Monday, February 07, 2005

Shooting Down the Logic of Same-Sex Marriage Advocates

Enshrine Marriage Canada has written a wonderful declaration which defends the traditional definition of marriage. Article one reads:

Marriage and the Family are Universal
All human beings are born of a mother and begotten by a father. This is a universal biological reality and the common experience of all people. The state supports the institution of marriage because it promotes and protects the father-mother-child relationship as the only natural means of creating and continuing human life and society.

When we accept that this father-mother-child relationship is the ideal, it makes sense that the government should protect the traditional definition of marriage. It is also reasonable that government should continue providing special incentives, tax benefits and the like for married couples to promote traditional marriages in our society. Recently on Stephen Fletcher’s home page a critic made the following comment:

“Following from that, the government should bar the institution of marriage to anyone who is sterile, too old to reproduce, or just too selfish to want children. Divorce should be illegal, in order to ensure that children grow up in stable, loving family environments. Co-habitation before solemnization of vows must be strictly prohibited, and adultery, a mortal sin, should be punished by death.”

This kind of comment clearly shows the difference in mindset on both sides of the debate. Conservatives support the traditional definition, because it promotes the best case scenario. Same-sex advocates bash the traditional definition, because it does not always succeed in its goals and discriminates against homosexuals.

Consider this. The government gives tax breaks to students to get a higher education. When a student graduates but cannot find a job in their field, are their tuition credits repealed? Government gives tax credits for people to buy energy saving cars. If a person buys a car that burns half the gas but they drive that car twice as much, does the government repeal the credit? Simply put, the government gives the incentive to promote the ideal.

Traditional Marriage is not about discrimination. As this author can testify, we who are single do not receive the benefits of marriage either. We know that if we want to receive the benefits of marriage all we have to do is marry someone of the opposite sex. Every man in Canada has the freedom to marry one woman. Every woman in Canada has the freedom to marry one man. If you want to take part in an alternative relationship, or forgo relationships altogether, that is fine too, but you forfeit the right to receive the benefits of marriage.

Giving marriage benefits to same-sex couples sends the message that what-so-ever you do shall be the whole extent of the Law and everything is still your basic and fundamental right.


At 4:55 p.m., Blogger A Hermit said...

It seems to me the point of the argument is that marriage is not just about having children, so to argue against it on the basis of procreation is insufficient.

If my Grandparents second marriage was valid when neither party intended to have more children (14 between the two of them was your heart out Bradys!), but was solely for the purpose of companionship and mutual affection, then why should the thirty five year commited, monogamaous relationship between my second cousin and her "lady-friend", also entered into for the purposes of companionship and mutual affection, not qualify for the same rights and responsibilities?

I have yet to hear a good reason why it shouldn't...

At 11:41 p.m., Blogger Bill said...

Gay couples can be afforded the same rights and privileges in a civil union. But they can never consider themselves to be "married".

As far as rights are concerned, if gays are given all the same legal rights as married (heterosexual) couples, how can they challenge this in the courts?

The burden of proof is on the plaintiff. How can gays prove that they are being discriminated against when they are afforded all the same rights and privileges? How can they prove that they are being harmed when they have all the same rights and privileges? The only difference is they cannot say that they are "married".

Marriage is an institution, not a right. Rights must apply to an individual, a person, and cannot be applied to a couple. What if the couple divorces? what happens to "their" rights?

Marriage is a time-honoured institution. It is steeped in tradition and religion, something that liberals have no respect for.

At 8:29 a.m., Blogger A Hermit said...

Well, if we're going to apply the same legal rights and responsibilites to a gay couple why not call it a marriage? I've been (heterosexually) married for over twenty years, so I know something about what it takes to have a succesful marriage. If my cousin has maintained a similar relationship with her partner for almost twice as long I have no problem with calling that a marriage!

Marriage has meant a lot of things over the years; the Biblical patriarchs had multiple wives, and even more concubines, in feudal Europe marriage had more to do with the transfer of property rights than with love and family. When I was on a consrtruction crew I used to "marry" steel columns and rafters together...

To marry simply means to join together. If two people, (be they my elderly grandfather and his second wife, or my cousin or a gay couple, or the couple I know who decided when they married twenty five years ago that they would never have children!) are wiling to publicly profess their commitment to one another, that's a marriage.

Keep in mind also that there are churches which do recognize same sex marriages. If they are willing to call it a marriage, aren't you trampling on their religious liberty if you fail to grant the same legal recognition to a ceremony performed according to their faith which you grant to ceremonies performed by other faiths?

I don't think a lot of religious leaders in this country have seriously considered the implications of arguing for treating some religious rites as superior to others in civil law. No one is going to force your church to perform a gay marriage ceremony, but can one reasonably argue that the State should be deciding which religious beliefs are acceptable!?

Is that really a road we want to go down?


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