It took two days of Supreme Court hearings to prove that people still oppose gay marriage and are willing to go to great lengths to prevent it. Two days. Granted, the two days were devoted to the constitutionality of two different laws: Proposition 8, a voter referendum in California declaring same sex marriages in that state invalid, and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage as a man/woman union. To state the two positions in brief, proponents of gay marriage feel they are being denied equal protection under the law, denied access to the rights of married partners for health benefits, inheritance, etc., and that they are being singled out as a result of their status under a “separate but equal” theory. Opponents of gay marriage just hate gay people.
Maybe that’s not fair. Those who oppose gay marriage have perfectly sound intellectual arguments to defend their views. Marriage is an institution for the purpose of procreation… even though 80 year old heterosexual couples are allowed to marry, but cannot procreate. Charles Cooper, while arguing for procreation as a purpose of marriage, disagreed, and said men “rarely outlive their fertility.” Of course, in order for the 80 year old man to procreate, he’ll have to cheat on his 80 year old wife.
OK, possibly the best argument is not procreation. How about…ahh…Tradition! As Justice Alito pointed out, gay marriage is a new phenomenon, like ipads, and why should we redefine a tradition that a couple thousand years old? Traditions such as man/woman marriage, five-fishes on Christmas, no parking spaces at Church during holiday mass, slavery, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, woman as men’s property, permissible spousal abuse, Christmas caroling…these are all centuries-old ideas that deserve to be honored, if for no other reason than they’re very old.
Another point against gay marriage is that, as Judge Scalia pointed out, it will lead to gay adoption, and there is “considerable disagreement” among sociologists whether there is harm to children raised by a same sex couple. Studies show that same sex couples may have a “deleterious effect” on children, and “deleterious” apparently means bad. Scalia here refers to studies such as…hold on, I’ll go hit google.
Well, anyway, those studies are out there. Consider these words of Charles Cooper:
“The concern is that redefining marriage as a genderless institution will sever its abiding connection to its historic traditional procreative purposes, and it will refocus…the purpose of marriage and the definition of marriage away from the raising of children and to the emotional needs and desires of adults…couples”
What he’s probably saying is that marriage is about raising children (which gay people can do) and not about the fulfillment of adults (which nobody can do).
By the way, my computer has a weird virus. These images keep cropping up all over the place, and I’m afraid someone’s hacked my system. Check it out.