It’s not just about love

It’s not just about love

As I watch the ads go by, one way and another, I’m forced to ask myself, do we really know what sorts of consequences will come from altering the traditional definition of marriage?

If we allow the gay lobby to define the gay marriage moral issue as a civil rights issue, those fundamental social changes that came with other civil rights will inevitably follow. Will those of us with differing opinions on marriage now be discriminated against? Are we so naïve as to think that once something is deemed a “civil right” that it will have a lesser effect on society than any other civil right?

My sister Christina, recently stood up as a private citizen in support of traditional marriage and was immediately targeted by activists in the gay community.  She got hate mail at her house, that for weeks has continued.  Who would do that?  It’s unfathomable to me, but that’s not the worst of it.  They looked up her name and her husband’s name online and found her photography business information.  Her business was inundated with requests to perform her photography services at gay weddings in direct opposition to her beliefs, with the threat of discrimination lawsuits if she refused. This new “civil right” protection trumps her right to religion and free speech in the law.

Personally, I don’t see Proposition 8 taking anything away from civil unions or partner laws. I see Proposition 8 as separate from the gay issue. It’s more about legal protection for those of us who would rather have private matters be private and who wish to preserve our own free speech and freedom of religion rights. To see the issue as just an issue of “love” ignores the legal behemoth that attends it.



  1. KJ said,

    October 10, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    One word: Amen. I am going to link your post from my blog, if that is ok? Your final paragraph is poignant.

    Thank you.

  2. beetlebabee said,

    October 10, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    KJ, You bet you can link up. Thanks for the kudos.

  3. Lori said,

    October 10, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    NO, It’s NOT just about love! It’s about commitment, it’s about a promise you make to “multiply and replenish”, or in other words bring babies into this world. HOW can two people of the same sex do that? Yes, there is adoption, BUT, that baby they adopt still had to come from a MAN and a WOMAN! And what rights are they getting? Anything different from what they can get now with a legal contract? It’s just NOT a marriage!

    I’m sorry, I get a little crazy when speaking about this subject. It is so incredibly vital to the continuation of the world, and our plan for happiness.

  4. Lori said,

    October 10, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    How do you link blogs??

  5. Bethany said,

    October 10, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Exactly! The thing that upsets me most about opponents of Prop 8 is that they are trying to enforce their beliefs on the rest of us. I don’t want my daughter taught that gay marriage is a wonderful thing when she starts school in a year. I don’t want to get hate mail from people who are upset that I disagree with them. I want my freedom to practice my religion, as is promised in our constitution. We can’t legalize every new trend that comes along just because a noisy minority demands it.

  6. beetlebabee said,

    October 10, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Connecticut Supreme Court just overturned their law!

    Do you ever wonder why the gay lobby doesn’t put it to a vote like everyone else? Why do they have to force their will on the people?

  7. jacob1207 said,

    October 11, 2008 at 2:24 am

    beetlebabee, do you ever wonder why the the NAACP didn’t win desegregation by putting it to a vote like everyone else? Or why they had to “force their will [to desegregate buses and schools] on the people”?

    Lori, would you prohibit couples who can’t or don’t want to have children from marrying? Some men and women are naturally infertile, and some couples where both members can have children have genetic problems that make it risky for them to do so. And some women choose to marry, or remarry, after menopause, when they cannot naturally have children anymore (though there are, I believe, hormonal treatments that can reverse this). If you would forbid gay and lesbian couples from marrying on the grounds that they cannot naturally have a child then, to be consistent, you should also oppose marriage for any other couple that cannot naturally have children.

    Additionally, I hardly think that “the continuation of the world, and our plan for happiness” is at stake in this. At least the happiness of straight people like you and I isn’t greatly at stake. But that of the approximately 5% of the population who is homosexual may well be. And if your own happiness, or possibly even your own marriage, will be negatively effected by knowing that gays and lesbians can marry… I just don’t know what to say. I’m sorry.

  8. beetlebabee said,

    October 11, 2008 at 3:27 am

    Jacob, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I’ll try to address your points. Natural childbirth I don’t think is at issue here, my husband and I have adopted several times. I’ve also known gay couples who have been allowed to adopt children. I think that the inherent gifts of the genders is what is at issue. What children are entitled to in a family. Can there be lesser quality family situations? Yes. Kudos to the men and women who are forced to do both parental roles on their own, whether through the tragedy of divorce or death. Yet, that said, how can we as a society actually promote a way of life that by definition denies a child that right? Not only promote, but celebrate as equal to a form of marriage that has the benefits of both genders. I can’t be persuaded that genderless society is somehow better. Isn’t that what we’re being asked to believe here with same sex marriage?

    On your next point, no, I do not believe that the gay marriage issue has anything in similarity with the civil rights movement, not remotely…nor do I believe that gays are any less than children of God who created us. I simply have a different moral view, and want to keep the right to have that differing view without the court’s interference. I believe that proposition 8 will define clearly what marriage is and isn’t, and prevent the judiciary from usurping the will of the people further.

  9. jacob1207 said,

    October 11, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Interesting. Many same-sex marriage opponents base their arguments on the claim that gays and lesbians can’t have children, but you, beetlebabee, base yours on the fact that they can, coupled with the dubious claims that they are, on average, not as good at being parents as straight couples and that allowing same-sex marriage will increase the number of children raised by such inferior parents.

    First, you present no evidence that your central claim (that same-sex couples are inherently not as good at being parents) might be true. Have you seen such evidence and, if so, will you share it with us?

    Second, even that claim were true, you would still need to demonstrate that the number of gays raising children would increase significantly if they could marry. I don’t think that number would go up much just because they can marry. You also, I think, neglect the benefit that having married parents would have for the many children already being raised by same-sex couples, who will have a more secure and stable home environment if their parents are married.

    Third, your argument does not apply to same-sex couples who choose not to have children. Many don’t choose to have them and, as you know, same-sex couples don’t need to worry about unwanted pregnancy. Would you therefore be okay with same-sex couples marrying if they agree not to have children? If not, then I submit to you that your opposition is not honestly based on their supposed inferiority at raising children.

    Fourth, if your opposition really is based on a desire to minimize the number of children being raised outside stable, two-parent families, what other measures do you support towards that end? Would you prohibit people with multiple felony convictions from having kids, or do you think such a person and another person of the opposite gender would make better parents than two homosexuals? I presume you heavily favor teaching teens about contraceptives, since so many births to teen mothers result in the child being raised by a single parent who often cannot avoid poverty. Or is it preferable to have a child raised by a single parent than by two parents of the same gender?

    Fifth, can you honestly say that your opposition to same-sex marriage came only after you discovered that they don’t make as good parents, or, like many people, did you make up your mind and only then set about to find reasons to justify your decision? Be honest now.

    Sixth, in your estimation, did Brown v. Board of eduction “usurp the will of the people”? Or was it actually somehow not the will of the people in the southern states to have segregated education? And isn’t the very purpose of having a bill of rights, whether at the state or national level, to put certain things outside the ability of the people to interfere with? Or should anything that a majority of the people want go?

  10. chouchou said,

    October 11, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I find it interesting that when same-sex couples assert that their families are just as beneficial to children as heterosexual couples they complete ignore all the statistical data that shows how important both male and female roles are to children. There are definitely gender differences, and those differences are important to the overall well-being of children.

    My support for prop 8 stems from my desire to support the family, the basic unit of society. History and statistics have borne out that the ideal family is one that begins with a loving husband and wife united to bring to earth and raise children the best that they can. I recognize that due to circumstances, not everyone is able to live that ideal, nor does every marriage meet that ideal. We love and support everyone who is doing their best to strengthen their families and raise their children to be successful, caring, contributing adults, regardless of the circumstances they find themselves in.

    However, I believe the government has a right and duty to preserve and promote the ideal. Just because many families do not reach that ideal does not mean that we should simply throw it out — that would be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Same sex couples in our state (California) already have all the rights and privileges as married couples. None of these rights and privileges are being taken away from them. What same sex couples are seeking now is essentially our state’s “blessing” — they want their union to be acknowledged as “just as good as” heterosexual couples. Without passing judgment on personal choices and lifestyle, I think that we can assert that their union is not just as good as marriage between a man and a woman for raising children and strengthening society overall.

  11. Troy said,

    October 11, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    Jacob asked the question that I like answering the most.

    1) First the evidence that homosexual couples’ children may be at a disadvantage when compared to traditional mother and father families.

    The California court asserts some version of a “constitutional right to same-sex marriage” at least 78 times before undermining that very claim in Footnote 52 on page 79 of the opinion, which reads:

    We emphasize that our conclusion that the constitutional right to marry properly must be interpreted to apply to gay individuals and gay couples does not mean that this constitutional right similarly must be understood to extend to polygamous or incestuous relationships. Past judicial decisions explain why our nation’s culture has considered the latter types of relationships inimical to the mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry…. Although the historic disparagement of and discrimination against gay individuals and gay couples clearly is no longer constitutionally permissible, the state continues to have a strong and adequate justification for refusing to officially sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of their potentially detrimental effect on a sound family environment…. Thus our conclusion that it is improper to interpret the state constitutional right to marry as inapplicable to gay individuals or couples does not affect the constitutional validity of the existing legal prohibitions against polygamy and the marriage of close relatives.

    It appears to me that this exact same argument should be used to prevent rather than condone same sex marriage. The overwhelming consensus is that same sex couples are not “mutually supportive and healthy family relationships” Here are some examples:

    United Nations, “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” General Assembly Resolution 217 A (III), 10 December 1948.

    David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem (New York: Basic Books, 1995)

    Barbara Schneider, Allison Atteberry, and Ann Owens, Family Matters: Family Structure and Child Outcomes (Birmingham AL: Alabama Policy Institute: June 2005)

    David Popenoe, Life Without Father (New York: Martin Kessler Books, 1996)

    David Popenoe and Barbara Defoe Whitehead, The State of Our Unions 2007: The Social Health of Marriage in America (Piscataway, NJ (Rutgers University) The National Marriage Project, July 2007 pp. 21-25

    Maggie Gallagher and Joshua K. Baker, “Do Moms and Dads Matter? Evidence from the Social Sciences on Family Structure and the Best Interests of the Child,” Margins Law Journal 4:161 (2004).

    Lynne D. Wardle, “What’s the Harm?: Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Really Harm Individuals, Families or Society?” University Press of America (2008)

    In Dutch AIDs researchers, published in 2003 in the journal AIDS, reported on the number of partners among Amsterdam’s homosexual population.

    They found:

    * 86% of new HIV/AIDS infections in gay men were in men who had steady partners.
    * Gay men with steady partners engage in more risky sexual behaviors than gays without steady partners.
    * Gay men with steady partners had 8 other sex partners (“casual partners”) per year, on average.
    * The average duration of committed relationships among gay steady partners was 1.5 years.

    One and a half years does not sound to me like a “mutually supportive and healthy family relationship.” What happens to the kids after that? If you don’t like that statistic, here is another: The longevity of relationships among same sex couples is significantly different from that of traditional marriage relationships between a man and a woman. Divorce magazine says the average length of marriage in the US is about 8 years.

    Since this is 2002 data we can safely assume these are mostly traditional marriage relationships between a man and a woman. On the other hand data from the Gay/Lesbian Consumer Online Census shows that only 29% of relationships last more than 7 years. I think this is as close as you can come to an apples to apples comparison.

    According to Statistics Canada, Canada’s National Statistical Agency, July 7, 2005, “Violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples” while the American College of Pediatricians indicate that the number should be 2-3 times rather than the Canadian 2 times.

    The American College of Pediatricians go on to say in the same report that “homosexual partnerships are significantly more prone to dissolution than heterosexual marriages with the average homosexual relationship lasting only two to three years.”

    Finally, from he most recent AIDS survey is published by WHO and UN AIDS, unprotected sex between men continues to account for the largest proportion of new HIV infections (45% in 2005 (that’s 45% of 2.1 million which is 0.945 million new gay men with new infections in 2005) compared with 42% in 2002) (Boulos et al., 2006). An estimated 37% of new HIV infections in 2005 were attributed to unprotected heterosexual intercourse, with a substantial proportion among people born in countries where HIV is endemic (mainly sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean).

    Since the best estimates put the homosexual population between 2% and 7%, this also means that even in western Europe with a minority of 29% of new infections coming from at best 7% of the population means that the gay men are far and away the most risky group. In the rest of the world (population about 6.45 billion in 2005) where that 2-7% (451 million in 2005) represents the majority means the chance of infection when engaging in completely random homosexual sex is 0.21% for the gay population as opposed to 0.013% for completely random heterosexual sex (200 times more likely).

    I got most of this information from which also contains quite a bit more supporting evidence. I simply can not believe that the supreme court studied the issue carefully, I believe that instead they were responding to social pressure applied by gay and lesbian activist groups.

    2) Actually you don’t have to demonstrate that extending the definition would increase homosexuals with children, you only have to look at the supreme court’s reasoning to realize that marriage IS about family and that there is no reason to extend the definition of marriage without in their words, “mutually supportive and healthy family relationships promoted by the constitutional right to marry.”

    3) If homosexual couples do not choose to have children then there is no reason to extend the definition of marriage as argued by the supreme court above.

    4) Other measures are not really gemane to this discussion since we are in this forum limiting ourselves to extending the definition of marriage to include same sex couples.

    5) I believe that there are social laws just as there are physical laws (like gravity for instance). If one lives by these physical and social laws, you are more likely to be able to live a healthy and happy life. Physical laws are pretty difficult to discover, great scientists like Newton and Einstein have been engaged in doing that for hundreds of years. Social laws are even harder because we don’t have enough of a basis in understanding for instance of the operation of the body and the intellect. I believe that God loves us, his children and wants us to be happy and so he has graciously given us the laws that, if we live by, will result in happiness. I believe that the consequences of laws happen independently of God and that he has told us about the laws (which he knows about) so that we can be happy too. I can honestly say that I believe that homosexual relations do not lead to happiness. Unfortunately I can not “derive” that result, our science and understanding has not progressed far enough but I can look for and find evidence of the consequences of not following those laws. That’s what I’ve tried to present here.

    6) I believe that it would be very difficult to be a good judge with a very complete understanding of the law. In this case, I can not believe that the judges of the California supreme court understood clearly the consequences of homosexual families or they would not have been able to claim that same sex couples promoted “mutually supportive and healthy family relationships.”

    As a side note, I’m pretty much a one trick pony, these arguments and more can be found on my blog post at:

  12. jacob1207 said,

    October 11, 2008 at 7:12 pm


    Just because the average homosexual relationship lasts 18 months doesn’t mean the average same-sex marriage would. That’d be like taking the average length of all opposite sex relationships (most of which are not marriages) and concluding that opposite sex marriages would average the same length. Most heterosexuals who get married where in several relationships prior to marriage.

    Also, I’m sure that gays and lesbians will be delighted to know that the limits that you want to put on their rights are motivated by your paternalism to protect them from themselves. In any event, the gay subcultures that have developed are heavily influenced by their ostracism from society. Bringing them into the mainstream of society should help promote more stable homosexual relationships and discourage unsafe sex practices. And, since you are so opposed to risky sex, I am sure that you are in favor of comprehensive sex education, which helps teens make wiser, more informed decisions on avoiding disease and unwanted pregnancy. Kudos to you for that, I know that many social conservatives favor abstinence-only sex education which actually increases the incidence of unsafe sex among teens who take those courses.

    Also, you didn’t answer my 4th, 5th, and 6th questions. I guess those are not the type you like answering.

    And your answer to my 3rd question is telling. You say that same-sex couples who don’t want kids have no reason to get married. Does this apply to opposite-sex couples as well? If a couple does not want children, should they be prohibited from marrying? Perhaps to get a marriage license they should have to declare that they will make a bona fide attempt to have children biologically or to adopt. And marriages that do not produce children within a certain period of time (five years should suffice) will be dissolved. What would your objection to that be? I’m sure you’ll have one, but I suspect it’ll be rather ad hoc. I am interested in hearing it though.

    I’m truly interested in hearing your response to this question: did you oppose same-sex marriage before you came across the information that you pasted into your last comment? If so, then that information is probably not the real reason you oppose same-sex marriage.

  13. beetlebabee said,

    October 11, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    Jacob, it appears clear to me that you are ignoring the facts. You asked for facts, but now, we’re back to claiming basic bigotry in spite of the facts. You can’t have both sides.

    I think the basic thought here is that society has long held views about which family forms are most stable—which is why across the globe, societies independent of each other have formed families as the basic building block of society. Scientific research backs up those common sense practices with solid evidence reasons. Claiming civil right protections shouldn’t preclude scrutiny of your arguments. The great MLK had fact and reason, not just rhetoric and label wielding strong arm tactics, in fact, just the opposite. Where are the facts supporting your claims? What study is there that shows same sex parents are an improvement on society?

  14. jacob1207 said,

    October 11, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve called no one here a bigot, nor would I.

    I’m trying to understand your guys position. You claim that you oppose gay marriage because gays don’t (on average) make as good parents as (on average) straight people do. Thus, your opposition to same-sex marriage–as I understand it–is all about making sure that the right people end up raising children.

    I’m taking that at face value. But doing so raises a number of questions. Why are you only focused on gays and lesbians? Why are you not concerned with drug addicts or alchoholics raising children? Are they better parents, on average, than gays and lesbians? Yet you don’t seem concerned about those people. That at least raises the question whether you’re really concerned about the children after all, or are just focused on people’s sexual orientation. If you’re so concerned for the children, as you claim to be, why are you apparently more concerned with children raised by homosexual parents, who may or may not be fit, than with children being raised by demonstrably unfit heterosexual parents? What about children of adults who’ve been convicted of spousal abuse? I think these are fair questions. Will you answer them?

    Also, statistics about rates of disease among homosexuals are non sequiturs. If hispanics suffer from certain diseases at higher rates than the general public, ought they to be forbidden from marrying? Why or why not? How about smokers? They have much, much higher rates of lung cancer than non-smokers, and expose children around them to second hand smoke. Should they be forbidden from marrying? Why or why not? Are you willing to face these questions? Do you think you’ve been forced to accept smoking as a valid lifestyle choice?

    Also, since we’re talking about science, I presume that you accept the scientific consensus that sexual orientation is innate (largely, but not entirely genetic, and also effected by early life environment), right?

    Also, speaking of Martin Luther King, I think it’d be well to bear in mind that he would have probably lost a referendum on desegregation in pretty much every southern state. It took action by the courts to desegregate most public accomodations, including marriage, which many states previously excluded interracial couples from taking advantage of.

  15. Leslie said,

    October 11, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I don’t believe that there is any evidence that heterosexual parents are more loving, better able to financially support, or more emotionally supportive of children than homosexual parents. Nor do heterosexual couples have a right to marry than homosexual couple do not. All single adults have the right to marry. That is what has traditionally been legal in California and the US. That is because marriage is , by definition, between two people of different sexes. Gay people have the equal right to marry someone of the opposite sex, they just don’t want to. Heterosexual people have the equal right to form a domestic union – they probably don’t want to. We all have equal rights. We just might not choose to exercise those rights.

    This is just an issue of respect. The gay community does not feel respected by some other members of society. That is sad for both sides, but I don’t see how we can force respect through legislation.

    I’ve heard both sides call each other bigots, and that is so sad. Both sides key each others cars, steal their signs and just become outright nasty. Shame on both groups.

    But I think what beetlebabee was originally saying was that she doesn’t want the government (which does nothing well) to teach moral vaules – that contradict her moral values- to her children. Schools have taught values such as honesty (don’t cheat), friendliness ( help the new kid find the lunchroom), etc for years. These values have been politically neutral. But religious values are not neutral, and we should respect Beetlebabees rights to not undermine something so dear to her.

  16. beetlebabee said,

    October 12, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Jacob, I don’t think your logic at all follows that because I believe marriage between a man and a woman is ideal that I would support extreme reprisals against any myriad of human failings or any other of your further suppositions, neither does it follow that since I do not support your further imaginings that your stated position must therefore be correct. There is no inconsistency in my position on human failings, we all fall short of ideal in some way.

    I have to say though that hurtful as they are to society, divorce rates are not threatening to curtail my free speech and freedom of religion rights, but gay marriage is. Once we start endowing moral issues with civil rights powers and protections, the right to free speech about those moral issues is abrogated. That is at the heart of this issue for me.

  17. Troy said,

    October 12, 2008 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for responding, however you didn’t provide any sources for your claims. Your penchant for putting words in my mouth is annoying to say the least. Let’s see if we can stick to the FACTS. If you can’t back up a claim, put something like “I think” or “I feel” before it so that we can be clear not to expect sources. I can’t accept your opinion as fact, you need to provide SOMETHING.
    In particular, I have provided facts about relationship lengths but you have countered with nothing. Maybe you can provide the results of some study that found that same sex relationships in the Denmark are at least as old as it was legalized in 1989.

    You say, “the gay subcultures that have developed are heavily influenced by their ostracism from society. Bringing them into the mainstream of society should help promote more stable homosexual relationships and discourage unsafe sex practices.” Where is the source of this data? Is this from the inside of your head? C’mon, we can’t believe that without some support.

    You say, “abstinence-only sex education which actually increases the incidence of unsafe sex among teens who take those courses.” Where is your source for this claim?

    I have to go but I hope to be able to continue our discussion at a later time. In the mean time, go ahead and see if you can find some facts to support your claims.

  18. Leslie said,

    October 12, 2008 at 3:51 am

    You know that our government has formed social service agencies that try to address the issue of children who are neglected or abused by any type or variety or parent or guardian. That is not even an issue of the prop 8 debate because it is already being taken care of (poorly).
    The question is this: how do children with only one sex of parent learn the social role played by the opposite sex? Children do not learn these kinds of complicated and often subtle behaviors on the school yard, probably because family relationships are not demonstrated there. There is absolutely no real evidence that same sex parents can provide for this very real need. But, there is evidence in the poor, urban black community that children with only one parent suffer in many ways, including social roles they will need as adults.
    This is not to say that gay households will have the same problems as single black mothers, but this is a group that has been highly studied, and there is only one sexes role model in the home.
    As a side note: I have had a mother and mother-in-law plus 2 mother-aged sister-in-laws and think that two mothers are too much estrogen for any poor child to cope with. All the mother-in-law jokes and stereotypes that we hear of in our society must be based on something. :)

  19. October 12, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    […] 12, 2008 at 10:56 pm (Uncategorized) In my post, “It’s Not Just About Love” I brought up the idea that there are more intentions, more drives at play with the same sex […]

  20. jacob1207 said,

    October 13, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Troy, you don’t think that gays and lesbians are the subject of significant social disapproval? Oh boy. Have you ever heard of Fred Phelps? Or Matthew Shepherd? Do you think that so many homosexuals are “in the closet” just because they like it in there? Do you think that legislatures across the country have added homosexuals to the groups protected by hate crimes laws just for the fun of it?

    The persecution isn’t as bad in the United States as, like Nazi Germany and present-day Iran, but it is very present. Some resources that would provide you with more information:

    The second link is especially useful and includes many articles by a gentleman who has made studying issues related to homosexuality his life’s work. Now, will you withdraw your claim that gays and lesbians are not the subject of significant ostracism and persecution? If not, what would you need to see in order to accept that gays and lesbians are significantly persecuted in our society?

    Anyway, from there it is reasonable to suppose that the ostracism gays and lesbians face is a significant contributing factor to the dysfunction that exists in parts of their subculture. I won’t elaborate here since I’m not sure that you’ll even accept that they are persecuted and if you don’t accept that there’s no point in continuing this line of argument. It would also be more difficult to establish a connection between the persecution and the dysfunction than it is to demonstrate that the persecution exists, and if you won’t accept its existence there’s no way you’d be able to accept that a connection exists between it and other pertinent factors. Let me know if you want to go into this further.

    Next, you asked “how do children with only one sex of parent learn the social role played by the opposite sex?” You will, of course, note that, insofar as this is a problem, it is experienced at least as much by children of single parents. To deal with the question directly: they’ll learn from many sources. From what their friends tell them about their families; through interaction with the parents of friends; from interaction with their parents’ friends; from other relatives, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc; from neighbors; from teachers and material studied at school; through movies and TV shows; et cetera. We are all socialized through all of these institutions (well, except for the Amish; they don’t watch TV). Also, they’ll see that their own parents, though of the same gender, often take on different roles within the household. They’ll understand that couples divide chores and labors up and often specialize in certain types of household work. To be sure, that might make them more tolerant of a woman mowing the grass and a man cooking dinner, but how is that a problem?

    More fundamentally, and building on my last comment, who cares if a woman takes out the trash while her husband does the laundry? Are you seriously concerned with the threat to our civilization that stay-at-home dads pose? I can’t believe that you are absent a clear declaration to that effect. So I must admit to being lost here and unsure what you mean by the social roles played by each of the sexes; I must request your enlightenment on this. I presume that whatever you are talking about must be very serious indeed, since it is of more concern to you than alcoholics raising children. (And if it is of less concern to you than alcoholic parents, what are you doing, or willing to do, to help those children?)

    I will respond to some of your other points shortly, Troy. I am enjoying our discussion.

    beetlebabee, I respectfully do think there is an inconsistency in your position, as I understand it. It seems to me that the main basis for your opposition to same-sex marriage is the claim that gay parents are, on average, less good than straight parents. However, you are uninterested in limiting the marriage or children-raising rights of other groups who are more obviously bad at raising children, like alcoholics and serial criminals. I know that you find it sad that there are abusive parents and I’m sure that you support Social Services and the courts taking away those children when it gets to that point. But what I don’t understand is why you don’t want to prohibit those sorts of people from marrying or having children in the first place.

    I also find it inconsistent that you would allow straight couples who can’t or don’t want children to marry but not gay couples who don’t want children. If a lesbian couple agrees that they won’t have children (and they need not worry about unplanned pregnancy) then why shouldn’t they be able to get married? There are no children to protect from their 10% greater chance of breaking up! Can you explain your opposition to childless gay marriages and also your support for childless straight marriages?

    And the biggest inconsistency of all, in my view, concerns what is probably the basis for your belief that homosexuality is immoral: the Mosaic Code. According to Rabbinic tradition, the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament to us Christians) contains 613 commandments. Almost all Christians believe that the vast majority of them do not apply to us anymore. Can you explain why the ones on homosexuality do but not the ones on diet, clothing, agriculture, mold, rashes, and blasphemy? Or are you indeed in favor of stoning recalcitrant children and people who commit blasphemy? I perceive an inconsistency in your position and hope that you can explain it for me to understand. If your position on homosexuality honestly has nothing to do with the Bible I will retract this point.

  21. Troy said,

    October 13, 2008 at 5:03 am

    I’m glad to see some facts from you. Indeed I would agree that homosexuals experience “persecution.” The item that I feel need shoring up with data is the idea that changing the definition of marriage would somehow change the many things that in my opinion make them less likely to be good parents. Data from western Europe where they have been accepted the longest doesn’t support the idea that acceptance will bring longer-term relationships or fix the other problems that same sex couples seem to be plagued with. Just to be thorough, I’ll post the links to supporting data here:

    Amsterdam data shows gay men to have an average relationship span of 1.5 years:

    From he most recent AIDS survey is published by WHO and UN AIDS, unprotected sex between men in western Europe accounts for 29% of new infections, however the homosexual population is only between 2% and 7%. This means that in western Europe where same sex couples have been accepted for the longest time, gay men are far and away the most risky group. I don’t have data on the population numbers for western Europe, however this means that the risk of infection is approximately 200 times more likely for gay men in this area than for heterosexual couples.

    Your opinion about learning about the roles of different sexes is unsupported by facts. There are a multitude of studies that contradict your opinion here:

    David Blankenhorn, Fatherless America: Confronting Our Most Urgent Social Problem (New York: Basic Books, 1995)

    Barbara Schneider, Allison Atteberry, and Ann Owens, Family Matters: Family Structure and Child Outcomes (Birmingham AL: Alabama Policy Institute: June 2005)

    David Popenoe, Life Without Father (New York: Martin Kessler Books, 1996)

    David Popenoe and Barbara Defoe Whitehead, The State of Our Unions 2007: The Social Health of Marriage in America (Piscataway, NJ (Rutgers University) The National Marriage Project, July 2007 pp. 21-25

    Maggie Gallagher and Joshua K. Baker, “Do Moms and Dads Matter? Evidence from the Social Sciences on Family Structure and the Best Interests of the Child,” Margins Law Journal 4:161 (2004).

    Lynne D. Wardle, “What’s the Harm?: Does Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage Really Harm Individuals, Families or Society?” University Press of America (2008)

    I think that the data from these sources do a much better job than I do since I am not a psychologist of showing why the lack of one gender poses a problem. Ultimately, this may be a case that it’s hard to pin down WHY but it’s easy to point out that the data does support it.
    There is some clear confusion on the subject of why ONLY same sex partnerships are being discussed here. At this point we are a few weeks away from the time when some very important legislation will be voted on in California, specifically Proposition 8. I think the point of BeetleBabee’s post here is to point out the danger of not supporting this legislation. After the current crisis has passed, you may find more interest in other aspects that can strengthen the family (your repeatedly ignored comment on alcoholism for instance). I don’t think it’s a case of “we like to pick on homosexuals”, I think it’s a case of, “don’t let this important issue pass by unawares.”

    The point here is obviously not about who takes out the trash, please don’t put words into my mouth. The point here is that the supreme court in California seems to think that marriage should be extended to same sex couples because they can provide “mutually supportive and healthy family relationships.” The point can not be more clearly made that “MARRIAGE is about FAMILY” not about personal fulfillment. My contention is that same gender couples can not and have not done provided “mutually supportive and healthy family relationships” anywhere in the world and that we would be foolish indeed to TRY to make dysfunctional and broken homes by teaching that they are on par with tradition marriage between a man and a woman and giving them special status as a protected class. I think that type of thing should be limited to minorities that are being immorally prevented from exercising the same rights as everyone else.

    You need to provide a source for your data about the Mosaic code and which of the 613 commandments are no longer supported by which Christians. I think that you will find that with the appearance of Jesus Christ, some items of the Mosaic law was fulfilled. The sermon on the mount is an example of where Jesus took items of the old Mosaic law and replaced it with a higher law that should then be followed. Here are some examples (not an exhaustive list):

    Scroll down to the highlighted portion where it says, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time.” This is code for “You know from the Mosaic law” and then he goes on to present the new, higher law.

    Richard B. Hays has a book that specifically speaks on this subject called “The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation, A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics”

    Previews of it can conveniently be found on google books:

    If you are talking about other things, you should be more specific and provide some examples.

    In respect to stoning, the verse that you are refering to is Leviticus 24:16 which reads:
    And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death.

    I unfortunately do not have a side-by-side comparison of parts of the old law and parts of the new law and so I can not authoritavitly indicate why this point of the Mosaic law is no longer in force. Possibly someone else may have this type of data. In general, the Mosaic law was fulfilled in Christ and he came to give a new, higher law. In regards to homosexual behavior, Romans 1:27 talks about homosexuality as does 1st Corinthians 6:9, Timothy 1:10, and Jude 1:7. One way that we know that this part of the law is still of value would be that it was included in the New Testament. The other way is that I believe that there are prophets on the earth today and they have specifically said that same sex marriage is not right. The Proclamation on the family was written and presented to the world by the then prophet Gordon B. Hinckley on September 23, 1995.:,4945,161-1-11-1,00.html

    Other more current resources include:

  22. rita armstrong said,

    October 13, 2008 at 5:05 am

    Jacob- This is a matter of morality. You are accountable to yours and I am accountable to mine. If you believe the same sex attraction is moral and good then your desires for rights and privileges are logical. If I believe that there are eternal laws that govern men and women and same sex attraction is not on the permissable list then I logically have to say YES on Prop 8. I can see that we don’t agree but why I choose YES is as much a necessity to me as NO is to you. The real issue to me is the personal commitment to admitting to what I have learned and know to be true through my process of personal enlightment. So you can question my interpretation of a Christian doctrine- feel free- but I will continue to ask my Father in Heaven to reveal what He wants me to stand for. Right now I have no doubts it is vote YES on Prop 8.

  23. KJ said,

    October 13, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I was going to elaborate my thoughts in a post on my own blog, but I have been following this discussion and would like to do so here for a moment.

    I won’t get into the moral aspect of this discussion, as I feel that everyone is entitled to their own agency to make their own choices. What I am NOT an advocate of is when YOUR choice, which I do believe is immoral and against the natural intent of God, directly influences MY lifestyle. That is a selfish position to take and an irresponsible one. This is why Proposition 8 has my support. If Prop 8 fails, we will see heightened and immediate repurcussions. Instruction in schools will change, civil discrimination lawsuits will fly all over the place against those that prefer to take a moral stand and deny recognizing same-sex marriage, and a strong de-sensitization will occur. Can you tell me whose civil rights are being violated THEN?

    In retrospect, this is indeed a moral stand. I am standing for what I believe is right and true. I am not intolerant of individuals making their own decisions, as I do not believe that is any of my business. But when other people’s choices infringe on my life, suddenly making it my business, I reserve the right to choose not to allow that to happen and protect my family.

    And Jacob, just for the record, I think that you are ignoring reality here quite a bit. You stated, “who cares if a woman takes out the trash while her husband does the laundry?” I can guarantee you that few American households are so closely defined in task-related gender-responsibilites. There is much crossover there, so I do not think that is relavent to the gender-roles discussion. I think more importantly, the gender-roles influence question is derived from the innate and natural characteristics that are built into men and women. I am not by any means a doctorate and am therefore less-qualified to speak on such a subject, but I guarantee you that I understand the concept that men and women are innately different, and with a purpose. I hold true to the fact that parental units ought to consist of a man AND a woman. A child needs both. I was raised in a single-parent household, by my mother. While she did a fantastic job and I consider myself to be relatively well-balanced, I know that there are things I missed out on by lacking a father-daughter relationship. The same is true, and much more influential for my younger brothers. It wasn’t just the fact that we had ONE parent in our household, it was the fact that there was not a positive male influence. Try it on for size and tell me I’m wrong. You are kidding yourself if you are choosing to remain in the dark on the matter.

    And just for kicks, has anyone considered that there might be a reason why men and women are anatomically different? Why nature exists the way it does? Maybe because it is necessary in order to pro-create? Gee, I find that difficult to argue with. On my own blog, I challenge anyone to submit a valid argument that sustains otherwise.

    Thanks, beetlebabee for hosting this.

  24. October 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    […] little clarification on my Prop 8 stance… I found a great post last week on Beetle Blogger, in support of Proposition 8, and have been following the discussion there since then.  I […]

  25. beetlebabee said,

    October 13, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    KJ, Thanks for a well spoken response. It’s just shocking to me that we’re watching the states fall like dominoes after this gay-marriage issue when we don’t even know the consequences that this fundamental societal change will make. I truly believe as I’m watching the stories come out that this will be bigger than anyone yet realizes. This is the fight of our generation.

  26. Patrick Meighan said,

    October 14, 2008 at 3:32 am

    “Jacob- This is a matter of morality. You are accountable to yours and I am accountable to mine.”

    The difference is that Jacob is not attempting to legally bar anyone from marrying the person that he or she loves, and you are.

    Prop 8’s opponents don’t much care whether or not you personally respect the marriages of same-sex couples, anymore than you may happen to personally respect the marriages of, say, interracial couples, or marriages between divorcees. All Prop 8’s opponents care about is that same-sex couples (who aren’t hurting anyone) be allowed to live their lives the way they wish, just as you do.

    Patrick Meighan
    Culver City, CA

  27. beetlebabee said,

    October 14, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Patrick, with all respect for your heart’s desire, and I do realize it is a deeply held desire, I think that’s a rather simplistic view of the issue to consider your wants in isolation from it’s consequences. It is certainly one part, but there are many parts to be considered. This desire for your heart to be recognized at the expense of so many other things has to be weighed. There are limits in society, if my heart’s desire was to two partners instead of one, I’m free to act on that desire, but I’m not free to have it recognized as marriage. The argument is not about exclusion, it’s about merits of the issue and consequences to society.

  28. jacob1207 said,

    October 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    Troy, I am relieved to find that you accept that homosexuals are often persecuted in our society, though I’m not sure why you put the term persecution in scare quotes.

    Additionally, I’m trying not to put words in your mouth. In my last post I wrote “who cares if a woman takes out the trash while her husband does the laundry? Are you seriously concerned with the threat to our civilization that stay-at-home dads pose? I can’t believe that you are absent a clear declaration to that effect.” I am glad that you’ve confirmed that I was right; you don’t have a problem with women taking out the trash. So, now I know what you DON’T mean by gender roles; but this still leaves me unclear exactly what you DO mean. And it’s obviously very important to you; I doubt I can understand your position without discovering what you’re getting on about. So, what, precisely, using concrete terms and examples, are you concerned about vis-a-vis gender roles?

    I’m not about to buy some book off Amazon to find out what you mean. If there’s any validity to it, you can at least explain what your belief is, even if you can’t mount the most expert defense of it.

    Now, it is one thing to make major decisions about your own life based on the Mosaic Code, but it is another thing to make major decisions about other people’s lives based on it. Surely you’re familiar enough with the Mosaic Code to know that it regulates clothing, mold, skin rashes, and just about everything else of importance to a bronze age society in a manner that no virtually no one now supports. The example of no longer stoning people for adultury is one example. Nor do we execute women who have premarital sex. Or for hitting a parent, or for cursing a parent. Or for… well, just see the list:

    I would submit to you that you–and lots of others, to be sure–are cherry picking. You’re picking the laws that you want to impose on other people and disregarding the ones you don’t like. Why is that? Saying “I can not authoritavitly indicate why this point of the Mosaic law is no longer in force” doesn’t make it any better. Think for yourself about it; we’re allowed to do that. We shouldn’t act like this is the middle ages and the Catholic church chains the Bibles to the altars, preaches in Latin, and tells us what to think. I know that disagreeing with church leaders is very much discouraged in the LDS church, but, hey, even Peter was wrong some of the time.

    Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. But he said a lot about religious “experts in the law … [who] load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and … will not lift one finger to help them.” (Luke 11:46) He had a lot more to say about the religious elites of his day; he wasn’t a particular fan of them. They would have stoned the woman caught in adultury, because the law required it. Jesus didn’t. Why? Didn’t this same Jesus say that the least part of the law would not pass away? He did. But the entire law, he said, is summed up in the command love God and love your neighbor. Using a bronze age purity code to justify taking people’s rights away is not my idea of love.

    Additionally, wouldn’t your logic also support limiting the marriage rights of any group that showed, for instance, a higher incidence of divorce than society at large? What if African Americans have a higher divorce rate than whites? Should we forbid them from marrying? If not, why not?

    But I dispute your basic claim that gays and lesbians make poor parents (though perhaps this is just due to not understanding what you mean by all the gender role stuff). According to Ellen C. Perrin, MD, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, “The vast consensus of all the studies shows that children of same-sex parents do as well as children whose parents are heterosexual in every way.” Studies have shown that Lesbian couples share household responsibilities and chores more equitably and children seem to adjust better when this is the case. And, the children of lesbian couples are less aggressive, more nurturing to peers, more tolerant of diversity, and more inclined to play with both boy’s and girl’s toys.

    That same-sex parents are, on average, just as good at parenting as straight couples is a proposition accepted by many groups that have investigated it without a prior religious commitment on the issue.

    Like the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

    You may also find the additional information and several articles available here to be useful:

  29. jacob1207 said,

    October 17, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    beetlebabee, you say that “It’s just shocking to me that we’re watching the states fall like dominoes after this gay-marriage issue when we don’t even know the consequences that this fundamental societal change will make.”

    Tell me, was eliminating segregation in the U.S. South not a big societal change? Could all of the consequences of eliminating it be predicted with great clarity? And were there not then–and are there not still–some racial problems in our country? Yet, does that mean that we should not have abolished racial segregation?

    Or what about slavery? Was not abolishing slavery a significant societal change? Did anyone perfectly foresee what would happen as our country freed the slaves and tried to better integrate them into society? Have we not had considerable legacy problems as a result of slavery and the process by which it was abolished? Yet, does that mean we should not have emancipated the slaves?

    These are just two obvious examples; others not based on racial discrimination, or discrimination at all, could also be given.

    I’m a big fan of Edmund Burke, so I accept as valid the argument the claim that we should act with caution when considering changes to important institutions, all the consequences of which can rarely be predicted. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t make any changes; we’d still have feudalism and all be serfs if that were the case.

  30. beetlebabee said,

    October 18, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Political change is not the same as societal change, and the gay rights movement has absolutely nothing in common with the completely moral and just Civil Rights movement. Skin and Sin are inherently different issues.

  31. prop8discussion said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:09 pm


    You may want to read this article by the American College of Pediatricians. It is in direct response to an article by AAP:

    The fact is that all of the studies on same-gender parenting are flawed. There simply hasn’t been enough time to thoroughly examine the issue.

    I don’t think we should be deciding this issue without more consideration. Especially because of the children.

    I’d like to thank beetlebabee for this awesome discussion (and troy for the great articles) and a special shout out to KJ! (so good to see you here!)

    peace out

  32. lahona said,

    October 30, 2008 at 11:09 am

    Good research article. France had it right, Prop 8 should pass if for no other reason than for the betterment of our children, and our nation as a whole.

  33. Troy Lenze said,

    February 6, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I too can’t wait until divorce is outlawed! It is the greatest threat to marriage there is. By definition, it ends marriages. It robs children of having both a mother and a father. I cannot believe it has been allowed to exist for as long as it has. I am more than willing to lend my time to such a cause.

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