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Ban Marriage?

I just encountered this study done by Emory University finding that a ban on gay marriage raises the rates of HIV infection.  I hope that this doesn't come as a big surprise to anyone.  Consider the reasoning.  Let us suppose that a state (or the nation) were to enact a constitutional ban on heterosexual marriage.  What would be the effect of such a ban?  Would it stop straight people from having sex with each other?  Certainly not.  Would it stop people from having children?  Again, the answer is certain in the negative.  What effect would it have?  Well, for one thing straight people wouldn't be having sex within a marriage, since marriage is not an option for them.  For another thing, there would be less motivation for people to be in a committed monogamous relationship.  Since there is no option of marriage for them, they would be less likely to want to be in a marriage-like relationship.  Certainly, there would be a large number of people who still want to be in a monogamous relationship with their partner.  However, many people would feel no motivation to do so.  So what would these people do?  They would sleep around--the average number of sex partners per person would increase.  What does that mean?  Higher chance of spreading STDs.

So, is it any wonder that banning same-sex marriage causes an increase in the incidence of HIV, or any other STD?  Of course not.  Effectively, a ban on same-sex marriage tells gay people "Don't be in a monogamous relationship.  That's not what you're supposed to do.  Just sleep around with people and don't try to be committed to just one person.  Being committed to just one person is a privilege reserved for straight people."

The point is that nearly all people are sexual beings (there does appear to be a small percentage of the population that is asexual).  They want to have sex, and for a great number of people, sex is a certainty--they are going to have sex, whether society proscribes it or not.  Straight people and gay people alike have sexual desires.  Straight people are going to try to have sex with someone of the opposite sex and gay people are going to try to have sex with someone of the same sex.  Telling a straight person they cannot marry someone of the opposite sex may possibly discourage him from having sex, but a universal ban on opposite-sex marriage certainly would not prevent any heterosexual behavior from occurring--it would only increase the amount of promiscuous behavior.  Similarly, telling a gay person that he cannot marry may discourage him from having sex, but a universal ban certainly will not end gay sex altogether, it will merely mandate that all gay sex occur outside of the bonds of matrimony.

So, I pose this question to the reader: which option seems more moral?  Do you wish to declare that any gay person having sex either needs to do so with someone to whom he is not attracted or else he must do so outside of the bonds of matrimony, or do you wish to allow gay people to, if they so choose, be allowed to maintain the same moral code as straight people by engaging in sexual behavior only with the person to whom they are legally married?  The way I see it, a ban on same-sex marriage merely encourages gay people to be immoral, the same way a ban on opposite-sex marriage would encourage straight people to be immoral.

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