Monday, June 27, 2011

New York--If You'd Only Asked, We Have Answers

“Same-sex marriage” passed in New York on Friday, by one vote more than needed. Republican Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie announced on the floor his intention to vote in favor, being the needed 32nd vote; he said it was about fairness to all Americans, although he had voted against it in 2009. Republican Mark Grisanti of Buffalo added the additional 33rd vote. Despite his Catholicism and his campaign promise last year to uphold marriage, he said “I cannot legally come up with an argument against same-sex marriage.” Really? Let me help. 

Marriage, real marriage, is societal approval and legal endorsement of a specific sexual act, the act that can and does produce offspring, and when this happens within marriage—which is committed to be permanent and exclusive—then the children will be raised by their own mother and father, which is something society has an interest in promoting. 

Homosexuals do not—cannot—engage in that sexual act with one another; it isn’t physiologically possible. It isn’t infertility that makes them unable to reproduce in their sexual relationship; it is that they cannot in that coupling do what nature requires in order for humans to reproduce. No, I am not providing a footnote for this obvious point; any human biology text will provide ample detail. 

Since this point is so obvious, and since National Organization for Marriage and various other pro-civilization groups lobbied on this issue prior to the final vote on Friday, it can hardly be possible that the senators weren’t aware of the physiological differences. It must be that they do not care about the differences. 

The issue gets rephrased to appear as though a bunch of bigots are keeping homosexuals from enjoying the freedoms that other people enjoy. Again, this is obfuscating the basic facts. No one prevents a person with same-sex attraction from marrying in the same way that a heterosexual person can. They can choose a partner of the opposite sex, promise to remain faithful, have the requisite sexual act with that spouse, and enjoy the possible offspring that may result—and receive not only the respect of society as a whole, but the legal encouragements of that relationship from the many laws related to protecting families. Biologically and legally there is no impediment or unfairness. 

What they claim is unfair is that they cannot “marry” the person of their choice. Isn’t that a basic right of all human beings? Actually, no. I mentioned a number of the limitations on Friday. Society doesn’t grant the honor of marriage to anyone, heterosexual or homosexual, who chooses someone already married, someone who is a close relative, someone who is too young, etc. Why? Because society doesn’t benefit from those sexual relationships in the same way it benefits from marriage. Confusing parenthood and lineage, introducing genetic disorders through too close relationships, etc., bring about more societal problems, rather than solving them the way intact, functional families do. 

So the question is not, shouldn’t homosexuals be allowed to marry the same as heterosexuals do? The question should be, why should homosexuals get special privileges? At the very least, we should be asking, what is it about homosexual sex that so benefits society that we should honor it with the same legal and societal benefits as married father/mother relationships? 

Comments started coming in within a day on news and blog sites. I’m not too concerned about liberal comments; I don’t consider liberals persuadable until they have undergone a serious conversion to freedom and civilization. But I am bothered by various conservative commentators, mostly styling themselves as fiscal conservatives, who don’t understand the connections between freedom, free-enterprise, and civilization. If you've read the Spherical Model, you know that without civilization, you just don’t get the other two. 

These self-described open-minded conservatives usually ask, “How is this gay couple’s marriage possibly going to affect my marriage?” So, I’d like to answer that. 

Let’s say I lived in New York; I have been married for nearly 30 years. Neither of us has had sex with anyone else and intend, by keeping our marriage covenant, to continue to be faithful. (We are not unusual; the majority of married couples remain faithful throughout their lives with one another.) We have three children we have raised to adulthood. We have seen to their food, clothing, shelter, and education, and continue to guide them. Two are married so far; one has blessed us with our lovely grandchild.  

Up until now, in the state of New York, our marriage has meant that society and the state recognize the benefits we have offered by committing to a permanent, exclusive relationship that could produce offspring, whom we were committed to raise to be contributing members of the next generation. We have kept our commitment. But as of Friday midnight (when it was signed; it will become the law in a month) the state of New York declared that society no longer values our commitment as anything but an acknowledgment that my spouse and I are engaged in some kind of sexual relationship at this time. They have thrown out the definition of marriage as it has been understood by the billions of people who have lived on the earth, for millennia, in every civilization that has ever flourished on the earth, and decided that the real purpose of marriage is irrelevant, because it is nothing more than just an acknowledgment of any sexual coupling. 

Despite this New York denunciation of our relationship, we are likely to remain as committed as a couple as ever—on personal principle. Society will continue to benefit from us. But we are no longer honored for our commitment nor thanked with legal encouragements for our contributions. Our marriage has been belittled to something no more meaningful to society than a high school couple going steady the week of prom. Yes, we still have the right to see each other in a hospital and inherit each other's property upon death--privileges homosexuals also enjoyed up till now simply by filing forms with a lawyer. But we may not even mention that we think our relationship is superior--cannot teach it in schools, cannot make preferences for real married people in hiring practices. We are stripped from being allowed to publicly acknowledge the superiority of our relationship. 

I can go into the expected costs to society (because there is a great deal of evidence worldwide and historically) of what happens when a society degrades marriage. But I’ll do that another day. I can also go into how this affects me in Texas, where I actually live—or any other of the states that have protected marriage at the state level; that threat is real and worth understanding. 

For now, the question is, what can we do in the face of this additional travesty against the will of a free people? (In a recent poll, a solid 57% of New Yorkers supported traditional marriage, so the legislation was indeed against the will of the people.) In two of the six states where “same-sex marriage” has been imposed on the people, the people have put the issue on the ballot and rescinded the decision. These two are California (you remember Prop 8, I’m assuming), and Maine. So getting the decision before the people as soon as possible is the next step for New York. If you have money, time, connections, or any other resources—or just want to find out what’s happening and see if you can help—a good starting place is National Organization for Marriage 

One last word of thanks to Senator Ruben Diaz, a Democrat from the Bronx, also a Pentecostal Minister, who was the only Democrat among the 29 voting against the bill, and the most vocal opponent from the floor of the state senate. He expressed his disappointment that there were Republicans who failed to keep their word, and failed to protect the will of the people. We need more people like him, whatever their party.

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