Is interracial marriage the same type of issue as gay marriage?

This seems to be the big new argument out there now. Advocates of same-sex marriage are claiming that forbidding homosexual couples is just like the discriminatory laws that didn’t allow interracial marriages.

I can see where this argument is coming from, at least. I still don’t think it’s the same thing, however, and here’s why.

People of different races are all the same on the inside. Genetically, there is no difference between a black man and a white woman. They are the same. Our discrimination laws originated to prevent us from discriminating against someone on the basis of their outward appearance: gender, age, race. Proscribing interracial marriage was based on the outward appearance, but there was no reason to forbid those people to marry.

Same-sex couples, however, are a different matter. There is an obvious genetic difference between gay couples and heterosexual couples – two women or two men are not the same as one woman and one man. We’ll also have to get back into why people are gay, here: is it choice, or is it a genetic abnormality?

If it is choice, then these couples are choosing an alternative lifestyle. They are choosing to deviate from what society considers normal. People are free to choose to live alternative lifestyles, but they do have to live with the consequences. Americans don’t seem to like the fact that their actions have consequences, especially when those consequences are negative. That’s why we’re in this economic crisis. It is not any one individual’s fault; Americans chose to overspend, banks overextended themselves, and no one was prepared for the consequences.

So when a gay couple has a relationship, what are some of the consequences? Well, they can’t procreate, for starters. Gay couples have higher rates of STDs, including AIDS. Gay couples tend to be less stable. And, up until recently, they were not allowed to marry. When they made the choice to live that lifestyle, they were aware of that consequence. Is it good for society as a whole to let gay couples get married, to teach our children that homosexuality is equal to hetersexuality, to perpetuate a condition that is, at heart, an aberration from the norm? Assuming that it is a chosen behavior, the more we teach our small children about how great and wonderful homosexuality is, the more people will choose it. Eventually, society dies out when its population growth declines too far.

What if we argue instead that people are not gay by choice, but that it is a genetic tendency and we shouldn’t “punish” them for being made that way by forbidding them to marry? This goes back to the interracial marriage argument – if these couples are genetically different, genetically “flawed” according to mainstream society because of their homosexual tendencies, then they are not genetically equal to a heterosexual couple. They are not the same, and do not merit the same privileges. Marriage isn’t just about a couple who love each other; it is a societal contract. Marriages are about more than declaring one’s love for one’s spouse to the world; it is a bond that declares you are responsible for one another, you are responsible for your children, and you acknowledge your children as your own. Marriages were created to organize families, not to validate lovers’ feelings.

If we allow same-sex marriage on the grounds that it is discriminatory to prevent any two people who love each other from getting married, then it is only one more step to incest. It is only one more step to legalizing marrying children who are too young to be married. Beyond that, it is only one step further to legalizing polygamy. After all, these people all just love each other, right? What’s wrong with that?

What’s wrong with that, is that gay marriage, incest, child marriages, and polygamy, are not good for society. They are bad for society because of their effects on the gene pool, and they are bad for society because of their social effects. When we tear down the traditional family, we tear down the last place our children are safe from the world. By making marriage all about the couple and forgetting about the children, as society has been doing for the last several decades, we wound our children terribly. Look at divorce rates; look at fatherless children; look at gang violence; look at teenage promiscuity and teenage pregnancy rates. All these things are on the rise, because we’ve become selfish as a society. We are all about Me, My, Mine. Marriage ought to be about creating a home for our families, not about personal gratification. Perhaps there would be less adultery if we stopped to remember that – it’s not just about meeting an individual’s sexual needs (or, more often, wants). It’s about providing security for each other, providing emotional support, providing a refuge, a safe haven. It’s about responsibility. It’s about providing a safe place for children to grow up, taking care of their needs, until they are ready to go out into the world. And as much as they may want to, two moms or two dads will never be equal to a mom and a dad in their abilities to raise a child.

Why I think people saying that homosexuality is a natural impulse is a copout

I’ve been debating with myself for a while now on whether or not to post this. Not because I’m afraid of offending anyone – because I’m pretty sure I already have; but because it’s a bit personal. And I know lots of the people that read this blog. But I feel like I should make every effort I can to persuade anyone out there who is still undecided to vote in favor of Proposition 8, to preserve marriage between a man and a woman.

I’ve heard many opponents of Prop 8 use this argument: Homosexuality is a genetic impulse in many people; they were just “made that way” so why should we punish them by depriving them of the right to marry the one they love?

For starters, I don’t believe that outlawing gay marriage is depriving anyone of rights. Sorry, but you never had that right in the first place, until 4 of 7 judges decided to create a new law by overturning the vote of an overwhelming majority of Californians.

But here’s my main point: Even if we do accept the premise that at least some people are “naturally” gay – even though studies show that environment and upbringing do have a large impact on one’s sexuality – why does that make it a good thing? We have many natural impulses that are contradictory to the good of society, and we don’t legalize those behaviors just to cater to those individuals who have those impulses and act on them.

I’ll give you a few examples: A man “naturally” has a worse temper than other men. His anger management issues lead him to harm his family. Does he get out of trouble for his behavior and the harm he has done to those around him because he is genetically predisposed to be angry?

Some people are more likely to be overweight because of their genetic makeup. My brother is one of these. I am honestly afraid that he will die within the next ten years if he doesn’ drastically change his lifestyle. He is 31. Is it alright for him to just give up and say, I’m genetically predisposed to be obese, and everyone around me should just accept that fact? Should we all be content to watch him slowly die of his own self-neglect?

What about mothers who abuse drugs while they are pregnant and their babies are born with severe problems and drug addictions? Shouldn’t we help the baby fight the addiction rather than simply saying “it’s natural, so it’s ok”?

What about men whose inability to control themselves and their libido turns them into rapists, pedophiles, child abusers, and child pornography addicts? It’s natural for a man to have stronge sexual desires, isn’t it? But the way these men express their behaviors is harmful to society as a whole. Shouldn’t we punish them, even though sex drive is a completely natural human behavior?

And here’s the personal example I promised you: I have depression. It runs very strongly in my family on one side. I have struggled with it since I was about ten years old, I would guess, but I wasn’t diagnosed with it until I was in college. My life as a teenager was extremely difficult, and I never understood why I was so different until many years later. I am genetically predisposed to the condition because of my family heritage. It makes me sad, angry, anxious, and lethargic. Sometimes all at once. There are days when it is a struggle just for me to get out of bed.

But I do it. Why? Because I love my family more. I have two small daughters to take care of, and a husband I love dearly. I support him by taking care of our children and our home. If it were just me, there are probably days where I would lie in bed and do nothing at all except let myself be sad.

I can’t indulge in that type of behavior, even though I want to sometimes. First, I know it is bad for me. Second, I know it is bad for my family. Third, I know it is bad for society – I have something to contribute to my neigborhood, my church, my city, and my state. I am responsible for more than just myself. The natural impulses that come with depression are quite strong, but my love for my family is stronger. I know that if I give in to those impulses, I would be hurting my family.

So my depression is natural. It’s genetic. I can’t help it.

I am left with a choice: do I give into my natural impulses, or do I fight it and do what is best for those around me?

And just because I have this “natural” condition, would that make it right if I did lie in bed all day and neglect my children?

Obviously not. It would be understandable, but it still wouldn’t be right.

So stop complaining that homosexuality is natural and we need to make concessions for gay people. We all have things that we are fighting, our own internal demons, but we still have to be responsible members of society, concerned with the greater good before our own desires.

What is tolerance

My husband read this great article by Orson Scott Card the other day, and I have to share it with you all. Go read it at http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/orson_scott_card/?id=4740.

Card writes about how we should be able to disagree respectfully, and why the LDS Church opposes legalizing gay marriage. His point that really caught my eye, though, was this:

“I speak from experience: My family and I have close friends who are gay, some of whom have entered into lawful marriages. They know we don’t agree that their relationship is the same thing or should have the same legal status as our marriage, but we all accept that strong and clear difference of opinion and move on, continuing to respect and love each other for the values we share.

Only when a gay friend demanded that I agree with his or her point of view or cease to be friends has the friendship ended. What is odd is that in every case they called me intolerant. They misunderstood the meaning of “tolerance.”

Tolerance implies disagreement — it means that even though we don’t agree with or approve of each others beliefs or actions, we can still live together amicably. When we agree, we aren’t being tolerant, we’re being uniform.

It’s uniformity or submission these former friends wanted, not tolerance at all.”

You might object and say that this refers only to Orson Scott Card’s understanding of the word tolerance. But you’d be wrong. Here’s what the dictionary has to say under the entry “tolerance”:

1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one’s own; freedom from bigotry.
2. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.

Tolerance, therefore, can only exist when we agree to disagree. Some gays are opposing Proposition 8 under the guise of desiring tolerance from heterosexuals. However, the ones doing the name-calling and vandalizing signs are more often opponents of Prop 8 than not. Legalizing gay marriage; requiring that we treat it the same as heterosexual marriage; teaching it as the same in school; suing photographers, doctors, newspapers, adoption agencies, and newspapers for expressing a different opinion and standing by their religions; threatening to even remove the people’s right to vote on the issue in San Diego… None of these things sound like tolerance to me. This is not peaceful co-existence. This is not agreeing, politely, to disagree. This is attempting to force the opinion and habits and standards of a vocal minority on the majority of the population under the guise of “rights” – even though the right to marry is not protected, and establishing gay marriage directly contradicts existing federal law, the Defense of Marriage Act, which states: DOMA defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman for purposes of all federal laws.

How can forcing the 96% of the population that isn’t gay to endorse homosexuality truly be considered tolerance? Gay activists aren’t fighting for tolerance of their behavior. Their rights are already protected as domestic partners under the California family code. They gain nothing by marriage, except the validation of the rest of the community, and the ability to force others to support their beliefs. Legalizing gay marriage does not gain them more rights; all it does is undermine our society and confuse gender issues until we are all one homogenized, featureless lump. They are fighting to PROMOTE A GAY LIFESTYLE. Not for tolerance. If they were so big on tolerance, perhaps they’d be a little more TOLERANT of their opposition. You know, those of us who are out there fighting for our children, our educational system, our right to parent our children and teach them our own morals, our religious freedom, our freedom of speech, and the rights of future generations of children to be born into a home with a mother and a father who love them and are socially responsible to them.

Please support real tolerance, and vote in favor of Proposition 8. Otherwise, dissent becomes illegal.

Private or Public affair?

People who oppose Proposition 8 keep telling me that it is ridiculous to claim that allowing same-sex marriage will affect my life in any way. “It’s only going to allow couples who love each other to be together” they say. Here’s a great example of how this issue affects more people than just the gay couples who want to get married:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/10/11/MNFG13F1VG.DTL

To summarize, if you don’t want to read the whole story, a class of first graders in San Fransisco took a school sanctioned field trip to their lesbian teacher’s wedding. It was decided that this was an appropriate use of school funds – which come from who now? Oh right, that’s the parents, like myself.

Parents were notified and given the option to keep their child out of the trip, and two parents did. But even if those children didn’t go on the trip, they are still being exposed to the idea of homosexual marriage at a very impressionable young age. And you can bet the kids who did go on the field trip will be talking about it to their two classmates who stayed home for days. Most children adore their elementary school teachers at that age, and those kids want their teacher to be happy. What makes her happy? Same-sex marriage. If Prop 8 passes, that teacher will be upset, and so will her students. By the children participating in this same-sex marriage, they have had a firsthand lesson that gay marriage is okay.

I don’t want my children taught about gay marriage in schools. I don’t want my sister-in-law, who is a schoolteacher, to have to teach her pupils that same-sex marriage is an acceptable practice, when it is something she firmly believes is wrong. Gay marriage, whether we like it or not, has influences far beyond being simply a private affair. To believe that it doesn’t affect other families in California is unrealistic.

Published in: on October 13, 2008 at 9:07 am  Comments (3)  
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