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Same-sex marriage and human fulfillment: a rebuttal

I'm a debater.  I like debating.  Ask anyone that knew me at any point of my public education career.  I was on the debate team in high school.  I have made much progress in moving from the immature mindset of arguing with anyone about anything (even when I am made to argue against the position that I personally hold) to the slightly more mature stage of only arguing things that I feel strongly about.  Also, I try not to make it a personal thing anymore, allowing emotions to take a large part of the debate, but to argue the points themselves and use mostly logic rather than sensation to debate.

At any rate, a friend of mine posted this article on Facebook today.  I read it and would like to post my rebuttal here.

First off, the author states that "It is a mistake, however, to think that the same-sex marriage movement is aimed primarily at acquiring the material benefits and legal prerogatives that accompany publicly recognized marriage. The aim, rather, is equality of public recognition or approval." and uses as evidence to support this claim the fight in California over Proposition 8.  In California, gay couples in domestic partnerships have all of the same legal right and benefits that straight couples in marriages have (I have to admit here that I have not done my due diligence in the matter to ascertain whether this claim is true, but even if it is not true, I will concede the point for the sake of this argument).  Therefore, since no legal benefit is to be gained by allowing same-sex marriage in California, gay rights activists can only be after equality of recognition.  This argument makes the hasty generalization that since this is the case in California that therefore it is the motivation for all activists and for the effort being made in all states.  It is also quite possible that it is only some of the activists in some states, such as California, that have this as their main motivation.  In many states, laws such as those that exist in California are not in force and therefore pushing to have the same legal rights and privileges would then become part of the push for legalizing gay marriage.

The next issue that I would like to rebut is what I feel is the main argument in this article.  The author points out that the statement "homosexual activity is contrary to the natural law" is either true or it is false. If it is true, then making homosexual marriage have equal recognition with heterosexual marriage only damages society by recognizing something that is in fact immoral. If it is false, then equal recognition of homosexual marriage contributes nothing to a same-sex couple, since happiness comes not by social recognition nor appearance, but rather by obedience to natural law. The issue that I have with this is not the logic (since this logic is sound), but with the author's conclusion. The author concludes from this argument that therefore efforts to legalize gay marriage are fruitless. I propose a more logical conclusion.

The same argument applies to heterosexual marriage. Let us repeat the argument with "homosexual" or "gay" replaced by "heterosexual" in every occurrence. That is, the statement "heterosexual activity is contrary to the natural law" is either true or false. (I am completely willing to concede that this statement is false, but for the sake of parallelism I will consider both cases.) If it is true, then social recognition of heterosexual marriage (which is what we have now) does nothing but damage society by recognizing something that is in fact immoral. If it is false, then socially recognizing heterosexual marriage (as it is currently recognized) is meaningless, since happiness comes not by social recognition but rather by obedience to natural law. Therefore, it should also be concluded that social recognition of heterosexual marriage is meaningless. So, the conclusion should be that marriage itself is meaningless--if a couple wish to join together in commitment and dedication, they should do so without any worry of what society thinks of them, but rather be content in knowing that each partner is dedicated to the other.

So, if the argument in this article against the quest for equal social recognition for homosexual marriage is to be accepted, then the same argument for heterosexual marriage must also be accepted and therefore marriage should be deprecated.

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