Same-sex marriage, a hastily made law

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By Ryan Muir

Marriage equality is often considered from an entirely emotional standpoint. Rarely is any thought given to the logical side of arguing regardless of the persuasion of the individual who is writing or speaking. As with any subject, thoughtful consideration should be given to the issue and all of the individuals involved.

Traditionally, the purpose of marriage as it pertains to the state is to encourage the growth of the national population. Therefore, the institution of marriage was decided on as a union between a man and a woman. In this environment the two participating adults could raise their biological children in a way as they saw fit and, in turn, their offspring would hopefully continue in the growth of the populous.

Because marriage is a social issue designed for growing a population, for thousands of years governments and religions alike have carefully restricted marriage to heterosexual unions. No matter how well intended or how committed a relationship, a homosexual couple cannot reproduce without the aide of a third party, who presumably would not be involved in the resulting child’s life.

One potential issue is the problems currently facing Americans of faith. On June 6, 2012 the Huffington Post ran a story about a photographer who was successfully sued for refusing service to a same-sex couple based on religious beliefs. Similarly, on July 7, Fox News ran a story about another same-sex couple that chose to sue a baker for refusing to make their wedding cake.

Perhaps things are changing, but businesses used to be allowed to refuse service to anyone. It now seems that if your personal beliefs conflict with what someone else wants, you could be potentially held liable for discrimination. Everyone should be treated with kindness and respect, but these recent events raise the question, are even religious institutions safe?

Your religious liberty is protected under the United States constitution, but to what extent? Can a church disallow openly homosexual individuals from membership in a religious organization without fear of repercussion? From the previous two secular examples it would seem churches might be at risk for legal action.

Perhaps there should be an additional standard set forth protecting those Americans of faith from repercussion for disallowing homosexual individuals in their organization, whatever the solution to the religious aspect of same-sex marriage. The rights of business owners and churches need to be preserved. It is hypocritical to take away one group’s rights while advocating for another.

Finally, much has been discussed about gay and lesbian couples wishing to adopt. This as much as any other aspect of homosexual marriage needs poignant consideration. If homosexual marriage becomes the law, we may then presume these couples will be allowed to adopt children much the same as heterosexual couples. The effects on these children should be considered with more research and proven before a law is passed.

Proponents for homosexual marriage decry these calls for a studied law, saying that we already know some heterosexual couples do not make good parents. While this is true, it is prudent to remember there have already been laws passed and procedures developed to deal with such situations.

The welfare of children is always paramount and is the top consideration of state and federal governments. Sanford N. Katz, in his book Family Law in America, states that the state is the ultimate parent. Katz is right, and many people have seen or experienced the State exercising its discretion in this regard. More specifics than the armchair view of good and bad parents studies, which reference the various domestic living conditions and their outcomes for children, should be considered.

Former Utah Supreme Court Justice and former President of Brigham Young University, Dallin Oaks, has shed light on this subject. In a recent speech given by Oaks he cites a study of single mothers and their children found in “Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Sciences, 3rd ed from 2011.” This study found that the children of single mother homes were at a severe disadvantage when compared with their peers from a home with a mother and a father. Oaks then stated, “we should assume the same disadvantages for children raised by couples of the same gender.”

There is simply not enough information regarding how, who and what same-sex marriage being legalized will affect. Many of the states have hastily rushed into a change in the marriage law. Not only are there many sides to consider about legalizing same-sex marriage, but there are always unforeseen consequences, both for good and for bad, and only time will tell the difference.

8 thoughts on “Same-sex marriage, a hastily made law

  1. I do not agree with your opinion other than your view of religions having the right to allow and deny any persons, openly gay or not. I don’t know why anyone gay or straight would want to go to church in first place, but that is besides the point. Marriage is not a matter for the sole purpose of growing a population. People who are sterile or too old to have kids can still be married. Religions will and have felt social pressures to change their rules, but not by the religious rights stated in the constitution. For example the mormon church finally allowing blacks the priesthood after over 100 years of constitutional citizenship. Social pressures forced them to “lead” from behind. On the issue of homosexual couples adopting children, if laws are in place for bad heterosexual parents, are they not in place for bad homosexual parents? Dallin Oaks should explain that having two…

  2. Ryan, there is nothing logical about what you just said. I just don’t even know where to begin! Where is your claim coming from that marriage was invented legally for population growth?? Getting married does not necessarily require having children (children existed long before legal marriage came in to play) and not everyone that gets married does have children. I do believe legally it has more to do with things like health coverage and taxes. Goodness gracious child!

  3. Additionally, I would like to add that religions and businesses are two very different things. Religions are protected by first amendment rights, for example, and businesses are not. Religions don’t have to do a lot of things that businesses do. And what if businesses were discriminating based on a racist belief system? You’d be horrified (or at least I hope you would be). They should equally not be allowed to discriminate based on gender or sexual orientation.

  4. Also, religions aren’t being forced to marry every heterosexual couple that asks. I don’t know why you’d think that religions will be forced to marry gay couples when they aren’t forced to marry anyone to begin with.

  5. “Proponents for homosexual marriage decry these calls for a studied law, saying that we already know some heterosexual couples do not make good parents. While this is true, it is prudent to remember there have already been laws passed and procedures developed to deal with such situations.”

    This one was interesting too, do you think those laws wouldn’t protect children with gay parents? It’s not like the social worker will show up to investigate and suddenly be confused because both parents are the same gender. Gay parents have already been adopting children for a long time and there’s plenty of data and evidence that shows there’s no significant difference between children in those unions and children in similar, but heterosexual, unions.

  6. Aside from the fact that you’re quoting a study from a tertiary source (i.e. quoting Dallin H. Oaks quoting a study, rather than referencing the study directly), it’s rather fallacious to compare single parents to gay COUPLES. It makes no sense. There’s no basis for similarity. Also, it’s really very insulting to single parents (who often end up single parenting due to circumstances beyond their control) to use them as the example of parenting that harms children. They are doing they’re best and criticizing them isn’t making it any easier for them or changing their situation. It’s just thoughtless and demonstrates little understanding.

  7. Even though you say there is not enough data to make claims one way or the other (for or against gay marriage), you’ve only discussed here why you think it is a bad thing. There are a lot of things in support of gay marriage that I think should also be taken in to account if you want to effectively discuss the topic.

  8. There is no good reason to deny that we must keep evolving until an adult, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, monogamy or polyamory, race, or religion is free to marry any and all consenting adults. The limited same-gender freedom to marry is a great and historic step, but is NOT full marriage equality, because equality “just for some” is not equality. Let’s stand up for EVERY ADULT’S right to marry the person(s) they love. Get on the right side of history!

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