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[Dale Carpenter (guest-blogging), October 31, 2005 at 1:35pm] Trackbacks
The Traditionalist Case -- The Numbers:

Raising a family and keeping it together is important and hard work, work the state should assist. Marriage benefits both individuals and their families (individualistic benefits) and the societies in which they live (communitarian benefits).

Very few people doubt these claims; certainly the conservative opponents of gay marriage do not doubt them. I will contend that uniting gay families in marriage will produce, at least in some degree, the same kinds of individualistic and communitarian benefits that traditional marriages produce.

But first, let's look at some relevant numbers that often seem to get overlooked in this debate:

There are a lot of gay people in the United States. Of the roughly 300 million people living in this country, most surveys put the number of homosexuals in the 3-4% range (that's based on self-reporting, so it's probably an undercount). Taking the most conservative end of the range, that's about 9 million homosexuals.

That's a lot of people to leave with no reasonable prospect of ever marrying.

There are also a lot of gay families in the U.S. According to the 2000 Census, there are about 594,000 same-sex "unmarried partner" households, almost evenly split between gay male and lesbian couples. (Adults living with others were asked by the Census to classify their relationship to the others as, among other things, "husband/wife," "housemate/roommate," "roomer/boarder," and "unmarried partner"). The Census data on unmarried partners can be found at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-5.pdf. The Census figure of 594,000 is a good low-ball estimate of the number of gay-couple households in the country, though it's almost certainly an undercount since many gay couples probably reported their status as "boarders" or "roommates" rather than as "unmarried partners."

At a minimum, this means there are 1.2 million Americans already sharing a home and a life together who will never be able to marry.

Lots of children are being raised by these gay couples. Of the reported female unmarried partners, more than 1/3 are raising children. Of the male unmarried partners, more than 1/5 are raising children. That's about 162,000 unmarried same-sex households in the U.S. raising children. (This number, too, is almost certainly an undercount, for the reasons given above.) This data is also available at http://www.census.gov/prod/2003pubs/censr-5.pdf.

Once we include single gay people raising children, estimates of the total number of children in the U.S. being raised by gay parents (singles and couples) range from a low of 1 million to a high of 9 million. That's between 1% and 12 % of all the children in the country. These estimates come from Judith Stacey and Timothy Biblarz, "(How) Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?", 66 Amer. Sociological Rev. 159, 164-65 (2001). I think the estimates on the lower end, somewhere in the 1-2 million range, are more reasonable.

That's a lot of kids whose families by law will never be united in, and protected by, marriage; and who may well grow up thinking marriage is just another option among many.

A striking characteristic of this debate is that few opponents of gay marriage ever acknowledge the existence, extent, or needs of these families. It's as if they are not real, as if their interests don't count in a debate that is at least in part about them. Or, if opponents do recognize these families, they often evince little understanding of the function they serve. These families get lectured, somewhat bizarrely, for pushing 1970s disco-era selfishness, for being adults trying to satisfy personal desires for intimacy, for promoting a political cause at the cost of compromising an important social institution, and for distracting responsible people from cleaning up the mess somebody else has made of marriage.

Yet families headed by gay people are families in important ways relevant to social function and state interests. They are not simply strangers who happen to live under one roof. They are doing the hard and critical work of providing for themselves, caring for their loved ones, and raising the next generation. This is what we expect families to do.

They are not going away. If anything, their numbers are growing. The question then is, what is to be done about them? Advocates of gay marriage have an answer: let them wed. Many, though not all, opponents of gay marriage have had nothing to say up to now. I cannot see how a traditionalist, even if he does not favor gay marriage, can just ignore their fate.

This, then, gives you an idea of the dimensions of the problem and some of the familial interests involved in this debate. I don't ask that gay families' interests be considered to the exclusion of everybody else. I just ask that they be considered. Obviously, gay families are a small portion of all the families in the country and maybe sacrificing gay families' interests and needs to some greater good (like the needs of traditional families), if that's really the trade-off, is worth it. (I'll address the trade-off argument directly later in the week.) But that calculation cannot even be made until we appreciate that, for gay families, the stakes in this debate could not be higher.

Next, I'll identify some individualistic benefits these families might get from marriage; tomorrow, I'll finish up on the individualistic benefits and discuss some of the communitarian ones.

Jamesaust (mail):
(Setting aside the direct comparison with heterosexual couples without children), does this argue in favor of marriage rights for homosexuals or in favor of marriage rights for homosexuals with children?

I realize the argument has other facets -- marriage reduces promiscuity. Isn't reduced promiscuity and increased likelihood of marriage each a consequence of advancing age?

What is the argument in favor of opening marriage rights to all homosexual couples as opposed to limiting all couples, straight or gay, that do not have children to a lesser 'civil union?'
10.31.2005 2:52pm
Anonymous Coward:

what is to be done about them?


Why must something be done about them? Isn't the classical conservative (as opposed to the current conservatives) agenda to have less government? If that's the case, it should be about limiting government involvement in regulating same sex pairings. I think it was Reagan who commented that gays were rather quick in attempting to get government into their bedrooms after fighting so hard to get government out of their bedrooms.
10.31.2005 3:03pm
Wild Pegasus (mail) (www):
Raising a family and keeping it together is important and hard work, work the state should assist.

Where do you get the right to steal from me to give money to your family?

- Josh
10.31.2005 3:06pm
David Edelman (mail) (www):
Jamesaust,

Is there anyone on any side suggesting that we limit whom marriage is available for or actually pushing for a child-test before allowing a marriage?

In today's society, most people get married out of love. They want marriage because it gives their union society's blessing. Most people decide to have children *after* they get married.

David
10.31.2005 3:07pm
David Edelman (mail) (www):
Josh,

Are you proposing elimiting all benefits to married couples?
10.31.2005 3:08pm
Kendall:
Jamesaust - I've always found that argument slightly annoying. Its the old "I don't think gays should adopt" answer when someone asks "What rights should the children of gay couples have?" the problem isn't so much the question itself, its that it doesn't address the way things ARE. Currently straight couples can marry regardless of whether they have or are capable of having children. So, the issue is, as long as the laws ARE that way, although the marriage might aid in the raising of children, a lack of children shouldn't necessarily be seen as a roadblock for marriage
10.31.2005 3:09pm
Challenge:
Should any two people who are raising children together get the benefits of marriage?
10.31.2005 3:12pm
Medis:
Just an idle thought, but I suspect I would in fact voluntarily pay people to have and raise kids, and subsidize some of their costs if necessary, seeing as how all my life plans depend on a replacement of the work force over time. So I don't really have a problem with the government taxing me and spending some of that money on this project, at least in the absence of a viable private mechanism that would serve the same function.
10.31.2005 3:13pm
Gabriel Malor:
Why must something be done about them?

Often in the limited government view, legitimate government actions are those necessary to protect citizens. It can be argued that something must be done about gay couple parents because they need the protections government affords straight couple parents (e.g. right to consent to medical procedures on minor child, right to access minor child's records, right of minor children to inherit in the absence of a will, etc.)
10.31.2005 3:15pm
David Edelman (mail) (www):
Challenge,

Right now, any two people that are male and female *can* get married, regardless of whether or not they are raising children. I'm not quite understanding your point.
10.31.2005 3:16pm
Taimyoboi:
" Taking the most conservative end of the range, that's about 9 million homosexuals....At a minimum, this means there are 1.2 million Americans already sharing a home and a life together who will never be able to marry."

According to the Census website about 2/3 of Americans are in their mid 20s or older. Assuming that applies to gays as well; that means that there are somewhere around 6 million gay.

Of those 6 million who are old enough to elect for living together monogamously, only 1.2 million have done so.

That means that roughly 80% of gays do not choose to settle down together on their own.

How can we then assume that granting them marriage will induce them to do so?
10.31.2005 3:17pm
tefta (mail):
A couple of things:

I think it was a mistake for us to give over to clerics the right to preside over what is essentially a civil contract, i.e., a marriage. In Europe, couples go to city hall to be married legally and then if they so desire go on to a religious ceremony to satisfy the tenets of their faith. If they choose not to have a second religious ceremony, they are no less married.

Rather than open the can of worms of gay marriage, why don't we just restore to Caesar what is Caesar's, i.e., the right to sanction civil union legal contracts and to God what is God's, i.e., the right to perform religious ceremonies (marriages) for whomsoever they please. For couples who don't want to go to city hall, a justice of the peace could marry them prior to the religious ceremony. The logistics wouldn't be a problem.

The public and many state legislatures would approve same sex civil unions with the same rights and responsibilities as married couples have. Why isn't this eminently doable and sensible option embraced by gays?

In my opinion, it's because the left doesn't want solutions, they want constant festering problems like gay marriage and late term abortions to scare people and keep the pot stirred.
10.31.2005 3:18pm
Taimyoboi:
That should read "..somewhere around 6 million gays over in their mid-twenties or older."
10.31.2005 3:18pm
Challenge:
Carpenter wrote:

"Raising a family and keeping it together is important and hard work, work the state should assist. Marriage benefits both individuals and their families (individualistic benefits) and the societies in which they live (communitarian benefits)."

His argument is that we want to support "families." Well, families are pretty diverse. Do we want to call any familial arrangment "marriage" or not? If I were to help raise my brother's children with him, should the state "assist" us in the same way it assists married couples?
10.31.2005 3:21pm
Medis:
tefta,

It seems to me that such a solution (civil unions for both gay and straight couples) makes sense as long as there isn't a special legal status that only straight civil unions can also get (being a marriage). And I think that is true even if this special legal status comes with the same bundle of legal rights.
10.31.2005 3:35pm
Angus (mail) (www):
Taimyoboi:
According to the Census website about 2/3 of Americans are in their mid 20s or older. Assuming that applies to gays as well; that means that there are somewhere around 6 million gay.

Of those 6 million who are old enough to elect for living together monogamously, only 1.2 million have done so.

That means that roughly 80% of gays do not choose to settle down together on their own.


To take a snapshot of how many people are partnered up at a particular moment in time as an indication of what fraction of the population "choose to settle down" is bad statistics.

If we were to apply your algorithm to the broader census data, we would conclude that approximately 40% of straights "do not choose to settle down together." Given that a recent census study concluded that roughly 90% of Americans marry at some point in their lives, your methodology would seem to have some flaws.
10.31.2005 3:38pm
Bramwell (mail):
From the fact that there are gay families, Prof. Carpenter proposes to establish that there should be gay marriages. But why insist that gays be fitted into an institution designed by heterosexuals for heterosexuals?

One thing most sensible people (if they are not afraid to talk about these matters candidly) would agree on is that, in a number of satistical dimensions, gays and straights *differ*. If we stopped lumping lesbians and gay men together in the term "gay", this would be all the more clear. Lumping masculine, generally undersexed women with feminine, often oversexed men makes no sense. Why then impose the same institutional arrangements on all three groups (gay men, lesbians, heterosexuals)? Yes, there are gay families, but these families have different needs from the families of "breeders."

To a large extent, marriage is a set of default arrangments around which couples can negotiate. This is not only true legally (e.g., in the case of prenutpial agreements), but culturally as well (e.g., most married couples hold themselves out as monogamous, but some say that they have an "open marriage" but are in other respects still married).

Does it makes any sense to have the same default arrangments for homosexual men, lesbians, and heterosexuals? No, for these groups differ in important respects.

This is why believers in traditional marriage (of which I man not necesarily one) regard same sex marriage as a Trojan horse. What would gays want an arrangement that is not suited to them, if not to reshape that arrangement to their own liking?
10.31.2005 3:42pm
Anand H (mail):
Just a check here, since you're supposed to be doing "The Numbers". You've pointed out there's a substantial number of people who are hurt by the absence of gay marriage. There are more numbers you have to bring into your argument though - the numbers of people who Maggie things will be hurt by gay marriage, and the extent to which they would be hurt. The problem is that if 95% of families are straight, then gay marriage opponents only need to show that you will hurt > 1/19 of them for gay marriage to be net negative for society. Remember this means that the anti-gay-marriage need not show that the median straight will be hurt - it's sufficient that the extremist segment of the population (<5% of the straight population) is hurt. It is important that you mention that these are real people who are being hurt by the status quo - that's something the anti-gay-marriage appear to not care too much about. However, the most convincing part of your numbers argument will come from sections (5) and (6) of your argument as outlined below.
10.31.2005 3:44pm
labrat:
2001 census data showing that the percentage of women 15 and over who have never married is 25%, and the percentage married, or married/divorced, or married/widowed is 71% (additional 2% for separated).

So apparently 15% who marry are same-sex if your 90% census number is correct, or do I have my numbers wrong?
10.31.2005 3:49pm
Angus (mail) (www):
Labrat, your stats show that 75% of women 15 or above in 2001 had already married. The study to which I referred estimated that about three-fifths of those who had not by then married would at some later date do so.
10.31.2005 4:01pm
Medis:
Bramwell,

Actually, marriage law is somewhat unusual in that there are lots of legal barriers to contracting around what you are calling the "default arrangement". In other words, if you attempt to form a contract which is sufficiently similar to marriage (in that, for example, it attempts to regulate sexual partnerships), but it also varies from this "default", that contract will be declared void because it is against "public policy".
10.31.2005 4:02pm
APL (mail):
I assure you, Bramwell, that I am by not "feminine", by any definition of the term.

But thanks for the stereotype!
10.31.2005 4:07pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail):
As with many things, most of the arguments here are short-sighted. What is the long-term effect on societies which create some category for gay unions? That children currently live in such situations is only marginally relevant.

It is an example of anecdotal rather than statistical or abstract thinking to focus only on the current moment.
10.31.2005 4:08pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
Taimyoboi:

First of all, one needs to take these figures with an appropriately sized grain of salt.

Secondly, Dale's point, whatever the exact numbers may be, is that millions of gay people exist and some substantial fraction form families, broadly defined. I don't see any reasonable basis to dispute that.

I take him at his word that he will shortly move on to the various benefits of marriage to these people and the communities in which they live.

That means that roughly 80% of gays do not choose to settle down together on their own.

I think that's a rather ludicrous inference.

As a gay middle-aged man who happened to be living alone at the time of the 2000 census (and at the rate I'm going may well be living alone in the 2010 census as well), I can assure you that I'm not single because I'm reluctant to settle down.

It may be a function of our common age and upbringings more than gender or sexual orientation, but none of my gay friends evinces the slightest hesitation to settle down, but some haven't for want of someone with which to settle down.

Of course at my age (and in the circles in which I travel), most of my gay friends aren't single. That limits my prospects somewhat. For other gay people who live in areas where the pool of prospective romance is rather shallow, I suppose it may be harder for them too, albeit for different reasons.

I don't pretend to speak on behalf of six million other Americans with whom I probably have little in common, but you need a more convincing and informed basis before I'm going to credit the notion that "80% of gays do not choose to settle down together."
10.31.2005 4:09pm
Randy R. (mail):
It's funny that Dale Carpenter makes his first argument about children of gay parents, and asks, "what's to be done with them," and many of the responants here say, basically, "who cares?"

I guess children only matter if they come from opposite sex parents....
10.31.2005 4:14pm
Medis:
AVI,

Dale explicitly acknowledges your basic point (that other, more far-reaching, considerations may or may not outweigh this particular consideration). But I don't think it is "anecdotal" reasoning to require at least some accounting for the effects of marriage policy on these particular families.
10.31.2005 4:18pm
MarkW (mail):
The problem is that if 95% of families are straight, then gay marriage opponents only need to show that you will hurt > 1/19 of them for gay marriage to be net negative for society.

This isn't necessarily so, as even if you established the existence of harm to heterosexual marriages caused by gay marriage, you would still have to find some way to compare the magnitudes of the respective harms caused.
10.31.2005 4:18pm
Anonymous Coward:

I guess children only matter if they come from opposite sex parents.


What makes you think people care about those children either? Taken a look at the ever increasing pool of adoptive children recently? Bottom line is that people don't care about other people's children, especially other people that they have never met. "It's for the children" is just another nanny statist argument for stripping away individual liberties, increasing taxes or any number of things government shouldn't be doing.
10.31.2005 4:22pm
Taimyoboi:
Angus,

You're right that a snapshot should not be used to extrapolate rates over time. Poor word word choice on my part in a post that was mostly tongue in cheek.

In fact, there are only two data points from the Census website regarding the issue. One from the 1990 census, of which there were approximately 150,000 unmarried same-sex couples (certainly a low ball estimate), and one from the 2000 (the 600,000 that Mr. Carpenter cites).

Anyone know of other sources for the years between 1990 and 2000?
10.31.2005 4:24pm
Bramwell (mail):
Medis:
You are quite right that parties to a marriage are not at complete liberty to contract around the default rules (which is why I qualified "to a large extent"). Nonetheless, to the extent that marriage does consist of default rules--and restrictions on those defaults rules--there's little reason to think that they should be the same for gays, lesbians, and straights.

APL:
I don't see the relevance of whether you happen to be masculine or feminine. Clearly, I was not making a claim about *all* gay men (or straights, or lesbians); rather, I was making a point about means and standard variations. If I may say so, I don't see what is to be gained by denouncing as a "stereotype" any statistical truth (or even a hypothesis) about a group.
10.31.2005 4:26pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
Taimyoboi:

Anyone know of other sources for the years between 1990 and 2000?

I've read quite a few objective, large-scale, and occasionally longitudinal studies that gathered some information about homosexuality. All of the ones I recall deliberately and explicitly rejected the notion that they had identified prevalence rates of homosexuality or same-sex coupling.

It's not that such a study is impossible from a statistical perspective. It is, however, extraordinarily expensive. Short of a major undertaking like our decennial census, I'm not aware of any study that even approached the necessarily massive scale. And, that's just the first of several obstacles to studying the matter.

And, as is obvious to even the casual observer, the census is not designed to characterize homosexuality. Nor, in my opinion, should it.
10.31.2005 4:35pm
Taimyoboi:
"but you need a more convincing and informed basis before I'm going to credit the notion that '80% of gays do not choose to settle down together.'"

Mr. Junkie,

Indeed. Likewise should taking any numbers. The sparsity of data on all sides of debate demands more caution and deliberation, not overnight change.
10.31.2005 4:37pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
Bramwell:

Obviously, yours was not the first stereotype introduced into the discussion, nor will it be the last.

What I found remarkable about the stereotypes you chose to offer, however, was that they were irrelevant.

Are women necessarily or generally or typically more selective (qualitative) in their mating habits or less promiscuous (quantitative) then men? I'm not entirely convinced, but it was at least a relevant hypothesis to what the proponent was arguing.

What I can't fathom is how your suggestion that lesbians are "masculine" has any bearing on a debate about marriage?
10.31.2005 4:45pm
Taimyoboi:
"I've read quite a few objective, large-scale, and occasionally longitudinal studies that gathered some information about homosexuality."

Do you have links?
10.31.2005 4:45pm
John H (mail) (www):
OK, so there are people that would prefer to marry someone of their own sex. Does that mean they should be allowed to? Some people will prefer to marry their sibling, or someone already married, but there are supportable basis to not allow them to marry the erson of their choice.

Same-sex couples want to have children together, that are the offspring of each of them equally, just like opposite sex couples do. Sharing a biological bond through children is surely one of the most sublime satisfactins of marriage. The question is, would it be ethical to allow same-sex couples to attempt that or not? We will have to face that question, and the answer to that is the same as the answer to the marriage issue. If we decide to let them have chldren together, we must let them marry, but if we decide not to let them create children together, then we should not call it marriage. Calling it marriage would change marriage, it would strip it of the intrinsic right to create children together. And since they wouldn't have the same rights as a married male-female couple, why do that? Why not reflect the reality that only both-sex couples have the right to procreate together by creating Civil Unions for couples that do not have procreation rights?
10.31.2005 4:46pm
Medis:
Bramwell,

It is not just a lack of "complete" contractual liberty. Rather, through this "void as against public policy" mechanism, the state dramatically reduces the sense in which marriage rules can be contracted around. This is particularly true for gay couples, of course, who in most jurisdictions have no relevant contractual options (meaning ones that would allow them to construct something like a marriage without that contract being voided as against marriage policy).
10.31.2005 4:51pm
Tom (www):
First, the number of homosexuals is overstated in the author's argument. More likely is that only 1-2% of people are totally homosexual.

Regardless of the number, however, the fact that these homosexuals adopt children is hardly an argument for destroying the meaning of the word "marriage" (a life-long joining of a man and a woman). Why isn't it equally an argument for limiting or prohibitting adoption by homosexuals, since they cannot marry and thus provide a stable permanent home environment for these children?

The bottom line is: to overturn an institution that has been defined (and naturally so) as one man and one woman, the homosexualists bear an enormous burden of persuasion and proof. That they want to thoroughly regularize their situation vis a vis their adopted children does not meet that burden. The author does not disclose how many couples within the homosexual lifestyle there are on whose behalf we are to retool marriage. 1%? 5%? In any event, it will be a very very small number of people being accomodated at the expense of the vast majority who desire marriage to remain what it is.
10.31.2005 4:52pm
Anand H (mail):
MarkW: The problem is that if 95% of families are straight, then gay marriage opponents only need to show that you will hurt > 1/19 of them for gay marriage to be net negative for society.

This isn't necessarily so, as even if you established the existence of harm to heterosexual marriages caused by gay marriage, you would still have to find some way to compare the magnitudes of the respective harms caused.

Agreed, change that to "hurt > 1/19 equally". All I wanted to show was the magnitude of the problem, and that because of the numbers we aren't comparing median gay couple to median straight couple, but median gay couple to some (possibly extreme) straight minority. Alternatively, as you point out, the anti-gay marriage could also claim that the damage to straight marrieds is smaller than the corresponding hurt to gays, but more than 1/19 the damage and spread out over the entire population. The argument for gay marriage then has to not only point out the harm of the status quo to gay families with children, but also (more crucially) that gay marriage will not hurt marriage among straight people.
10.31.2005 4:55pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
Taimyoboi:

The sparsity of data on all sides of debate demands more caution and deliberation, not overnight change.

The degree of precision in the research necessary to support a proposition is obviously a function of the kind of argument one is making.

Given how coherently Dale has framed these first two postings, I'm going to assume that he's going to make an argument based in part on the fact that there are millions of people directly affected the gender-requirements of marital licensing schemes.

What else he needs to demonstrate to be persuasive, I'm not sure yet. He hasn't made the rest of the argument.

I can imagine arguments that Dale has chosen not to propose this week that might require little observational data.

This topic in particular seems to suffer from some gravitational attraction to chaos. I find chaos theory fascinating, but chaotic theories boring. For the time being, I prefer to confine my remarks to where the argument is now.
10.31.2005 4:58pm
David Edelman (mail) (www):
If a straight couple is married and their next door neighbors, both women, get married, how is the straight couple harmed?
10.31.2005 5:01pm
Randy R. (mail):
Tom:
Well, if gays are only 1% of the population, and not all gays get married, then how exactly is that going to destroy marriage? Or are you arguing that if even one gay couple gets married, then marriage is already destroyed, since gays are currently getting married in Massachusetts, not to mention all over Canada and (soon) Spain.

So basically your argument is that we shouldn't change the definition of marriage because it's agains the "vast majority," Yet in California, polls show 49% of the people favor gay marriage. In Massachusetts, the legislature could have voted to repeal the compromise that allows gay marriage, but they didn't. And the younger the generation, the more in favor of gay marriage they are. It's no small prediction to say that within another generation, a majority of Americans will favor gay marriage.

Fine. If you want the proof to be on us, we have it -- gay families already exist, as Mr. Carpenter points out. What about the children of those gay marriages? Why should they be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the children of straight marriages?

Also, another poster stated that the ideal situation for raising children is a man and wife. That is emphatically NOT true. The ideal situation is a man and wife who know how to raise a children properly with love and care. Few families meet that definition, at least in America. Many studies have shown that children with gay parents fare no less than children of straight marriages. Which means, it's better to be a child with gay parents who love the child, than to be with straight parents who have poor parenting skills.

Finally, I do not live a "homosexual lifestyle," whatever that is. If you can explain to me the "heterosexual lifestyle" that all you heteros live, than perhaps I can compare the two. Until then, I lead the same lifestyle as you: I go to work, I pay my taxes, I feed the cat, and I have a lovely house.
10.31.2005 5:07pm
Randy R. (mail):
Oh, and just a thought Tom: I find it easier and shorter to type "gay" rather than "homosexual." Try it out!
10.31.2005 5:09pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
-- First, the number of homosexuals is overstated in the author's argument. More likely is that only 1-2% of people are totally homosexual. --

Someone is a "homosexual" (in my opinion) if he or she is fully and predominantly attracted to the same-sex and not the other, regardless of whether he has no or *some* (less than full) attraction to members of the opposite sex.

The most recent data government data suggests this describes around 4% of the population, and that at minimum 10% of the population are "gay or bi" if we define bisexual as someone having *any* degree of attraction to both sexes, even if we refer to people who live most of their lives as ordinary heterosexuals.

See my post here. As I note, I wouldn't define "bisexual" that way. But some do.
10.31.2005 5:26pm
Bob Van Burkleo (mail):
Tom,

The insitution is already 'overturned' - gay people are being married around the world and the US every day and will continue to do so no matter what people say or do here.

This is an equal access issue to a civil contract. This is about expanding the number of people licensing this contract by 2 percent or less. This is about allowing fellow citizens equal access to a government who's primary purpose is to supporting the fundamental rights of ALL individual citizens.

If the state is going to license a contract in support of marriage than all citizens have a right to reasonable access. It would be up to those who want to limit other citizen's ability to license this civil contract that supports a fundamental right to rationalize such an exclusion. None have been able to do so yet.
10.31.2005 5:27pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
Taimyoboi:

Which study I'd refer to would be driven by what question one is trying to answer.

Probably the most useful of the research is based on the National Health and Social Life Survey.

As for overall prevelance rates, I would suggest that the treatment by Laumann et al. in 1994 (The Social Organization of Sex: Sexual Practices in the United States) is the most germane. It's just one chapter, but the authors gave a very useful overview of the research challenges, and still managed to find some very interesting things to say (the pair of Venn diagrams on p. 299 of this edition, found in most libraries, was fascinating).


Sadly most of the quotations from this study found on the Web are utterly useless (typical fare from proponents on all sides of the debate stretching perfectly interesting and reputable research beyond all recognition). You just have to get the book and read whatever chapters interest you.

For a different perspective, a longitudinal study of adolescent health (commonly called "Add Health") has spawned some of the most interesting discussions, albeit from the perspective of adolescents and young adults. In fact, one of the most fascinating journal articles I ever read on the study of human sexuality (but isn't related to this discussion) came from it.

The project's Website describes the study, provides some of the datasets too (but access to the richest dataset is severely restricted due to privacy concerns), and links to some of the information developed from the data.
10.31.2005 5:37pm
Jimbino (mail):
I find it hard to participate in this thread so full of solecism and so lacking in definition of the benefits or responsibilities involved in civil "marriage." I heard that Vermont has compiled a list of some 72 special benefits conferred by the state on married couples. I would like to see some such list used as a basis for discussion.

I imagine that the laws of the various states in regard to marriage vary little, but the discussion would surely be very different if based on a biblical, shariah or Dutch model of marriage!

I hope this controversy is soon rendered moot by an act of the Dutch, Scandinavians, Spaniards, Brits, Germans and even the Brazilians in refusing, tit-for-tat, to unrecognize the validity of any and all marriages performed in countries that do not recognize all the marriages of all their own citizens.
10.31.2005 5:54pm
Michael B (www):
The bottom line is: to overturn an institution that has been defined (and naturally so) as one man and one woman, the homosexualists bear an enormous burden of persuasion and proof.

Tom,
If the existence of families headed by gays does not meet this burden, perhaps you can help some of us understand the exact magnitude of proof you expect. Specifically, can you imagine an argument or data set that would persuade you that marriage for gays is ultimately beneficial for society?
10.31.2005 5:55pm
tefta (mail):
Medis. I'm sorry I wasn't as clear as I would have liked.

Both straight and gay couples enter into the same legal civil union contract with the governing authority. They are "married" with all the legal benefits and responsibilities that entails. A religious ceremony is optional.

However, using the word, married, will raise alarms in the religious community, so why push it? It's always politic to leave the other side with a little something even if it's just a word.
10.31.2005 6:10pm
Mr. Obvious:
Randy R said: I guess children only matter if they come from opposite sex parents.

Mr. Obvious says: Randy R. last I checked all children have opposite sex parents.

While not obvious that little fact maybe why marriage has by tradition been between men and women.
10.31.2005 6:11pm
DJB:
Marriage benefits both individuals and their families (individualistic benefits) and the societies in which they live (communitarian benefits). Very few people doubt these claims; certainly the conservative opponents of gay marriage do not doubt them

The above statement is only true if you make note of the fact that the most people take it as a given than "marriage" means "one man and one woman". Which would invalidate the rest of your argument.

It is by no means a given that every single social arrangement which is called "marriage" by its practitioners benefits society and/or enjoys society's support. Otherwise the logical action for government to take would be to pass a law defining *everybody* as married.

Personally, I think gay marriage would benefit society. But you're assuming your conclusion here.
10.31.2005 6:20pm
alexandra (mail):
I did'nt read all the responses so excuse me if i'm repeating someone else.

I doubt the statistics - if you want I can find some very respected sites that will tell you all the numbers you site are exaggerated.

I don't care what the numbers are anyway- sorry, but if we find a genetic link or a choice for incest, pediaphilia, or some other perversions of sexuality, and the numbers are high , and these people want to marry, we should say YES? Is it best for our society to allow marriage for any combination of sexual activity because these people contribute to society and need government to condone it for our own good?

And please, don't tell me I can't compare this to pediaphilia. Justice Ginsburg would like to see the age of sexual consent reduced to 12 or 8. I forget the number.
But the point is that you can count on the NAMBLA movement to continue to press for this. At some point, our society has to say NO..we will not legitimize perversion simply because some of the people who practice it also do good things for society. I don't support the right for homosexuals to adopt. This love makes a family theme in all the gov't schools is bordering on the absurd.

If love, whatever one means by that, makes a family. Then how dare anyone say that I can't marry my two sisters and we be identified as a family. We love each other. Why can't a lady have a few guys and maybe a woman form this love marriage? I think my grandson is kinda cute and wants to hitch up with me...........this will happen . Count on it!
10.31.2005 6:26pm
On Lawn (mail) (www):
My question is:

Why is Dale concentrating only on couples raising children who have intimate relations between them? If the argument that individuals benefit from recognition with another person, be it for hospital rights, help raising children, insurance benefits, etc... then why single out only gay and lesbian couples? It seems this argument is very discriminatory towards romantic relationships, and I see no justification for it.
10.31.2005 6:40pm
Challenge:
Exactly, On Lawn. If supporting families in all of their diversity is what we want to do, why shouldn't any two people be entitled to their "equality under the law"?
10.31.2005 6:59pm
Kendall:
I'm saddened but unsurprised at posts like alexandra's still, with all the sterotypes and fear mongering attacks. Although there ARE rational ways of debating whether or not gay marriage should eventually become the law of the land its more comforting sometimes to resort to invective to make your point I suppose. I'm glad however that most people on all sides are attempting at least to raise the level above that.
10.31.2005 7:09pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
On Lawn: He's making his argument in installments, as promised.

See his more recent entry (and presumably at least a few that will follow).
10.31.2005 7:10pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Carpenter: "That's a lot of kids whose families by law will never be united in, and protected by, marriage; and who may well grow up thinking marriage is just another option among many."

Marriage is just another option among many, and any child today grows up recognizing that, regardless of the status of the parents.
10.31.2005 7:12pm
alexandra (mail):
Excuse me? I see all my points as perfectly valid, none fearmongering. And what steriotype?

I believe it is an honest argument and i'm surprised you did'nt call me a bigot or a homophobe. Although you did'nt use the words your intent is obvious.

Rather than address what I said, you simply give a typical steriotypical response.

Also, I'm so sick of hearing the homosexual argument "for the children". I guess now they are victims and their children are children. This is clearly part of their agenda to appeal to emotion rather than address the issue of legitimizing a lifestyle and sexual practices that are clearly perverted. Perhaps I should argue the "health issue" Indeed, it is scientifically proven the homosexual lifestyle is indeed unhealthy.

If it is not perverted, please tell me why.
10.31.2005 7:28pm
alexandra (mail):
http://traditionalvalues.org/urban/one.php


Here is one site that gives honest statistics and shows how the homosexual lobby inflates the numbers.

Lots of other HONEST material on this site too.
10.31.2005 7:36pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Somehow I knew Alexandra would cite someone like lunatic Lou Sheldon or some other gay-hating crank. By the way my figures (discussion here) were from the The National Center for Health Statistics part of the CDC, who are not, as far as I know, part of the "homosexual lobby." And it also happens to be the most recent large scale study done as well.

And notice I didn't say that 10% of society was gay. A more conservative number, which I support and the study reflects, is between 3-4%.

You can get the 10% figure ONLY by lumping in those who are predominantly heterosexual, incidentally homosexual -- those who by-in-large have a heterosexual identity and live most of their lives as heterosexuals. I don't consider them part of the "gay or bi" community.

These people are a reality that we don't seem to appreciate. Many folks are hetero "purists" and any admission of homosexual feelings or behavior, no matter how minor, gets one lumped in the "gay or bi box."

But think about this: We know that women who define themselves and live most of their adult lives as "lesbians" are a pretty small number. Probably not more than 2% of the female population. However, the CDC study shows that 14% of females admit to having at least *some* sort of attraction to the same sex. And 11% of females admit to having same-sex behavior in their lives.

The study, I think, demonstrates that Kinsey was ultimately right in positing that sexual orientation, like many other phenomena, exists on a continuum.
10.31.2005 7:54pm
Taimyoboi:
"I'm going to assume that he's going to make an argument based in part on the fact that there are millions of people directly affected the gender-requirements of marital licensing schemes."

Junkie,

Of course we'll have to wait and see what Mr. Carpenter will marshall to his defense, but given that he has elsewhere stated that his side maintains the burden of proof, I'm curious to know where else he'll be pulling evidence.

As you have earlier noted, there remains a bit of a question mark regarding issues like tendency to settle down and the duration of couples' relationships.

But, many thanks for the links to the studies, hopefully they'll turn up more than the number of current same-sex couples.
10.31.2005 8:38pm
Appellate Junkie (mail):
Taimyoboi,

But, many thanks for the links to the studies, hopefully they'll turn up more than the number of current same-sex couples.

That's an especially difficult number to estimate, so please don't hold your breath.

That said, I'm not convinced that tremendous precision is required about the current number of same-sex couples as far as this debate is concerned.

Moreover, even if the coupling rate was different between groups X, Y, and Z (and those groups may or may not be characterized by sexual orientation), it's the "why" that would need answering.

I mentioned that the adolescent-health data produced one of the most interesting discussions I've seen on sexual behavior. What interested me most about it was not that some group of adolescents had sex at a particular frequency (or any other number one might glean from such a study), but the value of the modeling the researchers performed. (I was also particularly interested because STD prevention happens to be an area of professional interest for me, as opposed to the sociology of sexuality per se; that's not my point here though.)

The article, "Chains of Attraction: The Structure of Adolescent Romantic and Sexual Networks," (PDF available online) modeled the network of sexual interaction, from a disease-diffusion perspective, of almost every student in one American high school. As illustrated in figures two through five, the model itself was the characterization of real statistical import. Simply knowing whether an adolescent had engaged in sexual conduct with one student as opposed to many did little to inform the disease-diffusion dynamic.

As such, it's a powerful illustration of how a statistical model can inform—or obscure—these debates.
10.31.2005 9:05pm
Kendall:
alexandra - you might honestly believe homosexuality is "perverted" you might even honestly believe it is a health risk for individuals. However, saying that NAMBLA is who is pushing gay marriage and implying that all gay people are child molestors IS stereotyping and suggests to me a few things, 1. you don't know many gay people. 2. if you DO know gay people then you must feel like you aren't doing your duty by reporting these perverted child molestors to the authorities. 3. Nothing anyone says will pierce your opinion of this matter.
10.31.2005 9:10pm
Randy R. (mail):
Well, someone posted that all children come from parents of a man and woman. That is true. What I meant to say is that not all children have a man and woman raising them. There are, as Mr. Carpenter points out, plenty of gay couples raising children. Again, no one has made any argument about why they should be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis children who are raised by a man and woman. So, on Round One, Mr. Carpenter has made an argument that no one has yet refuted.

Alexandra, when you quote from Traditional Values, it is clear that these people absolutely hate gays, and have fought every single piece of legislation that would benefits us. They would like to return to the time when all gays were in the closet. Well it ain't gonna happen. I'm a gay man of 44, and just got a clean bill of health from my doctor. All that info about us having an "unhealthy" lifestyle is baloney. The facts are simply made up. According to the World Health Organziation, about 80% of all AIDs patients in the world are heterosexual. And in the US, the fastest growing number of HIV positive populatino is among black women. So I guess being a black woman is an unhealthy lifestyle, and worldwide, you, as a straight person, are more unhealthy that I am.

But this is all beside the point. If you read their website, their whole point is to hate us. Isn't that the case? Look at what they say -- the POINT of it all is to get you, the reader, to say, gosh, those gay people, those homos, are just an bunch of immoral jerks. There is no understanding of our situation, nor any attempt to. They want you to think the worst things about us.

And apparently, they have succeeded.
10.31.2005 9:14pm
Randy R. (mail):
Furthermore, Alexandra, you make the point that if love is what marriage is about, then why can't you marry your sister, whom you love.

Well, if you can't tell the difference between romantic love and sibling love, then you should truly see a therapist, because there is something simply not right inside your head. Of course there is a difference -- I love my sisters too, but I have no intention of wanting to share my life with them or having sex with them. Romantic love -- do I really have to talk to you about this? -- Is about two people who are deeply in love, and DESIRE one another. This aspect of desire is often and usually expressed sexually. Sex, as any marriage expert will tell you, is part and parcel of any marriage, or romantic union.

No, I do not see sisters beating down the doors to get married just because they love one another. People who oppose gay marriage make this disingenuous argument all the time -- well, shouldn't a mother marry her son because she loves him?

People, let's assumee some degree of intelligence here. At least I do. I am a gay man. I have a boyfriend whom I dearly love. I have sex with him. But I also love and care for him as well (our sex, if you must know, is an EXPRESSION of our love for each other, often just like how heterosexuals express their love.) Perhaps, as time goes on, I will want to spend the rest of my life with him, and vice versa. How can you object to the two of us doing so?
10.31.2005 9:23pm
Jimbino (mail):
Raising a family and keeping it together is important and hard work, but so is farming. The more important something is, like philosophy or religion, sex, nurturing a child, love or farming, the less we want the state to "assist." Civil marriage is a detriment, not a benefit, to individuals and families. It has been used for generations to oppress singles, family units like brother and sister, women and gays, not to mention those in serially monogamous or polyamorous relationships—all with or without children.

Sex, love, procreation and marriage, whether civil or otherwise, are four independent concepts that are only accidently related. The biblical model of marriage involved sex, procreation and polygamous religious marriage, while countenancing incest (Abel &Lot), canoodling (David), and romance (Songs of Solomon and Ruth). From the time of Jesus through Shakespeare, it consisted largely of loveless sex and procreation. The conceit of marriage as a voluntary and exclusive, loving, heterosexual relationship, sanctioned by both the church and state and justified by procreation, is only a couple of centuries old in the West, and still non-existent in most of the East and Mideast. In any case, it has now outlived whatever usefulness it had in the West, as the Dutch—always the first in enlightenment—have realized.

Love not conditioned on the other three is what we wish for all of our children (and even our pets). Sex without the other three is still one of the favorite pursuits of modern males everywhere in the world and now, in the City, apparently of women as well. Procreation without the other three is in the developmental stage, currently affordable mainly to single rich actresses. Marriage without the other three is well known to the classic bird in a gilded cage and the modern trophy wife. We will soon see kids cloned without any involvement of sex, love, marriage or even a father, at least if I have anything to do with it.

It has not been shown that marriage, religious or civil, benefits societies that endorse it, any more than it has been shown that either religion or civil government provide a net communitarian benefit. Indeed, history has shown religion to be a positive disaster for humanity, and I am convinced that our own government is the worst enemy of our personal freedom and the main justification for enforcing Second Amendment rights!

I feel my own life, from the cradle onward, to be at different times full of love without sex, sex without love and sex with love. Fortunately, I have so far managed to resist the destructive forces of religion, marriage, certain divorce and procreation.

Justifying civil marriage on the basis of society's interest in the nurturing of children is a canard, of course. Kids have been nurtured outside civil or religious marriage for generations and still are overwhelmingly in Brazil, the largest Roman Catholic country in the world, for example. If civil marriage weren't a super-duper precedent, it would already have been struck down as overinclusive, underinclusive and improperly tailored to solve the "child-rearing problem." There are all sorts of folks who now marry with no intent and no ability to have kids and all sorts who are nurturing kids, like brother and sister or mother and grandmother, with no chance of marriage. Tailoring marriage to serve child rearing would imply licensing any and all folks who could show they have the interest and means of rearing children for the State—not much different from the licensing of morticians. Hitler really was on the right track as far as that goes.

The alternative is to just leave us alone to live, love, copulate and rear the kids in various combinations together, without state interference, just as the Bonobos do. I don't know how it is in the rest of the country, but here in Texas we have long had a situation in which the SAT scores of the cattle keep rising without interruption, while those of our human kids keep falling from generation to generation under the Texas Marriage and Family Model. I hope we manage to resolve the marriage problem long before the two trend lines cross.
10.31.2005 9:38pm
alexandra (mail):
"The study, I think, demonstrates that Kinsey was ultimately right in positing that sexual orientation, like many other phenomena, exists on a continuum."

Now, now.........if your going to use Kinsey, that could get interesting. Do you really want the truth of Kinsey's research exposed????

That is not a hate site; it simply tells the truth.and truth is something you hate. I lived in So. California for 10 years and I worked as a Registered Nurse. I lived on the beach. Excuse me, I have'nt known alot of homosexuals. I had a Nursing Supervisor , who had been a good friend of mine, trying to make the moves on me. I knew tons of other male nurses and orderlies and beach guys. They were always talking about their sex life . I now live in Minneapolis, close to downtown, artsy area and the rainbow flags are flying high.
What, may I ask is the average age of life expectancy for a homosexual?
What is the average age of life expectancy for a heterosexual?

And I know the difference between romantic love and sibling love. (thanks for you lecture anyway) Obviously, i'm referring to romantic love between sisters or brother and sister or any combination you can imagine..who are you to judge their love? And who are you to deny them a marriage liscence if they want to marry?
i note that all my little debating points are always just pronounced absurd by the homosexual agenda people,but the question is never answered.
I've known guys who have loved more than one woman at the same time and vice versa,so should pologamy be legalized?

Again, NAMBLA is out there and they are quite active. Why could'nt a guy marry a boy of 12?
Why should'nt we redefine the age of consent since you want to redefine marriage?
What about bi-sexuals? Why could'nt a bi-sexual marry another man and another woman The bi-sexual is obviously capable of loving both sexes so why should that group be denied marriage?

This whole argument reminds me of Roe vs Wade...emotions
A woman was raped and became pregnant but she could'nt get an abortion. (Oh, the poor lady, we must find a right to privacy) What does privacy means? Who can complain about a woman's right to it? Oh yeah, IT really means a right to kill a unborn baby in a tax payer funded public building Now what do we have as a result of this ? Now, it does'nt matter if it was rape or incest, does'nt matter if the woman's health is in danger, does'nt even matter if the baby is 8 months gestation. No, we will just partially deliver this baby and stab the back of the neck) How dare the american public deny this right to "women's health"? (and privacy) And oh yeah, we get to pay for it if the poor lady can't
BTW, i'm sure you know that Roe was based on a total lie????????? This lady , aka Roe, was abused by the extreme left wing (lol) , just like Cindy S. , and now gives tons of speeches about it)

So , you may laugh at my simple extrapolations, but once we crossed the respect for life- look what happened?
When we cross the NATURAL for the UNNATURAL, all of my hypotheticals and some one can't even imagine, will NOT be hyptheticals.

The frog is feeling the burn
10.31.2005 10:26pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
-- Now, now.........if your going to use Kinsey, that could get interesting. Do you really want the truth of Kinsey's research exposed???? --

As long as none of your facts are derived from Judith Reisman who has been exposed as a fraud and a crank.

Whatever the problems with Kinsey's initial research, other subsequent research, done by entirely unrelated scholars have proven many of the things he posited, like his scale, to be correct.

"What, may I ask is the average age of life expectancy for a homosexual?

"What is the average age of life expectancy for a heterosexual?"

Something I'd like to know. Considering that there has never been any credible research on the matter, I think you'll have to ask God himself for that one.
10.31.2005 11:00pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
"Again, NAMBLA is out there and they are quite active. Why could'nt a guy marry a boy of 12?"

Uuh? Maybe because it harms the child, something, btw, entirely absent from consenting relations between two same-sex adults.

"Why should'nt we redefine the age of consent since you want to redefine marriage?"

The age of consent as part of "modern," post-60s sexual morality, redefined upwards. "Traditional Values" (since you are fond of citing the TVA) hold that girls as young as 12 can consent to sex with an adult man. If you don't believe me ask Lorretta Lynn or Jerry Lee Lewis, both of whom were in marriages, in the SOUTH in the 1950s, the heydey of traditional values, where one party was an adult male, the other a 13-year-old girl.
10.31.2005 11:06pm
alexandra (mail):
i sent an e-mail because it looks like i'm blocked
10.31.2005 11:21pm
Randy R. (mail):
Alexandra -- you make a comment about the life expectancy of gays versus straights. I know that on those website that hate gays, they site a report done by a psychologist (I think it was Dr. Cameron) who found the average life expectancy of gays to be about 42, as opposed to straights, who are around the high 70s. Am I right?

Well, his report was based solely on examining gay newspapers and getting the average age of gays who had an obit written up. That's it. His study was so flawed, it has been debunked by every other peer review organization, such as the American Psychiatric Association. Worse, his constant warping of the truth has been so flagrant and biased that he was finally expelled from the APA and can no longer treat patients. Yet the TVC continues to site his deeply flawed report.

So please, I have no interest in debating ideas with someone who reads websites that put deliberately misleading information on their website.

You also make a slippery slope argument -- "Why can't sister marry who might love each other? What about polygamy?" First, Mr. Carpenter said he would address those exact issues in a future post, so there is no point in debating it here. Second, the ONLY people pushing for polygamy have been people like you! There have been absolutely no gay organzations or activists who have said that we would like gay marriage, then on to polygamy. I don't know anyone who advocates all this except the people who are against gay marriage. Third, if it really bothers you that much, then advocate for a Constitutional amendment to ban polygamy. That would undoubtedly pass the congress and probably the two-thirds states necessary for an amendment. Problem solved, okay?

Finally, you make the heart of your argument, in which you equate homosexuality with something "unnatural." Well, it may be unnatural to YOU, but it sure as heck is natural to me. having sex with a women would be most unnatural to me, as it would repulse me, and I have no desire for it. Zip, zero, nada. But falling in love with a guy -- that's more to my liking.

Tell me, Alexandra, since you know so many gay men, do you know any who are in a loving monogamous relationship? Do they have children, and are raising them properly? I do know quite a few, and God bless them all. They are wonderful role models for me, and I honored to know them.

But the bottom line, Alexandra, is that you have an opinion about gay people. Accurate or not, you are certainly entitled to it, and it's pointless for me to try to change it. But the real point here is that the world does not revolve around your opinions, right as you may think you are. Rather, there are quite a few people who think that rights belong to people even when they disagree with those people. Do I think all religions are equal? No, not at all. Some are pretty dangerous, in my opinion. But my opinion is irrelevant -- what matters is whether a person has a right to choose that religion, and it IS a choice. And I can never interfere, either on moral grounds or religious grounds, to try to stop their choice in religions.
10.31.2005 11:39pm
alexandra (mail):
Below is part of an article from a homosexual site and the address is too long to post........i sent an e mail for help on this. So if I can i'll post it later or you can easily e mail me and i'll share it.

"This tendency to exaggerate may go all the way back to our spiritual forefather, Alfred C. Kinsey. A powerful new biography by James Jones offers strong evidence that Kinsey rigged his social experiments that produced results that are quoted to this day. You know the figures; 10 per cent of men are gay, 85 per cent had premarital sex, 70 per cent had bought sex from a prostitute, 37 per cent had at least one same-sex contact to the point of orgasm, and 17 per cent had sexual contact with animals.

Kinsey, it turns out, was a closet gay and a profound masochist. He also had sex with his students. And, perhaps driven by a need to rationalize his existence in the America of June Cleaver, Kinsey biased his samples.

... The speed with which the Christian Right attacked Kinsey may be due to our willingness to disregard our own experience, fudge the numbers and perpetuate the same old myths. Why tell the truth when it's a less effective tactic than telling a lie?

Well, because it's a lie.

Sure, it's a tougher sell if we're only three per cent of the population (as some recent studies suggest), if we can get through life in heterosexual unions (though feeling unfulfilled and suppressing our desire), and if only 60,000 people turned out for the annual parade.

Yes, claiming we're 10 per cent of the population makes us sound Impressive, a big vote for the wooing and an interest group that can't be offended without serious consequences. Yes, claiming we're all 'born this way' makes us seem like people to be sympathized with rather than blamed.

But is it the truth? Clearly, more research is needed.

In the meantime, even if we were only one-half of the one per cent of the population (which is clearly a figure far too low), we still have the right to be respected for who we are. We have the right to equal opportunities and treatment under the law.

If we all choose to be gay (which we clearly all do not), we'd still have the right to have our choices respected. We'd still have the right to have our love and lust respected and accommodated within social and legal structures.

Please, let us stick to the facts. And demand the right to take our rightful place."

I give the guy credit for being honest........and I agree that numbers are not the issue.

If there existed only ONE homosexual couple who wanted to marry, given your argument, they should not suffer any discrimination.
10.31.2005 11:50pm
On Lawn (mail) (www):
Appelate,

His recent entry on the individual benefits, I have to say what he excludes from his arguments is even more egregious. Again the questions were...

Why is Dale concentrating only on couples raising children who have intimate relations between them? If the argument that individuals benefit from recognition with another person, be it for hospital rights, help raising children, insurance benefits, etc... then why single out only gay and lesbian couples? It seems this argument is very discriminatory towards romantic relationships, and I see no justification for it.


His arguments seem rather intrinsically discriminatory, perhaps he well justify the discrimination in another installment. But if anything I think Dale is the one ignoring the needs of thousands of couples who have no romantic interest that are raising children, depend on each other, etc...
11.1.2005 12:01am
alexandra (mail):
Just a quick response and then night night I go

You quote the American Psychiatric Association..now that's a laugh. It's been so political as to render its opinions mute - except if your a social lefty -

whoops, you actually quote Kinsey too, I almost forgot.

Let's try and stick to facts.

I am not pushing for anything other than traditional marriage . Those were rather silly statements.

Again, you obviously have no answer since your argument is simply "people who love each other should have the right of a legal marriage" Well? why limit the number or age or the incestial relationship of that love? Now, please don't tell me because society has determined it's wrong and "right now" we're not even asking that..........again Roe did'nt ask for partial birth abortion. Things always start with little steps and then well.....it never ends, does it?

If you like, I can give you quotes from leaders of the push for marriage for homosexuals. They admit it is not abour the right for homosexuals to marry but the destruction of families. I'll do it tomorrow.

nite nite
11.1.2005 12:03am
Randy R. (mail):
Yes, Alexandra. That's the whole reason we want to get married. It's to destroy all families. Hopefully, we can destroy all of western civilization, because, well, that's what we gay people are all about. Mr. Carpenter's arguments are all just a smokescreen, right?

Sheesh. Don't bother, okay?

I did answer your questions about the slippery slope with three points, but I guess you would prefer to ignore them. No, I did not quote Kinsey at all. Please read posts before you respond to them. And you can add other lefty organizations who support us such as the American Medical Association and American Pschological Association to the stew -- just check their websites. And you didn't answer about whether you know any loving gay couples.

Night, night.
11.1.2005 1:53am
On Lawn (mail) (www):
Randy, that was rather distasteful.

I didn't propose to my wife saying "will you join with me in an institution that will put gays down and keep them from full civil status?"

No, and its just as asenine to assume that gays wish to destroy marriage.

However, did my marriage oppress gays? No. Does the requirement for equal gender participation oppress gays? Some think it does, they scream at the top of their lungs that it does, but they don't speak for all gays.

What is at work here are forces involved in much more pragmatic aspects of society than desiring to oppress others. You should give Alexandra and others the benefit of the doubt that they are not out to oppress you. Paranoia does not a counter-argument make.
11.1.2005 2:12am
Chairm:
According to Census 2000: 210 million adults.

HRC's census analysis: 5% openly gay and lesbian adults - 10.5 million individuals.

Census 2000, about 1.2 million live as same-sex twosomes. About 300,000 do so with resident children. While 11.5% of the gay and lesbian adult population live in same-sex households more than 97% of the gay and lesbian adult population DO NOT live in such households with children.

Doesn't come close to the stats on man-woman couples -- married and cohabitating -- with children.

About 90-95% of the child population in same-sex households migrated with parents who had been in previously procreative relationships (usually marriages or cohabitions) but decided to bust-up and live with a same-sex partner. So only 5-10% of the children were attained via alternative means such as adoption.

That is virtually the inverse of man-woman households.
11.1.2005 6:42am
alexandra (mail):
Randy,

I think I did adress your answers regarding "broadening" the view that this involves much more than homosexual marriage.
I don't believe I said you quoted Kinsey. I simply posted some replies to other people's comments..
However, when you say that there is goal to destroy marriage as a institution. Perhaps you should give your leaders a call..and try to stay more informed?


Michelangelo Signorile, writing in Out! magazine, has stated that homosexuals should, "...fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then, once granted, redefine the institution of marriage completely … To debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution. … The most subversive action lesbians and gays can undertake-and one that would perhaps benefit all of society-is to transform the notion of 'family' altogether." (Out! magazine, Dec./Jan., 1994)


Andrew Sullivan, a homosexual activist writing in his book, Virtually Normal, says that once same-sex marriage is legalized, heterosexuals will have to develop a greater "understanding of the need for extramarital outlets between two men than between a man and a woman." He notes: "The truth is, homosexuals are not entirely normal; and to flatten their varied and complicated lives into a single, moralistic model is to miss what is essential and exhilarating about their otherness." (Sullivan, Virtually Normal, pp. 202-203)


Paula Ettelbrick, a law professor and homosexual activist has said: "Being queer is more than setting up house, sleeping with a person of the same gender, and seeking state approval for doing so. … Being queer means pushing the parameters of sex, sexuality, and family; and in the process, transforming the very fabric of society. … We must keep our eyes on the goals of providing true alternatives to marriage and of radically reordering society's view of reality." (partially quoted in "Beyond Gay Marriage," Stanley Kurtz, The Weekly Standard, August 4, 2003)


Evan Wolfson has stated: "Isn't having the law pretend that there is only one family model that works (let alone exists) a lie? … marriage is not just about procreation-indeed is not necessarily about procreation at all. "(quoted in "What Marriage Is For," by Maggie Gallagher, The Weekly Standard, August 11, 2003)


Mitchel Raphael, editor of the Canadian homosexual magazine Fab, says: "Ambiguity is a good word for the feeling among gays about marriage. I'd be for marriage if I thought gay people would challenge and change the institution and not buy into the traditional meaning of 'till death do us part' and monogamy forever. We should be Oscar Wildes and not like everyone else watching the play." (quoted in "Now Free To Marry, Canada's Gays Say, 'Do I?'" by Clifford Krauss, The New York Times, August 31, 2003)


1972 Gay Rights Platform Demands: "Repeal of all legislative provisions that restrict the sex or number of persons entering into a marriage unit…" [Emphasis added.]
11.1.2005 10:50am
alexandra (mail):
Since the number of homosexuals if often used ,and it is more on topic...........The health issue, etc. perhaps can be addressed on another discussion of this broad debate.



A NEWLY RELEASED REPORT from the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics reveals that only 2.3% of the population considers themselves homosexual. The statistics come from a 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and are based on 12,571 interviews with men and women ages 15-44 years of age
11.1.2005 12:10pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):
Alexandra:

That's the exact study which I've cited. The same study also shows that 1.8% considers itself "bisexual." So add the numbers together and about 4% of the population considers itself "gay or bisexual." Further, only 90% of the population was willing to consider itself entirely "heterosexual."
11.1.2005 12:20pm
Randy R. (mail):
I never said that marriage oppresses gays. Just the opposite -- I want gay to be able to enjoy all the benefits of marriage!

What I was referring to, rather sarcastically, was Alexandra's statement that gay people want to destroy marriage. And so she quoted some statements purportedly made by gay activists. I've seem those quotes, and I have actually read the statements made by Andrew Sullivan, Signorile, Evan Wolfson and so on. In fact, I have met many of them. I even read their weblogs quite often. So Alexandra's admonition that I should read what my leaders are saying is off the mark -- I do read them.

And nowhere have I ever heard them remark that they want to destroy marriage, and in fact, except for the last example, by someone whom I've never heard of, none of the quotes above mean that the authors intend to destroy marriage. Yes, we mean to destroy the notion that marriage is solely for a man and a woman. Of course! We want marriage to say man and man, or woman and woman. To some, that is destruction. But to me, it means opening up, changing, evolving.

What people likd Alexandra see in those comments are some nefarious plot to get all married people to get divorced, and prevent anyone else from getting married. Now that's just ridiculous. Even if that were a goal, how could anyone achieve that? And what would be the point?

I agree with Sullivan -- we gays are not "normal" if you define normal as straight people. We go to the opera a lot more that straight people, support the arts but not sports, we eat out at fine restaurants more often and travel abroad more frequently. This makes us "abnormal." I rejoice in that. I'm sure Alexandra is abnormal is some way, but in a way that she enjoys, just like me. But there is nothing in Sullivan's comments that make him want to "destroy marriage."

What Evan Wolfson says is true. The idea that a family is two opposite sex parents and children is indeed a lie, since less than 50% of American families fit that description. There are plenty of single parent households. There are plenty of same-sex families. There are plenty of foster care households. How can anyone disagree with that? It's time our laws started to catch up with reality, is all he is saying.

as for the rest, I am indeed familiar with their arguments, but I have never heard of those people. So to call them my "leaders" is a bit presumptuous. But nonetheless, there are some gay people who are suspicious of marriage altogether, and they argue that no gay people should enter into marriage. Tab Hunter just came out, and he says he is opposed to gay marriage. So people like Alexandra should be agreeing with them! They are on the same side of the page -- opposing gay marriage. So it's bizarre to quote someone who supports your argument and then knock them down.

But regardless -- the world is a big place. And it has lots of ideas. Not all gay people think monolithically -- we don't all have the same thoughts, goals and ideas. Unlike Alexandra, we don't just read the TVC website and close down our minds to thinking.

The bottom line is that the majority, not all, but the majority of gay people are in favor of gay marriage. ARe we all in lockstep? No. But there hasn't been any gay person that I know of, even including the people quoted above, who have a goal of destroying marriage for straight people.
11.1.2005 2:39pm
Randy R. (mail):
Furthermore, the issue at hand is Dale Carpenter's arguments. Can you discern any notion that he wants to destory families? Just the opposite -- he wants to strengthen them.

So finally, Alexandra -- what do you want us gay people to do? How do you see us fit into society? I've asked numerous times, do you know any gay people who are in a loving committed relationship? Or do you just want us to go away, go back into the closet, so that you don't have to see us or deal with us anymore? And finally, what would you do if your child came out to you as gay. Would you kick him or her out of the house, as many families do, and how would that be pro-family?

Just curious....
11.1.2005 2:44pm
alexandra (mail):
Jon,

Fine....but again, the homosexual lobby has used these high numbers but in some court case were forced to admit
they were not true. (If you wish, I can find the case and how basically they had no choice but to tell the truth)

Randy,

There are alot more quotes than those and alot more material that exposes, from your leaders own mouth, that they want to redefine marriage.

Your post simply confirms it.

So why not make an honest argument......it is NOT about the right for homosexuals to obtain a "legal marriage"
It is about destroying marriage, the foundation of civilized society, and endorsing what most would call perversions of all kinds of sexual practices under the title "MARRIAGE"

Let's just "come out of the closet" and be intellectually honest.

If my daughter, for example, said she was a lesbian, what would I do? Again, what a weird question.

It would not change the facts I know nor the opinions I hold. I would love her but probably start laughing and send her to "de-programming school"
I realize its a "kewl fad" these days. I send my children to a private and academically acclaimed christian school. They actually don't give them condoms so they can have safe? sex. And they are not indoctrinated into any of the homosexual programs.
I hope in your response, your not going to try and argue it is genetic?
Again, pediaphilia is also untreatable and for now, society continues to condemn it.
I know one thing I would'nt do.......send her to any secular counselor.

Also, some laugh about marriage including 12y olds or even younger children.

again, look at Roe.......who would have thought a child could get an abortion without any parental permission or even notice?

Try reading "RIGHTS OF THE CHILD" UN junk that all sorts of leftys endorse, including Hilliary Clinton.One of their objectives is to lower the age of consent.

So again, our society has to say NO to the unnatural.

Again,if you want to discuss southern hicks or whatever the example someone put forth as marrying underage children, I think this is seen as unacceptable by most.
However, when a parent signs the legal emancipation document, that would allow a legal marriage. Atleast the parents are involved.

Again, there are always exceptions and to argue from exceptions is to miss the "common good"
11.1.2005 6:52pm
Jesurgislac (mail) (www):
I would love her but probably start laughing and send her to "de-programming school"

Let me recommend to your attention The Fine Art Of Being Come Out To: A Straight Person's Guide To Gay Etiquette by The Plaid Adder - especially Chapter Three: Fraught With Peril - Coming Out At Close Range:
These things are hard for any parent to get over; we understand that. We only ask that before you respond to your offspring's announcement, you administer to yourself the following short quiz:

1. Check the sentence that you think best describes your true feelings:

(_) Having a loving, open and intimate relationship with my child is important to me.
(_) I don't care if my daughter hates me so long as she walks down that aisle toward someone with a penis.

If you chose the first statement, you will of course see the necessity of refraining from telling your offspring that you are deeply disappointed, grievously offended, and eternally embittered by his/her choice of lifestyle. Remember, this is something you cannot change; if you want a relationship with your child your only option is to learn to accept it. If you chose #2, well, you've got problems a humble bunch of etiquette mavens can't help you with.
11.1.2005 7:57pm
alexandra (mail):
Jes,

Now that's hilarious!

Did'nt you note, I would not send her to any secular-humanist counselor, nor would I ever take their advice.

Again, I would do what I stated above.......
11.1.2005 9:54pm
Jesurgislac (mail) (www):
Alexandra: Again, I would do what I stated above.......

In short, you'd rather your daughter grew to hate you and herself. Ah well.
11.2.2005 5:51am
alexandra (mail):
I believe de-programming school would cure her and she would love me more! ( I actually think this whole homosexual agenda is kinda cultish)

Again, don't try emotional pleas with me..I don't respond well to the dialectic and synthesis praxis kinda approach.
I like to deal with truth and facts.

Let's just agree that traditional marriage is not in danger if the courts don't impose it on us. If it were put to a democratic vote, marriage would remain safe from an invasion of all sorts of coupling. And if that ever happens, like the rotten apple, marriage would have no meaning. People like me would opt out of this whole gov't marriage, leaving, we'll, all the unnatural combinations to enjoy a false victory. I believe we traditionalist would NOT want to be included in the curriculum going around gov't schools called LOVE MAKES A FAMILY. When the door opens and love is the only requirement for a gov't marriage license, the textbook will be 800 pages long with lots of cute pictures of how these families practice their love. People like me will not want any association with it.

So, all I have left to say, is there is no good argument for broadening the definition of marriage. If it does change, people like me will opt out.
11.2.2005 10:12am
Jesurgislac (mail) (www):
alexandra (mail): I believe de-programming school would cure her and she would love me more!

Well, you're wrong on both counts. Sad but true.

I like to deal with truth and facts.

The truth: "de-programming school" never "cured" any lesbian or gay teenager of being lesbian or gay. They're a cruel fraud: the parents who pay for them are being defrauded of their money, and the school is being cruel to the children who get sent there. That's the facts: deal with it.

True, I can't say for sure that your daughter would hate you for trying to "de-programme" her: she might come to fear you, or feel sorry for you, or simply detach herself from you, if you remained unable to accept her. Some people do have the maturity and compassion to look at their parents' actions and recognize that their parents meant well, even if their actions were cruel: cruelty in ignorance.

But if you daughter came out to you, and you really want your adult daughter's love and respect, the only way to get it would be to behave towards your teenage daughter with love and respect: which is to say, pretty much as the Plaid Adder outlines it in her guide to coming out.
11.3.2005 8:02pm