Why should the state protect marriage?

It was one of the most embarrassing moments on a cable news show. Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, invited family law attorney Ron Schweitzer on his program to talk about why a recent decision by the California Supreme Court, striking down a state law prohibiting same-sex marriage, should be overturned by a ballot initiative amending the state’s constitution.

During the course of the segment, O’Reilly pressed Schweitzer numerous times to give him one good reason, outside of religion, for opposing gay marriage. Schweitzer couldn’t come up with one.

O’Reilly: “You are going to lose at the ballot box if you don’t come up with a reason. Now what is the reason …?

Schweitzer: “I don’t oppose a civil union. We already have that, and we’ve had that for many years … (unintelligible)”

O’Reilly: “Why do you oppose gay marriage?”

Schweitzer: “I only oppose the definition of marriage applying to same-sex marriages because its an age-old definition … it’s like naming one thing from another.”

O’Reilly tries a couple more times but eventually the best Schweitzer could come up with is that he just “wants it” to be that way.

As you would expect gay rights advocates are having a field day with this.

Schweitzer was not just an over-educated, under-prepared guest. His weak-kneed response was typical of many in the pro-family movement. They simply can’t come up with a cogent argument for preserving marriage and all of the benefits traditionally afforded a married couple, so they settle for defending the word “marriage.”

Once you agree to civil unions, marriage becomes a definition in search of a difference. It’s meaningless!

O’Reilly is right. Eventually, those of us who want to protect traditional marriage will lose this battle. Gay rights activists are committed and tenacious. They have spent years doing the groundwork to make their lifestyle socially acceptable while most Americans were asleep.

While we slept, homosexual activists were invited into our classrooms and textbooks were rewritten to mainstream the lifestyle. The young people in those schools have grown into adults. Now, they are being asked to look at gay marriage simply as an issue of fairness.

Is it any wonder that polls are showing that Californians – who just eight years ago overwhelmingly voted to reserve marriage for a man and a woman – are now almost equally divided on the issue?

Before I can give O’Reilly – or the people of America – a meaningful answer, I ask you to examine the two reasons for marriage:

To have the union recognized by God.

To have the union recognized by the state.

Since homosexual acts are condemned by the sacred writings of all the world’s major religions, the attempt to have these unions sanctioned by the church is an attempt to “feel good” at best, so let’s focus on the second reason: Society long has recognized that a committed marriage relationship between a man and a woman is the best environment in which to produce and nurture productive citizens for the future.

For many years, federal, state and local governments recognized the obvious: It cost money to raise children. By legalizing unions between a man and a woman, the government was able to put a “hedge of protection” around the family unit and give the partners in these unions certain rights that went along with their responsibilities, along with certain benefits to encourage the formation and the stability of these units.

Gay rights activists want to change the definition of marriage from a union between a man and woman, to a union between any two (or more) people living together in a “committed” relationship.

Are you beginning to see the problem? If everyone is allowed inside the hedge, then the hedge, for all practical purposes, ceases to exist.

Has the traditional family outlived its usefulness?

It has not! Research has shown that children fare far better with a mother and a father who are married to each other, even if the marriage isn’t perfect.

The answer Bill O’Reilly and all of America deserves is this: It is good public policy to encourage a man and woman to unite in a committed relationship, called a marriage, in order to nurture productive citizens.

Marriage was not invented to discriminate against those who wish to pursue alternate lifestyles.

The question is not whether homosexual couples have the right to cohabitate, but whether it is in society’s best interest to remove the hedge of protection from around the traditional family unit.

37 thoughts on “Why should the state protect marriage?

  1. Ms. Chastain —

    My question is simple: how will allowing same-sex unions prevent any heterosexual couple from marrying and therefore providing a more stable environment in which to raise children?

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  2. The answer is simple: It would not prevent heterosexuals couples from marrying but it, in effect, takes away the benefits of marriage.

    A married couple is given certain tax breaks and other benefits. If the same tax breaks are given to everyone than — for all practical purposes — the tax break does not exists. Also, the state gives certain benefits to its employees, such as health insurance, to spouses. The state has a budget and these benefits must be paid for in the form of higher taxes.

    When you treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples than EVERYONE must be taxed more in order to pay for those benefits. Therefore, you have heterosexual couples with children subsidizing same-sex couples.

    It is the same thing with a private business that gives the same benefits to domestic partners as married couples. A state or company can pay its workers only so much for a given job. The employer divides this pay into wages and benefits. If the same benefits are given to everyone, the married couple ends up with less, because the pool of money available for benefits is reduced.

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  3. Ms. Chastain,

    I too saw the O’Reilly interview and I cringed as I saw Bill verbally eviscerate Mr. Schweitzer. I basically agree with your article and appreciate you shedding more light on the reasons for marriage being solely between a man and a woman. In light of this, I would like to offer another reason that should appeal to both believers and non-believers alike.

    One of the best reasons I can see to have traditional marriage solidified is simply survival of the species. A man and a woman are uniquely designed to procreate. Because of this design, the survival of the species is insured by the uniting of these two types, a man and a woman, and no other type of union can achieve this life-giving function. This behavior of uniting should be rewarded because it is in the best interests of the “collective” that men and women reproduce and the fact that they *can* reproduce means survival of the fittest is working. This should make all good Darwinists happy. To reward in the same way, a behavior that is less fit in terms of species survival, is counter-intuitive. Also, rewarding a behavior that, if it were the only design, would, in fact insure the species would die out, is also counter-intuitive. This should not be, and is not, an argument about fairness, it is about survival. That’s why Mr. Schweitzer was speechless. He couldn’t come up with anything that overcame the “fairness” argument that makes sense to believers and non-believers. So, to sum up, you have to look at the “best” relationship for our survival, rewarding it with a unique standing and then all other relationships can be rewarded but only with a different standing, i.e., marriage vs. civil unions, etc.

    FYI, I am a young Earth creationist, but I believe this argument should suffice for even socialist, Darwinist liberals, if they honestly assess the truth of it.

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  4. Jane,

    Why is it never pointed out that homosexuality when it has become rampant and out of control has dragged down and ruined many civilizations throughout history? Many people in this generation know so little about history that they do not know that the Roman Empire crumbled from within with homosexuality playing a major role in this occurring. All Ron Schweitzer and other “leaders” like him in the pro-family movement need to do is to study up on history to find out and to then make the case that gay marriage and homosexuality are a curse from Satan. Satan originally used homosexuality to try to muddy the waters and try to stop the royal bloodline and eventual birth of Christ. This is primarily why homosexuality is a curse upon society and nations when it becomes mainstream.

    Clay

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  5. I am a big fan of Bill O’Reilly, and “The O’Reilly Factor” show, but I have to say that, as conservative as he is on most other issues, he tends to be more moderate to even somewhat liberal on homosexuality in general. This seems odd from a man who claims to be a devout Catholic as O’Reilly does, and who is conservative in most every other area. I am disappointed in O’Reilly’s seemingly pro-homosexual stance, because I feel that we need him, as well-known and as big of an influence as he is, to be a key ally in this war on marriage and the family, and he seems to be pooh-poohing the issue.

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  6. “The answer is simple: It would not prevent heterosexuals couples from marrying but it, in effect, takes away the benefits of marriage.”

    No — it would EXTEND the benefits of marriage to a group of people who are currently denied the right to marry. In California, domestic partnership is almost identical, but it’s still not equal.

    “A married couple is given certain tax breaks and other benefits. If the same tax breaks are given to everyone than — for all practical purposes — the tax break does not exists.”

    Yes, it continues to exist. It’s still a tax break for married people. Single people don’t qualify. It supports and rewards the formation of more stable human partnerships, something gay people — and the society we live in — benefit from.

    “Also, the state gives certain benefits to its employees, such as health insurance, to spouses. The state has a budget and these benefits must be paid for in the form of higher taxes.”

    If I’m getting you right, it’s OK to discriminate — if it’s expensive. Or is that it’s OK to discriminate if it means YOU get more of the pie?

    “When you treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples than EVERYONE must be taxed more in order to pay for those benefits. Therefore, you have heterosexual couples with children subsidizing same-sex couples.”

    There are gay families with children. More important, there are benefits for couples with children that most gay couples and childless straight couples wouldn’t qualify for. Equality has a cost. But its benefits far outweigh its price.

    “It is the same thing with a private business that gives the same benefits to domestic partners as married couples. A state or company can pay its workers only so much for a given job. The employer divides this pay into wages and benefits. If the same benefits are given to everyone, the married couple ends up with less, because the pool of money available for benefits is reduced.”

    But there is no reason to deny same-sex couples these rights — as long as the couple is willing to take on the responsibilities of marriage, as well.

    That’s why the gentleman on O’Reilly was unable to come up with a rational reason — because there is none.

    Equality has a cost. But the benefits far outweigh the price.

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  7. It isn’t the marriage that needs protecting, it’s the children. The family is the future of societies and our species. Why then can we possibly encourage and protect the rights of same sex marriages to engage in a supposed relationhip that is good for society. It’s absolutely contractictory. And if it’s not good for society then society must not sanction it.

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  8. CHinNC:

    You say:
    “One of the best reasons I can see to have traditional marriage solidified is simply survival of the species. A man and a woman are uniquely designed to procreate.”

    Nothing is stopping you. Get to it.

    “Because of this design, the survival of the species is insured by the uniting of these two types, a man and a woman, and no other type of union can achieve this life-giving function.” Gay people figure out how to do it, trust me.

    “This behavior of uniting should be rewarded because it is in the best interests of the “collective” that men and women reproduce and the fact that they *can* reproduce means survival of the fittest is working.”

    And they still CAN reproduce, even if the voters decide it would be the right thing to do — for all of us, no matter what our beliefs — to allow two men (or two women) to enter into a civil contract to support each other and to take on each other’s burdens. Which makes for a more effective community.

    What’s more, I think we have plenty of people to provide us with the next generation. You don’t want our genes anyway, do you?

    “So, to sum up, you have to look at the “best” relationship for our survival, rewarding it with a unique standing and then all other relationships can be rewarded but only with a different standing, i.e., marriage vs. civil unions, etc.”

    I think our survival means just that: “our” survival. Yours and mine. All of us. It’s not a choice any more than being left-handed is a choice. And we can form relationships that deliver benefits to society overall. Benefits that exist because there are responsibilities that go with them.

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  9. I can think of numerous reasons
    regarding the reason to not allow
    same sex marriage let along same sex
    unions without even pondering long;
    #1 is: “How will the race survive with
    same sex unions?”
    #2 “What example do we want for our
    kids and their future?” I bet even
    gay people would rather have the
    kids they “raise” to be heterosexual.
    #3 “Do we want to endorse a lifestyle
    that is rampant with STD’s and
    diseases that accomapny these practices
    and eventually can lead to a premature death?”
    #4 “When are we going to wake up and
    understand that same sex stuff is abnormal,
    weird and perverted like it used to be
    in our mindset as a nation when we were kids?
    Homosexuality comes from a person being deeply
    troubled and messed up; hello?” Jane I believe
    you have reported that the psychological community
    considered homosexuality an aberant, “off kilter”
    and problematic personality. But with
    years of certain ideas being brought to the
    forefront, they have shifted their opinion.
    I am not saying that a homosexual is worse
    than someone is chooses to cheat on his wife.
    But simply that our minds have been changed
    and even molded and pressure fitted to believe
    something different over the last 40 years.

    We always have to say we love and reach
    out to the hurting / and Christians
    are the best friends of homosexuals
    because we hopefully love and help free them
    from the grips of death. So we also get a false
    accusation of being enemies when, in
    actuality, we are the ones who are able reach
    out and draw in the hurting.
    My wife and I just had a homosexual guy
    over to our home from my wife’s place of
    employment.
    Lucy has reached out amazingly with the Lord’s
    love to the people they have employed there.
    She has brought the Good News of how God has
    worked in her life to them.
    So I also dont’ buy the lie that we are the intolerant
    ones bashing gays. Just like we hopefully won’t let
    a hurting friend continue driking themselves
    to death, we won’t enable a person continue
    to destroy themselves living this lifestyle of
    death. I must admit I could do much more
    along this line of reaching out and being a better
    example of His love.

    But, what a “dipstick” this Ron S guy is from the
    O’Reily interview! He must have
    had a brain freeze. I’vfe had my shaare of
    brain freezes, but on national TV as a
    representive of Christians, it is disturbing.
    We get a bad name because we don’t
    think clearly and thankfully people
    like you can stand up and proclaim
    some logic as well as Christian thought.

    So my most imporatnt question is: “Jane,
    When are you going to go on O’Reily and
    make a good stand for logic and the Lord’s
    people?”

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  10. The importance of defining marriage as a union between man and woman is because the purpose of marriage is procreation. Homosexuals cannot procreate. Abortion has contributed to the idea that sex is recreation. Homosexuality is an outgrowth of recreational sex. Anything that does not produce children – procreation – is not marriage. Period.

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  11. Dear Ms. Chastain,

    Regarding the recent fiat of the California Supreme Court mandating the right of homosexuals to ‘marry’ (let’s be thankful they haven’t made it compulsory—at least not yet), the main beneficiaries of that travesty are going to be certain members of the legal profession.

    Consider this. Where you have marriages you will also have divorces. In case of children, who’ll get custody and who will have to pay child support? Will the ‘no fault’ divorce apply on the distribution of property? Who will be entitled to receive alimony?

    All this is uncharted territory there being no precedents. One thing is for certain. The lawyers are gonna get rich.

    E. David Litvak

    P.S. What exactly is so ‘gay’ about homosexuals?

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  12. Beulah –

    If the purpose of marriage is procreation, why do we allow older and infertile couples to marry? Why do the marriage vows say nothing about children, but instead focus on how each partner promises to support and love each other?

    Plus, as I have previously stated, allowing same-sex couples to marry doesn’t prevent opposite-sex couples from having children.

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  13. Mark Rizzo –

    You say:

    “#1 is: “How will the race survive with
    same sex unions?”

    The same way it has for thousands upon thousands of years — through reproduction. Straight people will continue to have sex, sometimes resulting in offspring. There will be plenty of babies, don’t worry.

    #2 “What example do we want for our
    kids and their future?”

    I don’t know about you, but I want kids to see homosexuality as a natural variation of creation, like being left-handed.

    Your argument here is basically one of morality. You see homosexuality as sinful and therefore worthy of shame. And that’s a fine argument if you want to prevent a same-sex couple from marrying in your church. However, we are talking about CIVIL marriage here. And your idea of what is moral does not trump anyone else’s idea of what is moral.

    #3 “Do we want to endorse a lifestyle
    that is rampant with STD’s and
    diseases that accomapny these practices
    and eventually can lead to a premature death?”

    No. Promiscuity leads to negative consequences. Allowing same-sex marriage is the OPPOSITE of endorsing promiscuity. It’s endorsing FIDELITY!

    #4 “When are we going to wake up and
    understand that same sex stuff is abnormal,
    weird and perverted like it used to be
    in our mindset as a nation when we were kids?

    Ah, the argument of “tradition.” Why can’t we go back to a time when women didn’t have the vote, and were considered a man’s property in marriage. While we’re at it, let’s bring back slavery and reinstate the ban on interracial marriages.

    When you guys come up with a rational states’ interest to deny equality, let me know — you’ll have a real scoop on your hands.

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  14. I agree with you 100% Jane. The lawyer that Mr. O’reilly had on his program was a joke. In fact I was embarrassed for him.

    To me, and I know there are so many reasons out there that they are almost uncountable, the reason homosexuals want to change society is easy. We actually get the clue from Canada where they have had wide success in silencing Christians and any who disagree with them. It is so they do not have to feel bad or different by following their lifestyle. They know it is immoral, but they do not care. Homosexuals claim their life style to be genetic, but it is not. No scientific study has even come close to proving
    it. In fact the Danish study proved that it is environment that a child is brought up in and events in their lives that determine this choosing of same
    sex partners. ( 2 million people over 12 years) In fact Nature itself proves that it is not by showing that it is the survival of the species that is the driving force of mating/sex. In humans it is the same thing and society did decide to protect it and take confusion away by making marriage protected and God made it sacred.

    I guess my faith is showing because to me what Christ stated in Mark 10:6-9 as well as God blessing the union of man and women in Genesis 1:27-28 in procreation shows that Marriage is only for a man and a woman. Same sexes cannot procreate and therefore marriage is un-attainable for them. But as I said, the only reason they want to destroy marriage is to make themselves not feel guilty or be condemned by anyone.

    But they forget that marriage is first and foremost a “faith” and “spiritual” union that only a man and a woman can experience. Only man can mess up marriage and make a fake that is so badly flawed that the children will pay for it.

    About couples marrying that can’t have kids. My Alice and I were one of those couples because her body treated any embryo as a virus and her body destroyed it. When she was 31, she became pregnant and we had twin boys. Nothing artificial was done so I give the praise to God for the double blessing. Now both of them are in college and one has already found a good woman. Homosexuality has nothing that can even come close to this because they cannot become one in spirit and physically as in children.

    Or have I missed the mark totally.

    Have a good day and remember, God does hold us accountable for not speaking out, even in lost causes.

    A Christian,
    Psalm 9:17

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  15. Having liberal judges act illegally in granting special privileges to lesbians and homosexuals seems rather queer to me.
    –Nottrib Yar

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  16. Good column, Jane. Another reason for denying counterfeit marriage is compassion for homosexuals themselves. It is wrong for the state to offer incentives for people to remain trapped in sinful, unhealthy behavior. Gay “marriage” also will criminalize traditional values, as sexual morality will be redefined as bigotry punishable by law. It will damage the idea of truth itself as people are taught to parrot the lie that two men are a marriage, with no bride in sight.
    Robert Knight

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  17. Robert Knight —

    “Another reason for denying counterfeit marriage is compassion for homosexuals themselves.”

    That’s rich. “Why, the best thing for you slaves is to stay here on the plantation, where we feeds you and gives you productive work to do. See here in the bible, it tells you to be submissive to your masters, so let’s have no back talk out of you.”

    If we need your compassion, we will let you know. Until then, all we’re looking for is equal treatment under the law.

    “It is wrong for the state to offer incentives for people to remain trapped in sinful, unhealthy behavior.”

    Let’s throw sin out, since my god doesn’t think homosexuality is sinful, and the first amendment means your idea of what god wants can’t trump my idea of what god wants.

    Unhealthy behavior? Pledging fidelity to one other person — this is the unhealthy behavior to which you refer?

    Come on people, you’re going to have to do better than this. Did you not watch the O’Reilly clip?

    You may succeed in amending the California Constitution, but you won’t have any luck amending the U.S. Constitution. And when a same-sex marriage case reaches the SCOTUS, you’re going to have to have a rational states’ interest to deny equal rights. And so far, you don’t.

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  18. Jane —

    Why aren’t you chiming in here? You seem like a relatively bright woman — I’d like to see your attempts to counter my responses.

    You seem to participate in the comments section of your other columns.

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  19. Mistereks,

    Jane seems to remain confused on the issues of
    gay rights even when referring to politics of
    a major political candidate.

    In her article at World Net Daily, she says
    that Sen. Obama is for gay marriage. When he does
    not. In fact, currently there is no difference
    between the candidates on the issue except Sen.
    Obama wouldn’t risk a constitutional play, and
    Sen. McCain won’t rule it out.

    Naturally, since she’s unable and unwilling to
    get the facts correct, what makes you think she
    would be willing to respond with thoughtfulness
    to your counter arguments.

    For me, however, I will add that I believe you’ve
    bought into some of the total fallacy presented
    in the original positions you sought to debate…

    …ie, the idea that gay = promiscuous or that
    the “lifestyle” is “unhealthy” … You seem to
    have, by silence, assented to that point and said

    “That’s why we need the good, moral, safe thing
    of marriage and fidelity.”

    Naturally, the argument that marriage itself is
    working is without merit and the idea that there
    are not STDs among heterosexuals is ludicrous and
    a health hazard to promote.

    One need only look at the spread of HIV/AIDS in
    Africa to know it’s VERY much a hetro-problem.

    Warmly,

    Paulie Sabol

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  20. When will conservatives learn to stop demonizing gay people, mind their own business and just live and let live? I don’t know what long term effect gay marriage will have, but I don’t think it would be the disaster conservatives claim it would be.
    I am straight, but no gay person has ever hurt me or tried to force me to be gay. The vast majority of gays are just ordinary people who mind their own business and threaten no one. Having them appear in schools will nott make any student gay if he or she is heterosexual. And not having them there will not stop those who ARE gay from being that way.

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  21. When will conservatives learn to stop demonizing gay people, mind their own business and just live and let live?
    It’s too early to know what long term effects Gay marriage will have, but I doubt that it would be the disaster for society that conservatives hysterically claim it would be. No gay person has ever hurt me or tried to force me to be gay. The vast majority of gays are just ordinary people who mind their own business and threaten no one.
    Having them appear in schools will not make any heterosexual student become gay, and not having them there will not stop any from being gay if they are. The only gay “agenda” is to be treated decently and with respect. Is that too much to ask for?

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  22. Paulie,

    Why you and many voters may be confused about Mr. Obama’s position on marriage, I am not. Has he tried to straddle the fence on this issue? Yes he has, but as my mother used to tell me, “actions speak louder than words.”

    I will include some quotes from Obama from “ontheissues.org on this issue:

    “I agree with most Americans, with Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Cheney, with over 2,000 religious leaders of all different beliefs, that decisions about marriage, as they always have, should be left to the states.” However, Obama also declared, “Personally, I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman.” At the same time, Obama has strongly supported civil unions, arguing that it is a way to protect equal rights without taking the politically risky approach of gay marriage.
    Source: The Improbable Quest, by John K. Wilson, p.114-115 Oct 30, 2007

    What Mr. Obama is saying is similar to the old 7-word dodge in the abortion debate used by those who vote in favor of abortion: I am personally opposed to abortion but…

    Here’s more from ontheissues.org:

    We need strong civil unions, not just weak civil unions
    It is my strong belief that the government has to treat all citizens equally. I come from that in part out of personal experience. When you’re a black guy named Barack Obama, you know what it’s like to be on the outside. And so my concern is continually to make sure that the rights that are conferred by the state are equal for all people.

    That’s why I opposed DOMA in 2006 when I ran for the Senate. That’s why I am a strong supporter not of a weak version of civil unions, but of a strong version, in which the rights that are conferred at the federal level to persons who are part of the same sex union are compatible.

    When it comes to federal rights, the over 1,100 rights that right now are not being given to same sex couples, I think that’s unacceptable, and as president of the United States, I am going to fight hard to make sure that those rights are available.
    Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 2007

    Legal rights for gays are conferred by state, not by church
    Q: You have said in previous debates that it is up to individual religious denominations to decide whether or not to recognize same-sex marriage. What place does the church have in government-sanctioned civil marriages?

    A: It is my strong belief that the government has to treat all citizens equally. I don’t think that the church should be making these determinations when it comes to legal rights conferred by the state. I do think that individual denominations have the right to make their own decisions as to whether they recognize same sex couples. My denomination, United Church of Christ, does. Other denominations may make a decision, and obviously, part of keeping a separation of churches and state is also to make sure that churches have the right to exercise their freedom of religion.
    Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 2007

    Disentangle gay rights from the word “marriage”
    Q: If you were back in the Illinois legislature where you served and the issue of civil marriage came before you, how would you have voted on that?

    A: My view is that we should try to disentangle what has historically been the issue of the word “marriage,” which has religious connotations to some people, from the civil rights that are given to couples, in terms of hospital visitation, in terms of whether or not they can transfer property or Social Security benefits and so forth. So it depends on how the bill would’ve come up. I would’ve supported and would continue to support a civil union that provides all the benefits that are available for a legally sanctioned marriage. And it is then, as I said, up to religious denominations to make a determination as to whether they want to recognize that as marriage or not.
    Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 2007

    Gay marriage is less important that equal gay rights
    Q: On the grounds of civil marriage, can you see to our community where [your stance of separating gay rights from the word “marriage”] comes across as sounding like “separate but equal”?

    A: Look, when my parents got married in 1961, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South. So obviously, this is something that I understand intimately, it’s something that I care about. But if I were advising the civil rights movement back in 1961 about its approach to civil rights, I would have probably said it’s less important that we focus on an anti-miscegenation law than we focus on a voting rights law and a non-discrimination and employment law and all the legal rights that are conferred by the state. Now, it’s not for me to suggest that you shouldn’t be troubled by these issues. But my job as president is going to be to make sure that the legal rights that have consequences on a day to day basis for loving same sex couples all across the country.

    Bottom Line: Obama opposed the extremely weak: Federal Marriage Amendment. In other words, he gives lip service to protecting the “word” marriage but would not vote to do anything toward that end.

    As for not answering Mistereks: I responded to his initial post. Meanwhile, my readers are doing a good job. I’ll wait until he is finished before I respond again.

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  23. Uhm, Ms. Chastain?

    You responded do my initial post? That’s the extent of your rebuttal? What you need to respond to are the logical, rational response I gave to your answer to my initial question. That’s where the challenge for you lies.

    Your readers, however, are not doing a good job. At least, not if you define “good job” as responding to my points with anything approaching logic or reason.

    And what specifically is it you are waiting for me to finish? I asked a question, you replied. I responded to each point in that post. I solicited your response. You attempt a dodge.

    Truly, I am curious to hear your rebuttal of my post of 5 Jun 08 at 10:29 pm.

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  24. Paulie —

    “I believe you’ve bought into some of the total fallacy presented in the original positions you sought to debate”

    I know. Sometimes I have to let that happen or a response gets too long. I have to watch my focus. I tend to get long-winded when I find instances where rationality seems to be in short supply.

    I’m just trying to fill the rationality gap.

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  25. Dear Ms. Chastain:

    I respect your opinion but I can’t help but giggle at the irony of the fact that Conservatives and Christians created this issue with gay marriage several decades ago when they ignored their own principles of limited government in a gross attempt to advance their own social-engineering ends. You have stated the case for “protecting” marriage exactly but your side is doomed to failure. Failure was inevitable not when civil unions were accepted but long before that when it became accepted practice on the Right to compete with the Left in abridging the Constitution to achieve “good”.

    The ends never justify the means, they are the sum total of the means. Or, put another way, “As you sow, so shall you reap.”

    Best regards,

    Aaron F. Beard

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  26. Ms. Chastain –

    I see you are continuing to monitor the comments here — but still no response to my rebuttal of your response to my initial question.

    I’m still waiting to hear a logical, rational reason (one that would be accepted in front of the SCOTUS, so no calls to morality, please) to deny marriage equality.

    I assume from your silence that you have no such reason.

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  27. Mistereks,

    You raised so many questions and some are legitimate and deserve an answer. I had planned to answer them in another column this week. However, the death of Tim Russert presented a more immediate opportunity. Stay tunned, you will have my answer.

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  28. All I want to say about the early posts that mention that Rome basically came crashing down because of the gays is…are you SERIOUS? I must be missing something while I get an education in HISTORY at a top university because my professors mentioned the mess Christianity made quite a few times, but they failed to mention that THE GAYS CAUSED THE FALL OF ROME. What textbooks have you been reading?

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  29. And on another note for Clay…in what world is satan muddying the royal bloodline of christ considered actual history? You went to catholic school didn’t you?

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  30. Jane?

    I see you’ve posted another column on World Net Daily, but you have yet — nearly ten days after you promised to do so — answer the questions I raised to you.

    Just to save you the scrolling, following is the post I wrote responding to your response to my original question, which was, “how will allowing same-sex unions prevent any heterosexual couple from marrying and therefore providing a more stable environment in which to raise children?”

    Your responses are in quotes, mine are not.

    “The answer is simple: It would not prevent heterosexuals couples from marrying but it, in effect, takes away the benefits of marriage.”

    No — it would EXTEND the benefits of marriage to a group of people who are currently denied the right to marry. In California, domestic partnership is almost identical, but it’s still not equal.

    “A married couple is given certain tax breaks and other benefits. If the same tax breaks are given to everyone than — for all practical purposes — the tax break does not exists.”

    Yes, it continues to exist. It’s still a tax break for married people. Single people don’t qualify. It supports and rewards the formation of more stable human partnerships, something gay people — and the society we live in — benefit from.

    “Also, the state gives certain benefits to its employees, such as health insurance, to spouses. The state has a budget and these benefits must be paid for in the form of higher taxes.”

    If I’m getting you right, it’s OK to discriminate — if it’s expensive. Or is that it’s OK to discriminate if it means YOU get more of the pie?

    “When you treat same-sex couples the same as heterosexual couples than EVERYONE must be taxed more in order to pay for those benefits. Therefore, you have heterosexual couples with children subsidizing same-sex couples.”

    There are gay families with children. More important, there are benefits for couples with children that most gay couples and childless straight couples wouldn’t qualify for. Equality has a cost. But its benefits far outweigh its price.

    “It is the same thing with a private business that gives the same benefits to domestic partners as married couples. A state or company can pay its workers only so much for a given job. The employer divides this pay into wages and benefits. If the same benefits are given to everyone, the married couple ends up with less, because the pool of money available for benefits is reduced.”

    But there is no reason to deny same-sex couples these rights — as long as the couple is willing to take on the responsibilities of marriage, as well.

    That’s why the gentleman on O’Reilly was unable to come up with a rational reason — because there is none.

    Equality has a cost. But the benefits far outweigh the price. —

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  31. Mistereks,

    The answer should be obvious: This is not about equality. It is about sound public policy. The government makes public policy decisions everyday that have nothing to do with fairness or equality. I may want the health care or educational benefits available to veterans but I don’t qualify. I may want free food and housing but I don’t qualify for those programs set up by law. I may want the same tax write offs for my business as the business next door, but I don’t qualify.

    When the government makes a decision that effects the public largesse it must be based on sound pubic policy.

    Yes, there are children being raised in same-sex households but it represents a very small group. In public policy decisions “hard cases make bad law.” You simply cannot carve out an exception for everyone. Also, a preponderance of studies show that this is not the best environment in which to raise productive citizens for the future. However, there are benefits that flow to poor children that do not depend on the marital status of their parent or parents.

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  32. You failed to answer most of my original questions and have instead veered off into different territory. That’s OK, I’ll play along with you for now.

    It’s not about equality? Why not? Isn’t that one of the foundations of this great country? That all men are created equal?

    Instead, you say it’s about “sound public policy.” Which sound public policy is that? We’re not talking about people who aren’t willing to assume the responsibilities that go along with the rights of marriage, so I truly don’t see what is “sound” about denying people of the same gender who are willing to commit to care for each other (so the state is less likely to have to), to assume responsibility for each other to be able to do so in the same legal manner as opposite gender couples.

    Your argument that “The government makes public policy decisions everyday that have nothing to do with fairness or equality” is a canard. If the government does not provide certain benefits to all groups, there is usually a solid reason. For veteran’s benefits (your example), you have to have served in the military. Interestingly enough, that option is available to all American citizens — except the gay ones.

    What is the logical REASONING why gay Americans should be denied the right to marry? I have heard NONE. Not from you, not from any commentator. It all comes down to morality. You think it’s immoral behavior, I don’t. But because we both have the same right to believe what God wants in terms of this, your view of morality is not allowed to trump mine.

    You say “there are children being raised in same-sex households but it represents a very small group.” First, children being raised in Inuit households or households led by two left-handed parents or Wiccan households also represent a very small group, yet we don’t deny the adults raising those children the fundamental right to civil marriage on those grounds.

    Just because it’s a small group of gay families that are raising children, it’s OK to discriminate against them? I know you don’t believe that is true.

    You may counter that being Inuit or left-handed or (perhaps) even Wiccan doesn’t adversely affect the environment in which children are raised. Yet somehow, being homosexual does. First, point me to your “preponderance of studies.” All that I have read seems to say there is no significant difference in the emotional, mental and physical well-being of children raised by same-sex couples. They probably feel a bit odd and different, but so do kids of interracial couples. We get over those things.

    More important, this law isn’t about raising children. It’s about marriage. Marriage often leads to children, but not always. We don’t expect all married couples to procreate. If so, why would the state allow post-menopausal women or men who have had a vasectomy to marry?

    On top of that, denying marriage equality is not going to stop same-sex couples from having and raising children. All it’s going to do is deny the children within those families the advantages of stability that come from civil marriage.

    I’m not trying to badger you, Ms. Chastain. You seem like a bright enough woman, and I want to understand the logic behind your position, but I can’t seem to find any. Extending marriage equality will only INCREASE the overall stability of our society. Equality has a way of doing that.

    Let me close by telling you a true story. I had an uncle-in-law who was in a same-sex relationship for over 35 years. The two men did all they could legally to formalize their relationship. But when my uncle-in-law died of lung cancer, his surviving partner did not receive Social Security survivor benefits. On top of that, because of estate law, he had to pay additional taxes on his inheritance, and the tax basis on the home they owned together changed and the taxes increased substantially.

    Because of this, the surviving partner could no longer afford to remain in the home they had shared for three decades.

    If they had been able to be married, none of this would have happened. But that option was not open to them, and he suffered terrible consequences because of it.

    Tell me, Ms. Chastain, does that seem fair to you? Does it seem like “sound public policy?” Does it seem like what we want to aspire to as Americans?

    I look forward to your answer.

    Respectfully yours,
    Mistereks

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  33. Mistereks,

    Apparently you have more free time on your hands than I. My latest column, “The case against same-sex marriage” is an answer to many of your numerous posts. I would encourage you to go back and reread it. There are many, compelling, sound public policy reasons to encourage traditional marriage. It is a net benefit to society. There are no compelling reasons to change the definition of marriage in order to accommodate your agenda.

    To use one of your earlier arguments, There is nothing to prevent you from forming a legal partnership, having joint ownership of property or leaving an inheritance to any other human being or assuming responsibility for that person. Two males should be working and have their own Social Security benefits.

    As far as the tax basis on your uncle’s property, a piece of property that has been in my family was reevaluated recently and the tax basis doubled. As a result, I will have to sell it if I can’t afford it. It’s sad, but a fact of life.

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  34. Ms. Chastain –

    Free time — wouldn’t that be nice? Actually, I invest my time in this debate because I am passionate about equality.
    “A study from the Netherlands – the first country to legalize same-sex marriage – found the average length of these parings was two and a quarter years.”

    You are on shaky ground here. Heterosexual marriage in this country hasn’t been all that successful, with a divorce rate of 50% or so. (The lowest divorce rate, incidentally, is in Massachusetts, the other state where same-sex marriage is legal.) If we allowed marriage based solely on its chance for long-term success, opposite-sex marriages probably wouldn’t be allowed either. Why not prohibit lower-income people from marrying, since their unions are far more likely to end in divorce than those of the more affluent?

    “Marriage is society’s ultimate stamp of approval on a sexual relationship. Homosexuals want that approval.”

    No. We want equality. I have the approval of my family and friends. Equal treatment under the law is what I want from the state.

    “researchers around the world have reported that homosexuals in “committed” relationships are more likely to engage in risky, unsanitary sexual practices than “single” gays.”

    Cite your source, please.

    “Homosexuals are more likely to abuse alcohol, become dependent on drugs and nicotine, suffer depression and attempt suicide.”

    Gee, do you think that might possibly be linked to the fact that we have been beaten and killed, simply for being who we are? That we have been marginalized, our private behavior made — until a few years ago — illegal? That families are known to disown us, as Alan Keyes did to his daughter?

    Extend marriage equality and watch the emotional well-being of homosexuals rise.

    “Homosexuals have higher rates of domestic violence.”

    Actually, recent research shows the opposite – gay couples tend to get along better and deal with disputes in a more healthy manner. It was written up in the June 10, 2008 issue of the New York Times.

    “Children raised by lesbians are more likely to engage in homosexual behavior. They are more sexually adventurous and less chaste.”

    Again, cite your source. And even if it is true, that’s only a problem in terms of morality. And on a constitutional basis, your idea of what is moral is not allowed to trump MY idea of what is moral.

    “Homosexual males are much more likely to abuse children sexually than heterosexual males.”

    No. Most abuse is by heterosexual men. Besides, how would denying marriage equality prevent abuse? Both single and married men today engage in sexual abuse. Sad, but true. But no reason to deny equality.

    “Bottom line: The hedge of protection that the state has put around traditional marriage is good public policy.”

    You haven’t even come CLOSE to proving this.

    “There are no compelling public policy reasons for allowing homosexual couples inside the hedge to erode those benefits.”

    Yes, there are. Married couples, whether same-sex or opposite-sex, will still be agreeing to look after each other (so the state is less likely to have to), and to be responsible for each other’s debts, etc. Those are societal goods.

    “Furthermore, there are no replicated scientific studies to support the myth that homosexuality is genetic and this “practice” is an immutable characteristic like race and gender.”

    Completely wrong. Sexuality is as immutable as handedness. No one knows exactly what causes left-handedness, but the current scientific consensus is that it is a combination of genetic factors and the environment in utero. Interestingly, that is the same consensus on what causes sexuality.

    Just like sexuality, a person CAN choose to use their non-dominant hand to write or throw a ball, but the results are usually as clumsy as a relationship between Rosie O’Donnell and Tom Cruise.

    I await your reply.

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  35. Had a few minutes to kill at the end of the day and stumbled on this. Mistereks, well said and well addressed. Jane’s “logic” in this case makes no sense at best, is attack-dog mean at worst. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

    Like

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