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Why We Should Oppose Gay Marriage

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*Editors note: This post was submitted anonymously in response to this post by Madeleine McAulay.

Why should we oppose gay marriage?  Most often the argument is religious in nature, but in fact there are many reasons why a secular society should oppose gay marriage (or more precisely support traditional marriage), the recent SCOTUS decisions notwithstaning.

First, LGBT’s contend the restriction of marriage being between a man and a woman is arbitrary and capricious.  They believe marriage should be redefined as requiring only mutual consent.  Therefore, in the interest of fairness we must view other restrictions such as age, relation and number as arbitrary and capricious as well.

So the polygamy and incest arguments, though well-worn, remain valid.  Polygamy should be legal because “two” is arbitrary, and incest because the only defense the LGBT community has offered against it is for public health reasons.  But regarding public health risks, few behaviors are riskier than men having sex with men.  According to the CDC and other studies, MSM are 50x more likely to contract HIV than the general populace, have a 50x greater chance of contracting HEP B, 3-4x for syphilis, 10x for HPV (and therefore anal cancer), among other things. “Gay Bowel Syndrome,” exclusive as the name implies, results from repeated oral-anal contact leading to ingestion of harmful parasites such as giardia.

In terms of mental health, a recent Dutch study concluded “that homosexuality is not only associated with mental health problems during adolescence and early adulthood, as has been suggested, but also in later life.”   Yes, the Dutch, one of the most accepting societies of the gay lifestyle.  One study determined that a gay man can expect to live 20 years less than a heterosexual man.  By contrast, smoking reduces life expectancy 13.5 years. In terms of costs to society, the CDC spends over $500M each year to educate gay men on the risks of unprotected sex. The federal government spends $2B+ annually on HIV research, a rate seven times that of cancer victims, for what is largely a preventable disease. Several school districts now spend taxpayer money to survey self-identified LGBT students to ensure they are not bullied. In terms of costs to society (and taxpayer expenditures), on a per-person basis we would be better off outlawing gay sex first, then smoking, then incest. Clearly, the public health defense offered by the LGBT community is a ruse.  Legalize gay marriage, legalize incest.

Second, marriage has been instituted as a benefit, not a right as the LGBT community claims. News reports after the recent SCOTUS ruling cited some 1100 benefits SSM would now be entitled to. If this were not about benefits, what would prevent the LGBT community from forming their own church and performing a ceremony? Often the media runs a story on gay couples in long, monogamous relationships, the implication being it is de facto marriage.  It should be noted these couples are an extreme exception.  In a recent study of “married” gay men in San Francisco, 50% admitted to their partner they have sex outside of marriage. (We can reasonably assume the other half lied.) Bell & Weinberg state that 83% of gay men estimate they’ve had 50+ different partners in their lifetime, although this study is somewhat dated.

Fidelity concerns (or lack thereof) aside, presently every couple must purchase a license from the state prior to marrying. This is different than a right, which is granted freely.  One does not have to pay a poll tax to vote, for instance. Contrary to the insistence of a “right” to marry a person of the same sex, the provision of benefits to one group does not constitute a denial of rights to another.

Third, in a knee-jerk reaction the pro-GM crowd says if they cannot get married then we should outlaw marriage because there is divorce (or the converse- outlaw divorce). This is, of course, ridiculous. A society does not eliminate an entire institution because one aspect is undesirable.  Using this logic, we should outlaw automobiles because people are killed in car crashes.

Fourth, the pro-GM crowd claims that since their marriage would not affect others directly, one cannot be against it. But the fabric of society is woven with indirect threads.  For instance, prostitution allows two consenting adults to get want they want out of a particular “transaction.”  Presumably, since prostitution is illegal in all 50 states (almost all towns in Nevada have outlawed it), millions of people are against it even though they are not affected directly.  How can this be? Because society has decided it is morally

reprehensible to sell oneself for sexual favors, even if such behavior does not affect them directly. Yet, using the gay marriage argument, we should claim all adults have a “right” to prostitute themselves since most of us are not affected.

The above logic notwithstanding, gay marriage does in fact intrude upon others. The recent actions of the LGBT community overwhelmingly affirm this.  Re-defining marriage affects every employer who, despite long-held personal beliefs to the contrary, must now offer married benefits to same-sex couples or face harassment and intimidation.  Witness the Innkeeper in VT, who is being sued by a gay couple because he refused to book their reception, or the bridal shop owner in NJ who was picketed when she refused to sell two wedding gowns, or the bakery in CO who received over 1,000 angry and threatening messages for refusing to bake a cake for two gay men. Chick-Fil-A was targeted for a “kiss-in” because of their CEO’s support for traditional marriage.

The LGBT community rationalizes this by comparing SSM to civil rights- i.e. African-Americans were denied service at a lunch counter simply because of the color of their skin.  This is yet another false equivalency.  One does not choose their gender or race, whereas marriage is a conscious choice.  Others must now condone this choice or face legal action. Who exactly is “free and equal” in this case?  A truly open-minded person would say if same-sex benefits are hugely important, they would seek employment at those companies that offer them. Further, if it is good for business, companies will, of their own volition, offer them.

Even universities, those bastions of open-mindedness and tolerance, have banned Chick Fil A from their campuses.  In Charlotte alone, Davidson and Elon have, and there may be others. The Davidson example is especially puzzling because at the same time the student union was banning CFA, their president was holding a series of speeches titled “The Importance of Tolerance.”  Indeed, a tolerant approach would be to allow CFA to operate on campus and let the students decide via their meal choices whether or not CFA belongs. (It seems our institutions of higher learning are selectively tolerant of liberal causes only. Imagine the uproar if a pro-gay marriage company, say Ben & Jerry’s, was banned from campus for their founder’s political beliefs.)

This intimidation reaches the highest levels of municipal government. San Francisco, Boston and Chicago mayors are on record as discouraging the Chick Fil A from expanding in their cities. The head of Miami-Dade County Public Schools recently sought to terminate a church’s lease of a school building because the pastor had preached a series of sermons affirming traditional marriage.  Who is being exclusionary in these cases?  Regardless of which side of the debate a person is on, we set a frightening precedent when government officials seek to eliminate businesses and churches because the disagree with their politics.

The LGBT community insists they should be free to do what they want, yet sue/intimidate/harass those who exercise that same freedom to disagree. They preach tolerance but do not tolerate dissent from gay orthodoxy.

This brings up a final point: those who dare affirm traditional marriage are branded as “hateful” or “bigoted.” For example, stoprightwingnuts.com posted a list of donors in favor of Proposition 8, California’s marriage amendment. Business owners and individuals were systematically picketed and harassed. (This is especially ironic coming from a group championing “anti-bullying” campaigns.) In an act of sickening complicity, the LA Times actually posted a searchable on-line database of donors, thus enabling these groups to target further harassment.

Of course, not everyone who affirms traditional marriage is hateful or bigoted. In fact, no less than the liberal NY State Supreme Court ruled, “until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this

belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.”  Justice Antonin Scalia echoed this in the recent SCOTUS gay marriage ruling.

Thus, we have seen that if one restriction- marriage be of the opposite sex- is eliminated, all others should be subject to review; that a benefit to one group does not necessarily mean another suffers discrimination; that society often makes judgments about acceptable moral norms even though the vast majority are not directly affected by such norms; and that those hold the traditional view of marriage may do so for reasons other than hateful bigotry. In light of this, societies- in the form of individual states- have passed judgment on the nature of marriage and have found, in almost every case, that existing restrictions are appropriate and should remain.

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