Monday, October 14, 2013

Twelve Theses on Redefining Marriage

In this article in the Summer publication of The City, a publication of Houston Baptist University, Ryan T. Anderson, a William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society in the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religions and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, examines three crucial questions:  What is marriage, why does marriage matter for public policy, and what would be the consequences of redefining marriage to exclude sexual complementarity? Upon examination, he presents the following twelve theses:

1. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces.
2. Marriage is based on the anthropological truth that men and women are complementary, the biological fact that reproduction depends on a man and a woman, and the social reality that children need a mother and a father.
3. Marriage as the union of man and woman is true across cultures, religions, and time. The government recognizes but does not create marriage.
4. Marriage has been weakened by a revisionist view of marriage that is more about adults' desires than children's needs.
5. Government recognizes marriage because it is an institution that benefits society in a way that no other relationship does.
6. Marriage is society's least restrictive means of ensuring the well-being of children. Marital breakdown weakens civil society and limited government.
7. Marital breakdown costs taxpayers.
8. Government can treat people equally-and leave them free to live and love as they choose-without redefining marriage.
9. We reap the civil society benefits of marriage only if policy gets marriage right.
10. Redefining marriage would further distance marriage from the needs of children and deny the importance of mothers and fathers.
11. Redefining marriage would put into the law the new principle that marriage is whatever emotional bond the government says it is, weakening the importance of monogamy and exclusivity.
12. Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty.

The article can be found in its entirety here.

Stand firm in Christ,
Chase

27 comments:

Andrew Ryan said...

If you support Anderson's theses then you would also reject the rights of any non-fertile couples to marry, including post-menopausal women.

As Anderson does NOT reject the rights of non-fertile straight couples to marry, it looks like he is disingenuous in his reasons for rejecting same sex marriage. He has come up with a post-hoc reason.

"Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty."
Did Virginia vs Loving damage religious liberty?

Chase said...

Hello again Andrew,

If you support Anderson's theses then you would also reject the rights of any non-fertile couples to marry, including post-menopausal women.

I do not see how this follows from his theses. Could you please explain?

As Anderson does NOT reject the rights of non-fertile straight couples to marry, it looks like he is disingenuous in his reasons for rejecting same sex marriage. He has come up with a post-hoc reason.

I do not see how his reasons for rejecting same-sex marriage are disingenuous. Could you please explain?

Also, it is important to note that he is rejecting the union of same-sex couples being recognized by government as marriages. He is not rejecting the rights of gays to marry. In fact he points out that same-sex marriage is not illegal. See thesis 8.

Did Virginia vs Loving damage religious liberty?

No, this case damaged racism. This case struck down legislation that was enacted due to a concern of preserving Virginia’s “whiteness”; a concern arising from pseudoscientific eugenic justifications.

Also, be mindful that race is irrelevant in state recognition of marriage. Gender, however, is completely relevant.

Respectfully.

Andrew Ryan said...

Andrew: "If you support Anderson's theses then you would also reject the rights of any non-fertile couples to marry, including post-menopausal women."

Chase: "I do not see how this follows from his theses. Could you please explain?"

Sure. He argues right at the start: "1. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces."

That's a pretty straightforward statement that the purpose of marriage is to create a mother and father. He's ruling out two men or two women, but he's also ruling out any man/woman pairing that doesn't produce children. Go to page five and six in the document: it's all about raising children. According to his theses, 'reducing' marriage to "approving emotional bonds or distribut[ing] legal privileges" would be dangerous.

Now, when post-menopausal women are non-fertile couples get married, it undoubtedly qualifies for that 'reduced' definition. And yet Anderson doesn't appear to have a problem with THOSE types of marriages. Hence my charge of 'disingenuous'.

Andrew: "Did Virginia vs Loving damage religious liberty?"

Chase: "No, this case damaged racism."

I might as well say "SSM damages homophobia, not religious liberty".

"legislation that was enacted due to a concern of preserving Virginia’s “whiteness”"

People used religious arguments to justify it then, and I've heard people using religious arguments against inter-racial marriage today. The fact that you might not AGREE with those reasons is irrelevant (many people won't agree with the religious reasoning of those against SSM). It's special pleading to say SSM hurts religious liberty and not also say that inter-racial marriage does the same. At best you can say that you don't think the religious liberty of the racists is worth protecting.

"Also, be mindful that race is irrelevant in state recognition of marriage. Gender, however, is completely relevant. "

Chase, I believe you're begging the question – whether or not gender SHOULD be relevant is what's in question in the first place!

Chase said...

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your response.

Sure. He argues right at the start: "1. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces."

That's a pretty straightforward statement that the purpose of marriage is to create a mother and father.


Something still is not clear to me, so perhaps you could help. If Anderson meant to state that the purpose of marriage is to create a mother and father, which is to say the purpose of marriage is to create children, then why did he not write this:

Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to children their union must produce

instead of this:

Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces?

And why on page 9 does he state the following: “Marriage exists to make men and women responsible to each other and to any children that they might have”?

According to his theses, 'reducing' marriage to "approving emotional bonds or distribut[ing] legal privileges" would be dangerous.

Certainly he states that doing this would not support opposite sex marriage as the ideal framework for raising children. A claim which he supports by social science studies on pages 6 and 7 and especially 9 and 10. But where does Anderson state that this is “dangerous”?

Now, when post-menopausal women are non-fertile couples get married, it undoubtedly qualifies for that 'reduced' definition. And yet Anderson doesn't appear to have a problem with THOSE types of marriages. Hence my charge of 'disingenuous'.

When you say “when post menopausal women…get married”, I am assuming you mean when they get married to men. If not please clarify for me so I am not misrepresenting you. If this is indeed the case, then how is this disingenuous if both post-menopausal women and non-fertile couple marriages have the framework for raising children in place that Anderson supports? Are not adoption, in vitro, foster care, etc. options for these couples to raise children?

I might as well say "SSM damages homophobia, not religious liberty".

In what way does Anderson’s article foster homophobia?

"legislation that was enacted due to a concern of preserving Virginia’s “whiteness”"

People used religious arguments to justify it then, and I've heard people using religious arguments against inter-racial marriage today.


Why did you leave off the remainder of my statement which you quote above? I stated: legislation that was enacted due to a concern of preserving Virginia’s “whiteness”; a concern arising from pseudoscientific eugenic justifications. The law was not religiously motivated.

I believe you're begging the question – whether or not gender SHOULD be relevant is what's in question in the first place!

Are you saying that the sexual difference between a man and a woman has nothing to do with marriage?

Respectfully.

Andrew Ryan said...

"In what way does Anderson’s article foster homophobia"

When did I say it did?

"Are not adoption, in vitro, foster care, etc. options for these couples to raise children?"

Apart from in vitro, those options are open to gay couples too. If Anderson's argument comes down to the idea that gay couples don't make as good parents as straight couples, then he should have simply made that argument and concentrated on supporting it with evidence.

As it is, the only study I'm aware of that even purports to support that claim is Mark Regnerus' recent work, which had so many problems with its methodology - eg failing to compare straight couples with gay couples; counting children raised exclusively by their biological parents in the 'raised by gays' group if they believed either of their parents ever had a same-sex sexual experience, even if it was after the child had turned 18 - that Anderson cannot simply takes its conclusions as accepted.

Oh, apparently Douglas Allen has a new study too, that is equally controversial in its methodology.

If Anderson's arguments all rely on such problematic studies, then that's a massive stumbling block before you even start to consider his dismissal of marriages that don't include children.

And it also ignores the point that gay couples don't need to marry to have children anyway, and so stopping them marrying will only increase the number of children outside of wedlock, something Anderson presumably doesn't want, given that he believes marriage encourages couples to stay together.

As for marriage breakup being costly to the state, if he wants to make a purely financial argument on the side, allowing gay marriage would be financially beneficial to the state, according to very study I've read.

Andrew Ryan said...

"But where does Anderson state that this is “dangerous”? "

Chase, are you genuinely quibbling about me summing up all the consequences Anderson fears as 'dangerous'? I can't copy and paste from that link, but he goes into detail about what could happen if gay marriage is allowed. Increased state intervention, undermining this and that, negative effect on children, religious freedom damaged... you think I'm being unfair by saying Anderson is inferring SSM would be dangerous?

Andrew Ryan said...

"Marriage exists to make men and women responsible to each other and to any children that they MIGHT have”?"

Why so coy in the 'might'? His argument is that the only marriages that matter are the ones that involve raising children. That's the only purpose he allows for – any other purpose 'weakens' marriage and makes it about 'adult desires'. This then applies to any post-menopausal women who marry but don't go on to adopt. In fact it applies to any married couples who don't plan on raising children.

But he doesn't mention them, only same same couples. Why isn't he arguing that marriage rights only kick in once a straight couple either a) get pregnant or b) successfully adopt?

"How is this disingenuous if post-menopausal women have the framework for raising children in place that Anderson supports? Are not adoption, in vitro, foster care, etc. options for these couples"

On page 9 Anderson quotes a study saying 'It is not simply the presence of two parents... but the presence of TWO BIOLOGICAL PARENTS that seem to support children's development"

That puts older couples adopting/fostering on a lower tier.

In short: I don't believe that Anderson genuinely opposes opposite couples being married when they have no intention of raising children.

"Are you saying that the sexual difference between a man and a woman has nothing to do with marriage?"

Are you saying that the non-sexual difference between two men or two women has nothing to do with same sex marriage?

"A claim which he supports by social science studies on pages 6 and 7 and especially 9 and 10. "

Sure, on page 10 he cites by name a single study to support the 'better when it's a married father and mother' argument. And it's the Prof Mark Regnerus study. Anderson mentions 'rigorous methods and robust samples'. This is astonishing given that he must know how controversial the methodology of Regnerus's study was. He doesn't mention the many, MANY criticisms. Surely he's aware of them, but he doesn't mention them, let alone address them.

On page 9 he moves so quickly from quoting the 'biological parents' Child Trends study to mentioning a quartet of studies that 'corroborate the importance of intact households for children', that a non-careful reader might not notice that the latter four are not in conflict at all with gay married couples raising children. In fact, as I mentioned before, they actually back gay marriage, as they focus only on the 'intact' part, which marriage encourages.

Andrew Ryan said...

Chase: "I stated: legislation that was enacted due to a concern of preserving Virginia’s “whiteness”; a concern arising from pseudoscientific eugenic justifications. The law was not religiously motivated."

Funny you say that Chase. Check out this link:
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=388&invol=1

"On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.""

Does the above not amount to a religious justification to you? If it doesn't, what does?

Andrew Ryan said...

Chase, in case you want to argue that judge was an isolated case, and was anyway a post hoc judgment rather than anything to do with why the laws were passed in the first place, plenty more evidence against against your view can be found here:

http://hnn.us/article/4708

Pay particular attention to how familiar the final para sounds to anyone following the anti-SSM arguments:

"As Reconstruction collapsed in the late 1870s, legislators, policymakers, and, above all, judges began to marshal the arguments they needed to justify the reinstatement--and subsequent expansion--of miscegenation law.

Here are four of the arguments they used:

1) First, judges claimed that marriage belonged under the control of the states rather than the federal government.

2) Second, they began to define and label all interracial relationships (even longstanding, deeply committed ones) as illicit sex rather than marriage.

3) Third, they insisted that interracial marriage was contrary to God's will, and

4) Fourth, they declared, over and over again, that interracial marriage was somehow "unnatural."

On this fourth point--the supposed "unnaturality" of interracial marriage--judges formed a virtual chorus. Here, for example, is the declaration that the Supreme Court of Virginia used to invalidate a marriage between a black man and a white woman in 1878:

The purity of public morals," the court declared, "the moral and physical development of both races….require that they should be kept distinct and separate… that connections and alliances so unnatural that God and nature seem to forbid them, should be prohibited by positive law, and be subject to no evasion."

The fifth, and final, argument judges would use to justify miscegenation law was undoubtedly the most important; it used these claims that interracial marriage was unnatural and immoral to find a way around the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of "equal protection under the laws."

How did judges do this? They insisted that because miscegenation laws punished both the black and white partners to an interracial marriage, they affected blacks and whites "equally." This argument, which is usually called the equal application claim, was hammered out in state supreme courts in the late 1870s, endorsed by the United States Supreme Court in 1882, and would be repeated by judges for the next 85 years."

Chase said...

Hi Andrew,

Why so coy in the 'might'? His argument is that the only marriages that matter are the ones that involve raising children.

Perhaps because that is not his argument. I read that his argument is that the marriage/procreation connection is natural, a connection that is not nullified because some couples cannot or do not intend to have children, and that further it is for this reason that it makes sense for government to recognize marriage and provide married couples with certain privileges over other relationships because of this natural connection as this recognition and privilege encourages a mother and a father to remain married and raise children together. A behavior which is beneficial to society.

That's the only purpose he allows for – any other purpose 'weakens' marriage and makes it about 'adult desires'.

The marriage/procreation connection is the only incentive government has to recognize and encourage marriage. That is my understanding of what Anderson is stating. When a man and a woman apply for a marriage license, the government does not ask whether or not children are intended (because it is not the business of the government to know and it is an intention that can, willingly or unwillingly, change) and cannot know if reproduction is able. Can you think of another incentive for government to recognize and encourage marriage? If the marriage/procreation connection is deemed irrelevant than is the government obligated to recognize and provide privileges for polygamist relationships or my relationship with the contributors to this blog in addition to the relationships between same-sex couples?

On page 9 Anderson quotes a study saying 'It is not simply the presence of two parents... but the presence of TWO BIOLOGICAL PARENTS that seem to support children's development"

That puts older couples adopting/fostering on a lower tier.


Please explain what you mean by a “lower tier”. Do you mean that their marriage is not as equally recognized and encouraged by the government because they are adopting/fostering?

In short: I don't believe that Anderson genuinely opposes opposite couples being married when they have no intention of raising children.

Good. He also does not oppose same-sex couples marrying either. He opposes the government recognizing those relationships as marriages and forcing everyone else to recognize them as such as well. As I stated previously, see theses 8.

Are you saying that the non-sexual difference between two men or two women has nothing to do with same sex marriage?

I am confused by your response, so can you clear up for me whether this is meant to be a statement or a genuine question? If is it a genuine question, the non-sexual difference between two men or two women has everything to do with same-sex marriage because sex is the very characteristic we use to describe the union of the two individuals. Sex is central to what marriage is. Perhaps you can answer my question now.

If Anderson's arguments all rely on such problematic studies, then that's a massive stumbling block before you even start to consider his dismissal of marriages that don't include children.

I find it hard to believe that any study on this topic would not be problematic. I am not as familiar with all of the studies as you seem to be, so I will have to research them more before I am able to weigh in on their validity. I am curious though, do you think it is ideal for children to be raised by their biological parents who are in a monogamous, lasting marriage?

Continued on next comment...

Chase said...

"In what way does Anderson’s article foster homophobia"
When did I say it did?


Our conversation looked like this:

Did Virginia vs Loving damage religious liberty?

No, this case damaged racism

I might as well say “SSM damages homophobia, not religious liberty.”


I thought you were equating Anderson’s article with homophobia with the statement directly above, hence my question. I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Apart from in vitro, those options are open to gay couples too. If Anderson's argument comes down to the idea that gay couples don't make as good parents as straight couples, then he should have simply made that argument and concentrated on supporting it with evidence.

My understanding of his argument is that it is ideal that children are raised by their biological parents who are in a monogamous, lasting marriage. You have not provided any good reasons for me to think otherwise.

And it also ignores the point that gay couples don't need to marry to have children anyway, and so stopping them marrying will only increase the number of children outside of wedlock

Of course his arguments ignore your point, because he is arguing that the marriage/procreation connection is natural and that it is ideal that children are raised by their biological parents who are in a monogamous, lasting marriage. In no way does the ability of gay couples, whether the relationship is recognized by the government or not, to have children by surrogacy or other means nullfiy this natural connection or this ideal. Also, where does Anderson express a desire to stop gay couples from marrying?

As for marriage breakup being costly to the state, if he wants to make a purely financial argument on the side, allowing gay marriage would be financially beneficial to the state, according to very study I've read.

I am interested in researching those studies. Please provide them.

you think I'm being unfair by saying Anderson is inferring SSM would be dangerous?

I do not think you are being unfair. However, I do think there is quite a difference between those that say interracial marriage is dangerous and those that say same-sex marriage is dangerous. As I think you are equating the two. Please correct me if I am mistaken in this. Interracial marriage does not change the definition of an institution that has existed for centuries. Thus why the attempts of those to oppose it and enact laws banning it with justifications of it being “unnatural” and “against the will of God” failed; they were seen for what they were; nothing more than racism. Same-sex marriage does change the definition of this institution. And unlike interracial marriage, same-sex marriage is not an attempt to include those wrongly disenfranchised from an existing institution, but to abolish that institution and substitute a radically different one under the same name.

Pay particular attention to how familiar the final para sounds to anyone following the anti-SSM arguments:

The justifications used to enact and support miscegenation laws is an interesting discussion. It is also interesting that you shifted the discussion from talking specifically about the justifications for the enactment of Virginia’s Racial Integrity Act of 1924 to the enactment and supporting of miscegenation laws in general. So, yes, of course I grant that there were no doubt miscegenation laws that were enacted using religious justifications. However, I see no mention of religious justifications for the enactment of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 on the Encyclopedia Virginia website; just racial justifications. Regardless, this discussion is a red herring. Religious justifications are being used today to support the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. They are not being used to ban same-sex couples from marrying.

Respectfully.

Andrew Ryan said...

"I am interested in researching those studies. Please provide them."

I got challenged on this on another apologetics site – I think it was No Apologetics Allowed – and I replied that googling would bring up many results. He insisted that I provide the links, so I spent 20 minutes or so collating loads, which I posted. He never commented on them, or gave any indication he'd even read them. I asked why not and he replied he was busy.

So I kind of figure that if someone is actually curious about this then they'll do some of their own research – googling 'financial benefits of gay marriage' will get you many results. And if they don't have time to google, then they probably won't have time to read links I post either.

However, Forbes is one:
http://www.forbes.com/2004/04/05/cx_al_0405gaymarriage.html

"We estimate that if the laws were changed, gay couples currently living together would collectively spend $16.8 billion to get hitched."

Williams Institute is another, investigating several states individually:
http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/category/research/economic-impact-reports/

And this from the Congressional Budget Office
http://www.cbo.gov/publication/15740

...which found that redefining marriage to include homosexual couples "could bring in up to $1 billion a year – so, a net benefit for the Treasury from gay marriage."

That should be enough for you, but feel free to keep researching.

Andrew Ryan said...

It's hard to keep track of individual parts of our back and forth when there's a long gap between responses and they're mixed in with other parts of our replies. So I'll try to separate one line here:

Me: "According to his theses, 'reducing' marriage to "approving emotional bonds or distribut[ing] legal privileges" would be dangerous."

You: "But where does Anderson state that this is “dangerous”? "

Me: "Chase, are you genuinely quibbling about me summing up all the consequences Anderson fears as 'dangerous'? I can't copy and paste from that link, but he goes into detail about what could happen if gay marriage is allowed. Increased state intervention, undermining this and that, negative effect on children, religious freedom damaged... you think I'm being unfair by saying Anderson is inferring SSM would be dangerous?

You: "I do not think you are being unfair. However, I do think there is quite a difference between those that say interracial marriage is dangerous and those that say same-sex marriage is dangerous."

Have I missed something here? I discussed inter-racial marriage in my responses, but that has nothing to do with you questioning me paraphrasing the author as inferring "approving emotional bonds or distribut[ing] legal privileges" was dangerous.

If you don't think I was being unfair, why did you question it? Is he inferring it's dangerous or not?

Andrew Ryan said...

"So, yes, of course I grant that there were no doubt miscegenation laws that were enacted using religious justifications. However, I see no mention of religious justifications for the enactment of the Racial Integrity Act of 1924 on the Encyclopedia Virginia website"

It's very hard to pin you down on a point, Chase. I asked you whether the falling of the last miscegenation law "threatened religious liberty", given that you said "Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty". You said no, as religion wasn't used as a justification.

But you allow that religion was used as a justification for SOME miscegenation laws. So the same question can still be asked for THOSE ones. So when those other miscegenation laws were struck down, would it be true to say that that 'threatened religious liberty' in the same way that "Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty."

This aside, it's a moot point whether religion was used as a justification on the Act itself because neither do ANY of the laws currently preventing gay marriage to be accepted by government, yet you still say it would "threaten religious liberty."

Andrew Ryan said...

Me: "That puts older couples adopting/fostering on a lower tier."

You: "Please explain what you mean by a “lower tier”. Do you mean that their marriage is not as equally recognized and encouraged by the government because they are adopting/fostering?"

No, I'm saying that according to Anderson, anything that isn't biological parents raising the child within marriage monogomously is not optimum. I'm saying that according to that logic, straight couples adopting/fostering are therefore sub-optimum in the same way gays bringing up children are.

"Can you think of another incentive for government to recognize and encourage marriage?"

For a start, government shouldn't need incentive to grant rights. It needs to justify why they should be withheld. Government serves the people, not the other way round. But if you want reasons, there's the aforementioned financial incentive. There's also the other benefits that marriage brings the state - eg it encourages monogamy and leads to a longer life.

"I read that his argument is that the marriage/procreation connection is natural, a connection that is not nullified because some couples cannot or do not intend to have children"

This doesn't negate my question – why not only have marriage rights come in once a couple have kids? They can have the ceremony before, but it only becomes legal once children arrive? If we're just talking about what's 'natural' then we move on to the tricky question of whether it's 'natural' for some people to be gay and just as natural for them to form couple relationships as for straight couples.

Andrew Ryan said...

"I am curious though, do you think it is ideal for children to be raised by their biological parents who are in a monogamous, lasting marriage?"

Depends. If one of the biological parents is abusive, it is more ideal for the other to raise the child alone. If both are abusive, it is better the child is fostered.

If a women in a couple gets a sperm donor, it makes no sense to say that it would be better for her to bring up the child with the biological father.

I could offer many other examples.

"I find it hard to believe that any study on this topic would not be problematic."

Anderson's argument rests on the Regnerus study, which cannot provide the evidence to support Anderson's argument due to its methodology.

"I am not as familiar with all of the studies as you seem to be, so I will have to research them more before I am able to weigh in on their validity."

Sure. So you cannot really support Anderson's argument until you have done so, as their validity is key to his argument.

Andrew Ryan said...

"Perhaps you can answer my question now."

Your question was "Are you saying that the sexual difference between a man and a woman has nothing to do with marriage?"

I don't really understand what you mean by the question, especially as it was in reply to me saying "I believe you're begging the question – whether or not gender SHOULD be relevant is what's in question in the first place!", which in turn was in reply to you saying there was an essential difference between laws preventing inter-racial marriage and laws preventing gay marriage.

"Also, where does Anderson express a desire to stop gay couples from marrying?"

He argues that their marriages shouldn't be recognised by the state. If you want to replace 'stop gay couples from marrying' with 'stop their marriages being recognised by the state, then fine. But I don't see where your clarification gets you, as the latter is effectively the same as the former. If the state doesn't recognise your marriage then in many important ways, arguably, you're not actually married.

If marriages don't need to be recognised by the state for benefits to arise from the marriage, then the state doesn't need to recognise ANY marriage. If the state DOES need to recognise the marriage for those benefits to arise, then I shouldn't need to explain to you why the recognition is important.

And the term 'benefits' here can mean the financial rights married couples enjoy, any other improvements to the couple (longevity etc), the improvements to the children of those couples if they're married, and also any benefits the state as a whole gains (eg the increased monogamy of married couples).

Andrew Ryan said...

Funnily enough I just accidentally came across the conversation from another discussion board that I referenced in my previous post about SSM marriage boosting the economy.

https://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/essay-the-anatomy-of-a-queer-change/

Go to my comment of May 15, 2013 at 10:28 am to see the links I provided, followed by the person who requested them then saying he was too busy to actually look at them.

I post this mainly so you can see several more studies than I referenced before.

Chase said...

I got challenged on this on another apologetics site

Andrew, the individual you were corresponding with asked you to provide references for claims that you had made because assertions are not arguments; a perfectly reasonable response. Two weeks pass and he has not responded to your provision of the references and you expect a response. He then responds with more than just “I’m busy”. He responded with saying he is balancing priorities and said when he is able he will look at them and that the purpose of asking for them was so they are available for all to see and come to their own conclusions regarding the claims you made. A person is not under an obligation to read resources you provide on your time table.

As for this thread, it is perfectly reasonable for me to ask for specific studies when you state the following: “allowing gay marriage would be financially beneficial to the state according to every study I’ve read”. Instead you seem to expect me to be able to find studies and refute them when they most likely are not even the studies you have in mind; a ridiculous expectation. However, my response to the studies you provided in this thread is directly below. When I am able, I will look at the studies you provided in the other thread. However, I am not obligated to nor am I obligated to provide a response when I do.

Forbes is one:

Forbes got the number of same-sex couples living together correct ($594,000), but they assumed that all of them were unmarried. According to a paper submitted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Population Association of America 2009 annual conference, 55% of same-sex couples in 2000 reported that they were unmarried. Based on this and using the same methodology: $594,000 x 55% = $326,700 (the proper number to begin with) x 92% = $300,564 x 85% = 255,480 same-sex couples that would have a traditional wedding. This is a 53% difference from the figure they used (546,000 – 255,480/546,000), so a 53% difference in the $16.8 billion equals a $7.896 billion windfall; 11% of a $70 billion industry.

Williams Institute is another, investigating several states individually:

The Williams Institute estimated a $7 million increase in revenue over 3 years for Delaware. The total revenue estimate for Delaware for FY 13 is $3,731.1 million according to the Delaware Economic & Financial Advisory Council from June of this year. Even if the increase occurred in one year that is not even 0.25% of the total.

The Williams Institute estimated a $7 million increase in revenue over 3 years for Rhode Island. The total revenue estimate for Rhode Island for FY 13 is $3,323.5 million according to the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council from May of this year. Even if the increase occurred in one year that is not even 0.25% of the total.

The Williams Institute estimated a $42 million increase in revenue over 3 years for Minnesota. The total revenue estimate for FY 13 is $35,161 million according to Minnesota Management & Budget from February of this year. Even if the increase occurred in one year that is not even 0.125% of the total.

I am sure it is similar for the other states listed here.

And this from the Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office also projects a 2013 federal revenue of $2,708 billion. $1 billion is 0.037% of this total.
The results of these studies are hardly reason to change the definition of marriage. And any financial benefits gained from changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex marriage say nothing about the financial effects caused by children growing up without fathers. Even the President recognizes these effects, as Anderson states.

Chase said...

I don't really understand what you mean by the question, especially as it was in reply to me saying "I believe you're begging the question – whether or not gender SHOULD be relevant is what's in question in the first place!", which in turn was in reply to you saying there was an essential difference between laws preventing inter-racial marriage and laws preventing gay marriage.

The question was for clarification based on your “begging the question” comment. I am simply curious if you are saying that the sexual difference between a man and a woman has nothing to do with marriage as you are obviously questioning, based on that comment, whether or not gender is a relevant factor for the state to consider when considering recognizing a marriage relationship. It is a simple yes or no.

Also, I did not previously say that there was an essential difference between laws preventing inter-racial marriage and laws preventing gay marriage. I said that there is an essential difference between opposing the state recognizing the relationship of a man and a woman of different races as marriage and opposing the state recognizing the relationship of individuals of the same sex as marriage. The former opposition is ridiculous because it does not change the definition of marriage. The latter opposition is justified because it does change the definition of marriage. However, since you mention it, there is an essential difference between laws preventing inter-racial marriage and laws preventing gay marriage, mainly that there are no laws preventing same-sex couples marrying.

He argues that their marriages shouldn't be recognised by the state. If you want to replace 'stop gay couples from marrying' with 'stop their marriages being recognised by the state, then fine. But I don't see where your clarification gets you, as the latter is effectively the same as the former. If the state doesn't recognise your marriage then in many important ways, arguably, you're not actually married.

Andrew, do you honestly believe that you are not married to your wife if the state does not recognize your marriage?

If marriages don't need to be recognised by the state for benefits to arise from the marriage, then the state doesn't need to recognise ANY marriage. If the state DOES need to recognise the marriage for those benefits to arise, then I shouldn't need to explain to you why the recognition is important.

The state recognizes and provides benefits to marriage to encourage an institution that is beneficial to society. I have already stated this and you have agreed with it.

Depends. If one of the biological parents is abusive, it is more ideal for the other to raise the child alone. If both are abusive, it is better the child is fostered.

Is it not ideal for the abusive parent(s) to overcome their abusive tendencies, by whatever means, and raise their children together?

If a women in a couple gets a sperm donor, it makes no sense to say that it would be better for her to bring up the child with the biological father.

Is it not ideal that this infertile couple would be able to produce children of their own and raise them together?

Chase said...

Sure. So you cannot really support Anderson's argument until you have done so, as their validity is key to his argument.

My understanding of his argument is that it is ideal that children are raised by their biological parents who are in a monogamous, lasting marriage. I think this is a self-evident fact and a valid study (as if an across the board agreement on labeling a study dealing with this topic as valid would ever materialize) would only confirm it as such. The lack of such a study does not knock it down. You have not given me any good reason to doubt it.

Have I missed something here? I discussed inter-racial marriage in my responses, but that has nothing to do with you questioning me paraphrasing the author as inferring "approving emotional bonds or distribut[ing] legal privileges" was dangerous.

If you don't think I was being unfair, why did you question it? Is he inferring it's dangerous or not?


Yes, Andrew, I think you have missed something. Please read my November 1st response again. I answered all of the questions you ask directly above.

It's very hard to pin you down on a point, Chase.

And it is very hard to keep you on point, Andrew. You specifically brought up Virginia v. Loving and stated that it was religiously motivated. I contested this and then you started talking about miscegenation laws in general. Hence why I conceded that, yes, there may be some miscegenation laws that were religiously motivated.

So when those other miscegenation laws were struck down, would it be true to say that that 'threatened religious liberty' in the same way that "Redefining marriage threatens religious liberty."

I do not think so. Christianity does not have a doctrine within it which states that a man and a woman of different races getting married is immoral and unnatural. So any religious justifications Christians were using during this era were inappropriate and were not being used to support the law, but to support racism which was the real justification being used to support the law. Also, as I have already said, these miscegenation laws were put in place to make the marriage of a man and a woman of different races illegal. However, Christianity does have a doctrine within it which states that a man and a man or a woman and a woman getting married is immoral and unnatural and no Christians are rallying for laws to make the marriage of two men or two women illegal.

This aside, it's a moot point whether religion was used as a justification on the Act itself because neither do ANY of the laws currently preventing gay marriage to be accepted by government, yet you still say it would "threaten religious liberty."

Let’s say I am a guitarist for hire and I am solicited by a same-sex couple to perform at their wedding. I refuse and tell them that it is against my Christian convictions to be a part of celebrating such a marriage. They then sue me and win. Thus with this win the court is telling me that my Christian convictions are wrong and inappropriate. The question then is, are they wrong and inappropriate? No, because this is what Christian doctrine teaches and it is dangerous for courts to start opining that religious doctrines are wrong and inappropriate.

Now let’s say I am a guitarist for hire and I am solicited by a man and a woman of different races to perform at their wedding. I refuse and tell them that it is against my Christian convictions to be a part of celebrating such a marriage. They then sue me and win. Thus with this win the court is telling me that my Christian convictions are wrong and inappropriate. The question then is, are they wrong and inappropriate? Yes, because this is not what Christian doctrine teaches. The court is opining their proper evaluation of a religious doctrine.

Chase said...

No, I'm saying that according to Anderson, anything that isn't biological parents raising the child within marriage monogomously is not optimum. I'm saying that according to that logic, straight couples adopting/fostering are therefore sub-optimum

So are you saying that it is not ideal for there to be no children in the adoption/foster care system? That it is not ideal for all of these children in this system to be raised by their biological parents in a monogamous, lasting marriage?

in the same way gays bringing up children are.

Is it not ideal that a woman in a same-sex relationship has children that are her own? I am sure that is her desire. She has the ability to have children of her own just as every other woman does by having sex with a man. Now let say she does have sex with a man. Is it ideal for the child to be raised by a mother and a father or a mother and a mother?

For a start, government shouldn't need incentive to grant rights.

The benefits provided by the government for married couples are not rights. They are privileges. If they were rights then why are other relationships like polygamist relationships or my relationship with the contributors to this blog not entitled to them in the same way that gay couples contend they are entitled to them? I asked this question in my November 1st comment and you did not answer it.

This doesn't negate my question – why not only have marriage rights come in once a couple have kids? They can have the ceremony before, but it only becomes legal once children arrive?

See directly above regarding marriage rights. Most of the benefits afforded to married couples are associated with the addition of children, so I do not see what you are getting at.

If we're just talking about what's 'natural'

Are you questioning that the marriage/procreation connection is natural?

then we move on to the tricky question of whether it's 'natural' for some people to be gay and just as natural for them to form couple relationships as for straight couples.

If nature gave an individual the desire to have sex with men then why would nature give that individual a male body?

Andrew, I have learned much from this discussion. Thank you for your time. However, as my wife and I are new parents it is no longer a priority for me. Nor is it a productive conversation any longer since you are not answering some of my questions, complaining over the time in between responses, complaining when I ask for studies you reference, and not thoughtfully reading my responses. Until our next interaction, I wish you well.

Respectfully.

Andrew Ryan said...

"The results of these studies are hardly reason to change the definition of marriage."

It was Anderson who was using financial concerns as a reason for or against allowing it. I've given several links arguing there is a financial benefit. Your rebuttal appears to be that the financial reward is a small percentage of overall revenue. This doesn't reinforce Anderson's point. As I remember, he just vaguely said that marriage breakdown was costly (in fact I've seen it argued that even divorces benefit the economy). Are there links that you can provide to back up HIS claim?

"So any religious justifications Christians were using during this era were inappropriate and were not being used to support the law"

This just comes down to your disagreement with those people about your religious doctrines. So sure, you don't think interacial marriage threatened religious liberty because you don't think it's part of your doctrine, other people disagreed with you and thought it was a threat. Likewise, you think gay marriage (approved by gov) threatens religious liberty, whereas the many Christians who do NOT think there is such a doctrine do not see it as a threat.

"Yes, because this is not what Christian doctrine teaches. The court is opining their proper evaluation of a religious doctrine."

I don't believe that it's the court's job to judge on whether an individual is correctly interpreting his own religious doctrine. For a start, there are thousands of different sects of Christianity in the US alone, and they disagree on doctrine.

Besides, the logical outcome of your argument is that if someone followed a religion that DID clearly state that interracial marriage was wrong, then then a guitarist who followed that religion could successfully argue they could refuse to perform. I think you'll find such an individual would still lose the case.

In short, your own interpretation of your religious doctrine is irrelevant to your rights in such a case, and my point stands.

Basically you just mean it threatens your OWN particular religious liberty, and you completely dismiss that any law threatens religious liberty when it doesn't concern your own particular sect of religion.

Andrew Ryan said...

" I am simply curious if you are saying that the sexual difference between a man and a woman has nothing to do with marriage as you are obviously questioning, based on that comment, whether or not gender is a relevant factor for the state to consider when considering recognizing a marriage relationship. It is a simple yes or no."

If you want a simple yes or no, my answer is no. I don't think that the sexual difference between a man and a woman has anything to do with marriage, as far as the state is concerned. Or at least it shouldn't. If they were both the same gender it shouldn't be a reason not to accept their marriage.

"My understanding of his argument is that it is ideal that children are raised by their biological parents who are in a monogamous, lasting marriage."

He has yet to provide evidence to support that argument. He cites a single study to support that particular point – the Regnerus study. And that particular study doesn't support that argument.

"You have not given me any good reason to doubt it."

Neither you nor he have given me any good reason to accept it. If his argument against the government accepting the validity of gay marriage rests on that, then it needs a bit more than "We believe it, can't back it up with any study, but haven't been given a good reason to doubt it".

"Is it not ideal for the abusive parent(s) to overcome their abusive tendencies, by whatever means, and raise their children together?"

You're basically saying "Wouldn't it be better if abusive people just stopped abusing?". Sure, but it's a bit of a pointless 'what if'.

"Is it not ideal that this infertile couple would be able to produce children of their own and raise them together?"

That's an even more pointless 'what if'.

"Andrew, do you honestly believe that you are not married to your wife if the state does not recognize your marriage?"

If I'm barred from going into a hospital where she's lying sick; If she doesn't get my pension benefits if I die + many other examples... effectively we're not married.

It's very easy for you to dismiss these differences given that your own marriage IS accepted by the state. You're speaking from a position of privilege.

"Even the President recognizes these effects, as Anderson states."

He wasn't talking about gay marriage, Chase, and I really shouldn't have to point that out. He was talking about deadbeat dads bailing out on their partners when they get pregnant. He wasn't talking about children raised by loving gay couples. Anderson knows it, you know it.

Andrew Ryan said...

"According to a paper submitted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Population Association of America 2009 annual conference, 55% of same-sex couples in 2000 reported that they were unmarried."

Does that mean the remaining 45% are married to each other? Are does that include couples where one or both are married to another person of the opposite sex, and they're waiting for SSM to become legal in their state before divorcing and re-marrying their partner. Because if it's the latter, your figures are out.

"Are you questioning that the marriage/procreation connection is natural?"

Procreation can be a natural reason for marriages, and a natural reason for the tradition of marriage itself, but it doesn't have to be the only reason or the only connection, and if you're using 'It's natural" as a reason for marriage, then open up the question of whether gay coupling is natural too.

"If nature gave an individual the desire to have sex with men then why would nature give that individual a male body?"

Some people are born with both sets of female and male genitals, others are born with none at all. Some people are born with legs that don't work, so they end up walking on their hands. All sorts of funny things happen in nature, Chase. Who knows why gay people are born that way – I don't see how it's productive to ask. But given that

"complaining over the time in between responses"

Not at all – I merely said it was hard to keep track as a reason for me not being able to properly address one particular question.

"complaining when I ask for studies you reference"
I didn't complain Chase.

"I asked this question in my November 1st comment and you did not answer it."

Now who's complaining about unanswered questions! Your question strikes me as a non sequitur – because one relationship deserves rights you're saying they should ALL deserve them? Why would that follow. Treat each on a case-by-case basis. You're offering a variation on the 'slippery slope' argument.

"Now let say she does have sex with a man. Is it ideal for the child to be raised by a mother and a father or a mother and a mother?"

It's better the child is raised by the loving couple (the two women) rather than one of the women and a man who might be a complete stranger to that woman.

"That it is not ideal for all of these children in this system to be raised by their biological parents in a monogamous, lasting marriage?"

An odd question – many of the biological parents might be dead. Talking about what is 'ideal' is beside the point. It's not the world we're living in. You might say it would be ideal for all gay couples to in fact be straight, but that's not the reality we have.

"However, as my wife and I are new parents it is no longer a priority for me."

Congratulations Chase. I have two children of my own and know how much time they can take up.

Chase said...

Thanks for the congratulations Andrew. You are correct, they do take up much time. However, I am sure you would agree it is time well spent. And thanks again for the discussion.

Andrew Ryan said...

One other point, Chase. Your question about the guitarist suing the gay couple here is moot: their ability to sue has nothing to do with whether government accepts gay marriage or not. A for-profit business already cannot refuse to host a gay wedding party even if that marriage was not legally recognized by the state. This pretty much undermines your whole 'blow for religious liberty' argument.

Below is an open letter on this subject written by a group of five constitutional law scholars.

http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/files/five-law-professors-against-changing-sb-10.pdf

If you're in a hurry, it's summed up here pretty well:
http://freethoughtblogs.com/dispatches/2013/11/11/the-end-of-religious-liberty-in-the-land-of-lincoln/

Alternatively, here's the most appropriate quote:

"Antidiscrimination law has, for many years, addressed conflicts that arise between same-sex couples and religious objectors, regardless of whether same-sex couples can get married".

"Here is the bottom line: Tens of thousands of same-sex couples have been married, civilly unionized, or domestically partnered over the past decade. They have had ceremonies, selected caterers, rented halls, ordered flowers and invitations, been fitted for dresses and tuxedos, chosen professional photographers, hired clergy and non-clergy alike to officiate, obtained licenses from state bureaus, rented apartments together, adopted children, enrolled their kids in public and private schools, sought employment to support their families, claimed health benefits for their spouses, trudged through relationship counseling, and done all the other things married people do."

"The opportunity has certainly been there for massive legal conflict, which the religious liberty scholars have been predicting for years now.16 Yet the legal conflicts between same-sex couples and religious objectors—all under pre-existing antidiscrimination laws—have been very few. More broadly, we can find no case in which the state’s formal legal recognition of the same-sex couple determined the outcome, no case in which the existence of a same-sex marriage defeated an otherwise meritorious religious-freedom claim, and no case in which the absence of a samesex marriage relieved the religious objector of a nondiscrimination obligation."