Gay Marriage.

I have always felt, or came to understand through debate, that an important component in Liberalism is the emotional lure of it’s arguments. By no means do I discredit experience, as it’s an important factor of understanding reality, but a political theory founded in emotional principles is weak at best.

I have engaged myself in various political debates where my proponent steeps themselves in an argument of emotion, and from this sandy foundation they try to develop a logical reasoning for their argument. I’ve found it my duty in these positions to expose that foundation in the hopes of removing the emotional presupposition and thus their designed argument.

Mind you, every liberal does not steep to this design of an argument, but the cases I’ve discovered are worth making the generalization. Again, I am not saying EVERY Liberal argues on this ground, but I would say the movement, intellectually bankrupt as it is, does.

I will use one discussion I had with a gay friend of mine to explain this point. It was on the dreadfully emotionally dangerous topic of Gay Marriage, which he wished to discuss after finding out I’m getting married and stating so was he. I will summarize the exchange with paraphrasing (just the ideas I could remember being exchanged):

Friend: Banning Gay marriage is unconstitutional. It’s like segregation, but on the grounds of sexual orientation. Are you telling me you don’t agree with the High Court’s decision in California?
Leonard O: Of course I don’t agree. Besides it being one of the most liberal courts, let me ask you something. Where in the Constitution does it say you or I have a right to get married?
Friend: I don’t know. It’s implied.
Leonard O: There is no constitutional right to marriage. As a High Court, you need to mainly see an issue in terms of it’s constitutionality. If there was an amendment to the constitution allowing gay marriage, then it would be different, but you cannot imply there is this ‘right’ when it is not written in it. The liberal court has enough problems understanding rights clearly spelled out (2nd Amendment), but they still have this terrible ability to interpret rights (Privacy). There is no right to Marriage, and as such, the People & States in the form of a legislature and the government have a right to define marriage, and it’s been defined as a Man and a Woman. The benefits are given to such so they can be in an environment that promotes children (aka future labor and tax payers). Let me ask you another question, after having explained there being no constitutional right for such. How is this like segregation?
Friend: They’re discriminating people.
Leonard O: Segregation was discrimination on race. This is not an issue of discriminating between race or gender.
Friend: Yeah, but why can’t I be able to marry? I’m discrimated on the basis of my sexual orientation.
Leonard O: You can get married. You have the same right as I do to marry a woman.
Friend: Thats not what I mean. Why can’t I marry the person I love? Why don’t I have that right, and the Benefits?
Leonard O: You can. Go to the United Church of Christ and you can have a huge ceremony and all. Occams Razor tells us “entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”. Why make this situation so difficult when you can get many of those rights by merely writing wills and other options?
Friend: Yeah, but the government shouldn’t decide that only men and women can get married.
Leonard O: First, we have the same rights to marry, you just choose not to use them because of your orientation. Second, the government can define marriage. They have certain requirements for certain benefits. Not everyone is eligible for Medicaid, or Social Security benefits (we’re not being discriminated on age because we haven’t retired, but we still all have the right to those benefits when we do). Me and you have the same right to marry, you’re just asking for a ‘special right’.
Friend: What do you mean ‘special right’?
Leonard O: Well, say me and a best friend are living together. Say we apply for a marriage licence because we both want the healthcare benefits.  Should the government give us marriage benefits?
Friend: No, because that’s not a loving relationship.
Leonard O: Wait, so in other words I’m being discriminated because of my sexual orientation of being straight, even though I would want to do the same thing as you and ‘marry’ another man. What you desire are ‘special rights’, bestowed on the basis of sexual orientation. In our original model, we both have a right to marry a woman (regardless of race, religion, etc). You had a problem with states & government defining marriage this way. Yet, your solution to this problem is to have government define marriage, just in the form of a loving relation? Whose to stop people, family, friends, polygamists, and others from asking of their government these benefits? Do you discriminate them? Your problem was that the government defined marriage, and your solution was for government to define marriage (just in this ‘in love’ concept). Don’t you see how this is logically problematic? How does the government discriminate one group and allow special rights to another? How does it define love? With that Occams Razor issue, why even go here when many of the things you desire can be solved through legal means (wills, etc)?
Friend: Yeah, but we should still have the right to get married.
Leonard O: Then move to a state that recognizes it, and don’t impose some ‘interpreted’ right upon society when it wishes to define it as something else. Society has the real constitutional right of a legislature and the ability to define law, as associated with marriage benefits. After recognizing there being no constitutional right to marriage, the government being able to define something that receives benefits, and the problem of the ‘special rights’ issue, you should understand why ‘gay marriage’ is problematic.
Friend: We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
Leonard O: Understandable.

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11 thoughts on “Gay Marriage.

  1. Interesting argument. I appreciate that you took a stance against gay marriage without using religion as your reason. Sometimes I think Christians just say they’re against something because they’ve been told it’s wrong instead of trying to see the logic behind it.

    And I have to agree about the “emotional liberal” thing, lol. I’ve been there.

  2. Can you say “projection”?

    “an important component in Liberalism is the emotional lure of it’s arguments”

    In my experience, and after a little poking around on the Intertubes, it appears that you have this exactly backwards. It’s the conservatives who appeal to emotion, to authority, to “tradition,” and to the “yuck” factor, ESPECIALLY when discussing marriage equality.

    I suspect that you really do not have a clue as to what constitutes rational debate and argument. You did not display it a single time in this article …

  3. Compromise: The official legal definition of marriage will be, “A union of a man and a woman mating heterosexual relations, and, intimate human relations involving two adult human beings”. Homosexual Marriage advocates want to cut, “A union of a man and a woman mating heterosexual relations…” completely out of the official legal definition of marriage and REPLACE it with, “…intimate human relations involving two adult human beings”. But, what happened to “EXPANDING” the Institution of Marriage TO ALLOW homosexual relations to be marriage? What Homosexual Marriage advocates are doing is called Bait and Switch and is one of the very oldest tricks in the book. Only what THE LAW does or does not say determines what human relations are or are not marriage. Homosexual Marriage advocates MUST accept this compromise definition of marriage in order to have ANY credibility. Then the discussion can turn to what if any relationship exists between the Perpetuation of the Human Species and the Institution of Marriage.

  4. Yup. There are several ways you can argue about Gay Marriage.

    1) Definitions.
    2) Constitutionality.
    3) Rights of Society and a Legislature.
    4) Morality in Government.
    5) Government’s right to define individuals who receive specific benefits.
    6) Arising Problems and Practicality.

    But in the end, someone CAN be against something simply because their religious doctrine says so. I have no problem with that. If they can accurately point to where in their religion the disagreement comes from, and it’s not just mindless repetition from their pastors and rabbis, then it’s somewhat more valid than a political argument.

    That person would be a hypocrite if their religious doctrine said one thing, and they another. In the end, I would say Christianity, as God’s truth, is the only perfect reason and logic we have, as it’s Gods logic. Only God has perfect infinite knowledge and will (vs. us with free will and imperfect finite knowledge), and as such he can only have perfect reasoning. As religion alters our worldview, it would have to have a final say in all these matters.

    With finite knowledge and a flawed ability to reason, the problem of understanding all issues (political, social, cultural, etc.) end up being rooted in religious view/ world view.

    Err, I digress. Tangent :]

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. Stephen, you’ve merely stated opinion, and by all means you’re welcomed to.

    You couldn’t possibly attack me on some error of projecting opinion, and then follow that with your own projection and expect it not to receive the same treatment.

    Come down to Miami Florida, FIU, and I will be more than welcomed to introduce you to Conservatives who think solely on terms of rationality and logic. Then, perhaps, you could remove your perception.

    The liberals I debate end up exposing themselves as having specific presuppositions grounded in emotions. The conservatives I’ve debated ground themselves in reasoning and logic. They tend to distance themselves from emotional baiting and instead view the issue on the grounds of right and wrong, logical and illogical. On the other hands, liberals get into this issue of ‘fairness’ and ‘unfair’, that in the end proves mainly emotional.

    Again, opinion, but as my blog it’s only expected.

    Also, you failed to point out that there was no “YUCK” or “Tradition” factors (as Kristel pointed out) in this post.

    “I suspect that you really do not have a clue as to what constitutes rational debate and argument. You did not display it a single time in this article …”

    It is much easier to claim the argument as logically-bankrupted, than to acknowledge the made points. If anything, that seems rather bankrupt.

    But again, you’re welcomed to ‘project’ your opinion.

  6. You have a very interesting (and effective) ability to debate. Though I consider myself a liberal, It’s impressive that you managed to argue against gay marriage in completely objective terms, and even more impressive because you didn’t invoke religion.
    However, it can be argued that since the Government has not defined marriage, that anyone can be married, but not necessarily receive benefits, like you had stated earlier. The issue your friend (I have a vague suspicion of who) seems to be speaking of is apropos benefits rather than his legitimate right to marry another man, ergo he invalidates his own argument, which was he exact point you were making.
    I was skeptical about your intention with this argument, but I was genuinely impressed.

  7. Thanks :]

    As for the defining of marriage, I would agree to that falling upon the states, which is how it appears at the moment (with the restraint that other states do not have to recognize other states marriages).

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