The response : The children do have two parents. What children are robbed of, and you cannot deny this, is the day-to-day influence of one parent of each gender. That's not optimal, and it should not be argued - all children, in an ideal scenario, would have a mother and a father in the home. However, that's not always what each child gets - even with straight parents. Children suffer the loss of a parent due to all sorts of different causes: death, divorce (especially when one parent moves far away), drug abuse, or abandonment. As to the "poverty and drug abuse" allegation - this is not supported by facts. Conveniently, many opponents of gay marriage ignore the fact that there are far more children doing well while still not being raised by a mother and father in an intact family than there are in dire straits. But in many committed gay families, there are two parents in the home, with children who are well-adjusted and successful in school. In fact, a recent study showed that for the very best parental situation, one would need to be sure a child was raised by a pair of lesbians; these children turned out to be more well adjusted and have better IQ scores than their peers being raised by their own bio moms and dads.
The argument : Why would traditional marriage be in Federal Law? - President Clinton signed the federal Defense of Marriage Act into law on September 21, 1996. If traditional marriage was wrong, why would one of our former presidents, with the support of the House of Representatives and Senate, sign it into law? Of course, the Federal Government has made mistakes in the past on subjects such as slavery and suffrage. The difference is that slavery has been abolished and all Americans have the right to vote, while the Defense of Marriage Act is still in law.
The response : This one's just funny. Let's think about it. First of all, nobody, as far as anyone can see so far, has said that "traditional marriage is wrong." It's fine - for traditional couples. The reason the Federal Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law is because it was politically expedient at the time for Clinton to sign it into law. The base of support for Gay Marriage that exists today did not exist then. And, as the other person points out, The Federal Government "has made mistakes in the past, on slavery and suffrage." (Former President Bill Clinton now regrets signing the Defense of Marriage Act, calling the law unconstitutional.Additionally Clinton has requested that the supreme court justices overturn the DOMA.) Now you can point out that it is making a mistake here, too. The difference is that "slavery has been abolished and all Americans now have the right to vote." Exactly. Those laws were wrong then, and the Defense of Marriage Act is just as wrong - we just haven't gotten to the point yet where it's politically expedient to abolish the Defense of Marriage Act. Yet. It may still be the law for now. But have no doubt that it will be abolished eventually, just as the others were. This argument absurdly takes the stand that the fact that it hasn't happened yet is proof that it never should.
- Section 3 of DOMA has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts, including the First and Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on issues including bankruptcy, public employee benefits, estate taxes, and immigration. As of 2012, five of those cases are awaiting a response for review in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The argument : The Bible speaks out against gays. Since the authors of the Bible were inspired by God, then God must be opposed to homosexuality, and since marriages are done through God, there can be no same sex marriage.
The response : First, let's address the specific religious point: Actually, the Bible says little on the subject; the usual citations are from Leviticus and Romans; nothing about it is mentioned in the 10 Commandments, and Jesus is silent on the subject. Religious leaders have also spoken out against sex before marriage and contraception, implying that the only time sex is 'permitted' by God, is to reproduce. Yet, couples who cannot have children are permitted to marry and have sex, so the argument loses air. Second, let's refocus the argument on marriage, and away from the general issue of homosexuality: Marriages may indeed be done "through God", but the issue is that they are also civil contracts performed and sanctioned - and awarded special benefits - through the State (the actual state you live in, and/or the Federal government). We depend on our separation of powers, the separation of Church and State for civil contracts and laws - a religious objection to a civil union of any kind (including gay marriages)must not be allowed. It is not reasonable, nor should it even be legal, for the Federal Government to enforce discrimination based on religious views. Homosexuality is not illegal in in any state (since 2003). Marriage between gays should not be denied simply because people of certain religious affiliations find it "icky" or because it's "against their religion." Unless you intend to criminalize homosexuality again, you have two law-abiding citizens who pay exactly the same taxes and must obey the same laws as their straight counterparts, but who are being denied equal rights and benefits under the law of the land. That's discrimination, and it is most definitely a Civil Rights issue.
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