torrent over our miserable land.

    To be fair, what he (I’m assuming this was written by a man) feared is pretty much what happened.

    Of course, he said it as if it were a bad thing.

  48. NitricAcid says

    No, my problem is with the suggestion that “first cousins are allowed to marry” is equivalent to “incest has already been legalized”. Incest is a matter of sex, not marriage, for one thing. For another, are first cousins closely related enough for it to be considered incest? Apparently, not universally. Sex with a parent is considered far more serious.

    At #18’s link, I note that North Carolina allows marriages between first cousins, but not “double cousins” (which I assume are what whheydt describes).

  49. truthspeaker says

    karamea, it’s possible he isn’t even aware non-religious marriage exists. I’ve talked to several people who apparently have never heard of being married in a civil ceremony by a judge.

  50. says

    I keep finding it odd that “traditional marriage” is defended by these anthropomorphic personifications of the r-selection reproductive strategy. I’m kind of hovering around a border between hetero and asexual, and I’d rather have my chances at a “conventional” hetero marriage defended by people with a people-centric perspective. These r-selection people just see me as a piece of self-replicating meat, not as a person with complex desires. I’d rather they not cheapen marriage for me if I ever decide to try it out.

  51. Sastra says

    A Christian once told me that non-religious marriages were okay only because there was always the possibility that one or both would convert while married. Otherwise … well, otherwise, they were bewildering. He just couldn’t understand WHY an atheist would want to get married. I mean, it’s a promise made to God. Who are they promising?

    Um … each other? The families? The neighborhood, community, the state?

    Ah, it seems that that is still puzzling, because he just doesn’t get why an atheist would think a promise worth keeping anyway. Without God there’s no way to know the difference between right and wrong and no reason to follow it if you did, right? Plus why fall in love if our lives have no meaning?

    The rot goes very deep. This “keep traditional marriage for the sake of the children” argument can be followed down into a basement of festering stupid.

  52. Socio-gen, something something... says

    truthspeaker:

    karamea, it’s possible he isn’t even aware non-religious marriage exists. I’ve talked to several people who apparently have never heard of being married in a civil ceremony by a judge.

    In Pennsylvania, you don’t even need a judge. Thanks to our Quaker founders, (hetero) couples have the option of a self-uniting marriage license, in which the two parties marry one another without an officiant. It costs a bit more than a traditional license, but it’s worth it to avoid any problems finding someone who will avoid the religious clap-trap, and prevents “surprises” in your marriage service.

    My son and his fiancee are having a completely secular ceremony “hosted” by my brother, with music, poetry readings, and self-written vows.

  53. loopyj says

    Marriage is a legal agreement entered into by two consenting persons for the purpose of creating kinship, specifically next-of-kin status, for the couple, full stop.

    What anti-gay marriage bigots mean when they say that gay marriage will redefine marriage and ruin their marriages is that gay people and their relationships are of lesser value than straight people and their relationships, and by granting gays the right to marry, straight marriages are denegrated because they are no longer better than gay relationships, they are no longer special and superior. It’s an issue of hetero-supremacy. If you say that gays are just as good as us, then we’re no better than them, and as we all know, they are generally demonically fabulous and blasphemous.

    John Corvino tackles the definition argument beautifully in his “John Corvino Brown Bag Talk 2011 – 2012″ on the youtube. Check it out.

  54. mythbri says

    @Audley and anyone else who is interested

    Ex-Mormon here. As long as it’s PIV sex that takes place within the (prison) confines of a church – or better yet, temple – marriage, I was raised to believe that it was okay to have sex for fun instead of strictly procreation. But of course there’s a list of Not Okays:

    It’s Not Okay to be sexually curious about yourself or others before marriage. No sex before marriage, no fooling around before marriage, no masturbating. Seriously. Google “For the Strength of Youth” – it’s a guideline for Mormon youth that is all about keeping you from doing anything remotely naughty. And since boys are helpless against their naughty thoughts and girls are inherently naughty for inspiring those naughty thoughts, guess who gets the burden of preventing those thoughts from occurring to EVERYONE? (Hint: it’s the inherently naughty gender)

    I once saw, and I swear that I’m not making this up, a book in a Mormon bookstore called “First Night”, by some old dude (no offense to old dudes, but yeesh. Creepy). It was basically a how-to manual for newlywed (heterosexual, obviously) couples on taking each other’s virginity. Because, if you were Good Mormons, you should have absolutely NO sexual experience whatsoever. Even fantasies should have been a no-no for you.

    Anyway, I looked through it, and there was some time devoted to the…..ethics? of manual self-stimulation during sex. The author said that even though touching your naughties on your own is verboten, if you need that extra bit of stimulation during your church-sanctioned love-making, then it was probably okay. Maybe.

    I don’t know if that’s TMI, or satisfies any curiosity. But that’s from my own experience being raised Mormon.

  55. NitricAcid says

    In Alberta, it used to be that anyone could get a one-day license to perform marriages. Shortly before I married NitricEster, I was explaining this to one of my uncles (who was curious as to how an atheist would get someone to perform the service).

    Him: And who did you have in mind to do this?
    Me: You. (On the basis that he was the most dignified relative I had.)

    The way he tells the story now, I asked him if he would marry me.
    Him: But Nitric, what about your girlfriend?
    Me: That’s okay, I want you to marry her, too.

    I suppose his way is a better story, but its inaccuracy irritates me.

  56. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Audley:

    You should see the utter devestation that has befallen New York in the year since marriage equality became law– it’s like Mad Max with shittier weather.

    :D :D :D

  57. NitricAcid says

    @Mythbri- Isn’t that why they send the “elder” teenage boys out on missions? To get them away from their girlfriends until they are of marrying age?

  58. says

    So, my husband and I first decided to have kids.
    Then we decided to get married.
    And much earlier than any of those two events we decided to spend the rest of our lives with each other. Marriage was a handy way to make things easier.

    Fun fact: 100% of the married gay couples I know have children. That’s much more than all those straight married couples I know. And then there’s people who are not married and still have them together. And raise them together.

  59. says

    The disestablishment of this ideal affects us all.

    I know colloquial use of scientific concepts is all hip, Schroedingers Rapist for example, but is this effect some sort of non-local causality? Marriage has been ordained by God to be in some sort of spiritual entanglement and adding in gay marriage will somehow collapse the Godly wave function into a Satanic eigenstate and instantly break all marriage everywhere!

    I personally cannot see any other explanation for an effect that somehow travels instantly around the world devaluing my marriage because a gay couple in California get married too..

    … Or is there a simpler explanation that this Mormon-moron has his head up his arse?

  60. mythbri says

    When boys reach the age of 19, they’re encouraged (read: shamed if they don’t) to serve two-year proselytizing missions to the U.S. and countries that will allow such things. They don’t get to choose where – the orders come from on high, if you will.

    Women are allowed to serve missions when they turn 21 (read: too old to marry), but only for 18 months. I know from speaking with female friends of mine who have served missions that sister missionaries are thought of as less important, and that it’s only something they do because they don’t happen to be married at the time. They feel frustrated that they don’t get the same amount of respect for the similar sacrifice they’re allowed to make.

    Seeing as how the guys are very strongly encouraged to find a wife and start having her pump out kids as soon as possible after completing their missions, I would say that it’s the church’s way of enforcing their sexual mores and getting free, aggressive salesmanship from its members. It’s very much a have cake and eat it too situation.

    Regarding missionaries and their girlfriends, the culture within the church is RIFE with stories about how girls promise to be faithful but end up writing “Dear John” letters to the boys they’re supposed to be waiting for.

  61. mythbri says

    I’m sorry, I don’t think my comment at #74 is very clear. It’s in reply to NitricAcid at #71 and is still referring to Mormon religious traditions.

  62. thisisaturingtest says

    Our “traditional” marriages and the children they produce are our greatest source of happiness, and we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

    Well, bully for you, Balling. If you want to strait-jacket your kids with the expectation that they will make the same choices you did, that’s your right (and their burden). But that’s just begging the question of why, exactly, you think you have the right to strait-jacket everyone’s kids with the same burdensome expectation.

  63. mythbri says

    @Audley

    I know, right? It’s gets worse the further back in time you go – I think the church started putting out that pamphlet in the 50’s, and even though it’s evolved somewhat by then, it’s not by much.

  64. Ogvorbis: broken and cynical says

    it’s like Mad Max with shittier weather.

    But far more comfortable cars.

    ==

    Wife and I married with no church, no pastor, no priest, no religion at all. We married in her parent’s living room and a Justice of the Peace performed the ceremony. No mention of anything supernatural at all. But what made the wedding legal was exactly the same thing that makes religious weddings legal: “By the authority vested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I pronounce you husband and wife.” Without that, even a wedding performed by the Pope, or the grand poobah of the Church of Paralaxia, or whoever, isn’t a marriage. So why the insistence that rules adapted from mythology over 1700 years ago should govern who gets married?

  65. truthspeaker says

    thisisaturingtest
    28 September 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Well, bully for you, Balling. If you want to strait-jacket your kids with the expectation that they will make the same choices you did, that’s your right (and their burden). But that’s just begging the question of why, exactly, you think you have the right to strait-jacket everyone’s kids with the same burdensome expectation.

    So his children won’t be aware there are alternatives, of course.

  66. says

    If having children is what marriage is all about, why aren’t they pushing for laws against people (like me!) who’ve had vasectomies getting married? I can’t produce a child, therefore I am a threat to hetero-normative marriages like PZ’s. Sorry, PZ.

  67. shaggymaniac says

    Maybe this has been suggested before, but a recent conversation with a friend who has been single her whole life (she’s mid-40s) got me thinking about what might be an underlying motivation for the objection to marriage equality. What she reminded me of is the so common it’s almost invisible privileged status that married people enjoy. Almost invisible, that is, except to those who have chosen not to get married.

    As it stands, being married (in the US, anyway) carries a certain privileged status, both in a culturally normative and economic/legal (think tax law, access to loans, etc.) sense. Maybe what really motivates the objection isn’t really religious piety (though maybe it is for some), but the fear (conscious or sub-conscious) that extending the right to marry too widely will have the effect of diluting/eliminating its privileged status. This could be both in terms of cultural (normative) status and financial/legal benefits.

    It’s vaguely parallel to why I think many conservative Christian churches oppose the ordination of women. It’s not really so much that women are inherently unfit for a call into ministry (though, again, some probably are daft enough to believe that), it’s that if too many people get ordained the privileges of being a clergy person might get diluted/lost. For example, if you don’t know, so-called “ministers of the gospel” get ridiculous tax-privileges in the form of self-employment status wherein they get to write off housing costs, etc. If this gets too common, maybe the law providing such privilege would be lost.

    Somehow, the idea that the fear of loss of privilege (=power) and economic benefits makes more sense to me as a likely real (if unspoken/unrecognized) motivation underlying religious objection to marriage equality. But, maybe my mistake is even trying to make sense of religious motivations in the first place.

  68. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    My wife and I got married by a preacher-man, mostly to make our mothers happy, and partly because all the JPs were booked. We had to sit through a counselling course, which was shite. The service was not performed in a church, and we had papers to sign and to deliver to the government—the mildly-church aspect of the proceedings wasn’t binding at all. We got married for legal purposes, mostly, so we could take care of each other—we did not get married to have children. (By the way, she’s a little older than me, and our sexual habits are also non-traditional, but that’s nobody’s business, because at least we aren’t some of “those awful gays ruining marriage for everyone else” /sarc.)

    Speaking of “double cousins” the Little House (on the Prairie) books don’t make a deal of it, but Pa’s brother married Ma’s sister, so Laura Ingalls and her cousin Laura were double cousins and genetically siblings. (I find it amusing that the Little House on the Prairie TV show features a left-handed Jewish guy portraying a man in an unusual marriage.)

  69. Margaret says

    It’s not about the children. Gay marriage is a threat to his traditional marriage because traditional marriage is authoritarian, with the man in charge and the woman subservient. In a gay marriage, you can’t look at the the participants’ naughty bits to determine the proper hierarchy in the marriage, therefore the marriage is between equals, which can’t work because somebody has to be in charge. Worse, if there are marriages between equals, his wife might get ideas about being equal to him in the marriage, and then where would he be? Authoritarians can’t get their head around the idea of any relationship that is not hierarchical. They don’t really believe that their are marriages where the partners are actually partners.

  70. whheydt says

    Re; #53…

    I only gave part of the story (what I considered the relevant part).

    To recap…My father’s brother married one of my mother’s sisters. They had 3 kids.

    She died in a plane crash. he remarried, to a divorcee. His second wife already had one child (who we have all always treated as just another cousin), and they had another child together. (The last one being the only one of my generation younger than I am–by about 3 months–in the family).

    My brother-in-law has the whole genealogy on the web (there is one error than I know of…we’ve since discovered that we were wrong about the given name of a great-grandfather). Easiest way to look it up is to search on “Richard Robert Heydt”.

  71. whheydt says

    Re: #57

    On marrying deceased wife’s sister…

    THAT one made it in to Gilbert & Sullivan’s _Iolanthe_.

  72. Gregory Greenwood says

    Some people are not suited to, or not interested in, having children. Are we going to tell them that they can’t get married unless they buy into Riley Balling’s narrow definition of what marriage is for, even if they’re boring straight people? Are we going to stop by their house after they’ve been married for a few years and chastise them if the woman hasn’t gotten knocked up yet?

    If they could manage it, that is exactly what fundamentalist mormons like Balling would love to do. Given the prevailing political climate in the US, GLBTQ couples are an easy targets for bigots like him, and so they are top of the list, but you can rest assured that the list doesn’t end there. ‘Sex for procreation only’ is definitely on the agenda of several stripes of xian fundie, as can be seen by the ongoing attempts in several states to restrict access to contraception.

    I would wager that outright attempts to outlaw contraception and criminalise extramarital sex are very much on the cards in the not too distant future.

  73. kayden says

    So Balling would also consider my husband and I (heterosexual, married and childless) to be harmful to his marriage? Not understanding why having children is so highly valued when there are thousands of happily married, childless couples out here.

    There are no sensible arguments against marriage equality.

  74. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Margaret, #85, your insight on authoritarianism reminded me of the time I was out sailing on Seattle’s Lake Union, and we happened upon a catamaran that had two masts side-by-side, instead of fore-and-aft like most mono-hull boats with more than one mast. The skipper of the boat I was assisting on hollered over to the other boat, “Hey, which one is the foremast?” He thought it was hilarious, but I, in my morbid obsessive way, wondered why the fuck he would even do that—obviously the other boat was different, and worked different, and its skipper was managing fine with two equal masts.

    So now I am recalling all the times I was the one in/on the unusual vehicle—tandem bike, recumbent bike, unicycle, three-wheeled car, three-wheeled truck, front-wheel-drive motorcycle (it’s been a long, strange trip)—and how many people seem confused by something different, even angered, and how they feel free to comment and ridicule. (I’ve had ideas of mine slagged by complete strangers, and I was sore tempted to give my opinion of their children, just so they could see how it felt.)

    I’ve noticed how something new is a sort of Rorschach blot that reveals things about personality. I think that gay marriage is one of those new things that confuses and angers the kind of people who get easily confused and often angry. At least until someone tells them what to think of it, which is usually just to be angry.

    Sometimes, though, someone gets them to see the good aspects of the new thing, and most people will respond to that. We need to keep speaking out for truth and beauty and tolerance, and to keep resisting the evil.

    (Along the “new thing” line: Discuss the possibility of intelligent space aliens with someone, and see what they assume the aliens will be like.)

    (BTW, I’ve gotten some very nice compliments for some of the vehicles I’ve had the privilege of working with/using, so I don’t mean to say everyone is rude or confused. (One time, I was on my recumbent bicycle, all loaded down with camping gear, waiting to cross a highway in Indiana, when a big parade of Harley riders went past, all black leather and long hair. They waved at me, with the down-low wave, every one of them.))

  75. unclefrogy says

    I was under the impression that one of the prime reasons for “marriage” as practiced and recognized by the government was the kinship and the associated property rights. That civil marriage was organized by the Romans to make the inevitable distribution of property and the death of one of the parties so married.
    it clearly has no effect on the moral climate of society nor the number of children born at least it sure looks like it doesn’t

    uncle frogy

  76. Pierce R. Butler says

    timguegen @ # 9: … For some reaosn some of these folks not only think gay is a choice, but that it’s a tempting choice.

    My best guess on that is that many True Believers™ reach adolescence, feel same-sex attractions, realize this is taboo in their subcultures (which are, of course, The Whole Universe), and make a conscious and determined effort to reprogram themselves into heterosexuality.

    Unless they concede such efforts failed (which is Not Possible – they prayed about it, after all), then from their personal experience, sexual orientation is a matter of choice.

    That such self-conflicted strivings often produce a frenzied homophobia that just happens to concord with the local Holy Texts is, from the TB™ perspective, gravy a blessing which proves the utter rightness of it all.

  77. says

    I agree that it seems their perceived threat of same sex marriage is the threat to their privilege, but every time I hear homophobes whine about how same sex marriage will affect everyone, especially their own heterosexual marriages, it just sounds like they are telling us all how weak their marriages really are.

  78. vaiyt says

    @9:

    For some reaosn some of these folks not only think gay is a choice, but that it’s a tempting choice.

    Oh no, it’s not like being gay is so tempting that the. The Gay Illuminati is making an active effort to indoctrinate children by… er, letting them know gay people exist or something… I don’t know.

    I wonder if one could put it to the test. Get someone like me, a 1 on the Kinsey scale, and try to reprogram me into being gay.

  79. vaiyt says

    There’s a stray “that the” at @97, which is the remnant of a previous iteration of the post.

  80. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    For some reaosn some of these folks not only think gay is a choice, but that it’s a tempting choice.

    It’s all that airport bathroom stall foot tapping.

  81. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It’s idiots like Riley Balling who have told me that, as childfree people, my husband and I should not have had the right to marry.

    *spits*

    Exactly.

    Fuck them.

    Mrs. BDC and I are happily, by choice, childless. Our marriage is no less valid or worthy or important than his is.

    In fact I feel that in some cases where people get married because they feel they need to to fulfill some mandate by that weird bearded guy, floating around zapping people and causing floods, to procreate that ours is more valid. We got married because we loved each other and that was the most important fucking thing on earth.

    Fuck them.

  82. says

    Rev. BDC:

    We got married because we loved each other and that was the most important fucking thing on earth.

    Yes, exactly. It was the same for us. We’ve been married for 33 years, outlasting many a xian marriage by decades.

    I can’t even express how angry it makes me when one of said idiots blithely asks “well, why do you need to marry if you aren’t going to have kids?” Oh, let’s see…we *love* one another. We wanted to make that commitment to one another. We also wanted to take advantage of the legal niceties which go with marriage. None of this is some sort of deep mystery – it’s as obvious as the noses on their idiot faces. Fuck them. Fuck ‘em all.

  83. unclefrogy says

    well I think the whole idea the people cay be attracted to the same sex and can have loving relationships and fulfilling lives and not suffer is an unmistakable refutation to what they have been led to believe. It is similar to their reaction to the mere existence of none believers. The very thought that anyone could live a good life without following all the difficult teachings of their contradictory religion makes them feel repressed in comparison.

    such irrationality!

    uncle frogy

  84. yubal says

    My wife and me a clear about this.

    Our marriage is about us. And nobody else.

    Popping out kids is just something what we like to do. I am serious. Both of us like spending time with kids.

    What has that to do with gay marriage? Nothing, I guess. We are not gay, we are just married.

  85. Jerry says

    Here’s another fact for Mr. Balling to ignore. The states with the lowest divorce rates and lowest teen pregnancy rates are all liberal/Democratic and some have already legalized gay marriage. The states with the highest divorce rates and highest teen pregnancy rates are all in the Bible Belt, repressive/Republican, and have outlawed gay marriage. Are these the “choices” he wants his kids to make? Not me.
    http://www.adherents.com/largecom/baptist_divorce.html
    http://bigthink.com/marriage-30/whos-winning-the-culture-war-what-the-numbers-suggest?page=all
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/04/10/461402/teen-pregnancy-sex-education/?mobile=nc

  86. Pierce R. Butler says

    Btw, when did Repubs give up on the idea that the US tax code includes “marriage penalties”?

    What a coincidence, if it happened as soon as gays wanted marriage!

  87. darwinharmless says

    @vaiyt “I wonder if one could put it to the test. Get someone like me, a 1 on the Kinsey scale, and try to reprogram me into being gay.”

    You wish, assuming you are asking to be the research subject.

  88. says

    I know colloquial use of scientific concepts is all hip, Schroedingers Rapist for example, but is this effect some sort of non-local causality?

    Oolon, you have already established that you are an asshole. How about not being so proud about it.

  89. didgen says

    I am happy to say that my daughter carried a baby for a wonderful gay couple, and I have no doubt that he is going to be loved his entire life. It would be wonderful if his parents could also be married.

  90. Rodney Nelson says

    People like Balling say that same sex marriage will destroy traditional marriage. When asked how this happens, they either throw out easily refuted nonsense like “marriage is about procreation” or claim their god forbids it. But evidence supporting the destruction of marriages is lacking.

  91. FossilFishy (Νεοπτόλεμος's spellchecker) says

    I got married because of kids. Yup, I did. You see, Mrs. Fishy made it clear early on in our relationship that she wanted children. Right, right, said I and didn’t think much of it. Six or so years later she says, okay, now’s the time, either we start seriously trying to conceive or I’m outta here. When I got over my panic (Me a father!? Fuckity fuck, how could she think I would be good at that!? etc.” and thought it through I realised that I wanted to get married first. Not so the poor, poor childez could grow up in a “traditional” household, but because I’m not an asshole and neither is Mrs. Fishy.

    Children are a serious, long-term commitment and I realised that I’m not the kind of person who would be absent from any child that I was responsible for bringing into the world. That meant that Mrs. Fishy and I would have to have some kind of relationship for the rest of that child’s life, even if we couldn’t sustain a close, intimate one between each other. So I wanted to make a commitment to her, and her alone, before we had this third party who would force that long term relationship between us.

    So yes Mr. Mormon Sack-‘O-Hammers, I thought about the children with my marriage and still I think you’re a toxic deadweight that leaches water-fowl killing toxins as you pull our society down to the murky depths. You see, what’s right for me is not the fucking gold standard for everyone else. Hell, if Mrs. Fishy had said “Look, our relationship works just fine as it is, I’d rather not get married.” I wouldn’t have left her and we would still have a child. Shocking I’m sure, that different people have different wants and needs and that some of us can not only recognise that, but accommodate it too.

  92. Menyambal --- Sambal's Little Helper says

    Don’t forget–“Corporations are people.”

    I find it bizarre that two men can form a corporation, but the same two men can’t form a family.

  93. says

    Your “traditional”, oppositeñsex marriage is no more threatened by anyone else’s same-sex marriage than your vegetarianism is threatened by anyone else’s m**t-eating.

  94. says

    Maybe what really motivates the objection isn’t really religious piety (though maybe it is for some), but the fear (conscious or sub-conscious) that extending the right to marry too widely will have the effect of diluting/eliminating its privileged status. This could be both in terms of cultural (normative) status and financial/legal benefits.

    Only if you’re really bad at maths. 90-95% of people are straight an can get married. 5-10% are gay, but only part of them will want to get married at all (and many of them will want a divorce later on). So the effect of gays getting married would be vanishingly small over all but quite big for the gays.
    Oh, wait, I think I answered this already. Bad at maths.

  95. says

    @Weed Monkey,

    Oolon, you have already established that you are an asshole. How about not being so proud about it.

    Who lodged a porcupine up your arse? No idea who you are other than a fan of bad metal.

  96. Rodney Nelson says

    oolon, in his post #116, shows Weed Monkey is correct. oolon is an asshole and is happy to display this aspect of his personality.

  97. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    oolon, in his post #116, shows Weed Monkey is correct. oolon is an asshole and is happy to display this aspect of his personality.

    QFMFT

  98. pa747sp says

    Through the wonders of dual-citizenship, my partner and I are able to live in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom (and by extension, the European Union).
    We have decided that the first country to have marriage equality will be the place we marry. At this stage, it is likely to be NZ. So, after 22 years of sinful co-habitation (and the fathering of one child), we will finally be able to marry and get the chance to destroy a whole slew of happy heterosexual marriages. Revenge will be ours!
    (Interestingly, just a reflection on ‘traditional marriage’. Across my partner and I’s family, only his parent’s marriage has lasted longer than our relationship. Seems just the threat of us marrying was enough to destroy several of our siblings marriages)

  99. pa747sp says

    Oh, and another thought. I used to be a florist. I’ve seen enough trashy weddings to know that the only threat homos getting married poses to traditional marriage is that it might lift the average taste level.

  100. says

    mythbri:

    I don’t know if that’s TMI, or satisfies any curiosity. But that’s from my own experience being raised Mormon.

    And how’s your therapist enjoying that new yacht?

  101. shaggymaniac says

    @Giliell #115:

    “Only if you’re really bad at maths.”

    No argument from me. Suggesting that fear of loss of privilege might be an underlying motivation that people cloak in religious piety did not mean that I think said fear makes any actual sense. If anything, it makes less sense, thus the need for pious cloaking to somehow make it seem “reasonable” among their religious co-travelers.

  102. mnb0 says

    Best decision my straight mother made regarding me as a child? Pushing me out of our family (she was remarried) and sending me to my gay father and his friend. Because of you know, healthy environment. I didn’t care they weren’t married though.
    Would Riley Balling want to know that?

  103. says

    Seeing as I am a gay lady in Minnesota, this makes me very, very angry.

    I have been paying taxes on my partner’s health care benefits while my coworkers get that tax free. Since she is unemployed, I could just as easily let the State of Minnesota cover her under MN Care and let this guy pay for her care instead of me in exchange for lowering my own taxes.

    But the part that is infuriating is that she was recently diagnosed with cervical cancer. Does he have any idea of what going through that is like, much less going through that alone? Oh, and husbands are 6x more likely to dump their wife if she gets cancer than women leaving their husbands. So frankly, my girlfriend in theory has a much better “marriage” than many straight women do.

    And he should see me significant-othering my ass off. This is a 18 hour a day job before I even start doing my day job. What would make this a little easier is to keep some of my money, have family and medical leave provisions apply to me, and so on.

    I am sorry if marrying in order to make it easier to save my partner’s life makes him sad. He can DIAF. Right here in this life because guys like him make this life hell on earth for gay people. What a miserable fucking life it’s been, thanks to “good Christians” with “family values” like him.

  104. mikee says

    pa747sp

    We have decided that the first country to have marriage equality will be the place we marry. At this stage, it is likely to be NZ.

    I hope so, pa747sp, I hope so. I was shocked to see the Australian government screw over gays and lesbians there, I just hope our own government here in NZ doesn’t do the same. The Bill to make gay marriage possible has past its first the first stage, fingers crossed some of the politicians dont chicken out.

    For those morons who claim gay marriage will lead to legalisation of beastiality wtc, this is the same argument that was used against gay marriage.
    http://bobcargill.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/535132_10150690521932395_705822394_8026655_1008504104_n.jpg

  105. mikee says

    And I can’t believe after this advertisement appeared on Australian TV that they actually failed to make gay marriage legal – bastards!

  106. pa747sp says

    I’m hoping it is NZ too Mikee. My partner has a big family in the UK, me a small family in NZ. Just think of all those people, descending on NZ for the wedding, likesome sort of biblical plague, hell bent on destroying local marriages forever.
    Oh, and spending a load of money in NZ, helping stimulate the economy.

    As for the Australian government, what is more despicable than the bible-soaked dunderheads spouting bullshit, is to find our atheist, female Prime Minister claiming the ‘tradition’ argument. A person whose rise to the top of politics is a result of other, braver politicians saying that tradition, even biblically supported, does not trump human rights. And anyway, most Australians dont want this tradition to stay. Political cowardice, and further proof, as the late Mr Hitchens says, that religion poisons everything.

  107. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    LykeX to mythbri,

    And how’s your therapist enjoying that new yacht?

    Not funny. Not cool.

  108. tbp1 says

    Objections (I just can’t call them “arguments”) to single sex marriage basically come down to three things:

    1) It’s icky
    2) The Bible is agin’ it
    3). ZOMG the children

    None of these is a valid reason, of course. I think lots of things which other people inexplicably enjoy are icky, but I don’t try to outlaw them. I just avoid them. We’re still not a theocracy, so laws must have a legitimate secular basis. Being against the Bible isn’t sufficient. 3) really breaks down to two sub-objections. The first is that gay couples can’t reproduce and the second is that children are harmed by having gay parents. If we accept the first premise as a reason to ban single sex marriage, then we must also outlaw any marriage where kids are not possible (sterility, health issues for the woman making pregnancy a bad idea [the reason I'm an only child], woman past menopause, etc.). The second sub-objection is empirically false. Several studies show that gay parents show essentially the same range of competence as straight parents. Some are great, some are crappy, and most are somewhere in between. Their kids have the same range of outcomes as the children of straight couples. Other variables are WAY more important than the sexual orientation of the parents.

  109. says

    Anybody following Australian politics shouldn’t be shocked. It’s been obvious for a long time how the vote would go – almost certainly as a result of factional wheeling & dealing. There’s a strong conservative Catholic influence on the Labor right.

    Saddened and disgusted, sure, but not shocked.

  110. says

    Not funny. Not cool.

    To be clear, I wasn’t making fun of mythbri. I was making fun of the weird shit that people believe and foist on their children.
    Arguably, that isn’t really very funny either, but it’s a laugh or cry situation.

  111. carbonbasedlifeform says

    #9

    it’s possible this guy ins one of those people who is worried about just that, that if being gay is normalised his kids will decide to be gay. For some reaosn some of these folks not only think gay is a choice, but that it’s a tempting choice.

    Yes, I am sure there are people who say, “You know, I think I’ll be a homosexual. It will be fun to be a member of a despised minority.”

    I have been in discussions with people who have said that gay marriage will harm straight marriage. My first reaction is to ask, “How?” I will generally follow this up with, “I have been married for over 30 years. How will gay marriage affect my marriage?” The typical answer is that gay marriage would not affect my marriage at all. My response is along the lines of “So you are saying that gay marriage will affect all marriages and no marriages at the same time.” I have yet to get a coherent response.

  112. Sili says

    Yes, the only marriages allowed should be marriages exactly like mine.

    I’d love to.

    But you’re a mensch.

    I’m not exactly a good person.