Do Gays really want Marriage?

An article at National Review brings out some interesting statistics here in the USA and other countries that have long had civil unions/marriages for homosexuals: First, very few homosexuals are actually getting married here or elsewhere.  Second, in Norway and elsewhere, gay men have a 50% greater divorce rate than heterosexuals. Third, in Norway, lesbians have an astonishing 167% higher divorce rate than heterosexuals, while it is very high in other nations (partially due to the fact that women in all relationships tend to file for divorce more often).

These stats suggest that the importance of marriage really is not reflected in the homosexual community overall.  To grant them equal consideration may actually diminish the importance of the marriage covenant, turning it ever more into just another “right” that has no personal responsibility connected to it.

Perhaps it is time to refocus marriage on what made it important in the first place: progeny, covenant, til death do you part (or all eternity, if LDS).

Giving marriage to another group that does not really seem to take it as serious as it needs to be, seems like the perfect way to destroy its real meaning.

41 thoughts on “Do Gays really want Marriage?

  1. Well said. It used to take at least 2 years living separate and apart to get divorced. Now, most states have “no fault” provisions that allow divorce in 6 months. The erosion from “till death do you part” has come about since the sexual revolution of the 60’s. By objective standards, shortening the time required for divorce has not helped anything at all. (You’ve always been able to divorce for “fault” grounds such as abuse and adultery.) I don’t think there are too many “rights” given to married couples that two people, whether heterosxual or homosexual, can’t achieve with a good power of attorney and a will. People can cite laws on the books that favor married couples over others, but I haven’t read of any “rights” that benefit heteroxexual couples on a day to day basis. It seems that when the smoke clears, what SSM advocates ultimately want is moral acceptance.

  2. Marriage is a socially sanctioned contract to a lifelong commitment of mutual fidelity in the interest of the children produced by the union.

    No. I don’t think gays want that.

    Sadly, I don’t think a lot of heterosexuals want that, either.

    Our civilization is in free fall, and the pavement is coming up fast.

  3. Vader writes, “Sadly, I don’t think a lot of heterosexuals want that, either.”

    Exactly right. People who are so upset at the prospect of gay marriage, should have been equally upset when divorce and birth control became morally and socially acceptable. That’s when marriage became “marriage”, i.e. disposable and estranged from procreation.

  4. Vader, in our legal tradition, marriage as a “socially sanctioned contract” was originally about property ownership and inheritance, and didn’t really have anything directly to do with “mutual fidelity in the interest of the children produced by the union” (except to the extent that a child’s legitimacy and parentage determined whether or not he or she could inherit).

  5. It is true that heterosexuals have done plenty of things to help destroy marriage: Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor and the like get some demerits, as do royal families who used marriage for political purposes for centuries. Still, all societies have had at least some acknowledgement of what marriage should be, the union of a man and a woman (and admittedly, sometimes more than one woman) for the purpose of raising children and continuing the species. Most social scientists recognize that poverty, drugs and other societal problems can be linked to the breakdown of the family unit. So, the patient (marriage) is sick. The solution is not to kill the patient. I agree with the point that making marriage meaningless does not help the patient get well.

  6. I’m sure SSA has been around for about 6,000 years. So, why the push for marital recognition in the last 10 years or so? What’s different today than it was at the time of Christ? I sometimes remind supporters of SSM they’re advocating for something that, up until about 10 years ago, was not only repugnant to most people, but was considered criminal conduct. Were our ancestors collectively “ignorant and biased and short sighted and unfeeling and unaccepting?” Just because something is tradition does not might it right. However, marriage deserves a very slow, methodical and extended study before a leap from the bridge. Even if we set aside religion, government has every incentive to maintain an orderly approach to relationships among people, especially those that produce or relate to children.

  7. Even though I’m not for gay marriage, this argument (and its statistics) sound a lot like the 19th century arguments and statistics, “Do blacks really want freedom?”

    Given the rising percentages of divorce amoung opposite-sex marriages, do heterosexuals really want marriage?

    The logic doesn’t seem to make the jump its hoping for.

  8. Geoff writes, “So, the patient (marriage) is sick. The solution is not to kill the patient. I agree with the point that making marriage meaningless does not help the patient get well.”

    My point was not that we should kill the patient. My point was that we killed it long ago. We, *as a society*, have already decided that marriage need not be permanent nor tied to procreation. Given these facts, it’s very hard to argue convincingly that it should be withheld from homosexuals.

    Or to put it another way, how can we argue that it should be withheld from homosexuals, while not *at the same time* arguing that it should be withheld from those who favor birth control and divorce?

    Otherwise, we tacitly accept birth control and divorce, while arguing that marriage should be permanent and procreative. It must come across to gay marriage proponents as ridiculous.

    My proposed solution is not to cave on gay marriage, but to stop caving on birth control and divorce. But we know how hopeless that crusade would be, don’t we? It’s that fact which makes gay marriage only a matter of time.

  9. Frank, there is a big difference between freedom from slavery, and establishing a new right for a specific group of people. America’s Constitution was written in such a way as to allow the recension of slavery 20 years in. That arguments were made regarding the intelligence of blacks, or that they were cursed by Noah to be slaves, is besides the point here. The issue shows that all slavery is bad.

    That homosexuals can work, live, enter into contracts, etc., establishes that they are not slaves. That they do not have to sit in the back of the bus, drink from a separate fountain, etc., shows they are not unjustly discriminated against (at least not by government).

    ALL blacks desire freedom. Very few homosexuals desire marriage, and of those that do, only a small percentage are actually serious about the long term responsibilities that traditional marriage expects.

    Yes, heterosexuals are also destroying marriage, as we see from Hollywood and reflected in much of our society today. But there are enough good people who see it as a solemn and sacred lifetime/eternal covenant that it is not dead. The only way for us to regain its sacredness is to take a stand against all those who misuse it, straight, gay or whatever.

    The world looks at marriage as a traditional thing to do, until one is bored with it. Serial marriages must be looked upon as a form of adultery, simply because those engaged are not serious about the covenant. That others want marriage so they can obtain special legal benefits has to stop – simply by affording separate legal status that has nothing to do with marriage. If a gay couple want to establish hospital visitation rights, or share medical coverage, those should be established between the individuals, their lawyers, and the companies involved, without redefining and diluting marriage into something other than it is supposed to be.

    We need to re-establish two concepts: relationships are about much more than just sex or rights, and marriage must be viewed as a sacred trust.

    If we just surrender and say marriage is dead, then we are allowing others to redefine society and its most sacred institutions. Should we surrender Freedom, because socialists want to replace our Constitution with a European style system? Should we replace freedom of speech with something else, simply because some want to limit expression they disagree with? Should we replace freedom of religion with freedom of worship, so that the government has control over public actions? Just which of the Bill of Rights are we willing to give up or seriously alter, simply because large groups of people want something else?

    For me, it is worth fighting for sacred things, if for no other reason, to keep the profane from destroying them.

  10. ALL blacks desire freedom. Very few homosexuals desire marriage, and of those that do, only a small percentage are actually serious about the long term responsibilities that traditional marriage expects.

    Actually, there were studies at the time that said that blacks preferred slavery. That said that freed slaves would not leave their masters, because they felt better cared for as slaves.

    I certainly agree that we need to strengthen marriage, and that SSM is not a right, and many of the other reasons you gave. I simply don’t see that the statistics given support it one way or another. Its unfortunate I couldn’t immediately come up with an argument aside from equating slavery and SSM, since I don’t think that slavery, or even disallowing marriage between races, is an equal comparison to SSM.

    Its like citing a stitistic that says 75% of children under 18 who have internet access use it for viewing pron, so where internet access is not yet available, it should be stopped so that no children under 18 could view pron, since they “obviously” would use it to view pron. Its like citing a trend in fatalities amoung those who got their drivers licences between 2000 and 2010, and determining that no one more should be able to get their drivers license, since they “obviously” would have a fatality. (These are examples, not actual statistics I pulled from somewhere.)

    A statistic that is less than 100%, worse, statistics that are a comparison of other statistics, cannot be a determining factor for all those who may not fall into that category.

  11. By the same reasoning, most black people never wanted the priesthood, therefore why allow them to receive it?

  12. Frank, the “studies done at the time” are generally discounted by most historians today. Those studies done in the time of slavery were often done in a manner to justify continuing slavery.
    But they ignored the many who ran away from their masters, many successfully through the Underground Railroad. They ignored Haiti’s overthrow by slaves. They ignored the blacks that served in the Union army. Did you know that in the early West, about 1/3 of cowboys were blacks, usually escaped from slavery in the South?

    Freed slaves often stayed because their former masters made new arrangements with them, as share croppers. It may have had little to do with how nicely they were treated, and more with the concept that they needed each other, at least in the short term. Still, many blacks moved away from the South and into the Industrial north. Chicago and many other cities were filled with former slaves, who no longer felt safe.

    Statistics are not perfect, but are useful in spotting trends. If several nations show similar trends in something, chances are one can expect to see the same in other similar places. That very few homosexuals get married in Norway, Holland and the United States shows a trend. Again, when we see higher divorce rates among the few that do marry, we see a trend.

    Creating imaginary trends to support your theory is a straw man, BTW. When you say statistics of less than 100% cannot be a determining factor, you are using hyperbole to prove something you have not proved nor provided evidence for. I did not say that the stats shown prove anything. I did say that they show a trend.

    I’m afraid your understanding of statistics needs help.
    That very few homosexuals in Massachusetts are getting married is a fact. When compared to the average heterosexual group, it is an extremely small group of homosexuals who marry. That is a fact. That we see the same thing in other nations suggests a trend. That divorce rates among that very small group in other nations is statistically and significantly higher than heterosexual divorce is a fact. Statistics do not need to be 100% to be valid or useful. They need to be statistically significant to be valid and useful. And in showing trends, comparing similar statistics is very useful, as well.

  13. Jeff, I’m not sure if you were responding to me or Frank, but that is a BS statistic you give (whether intentionally or not). Blacks in the LDS Church all desired the priesthood. From Elijah Abel, who was a Seventy, asking Brigham Young to allow him to go to the temple, to Darius Gray – who now writes books and makes films about black LDS, we know of many black LDS that have long desired the priesthood.

    As it is, the Church has always believed blacks would receive the priesthood. That some created bad reasoning for why there was a ban, is beside the point.

    That the scriptures and modern prophets have always held that homosexual behavior is a sin, has not changed. That marriage has always been held in the Bible and in LDS belief as between men and women, has not changed.

  14. Oh sure, you can give lots of examples of blacks who did want the priesthood, just like I can give lots of examples of gays who would take marriage very seriously.

    The point is that whether they actually want marriage or the priesthood or not is entirely different from wanting the same opportunities to make free choices as the rest of us. If they choose not to get married or receive the priesthood, they want it to be their own decision and not ours.

  15. Jeff
    No, the point is that people can hold the priesthood or be married, if they are willing to accept the criteria to qualify for it.
    Simply changing the rules to meet the person’s wants and desires is not the same thing as qualifying for it. I used statistics to show trends. You are giving hyperbole.
    Should God have qualifications to enter heaven? If so, who should establish those criteria: God or man?
    If marriage was originally instituted because it benefited society to have stable families and a place where children could learn societal needs and expectations, then why should we change the reasons and qualifications for marriage to satisfy a small group of people that statistically show little real interest in it, except to where it benefits them, and not society?

    This is the same logic as churches ignoring Biblical commandments in order to be more accommodating to those who want a Christian life, without the requirements or qualifications. -Go ahead and be sexually active, as long as you desire to join the Church, we will fully accept you with no reservations! – such is the attitude that changes the institution to meet the desires of others, rather than expecting them to meet the qualifications that benefit the organization.

    Marriage is being destroyed, because people are trying to change it into something(s) it was never meant to be.

    If a person demands being ordained to the priesthood, but does not qualify by God’s standards, should we change the premise of priesthood just to make one individual or group feel included? Or should we maintain the standard, and expect those who want it to live up to that standard? Should heaven lower its entrance standards, simply because the world wants it to?

    There are severe holes in such logic.

  16. Rame says, “Perhaps it is time to refocus marriage on what made it important in the first place: progeny, covenant, til death do you part (or all eternity, if LDS).”

    I agree. But lets look in the mirror first. We already lost this battle long ago among heterosexuals. Marriage today is completely different than it was several hundred years ago. Traditionally, marriage (and particularly in LDS theology) was never about about love or sexual attraction. For thousands of years, it was arranged by parents, non-romantic, contractual, subject to stringent restrictions regarding age and class.

    And in LDS theology, the doctrine of eternal marriage was first revealed to Joseph Smith within the depressingly non-romantic context of polygamy. It’s purpose was deification, eternal progression. D&C 132 is the most frightening, unromantic scripture you can imagine, focused as it is on Emma’s obedience to a principle she abhors at the risk of damnation. Poor Emma had a modern, romantic notion of marriage, having disobeyed her parents and run off with Joseph Smith in her youth. Then traditional marriage, focused on obedience and sacrifice, came back to haunt her.

    We lost this battle when modern marriage became associated with love and physical attraction, and “finding your soul-mate.” Because we have embraced the romanticization of marriage, there is no way we can withhold marriage from homosexuals. Marriage in today’s society is about true love, and of course, sex. Gays have lots of true love, and great sex.

    But in traditional marriage, you don’t need love, or even sex. That is not the important part of traditional marriage. Marriage is divine and beautiful, not because it has the deepest love and intimacy. It is divine because it is sacrificial, because it is a type of Christ’s love for the church, who is sometimes rejected, and sometimes embraced by it’s imperfect partner. Marriage is not ideal, and that is what makes it divine. It is the sanctifying and taming experience of the violent clash of the opposite sexes.

  17. Ram,

    I think parties on both sides agree that certain criteria ought to be enforced for marriage. The question is which criteria are relevant as opposed to arbitrary? Sexual preference as such seems to be a criterion based in little more than an arbitrary tradition. To be sure, certain behaviors which would could clearly serve as relevant criteria might be strongly correlated with homosexual preferences and lifestyles, but these should not be confused with homosexuality as such.

    Whether you agree with this claim or not, your post does nothing to refute it.

  18. I don’t know that most homosexuals want to be married right now, but most want to be able to get married if they want to. They at least want (and I think should have) the societal benefits of marriage–the right to intestate inheritance, hospital visits, tax benefits, etc.

    Given this dilemma, and the reality that more and more states will allow gay marriage in the next few years, I think Republicans would be smart to mitigate the damages by making marriage a purely private affair, and take the government out of it. The government can oversee “civil unions” which would grant those in them the right to inheritance, etc., and people can still marry through religion if they wish–but civil unions would not involve churches, and marriage would not involve the government.

  19. Some gays most certainly do want marriage. And it isn’t just that some do have long-term relationships they want ritually ratified, or even legal privileges granted to married couples. Many want society to recognize and legitimize their relationships simply to feel fully accepted into society. They would argue that the lack of recognition and legitimacy contributed greatly to promiscuity and unhealthy emotional development leading to the statistics Rameumpton cites above. If they’d had something legit to aspire to, more of them might have set their sights on it, they’d argue.

  20. I agree that SOME gays want marriage, whether it’s actually entering into a gay marriage themselves or simply reveling in the knowledge that gay marriage is a legal option. But SOME doesn’t mean MOST or even MANY. In my estimation it means FEW, otherwise Ram’s statistics would be very different. In fact, I think gays are primarily enamored with the IDEA of gay marriage for the reasons Martin offers. But I seriously doubt any significant proportion of gays will start getting married, even if legal SSM were to spread across the country. Generally speaking, it’s not really their thing, and I think they know it.

  21. I’m not gay. Never was, never wanted to be. Happily married for 19 years. So, I fit just fine in the hetero camp. But if I picture myself as gay (I have a good imagination), I can see this as a civil rights issue. Institutional disenfranchisement is like a pebble in your shoe. Sure it’s just a pebble, but it’s the one you eventually can’t stand.

    Nothing will change with SSM, just like nothing happened when the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18. Most 18-year-olds don’t vote.

    Having anti-SSM laws in place establishes an underclass for purely idealogical reasons, eerily similar to the case of underclasses of the past such as blacks and women. There’s conservative ideaology, and there’s standing up for the least among us.

  22. Purely hypothetical thought exercise for the commenters here favoring SSM. Right now the U.S. marriage rate is 51 percent, an all-time low compared to 72 percent in 1960.

    Single people simply don’t see marriage as important these days compared to 1960. Now, let’s make the very safe assumption that gay marriage is either legal on a federal/national level or legal in 30-plus states within 10 years, by 2022. Let’s say we look at the statistics and the marriage rate is clearest lowest in areas where SSM is most prevalent and highest in the few states/areas it is not. There appears to be causation, ie, people see marriage as meaningless, except those of us (Mormons, traditional Catholics, Muslims, conservative Jews, evangelicals, etc) who are more traditional. Most young women live with a guy and have a baby and live on their own. And let’s say by 2025 the marriage rate has fallen to 20 percent. Does this worry anybody? Is there any reason to be concerned about a society where the traditioanl family unit is basically disappearing?

  23. If gays are 2-5% of the population and the population is not getting married much anymore I wouldnt expect to see a lot of gay marriages. If gay people are half as likely to marry then you really wouldn’t see much. But that’s a poor excuse for being opposed to gay marriage. It does however tell us there is more passion over perceived injustice in the issue. And that its really about having something available to them (including acceptance of their choices as a legitimate sexual lifestyle).

  24. Some here claim that the battle for marriage was lost long ago, and so we may as well just allow any definition replace what marriage once meant.

    To take that logic further, we can claim that we’ve lost the war on crime, so we may as redefine the term crime so that it is more palatable, as well. Murder no longer is a “crime” because, well, it’s so prevalent in society. Child pornography, drug use, and other issues could also become acceptable to society, simply because large groups want to normalize them.

    Some say that gay marriage would have no victims, but we do not know that for sure. We definitely see that in other nations it has demeaned marriage. I see this as just part of a larger picture, where marriage is being made meaningless by Hollywood, and others, who do not really take it seriously. Yes, it is prevalent. But that does not mean we say the war is over and we lost.

    Instead, we need to be the beacon on the hill, and show people what marriage really is supposed to mean. It needs to be re-enthroned as the highest goal for man. Yes, many are going to try and replace it with their own world view, but we shouldn’t allow one of the most important developments for society to be destroyed or made meaningless by a selfish society.

    Why are so many inner cities struggling with crime, drugs, high drop-out rates, etc? One main reason is because marriage is no longer considered important. Marriage was not created for inheritance or hospital visitation rights. It was formed to enhance and strengthen society. We cannot save inner cities without returning marriage back into them.

    We can give homosexuals equal protection under the law: inheritance, hospital, medical care rights, etc., without changing or reducing marriage’s true value to society.

  25. Geoff says, “Single people simply don’t see marriage as important these days compared to 1960.”

    On a certain level, this is true. But on another, it is not. Many people don’t get married because they think marriage is TOO important. They’ve seen so many marriages break apart and wreck emotional destruction on families. They don’t want to see that happen to them. Marriage is too serious, to heavy to go into lightly. They have to find the PERFECT person first, then you have to make absolutely sure by trying out years of cohabitation. Then, if they still feel “true love,” then maybe their relationship will be worthy of the heavy and serious commitment of marriage.

    When Brad Pitt discussed his divorce from Jennifer Aniston with Dianne Sawyer, he said, “marriage is too important. You only get one chance, and it has to be the right one,” or something to that effect.

    Marriage carries too much weight in society today. It has to be with a “soul mate.” It has to be with the most ideal partner. It has to have perfect sexual compatibility. It has to be filled with passionate love and romance.

    If we want to have dialogue about traditional marriage, we have to go back to what traditional marriage really is: a social contract of shared sacrifice with two imperfect, often incompatible people, who were thrust together under less than perfect circumstances, and who never expected marriage to be eternally romantic and filled with happiness. It was simply part of your lot in life, like the career and class you were born into.

  26. Nate, I agree with the last paragraph of your number 26. You are correct that many people wait for the “perfect” marriage and have unrealistic expectations. Most of us have grandparents or great-grandparents from another generation who stayed together because they had much healthier expectations of marriage. In the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, you found somebody who was somewhat compatible, you got married and you stayed married through thick and thin (for the most part). As I say, there are many, many causes for the breakdown in marriage. My question is: if we can show strong correlation that SSM is contributing to the breakdown in marriage, should we be concerned about that?

  27. “Having anti-SSM laws in place establishes an underclass for purely idealogical reasons, eerily similar to the case of underclasses of the past such as blacks and women. There’s conservative ideaology, and there’s standing up for the least among us.”

    It has nothing to do with the underclass of blacks and women. SSM is a perversion of an eternal principle: the uniting of one man and one woman in a commitment to each other, children, and society. I bet most blacks and women would agree with anti-SSM laws, even for purely idealogical reasons. The jig is up. The emperor has no clothes.

    I think what the statistics really show is that regardless of sexual orientation, people want the side benefits of marriage (i.e. social acknowledgment that their union is acceptable and legitimate) without having to make a serious commitment(covenant) or sacrifice. It’s more about “What can I get out of this relationship?” rather than “What I can contribute?” or “I hope I can do a good job nurturing a child.” The values of humility and sacrifice have been replaced by selfishness and envy. SSM is not about civil rights; it’s about envy. If it were about civil rights, gays would be flooding their city halls demanding to be married. The concept of marriage and family is doomed.

  28. Geoff, that’s a good question. “if we can show strong correlation that SSM is contributing to the breakdown in marriage, should we be concerned about that?”

    Could such a correlation be proven, since SSM has been around for such a short period of time? Additionally, while it may be true that blue states have lower percentage of married couples, it is also true that red state areas have higher divorce rates. Red state folks get married more often and younger, and they divorce at much higher rates.

    What is meant by “breakdown in marriage?” Does this mean higher divorce rates, higher out-of wedlock births, higher rates of cohabitation, or all of the above? And how exactly does (or would) SSM contribute to these trends?

    And since divorce rates have been dropping over the last few decades, can marriage be said to be “breaking down” anymore? And if marriage is becoming more of a niche lifestyle choice, (one taken more seriously today by it’s practitioners than it ever was,) how is that negative? Particularly in LDS doctrine, where eternal marriage is taught to be something exclusive to only 1/3 of the celestial kingdom, and where the other two kingdoms don’t have any marriage at all.

    With divorce rates dropping, with people taking more care and time choosing who to marry, marriage is becoming stronger not weaker, and at the same time it is decreasing in prevalence.

    So we have to decide what our goals are. Do we want marriage itself to be strong (low divorce rates)? Or do we want marriage to be more prevalent and universal? The more exclusive marriage is, the easier it will be to keep it strong among those who choose to engage in it. The more we try to impose it universally, the weaker it will become. Should we water down marriage to increase it’s universality, or should be purify it, bring it back to God, and make it a true sacrament, which is not imposed upon everyone, but rather something special, something exclusive, something rare and beautiful?

  29. Rame writes, “Some here claim that the battle for marriage was lost long ago, and so we may as well just allow any definition replace what marriage once meant.”

    What I’m saying is that we have *already* let another definition replace what marriage once meant. The toothpaste is out of the tube. It’s not impossible to put it back in, but it’s going to be awfully difficult.

    And I don’t think it can be done legitimately without eliminating birth control and divorce.

  30. Agellius, I agree. It may be we cannot eliminate birth control and divorce, but we can make them harder to do. Even if we could make abortion and divorce rare, we would be on a good track to restoring marriage.

  31. “Do Gays really want Marriage?”

    Seems rather disrepectful and dehumanizing to put a large and diverse group of people into one monolithic lump, and then suggest stripping an important right from the whole group that many of that group (even if not all) long for with all their hearts.

    Election turnout in the US rarely edges up over the 50% mark, and is declining. Do Americans really want the vote? Maybe we should just take that right away.

  32. “These stats suggest that the importance of marriage really is not reflected in the homosexual community overall.”

    Society, churches, family to gays: “Your marriages are a perversion. How can you even think the word ‘marriage’ applies to your sodomy? It defiles the insitution of marriage and is going to cause the destruction of society. Your love is filthy, sinful, disease-causing, and an affront to God. Your relationships can never have value, they only cause damage to yourself and society.”

    Gays: “Hm, we’ve been able to get married for all of a few short years. Some of us are having a hard time adjusting to the idea that our relationships can be called marriage. Some of us are not sure how we fit into this institution. When things get really tough, it’s hard for us to believe that our relationship is worth fighting for as something sacred and holy.”

    This post and commenters in this thread to gays: “The fact that you are having a hard time with those things obviously is proof that you never should have been allowed to get married! The fact that you don’t have role models of success, your families are often unsupportive of keeping your marriage intact because they are in fact hostile to it, and all those things we’ve said to you (summarized above) all your life and continue to say to you, I’m sure has nothing to do with it! The reason you’re having a hard time with this thing called marriage (that is challenging even in the best of circumstances) is just proof of your sinful nature and the lack of worth of your relationships.”

    Yeah, that makes sense.

  33. “Do Gays really want Marriage?”

    I think the safe answer is “no. Except of course for all those gays who do want it.”

  34. This is semantics but marriage is not a “right.”. Rights don’t require a license to be issued by some governmental entity. Driving privileges, hunting and fishing privileges and the like are licensed by the state as are marriages. I can’t think of any inalienable right under the federal constitution that requires a license. If one views marriage as sacred and holy, that is strictly a religious standpoint and there is nothing to stop religious sects, denominations and associations from having religious SSMs.

  35. Tent dweller, you are exactly right: marriage is not a right, it is a privilege currently granted by the state like driving, hunting, etc. Heterosexual marriage is also not discriminatory: any man can marry any woman and vice versa. Gay men have the same rights that I do, ie, they can marry any woman they want. You are also correct that there is nothing stopping a gay person from having a commitment ceremony that is sanctioned by his or her religion. I think we probably can agree that two consenting adults who love each other should be able to set up contracts that allow them to pass on their inheritance, visit each other in the hospital, etc.

    The problem for thinking persons like you and me comes when we start contemplating why the state gets involved in the first place. There is certainly no reason for the federal government to get involved in marriage – family law has always been a state issue. I have argued there is a compelling state interest in marriage on the local level, ie, it is important for the state to keep track of which kids belong to which people, at the very least for custody and property issues. When we look a state-provided privileges such as hunting and drivers’ licenses, we can see that states do have an interest in restricting who can and cannot get these privileges. We don’t want eight-year-olds driving, and we don’t want hunters shooting each other. We can see an argument for doing the same thing with marriage, ie, making sure that eight-year-olds are not marrying each other, etc.

    The libertarian in me resists the idea that the state should tell consenting adults what they can and cannot do, however. I do think it is important to continue to support the Church’s position on this issue and I will continue to do so.

  36. “This is semantics but marriage is not a “right.””

    The Supreme Court disagrees with you. “Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man.” – Loving v. Virginia.

    “Heterosexual marriage is also not discriminatory: any man can marry any woman and vice versa. Gay men have the same rights that I do, ie, they can marry any woman they want.”

    That’s exactly what proponents of an anti-miscegenation definition of marriage said–that it was not discriminatory because any black man can marry any black woman and vice versa (any white man can marry any white woman).

  37. So, Cynthia L, do you support the Church’s position on SSM, yes or no?

    (Frankly, I find this issue boring, but I am always interested in hearing from loyal Church members on issues of import to the Church).

  38. My own position is irrelevant to the points I am making, which are that the arguments being provided in this thread are wrong. Correct positions can have bad/wrong arguments put forward on their behalf, and when that happens it should be pointed out by proponents and opponents alike, in the name of integrity.

  39. I do not support the church’s position, but I have thusfar voted the way I thought they wanted me to. I haven’t yet decided if that is cowardice or integrity. Nonetheless, one’s position on that point should probably be irrelevant. I can think of no good reason to oppose gay marriage outside of religious loyalty and I’m not certain that is a good reason.

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