NOMsense, plain and simple (minded)

NOM has filed an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit arguing for Prop 8.  They call it “dynamite.”  I call it a mess.  I’ll leave the legal analysis to the lawyers, but I have to point out some of the worst bits of logic or my head will explode (hey, maybe that’s why it’s “dynamite”).

One bit made me especially crazy.  NOM has a section titled, Evidence from Massachusetts also suggests a weakening in the marriage culture following implementation of same-sex marriage.

I perked up because I haven’t heard of any ill-effects in Massachusetts.  What could it be?  Two things actually: misleading statistics and circular reasoning.

Misleading statistics

First, NOM relies on a claim made by the Prop 8 side:

Indeed, the Massachusetts data relied upon by the district court shows that both the divorce rate and the marriage rate actually changed for the worse from 2004 to 2007.

Really?  Let’s graph the data.

marriage-divorce-MASS

  • We do see a tiny uptick in the divorce rate from 2004-2007.  But 2008 and 2009 give us the lowest rates of the decade!  All this data was available when they filed this brief on September 17, so why didn’t they use it?
  • We see a decline in marriage rates from 2004-2009, but (unlike the divorce rates), these numbers are within recent historical norms.

Frankly, based on these numbers, it’s hard to say ending marriage discrimination helped or hurt the “marriage culture” in Massachusetts.  So what’s NOM’s other strategy?

Circular reasoning

Here’s an amazing lapse in logic.  NOM provides this as evidence of harm:

In 2009, amicus curiae National Organization for Marriage commissioned a survey in Massachusetts of attitudes about marriage five years into that state’s experiment with same-sex marriage. The survey found that in the five years since gay marriage became a reality in Massachusetts, support for the idea that the ideal is a married mother and father dropped from 84 percent to 76 percent.

Do you see the circle?

NOM circular

Actually, here’s a much better spin on NOM’s survey:

In states where residents have first-hand experience with married same-sex parents, the population becomes more accepting of same-sex parents.  Ignorance and second-hand knowledge help opponents of same-sex parenting, while direct contact and personal experience favor proponents.

Now, to be fair, NOM does try to make an argument that a married mom and dad are the ideal, but they do so by using another form of dishonesty.

Misusing research

NOM’s brief quotes a researcher:

[F]amily structure matters for children, and the family structure that helps the most is a family headed by two-biological parents in a low-conflict marriage. Children in single-parent families, children born to unmarried mothers, and children in stepfamilies or cohabiting relationships face higher risks of poor outcomes. . . . There is thus value for children in promoting strong, stable marriages between biological parents.

As usual, there’s something missing in this litany of sub-optimal family structures:  parents who adopt a child at birth.  But NOM has long been willing to throw adoptive parents under the bus in order to keep gays in their place.  They also claim research shows married biological parents are better than same-sex parents, using research that didn’t even look at same-sex parents.  That’s a nice lead-in to the last bunch of errors I’ll look at.

Straw men and non sequiturs

Actually, the title above isn’t strong enough to capture the essence of NOM’s brief.  It’s more like a straw army marching in random directions.  For instance:

The trial court rejected this first view [of marriage], asserting that procreation has never been a purpose of marriage because elderly people and infertile people have always been allowed to marry.

Really?  Actually, really no.  The judge didn’t claim procreation has never been a purpose of marriage, merely that it is not the sole or necessary purpose.

Here’s another one:

Reasonable people may believe that marriage promotes the state’s interest in encouraging children to be born to a mother and father who are committed both to one another and to the children their union may create.

Ooo, this one’s slick.  Who’s going to say they want to discourage such a thing?  We all want a child’s parents to be committed to each other.  But if my mom were still alive, she’d stand up like a Mama Grizzly between NOM and my adopted brother and state in clear terms of frightening authority that a child’s real parents may not be the biological parents.  So if NOM truly wanted to strengthen the commitment between parents, they’d be eager for same-sex parents to marry.

And this:

If two men are a marriage, then marriage is clearly, and in a new public way, no longer about procreation, no longer about natural parenthood, and no longer about connecting mothers and fathers to children.

Some version of “natural parent” appears three times in the brief, and “natural family” is in there twice.  “Natural” is a great term: it feels so, well, natural.  And of course the opposite would be “unnatural,” as in, I don’t know, “unnatural acts.”  If you’re seeking out loaded words, “natural” is near the top of your list.  Plus, it allows you to avoid terms with clear meaning, like “biological” and “adoptive.”  That’s crucial for NOM, because we all know biological parents can be crap while adoptive parents can be a godsend.

I’d also like to point out that we can take NOM’s logic and rewrite their quote like this:

If a childless couple is allowed to adopt a baby, then marriage is clearly, and in a new public way, no longer about procreation, no longer about natural parenthood, and no longer about connecting mothers and fathers to their natural children.

And nobody’s buying that taco.

Actually NOM is obsessed with procreation.  So much so that they act like nothing about children matters except procreation. Think that’s extreme?  Check this out:

If same-sex unions are deemed just the same as unions of husband and wife, it becomes difficult to see how marriage could have any public relationship to its great historic task of producing families in which the mother and father who make the baby raise the baby in love together. This court will have declared that marriage is not about children; rather it is primarily about adult interests, with no particular relationship to children at all.

No particular relationship to children at all?   They’re saying that if a married couple (of any sort) didn’t “make” the baby they’re raising, then their marriage has nothing to do with children.  I can’t wrap my head around that.

Also notice that NOM doesn’t bother to argue that same-sex marriage will disconnect marriage from child-rearing; they merely say “it becomes difficult to see” how it wouldn’t.  That’s not an argument; it’s just a confession of blindness.

Lord, lord, lord.  Misleading statistics, circular reasoning, misused research, straw men, and non sequiturs.  This isn’t a legal brief, it’s a horror show from Freshman English.

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44 comments to NOMsense, plain and simple (minded)

  • 1
    clayton says:

    If marriage is so primarily and inseparably tied to childbearing, how come procreation, child birth and children are never mentioned a single time in the traditional wedding vows?

  • 2
    TomTallis says:

    Bravo!!

  • 3
    Miriam says:

    This whole stupid line of reasoning makes me feel like my marriage to my spouse is ONLY valid because we have different bits between our legs that we can use to make kids. It makes me feel gross…my marriage is about the love and commitment I have for my spouse, not the fact that we can bump uglies and make babies.
    NOM makes me want to hurl.

  • 4
    Miriam says:

    sorry, that comment was kinda gross.

  • 5
    robtish says:

    Actually, Miriam, that may be one of my favorite comments ever.

  • 6
    Neil says:

    The constant appeals to nature, the fixation on reproduction and emphasis on putative best outcomes for the species is beginning to stir in my mind conspiratorial notions that NOM is operating from a hidden agenda.

    As we know, NOM stands for National Organization for Marriage, but Nom is also an abbreviation for nominal. NOM is nominally an advocacy body lobbying against any gender related reform to the institution of marriage. It’s clear from the blog entry above that their stated purpose is unsupported by reason.

    Could it be that Ms Gallagher and the hierarchy of NOM are really a bunch of radical evolutionary biologists who see in humanity nothing but manifold behavioural strategies in the service of bringing together sperm and ova? They keep harping on about how same-sex marriage redefines the institution. Might that be a diversionary tactic so no one notices that it is they who want to do the redefining? If they get their way, marriage will change from being the union of two people to have and to hold and to love honour and cherish. NOM will see marriage become a fertility contract.

    It wont end with this so called defense of marriage. Surely NOM will try for a state of affairs where everything you do will have to be justified in terms of your gametes meeting their chromosomal compliment. Want to go bowling? It better be something to do with courting your future spouse whose gonads have been certified functional by an approved medical authority.

    It’s the new way. Human beings shall be deemed life support systems for testes and ovaries. Parenting will become the nurturing of the testes and ovaries of tomorrow. Virgins past their prime will have a lot of explaining to do.

  • 7
    Bobby in Seattle says:

    Correlation does NOT equal causation!!!

    Does NOM honestly expect me (or any rational thinking human being for that matter) to believe that heterosexual couples are conscientiously deciding NOT to marry because gays are now allowed?? Seriously?? If that is the case, that alone is enough to make my head explode.

    Also, I can’t help but feel that NOM’s writings don’t reflect the reality that over 50% of heterosexual marriages end in divorce, which has been happening long before the issue of same-sex marriage entered into the debate. It’s as though something magical happens, when a heterosexual couple states their wedding vows, or something. And, that somehow, allowing same-sex couples to marry makes marriage an ugly, disgusting institution (insert images of satan and hell fire). The hardest part for me to grasp is their argument(s) is based mostly on some fantasy world that doesn’t exist, and none is based in reality.

  • 8
    Lymis says:

    More to the point, nowhere in any of the civil paperwork involving getting either a marriage license nor having a married documented is there any mention of either fertility of any kind, much less mutual fertility.

    It is a set of questions the government never even bothers to ask, so it’s hard to make a case that it is the central interest in allowing people to make the contract, and that anyone who doesn’t meet the standard has always been excluded.

    That would be like claiming that the whole point of a driver’s license is to have a place to eat fast food. And for a driver’s license, you need to pass a TEST, unlike getting a marriage license.

  • 9
    Mick in detroit says:

    No Bobby, they are not expecting “rational thinking human beings” to agree with them. They expect a partisan SCOTUS to though. And that is all that really matters. It’s sad that such drivel will be enshrined in Scalia’s majority opinion (like he’s going to allow anyone else to write it?) in about 5 years.

  • 10
    oddjob says:

    It’s sad that such drivel will be enshrined in Scalia’s majority opinion (like he’s going to allow anyone else to write it?) in about 5 years.

    If Roberts is on that majority it would be up to him to decide who will write the opinion rather than Scalia.

    I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that SCOTUS will uphold Prop. 8 if it gets to them. Do please remember that the two landmark SCOTUS rulings supporting gay equality were both written by Justice Kennedy. If the court in five years is composed of today’s justices Kennedy would have to agree with the conservatives for Prop. 8 to be upheld. He’s already twice indicated, in eloquent opinions, that he can be persuaded to rule with the liberals when it comes to gay equality.

  • 11
    Ed says:

    Many scientific studies demonstrate the importance of red roses in a flower arrangement: cigarette butts, dirty socks, and spoiled fish clearly produce an inferior aroma. Therefore we must ban non-red roses from flower bouquets.

  • 12
    tavdy79 says:

    Miriam, it was a little gross but far more fabulous and (most importantly) totally true. Never apologise for honesty.

    (n.b. from this point my tongue is so firmly in my cheek that if I push any harder I’ll open up a new mouth for myself)

    Neil, that sounds kinda logical except for one thing: surely if NOM wanted to improve the genetic stock of the human species through some kind of misguided eugenics program they would be trying to keep gay couples out of the breeding pool? Perhaps NOM should be spending more time & money on preventing someone like Keith MacDonald from polluting the gene-pool more than he already has. After all, someone unable to work because of a “bad back” (I have to wonder how a man with a bad back can father fifteen kids!) is hardly high-class breeding material. But no doubt Maggie & Brian will claim that Mr. MacDonald is a better choice as a father than someone like Rob Tisinai simply because his quantity-over-quality preference means he screws as many women as he can con into his bed, rather than staying with just one man. Which just goes to prove how desperately Maggie & Brian need long-term attention from some nice people in white coats…

    [/tongue in cheek]

    Bobby, if you want something to shoot the whole “gay marriage increases straight divorce” argument out of the water, check out the historical divorce rates for Denmark. They rose steadily through most of the second half of the last century, then levelled off at the end of the 1980s, which was around the time the country legalised Registered Partnerships (1989). I’m pretty sure something similar happened in Sweden as well. Coincidence? Causation? I have to wonder.

  • 13
    Mistereks says:

    Can someone PLEASE start asking the NOM sorts this question?: Even if it were determined that children do better in homes where they are raised by both a man and a woman, how does denying marriage equality increase the number of children growing up in these homes?

  • 14
    Jon says:

    It would be great to ask the NOM folks these questions, Mistereks, but they will never sit down to answer them. That’s why trials are so great — you can’t just make claims without taking any accountability for their truth, because the other side gets to ask you hard questions that require you to back up those claims. Some think that’s one reason so many of the witnesses the supporters of Prop 8 said they would bring at trial evaporated — none of them wanted to have to answer real questions about the claims they make.

  • 15
    Regan DuCasse says:

    Mistereks,
    The problem with asking NOM anything is that they don’t lend themselves to forums they don’t feel are in agreement with them or that they don’t control.
    I’ve noticed a hiding away of the anti equality crowd FROM actual logical and forthright dissent.
    Notice how witnesses for the defense of Prop. 8 didn’t want to show up, or have cameras in the courtroom, and disguised their cowardice as fear of the big, bad, radical hordes of homosexuals.

    I had an online exchange directly with Brian Brown. Stated my background with law enforcement and encouraged him to fight domestic violence instead of denying gay people the ability to take care of each other and THEIR families.
    All people were better served by addressing and fighting an urgent issue that wipes out whole families, endangers especially women and children. Even people not directly associated with a family, because domestic violence spills over into other areas. Mass shootings in workplaces and churches have been precipitated by domestic violence.

    That’s when BB decided to not speak to me anymore and without even ANSWERING such a plea at all.

    Their priorities, and inability to even defend them are not only strange, but serve NOTHING that’s beneficial to anything or anyone.
    Bans against marriage for gay people is inert and doesn’t ‘protect’ actual marriage, families or children.
    But DOES effectively harm the option for gay people.
    As we all know.
    But those things that are DIRECTLY destructive and have exponential risks, like the economic downturn that not only lowers the incentive to marry, but also puts families at risk of breaking up, doesn’t concern them as much as gay people being self reliant and happy.

    Which, is the right of all Americans. And certainly isn’t NOM’s right to stop it.

    Cowards and liars are destructive to a lot of things too. And the top part of NOM is no exception in having that kind of character.

  • 16
    palerobber says:

    Mistereks @ 3:02pm,

    this is a very important point. there’s a reason the anti-marriage people lean on the “optimal family” argument – it’s intuitive and persuasive. but it’s also illogical in a way that’s not too hard to understand if explained.

    as you point out, even if one accepts the dubious premise that encouraging ideal family composition is a legitimate state interest, excluded gays from marriage does nothing to further that interest.

    it was the Varnum decision in Iowa that first made this very plain to me:

    We begin with the County’s argument that the goal of the same-sex marriage ban is to ensure children will be raised only in the optimal milieu. In pursuit of this objective, the statutory exclusion of gay and lesbian people is both under-inclusive and over-inclusive. The civil marriage statute is under-inclusive because it does not exclude from marriage other groups of parents [...] that are undeniably less than optimal parents. [...] The ban on same-sex marriage is substantially over-inclusive because not all same-sex couples choose to raise children. [...] At the same time, the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from marriage is under-inclusive [because] the statute does not prohibit same-sex couples from raising children. [...] In the end, a careful analysis of the over- and under-inclusiveness of the statute reveals it is less about using marriage to achieve an optimal environment for children and more about merely precluding gay and lesbian people from civil marriage.

  • 17

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NickBaumann and Ryan Mack, Ryan P. Mack. Ryan P. Mack said: NOMsense – National Organization "for" Marriage's Prop 8 amicus brief dissected http://bit.ly/cVSYfi [...]

  • 18
    clayton says:

    Miriam–love the first comment!

  • 19
    Steve T. says:

    Have you noticed that “natural” is held up as an ideal only when the subject is sex? (That and high-priced food.) Otherwise we pride ourselves on surpassing nature. Do a list: eyeglasses, cars, air-conditioning, skyscrapers, J/O lube, airplanes, vaccines, computers, superhighways, vibrators, glazed windows, electric lights, radio, chemotherapy, television, books, photography, the Fleshlight, cooked food, frozen food, comfy chairs, toilets, comfy toilets, pharmaceuticals, condoms, and on and on. All of these are about surpassing, transcending the limitations nature would impose on us. Would you give up any of them solely to live a more “natural” lifestyle? I wouldn’t, and I’d bet NOM’s members wouldn’t either. (Not that any of them would admit to owning a Fleshlight.)

    But sex? Natural! Natural! Natural! The ONLY way to go!

  • 20
    dean says:

    “Stated my background with law enforcement and encouraged him to fight domestic violence instead of denying gay people the ability to take care of each other and THEIR families…

    That’s when BB decided to not speak to me anymore and without even ANSWERING such a plea at all.”

    Let’s all realize NOM is SOLELY about Christianist power grabs through PUNISHMENT OF GAYS. NOM fix marriage? Feh.

  • 21
    Mistereks says:

    @Palerobber. Thanks. It’s a question I ask pretty much anyone who opposes marriage equality. (Because they ALWAYS get to the “kids deserve a mom and a dad” argument.) No one ever has an answer. But it’s a question I rarely see by those who are more visible than I in standing up for equality. I did notice it was a question that was asked of both sides in the pre-trial phase of Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

  • 22
    Ben in Oakland says:

    Mistereks: One good approach on that track is to point out that the question is not a choice between same-sex and opposite-sex parents, but between same-sex parents and NO parents.

  • 23
    Jim says:

    Doesn’t your Massachusets graph show that marriage rates were already in decline, and same-sex marriage perked it up and the gradual drop in demand has only now brought the rates back to 2003 levels? SSM saved marriage, apparently.

  • 24
    Anonymous says:

    If marriage were really ALL about procreation, wouldn’t it be natural to expect marriage laws to thoroughly address that aspect? But from a legal standpoint, marriage does not require procreation, and procreation does not require marriage.

    NOM had to create a veneer to camouflage their raw animus, and turned to the classic, “protect the children,” which can always be counted upon to seduce the ignorant masses – at least for awhile.

  • 25

    This whole stupid line of reasoning makes me feel like my marriage to my spouse is ONLY valid because we have different bits between our legs that we can use to make kids.

    Actually, you’re reading it exactly backwards.

    Society has deemed it a good idea to extend marriage to you because you and your spouse have, in the course of your normal interaction with each other, the capability to produce children — and it is in society’s best interest that you commit to raising and providing for the children you have. Hence, society provides you with an accelerated legal structure and subsidy for doing exactly that, with financial, civil, and criminal penalties if you choose not to hold up your end of the bargain and take care of the children your activity produces.

    Marriage would not exist if opposite-sex couplings did not invariably result in children. The reason procreation is nowhere written into the marriage laws is because marriage is a reaction to the reality of procreation, not a cause of it. Opposite-sex couplings have to take exceptional measures to AVOID having children in the vast majority of circumstances; the only ones that cannot are those who are unable due to age or some other form of biological damage.

    Hence, marriage is irrelevant to same-sex groupings, because same-sex groupings will never under any circumstances result in procreation. Same-sex couplings are without exception infertile. Same-sex groupings will never result in children and offer no other societal benefit — and thus neither need nor justify any sort of specialized legal structure or subsidy.

    This much is obvious in the rants of the gay-sex marriage supporters. All they can talk about is “equality” and whine how “unfair” it is that they aren’t allowed to do what others do — which, given the differences between opposite-sex and same-sex groupings, makes about as much sense as a fourteen-year-old telling his parents that, since his sixteen-year-old sister has a job and makes more money, that they should raise his allowance to her level to make them “equal”.

  • 26
    Bobby in Seattle says:

    That has to be the most ridiculous canard I’ve heard so far. “Let’s give heterosexuals special privileges because they might breed irresponsibly.”

    Society, communities and families ALL benefit the with marriage, be they opposite-sex or same-sex. Irresponsible breeding is not mutually exclusive to the overall benefits of marriage to society as a whole. It happens to be only ONE of the many benefits marriage provides to society. And certainly not one that justifies excluding same-sex couples. Just because one set of a marrying group has the potential for breeding irresponsibly does not trump the other benefits to society that marriage brings, same-sex or otherwise.

  • 27
    DN says:

    Forgive the ad at the beginning of the video, but we all know better than to feed them…

  • 28
    Val says:

    NDT: same-sex pairings don’t result in unintended pregnancies, sure – but they frequently result in wanted children. And when I buy some sperm from a sperm bank and start my own family, I’ll do it whether my wife and I can legally be married or not. Wouldn’t you rather my children have legal protections afforded to children of married couples?

  • 29
    Regan DuCasse says:

    resTrue Bobby!

    NOM keeps insisting that gay parents are already irresponsible because the opposite gender is assumed to be excised from the equation.
    But that’s assuming that ss couples don’t know anyone of the op sex who can be there to influence their children in that regard.

    What’s exceptional about gay parents, as opposed to op sex ones, is the thought, patience, planning and commitment it takes to BE gay parents in the first place. And with adoption, at least there is investigation and scrutiny.

    In many ways, the anti try to force MORE irresponsible behavior on gay people. How many mixed straight/gay marriages end in disappointment and divorce because straight people keep thinking they can SEDUCE gay people?
    What about gay youth, being told the same, and mistakenly impregnate believing that this is a way to prove, or satisfy the straight people around them they aren’t gay?

    Gay kids DO get told that being seduced by a straight person will cure them of their homosexuality.
    Straight people ARE irresponsible, and have a lot to answer for when it comes to real lives and expectations and failures.

    There are no restrictions on BEING a parent, regardless of how irresponsible and dangerous and criminally liable a straight person can be, there are no wholesale discriminatory policies that limit parenting for people like this.

    So why should there be ANY discrimination against gay people whether they are parents or not?
    The worst kinds of parents aren’t denied, so non parents being so doesn’t make much sense.

  • 30
    Neil says:

    Dear North dallas 30,

    Marriage would not exist if opposite-sex couplings did not invariably result in children.

    Appeals to archaic circumstances surrounding the origins of the institution of marriage advance no argument for gender discrimination in the present day. One could equally argue that marriage would not exist if it weren’t for a man’s need to acquire a wife as his property so as to ensure paternity, thus justifying the denial of equal rights for women. Or you could say that marriage exists because of the historical practice of families entering into business agreements involving the arrangement of marriages between their children and use that as the basis for a campaign to strike down rules about marital age of consent.

    Same-sex groupings will never result in children and offer no other societal benefit -

    The first clause is demonstrably untrue. Same-sex couples may and do result in acquiring children in ways that many straight-sex couples do; through adoption, foster care, surrogacy, artificial insemination, IVF and previous relationships.

    The second clause is a contentious and exceedingly reductive claim that fails to advance the argument against same-sex marriage anyway. The social benefit claim, even if true, must allow for the fact that marriage is available to many whom fall outside the ambit of this claim. It apparently makes no difference if childless same-sex couples offer no social benefit when married. Childless straight-sex couples are given carte blanche to marry as it is. Even if society sees no benefit to childless marriage, it most certainly sees no harm. Furthermore, your social benefit argument is in favour of same-sex couples with children requiring access to the status of marriage.

    This much is obvious in the rants of the gay-sex marriage supporters. All they can talk about is “equality”…

    This a curiously reductive cast on the value of equality, as if it should be considered a trifling matter.

    given the differences between opposite-sex and same-sex groupings, makes about as much sense as a fourteen-year-old telling his parents that, since his sixteen-year-old sister has a job and makes more money, that they should raise his allowance to her level to make them “equal”.

    This is a false comparison. The equality argument in favour of same-sex marriage is one against gender discrimination. The correct comparison would be if the boy did the same work as his sister but received less pay because of his gender. In that case he would be perfectly justified making a case for equal pay.

  • 31
    Regan DuCasse says:

    ND30, the grown folks are trying to have a conversation, do you mind? Run along

  • 32

    That has to be the most ridiculous canard I’ve heard so far. “Let’s give heterosexuals special privileges because they might breed irresponsibly.”

    Actually, the argument is that opposite-sex groupings should be treated differently than same-sex groupings because the results of the former are far different than those of the latter.

    Granted, this is not something the vast majority of gays and lesbians understand, given how the gay and lesbian community sincerely believes that single parents, “households with multiple conjugal partners”, or “queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households” are absolutely equivalent to married couples and thus deserve identical recognition.

    And when I buy some sperm from a sperm bank and start my own family, I’ll do it whether my wife and I can legally be married or not. Wouldn’t you rather my children have legal protections afforded to children of married couples?

    Help me out here.

    You say your children will be harmed if you don’t have marriage….but that you’re going to go ahead and put them into harm’s way anyway.

    I would simply ask: why would anyone choose to bring children into a harmful situation, especially when there is ZERO chance that they would be produced otherwise?

    What about gay youth, being told the same, and mistakenly impregnate believing that this is a way to prove, or satisfy the straight people around them they aren’t gay?

    All that demonstrates is that gay and lesbian people are lying when they say that they are incapable of having sex with members of the opposite sex.

    And of course, Regan comes down in full support of the liars.

    There are no restrictions on BEING a parent, regardless of how irresponsible and dangerous and criminally liable a straight person can be, there are no wholesale discriminatory policies that limit parenting for people like this.

    Which is because opposite-sex activity naturally produces children.

    That’s what makes you really funny, Regan. You insist that heterosexuals are more irresponsible than gay and lesbian people because heterosexuals produce children and gay and lesbian people don’t — and then you whine that there’s no difference between heterosexuals and gays and lesbians.

    Your problem is simply that you are engaging in another one of your proxy wars against whitey by attacking and blaming heterosexuals. That much is shown by the fact that you fully support and endorse “irresponsible breeding” as long as the perpetrators are of the correct skin color.

    Now watch. Predictably, the bigot Regan will spin and scream and whine that black people who have children out of wedlock are not irresponsible.

  • 33

    Ugh, I hate it when I forget to close HTML tags. Here’s the example of how Regan’s definition of “irresponsible breeding” only applies to people of the wrong skin color.

  • 34

    Appeals to archaic circumstances surrounding the origins of the institution of marriage advance no argument for gender discrimination in the present day. One could equally argue that marriage would not exist if it weren’t for a man’s need to acquire a wife as his property so as to ensure paternity, thus justifying the denial of equal rights for women. Or you could say that marriage exists because of the historical practice of families entering into business agreements involving the arrangement of marriages between their children and use that as the basis for a campaign to strike down rules about marital age of consent.

    Notice something interesting?

    In both of the examples you cited, these were done to ensure matters through procreation.

    And furthermore, despite the myriad of different details, ceremonies, rituals, and perceptions surrounding marriage throughout the centuries, one thing has never changed: opposite-sex groupings produce children.

    The status of women in marriage had no effect on whether or not opposite-sex groupings produced children. The age at which the marriage was arranged had no effect on whether or not opposite-sex groupings produced children. The skin color of the participants had no effect on whether or not opposite-sex groupings produced children.

    Indeed, that basic and straightforward biological fact has been the basis, cause, and guiding principle of marriage in virtually every known culture.

    Same-sex couples may and do result in acquiring children in ways that many straight-sex couples do; through adoption, foster care, surrogacy, artificial insemination, IVF and previous relationships…….The social benefit claim, even if true, must allow for the fact that marriage is available to many whom fall outside the ambit of this claim.

    Not really.

    What you’re trying to argue is that, because a tiny fraction of opposite-sex groupings are infertile and have to acquire children through other means, that somehow negates the overwhelming whole and means that marriage has nothing to do with procreation.

    Since you apparently believe laws should be written to promote the exception while ignoring the vast majority, I’m sure you’ll support laws banning gays and lesbians from adoption given what “many” gays and lesbians support doing with children.

    Personally, I’ve always found this whining gays and lesbians do about allowing childless opposite-sex couples to marry to be quite indicative of the jealousy and spite that lies at the root of the gay-sex marriage movement.

    This a curiously reductive cast on the value of equality, as if it should be considered a trifling matter.

    “Equality” can only be defined by constantly and obsessively comparing yourself to others. Some of us are far less concerned with being “equal” to others than we are in being the best we can be.

    The equality argument in favour of same-sex marriage is one against gender discrimination. The correct comparison would be if the boy did the same work as his sister but received less pay because of his gender.

    And if the work in question was as a female swimsuit model, would you still argue that the boy deserved equal pay to his sister?

    That really is the issue here. Opposite-sex couplings add immeasurably more to society because of that natural outgrowth of the gender difference. But because the gay and lesbian community is based on gender denial and an obsessive need to compare itself to others, we end up with the spectacle of the gay and lesbian community “boy” whining that he deserves the same pay for modeling a bikini that his buxom opposite-sex coupling “sister” does in the name of “equality”.

  • 35
    Ken Spreitzer says:

    Here’s an observation that occurred to me: Children being raised by gay parents are always better off than any practical alternative they may have.

    For those children who were adopted by gay parents, they’re better off than under their alternative: staying with their natural (but abusive) parents, or staying in foster care. (Otherwise, the adoption wouldn’t have been approved.)

    For those children conceived “artifically” (eg, surrogacy), they’re better off than their alternative: never having been conceived and born at all!

    The only time when gay parents would be inferior as a practical matter would be if children were being taken from their natural, loving, and supportive parents. This doesn’t happen, of course.

  • 36
    Neil says:

    Hi North Dallas 30,

    What you’re trying to argue is..

    Unsurprisingly not the strawman argument you’d prefer to deal with.

    I’m not trying but actually arguing that marriage cannot reasonably be reduced to being only about procreation. I’m saying that that’s an unfeasibly reductive assessment. Nowhere have I stated or even implied that procreation has nothing to do with marriage. The suggestion that allowing marriage for the non-procreative promotes a minority over a procreative majority is not only nonsensical, it even seems to advance a totally unnecessary utilitarian ambit into the debate. The good of a majority requiring the sacrifice of a minority has no place here. That people can be married without children is no harm to those whom marry and have them.

    The fact is that ability or intention to procreate is no condition for marriage. It used to be back in the day when aristocratic families needed girls with which to form alliances and boys to maintain succession. Woe betide the barren woman. Today it’s different. The inability to procreate is no impediment. Besides, same-sex marriage can and does involve progeny, so it’s a false dichotomy to divide straight and same-sex couples on the basis of child rearing. Talking about the proportions of those that do or don’t in each category has no bearing on the matter.

    Opposite-sex couplings add immeasurably more to society because of that natural outgrowth of the gender difference.

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. Children again?

    But because the gay and lesbian community is based on gender denial and an obsessive need to compare itself to others,…

    Now you’re just being silly. Stop it.

    …we end up with the spectacle of the gay and lesbian community “boy” whining that he deserves the same pay for modeling a bikini that his buxom opposite-sex coupling “sister” does in the name of “equality”.

    We do? I will admit, that would make for quite a spectacle. I’m rather enjoying the baroque turn this analogy has taken. It doesn’t really seem to have much to do with the marriage equality debate, though.

  • 37
    Loki says:

    Oh my, this should be quite enjoyable.

    Actually, the argument is that opposite-sex groupings should be treated differently than same-sex groupings because the results of the former are far different than those of the latter.

    Isn’t it quite funny how this particular argument never cropped up until the late 1970′s?

    But please, prove this statement to be true. Please prove a single definitive line where all “opposite-sex groupings” have different “results” from all “same-sex groupings.” And prove that such a distinction is relevant and not arbitrary. Unless you can prove such a line exists and applies universally to all humanity, you do not have an argument as there is no difference, merely different positions upon a continuum.

    Granted, this is not something the vast majority of gays and lesbians understand, given how the gay and lesbian community sincerely believes that single parents, “households with multiple conjugal partners”, or “queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households” are absolutely equivalent to married couples and thus deserve identical recognition.

    You are lying, rather openly and brazenly. First off quoting a website labeled “beyond marriage” as how having particularly much to do with marriage is, frankly, silly. It is right in this quote, “The struggle for marriage rights should be part of a larger effort to strengthen the stability and security of diverse households and families. To that end, we advocate…” They aren’t looking at marriage, per se, they are looking past it.

    And claiming that particular document with its rather small number of signers represents the sincere beliefs of the “gay and lesbian community” is pure, unmitigated deceit of the highest order

    You say your children will be harmed if you don’t have marriage….but that you’re going to go ahead and put them into harm’s way anyway.

    I would simply ask: why would anyone choose to bring children into a harmful situation, especially when there is ZERO chance that they would be produced otherwise?

    You are weaseling. Which is better for a person: to not exist or to exist? Now, if you believe the former, well then we are at an impasse. If you believe the latter, then your arrangement has absolutely no logic or consistency. Possibly because bringing that child into existence is better than that child not existing.

    All that demonstrates is that gay and lesbian people are lying when they say that they are incapable of having sex with members of the opposite sex.

    Who claimed this? Because who ever claimed this is an idiot. Of course I highly doubt anyone did, and certainly not universalizing it to all gay people. That would be monstrously at odds with reality. Please provide a citation to prove this claim is not a lie.

    And of course, Regan comes down in full support of the liars.

    Interesting then, that I have already caught you lying. One should make sure one’s house is clean before trashing someone else’s.

    Which is because opposite-sex activity naturally produces children.

    Except when it does not. See my “all” statement above. Can’t build your house on that particular lot.

    That’s what makes you really funny, Regan. You insist that heterosexuals are more irresponsible than gay and lesbian people because heterosexuals produce children and gay and lesbian people don’t — and then you whine that there’s no difference between heterosexuals and gays and lesbians.

    Again, see “all.”

    Now the rest of this post is sad little personal attacks and troll baiting.

  • 38
    Loki says:

    Notice something interesting?

    Yes, I think I have.

    In both of the examples you cited, these were done to ensure matters through procreation.

    Oh my, that’s simply not true. Procreation was merely a side-effect in the one. And, given an even cursory look back at the history of children, it is obvious that nothing about society was built around them. At best they were slaves, at worst they were simply abandoned.

    And furthermore, despite the myriad of different details, ceremonies, rituals, and perceptions surrounding marriage throughout the centuries, one thing has never changed: opposite-sex groupings produce children.

    Except when they don’t. Thus rendering any argument from such a claim illogical.

    The status of women in marriage had no effect on whether or not opposite-sex groupings produced children.

    No, the fact that not all “opposite-sex groupings” produce children has the effect.

    The age at which the marriage was arranged had no effect on whether or not opposite-sex groupings produced children.

    No, the fact that not all “opposite-sex groupings” produce children has the effect.

    The skin color of the participants had no effect on whether or not opposite-sex groupings produced children.

    No, the fact that not all “opposite-sex groupings” produce children has the effect.

    Indeed, that basic and straightforward biological fact has been the basis, cause, and guiding principle of marriage in virtually every known culture.

    That’s not true. In Athens a man could kill his children for any reason until said child was twenty-five. Throughout history the younger male children and most female children have been sent out in absolute poverty due to peculiarities of inheritance. Again, anyone with a cursory knowledge of just how children were treated would find such a claim hilariously naïve at best.

    Not really.

    Yes, really.

    What you’re trying to argue is that, because a tiny fraction of opposite-sex groupings are infertile and have to acquire children through other means, that somehow negates the overwhelming whole and means that marriage has nothing to do with procreation.

    What you’re trying to argue is that there is a difference between group A and group B. When there is shown to be no difference, you refuse to simply admit as such and instead claim we should just ignore everyone who contradicts you (demonstrably wrong) ideology. This is called moving the goal posts.

    Since you apparently believe laws should be written to promote the exception while ignoring the vast majority,

    And how… exactly… is the vast majority in this case being ignored? Please be specific in your answer and support it with objective evidence.

    I’m sure you’ll support laws banning gays and lesbians from adoption given what “many” gays and lesbians support doing with children.

    Oh, my! Is this a pedophilia dig? I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, please clarify your remarks.

    Although I will warn you, if you did intend for that to be a pedophile dig, I’d make up some story it isn’t. After all… there be dragons here. Fair warning.

    Personally, I’ve always found this whining gays and lesbians do about allowing childless opposite-sex couples to marry

    My… my…my…my…my! Isn’t this a revealing glimpse into your psychology! As someone who can not handle reality which contradicts your ideology, you not only attempt to dismiss said reality, but attempt to label anyone pointing out reality to you as “whining.” This is officially referred to as “delusion.”

    Too bad your argument is predicated upon differences existing. If those differences do not exist, then you have no argument.

    to be quite indicative of the jealousy and spite that lies at the root of the gay-sex marriage movement.

    Oh my! What a lovely unsupported statement! I would wager, that you are the one who is both jealous and spiteful. Projection, of the kind delusional people often participate in, is quite common. In fact, I think this entire post is quite indicative of the jealousy and spite that lies at the root of North Dallas Thirty.

    “Equality” can only be defined by constantly and obsessively comparing yourself to others. Some of us are far less concerned with being “equal” to others than we are in being the best we can be.

    I would make a joke about “being the best [you] can be,” but that’s too easy. And no, “equality” can only be defined for having objective standards and maintaining them, and getting rid of arbitrary subjective standards (the same ones you are denying reality in order to cling to).

    And if the work in question was as a female swimsuit model, would you still argue that the boy deserved equal pay to his sister?

    Yes. If the boy happened to have the same figure/looks, the same value-added name recognition, the same reputation for photographs, the same relationship with the studio and agent, the same experience and so on and so on…

    That wasn’t a particularly good example for you to choose, I hope you realize.

    That really is the issue here. Opposite-sex couplings add immeasurably more to society because of that natural outgrowth of the gender difference.

    Oh look! “Difference” crops up again. Unless you provide that definitive line, then your entire argument is false and illogical. Might I recommend Anne Fausto-Sterling’s Sexing the Body as a good place to start?

    But because the gay and lesbian community is based on gender denial

    That’s an untenable position to take. The gay and lesbian community (for the most part) has a more nuanced, scientific, and knowledgeable understanding of gender and gender differentiation.

    and an obsessive need to compare itself to others,

    That’s called “living in a society.”

    we end up with the spectacle of the gay and lesbian community “boy” whining that he deserves the same pay for modeling a bikini that his buxom opposite-sex coupling “sister” does in the name of “equality”.

    Wait… wait… wait… did you… did you seriously just use your own hypothetical example as justification of your ideology? Seriously?

    You just built a strawman that you then bent over and worshiped. That’s… well, I’m not going to say what that is.

  • 39
    Jason D says:

    ND30 SAID: This much is obvious in the rants of the gay-sex marriage supporters. All they can talk about is “equality”…

    NEIL SAID: This a curiously reductive cast on the value of equality, as if it should be considered a trifling matter.

    ND30 SAID: “Equality” can only be defined by constantly and obsessively comparing yourself to others. Some of us are far less concerned with being “equal” to others than we are in being the best we can be.

    …..
    SO essentially, you’re right, Neil. ND30 does think equality is a trifling matter. Note how quickly, condescendingly, arrogantly he dismisses it. I guess that whole thing where we told England to kiss off in the Declaration of Independence was just a hissy fit!

  • 40
    Bobby in Seattle says:

    Loki – My hat goes off to you! Well Done, my friend!! Well done!!

  • 41

    Please prove a single definitive line where all “opposite-sex groupings” have different “results” from all “same-sex groupings.”

    With pleasure.

    All opposite-sex groupings have the potential to produce children unless inhibited by biological damage or deliberate attempts to alter physiology.

    No same-sex grouping has the potential to produce children, regardless of whether or not there is biological damage or deliberate attempts made to alter physiology.

    And claiming that particular document with its rather small number of signers represents the sincere beliefs of the “gay and lesbian community” is pure, unmitigated deceit of the highest order

    Provide clear evidence that this document is opposed by gay and lesbian people. Indeed, make it easy; state yourself that this document is wrong and that the gay and lesbian people who signed it are wrong.

    You are weaseling. Which is better for a person: to not exist or to exist? Now, if you believe the former, well then we are at an impasse. If you believe the latter, then your arrangement has absolutely no logic or consistency. Possibly because bringing that child into existence is better than that child not existing.

    Lie. The gay and lesbian community openly supports and endorses abortion and infanticide and promotes both as a “gay rights issue”. Indeed, the gay and lesbian community states that it is more merciful and good to abort children than to bring them into an “imperfect” situation.

    The gay and lesbian community (for the most part) has a more nuanced, scientific, and knowledgeable understanding of gender and gender differentiation.

    Which is why the gay and lesbian community states that a man can impregnate another man and that man carry the baby to term, or that a woman can produce sperm and impregnate another woman.

    The infantile inability of the gay and lesbian community to either acknowledge the differences between male and female or the value that such differences bring to society is quite obvious. Normal people have no problem admitting and acknowledging that men and women are different. Only gay and lesbian people are desperate to deny any difference.

  • 42
    Jess says:

    I love how NOM wants to strip marriage down to just the procreation of babies, like, that’s the ONLY reason why people get married for thousands of years. Even in ancient times when procreation was essential that wasn’t the only reason you got married at all, there were legal and sentimental reasons as well, which are still prevalent today. NOM’s willful ignorance of history and even of today’s culture is rapidly making them irrelevant to the argument against gay marriage, and to straight people’s interests.

    I mean do they really want to tell straight couples the only reason they’re married is to make babies? Doesn’t that show a serious lack of respect and understanding of our own relationships? Seriously Maggie, what did you get married for? =/

  • 43
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