Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Non-religious Case Against Same Sex Marriage

 
You might recall the awful option faced by the title character in “Sophie’s Choice:” Pick one child or the other.  It’s not a choice any mother wants to make.  No matter what she chooses, her loss is unutterable.
Nor would any child want to make the same choice in reverse:  “Mommy or Daddy, Sally.  Pick one.”
But that is the ugly position into which same-sex marriage plunges children, except that the children themselves do not get to choose.  Someone else chooses for them.
No matter what you might think about same-sex marriage, we know this:  Any child raised under a same-sex union faces a tremendous loss -- either no Mommy or no Daddy.  In a union where two men or two women are involved, that’s always the outcome.  When Mommy picks a woman or Daddy picks a man as a life partner, the children always lose something enormously valuable and irreplaceable:  a mother or a father. 
That loss often has tragic consequences for a child.  If, for example, you are raised in a home with no father around, the odds that you will drop out of school, that you will take or sell drugs, that you will go to prison, that you will be poor, and that your children will suffer the same fate you did all skyrocket.  That same cycle of hopelessness and crime follows upon the absence of a mother.
When Mommy has sex with another woman, it doesn’t make that other woman a Daddy.  Having sex with Mommy doesn’t make you a Daddy any more than drinking milk makes you a calf.
The point here is not remotely homophobic.  The point here is not that Mommy and her lover, or Daddy and his, are to be shunned, much less hated.  The point here is that mothers and fathers are fundamentally important to the development of children, and therefore to the future of the nation, which depends upon the development and maturation of the next generation.  That works best when children have both a father and a mother.
         I say so because, according to a recent groundbreaking study by University of Texas scholar Mark Regnerus, we discover this (as summarized by The Family research Council):
         Compared to children who were raised in intact homes with both the biological father and mother present to raise them, the children of homosexual parents grow up to:
• Be Much more likely to receive welfare
• Have lower educational attainment
• Report more ongoing "negative impact" from their family of origin
• Be more likely to suffer from depression
• Have been arrested more often
• (If they are female) Have had more sexual partners--both male and female

 
         If they were the children of lesbian mothers, they are

 
• More likely to be currently cohabiting
• Almost 4 times more likely to be currently on public assistance
• Less likely to be currently employed full-time
• More than 3 times more likely to be unemployed
• Nearly 4 times more likely to identify as something other than entirely heterosexual
• Three times as likely to have had an affair while married or cohabiting
• An astonishing 10 times more likely to have been "touched sexually by a parent or other adult caregiver."
• Nearly 4 times as likely to have been "physically forced" to have sex against their will
• More likely to have "attachment" problems related to the ability to depend on others
• Use marijuana more frequently
• Smoke more frequently
• Have more often pled guilty to a non-minor offense

        None of these dire statistics seem to have much weight with the same sex marriage crowd.  Rather, they argue that marriage equality is rooted in human equality.  But that bogus argument does not work.  It moves illogically from one kind of equality to another.  The equality of all persons does not equal the equality of all lifestyles or all relationships.  For example, the mere fact that all persons are created equal does not mean that polygamy or incestual marriage ought therefore to be made legal.  You cannot move logically from the equality of persons to the equality of actions, choices, lifestyles, or relationships.  It simply does not follow.
        Same sex marriage advocates also argue that it is wrong to make value judgment about marriage.  Yet they allow themselves to make value judgments about who should get to marry.  Here again they fail logically.  By insisting that same sex unions ought to be considered marriages on a par with heterosexual marriages, they make a value judgment about marriages, both their own marriages and those of others.  If they are against making value judgments about marriage, then they have to stop saying what they say.  But of course they won't.  Rather, they press their judgments on others while, at the same time, refusing to permit others to make judgments.
        Let me clarify a point often misunderstood:  I am not saying that marriages without children are not marriages.  I never once said that or meant that.  I am saying that marriage and family go usually together.  I am talking about a common connection between marriage and family, not a necessary pre-condition for marriage.  Marriage and family are simply the usual mechanism of creating and nurturing the next generation.  But in the case of a homosexual union, that is naturally impossible.  And if you try to grant them by some other means the children nature denies them, then the children are statistically more likely to suffer bad consequences as a result, which is not the case with a heterosexual marriage.  Or, put differently, my wife and I have no children as yet.   I obviously do not argue that we have no marriage.  If we had children, it wouldn't as likely damage the children involved as would being raised by two men or two women, a situation that entails the significant loss of either mommy or daddy.  In short, wise governments and wise citizens do well always to remember that important and basic fact of life and to avoid making laws that undermine the traditional family and traditional family roles, which serve us and our offspring best. 
      The next time you consider the wisdom and propriety of same sex marriage, ask yourself this:  Which parent ought children do without, mommy or daddy?

39 comments:

Portia Conant said...

Hi Dr. Bauman, I'm a student at Hillsdale. Thank you for your blog post - it is compelling. Question: given your point in reference to "Heather Has Two Mommies," what would your response be to the objection that an adoptive mother is still considered a mother even though she didn't birth the child? Does adopting make you a Mommy, in other words? Or, is your point simply that only one person at a time could ever fulfill the gender role of either a Mother or Father, whether they are are adoptive or biological? Thanks!

jasonandheatheradams said...

It is my understanding that this article suggests that my friends who are single parents should find someone of the opposite sex to be the other parent of their children, and quick, because if you don't their child is likely to sell drugs or be a high school dropouts? Also, what about households where parents are divorced? I find that my daughters are BLESSED to have two sets of loving parents. They have two mommies and two daddies who all care and love each other like family - we just don't all live together. If this is the case - that children shouldn't have two mommies or two daddies then we're really screwed because our kids have both! Am I just the person my husband has sex with because I'm a stepparent? This guy says that having a mother and father is fundamental in raising a child. I say that having many people love the children and raise them is more important than who mommy and/or daddy loves.

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Anonymous said...

Well put.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

http://www.frc.org/issuebrief/new-study-on-homosexual-parents-tops-all-previous-research

Dr. Michael Bauman said...
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Dr. Michael Bauman said...

I won't do your homework for you. Do it yourself. But don't assume that just because on a blog site that if something is not cited for a point that no research stands behind it or that the research is old and irrelevant. Begin by checking the website noted above and then move out from there.

Perhaps I ought to point out the obvious to you: this is a blog site. I write blog posts, here, not articles, books, or academic research for peer-reviewed journals. One writes in a way suitable to the venue.

So, if you really want to argue with me, get your facts straight, and you won't do that by assuming I have mine wrong or that they don't exist. A blog works one way, academic research works another.

As for the ridiculous and snide comment by cowardly "anonymous" about not working in journalism, I wish to remind you that I was a member of the Newsweek editorial staff for 2 1/2 years. This is a blog, not a news magazine. They work according to very different rules. That can't be news to you, right?

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

I have disabled any further anonymous comments. Now you must speak in your own name and live with your words or else remain silent.

David Stutzman said...

You still haven't addressed the legitimate questions of foster parents, divorced parents, and no parents. Just because you were part of the Newsweek editorial staff doesn't mean your argument is above question.

Jordan Miller said...

I may be wrong, but as a student I feel that if one wishes to use material that someone else has researched, the researcher should at least get credited for it. Scholarly article or not. Especially when writing about what a study shows. Also, it would greatly reduce the misunderstandings between the writer and the reader.
This is just my opinion, but I feel that the research you used would be more credible if you had obtained it from a '.gov' or '.edu' site as opposed to a '.org' one.

Emily said...

As a writer, both blogging and newspaper, I have to agree with some of the comments here about citing your source. Even though this is a blog, and you have every right to post your opinion, you have presented your opinion as if it is irrefutable fact, and that is misleading. Also when you cite a source, especially on a web-based interface such as a blog, it is important to provide a link to the source.

You may also want to be a bit critical of what you read. I followed your link from the comments and read the article you are referring to. I found the language in which it was written to be clearly biased, and that could sway te reporting of the results. The link you had wasn't the original source, but a summary made by someone else. The information could be distorted after being interpreted several times by different people.

I also fundamentally disagree with the entire premise. Kids need strong, caring, loving role models in their life if they are to succeed. This comes in the form of moms, dads, grandparents, neighbors, teachers, aunts, uncles, etc. Being gay does not affect your ability to love and care for your child. Referring to the second parent merely as the person having sex with mommy/daddy is close-minded, ignorant, and degrading. It implies that they aren't capable of feeling compassion and caring to a child.

Emily said...

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/10/30/1110591/regnerus-admits-gay-parenting/?mobile=nc

Andrew Krystiniak said...

You discuss the importance of avoiding laws that "...undermine the traditional family and traditional family roles…"

I am curious as to what your opinion is on divorce/second-marriages and how these circumstances differ from same sex marriage in regards to undermining what you call the traditional family.

Jessica Love said...

Bro, this is the internet. It's virtually anonymous even when we use our own names. Or is mine going to be forever ingrained in your mind?

Honestly, the edit is much better. Thank you for clarifying.

Jessica Love said...
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Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Friends, (A reply in multiple parts because of the length limitations of the blog)

I apologize for the delay in my response. We are moving homes right now and the time I would have spent here is taken up in other pursuits, as you might well imagine.

First, definitions: One can define mommy and daddy in more ways than one, biologically or functionally, for example. These two ways are not interchangeable. That is, one can be a biological but not a well functioning mother, and one can be a well functioning though not biological mother. Ideally, they are the same -- ideally one's biological mother is also a well-functioning mother. But in reality they are not, reality rarely being ideal. Sometimes death, divorce, and personal failings of various sorts intrude themselves into the family. Because a government cannot, and ought not, intrude itself into the details of every troubled or dysfunctional family, it can only operate on a more general level. At that more general level, what sorts of things ought government to do, to endorse, or to recognize at law?

Second, generally speaking, the most prudential choice for government, it seems to me, is to endorse and protect what nature, not the most recent outburst of political correctness, provides -- namely, generally speaking, heterosexually parented families, which seem more likely to produce healthy, emotionally stable,and productive citizens than other arrangements generally do.

We know what happens when either one of the parents is missing, and in same-sex marriage one of them is always missing. Regnerus has shown what that missing parent means to children. He shows too, that mommy's girlfriend and daddy's boyfriend are not suitably functioning opposite sex role models. Seeing mommy or daddy relate to someone of the same sex is not as helpful a role model for future natural families as is watching a man and a woman relate well to each other in the give and take, and in the predictably unpredictable chaos, of daily married life.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Third, methodology: If you expect social science research to be beyond all dispute, then you live in a fantasy world. For various reasons, social science is not, and cannot be, beyond dispute. Yes, I know that some social scientists dispute Regnerus. I also know that other social scientists dispute the disputants. Neither the social scientist's research nor the disputes raised against the social scientist's work can be beyond dispute. Social science does not yield that kind of result, period. If you depend for your your proof upon it, you will wait forever. That's why I was arguing philosophically and historically, not statistically. I can imagine almost no argument of any sort from any discipline that would be finally compelling. The infinitely varied complications of human life do not normally conform to such academic conclusions.

For various reasons, the social sciences are deeply and irreparably flawed. That is the subject of a different blog post, and that flaw is some of why the Austrian school of economists prefer to think of economics philosophically rather than numerically. In that light, I am saying that prudence and history are a more useful guide than statistics in determining what government ought to do about marriage, and prudence is more philosophical (and its evidence is of a different sort) than mere statistics. The wisdom of the ages, hard won as it was in the crucible of life in a fallen world, is a better guide to wise living and prudent government than the latest social scientist's mathematical computations. Tradition shows that some things work better than others, and that over the centuries our ancestors slowly figured out what they were in many cases. In other words, do not discard the wisdom of the ages for the latest social scientist's calculations.

Put differently, if you think that humans and their actions are understood best by reducing them to integers and then massaging those integers via elaborate mathematical calculations, then you do not yet understand humans or human nature. Humans cannot be reduced to numbers without (literally) incalculable loss.

But to satisfy the lust some have for sociological numbers, I have included Regnerus's research in the article above, though that will not, as you can easily predict, convince the unconvinced. Nor will quoting opposite calculations.

We must use the best lights available to us, and in this case, history seems best to me. I see no substantial or compelling historical case for same-sex marriage. Since human nature is the same across the ages and the places, the lack of historical indicators seems to me enormously relevant and important. What are the historical and cultural indicators that same-sex marriage works as well as heterosexual marriage? I know of none. Perhaps you do. I am interested to hear them. And if you say there are no such indicators because almost everywhere such arrangements were discouraged and rejected, then please explain why that was, and please do so without insulting our ancestors, who were at least as wise, virtuous, and intelligent as we are, though not as technologically advanced.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Fourth, divorced parents are not an exception to the rule. We know that, generally speaking, divorce is tough on children and that it is generally not as good for them as a well and harmoniously functioning father and mother. Sometimes, and we cannot tell for certain when they are, it is better for the parents to divorce than to remain together. In such cases, we do the best we can: Because a mommy and a daddy are both so important in the development of stable persons, we try to keep access to both parents open to the children via visitation rights and other means. With whom, if anyone, the divorced parents live after divorce is not a small issue because it helps shape the next generation. That influence, malignant or benign as it might be, is a proper concern for the state, so the state needs to employ the same prudence there as it does with marriage. So in some cases it decides that one can, and sometimes one ought, to lose visitation rights. These cases are complicated and can never be adjudicated perfectly, especially not within the shrunken confines of a combox like this. The most we can do here, and in government, is to deal common-sensically on a general level. We always can find exceptions that contradict the general rule. But anecdotal argument like that is not a telling argument. If it were, I'd bring in the seven marriages and divorces of my mother and the four of my father. But that series of anactdotes would get us precisely nowhere.

Should a divorced person remarry? That is an anecdotal question, and there is no way, in advance, or without all the facts, to say for certain in each case. It would depend upon many factors, such as whom they married and what relationship, if any, still exists with the children's natural parent. The possible complications cannot be numbered. But, if you wish to think of it statistically, the incidence of molestation go up dramatically when a second husband or a boy friend enter the home. I suspect that virtually none of the divorced parents who permitted the new partner into the home either expected or condoned such activity from the person they now love. But there it is. According to Regnerus, a raised incidence of molestation also attends to same-sex marriage.

PS: Some say that the statistics regarding the deleterious effects of a missing parent are invalid here because they come from one-parent homes not two parent homes and that same-sex marriage posits a two parent home not one. That is wrong. First, it begs the question by asserting that mommy's same-sex partner and daddy's same-sex partner are actually parents, which is precisely what we are trying to decide. Second, the statistics come from welfare homes, but they are not homes with only adult. They are normally two-adult homes, not one-adult homes, though the adults are not usually married. That is one of the tragedies of welfare as we now do it: We say to young women that they can get money -- money for housing, food, clothing, education, and medicine -- if they have a child. If they want more money, they need to have another child -- but only by a different father. This makes it more likely that they will not have a natural father at home, but that there will be a man in the house, just a different one.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Finally, if you support same-sex marriage, on what basis could you possibly oppose polygamy? If you oppose neither same-sex marriage nor polygamy, are there any marriage variations at all you do not support, and why do you oppose them?

Monsieur Coquelicot said...

“according to a recent groundbreaking study by University of Texas scholar Mark Regnerus”

Not as groundbreaking as The American Independent recent revelations.

Donald Williams said...

I keep hearing that infertile couples or couples that marry too late in life to have children are somehow "legitimate arguments" against the connection between marriage and family. Really? Let's back up a step. The complemntarity between men and women that makes the conception of children possible is not unrelated to the complementarity that makes a man-woman team the best matrix for the rearing of those children (see the Regnerus report cited above). And that complementarity has always been seen as an essential part of what marriage is, whether children actually eventuate from it or not. Therefore, a close friendship or partnership between two people of the same gender, while it can be a wonderful thing, is simply not the same thing as a marriage. Calling it marriage only leads to confusion. Abraham Lincoln was once asked, "If you call a horse's tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have?" "Four," Lincoln replied. "Calling the tail a leg does not make it one."

Emily said...

"Finally, if you support same-sex marriage, on what basis could you possibly oppose polygamy?"

"I support same-sex marriage because I see no difference between it and 'traditional' marriage. Two people fall in love and commit to each other for the rest of their lives, sometimes raising a family. Love is love, whether it is found between a man and a woman, two men, or two women. To be honest, I don't know how I feel about polygamist marriage because I haven't done much research on it or met any polygamist families. If the polygamist marriage is one born of genuine love for all members involved, who am I to judge them? Why are my personal preferences relevant?

You also asked if there was any form of marriage I don't support, and there are. Any marriage that wasn't completely consensual, or is harmful to one or more members. This includes globally and historically when women had little to no say in who they were marrying. Fathers could basically sell their daughters in order to make ends meet. Women sometimes were forced to marry their rapists to preserve their 'honor'.

Another type of marriage I don't agree with is the kind whose sole purpose is publicity. Celebrities who use marriage as a tool to get the public talking about them, and then get divorced soon after are the ones 'ruining what marriage stands for' to quote some of the arguments against same-sex marriage.

Emily said...

Also, what is your response to this article about an interview with Mark Regnerus regarding his research you cited in your blog, where he himself says his findings weren't strong enough to draw the conclusions that have been drawn?
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/10/30/1110591/regnerus-admits-gay-parenting/?mobile=nc

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Emily,
No one is talking about your personal preferences as preferences but about on what basis you hold them, the thought processes upon which they are grounded. To expose the thought processes is to help us think well through the issue of same sex marriage.

If you are going to make love the basis of legalized marriage, then how do you propose that the government detect love so that it can grant legally married status to those involved? Shall we have a love detecting agency in government, a bureaucracy of love detection that must grant approval before a marriage license is granted? Or if you think that consent grants legitimacy, recall that folks can and do consent to what is evil and harmful; they also dissent from what is good. Consent does not mend the matter at all, and it dos not grant legitimacy. We cannot argue that because folks consent to it, it is be underscored by government license.

And what sort of harm disqualifies a potential marriage from being a marriage? Only physical harm? What about spiritual, emotional, or financial harm? Are you saying we ought to trust government to detect harm and to refuse to grant marriage licenses in advance of harm, or to suspend them in the wake of harm? Your two proposals regarding love and harm can never be made into workable law, which is why they never have been. How, in the real world, ought we to decide which ostensible marriages are and which are not worthy of license?

Andrew Krystiniak said...

First, I’d like to address a quote from the article you have so generously linked to us regarding the study performed by Regnerus.

“Author Mark Regnerus emphasizes the traditional caveat in social science, warning against leaping to conclusions regarding "causality." In other words, just because there are statistical correlations between having a homosexual parent and experiencing negative outcomes does not automatically prove that having a homosexual parent is what caused the negative outcomes--other factors could be at work.”

Knowing that the very author of this study warns that the data collected is not sufficient to provide causality, how can you ethically use this study to enforce your claims?

Second, I notice you argue that the government must “…endorse and protect what nature, not the most recent outburst of political correctness, provides.”

Do you also protest in vitro fertilization or caesarean sections? Neither of these occurs anywhere else in the natural world, yet they are common procedures done by humans because they allow those (who are not be able to reproduce naturally) to enjoy the wonders of parenthood.

By your logic, those who cannot reproduce naturally should legally not be able to reproduce at all. Humans have evolved passed their biological limitations; comparisons between humans and the rest of the natural world are invalid because there are no species with the capabilities of humans. If you are going to continue to use this argument, then you must also protest most if not all medical procedures, as they conflict with what “nature provides.”

I look forward to a response on the questions I have raised Mr. Bauman.

Anna Paul said...

You still haven’t responded to your lack of connection between the legalization of homosexual marriages and polygamous/incestuous marriages. You’ll recall that that was the original reason I commented. I don’t think that Regnerus (the only study or data set that you have in your blog post) or his study has said anything about polygamy or incest. You’re making leaps in logic, resulting in a continuum fallacy. I see by your comment responses that you are continuing to use this logic.

To respond to your Regnerus data, in your blog you’ve addressed the fact that “the social sciences are deeply and irreparably flawed”. However you still present the results of a highly disputed study as if it were fact, a point which other commenters on your blog have also pointed out. I’m not suggesting that we wait forever for indisputable proof from the social sciences. But presenting findings of a disputable social science study as if they were indisputable is very misleading to your readers. Regnerus himself has said that his findings are not strong enough to make any statement to homosexual parenting cases outcomes and warns against “leaping to causality” (in direct contrast to your statement was “a cause/effect connection backed up by the statistics garnered by Regnerus.”)

You say that prudence and history are a more useful guide. But we cannot rely on prudence and history alone. Up until the emancipation, history and prudence would have also said that slavery was acceptable. The same goes making the prohibition of interracial marriage and voting rights for women. It was once biblically and morally required to sell your daughter to her rapist. I agree that the human race has made great progress, but who says that we are done learning? What makes you so sure that we won’t change our mind about homosexual unions as we have done so many times in the past? If everyone relied only on prudence and history, there would be no progress and we would continue to make the same mistakes and discriminate and oppress.

It’s important that we realize that we humans are still amassing history and have not figured everything out yet. Rather, we must constantly re-evaluate new information. Although some traditions originally had good intentions behind them, they may no longer be relevant to today’s society. Traditions can perpetuate injustices and preclude the adoption of better ways of doing things.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Anna,
Talk about missing the point; you have misconstrued every point I just made in my previous post. Further, in your previous post, you completely avoided every point I made earlier. Now you do it again while accusing me of it! (1) I did not say Regnerus was not sound science. I said social science itself was questionable and that I prefer not to employ it here. If you'd like to avoid it, fine. But if you are going to require statistical evidence, then do not make ridiculous criticisms when I provide that sort of evidence for you. (2) I made reference to the dearth of historical evidence regarding the benefits of same-sex marriage. You provided none. You simply noted a few places where homosexual relationships were prominent, which is not the same thing. You thought you were making a historical point, but were (A) simply conflating different things into one, (B) neglecting to provide historical evidence of SSM's benefits, and then (C) accusing me of ethnocentrism. (3) You suggest discarding talk about polygamy. That will be appropriate if indeed the thinking behind polygamy and SSM is actually different. But if the justification for the two issues go together, then why leave it out except that you find it intellectually inconvenient? Are the justifications for the two issues the same or not? What are they? If they are indeed the same, then to leave it out is arbitrary and unjustifiable. If they are different, we will leave it out. If they are the same, then no. (4) My historical argument is that no culture's or nation's past demonstrates that same-sex marriage is good for the culture, the nation, or the children. If you find evidence that it is, I'll listen. So far nothing. By saying that I see no historical evidence in support of the benefits of same-sex marriage is not ethnocentrism, despite your silly assertion. I see none anywhere -- ancient, medieval, or modern, eastern or western. I have seen no evidence or any sort, statistical or historical, that we ought now and here to redefine marriage and legalize the re-definition. But I have shown you contemporary statistical evidence that same-sex marriage is bad for the children raised under it. (5) If you want statistics regarding the deleterious effects of SSM, you have them. But if you are a stats person, you have provided none in support of your view. If you are not a stats person, if you do not welcome statistical evidence, then what evidence do you seek? If you want to turn to history to support the idea that SSM is good for the culture, the nation, or the children, nothing you've cited supports the notion that we ought to legalize it. If you want to make a philosophical case, then make it. (6) Finally, you did not answer any question I raised to you in the previous post or provide any of the evidence I requested.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Andrew,
Divorce laws and remarriage laws do not undermine traditional marriage. They are still man/woman arrangements. They aid in that pursuit because they wisely recognize that marriages can go bad and they therefore provide a way out so that another, hopefully better, traditional marriage might be formed. Opening the way to a better traditional marriage is not against traditional marriage.

Your foray into medical procedures is beside the point because medicine and its various procedures are not contrary to nature. Medicines, for example, are often drawn directly from nature. Further, the human mind is natural and along with it the sometimes ingenious things that the natural mind can devise in support of nature and of health, things like medicines and surgery. Toward that same natural and healthful end, anal sex does not qualify. Indeed, it sometimes radically undermines the health of the natural body. A passageway meant for excremental excretion turns out not to be a healthy place to practice intercourse or to ejaculate. Tragically, bad things can, and too often do, happen to those who engage in such activities, be they heterosexual or homosexual.

Andrew Krystiniak said...

My “foray” into medical procedures is NOT beside the point; it is actually quite pertinent to your argument about what is “natural.” What I am arguing is that as time progresses, what is accepted as “natural” among humans progresses too. Unlike other animal species, humans are not solely dependent on physical evolution, our superior mental capacity allows for much more complexity in changes.

I’m glad that you agree that the human mind is capable of coming up with ingenious solutions to overcome mankind’s struggles. While some of these struggles are physical and easily observable such as medical conditions, some are social and much more opaque.

Marriage itself is not a biological necessity. Marriage is a solution that was created by humans to establish an emotional and sexual relationship between two people that provides both partners with means to overcome struggles that they would otherwise be forced to face alone. In addition it also used as a way to overcome the many struggles associated with raising such complex offspring as the human being. It is important to remember that marriage is not simply a tool used for reproduction, marriage and reproduction can be separate entirely. This is why two heterosexual humans who are unable to reproduce are still allowed to marry and raise children that are not biologically theirs, and this is why those children can still be raised in a healthy environment.

Homosexuality is a natural solution that has been rationally and naturally come to by human beings in order to overcome the struggle to connect with another human being on an intimate and emotional level, a struggle that is faced by many. Why is it that homosexuals are not able to use marriage as the same logical conclusion to the problems they face just as heterosexual humans have?

The human species is vastly complex and has achieved many great things by providing unique solutions to the unique and ever changing struggles that they face. You would not expect an engineer to design a roadway in a rural area the same as in a metropolitan one, just as you should not expect a homosexual person to find love the same way as a heterosexual one. At the end of the day a rural road serves the same purpose and achieves the same goal as a metropolitan one, a road is still a road, love is still love, and same-sex marriage should still be marriage.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Andrew,
Marriage is not a biological necessity. It is a cultural necessity. For that reason, it is not merely a raw human invention that could just as well have taken any shape we felt like giving it. Marriage is our response to the requirements, or necessities, of human nature, which are, of course, natural.

If, as I said in my previous comment, medicine and surgeries are natural given their root in the human mind as it seeks to understand and to heal natural human bodies, then it seems to me that we are to think of marriage as natural too. Marriage is a necessary and prudent response to the natural requirements of human persons and their particular style of flourishing. Even now, in our post-industrial society, we need children to help us with our labors when they are old enough to help, and with our health and survival when we are too old to do it for ourselves. Biology provides for the production of children, marriage and family for their nurture, growth, and safety, all of which I think of as natural for human beings given human nature, something to which same-sex marriages cannot contribute, being necessarily childless and, in that sense, biological dead ends. Human beings are, by nature, familial. Those families are biologically rooted and the result of human nature and its requirements.

Andrew Krystiniak said...

Yes Michael I do agree that marriage is a "cultural necessity" and that "Marriage is a necessary and prudent response to the natural requirements of human persons and their particular style of flourishing." Which is precisely why I believe homosexual marriage is equivalent to heterosexual marriage, because it is the same logical conclusion to the same set of circumstances faced by all humans, regardless of "their particular style of flourishing."

I would also like to remind you that your argument suggests that the marriages of heterosexuals who are physically and biologically unable to reproduce are not equal to those who can. As I have said, marriage is a response to the biological needs of our species as well as our social needs, but these need not always be connected. We do not outcast those who are not fortunate enough to know the wonders of child birth, nor do we disallow them the privilege of parenthood through adoption, just as we should not outcast or oppress those who find love and compatibility with those of the same sex.

We are fortunate as a species to have moved past the point where every action is a necessity for life. We should celebrate the differences and complexity of our species and allow it to change as it has for many years.

That sir, is why I believe it is morally wrong and a supreme injustice to deprive members of our society a "cultural necessity" which is their cultural and legal right to equal marriage.

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Andrew,

First, thank you for your continued attention to this issue and for your careful writing and good will. Well done!

Second, I said nothing of the sort that you allege I implied about childless marriages. I talked about why heterosexual marriages developed, not that childless marriages aren’t full marriages or were for that reason unequal. I talked about flourishing, health, and survival. Those seem like the historical explanation behind the development of heterosexual marriages. I also explained how homosexual marriages do not provide those things, and sometimes undermine them, as in the awful case of AIDS. Childless marriages, by virtue of their being childless, do not. Childless couples might participate in the same potentially destructive activities as homosexual couples, and as a consequence might reap the same sad result, but those consequences follow upon the activities, not upon childlessness.

Might homosexual folks find in each other deep connection, joy, and support? Yes, of course. Does that mean that their relationship is the same as a heterosexual marriage and ought to be included under that category and accorded the same cultural and political support? No. I see no reason why "friendship" is not a better and more accurate description of the relationship in view here than is "marriage." I suspect that in many good marriages the two persons are great friends. But that does not mean that great friends or a great friendship equals a marriage.

Andrew Krystiniak said...

I assure you I was not trying to twist your words about childless marriages, I merely wanted to point out that in your argument heterosexual couples without children and homosexuals seem to fall in the same category. You say, “same-sex marriages cannot contribute, being necessarily childless and, in that sense, biological dead ends.” This suggests that any person who cannot contribute (you could easily have replaced ‘same-sex’ with ‘childless’ in this sentence) to society through childbirth has nothing else to offer, which I believe is extremely degrading and inaccurate.

I find the differences you provide between homosexual couples and childless marriages quite thin. I refuse to ban homosexual marriages based on your argument that they “sometimes undermine” the health and survival of the human species, when you also clearly state, “Childless couples might participate in the same potentially destructive activities as homosexual couples.” Your use of the words “sometimes” and “might” suggests that you understand that there is a portion of the human species that will engage in destructive behavior regardless of sexuality, but that this is not representative of all unions or our species as a whole, otherwise you would have used words like “always” or “will.”

The fact that you understand the similarities between homosexual unions and childless marriages suggests that you are consciously basing your position on this matter solely on personal beliefs rather than evidence or logic. It seems to me that if your position were to be based on logic you would recognize these similarities and consider changing some of the points of your argument.

I agree that for the most part families are biologically rooted, but as I have stated previously not all families are biologically rooted, nor can they all be biologically rooted. Adoption is a wonderful example of mankind’s solution to one of its struggles. Adoption is a way to provide a parentless child to a loving family, a family who may not be able to biologically have a child of their own. Your argument suggests (whether that is your intention or not) that any family that is not biologically rooted is somehow not a valid family.

I agree 100% that the institution of marriage was created with heterosexual unions in mind, I don’t think anybody will dispute that, nor am I trying to convey the idea that heterosexual unions are not important to the survival of our species, which is also a fact that can certainly not be disputed, but as we have both mutually recognized in this discussion, the ability to procreate is not a prerequisite for marriage, which necessitates the removal of homosexuals inability to procreate from this discussion.

We have agreed that marriage is a cultural necessity, which is why I am of the belief that it is important to afford that necessity to the homosexual community, in order to encourage a wider range of familial participation in our species.

Id like to re state that I am not accusing you of anything, I am merely stating the way I have come to understand your argument, I welcome any input or clarification on these matters.

Andrew Krystiniak said...

Mr. Bauman, I was wondering if you wished to comment on the recent Supreme Court ruling on DOMA? I haven't heard a response from you on the issues I brought up in my last comment a few months back, and I thought now would be an excellent opportunity to pick up the issue.