Latest update: 2003-OCT-8
Author: B.A. Robinson
Twenty Arguments against Same-Sex Marriage (SSM) and Rebuttals: Overview:
Polls in the late 1990s found that the topic of greatest concern for conservative Christians, and for many other North Americans, was that gays and lesbians might achieve rights and protections in law that had previously been reserved as special privileges only for heterosexuals. Perhaps the most important of these rights is for homosexuals to be able to marry the partner that they love and to whom they are committed for the rest of their life. Since the first attempts to legalize same-sex marriage were launched in Hawaii, same-sex marriage and civil unions have remained on the "front burner." Concern increased during 2003-JUNE and JULY when same-sex marriages were legalized in both Ontario and British Columbia in Canada. Some same-sex adult couples from Canada, the U.S., and other countries have started to travel to these provinces to marry. Essentially all conservative Christian groups and leaders describe SSM and civil unions as a threat to society. They often consider the nature of this menace to be self-evident, and do not give an in-depth analysis of the reasons for their concerns. For example: |[p|Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council (FRC) wrote: "The growing attack on family and marriage is unprecedented in | |ic|American history. Forces of radicalism are laboring night and day to deconstruct marriage, legitimize counterfeits, and re-define | |] |family in ways that would make it unrecognizable as the foundational social institution." 1 | |[p|Gerard V. Bradley, a professor of law at the University of Notre Dame and president of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars went | |ic|further. He was quoted as saying that same-sex marriage would mean "the demolition of marriage." 2 | |] | |
On the other hand, many gay-positive, religious liberal, and mental health news sources stress that SSM and/or civil unions should be approached as civil liberty issues. The right to marry the person with whom you have made a lifetime commitment is of paramount importance to many -- a major human rights issue. For example: |[p|"Because our country has been founded on the Constitution, in which all men [sic] are created equal; we cannot deny the basic human and| |ic|legal right of marriage to a class of individuals due to their sexual preference." 3 | |] | | |[p|"GLAD contended that the right to choose whom a person marries is a fundamental right protected by the Massachusetts Constitution. The | |ic|group argued that the emotional bonds for same- and opposite-sex couples are identical and so should be the legal rights, | |] |responsibilities and benefits that come from marriage." 4 |
These groups often don't consider possible negative effects that SSM may have on society. This essay considers arguments that SSM are undesirable -- that they might damage North American culture. Some were derived from the presentation by the State of Hawaii during the hearing in the Baehr v. Miike lawsuit in the Hawaiian Circuit Court in 1996. Some were derived from the ruling in the “Hedy Halpern et al...." case by the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Other points were extracted from a variety of E-mails and web sites by conservative Christians. Rebuttals are listed...