In Evan's most recent post, he interviewed Rob Gettemy, an acquaintance of his who ran for Iowa's 2nd District of the US Congress.
I'll be completely honest, there was very little Gettemy said that I agreed with, from his statement that there was 'little evidence' of man-made global warming and the he didn't believe the Constitution called for a separation of Church and State.
However, the one part that really bothered me was his comment of gay marriage:
The Declaration of Independence said, point blank, that all men are created equal, and that one of our inalienable rights is the pursuit of happiness. Whether or not you agree with the premise of homosexual marriage, can a reasonable person conclude that outlawing homosexual marriage creates an inequality among otherwise similar men? Is it reasonable to believe that the prohibition of same-sex marriages infringes on the inalienable right to pursue happiness?
Under your scenario…anything could be classified as an act of pursuing happiness. Like I said, I see marriage as an institution that is about procreation which is necessary for the continuation of society. Like it or not, it takes male and female DNA to procreate.
To me, this is a dodge. If you take religious belief out of the equation (which, in a matter of law, you absolutely should), there is no genuine, lawful reason that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry. Procreation is not central to, or necessary, for marriage. Procreation is nothing more than a convenient (and totally irrelevant) point to hide behind.
Quite simply, there are many married couples who are unable to have children or simply choose not to...yet no-one considers childless marriages to be 'lesser'... and there are absolutely no laws that discriminate against childless couples. If we refuse to allow homosexuals to marry on the grounds they can not have children...then, logically, we should also not allow the sterile or women past child-bearing age to marry either.
Of course, if that were to happen, there would be a moral outrage and a total furor over denying people a basic human right, but as a society we show little interest and incredible apathy in defending rights... unless they're our rights.
Marriage isn't about procreation. It's about making a commitment to another person and, more importantly, becoming a single entity in the eyes of the law. It's about certain next-of-kin rights that we heterosexuals take for granted.
Secondly, marriage is not 'necessary for the continuation of society'.
It is entirely possible for a child to be born outside of wedlock and for that child to grow up in a loving, nurturing environment with their parents being unmarried or divorced. It's a cast-iron fact that 60% of marriages in the US fail... which means the majority of children today grow up raised by parents who don't live in the same home.
Also, According to the 2007 census, forty percent of new births were to unmarried parents.
Put simply, the traditional 'nuclear family' is not the norm, and hasn't been for decades. Divorce, single-parent families and children born out of wedlock are now the rule and not the exception.
I'm not here to argue whether or not this is a good thing, bu my point is clear: Marriage is not based around procreation and Marriage as an institution is obviously not necessary for the 'continuation of society'. If it was, society would have collapsed decades ago.
The only 'real' issue people have with gay marriage is a so-called 'moral' one. That homosexual relationships are somehow immoral and allowing gay marriage would be condoning this 'immorality'.
First of all, morality is something that can not and should not be legislated. Morality is far too plastic a concept to be nailed down by law. What one person considers immoral, another considers perfectly acceptable and vice-versa.
For example, some consider pre-marital sex to be immoral. Should that be made illegal? What about drinking? R-rated movies? Should we jail or fine people for having too many sexual partners? How many is too many?
We live in a society where everyone considers themselves to be 'normal' and believes anyone less permissive is a prude, while anyone more permissive is immoral.
The overriding question is simple: On who's definition of 'morality' do we base these laws on?
To get back on point, personally, I see nothing immoral about two people who love each other wanting to make a lifelong commitment to each other and wanting that relationship officially recognized.
Furthermore, I think heterosexuals who claim to be protecting the 'sanctity of marriage' should take a look in their own back yard first.
Heterosexuals have done more to destroy the sanctity of marriage than homosexuals ever have. As I've already mentioned, 60% of marriages end in divorce, so simple math tells us that the majority of heterosexual couples don't honor the commitment that marriage is based on.
If Britney Spears can have her 48 hour marriage, if Elizabeth Taylor can get married and divorced eight times (including twice to the same guy), if we can have multiple dating services set up purely for married people looking for affairs...why can't the Homosexuals take a crack at marriage? They can't disrespect it any more than we have!
Of course, this is where the average Conservative will point to the Bible and says that homosexual marriage is a sin, end of story.
Well, I would take this opportunity to remind them that, no matter how much they dislike this fact, we do have constitutional separation of Church and State. It's right there in the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof
Quite simply, religion has absolutely no place in legislation.
The reason for this (as well as America being a multicultural society of many different and disparate religions) is that people have the tendency to pick and choose aspects of their religion, focusing only on things that back up their own views and prejudices while completely ignoring everything else.
For example, when people say that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, they're quoting Leviticus 18: 22 where it states: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination."
That's fair enough, but if we're using Leviticus to 'prove' homosexuality is a sin, then it also follows that we have to treat all of Leviticus' decrees with equal weight...but that's where things start to get a bit tricky.
Here are a few other decrees from Leviticus:
Lev. 11: 6-8 clearly states that the pig is an unclean animal, so you should not eat its flesh or touch it's carcass.
Lev. 11-10 states that eating shellfish is also a sin.
Lev. 15: 19-24 Says that you are allowed no contact with a woman during her monthly menstrual 'uncleanliness'.
Lev. 21.20 States that you shall not approach an altar of the lord with a defect in your eyesight.
Lev. 19: 19 States that you should not wear garments made of two different types of thread.
Lev. 25:44 States that it's perfectly okay to own slaves, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.
In other words, if homosexuality is a sin, then so are all the above. You can't pick and choose, saying one verse is absolute while ignoring the next. If you've ever eaten ribs (or so much as touched a football), touched your wife during her period, gone to church if you need glasses or are wearing a shirt that's a cotton/polyester blend, you're as guilty of sin and as hell-bound as all the homosexuals you're so quick to condemn.
Surprisingly, if you've done none of these things, but have trafficked in slaves (as long as they're from Canada or Mexico) no-one's going to bat an eyelid at the Pearly Gates.
My point is simple. You can't use the Bible for justification of your actions when you are picking and choosing convenient passages that just so happen to back you up...and if you suggest that certain passages are outmoded or open to interpretation, then you render the whole document meaningless as 'proof'.