On marriage

I think traditional marriage, which often includes children, is the glue that holds a stable society together. Married couples, especially those with or planning to have children, have an enormous incentive to hold jobs, save money, create safe communities, look to the future politically, and to crave non-revolutionary continuity when it comes to social and political issues. They’re the antidote to anarchy. That’s why I’ve been so opposed to gay marriage. It’s not because I think gays should be punished. I’ve long said that I support extending certain legal benefits (and concomitant burdens) to committed gay couples. My opposition comes about because I’ve seen gay marriage as a slippery slope, a wedge issue, aimed at doing away with traditional marriage entirely, with all that this radical change implies.

Stanley Kurtz now writes a lengthy article that essentially says my instincts are right. While many gays just want to “get married,” the intellectuals behind the gay marriage movement have much larger plans that really go to destroying marriage all together. And because I think traditional marriage is one of the single most important aspects of a healthy society, I’m baulking completely at heading down the gay marriage path. I’m not homophobic; I’m traditional marriage-philic!

As an aside, I’ve realized that this issue, too, fits into my handy-dandy Leftist morality matrix. On the feelings side of the morality discussion, Leftists let us know that, even though some in our culture have embraced a non-traditional lifestyle, it hurts their feelings that we exclude them from the marriage tradition. It’s just soooo not fair. I agree that it may be hurtful, but I don’t agree that these feelings justify a radical change to a social, moral and religious institution. There may be other reasons to change the institution, but hurt feelings don’t qualify in the argument.

On the hierarchy side, of course, gays, lesbians, transgenders, etc., are downtrodden — they’re small in number, they’re the victim of more crimes, they have higher levels of partner abuse and substance abuse, and they may have a higher suicide rate. Therefore, Leftist morality ordains them on the side of “right,” and they deserve to prevail. I, however, say that while these statistics are grim, and I’d like to see them change, but (a) I doubt free-for-all-marriage will force the change and (b) this underdog status is still not a valid argument for changing traditional marriage as we know it.

UPDATE:  Perhaps in response to this post, a friend sent me a link to an adulatory LA Times story about two men and their journey to have a baby:

It was their fifth attempt in 15 months to create a pregnancy through a gestational surrogacy arrangement. To get to this point, they had gone through two egg retrievals, 58 eggs, 43 embryos, two embryo freezes, three frozen embryo thaws, four failed embryo transfers, two surrogates and more than $100,000.

My friend was less enchanted than the LA Times writer.  His comment?  “One word for it: SELFISH!  Though other words come to mind…”

I’m all for having babies, and Chad and David sound like fiscally sound people who desperately want a child.  In many ways, they’re ideal.  Nevertheless, this whole brave new world, with scientists drifting in and out of women’s bodies to create a baby for two men is unnerving, to say the least.

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  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    And how does this position differ from a conspiracy theory?

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Conspiracy theories are usually what happens when someone applies the scientific method, incorrectly, to several facts and correlations of facts that they have witnessed or believed in.

    So they draw conclusions from disparate events, according to whatever pet theory they had available at the time. The events and the data, all justify their thesis, simply because all events are made to be consistent with their thesis, by whatever means are available. All sorts of explanations and interpretations of fact and data are done in order to mold the data to fit the hypothesis, instead of changing the hypothesis to fit the data.

    Human instinct is usually derivative, meaning either mathematically it is derivative based upon calculus, or it is derivative logically because it is deduced from principles that we know to be true.

    We already know that the Left focuses a lot of energy on revolutionizing society and America. It is only one step removed in order to expose a single facet of that operation. It doesn’t require that every claim about the Left be true, it only requires that one be true, specifically the one touted as the information the conclusion was derived from. Because it is straight line, A to B, to C, instead of trigonometric, which is cos a side a sin b side b tangent c, side b over a. Conspiracy theories try to fit the pieces into a coherent whole, a full picture. So if even one side of their triangle is skewed, they can get messed up and not even know about it until they redo all their calculations to see in fact, whether all the data they got was consistent with each other, as the sides of a triangle are consistent via the angles of that triangle.

    The case here is pretty clear cut, especially if people have read Steven Den Beste’s piece on gay marriage (link sent to Bookworm earlier). Revolutionizing society is not a task that should be taken nonseriously or for frivolous wishes and desires. The system as we know it, must be used, for that is the roots from which all else spreads. Uproot the foundation and collapse is eminent. Gays cannot win by going to the courts, because a democracy isn’t run by the courts, it is run by the social compact. The belief of the majority of Americans, that when they get together and have a debate and then a vote, the losing side agrees to accept their loss. When gays bring their cases to the courts, for the courts to enforce, bypassing legislation and the social debate, their gains are ephemeral and temporary. It is a quick and selfish motivation, to get what they want now, but in the long term, wisdom would advise against it. The foundation of which I speak is the Constitutional method, and any revolutionizing of it, will be enough to disrupt everything.

    All these are deductive conclusions. From the Constitution to the bypassing of the Constitution, to the enforcement of laws that the people of America neither voted on nor agreed that they had lost in a fair fight.

    Bookworm’s argument would be far weaker, had gays accepted simple legal unions, and did not demand for the status of marriage, as if the title of marriage would make them socially acceptable and normal. If gay unions and what not, had compromised, and been reasonable, as if they were negotiating and debating their fellow Americans instead of attempting to rule over them, then Bookworm’s thesis of the radical revolutionary impulses behind the gay movement would have started becoming inconsistent and jagged with reality.

    Revolutionary movements do not, in fact, settle for compromises. De fact or de jure. Their aims are to overthrow, not to reform. To replace the current power structure with their own. By holding a hardcore stance against legal unions, the gay unions, their lawyers, their backers, and their masters further strenghten Bookworm’s case that they are radicals and disinterested in reform or compromise.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Seems like Ymarsakar is the official spokesperson for BW.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    Which only proves that helen can ask the questions, but can’t take the answers. Talk the talk, but not where it matters. Invade the country, but not get rid of the enemies in the country.

    Rope a dope gets boring after awhile.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    What are you talking about? I asked why BW can’t answer her own comments. What talk should I have done “where it matters”? What country did I invade? And who are the enemies? The “voices in your head” are telling lies, Y. And BW, is this your blog or his?

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    No, helen, what are you talking about.

    And how does this position differ from a conspiracy theory?

    Comment by helenl | October 31, 2006

    This is an internet forum, specially modified. It is not an email exchange between you and dear Bookworm.

    Where do you get off being upset and in a huff because someone else posts a comment right after yours, talking about some of the same subjects that you did?

    Where do you get off asking questions, and then acting hostile and snarky when you belittle, in your view, the answerer? Did it ever occur to you that I wasn’t specifically answering for Bookworm or even answering your questions, but talking about some topics to Bookworm and anyone else who was reading that was just coincidentally related to your topic?

    No, I suppose it did not. Come on helen, you think this was “talking to Bookworm”?


    Seems like Ymarsakar is the official spokesperson for BW.

    Comment by helenl | October 31, 2006

    That wasn’t to Bookworm. You are using the English language, correct? I do believe you are.

    What it seems like, is that you are talking about me in the third person to just whoever is up in the clouds, because you got upset that someone else posted a comment after yours. As you said in another thread, you objected. As if you have the right to object to someone else posting on a subject related to yours. You don’t own the subject of conspiracy theories, let me assure you.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    There is a certain sports guy on the radio in S.F. – irritating voice, somewhat insightful and fairly well-informed, who paid a surrogate to bear him a child. Which he, a single father, is “raising”.

    Talk about ego! Had this man adopted a hard-to-place child who would otherwise not have had a stable family, I would be happy to applaud. But to purposely bring a child into the world to be raised without a real mother, despite the abundant evidence on the harm suffered by children who do not have an intact family with both Mom and Dad, is so supremely selfish that I could no longer EVER listen to this turkey. When he started talking, I changed the station.

    I feel the same about same-sex couples who “want children”. There are lots of children out there who need their caring and support. Making a baby as an act of ego gratification just illustrates one’s lack of the necessary qualifications for parenthood.

    And, by the way, Madonna’s recent performance with the African kid is another chapter from the same book! Blech.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com/ Don Quixote

    Hi Helenl,

    It is in the nature of an active blog like this one that, whenever you ask a question, any reader is liable to step up to the plate and try to answer it. Y appears to have more time than the rest of us, and must type very fast, but buried in the wall of words are interesting, and often useful, ideas. Please don’t be offended when he and others add to the discussion.

    Personally, I’m puzzled by the question. BW makes the excellent point that people with children are more likely to be concerned about the future and heterosexual people are more likely to have children. Whether you agree or disagree with her, there is no element of conspiracy theory in that point. She makes a second point that liberal support for gay marriage is consistent with what, in other places, is called “identity politics.” Because gays can be viewed as an oppressed minority whose rights are being denied, since liberals always favor oppressed minorities, it makes sense that they would favor gays. No conspiracy theory there.

    The one bit of BW’s thoughts that does sometimes sound a little like a conspiracy theory (and with which I disagree) is her belief that many, if not most, of the members of the American left truly wish to destroy the basic pillars of American society. BW believes that many liberals genuinely want to replace equality with rights based on identity, replace capitalism with socialism, replace freedom of speech with political correctness. (She also thinks that opening marriage up to gays will destroy marriage as we know it, whther that is the intended consequence or not. I disagree, and favor legalizing gay marriages.) I agree that many liberals have these individual goals, but I believe that they think this will make America better, not destroy it. While I vigorously disagree with them on much of this, I do not doubt that their motives are pure. BW sometimes does. I’m not speaking for BW, just trying to explain my understanding of her views. I’m sure if I’ve got it wrong, she’ll correct me. Anyway, thanks for chiming in and I hope you’ll continue to do so.

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar

    I don’t have all that much more time compared to you, Don, and Bookworm. I just choose to specialize, instead of spending small amounts of time here and there, reading many many blogs and commenting on many many blogs.

    For example, it would take me forever to write the blog posts, Bookworm shoots out like gatling rounds. Links here, pictures, omg. Logistical nightmare.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    Ymarsakar, After reading Don’s comment, I think I owe you an apology, not for my opinions, but for presuming this blog was conducted like many I visit (where the blogger answers all comments unless something is addressed to another person by name). That’s how it works on my blog. But the fact is Bookworm has right to conduct this blog as though it were a forum, if she wishes.

    Time seems to be a major factor for everyone. It may look like some of us blog all day, but that’s usually not the case. All of us have to make choices. It seems as though you enjoy commenting on a few blogs, and this is one of them. I didn’t know that.

    But now I want to say I am sorry about saying or implying that you were out of order. Please accept my apology.

  • Al

    Emotions can realy run high in politics. In light of BW’s “Paranoid” post, it’s nice to see comentators calm down.
    Years ago I shipped out as a dishwasher on a freighter for a summer job in college. I was reading a Michner epic when a seaman snuggled his arm around my shoulders. I informed him that the shark looking for meat scaps at the stern whould have dinner if the arm was not removed. Homosexuality can create sudden fear and anger. I sang in the college glee club. The conductor, Hugh Allen Wilson, was one of the most intelligent, creative, and sensitive of individuals. He was also homosexual.
    I do not agree that giving homosexuals the privilage and the concomittant duties of marriage will weaken the foundations of society. There is no question that militant liberals are trying to use the homosexual marriage issue to further their own society shaking agenda. But this issue, like many others the libs use is just a weapon of oportunity.
    Many people insist that the primary purpose of marriage is to procreat. But the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer states the first purpose of a marriage is for the couple’s “mutual joy”, followed by “the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity”. Then comes the comment about having children,but only “if God wills it”. Page 423 And yes, the paragraph starts with “The union of husband and wife”, but one the major themes in the religions of man, in Christianity at least, is the expansion of the acceptance of groups and individuals into God’s love who in times past were considered unacceptable.
    Decisions on the legalisation of homosexual marriage belong in State legislatures, of course. Not in courts of any governmental level. The issue must be debated to exhaustion if it is to be understood and accepted by the citizens. And it will take a while.
    And it will be a good thing. Sexual promiscuity is never benificial. Having an acceptance by the general society of the concept of a stable, committed marriage between homosexuals would reduce the promiscuity among homosexuals.
    If such a concept had been in place in the US prior to 1975
    the AIDS epidemic would never have been anything like it is now.

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    I wish I shared your optimism, Al, about marriage slowing homosexual promiscuity, but that’s not true. I’ve known more homosexual “couples” than you can count, since I’ve lived most of my life in the Bay Area. These were guys who were in relationships they defined as “committed” and, indeed, many had lived together for years, if not decades. Without exception, though, theirs were emotional, not physical relationships and, without exception, one or both got AIDS owing to at least one partner’s frenzied promiscuity.

    I think that it’s women, who are genetically programmed to ensure security for their children, who drive monogamy in Western society. Women are the things that hold men down. If male marriages are anything like the male relationships I’ve seen for decades, their existence 30 years ago would have done nothing to change the AIDS epidemic.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ helenl

    There is more than one issue at play here. One, we are talking about homosexual marriage. Two, we are talking about male homosexuals adopting children. We have ignored three, a lesbian couple adopting children. What BW says in her last comment suggests that women (not straight women in a traditional marriage) are the ones “programmed to ensure security for their children.”

    I know a white lesbian couple (together about 20 years) who adopted biracial twins (a boy and a girl) during the first month of the babies lives. The infants had been abused and were taken by the state from their mother. (I know no other details). The girl now has psychological problems. But this does not prove that lesbians make poor mothers. There are too many questions (variables)? How does having a lesbian mother affect a child? How does having a mother of another race affect a child? How does knowing your birth mother tried to harm you affect a child? Do you believe in nature or nurture or a combination thereof?

    In the same manner, in her original post, BW fears that the legalization of homosexual marriage would cause the downfall of traditional marriage. It fits her “handy-dandy Leftist morality matrix.” Fine. I think she is more afraid of “the intellectuals behind the gay marriage movement [who] have much larger plans that really go to destroying marriage all together” than she is of the gays themselves. I think she’ll agree to that.

    She stated that often gays just want to get married. But if ” [their] hurt feelings don’t qualify in the argument {for marriage rather than a legal union, which BW states she could support,) why then is BW’s fear (remember fear is a feeling, rather than a fact) that “gay marriage [is] a slippery slope, a wedge issue, aimed at doing away with traditional marriage entirely, with all that this radical change implies” a valid consideration. Are some people’s feelings more important than other people’s feelings? I don’t think so.

    And this is why I called BW’s view a conspiracy theory. One thing leads to another in ways that are just too convenient. I think a bit of sensationalism is at play. What if I remind you that the biracial children (mentioned above as adopted by lesbians) were spared the fate of the eight year old in the post below this one? Maybe true, maybe not. Am I being heavy-handed?

    Oh, and reproduction issues are another issue entirely. There is the issue of in vitro fertilization and egg and sperm donors. This is not the same issue as whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to marry or adopt children conceived in the traditional manner.

    And BTW, BW, I guess you figured out that I changed my mind and decided to comment. It’s a woman’s prerogative. And a man’s for that matter.

  • Ymarsakar

    I wish I shared your optimism, Al, about marriage slowing homosexual promiscuity, but that’s not true. I’ve known more homosexual “couples” than you can count, since I’ve lived most of my life in the Bay Area. These were guys who were in relationships they defined as “committed” and, indeed, many had lived together for years, if not decades. Without exception, though, theirs were emotional, not physical relationships and, without exception, one or both got AIDS owing to at least one partner’s frenzied promiscuity.

    I think that it’s women, who are genetically programmed to ensure security for their children, who drive monogamy in Western society. Women are the things that hold men down. If male marriages are anything like the male relationships I’ve seen for decades, their existence 30 years ago would have done nothing to change the AIDS epidemic.

    Comment by Bookworm | November 1, 2006

    Ross was talking about the subject of whether matriarchies were better than patriarchies. He hit upon the concept of chivalry. Meaning, that men exist to protect women. If you have chivalry and patriarchy, then this gives the men of a society a LOT of incentive in order to become strong, hard working, and good role models. In order to attract good marriage deals of course. Marriage was an economic solution back in the past, because it allowed the two basic functions of society. The renewability and family orientation of a society, how a society renews itself and functions as a family without destroying itself. And the ability of a society to grow, by promoting advancements and hardwork amongst its population. Since men did not have family obligations keeping them at home and since they were physically stronger, more expendable, they were put into work as society’s vanguard in all fields. Farming, soldiering, political arguments, ambition, and etc.

    Genetically, a village can lose 80% of its men folk, but so long as the women are still there, they can repopulate. Worked for Russia. But if you lose even 50% of your women folk, and 30% of your men folk, what is going to happen is that your village is going to be outpopulated by your competitors. So on a genetic role, men were always more expendable than women and children.

    Technology changed our society, true, but the basics are still there, hidden over centuries of evolution and technological advancement.

    Now we have women in the work force, women in the military. Technology allows us to do this in a civilization, without our civilization crashing down around us. In WWII, women found other roles and ambitions, and they realized that they didn’t have to sacrifice being mothers, the conservative model, to do so. As technology equalized the distribution of risk, reward, and power between the sexes, so it made the culture more cosmopolitan, tolerant, and egalitarian.

    If you live in the medieval ages, then it is going to be pretty much like the Mid East. Except the medieval age had chivalry, the Mid East doesn’t.

    So to the topic. How will women in relationships with women, or men in relationships with men, become motivated in working hard, busting their arse, for their children? There is no Biological Imperative. Meaning, whatever you “construct”, is going to be a construction. It will not be based upon the thousand something million years of human evolution. So unless you are God and can construct something perfect and good, then you cannot just derail the conservative principles of don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, just on a whim.

    We know marriage works because of the fundamental instincts that drive humanity. Of a husband to protect his wife, of the parents to protect the children, of the parents desire to sacrifice in order for their children to have a better life. Humanity would not have survived if these instincts did not exist in the majority of humanity. So what are the Left going to do in terms of replacing these foundational principles that drive human nature and human society? How are they going to ensure that women on women and men on men relationships are balanced, and allow people to work harder for everyone’s benefit, instead of just being a parasite and suckiing off the resources of the group for their own personal use? Cause that is what individuals do when they dont’ got family and don’t got anyone to protect, the men go on raids and start killing. Or they try and assassinate Presidents. They become disruptions to the social fabric and civilization itself.

    If homosexuals cared about debating and convincing other people with the strength of their arguments, instead of the size of their legal department, then they would be coming up with ways to make sure that polygamy stays illegal. But they don’t care about that, they just blithely say that it won’t happen cause of blah, blah, blah. Homosexual marriage itself has problems, but the real problem is polygamy. Where a society has an excess of men who aren’t married, and not even allowed relationships with women. It becomes a dominance game, and dominance eventually turns destructive. Homosexuals don’t seem to even be paying attention to the Mid East model, or the problems of polygamy. THey just want what they want, and that is it. That is not enough in a democratic country.

  • http://connectthedots2006.blogspot.com/ Connect the Dots 2006

    Advocates in the psychology field at some point (1960’s?) decided to call homosexuality a ‘normal’ behavior when in fact, homosexuality is an aberration. That’s why heterosexual body parts fit so well together to procreate. That’s what they were designed for, not for pleasure–I’m thinking the pleasure part was added to propagate the species.

    Of course, just because someone decides to live a homosexual lifestyle, doesn’t preclude that individual from being a good parent. Unfortunately, what it does is cause the child to think that homosexuality is ‘normal,’ furthering the cause of the other team.

    I personally don’t believe that homosexual couples should raise children. Children need to be children, not drawn into any discussion of sex: it’s is purely the realm for adults. That’s what is the most troubling of this entire situation: these poor children are forced into the adult debate of homosexual ‘normalcy.’

    BTW, Ohio just overwhelmingly passed a heterosexual amendment last year. I think most normal hetero people don’t want this agenda pushed upon them. Marriage has been the joining of a man and a woman since the beginning of civilization.

    And, I’m still pissed about the other team hijacking the term ‘gay.’

  • http://ymarsakar.blogspot.com/ Ymarsakar


    Den Beste pretty much writes some of the definitive positions on homosexual marriage.

  • Pingback: More on gay marriage « Bookworm Room()

  • david

    I think we all should be responsible of what we do! Gay marriage may jeopardize society as a whole. In fact it is a risky matter if we think that it will solve gay people’s problems in no time.
    To revolutionize society is a very serious task; sometimes overwhelmig I should say; in word it is not all cream and peaches. So let’s be very careful because once reform bills are passed, we’ll all find ourselves in a brave new world .(No way out)!