Same-sex Marriage Debate

Here are some of the arguments espoused by those against same-sex marriage

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GayLawNet®™ Same-sex Marriage Debate
Updated on 11 June 2014 at 1031K (GMT+10)

Argument Against Same-sex MarriageRebuttal
"Homosexuality" is unnnatural therefore homosexuals ought not be permitted to enter the natural institution of marriage.

Homosexuality, or what is called homosexuality, demonstrably exists in nature, and whatever exists in nature is natural. We humans exist in nature, homosexuality is therefore not unnatural.

Acknowledgement: Zander Sherman - The public good is not served by funding Catholic schools, The Globe and Mail, 10 June 2014

Marriage is unique in the sense that it was created by God for the procreation and raising of children by a mother and father.

Steven Barrett - Daily Hampshire Gazette, 24 November 2003


Marriage is a natural institution whereby a man and a woman give themselves to each other for life in an exclusive sexual relationship that is open to procreation.

Cardinal George Pell - Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee's Inquiry into the Marriage Equality Amendment Bill 2009, 28 August 2009

If natural selection (Ed: or God) favours individuals who leave behind lots of descendants, why do homosexuals exist?

Bryce Sage: "Survival of the Fabulous" 29 November 2013


Does this mean that the women over childbearing age, or infertile or elderly people should not be allowed to marry?

Does it not penalize children by depriving them of state benefits because the state disapproves of their parents' sexual orientation? Research shows that children adopted by gay parents thrive as well as other children.

Isn't the traditional family structure already in many cases subject to family violence, divorce, substance abuse, etc?

The Masschusetts Supreme Court pointed out that there's no reason to think such a setting would indeed be optimal. After all, terrible, selfish opposite-sex couples are not precluded from getting married and having children. And good childrearing comes in many varieties.

Joanna Grossman, CNN, 20 November 2003


Firstly, if marriage is a concept created by God (and thereby owned by religion), why are non-religious people allowed to marry?

We are a secular country. Why do we even have a Marriage Act? Why arenít marriages not blessed by someone of religious authority null and void?

Next, if the primary reason for marriage is to provide a safe and stable structure for the raising of children, why isnít procreation included in wedding vows?

Why are people who are unable to reproduce allowed to marry? Why arenít marriages that fail to generate offspring cancelled after a set time?

Thirdly, we are told that marriage is an ancient institution, locked in stone. Does the husband still own the wife?

Why doesnít he receive a dowry any more for taking on such a liability?

Why doesnít the wife vow to obey her husband any more? Why do we allow inter-racial marriages?

And why do we allow divorce?

Jess Hughes, East Perth, InMyCommunity, 20 December 2011

Same-sex marriage ruins the sanctity of marriage.

Even if this were true, sanctity, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, is "the state or quality of being holy, sacred, or saintly," meaning that the word sanctity in itself refers to religion. So yes, same-sex marriage may ruin the religious standard of marriage. However, the fact of the matter is that homosexuals want marriage in the purely legal form and religions do not have to approve of this.

Camille Veselka, Huffington Post, 05 December 2011

The right to marry is fundamental but the right to marry someone of the same sex is not.

Before a fundamental right can be recognized, a "deeply rooted tradition" must be found.

Lewis v. Harris, New Jersey Superior Court - Joanna Grossman, CNN, 20 November 2003

This argument was specifically rejected by the US Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas. Indeed, it recognized that rights can be fundamental even if they were traditionally considered immoral or even criminal, as long as they have become "implicit in the concept of ordered liberty"

Joanna Grossman, CNN, 20 November 2003


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The legislature not the courts should decide how to make profound social changes.

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly - Washington Times, 24 November 2003

The legislature is the only proper place to sort out people's civil rights

Ibid

Courts and legislatures have to work together. Same-sex couples deserve a full range of marriage options.

Georgetown University law professor Chai Feldblum - Minnesota Daily, 24 November 2003

The court's obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate [it's] own moral code.

Massachusetts Supreme Court - Joanna Grossman, CNN, 20 November 2003

Same-sex couples should not marry simply for legal purposes.

Jonathan Rauch - Minnesota Daily, 24 November 2003.

Marriage is not just a piece of paper or pile of benefits, it's a unique promise one makes to another in the presence of a community. Civil unions weaken the idea of marriage and are bad policy for the future of same-sex marriage. Homosexuals don't have the promise of marriage in their relationships. The words 'Will you marry me?' will transform gay life.

Ibid.

Marriage is a legal act. Marriage is a religious act. The two are not the same. Religions should be free to define and sanction marriage as they deem proper for their practitioners. But, marrying legally in the United States doesn't require a religious marriage. And in a nation built on the principles of equal rights and separation of church and state, it only makes sense that the legal right to marry be available to all citizens.

Chicago Tribune - Mary Schmich 29 February 2004

Same-sex marriage is not a civil right because, simply, homosexuality is not a civil right.

Jarrett Ellis - Milford Daily News, 24 November 2003

Same-sex unions are more of a civil issue than religious because it is not a legal requirement to get married in a church

Civil marriage is a civil right Massachusetts Supreme Court

Civil rights and religious rites are distinct and separate issues.

Giving the rights and benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples with families to the thousands of same-sex couples who may or already have children (who do have civil rights) will help strengthen families.

Marriage is to encourage stable relationships because people in them are more likely to contribute to a stable society.

Palm Beach Post, 24 November 2003

The US national divorce rate is creeping near 50 percent. The strength of marriage is what it is, not who is in it.

Ibid

Confining marriage to opposite sex couples is necessary to preserve scarce public and private resources

The state could not rationally assume that same-sex couples were more financially independent (and thus less in need of public and private subsidies). Nor could it rationally exclude non-needy couples who happen to be of the same sex, while including non-needy couples of the opposite sex.

Joanna Grossman, CNN, 20 November 2003

See also: Family Economics: Cost-effective Gay Marriage US (MA) 04-10 June 2004

Legalizing same-sex marriage could lead to the acceptance of polygamy and incest

If civil marriage means the voluntary union of two persons as spouses, to the exclusion of all others how can this lead to an acceptance of polygamy and incest?

Marriage is "the most fundamental institution of civilization"
President George W Bush

"The primary bond of society is marriage" - Cicero

Chicago Tribune, 29 February 2004

Marriage is not an immutable institution.

In ancient Greece the engagement party was a commercial transaction. In the US the conception of marriage as a transaction between father-in-law and son-in-law meant a woman went from being economically dependent on her father to the same status vis-a-vis her husband. American wives couldn't own property "even that which they inherited from their parents" until given the right by states between 1839 and 1887. In 1911 the US Supreme Court rejected the idea that a wife could sue an abusive husband. Black Americans couldn't be legally married in the antebellum South. In the Western states, where anti-immigrant fever was high, Asians and whites were barred from marrying each other.

In 1967, when the U.S. Supreme Court finally voided those "anti-miscegenation" statutes, as they were called, 16 states still had them on their books. Even then, South Carolina didn't remove its statute until 1999.

Chicago Tribune, 29 February 2004

The law authorises marriages only between men and women

Aside from obvious differences in genitalia, defining precisely what is a "man" and a "woman" is fraught with difficulty. There are exceptions to chromosomal differences, making that test indecisive and intersexuality is defined as the presence of "ambiguous genitalia". Surgical reassignment leave post-operative transsexuals in limbo. Gender identity is independent from anatomy

From: "A flawed law: Male/female not so easy to define" - Eric Vilain
Providence Journal, May 18, 2004

For other articles addressing the arguments against same-sex marriage, see:
Ezine, Marriage: "The Top 10 Arguments Against Gay Marriage: All Receive Failing Grades! 27 May 2013; and
Ezine, Marriage, "The Conservative Case for Marriage" 18 January 2010


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