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Same-Sex Marriage and Research on the Well-Being of Children

Another argument for justifying the expansion of marriage to same-sex couples addressed by ‘Discussing Marriage‘ regards supposed research showing that there is no difference in the well-being of children raised by a same-sex couple than that of children raised in other family arrangements.  The argument would go something like this:

P1:  Research shows no difference in the well-being of children raised by a same-sex couple and children raised in other family arrangements.
P2:  Children will not be harmed by being raised by a same-sex couple
C1:  Same-sex marriage should be legalized

The web site linked above calls this argument something of a red-herring.  The well-being of children is not a primary argument that is used to oppose same-sex marriage.  The response also includes that the bulk of historical research has shown that children are better off being raised by their own biological parents than in any other arrangement.  The authors of the site are critical of some recent research because of small sample sizes, lack of random sampling, cultural bias and other factors.

For more details and references I would refer you to the Discussing Marriage website.

Same-Sex Marriage and Contracts

The next objection to maintaining traditional marriage is the argument from contracts.  This one seems pretty straight forward to me and comes down once again to what the view of marriage ought to be.  Perhaps this response is valuable for just that reason.  I believe the argument can be summarized like this:

P1:  Marriage is a contract like many other contracts
P2:  Same-sex marriage would also be a contract
C1:  A same-sex marriage contract should be legally allowed

The response to this argument is that the nature of the marriage contract is fundamentally different from any other contract.  The marriage contract includes expectations such as child support, and other considerations rising from procreative possibilities.  No other relationship has this, and it is fundamental to the traditional view of marriage.  A marriage ‘contract’ ought to be fundamentally different from what might be called a civil union ‘contract’ for example.

Same-sex Marriage and Libertarianism

The next topic I would like to summarize from Discussing Marriage is the argument from Libertarianism.  This may seem like a strange argument at this point, but hopefully we can see some merits in the response.  I would summarize the argument thus:

P1:  Legal marriage of any kind is beyond the scope of government
P2:  Marriage is more appropriately part of a religious observance
C1:  Government should get out of the marriage business altogether

I can see how this would appeal to libertarians.  The response involves whether or not legal traditional marriage promotes the general welfare sufficiently for the government to be involved.  Legal marriage is an important type of contract where husband and wife agree to take responsibility for the children they have as the result of a conjugal marriage.  Without some level of legal contract, a provider could simply decide to leave their dependent spouse and children with no legal consequences.  Thus, a significant reason why government is involved in marriage in the first place is to protect the well being of a dependent spouse and/or children in a traditional marriage.

Once again, this comes back to the crucial distinction of a conjugal view of marriage.  And this argument provides another insight to the rationale behind defining marriage in a traditional way.

Same-Sex Marriage and Infertility

One argument used to justify the expansion of marriage to include same-sex couples is the example of male and female couples who are infertile.  The ‘Discussing Marriage‘ website features a somewhat foundational philosophy of marriage called the conjugal view of marriage which I may cover later.  But in a nutshell, this view forwards the idea that traditional marriage is a unique relationship which the state has an interest in because of the potential for procreation.  Other relationships may be valuable and fulfilling, but since there is not the potential for procreation in these relationships, the state does not have the same type of interest in them.  Thus no need to treat these other relationships in the same way they would treat a traditional marriage.

Continue reading ‘Same-Sex Marriage and Infertility’

Same-Sex Marriage and Getting on the Bandwagon

I am continuing my review of the arguments published on the ‘Discussing Marriage‘ website.  Another argument for supporting same-sex marriage has to do with getting on the bandwagon on this issue.  This argument is basically an appeal to popular opinion, or perhaps more accurately, anticipated future public opinion.  I would boil this argument down to something like this:

Continue reading ‘Same-Sex Marriage and Getting on the Bandwagon’

Same-Sex Marriage and Bigotry

In the wake of the recent Supreme Court case regarding same-sex marriage, I felt like drawing some attention to what I feel is a high quality web site called ‘Discussing Marriage‘.  This site reviews many of the key arguments for supporting traditional marriage, and key responses to arguments supporting same-sex marriage.  For a deeper review I would refer you to this site.  What I would like to do here is to summarize the arguments and responses in about as small and simple a way as possible.  And since the website does not allow comments, and the facebook page is heavily moderated, I would like to provide light moderation (if any) here.  I hope that by taking some time to simplify the arguments I can solidify my thoughts on the subject.

Continue reading ‘Same-Sex Marriage and Bigotry’

The Church of Anything Goes: Tolerance of the Saints, Fallibility of Prophets, and Salvation by Grace Alone – These Three

Not long ago I wrote a post about Big Tent Mormonism being like a Church of Anything Goes.  After reading several blog posts and interacting a little bit, it seems like a church of anything goes may be just what many want.  Perhaps the only doctrine of such a church might be that one must accept all beliefs and behaviors as equally valid, and that to say anything otherwise is to hate.

Continue reading ‘The Church of Anything Goes: Tolerance of the Saints, Fallibility of Prophets, and Salvation by Grace Alone – These Three’


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