Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why I'm Voting Yes on Proposition 8

I realize that the post on Prop 8 might leave some of you wondering: so, Rich, why are you for Prop 8?

(For all you non-Californians, earlier this year the Sup. Court of CA overturned an earlier vote of the people to define marriage between a man and a woman. Prop 8 seeks to overturn the court's ruling and set the traditional definition in law.)

Briefly:

The primary reason is that modern Western culture is the first tore-define marriage. Of course, this doesn't mean we stay with the 'status quo,' but it does tell us who has to do the arguing. Since its been defined as between a man and a woman since pretty much the beginning (even the ancient Romans, though they were tolerant of the practice of homosexuality, viewed marriage as between a man and a woman), the burden of proof lies with the ones who want to change the definition. The arguments advanced for homosexual marriage aren't even close to convincing.

Here's one of the principal reasons I hear being used: marriage is about love, so you should be able to marry anyone you love. We shouldn't be denied the freedom to love who we want.

Aside from the obvious rejoinder that no one is preventing anyone from loving (sexual love included) anyone else (in other words, you can already love who you want w.o restriction), if I love my sister like that, should I be able to marry her? What about a 15 year old? If not, why not?

If two men should be able to get married, why not three? What's so scary about that number?

The bottom line with the questions is that few want to go that far, yet any reasons used to 'deny rights (this phrase is a bit of a misnomer)'to those partnerships turns out to be discriminatory according to the definition of those who use the 'love' argument.

Love is a great thing, but its neither necessary nor sufficient grounds for a definition of marriage.

Secondly, the 'no' campaign puts this in terms of rights. The 'yes' campaign is supposedly 'denying rights' to homosexuals. This argument is specious. For the details, go here.

Really, this debate is about two things: the definition of marriage,and approval. Making gay marriage legal would be tantamount to saying that the term 'marriage' is a social construction and can be changed if society says so. In addition to this opening a pandora's box of slippery slopes (polygamy, anyone?), I see no reason to agree to this view.

Even though the outer rim of marriage has changed through history(interracial marriage, etc) doesn't mean the core has changed: marriage has always been between a man and woman, and it has always been about raising children. The article I linked to above gets more into this.

Proponents of gay marriage are seeking approval of their relationships,and making gay marriage legal will essentially grant that approval. The government (and, by extension, taxpayers) would be giving a tacit nod towards those relationships. I see no reason whatsoever to think that such approval is a right. A desire, maybe. Right? No.

Saying something is a 'right' means that the person/group possessing the right has a just claim to something. Does it make sense to say that homosexuals have a just claim to society's approval of their relationships?

Even if you think homosexuality is ok, this is a bit of a stretch.

The Koukl article in the link fills in the needed philosophical details...go read it.

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