Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Gay Marriage and Procreation

There was an interesting letter to the editor in the Times-News yesterday about Idaho's upcoming vote on gay marriage. Even more interesting are the comments that follow at the bottom of the page. They mostly amount to a "gay is evil" vs. "Idahoans are anti-gay, hillbilly trailer trash" debate. However, one comment (the latest comment as of this post) stuck out,

"The arguments for limiting marriage to a man and a woman here all seem based, ultimately, on procreation. However, if marriage is only for the purpose of procreation why are women who have gone through menopause allowed to marry? Why are men who have had a vasectomy allowed to marry? Why aren't men and women tested for fertility before being granted a marriage liscense???"

That's a really good question. I have written about gay marriage here, here and here, but I have not answered the commenter's question. In the comments of my last post about gay marriage I alluded to this question and my intention to address it, but I have yet to do so. There is an answer, and hopefully I'll have time to write about it soon.


Charles D said...

I took the time to skim over your 3 previous posts on this topic to see what your perspective was. You obviously did some research on this, albeit from only one perspective. You may want to look at some other scientific data beyond that provided by those who support your position.

I take a rather different perspective on this whole issue. I ask the fundamental question "What is the interest of the state [government] in the relationship between 2 adults?"

It seems to me that the government is primarily concerned with licensing individuals to be seen as a single entity before the law - for taxes, property rights, etc. The gender of the individuals has no bearing on the legitimate interests of government. I would agree that government has an interest in insuring that children are protected and nurtured, but there is no scientific evidence that mandating heterosexual unions will satisfy that interest. In fact, when government intrudes in families on behalf of children, it is not because of the parent's sexual orientation.

Cameron said...

Your data is not scientific. It is an article written by a journalist who cherry picked a few iffy studies to argue against, but offered no data of his own.

Charles D said...

Well, we could argue about whether a "few iffy" scientific studies are equal to a few quotes from the Book of Mormon, but that would be pointless.

How about addressing the question of why government should involve itself in the question of what kinds of marriages are legitimate? As I recall, your spiritual ancestors were persecuted because government insisted on banning a form of marriage. Ministers railed against the immorality and sin of the LDS people, who turned out to be great men and women who made an enormous contribution to the American West. Now you suggest they make the same mistake again?

Anonymous said...

So, I was curious, exactly what do you tell your child when they ask about little Billy in their class who has two mom's and no dad?

jets said...

The following are only my opinions, they are somewhat liberal at best, but this is how I feel government should be. I'm not interested in a flame war, I'm just offering perspective. You can choose to... add it to your belief system, now, or you don't have to

I believe this is ultimately a separation of church and state debate.

I find it very hard to allow my government to regulate who and who can not consensually partner, pair, or marry.

I believe the right should be equal, any two consenting adults should be able to enter in to the legal bonds of marriage giving them county and federal tax benefits, the opportunity for the legally married couple to be responsible for debts, assets and ultimately when one dies the opportunity to receive the estate of the dead person.

I may not believe someone is choosing the correct lifestyle, or I might feel like they are throwing away Gods plan of salvation or their possibility of an eternal family.

However choosing to feel those emotions doesn't negate the fact that it ultimately shouldn't be up to religious nuance to choose who is an appropriate couple.

As for the religious aspect, however each individual religion, sect, or organization chooses to handle marriage should be their right.

The state can not and should not ask a mormon bishop or catholic priest to wed a homosexual couple.

However, I believe a religion can not and should not ask the government NOT to allow these unions.

So let a judge marry them, or a Christian organization that chooses to understand the book of Leviticus differently. Which their are a few of these.

As for what you tell your child about tommy with two mommies is up to the parents. I imagine this question is unavoidable with your children, whether gay marriage is legal or not. Gay couples aren't going away marriage or not.

.. The next subject I quickly want to brush is the often asked question of "Do gay parents raise, teach, or influence their children to be gay?"

I once heard a quote directed in a cynical way "Heh, right, because STRAIGHT parents always raise straight children."

I of course can't tell you if homosexuality is a choice, genetic, a learned trait, gender confusion, an evolution, or a tact the devil may use. I believe nobody has that answer and it is up to each individual to decide how they feel.

Now this is where I may get in to territory that may really upset people, but again, they are only my opinions, and I am only one voter.

It's my opinion that gay parents won't raise gay children.

In fact there are 1000's of childrens needing adoption in the US and a state-approved loving home should not be immediately denied due to the nature of the family unit. I know I've heard those too, what about rape, or an unhealthy atmosphere... that's why i said state approved. A straight male adopting parent has never molested his adopted children, male, female or otherwise?

That's my quick $0.02. Thank you for letting me comment and I enjoy your blog.