Maggie Gallagher's argument against gay marriage

I read in Newsday that Jordon’s new parliment has rejected a couple of women’s rights laws – they turned down women’s right to get a divorce, and also came out against harsh penalties for “honor killings” of women. Why? Because the laws would “encouraged family disintegration.”

Oddly enough, that’s pretty much the exact same reason Maggie Gallagher and her fellow-travelers oppose gay marriage. And by Maggie’s logic, the anti-woman Jordanians are correct (I’m not even certain that Maggie disagrees with Islamic fundamentalists who oppose what Maggie calls “unilateral divorce”). Maggie’s argument comes down to a kind of social “precautionary principle” – unless we can say for certain that the overall effects of a change to any important social institution will not be negative, we should not change that institution. It is not that Maggie has anything against gay people; rather, she thinks the risk to society if gays have equal rights is too great:

What bothers me about many homosexual marriage advocates (not Norah) is that in a state of high moral passion they do not seem to have any awareness that there is anything at risk, here. Mostly they simply dismiss the idea of any threat to marriage as a social institution. as pretext for homophobia. [...] Even if you know gay marriage is morally right theoretically, you ought to pause before deciding that pursuing theoretical morality, regardless of who gets hurts, is the only thing that matters…

But if we accept Maggie’s logic, we must conclude that no change to marriage, historically, has ever been justified. Giving women the right to divorce could, in theory, lead to higher divorce rates (and probably will in practice, if Jordon’s women ever get equal rights). Discouraging honor killings of women could, in theory, lead to greater promiscuity and adultery. Allowing blacks and whites to marry could, in theory, have discouraged racists from marrying and thus degraded marriage – just as Maggie argues allowing gay marriage will discourage homophobes from marrying today. Outlawing rape within marriage could have degraded marriage by giving women new grounds for divorce. Etc, etc.

In each of these cases – in the United States, at least – it was eventually decided that social justice is too important to put off indefinitely because of purely theoretical future harms to marriage. And, in retrospect, most of us feel that’s a good thing; we prefer non-racist marriage laws, we prefer women to have equal rights, and – in the near future, I believe – we will prefer gays to have equal rights, too.

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54 Responses to Maggie Gallagher's argument against gay marriage

  1. 1
    John Isbell says:

    Good post. I’m unsure whether the word for that (not Norah) aside is “cowardly” or “unprincipled.”

  2. 2
    PinkDreamPoppies says:

    A paraphrase of Ms. Gallagher’s logic could simply be that “since we don’t know what could happen, we shouldn’t do anything at all.” This bothers me not just because it not-so-subtly hints at the slippery slope arguement (one cannot help but wonder what legalizing gay marriages could lead to), but also because it makes me wonder how Ms. Gallagher can stand to fly on a plane, drive a car, eat a sandwich, or even leave her apartment.

    Her arguement is essentially the arguement of a paranoid and would be laughed at in any other debate (with the notable exception of the debate over cloning and genetic engineering). Sane regulatory laws are based on the idea that evidence has been shown that something needs to be regulated because it leads to X number of ill-effects (pollutants should be regulated because they’ve been shown to cause severe environmental damage, certain prescription drugs are regulated/banned because they’ve shown to cause blindness, etc.) Insane regulatory laws, on the other hand, are based on superstitions, bigotry, and, alas for Ms. Gallagher, paranoia.

  3. 3
    Aaron says:

    Good post, especially the last sentence.

    The three reasons cited for excluding same-sex couples from marriage are flimsy ones; opposite-sex marriages among couples who are infertile, past child-bearing age, or otherwise unable or unwilling to reproduce naturally are granted the same legitimacy as fertile opposite-sex couples in their 20s.

    For Lisa’s sake, condemned serial killer Richard Ramirez was allowed to marry while on Death Row! Now tell me that Brendan’s co-worker Tim and his husband Rick aren’t as worthy of marriage as a serial killer and his groupie?

    Wouldn’t mutual caretaking be more important in a population with a higher freqency of debilitating diseases striking early in life, diseases, like, say, AIDS?

    Likewise, social conservatives decry the sexual promiscuity of the so-called “homosexual lifestyle,” but want to restrict them from an institution that implies that extramarital sex is Not OK? What kind of logic is that?

  4. 4
    PinkDreamPoppies says:

    Aaron said: Likewise, social conservatives decry the sexual promiscuity of the so-called “homosexual lifestyle,” but want to restrict them from an institution that implies that extramarital sex is Not OK? What kind of logic is that?

    The fuzzy logic doesn’t stop there, though. A related bent of thought reveals a pretty bad logical flub on the part of some people who oppose gay marriage.

    I’ve heard a lot of conservatives talk about the rampant promiscuity of the gay lifestyle. They talk about how gay men (I notice that lesbians are rarely mentioned, but that’s a different comment) go to clubs and go home with new partners every night (er, do they know where their kids are?). They talk about orgies. They talk about parties where men are having sex while everyone else watches. They talk about how gay men are all child molesters. They talk about how gays would foul up the institution of marriage by getting married and then sleeping around and so on and so forth.

    Why, then, if gays are so obsessed with promiscuous sex, do they want to get married in the first place?

  5. 5
    kija says:

    I wonder if Maggie Gallagher would use the “precautionary principle” in regard to the Iraq war? Somehow I don’t think so.

  6. 6
    Scott Martens says:

    Most of those “in theory”‘s actually did come to pass. Easier access to divorce led to higher divorce rates. Reducing the social and legal punishments women faced for extra-marital sex probably had some impact on how much sex people have outside of marriage. Outlawing rape within marriage almost certainly has led some women to divorce their husbands for abuse. I doubt allowing blacks and whites to marry changed the marriage rate among racists, but it certainly reduced racial barriers in some communities and I suppose a racist would say that it degraded marriage by definition.

    I suppose the same applies to homophobes. I imagine they are the kind of people who might say that gay marriage is okay in principle, but imagine the indignity to some poor kid whose parents get divorced and they whose father marries another man. I suspect that’s “who gets hurts” in Gallagher’s view. And, if gay marriage is legal, such things will come to pass.

    I hate putting things in “us vs. them” terms, but sometimes it’s the only appropriate way. What separates us from them is not that we never think of the consequences and they do, it’s that we’re not likely to think any of those things are real problems. So what if people start having sex with the people they want to have sex with? So what if unhappy marriages end? And I imagine the kid with two fathers will learn to cope just like children from mixed race and second marriages learned.

  7. 7
    Avram says:

    Kija, has Maggie Gallagher actually written anything about the Iraq war? I have no idea what her opinion on it is, and I’m not about to assume that she was in favor of the invasion just because she opposes gay marriage.

  8. 8
    Natalie Davis says:

    Indeed I wonder what gay marriage will bring. And what I imagine is positive. How convenient it is for heterosexuals — the only ones truly equal under civil law — to sit in judgment of GLBT people who live without said equality. For shame.

  9. 9
    kija says:

    Avram, Maggie Gallagher is a conservative columnist who has written in favor of the war. I was pointing out the hypocrisy of her argument since she doesn’t apply it to war.

  10. 10
    Ampersand says:

    Scott: point well taken.

  11. 11
    kyle murphy says:

    I am against gay marriage i think it is wrong and unlawfull. I mean for shits sake sodomy is against the law what the hell do you think they have been doing in there closets if i had my way we would have locked the door and burned it down. But unfortunatley the damn liberals had to have their way. All i know is that more descent people have been murdered or assassinated than the bad ones. JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Tupac, biggie,and Jam master Jay. When are the scumbags going to start getting what they deserve. Why is it that Michael Jackson hasn’t been killed yet? Just look at him he MOLESTS little boys. Not to mention all these priests now im not saying they should be killed being servents of the lord, but surely something should have been done. Im calling for anyone who feels the same way as me and has the ability to take action to do so. Rid the world of these scum and make it a better place for our children. Now let me just make one thing clear here lesbians are ok. But i dont say that because I’m a guy and all that goes with being one, i say this because 2 girls can have a child. 2 girls can do everything that having a guy and a girl could do. HOWEVER in the case of gay guys the ass is no substitute for the vagina. Ive said my piece. ARE YOU WITH ME?!?!?!

  12. 12
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m with you kyle!

    That is the funniest piece of satire that I’ve seen in ages. I’m still giggling. It brings to mind the “Midget Defense League” site.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  13. 13
    lucia says:

    I agree with Scott that one does need to consider the consequences of change. That doesn’t mean we need to avoid all change simply because we can’t forsee the consequences! Anyway, avoiding social change is literally impossible.

    But, I do want to comment on this specific possible harm Scott suggested:

    I imagine they are the kind of people who might say that gay marriage is okay in principle, but imagine the indignity to some poor kid whose parents get divorced and they whose father marries another man. I suspect that’s “who gets hurts” in Gallagher’s view. And, if gay marriage is legal, such things will come to pass.

    I know at least one child whose mother divorced her father and has, for the past several years, been living with another woman in an openly lesbian relationship. The mother has primary custody.

    Let’s assume, for the time being, that this is an “indignity”.

    So… explain to me how legalizing gay marriage would “cause” the indignity?

  14. 14
    Raznor says:

    lucia, that example doesn’t work. As Scott pointed out, indignity only works for gay males, since, as we all know, lesbians are hot.

    I really should stop this, I’m going into sarcasm overload.

  15. 15
    lucia says:

    Oh… And now I remember the other flaw. Queen Victoria pointed out that women could “do” such things. So the two women must be living platonically. “To save on rent”? Because of the wage gap?

  16. 16
    Sarah says:

    I think we’re missing the point. There are consequences to everything, good and bad – be it straight marriages or gay marriages. Maybe I’m missing something, but i don’t see the difference. There are plenty of children from straight marriages who grow up having all sorts of problems. That’s first of all. Second of all, I don’t see how anyone really has a right to make such decisions regarding other people. What blatent hypocricy! Many people who highly value privacy easily discard that value when it applies to something they don’t like – something that truthfully doesn’t even affect them. Straight people are no more affected by gay relationships than gay people are affected by straight ones. I think often people who are so strongly opposed are so because they have nothing better to complain about – simply said, giving one group of people the rights and privaledges that another group already has takes power away from the latter group. That’s what I believe is at the core of the issue – at the core of opposition to gay marriages. It’s a power struggle, and (in general) people in the United States are so afraid to look at their own discontentment with themselves, it’s easier to hate other people for being able to voice who they are and be proud of it in a sincere, unhateful way.

  17. 17
    Arnold Ziffle says:

    An interesting discussion.

    I think one point that is missed by many is that in any situation, the party that is challenging the status quo has to make a concrete case that there is a manifest injustice that needs to be corrected. We should not change our laws just because someone thinks it would be cool.

    In the civil rights arena, this was not a hard case to make, for example, as the injustices were dramatic and also damaging to society as a whole.

    However, since that era, we seemed to have progressed to the idea of “even steven” government – not just correcting blatent imbalances, but trying to make not only _opportunities_ but _outcomes_ equivalent. This is taking things too far.

    I am not convinced that gay marriage is necessary or corrects any manifest injustice against myself or any other party.

    It is a simple matter for two unrelated people to put all their property in joint tenancy with right of survivorship (as I have done) so as to avoid probate and insure that commonly held property passes to the other partner upon death – just like a married couple! All it takes is checking off a box at the DMV or when you title your house.

    Most gay people I know do not take even this simple step, but instead have separate bank accounts and possessions. So much for committment! Are peple who are not ready to co-mingle their funds ready for marriage? I do not see a great hue and cry amongst gays even for committment ceremonies, much less full-fleged marriage.

    Similarly, you can (and should) have a durable power of attorney drawn up, giving your partner power of attorney to handle your affairs (just like a married couple!) if you are incapacitated. A medical power of attorney should also be drawn up. Finally, you should both have wills clearly leaving each other your personal possessions and any other items not held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship (JTWROS).

    By preparing a few simple legal documents, for a few hundred dollars, you can have almost all the same “rights” as a married couple. Very few gay people bother to take advantage of the rights they already have.

    So where is the manifest injustice that justifies changing the status quo?

    Granted, if your partner dies in a plane crash, you cannot sue for wrongful death, as a legal spouse could. And of course, most employers would not recognize your partner for health insurance.

    But again, this is not a manifest injustice. It would be nice to make things “even steven”, sure. But life is not fair, and trying to make life “fair” by passing laws is a dangerous precedent, I believe.

    Frankly, being gay is such an advantage to begin with. You already have a head start on those poor clueless heterosexuals in almost any arena.

    My partner and I have been together for 17 years. We own four homes, a couple of BMWs, a yacht, and have a net worth of over a million dollars (and rising). We are so disadvantaged! If only we had gay marriage to help us out!

    No, seriously. What we really want is people to either accept us as we are or leave us alone. We have no desire to be “in your face” about our relationship. I realize that some folks are no accepting of gays, and that is fine with me, so long as they mind their business.

    Which brings us to the strategic plan. Strategic thinking is an ananthema to the Democratic party, it appears. By running on a platform of pro-gay marriage, the democratic party is insuring another 4 years of Bush. We would be better off if we fought for other things that we could WIN, and which would bring about real change. Pyrric victories are of no use to anyone.

    Be aware, that professional lobbyists and self-appointed “community leaders” are the ones really pushing this agenda. We’ve gotten everything else we’ve asked for, so they have to create a new issue to justify their fat paychecks. Seriously.

    These same self-appointed idiots were the ones who brought the Bowers v. Hardwick case to the Supreme court without doing a headcount first. They knew they were going to lose, but they don’t get paid (as “activists”) if they don’t make a stink about something.

    In my younger days I was an activist, too, so I know about this sort of thing from the inside.

    FWIW!

  18. 18
    Jake Squid says:

    Hey Mr. Pig (I’m right w/ the Ziffle reference, aint I?)

    So you don’t see a blatant injustice in a same-sex couple having to pay the attorney & filing fees to “draw up durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney and will” while an oppsex couple can get married & all these are automatically in effect w/ no further fees? Is “Granted, if your partner dies in a plane crash, you cannot sue for wrongful death, as a legal spouse could. And of course, most employers would not recognize your partner for health insurance.” not an obvious injustice? Seems to me that those are “dramatic and also damaging to society as a whole”. But I guess we’ll just have to disagree on what is “dramatic and also damaging to society as a whole”. But for those who hold the views that I do, you discredit your own argument in your post.

    Alzo, you escrited: “By running on a platform of pro-gay marriage, the democratic party…”

    I didn’t know that pro-gay marriage was any part of the Dem platform. Can you refer me to where you found that in their platform?

  19. 19
    Ampersand says:

    Of course, he didn’t find that in the Dem party platform. All the “major” Democratic candidates are supporting civil unions but not same-sex marraige.

    Curiously, although Arnold decries activists for Bowers vs Hardwick (given how close that case came to beind decided the other way, doing a headcount beforehand was pretty much a coin-flip, by the way), but without activists we also wouldn’t have decisions like Laurence vs. Texas. Nor many other rights. People who thinks that change happens without activists pushing for change are ignorant of history; no worthwhile change has ever happened with agitation.

    As for marraige rights, many of the most important cannot be replicated by legal contract. For instance, heterosexuals know that if they die unexpectedly (or expectedly), the Social Security they’ve earned will help their spouse (and, in some cases, their stepchildren). Same-sex partners don’t have that security, and cannot contract for it.

    Straights who fall in love with non-Americans can marry to bring citizenship to their partners. Gays cannot.

    Straights have a right of privacy inside marraige (which is why, in most circumstances, spouses can’t be forced to testify about conversations with their spouse).

    Finally, if only “a manifest injustice that needs to be corrected” – using the extremely narrow definition of “injustice” that Andrew clearly prefers – could justify change, than consider all that would not be changed. “Separate but equal” would still be the law of the land. “Loving vs. Virginia,” the case that made it illegal for states to outlaw mixed-race marraiges, could never have been justified.

    That said, gays don’t need marraige for Social Security reasons, or for the medical insurance, or whatever other benefits are currently reserved to (or made more convenient for) straights than gays. That stuff isn’t nothing, but it’s not the main point, either.

    Gays need marraige for the same reasons straights do. It’s about equality, and respect, and the right to form our own families and have those families recognized by our society. And denying this to someone because of something as trivial as their sexual orientation IS a manifest injustice.

  20. 20
    Morphienne says:

    Just a small aside:

    “Loving v. Virginia.” What a serendipitous, perfect, perfect name, particularly for what the case accomplished.

  21. 21
    Verna says:

    Whats with all this stuff??? Let’s get down to basics. Marriage is a holy and joyful contract from GOD, a bond between man and woman, not man and man or woman & woman. Where did the term gay come from??? This is not a gay union it is a QUEER union, abnormal. Don’t call yourself gay you are QUEER. If you don’t believe in the scripture I will truly pray for you, but if you do, you had better re-read the scriptures again. God Bless and have mercy on you, like Sodom, you will answer for this choices. Arnold this one is for you and your spouse, I am glad you have wealth, but tomorrow you are dead, where will you spend that day. READ the scriptures!!!

  22. 22
    Raznor says:

    Verna:

    Fuck the scriptures. Okay. Fuck the scriptures right in the ear.

    And if I die tomorrow and go to Hell, then let this be one last fuck you before I go.

  23. 23
    julie says:

    Thanks, Raznor. My son and I feel we couldn’t have said it better ourselves…

  24. 24
    marshall says:

    Well at least you do acknowledge there is a hell, seems as a nerve has been touche, but that is not my intention, it is scripture and maybe there is hope for you after all. God Bless

  25. 25
    Raznor says:

    Thanks for your confirmation, but I hate the abusive father figure God that is professed by the fundamentalist evangelicals. If that is the one true God, then I consider myself honored to be among the damned.

    Besides, Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned, and I’ve scorned a few women and it wasn’t so bad, therefore I think I should have no problem handling whatever Hell brings to the table.

  26. 26
    JRC says:

    Right on, Raznor.

    Any god who would send me to eternal torment for not paying homage to him is not a god I will ever pay homage to.

    I don’t worship sadists.

    —JRC

  27. 27
    Darcy says:

    Perhaps, Raznor, you haven’t scorned the right women ;)

  28. 28
    Verna says:

    Hi Raznor & JRC
    Thanks for the reply. Raznor it sounds as if you are angry with your earthly father, and maybe you have been hurt. I have but I still have someone to help me deal with my hurt and anger, GOD every day. God does not send anyone to hell, He loves you and me. He gave us both the greatest Gift we could ever have. We make that choice only, so I guess if we chose to go to hell we could call ourselves a Sadist. Please do me a favor read 1John 4:10.
    God Bless
    Verna

  29. 29
    Kim (basement variety) says:

    Amp, PDP & Bean – what’s up with the annoying fundies trolling around. Reading this drivel is hurting my brain, is it not enough that I have a headcold as is? Freakin sadists.

    .. As for me? Well, I’m much more fond of the idea of Tink having marital decision rights in the event that anything happen to Kate rather than having it fall upon Matt & I. (For those of you that don’t know, Kate being Matt’s mother, Tink being her partner of 12 years).

  30. 30
    Raznor says:

    Nice psychological analysis. Since anger at the fundamental Christian God equals anger at earthly father.

    But, no, you’re dead, dead wrong. My father is a great person, he was just in town yesterday and he and I had a blast. He and Mom did a great job raising me and both are hella good parents and hella amazing people, of whom I am eternally proud. Maybe that’s why I have faith in the goodness of humanity without having to rely on some divinity to get me through. And if that puts me at conflict with Heaven, then fuck Heaven. I don’t need them if they don’t care for me.

  31. 31
    Verna says:

    Hi Raznor
    Happy you have a great relation with your parents. My question to you is if you died tomorrow where would you go?? You did mention Hell. If you have ever seen or been burnt that will only be a glimps of what hell will be like for those who make that choice to go to hell. Hope your parents are well and God Bless all. 1John4:10

  32. 32
    Kim (basement variety) says:

    Verna, it doesn’t strike me as terribly humble or pious to preach absolutes as a Christian. Would seem to me that you’d know better than to play at such prideful behavior, after all, from what I understand, God doesn’t like know-it-all’s, at least where he’s concerned (see Lucifer).

    I guess what I’m trying to say here, Verna, is that you’ve hardly participated in any conversation here, other than to preach in a manner that you KNOW is unwelcome. That’s antagonism, Verna, and very unchristianlike, if I do say so myself. How about you step off and go contemplate in prayer why it is that you feel it necessary to be a judgemental little troll.

  33. 33
    Raznor says:

    Fuck Hell Verna. You can’t convert me because I fear neither death nor hell. I’d rather suffer the eternal torment of the damned than to sit in Heaven and know decent people better than I can hope to be are suffering while I am not.

    So don’t try to convert me. Even if you’re completely right about God and Hell and everything, I will not fall in line. I’d rather suffer for eternity than give up my dignity to some deity with emotional issues.

  34. 34
    Guy says:

    If god created men and women, then he created gay men and women also. think about that Verna, the next time you go preaching. And i guess if being gay is wrong ( IT ISNT! ), then God must have fucked up. hmmm, something to think about there verna.

  35. 35
    Verna says:

    Hope you are well and that the issue is abnormal unions and what is right vs what is wrong. It is not what makes you feel good, it is what children are going to be influence by in the union of Steve & Sam or Martha & Margret. Propagation would be very low and how would you address that problem? How often would you be able to have births, if God created abnormal union between the sex. This is a choice that has to be made by each of us, it does not make one less cared about if they voice their opinion, but it does reflect ones level of education when vulgarity and profanty is the key type of verbges used. I have made my choice as you have and I just wanted to voice my opinion, that I don’t agree. For numerous reasons, and the belief I have is the main one. Individuals should not be viciously attacked verbally by those who do not agree with them. I care about people, even though you don’t agree you are still a living human being. All people have the right to voice their opinions in a understanding and intellengent way of communication. We all make choices, and we are all responsible for our choices do you not agree?? Wether in this world or the next.

  36. 36
    Verna says:

    Hope you are well and that the issue is abnormal unions and what is right vs what is wrong. It is not what makes you feel good, it is what children are going to be influence by in the union of Steve & Sam or Martha & Margret. Propagation would be very low and how would you address that problem? How often would you be able to have births, if God created abnormal union between the sex. This is a choice that has to be made by each of us, it does not make one less cared about if they voice their opinion, but it does reflect ones level of education when vulgarity and profanty is the key type of verbges used. I have made my choice as you have and I just wanted to voice my opinion, that I don’t agree. For numerous reasons, and the belief I have is the main one. Individuals should not be viciously attacked verbally by those who do not agree with them. I care about people, even though you don’t agree you are still a living human being. All people have the right to voice their opinions in a understanding and intellengent way of communication. We all make choices, and we are all responsible for our choices do you not agree?? Wether in this world or the next.

  37. 37
    Raznor says:

    Propagation would be very low and how would you address that problem?

    Which is a huge problem, because if there’s anything we need it’s more babies. Did you know that the earth is down to it’s last 6 billion people?

    (okay I stole that from the Onion. Sue me.)

  38. 38
    pseu says:

    For those of you who enjoy multiple sarcasm, someone sent this to me today. I think it pretty well sums it up:

    Top 12 Reasons Homosexuals Shouldn’t Marry

    1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester,
    aluminum beer cans, and birth control.

    2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children.
    Infertile couples and old people can’t legally get married because the
    world needs more children.

    3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children– since straight
    parents only raise straight children.

    4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage is
    allowed. Britney Spears’ 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful,
    and fully represented that “sacred institution between man and woman,”
    which we must protect.

    5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn’t
    changed at all; women remain property of the man, blacks aren’t
    allowed to marry whites, and getting a divorce is illegal.

    6. Gay marriage shouldn’t be decided by people, but should be decided
    by the President because majority-elected politicians have always
    historically protected the rights of all minorities.

    7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like
    ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country.
    That’s why we have only one religion in America.

    8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that
    hanging around tall people will make you tall.

    9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy
    behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has
    legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

    10. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model
    at home. That’s why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

    11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual
    marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to
    new social norms because we haven’t adapted to things like cars,
    longer lifespans, or even interracial schools.

    12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with
    a different name are better, because a “separate but equal”
    institution is always constitutional. For example, separate schools,
    restaurants, bathrooms, and drinking fountains for African-Americans
    worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

  39. 39
    Verna says:

    Raznor,
    You would not have been here to voice your opinion on homosexual marriages!!!

    PSEU
    Thanks for the input to which I mostly agree too. Wish I could have summarized it as well as the above.

  40. 40
    julie says:

    Verna –
    Please try to think about this. You believe you are right and I am wrong ( I do not have the same religious beliefs that you do…). But I believe that I am right and that you are right. Or rather, that I have the right to believe whatever I want and so do you. Your beliefs work for you. That’s great. Really. But they don’t work for me, and so I will never ever accept them as a reason for the USA to ban same sex marriages. Or abortion. Or birth control. Or anything. So if you have any other argument against SSM, bring it on. Battering us with bible verses just ain’t gonna cut it.

  41. 41
    pseu says:

    Well, I see that irony is lost on Verna. ;-)

  42. 42
    Deep River appartments says:

    Pseu sez:
    “Well, I see that irony is lost on Verna. ;-)”

    Which is think is pretty conclusive proof that she’s been joking around with us all along.

    But just in case she’s really that stupid, I’ll paraphrase one of her earlier posts:

    “READ semiotics!!!!!! Read them!!! If you’ve never studied the formation of signs and symbols, then I will shake my head in pity for you, but if you have I suggest you study the topic again. Your beliefs are arbitrary, formed from a (sometimes deliberately) stunted understanding of your surroundings!!! You are being exploited!!!!!
    REPENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

  43. 43
    babylon says:

    Anyone know that Ms. Gallagher is a divorced woman
    herself.

    MYMY

    I think we have a hypocrite on our hands here.

    I feel sorry for her second husband and child.

  44. 44
    lucia says:

    Out of curiosity babylon….. does she have children by her first marriage? *That* would truly be a delicious tidbit…..

  45. 45
    mythago says:

    When did that happen? (The divorce, that is.)

  46. 46
    Susan Jackson says:

    I think Verna should explain her life story to everyone, so we can understand what in the #%@% makes her so much more whollier than thou..and such a hypocrite..well..@^$^ the self rightousness…and get on with why you are so perfect..and why your beliefs and values or more valid than any one here gay or straight..

  47. 47
    mythago says:

    Infertile couples and old people can’t legally get married because the world needs more children.

    Interesting trivia: it used to be the case that marriage laws at least made a pretense of screening out old people and the infertile.

    In the “Hawaii marriage case” (Baehr v. Lewin), it came out (sorry) that in 1994, Hawaii abolished a statute requiring applicants for marriage licenses to affirm they were neither infirm nor impotent–i.e. they had to swear they could consummate the marriage and presumably at least try to make babies. The legislature rewrote this provision, stating that requiring marriage to be shackled to childbearing was “archaic” and unfair.

    Well. That rather bit them in the ass later, when they tried to argue that homosexuals shouldn’t get to marry on account o’ they can’t make babies and marriage is all about babies.

  48. 48
    TonySprout says:

    There are some good, valid points made here. For the record, I’m against gay marriage on a personal level. That’s the way I was raised. Homosexuality is ok in the closet. I may be morally right by the moral definitions provided me while growing up, but legally, I’m wrong. The Constitution requires equal protection of the laws for ALL people. That’s why Dubya is proposing a Constitutional amendment. He knows existing law is illegal.

  49. 49
    lucia says:

    >>Interesting trivia: it used to be the case that marriage laws at least made a pretense of screening out old people and the infertile.

    I think this would be “some” states. I’m pretty sure some never did!

  50. 50
    chaz says:

    i think that it is nasty and that all of them know that it is wrong and they need to get right wit the lord before the world ends thats what is so wrong with it. It is in the bible that to men and two women can’t be together. thnk u

  51. 51
    alsis38 says:

    Would it be hopelessly ageist of me to want to start a pool guessing “chaz”‘s age ? I’m gonna’ guess about 11.

    [Bob Barker:]

    Whoever guesses closest to the actual age without going over, wins all the prizes in their showcase.

    [\Bob Barker]

  52. 52
    Andy says:

    Wow I don’t understand how any one could think the way Maggie does. I’ve done about 3 term papers for gay marrige and I still haven’t found a single valid argument against gay marriage. I’m only 15 but even I can tell that if two people love each other, let them.

  53. 53
    George says:

    However, this is what I think. Besides the 14th amendment of the Contstitution, acceding the right of gays to marry, the “entire meaning and purpose” of marriage has been altered many times over the years — over centuries, in fact — and that this is not because of a “single politician or court or legislature,” but because of the evolution of society. Marriage is no longer about the joining of two families for economic benefit; it’s no longer about dowries and the subsuming of a woman’s legal identity into that of a man; it’s no longer about the survival of your tribe. For some people it’s not even about having children. Marriage can be about having children, and raising a family, and it usually is. But not always. It can be about happiness and personal stability. It can be about economic benefits. People get married for all sorts of reasons today, and liberalized divorce laws attest to how much society’s definition of marriage has changed over the years.” “….the “entire meaning and purpose” of marriage has been altered many times over the years — over centuries, in fact — and that this is not because of a “single politician or court or legislature,” but because of the evolution of society. Marriage is no longer about the joining of two families for economic benefit; it’s no longer about dowries and the subsuming of a woman’s legal identity into that of a man; it’s no longer about the survival of your tribe. For some people it’s not even about having children. Marriage can be about having children, and raising a family, and it usually is. But not always. It can be about happiness and personal stability. It can be about economic benefits. People get married for all sorts of reasons today, and liberalized divorce laws attest to how much society’s definition of marriage has changed over the years

  54. 54
    sylphhead says:

    Yes, definitely, George, and to add to that, marriage also contains certain social meanings that can’t be ignored. Speaking as a former “oh, let’s just compromise with civil unions, that’s good enough ainit” guy, this is the reasoning that led me to reconsider my position.

    In many ways, marriage is the gatekeeper into true adulthood. If you are married, you are held, in many subtle but important ways, in higher esteem. Married people are seen as forming the bedrock of a productive society, while serial monogamists in their late twenties/early thirties are still seen as somewhat incomplete citizens*. We expect our public officials to be married, and the higher their position, the stronger this expectation is – and even many of us who would be cool with those who aren’t, nonetheless would prefer some sort of explanation. Simply because marriage is a useful, first-glance litmus for maturity and responsibility. (I base much of my opinion on Rudy Giuliani as a person based on his shaky marital history coupled with the fact that his kids hate him.)

    Now it’s true that many people who oppose gay marriage won’t see homosexuals as even rudimentary human beings, let alone deserving of the nuance of higher social esteem that comes with marriage, but there’s no reason why society should aid and abet them. I love love, I think it’s a great and wonderful thing, but if devotion between two people were the only concern, then civil unions that carry all the legal benefits of marriage would do. Marriage as the last step is less about validating homosexual sexuality itself (if that bothers you) than about the greater social standing of citizens who happen to be homosexual.

    *Do I agree with this? Well, I acknowledge that it’s a social reality, and while it remains so, homosexuals shouldn’t be excluded. As for the thing in itself, I’m a bit torn. The free-floating libertarian in me sort of wishes that free love practitioners and mass orgy enthusiasts would be seen as equals to married men and women. On the other hand, I think that most people are mostly monogamist in their sexuality, and thus the idea of tying impressions of reliability and maturity onto those who have fully settled on their better halves does have some solid basis.