LGBT (Reference) Same Sex Marriages and Civil Unions

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by NOVAJock, Aug 5, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    I felt that since this issue is a hot topic now, has been for quite some time, and probably will be for quite a while, and considering that this topic has beaten here on OT to the equivalent of beating a dead horse into a pile of bloody particles on the floor, the following is valuable information regarding Marriages, gay marriages, gay civil unions, pros, cons, rights, etc.

    Time and time again, I see people arguing and in threads related to gay marriage and civil unions and instead of providing facts and data, they provide false beliefs and accusations.

    Hopefully the information below will be a helpful and educational resource for everyone.
  2. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular

    Gay Marriage: The Arguments and the Motives

    A personal essay in hypertext by Scott Bidstrup

    "We cannot accept the view that Amendment 2's prohibition on specific legal protections does no more than deprive homosexuals of special rights. To the contrary, the amendment imposes a special disability on those persons alone. Homosexuals are forbidden the safeguards that others enjoy or may seek without constraint"
        • -Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court in the decision overturning Colorado's Amendment 2 referendum



    Ask just about anyone. They'll all tell you they're in favor of equal rights for homosexuals. Just name the situation, and ask. They'll all say, yes, gays should have the same rights in housing, jobs, public accomodations, and should have equal access to government benefits, equal protection of the law, etcetera, etcetera.

    Then you get to gay marriage.

    And that's when all this talk of equality stops dead cold.

    Nearly three people in four in the U.S. oppose gay marriage, almost the same proportion as are otherwise supportive of gay rights. This means that many of the same people who are even passionately in favor of gay rights oppose gays on this one issue.

    Why all the passion?

    It's because there is a lot of misunderstanding about what homosexuality really is, the erroneous assumption that gay people enjoy the same civil rights protections as everyone else. There are also a lot of stereotypes about gay relationships, and even a great deal of misunderstanding of what marriage itself is all about.

    The purpose of this essay is to clear up a few of these misunderstandings and discuss some of facts surrounding gay relationships and marriage, gay and straight.

    First, lets discuss what gay relationships are really all about. The stereotype has it that gays are promiscuous, unable to form lasting relationships, and the relationships that do form are shallow and uncommitted. And gays do have such relationships!

    But the important fact to note is that just like in straight society, where such relationships also exist, they are a small minority, and exist primarily among the very young. Indeed, one of the most frequent complaints of older gay men is that it is almost impossible to find quality single men to get into a relationship with, because they're already all 'taken!'

    If you attend any gay event, such as a Pride festival or a PFLAG convention, you'll find this to be true. As gays age and mature, just like their straight cohorts, they begin to appreciate and find their way into long-term committed relationships.

    The values that such gay couples exhibit in their daily lives are often indistinguishable from those of their straight neighbors. They're loyal to their mates, are monogamous, devoted partners. They value and participate in family life, are committed to making their neighborhoods and communities safer and better places to live, and honor and abide by the law. Many make valuable contributions to their communities, serving on school boards, volunteering in community charities, and trying to be good citizens. In doing so, they take full advantage of their relationship to make not only their own lives better, but those of their neighbors as well.

    A benefit to heterosexual society of gay marriage is the fact that the commitment of a marriage means the participants are discouraged from promiscous sex. This has the advantage of slowing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, which know no sexual orientation and are equal opportunity destroyers.

    These benefits of gay marriage have changed the attitudes of the majority of people in Denmark and other countries where various forms of gay marriage have been legal for years. Indeed, in 1989, when the proposal to legalize marriage between gays first was proposed in Denmark, the majority of the clergy were opposed. Now, after having seen the benefits to the partners and to society, they are overwhelmingly in favor, according to the surveys done then and now.

    So, having established the value of gay marriage, why are people so opposed to it?

    Many of the reasons offered for opposing gay marriage are based on the assumption that gays have a choice in who they can feel attracted to, and the reality is quite different. Many people actually believe that gays could simply choose to be heterosexual if they wished. But the reality is that very few do have a choice -- any more than very few heterosexuals could choose which sex to find themselves attracted to.

    Additionally, many people continue to believe that homosexuality is about nothing but sex, considering it to be merely a sexual perversion. The reality is that homosexuality is multidimensional, and is much more about love and affection than it is about sex. And this is what gay relationships are based on -- mutual attraction, love and affection. Sex is a means of expressing that love, just the same as it is for heterosexuals. Being gay is much more profound than simply a sexual relationship; being gay is part of that person's core indentity, and goes right the very center of his being. It's like being black in a society of whites, or a blonde European in a nation of black-haired Asians. Yes, being gay is just that profound to the person who is. This is something that few heterosexuals can understand unless they are a minority themselves.

    The Arguments Against Gay Marriage

    Well, of course there are a lot of reasons being offered these days for opposing gay marriage, and they are usually variations on a few well-established themes. Interestingly, a court in Hawaii has recently heard them all. And it found, after due deliberation, that they didn't hold water.

    Here's a summary:

    1. Marriage is an institution between one man and one woman. Well, that's the most often heard argument, one even codified in a recently passed U.S. federal law. Yet it is easily the weakest. Who says who marriage is to be defined by? The married? The marriable? Isn't that kind of like allowing a banker to decide who is going to own the money in stored in his vaults? It seems to me that if the straight community cannot show a compelling reason to deny the institution of marriage to gay people, it shouldn't be denied. And such simple, nebulous declarations are hardly a compelling reason. They're really more like an expression of prejudce than any kind of a real argument. The concept of not denying people their rights unless you can show a compelling reason to do so is the very basis of the American ideal of human rights.

    2. Marriage is for procreation. The proponents of that argument are really hard pressed to explain why, if that's the case, that infertile couples are allowed to marry. I, for one, would love to be there when the proponent of such an argument is to explain to his post-menopausal mother or impotent father that since they cannot procreate, they must now surrender their wedding rings! That would be fun to watch! Again, such an argument fails to persuade based on the marriages society does allow routinely, without even a second thought.

    3. Same-sex couples aren't the optimum environment in which to raise children. That's an interesting one, in light of who society does allow to get married and bring children into their marriage. Check it out: murderers, convicted felons of all sorts, even known child molesters are all allowed to freely marry and procreate, and do so every day, with hardly a second thought by these same critics. So if children are truly the priority here, why is this allowed? The fact is that many gay couples raise children, adopted and occasionally their own from failed attempts at heterosexual marriages. Lots and lots of scientific studies have shown that the outcomes of the children raised in the homes of gay and lesbian couples are just as good as those of straight couples. The differences have been shown again and again to be insignificant. Psychologists tell us that what makes the difference is the love of the parents, not their gender. The studies are very clear about that. And gay people are as capable of loving children as fully as anyone else.

    4. Gay relationships are immoral. Says who? The Bible? Somehow, I always thought that freedom of religion implied the right to freedom from religion as well. The Bible has absolutely no standing in American law, and because it doesn't, no one has the right to impose rules anyone else simply because of something they percieve to be mandated by the Bible. Not all world religions have a problem with homosexuality; many sects of Buddhism, for example, celebrate gay relationships freely and would like to have the authority to make them legal marriages. In that sense, their religious freedom is being infringed. If one believes in religious freedom, the recognition that opposition to gay marriage is based on religious arguments is reason enough to discount this argument.

    5. Marriages are for ensuring the continuation of the species. The proponents of such an argument are going to have a really hard time persuading me that the human species is in any real danger of dying out through lack of procreation. If ten percent of all the human race were to suddenly refrain from procreation, I think it is safe to say that the world would probably be better off. One of the world's most serious problems is overpopulation and the increasing anarchy that is resulting from it. Seems to me that gays would be doing the world a favor by not bringing more hungry mouths into an already overburdened world. So why encourage them?

    6. Same-sex marriage would threaten the institution of marriage. That one's contradictory right on the face of it. Threaten marriage? By allowing people to marry? That doesn't sound very logical to me. If you allow gay people to marry each other, you no longer encourage them to marry people to whom they feel little attraction, with whom they most often cannot relate sexually, and thereby reduce the number of supposed heterosexual marriages that end up in the divorce courts. If it is the institution of heterosexual marriage that worries you, then consider that no one would require you or anyone else to participate in a gay marriage. So you would have freedom of choice, of choosing what kind of marriage to participate in -- something more than what you have now. And speaking of divorce -- to argue that the institution of marriage is worth preserving at the cost of requiring involuntary participants to remain in it is a better argument for tightening divorce laws than proscribing gay marriage.

    7. Marriage is traditionally a heterosexual institution. This is morally the weakest argument. Slavery was also a traditional institution, based on traditions that went back to the very beginnings of human history. But by the 19th century, humankind had realized the evils of that institution, and has since largely abolished it. Why not recognize the truth -- that there is no moral ground on which to support the tradition of marriage as a strictly heterosexual institution, and remove the restriction?

    8. Same-sex marriage is an untried social experiment. The American critics of same-sex marriage betray their provincialism with this argument. The fact is that a form of gay marriage has been legal in Denmark since 1989 (full marriage rights except for adoption rights and church weddings, and a proposal now exists in the Danish parliament to allow both of those rights as well), and most of the rest of Scandinavia from not long after. Full marriage rights have existed in many Dutch cities for several years, and it was recently made legal nationwide, including the word "marriage" to describe it. In other words, we have a long-running "experiment" to examine for its results -- which have uniformly been positive. Opposition to the Danish law was led by the clergy (much the same as in the States). A survey conducted at the time revealed that 72 percent of Danish clergy were opposed to the law. It was passed anyway, and the change in the attitude of the clergy there has been dramatic -- a survey conducted in 1995 indicated that 89 percent of the Danish clergy now admit that the law is a good one and has had many beneficial effects, including a reduction in suicide, a reduction in the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and in promiscuity and infidelity among gays. Far from leading to the "destruction of Western civilization" as some critics (including the Mormon and Catholic churches among others) have warned, the result of the "experiment" has actually been civilizing and strengthening, not just to the institution of marriage, but to society as a whole. So perhaps we should accept the fact that someone else has already done the "experiment" and accept the results as positive. The fact that many churches are not willing to accept this evidence says more about the churches than it does about gay marriage.

    9. Same-sex marriage would start us down a "slippery slope" towards legalized incest, bestial marriage, polygamy and all kinds of other horrible consequences. A classic example of the reductio ad absurdum fallacy, it is calculated to create fear in the mind of anyone hearing the argument. It is, of course, absolutely without any merit based on experience. If the argument were true, wouldn't that have already happened in countries where forms of legalized gay marriage already exist? Wouldn't they have 'slid' towards legalized incest and bestial marriage? The reality is that a form of gay marriage has been legal in Scandinavian countries for over many years, and no such legalization has happened, nor has there been a clamor for it. It's a classic scare tactic - making the end scenario so scary and so horrible that the first step should never be taken. Such are the tactics of the fear and hatemongers.

    If concern over the "slippery slope" were the real motive behind this argument, the advocate of this line of reasoning would be equally vocal about the fact that today, even as you read this, convicted murderers, child molesters, known pedophiles, drug pushers, pimps, black market gun dealers, etc., are quite free to marry, and are doing so. Where's the outrage? Of course there isn't any, and that lack of outrage betrays their real motives. This is an anti-gay issue and not a pro marriage issue.

    10. Granting gays the right to marry is a "special" right. Since ninety percent of the population already have the right to marry the informed, consenting adult of their choice, and would even consider that right a fundamental, constitutionally protected right, since when does extending it to the remaining ten percent constitute a "special" right to that remaining ten percent? As Justice Kennedy observed in his opinion overturning Colorado's infamous Amendment 2 (Roemer vs. Evans), many gay and lesbian Americans are, under current law, denied civil rights protections that others either don't need or assume that everyone else along with themselves, already have. The problem with all that special rights talk is that it proceeds from that very assumption, that because of all the civil rights laws in this country that everyone is already equal, so therefore any rights gay people are being granted must therefore be special. That is most assuredly not the case, especially regarding marriage and all the legal protections that go along with it.

    11. Sodomy is illegal. Ah, the ol' sodomy law argument! Why is sodomy still illegal in many states? Because conservative religionists (at whose behest those laws were enacted) have blocked attempts to repeal them in every state where sodomy laws are still on the books. Indeed, those laws are very rarely enforced (though it does happen), yet there is very stiff opposition to their repeal. Why? Because they're a great tool for a homophobe to use as a basis of legalized discrimination. "Why should I rent an apartment to an unconvicted felon?" "I can't have an admitted criminal on my staff." "You're an unconvicted felon. I want you out of my restarurant and off my property." "I don't want you around my children. You're a criminal!" These are very real, actual arguments used in states where sodomy laws remain on the books. So even though the moral crusades of the religionists using the power of the police have largely ended, the sodomy laws that made them possible remain, and likely will for as long as conservative religionists have their way. Indeed, some state legislatures have even tried to reenact sodomy statutes!

    Heterosexuals would never allow such intrusion into their private sex lives, of course, but the homophobes among them see nothing wrong in using the power of the state to enforce their prejudices. State court systems, however, have begun to see the violation of the Fourth Amendment in such laws, and nearly as many state sodomy laws have been overturned as unconstitutional as have been repealed by state legislatures.

    The real reasons people oppose gay marriage

    So far, we've examined the reasons everyone give for opposing gay marriage. Let's examine now the real reasons people oppose it, even fear it:

    Just not comfortable with the idea. The fact the people aren't comfortable with the idea stems primarily from the fact that for many years, society has promoted the idea that a marriage between members of the same sex is ludicrous, mainly because of the objections raised above. But if those objections don't make sense, neither does the idea that gay marriage is neccessarily ludicrous. Societies have long recognized that allowing civil rights to certain groups may offend some, and at times, even the majority. But that is why constitutional government was established -- to ensure that powerless, unpopular minorities are still protected from the tyranny of the majority.

    It offends everything religion stands for. Whose religion? Many mainstream Christian denominations, to be sure, and definitely most branches of Islam and Orthodox Judaism, but outside those, most religions are unopposed to gay marriage, and many actually favor it. When the Mormon church arrogantly claimed to represent all religions in the Baehr vs. Lewin trial in Hawaii, the principal Buddhist sect in that state made it very clear that the Mormon church didn't represent them, and made it very clear that they support the right of gay couples to marry. That particular Buddhist sect claims many more members in Hawaii than does the Mormon church. In a society that claims to offer religious freedom, the use of the power of the state to enforce private religious sensibilities is an affront to all who would claim the right to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

    Marriage is a sacred institution. This is, of course, related to the motive above. But it is really subtly different. It's based on the assumption that the state has the responsibility to "sanctify" marriages - a fundamentally religious idea. Here we're dealing with people trying to enforce their religious doctrines on someone else, but by doing it through weakening the separation of church and state, by undermining the Bill of Rights. Not that there's anything new about this, of course. But the attempt itself runs against the grain of everything the First Amendment stands for - one does not truly have freedom of religion if one does not have the right to freedom from religion as well. It would seem to me that anyone who feels that the sanctity of their marriage is threatened by a gay couple down the street having the right to marry, is mighty insecure about their religion anyway.

    Gay sex is unnatural. This argument, often encoded in the very name of sodomy statutes, betrays a considerable ignorance of behavior in the animal kingdom. The fact is that among the approximately 1500 animal species whose behavior has been extensively studied, homosexual behavior in animals has been described in at least 450 of those species. It runs the gamut, too, ranging from occasional displays of affection to life-long pair bonding including sex and even adopting and raising orphans, going so far as the rejection by force of potential heterosexual partners. The reality is that it is so common that it begs for an explanation, and sociobiologists have proposed a wide variety of explanations to account for it. The fact that it is so common also means that it has evolutionary significance, which applies as much to humans as it does to other animal species.

    Making love to another man betrays everything that is masculine. Well, I've known (and dated) plenty of very masculine gay men in my day, including bull-riding rodeo cowboys and a Hell's Angel biker type, who, if you suggested he is a limp-wristed fairy, would likely rip your head off and hand it to you. There was a long-honored tradition of gay relationships among the tough and macho cowboys of the Old West, and many diaries exist detailing their relationships. Plenty of masculine, respected movies stars are gay. Indeed, Rock Hudson was considered the very archtype of a masculine man. Came as quite a shock to a lot of macho-men to find out he was gay! So what's wrong with all these kinds of men expressing love for each other? Why is that so wrong? A society that devalues love devalues that upon which civilized society itself is based. Should any form of that love for one another be discouraged?

    The base fear here is that of rape and a loss of control or status. This is instinctual and goes right to the core of our being as primates. If you examine what happens in many animal species, especially displays of dominance in other primate species, dominance displays often have sexual overtones. When, for example, in many species of primates, a subordinate male is faced with aggression by a dominant male, the dominant male will bite the subordinate, causing him to squeal in pain, drop the food (or the female) and present his rump. This is an act of submission, and it is saying to the whole troupe that the subordinate is just that - subordinate.

    It has been suggested that homophobia is an instinctual fear of being raped by someone that the homophobe regards as lower than him in status. And the notion that a gay man might rape him is an instinctual fear.

    This happens in humans just as it does in other primates. It is the cause of homosexual rape in prisons. Prison rape is not an act of sex as much as it is an expression of dominance and a means of control. Nearly all of the men who aggressively rape other men in a prison setting actually revert to promiscuous heterosexual sex once they're on the outside.

    So is this something straight men should fear from gay men? Well, relax, all you straight guys. You've nothing to worry about. The vast majority of gay men prefer sex in the same emotional setting you do as a straight man with a woman - as a part of the expression of love, affection and commitment. We're not out to rape you or force you into a subordinate position. The majority of gay men don't want sex with you because we're looking for the same thing in a sexual relationship that you do - the love and affection of a partner. Since we're not likely to get that from you, you're not desirable to us and you have nothing to fear from us. The small minority of us (and it's a very small minority) who enjoy sex with straight men understand your fears and are not going to have sex with you unless it's clearly and completely on a peer-to-peer basis and your requirement for full and complete consent and need for discretion is honored.

    The thought of gay sex is repulsive. Well, it will come as some surprise to a lot of heterosexuals to find out that, to a lot of gays, the thought of heterosexual sex is repulsive! But does that mean the discomfort of some gays to heterosexual couples should be a reason to deny heterosexuals the right to marry? I don't think so, even though the thought of a man kissing a woman is rather repulsive to many homosexuals! Well then, why should it work the other way? Besides, the same sexual practices that gays engage in are often engaged in by heterosexual couples anyway. Prompting the ever-popular gay T-shirt: "SO-DO-MY -- SO DO MY neighbors, SO DO MY friends."

    They might recruit. The core cause of this fear is the result of the fact that most virulent, even violent homophobes are themselves repressed sexually, often with same sex attractions. One of the recent studies done at the University of Georgia among convicted killers of gay men has shown that the overwhelmingly large percentage of them exhibit sexual arousal when shown scenes of gay sex. The fear, then, for the homophobe is that he himself might be gay, and might be forced to face that fact. The homophobia is as internalized as it is externalized - bash the queer and you don't have to worry about being aroused by him.

    The fear of recruitment is baseless because it is based on a false premise - that gay people recruit. We don't. We don't recruit because we know from our own experience that sexual orientation is inborn, and can't be changed. Indeed, the attempts by psychologists, counselors and religious therapy and support groups to change sexual orientation have all uniformly met with failure - the studies that have been done of these therapies have never shown any significant results. So the notion that someone can be changed from straight to gay is quite unlikely. Yet there remains that deep, dark fear that somehow, someone might be.

    Gay marriage would undermine sodomy laws. Many conservative religionists privately oppose gay marriage in part because it would undermine the legal basis for sodomy laws. It would be hard to justify, before a court, allowing a couple to marry and then legally bar them from having sexual relations. So the integrity of the sodomy laws, which almost everyone, publicly at least, says are silly and puritanical, become a reason to oppose gay marriage! The fact is that most people really would like to see an end to sodomy laws, which they view as an example of a harsh, repressive, religiously motivated law from a bygone era, and gay marriage would help do that.

    The opposition to gay marriage stems ultimately from a deep-seated homophobia in American culture, borne out of religious prejudice. While many Americans do not realize that that homophobia exists to the extent that it does, it is a very real part of every gay person's life, just like racism is a very real part of every black person's life. It is there, it is pervasive, and it has far more serious consequences for American society than most Americans realize, not just for gay people, but for society in general.

    Why This Is A Civil Rights Issue

    When gay people say that this is a civil rights issue, we are referring to matters like the fact that we cannot make medical decisions for our partners in an emergency. Instead, the hospitals are usually forced by state laws to go to the families who may be estranged from us for decades, who are often hostile to us, and totally ignore our wishes for the treatment of our partners. If that hostile family wishes to exclude us from the hospital room, they may legally do so in nearly all cases. It is even not uncommon for hostile families to make decisions based on their hostility -- with results actually intended to be inimical to the interests of the patient! One couple I know uses the following line in the "sig" lines on their email: " and lovers for 40 years, yet still strangers before the law." Is this fair?

    If our partners are arrested, we can be compelled to testify against them or provide evidence against them, which legally married couples are not forced to do. Is this fair?

    In many cases, even carefully drawn wills and durable powers of attorney have proven to not be enough if a family wishes to challenge a will, overturn a custody decision, or exclude us from a funeral or deny us the right to visit a partner's grave. As survivors, they can even sieze a real estate property that we may have been buying together for years, quickly sell it at a huge loss and stick us with the remaining debt on a property we no longer own. Is this fair?

    These aren't just theoretical issues, either; they happen with surprising frequency. Almost any older gay couple can tell you horror stories of friends who have been victimized in such ways.

    These are all civil rights issues that have nothing whatever to do with the ecclesiastical origins of marriage; they are matters that have become enshrined in state laws over the years in many ways that exclude us from the rights that legally married couples enjoy and consider their constitutional right. This is why we say it is very much a civil rights issue; it has nothing to do with who performs the ceremony or whether an announcement is accepted for publication in the local paper. It is not a matter of "special rights" to ask for the same rights that other couples enjoy by law, even by constitutional mandate.


    As we have seen, the arguments against gay marriage don't hold up to close scrutiny. Neither the arguments traditionally raised nor the real feelings of the opponents make much sense when held up to the light of reason.
    So let's get on with it. Let's get over our aversion to what we oppose for silly, irrational reasons, based on ignorance and faulty assumptions, and make ours a more just and honorable society, finally honoring that last phrase from the Pledge of Allegance; "With liberty and justice for all."
  3. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    [font=Helvetica, Arial]Marriage Rights and Benefits[/font]

    Learn some of the legal and practical ways that getting married changes your life.

    Whether or not you favor marriage as a social institution, there's no denying that it confers many rights, protections, and benefits -- both legal and practical. Some of these vary from state to state, but the list typically includes:

    Tax Benefits
    • Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
    • Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.
    Estate Planning Benefits
    • Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
    • Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
    • Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
    • Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.
    Government Benefits
    • Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
    • Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
    • Receiving public assistance benefits.
    Employment Benefits
    • Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
    • Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
    • Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
    • Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.
    Medical Benefits
    • Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
    • Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.
    Death Benefits
    • Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
    • Making burial or other final arrangements.
    Family Benefits
    • Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
    • Applying for joint foster care rights.
    • Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
    • Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.
    Housing Benefits
    • Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
    • Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.
    Consumer Benefits
    • Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
    • Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
    • Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
    Other Legal Benefits and Protections
    • Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
    • Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
    • Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
    • Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
    • Obtaining domestic violence protection orders.
    • Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
    • Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.
  4. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    Additional facts on marriage, etc:

    In various societies, in various eras, marriages are or were forbidden if the couple were:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]from different tribes,[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]from the same tribe[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]of different races[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]of a particular race[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]of different religions[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]infertile[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]disabled[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]developmentally handicapped[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]of the same sex[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]of different status (e.g. slave and free)[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]
    Some examples:

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In the Roman Empire, a slave was prohibited from marrying a free person. The early Christian church was persecuted, in part, because of their refusal to obey this law.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In the past, before slavery was outlawed, Afro-Americans were prohibited from marrying under any circumstances in some U.S. states.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Also in the US, miscegenation laws were once enforced in many states. For example:[/font]

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In 1664, Maryland became the first colony to prohibit interracial marriages. 4[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]By 1750, all the southern colonies as well as Massachusetts and Pennsylvania made interracial marriages illegal. 4[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]For example, Virginia had a law stating that "All marriages between a white person and a colored person shall be absolutely void without any decree of divorce or other legal process." (Code Ann. A7 20-57)[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]By the 1960's at least 41 states had enacted anti-miscegenation statutes at one time. 4[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]in Maryland, when slavery was introduced in 1664, "the law also prohibited marriages between white women and black men.... between 1935 and 1967, the law was extended to forbid marriage between Malaysians with blacks and whites. The law was finally repealed in 1967." 3[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The first court to overturn an anti-miscegenation law was, predictably, the California Supreme Court in 1948. 6[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]"In case after case, legislation prohibiting racial inter-marriage was justified as unbending tradition rooting in received natural law." 4 For example, in 1869, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that "moral or social equality between the different races...does not in fact exist, and never can. The God of nature made it otherwise, and no human law can produce it, and no human tribunal can enforce it. There are gradations and classes throughout the universe. From the tallest arch angel in Heaven, down to the meanest reptile on earth, moral and social inequalities exist, and must continue to exist throughout all eternity." 5 In a most ironically named case "Loving v. Virginia" an inter-racial married couple was convicted of a felony under Virginia's law in 1958. They could have received a 5 year prison term; instead, they were "merely" exiled from their home state for 25 years. Part of the judge's ruling was:

    "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races show that he did not intend for the races to mix."

    The judge apparently ignored the principle of separation of church and state when delivering his decision. The couple appealed to the US Supreme Court, which in 1967, overturned the Virginia law and similar miscegenation laws of 15 other states. Persons of different racial backgrounds have been able to marry throughout the US ever since. The laws and constitutions of some states still banned inter-racial marriages until the year 2000. However the decision by the Supreme Court annulled them. As of 2000-OCT, only the state of Alabama still had a miscegenation clause in its constitution prohibiting a black person or descendent of a black person from marrying a white person. The people of Alabama voted in the general special election of 2000-NOV-7 to delete the clause.

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In 1996, the Roman Catholic Church forbade a church marriage because the husband-to-be was a paraplegic, and thus presumably could not engage in sexual activity and consummate the marriage. The couple was free to be married outside of their faith.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In most countries with Muslim majorities, a Muslim woman may not marry a man who is not of the same faith. This has produced some interesting results. During the late 1990s, a university professor in Egypt who considers himself to be a Muslim, wrote a book suggesting that Islam was in need of a reformation. Religious courts determined that he was no longer a Muslim and ordered him and his wife to divorce.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]
    On the other hand...

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Ancient Egypt: A tomb of a same sex gay married couple Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep was discovered in 1964 in the necropolis of Saqqara, Egypt. The tomb dates to the Fifth Dynasty (circa 2,500 BCE), and shows that homosexual marriages date back over 4 millennia![/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Roman Catholic Church: A recent book by Yale Historian John Boswell demonstrates that Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches both sanctioned and sanctified unions between partners of the same sex, until modern times. The churches used ceremonies which were very similar to conventional heterosexual ceremonies. 1[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Other countries: Same-sex, long-term relationships have been publicly acknowledged in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, as well as Australia, Europe, India, Native America in more modern times. 2 However, they have not necessarily been called marriages.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    1. John Boswell, "Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe", Villard, New York, NY, (1994) Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
    2. Paul Halsall, "Lesbian and Gay Marriage through History and Culture," at:
    3. Eddie Becker, "Chronology on the history of slavery and racism," at:
    4. "Lewis et al., v. Harris, et al. Superior Court of New Jersey: Brief of plaintiffs in opposition to defendant's motion to dismiss," 2003-MAY-8, at:
    5. Scott v. State, 39 GA 321 (1869). Quoted in Ref. 4.
    6. Perez, supra, 198 P.2d 17. Quoted in Ref. 4.
    Legal and Economic Benefits of Marriage

    The following material was provided by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. It is used by permission. The list appears to be based on a request by Representative Henry J Hyde, in 1996-SEP. He was chairperson of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and asked the General Accounting Office "to identify federal laws in which benefits, rights and privileges are contingent on marital status." Their response, which runs 75 pages, is available online.1

    The list below was compiled for a couple living in the United States. However, similar provisions exist in many other countries.

    On the order of 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. Typically these are composed of about 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits. Among them are the rights to:
    [​IMG]joint parenting;
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]joint adoption;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support; [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]immigration and residency for partners from other countries; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]inheritance automatically in the absence of a will; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate); [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]joint filing of customs claims when traveling;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]crime victims' recovery benefits; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]loss of consortium tort benefits; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]domestic violence protection orders; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]judicial protections and evidentiary immunity; [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]and more.... [/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]
    Most of these legal and economic benefits cannot be privately arranged or contracted for. For example, absent a legal (or civil) marriage, there is no guaranteed joint responsibility to the partner and to third parties (including children) in such areas as child support, debts to creditors, taxes, etc. In addition, private employers and institutions often give other economic privileges and other benefits (special rates or memberships) only to married couples. And, of course, when people cannot marry, they are denied all the emotional and social benefits and responsibilities of marriage as well.
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Opposite and same-sex marriages and unions:

    The vast majority of couples form heterosexual families; a minority form homosexual / same-sex families. But only the former can legally marry in most jurisdictions. And marriage brings with it many dozens of benefits. In 1997-FEB the Federal Government issued a list of over 1000 laws giving special rights, privileges and responsibilities to heterosexual married couples. Gay committed couples are excluded from these laws. However, a fascinating development in the state of Vermont allows gays and lesbians to form civil unions -- a state equivalent to marriage in everything but the name.

    List of Over 1000 Laws

    Lou Chibbaro, Jr., of the General Accounting Office of the Federal Government reports that at least 1049 federal laws provide benefits, rights and privileges to married couples. A report listing all 1049 statutes by name and code number was commissioned in order to determine the implications of the Defense of Marriage Act which prohibits the Federal Government from recognizing gay and lesbian relationships.

    The report was requested by Representative Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), chairperson of the House Judiciary Committee in 1996-SEP at the urging of former Representative Steve Gunderson (R-Wis.)

    Hyde has also requested a "survey of how other governmental units may have defined non-marital domestic partnerships, and report on how states define and determine when a relationship becomes a common law marriage.". This study may be published at a later date.

    The laws are categorized into 14 groups:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Social Security and related programs,[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]housing, and Food Stamps;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]veterans benefits;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]taxation;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]federal civilian and military service benefits;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]employment benefits and related laws;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]immigration, naturalization, and aliens;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Indians;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]trade, commerce, and intellectual property;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]financial disclosure and conflict of interest;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]crimes and family violence;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]loans, guarantees, and payments in agriculture;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]federal natural resources and related laws;[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]miscellaneous laws.[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]
    Single copies of the report, GAO/OGC-97-16, are available free of charge and may be ordered by calling (202) 512-6000. The report may be accessed on the Internet through the GAO's Web site at

    Who could marry? -- from the 19th century to now:

    From a legal standpoint, the meaning of marriage has been in a state of flux within the United States:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]in the early part of the 19th century, marriage was a legally sanctified contract of mutual support between two consenting non-Afro-American adults of opposite gender. Afro-Americans were prohibited from marrying.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Later, in the area that was to become the state of Utah, polygyny was legalized; marriage there was a legally sanctified contract of mutual support between a man and one or more women, all being non-Afro-American consenting adults. A few years before Utah became a state, the earlier definition was reinstated.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Later, over the objections of many conservative folks, Afro-Americans were permitted to marry. A marriage then became more inclusive: a contract between two consenting adults of the same race and of opposite gender.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In 1967, over the objections of many conservative folks, mixed-race couples were permitted to marry. A marriage then became even more inclusive: a contract between any two consenting adults of opposite gender.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]For a few hours in 1996-DEC, in the state of Hawaii, over the objections of still another generation of conservative folks, gays and lesbians were theoretically permitted to marry. Unfortunately for gay and lesbian couples who wished to get married, the state refused to issue marriage licenses. A marriage then became even more inclusive: a contract of mutual support between any two consenting adults.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]By mid-2000, civil unions might be created in Vermont. If the bill passes the legislature and is signed into law, loving couples will be able to go to their local town clerk, obtain a license, and have their relationship solemnized in a church of their choice (or in a civil ceremony). For heterosexual couples, this will be a marriage; for gay/lesbian couples this will be a civil union. Both give the spouses the same rights, benefits and obligations; just the legal name is different. If they separate, they may go to state courts to obtain a divorce.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]With the legalization of civil unions in Vermont, the author predicts: [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Many gays and lesbians in committed relationships will spend a vacation in Vermont, enter into a civil union, return to their home state, and ask for their unions to be recognized. They will request the same rights, benefits and obligations that married folks have had for centuries. If the experiences of mixed-race couples are any indication, the states will refuse. Lawsuits will be filed in many states. One of these will eventually be appealed to the Supreme Court who will authorize civil unions across the U.S.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The awkward title "civil union" will be replaced in popular usage with "marriage." Rather than say "I entered into a civil union" people will say "I got married." Rather than say "This is my civil union partner" people will say "This is my wife" or "This is my husband." Somehow, society will survive.[/font]

    Recent trends in marriages:

    The institution of marriage is in a continuous state of flux. Recent changes include:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Same-sex marriages: As of 2000-DEC-19, Dutch gay and lesbian couples can now marry and adopt with the full privileges enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. This is the first country in recent history to have legalized gay and lesbian marriages. More details. Canada will probably be the next country to follow suit, unless the state of Massachusetts beats them to the punch. More details.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Covenant marriages: These are like regular marriages, except that they are more difficult to get into, and out of. They are only available in a few states, and form an option to "normal" marriage. Very few marrying couples seem to be taking advantage of covenant marriages; over 95% of couples in those states which have the covenant marriage option decide to register for them. The couples must first attend a pre-marital counseling course, and agree to seek counseling if their marriage later goes on the rocks. No-fault divorce is not available to them; they have to prove adultery or abuse or remain separated for a time interval before they are eligible to apply for a divorce. More details.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The State of our Unions report for the year 2002, produced by the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, contains a great deal of information about marriage, including: [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica] Age at first marriage: The median age of men getting married for the first time is now 27. This is the highest age in the history of the U.S. Co-author Dr. David Popenoe speculates that this delay is mainly caused by two factors:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Pre-marital sex is now generally accessible to men.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Couples typically live together for some time before deciding to marry.[/font]

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Divorce: In about the year 1980, the annual rate of divorces reached a peak at 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women age 15 and over. It has steadily dropped for each five year interval since. As of the year 2000, it was 18.9. 2[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Unmarried Cohabitation (a.k.a. "living together"): Most heterosexual couples now "spend some time living together outside of marriage." The total number of unmarried, cohabiting opposite-sex couples increased by over ten times from 1960 to 2000: from 439,000 to 4.7 million couples. Among high school students 65.7% of men and 59.1% of women "agreed" or "mostly agreed" that "It is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along." 2[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Having babies: The number of births per 1000 women, aged 15 to 44 has been dropping every 10 years, from 118 in 1960, to 67.5 in 2000. The "total fertility rate" for women is now 2.13 children. A rate of 2.11 is needed to maintain a constant population, assuming no immigration, no emigration, and the current mortality rates.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Single-parent families: The percentage of children under 18 years of age who live with a single parent has trebled since 1960: from 9% in 1960 to 27% in 2000. Most Black children (53%) live with a single parent.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Births to unmarried women: The percentage of births by unmarried women rose by more than six times since 1960: from 5.3% in 1960 to 33.2% in 2000. Among Black women, more than two thirds (68.5) of mothers are unmarried. These data include single women, women living with a man, single lesbians, and lesbians in committed relationships. 1,2[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Same Sex Marriage and Civil Unions
    Why do many gays and lesbians seek marriages and unions


    Many gays and lesbians are actively involved in trying to enlarge marriage to include both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, Their reasons are many and varied. Three are:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Emotional: Many same-sex couples feel a desire to have society recognize their lifetime commitment to each other -- just as many opposite-sex couples do.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Security: Many have a desire to enjoy the security, protections, and cost savings which would flow from marriage, and the 400 or so state benefits automatically to married couples.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Political: Laws criminalizing same-sex behavior are falling. Human rights laws granting protection in accommodation and employment are being created. But barriers in all but one state prevent same-sex couples from marrying or entering into a civil union. The bar to marriage is the last major obstacle to fall before the concept of "equal justice and liberty for all" can be applied to persons of all sexual orientations.[/font]

    Some personal stories:

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 1990 census, there were at least 5,194 same-sex couple households in Massachusetts. This rose by 229% to 17,099 households by the year 2000. 1These numbers are undoubtedly underestimates because so many same-sex couples would disguise their relationship out of fear of persecution.

    New England's Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) filed a lawsuit on behalf of seven of these couples on 2001-APR-11. It is Goodrich v. Dept. of Public Health. The plaintiffs, who have been in committed relationships of seven to 32 years duration, claim that they have the constitutional right to marry under the state's constitution. "Four of the couples are raising children; others have faced health dilemmas. All are concerned about providing security for one another and their families but they lack the automatic extensive protections available through marriage. Each couple was denied a marriage license by local officials." 2 GLAD has placed their brief before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court online. 3 More details.

    GLAD is the same organization that successfully argued a similar case before Vermont courts. One of their lawyers, Mary Bonauto, said "It's a bread-and-butter issue as well as an emotional issue. Many of these couples have taken every known legal protection and they have still found it isn't enough....It's a matter of fairness to all citizens of the commonwealth. It's the simplest solution...Everyone knows what marriage means." 4 She continued: "We turned to the courts because they are the body of government that enforces the Constitution and ensure that all citizens are treated equally and fairly. The action in Vermont lifted people's spirits. We felt the time had come."

    According to the Rutland Herald, the lawsuit said that "Taxes, home mortgages, visits to children's teachers, health insurance, and just being able to see a hospitalized partner or child can become major issues." 4

    GLAD's brief before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court -- the highest court in the state -- was heard on 2003-MAR-4. The couples all want to marry so that society will recognize their relationship. The brief also included a brief description of some of the practical reasons why the seven couples seek the permission to marry:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]One of the plaintiffs, Hillary Goodridge, stated in the lawsuit that even with a health care proxy she had difficulty getting in to see her partner, Julie Goodridge, when she had undergone a difficult delivery and their baby was in intensive care. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A lesbian couple who have been together for three decades, Gloria Bailey and Linda Davies, are concerned about financial problems as they approach the age of retirement. They face taxes that married couples wouldn't have in passing on their home and joint psychotherapy practice if one of them died.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]David Wilson was treated as a stranger by a hospital emergency department when his partner of thirteen years had a heart attack, and died. David's current partner, Robert Compton, has health problems which require emergency care and they are concerned the earlier experience may be repeated.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Edward Balmelli would like to name Michael Horgan, his partner of nine years, as beneficiary of his pension plan. He cannot at this time, because they are not allowed to marry and be recognized as spouses.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Maureen Brodoff and Ellen Wade have been partners for 21 years. They seek marriage in order to provide greater legal security for their family. Their need is particularly acute since Ellen was diagnosed with breast cancer.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Gary Chalmers and Richard Linnell have been together for 14 years and have an adopted daughter. Gary was unable to obtain a family health insurance policy through his place of work. They had to obtain separate policies at a considerable additional expense. They want the security of marriage for their own sake and for their daughter. They also want to register home jointly, but would have to incur tax penalties which would not apply if they were married.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Heidi Norton and Gina Smith are raising two sons, aged two and five years. They have jointly adopted their sons. However, they "worry that Gina's relationship to their sons will not be respected; and despite preparation of legal documents, they worry about what will happen if they confront an emergency in an unfamiliar town." 3[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    1. "Census 2000," National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, at:
    2. "Massachusetts' Highest Court to Hear Landmark Suit Seeking Civil Marriage for Lesbian and Gay Couples on March 4," 2003-MAR, Marriage Equality California, at:
    3. GLAD's brief is online at: You need software to read these files. It can be obtained free from: [​IMG]
    4. "Gay activists sue over right to marry in Mass.," Rutland Herald, 2001-APR-12, at:

  5. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    The Pros and Cons of Same-Sex Marriage
    All Viewpoints

    Twenty-one reasons why SSM is a bad idea, with rebuttals

    Overview of Same-Sex Marriage (SSM):

    Polls in the late 1990s found that the topic of greatest concern for conservative Christians, and for many other North Americans, was that gays and lesbians might achieve rights and protections in law that had previously been reserved as special privileges only for heterosexuals. Perhaps the most important of these rights is for homosexuals to be able to marry the partner that they love and to whom they are committed for the rest of their life. Since the first attempts to legalize same-sex marriage were launched in Hawaii, same-sex marriage and civil unions have remained on the "front burner." Concern increased during 2003-JUNE and JULY when same-sex marriages were legalized in both Ontario and British Columbia in Canada. Some same-sex adult couples from Canada, the U.S., and other countries have started to travel to these provinces to marry.

    Essentially all conservative Christian groups and leaders describe SSM and civil unions as a threat to society. They often consider the nature of this menace to be self-evident, and do not give an in-depth analysis of the reasons for their concerns. For example:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council (FRC) wrote: "The growing attack on family and marriage is unprecedented in American history. Forces of radicalism are laboring night and day to deconstruct marriage, legitimize counterfeits, and re-define family in ways that would make it unrecognizable as the foundational social institution." 1

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Gerard V. Bradley, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars went further. He was quoted as saying that same-sex marriage would mean "the demolition of marriage." 2 [/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]
    On the other hand, many gay-positive, religious liberal, and mental health news sources stress that SSM and/or civil unions should be approached as civil liberty issues. The right to marry the person with whom you have made a lifetime commitment is of paramount importance to many -- a major human rights issue. For example:

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]"Because our country has been founded on the Constitution, in which all men [sic] are created equal; we cannot deny the basic human and legal right of marriage to a class of individuals due to their sexual preference." 3[/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]"GLAD contended that the right to choose whom a person marries is a fundamental right protected by the Massachusetts Constitution. The group argued that the emotional bonds for same- and opposite-sex couples are identical and so should be the legal rights, responsibilities and benefits that come from marriage." 4[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]
    These groups often don't consider possible negative effects that SSM may have on society.

    This essay considers arguments that SSM are undesirable -- that they might damage North American culture. [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Some were derived from the presentation by the State of Hawaii during the hearing in the Baehr v. Miike lawsuit in the Hawaiian Circuit Court in 1996. Some were derived from the ruling in the Hedy Halpern et al...." case by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Other points were extracted from a variety of E-mails and web sites by conservative Christians. [/font]

    [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]We hope to add additional points in the future. If you have any to suggest, please Email them to us.[/font]

    [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Rebuttals are listed after each point. They are based on the assumptions that homosexuality is a fixed, unchosen, sexual orientation that is normal and natural for a minority of adults. This are the beliefs of most gays, lesbians, religious liberals, mental health therapists and human sexuality researchers. Religious conservatives generally believe that homosexuality is a changeable, chosen, addictive, abnormal and unnatural lifestyle behavior; they will probably disagree with most of the rebuttals.[/font]

    1. Gays & lesbians make poor parents.

    Assertion: The State of Hawaii and court petitioners representing the Roman Catholic Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claimed that gays and lesbians in committed relationships make inferior parents. The best way to assure that children get the best possible upbringing is to require spouses to be of different genders.


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]All of the witnesses in Baehr v. Miike -- both for the plaintiffs and the defense -- said that, on average, gay and lesbian couples are as loving as are opposite sex couples, and are equally as competent as parents. Since that court hearing, there have been many additional studies of the competency of gay and lesbian parents. Those conducted by groups opposed to same-sex marriage have generally found that homosexual parents are inferior; those conducted by groups that support same-sex marriage, or which have no preconceived position have generally found that gay and lesbian couples are equal or superior to opposite-sex parents. 8 Children parented by lesbians or gays have been found to be no different from those raised in an opposite-sex household
    "...on measures of popularity, social adjustment, gender role behavior, gender identity, intelligence, self-concept, emotional problems, interest in marriage and parenting, locus of control, moral development, independence, ego functions, object relations, or self esteem." Also, no significant differences have been observed in regard to "teachers' and parents' evaluations of emotional and social behavior, fears, sleep disturbances, hyperactivity, and conduct differences." 9 [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]It is true that a child in a same-sex household could lack contact with adults of the opposite gender from their parents. However, this can easily be compensated for by intentionally involving other adults of the appropriate gender in family activities.[/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]list of studies of gay and lesbian parenting.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    2. Children need to be raised by their biological parents:

    Assertion: Children are better off when raised by their biological parents. In a same-sex marriage, at least one parent would be genetically unrelated to the child.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]With a divorce rate approaching 50%, a large minority of children are parented by a genetically-unrelated adult at some time in their lives. This inevitably happens in the case of a step family. If the state is to deny gays and lesbians, on this basis, the right to marry the partner that they love and have made a commitment to, then the state should logically deny divorced persons with children the right to remarry the person that they love. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Child adoption is based on the belief that genetically-unrelated adults can love a child as their own, and do a good job raising the child. Millennia of experience has shown that this system works.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    3. A child with same-sex parents will be subjected to hate:

    Assertion: Raising a child in a home with gay or lesbian parents in effect punishes the child, because they would be exposed to homophobia by the public. Hatred directed at the child's parents would spread to the child.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Using the same argument, one could suggest that all inter-racial marriages should be banned and that all individuals of mixed-race ancestry should not be allowed to marry because their children will be of mixed racial ancestry and may experience racism from racial bigots. Other people's racism or homophobia should not be used to deny fundamental human rights to gays, lesbians, inter-racial couples and persons of mixed-race ancestry .[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    4. Marriage is only feasible if the couple is monogamous; same-sex couples cannot be:

    Assertion: Because of monogamy, marriage is an stable institution. This is apparently a reference to the state's belief that homosexual couples cannot be monogamous.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]It is important to realize that most opposite-sex marriages are not monogamous. The percentage of heterosexual spouses who engage in at least one extra-marital "fling" approaches 50%. The percentage of opposite-sex marriages in which both partners are monogamous is less than 50%. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The belief that same-sex partners cannot be monogamous appears to be based on a misuse of statistical data. A "lifestyle" is a way of life that an individual chooses for themselves. Examples are whether to live in the country or city; whether to work for a company or be self employed; whether to be married or remain single, etc. There is a general consensus among gays, lesbians, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers, and therapists that sexual orientation is fixed and not chosen. So, homosexuality itself cannot legitimately be referred to as a "lifestyle" for the simple reason that it is not chosen. However, within the gay and lesbian community, as within the heterosexual community, there do exist two main, identifiable lifestyles: married couples and singles. Various surveys have shown that the average adult single gay man does have many sexual partners per year. However, the average gay or lesbian in a committed relationships have few, if any, sexual experiences other than with their spouse.[/font]

    5. Same-sex spouses cannot bring children into the world by themselves:

    Assertion: The purpose of marriage is procreation. Same-sex couples cannot procreate by themselves.


    The Hon. Marisa Ferretti Barth, a Canadian Member of Parliament stated: "Unfortunately, society has a tendency today to forget the importance of marriage. It is more than the simple union between two people. Marriage is the public joining together of a man and a woman who want to found a family, to have children and so ensure that the family will continue into future generations....Long before the founding of Canada, both the Protestant and the Catholic churches had established that marriage was an exclusive union between a man and a woman who freely agreed to become one flesh so that they could have children and provide each other with 'mutual society, help and comfort.' Throughout Canadian history, the Christian concept of marriage has occupied an important place, and still today is one of the foundation stones of Canadian society." 11 This is an argument from Natural Law: Opposite-sex couples can have children but no same-sex couples can have their own children. Because the latter cannot achieve the sole purpose of marriage -- to procreate -- they have no right to be married.

    As Joe Volpe, Canadian Member of Parliament wrote: "...marriage cannot be treated like any other invention or program of government. Marriage serves as the basis for social organization; it is not a consequence of it. Marriage signifies a particular relationship among the many unions that individuals freely enter; it's the one between a man and a woman that has two obvious goals: mutual support and procreation of children (barring a medical anomaly or will). No other type of relationship, by definition, can fulfill both goals without the direct or indirect involvement of a third party....for most MPs, marriage remains the cornerstone of society, not some government response to the most recent lobby." 12

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A lesbian or a male gay couple cannot procreate. But then, neither can a man and woman where one is infertile, either for a medical reason or because of age. Some opposite-gender couples marry and decide to never have a child between them. Many infertile couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex can become pregnant if they attend a fertility clinic.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of infertile married couples of childbearing age in the U.S. was 2.1 million. 5 Some of these couples are able to have children of their own through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), artificial insemination, etc. However, many are not. If the state feels that couples should not be able to marry unless they can produce children, then they should logically require fertility tests before a marriage license is issued. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A very substantial minority of married heterosexual couples can no longer conceive because the wife is past menopause, or the husband has had a vasectomy, or for some other reason. Many heterosexual couples get married later in life when conception is not an option. If the state feels that the purpose of marriage is procreation, it would be logical to not allow these couples to remain married or to marry.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Many heterosexual couples decide to remain childless when they marry. They may be heavily involved in their careers; they may realize that they carry poor genes that they would not want to pass on to a child; etc. There are many reasons why they might make this lifestyle choice. If the state asserts that procreation is the purpose of marriage, then they should logically extract a promise from each potential bride and groom that they will seriously have attempt to have children in the future.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Many gay and lesbian partners do have children. Some bring children from former marriages into their new partnership. Many lesbian spouses are becoming pregnant with donated sperm. Some gay couples are having children via surrogate motherhood. These couples would presumably fulfill the states insistence that the purpose of marriage is procreation.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The State of Hawaii's "Report of the Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law" studied this issue and wrote: "The argument that same-sex marriage should be barred because it cannot lead to procreation is invalid, inconsistent, and discriminatory. Public policy should not deny same-sex couples the right to marriage and the right to raise a family if they wish to do so, on the excuse that they, between themselves, cannot procreate, when this reason is not applied to opposite-gender couples. State law does not require that opposite-sex couples prove that they are capable of procreation before they can be married, and many are obviously not, because of age, medical or other reasons. Individuals in a same- gender marriage may have children from a prior opposite-gender marriage, or can adopt children if they desire a family." 7[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Mr. Justice Robert Blair of the Superior Court of Ontario wrote: "There is much more to marriage as a societal institution, in my view, than the act of heterosexual intercourse leading to the birth of children. Moreover, the authorities are clear that marriage is not dependent upon the presence of children." 10[/font][/font]

    6. The "slippery slope" concern:

    Assertion: If same-sex marriages are legalized, then decriminalization of prostitution, polygyny, polyandry, and incest will necessarily follow. Men will marry two or more women; women will marry multiple men; multiple women and multiple men will form group marriages; men will want to marry their dogs, whom they dearly love; etc. Once the floodgates are opened, there will be no stopping the changes.


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Prior to 1840, the only legal marriages in the U.S. were between one man and one woman. Then, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (a.k.a. LDS and the Mormons) introduced polygyny. This involves one man marrying multiple wives, and was legal in Utah before it was admitted as a state to the Union. In 1890, their President received a revelation from God to suspend polygyny for an indefinite period. However, during the half century that polygyny was legally practiced, the other practices mentioned above never developed. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A Fundamentalist Mormon group settled in Bountiful, British Columbia, Canada in the 1940s. It was excommunicated decades ago by the main LDS church because they follow Joseph Smith's original teachings in the practice of polygyny. They still live in plural marriages today. The Attorney General of the province decided that Canada's constitution, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, guarantees complete religious freedom in Canada, including the right to practice polygamy. Their practice never expanded into other parts of British Columbia society even though there has been, until recently, no opposition from the provincial government. Other marital structures simply never developed.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The goal of the groups promoting same-sex marriage is very specific and limited. They assert that a man should have the same right to marry a man that a woman already has. Likewise, a woman should have an equal right to marry a woman. This does not have to imply that any other right not expressly granted is up for grabs.[/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Marriage is precisely what the courts and legislatures choose to define it to be. Legislation can define it to be "the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman. In that case, same sex couples would be denied the opportunity to marry. But, a law can also be written to define marriage as "the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others." This was suggested by the Ontario Court of Appeal on 2003-JUN-10 when they legalized same-sex marriage for the first time. 8 Legislatures can then define circumstances in which two people might not be allowed to marry -- e.g. they are two closely related genetically, or if they are too young. [/font][/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    7. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents will become homosexuals adults:

    Assertion: Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle. Children raised in families headed by gay or lesbian parents will be immersed in the gay lifestyle and be more likely to choose to become homosexuals themselves when they grow up.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Gays, lesbians, religious liberals, human sexuality researchers and mental health therapists have essentially reached a consensus that a person does not choose their sexual orientation, whether heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual. Studies have shown that children raised in gay or lesbian homes share a number of behaviors as adults:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]They tend to discriminate less on matters of race, gender or sexual orientation.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]They tend to be more sexually experimental before marriage.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The percentage of children who grow up to be gay or lesbian is the same as in the general population.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Of course, if society accepts persons of all sexual orientations as full human beings deserving of respect, then it would not matter whether the children of gay and lesbian-led families became homosexuals later in life.[/font]
  6. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    8. Homosexual activity is a capital offense in the Bible:

    Assertion: There are at least a half-dozen references to homosexuality scattered throughout the Bible. All are negative. Leviticus 20:13 states that "The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have brought it upon themselves." (Living Bible): The New Living Translation says: "The penalty for homosexual acts is death to both parties. They have committed a detestable act, and are guilty of a capital offense." How can we allow gays and lesbians to marry if the Bible calls on them to be executed?


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Those are accurate quotations from two of the more popular English translations of the Bible. However, they are also excellent examples of how translators allow their own personal prejudices to affect their judgment. The Living Bible and New Living Translation refer to homosexuals -- i.e. to male gays and lesbians. But the original Hebrew refers only to two men having sex. Lesbians do not appear in the Hebrew Scriptures (a.k.a. Old Testament). So, based on this passage, there would be no objection to two lesbians marrying.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]There are many similar verses in Leviticus which describe the Mosaic Code and use the Hebrew word "to'ebah" to condemn certain behaviors: sharing a meal with a person of another religion, eating shrimp or lobster, getting a tattoo, wearing a cotton and polyester shirt, planting a mixture of grass seeds in your front lawn, etc. None of these behavior are still considered "ritually impure" today. The passage may well be null and void.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]There is a lack of consensus on the meaning of the verse. Some believe that it prohibits two men from having sex on a woman's bed, but not in other locations.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]This passage is interpreted by many mainline and liberal theologians as referring only to ritual sex between two men in a Pagan temple.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A denomination which interprets this passage as condemning all sexual acts between two men could certainly use it as a justification to refuse to marry a same-sex male couple. But the U.S. and Canada are not theocracies. What the Christian Scriptures (New Testament), Torah, Qur'an, or any other holy book says about homosexuality is immaterial when government create legislation on marriage. The Constitutions must be adhered to.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]More information about the Bible and same-sex behavior is available.[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    9. Almost everyone agrees that homosexuality is immoral:

    Assertion: The vast majority of the faith groups in North America -- over 1,500 strong -- condemn homosexual behavior as a serious sin, hated by God. We cannot reward such behavior by allowing gays and lesbians to marry.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]While it is true that conservative religious groups condemn homosexual behavior, refuse to conduct union or marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples, and refuse to ordain active homosexuals to the clergy, this is not true of all faith groups. In fact liberal groups such as the Unitarian Universalist Association, United Church of Christ, American Humanist Association, American Atheists, etc. promote equal rights for persons and couples of all sexual orientations. Many mainline churches are actively debating their stand on these matters.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Neither the United States nor Canada is a theocracy. Thus legislation cannot be based on a particular religious faith's concept of morality and correctness, or their belief in what their God expects. The recent, 2003-JUN-26, decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Lawrence v. Texas case implied that the state has no business in making laws that enforce religious concepts of morality by restricting private, consensual sexual behavior by adults. That ruling may indicate that laws giving special privileges to opposite-sex couples may be unconstitutional.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The State of Hawaii's "Report of the Commission on Sexual Orientation and the Law" studied this issue and wrote: "Under our constitutional government the fact that some religions or churches condemn same-gender marriages does not mean that those religious beliefs can be imposed on others. Our separation of church and state prevents religious enforcement through state institutions, such as the Department of Health. Furthermore, the Constitution prohibits any religious group from having to perform the marriage of a couple that is not recognized by that religion."[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    10. Same sex marriage would be a radical change to society:

    Assertion: When same-sex marriages were considered in Hawaii, a conservative Christian organization, Hawaii's Future Today (HFT), filed a brief with the court in opposition. They said, in part, that same-sex marriage would introduce "a radical reform in the basic institution of marriage, jettisoning long-recognized cultural values and drastically redefining the fundamental structure of our society..." They stated that the government has a compelling interestin "[font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]the historical and time-honored protection of traditional marriage as the fundamental structure in Hawaiian society that advances basic societal goals and values." 6[/font]


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The essence of this argument is that because we have not allowed same-sex couples to marry in the past, that we should not allow them to marry in the future. If this logic were followed, slavery would still be practiced, men would be able to rape their wives with impunity, women would be prohibited from entering many professions, and non-virgin brides would be stoned to death today in North America.[/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Author Andrew Sullivan wrote: "The introduction of gay marriage would not be some sort of leap in the dark, a massive societal risk. Homosexual marriages have always existed, in a variety of forms; they have just been euphemized. Increasingly they exist in every sense but the legal one. As it has become more acceptable for homosexuals to acknowledge their loves and commitments publicly, more and more have committed themselves to one another for life in full view of their families and friends. A law institutionalizing gay marriage would merely reinforce a healthy trend." 10[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]As noted elsewhere on this website, significant changes to the institution of marriage have occurred in the past as injustices were overcome. Society survived. In fact, if we were to reinstate the laws of an earlier time, and reintroduce polygyny, ban marriage for Afro-Americans, and prohibit mixed race couples from marrying, there would be a wall of opposition from the public.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Like all institutions, marriage must change and adapt to meet the needs and values of the society. In their 2003-JUN-10 ruling which allowed same-sex couples to marry, the Court of Appeal for Ontario stated that: " freeze the definition of marriage to whatever meaning it had in 1867 [the date of Canada's confederation] is contrary to this country’s jurisprudence of progressive constitutional interpretation....The task of expounding a constitution is crucially different from that of construing a statute. A statute defines present rights and obligations. It is easily enacted and as easily repealed. A constitution, by contrast, is drafted with an eye to the future. Its function is to provide a continuing framework for the legitimate exercise of governmental power and, when joined by a Bill or a Charter of Rights, for the unremitting protection of individual rights and liberties. Once enacted, its provisions cannot easily be repealed or amended. It must, therefore, be capable of growth and development over time to meet new social, political and historical realities often unimagined by its framers. The judiciary is the guardian of the constitution and must, in interpreting its provisions, bear these considerations in mind."[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    11. The government has an interest in preserving the status quo:

    Assertion: The government has a compelling interest to preserve the status quo in marriage -- to reserve it as a special privilege of opposite-sex couples and to deny it to same-sex couples. The brief by Hawaii's Future Today, also stated that the government has a compelling interestin "[font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]the historical and time-honored protection of traditional marriage as the fundamental structure in Hawaiian society that advances basic societal goals and values." 6[/font]


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The status quo in North America has shifted since 2003-JUN-10. On that date, a court in Ontario Canada declared that marriage licenses could be obtained by any adult couple -- same sex or opposite sex. So, in Ontario at lest, the status quo allows same-sex marriage. British Columbia followed suit on JUL-9.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The report of the Hawaiian Sexual Orientation and the Law Committee stated that: "The Hawaii Supreme Court has found that denial of same-gender marriage was presumed to be a violation of equal protection of the law unless the State could show a 'compelling state interest' for such denial. The Commission finds that the various reasons advanced for denying same-gender marriages, including religious, moral and public health and safety, are similar to the Loving [v. Virginia] case and do not constitute a 'compelling state interest' and, as a matter of public policy, should not be used to deny equal rights under the law to same-gender couples." 7 The Loving case involved an interracial couple who pleaded guilty to the "crime" of marrying a person of another race and were sentenced to a one year jail sentence by a Virginia court.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The ruling of the Court of Appeal for Ontario referred to the Attorney General of Canada's assertion "...that marriage relates to the capacities, needs and circumstances of opposite-sex couples. The concept of marriage - across time, societies and legal cultures - is that of an institution to facilitate, shelter and nurture the unique union of a man and woman who, together, have the possibility to bear children from their relationship and shelter them within it." The court rejected this argument for several reasons, including:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Laws must always be viewed by the court from the perspective of the claimant. The existing marriage legislation clearly discriminated against the same-sex couples who brought the lawsuit.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The government's duty is to justify a breach of human dignity, not to explain it or deny its existence. This the government failed to do.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]"Denying same-sex couples the right to marry perpetuates the...view...that same-sex couples are not capable of forming loving and lasting relationships, and thus same-sex relationships are not worthy of the same respect and recognition as opposite-sex relationships[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The court concluded that: "Accordingly, in our view, the common law requirement that marriage be between persons of the opposite sex does not accord with the needs, capacities and circumstances of same-sex couples. This factor weighs in favour of a finding of discrimination."[/font]

    12. Giving preferential treatment to opposite-sex couples is justified:

    Assertion: In the ruling of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Justices referred to an assertion by the Attorney General of Canada (AGC). He correctly pointed out that opposite-sex couples raise the vast majority of children. Thus the government is justified in giving preferential treatment to opposite-sex couples by allowing them to marry and granting them many financial benefits.


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The court rejected the AGC's submission. They wrote: "The critical question to be whether opposite-sex couples are in a more disadvantaged position than same-sex couples....same-sex couples are a group who have experienced historical discrimination and disadvantages. There is no question that opposite-sex couples are the more advantaged group....In our view, any economic disadvantage that may arise from raising children is only one of many factors to be considered in the context of marriage. Persons do not marry solely for the purpose of raising children. Furthermore, since same-sex couples also raise children, it cannot be assumed that they do not share that economic disadvantage. Accordingly, if alleviating economic disadvantages for opposite-sex couples due to childrearing were to be considered an ameliorative purpose for the opposite-sex requirement in marriage, we would find the law to be underinclusive. The principle from Law that 'nderinclusive ameliorative legislation that excludes from its scope the members of a historically disadvantaged group will rarely escape the charge of discrimination' would be applicable."[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    13: Marriage has always been between one man and one women:

    Assertion: Every society down through history has defined marriage as between a man and a woman. We don't want to mess with an institution that has as old a heritage as marriage.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]This is a surprisingly widespread belief. But it is wrong. "Evidence from other cultures and other times demonstrates that same-sex marriages are neither unprecedented nor unnatural." In fact, they were widespread:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]"Same-sex unions in ancient Egypt were recognized as marriages."[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]"Same-sex unions were an integral part of the cultures of classical Greece and republican Rome and imperial Rome..." [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Many African tribes have recognize lesbian marriages.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Native Americans opened marriage to same-sex couples before the arrival of the Christian missionaries. 9[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The HFT report also implied that that marriage in Hawaii has always meant one man and one woman. Yet Aikane, close male societal and sexual relationships, were an accepted part of ancient Hawaiian culture, before the arrival of the Christian missionaries in the 19th century. 6[/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The Hebrew Scriptures describe [/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]eight different family structures, of which only one is a one-man one-woman marriage. None of these were criticized in the biblical text.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Mr. Justice Harry Laforme of the Ontario Superior Court wrote: "The restriction against same-sex marriage is an offence to the dignity of lesbians and gays because it limits the range of relationship options available to them. The result is they are denied the autonomy to choose whether they wish to marry. This in turn conveys the ominous message that they are unworthy of marriage.... 11[/font][/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    14: Same-sex marriage is just plain disgusting.

    Assertion: The thoughts of a man engaging in sex with another man makes my stomach heave and skin crawl. It is disgusting. I feel the same way about two lesbians having sex. Nobody in the world will respect our country if we allow this behavior to be institutionalized.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The feelings of revulsion at same-sex behavior is widespread in our culture. That is because over 90% of the population is heterosexual. i.e. they are attracted to members of the opposite sex. A side-effect of heterosexual orientation is often an intense aversion to thoughts of same-sex behavior. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]But that is only part of the story. Revulsion at same-sex behavior is not an absolute response found universally throughout our culture. Persons with a homosexual orientation are sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Many have a strong aversion to the thoughts of opposite-sex behavior.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Making a commitment to each other, deciding to live together, engaging in sexual behavior are very personal matters about which people differ greatly. It is important that we comprehend the diversity of people's sexuality.[/font]

    15. Same-sex marriage (SSM) simply costs too much:

    Assertion: When people marry, the state or province automatically grants them about 500 benefits; the federal government gives them about 1,000 more. This would be a drain on the economy -- one that we cannot afford.


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]About 5% of the adults of North America are gay; another 3% or so are bisexual. It is these populations that would enter into same-sex marriage. As for heterosexuals:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some would choose the single lifestyle.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some would prefer to simply live together without marriage.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]SSM is so new that it is impossible to estimate how many gay and lesbian couples will choose to be married. Even if half of the homosexuals decide to marry, and one quarter of the bisexuals decided to marry same-sex partners, then SSM would still only constitute less than 4% of all marriages. The total cost of benefits to these couples would be minimal, compared to the cost of benefits to the 96% of marriages which would be by opposite-sex couples.[/font]

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]If the goal is for the government to save money by reducing marital benefits, a much more lucrative approach would be to prohibit marriages in which one spouse is left-handed, or one spouse is blonde. That would involve a larger number of couples, and save the governments much more money than SSM would cost. Similarly, we could go back to the situation in 1966 and prohibit inter-racial couples from marrying in some states. We could go back to the culture of 1850 and prohibit African-Americans from marrying. We would save a bundle of money. But elementary justice prohibits us from doing this. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]It is profoundly immoral for the government to collect money in the form of taxes from individuals and couples of all sexual orientations, and then to dispense special privileges to opposite-sex couples only.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    16: Same-sex marriage would irreparably harm marriage forever:

    Assertion: Some religious conservatives talk in terms of protecting marriage. Others talk in terms of the devastating effect that same-sex marriage would have on the institution.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Mr. Justice Harry Laforme of the Ontario Superior Court wrote: "I find that there is no merit to the argument that the rights and interests of heterosexuals would be affected by granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry. I cannot conclude that freedom of religion would be threatened or jeopardized by legally sanctioning same-sex marriage." [/font][/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In Ontario and British Columbia, where gays and lesbians are free to marry, no opposite-sex couple has been denied permission to marry, except for the usual requirements related to their age and genetic relationship. No opposite-sex couple has been denied any of the benefits of marriage which were due them. Some observers feel that the provinces have become more supportive of the needs of loving couples and their children since same-sex marriage was legalized.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Bill Graham, the Canadian federal Foreign Affairs Minister, became the second federal minister to lend support to same-sex marriage. He said on 2002-AUG-5: "I respect those who believe in the integrity of [same-sex] marriage. That is a very important institution for us as Canadians, and for society. I think it is equally important that gay and lesbian people who are in an affectionate relationship over time want to commit themselves to that relationship." Commenting on the past granting of equality to gays and lesbians, Graham said: "It started with changes to the Criminal Code and hate crimes legislation, and then was followed by changes to the human rights code and substantial changes to the Pension Act and other acts to provide essentially the equivalent of common law marriage status to gay and lesbian couples, equal to that of a heterosexual common-law union. It [same sex marriage] is the final part of the picture." He noted that some Canadians are concerned of social chaos if same-sex marriage is approved. He noted that previous equity legislation also engendered similar dire predictions, but caused barely a ripple after taking effect. 2[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    17: Almost all of the churches are opposed to SSM:

    Assertion: Diane Knippers, of the conservative Christian Institute on Religion and Democracy, wrote: "The message of the universal Christian Church on marriage and human sexuality is crystal clear. It’s not simply the teaching of the largest churches--Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical. It’s also the other more liberal “mainline” Protestant churches..." Only the Unitarian Universalist Association, which is only partly Christian, the Metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of Christ, the United Church of Canada, and Reform Judaism favor SSM. All, or almost all, of the other 1,000 or so Judeo-Christian religious groups in North America oppose SSM.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]This is true. Very few religious denominations support SSM. But this is totally expected, because the fight for equal rights for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals has barely begun. If you research every significant social change in North America with a religious and/or moral component, you will find that it is secularists and those faith groups who place great emphasis on human rights and justice who first embrace change. This happened with the Quakers, Mennonites, and Unitarians over the abolition slavery; initially, all of the other Christian churches were in favor of preserving slavery. But the abolition movement grew with the eventual support from a broad range of denominations. A similar transition has happened in the 20th century over women's suffrage, the availability of birth control, abortion access, and now equal rights for homosexuals, including the right of loving, committed gay and lesbian couples to marry. What Ms. Knipper is saying is that we are early in the process, and that -- to date -- only the most liberal denominations have supported SSM. The rest will eventually follow. Consider how many denominations today oppose interracial marriage. Yet it was illegal as recently as 1967 in some states.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    18: Sex between a man and woman is the heart of marriage:

    Assertion: Diane Knippers also mentioned: "Sexual intercourse is intended as the expression of the very powerful physical force that bonds a man and a woman into the most essential, basic, and universal unit of human society. It ensures the propagation of the human race--and joins parents to the common task of rearing children. Ultimately, it creates a mystical one-flesh union between a man and a woman, a union in which two bodies, exquisitely designed precisely for one another, are joined in self-giving love and generous pleasure." 4 The implication is that sex does not have these functions in a SSM.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Sexual expression is precisely the same "very powerful physical force" that usually bonds couples, whether opposite-gendered, gay or lesbian.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Along with the approximately 2.1 million infertile married couples of childbearing age in the U.S., lesbian couples need assistance in the form of artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization to have children. But many go this route.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Sexual behavior certainly can create "....a mystical one-flesh union between a man and a woman in which two bodies "are joined in self-giving love and generous pleasure." But exactly the same phenomenon occurs between two lesbian spouses or gay spouses. Just befriend a same-sex couple and ask.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Sex is an important part of marriage. But it is only one part. It is the sharing, the commitment, the planning, the supporting, the sacrificing, and other factors which form the main components of marriage. These are present in all intimate and successful opposite-sex and same-sex marriages.[/font]

    19: SSM will damage international relations:

    Assertion: Mel Middleton, apparently of the Canada Family Action Coalition in Alberta described the 2003-JUN decision of the Government of Canada to legalize SSM as: "...a knife in the back to our democratic allies in the third world." Speaking to pro-democracy individuals in East Africa he found thatmost believe that the Canadian "government's decision is going to make it extremely difficult for democrats in oppressive third world countries such as Sudan to counter the charges that their oppressors are certain to make -- that 'western democracy' leads to decadence, moral depravity and societal decay." 6


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]There are many factors in western cultures that people in some dictatorships and theocracies in the third world are mystified by:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Allowing individuals to openly proselytize persons of other religions.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Permitting people to change their religion freely.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Allowing Atheists and others write and lecture about the non-existence of God.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Restricting a man to only one wife.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Allowing a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Permitting a couple to marry without prior approval from their families.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]etc.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Allowing two loving, committed same-sex couples to marry only adds one more item to this list.[/font]

    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    20: SSM legislation will permit incestuous marriages:

    Assertion: [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Montreal, talked to the press about SSM at a news conference arranged by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is quoted as saying: "When you change the definition of the institution, you open the door to things you can't foresee. If marriage is a union between two persons who love each other - that's the new definition, without the allusion to sex - where does the notion stop? Will you recognize the marriage between a father and his daughter? Between a brother and his sister? Or two brothers or two sisters?...It's very dangerous because we don't know the consequences." 7[/font]


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Canadian Justice Minister Martin Cauchon responded to the Archbishop's concerns. He told reporters in Calgary AB that both marriage and sex between a parent and child or two siblings is illegal. "The question that they raise is an offence based under the Criminal Code....I see no connection to what we are doing." 7 [/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The Archbishop's comments moved Shelley Sullivan of Oakville ON to write a letter to the editor of the Toronto Star which said: "If the marriage of two persons could lead to incest through the marriage of brother and sister, or father and daughter, how is it that the current definition of marriage, a man and a woman, does not exclude the possibility?...The answer is quite simple: The law excludes it and that would not change." 8 [/font][/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica][font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Kathleen Lahey, a law professor at Queen's University at Kingston, who was involved in the British Columbia SSM case said that the Archbishop is trying to reduce the concept to "its most absurd extreme...It is not a credible argument...I know of no example anywhere in the world in which opening marriage to same-sex couples has led to opening marriage to incestuous relationships, or the other argument that is often made, polygamous relationships." 7[/font][/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    21: Most people are opposed to SSM.

    Assertion: In a democracy, the majority rules. Since most people oppose allowing same-sex couples to marry, the will of the majority should prevail. SSM should remain forbidden.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The majority does not necessarily rule in democracies. That is why every state/province and federal government has a constitution. One function of governmental constitutions is to guarantee basic human rights even though the majority would deprive minorities of those rights. If we allowed the "tyranny of the majority" then governments would strip away basic human rights from unpopular groups, such as Agnostics, Atheists, Pagans, gays, lesbians, etc.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In some states of the U.S. and in Canada, the majority of adults favor extending the right to marry to same-sex couples.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In most or all states in the U.S., the majority of youth and young adults favor allowing same-sex marriage. [/font]


    [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]
    1. The judgment of the court, dated 2002-JUL 12, is reported at 60 O.R. (3d) 321.
    2. Nicholaas van Rijn, "Graham backs gay marriage: Foreign affairs minister second to voice support," The Toronto Star, 2002-AUG-6, Page A8.
    3. The Institute on Religion and Democracy has a web site at:
    4. Diane Knippers, "Sex and the Episcopalians. Is it really too much to ask for the Church to uphold and defend traditional marriage?," Beliefnet, 2003-AUG-3, at:
    5. Roxanne Nelson, "Financing infertility," 1999-MAY-19,, at:
    6. Mel Middleton, "Some extremely pertinent questions (unanswered by government) raised about 'homosexual marriage'," Canada Family Action Coalition, undated, at:
    7. Michelle MacAfee, "Catholic bishops say same-sex marriage could open door to incest," 2003-SEP-10, at:
    8. Shelley Sullivan, "Catholic's logic badly confused," The Toronto Star, 2003-SEP-12, Page A27.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2004
  7. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    Eight Reasons Why Same Sex Marriages are Desirable (with Rebuttals)


    Although the eligibility for marriage has undergone many major changes during the existence of the U.S. and Canada, and although Natives practiced same-sex marriage extensively before the European invasion, federal, state and provincial laws in North America have always restricted marriage to partners of opposite gender. The Canadian provinces of Ontario and British Columbia began to issue marriage licenses and to record the marriages of same-sex couples in mid-2003. This has raised the level of public debate on the advisability of SSM.

    The following arguments have been asserted in favor of SSM. [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Rebuttals follow each point, and based on the assumptions that homosexuality is a changeable, chosen, addictive lifestyle and behavior. These are the beliefs of most religious conservatives. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, religious liberals, mental health therapists and human sexuality researchers generally believe that homosexuality is fixed, unchosen, sexual orientation. The latter will probably disagree with most of the rebuttals.[/font]

    1. No opposite-sex marriage will be affected by same-sex marriage (SSM)

    Assertion: SSM is an "add on." Opposite-sex couples will be able to marry and obtain all of the benefits that they have always received. The fact that somewhere down your street a loving gay or lesbian couple have decided to get married can have no significant impact on your own marriage.


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Allowing gays and lesbians to marry cheapens marriage. As Dr. James C. Dobson, of Focus on the Family said: "If marriage means everything, it means absolutely nothing." It will mean nothing to same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples. The current decline of the institution of marriage, will be accelerated. Increasing numbers of couples will elect to simply "live together."[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    2. Marriage is a fundamental human right:

    Assertion: Across North America, couples meet, enjoy each other's company, date, form an exclusive relationship, and live together. Many want to marry, settled down and raise children. The right to marry the person that you love, have made a commitment to and wish to live with for the rest of your life is a foundational human right. Yet, as of 2003-JUL-12, it is a right that can only be exercised in the Western Hemisphere by traveling to Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Gays and lesbians have an intrinsic right to marry. Author Andrew Sullivan wrote: "...marriage has become a way in which the state recognizes an emotional commitment by two people to each other for life. And within that definition, there is no public way, if one believes in equal rights under the law, in which it should legally be denied homosexuals." 5


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]"Marriage" has always meant the union of one man and one woman.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Gay and lesbian children cannot perform the main function of marriage which is to produce children of their own.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Opposite-sex married couples have always formed foundational institution in our countries.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The book of Genesis records that opposite-sex marriage was the first institution that God created. Same-sex marriage is not mentioned in the Bible.[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    3. Same-sex marriages bolster the economy:

    Assertion: On 2000-JUL-1, civil unions became available to gay and lesbian couples in the state of Vermont. It is a partial marriage arrangement; the spouses do not receive any of the over 1,000 federal benefits that married people obtain through marriage. "...while the impact of civil unions on the Vermont economy is hard to quantify precisely, there is sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest that it has given a significant bump to tourism in certain parts of the state." 1


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A state or country can also boost their tourist business by legalizing prostitution, allowing physician assisted suicide, legalizing street drugs, or decriminalizing child molesting. But that does not make any of these sinful behaviors right.[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    4. Same-sex marriage has a civilizing influence on the country:

    Assertion: Canada and the U.S. are multi-racial, multi-religious, and multi-ethnic societies. To paraphrase William Eskridge, Jr. in his book "The case for same-sex marriage:" North American society is a synergy of African, Chinese, English, Filipino, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Jewish, Mexican, Native American, Puerto Rican and other cultures; of Black, Caucasian, and other races; of Islam, Judaism, Protestant, Roman Catholic, and other religions; of people with bisexual heterosexual, and homosexual orientations; etc. Most of these segments of society have been militantly opposed in the past by the majority. Consider North America's "history of anti-Semitism, nativist sentiment against new immigrants, and interracial prejudice. Time after time, group hatred has been replace by group acceptance and cooperation. Cooperating with others, people learn and grow....The history we...point to with pride is a history of accommodation and inclusion. The history...we would rather forget, and should try to correct, is our history of prejudice and exclusion." 2 Oppression of, and discrimination against, gays and lesbians is the last major hurdle for us to overcome in order to become a fully accepting society. [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Anton N. Marco, of Christian Leadership Ministries, calls same-sex marriage "The Last Cultural Frontier." 3[/font]


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Most conservative Christians, and some others, believe that homosexuality is a chosen, sinful, God-denying lifestyle. If we allow gays and lesbians to marry, then essentially all social impediments which discourage this lifestyle will be removed. More youths will choose to become homosexual. AIDS and other STDs will increase. More people will enter a physically, emotionally, and spiritually destructive lifestyle.[/font]

    5. Same-sex marriage would increase the quality of life of same-sex couples:

    Assertion: "To Have and to Hold," [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]a pamphlet distributed by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, states that: "[/font]If legally married, gay, lesbian and bisexual couples would have a greater ability to care for and protect their families. The pamphlet mentions many items of financial benefit, including: file joint tax returns; obtain joint insurance policies for home, auto and health; inherit automatically in the absence of a will; secure workplace and other benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, Medicare; enter jointly into leases and other contracts, such as apartment and car rental agreements; obtain bereavement leave when a partner or child dies; receive divorce protections, etc. In addition, there are many non-financial benefits: being able to visit one's spouse in hospital; being able to handle funeral arrangements of one's spouse; obtaining domestic violence protection orders; being recognized as as the next-of-kin for hospital visits; making medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent, etc.


    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Such benefits merely make homosexual lifestyle more attractive and thus will encourage more youths and young adults to chose a homosexual lifestyle.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    6. Same-sex marriage would improve the lives of children in SSM families:

    Assertion: With marriage comes the right to raise children together including: joint adoption, joint foster care, custody, and visitation privileges. If the marriage ends in divorce, then settlements can be obtained that assure economic protection of the children via child support.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Most conservative Christians, and some others, believe that homosexuality is a chosen, sinful, God-denying lifestyle. If we allow gays and lesbians to marry, then any children that they bring into the marriage will be brought up in the homosexual lifestyle. [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Both parents would be of the same gender. The children of the family would miss the needed influence of an opposite-sex parent.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Being raised in a gay or lesbian household, the children will more likely choose to become homosexuals later in life.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    7. SSM would reduce the amount of promiscuity in the gay community:

    Assertion: Gays, lesbians, religious liberals, mental health therapists and human sexuality researchers generally agree that homosexuality itself is an fixed, unchosen orientation, not a changeable chosen lifestyle. That said, there are two lifestyles within the homosexual community, as there is within the heterosexual community: single and married. Surveys show that single male gay adults have, on average, a large number of sexual partners. Making SSM available will encourage them to form lasting relationships, marry, and become monogamous.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Surveys show that homosexuals in committed relationships are rarely monogamous.[/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]We should encourage gays and lesbians to enter reparative therapy and become heterosexuals. SSM would make this less likely.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    8. SSM would decrease the incidence of STDs in the gay community:

    Assertion: As for the preceding argument, the availability of SSM would encourage more homosexuals to form long-term partnerships, become married, and leave the single lifestyle. This would reduce the number of sexual partners, and thus the incidence of STD transmission. SSM would have more of an effect on male gays than on lesbians, because the rate of STD infection among lesbians is already low -- lower than that for heterosexuals.


    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Again, surveys show that homosexuals in long-term relationships are rarely monogamous.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    [font=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]
    1. Sally Johnson, "Civil unions bring dollars into Vermont," The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, 2003-JUN-26, at:
    2. William Eskridge, "Case for same-sex marriage," Free Press, (1996). Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
    3. Anton N. Marco, "Same-Sex "Marriage": Should America Allow "Gay Rights" Activists to Cross The Last Cultural Frontier?" Christian Leadership Ministries, at:
    4. "To Have and to Hold," A pamphlet distributed by The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, (1995).
    5. Andrew Sullivan, "Virtually Normal," Alfred A. Knopf, (1995), Page 183.
  8. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    Governments Which Have Recognized Same Sex Relationships


    The Netherlands were the first country to extend equal marriage rights to homosexuals. Belgium was second. Two provinces in Canada followed suit. Other jurisdictions grant some legal privileges to same-sex couples, often called partnerships, civil unions, or domestic partnerships.

    The situation is in a state of rapid flux. Significant changes seem to be happening every month.


    Countries which have given some recognition to same-sex marriages:

    As of 2003-JUL:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In North America:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Same-sex couples, from any country, can be married in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia or Ontario. The Canadian situation is in a state of flux. Sometime in 2004, we expect that couples can be married in any province in Canada.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]The states of California, Hawaii, and Vermont in the United States and the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada allow gays and lesbians to apply for registered partnerships or civil unions. This gives them some of the rights and obligations that are automatically enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. For example, Vermont "civil unionized" couples pick up almost 500 rights and privileges -- all the state has to offer -- but are denied over 1,000 federal rights and privileges.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Gay and lesbian couples in California became able to register their relationship with the state government and obtain some restricted privileges.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some American cities have partnership registrations. However, they grant few, if any, rights. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In Europe:[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Same-sex couples in the Netherlands and Belgium can marry. These countries do not differentiate between same-sex and opposite-sex couples, except that there are restrictions on same-sex couples where one spouse is from another country.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]A few European countries -- Denmark, France, Iceland, Norway and Sweden -- offer similar legal status to civil unions.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Many cities in France and Spain have systems for gay and lesbian couples can register. However, they grant few, if any, rights.[/font]

    Details on the recognition of same-sex relationships:

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Belgium: On 2003-JAN-30, Belgium became the second country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. However, the legislation does not allow them to adopt children. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Brazil: Marta Suplicy is a legislator representing the Workers Party. He brought forward a gay-partnership bill which "assures rights to inheritance, succession, welfare benefits, joint-income declaration, right to nationality in case of a foreign partner and joint income in order to buy a house." to gay and lesbian couples. The bill passed a Senate committee in 1996-DEC by a vote of 11 to 5. Conservative religious elements were able to delay a vote on the bill until 1997-OCT when the Pope will be visiting the country. They may be motivated by the belief that the Pope may be able to sway some legislators to vote against the bill.

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Canada: Although a majority of Canadian adults favor gay and lesbian marriages, the present law restricts marriage to one man and one woman. One exception is in British Columbia where the polygamous marriages of members of a small Mormon splinter group are known to the government and allowed to exist. The federal government has been forced by the courts to introduce legislation to widen the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples. More details. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Cambodia: On 1995-MAR-12, two lesbians (Pum Ethwere & Khav Sokha) were legally married in Kro Bao Ach Kok village in Kandal province. 95% of Cambodians follow Theravada Buddhism. This appears to have been a fluke; same-sex marriages are not allowed by the country's constitution.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Denmark: The first movement towards same-sex partnerships occurred in 1968 with a proposal by the Socialist People's Party to recognize gay and lesbian relationships. A committee rejected the idea in 1973 because it would change the institution of marriage and adversely affect the way that people in other countries viewed Danish marriages. A commission was formed in 1984 to restudy the matter. Their Parliament amended laws covering inheritance and tax laws to give same-sex couples equality with married couples. The Social Democratic Party and the Socialist People's Party cosponsored a bill in 1989 which would create registered partnerships. On June 7, 1989, and with the support of about 60% of the population, Folketing (parliament) passed the law by a vote of 71 to 47. It became effective on 1989-OCT-1. The Danish gay newspaper Pan-Bladet reported (circa late 1995) that there have been about 1,449 gay and 634 lesbian registered partnerships registered under the law. 23% of the lesbians and 14% of the gay couples have since divorced; 11% have been terminated by the death of one partner. The divorce rate is lower than for married couples.

    Partnership guarantees certain rights that were previously restricted to married couples: inheritance, insurance plans, pension, social benefits, income tax reductions, unemployment benefits and social benefits. It also makes them responsible for alimony payments if they divorce. But they originally were not allowed to have their partnership ceremony within the state Church of Denmark, or adopt children or receive free artificial insemination services. The law will probably be amended in the future to grant some of these rights. Opponents to the law were concerned that it would generate an influx of gays and lesbians into the country, seeking benefits. This did not occur, perhaps partly because the law requires one spouse to be a Danish resident. Not all gays and lesbians supported the law. Some, particularly lesbians, objected because of past negative experiences while married. Kim Engelbrechtsen, the information manager for Denmark's Tourism Department said: "It's had only a positive effect. It's showing we're an open-minded society." Per Stig Moller, a member of the legislature who abstained from voting on the bill, regards the bill as a success because it has helped stabilize homosexuals in committed relationships. "Now they live officially..."It works."

    In 1997, the bishops of the state church (Danish Lutheran Church) voted to accept same-sex partnerships. Gay and lesbian couples can now have their partnership ceremony conducted in the state church.

    Starting in 1999, gay and lesbian couples were allowed to adopt their partner's children. However, they are still not able to adopt children from outside of their partnership.

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]France: They have a national health insurance plan which covers the partners of civil servants (and perhaps others). The French government introduced Civil Solidarity Pacts (PACS) in 1998. They would give unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex couples the same tax breaks and legal benefits that are currently enjoyed only by married couples. It would also make it easier for unmarried heterosexual couples to adopt children; it does not extend the same option to homosexual couples. Pastor Jean Tartier, president of the Protestant Federation of France favors the proposed law: "The PACS must be seen as a contract of solidarity, not a marriage in disguise. If that is the case, this proposition seems to me clear and positive." Fr. Olivier de la Brosse, spokesperson for the permanent council of the Roman Catholic bishops took a negative view: "Marriage and the family are fundamental sacred institutions essential for society. Legislation that places other unions at the same level creates a serious problem for the structure of society." Jewish and Muslim spokespersons also took negative views. A massive demonstration was held in opposition to the bill by about 100,000 individuals on 1999-JAN-31. The bill was passed in the National Assembly, and became law on 1999-OCT-13. Under the law, couples can register at their local courthouses after "three years of stated fidelity." According to the Feminist Majority Foundation, "Couples registered under the new law can file joint tax forms, take simultaneous vacations, are subject to lower inheritance taxes, and are responsible for each others debts. There is speculation that the law...will eventually lead to easier adoption and artificial insemination for gay couples. The law also makes separation easier." 3[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Germany: The Federal government has passed a law which would allow gay and lesbian couples to exchange vows at a local government office. They would need to apply to a court for a divorce. They would receive some of the benefits that are automatically given to heterosexual married couples -- e.g. inheritance rights and health insurance coverage. However they are not granted the right to adopt and will not receive the same tax benefits as heterosexual married couples. The law was championed by the Green party -- a group devoted to the environment. It was supported by the ruling Social Democrat coalition partners. passed in the lower house of parliament in the year 2000. However, the upper house, stripped the law of some tax privileges that are granted to heterosexual married couples. The states of Bavaria and Saxony applied to the Federal Constitutional Court for an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect on 2001-AUG-1. They argued that the law breaks constitutional provisions that protect heterosexual marriage and the "family." The court turned down the request for an injunction but has yet to rule on the complaint. 4 Angelika Baldow and Gudrun Pannier, both 36, became the first couple to exchange vows in Berlin. Pannier said "I feel great. This is very symbolic -- a message that Berlin is a tolerant city. It is the fulfillment of a dream, but it is just the beginning. We haven't got equal rights yet." Manfred Bruns, spokesperson for the German Lesbian and Gay Association said: "The registration of life partnerships still does not being equality, but is a great leap forward in the right direction." [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Greenland: is a dependency of Denmark. They adopted the Danish law in 1994.[/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Hungary: Their Constitutional Court on 1995-MAR-8, declared that: "It is arbitrary and contrary to human dignity ... that the law withholds recognition from couples living in an economic and emotional union simply because they are same-sex...Despite growing acceptance of homosexuality [and] changes in the traditional definition of a family, there is no reason to change the law on [civil] marriages,". The court gave Parliament one year to introduce legislation which would recognize same-sex partnerships and give them the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as have long been given to opposite-sex common-law couples. Parliament voted 207 to 73 in favor of the legislation during 1996-MAY. Registered gay and lesbian partnerships now have all of the privileges of common-law marriages, except for the right to adopt. Some reaction by gay groups:[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica] [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Laszlo Rusvai: "This will help homosexuals to live together in a legal framework...I hope this ruling will help the further demolition of social prejudices."[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Rainbow spokesperson Geza Juhasz: "We welcome the fact that parliament passed this law but I don't think this proves that most MPs are more enlightened. The law was...imposed on parliament by the Constitutional Court."[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Iceland: On 1996-JUN-27, their Althing (Parliament) approved a bill (44 in favor, 1 opposed, 1 abstention, 17 not present) which gives gays and lesbians the right to unite in a civil ceremony which is recognized by the state. Margaret Olafsdottir, who leads the Association of 78 (the country's gay rights movement), said "This will revolutionize the lives of the gay couples in Iceland who have, until now, had to suffer great inequality in matters regarding insurance, taxes and the rights to inherit from one's partner....This injustice has, in the past, led to many personal tragedies.". Later, she said: "Iceland is now in the forefront of countries giving lesbians and gay men the legal right to have their cohabitation recognized with mutual rights and responsibilities." Shared custody of children is permitted if one of the spouses has a child when they are married. But the law does not allow them to adopt children or practice artificial insemination. They also do not have the right to a church wedding. But they have all of the other rights and obligations of a married couple.

    Three couples (two gay and one lesbian) were married in the Reykjavic central registry office immediately after the bill was passed. Anna Sigridur Sigurjonsdottir said "We look upon this as a recognition of our existence." Her new wife, Solveig Magnea Jonsdottir, added: "This brings with it an unbelievable feeling of freedom." Whether by accident or intention, the bill was approved during Gay Pride week.

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Netherlands: On 2000-DEC-19, the upper house of the Dutch government has passed a bill that enlarges the concept of marriage in the Netherlands. Since 2001-APR, gay and lesbian couples, who are either citizens of the Netherlands or who have residency permits, have been able to marry and adopt.This makes the Netherlands the first western country in recent history to have legalized gay and lesbian marriages. More details. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]New Zealand: They have a Federal law which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. Their marriage act does not specifically prohibit same sex marriages; it only disallows marriages which would "damage the gene pool." However, three lesbian couples were denied the right to marry. They appealed to the High Court. In 1996-MAY, they lost the case. High Court Justice Kerr apparently did not view their petition as a civil rights matter, believing that the majority of the people should favor same-sex marriage before it is legalized. he said: "To give marriage a meaning which the plaintiffs seek would require me to interpret the law in a way which I do not perceive Parliament to intend...Community attitudes in 1996 are much more relaxed to gay and lesbian couples ... but whether that relaxation would extend to supporting marriage of such couples is difficult to gauge." [The same argument could have been used to continue a ban on inter-racial marriages in 1967]. One of the plaintiffs, Lindsay Quiltrer commented: "I refuse to take no for an answer. This is not just about queer rights. It shows that the Bill of Rights doesn't have the teeth it claimed to have." [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Norway: Same as Denmark. Their Odelsting Chamber voted 58-40; their Lagting Chamber voted 18 to 16. The law came into effect on 1993-AUG-1[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Sweden: Similar to Denmark. The vote was 171-141 with 5 abstentions and 32 absences! The law became effective on 1995-JAN-1. Their Prime Minister, Carl Bildt, said "We accept homosexual love as equivalent to heterosexual," [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Spain: Same as Denmark (since 1996).[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Slovenia: The Federal Government's Bureau for Women's Politics announced on 1996-MAR-23 that same sex marriages should be available within two years.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]United States: [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Cities: About 20 cities offer registration of same-sex relationships. However, they carry little or no legal worth.[/font]
    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica] [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Hawaii: Gay and Lesbian marriages were legal for a few hours during early 1996-DEC in Hawaii after a court ruling. A stay of the ruling was obtained by the state of Hawaii shortly afterwards. The people of Hawaii later passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Vermont: The Supreme Court of Vermont ruled in favor of three same-sex couples and required the Vermont legislature to pass a law that allows homosexual couples to enter civil unions. This grants same-sex couples the same rights, obligations and benefits that the state automatically gives to heterosexual married couples[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]California: Gay and lesbian couples can register with the state of California and obtain some benefits.[/font]


    1. Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples
    1. is a "national resource for same-sex couples, supporting the diverse community of committed gay and lesbian partners through a variety of media." Actually, they are an international resource. See: Their postal address is Box 9685, Seattle, WA 98109-0685, USA. Their phone is (206) 935-1206. E-mail them at [email protected]
    2. Baptist Press, "'Domestic partner registries' increase nationwide," 1999-OCT-14. Available at Maranatha Christian Journal at:
    3. "France legalizes marriage benefits to same-sex couples," The Feminist Majority Foundation, at:
    4. "Germany's top court refuses to block same-sex couples law," Associated Press, 2001-JUL-18.
  9. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    Beliefs and the Nature of Homosexuality
    Studies of Sexual Orientation

    Beliefs about the nature of homosexuality

    The two most extreme belief systems about homosexuality are explained below. It is important to realize that many -- perhaps most -- North Americans hold beliefs that are intermediate between these two viewpoints. There is a strong variation of belief with age. Many youth and young adults follow the liberal view; most middle aged and elderly persons hold conservative views:

    [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some additional beliefs by religious conservatives are:[/font]

    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some conservative Christians believe that a homosexual's feelings of attraction to members of the same sex will dissipate once they trust Jesus as Lord and Savior and are saved. They base this on a Biblical passage: 1 Corinthians 6:11. One interpretation of that verse is that some of the recipients of his letter to the church at Corinth were homosexuals before they became Christians, but were converted to heterosexuality after becoming saved.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some religious conservatives believe that homosexual behavior is an addiction similar to drugs and alcohol. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]All efforts to treat homosexuality as a normal and natural practice must be resisted. Otherwise, more youth will experiment with it and get trapped in the lifestyle. [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Some religious conservatives believe that the institution of marriage was created by God thousands of years ago. They interpret the Bible as saying that marriages must only be between one man and one woman, and that any sexual behavior outside of marriage is forbidden. Thus, since gays and lesbians cannot marry each other, they feel that all same-sex sexual activity is a sin. They conclude that homosexuals must remain celibate.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]


    Studies of sexual orientation:

    Some people believe that there are only two sexual orientations (feelings of sexual attraction):

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Heterosexual - a person who is sexually attracted only to members of the opposite gender, or[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Homosexual - a person who is sexually attracted only to members of the same gender.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    This is not a useful model, because it ignores two minorities:

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Asexuals - people who have feelings of sexual attraction to neither gender[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Bisexuals - people who are attracted (perhaps to different degrees) to both genders[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    Most researchers into human sexuality look upon sexual orientation as a continuum:

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Those with solely heterosexual feelings form one extreme; they are free to select celibacy, or to seek sexual activity with members of the opposite sex.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Those with solely homosexual feelings form the other extreme; they can be celibate or enter into relationships with members of their own gender.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]In the middle are bisexuals. Being sexually attracted to both genders they can choose: [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]only heterosexual relationships[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]only homosexual relationships[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]relationships with both men and women[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]celibacy[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    Most human sexuality researchers believe that one's orientation is fixed and unchangeable. Exceptions are those specialists in human sexuality who are also religious conservatives. Many of the latter are members of NARTH, a small professional organization that promotes conservative religious beliefs about homosexuality.

    A number of techniques have been used to try to suppress homosexual feelings and/or create heterosexual feelings in gays and lesbians: 1

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]lesbians had their breasts amputated.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]lesbians had their perfectly healthy uteri removed.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]gays were given aversion therapy; e.g. clients were shown pictures of naked men and simultaneously shocked with electricity.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]brain surgery in the form of frontal lobotomies.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]castration.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]counseling and psychotherapy.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]drug therapy: e.g. animal-organ extracts, cocaine, estrogen, testosterone.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]positive therapy: e.g. men were asked to masturbate and then were shown pictures of women just before orgasm.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]prayer and spiritual counseling.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]therapy by tedium: men were shown homoerotic pictures until they became totally bored.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]During the Nazi regime in Germany, Himmler attempted to "cure" gays by requiring them to visit the camp brothel at Flossenburg. "Ten Ravensbruck women provided the services with little success. The women [were later]...shipped to Auschwitz" for execution.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]During the recent apartheid regime in South Africa, gays and lesbians were considered deviants. They were sent to a special ward of a military hospital to be "rehabilitated." This involved electric shock treatments and chemical castration. Those who could not be "cured" were given sex-change operations. A number of "patients" died.[/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    The success rate of these therapies has been between 0% and something less than 0.1%. Some of these "therapies" can persuade homosexuals to be celibate, either through terror, guilt, or persuasion that God considers same-sex behavior to be an abomination. They can persuade bisexuals to confine their sexual activities to members of the opposite sex. They may even be able to train gays to successfully have sex with a woman, while fantasize about making love to another man. But therapies do not seem to be capable of changing one's feelings (one's sexual orientation). 4


    When in Life is a Person's Sexual Orientation Determined?

    There appears to be no agreement between the beliefs of conservative Christians and results of scientific studies:

    [/font][​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Religious conservative belief: A common theme running through literature from the larger Evangelical Christian organizations is that homosexual behavior is unnatural, abnormal, and despised by God as an abomination. This is echoed by many Jewish and Muslim writers. They derive this from their interpretation of some key biblical passages. They also believe that a person chooses their sexual orientation after puberty. Some individuals then experiment with homosexual behavior, and quickly become addicted to it. Because of this belief, many conservative Christians are opposed to positive representations of lesbian and gay characters on TV. (e.g. Ellen, Friends, Will & Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy). They feel that any move to treat a homosexual orientation and behavior as normal and natural will cause more youth to experiment with same-sex relationships. Religious conservatives also frequently oppose educational programs about homosexuality, high-school support groups for gay and lesbian youth, etc. because they tend to also promote homosexuality as normal and natural for a minority of persons.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Scientific studies: [/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Detection of homosexual propensity in children: Richard Green, a psychiatrist from UCLA has compared effeminate with "masculine" boys. 5 Children who grow up to become homosexuals often engage in "gender inappropriate play" in early childhood. 6 "'Feminine' boys played about four times as much with the doll...a third as much with the truck." By interviewing their child subjects later in life when they were in their teens and early twenties, the researchers found that 75% of the effeminate boys had become gay adult males. It is obvious that these boys were not taught this behavior. They did not copy their behavior from other children in the family; they were often under harsh and severe pressure from their parents to change. One reasonable conclusion is that that they are driven to this type of behavior by an innate trait which is outside of their control and consciousness.[/font]
    [​IMG][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Cross-cultural study: Whitham and Mathy studied 375 homosexual men in Brazil, Guatemala, Peru, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States. 7 They consistently found that 25% of homosexual men display highly gender atypical behavior, while 50% showed marked gender atypical behavior as young children. They played with what are normally considered girls' toys and were regarded as sissies. These studies also find the same effect among adult lesbians; however, the percentages are much lower. [/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]

    These types of studies indicate that the factor(s) which determines sexual orientation often effect very early in a child's life (perhaps before birth). 5,8
    [​IMG][/font][font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica] ​

    1. Chandler Burr, "A Separate Creation: The search for the biological origins of sexual orientation", DIANE Publishing, (1996), [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store [/font]
    2. "Quotations," at: and many other places on the Internet.
    3. "Best of the Federalist," at:
    4. Paul Kirk, "Apartheid army forced gay soldiers into sex change operations," q-online, 2000-JUL-28, at:
    5. [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Richard Green, "The 'Sissy Boy Syndrome' and the development of homosexuality", Yale University Press, New Haven CT (1987) [/font]
    6. Op Cit, Chandler Burr, Page 116-7.
    7. Frederick Whitam & Robin Mathy, "Male Homosexuality in Four Societies: Brazil, Guatemala, the Philippines and the United States," Praeger, New York NY (1986)
    8. Bruce Bagemihl, "Biological Exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity," St. Martins Press, (1999) [font=trebuchet ms,arial,helvetica]Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store [/font]
  10. NOVAJock

    NOVAJock Modded & Underrated

    Oct 31, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Nowhere in particular
    In 2005, Canada legalized Gay marriage. Thanks to ManyHampsters for the following information!

    Prime Minister Paul Martin's Feb. 16 Speech on Same-Sex Marriage Bill C-38

    As Reported by Hansard:

    Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act. I rise in support of a Canada in which liberties are safeguarded, rights are protected and the people of this land are treated as equals under the law.

    This is an important day. The attention of our nation is focused on this chamber in which John Diefenbaker introduced the Bill of Rights, and in which Pierre Trudeau fought to establish the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Our deliberations will not be merely about a piece of legislation or sections of legal text. More deeply they will be about the kind of nation we are today and the nation we want to be.

    This bill protects minority rights. This bill affirms the charter guarantee of religious freedom. It is that straightforward and it is that important.

    That is why I stand before members here today and before the people of our country to say that I believe in and I will fight for the Charter of Rights. I believe in and I will fight for a Canada that respects the foresight and the vision of those who created and entrenched the charter. I believe in and I will fight for a future in which generations of Canadians to come, Canadians born here and abroad, have the opportunity to value the charter as we do today, as an essential pillar of our democratic freedom.

    There have been a number of arguments put forward by those who do not support this bill. It is important and it is respectful to examine them and to assess them. Let me do so now.

    First, some have claimed that, once this bill becomes law, religious freedoms will be less than fully protected. This is demonstrably untrue. As it pertains to marriage, the government’s legislation affirms the Charter guarantee: that religious officials are free to perform such ceremonies in accordance with the beliefs of their faith.

    In this, we are guided by the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada, which makes clear that in no church, no synagogue, no mosque, no temple—in no religious house will those who disagree with same sex unions be compelled to perform them. Period. That is why this legislation is about civil marriage, not religious marriage.

    Moreover, and this is crucially important, the Supreme Court has declared unanimously:

    --the guarantee of religious freedom in section 2(a) of the Charter is broad enough to protect religious officials from being compelled by the state to perform civil or religious same-sex marriages that are contrary to their religious beliefs.

    The facts are plain. Religious leaders who preside over marriage ceremonies must and will be guided by what they believe. If they do not wish to celebrate marriages for same sex couples, that is their right. The Supreme Court says so and the charter says so.

    One final observation on this aspect of the issue: Religious leaders have strong views both for and against this legislation. They should express them. Certainly, many of us in this House, myself included, have a strong faith, and we value that faith and its influence on the decisions we make.

    But all of us have been elected to serve here as parliamentarians. And, as public legislators, we are responsible for serving all Canadians and protecting the rights of all Canadians.

    We will be influenced by our faith but we also have an obligation to take the widest perspective—to recognize that one of the great strengths of Canada is its respect for the rights of each and every individual, to understand that we must not shrink from the need to reaffirm the rights and responsibilities of Canadians in an evolving society.

    The second argument ventured by opponents of the bill is that government ought to hold a national referendum on this issue. I reject this, not out of a disregard for the view of the people, but because it offends the very purpose of the charter.

    The charter was enshrined to ensure that the rights of minorities are not subjected--are never subjected--to the will of the majority. The rights of Canadians who belong to a minority group must always be protected by virtue of their status as citizens, regardless of their numbers, and these rights must never be left vulnerable to the impulses of the majority.

    We embrace freedom and equality in theory. We must also embrace them in fact.

    Third, some have counseled the government to extend to gays and lesbians the right to “civil union”. This would give same sex couples many of the rights of a wedded couple, but their relationships would not legally be considered marriage. In other words, they would be equal, but not quite as equal as the rest of Canadians.

    The courts have clearly and consistently ruled that this option would offend the equality provisions of the charter. For instance, the British Columbia Court of Appeal stated that, and I quote: “Marriage is the only road to true equality for same sex couples. Any other form of recognition of same sex relationships... falls short of true equality”.

    Put simply, we must always remember that “separate but equal” is not equal. What is more, those who call for the establishment of civil unions fail to understand that the Government of Canada does not have the constitutional jurisdiction to do so. Only the provinces have that. Only the provinces could define such a regime, and they could define it in 10 different ways, and some jurisdictions might not bother to define it at all. There would be uncertainty. There would be confusion. There would certainly not be equality.

    Fourth, some are urging the government to respond to the decisions of the courts by getting out of the marriage business altogether. That would mean no more civil weddings for any couples.

    It is worth noting that this idea was rejected by the major religions themselves when their representatives appeared before the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in 2003. Moreover, it would seem to be an extreme and counterproductive response for the government to deny civil marriage to opposite sex couples simply so that it can keep it from same sex couples. To do so would simply be to replace one form of discrimination with another.

    Finally, there are some who oppose this legislation who would have the government use the notwithstanding clause in the Charter of Rights to override the courts and reinstate the traditional definition of marriage. And really, this is the fundamental issue here.

    Understand that in seven provinces and one territory, the lawful union of two people of the same sex in civil marriage is already the law of the land. The debate here today is not about whether to change the definition of marriage—it has been changed. The debate comes down to whether we should override a right that is now in place. The debate comes down to the charter, the protection of minority rights, and whether the federal government should invoke the notwithstanding clause.

    I know that some think we should use the clause. For example, some religious leaders feel this way. I respect their candour in publicly recognizing that because same sex marriage is already legal in most of the country, the only way—the only way—to again make civil marriage the exclusive domain of opposite sex couples is to use the notwithstanding clause.

    Ultimately, there is only one issue before the House in this debate. For most Canadians, in most parts of our country, same sex marriage is already the law of the land. Thus, the issue is not whether rights are to be granted. The issue is whether rights that have been granted are to be taken away.

    Some are frank and straightforward and say yes. Others have not been so candid. Despite being confused--

    An hon. member: Who's confused?

    Right Hon. Paul Martin: You are.

    Despite being confronted with clear facts, despite being confronted with the unanimous opinion of 134 legal scholars, experts in their field, intimately familiar with the Constitution, some have chosen to not be forthright with Canadians. They have eschewed the honest approach in favour of the political approach. They have attempted to cajole the public into believing that we can return to the past with a simple snap of the fingers, that we can revert to the traditional definition of marriage without consequence and without overriding the charter. They are insincere. They are disingenuous. And they are wrong.

    There is one question that demands an answer, a straight answer, from those who would seek to lead this nation and its people. It is a simple question. Will the notwithstanding clause be used to overturn the definition of civil marriage and deny Canadians a right that is guaranteed under the charter?

    This question does not demand rhetoric. It demands clarity. There are only two legitimate answers: yes or no. Not the demagoguery we have heard, not the dodging, not the flawed reasoning, not the false options, but simply yes or no. Will we take away a right that is guaranteed under the charter? I, for one, will answer that question and I will answer it clearly. I will say no.

    The notwithstanding clause is part of the Charter of Rights. But there is a reason that no prime minister has ever used it. For a prime minister to use the powers of his office to explicitly deny rather than affirm a right enshrined under the charter would serve as a signal to all minorities that no longer can they look to the nation’s leader and to the nation’s Constitution for protection, for security, for the guarantee of their freedoms.

    We would risk becoming a country in which the defence of rights is weighed, calculated and debated based on electoral or other considerations. That would set us back decades as a nation. It would be wrong for the minorities of this country. It would be wrong for Canada.

    The charter is the living document. It is the heartbeat of our Constitution.

    It is also a proclamation. It declares that as Canadians we live under a progressive and inclusive set of fundamental beliefs about the value of the individual. It declares that we are all lessened when any one of us is denied a fundamental right.

    We cannot exalt the charter as a fundamental aspect of our national character and then use the notwithstanding clause to reject the protections that it would extend. Our rights must be eternal, not subject to political whim.

    For those who value the charter yet oppose the protection of rights for same sex couples, I ask them: if the Prime Minister and a national government are willing to take away the rights of one group, what is there to say that they will stop at that? If the charter is not there today to protect the rights of one minority, then how can we as a nation of minorities ever hope, ever believe and ever trust that it will be there to protect us tomorrow?

    My responsibility as Prime Minister, my duty to Canada and to Canadians, is to defend the charter in its entirety, not to pick and choose the rights that our laws will protect and those that are to be ignored, not to declare those who shall be equal and those who shall not be equal. My duty is to protect the charter as some in this House will not.

    Let us never forget that one of the reasons Canada is such a vibrant nation, so diverse, so rich in the many cultures and races of the world, is that immigrants who come here, as was the case with the ancestors of many of us in this chamber, feel free and are free to practice their religion, to follow their faith and to live as they want to live. No homogeneous system of beliefs is imposed on them.

    When we as a nation protect minority rights, we are protecting our multicultural nature. We are reinforcing the Canada we cherish. We are saying proudly and unflinchingly that defending rights, not just those that happen to apply to us, not just those that everyone else approves of, but all fundamental rights, is at the very soul of what it means to be a Canadian. This is a vital aspect of the values we hold dear and strive to pass on to others in the world who are embattled, who endure tyranny, whose freedoms are curtailed and whose rights are violated.

    Why is the charter so important? We have only to look at our own history. Unfortunately, Canada's story is one in which not everyone's rights were protected under the law. We have not been free from discrimination. We have not been free from bias or unfairness. There have been blatant inequalities. Remember that it was once thought perfectly acceptable to deny women personhood and the right to vote. There was a time not so long ago when if one wore a turban one could not serve in the RCMP. The examples are many, but what is important now is that they are part of our past, not our present.

    Over time, perspectives changed. We evolved and we grew and our laws evolved and grew with us. That is as it should be. Our laws must reflect equality, not as we understood it a century or even a decade ago, but as we understand it today.

    For gays and lesbians, evolving social attitudes have, over the years, prompted a number of important changes in the law. Recall that, until the late 1960s, the state believed it had the right to peek into our bedrooms. Until 1977, homosexuality was still sufficient grounds for deportation. Until 1992, gay people were prohibited from serving in the military. In many parts of the country, gays and lesbians could not designate their partners as beneficiaries under employee medical and dental benefits, insurance policies or private pensions. Until very recently, people were being fired merely for being gay.

    Today, we rightly see discrimination based on sexual orientation as arbitrary, inappropriate and unfair. Looking back, we can hardly believe that such rights were ever a matter for debate. It is my hope that we will ultimately see the current debate in a similar light; realizing that nothing has been lost or sacrificed by the majority in extending full rights to the minority

    Without our relentless, inviolable commitment to equality and minority rights, Canada would not be at the forefront in accepting newcomers from all over the world, in making a virtue of our multicultural nature—the complexity of ethnicities and beliefs that make up Canada, that make us proud that we are where our world is going, not where it’s been.

    Four years ago I stood in the House and voted to support the traditional definition of marriage. Many of us did. My misgivings about extending the right of civil marriage to same sex couples were a function of my faith and my perspective on the world around us, but much has changed since that day.

    We have heard from courts across the country, including the Supreme Court. We have come to the realization that instituting civil unions, adopting a separate but equal approach would violate the equality provisions of the charter. We have confirmed that extending the right of civil marriage to gays and lesbians will not in any way infringe on religious freedoms.

    Where does that leave us? I believe it leaves us staring in the face of the Charter of Rights with but a single decision to make. Do we abide by the Charter of Rights and protect minority rights or do we not?

    I urge those who would oppose the bill to consider that the core of the issue before us today is whether the rights of all Canadians are to be respected. I believe they must be: justice demands it, fairness demands it and the Canada we love demands it.

    In the 1960s, the government of Lester Pearson faced opposition as it moved to entrench official bilingualism. But it persevered, and it won the day. Its members believed it was the right thing to do, and it was. In the 1980s, the government of Pierre Trudeau faced opposition as it attempted to repatriate the Constitution and enshrine a Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But it persevered, and it won the day. Its members believed it was the right thing to do, and it was.

    There are times when we as parliamentarians can feel the gaze of history upon us. They felt in the days of Pearson and they felt in the days of Trudeau. We, the 308 men and women elected to represent one of the most inclusive, just and respectful countries on the face of this earth, feel it today.

    There are few nations whose citizens cannot look to Canada and see their own reflection. For generations, men, women and families from the four corners of the globe have made the decision to choose Canada as their home. Many have come here seeking freedom of thought, religion and belief, seeking the freedom simply to be.

    The people of Canada have worked hard to build a country that opens its doors to include all, regardless of their differences; a country that respects all, regardless of their differences; and a country that demands equality for all, regardless of their differences.

    If we do not step forward, then we will step back. If we do not protect a right, then we deny it. Together as a nation, together as Canadians, let us step forward.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page