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Monday, November 5, 2012

"Traditional Marriage"

Someone I know posted this video.
It took me nearly an hour to watch it so that I could tear it apart.
Below the video are the comments I made on the post that my acquaintance made on facebook and which I, in turn, posted on my facebook wall.

So, to point out - one can view this as the government over-ruling YOUR religion... but it can, and more rightly so, be viewed as YOUR religion trying to override the rights of people who do not believe in it. Marriage is, at its origin, a legal contract; religious components came later. If the legal contract of it is to exist then it is blatantly discriminatory to not allow people to marry whom they want to marry due to gender. This is the ONLY legal contract that is limited to a particular gender set as eligibility requirements and that is simply wrong.

The above is my commentary before starting the video... below is my commentary, written as I am watching it in the order that the video presents it.

As for stabilizing our society - bullshit. People who live together now will continue to do so. All that will change, in a societal viewpoint is that a discriminatory practice is removed from the lawbooks and the people who are currently demoted to second-class citizens will have the LEGAL right to be the default heir of their chosen partners. Currently the biological relatives of those people can bar them from visiting an incapacitated loved one in prison and can challenge any legal property directives easily in the event of an unexpected death with no will. If they are married then that goes away and the loved one has those LEGAL protections. I, honestly and bluntly, don't care one iota what individual churches do nor do I care if any of them are willing to perform a wedding ceremony in their facilities - this is entirely about the LAW.
As for comparing gay marriage to incest and pedophilia as a society-harming item: explain to me, simply and concisely, how allowing same-sex couples to have a LEGAL standing that does not change the behavior that the government "permits" to exist will change ANYTHING in public society.
And for the next points:
1 - if that EXCUSE is used then ALL hetero-sexual couples shouldn't be allowed to marry unless they intend, and succeed at having children. Many people do not want children and/or cannot have them. Unless you are willing to state, and make actions toward revoking their LEGAL right to marry this point is null and void on this issue.
2 - Show me the data on this. Show me the data that unequivocally outlines that parents from a heterosexual, two-parent home do better than single parents and better than gay parents. Be sure to include the data of marriages that failed part-way through the children's lives and marriages of people who got married because they felt they HAD to but HATE being married. Be sure to include data on parents who don't like their children and data on those who have too many children. Be sure to include all of this in addition to the data that is reinforcing of the idea. Also - be sure to include data on same-sex couples who CHOOSE to have a child and raise that child. Be sure to compare those "successful" child raising values against the heterosexual numbers and do a solid numerical comparison on percentages of children who are detriments to society. The numbers will tell the story that is counter to this video's claim.
3 - How does allowing ONLY heterosexual marriage protect women? My girlfriend, when presented with this statement quickly and easily claimed she doesn't feel traditional marriage protects her... and even asked "protects me from what?"
4 - How does it civilize men? As an unmarried man in this country I find this idea repugnant and derogatory.

The data outlines that most incidents of violence against women are actually perpetrated against them by their significant others and, often, that means their HUSBANDS. How is it that that data can be true AND points 3 and 4 be true? It can't be. Points 3 and 4 are, like the ones before them, based entirely on perception and an idealized state of society that simply does not exist.

5 - Show me the data. I know that being married will lower one's car insruance because, typically, married people spend more time at home than un-married people. The rest rest of these things need data to back them up... and that data needs to be cleansed of any trends that have stronger correlations that could lead to those statistics... such as neighborhoods, familial income, number of children, etc.

The claim that same-sex marriage creates NO benefit is blatantly wrong. It allows for the full equality of everyone in the eyes of the law. Discrimination is a slippery slope and it can be applied to anyone; if it s allowed for anyone. This also allows people to decide who is their default next of kin which is an important means of passing along accumulated wealth and deciding on what care is best for someone who is sick.
For that matter, if one actually assumes that all of the points above are valid then: 1 & 2 - Married homosexual couples who choose to adopt (and make no mistake, they can adopt now) will generate a two-parent household that brings the same benefits to children that heterosexual married couples bring.
3 & 4 - If married men are inherently more civilized and married women are inherently protected (from what?) then we should strive for as many married men and women as we can get. Right now we are eliminated 10% of the population from being ALLOWED to marry. That means that, at least, 10% of women are unprotected and 10% of men are uncivilized because they are unmarried. Allowing them to marry will reduce that number.
5 - The same things that might generate those societal improvements in neighborhoods due to married couples will also apply to married homosexual couples.

Essentially, it allows the same benefits to society that traditional marriage provides to society. EXACTLY THE SAME benefits. All of the benefits outlined above can be applied equally to ANY married couple regardless of their gender.

Claiming that homosexual marriage "merely validates sex partners" is a hollow argument as heterosexual marriage does EXACTLY the same thing if the couple has no intention of raising children..... and, on top of that, being married does not magically make you a good parent. There are plenty of married people who are TERRIBLE parents. This argument is invalid. I thinkthe people behind this video would be surprised to find that more and more couples are forming where children are not the primary motivating force and more and more of them are forming where children happen, despite not wanting them and more and more children are happening outside of wedlock because more and more people just don't care about the traditional structure that RELIGION says is best for the children.

When the video states that the childless marriages are the exception and not the rule and, therefore, shouldn't be considered it invalidates that argument by using exceptions to what happens in the legal world to make it's point. One cannot simultaneously decry exceptions and invalid and then use them to support one's own argument.

The idea that schools with teach kids to be gay is ridiculous. The argument over whether or not this should be allowed has been a far greater introduction to the topic of homosexual marriage than it EVER would be on its own. Schools, at most, will treat it like it is what it is - something that sometimes happens and that it's fine. Let the people who have a difference preference than you be the way they are; it's none of anyone else's business.

As for the video's comment that the law treats everyone equally because everyone can marry someone of the opposite sex is garbage. That's like saying everyone can invest in google; in theory everyone can but the cost of the stocks prohibits most from being able to. Marrying someone of the opposite gender isn't the point - marrying someone whom you love and want to spend the rest of your life with IS the point. That is the ENTIRE point. A large group of people are prohibited from doing that. To say otherwise is to hold onto ideals of marriage that have changed over time repeatedly... and, thus, invalidates the idea that that is the core reason for marriage. I cannot buy a wife in exchange for livestock. I cannot sell a daughter into marriage. I cannot take a virgin military captive as a wife. I cannot force my brother's widow to become my wife. I cannot take multiple wives. All of these things are part of "traditional" marriage yet none of them are held true in law in 2012. What is so special about THIS barrier? It is that this barrier scares homophobic people. This barrier makes people think that equality is only for "normal" people.

As for discriminating against behaviors - that is completely correct. The government is discriminating against behaviors; but also against sexual organs. It is saying that it is the business of the government to determine who is allowed to bump genitalia together in the privacy of their own home. It is saying that consenting adults have no privacy when it comes to sex. It is saying that the comfort of some should outweigh the freedom of others. It is saying that if the government does;t like your behavior it can prevent you from having legal rights because of it… even when that behavior hurts no one and should be left alone. This argument is ludicrous because it really boils down to - the government is allowed to tell you whom you can have sex with in the privacy of your own home.

And to bring it back - people who are BARRED from marrying their loved one ARE being discriminated against. If one is unconscious and hospitalized then that one's blood relatives (even if they haven't spoken in YEARS) have a greater right under the LAW than the person who may have lived with the person for decades. Who is better equipped to make decisions for that person that correspond to their wishes? The estranged family or the loved one who cohabitants with them? If one member of a couple is run over by a bus and killed and the house and vehicles are in their name but both partners paid equally for them the family can the ALL of that away; is that fair? No. Marriage protects the rights of property and the rights of visitation in the hospital. Marriage protects other rights, too.

As for the same-sex marriage advocates needing to be more tolerant - simply not true. The instances where they are not are, again, the outliers and they are smaller in number than the instances where people who want to have a homosexual marriage are being discriminated against in some form or another. The raw disallowance of being ABLE to get married to a loved one is a constant discrimination against homosexual people. They experience it daily. People supporting "traditional" marriage are only experiencing intolerance when they voice their ideas on this continued hatred and bigotry to people who will, ultimately, be found to stand on the right side of history.

"Homosexual relationships are ALREADY TOLERATED" - this, alone, summarizes the entire video. It also summarizes exactly why both sides feel they have a position to support. I don't want to be "tolerated" - its derogatory. You wouldn't want your child to be "tolerated" at school or anywhere else. You wouldn't want your pets to be "tolerated" you wouldn't want yourself to be "tolerated." Toleration is not enough because it is not equality. The supporters of "traditional" marriage think this is enough because they can't see how allowing same-sex marriage licenses will not harm them at all but will grant equal rights to an entire segment of the population that is still constantly under attack by RELIGION.

I'll also point out that many of the same arguments presented in this video are similar to those presented against allowing interracial marriages and, dating back further, to allowing non-white people the opportunity to be recognized as people… and dating back further to discriminate against left-handed people. They are empty arguments that come from a place of fear and hatred of things that are different rather than a place of reason and rationality.

So, I challenge those supporting this video, as I have challenged supported of "traditional" marriage in the past - explain it to me. Convince me. Please. Explain it to me like a child... and in a way that I cannot argue. I have been asking, since the first time this came up on the ballot in Maine, for people to explain to me why this is wrong in a logical and concise manner that I cannot argue with using logical points to invalidate the arguments presented to me... Thus far NO ONE has been able to do it. The answers ALWAYS boil down to "because God is against it" (or some paraphrasing of that) or "because I don't like it." - Neither of those are good reasons for LAW. Separation of church and state outlines the former and what you feel is not the same as what others feel is the latter...

Lastly - All of this text comes from someone who thinks marriage, in any form, is a foolish and inefficient way of imparting legal rights to another person. I, personally, think it should be completely abolished from the law books and that NO ONE should be allowed to get marriages because they simply should not exist. There is a MUCH simpler way to handle all of these rights-granting permissions without all the hoopla and garbage that comes along with marriage.

Please, if you support "traiditonal" marriage than be PERFECTLY blunt... and perfectly selfish. Tell me how allowing others the right to marry their loved one will harm YOU in any way. How will it change YOUR life if two women or two men go to city hall and pay the fee for their marriage license and then pay an officiant to marry them? How will that slight economic boost to the local municipality and an officiant hurt YOU in any way? How will it change your life in any manner other than force you to go "OH NO THOSE GAY PEOPLE MIGHT BE MARRIED NOW?"
Really. Tell me. I want to know how it will damage your life.

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