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Did You Know?

As of July 17, 2013, gay marriage has been legalized in the following 13 states: Massachusetts (May 17,
2004), Connecticut (Nov. 12, 2008), Iowa (Apr. 24. 2009), Vermont (Sep. 1, 2009), New Hampshire (Jan.
1, 2010), New York (June 24, 2011), Washington (Dec. 9, 2012), Maine (Dec. 29, 2012), Maryland (Jan. 1,
2013), California (June 28, 2013), Delaware (July 1, 2013), Rhode Island (Aug. 1, 2013), and Minnesota
(Aug. 1, 2013). 35 states have gay marriage bans through either laws or constitutional amendments or
both. The District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage on Mar. 3, 2010. [1] [79]

Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage on May 17, 2004, had the lowest
divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and 2008. [2]
PRO Gay Marriage

Same-sex couples should be allowed to publicly celebrate their commitment in the same way as
heterosexual couples. [40] The Human Rights Campaign Foundation states that many same-sex couples
"want the right to legally marry [and] honor their relationship in the greatest way our society has to
offer..."

Same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.
Many benefits are only available to married couples, such as hospital visitation during an illness,
taxation and inheritance rights, access to family health coverage, and protection in the event of the
relationship ending

The concept of "traditional marriage" being defined as one man and one woman is historically
inaccurate. Given the prevalence of modern and ancient examples of family arrangements based on
polygamy, communal child-rearing, the use of concubines and mistresses and the commonality of
prostitution, heterosexual monogamy can be considered "unnatural in evolutionary terms. [3]


Marriage is redefined as society's attitudes evolve, and the majority of Americans now support gay
marriage. Interracial marriage was illegal in many US states until a 1967 Supreme Court decision.
Coverture, where a woman's legal rights and economic identity were subsumed by her husband upon
marriage, was commonplace in 19th century America. No-fault divorce has changed the institution of
marriage since its introduction in California on Jan. 1, 1970. With a May 2013 Gallup poll showing 53% of
Americans supporting gay marriage, it is time for the definition of marriage to evolve once again. [72]


Gay marriage is protected by the Constitution's commitments to liberty and equality. The US Supreme
Court ruled in 1974s Cleveland Board of Education v. LaFleur that the "freedom of personal choice in
matters of marriage and family life is one of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause. US
District Judge Vaughn Walker wrote on Aug. 4, 2010 that Prop. 8 in California banning gay marriage was
"unconstitutional under both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses." [41]


Denying same-sex couples the right to marry stigmatizes gay and lesbian families as inferior and sends
the message that it is acceptable to discriminate against them. The Massachusetts Supreme Court wrote
in an opinion to the state Senate on Feb. 3, 2004 that offering civil unions was not an acceptable
alternative to gay marriage because "...it is a considered choice of language that reflects a demonstrable
assigning of same-sex, largely homosexual, couples to second-class status." [42]


Gay marriages can bring financial gain to state and local governments. Revenue from gay marriage
comes from marriage licenses, higher income taxes (the so-called "marriage penalty"), and decreases in
costs for state benefit programs. [4] The Comptroller for New York City found that legalizing gay
marriage would bring $142 million to the citys economy and $184 million to the states economy over
three years. [43]


Gay marriage would make it easier for same-sex couples to adopt, providing stable homes for children
who would otherwise be left in foster care. [68] In the US, 100,000 children are waiting to be adopted.
[44] A longitudinal study published in Pediatrics on June 7, 2010 found that children of lesbian mothers
were rated higher than children of heterosexual parents in social and academic competence and had
fewer social problems. [45] A July 2010 study found that children of gay fathers were "as well-adjusted
as those adopted by heterosexual parents." [46] As Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein argues, "We
should be begging gay couples to adopt children. We should see this as a great boon that gay marriage
could bring to kids who need nothing more than two loving parents." [68]


Marriage provides both physical and psychological health benefits, and banning gay marriage increases
rates of psychological disorders. [5] The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric
Association, and others wrote in a Sep. 2007 amicus brief, "...allowing same-sex couples to marry would
give them access to the social support that already facilitates and strengthens heterosexual marriages,
with all of the psychological and physical health benefits associated with that support. [47] A 2010
analysis published in the American Journal of Public Health found that after their states had banned gay
marriage, gay, lesbian and bisexual people suffered a 37% increase in mood disorders, a 42% increase in
alcohol-use disorders, and a 248% increase in generalized anxiety disorders. [69]


Legalizing gay marriage will not harm heterosexual marriages or "family values," and society will
continue to function successfully. A study published on Apr. 13, 2009 in Social Science Quarterly found
that "[l]aws permitting same-sex marriage or civil unions have no adverse effect on marriage, divorce,
and abortion rates, [or] the percent of children born out of wedlock..." [48] The Executive Board of the
American Anthropological Association found that more than a century of research has shown "no
support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as
an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a
vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable
and humane societies." [8]


Marriage is a secular institution which should not be limited by religious objections to gay marriage.
Nancy Cott, PhD, testified in Perry v. Schwarzenegger that "[c]ivil law has always been supreme in
defining and regulating marriage and that religious leaders are accustomed to performing marriages
only because the state has given them that authority.


Gay marriage legalization is correlated with lower divorce rates, while gay marriage bans are correlated
with higher divorce rates. Massachusetts, which became the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004,
had the lowest divorce rate in the country in 2008. Its divorce rate declined 21% between 2003 and
2008. Alaska, which altered its constitution to prohibit gay marriage in 1998, saw a 17.2% increase in its
divorce rate. The seven states with the highest divorce rates between 2003 and 2008 all had
constitutional prohibitions to gay marriage. [2]


If the reason for marriage is strictly reproduction, infertile couples would not be allowed to marry.
Ability or desire to create offspring has never been a qualification for marriage. George Washington,
often referred to as "the Father of Our Country, did not have children with his wife Martha Custis, and
neither did four other married US presidents have children with their wives. [9]


Same-sex marriage is a civil right. The 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia confirmed that
marriage is "one of the basic civil rights of man," [60] and same-sex marriages should receive the same
protections given to interracial marriages by that ruling. The NAACP (National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People), on May 19, 2012, named same-sex marriage as "one of the key civil
rights struggles of our time."

EqualityEdit
Over 1,100 rights and responsibilities are afforded to heterosexual couples through marriage. Simple
rights such as hospital visitation and healthcare coverage are easily available to heterosexual couples
through marriage, but unavailable for same-sex couples. Denying same-sex couples marriage essentially
creates a group of second-class citizens without access to the same rights as heterosexual couples.
Gender discriminationEdit
An interesting, though academic, issue is that of gender discrimination.
Addressing this overall controversy with the label of 'Gay Marriage' is actually a misnomer. A lesbian can
legally marry a gay man, but two heterosexual women cannot legally marry each other.

When same-sex marriage is prohibited by law, a person is denied a right (or privilege, depending on
semantics) based solely on their gender. Some people try to argue that is not the case, that a man has
the same rights as a woman to marry the opposite sex. However, if a woman wants to marry another
woman it is her gender that is the sole factor that restricts her rights.

This principle is not unlike those surrounding the interracial marriage issue that was only recently
addressed in the US. The argument was made that a black person has the same rights as a white person
to marry within their 'race' and that both blacks and whites were equally prohibited from marrying
outside their 'race.'

Until 1967, many states had laws banning interracial marriage. In Loving v Virginia the US Supreme Court
struck down all those laws. Today, you would be hard pressed to find a US citizen who thought
interracial marriage should be illegal... in fact most people under 40 might be surprised to learn how
recently it was still illegal.

The arguments against interracial marriage were not unlike those against same-sex marriage. Many
quoted scripture that forbade it. Many felt it would undermine the institution of marriage. Many felt it
would harm the children.

It all comes down to a simple point:

Denying a person the right to marry another consenting adult based solely on their gender is simply
gender discrimination...

Gender identityEdit
All of this inherently requires the state to produce a legal definition of the terms 'man' and 'woman.'
In most cases, this is not an issue, but transgendered/transsexual people cause a bit of a problem when
it comes to same-sex marriage laws.

Freedom and individual liberty
The United States was founded on the principles of Freedom and Personal Liberty. Many heterosexuals
also support same-sex marriage for this reason. While many heterosexuals who don't have a moral
objection just don't care, these individuals consider it to be a symbol of larger civil liberties issues. One
reason for this is opposition to governments eroding their rights and civil liberties to enforce moral
values that they may or may not share, violating separation of church and state. Just as its often argued
that allowing same-sex marriage is a slippery slope toward allowing more unconventional marriages,
civil libertarians would argue that prohibiting them is a slippery slope toward further erosion of rights
and, ultimately, an unconstitutional theocracy.

The article Same-sex marriage/Con has a section with a rebuttal to this argument.
Distorted view of GLBT people and cultureEdit
GLBT persons who participate in pride parades and other festivities are often considered to be
representative for the entire GLBT community. This makes GLBT people seem extravagant and careless,
characteristics which are difficult to unite with a serious marriage. It must be noted, however, many of
GLBT people are not eager to express their sexuality. They consider it to be a personal issue. Such
people could establish a very robust marriage and be very good at child rearing. These people do not fit
a distorted view of GLBT people and are often not considered in debates.
DissentEdit
This type of discourse suggests individuals must fit into a standard of normalacy to have the freedom to
marry, though this qualification does not currently apply to heterosexuals. It is not the sameness of
GLBT people that should entitle them to marry whomever they please, it is their citizenship and equality
as human beings which can not and should not be negated through the participation in parades or
celebration of identity and sexuality.
The fallacy of 'protecting' traditional marriageEdit
A common tactic used by those opposed to equal rights for GLBT citizens is to claim that they are
'protecting' traditional marriage. Allowing same-sex marriage would in no way limit existing, or future,
heterosexual marriages. Heterosexual marriages would be as legal as they are today. Allowing gay
marriage would simply mean that more citizens would have access to the rights and protections that are
currently only provided to heterosexual couples
It is also worth pointing out that the concept of "traditional" marriage, as used in these arguments, is far
from being clear-cut. It is often argued that the institution of marriage has been around for millennia
(hence "traditional" marriage), yet it is now in jeopardy because some liberals want to change it. Closer
examination shows that although we use the same word, the institution of marriage has changed
drastically over the centuries. For much of that time, marriages were about property, and the bride was
merely one of the chattels. Bride as bribe, if you will. The womens' suffrage movement had profound
impact on this institution, since changes to the role of women within "traditional" marriage meant
changes that affected the majority of society. Similarly, the increased social freedoms that arose after
the world wars, and the sexual revolution of the 1960s, are both phenomena that helped changed the
role of women quite considerably. By extension, this changed what the phrase "traditional marriage"
actually means. These changes affected the majority of the population and had a major impact on
traditional marriage, and yet the institution survives. It is difficult to see how gay marriage, which by
definition affects only a minority of the population, could pose a threat to traditional marriage.

Sexual orientation is not a choiceEdit
Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation
to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed. It is a fact of human psychology that, while a
person can choose to act or not act on a desire (depending on competing desires), one cannot choose
what one desires. Given the social stigma and risks of violence of being gay even today, unless one
assumes or believe that same-sex attraction is appealing on some level, it is difficult to rationalize why
one would choose to be gay if it really were a choice.
Framing the argument
Many opponents of gay marriage like to describe the argument as a definitional one; they claim that the
real issue is how we define the institution of marriage. This argument avoids the real question. As Jon
Stewart put it in his debate with Bill Bennett, "I think it's a debate about whether you think gay people
are part of the human condition or just a random fetish."
Rebuttal
Counterpoint to slippery slope argument
Conservative opponents of homosexual $marriages$ often make what is known as the slippery slope
argument. They argue that if we allow gay marriages, then that is simply the first step towards allowing
polygamy, adult-child sex, bestiality, and other sorts of unconventional sexual behaviors. This argument
is flawed in many ways.
First of all, same sex marriage is intrinsically different in nature from pedophilia, polygamy, and
bestiality; polygamy is a choice and not a condition (and multiparty marriages would be challenging to
write into law), adult-child sex involves non adults and is a form of abuse (considered to be non-
consensual), and bestiality is not a union between two consenting parties. These distinctions can be, and
regularly are, clearly made between what rights we ought to grant to two consenting (human) adults,
and what rights we ought to grant to minors or animals; opening marriage to homosexuals does not
expose the institution to a slippery slope any more than opening voting to women or racial minorities
threatened democracy. In addition, the slippery slope argument could go the other way: if we let the
government decide who we can marry based on sexual orientation, then what is to stop them from
making income level or race qualifications for marriage?

Conversely, the slippery slope argument presents no top end of the slope: who's to say we haven't
already started down the slope with, say, no-fault divorce (or even divorce at all)? Or even with allowing
marriage that's uncondoned by the bride's or groom's family? Or allowing married couples to have sex
for pleasure, not just procreation? All of these are uncontroversial now, but at one time could have been
argued against using the same slippery slope argument.

Counterpoint to natural order argumentEdit
Evidence for homesexuality in other species
Many species of animals, including mammals other than humans, have members that mate with
members of their own sex.
Some species display homosexual mating for life, the most notable example of which are penguins[1]. As
high as 15% of male penguins mate for life with another male penguin. These "gay" couples "adopt" and
raise the abandoned eggs of other penguins. It seems, then, that nature needs homosexuality.

The biological role of homosexuality
Reproduction is not the sole biological role of sex in humans. If reproduction was the the only role of
sex, we would only have sex 2 times in our life (on average). No other species of mammal spends as
much time performing sex as humans, both in frequency and duration of the act. Why would nature
have designed sex to be so inefficient? What is the advantage? The answer is that sex has other
secondary roles, such as social bonding. Therefore, sex performed for non-reproductory purposes isn't
any more "unnatural" than an elephant using its ears for cooling rather than hearing.
Natural does not equal moral
What is "natural" and how is it even relevant? If by natural you mean that non-human animals do
something, then there are many examples of homosexual behavior among animals. Since it occurs in the
natural world, then that makes it "natural." Being "natural" or "unnatural" does not make something
good or bad. For example, Hemlock and viruses are natural, kidney transplants and scissors are
unnatural. Arguing if homosexuality is not natural does not seem to prove very much.
Attempts to make a moral argument based upon the natural order employ a logical fallacy: the
naturalistic fallacy. Attempting to argue that something is morally correct because it's natural would also
condone behaviors such as murder, rape, and theft.

Nature vs. choice
Can a "straight" person choose to be "gay?" No. They can choose to perform gay acts, but cannot
intrincically change to be gay. The opposite is also true - gay people can "act" straight, but inside, they
are still gay, as they were born.
#1: The Constitution

"The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several
States." - Article 4 Section 2 (1)
The Government has a duty to its people. To protect them against unjust laws and maintain equality
amongst them. What goes for one, goes for all. Yet, Anti-Gay Marriage laws only restrict gays from
marrying. What about Atheists? They can marry. (2) Even Hindu can marry!! (3) Yet, you continue to
attack strictly gays.
As if gay people didn't have enough hate thrown at them everyday by friends, strangers, and family
alike, this law has made them feel more like outcasts, unwanted. And while they may indeed be
unwanted by one religion, it doesn't mean they should be excluded by their own government. The fact
that a law has been passed against them is proof enough," They are now able to use government as
support for their religion.

My point is, not only is the government supposed to protect us, but we are supposed to protect each
other.
#2: The Civil Union
First of all, only SIX states have civil unions. If civil unions were such a great solution to this issue, there
wouldn't still be an issue, and more states would have adopted it. Yet, over TEN states recognize same
sex marriage as legal (1).

Also, civil unions do not offer the same legal benefits as marriage. You cannot sponsor your spouse for
immigration, you cannot file for joint tax returns, and many more things. Out of the thousand plus
benefits that come with heterosexual marriages, only some are given to civil unions.
#3: The Slippery Slope
There is a very significant difference between gay marriages and the types of marriages you listed. Gay
marriage is opposed by a large sum of people because their RELIGION is against it. Child marriage,
animal marriage, etc. are opposed because they are IMMORAL. Children aren't allowed to marry
because they are too young to be making serious commitments, you aren't allowed to marry an animal
because it could be seen as forcing/abusing an animal since you would have no way of getting consent
from the animal, especially if attempting to commit bestiality, and you aren't allowed to have several
partners because marriage(or any uniting ceremony likewise)'s whole purpose is to promise to remain
faithful and devoted which one is not if they are with one person one night, and another the next. So, as
you can see, each of these types of marriages have legitimate, and universal reasons for not being legal.

To sum it all up, anti-gay marriage laws are prejudice to gays, civil unions are still second-hand to
marriage and so are not seen as an equal solution, and legalizing gay marriage will have no effect on our
view of other marriages and their immoralities. Therefore, gay marriage should be legalized nationally.
Introduction

Gay marriage is one of the most controversial issues in the modern world. For the past thousand years,
marriage has been recognized as the social union between a man and a woman. In most cultures across
the globe, homosexuality was viewed with disdain, and marriages between same-sex couples were
forbidden.

However, homosexual relationships are slowly gaining acceptance, as homosexuals have become vocal
in fighting their right to marry in the early 90s. With an increased in tolerance for homosexuality in the
society, the controversy over the legalization of gay marriage has been disputed among people in many
nations. While the majority of the population believes that the legalization of gay marriage will have
negative impact on the society, gay activists claim that it is against basic civil rights to prohibit them
from marrying.

This report will first review the history of battle to legalizing gay marriage, and the current status in
todays world. It will then examine the reasons for and against the legalization of gay marriage. The
conclusion will summarize the main arguments.

REBUTTALS
1. Marriage has evolved throughout history, so it can change again.

Different cultures have treated marriage differently. Some promoted arranged marriages. Others tied
marriage to dowries. Still others saw marriage as a political relationship through which they could forge
family alliances.
But all these variations still embraced the fundamental, unchanging essence of marriage. They still saw
it, in general, as a public, lifelong partnership between one man and one woman for the sake of
generating and raising children.

This understanding predates any government or religion. Its a pre-political, pre-religious institution
evident even in cultures that had no law or faith to promote it.

Yet, even supposing the essence of marriage could change, would that mean it should? We know from
other areas of life such as medical research and nuclear physics that just because you can do something
doesnt mean you ought. After all, such action may not be ethical or serve the common good. Even if
this argument had historical basis, it would not necessarily be a good reason to change the meaning of
marriage.

2. Same-sex marriage is primarily about equality.

This argument is emotionally powerful since we all have deep, innate longings for fairness and equality.
Moreover, history has given us many failures in this area, including women banned from voting and
African-Americans denied equal civil rights. The question, of course, is whether same-sex couples are
denied equality by not being allowed to marry each other.

To answer that, we first must understand equality. Equality is not equivalency. It does not mean treating
every person or every group in exactly the same way. To use an analogy, men and women have equal
rights, but because they significantly differ they require separate restrooms. Equality means treating
similar things similarly, but not things that are fundamentally different.

Second, there are really two issues here: the equality of different people and the equality of different
relationships. The current marriage laws already treat all people equally. Any unmarried man and
unmarried woman can marry each other, regardless of their sexual orientation; the law is neutral with
respect to orientation just as it ignores race and religion.

The real question is whether same-sex relationships differ significantly from opposite-sex relationships,
and the answer is yes. The largest difference is that same-sex couples cannot produce children, nor
ensure a childs basic right to be raised by his mother and father. These facts alone mean were talking
about two very different types of relationships. Its wrong, therefore, to assume the state should
necessarily treat them as if they were the same.

Same-sex marriage advocates may argue that its discriminatory to favor heterosexual spouses over
homosexual couples. With all of the benefits flowing from marriage, this unfairly endorses one set of
relationships over another. But if the state endorsed same-sex marriage, it would then be favoring gay
spouses over unmarried heterosexual couples. The argument runs both ways and is ultimately self-
defeating.

3. Everyone has the right to marry whomever he or she loves.

Though catchy, few people truly believe this slogan. Most of us acknowledge there should be at least
some limitations on marriage for social or health reasons. For example, a man cant marry a young child
or a close relative. And if a man is truly in love with two different women, hes legally not allowed to
marry both of them, even if both agree to such an arrangement.
So, the real question here is not whether marriage should be limited, but how. To answer that, we must
determine why the government even bothers with marriage. Its not to validate two people who love
each other, nice as that is. Its because marriage between one man and one woman is likely to result in a
family with children. Since the government is deeply interested in the propagation and stabilization of
society, it promotes and regulates this specific type of relationship above all others.

To put it simply, in the eyes of the state, marriage is not about adults; its about children. Claiming a
right to marry whomever I love ignores the true emphasis of marriage.

Notice that nobody is telling anyone whom he or she can or cannot love. Every person, regardless of
orientation, is free to enter into private romantic relationships with whomever he or she chooses. But
there is no general right to have any relationship recognized as marriage by the government.

4. Same-sex marriage wont affect you, so whats the big deal?

Since marriage is a relationship between two individuals, what effect would it have on the rest of us? At
first glance, it sounds like a good question, but a deeper look reveals that since marriage is a public
institution, redefining it would affect all of society.

First, it would weaken marriage. After same-sex marriage was legislated in Spain in 2005, marriage rates
plummeted. The same happened in the Netherlands. Redefining marriage obscures its meaning and
purpose, thereby discouraging people from taking it seriously.

Second, it would affect education and parenting. After same-sex marriage was legalized in Canada, the
Toronto School Board implemented a curriculum promoting homosexuality and denouncing
heterosexism. They also produced posters titled Love Knows No Gender, which depicted both
homosexual and polygamous relationships as equivalent to marriage. Despite parents objections, the
board decreed that they had no right to remove their children from such instruction. This and many
similar cases confirm that when marriage is redefined, the new definition is forced on children,
regardless of their parents desires.Third, redefining marriage would threaten moral and religious
liberty. This is already evident in our own country. In Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., for instance,
Catholic Charities can no longer provide charitable adoption services based on new definitions of
marriage. Elsewhere, Canadian Bishop Frederick Henry was investigated by the Alberta Human Rights
Commission for simply explaining the Catholic Churchs teaching on homosexuality in a newspaper
column. Examples like this show how redefining marriage threatens religious freedom.

5. Same-sex marriage will not lead to other redefinitions.

When marriage revolves around procreation, it makes sense to restrict it to one man and one woman.
Thats the only relationship capable of producing children. But if we redefine marriage as simply a
loving, romantic union between committed adults, what principled reason would we have for rejecting
polygamist or polyamorous that is, multiple-person relationships as marriages?

Thomas Peters, cultural director at the National Organization for Marriage, doesnt see one. Once you
sever the institution of marriage from its biological roots, there is little reason to cease redefining it to
suit the demands of various interest groups, Peters said.

This isnt just scaremongering or a hypothetical slippery slope. These aftereffects have already been
observed in countries that have legalized same-sex marriage. For example, in Brazil and the Netherlands,
three-way relationships were recently granted the full rights of marriage. After marriage was redefined
in Canada, a polygamist man launched legal action to have his relationships recognized by law. Even in
our own country, the California Legislature passed a bill to legalize families of three or more parents.

Procreation is the main reason civil marriage is limited to two people. When sexual love replaces
children as the primary purpose of marriage, restricting it to just two people no longer makes sense.

6. If same-sex couples cant marry because they cant reproduce, why can infertile couples marry?

This argument concerns two relatively rare situations: younger infertile couples and elderly couples. If
marriage is about children, why does the state allow the first group to marry? The reason is that while
we know every same-sex couple is infertile, we dont generally know that about opposite-sex couples.

Some suggest forcing every engaged couple to undergo mandatory fertility testing before marriage. But
this would be outrageous. Besides being prohibitively expensive, it would also be an egregious invasion
of privacy, all to detect an extremely small minority of couples.

Another problem is that infertility is often misdiagnosed. Fertile couples may be wrongly denied
marriage under such a scenario. This is never the case for same-sex couples, who cannot produce
children together.

But why does the government allow elderly couples to marry? Its true that most elderly couples cannot
reproduce (though women as old as 70 have been known to give birth). However, these marriages are
so rare that its simply not worth the effort to restrict them. Also, elderly marriages still feature the right
combination of man and woman needed to make children. Thus they provide a healthy model for the
rest of society, and are still capable of offering children a home with a mother and a father.

7. Children will not be affected since there is no difference between same-sex parents and opposite-sex
parents.

This argument was most famously stated in 2005 when the American Psychological Association (APA)
wrote that not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged in any
significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents.

However, several recent studies have put that claim to rest. In June, LSU scholar Loren Marks published
a peer-reviewed paper in Social Science Research. It examined the 59 studies that the APA relied on for
its briefing. Marks discovered that not one of the studies used a large, random, representative sample of
lesbian or gay parents and their children. Several used extremely small convenience samples,
recruiting participants through advertisements or word of mouth, and many failed to even include a
control group. Furthermore, the studies did not track the children over time and were largely based on
interviews with parents about the upbringing of their own children a virtual guarantee of biased
results.

One month later, Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus released a comprehensive study titled How Different
Are the Adult Children of Parents Who Have Same-Sex Relationships? His research used a large,
random and national sample and its scope was unprecedented among prior work in this field. Contrary
to the APA, Regnerus found that for a majority of outcomes, children raised by parents with same-sex
relationships drastically underperformed children raised in a household with married, biological parents.

He quickly noted that his study didnt necessarily show that same-sex couples are bad parents, but that
it did definitively put to rest the claim that there are no differences among parenting combinations.

8. Opposition to same-sex marriage is based on bigotry, homophobia and religious hatred.

These accusations are not so much an argument for same-sex marriage as personal attacks designed to
shut down real dialogue. Lets look at each one.

First, bigotry. A quick visit to Facebook, Twitter or any online comment box confirms that for many
people, support for traditional marriage is tantamount to bigotry.

So, is the charge accurate? Well, the definition of bigotry is unwilling to tolerate opinions different than
your own. However, tolerating opinions does not require enshrining them through law. One can
tolerate advocates of same-sex marriage, and seriously engage the idea, while still rejecting it for
compelling reasons.

Second, homophobia. This refers to a fear of homosexuality, and the assumption is that people who
oppose same-sex marriage do so because theyre irrationally afraid. But as this article shows, there are
many good reasons to oppose same-sex marriage that have nothing to do with fear. Branding someone
homophobic is typically used to end rational discussion.

Third, religious hatred. Some people disagree with same-sex marriage solely for religious reasons. But,
again, as this article demonstrates, one can disagree for other reasons, without appealing to the Bible,
divine revelation or any religious authority. You dont need religious teachings to understand, analyze
and discuss the purpose of marriage or its effects on the common good.

If these accusations were all true, it would mean that the overwhelming majority of people throughout
time who by and large supported traditional marriage would likewise be homophobic, intolerant
bigots. That would include the most profound thinkers in many different traditions: Socrates, Plato,
Aristotle, Musonius Rufus, Xenophanes, Plutarch, St. Thomas Aquinas, Immanuel Kant and Mahatma
Gandhi. Most people would reject such an absurdity.

9. The struggle for same-sex marriage is just like the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The suggestion here is that sex is similar to race, and therefore denying marriage for either reason is
wrong. The problem, however, is that interracial marriage and same-sex marriage are significantly
different.

For instance, nothing prevents interracial couples from fulfilling the basic essence of marriage a
public, lifelong relationship ordered toward procreation. Because of this, the anti-miscegenation laws of
the 1960s were wrong to discriminate against interracial couples. Yet same-sex couples are not
biologically ordered toward procreation and, therefore, cannot fulfill the basic requirements of
marriage.

Its important to note that African-Americans, who have the most poignant memories of marital
discrimination, generally disagree that preventing interracial marriage is like banning same-sex
marriage. For example, when Californians voted on Proposition 8, a state amendment defining marriage
as between one man and one woman, some 70 percent of African-Americans voted in favor.

According to Peters, Likening same-sex marriage to interracial marriage is puzzling and offensive to
most African-Americans, who are shocked at such a comparison.

10. Same-sex marriage is inevitable, so we should stand on the right side of history.

On Nov. 6, voters in three states Maine, Maryland and Washington voted against marriage as it has
traditionally been understood. In Minnesota, voters rejected a measure to amend the state constitution
to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Many advocates of same-sex marriage
considered this a sign that the marriage tides are turning. But is that true? And if so, how does that shift
impact the case for same-sex marriage?

First, if the tide is in fact turning, its still little more than a ripple. The states that voted in November to
redefine marriage did so with slim margins, none garnering more than 53 percent of the vote. The tiny
victories were despite record-breaking funding advantages, sitting governors campaigning for same-sex
marriage and strong support among the media.

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Understanding the definition of marriage

Before these four aberrations, 32 states had voted on the definition of marriage. Each and every time
they voted to affirm marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Of the six states that recognized
same-sex marriage before the November election, none arrived there through a vote by the people.
Each redefinition was imposed by state legislatures and courts. Overall, Americans remain strongly in
favor of traditional marriage. Most polls show roughly two-thirds of the country wants to keep marriage
as it is.

Yet, even if the tides have recently shifted, that does not make arguments in its favor any more
persuasive. We dont look to other moral issues and say, Well, people are eventually going to accept it,
so we might as well get in line. We shouldnt do that for same-sex marriage, either.