arguments

Paul wrote a good comment on the issue of gay marriage, and the government’s involvement in the issue, and potential legislation banning it. As usual he’s thoughtful and logical – it’s worth a read. I posted quite a long reply to it, which I’ve copied here:

I think that the flaw in your thinking, as it relates to the real world anyway, is “Putting aside religious arguments…”. Unfortunately our politicians are doing no such thing – the President talking about “preserving the sanctity of marriage” etc. Let’s ignore the fact that heteros aren’t necessarily doing such a great job of that, and that government should have nothing to do with “sanctity” because it’s not their job. But what they do see is the “religious” “right” who have huge pots of cash and influence and have these politicians in their pockets.

But aside from that I agree that I don’t see how the fact that two men or two women being married is inherently worse (in the sense that it would undermine society) than one man and one woman. Again let’s ignore something – this time the offensive “What’s next?” argument: What’s next? Legalized bigamy? Bestiality?

It could of course be that a child raised with a male parent and a female parent might get better balance in some ways, from having the influence of different genders, but this doesn’t specifically follow because their mother may be more masculine or their father more feminine – who knows? So let’s not make that generalization. And again it falls into the argument of the fundamentalists that marriage is for the procreation of children, which would seem to nullify the marriage of infertile couples or older couples who are past child-bearing age, or even those who just don’t want to have kids.

So for the government to be judging the quality of a marriage and its effect on society could be fraught with problems. A man who beats his wife is obviously bad for society, but there’s no legislation saying that he can’t marry again, even if he’s in prison for what he did. Yet if you happen to be gay and in love with someone you’re treated as more of a threat to society.

You may agree that divorce is bad for society, so should the government legislate to stop people from divorcing, or to stop the marriage of people who may be likely to get divorced? It may be fair for a particular church to refuse to marry divorced people if that’s their belief but noone is suggesting that the government has a hand in legislating that. But to me, what they’re trying to do with gay marriage is just as arbitrary.

Leave a Reply