Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Open Letter to Supreme Court of the United States of America (Part 2)

Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

Claim 3)          Homosexual marriage is the most tolerant option.
Response 3)     The problem is that this is the exact opposite of the truth. It is those who oppose same-sex marriage who are the true champions of liberty. Indeed, if homosexual marriage is legalized, it is likely to result in unprecedented restrictions on freedom of speech and even thought.

It’s important to remember that the issue’s not whether society will allow homosexuals to marry. Many churches are willing to do so: the Episcopal Church USA, the Alliance of Baptists, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church USA, etc… Such institutions either explicitly allow the consecration or blessing of same-sex marriages or look the other way when individual congregations perform such ceremonies.

No laws prevent these churches from conducting marriage ceremonies—and nearly all Americans would agree that it is right for the government to stay out of a church’s decision on the issue. What the law in most states currently does not do, however, is force third parties—individuals, businesses, and institutions to recognize these marriages and treat them as if they were exactly the same as traditional marriages. Nor does it forbid anyone to do so.

                        Individuals, organizations, and institutions in most states are currently free to treat same-sex unions as marriages, or not. This, of course, is the truly liberal and tolerant position. It means letting the people concerned make up their own minds about how to treat these relationships. But this freedom is precisely what the advocates of same-sex marriage want to destroy; they want to use the government’s power to force everyone to recognize same-sex unions as marriages whether they want to or not.

The effects of such coercion have already been felt in some places such as adoption agencies or even local wedding cake bakeries. The real issue is whether the government should force everyone to recognize such marriages. Far from being a liberating thing, the forced recognition of same-sex marriage is a governmental intrusion of monumental proportions.

Claim 4)          Homosexual marriage will bring greater equality.
Response 4)     People say that homosexual marriage will make homosexuals and heterosexuals equal in terms of having equal access to marriage.

The problem with this position is that it again assumes that homosexuals are not allowed to marry (see Response 3). The reality is that no one is stopping homosexuals from getting married. Just as it would be absurd to change the definition of marriage to include celibacy so that the Pope can have “equal access” to the institution, so it is absurd to change the definition of marriage so that homosexuals can begin to want access to it.

Claim 5)          Homosexuals are being denied a constitutional right.
Response 5)     First, laws already establish marital conditions. There’s already a “discriminatory” factor built in. If you don’t meet XYZ, you aren’t legally allowed to have ABC. In marriage, you must be an adult, can’t already be married to someone else, can’t be closely related to the other person, and must marry another human. Restrictions have always existed.
While there have been valid discriminatory issues (ie: interracial), the mere existence of a discriminatory factor doesn’t necessarily imply that a particular group’s being denied a civil right. Also, homosexuals already have access to marriage. See response #3.

Claim 6)          Making a moral judgment on homosexual marriage and saying that it is wrong is to be hateful to homosexuals.
Response 6)     Making a moral judgment of an act in and of itself is not an act of hate..
It is not hateful for me to tell my toddler that disrespecting me is wrong.   
In the same way, my declaring that homosexual marriage is wrong is not hating homosexuals. It is my duty and act of love to explain to them the inconsistency of their position.

Claim 7)          There will be harm done to their children if we don’t say that their homosexual parents are married. It will be a net societal benefit.
Response 7)     Paul Nathanson, a sociology professor at McGill University in Canada and a practicing homosexual, recognizes this as an untested social experiment: “advocates of gay marriage have made no serious attempt to consider the possible harms, and object to those who want more time to assess the evidence from other periods or other cultures.”

Thirty years ago, “no-fault divorce” redefined marriage, though more subtly than what is being demanded today. NFD said that marriage should only last as long as one partner wants it. This implied that marriage was almost exclusively about adult happiness, not taking child well-being into account at all.

If a subtle shift from NFD produces this much devastation, how can a fundamental shift such as homosexual marriage be justified as a net gain for society? Like NFD, we’re being told that parental gender doesn’t matter. We don’t have to wonder about the impacts of a one-gender family (e.g. “intentionally fatherless families”). Analogously, the same-sex family is problematic because same-sex families intentionally deprive a child of either a mother or a father just because adults want it that way.

                        Dr. Nathanson also identified at least five functions in marriage, things that every culture must do to survive and thrive: (1) Foster the bonding between men and women, (2) Foster the birth and rearing of children, (3) Foster the bonding between men and children, (4) Foster some form of healthy masculine identity, (5) Foster the transformation of adolescents into sexually responsible adults.

Dr. Nathanson considers these five points critical to the continued survival of any culture. He continues, "Because heterosexuality is directly related to both reproduction and survival, ... every human societ(y) has had to promote it actively . ... Heterosexuality is always fostered by a cultural norm" that limits marriage to unions of men and women. He adds that people "are wrong in assuming that any society can do without it.” Homosexual marriage inherently cannot fulfill all five of these items.

Part 3 next time.

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