In order to make a morally just decision in the matter of the government licensing same-sex marriage, I feel obligated to examine the arguments against allowing such an institution before coming to a conclusion.
Part 4 – Moral Arguments:
Same-sex marriage violates Natural Law.
Natural Law is the sense of right and wrong and of mutual obligation that is natural to mankind, as distinguished from the revealed law of God and the codified laws of men. Natural Laws are not to be confused with cultural norms, like women must wear burkas and cannot wear pants. Natural Law is the use of reason to create rules of behavior so fundamental that they are universal.
The idea here is that because same-sex marriage has been universally shunned by pretty much every society all through history, it must violate Natural Law. While this is a legitimate observation, we still need the logic proof. The logical series of IF, THEN statements that prove the theory. I can easily do this for other socially explosive issues like abortion and inter-racial marriage, but can it be done in the case of same-sex marriage?
For instance, life begins at conception, therefore abortion is murder. That is a short, easy logic proof that states abortion violates Natural Law (a side note – The logic proof that “murder is wrong” is significantly longer and harder to work out than the one that defines abortion as murder). The proof is airtight, and it has never been debunked by any abortion advocate. Unfortunately, I have never seen a comparable series of logical, IF, THEN statements proving homosexuality is a violation of Natural Law. Saying it is disgusting hardly proves the point.
Look at it this way, one of the very fundamental natural laws is that every person has the right to self-determination. Therefore any relationship any person is forced to enter without willing consent is a violation of Natural Law. That is why slavery is a violation of Natural Law. Animals cannot consent to marriage, that is why bestiality is a violation of Natural Law. Children do not have the maturity to consent to carnal relations, that is why pedophilia is a violation of Natural Law. Any arranged marriage between a man and a woman, one where one or both parties do not willingly consent to the marriage, is a violation of Natural Law. I am guessing that a significant number of heterosexual marriages throughout history, while perfectly legal according to civil law and accepted by religious law, fall into this category. Do consensual, same-sex marriages fall into this category?
God says homosexuality is hateful to the human body.
The Christian Bible, examined from a scientific point of view, reads like an ancient CDC manual. It prescribes all kinds of dos and don’ts that promote a healthy, stable society. Many of the rules of antiquity, like the ban on pork, are no longer relevant, while many of the rules, like the ban on adultery and child abuse, are as relevant as ever. If you take the time to read Leviticus, you will find it is not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds when you look at the rules through the lens of science and in the context of the society of the time. Our ancestors were entirely ignorant of germ theory and could not have known that having sex with animals could lead to trans-species disease transmission that could destroy the entire society, so God simply banned it without getting too far into the weeds.
Back in the day homosexuality obviously existed, just as it does today. Why was it banned back then, and is that ban still necessary today? Most modern Christians eat pork and use birth control without a second thought. Most modern Christians accept divorce and remarriage. About 27% of American Christians have been divorced at least one time. Most modern Christians still hold that abortion is murder and that life begins at conception. This means that while some rules remain fixed, some rules have flexed in our modern society. Nobody gets stoned to death in Christendom anymore, even though it is a biblically prescribed punishment, and we certainly do not espouse the burning of members of Wicca… Fred Phelps not withstanding.
This begs the question, will a monogamous, same-sex marriage be harmful to the body? While promiscuity spreads sexually transmitted diseases among both homosexual and heterosexual populations, there does not seem to be any real health consequences of any sort to monogamous same-sex couples. If homosexuality is truly hateful to the body, science should be able to quantify it, yet it cannot.
Same-sex marriage validates the homosexual lifestyle.
What most consider the “homosexual lifestyle,” debauchery and all, is already legal. Nobody goes to jail for sodomy anymore, and any sheriff who thinks otherwise will get publicly tarred and feathered. Debauchery and flamboyancy, whether homosexual or heterosexual, while unsavory to many, are no longer illegal. Acknowledging same-sex marriage actually creates a new homosexual lifestyle instead validating the old. This new life-style, by its very nature, trends to the conservative, not the progressive. From a conservative point of view, allowing same-sex marriage can only introduce conservative values, such as fidelity, in a previously progressive stronghold. It will also introduce the trials and tribulations of divorce into that community.
Homosexuality is a moral wrong and we should not validate it by making it a civil right.
Moral wrongs are generally determined by Natural Law and Religious Law. Civil law determines civil wrongs. There are many things I believe are moral wrongs that are perfectly legal, or quasi-legal under civil law. There are many things illegal under civil law, that I believe are morally neutral or morally just. It is the double edge sword of living in America. I cannot force my moral code on others, though I believe it would improve society, and no one can force their moral code on me. In theory, anyway. The secular legalization of same-sex marriage in civil law does not make it morally right anymore than legalizing adultery, promiscuity, marijuana use or abortion make these things morally right; four things I consider devastating to our society. I must be clear here, I am not saying same-sex marriage is of the same moral character as these four. I cannot find the logic proof that allows me to define same-sex marriage as a moral wrong in the first place. My point is that making something legal or illegal in civil law in no way validates its moral standing. Life begins at conception, no matter what SCOTUS says.
If we change the legal definition of marriage, it will lead to incestuous, bestial and polygamous marriages.
This is a false slippery slope argument. The single, fundamental assumption about any marriage is that it will have a carnal, sexual side. The fundamental reason we ban incestuous relations is the increased risk for genetic deformities. That is why these relationships are taboo. Fake marriages, say ones designed to provide a foreigner citizenship, or to manipulate the tax system, are already on tenuous legal grounds. This makes the argument that same-sex marriage will allow a father to marry his daughter and two brothers to marry each other simply to avoid inheritance taxes really flimsy. Genetic deformities are not the foundation for the argument against same-sex marriage.
The fundamental reason we ban bestiality is disease transmission. Animals also lack the ability to consent, and are legally possessions, not individuals with human rights. Intra-species disease transmission is not the reason why same-sex marriage is banned.
The study of polygamous households have demonstrated substantial weaknesses compared to monogamous households. The wives and children are all rivals for the man’s attention. If one man takes all the available wives, that tends to make the remaining bachelors a bit testy. Jealousy is a fundamental of human nature. We are not really built for plural relationships. Monogamy is much more in line with Natural Law then polygamy. Add to this that males and females are born in approximately a 1:1 ratio, and polygamy simply does not add up. Our ban on polygamy is for different reasons than our ban on same-sex marriage.
Using this slippery slope argument basically is accusing same-sex couples of introducing intra-species diseases into the population, creating complex, soap opera like family discord, and a desire to commit tax fraud. Logic proofs must work backwards as well and forwards, and this argument fails miserably.