Marriage Equality: Immune from Evidence

Yesterday I blogged about my experience with people who I consider to be gossipers and bigots and their desire to oppose something as simple as marriage equality. the comments on each and every post on the matter have yet to show me any compelling evidence as to why two people who love each other shouldn’t be able to marry.

Andrew Sullivan also had this piece:

Mark Oppenheimer profiles Maggie Gallagher, marriage equality’s most notorious foe. Of interest:

In her forthcoming book, she writes that “including same-sex unions in the legal category of ‘marriage’ will necessarily change the public meaning of marriage for the entire society in ways that must make it harder for marriage to perform its core civil functions over time.” How do we know? We just do.

And even if somehow the evidence showed, conclusively, that same-sex marriage were good for children? Gallagher would still be dissatisfied: “Nothing could make me call a same-sex couple a marriage, because that’s not what I believe a marriage is.”

Gallagher’s declaration that her mind cannot be changed is the statement of a fundamentalist. There is no greater sin against open debate than to preemptively seal oneself off from evidence. Will Wilkinson, on the other hand, considers what it would take for him to change his mind about various issues, marriage equality among them.


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  • Pete George

    “Nothing could make me call xxx, because that’s not what I believe xxx is.”

    A brick wall believer is impossible to debate with, even if the mortar was found to be non-existent they would still insist on the strength of their position. There are fundamentalists in both religion and politics, who will steadfastly insist black is white or left is right.

  • Guest

    I’m a fairly staunch Christian (off to Church soon) and to me opposing same sex marriage is exactly the opposite of what Christianity teaches us. The fundamental premise of Chistianity is that we care for and love our fellow man, I have never been able to understand how these people can call themselves Christians and yet be so full of hate towards other people.

    If two people love each other they should be able to get married (although I’m still a little squeamish about first cousin’s marrying and that IS legal in NZ). I thought Bob’s idea yesterday was the best – give civil unions and marriages the same legal status and let people (including gay couples) choose if they want to have the word Marriage on the top or the words Civil Union knowing that legally they’re the same.

    • Peter Wilson

      “…although I’m still a little squeamish about first cousin’s marrying and that IS legal in NZ.”

      That’s the point. Are you prepared to draw a line in the sand at all?

      What would be your argument AGAINST consenting adult incestous relationships/marriage?

      • This is none. If consenting adults freely choose to have an incestuous relationship that is their right as human beings. It neither picks the pocket or breaks the leg of anyone else so is no business of anyone else or the law.

        Oh but what about retarded kids you say…?

        One word: Contraception.

        And contrary to sexually repressed nuttres like Andrei and co sex is for pleasure first and procreation a distant second.for most people.

    • Hakimofphut

      So you would be in favour of discrimination of two people of the same sex getting married.
      Of course there was once prohibition of two people of  different races being married, shall we go back to that as well , because at the time it was ‘abhorrent’

      • Euan Rt

        I rarely agree with your posts Hop 
        (your name is too long). But you make a good point here.

      • Hakimofphut

        Its Hakim, an  arab term for King, of Phut, an ancient kingdom in southern libya.
        Just call me Phut

  • Anonymous

    couldn’t agree more about marriage equality.bring it on i say.As a matter of fact, me and another guy are deeply in love with these three absolutly gorgous women and think it is time that we show how committed we are to each other and that means marriage……i take it that no marriage liberal persons would object to it.

    • Hakimofphut

      So you are saying polygamy ie one husband two wives is legal but polyandry , one wife two husbands is banned and you want that  discrimination removed  as our society  has made this one situation a special case.

      • Anonymous

        o what i am saying if people are truelly wanting to be liberal about marriage then in my book that means anything goes between consenting adults and any number of them,in any order,and no proponents of gay or any other form of marriage (other than between a man and a women) surely would object to this……ok…and if they did then surely thats discrimination

  • Andrei

    More Orwellian “newspeak” nonsense.

    I know that it is pointless to try and impart that throughout human history every society has found the necessity to unite men with women in order to raise new generations to replace the ones that are aging and dying. 

    And that in whatever form it takes this is called marriage which is a fundamental structure in any society that has continued.

    Or that societies that are not very good at managing this die out – and that this has happened.

    And nobody can give any rational reason as to why suddenly in the 21st century we suddenly need this strange and odd thing called Gay Marriage – which has been imposed.upon us even when the people through the ballot box have expressed their doubts.

    Gay Marriage is not the road to freedom and human rights – it is the road to tyranny as some people have already found out for example

    • Pete George

      Is there any difference for society in these situations?
      – a gay couple committed to each other in a relationship and living together
      – a gay couple committed to each other in a relationship and living together legally married
      – two gay people living separately

      • Andrei

        Pete George the reason why marriage is publicly recognized is because society as a whole has a vested interest in seeing that children are raised in good environments in the ways of society.

        Society does not have a vested interest in my relationship with my hunting partner, say, and therefore does not register it.

        Nor does society have a vested interest in non procreative sexual relationships, per se, though it does actually outlaw some e.g Mother Son ones.

        Now what you people fail to grasp is that if you wish to radically change society an obstacle is people not obliging you in inculcating your radical ideas into their children.

        Thus Marxists many years ago identified marriage, as we have always known it and strong families as an obstacle to the paradise they wished to impose upon us and have ever since sought to weaken and destroy both.

        Over the past forty years they have done a jolly good job at achieving this by stealth and “Gay Marriage” is the latest weapon being deployed because it weakens or removes the linkage between marriage and children that are the fruit thereof.

    • jay cee

      in the 21st century we have same sex marriages because for most of the 20th and earlier homosexuality was treated as a crime. the only reason lesbianism got of the hook
      was because queen victoria refused to believe that women could have such desires for one another. i repeat , live and let live, as long as they are not trying to get into your pants whats the problem? 

  • Steve P

    Presumably none of you good, open-minded people have any objection to polygamy either.

    • Anonymous

      if truely liberal then polygamy and any number or variation of …gamy

      • Hakimofphut

        Currently the law only allows two ( max) with a special exclusion for those of same sex.
        You are free to campaign for polygamy ( you get the Morman and Muslim votes) and polyandry but  its not the same as maintaining discrimination  for the current two.

        So you are in favour of same sex marriage then.  – go ahead say the words

    • This discussion has nothing to do with polygamy, polyandry or anything else other than two people wishing to marry each other. the fact you have so quickly jumped to this shows your arguments are based on bigotry and nothing else.

      • Anonymous

        bollocks!!!!! what i am saying is if two people want to get married the then ok all good…no problem… so that should surely mean that half a dozen people that may want to marry should be ok too….yes or no?…simple.  just looking for clarification how liberal you and others are on marriage…….simple question

      • Steve P

        I am hardly a bigot. I don’t particularly care what two consenting adults get up to in the privacy of their own homes, and I am not opposed to the legalisation of homosexuality (which was only made illegal in Victorian Britain pretty much by accident).

        What I am interested in is the institution of marriage, and the role it has played in the development and stabilisation of society. 

        As far as I know, in NZ there are currently no parties seriously arguing for the legalisation of polygamy, incestual marriage, bestial marriage etc, at least; not at the moment – point being it wasn’t until fairly recently that there were any serious arguments for gay marriage, and the argument made for gay marriage extends to these other things.It is the proverbial slippery slope I am concerned about.

        Furthermore, I am not opposed to these things on any moral grounds; to me, morals are merely things that hold a society together, along with things like laws and customs. 

        I consider polygyny “bad”, for example, because from a game-theoretic point of view it is unstable  – excess of males, and societies in which it is practiced accordingly become what we would consider excessively brutal and repressive in order to maintain social stability: public beheadings and stonings of adulterers, for example. 

      • Roscohamm

        o in the to hard basket is it.the heading of the blog is marriage equality and that s what i am talking about …..equality is more than just gay marriage……it is for all human beings is it not…easy question

    • Peter Wilson

      It’s all to do with consistency of argument. If you allow x, then why not y also, given the choice is based on respect of others people’s lifestyle choices. An inconvenient truth, one suspects.

      It’s similar to racial equality. Give Maori advantages to overcome obstacles for sure. What then of our Pacific Island neighbhours, and our asian immigrants?

      • Then real crux is….do any of these combos actually violate the rights of anyone else by their existence…? The answer is no…therefore no business of the law to regulate or prevent.

        If a Man wants to marry a goat or six Women want to live together then as long as I’m not forced by the state or whatever to fund it or have to support it against my free choice in some material way or be inconvenienced in the pursuit of my own happiness by it then I care not a  jot….and why would or should I?

      • James Gray

        Of course the law would still protect goats from animal sexual abuse…

    • None at all.

      • Steve P

        In reply to your post beginning, ”
        Then real crux is….do any of these combos actually violate the rights of anyone else by their existence…? The answer is no…therefore no business of the law to regulate or prevent.”

        But that’s the thing. Society does not consist of a whole load of atomised individuals. Society creates laws to protect and preserve itself, not to protect the rights of individuals – although society may be served by protecting individual’s rights (or to be cynical, by giving the *impression* that it protects individual’s rights). 

        Exceeding the speed limit is not, in and of itself, a violation of anyone else’s rights – certainly not if there is no-one else on the road within range, but it is still an offence against the law.

    • James Gray

      I don’t have an issue with more than two adults who care for each other, making a legal commitment to the relationship.

  • Steve P

    The Marriage Act 1955 prevents (inter alia) a man from marrying his:
    1) Grandmother’s civil union partner
    (2) Grandfather’s civil union partner
    (3) Mother’s civil union partner
    (4) Father’s civil union partner
    (5) Son’s civil union partner
    (6) Daughter’s civil union partner
    (7) Grandson’s civil union partner
    (8) Granddaughter’s civil union partner
    (9) Civil union partner’s grandmother
    (10) Civil union partner’s mother
    (11) Civil union partner’s daughter
    (12) Civil union partner’s granddaughter.That all seems rather arbitrary and unfair, doesn’t it? I can’t see any reason why a man shouldn’t be able to marry his civil union partner’s daughter… so we can scrap all this from the law books, right?

    Incest, famously known as a game the whole family can play… well, what greater love can there be than that between a mother and her child? Why should the law get in the way of this most primal of loves? No need to worry about congenital defects; we have contraception and abortion to take care of any unfortunate side-effects.

    Is any of this starting to sink in?

    • Complete bollocks and strawman arguments….there is a genetic reason to prevent incest…there is no such genetic argument to prevent marriage equality.

      If this is your best shot then you lose.

      • Steve P

        As I already stated, there are ways of getting around the genetic problem. Shouldn’t we as a society evolve to take advantage of medical and scientific advances? Just as the birth control pill helped to de-stigmatize out-of-wedlock intercourse?

        And what about post-menopausal women? My mother was a model when she was younger, and she’s still in pretty good shape for her age rawwrr! (not squeamish, are we?)

      • Anonymous

        SteveP ,this is  probably not the right forum for you to project your fantasies on.

    • Anonymous

       Prohibition of incest is primarily because of the issues of inbreeding as you have pointed out but the other issue you have conveniently over looked is the one of coercion. In the same way Doctor/Patient relationships are illegal due to the dependance of trust between them.
      It is a totally different argument to whether consenting adults can be in a recognised relationship.

    • Vij

      You are an idiot

      • Steve P

        I’m sorry, did I use too many big words for you?

  • Euan Rt

    Maybe a different angle to look at this, is to understand that culture is an ever changing beast. This discussion, if kept seemly, is healthy debate. After all we work democratically with our politics. We all live under the law whether or not we agree with it. It is our responsibility to honour what we believe, but to require everyone else to obey what we want is not healthy and is corruption. If the majority believe in gays not being able to marry, I will continue to disagree but I live under and are committed to democracy. Calling people names because they believe differently is petty at best. Our culture is changing, and people should feel strongly for what they believe, as has happened throughout history. I believe in the future people are going to disbelieve that such vehemence existed on such an issue as this. Think about slavery and interracial marriage, and the strength of the views expressed and how long it took to change the status quo. But change it did because reason finally prevailed.

    • Andrei

       is to understand that culture is an ever changing beast

      We are not talking about new and novel forms of morris dancing here – we are talking about the fundamental thing that keeps our society and culture going through generation after generation.

      This is literally insanity and would have been recognized as such until about twenty years ago and still is in the vast majority of the world.  

      • Euan Rt

        I think in not very many years, you will be preaching to a very small crowd on this issue, like it or not. 

      • Andrei

        My friend throughout history there have been voices raised against lunatic ideas but the mindless mob has heeded them not and disaster has surely followed.

        Churchill spoke out against Nazism, loudly and was mocked, he of course was vindicated when catastrophe overwhelmed Europe.

        And the silly thing is most people even in New Zealand do not believe in Gay Marriage, a lot have been intimidated into silence of course but most do not think it is anything but a extremely silly vanity.

        Some realize how dangerous it really is in the long term and say so.

      • Anonymous

        If your god can`t be bothered doing anything about this perceived problem that you think is so serious,why have you got your panties in a knot about it?
        Seeing as homosexuality has been around since the dawn of civilisation, if not longer, why now do you think it means the end of times if two  *gasp* men  or two women choose to get hitched?

  • jay cee

    people intimidated into silence over gay marriage, thats a good one. i can recall when the petition against homsexual law reform was being handed around by good upstanding christians who quite openly stated to every man who received it that ” if you don’t sign this then we’ll all know your homosexual”

    • Steve P

      And in turn, since those who have some reservations about gay marriage are labelled bigots (see above), this illustrates that progressive liberalism is itself a religion; complete with articles of faith, blasphemies and threats of excommunication. 

  • Pete George

    There’s been attempts to escalate this into all sorts of extremes, and claims it will be the end of the world as we know it. It won’t cause a suddem calamatous drop in procreation and population.  It won’t precipitate a rush to legalise things that no one seems to asking for.

    All it would be is the formalisation of the rights of homosexual couples to legally recognise their relationships like hetero couples can.

    Heaven might shudder a bit but the sky won’t fall in.

    • Kosh103

      I think God has bigger things to worry about than who loves who.

      • Peter Wilson

        Absolutely. So lets just leave things as they are.
        I laugh when people say, why are we wasting time with this. Why not apply that to all society’s issues?

    • Peter Wilson

      What would happen if homosexuals were NOT able to have a legalised marriage? Would the sky fall in; possibly not.

      The easy answer is to allow anyone that wants a legal marriage have one, but define it. I’m in a monogamous heterosexual marriage, others can be in a homosexual marriage.

      • Anonymous

        Rather void all religious marraige and recognise only secular marriage mandated by the state.

        Oh wait, that is already the case in secular democracies. Now all that is left is to recognise that same sex couples can enjoy the same secular rights and responsibilities.