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Analyzing the Arguments: IUSB Gay Marriage Debate

Posted by iusbvision on April 18, 2006

Argument # 1:  Can society force what it believes the definition of marriage is onto the homosexual community?

Many in society are under the impression that those against gay marriage  are attempting to force a religious belief onto the homosexual community.  In reality, there are many of different faiths, beliefs, and political groups who are against gay marriage for practical reasons.  That being said, is it okay for the state to define marriage between a man and woman?  Well, only if the outcome of the definition is in the best interest of the country, and this is where most disagree on the gay marriage debate.

The problem is no one puts the conceptualization of creating ‘oppressing’ laws into perspective.  After all, our states already deny rights to minorities; in fact, they deny rights to every individual in the United States.  If laws ban killing or stealing, it is quite obvious that we no longer have the freedom to kill or steal – therefore our rights to kill and steal are taken from us.  In an ‘absolutely free’ society, are we allowed to do this?  Obviously we can, because we are not an ‘absolutely free’ society and denying these rights are in the best interest of our country.

The difference between the law banning killing or stealing and a law banning gay marriage is that banning killing or stealing is universally accepted by society as a whole, and many do not believe gay marriage will have a detrimental effect on our society in the long run.

Or we could look at this question another way.  In either case, someone’s forcing their beliefs onto another.  If gay marriage is passed, the heterosexual community is being forced to accept the definition of marriage as between a man and another man, or a woman and another woman. Whereas if gay marriage is not passed, the homosexual community is forced to accept it is between a man and a woman.

Argument # 2:  Just like slavery and women’s rights, isn’t society simply taking away the human rights of homosexuals to marry?

After researching countless articles, I have found some studies conclude individuals may be born with a pre-disposition to homosexuality.  Now it is important to differentiate between a pre-disposition and a genetic absolute, because this is what the above argument claims.  A person is born African American or a woman, this is an absolute.  Since it is an absolute, it means they have absolutely no control over it, a woman cannot will herself into a man – therefore we cannot deny her rights as a woman, because she has no control over it.

If someone were born pre-disposed to being a woman, which is a silly thought, it means they have the ability to change it on their own.  Just as a person born with a pre-disposition to becoming an alcoholic or being intelligent has the ability to change it.  If I am born with a pre-disposition to intelligence, it does not mean I will be intelligent, it will all depend on the choices I make.  Also, demanding rights as a result of my pre-disposition to intelligence would be frowned upon, should I have different rights because I am pre-disposed to intelligence?  This is the fundamental difference between slavery, women’s rights, and homosexual human rights – it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

This argument can only be valid if the ‘gay gene’ existed – with this gene one can prove, beyond a doubt, an individual is born homosexual, just as one can prove, by more obvious methods, a person is born a woman or African American.  However, according to and many other studies, “Time and time again, scientists have claimed that particular genes or chromosomal regions are associated with behavioral traits, only to withdraw their findings when they were not replicated.”  This is one of those issues I strongly encourage others to research on their own, as there are many ideas floating around out there.

Argument # 3:  So why are people so afraid of gay marriage?

I would not say the majorities of individuals are ‘afraid’ of gay marriage, although I do know some people who are.  The reason they have concern over this debate is the potential consequences of re-defining marriage based upon behavioral choice.  If you notice, as I have stated above, homosexuality has not been proven purely genetic, since this is true, if marriage is re-defined based upon these circumstances, it must always be re-defined on these circumstances.

In other words, twenty years from now, when marriage between four men or four women is considered, our society will be forced to allow it – and one can rest assured, the gay marriage case will be cited within that courtroom.

It puts the conceptualization of marriage at danger of having a definition that will eventually become nothing more than a bundle of legal rights with no reference to a family unit.  Gay marriage may not destroy the family unit, but future marriages required to pass as a result of it will.

Argument # 4:  Since we do not know what the future holds, isn’t the slippery slope argument a weak one?

Should we do everything in our power to prevent terrorist attacks? Or should we do nothing on the assumption everything will be fine?  The concept is to protect the family unit for society as a whole, as it is essential to maintain financial and social health in society.

Of course no one knows the future, but this does not mean it is unintelligent to create laws to protect it.  When our founding fathers created the constitution, one of their primary concerns was to ensure a secure longevity of their documents and laws – and they strongly took into consideration the long-term consequences of each law that was written.  This is all I am attempting to do here.

Argument # 5:  Why do you care what choices these individuals make?  It has no effect on you.

I’d argue everything we do affects those around us.  When someone insults you, it puts you in a bad mood, does it not?  If someone drives drunk, it puts you in danger.  If someone compliments you, it may put you in a good mood, unless you are a strange person.  If a complete stranger cuts you off, you get angry. Many of the things we do throughout our day have a large impact on others.  Most of us do not realize the impact we have.

However, my argument is not against their individual behavioral choices.  I love that everyone in our society has the freedom to make both good and bad decisions. Freedom of choice is what being American is about.  The primary concern is the legal and societal consequences of gay marriage, nothing more.  This is not an attempt to discredit them based upon the choices they make.

Feel Free to Debate Me on this Issue! 

Craig Chamberlin
Assistant Editor

33 Responses to “Analyzing the Arguments: IUSB Gay Marriage Debate”

  1. Andrew said


    I question the wisdom of giving the state the responsibility of determining what’s best for society. Hitler’s Germany decided that it would be best for the society if there weren’t any Jews in it, and (as you’ll recall) this ended badly for everyone involved.

    You can’t seriously believe that someone has the right to murder another human being. This is ridiculous, and if you make comments of this nature you’re going to find that people will have a hard time taking you seriously. There’s a basic difference between being physically able to do something and having the right to do something. By your logic, abortion (even if the fetus is a person) is a right. I seem to recall that you’ve written something which suggests the opposite. Over and above this, there’s quite a difference between someone busting a cap in you and two dudes getting married. You’re comparing apples and spaceships, Craig.

    From your previous editorial on abortion, it would seem that forcing one’s beliefs on this subject to become law is ok. What makes homosexuals less important than babies? Please endeavor to be consistent.

    # 2:
    So the only reason a woman can’t be denied her rights as a woman is because she can’t help being female? Do you read the things you write?

    The study you linked wasn’t peer-reviewed. In fact, it isn’t even a study. It was a page on the internet that talked about studies. Sometimes it quoted sentences.

    # 3:
    Why do you have a problem with marriage between four men or four women? I can understand that this may not be your idea of a good time, but that isn’t enough to discredit it as a model.

    There’s no such animal as a slippery slope argument. This is a logical fallacy. It’s a rookie move, Craig.

    # 5:
    This is a weak argument. There’s no law that says we are obliged to make one another happy, or even that we need to be polite. If such a law did exist, you’d have to come up with an explanation of why it doesn’t affect heterosexuals in order for the first paragraph of part five to make any sense at all.

    In part 1, you say that we don’t live in a free society; that we don’t have freedom of choice. You’ve come full circle here.

    I’m not certain this editorial says what you think it does, Craig. It doesn’t really present a cohesive argument against gay marriage, for the reasons that I’ve mentioned. I find it hard to believe that anyone can use the arguments you’ve posed here to form an opinion either way, so I have to ask; do you have other reasons for opposing gay marriage?

  2. Hello Andrew,

    I'm glad to see someone decided to participate, in regards to your rebuttle:

    Argument #1:
    Perhaps you should look at those who are poorly raised by the extremists of the muslim faith. It is quite obvious that they believe they have the 'right' to murder. We all have the freedom of choice to do anything we please… 'anything'. This is our God given right. This includes both stealing and murder. It is quite obvious, however, that these behaviors need to be controlled within a society – which is why we have laws banning such behaviors.

    This is basically what my argument was saying, we do 'not' live in an absolutely free society – our society takes away these freedoms because they are in the best interest of the overall health of the people. Perhaps I should use one that is less obvious. How about our freedom to drive 80 miles an hour on a 40 miles per hour road? Here we have a situation where the government is forcing me to drive 40 miles slower than I want to because it 'thinks' it knows what's best for society. This is where your logic is flawed – our government already dictates what it believes is best for society in many ways, and this was my overall argument. For us to create laws with the best interest of our society as a whole isn't entirely ridiculous, as many who argue for Gay Marriage put it.

    I'm surprised you compared my argument to that of the Nazis, this seems somewhat silly because I wasn't arguing 'kill the Gays' or 'No Gay marriage because we say so!'. Also, do you think the Nazis were trying to do what was best for their country or what was best for the Nazis?

    Also, I'd like to hear your rebuttle on how those who are for Gay Marriage are forcing their beliefs on to the heterosexual community that Marriage is 'not' between a man and a woman. Many for Gay Marriage argue that Marriage can be between same sex couples – but they don't realize they are also attempting to dictate their beliefs onto the heterosexual community.

    Argument # 2:
    Maybe I should summarize this argument a bit better:

    Men – Men are born men, therefore they cannot be denied any rights because they are men

    Women – Women are born women, therefore they cannot be denied any rights because they are women.

    Any Ethnic Group – Any Ethnic Group is born that particular ethnic group, therefore they cannot be denied rights because they are that particular ethnic group.

    I'm sure you are starting to see a pattern here, in the issue of Women's rights, we 'were' denying Women rights because they were Women – but they have no control over that. Which is why it was, quite obviously, the wrong thing to do.

    The same goes for slavery, we were denying these individuals rights because they were born a certain ethnicity, which is also why, quite obviously, it was the wrong thing to do.

    Now we can turn back over to homosexuality. Since it is a behavioral choice, then denying them the rights is not any different than denying an alcoholic the freedom to drive drunk, or denying 'me' the rights to speed on the road. I may 'want' to speed, but I will have to be willing to live with the consequences of my decision. Should the law be changed because I have a desire to speed? This is why it is like comparing apples to oranges, homosexuality is a behavioral choice, being a Man, Woman, or particular Ethnic group is not.

    And I quote:
    “The essential genetics may not directly code for homosexuality at all, but something correlated with it,” Bailey emphasizes. “Something that’s advantageous. What is it? We don’t know. The alternative idea is that it’s simply darned hard for biology to guarantee heterosexuality every time, that it’s not a stable system. The problem with that [theory] is that if it’s hormones that set sexual orientation, they don’t seem to have much problem guaranteeing that men get penises. So, why can’t they keep sexual orientation straight? On the other hand, homosexuality is very rare…in other words, we don’t know.”

    These are the types of conclusions from 90% of genetic studies of homosexuality.

    Argument # 3:
    You asked:
    "Why do you have a problem with marriage between four men or four women?"
    You have me asking the question, What is Marriage? I'd like for you to define it for me please. If you believe it to be a 'bundle of rights' then you are basically telling everyone who believes it is an institution of the family unit they are wrong – which is forcing your belief of what Marriage is onto them. If I am mistaken, please tell me what your definition is.

    You stated: "There’s no such animal as a slippery slope argument. This is a logical fallacy. It’s a rookie move, Craig."
    Perhaps you should give the readers a little insight into why you believe this to be true. Making claims with no argument is quite a rookie move.

    Argument # 5:
    I could see why you believed I came in a full circle here – I probably could have worded it better. I was under the assumption most understood at that point I meant we have a free society with understandable limitations to those freedoms. In reality, this is the kind of society we live in, one that has laws to maintain order – and laws to maintain criticism of that order. It is a checks and balances system, which is a great system. Our founding fathers knew what they were doing.

    With this argument it needed to be pointed out that the arguments against Gay Marriage are not against the choices of those who are involved, but are a consequentialist argument against the institution.

    Unfortunately though, you seem to have jumped around the overall point of my argument, which was 'behavioral choice dictating marriage'. I'm assuming you think it is okay for four men to marry each other, or for four women to marry each other – but what you believe is contrary to what others believe, so you see the predicament we are in. In either case, someone's beliefs are going to be taken away from them by the law accepting one of those two beliefs – your belief will be forced onto those who don't believe it, or vice versa. Which comes back to my argument of us not living in an 'absolutely free' society.

  3. Chuck Norton said

    Point 1 – Godwin’s Law, learn it, love it, live it.

    Point 2 – Right to gay marraige… ummm there is no right to hetero-marriage.

    Rights are not in reference to groups, they are in reference to individuals. For Example – if I have a right to get married, if no one will marry me than my right to be married has been violated.

    What is the contemporary meaning of marriage? It is a CONTRACT between a man and a woman and the State, and in some circumstances with the said couples deity.

    That contract involves a marriage license. What is a licence? A license represents the sanction of the people of that state, or that states legislative majority if you will.

    The simple fact is that the legislative majority decides by majority vote who gets their sanction and who does not and under what circumstances. There have been many such instances where a marriage license has been denied to white couples by states so where were all of you saying that their constitutional rights were violated?

    Would you FORCE the majority to give consent and sanction against their will? That seems to be what many are advocating. So much for Democracy and informed consent.

    There is no more a right to marry than their is a right to have a Class-A drivers licence.

    There is no genuine equal protection issue, because a straight man may get a state marriage license under most circumstances to marry a female and so may a gay man. A straight man can no more get a marriage license to marry another man than a gay man can. The law treats the gay man and the straight man exactly the same.

  4. Bret Matrix said

    Point 1 – As citizens of the United States, we have the right to ask our legislature to pass laws defining marriage as between a man and a woman. On the other hand, the opposite is also true. Lobbying our representatives and electing our representatives is the majorities only way to protect ourselves from the Judiciary. To tell us that we cannot ask the state to define marriage is to deny hetero-sexuals rights that are actually defined in the Constitution. Show me anywhere in the Bill of Rights where citizens are given the “right” to marry anyone and everyone they choose? It is not there. How many times must we endure people screaming about rights being violated which are not defined in the Constitution. So many people make up thier own rights and then cry foul when they supposedly are denied. It is not the government’s job to defend a choice of lifestyle.

    Point 2 – You mention that the arguement can only be valid if the “gay gene” is found. I agree with this point. The only difference between human rights and civil rights is whether a person is born with a particular difference. We know that a person choosing to be gay is choosing thier behavior. I submit this to you as evidence. If we are to accept evolution as fact, they we must conclude that somewhere along the line, human beings mutated a “gay gene”. However, evolutionary theory proclaims that organisms evolve in order to increase the chance of the species surviving into the next generation. Why would an organism evolve a gene that makes it less likely to breed, thereby reducing the chances of that species survival? If it did evolve that gene, how would it get passed on since those species with that gene would not be breeding with the opposite sex? If we deny the evolutionary theory, the only other acceptable theory is intelligent design. Why would the Diety create a human being designed to commit an abomination to said Diety? Either way, the “gay gene” theory does not hold up to logic.

    Point 3 – Heterosexuals are not afraid of gay marriage no matter how much proponents of it want us to be. They call us homophobes which reallys shows just how ignorant they are. If we are afraid of somthing different we would be heterophobes. If homosexual means “same sex” then homophobe must then mean “fear of the same”. We are not afraid of doing things the same old way, so why are we called homophobes? We simply do not want that type of lifestyle infecting our communities. I must go back to my first point, we have the right to ask our legislature to vote to support our desire.

    Point 4 – I submit to you that the slippery slope arguement should be looked at. If we are allowed to sue everytime we think we have been discriminated against, then we must address the following examples —

    1)Should an aging baseball player be able to sue a team that cuts him because his body can no longer keep up with the speed of the game? Is it his fault that his body has aged and worn down? No. However if he sued maybe MLB should force the Cubs to keep a fifty year old catcher on the roster or risk an age discrimination suit.

    2)Maybe an individual earns a double major in college. He is over qualified and cannot find work because companies cannot afford to pay him. How is this not an example of educational discrimination?

    3)A Protestant cannot get employed as a Catholic priest. Is this not spiritual discrimination?

    4)A republican cannot get employed as the chairman of the Democratic Party. Is this not ideological discrimination?

    5)As a white male, there is virtually no chance for me to be hired on as the president of the NAACP or the National Organization for Women. It is pretty clear that I don’t meet the criteria they would be looking for in an applicant. Why can’t I sue them for gender or racial discrimination?

    6)Alcoholics and drug addicts will be next looking to sue because companies do not want to hire an unreliable worker that has a good chance of showing up drunk or stoned.

    By defining marriage as between a man and a woman does not discriminate against anyone. A straight man may marry any woman who will accept him. A gay man can also marry any woman who accepts him. The same holds true for women.

    Finally, we must ultimately accept the consequences of our choices. If a person chooses a lifestyle, they choose the consequences that follow. A drug addict chooses to be an addict. A homosexual chooses to be a homosexual. A high school dropout chooses to be a dropout. A Christian chooses to be a Christian. A woman chooses to be born a woman. Oh wait, a woman does not choose to be born a woman, just the same as a black man does not choose to be born black. That is why the government has anti-discrimination ordinances to protect gender and race, but not lifestyle choices. You cannot have your cake and eat it too, which I submit is what many citizens are demanding thier government to provide.

  5. Andrew said

    The people who you’re referring to believe that you’ve been poorly raised and that they’re fighting a war and by definition when you’re fighting a war, all people who are killed are not necessarily murdered. I think these people are bonkers. It’s very much a matter of perspective.
    I’m confused. Are you claiming that if I am physically able to do something, then I have the “God given right” to do it?
    I don’t think “the Gays” is the preferred nomenclature, dude. In fine, unless you can come up with better arguments than you have (and to really justify your stance, not only would you need great arguments, you’d need data to support them), you are saying “No Gay marriage because we say so!”. I could have compared your argument to any regime that made arbitrary decisions to take away rights, but since most people are at least marginally familiar with Nazism, I choose that. I’m not suggesting you’d like to kill anyone.
    I would like to remind you that the Nazis mobilized their base by blaming current problems on a minority and convincing the majority that curtailing the rights of the minority would make life easier and more stable for them.
    I’d like to know why it’s worse for homosexuals to foist their definition of marriage on heterosexuals than it is for the reverse to happen. Either way, according to you, someone’s being forced to accept a definition they’ve got serious issues with, and I’m not certain how one’s sexual orientation makes one’s beliefs less important.

    Clarity goes a long way, Craig. I understand what you are attempting to say now; I don’t agree with you completely, but discussing the sticking points wouldn’t be conducive to this discussion.

    First, you’ve said that homosexuality is a behavior choice. This has not been proven (and I would point out that homosexuality isn’t confined to humans; whales, ducks (I remember reading a study on necrophilia among some male ducks; that was disturbing) chimps and other animals have been observed practicing it. I don’t think there’s enough data to make a conclusive statement either way at this point.


    I’m not going to define marriage. I don’t want to give offense, but I think this is something you should have done in your article. I would argue that it is more a social contract than an institution of the “traditional family unit”, and then I would say something about the pervasiveness of divorce in this society. If it is a socio-legal construct, then one’s beliefs are moot; it’s the law that matters (and if the law defined marriage as being between a man and a woman, there would be no push for an amendment).

    Fair enough. A slippery slope argument is a logical fallacy because it says that if event A happens then it is inevitable that event Z will as well. While this can be a valid argument, one needs to support it with some independent arguments as well (which you failed to do). I’d like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my main man, Dr. Lyle Zynda and recommend his thinking and reasoning class (seriously, if you need a philosophy credit, this class is awesome).

    That’s sort of the textbook case of the slippery slope argument; no offense, but I don’t think I need to define something you should be familiar with.


    You make an excellent point here, that we have laws to protect criticism of the current order. I really enjoy this idea. I’m not certain how a law defining marriage contributes to this harmony of checks and balances.

    I can believe what I like, Craig. As you point out, this is (in this sense) a free country. I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t think that what I believe is any of your business so long as it doesn’t impact you.


    As you say, there’s nothing in the Bill of Rights that defines marriage. I would like to call your attention to sections 9 and 10:

    9) The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    10) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    You have the audacity to complain that Americans are defending their rights? You have the audacity to say that we should give up, with so much as a whimper, the freedoms which our founders pledged (and often gave) ‘their lives, their fortunes, and their scared honor’ to obtain and protect? Who do you think you are?


    Since homosexuality (as I’ve pointed out) has been observed in animals, your argument doesn’t work no matter which route you espouse. On a personal note, reading what you wrote hurt my brain.



    Since this is a nominally free country, you can sue for whatever you like. If you begin a frivolous lawsuit (and you picked some great examples of frivolous lawsuits) and lose, you typically have to pay court costs and possibly damages. I like to think of this as a legal disincentive for being stupid.

    Most of your examples can be answered by saying that private organizations are not necessarily obliged to follow federal guidelines about discrimination; private schools, for instance, can deny applications for any reason. I’d like to remind you that since around 1979, the boy scouts haven’t allowed homosexuals to join (I am not going to argue this point, because we’re far enough off track as it is). Since they are a nominally a private organization, lawsuits challenging this stance have been dismissed.

    You seem to have a very new and different idea of what constitutes discrimination. I’d be interested to hear more about it.

    Again, unless you can prove that homosexuality is a choice (and you should be having second thoughts at this point, based on what you said in #3 and my response to it), you need a lot more data before you can make this claim.

  6. Andrew,

    Argument # 1:

    “I’m confused. Are you claiming that if I am physically able to do something, then I have the “God given right” to do it?”

    Yes. I am. If you didn’t have the God given right to do it then you would be incapable of doing it. If there is indeed a god, and he didn’t want you capable of doing it, he wouldn’t have let you be able to do it. He wanted to let you ‘choose’ to do it or not. You not having the right to murder is an effect of socialistic understanding passed down by generations as being the morally correct thing to do, and rightly so. This is because a structured society cannot exist with allowable murder. I think you are having a hard time understanding this point because murder doesn’t seem like something that we’d have a right too because it is so obvious to everyone that it is wrong.

    This is why I pointed out the right to speed down the highway, this concludes that we do not live in an absolutely free society and the government takes away the rights of the minorities who ‘want to speed’ for the sake of the majority who want to be safe on the highway when they are driving. Why is this so? Because it is in the best interest of society.

    “I’d like to know why it’s worse for homosexuals to foist their definition of marriage on heterosexuals than it is for the reverse to happen.”

    Now you see my point! In either case individuals are losing their definition of marriage. Here we have a conflict of interests between two groups with ‘EQUAL’ rights. This is why we live in a democracy, we ‘vote’ on the issue because both sides have an equal amount to lose in the process.

    Argument # 2:

    For this to be true, animals must be equal to humans:

    Lets look at animal homosexuality:

    “Anyone engaged in the most elementary animal observation is forced to conclude that animal “homosexuality,” “filicide” and “cannibalism” are exceptions to normal animal behavior. Consequently, they cannot be called animal instincts. These observable ‘exceptions’ to normal animal behavior result from factors beyond their instincts.”

    I relize this website is rather skewed, but it makes many valid points about comparing ‘animal’ instincts to ‘human’ instincts, which is what you are trying to do. If animals respond only instinctually, then one can conclude that all animals of the same species shall be evaluated to consider what is considered that particular animals ‘normal instinctual behavior’. Anything that goes against the normal instinctual behavior of the majority of those animals must be explained by some external environmental or physical circumstance. After all, the animal doesn’t know any better, it just responds to external circumstances and physical stimuli.

    “…animal cognition is purely sensorial, limited to sound, odor, touch, taste and image. Thus, animals lack the precision and clarity of human intellectual perception. Therefore, animals frequently confuse one sensation with another or one object with another.”

    In order for your theory to be true, that homosexuality isn’t a behavioral choice because animals do it – the rationalization of animals must equate that of humans. It is quite obvious though, that humans do not respond only to ‘purely sensorial’ things.

    ” In man, when two [human] instinctive reactions clash, the intellect determines the best course to follow, and the will then holds one instinct in check while encouraging the other. With animals that lack intellect and will, when two instinctive impulses clash, the one most favored by circumstances prevails.”

    Getting to my point in a round-a-bout way, you are claiming that we must assume homosexuality to be true since it has not been proven false. Now we have a logical fallacy. We cannot assume B without proving A, just like we cant assume Guilt without individuals being proven guilty. But you are saying A -> B when science is incapable of proving A. Since science is incapable of proving A (individuals are born gay) True, then it is assumed that A is False. Why is it that we assume this? Because I could assume anything science is incapable of proving true as true, then create a law as a result of it. In other words, I could claim my inability to keep myself from murdering someone is genetically related, and since science cannot prove otherwise, I would have to be acknowledged as correct. After all, animals murder eachother too, it was merely my genetic instinct.

    Argument # 3:

    I am going to have to secede my argument to that of Chucks. You are absolutely right, I cannot prove marriage as a family unit. That was by far my weakest argument. However, Chuck makes a very good point, Marriage is a contract between the state and two individuals. Read his reponse above for more information.

    As far as the slippery slope is concerned. I wasn’t arguing that Z ‘will’ happen, I’m arguing that it is capable of happening. This does not make it a worthess argument in any sense. If Gay Marriage is passed, then every other form of marriage will ‘have’ to be allowed, this is a fact because the Gay Marriage case will be cited within the courtroom. Am I saying without a doubt it ‘will’ happen? No, but 20 years ago Gay Marriage would never have even been considered, so 20 years from now what kinds of marriage do you think will be considered?

    Thanks for your rebuttle!

  7. H. Scott said

    I’m wondering if anyone involved in this debate would have a different opinion if the language “civil union” were to be used instead of marriage? I’ve been surprised to not see discussion regarding the motivations for homosexuals to want the legal right marry. Although certainly not the only reason, one such motivation is to receive the tax and employee benefits that may be granted to those that are legally married. I’ve read compelling arguments on both sides of this issue and think it is an important consideration for this debate.

    I’m also curious as to why the issue of a “gay gene” really matters. Frankly, I don’t think any amount of scientific evidence is going to sway public opinion on something like this. I suspect most people’s decision to accept or reject gay marriage is based on personal belief, and it is hard to imagine that anyone’s opinion would really change based on genetic evidence. Furthermore, why should genetics matter for an issue of discrimination anyway? For example, if it turned out that the physical characteristics of a certain race were a matter of choice and not genetics, would it then make sense to discriminate against them?

    It seems to me that the important debate is in terms of why society sanctions legal marriages in the first place, not whether an individual has a choice in their sexuality.

  8. Scott,

    Yes, civil unions are basically the same concept as marriage, that being said, the minorities actually end up forcing the acceptance of their own sexual preferences being legalized in the eyes of the state – just through a different medium. Would this not be equivalent to thousands of people getting together who prefer having group sex and demanding the same rights as those who are currently married? Even if we called it something else, such as group unions, the minority is still forcing acceptance of their 'preferences' onto the society. Not only that, but they would be demanding benefits based upon their preferences.

    I understand your argument involving many of the 'benefits' of marriage same sex couples do not receive as a result of having marriage – it's important to note that some of these rights can be settled outside of marriage through a legal contract. However, homosexual men have no fewer rights than heterosexual men do – both are able to marry a woman, neither are capable of marrying a man – therefore they both have equally benefitted rights, it's just that one 'prefers' dating men, which is why the concept of behavioral choice 'is' important. We can't create laws based upon preference – like I had said before – I can't challenge the government because I prefer to drive 80 miles an hour instead of 40 miles an hour. Well, I suppose I 'could' challenge them, but I wouldn't win based upon my preference. I suppose if I have a gene that FORCED me to drive 80 miles an hour they'd be more understanding, but I don't and neither has it been proven that homosexuals have the 'gay gene'.

    Lets say I 'prefer' to not get married at all, should I be able to marry myself in order to obtain the same benefits that married couples do? After all, I could not be attracted to men or women.

    Thanks for participating!

  9. H. Scott said


    In addition to your opposition to gay marriage (or civil unions), do you also advocate that homosexuality should be illegal? Your first sentence contained the following fragment: “forcing the acceptance of their own sexual preferences being legalized in the eyes of the state”, as if it is currently illegal, or should be illegal, to be homosexual. If that is the case, then your position would be more clearly described as one advocating the criminalization of homosexuality.

  10. Scott,
    haha, I can see why you would interpret it that way, I apologize, I probably could have worded that better. Of course I don’t believe homosexuality should be illegal – when I stated “forcing the acceptance of their own sexual preferences being legalized in the eyes of the state” I was implying “forcing the acceptance of their own sexual preference being legalized ‘as marriage’ in the eyes of the state.” In other words, it is basically using a loophole to obtain the same rights the legislative majority would not give them in the first place, it is just done under a different name.

  11. Bret Matrix said

    First, it is nice to have a debate without a bunch of name calling on either side.

    We seem to have classic ideological differences. I understand your point on the ninth amendment. I recently took a Constitutional Law class and the instructor said the ninth amendment basically says the previous eight amendments are not an exhaustive list. I think you would agree with that.

    I am saying that people cannot claim rights that are not specifically addressed and hide behind the ninth amendment. The ninth does not say we have any rights that we can think of, nor does it say that Americans have a limitless supply of rights. It just says that there are rights that citizens have that are not mentioned.

    The classic example is that we have the right to privacy. The Constitution says that our home is a private place because soldiers cannot be quartered there. The fourth amendment says our homes, persons, papers, etc are private from searches. The right to privacy is not mentioned in the previous 8, but it is implied by the other amendments. The Supreme Court decides this. We cannot just assume rights and then use the 9th amendment to protect them.

    I cannot speak for the other side of the arguement which I believe you are on, but I believe you would say that we do have any rights not stated in the previous 8.

    The tenth amendment gives powers to the states. I am glad you brought this up because this is a major part of the arguement. The state of Indiana does not sanction marriages between people of the same gender. However, a state like Massachusetts does. The state of Indiana is required to honor the marriage contracts honored by other states. This is why if you get married in MI you don’t have to get remarried if you move to Indiana. By allowing MA to marry a same sex couple, the state of MA is then forcing Indiana to accept that marriage if they move to Indiana. This is why there is such a push for the Constitutional amendment defining marriage.

    I am not saying that we cannot fight for our rights, I am only saying that we do not have the authority to self-define our rights.

    Our second disagreement is whether homosexuality is a choice or not. You say that I cannot prove it is a choice, which is true. With the available accepted scientific information, I cannot. However, I can turn it around and say that you cannot prove that homosexuality is not a choice. The burden of proof lies on your side, not mine (not that I am saying you are a homosexual, nor does it matter). The homosexual community is trying to get the states to accept gay marriage, thier side must prove it is not a choice. If it is a choice, you cannot get special rights. We do not give rights based upon behavioral choices. If it is something that people are born with, then they may be entitled to special rights granted by the government, but the burden of proof is on them, not us.

    I believe these are the two main disagreements so I won’t go into anything further. However I will touch on discrimination. In my opinion someone can be discriminated against because of a personal choice. For example, if my rights are denied because I cut my hair short, that is discrimination. However, I am not discriminated against if I am not given additional rights because I cut my hair short. That is not discrimination. Discrimination is not recieving rights that are owed to you. It is not the inablility to recieve something extra.

    I will finally submit to you that the right to get married does not exist. No one has the right to get married. So denying marriage to homosexual couples cannot be viewed as a violation of thier rights.

  12. Andrew said


    Maybe you didn’t read the same amendments I did. I’ll post them again, so you can.

    9) The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
    10) The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    These says that if the Constitution doesn’t specifically grant powers to the federal government, they are reserved to the states and the people. In addition, they say that any rights not mentioned in the Constitution are retained by the people.

    With this in mind, I’d like to share section 1 of the 14th amendment (which the Supreme Court cited in the decision I’ve quoted above):

    Section 1.
    All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Now, the Supreme Court in Loving. vs. Virginia ( said that “Marriage is one of the ‘basic civil rights of man,'” so I think that people do have a right to get married. Why do you think people don’t have the right to get married? (by the way, to say “nobody has a right to get married, but we let straight people get married, but we aren’t going to let gay people get married, but this isn’t a violation of their rights” is pretty lame. It feels like you’re grasping at straws, Bret).

    Based on this, I’d say you need to present some compelling evidence to justify your desire to take away this “basic civil right”.

  13. Andrew,

    Sorry it took me so long to reply, finals week you know…

    If the institution of marriage is a civil right, then aren’t all institutions offered by a law a civil right? For example, why is it that I have to fulfill the criteria in order to be the president of the united states, is this not a violation of my own civil rights? How about any other institution offered by the government that I do not qualify for? For example, why is it that those who earn a certain income are able to receive welfare and I am not? Is this not a violation of my own civil rights to be part of the institution of welfare? It is quite obvious that I am discriminated against because I have a job that pays me above a certain wage. I would sure would ‘prefer’ to receive the benefits of welfare for myself. Does the government have a right to exclude me from this benefit? After all, you are saying it has no right to exclude individuals from having the benefits of Marriage – is this not the same thing? It may not even by my fault if I inherited a large sum of money, the government is not allowed to discriminate against my circumstances, it must qualify that “No state shall make or enforce ‘any’ law which shall abridge the priveleges or immunities of citizens of the United States.”

    We do not live in a society that allows for absolutely anyone to qualify for government institutions, it is up to the legislative majority to decide the criteria by which people are allowed to enter into these institutions. Do you believe the legislative majority would be willing completely eliminate the income requirements for welfare? I sure dont, but I could make a claim that the government is violating my civil rights by not giving me the same benefits others receive, just because I ‘choose’ to make more money than others doesn’t mean the government is allowed to discriminate against me. These prerequisites are necessary for the institution and are deligated by the legislative majority and have nothing to do with civil rights.

    Civil rights in respect to slavery and womens rights were not for slaves or women to enter into an ‘institution’, it was a fight for the rights all humans are born to receive, such as free speech, freedom of choice, and freedom against discrimination against the way they are ‘born’. The case of marriage between an aftrican american and a white woman is obviously a violation of their civil rights because they are ‘born’ that way, which is why it was a civil rights issue. Gay marriage is not a civil rights issue.

  14. Andrew said

    I hope they went well.

    I’m not certain what you’re trying to achieve with this first paragraph. Honestly, I’m not impressed by your examples. It feels as if you’re avoiding the issue: the Supreme Court said that marriage is, in fact, a civil right. Now the only way to change this is to get 2/3rds of the country to agree to amend the Constitution to say that marriage isn’t a civil right. Good luck with that.

    I want to know, Craig. Do these arguments make sense to you, or are you just beat from finals? I’m really hoping you’re just beat. There are several major differences between both of your examples and marriage:

    1) Marriage is a social contract (would you agree that this is the case?). The two examples you mention aren’t social contracts.
    2) You seem to have quite a collection of misconceptions about welfare. It’s for people who can convince the government that they can’t work. There’s a fundamental difference between a right and a program, and you seem to have missed this memo.

    So all humans are born to receive a freedom of choice? What sort of choices are you going to allow us to make, and how does your regulation of our choices contribute to our freedom?

    I kind of think gay marriage is a civil rights issue. See, the Supreme Court said “marriage is a basic civil right”, and that kind of makes me think that since they didn’t say “marriage between a man and a woman is a civil right”, then gay marriage is, in fact, a civil rights issue.

  15. Andrew,

    The case you cited was involving an issue that dealt with civil rights, this is what the court was implying when it stated 'Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man", they were implying that no one can be denied a marriage license based upon the way they are born.

    Lets look at the statement in context:
    "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law."

    The key word in this sentence is 'Racial Classifications' – your argument holds no validity in this respect. By denying homosexuals the right to marry it is in no way contradicting what the supreme court has stated here. They are implying the state can't deny people their basic civil rights over something they are incapable of controlling.  Also, if we are interpreting this literally, how do you interpret "fundamental to our very existence and survival."?

    You stated Marriage is a Social Contract so,
    Lets Define Social Contract: (
    'Social contract theory' (or contractarianism) is a concept used in philosophy, political science and sociology to denote an implicit agreement within a state regarding the rights and responsibilities of the state and its citizens, or more generally a similar concord between a group and its members, or between individuals. All members within a society are assumed to agree to the terms of the social contract by their choice to stay within the society without violating the contract; such violation would signify a problematic attempt to return to the state of nature….

    …we jointly agree to an implicit social contract by which we each gain civil rights in return for accepting the obligation to honor the rights of others, giving up some freedoms to do so. The figurehead of the society we create, representing our joint interests as members and formed by the delegation of our power, is the sovereign state."

    When you read more into the theory of social contacts you begin to understand that these contracts are not entered into 'voluntarily', and this is of the upmost importance. Marriage is a contract between two individuals and the state, and they both voluntarily enter into it with the state knowing both the benefits and consequences. In this respect a social contract is contrary to a true legal contract. For example, society assumes I follow the social contract of our society, which is not to break the laws – if I 'do' break the laws, I am punished. However, I did not voluntarily enter into this contract of 'laws', therefore it is a social contract because they are applied to me by simply living here. With marriage, I voluntarily enter into a contract with another individual, therefore the state and the legislative majority have the right to determine the pre-requisites for said contract.

    I see you didn't like my example of welfare, how about a drivers license? If I am to receive a drivers license I have to wait until I am 16, is this not a violation of my civil rights? After all, I have to adequately fulfill the criteria set by the state before I am able to get this license. It is exactly the same way with a marriage license, I have to adequately fulfill the criteria set by the state to enter into this contract.

    A Drivers License is a contract between an individual and the state, see

    Marriage is a legal contract in which the state only allows benefits for Marriages that fulfill the state's criteria. Is this wrong? Of course it isn't, it is a way for the state to implement contracts with the criteria set by its people. Would someone want a 10 year old kid driving a car simply because he has the civil right too? I highly doubt it. Does a kid receive the benefits of driving a car after he receives a drivers license? Yes he does, he receives the benefit of not being punished if he drives a car.

    You then stated:
    "So all humans are born to receive a freedom of choice? What sort of choices are you going to allow us to make, and how does your regulation of our choices contribute to our freedom?"

    You go back to my original argument in the newsletter, the government has a responsibility to implement laws that are in the best interest of society as a whole. Issuing marriage licenses and drivers licenses to anyone and everyone who has a desire to have one is not responsible. The state also has an obligation to govern it's people, who by majority do not want behavioral choice to dictate their law. If the government is against things beyond the citizens control, including race and gender, then it 'must' adequately adapt its laws in such cases on the basis of civil rights.

    This is all steering away from the original problem of society implementing Gay Marriage. If it is passed by law, then all other forms of marriage will 'have' to be accepted by law including polygamy, marriage to self, and any others. This is because it basically portrays that marriage is legally defined by behavioral choice. The fact remains the case 'will' be cited within the courtroom and eventually certain benefits of marriage will be taken advantage of. For example, our country is currently undergoing an illegal immigration problem – since one of the benefits of marriage is becoming an American Citizen, what's to keep one American citizen from marrying three or four illegals to make them legal citizens? Or how about the insurance benefits through companies? Are they going to be allowed to deny employee's spouses insurance? One of the benefits of marriage is obtaining insurance from employers – if they decide they can't afford to insure an individual's 3 wives, they will have a discrimination suit on their hands, this can result in lost revenue for small businesses. I could get married to myself to receive all the benefits of marriage including tax benefits, educational benefits, etc. because I choose not to have a partner at all. It is, after all, my civil right (if this is the case).

    Thanks for your ongoing participation.

  16. H. Scott said

    Dear Craig,

    I’d like to point out that during the fight for women’s suffrage and civil rights for minorities there was a lot of debate very similar to this. Those arguing to deny women the right to vote or equal rights under the law for African Americans would do their best to articulate why certain groups were not indeed entitled to certain rights. You frequently make the distinction that homosexuals can be fairly discriminated against because it can’t be shown beyond a doubt that they were born that way. As if as much as you’d like to discriminate against women and minorities you begrudgingly concede that it really isn’t their fault so you’ll allow them some rights. The pattern I see, historically, is a desire by some part of the population, unfortunately in many cases the majority, to discriminate against another.

    Perhaps I’m unfairly vilifying your motives, but frankly, I find your position very offensive. It is clear that homosexuals fall in love with their partners just like heterosexuals. They want nothing other than to be able to care for each other in the same way that heterosexuals do. Perhaps you are married; if so, think about how you feel towards your wife, and then imagine being told by someone, out of ignorance, that your relationship is less valid than theirs.

  17. Andrew,

    You State:
    “I’d like to point out that during the fight for women’s suffrage and civil rights for minorities there was a lot of debate very similar to this.”

    I’ve said it since the beginning, this issue is not the same as either Women’s rights or Slavery, it cannot be held up to the same standard on a human rights basis – it is like comparing apples to oranges.

    You State:
    “You frequently make the distinction that homosexuals can be fairly discriminated against because it can’t be shown beyond a doubt that they were born that way.”

    There is a difference between being ‘discriminated against’ and not being entitled to contractual benefits. A person who does not receive a drivers license before they are 16 is not discriminated against, are they?

    You State:
    “As if as much as you’d like to discriminate against women and minorities you begrudgingly concede that it really isn’t their fault so you’ll allow them some rights.”

    Let me point to a previous post made by myself:
    “I’m sure you are starting to see a pattern here, in the issue of Women’s rights, we ‘were’ denying Women rights because they were Women – but they have no control over that. Which is why it was, quite obviously, the wrong thing to do.

    The same goes for slavery, we were denying these individuals rights because they were born a certain ethnicity, which is also why, quite obviously, it was the wrong thing to do.”

    Does this sound like someone who is ‘dissapointed’ that women and slaves got their rights? They were being discriminated against, it was true justice that they got the freedoms they deserved – I have made no reference to wishing ill will towards these individuals.

    You State:
    “Perhaps I’m unfairly vilifying your motives, but frankly, I find your position very offensive.”

    I’m sorry that you feel this way, as it is not my actual intent. What is it exactly that you find offensive? The truth? Is it the potential consequences of behavioral choice defining marriage for future generations that offends you? Or is it the fact that Marriage is actually a legal contract designated by the people within a democracy as it was intended to be? Are you not an advocate of true democracy?

    Democracy – a form of government where the population of a society controls the government. (

    “Perhaps you are married; if so, think about how you feel towards your wife, and then imagine being told by someone, out of ignorance, that your relationship is less valid than theirs.”

    Lets turn this question around, if someone told me I could get a marriage license, but the consequences of me getting this license may lead to polygamous marriages, self-marriage and a manipulation of the legal contract of marriage, I’d probably think twice about getting that contract. I wouldn’t want my decision inadvertantly affecting future generations. I choose who to love and who to marry, and like every other citizen in the United States, I am bound by the same laws.

  18. H. Scott said

    First of all, please note that you are replying to a post by H. Scott– not Andrew.

    Next, there are two things that I’d like to clarify:

    1) The primary criticism I’ve been trying to make regarding your posts (and the reason I find them offensive) is indeed that you sound disappointed that women and African Americans have equal rights. The reason I say this is because you repeatedly state that they are given rights because they are born the way there are, not because there is nothing inherent about being female or African American that would would justify denying them rights. That implies to me that if they weren’t born that way then it would be okay to deny those rights. My point is that rights should be given unless there is a clear reason why they should not; not the other way around. For example, if a behavior clearly harms others, then society may decide to take away rights; laws may be established to explicitly prohibit certain behavior.

    You’ve said very clearly that you don’t think homosexuality should be criminalized. Do you think homosexuals should be allowed to drive? Should they be allowed to vote? Should they be allowed Social Security? I suspect you’ll answer yes to these questions why do you draw the line at marriage? As I’ve mentioned before, this is where I think the tough issues come up (e.g. why do we sanction legal marriages?).

    2) Regarding your point regarding democracy: keep in mind that strictly speaking our country is a republic– not a true democracy. Part of the reason for this is to avoid simple majority rule for every issue; this is to protect minority groups from being mistreated by the majority.

    To quote Ayn Rand:

    “Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).”

  19. Chuck Norton said

    Scott, please read my post above, it more than covers your points and objections.

    There is no right to marraige period, for anyone. If there were it would give one person a right over someone elses consent, and being very familiar with Ayn Rand, I dare say she would object to you using her quote and applying it to this argument.

    Also, your argument lacks credibility in the regard that it cannot be shown that those who authored the Decleration, Constitution, or its amendmemts intended to enumerate a “right to gay marraige.”

  20. H. Scott said

    Dear Chuck,

    I get your point regarding the distinction between a right and privilege (or contractual agreement). For example, I wouldn’t argue that one has the right to drive– that is a privilege granted by the state. However, I would argue that if a portion of the population is denied certain privileges (or contractual agreements) without a sound and justifiable reason, then that group’s basic rights are indeed being violated.

    My aim in posting has been to drive this discussion to consider what it is about marriage that would make it okay to deny this privilege to homosexuals. Is there a justifiable reason? As I’ve mentioned before, I have read compelling arguments both ways. That said, I don’t think arguments regarding whether or not homosexuals were born that way or simple majority will are valid. And, in case it wasn’t clear: the use of an Ayn Rand quote was indeed meant to be cute, but personally I think the words do ring true in this application.

    -H. Scott

  21. H Scott.

    Sorry about the nameflop,

    Granting privelages to everyone who has different preferences is irresponsible. I believe you’re attempting to detach the issue into an attack on the homosexual community, which this is not. If we grant the privelages of marriage to homosexuals who prefer to be homosexual, then these privelages will have to be granted to any other parties with different preferences. Two men and two women, four men and four women, and individual who prefers not to marry. You cannot deny the case will be cited within the courtroom for all of these instances. Why is this bad? Because the benefits that come along with marriage such as company insurance and citizenship can be manipulated be harmful to society.

    With a drivers license, we only allow individuals to keep the license if they abide by the contract included. If a person violates the contract by either speeding multiple times dangerously or driving drunk multiple times their contract can be void. Although these individuals have the choice to drive drunk or speed, they can lose their privelages based upon this preference – this isn’t discrimination, this is responsibility included with the contract.

    I’m under the impression that you’d prefer to have no governmental responsibility included with the issuance of the contractual benefits of marriage. If you do ‘not’ believe this, then tell me, where exactly do we draw the line to these benefits?

    Also, I’m sorry if my argument gave you the impression that I am angry that certain ethnic groups and women gets rights. I was differentiating between human rights and choice, and was in no way implying it was unjustified. You are mistaken on this issue, and I do not believe that at all.

  22. H. Scott said

    Dear Craig,

    It is illegal to drive drunk. It is illegal to speed. It is illegal to practice polygamy. It is not illegal to be homosexual. When restrictions are placed on privileges there is generally a good reason, and when that is the case I have no problem with such restrictions. What is it about homosexuality that justifies denying legal marriage? Allowing gay marriage does not force us to allow anything else; it would allow two men or two women who love and care for each other to receive the same benefits as a man and a woman–nothing else.


    H. Scott

  23. Sam said

    “Granting privileges to everyone who has different preferences is irresponsible.”

    This perspective undermines, or perhaps underscores, the entire thrust of this site, which is to promote a Christian, evangelical regulation in terms of how marriage should be defined. Same for the argument “Well gosh, our forefathers didn’t think about homosexuality in terms of how marriage should be defined”, and basically (and foremost), “Neither does the teaching of Christ and the Bible”.

    Don’t give me this “slipper slope” bullshit argument about, well gee, I want to “marry myself”, or gosh, I want to “marry a horse”. Stop being so stupid. Will you?

    In terms of sexual orientation there is generally one single, historical dichotomy in the human race, and that is hetero- versus homosexuality. There is clear evidence that a sizable number of gay people ARE BORN THAT WAY (!!) and even if they weren’t – suppose they turned out that way owing to the earliest of childhood experiences, nothing they could control. What is this utter B.S. about homosexuality being a “choice”? Get over yourself.

    You turned out straight (and so did I). Good for us. Don’t insult my intelligence by stating so explicitly that people who are gay made some sot of “conscious choice” in terms of their orientation. Don’t be so stupid.

    People don’t “make choices” in terms of the most fundamental aspect of sexuality, let alone moral ones, when they are 3-4 years old, which is the LATEST time point at which orientation is set in place. It isn’t their “responsibility” or “obligation”, to somehow alter their deep-seated biologyical preference by then.

    Why don’t you people just come clean and admit that, according to your religious doctrine (and that of others in our society), marriage can be only between man and woman?

    Stop treating this as some sort of dumb, phony intellectual debate.


  24. Ryan Hill said

    People don’t choose an orientation that makes them ahted by closeminded simpletons. People don’t choose a way of life that a large part of society despises.

    The choice argument is and always will be idiotic. If you can’t see the correlation between the governemnt making it illegal for blacks and whites to marry and for the same prohibition on gays, then you have very selective reasoning. The entire crux of the political argument, which is what this si all about, is that it’s against tradition.

    Tradition is that daddy sees a guy with some land or cattle and pimps off his daughter for some extra property. If people want to go abck to that, then they need to find a country that doesn’t have a bill of rights meant to protect the individual.

  25. Ryan,

    If this were true, we’d live in a utopia. People commonly choose to be a way that is discriminated against in our society. Criminals, perhaps, is the obvious one. You think they do not choose to be criminals? Drug dealers? How about rapists, alcoholics, and addicts? Are they all victims of their genetic makeup?

    Are illegal immigrants victims of their genetic makeup? They seem to be looked down upon in our society. However, they choose to live here illegally, do they not?

  26. Caleb said

    I believe the crux of this debate is the question: “What place do (or should) homosexuals have in our society?” You seem to be of the viewpoint that gay and lesbian people should have a very tertiary place. You advocate tolerance, but not acceptance, and you wish to see no legal precedents set for acceptance. I believe that your argument is logically sound, but it lacks an informed perspective.

    First, bear with me here for some context. Gay people didn’t just materialize out of nowhere. I’m not going to take the dumb**** argument that gays have existed since Greek times, etc., because when we talk about gay identity in modern times, we’re talking about a very specific cultural paradigm. For the past 200 years or so in Western countries (see Alfred Trumribach’s “The Birth of the Queen” and John D’Emilio’s “Capitalism and Gay Identity”), heterosexuals have realized that there are more homosexuals in their midst than they had supposed. You don’t see much literature about the homosexual as a type of person before the 18th century, because homosexuality didn’t exist before then as a category of identity. It is my opinion that this is largely due to the fact that survival no longer depended upon being a part of a procreative family, as our society become industrialized and decreasingly agrarian (see D’Emilio). Due to capitalism and industrialization, people with very strong gay tendencies began to realize they could act on these feelings and still have access to a means of survival, rather than having to surpress such feelings in order to make a living. Gay communities began forming in urban Europe as early as the late 1700s (see Trumbach). Let us keep in mind the following then: The gay community and gay culture is a result of economic as well as cultural forces.

    You seem to think that the “choice” factor determines whether or not homosexuality is a valid legal category. I fully admit that people DO choose to act or not act on their sexual desires. However, I think what we aren’t examining the fact that people do not choose what exactly their desires entail. If we take the points that: 1. Economic conditions allow for gay and lesbian people to survive independent of procreative family units and 2. Gay and lesbian people do not choose to feel homosexual desires, then the line between being “born” into a category and “choosing” it becomes blurry.

    In other words, here’s this way of life that’s just recently become accessible and livable. A burdgeoning culture has grown up around this way of life, one that provides substitute families for those who have been disowned (though that happens with less frequency these days), and it’s created its own music, art, literature, slang and even “ways of reading” (Camp discourse). People are increasingly realizing their sexual orientation in adolescence (sometimes younger) and are coming to identify with this subculture, finding support which is often lacking in their families of origin. Sure, this is a choice, certainly, but at this point, relinquishing such a choice is often disastrous for the gay-identified individual. Consider that 1 in 3 teen suicides lists sexual orientation as a probable motivation. Whether or not a person is “born” into homosexuality is irrelevant in this argument. LGBT culture and identity, as it is called, already exists as a minority category. I suppose people choose it, but not in the same way in which one chooses to drink and drive or one chooses to put on a sweater! People choose to identify as gay because they are motivated by basic human needs for love, acceptance and safety.

    When the issue of gay marriage comes on the table, what we’re asking for is the recognition of gay culture and gay-identified individuals as valid and acceptable. We ask for the recognition that a monogamous gay relationship between two consenting adults harm no one, and most often follows the traditional model of heterosexual marriage. We ask that these relationships are legally recognized just as straight marriages are recognized, so that we need not take on the expense of lawyers and wills (which only cover some, but not all, of the rights and privileges afforded to straight couples). In other words, gays have been asking for a PLACE in mainstream society and culture. Homosexuality wants to evolve beyond being a subculture. Should gay marriage be legalized, the need for gay culture in general will diminish as gays assimilate. Should it remain illegal, gays will remain apart from mainstream society and continue to form a separate subculture.

    When people argue against gay marriage under the premise that gay identity is not a valid minority category, what they are really saying is: The place of lesbians and gays in society should be limited. They advocate limited tolerance, and oppose acceptance. It is obvious that this is your position, and it also seems likely to me that you have not considered the issue from the standpoint of those most affected by it.

  27. Chuck Norton said


    Thanks you for your honest argument.

    I agree with you that gays are asking for moral equivalency with traditional marriage, but than again other fringe groups ask the same thing: Polygamists do, NAMBLA does etc etc etc.

    It is the view of many that a homosexual relationship demonstrates bad behavior, or at least, a behavior that does not have the moral equivalence of traditional marriage. Many people also have a religious view that is similar. This is an issue of fundamental freedom; you have the right to engage in the behavior that you wish, while others have the right to believe that such behavior is immoral or at least not morally equivalent, and thus chose not to vote for gay marriage.

    A marriage license is the sanction of the people of that state. If the majority of the people vote not to sanction that behavior with a contract with the state in the form of a marriage license, they are free to vote that way.

    You believe that homosexuality is the moral equivalent of traditional marriage, most people don’t share that view. You are entitled to your opinion and should not condemn others for having their opinion and merely disagreeing with you. Such is the nature of democracy.

  28. Caleb said


    In times past, the majority chose not to sanction miscegenation and inter-racial marriages were viewed as immoral, and thus were illegal. I fail to see why the beliefs of a populous majority should dictate marriage legislation. Of course, I believe in democracy, but I also believe in the “tyranny of the majority.” In issues such as slavery, interracial marriage, women’s rights and gay rights, the majority has consistently voted against “liberty and justice for all.”

    Modern marriage legislation is derived from both Italian and French models – both of which were entrenched in Catholic theology. The Italian model was based upon consent (saying “I do”) and the French, upon evidence of coitus having taken place (the old custom of “hanging out the sheets” after the first wedding night to prove the bride’s virginity was taken). Today it our marriage legislation contains remnants of both, but is most heavily based upon the consent model. Because marriage legislation is based upon consent between two people, marrying a minor or marrying more than one person at a time would require a major overhaul of the entire legal definition of marriage. Same-sex marriage is still based upon the old traditional model of consent, and would require changing only one word. So I don’t really see how the “slippery slope” argument works.

    I don’t think I’ve condemned anyone in my above argument. I’ve simply provided a viewpoint and gave some information that many in this forum did not seem to consider. Please explain how all homosexuals, bisexuals and transgendered individuals demonstrate “bad behavior,” aside from their sexual preferences and gender identities, that should be selected against and pushed to the margins of society via legislation. Or perhaps same-sex love is “bad behavior?” I don’t understand.

  29. Anonymous said

    I have chosen to post this anonymously, since it is personal.

    I know people can make choices to be gay or not to be gay. I am a person who could have made the choice to be gay due to past life experiences with men. However, due to my faith and ethical beliefs, I know as long as I lived an immoral lifestyle like that, I would be unhappy.

    The point is not the choice to feel one way or another. The point is a choice to act in one way or another. I have made the choice and continue to make the choice that I would rather be alone than pursue a lifestyle of which I know God disapproves.

  30. Matt Smith said

    Can straight people just decide to be gay? Regardless of what’s logical and all this intelligent banter back and forth, I am gay, and I know that I can’t change my sexual desires, just like straights can’t just look at a male and say “Hmm, I think I will be aroused by a guy today.” I tried to change my sexuality based on my ethical and religious beliefs, but in the end, I became extremely depressed when I couldn’t change myself. Yes, I could probably choose to have sex with a female, but it’s not what i have desire to do, just like straights could have sex with males, despite it being what they don’t want to do. Ultimately, sexual desire is fluid, but it can’t really be changed. If you claim to have gone from gay to straight through “the power of the Lord” or whatever you claim, then you really were never gay. For all the supposed “ex-gays,” there are just as many “ex-ex-gays.” I have nothing else to offer but my own experience with trying to change my homosexuality. I truly cannot change what I am attracted to. Yes, there is no way I can prove this, but why would I lie? I tried to change myself, and if I, a relatively masculine and formerly strong Christian, couldn’t, I don’t see those at the far end of the Kinsey spectrum being able to. I never chose to be gay. The only thing I chose to do was to accept my desires, considering they don’t harm anyone(for those who were going to argue that some sexual predators want to just “accept” their desire), just like straight people choose to accept that they can’t change their desire for women.

    If it really is Satan trying to separate me from God, than Satan has had me since birth. If there is a God, an omnipotent and omniscient being that transcends worldly woes, I can’t see him being so angry just because a man desires another man. I assure you that I don’t lead an unmoral and degenerate lifestyle that so many of you associate with homosexuality.

    Nothing any of you say will convince your opponent; there are way too many “if you use that logic, than this follows.” Let’s just choose to allow two people who mutually desire a relationship be together. Who cares what the fucking title of their relationship is, they should just be equal.

    Ha writing this has been a little depressing; I’ve just got to accept that I’m damned :)

    [I do not accept that you are damned at all. Everyone struggles with sin. You just struggle with sin that some other people do not. When Jesus was on the cross he was put there next to a criminal. I think it is safe to assume that you are not a robber, so he was forgiven of a sin that most people do not commit just as you can be.

    If you really wish to get help and at one point considered yourself in Satan’s grasp, than you cannot fight such a battle alone. There are many groups like that are very loving and very helpful.

    In either case, I am pleased that you stopped by to chat. – Editor]

  31. Matt Smith said

    Yeah, no problem, props for creating this site. This site has a lot of great stuff on it, gets you thinking and challenging what you think.

    [Of course you are free to comment as you like. Present evidence if that suits you as well. Keep in mind that our goal is not to be “fair and totally both sides”; it is to give the other data that the elite media does not. – Editor]

  32. Matt Smith said

    Sorry though, from what I’ve experienced, I think the whole ex-gay thing is a load of shit. I did a lot of research on it when I was struggling with my sexuality, and there were a few too many reports of ex-gays found engaging in homosexual activity to convince me. Like I said, I’m a sinner definitely (in the sense that I do and think occasional bad stuff just like everyone else), just not really sure that I’m sinning by following my sexual desire. Like I said, for all the proud and supposedly-reformed ex-gays, you can find just as many former ex-gays. So who’s telling the truth, and who’s lying to themselves? I’m sure both are pointing fingers at the other.

    Well I think this will be the last comment I leave. I’m sorry if I ever came off as ignorant or arrogant. In the words of Chuck Missler, “The only certain barrier to truth is the presumption that you already have it.”

    [Agreed, one should always be willing to address ones own assumptions first. Missler is a very interesting guy by the way. – Editor]

  33. Matt Smith said

    My question to you is what gives anyone the right to marry? In your opinion, what is the purpose of marriage? What does it entail, and what justifies why marriage should be solely between one man and one woman?

    You may have answered these questions earlier, but I don’t feel like searching for them.

    And by the way, please don’t accuse me of being a liberal elitist like you did in one of my earlier arguments, all the ad hominem between both sides gets annoying :)

    [IUSB Vision Editor Responds –

    We answered all of these questions already and I am sorry if you do not wish to search for them. Your loss.

    I did a search through all of your comments and not once does the word “elitist” come up except where you typed it here. Maybe you are on the wrong blog. – Editor.]

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