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The top six arguments against gay marriage and why they all fail

Sunday print column

I been informally debating opponents of legalizing same sex marriage for nearly 20 years and have a pretty good handle on their most frequently employed arguments. Today I helpfully list them and explain why none passes the test to which we would ordinarily put a prohibition.

Yes, most cultures have defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman for hundreds if not thousands of years. But tradition is a mixed bag. It includes slavery and grotesque exploitation of workers, or course, the denial of rights to women and the execution of those who committed thought and property crimes.

Traditionally, we treated illnesses with ineffective or dangerous mumbo jumbo, cast aside the disabled and righteously persecuted those with differing religious views.

Integrating a society and expanding human rights has always shattered tradition, and we have consistently been better off for it.

Gay couples can produce children.

Marriage is a reflection of the biological necessity of a one to one heterosexual union for procreation, true enough, and it provides a legal framework that strengthens that union for the benefit of all.

But that not all marriage is, by any means, which is why the law generally allows prisoners to marry even when they likely never to be released, has no bar against elderly couples getting married , imposes no fertility requirements on prospective marriage partners and considers long term childless marriages equal to others.

Further, lesbian couples often get pregnant (with outside help, admittedly, but many heterosexual couples get outside help as well) and their families could benefit as well from the legal framework of marriage.

Having a mom and a dad is better for children than having two moms or two dads.

I had an impassioned email argument on just this point last week with an old friend who otherwise supports full equal rights for gays and lesbians.

intuitive sense and common sense tells me there are benefits to heterosexual two parent situations,” he wrote. “Legions of people with years of parenting wisdom think there cheap nhl jerseys is a difference between two dads or moms, and one of each. The burden of proof is on those who want to set aside the widely accepted norm.”

First, no, when it comes to denying a basic right to a class of people, the burden of proof falls on those who rely on intuition and common sense which, I just sayin happen to be the support pillars of all forms of bigotry rather than evidence.

Benefits? Harms? Quantify them or stand down.

Making that case won be easy. Studies show little developmental or social difference between children raised by heterosexual parents and children raised by homosexual parents. In fact on 2010 study in the journal Pediatrics found that children of lesbians scored better in such areas as self esteem, behavior and academic peformance than children of straight parents.

Second, even if we concede for the sake of discussion that a stable, loving male female couple is the gold standard for parenting, it otherwise offensive to deny those who fall short of the gold standard the right to marry.

For instance, even if data mining researchers could demonstrate a strong probability that cetain pairings would produce suboptimal parents couples without high school diplomas, say, or couples with a 30 year gap in their ages or couples with three or more divorces between them we would never think of denying such couples marriage licenses.

Legalizing same sex marriage will put us on the slippery slope toward legalizing polygamy.

The practical and philosophical arguments pro and con for multiple partner marriages (hey, you want to talk about tradition!) are largely distinct from the arguments pro and con about marriage equality. Historians find, for instance, that it destabilizes a society when some men take many wives and leave large cheap wholesale jerseys numbers of other men without the opportunity to mate.

Same sex marriage does not fundamentally alter the basic idea of two people agreeing to unite for life and taking on cheap nfl jerseys the responsibilities and privileges of that agreement.

Proposals to legalize multiple partner marriages, should they ever seriously arise in the legislatures and the courts, would be considered separately from laws regarding single partner marriages, just as the law now considers alcohol separately from crack cocaine, and hasn slid helplessly down wholesale jerseys china the slope to legalize them both.

Same sex marriage trivializes and therefore weakens the institution of heterosexual marriage.

I almost didn include this argument on the list because it faded so dramatically in recent years as country after country, state after state has allowed gays and lesbians to marry with no measurable detriment to straight marriage or conventional families.

If anything, philosophically, the fervor with which same sex couples demand to be granted the dignity and respect of legal marriage underscores the value of marriage and ought to remind us straight couples not to take it lightly or for granted.

Homosexual behavior is immoral and ought not be encouraged.

I will not debate the morality of various forms of private sexual conduct between consenting adults and neither should our lawmakers.

To me, immoral conduct is that which harms others, period. To you or your religious tradition, it may encompass much more, and that fine. Advocates aren asking you or your officiants to bless gay marriage, celebrate it or even, in your heart, to like it. They asking you to recognize the line America tries to maintain between personal morality and the judgment of the law; between what your business and what none of your business.Articles Connexes´╝Ü

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Back to Main MenuBusiness News HomeFront PorchIt Only MoneyOregon the EconomyPlaybooks ProfitsSilicon ForestWindow ShopStock Market ReportBusiness Public BlogBack to Main MenuVideos from the OregonianVideos from The Beaverton LeaderVideos from the Hillsboro ArgusVideos from The Forest Grove LeaderYour VideosBack to Main MenuThe StumpEditorialsLetters to the EditorMy OregonOpEdElizabeth HovdeDavid SarasohnThe next day, I spotted another apparent safety violation. This time a boy who looked 4 or 5 was in a car’s front passenger seat, free of any sort of child restraint.Were these drivers breaking the law? And could I do anything about it?To my surprise, Carla Levinski of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s transportation safety division told me that the seating arrangements I’d seen were completely legal."In Oregon, we don’t have a backseat law," Levinski said. Few states do, she said, though one of the exceptions is our neighbor to the north, Washington. Department of Transportation’s recommendation


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