Monday, April 07, 2014

The Gay Case against Gay Marriage



Keen Reader said...

Also Brian Sewell:

Andres Ruiz said...

An 11 year old article, that doesn't really make a "case" against gay marriage as much as it says (given the time period it was written) that "now is not the best time", what with the presidency and congress being republican controlled, and given the semantic dispute involved that he perceives as being not as important as the rights issue.

I was expecting a tad more than this. Since the political climate is not the same, and since, hey, can we still not figure out the semantic dispute 11 years later? Just an underwhelming article.

John Moore said...

His key concession is that "Marriage ... is a heterosexual institution" and that "'Marriage' is a term with a specific meaning and history."

But he doesn't really explain why an old definition must remain unchanged. Why should we continue using an old thing once it proves obsolete? Is he respecting tradition merely for the sake of tradition? Is he thinking that word-definitions are immutable and sacrosanct?

Rinnert is suggesting that gays can have equal rights without the same "rites" and without using the same words, but I'm not convinced.

im-skeptical said...

It seems the word 'marriage' means different things to different people. To some, it is primarily a religious institution, while others think of it as a state (or legal)institution. If not for the semantic distinction, I think much of the controversy would dry up.

We often use the term 'civil union' to denote the legal institution, but if it only applies to homosexuals, while 'marriage' applies to heterosexuals, then there is something inherently unequal about it. Many think 'marriage' is the province of the church, and legal recognition from the state follows.

If we use distinct terms for the legal and religious institutions, and apply them consistently, we might eliminate some confusion. For example, if 'civil union' denotes a legal marriage, we should use that term in all documents and for all purposes, regardless of whether the couple is heterosexual or homosexual. Or we could use the word 'marriage', with the recognition that a 'religious marriage' is something different, and has no bearing on the state institution.

Many gay people would be happy with a state-recognized marriage or civil union that is fully equal to heterosexual marriage. If they also want to have a religious marriage, that's between them and their church, but it should have no effect whatsoever on their legal rights and equality.

WMF said...

I completely agree with skep.

@John Moore
But he doesn't really explain why an old definition must remain unchanged.

He also doesn't really say that "an old definition must remain unchanged".

But even if. the people who hold the sacramental view of marriage would call their version of marriage something else like "egairram", what would change?

Papalinton said...

It seems the religious view of marriage today is primarily one of protecting 'tradition'.

After all, even though at only half the rate of the general population, ministers and preachers are also known to jump in and out of marriage, without a moment's thought of the gravity of one's commitment to the sacraments contained. And divorce rates amongst Christians are significantly higher than atheists per capita.

At Religioustolerance the Barna research group notes:
"Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.
George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented:
"While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages.""

THIS news report interestingly looks at the lower divorce rates for gay marriages.

So it seems somewhat of an irony that the sacraments of marriage are now themselves, in many cases, but lip service paid to 'tradition'.