The Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage, Part III

Part II

Question 3

You often say everybody deserves to love somebody. Why do you think re-defining marriage into something it isn’t is an answer to this? Do you think the state of (many person? two person?) marriage has something to do with creating love? Or can love exist without the label ‘marriage’? I know you’d agree to this. So what is it about the state of matrimony itself which increases love? I can answer that for man-woman mating-marriage: natural kids and family of course provide the strongest ties (and most robust civilization). That doesn’t work for man-man or woman-woman: no natural kids. Sure, there’s adoption, but that only begs the question whether non-traditional couples (why couples? why not triples?) should be allowed to adopt. And anyway, most people won’t adopt. Non-traditional adoption produces a nightmare of legal and moral difficulties, the consequence being the State, in the name of “fairness”, will increasingly claim custody over children, thus removing (by force) control from natural parents. This isn’t a slippery-slope argument. Already we have seen governments which have mandated same-sex “marriage” propose or institute laws forbidding the use of the ancient words “husband”, “father”, “wife”, “mother” from official paperwork. Some governments (like Canada) go on to criminalize speech, saying people cannot talk against same-sex “marriage” or homosexual conduct because that is “discriminatory” (a circular argument if ever there was one). Other localities say a person does not have the right to withhold on religious grounds actions which further or abet same-sex “marriage.” Freedoms are being removed; rights are being taken away. Why does the so-called right to same-sex “marriage” trump other rights?

Can, say, a woman-woman pair make a vow of eternal love without the benefit of marriage? Of course they can. Nobody is stopping this or suggesting that it should be stopped. As far as I can see, nobody is denying anybody anything except one small thing. And that small thing is my cooperation. Think about this. I can’t stop, and don’t per se want to stop, Jack and Ed (and Tom and Lou and …) from shacking up and professing eternal love. This isn’t because I want Jack and Ed to do this, but because I don’t know them, they aren’t in my family or Church and if they don’t bother me, I won’t bother them. It’s true that if I met them and my opinion were asked, I’d try and talk them out of it, but on different grounds which we can discuss another time.

Question 4

Do you really understand what marriage is? It is not Jack and Ed sharing the rent, or checking a box on a form created by government, it is Jack and Ed asking me to bless their union, and this I won’t do. This I cannot do, for I am convinced what they have is not marriage. Why do you insist on taking away my freedom to define marriage in the traditional way? That is exactly what you would be doing if you forced me to acknowledge their union.

Marriage is not a contract between two people, it is the natural ordering of two people and the rest of society. Marriage is not just between George and Martha, though that bond is central. It is between George, Martha, and me (and you). In a civil sense, marriage is the label I (and the rest of us) bestow upon them. This being so, my blessing cannot be invoked involuntarily. I cannot give my consent for really it isn’t mine to give after all, because I have it on loan from a Higher Authority (or, if you don’t like that, via natural law). It is true that government can dictatorially label Jack and Ed’s pairing “marriage”, and that government can even with the threat of force impel me to call the pair “married.” But this still does not make them captial-M Married.

Marriage is, as the old saw has it, an institution, rich in tradition and deeply embedded in our culture. It says something good that people, knowing the vastly overwhelming positive benefits which accrue from it, aim for it. But I don’t think they see beyond the civil ceremonies which, via paperwork alone, create couples (triples? quadruples?).

There is the story of the government (in the USA, natch) dissatisfied with the complexities of π and so by legislation attempted to dictate that it take a value commensurate with squaring the circle, a logical and mathematical impossibility, which is to say, an affront to nature and quite anti-science. (Let’s don’t think this situation absurd; consider what happened to truth in the Soviet Union.) Now these government officials failed in their attempt only because a mathematician happened to wander into the debate. But suppose he was sick that day and the government, by law, impelled people to say π = 3.2. Well, they’d have to do so when courting the bureaucracy, but that would not stop the real π from taking its true value. Same with small-m “marriage” (civil rules and procedures) and the true capital-M Marriage (husband-wife bond).

Do you really think that by asking the government to use its coercive power to impel and force behavior will change truth? It cannot. Or, in a weaker sense, that it will change minds? Well, it might: people hate to be screamed at or lose social standing or employment. You may win the day with the word “marriage”, but that cannot and will not stop those of us who know better to call true Marriage something else. I’m betting on the phrases “traditional marriage” or “real marriage.” Suppose as is likely the use of such phrases becomes widespread. Would you support efforts to have this speech suppressed, it being “hurtful” (which it will be)? If so, then you must ask yourself just what is it you’re after. It isn’t marriage. It’s control over those who believe differently than you.

Next, and finally, “orientation”, fairness and equality.

Part IV (Final)

————————————————————————–

Warning Tolerance is a hallmark of those supporting same-sex marriage. Never will you find proponents employing abuse, vituperation, appeals to emotion, or angry senseless shouting. They do not label their opponents enemies, nor accuse them of being hate-filled. They instead use calm, logical, well-reasoned argument; they understand rational and sincere people may disagree on certain points. I therefore expect supporters of traditional marriage to act similarly. Comments which do not accord with ladylike or gentlemanly behavior will be ruthlessly expurgated.

Comments

The Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage, Part III — 42 Comments

  1. The first sentence of the article on marriage in my 1968 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica is this: “MARRIAGE, as used in this article, is a legally and socially sanctioned union between one or more husbands and one or more wives that accords status to their offspring and is regulated by laws, rules, customs, beliefs and attitudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners.” A 4½-page article follows that sentence.

  2. It’s always and ever about control – from Lucifer’s rebellion to our latest selfish act.

  3. RE: “Marriage is not a contract between two people”

    BA HUMBUG.

    Marriage IS, and has historically, been a contractual relationship. A number of exquisite sculpture in ancient Rome, for example, put the contract itself as a central feature, for example:

    http://www.womenintheancientworld.com/marriage_in_rome.GIF

    http://www.vroma.org/images/mcmanus_images/marriagerelief5a.jpg

    This is where concepts like “dowry” come from.

    “Dowry” includes concepts–and “contractual arrangements” associated with treaties in medieval times, where marraiges encompassed alliaces between families & kingdoms…with such arrangements being portrayed on national symbols, such as:

    http://www.thekeeneredge.com/images/functional_medieval_shield_with_arm_straps_MC_HK-3317.jpg

    http://www.a2armory.com/images/black-prince-shield.jpg

    The above images are medieval shields with the imagery reflecting teh families now bound, by marraige.

    Modern pre-nuptual agreements & numerous divorce contests attest to the contractual nature of any state-issued/government-issued marraige arrangement.

    In the merry olden times whether it be ancient Rome when Christianity was pending, or starting up…or much later medieval times when the Christian Church authorities insinuated themselves into all things governmental the distinction between any bland legal contractual arrangement & teh reigning diety/ies involved were so intertwined as to be effectively be part & parcel of the overall construct, “marraige.” But, even way back then, the contract was a central feature.

    Nowadays, in a country with no official religion, pretending that the concept of marraige isn’t, as far as the state/government is concerned, strictly a contractual relationship independent of any reigious aspect is just wrong. Especially in a country like the USA that formally segregates matters governmental/legal from matters religious/theological.

    With that religiously-unencumbered arrangement, the state/government, has pretty much free reign to define “marriage” however it wants.

    Which isn’t to say that’s not how a theologically-based perspective could accept, much less define, “marriage.”

    Which is to say that the word “marriage” and underlying concept may be very different, depending on one’s perspective & values — to the extent that the government’s value-agnostic meaning vs. the theologically-underpinned meaning are different, and, can coexist simultaneously.

    To pretend this historically new distinction doesn’t exist is just plain wrong–out of touch with a number of legal realities.

  4. Do you really understand what marriage is? It is not Jack and Ed sharing the rent, or checking a box on a form created by government, it is Jack and Ed asking me to bless their union, and this I won’t do.

    It’s not about you, mr Briggs. You do realise that this kind of argument can be made by anyone with a terrible sadistic taste?

    This being so, my blessing cannot be invoked involuntarily.

    I have failed to notice anyone asking my blessing for their marriage.

  5. You may win the day with the word “marriage”, but that cannot and will not stop those of us who know better to call true Marriage something else.

    lol

  6. Luis said: “It’s not about you, mr Briggs”

    But it is, Luis. “you” in the larger sense.

    Those who don’t agree are already called bigoted, ignorant, fascist, etc. Stating one doesn’t agree will negatively impact one’s career, earnings, and social standing. Orphans do not have a choice about being adopted by people in such “marriages”. Not wanting to provide services that imply “blessing” the marriage is forbidden. These aren’t conjectures but fact, today, here, now, wherever such “marriage” is enshrined in law. The results follow from the principles. It is similar to the fact that many muslims in the west say they don’t want sharia but wherever there are sufficient muslims, sharia just happens to take over.

    Ken said “government’s value-agnostic meaning” – there is no such thing. There is clearly an unofficial state religion within which you can state ” strictly a contractual relationship independent of any reigious aspect is just wrong”. Secularists like to claim value-agnostic, rational views while inadvertently shouting from the rooftops clear values that have all the substance of religious views while cleverly (or ignorantly) hiding their bias.

  7. >> I can answer that for man-woman mating-marriage: natural kids and family of course provide the strongest ties (and most robust civilization).

    Children can break rather than make a marriage. I am speaking from personal experience.

    >> Why do you insist on taking away my freedom to define marriage in the traditional way?

    You are free to define marriage anyway you want, but can’t expect everyone to agree with you. Life is not fair.

    >> You may win the day with the word “marriage”, but that cannot and will not stop those of us who know better to call true Marriage something else.

    YOU KNOW BETTER! Great argument!

    Ten reasons against gay marriage: http://imgur.com/gallery/CZHeU

  8. Can people disagreeing with Prof. Briggs on the meaning of marriage list out the differences between a state of being lovers vs marriage. What is this extra meaning in ‘marriage’ that is absent in ‘being in a relationship’ that you presume? Goes without saying that you can cheat on your girlfriend just the way as you can cheat on your wife. So why move from gf to wife at all? Don’t bring in social rules, or tax codes or traditions etc because it would be inconsistent with your stance that ‘marriage is a contract between the two individuals period.’

  9. I really appreciate your cogent and thoughtful critique of same-sex marriage. At the end of the day, gay marriage isn’t really about marriage at all, as many LGBT have great disdain for the institution as whole. One gay activist let the cat out of the bag recently at a conference in Australia: “Masha Gessen, a lesbian and a journalist, spoke frankly about this at a conference in Sydney, Australia, last summer. ‘It’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry,’ she said. ‘But I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist.’
    This admission ’causes my brain some trouble,’ Gessen says, ‘and part of why it causes me trouble is that fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we are going to do with marriage when we get there — because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie.’”

    At the end of the day this whole debate has more to do with normalizing and legislating a lifestyle that many morally disagree with. By legislating acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle they can then criminalize opposition to the same with hate speech legislation which is already in the works. None of which is likely to make people like me recant.

  10. @tom: the meaning/definition of marriage evolved over millenia and has been consistently understood by the society until technology made it possible for stupidity and illogic to survive and often thrive, resulting in a breed of perpetual whiners that call themselves ‘liberals’. Marriage is a contract signed by, apart from the two people, the society, and part of the contract is that the two people agree to live as per the terms and conditions set down by the society and commonly understood by one and all (except by liberals – mostly because of the diminished requirements of modern world to apply one’s brains). Otherwise it would be a mere civil agreement,without any participation of an agent of the society, be it the church or the state. Millions of civil agreements of all imaginable purposes are signed without either the state or church being part of it and same sex couples should be free to sign one. The fact that they agitate against the society (and not each other) to be allowed to enter into a marriage alone should be an obvious evidence that the society is a party to the contract of marriage.

  11. TSTM,

    “What is this extra meaning in ‘marriage’ that is absent in ‘being in a relationship’ that you presume?”

    Family
    The co-mingling of assets and income

    These can be had without involvement of the state.

    However, it is largely the extra benefits that the state has tacked on in the last 150 years or so that largely drive the rights issue for SSM.

  12. At least in the UK the involvement of society is explicit since the part of the marriage ceremony that is legally required contains, “I call upon these persons here present to witness …” though, interestingly, the Marriage 1949 allows them to leave out the reference to “these persons here present”. Not sure where that leaves us.

    (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/12-13-14/76/section/44)

  13. Briggs,

    Your problem is that it is you who does not understand the true history of marriage and what it is.

    The very first long term grouping of one human with another was family. Women discovered that it was to their advantage to keep a man around long term to protect her and their offspring, creating the first families. What is this if not a primitive form of marriage.

    The problem for your argument is that there wasn’t any state or society to bless/sanction these marriages. They came before there were nations, or tribes or even clans. They came before anything existed that could be called a society or civilization, for family/marriage is the foundation on which all of those things were built.

    Once families existed, several families joined together to form the first clans. Several clans came together to form the first tribe. and several tribes came together to form the first nation.

    You want to exclude polygamous marriage which is certainly frowned on in modern western societies, but polygamous marriage is as old if not older than monogamous marriage and was common and accepted through out most of human history. It is only in the last 2000 years that polygamy has come to be viewed as improper.

    The only reason today that marriage can be considered a contract between the new family and society is because society decided to tack on extra baggage to encourage the formation of favored forms of families and prevent / punish disfavored forms of families. None of that is necessary or essential to what a family/marriage is.

  14. You are not up to your normally precise application of logic.
    Regarding question 3 — Is it not possible to have a marriage without children? What about those couples (heterosexual) that are unable to conceive? The addoption rant is off topic and distracting

    Question 4 — a little better — a marriage is a contract between the couple before society — I said this in response to question #1. You are being asked to bless the union. However, if you are unable to bless the union, then that does not void the contract. However, it may esablish that you must remove your self from the societal sphere that includes this couple.

  15. I think this still comes down to why we need “marriage” used at all. If it’s just about assets, kids, etc, why not a contract that allows the two individuals to file joint tax returns, share health insurance, automatic asset transfer on the death on one party. All the things the marriage contract made with the state currently does. Why co-opt the term marriage? The only reason to do this is because gay/lesbian couples want to be morally equivalent to straight couples. And that is demanding I agree and bless the union. This in in-your-face bad behaviour.

  16. MattS,

    you don’t need a marriage to have co-mingling of assets and income. Agreement between the two should suffice. Having kids and raising a family is another matter all together.

    If the extra state benefits is the issue here – one needs to understand the basis for these benefits. For instance, if the state is incentivizing proper raising of children, then extending the same to partnerships where children are a biological impossibility doesn’t make sense.

  17. Sherri,

    Totally agree. Gay and lesbians can have their union, they have no right to force me to bless it or pay for it.

  18. TSTM, Sherri,

    The federal government doesn’t recognize civil unions because of a federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act.

  19. “Do you really think that by asking the government to use its coercive power to impel and force behavior will change truth?”

    Unfortunately it will change what people regard as acceptable and conforming, if not “truth” in the objective sense. But this is all those who do not believe there is an objective truth yearn for.

  20. TSTM,

    “For instance, if the state is incentivizing proper raising of children, then extending the same to partnerships where children are a biological impossibility doesn’t make sense.”

    The proper raising of children can be done without marriage, so if the purpose of those benefits is the proper raising of children then tying them to marriage doesn’t make sense.

  21. @Ken
    Briggs’ point was that marriage as a contract is one not between the two parties, but between the couple and society. Then you provide examples of contracts with society: dowry, etc. which emphasize the point. Of course, a dowry is not a marriage, it is one of those things that have accreted in some places around the central reality: a financial arrangement by which the bridal clan purchases husbands. Many societies have had marriages without dowries.

    Modern pre-nuptual agreements attest to the contractual nature of pre-nuptual agreements. Divorce contests attest to the abandonment of children. The State does not issue marriage arrangements. It gives license to copulate to potentially child-producing couples. The State interest has always been in assuring that children are not produced so as to become a burden on the king’s purse or to run wild in primate bachelor herds disturbing the public order.

    It is not necessary that any magistrate recognize this. In this age, it would be amazing if any bureaucrat knew any such thing. The logic of the system is independent of the wits of the players.

    later medieval times when the Christian Church authorities insinuated themselves into all things governmental

    Everything within the State; nothing outside the State; nothing against the State.
    - Benito Mussolini

    Heaven forbid that any institution provide a counterbalance to the State.

    “It was perhaps equally important that the existence and prestige of the Church prevented society from being totalitarian, prevented the omnicompetent state, and preserved liberty in the only way that liberty can be preserved, by maintaining in society an organization which could stand up against the state.”
    - A.D. Lindsay, The Modern Democratic State

    Of course, as MattS has added, marriage as such preceded any State arrangement and is originally simply the conjugal union. He is mistaken in thinking there were ever atomic human beings – that is a Rousseau fantasy. Humans have always lived in societies, whether band, tribe, chiefdom, or state. It has been dressed up with a variety of accouterments. Yellow bridal dresses, dowries, chivarie, the chicken dance, consanguinity, and so on. But these are no more the marriage than the fine Corinthian leather or the satellite radio is the automobile.

    For example, when Friedehe (love-marriage) became the dominant mode of marriage, the scandal of woods-marriages arose. The man would propose and the woman would accept in private (“in the woods”) and then the next day the man would deny making any promises. (Nowadays we call this he-said-she-said.) Consequently, the Church became involved, to demand the public exchange of vows

  22. One of the big reasons that marriage is a contract at all and a legal document is that it has to do with producing children and with inheritance of property. Most couples produce children and thereby are bound together in terms of the fate of their children, even if they later divorce. The marriage contract and laws of the land have a lot to do with legal obligations of the 2 parents: it is almost universally understood that the husband has the bulk of the financial liability and if the wife stays home and takes care of the children, the husband owes her for her reduced income and earning power, hence alimony and child support. The children inherit by default the property of the parents. In past ages the inheritance of the farm was a life or death matter. The “modern” movement wants to make it out to be no more than sharing a house, playing, which it is not. If it is just playing house, why not same-sex? And then as a same-sex couple you can get government benefits. In fact the issue first arose during the AIDS epidemic early days when same sex partners did not have certain rights at the hospital or funeral or after, though a proper power-of-attorney document could take care of that.

  23. Dr. Briggs:

    It appears that your definition of the “right to marriage” has the following attributes: (A) it is an individual right, because it is per person; (B) it is inalienable, because it can not be taken away, (C) it is a natural right, as it logically precedes the State (the right exists in the absence of a State), (D) exercise of this right requires a consensual binding of two people who have a reasonable opportunity to biologically reproduce with one another.

    Natural biological reproduction requires one man and one woman, so historically, exercise of the marriage right could only be done through that exact combination.

    However, artificial biological reproduction can be accomplished with other combinations of tissue donors. For instance, a procedure called “spindle transfer” transfers the nucleus from the egg of a woman with potentially disease-causing mutations in her mitochondrial DNA, into a healthy donor egg which has had its nucleus removed. A child born from the resulting egg will have genetic information from both women, as well as the man whose sperm fertilized the egg.

    A man and a woman consensually bound, with the opportunity to reproduce only with this process, would legitimately satisfy all of the criteria for their exercise of their natural right to marriage. Equally, two women consensually bound, with the same opportunity to reproduce with this process, would also legitimately satisfy all of the criteria for their exercise of their natural right to marriage. Both mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA have the same reproductive significance, because both are inherited and both are required for human life.

    Creation and access to these reproductive technologies undermines the hitherto traditional reproduction requirement that the exercise of the natural marriage right be exclusively limited to exactly one man and one woman.

    In order to maintain the traditional definition of marriage (having the criterion of reproduction by exactly one man and one woman), one would need to actually eliminate all access to genetic therapeutic technologies, and rationally delegitimize all children that have resulted from these processes.

    V/r.

  24. Dr. Briggs:

    You state that “Marriage is not a contract between two people, it is the natural ordering of two people and the rest of society.”

    This conflicts with your previous assertion that marriage is a natural right.

    You need to decide whether the right of marriage is an artificial right which extends from society (with or without the State) or it is a natural right that precedes society (including the State).

    V/r.

  25. The cooperation argument is only valid in a culture where the community is being asked for their opinion (the “speak out now” sentence that is so popular in British movies). In Holland, if people want to marry and they are of age, they can marry.

  26. Marriage as a social institution is evolving. The diverse history of marriage shows that we can’t settle the future of marriage simply by looking at its past!

  27. Question 3:

    “Some governments (like Canada) go on to criminalize speech, saying people cannot talk against same-sex “marriage” or homosexual conduct because that is “discriminatory” (a circular argument if ever there was one).”

    Reference for that please. Canada interdict hate speech, not speech.

    “Other localities say a person does not have the right to withhold on religious grounds actions which further or abet same-sex “marriage.””

    That I know of no government has suggested that that religious institution should marry gay or lesbian couple, so I don’t see where such a thing would apply other than for the civil servant who proceed civil marriage. Than refusing to marry gay/lesbian would becomes discrimination. Another example might be people trying to disrupt a private civil ceremony. I don’t know what else you could mean.

    “…the consequence being the State, in the name of “fairness”, will increasingly claim custody over children, thus removing (by force) control from natural parents.”

    That there are some mistake made by child services, i hope you are not sugestting that we keep an abused child within is family.

    You still haven’t presented a single right that gay marriage might trump.

    Question 4:

    “Why do you insist on taking away my freedom to define marriage in the traditional way? That is exactly what you would be doing if you forced me to acknowledge their union.”

    No one is taking away the freedom of the Church defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. No one is asking to force the Church to celebrate gay marriage.

    The only one who have to acknowledge their union are doctor in hospital, or civil servant offering government services.

    I can’t imagine a single situation where in your everyday life you have to give blessing to any couple status someone might have.

    As a driving monitor, when I deal with parent, it doesn’t matter to me that they would be married or divorced. It just matter that they are the legal guardian of the child Under my care.

  28. Sheri,

    I don’t see a big problem with keeping the term “marriage” within the realm of religion and that any ceremony celebrated by civil authority be called civil union which would provide the same right as a marriage.

  29. Marriage as a social institution is evolving.

    It’s not. It’s being deliberately altered by ‘intelligent’ design. Sort of like modifying an evolved ecosystem by building various dams and drilling oil wells.

  30. Pingback: The 12 Steps up the Mountain of Pride - Big Pulpit

  31. That I know of no government has suggested that that religious institution should marry gay or lesbian couple, so I don’t see where such a thing would apply other than for the civil servant who proceed civil marriage. Than refusing to marry gay/lesbian would becomes discrimination

    This is precisely a major problem in the ongoing debate about homosexual marriage right now.
    It is supposed to become a law voted by the current socialist/green majority.
    Most of the opposition is against the law but being opposition, they will loose the vote. And even if the opposition lost by one vote, it would be enough for the law to pass. This is the rule.
    However according to the same rule, what a law did, another law can undo.
    When the opposition becomes again majority, nothing prevents them to abrogate the law and homosexual marriage becomes again illegal.
    It is here that the role of the mayors enters the scene. While, indeed, nobody asks anybody to “bless” some kind of union between homosexuals, the law asks the mayors to do so. And then there is this small matter of freedom of conscience.
    A mayor who disapproves the notion of homosexual marriage can’t be forced to execute an act that his conscience does not allow. That’s why many mayors (from opposition) already said that they will not personally celebrate homosexual marriages. Of course they will not prevent somebody else to perform an act that a law (temporarily ?) allows but they won’t be compromised personally. Yes they discriminate but the freedom of conscience always discriminates between what is deemed right and what is deemed wrong.
    “You want homosexuals to marry? Fine but not with my collaboration.”
    My personal opinion is that we loose all too much time with this problem which is not one. We are just talking about a negligible minority (estimations are somewhere by 3-5%) with particular sexual preferences which thinks that they should be able to inherit, have tax returns, adoption rights and pension reversals similar to those that the 97% majority already has on the basis of a man-woman union.
    But all this (with the exception of adoption) is just a matter of a simple contract. What is then needed is just to extend this kind of contracts to a minority with specific sexual preferences. No need to start with really stupid and potentially harmful redefinitions of the whole society and family like this matter of suppressing “mother” and “father” and replacing it by “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” in all official documents. Let’s be clear here – I certainly don’t recognize the right to that 3% minority to force me (and the rest of 97%) to negate what I am, namely a father. I am no number and no Parent2 either.

  32. @YOS

    You are so anal. Can a word have multiple meanings?

    @TSTM: Yes, you’d be forced to marry a man. It can incur significant emotional and physical stress.

  33. The entry for “marriage” in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary begins with this: “1 a : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife b : the mutual relation of husband and wife : WEDLOCK c : the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family.”

  34. Eric,

    Not quite. It is true that real-marriage is, by scientific natural law, between man and woman, and therefore above any government’s purview (let alone mine). But after this, there is the well ordering of a society, which ideally includes calling things by their proper names. As Orwell and others taught us, a healthier culture will call things what they are and will not abuse language. This is why I say a marriage is an agreement between a couple and the rest of us. If the couple is not man-woman and therefore not a real-marriage, I cannot acknowledge them, not without lapsing into Orwellian speech. A good (as opposed to bad) government would call non-man-woman couples (triples? quadruples?) something other than “married.”

  35. Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage

    a: a coherent series of statements leading from a premise to a conclusion
    b: quarrel, disagreement

    Mostly b as it is an opinion based on personal ethics.

    The counter-argument is: I don’t think so.

  36. Pingback: The Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage, Part IV (Final) | William M. Briggs

  37. @ Ye Old Statistician:

    RE: “examples of contracts with society: dowry, etc.”

    Got it, a dowry (historically a point of negotiation between the parties) is also an arrangement with society…that’s nonsensical as the only social invovlement is the legal structure used to enforce the arrangement after consumation–IF that needs to be invoked at all. Its mentioned as an example of the contractual nature of marriages–not as a be-all example universally applicable.

    RE: “Modern pre-nuptual agreements attest to the contractual nature of pre-nuptual agreements.”

    Oh come on, a pre-nup is a contractual means of altering the standard legal obligations the state/govt would otherwise impose.

    RE: “The State does not issue marriage arrangements. It gives license to copulate to potentially child-producing couples.”

    FALSE again; the state issues marriage licenses to couples to co-habitate & pool property & gain other benefits (e.g. the right to insurance from one spouse’s employer, etc.). Numerous such licenses are issued routinely, in every state, to couples who cannot produce children.

    RE: “The State interest has always been in assuring that children are not produced so as to become a burden on the king’s purse or to run wild in primate bachelor herds disturbing the public order.”

    I certainly enjoyed that & I’m sure others have too…but probably not for the reasons you intended… Considering infant mortility rates thru history, routine risks of disease & starvation, skirmishes & wars (which were pretty constant–the Romans report the doors to the temple of Janus were closed only in peacetime & that was for something like seven years out of several hundred of thier history, etc. the ability of a socieity to breed so prodigiously as to produce “primate bachelor herds” was, if such occurred, highly abberent & transitory.

    RE: “Of course, as MattS has added, marriage as such preceded any State arrangement and is originally simply the conjugal union”

    TRUE–but in those earliest such “conjugal unions” the female was typically considered no more than chattel. Property. Still is the case in many societies with very modern infrastructures (e.g. in the Mid-East). But again, such arrangements were (and in some places still are) enforced via local laws, or where they are lacking, traditions & customs.

    RE: “Friedehe (love-marriage) became the dominant mode of marriage, the scandal of woods-marriages arose. The man would propose and the woman would accept in private (“in the woods”) and then the next day the man would deny making any promises. (Nowadays we call this he-said-she-said.). Consequently, the Church became involved, to demand the public exchange of vows.”

    Nowadays we are more apt to call this “seduction.”
    But more interesting–you say this is when the Church became involved…! That simply is false–the “church” when they were only pagan were involved in public ceremonies…and modern religions did the same from their outset. That bit of historical record is pretty well established.

    I did enjoy your input, some of the most bizarre viewpoints I’ve heard in a long long time!

  38. “Why do you insist on taking away my freedom to define marriage in the traditional way?”

    Does this not, in a way, concede the argument? (Its kind of like having GOP statists nitpick with Dem statists about the evils of big government.)
    Should it not rather be:

    “Why do you insist on taking away my freedom to define marriage in the natural way?”

    Tradition is man-made, after all, and changes over time.

  39. This is written roughly: in my opinion, this is a missing part of how ‘marriage’ is to be defended. It is a kind of overview-slash-index. Writing books that contain these elements (or even relatively short articles), which only a few will read, serves little practical purpose. Of course the hippies, who as they breathe spew lies and distortions, and seek to corrupt all order and reason, might very well make similar constructs… but this sort of thing is more of an aid to the slightly confused, than those who are corrupt (i.e. hippies) and have no care for proper reason.

    ‘Natural, rational, marriage’ has several components.
    nrm11yB: The whole point of ‘natural marriage’ is that it takes one man and one woman to make Y number of -babies-: this is biology-slash-genetics.
    nrmA: As a general rule, humans do not want to live -alone-. More than that, they generally seek a relationship that has a strong meaning. While some people (hippies) are happy to screw around from day to day for their whole lives (until selfishness demands that they seek to bind someone to take care of them when in need), other people desire something with more depth. (Muslims, in general, also do not seek a deep relationship: in general, one man cannot have such with multiple women – this is common sense.)
    nrmRW: More than that, those humans who are not hippies (i.e. not conscienceless barbarians) will want their children to be raised well, and not tormented. Similarly, a non-hippie man will realize that his non-hippie woman is in a very vulnerable state (pregnant; and women are as a general rule physically vulnerable to (other) men), and will seek to care for her as well; as opposed to hippies who will abandon her to make do on whatever street-corner she finds herself. A hard ‘right-wrong’ reality. (Male Muslims, being satanists, do not care about their wives or children: they easily abandon, maim, or kill either. They give their daughters over to hellish lives, and will at whim consign their women to the same. Muslims do not marry: they step into ownership of sex-breed-slaves. A ‘married’ Muslim slave-master does not care his woman in the same way a Christian man does for his wife (and children): fact.)
    nrmV: A married man and woman have, generally speaking, taken it upon themselves to be both responsible for their partner, as well as their children. This serves to -vet- them for other people; they are serious about life in general, not mindless flakes like the general hippie.
    nrmRG: With essentially no exceptions, -religious groups- state, at the least implicitly, that such a thing as ‘natural marriage exists.’ These followers of groupings make up the vast majority of the people on this planet (excepting Islam, as always). In other words, “God says so.” In other words, there are (many, large) groupings of people who hold entire sets of values in common: marriage being common to essentially all of them.
    nrmSSC: The world is not a pleasant place – mostly because there are so many hippies (i.e. stupid, insane, satanists) in it. In order to make a society workable wherein hippies exist, it is necessary that there be a basic structural component, one that everyone can see and understand (in order resist the relentless madness of the hippies.) This is the -simple social contract- part of marriage: i.e. two people stand before everyone else, and say that they stand together as one… and this is acknowledged by the acceptance of society that the two people are indeed married. (Note that the simplicity (i.e. singular meaning) sub-aspect is remarkably important: it allows married couples to interact with one another even though they do not know each other, or may be from a completely different country.)
    nrmLC: The -legal contract- aspect of marriage. (More of a sub-set of nrmSSC). Hippies seek to elevate this to the single only consideration – an ‘argument’ that is deeply stupid, and relies on the corruptions of the media, the political, and the education establishments who promulgate this in the various typical repetitive fashions.
    (There are more such items, and there are other factors, but these are enough to make the point.
    It is important not to try and bring things like Islam under the same umbrella: attempts to do so means that core elements of marriage have to be conceded to the hippies – a group of people who are just as much satanists as the Muslims are… doing the right thing for the wrong reasons is not at all the same as doing the right thing for the right reasons; sometimes the worst of all enemies are the ones who want to be your allies for the day.
    Even more importantly, one cannot avoid assigning evil where it is due. Doing so concedes the very heart of the argument: evil does not just take joy in the suffering of others, it is also the true enemy of reason and its works.)

    This is natural, rational, marriage: (nrm11yB; nrmA; nrmRW; nrmV; nrmRG; nrmSSC; nrmLC). Or just ‘marriage’, as per the generally used short-hand. It is ‘defined’, if you will, by the common sense of the extreme majority of humans on this planet: and while the average human may be kinda dumb, he-she is not at all the utter morons the hippies state they are. In fact, the hippies need to state that the majority of humans are utterly mindless (and this has to be accepted for their ‘arguments’ to be held), for otherwise they would be forced to concede that their other kinds of relationships need OTHER labels: marriage means marriage, and the conflation fallacy is the conflation fallacy.

    Again. If you want to make some other kind of grouping, go ahead. But it will not be (natural, rational) marriage. Having it called such ‘legally’, no more alters what marriage IS than does re-naming the ground the sky, and demanding that people walk on their hands. It will never happen… Well, barring socialism: it takes socialism, or rather prosperous socialism, to effect a change to how ‘marriage’ is viewed in some society: but should stressors return to the mass of society, then so will the natural rational institution of marriage. It is inevitable.