September 2004


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Ooh! A comment!

Casey was had some serious thoughts about my “No on 36” stance, and I felt I should bring them out here for a little discussion.

You make some good points, but you should look at the larger picture. Let me explain:

What is the basis upon which homosexuality hangs its hat? It’s the assumption that being gay is a natural predisposition to being attracted to the same sex. Okay, whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant. But if we say that it’s okay for homosexuals to marry based upon this predisposition, what do we say to someone who says they’re predisposed to being attracted to children? How about someone who says they have a predisposition to a group of people? After all, they were born that way, right? Well, maybe so, maybe not. But we’re talking about what our Constitution should say about being the best marriage institution for Oregon. Read on…

This is a long post folks.

Laws are based upon legal precedent. Once we set a precedent that it’s okay to marry someone based upon predisposition or sexual orientation, it becomes next to impossible to limit marriage to anyone who has an attraction to groups, animals, family members, etc. But the truth is, we have laws that say who you can marry and who you can’t marry. You can’t marry your sister, you can’t marry more than one person, you can’t marry someone under age 17, etc. Nobody has the right to marry whoever they want. Not heterosexuals, not anyone.

Ah, what you’re forgetting here is that it is not illegal to be a homosexual. Pedophelia, beastiality and incest are all illegal activities, so it makes sense that any evolution in the idea of marriage would not allow a union based upon an illegal act.

These particular concepts are illegal for very sound reasons. Pedophelia is illegal because the average pedophile is actually a rapist, concerned only with their own pleasures and not the mental and physical health of their partner, often inflicting massive emotional (and often physical) trauma.

Marrying a minor, while not always an instance of pedophilia, is still illegal because the law believes a minor child to not have the maturity or life experience required to make such an important decision. I have nothing against this law, since what is a mere few years in the face of true love? If their love is true, they can wait out the time and marry at 18 with my blessing.

Beastiality falls under the animal protection laws, as well as citizenship law. Since the spouse of an American is granted citizenship and an animal is not allowed to be a citizen, it makes sense that marrying an animal would not be allowed. Aside from the possibility of encountering an alien species, I can be pretty comfortable in requiring that your mate be human.

This brings us to incest. The prohibition against incest, while largely ignored by the noble families of the world, is mainly to avoid the possibility of birth defect due to recessive gene combinations. Any farmer knows that the strongest herd comes from the largest gene pool, and humanity is no different. I think the general populace (homosexuals included) would agree that it is still not okay to marry your sister.

If gay marriage is made legal, group marriage will be right around the corner, I guarantee it. If you don’t think so, do a Google search on the word “polyamory” or group marriage. There are hundreds of alternative marriage organizations waiting for that precedent to be set so they can make their move.

Hi. You probably didn’t read far enough back to figure this out, but I am polyamorous, or at least ‘poly-friendly’, and I did mention that the ideal marriage law would not limit the number of people involved.

Can you imagine a group of people who demand to be allowed to marry because so they can have access to marital benefits together? Whether they’re predisposed to the group thing or not, doesn’t matter by that point. The law, with precedent already set that marriage can be based upon sexual orientation, will have to take their word for it. If their motivation was to simply gain benefits from the state, by that point you’d have to allow them to marry. When you consider the health insurance benefit alone, it’s obvious our economy would buckle under the pressure. Businesses who provide insurance would have to provide insurance to every spouse of every employee. The cost would be staggaring (sic), so businesses would simply not offer insurance at all.

Since you point to the econimic implications, I’ll handle those first. If you’ve looked around lately, you’ve probably noticed there are very few families living the traditional ‘male breadwinner, female homemaker’ lifestyle these days. Most families find it necessary for both spouses to work to cover the expenses generated by three or four people in the household. I myself as a single parent have had to have a roomate to make sure we can afford a nice home in a decent neighborhood, and even then I have come up short on occasion. From a strictly economic point of view, just having one more person around to pitch in for the rent would be pretty handy. You may argue that a roomate would be a solution here, but who would make a better roomate than someone who had a deep emotional bond to the family?

Another aspect of marriage here is the fact that most people get married with the intention of having children at some point. The extra financial clout of another working member of the household seems to me to be a good idea, and provides for the idea of a full-time caregiver for the children, instead of shipping the tots off to day care while mom and dad are at work.

As to the sociological ramifications of polyamory (or in this case, polygamy), most children today come from broken homes and are familiar with the idea of having more than one mother or father figure in their life, and many grow to love their step-parents as much as their biological ones. Is it such a big step to think that maybe having multiple fathers or mothers living in the same house might be beneficial? Children raised with love and affection tend to grow into loving, affectionate adults. Adding more love and affection can hardly be deemed detrimental to a child’s upbringing, and if there’s anything this world could use, it’s more love and affection.

Back on the financial track and more specifically answering your point on health care, I have yet to meet an employer who payed all the premiums for the employee’s spouse and children. The employee is always responsible for the additional expense of adding spouse and children, so your argument that it would be a drain on businesses is off the mark.

Gay marriage sets a precedent that marriage can be determined by
“predisposition” and that opens a pandora’s box. You won’t want to deal with the consequences, I promise you that.

Your argument here leads me to believe that your only real objection to gay marriage is the precedent it sets for other lifestyles you don’t approve of. Well, here in America, the whole point of creating this nation was to build a place where all people could live together in harmony and equality, regardless of race, religion or idea. Why then, is it such a huge stumbling block for people to realize that love comes in all shapes, sizes, gender orientations and numerical iterations? Why would it be ‘wrong’ for loving, law-abiding citizens to be able to claim for themselves the right to say “I am married” and seek their own happiness?

The only consequences I can see from this are a more open-minded society, one that is not oppressive to new ideas just because the majority don’t agree. A nation that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and the rest of our forefathers would be proud of. Consequences? Bring ’em on.
All of this discussion is still a bit on the wayside of Amendment 36. The real argument should revolve around not whether you agree with gay marriage or not, but whether it should be prohibited by the State Constitution or a standard law. In whatever instance, I feel the idea of this prohibition is discriminatory, but I feel very strongly against adding it to the Constitution, and for the same reasons Casey is against gay marriage: the precedents. If we allow this particular discrimination into our Constitution, it makes it easier for other discriminations to follow suit. Keep this discussion in the Courts, and not the Legislature.

(One comment has been deleted due to it’s appearance during the editing process.)

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