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Legalizing Gay Marriage?

Last week we had a class debate about legalizing gay marriage. The team that was assigned to argue against it provided very few reasons, none of which were credible. For example, this girl got on her soapbox about how it was biologically unnatural. That's just not true. There are a ton of examples in the animal kingdom where homosexual behavior has been documented. It got me thinking, why in the world would we ban gay marriage, other than personal beliefs? What harm does it do us if our gay neighbors are now married gay neighbors? This is not intended as a flamewar, but I seriously want to know: is there is any legitimate reason why gay marriages or civil unions ought to be banned?

Gay Marriage

I am so glad someone has seen this the way I do... You are absolutely right about animals and homosexual behavior. I am a lesbian and have been in a relationship for 5 yrs. I honestly would not want to get married if it were legalized, but for those who want to, I don't understand why it has become such an issue. If it's about religion, let god be the judge. No one is being hurt or killed. There are so many issues going on in this world that are so much more important than amending the constitution so some happy gay couple can't have a paper stating they are commited to one another. It's ridiculous and a waste of focus by our politicians. Our people are dying in Iraq, our country has people in need of employment, shelter and food. I guess being gay and in love is more of a problem than death and nationwide poverty..

Short Answer: No.

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: No way.

Real Long Answer: I would feel safe betting that the majority of people who staunchly oppose gay marriage have never in their life actually known a homosexual. Their opinions on homosexuality and its "evils" are based on pure hearsay and rhetoric.

To anyone who opposes gay marriage: Befriend someone who is gay and actually talk to them. Get to know them as human beings and real people, not just some sort of boogie-man caricature. Then decide if you could really support with good consiceince legislation that denies them the right to spend their lives with the person they love in the same way you do.

Tough Question

I agree that the stigma of homosexuality reflects badly on our society, and we need to reverse our preconceptions in a lot of cases. That said, this issue is not an easy one. There is a lot of gray area on both sides. The libertarian in me says whatever they do is their business, and I can understand their frustration at being denied certain benefits that are given to heterosexual couples (tax breaks, country club memberships for family members, etc).

But I also feel that while the arguments may be weak for those against gay marriage, the concerns are legitimate. One of my high school friends says he has never been attracted to women his whole life. But on the other hand, there seem to be those who arrive at homosexuality through promiscuity and experimentation. A gay man I worked with last year said that in his life he'd had more sex with women than men. He became sexually active very young, and then when he got bored with that, he started having "weird sex" (his words, not mine), and then weirder and weirder until he started having sex with men. He doesn't strike me as someone whose homosexual desires came from something biological, but rather as a perversion of his normal sex drive.

So I can empathize with those groups that believe the more the alternative lifestyle is promulgated and accepted, there will be more and more people like him. These groups employ the "slippery slope" kinds of arguments (gay marriage will lead to promiscuity, and gay couples adopting children, and that guy on Jerry Springer who's in love with his horse will want to marry it, etc, etc) and while they are weak arguments, I can understand where they are coming from.

Furthermore, I think the animal homosexuality arguments are flawed and should be avoided by both sides. Sure, animals have been documented engaging in homosexual behavior, but in most cases it proves only that they engage in that behavior from time to time, rather than choosing and bonding with same-gender mates as in human homosexuality. Even if homosexuality was prevalent in the natural world, it's a big step to translate that into human behavior. Some species engage in cannibalism and even eat their own young --does that mean it is natural for humans to do so too? I like to think there's a bit more of a difference between me and a chimpanzee in heat than 1% of the DNA strand.

A hard question indeed.

Yeah, the class discussion

Yeah, the class discussion was pretty much a joke. This girl got all angry and started yelling about how male and female parts fit like a puzzle, blah blah blah, the reason we have sexual organs is for procreation and any other use (implying homosexuality) is a perversion.

I don't think she thought that through. Even in the Church we're taught that sex is as much (or even more so) for bonding as it is procreation.

I have moral opposition to the practice, but there are a lot of things I have moral opposition to that are still legal. The American Constitution was designed to protect the minority, right? The majority never needed protection. I sent an email to my instructor telling him how ironic I thought it was that the Church, a little over a hundred years ago, preached that the Constitution granted us the (implied) right to marry however we wanted (polygamy). We ranted and raved about how this was supposed to be a land of freedom and the government had no business telling us how to run our personal lives and families. Those same attitudes don't seem to exist (in the Church- or Mormon culture) anymore. Why not?

From the Archives

I found this old discussion thread on the same topic here. Some interesting points are made along the way, viz. as far as the rule of law is based in morals.

I may have used some poor

I may have used some poor examples --I was just writing off the top of my head. I have no problem with the idea of the separation of church and state. But the main idea of my previous comment stands. The government is already heavily involved in our personal lives, for good or ill, and the "athiest left" shows no signs of relenting in their quest to legislate moral relativism. So in response, the "religious right" can do nothing as they hold to the ideal that they shouldn't mess with other people's lives, or they can legislate a morality of their own to counterract the one being forced on them.

And I can empathize with that.

One more thing...

Why doesn't this story show up on the main ProvoPulse page? Is it just me?

Asleep at the wheel

Someone who should be looking through the submitted articles and filtering which ones show up on the main page isn't keeping up with their responsibilities...except maybe to post the latest Provo Podcast.

I realize I’m a little

I realize I’m a little late to join this conversation, but it is a subject I feel particularly strong about. Let me first state that I am LDS, I am happily married to a man, and a mother of one beautiful girl. All of that said, here is my issue.
The church has indeed said that they do not agree with homosexuality, in fact for a while (earlier, much earlier than now) the counsel given was for homosexual men to marry. (Homosexuality was not a widely known problem, and was often thought of as a phase that some teenage boys, or even younger adult men went through.) This is no longer the council given-as it led to men with guilt, marring women for the wrong reason, and then eventually a broken family.
A man named Dean A. Byrd has published a book- Homosexuality and the Church of Jesus Christ-it does a fair job of explaining how the church feels on both sides, but it does not have all of the answers, nor does anyone I think.
My feeling on the issue is this. Everyone has hardships in life. Some people will spend their entire lives in debt, some will succumb to pornography, and other people cannot seem to get away from alcohol. All of these things the church has published books about, came out and said they do not agree with these practices, but we have never, not once been told to turn one of these people away. To ostracize them or to make them feel unloved. And I feel the same way about people who struggle with homosexuality. Especially those who are members of the church.
I want to make it known that there are men and women who have chosen—CHOSEN-to live a life of celibacy. They choose to live alone, to never be married, or have children because they love the Church that much. I cannot imagine the struggle that these people go through everyday. To have the faith to know that one day...even though it isn’t today… that they will have answers. I think these people are amazing, and need all of the support from members that they can get. Not support that says “go, be gay”… but support that says “you are welcome here like everyone else, and we love you”.
<<<>>
Gay marriage, why is it even an argument? No, I don’t think it is how the Lord intended marriage to be, but clearly those who are petitioning for gay marriages do not share my views. And I am no one who has been given the authority to PUSH my views or beliefs on someone else. Our church has never believed in, or taught that forcing our views on others is right. We can’t control everything n the world that we don’t agree with. There will always s be something in the news that goes against what we believe in. But all we can do is teach our children, stay faithful, and love the people around them, even of we don’t agree with them. That is my view…and sadly it is the condensed version ;P
And on a side note, it makes me so sad that a non-member came to a site that, although not labeled a religious site, probably walked away with a misconception of the Mormon faith based on a few comments. I hope that when someone walks into church, no matter skimpily dressed, or tattooed, or openly gay they are, I hope they walk away feeling more welcome.

Sodom's sin

What was the chief sin of the city of Sodom? Hint, check Ezekiel 16:49-50. Just one of many misperceptions I'd like to clear up among members of the church.

hello

i haven't posted on here for quite a while, but i'm sure those who know me can already guess where i stand. here are some assorted thoughts on the issue.

homosexuals should be allowed to get married.

heterosexuals have already polluted the institution of marriage.

gay marriage isn't going to ruin society, our capitalist economics is already doing that.

i don't believe homosexuality is biological, but i don't believe it something that one can necessarily choose.

i had some more thoughts, but i'm already bored

Whoa.

I never thought the "slippery slope" arguments really had much merit. But I am, admittedly, not a very forward-thinking individual.

Last night I was talking to a Canadian friend of mine and the topic of gay marriage came up. He said that there is currently a fight going on in their courts, because now that they have legalized gay marriage, it is illegal and discrimminatory for an ecclesiastial leader to deny marriage rites to a gay couple. Looking back, it is obvious that this was the next logical step after the legalization of gay marriage, just as the civil rights revolution of the 60's gave rise to Affirmative Action, etc, etc, but I never saw it coming.

It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

Just got home from General

Just got home from General Conference. Felt like maybe I should have a change of heart about this subject. I found myself asking if when I go into the voting booth, if I should represent myself as a member of the Church or as an American. I'll have to think on that tonight.

decline of society?

I'm just curious about something...I 've heard a lot that if a scoiety openly accepts gay marriage then that society will self-destruct. Supposedly, gay marriage was a big reason that the Romans and many other societies declined and fell apart. Anybody else heard this or think that its true?

Medical Standpoint...

If you were to totally throw out the moral and religious reasons to ban gay marriage, could you come up with a medical reason to ban gay marriage? Many people won't accept a morally backed agrument to ban gay marriage so what about a medical or science backed agrument? For example... Gay marriage must be banned because of AIDS, or something like that. How would you come with something else besides moral or religious or personal beliefs to try to convinve someone that gay marriage should be banned?

medical issues

Homosexuals with HIV are far more likely to get cancer of the anus as a product of human papilloma virus. However, you could say the same thing about heterosexual couples in that females are likely to get HPV induced cervical cancer at a higher rate if they are HIV positive. HIV is no longer a homosexual illness. It crosses all boundries.

i know

Yes, I know that AIDS infects straight people too. It was just a question and that wouldn't be my first reason to ban gay marriage. Besides, how do you know that AIDS infects more heterosexuals than homosexuals worldwide? You have some stats that back that up or is that just some commonly known fact? So if marriage is moral, whats your moral reason for not banning gay marriage?

So if marriage is moral,

So if marriage is moral, whats your moral reason for not banning gay marriage?

Well this is going to sound weird, because I am against gay marriage. But your thinking is logically flawed. The whole point of freedom is that you are allowed to do anything you want so long as it doesn't impose on someone else's rights. Therefore, you can't say, "I want to make gay marriage illegal," unless you can explain why not to allow it. Moral reasons count in the voting booth but not really on the debate floor.

Of course, I'd be quick to say that I don't believe the American public holds marriage to be sacred/moral. The divorce, abuse, infidelity, and whatever other problems and their rates of occurence show that sanctity in marriage is hardly something America, as a whole, takes seriously.
Pretty sad.

America's Views

Farker, what you said makes good sense. Also,I know that a lot of people in America don't hold marriage sacred, but I think the majority of Americans still do, especially when it comes to gay marriage. In the 2004 election 11 states had ammendments on thier ballots to ban or in some way restrict gay marriage. All ammendments passes in all 11 states. Sad thing is, states like Georgia had more people voting against gay marriage (80%) vs. Utah with only 60% of people voting against gay marriage.

Oh, and don't moral reasons count on the debate floor? Isn't the debate floor where people get the votes?

In the 2004 election 11

In the 2004 election 11 states had ammendments on thier ballots to ban or in some way restrict gay marriage. All ammendments passes in all 11 states.

I believe it. If marriage is sacred, why aren't we legislating and enforcing laws that punish those who are unfaithful to their spouse, or abuse or neglect them? We could go a long ways in making marriage more sacred by acting like it is. Right now the divorce rate is around 50%, and that doesn't include bad marriages. Infidelity is so common that it doesn't even seem to be looked down on anymore. It just seems like a hypocritical standard to hear, "We believe in the sanctity of marriage; no gay marriage!" and then seeing that marriage vows mean so little to the general public.

hypocritical marriages....

You're right Farker, people treat their marriage vows with complete disrespect, but then really get mad when people talk about gay people marrying. They don't really have much room to speak when their marriages fall apart because of abuse or infidelity. But at the same time, is America going to legalize gay marriage just because heterosexuals have really bad marriages? Doesn't sound like much of a agrument..."Heterosexuals are screwing so bad that we'll let the homosexuals have a try at marriage..." That agrument doesn't make much sense to me.

more than one wife

Chonquey, you're saying that pure LDS doctrine tells them to have more than one wife? Could you please back this crap up? If you can honestly get something that supports this, then tell me when and where this pure doctrine will practiced.(And where you got the evidence) If you can do all that and for some reason you might actually be right, I'll say sorry, and admit that I was wrong. If not, then'll I just know that you make crap up for your crappy agruments.

good evidence...not

You make me laugh man. Thats your support? Just because a man can get married more than one time in the temple, that is multiple wifes?
Many major churches in the world allow this. They let they man marry, divorce, and marry again. So do they believe in multiple wifes as well? Just because a guy remarries in the temple with another women doesn't mean he has more than one wife. The man has to get a temple divorce before he marry again in the temple, and if he doesn't get one, he can't get married in the temple again. And what the crap does any of this have to do with gay marriage, except for maybe one thing: That homosexuality and homosexual marriage will never be accepted in the LDS church.

two wifes

You guys honestly think that if a guy gets married more than once on earth he is going to have two wifes forever? WTF? What makes you think one of the wifes who is dead or divorced won't marry someone else after death? And Chonquey, you're right i got my ass handed to me on a platter. I was wrong. Although now I know why you're so screwed up. You're parents divorced and you went apostate. How typical of LDS youth. One thing goes wrong in life and their lose all faith. How pathetic.

all right, i stand down

dang, i had no idea i could make LDS kids so mad. its just my opinion people, no reason for you leave the church, although i highly doubt i could make anyone leave the church considering the fact that I'm not a member, but anyways, its not like you have to start screaming for my hanging just because i said stuff.

I've got to say that I'm

I've got to say that I'm disappointed. Surely there are some people on here opposed to gay marriage. This article was posted a week ago and there still haven't been any legitimate reasons why gay marriage should be banned. "It's just gross," or, "It's wrong," doesn't fly for me. Those things may be true, but how it hurts me or anyone else in the public has yet to be explained.

Someone help me out here.

guess you're not goin to get them

Farker, if it makes you feel any better, I'm opposed to gay marriage. Although, I, and I think everybody else here, can't really give you any other reasons to ban gay marriage other than our moral or religous reasons. I don't think you're ever going to get any other reasons than the usuall ones. If their were other reasons, I think they would have been brought up by now.
And more thing...
Farker, how can i held accoutable for my "influences"? LDS people, especially the teens, are always talking about their "agency" Whatever people do, they do it, its not like their forced. That would be against their "agency" wouldn't it ? Personally, the concept of "agency" doesn't make much sense to me, but then again, I'm not a member so its not like I really know what I'm talking about.

murder?

Curtis, I'm confused. Who, exactly, are we murdering in our wars abroad?

Yes, murder

Why, that would include over 100,000 Iraqis (the majority of which are women, children, elderly or crippled and have nothing to do with any resistance) and untold numbers of Afganistan nationals.
Haitian nationals are being purged of their popular political party, composed of the majority of the poor in their country, by the US installed interim puppet government.
Of course these examples are nothing unusual, just a few more pieces in the big jigsaw puzzle we make.

wow 100,000

100,000 Iraqis?! Why isn't this on CNN? Oh wait, its the Iraqis killing the other Iraqis with IEDs. That means their blood is on our hands?