ONTD Political

There’s a good reason marriage is a hetero thing

8:11 pm - 06/29/2011
 There’s a good reason marriage is a hetero thing.

What with New York legislating same-sex marriage, and Labor state conferences toppling like dominos, it appears that same-sex marriage activists have adopted a new tack: “momentum rhetoric”.




The most blatant momentum rhetoric sprang up around the recent Galaxy Poll, wherein 75 per cent of respondents agreed that same-sex marriage is inevitable in Australia.

It was an odd poll - more Nostradamus than Aquinas - on what really is a complicated political and moral issue. No engagement with the issue itself, just speculation as to where we might end up.

Then again, perhaps the poll sits comfortably with a debate in which two sides spend a great deal of time arguing about completely different things.

For same-sex marriage advocates, it’s about equality. Or as Senthorun Raj put it with crystalline clarity yesterday: “Marriage equality is an issue about respect and visibility.”

Activists like Raj want to use marriage law to achieve the social and cultural objective of increasing respect and visibility for men and women who identify as homosexual.

As far as the objective goes, Raj is unlikely to court much opposition. He certainly won’t get any from me: I too believe that respect and visibility must be accorded to all members of society, without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual preference, etc.

What concerns me is the means that Raj and others are advocating for achieving this outcome, namely, the radical modification of the institution of marriage.

This is why those on my side of the debate tend to focus our argument on the institution itself: why it is the way it is, and why changing it is a bad idea.

And so while the recent momentum rhetoric is all clinking champagne glasses and anticipatory excitement, allow me to offer a glass of cold water to the face, and a snap back to the reality of the institution we call marriage.

But first, an analogy. There is a scene in the 2003 Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty, in which Carrey’s character, in a bid to woo the girl of his dreams, decides to use his (temporarily acquired) divine omnipotence to drag the moon a little closer to the balcony on which he is undertaking said wooing.

All goes to plan. By the dazzling light of a closer, brighter moon, romance is mightily enhanced, and the woo-ee robustly woo-ed. Happy ending, right?

Not quite: there are other consequences too. Massive tidal disruptions ensue around the globe. Thousands are washed away. Homes are ruined. All to be expected when you tinker with the moon.

See, the moon may well have formidable romance-enhancing capabilities, but it also performs a whole lot of other far more important functions. Meddle with it to enhance romance, and everything else gets out of whack.

We take a similar approach on marriage.

For although redefining marriage may enhance visibility and respect for those who identify as gay or lesbian, the primary function of the institution of marriage is not to enhance visibility and respect for those who enter into it. Using marriage as a means to that secondary end - and modifying the institution in the process - seems a frightfully reckless manner of proceeding.

I have said that “enhancing visibility and respect” is not the primary function of marriage, and a closer look at the institution itself supports such a conclusion.

According to section 42 of the Marriage Act, marriage is a “solemn and binding” institution. It is meant to bind two people, by force of public law, in a permanent relationship.

Why should the law bind two people so? To enhance their visibility and respect in the community? Not likely. Rather than enhance the status of the couple, marriage seems rather to place them in a position of lifelong subservience, both to one another and to the state.

As they say, you get less for murder.

No, the only conceivable reason for binding two people in a lifelong union is because marriage anticipates procreation.

Activists deny this. But why else would Article 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights affirm a compound right “to marry and to found a family”? Why not have two separate rights, if marriage is not about procreation?

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights unequivocally supports the conflation of marriage and procreation. In its General Comment (no. 19) on Article 23, the Commission states: “The right to found a family implies, in principle, the possibility to procreate and live together” (at par 5). All of this is bound up in the one right, under Article 23, “to marry and to found a family”.

But it doesn’t take a human rights commissioner to figure out that it is by reason of the inherent baby-making character of heterosexual unions that the state encourages permanence in those unions.

At the same time, there is no reason to suggest that the permanent quality of marriage accords the couple any special status. Rather the permanence of the union is directed towards pre-emptively safeguarding the interests of any children that the marriage may (or may not) produce.

Marriage is the state’s best and only direct means of trying to ensure that children are born into a family where they are raised by their own flesh and blood; their own mother and father. And to quote a 2009 Galaxy Poll, 86 per cent of Australians believe that children should, wherever possible, be raised by their own biological mother and father.

See, every child that has ever existed had both a mum and a dad. Marriage is how the state imposes upon the spouses an obligation to see their responsibility to their progeny through. This is the sine qua non of a flourishing civilisation: in-tact families taking their responsibility to care for one another seriously.

In a world of increasingly casual, fragmented and confused relationships, the institution of marriage still says to the community: when it comes to the life-generating heterosexual union, permanence is vital.

But same-sex marriage advocates don’t want marriage to propagate that message anymore. As far as they are concerned, marriage is a tool for enhancing the status of same-sex couples; a means to an end.

And yet even as activists demand fundamental alterations to the institution of marriage, it is the intact biological family, headed by a mum and a dad in a permanent union with one another, which continues to be the foundational unit and fundamental building block of society. Always has been, always will be.

That’s the story of our species, whether it is reflected in our legal and social institutions or not.


Wow.... Okay Tim Cannon, that's nice - shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down now plz. 


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lozbabie 29th-Jun-2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
I just read this and couldn't believe the idiocy.

The comments are a mixture between awesome and head-banging.
ailurus 29th-Jun-2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
Not quite: there are other consequences too. Massive tidal disruptions ensue around the globe. Thousands are washed away. Homes are ruined. All to be expected when you tinker with the moon.

See, the moon may well have formidable romance-enhancing capabilities, but it also performs a whole lot of other far more important functions. Meddle with it to enhance romance, and everything else gets out of whack.


What is he even trying to say here, that if same-sex marriage is legalised it'll cause tidal waves and wash thousands of people away?

I'm astounded at how ridiculous this whole thing is.
kittymink 29th-Jun-2011 03:46 pm (UTC)
EVERYTHING CAN BE EXPLAINED BY COMPARING IT TO A JIM CARREY MOVIE
heresie_irisee 29th-Jun-2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
I just love how he says that as if it's never ever occured to anyone before him. I mean, I feel like I've ran the various counter-arguments (infertile people, adoption, yadayada) a million and a half times.

Also, the moon thing is up there in my top ten of most nonsensical and far-fetched analogies.
vanishingbee 29th-Jun-2011 03:49 pm (UTC)
ngl the moon analogy provided some welcome lulz in this crazycakes article
kittymink 29th-Jun-2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's a fuck of a lot of dancing around the issue that this guy's a fucking homophobe.

What a weasel. Though weasels might be offended by the comparison.
archanglrobriel 29th-Jun-2011 03:46 pm (UTC)
So he's trying to sew a bunch of high sounding verbage around his basic premise which, in the words of the old margarine commercial, seems to be "It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature." Ability to use sine qua non not withstanding, he goes right back to that smelly old turd about marriage and procreation being the basis for why marriage is only for straights. It's not about civil rights, you silly people, it's about "founding a family." It's for baby making, see? And only male/female marriages can make them baaabies.

La la la. Old people getting married. Infertile people getting married. Willfully childless people getting married. Gay families with children.

Aaaand the argument goes "flush" as all old turds must.
flying_pandas 29th-Jun-2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
Aaaand the argument goes "flush" as all old turds must.

hhahaha, i love this.
vanishingbee 29th-Jun-2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
the only conceivable reason for binding two people in a lifelong union is because marriage anticipates procreation.

I just

and then family being biological only

Marriage is how the state imposes upon the spouses an obligation to see their responsibility to their progeny through.

This pretends that marriage was a matter of state originally, and so the state's opinion of it is the foundation of the rightness. By this account, people who are not planning on/capable of having children don't need/require/deserve the right to marry.

every child that has ever existed had both a mum and a dad.
I hope we get test tube babies/clone babies just to spite you. KON EL IS COMING.

Also generally gtfo why would you think marriage is about visibility for the individual couples instead of about being welcomed into society legally, recognized, as a couple who is committed to each other. People obviously don't need marriage to be committed, and marriage doesn't make them so, but that's what marriage is supposed to represent imo-- a symbol of commitment to your partner.

ehtb knek n just fuck off I have essays to write

devilstay 29th-Jun-2011 03:48 pm (UTC)
What even is this article? o.O? I can't be offended by the content, because I don't even understand what it's trying to say, all I know is that;

'Not quite: there are other consequences too. Massive tidal disruptions ensue around the globe. Thousands are washed away. Homes are ruined. All to be expected when you tinker with the moon.

See, the moon may well have formidable romance-enhancing capabilities, but it also performs a whole lot of other far more important functions. Meddle with it to enhance romance, and everything else gets out of whack.

We take a similar approach on marriage.'

Is bullshit, but other then that...
one_hoopy_frood OT -- MY OBAMA IS ON TV29th-Jun-2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
THE OBAMA I VOTED FOR. Shaming Congress Republicans on the TV. Basically saying if they don't cut defense spending AND get rid of the tax cuts for the richest, a lot of things are going to be at risk WHICH IS TRUE. And he is DEFINITELY making it a partisan issue. Get 'em.
bludstone Re: OT -- MY OBAMA IS ON TV29th-Jun-2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
lololol

>starts a new war in libya, demands a reduction in defense spending, wont bring troops home.

NICE OBAMA.
sparkindarkness 29th-Jun-2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
on what really is a complicated political and moral issue

No. It isn't. It's very very simple

I too believe that respect and visibility must be accorded to all members of society, without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual preference, etc.

Side-eyeing "sexual preference" and added contempt for the blatant lie here. This piece is nothing about respect. This ridiculous, homophobic article has not the tiniest amount of respect in it


marriage is a “solemn and binding” institution

Oh enough with this whole "marriage is just too damn precious for you homos" rhetoric. Screw it - have you SEEN how much "solemn" respect straight people have for this "binding" institution? Really? Because the hetlandia has so much respect for it!


No, the only conceivable reason for binding two people in a lifelong union is because marriage anticipates procreation.


Bullshit. At no point during the marriage process are you required to submit a fertility test to prove that you can have the oh-so-important babbies.

At no point are you required to have biological children with your partner

If you are proven infertile you do not lose your precious marriage status

And gay people HAVE KIDS. Hello - are these kids not special enough for the straighties? Do they not matter?

So how can an institution that is ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN recognise a childless, infertile straight couple that has zero intention of having kids by any means - but ignore an actual same-sex couple with kids already?


Logic you bigot, use some of it!
danger0usbeans 29th-Jun-2011 04:04 pm (UTC)
Stealing 'hetlandia' immediately.
windy_lea 29th-Jun-2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
For although redefining marriage may enhance visibility and respect for those who identify as gay or lesbian, the primary function of the institution of marriage is not to enhance visibility and respect for those who enter into it. Using marriage as a means to that secondary end - and modifying the institution in the process - seems a frightfully reckless manner of proceeding.

No, fuckwit, you have things the wrong way around. Nice job implying that LGBT individuals only want access to marriage equality to up their prestige. You're got it twisted around, though. The right of a consenting adult to marry another consenting adult, no matter their gender, sex, or sexuality belongs to all, and denying that is an act of disrespect for their humanity. Go fuck yourself.

Also, I am so tired of the "marriage is just for makin' babies". No, it's not. It is the creation of a union, with whatever meaning that entails for the engaging parties. It may be the creation of a family, in the sense that a married couple has chosen to live at least part of their life together, but not all families involve procreation or even children.

Would this asshole say this shit to a childfree couple, or a family that can't have kids? Would they advocate for mandatory fertility tests? What about single parent families? That's a no less effective way to have babies, and they're certainly families. If marriage doesn't exist for marriage's sake, then marriage is redundant, because you don't need it to make babies.
sephystabbity 29th-Jun-2011 03:56 pm (UTC)
Variation XXXX of "OMG NOEZ This is going to ruin our society FOR EVA!!!!!1111111one"
ceilidh 29th-Jun-2011 03:57 pm (UTC)
uh, two people in a loving, committed relationship, sharing resources, looking out for each other's physical/financial/other wellbeing, IS a family, no children necessary. Are hetero couples without children (by choice or chance) a family? yes. so are gay couples.
iolarah 29th-Jun-2011 04:29 pm (UTC)
I bet if this guy told childfree couples that they weren't actually a family, all hell would break loose.

...I kind of hope he does.
bludstone 29th-Jun-2011 03:58 pm (UTC)
Ugh, cant we just get the governments out of marriage entirely? Whatever happened to having a private life and private relationships? Why do they have to even stick their nose in anyone's marriage?
skellington1 29th-Jun-2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Honestly?

It's to the government's benefit for families (in whatever configuration) to commit to each other and provide each other a social safety net that kicks in BEFORE the tax-payer funded one.

It shouldn't matter *who* is committing, obviously.

Now, I'm aaaalll for not calling it 'marriage' if that gets the religous bigots to shut up. Going by the social safety net model, it should be acceptable for /anyone/ to 'marry' in the sense of 'committing to support their spouse, share their obligations, etc'. If people want to have their church wedding with their church rules, go for it... but that religious ceremony shouldn't have any legal standing.
jessilestrange 29th-Jun-2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
I love watching homophobic douches trying to prove to the world that they aren't homophobic :')
skellington1 29th-Jun-2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
It's a pretty good indicator of homophobia, isn't it? Because those of us who just *aren't* don't have to worry about claiming it loudly. Right up there with "I have a black friend."

Hint to essayists: If at any point you have to say, "now this may sound offensive, but..." or anything of that nature, rethink the validity of what you're going to say.
intrikate88 29th-Jun-2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
So first of all, well-meaning respect for others will cause massive tidal changes and destruction? How long ago was your earth science class, sir? Because it doesn't work that way, you might recall.

Also, way to completely insult everyone who chooses to or is not able to have biological children. Additionally, I'd say that forming a family group with your same-sex partner IS counting towards "founding a family".

Just go live in a tree and eat your meat raw if you are so focused on doing things in whatever way you imagine things originally were.
sillysallyfckup 29th-Jun-2011 04:10 pm (UTC)
OT

YOUR ICON OMG LOVE
xerox78 29th-Jun-2011 04:11 pm (UTC)
Source?
skellington1 29th-Jun-2011 04:13 pm (UTC)
The fuck is this?

The fuck is that?

Dude, when your main analogy comes from a Jim Carrey movie, IT'S A BAD SIGN.

Everything else is obviously bullshit, too, but that just took the pathetic crazy to whole new levels. TIDES, I TELL YOU!
romp 30th-Jun-2011 05:09 am (UTC)
+1
salienne 29th-Jun-2011 04:16 pm (UTC)
So he takes a strawman (well, more a partial rationale), fails miserably at disproving even that by side-stepping the point, and then ignores reality to tout the procreation bullshit. Nice.

I did find this part hilarious though:

Not quite: there are other consequences too. Massive tidal disruptions ensue around the globe. Thousands are washed away. Homes are ruined. All to be expected when you tinker with the moon.

THE WORLD WILL BE WROUGHT WITH HORROR AND DISASTER AND HORROR IF GAYS MARRY OH GOD
xpiscesgrl227x 29th-Jun-2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
BECAUSE I SAW IT HAPPEN IN THAT JIM CARREY MOVIE!!!
advancedcookie 29th-Jun-2011 04:16 pm (UTC)

Sorry, asswipe, God promised Noah "no more floods"!

But in all seriousness, I can't believe this douche actually referenced a Jim
Carey movie seriously.

lozbabie 29th-Jun-2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
I seriously need an icon with the picture of the moon and 'If you support gay marriage you're RUINING TIDES'

Or wittier.
palsmarties 29th-Jun-2011 04:18 pm (UTC)
Ah, this is the argument all the homophobic Athiests I know like to make. It seems even more ridiculous in print, somehow.
cyranothe2nd 29th-Jun-2011 08:14 pm (UTC)
Whaaaa? *is ashamed of douchebag atheists who don't utilize critical thinking*
fornikate 29th-Jun-2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
"And yet even as activists demand fundamental alterations to the institution of marriage, it is the intact biological family, headed by a mum and a dad in a permanent union with one another, which continues to be the foundational unit and fundamental building block of society. Always has been, always will be."

lol no it hasn't. take a fucking history class.
etherealtsuki 29th-Jun-2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
It's pretty astounding how people think how marriage has been for a century (even if that) means that it has been like that since forever.
iolarah 29th-Jun-2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
All of this is bound up in the one right, under Article 23, “to marry and to found a family”.
A) a family doesn't just mean babies; B) that's why they should be allowed to adopt if they want.

In short, I think his head is up his ass.
jwaneeta 29th-Jun-2011 04:42 pm (UTC)
there are other consequences too. Massive tidal disruptions ensue around the globe. Thousands are washed away. Homes are ruined. All to be expected when you tinker with the moon.

Okay then. The day all states afford marriage equality to everyone, I'll have my shit in a boat.
zombieroadtrip 29th-Jun-2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
I know when I need advice, I turn to the timeless wisdom of Jim Carrey movies.
escherichiacola 29th-Jun-2011 05:45 pm (UTC)
Well some are good but it'd probably be harder to make an analogy to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
aviv_b A Message to Tim29th-Jun-2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
Marriage, from a governmental point of view is a legal construct. Nothing more, nothing less. It used to be about who owns property, who has custody of children, who can inheret. But today this extends into areas like who can be covered by employer's health insurance (in the US), who has hospital visitation rights, who can make end of life decisions.

Apparently you believe that only straight people need these legal protections. You're wrong. As for 'visibility' I have no idea where you get this idea from, but maybe you could take your head out of your ass for a moment and look at the problems that happen when gay families aren't accorded the same protections under law that straight families have. Until then, please just STFU.

Edited at 2011-06-29 05:04 pm (UTC)
intrikate88 Re: A Message to Tim29th-Jun-2011 05:19 pm (UTC)
*STANDS UP AND APPLAUDS*

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