The Wrong Argument

I recognize that I'm going to catch abuse for writing this. I hope people will actually read it and give it some thought.

Let me start by saying that, although I am solely hetereosexual and frankly don't understand what could be pleasant about sex with another man, I think same sex marriage should be legal, and voted against the ban on it when that was on the ballot in my state a few years ago. Unfortunately, I and those who voted the same way were in the minority.

The point of this post is to argue that the case for same sex marriage is not helped by claiming it is the same as racial discrimination. It just isn't. Race discrimination as it was formally practiced in this country said, in substance, no matter what you do, if you are black, you cannnot have these rights. In contrast, the states banning same sex marriage are not saying that some people can but others cannot. Instead, the state is saying absolutely no one can marry a person of the same gender. Banning same sex marriage is not like saying you can't vote or eat in certain restaurants because  you have one skin color but people with a different skin color can. It is closer to the state saying that you have to pass an eye test to get a driver's license. No one can get a license without passing the eye test.

There is, of course, a crucial difference between same sex marriage and driver's license eye tests. The state has a legitimate interest in keeping people who cannot see from driving because they are likely to harm others. The real question in the same sex marriage debate is: what interest does the state have in keeping people of the same gender from marrying? How does same sex marriage harm anyone? I don't think there are answers to those questions. I think casting the argument that way is better than saying it is discrimination. We all discriminate against certain types of conduct every day, and most people would agree with those discriminations. Driving sober is legal, driving drunk is illegal. That discriminates against drinkers, but there is a good reason for it. The issue isn't discrimination, but whether there is any good reason to discriminate between same sex marriage and opposite gender marriage.

I guess I should add that I understand that many people find same sex marriage offensive.  However, I fail to see how a marriage between two consenting adult men or two consenting adult women hurts anyone else.  I failt to see any justification for the view that people who wish to engage in conduct that does not harm others should be barred from doing so just because others don't like that conduct.
HStoner HStoner
51-55, M
10 Responses May 10, 2012

Bravo for your clear thinking and sorting out the sortable. That's a skill our schools need to cultivate.<br />
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Contributing here is a public service I admire. Thank you for taking the trouble.

I completely agree. Thats exactly what needs to be discussed. I am gay and i find no offense to this.

I am totally behind you on this HStoner...<br />
Love is Love...............

I posted about this earlier how same-sex marriage WILL be made legal in the United States. Doing otherwise will violate the Constitution and previous Supreme Court decisions.<br />
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Review:<br />
1. First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States<br />
2. Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States<br />
3. Loving v. Virginia, Supreme Court decision and commentary<br />
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Someone can claim all they want that their religion prohibits same-sex marriage, all I have to do is point to item #1 above and kindly remind them that their religion cannot be law. Item #2 is commonly used as the basis for anti-discrimination rulings, it was cited in item #3, where marriage was also declared a "basic civil right".

I think you are correct. However, it would not be the first time politics have corrupted legal analysis.

The main point of your argument (and eye test analogy) is differentiating functional and non functional decimation. Functional discrimination: if you are blind we will not let you drive a car! Non functional discrimination: You can not eat in this restaurant without a neck tie (a neck tie has no function in eating).<br />
The only functional requirements in entering a long-term committed relationship and or marriage are love and commitment. Judging by the divorce rate the “straight” community aren’t that good on the commitment front.<br />
As regards moral behaviour, I know of no valid study that gays are any more or less promiscuous than straights, although from personal experience the behaviour in (straight) single bars is a lot more promiscuous than any gay bar I’ve been in.

My point is that the discrimination is functional, to use your term, but without reason. But, I think it hurts the case to claim it is status discrimination.

Great post Stoner and I LOVE the argument you posed. It is archaic thinking... ba<x>sed on religious beliefs NOT held by the masses being limited by them. Religion should only effect the ones practicing it and not everyone else!!

listen supporting gay marriage is a big step that most pple arent willing to except think about all the sports [pla<x>yers that are coming out and sayin they are gay they kept it hidden for their safty sake i can honestly say i am not ready for gay marriage BUT i dont dislike it i think anyone whos happy should be able to persue what makes them happy pple need to stop hideing behind the bible and and **** look if god doesnt want same sex to date then why there so many of them that are happy rember it wasnt to long interracial marriages werent allowed and frowned upon and still frowned upon the point im maken is this change happens we may not like it and itll take time to get use to but i think anyone that is happy being with the same sex wether it be m/m f/f m/t f/t should persue that but im 100% percent to lifting the ban on gays in the military if one homosexual is willing to risk their life so i can come here and be here with u guys wth is the problem they have every right to defend their country

Agreed. Although, I don't think it matters whether I personally am ready for gays and lesbians to marry.

I agree. My point is that there is no good reason for government to prohibit same sex marriage. I think that is the telling argument, but that comparing bans on same sex marriage to discrimination against blacks, Latinos, or women is a bad argument because it doesn't hold up.

I agree with your comments here. It isn't the same as racial discrimination. I've wondered at times if the state would keep me form being married to the man of my choice, since I was born male, but now have the body of a female in every respect? I was once engaged (fiancee died in a car accident), so never got to answer this. If asked on a marriage license I would put my gender as "female". Is there anything that would show otherwise? A blood test, perhaps? Would that show I was male at birth and would the state then say I couldn't get married? That would make me so sad.

I'd check what they do in your state, but, here, there isn't anyway the state would know that you were once male.

That said, my guess is that the people who are against same sex marriage would include you in whatever it is they think is evil.

Many people marry the should not there is no test for them<br />