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Highlights from The Great Dinner Table Debate! NOM Marriage News

 

NOM National Newsletter

Dear Marriage Supporter,

At last it happened! The Great Brian Brown v. Dan Savage Dinner Table Debate actually took place!

The tape is now live. You can watch me take on Dan Savage here.

But first you should watch the MarriageADA interview with Julia Naman, one of the young teens whose faith Dan Savage decided to attack in an event billed as an anti-bullying initiative for middle and high school students.

Many of you have already watched our debate and blogged your comments or emailed me. I want to thank you!

One viewer wrote:

I found Mr. Savage to be articulate and informed, which made Brown's response the more awesome.

Brown clearly "won" the debate: He had tradition, logic, natural law, and modesty on his side, and was able to eloquently express this and made Savage look weak and pathetic. I do not dislike Savage, I felt genuine sorrow for him. Brown looked like the Patriarch and Savage came across like a teenager.

Of course not everybody who watches agrees; another guy just dashed off, "Brian Brown was destroyted [sic], per usual."

Please go watch and leave your own comments. I want to hear from you!

Let me first begin by saying thank you to Dan Savage for the invitation to come to his home and the chance to meet his partner and his child.

Dan has since told the moderator, Mark Oppenheimer, that he regrets having the event at his home because his role as host interfered with his full prosecution of me (and through me, all NOM supporters):

"Playing host put me in this position of treating Brian Brown like a guest," he said. "It was better in theory than in practice — it put me at a disadvantage during the debate, as the undertow of playing host resulted in my being more solicitous and considerate than I should've been. If I had it to do over again, I think I'd go with a hall."

So I want to make sure and thank Dan Savage and his partner for opening their home to me.

It's hard, when people feel as strongly as Dan Savage and I do, to acknowledge each other's fundamental dignity; the twin and complementary roles as host and guest is one way to accomplish keeping each other's dignity central, even when we strongly and fundamentally disagree on absolutely core moral issues.

So, unlike Dan, I do not regret meeting in his home, even though it contained moral constraints, and I am grateful to him for his hospitality.

One thing is very clear to me after the time we spent together: Dan Savage believes that gay people are "a tiny defenseless minority," as he said during the debate.

He made this claim while defending the public tongue-lashing of Christian students that brought us together. He doesn't seem to realize that his position as a 47 year old adult—one with the power of fame, celebrity and access to not only the White House, but also MTV—requires a new mentality.

With power comes responsibility, including the responsibility to show how you intend to use your newfound power.

A grown man does not accept an invitation to speak to middle- and high-school students and proceed to insult their faith, and to call them names when they show their objection in the only polite way possible, by politely leaving.

Dan has apologized for the latter, but not the former. As I told him face to face: "To have a bunch of high school students and attack their religious beliefs is not appropriate, it doesn't show respect."

He appears unable to process this point of view.

He has become a hero to a lot of gay people not only for the good he's done (like telling gay kids their lives are precious—don't commit suicide!), but in some cases because Dan Savage is willing to insult and demean those with whom he disagrees. He doesn't even acknowledge or see he is doing that, even as he does it!

Another commenter on the debate put it this way:

Wait, Savage doesn't think he was "bullying" because "bullying is the strong picking on the weak"? He really thinks the high school students he bullied from stage were the strong ones? Really?

I called for this debate with Dan Savage to show that I—with your support and help— that we would go anywhere to defend the principles that you and I hold dear.

On that level, this was a stunning success for us pro-marriage people. Another commenter had this to say:

And is this moderator objective? He suggests the title of this "debate" should be: Christianity is bad for LGBT Americans. Come on.

But this speaks volume[s] of the NOM president to step into the valley of the beast and take on this ideologue and (apparently) biased moderator.

The title and the leading topics of the debate were chosen by Dan Savage, not me. Thus, I went beyond the marriage arguments I often make in the public square and took the opportunity to defend the Bible from the most radical charge Dan Savage hurled—that the Bible is a radically pro-slavery document.

He uses that charge to undermine the moral authority of the Bible as the word of God. If it got slavery wrong, Dan maintains, what are the odds it gets human sexuality right? Zero, according to Dan Savage.

Savage wants to believe that he can reconcile his views with Christianity. He keeps telling Christians nothing will change for them if he gets his way: "I don't think LGBT Americans are asking American Christians to do anything you haven't already done. We know you can move because many Americans have already moved. "

And then he uses his growing power (personal and cultural) to argue that Christianity is wrong, the Bible is wrong, and retaining the traditional understanding of sex and marriage is bigotry because he says it's like picking and choosing which texts to believe. For Dan, there is no authoritative tradition in the Bible. Just like he gets to make up his theology on marriage, he gets to make up what Christians believe as well, and if we don't agree with him we are bigots.

I wasn't really too surprised by that.

But what did surprise me was his determined and, in my view, ignorant defense of the slavery charge.

As I told Dan face to face:

To say...that the Bible is a pro-slavery document is just point blank false. What you are essentially saying is your interpretation trumps that of Frederick Douglass, of Harriet Beecher Stowe, of William Wilberforce, of William Lloyd Garrison and all of the abolitionists, who pointed directly to the book of the Bible that you [use to] attempt to justify this notion that the bible is pro-slavery: Philemon. They all pointed to Philemon to say, look what Paul does: Paul...tells Philemon to take Onesimus back, not as a slave, but as a brother, a dear brother in Christ.

This gets to the heart of what Christianity is to the world and Christianity's view on traditional sexual morality. Christianity is, if anything, radical: it's radical in its view of human dignity, of the human dignity of each and every one of us.

Gay marriage is not like racism or interracial marriage.

Christian teaching and practice was never rooted in racism, but in the radical equality of all people and peoples before God. The American South, under slavery, was the exception to the rule—which is one reason why, when challenged, the belief that Christianity can justify not only slavery but also racism, failed abjectly and is now a dead idea. That was Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s great triumph.

But sexual morality and marriage are quite different. Here we have the broad consistent sweep of the authoritative teaching of Christ and the Christian church he founded, recorded in the Bible, and in Christian teaching and practice across the centuries. Here we have something core to the Christian faith, and as I told Dan Savage, it's not going to go away just because he doesn't like it:

The notion of the uniqueness of men and women is not some side thing in scripture, it's a key part of our view of humanity: that there are two halves of humanity, male and female, and that we complement each other, and that complementarity bears fruit in children, can bear fruit in children; that even without children the unitive nature of marriage brings together the two great halves of humanity. . . this is not something we will ever discard. We will always have this view. There will be Christians who always stand up for this view.

And they don't do so...because of any animus or hatred. They do so because they believe this is true; they believe that faith and reason are not at odds here, that scripture reinforces something that is true about human nature, and good, and beautiful.

Maggie says this is the part of my argument she found the most moving, so let me dwell on it a minute. After explaining Christianity's fundamental radicalness, I told Dan: "The reason I'm here is because I believe in your human dignity. I'm willing to come and argue with you because of my respect for you. This notion of equality before God, of us all having this dignity before God, is key to the scriptures."

The reason the Pope and the Catholic catechism condemn slavery, the reason the evangelical abolitionists worked so hard to end it, the reason the Civil War happened, the reason Martin Luther King, Jr.'s revolution in manners and mores triumphed is this: The Biblical idea of the radical dignity of all human beings. As I said in the debate, "This call we have to live out the Gospel message, of love, the call of creating a civilization of love, is not at odds with our idea of marriage. Scripture begins with a marriage, its middle point is the wedding feast at Cana, and it ends with the marriage feast of the Lamb."

On these truths, faith and reason support one another.

I went on to tell Dan in his own home: "What I see attempted here, and sometimes in other things you've said [is to make] those of us who know marriage...deserving of treatment less than others because we are bigots and we deserve what we get.... I don't think it furthers your argument and I think it's wrong."

He can't see his own aggressiveness.

Dan Savage called us here at NOM liars. He thinks we are telling lies, because we say things he doesn't believe.

"Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor'," he told me. "I do believe NOM is in the bearing false witness business and routinely bears false witness against LGBT people."

"NOM tends to do it through linking and surrogates," he said, echoing the absurd arguments of Scott Rose and now also Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Next, Dan went on to call the Regnerus study a lie and a NOM project (which is a total falsehood by the way). Certain members of the gay community, embraced and endorsed by as powerful a voice as Dan Savage's, are out trying to destroy a young scholar's career—not debating and refuting his study, or accepting the challenge of coming up with random samples of gay parents raising children as Regnerus did—but trying to end his career because he published a study in a peer-reviewed journal—but Dan absurdly claimed that this attempted destruction of Prof. Regnerus' career is our fault.

Something about that dynamic captures what we all see at work at this point in the gay marriage debate. Power is being exercised by a minority, which denies it has the power it is exercising, and denies what we see happening in front of us: this power is being used to label and demonize all who disagree, no matter how relentlessly civilized we are, no matter that we uphold gay people's real fundamental civil rights.

I promise you not one word comes out of my mouth, or the mouths of other leaders at NOM, that is not the truth, as best as I can see it. I may be wrong—any of us can be wrong—but we do not lie.

But to Dan, what you and I care about is all lies designed to hurt him and other gay people.

Sad. I don't know what to do about it.

I do know we cannot surrender an idea as important as marriage to people like Dan Savage.

We all have the right to choose how we live, as does Dan Savage. We do not have the right to use the power of government to redefine marriage in law and society.

The dangers of such an ideological shift in society are being seen now abroad: in France gay rights groups are protesting as homophobic (and a possible violation of hate speech laws) a prayer the Catholic bishops of France had their flock pray at Sunday mass. The prayer they see as homophobic asks God to hear the prayer of the faithful:

For children and youth, that all of us may help each one of them to find his own way to progress towards the good, that they cease to be the objects of the desires and the conflicts of adults, by benefiting completely from the love of a father and a mother.

Let me pose a question to the Dan Savages of the world. Once gay people were a powerless and defenseless minority. Now, you have organized, protested, and become powerful through the use of democratic freedoms and intellectual debate, a powerful cultural force in our time. What use do you intend to make of your power?

"Liberty when men act in groups is power," as Edmund Burke said, and before we congratulate them, or they congratulate themselves, it behooves us to look at what use they intend to make of the growing cultural power.

We should not forget in our culture war the individual dignity of each and every human soul. We shouldn't forget that it's hard to be gay in many places, that children are bullied and hurt, that we have to find a better (I would say more Christian) way to combine truth and love, to sustain our understanding of what's right while retaining compassion for human suffering, including the suffering of gay people. But when praying that kids "benefit completely from the love of a father and a mother" is labeled phobia and hate, there's something clearly wrong.

Thank you for all you've made possible. Thank you for your friendship, and your comradeship. Thank you for refuting in the way you live your life the lie that we who stand for God's truth about marriage are liars, haters and bigots. Thank you above all for obeying one of the most often repeated Biblical commands: Be not afraid!

This great work undertaken we will not abandon. We know who triumphs in the end.

Contributions or gifts to the National Organization for Marriage, a 501©(4) organization, are not tax-deductible. The National Organization for Marriage does not accept contributions from business corporations, labor unions, foreign nationals, or federal contractors; however, it may accept contributions from federally registered political action committees. Donations may be used for political purposes such as supporting or opposing candidates. No funds will be earmarked or reserved for any political purpose.

This message has been authorized and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, Brian Brown, President. This message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.

22 Comments

  1. Posted August 26, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Rick L:

    It seems that you have forgotten the most important "aspect" of marriage altogether.

    The most important aspect of marriage is that it has, always and everywhere, brought together the two complementary genders of our species in long-term, stable unions from which children commonly reult, and within which they are best nurtured.

    Your argument seems to hinge on the proposition that this aspect is somehow religious or faith-based in nature.

    It isn't.

    All religions, all cultures, even cultures of explicit atheism, have recognized this constitutive aspect of marriage.

    So it seems that what you are actually arguing for above, is that we should all accept *your* faith, even though it is utterly and radically opposed to what the institution of marriage has consisted in for all of human history.

    I don;t think that's going to fly, Rick L.

  2. Preserve Marriage
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Rick L. wrote,
    >
    > @Preserve Marriage
    > Did you read more than just the title of that LA Times article? If you did you would have seen that the reason why<

    doesn't change the fact that homosexuals aren't especially happy.

  3. Posted August 26, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Bullying is always wrong.

    No special class need be created in the course of opposing it.

    All classes are equally entitled to protection from bullying, not because they are a member of a class, but because they are human beings.

  4. Zack
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    @Rick

    1)

    2) I'm all for equal protection and equal rights. The definition of Marriage however, does not need to be redefined to accommodate that.

    3) See point 2.

    4) " You might not view it as a marriage, but seeing as you are not a participant in it that doesn't really matter. "

    This is where you are wrong. It absolutely does matter. The differences between men and women are inherent and many. To call a union between two men or two women a Marriage serves to blur this distinction. Whether or not this is intentional is irrelevant because that's exactly what's happening. Gender matters.

    5) "One of the ten commandments states "I am the lord your god you shall have no others gods besides me". As a Christian you hold this to be true, but there are many many other religions in this country that do not worship the Christian god. Do you work tirelessly to make them illegal?"

    Because we have Freedom of Religion as described in the Constitution. That doesn't dispel the fact that this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian values and beliefs.

    "No, because you understand that in this country there is room for more than one way. You may not like their way, you may pray for them or say things against them in the privacy of your home, but you do not have the right to stop them from living their personal truth."

    Moral relevancy. There is but one God. Different cultures and religions may believe in multiple beings but there is always one being that reigns supreme over all creation including the other beings.

    6)"This is why putting civil rights issues up to a popular vote is not a good idea."

    Except that Marriage isn't a civil right.

    7) "You are in essence asking people about their personal truths. I would imagine for many of you voting to allow same sex marriage would feel like a horrible violation of your personal truth, tantamount to denouncing your faith. That isn't a fair question to ask people, and the results are not fair either. "

    Well of course you are asking people about their beliefs. You are making them apart of the conversation. Self-Governance is what the Founders intended. It's perfectly fair to ask people to decide if they wish Marriage to be redefined or not. The question has been asked 30+ times and every single time the people have voted to affirm Traditional Marriage.

    8) "It has been said many times ... if same sex marriage is against your personal truth then do not enter into a marriage with a person of the same gender."

    Refer to my point about Men and Women being inherently different.

    9) If the business aspect of marriage exists for homosexual couples it does not mean it will no longer exist for heterosexual couples. It also does not mean that churches will be forced to perform same sex weddings"

    Ah but you see, churches receive a tax exempt status and if such a church had the misfortune of not marrying a same-sex couple then they could be subject to lawsuit and have their tax exempt status rescinded. I refer to people who were sued for refusing civil union ceremonies.

    10) " It doesn't even mean that you have to in your mind consider it a marriage. You can continue to disagree, you can continue to pray for them, and you can continue to say things against them in the privacy of your home."

    Oh but it does because you are changing the language of society. I may not personally see it as such, but what of my children who might disagree? What of a place of business that disagrees? An adoption agency?

    11) "But what you should not be able to do is demand someone else live by your personal truth"

    Nothing of the sort is being demanded.

    12) "And being told you are less would make anyone unhappy, like the teens mentioned in Preserve Marriage's article."

    Nothing of the sort is being said either.

  5. Zack
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    woops...I made a typo...I left point 1 empty...well just think of point 2 being point 1. >.<

  6. Rick L.
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    @Zack

    A couple of questions so I can fully ascertain your arguments:

    1. You say you are all for equal protection and equal rights. What is your solution to this issue then?

    2. You state that the differences between men and women and inherent and many. Other than biology, what are these differences?

  7. Rick L.
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    @Rick DeLano

    The decision to have children can not be deemed the most important aspect of marriage as it is an optional aspect (and one that I feel fits into the spiritual aspect that I outlined above). Also a wedding does not bestow the ability to be a good parent or a good partner on either individual involved. Sustaining a marriage ... or being a good parent takes work. However from the legal standpoint, and as far as I know the religious standpoint as well, having children is not required to legitimize a marriage.

    @Preserve Marriage
    You generalize, and also don't seem to understand that the homosexual youth in the article you sited are unhappy because of the treatment they receive from others ... not because of their homosexuality itself. That being said I don't think either of us know every homosexual in the world and their feelings to state that "homosexuals aren't especially happy"

  8. Daughter of Eve
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    "the reason why Gay and Lesbian youth are more unhappy than their heterosexual counterparts is because of the harassment and abuse they experience from their peers and their communities."

    Actually, in countries where SSM and homosexuality have been considered legal and normal for several decades, youth who engage in homosexual activities continue to exhibit higher levels of depression, etc., than their non-homosexual peers. So, one cannot blame bullying for this phenomenon. The truth is, that any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman will lead to negative emotional feelings.

  9. Daughter of Eve
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

    "The first aspect is the spiritual aspect. This is where two people make a vow to each other, to love, support and defend each other. To face the challenges that life presents, and bask in the joys it has to offer as a unit. This vow is made between two people, perhaps in the sight of their friends, family and depending on their beliefs their god. Regardless though this vow is only as strong as the depths to which these two individuals feel it and then honor it."

    Well, any two siblings, a parent and child, or two individuals already married, could make the same depth of love and commitment to each other. So there is more to marriage than simply a spiritual commitment, public avowed. Many a mother and daughter or two sisters feel a deep, abiding, spiritual connection with each other. A spiritual commitment is not considered an eligibility requirement for marriage.

  10. Chairm
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    "Personal truth"?

    5ruth ecists and we pursue it. We might even cross paths enroute or at the destination. Truth does not come with an owner's sticker. Once the truth is known it is yours. And yours and yours and ... but it is not a one-of-a-kind custom-made fabrication sculpted by the owner.

    Savage is an intelligent fool on these serious matters.

  11. Chairm
    Posted August 26, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Truth exists and we pursue it.

  12. Zack
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 12:46 am | Permalink

    @Rick

    "1. You say you are all for equal protection and equal rights. What is your solution to this issue then?"
    Full martial rights to same-sex couples without the title of Marriage. Since it's the legal benefits I hear some prominent activists are arguing for, then this should be a sufficient compromise. This has been something my side(at least I and some prominent Conservatives) has argued for a while.

    "2. You state that the differences between men and women and inherent and many. Other than biology, what are these differences?"

    Other than biology? You can't be serious. You mean you do not understand the psychological and emotional distinction that separates men from women? Or perhaps do I need to refer you to the numerous studies that show when a father is absent, children often struggle more in life? Our very sex drives are just one obvious characteristic that distinguishes men from women.

    I apologize if I'm coming off as brash but really, the question is so plainly obvious it doesn't require an in depth explanation.

    I refer you to some sources I myself have read.

    http://www.bygpub.com/books/tg2rw/chap11excerpt.htm

    http://www.albatrus.org/english/lien_of_oz/fatherhood/men_women_different.htm

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/study-men-and-women-are-different-species/

    And there are many many other sources to look at.

  13. Daughter of Eve
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    Furthermore, Rick L. omits a very important aspect of marriage: marriage is a sexual union, not just a spiritually sympathetic one. Marriage represents both sexes, equally, and acknowledges the unique sexual exclusivity between a male and a female. Sexual orientation is a non-issue, as any adult male can marry any adult female, as long as they are not married to another, and as long as they are not close kin, as defined by the state. Marriage as a sexual union acknowledges the inherent ties to procreativity, as witnessed in family law (presumption of paternity, consanguinity law, annulment law, etc.). While not mandating procreation, marriage anticipates its possibility, and legally binds both a male and a female to their common offspring (something SSM cannot ever do), making the couple, and not the state, responsible for the welfare of a child. Marriage unites both sexes and concurrently creates kinship, where none has previously existed. SSM cannot do this. Marriage also binds successive generations to each other, on both sides of the family tree. SSM cannot do this.

  14. Daughter of Eve
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    When it comes to protecting children and families, marriage between a man and a woman is like the fence at the top of the hill, while SS"M" is like a hill, with no fence, and an ambulance at the bottom.

  15. Daughter of Eve
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    "Either you are lying or you aren't paying attention. NOM does not support any rights for gay families."

    Please define "gay" family, or even "gay" individual. What are the immutable characteristics of "gay?"

    And, can you produce documentation stating that NOM "does not support ANY rights for gay families?" Also, can you please produce documentation wherein families or groups have rights, from the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.? Thanks.

  16. Posted August 27, 2012 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    @ Rick L. #57:

    "The decision to have children can not be deemed the most important aspect of marriage as it is an optional aspect (and one that I feel fits into the spiritual aspect that I outlined above)."

    >> Children are not a "decision", Rick. Children are the biologically predictable outcome of sexual relations between a man and a woman.

    Not all unions will be fruitful- they don;t have to be.

    The state's *sole* interest in marriage- the next generation, best nurtured- is adequately secured by the simple and obvious expedient of fostering long-term, stable unions of the two complementary gend4ers of our species.

    This done, nature will take care of the rest.

    "Also a wedding does not bestow the ability to be a good parent or a good partner on either individual involved."

    >> Yes, it instead bestows the ability to be a *parent* in a *marriage*.

    Not all marriages involve resplendently succesful parents, but then again, how is society to know this outcome in advance?

    Of course it cannot.

    Society's interest- the next generation, best nurtured- is adequately secured by fostering the union of the complementary genders of our species.

    Nature will take care of the rest.

    Laws exist to rectify especially egregious cases of incompetence or abuse in parenting.

    Still no reason to redefine marriage here.

    "Sustaining a marriage ... or being a good parent takes work. However from the legal standpoint, and as far as I know the religious standpoint as well, having children is not required to legitimize a marriage."

    >> It is not required, nor should it be. We cannot know in advance which unions will be fruitful. Society's interest in marriage- the next generation, best nurtured- is adequately secured by simply joining the two complementary genders in long term, stable marriages.

    Nature will take care of the rest.

  17. Rick
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    @ Rick DeLano

    If the state's sole interest is in the creation of the next generation then it would. logically speaking, need to be limited to those that can bear children. We can go a step further and say limited to those who are likely to bear children, as many people do not know of their infertility until they are trying to have a child. However this is not the case as women who are beyond child bearing years are still able to be married.

    I believe that we are starting to branch off into another issue when we begin to discuss the choice to have children. Many married couples choose not to, while even more couples make decisions about the timing and number of the children they have. There is a lot of decision making when having children.

  18. Chairm
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Rick @ August 27, 2012 at 11:57 am,

    SSMers are like the characters in the story of three blind men and an elephant.

    http://www.thoughtoftheweek.co.uk/archive/17%20-%203%20blind%20men%20and%20an%20elephant.html

    You have blinded yourself to the whole and so have not regarded the coherency of the marital union.

    Marriage provides for responsible procreation and it integrates the sexes; it combines these as a coherent whole (i.e. as a social institution).

    In contrast, the SSM idea is segregative by sex (and by sexual attraction btw) and is non-fertile (that non-fertility is an inability -- an intrinsic lack of ability -- in the one-sex-short scenario and is not a disablity of procreative power as infertility would be in the two-sexed scenario).

    So you need not get your knickers in a twist over the lack of a law that would make procreation mandatory. Such a lack does not stand against the core meaning of marriage. But that lack does show that the marriage law is reasonable rather than totalitarian. That is a very good thing.

    We do have legal requirements to which those who form the marital relationship give their mutual consent. Obviously, the bride+groom requirement is well-enforced; it stands for integration of the sexes and much more. Also, there is the sexual basis of marriage that is embedded in the marital presumption of paternity; that sexual basis is the same sexual basis for consummation, annulment, and adultery. All of this hangs together in terms of marital norms such as sexual exclusivity.

    The SSM idea really is a bunch of mismatched bits and pieces that form no coherent whole. This is a conceptual mess.

    SSM is not foundational to civil society. It is not marriage.

  19. Zack
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    @Rick

    I know you weren't talking to me but I just couldn't resist.

    "f the state's sole interest is in the creation of the next generation then it would. logically speaking, need to be limited to those that can bear children. "

    Wrong, since in most cases, married couples are unaware of their infertility till after they have attempted to conceive a child there is no litmus test. Secondly it's a matter of principle since procreation is always possible between a man and a woman regardless of any particular circumstances where as impossible between two people of the same gender.

    "Many married couples choose not to, while even more couples make decisions about the timing and number of the children they have. There is a lot of decision making when having children."

    What's your point here? Deciding on when to have a child or whether you want one or not does not provide a logical basis for redefining Marriage.

  20. Zack
    Posted August 27, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    typo: where as procreation is impossible between two people of the same gender*

  21. bman
    Posted August 28, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Rick->If the state's sole interest is in the creation of the next generation then...[why are] women who are beyond child bearing years....still able to be married.

    Marriage policy "presumes" all opposite sex couples are fertile or potentially fertile, and that the act of even "trying" to procreate should occur only within marriage, and should not occur at all outside of marriage.

    Its true, of course, that not all OS couples are fertile, but that does not prevent policy from operating on a presumption that all OS couples are fertile.

    At most, your argument shows marriage policy is based on a presumption of fertility that is over-inclusive. It does not show the state as being "disinterested" in the procreation of the next generation.

    The courts have also answered your point numerous times by saying its rational for public policy to have a small degree of over-inclusiveness where it helps manage public policy.

    Consider, too, that sex between men and women is something the elderly can and do engage in.

    Given a choice between a policy that says "sex outside of marriage is OK for men and women if they are infertile or elderly" and one that says, "all sex between men and women should occur within marriage" which of those two shows the most interest in deterring unwed child births in society?

    Clearly, the later.

    Its also more uniform and morally cohesive to say "all sex between men and women should occur within marriage" compared to saying "only fertile men and women are expected to marry," or saying, "society expects the infertile and elderly to have sex only outside of marriage. "

    In sum, a marriage policy that presumes fertility for all OS couples can be charged with being "over-inclusive," but such a policy can not be charged with being "disinterested in the creation of the next generation," as you proposed.

  22. Chairm
    Posted August 31, 2012 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Might as well bookmark this thread because Rick can be counted on, yet again, to trot out his goofy rhetoric on procreation as if he had never been replied to and just has no clue.

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