Thursday, June 25, 2009

Give it a rest

Patrick Mclheran suggests that, once a Republican gets caught in an embarrassing situation, he becomes a "former" leading contender for the GOP presidential nomination. Charlie Sykes speculates that the only way that he can survive is to become a Democrat.

Of course, the latter might not work. Governors Spitzer and McGreevey had to resign and I suspect Sanford will as well if only for the odd nature of the matter (where in the world is Mark Sanford?) and the possibility that state funds were misused.

Yesterday a friend e-mails me wondering:

What is it with the rising stars of the Republican Party? Are they
all narcissists who are imploding as they realize the Republican Party is
going the way of the Whigs? What's next? Are we going to find out
that Paul Ryan has been doing his babysitter?

Well, Christian Schneider is out to prevent the latter. But there is no partisan slant here. Political power brings temptations that some men cannot resist. There is long list of Democrats who have fallen in the same way. e.g., Edwards, Spitzer, McGrevey, Robb, Clinton, Kilpatrick, Reyolds, Frank, Hart, etc.

Some argue that this means that Republicans ought to drop the emphasis on family values. The reason, presumably, is because conservatives hang on to some notion that these things are wrong. If you can find someone who did not live up to his principles, that means the principles are wrong.

This implies a moral race to the bottom. Paul wrote "For I don't practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do." None of us manages always to live by our own standards. Democrats who believe in higher taxes fail to pay them. Those who decry concentrations of wealth are rather attached to their own. Republicans who believe in family values may not always live up to them.

It would be an act of public maturity would recognize this. It would also help if we understood that public leaders are human beings. Extramarital affairs require an apology and have enormous personal consequences. They do not, in and of themselves, require resignation.


Sandra said...

The reason, presumably, is because conservatives hang on to some notion that these things are wrong.

This strikes me as self-evidently mistaken. The reason is because moral crusaders castigate others as wrong, while ignoring their own problems (divorce, adultery).

It would be refreshing, actually, if Rick were right --- which would require so-called family values conservatives to start talking seriously, publicly, and frequently about the work that goes into marriage and parenting (not to mention at least considering public policies, e.g. subsidized child care and family leave, that actually help families strive and stay together).

The Recess Supervisor has a similar take on the story: If conservatives were really serious about protecting marriage, they'd demand that adultery laws be enforced and they'd make no-fault divorce illegal. But they're not, because those are sins that they and their colleagues commit. So instead, we get a bunch of conservative adulterers and serial monogamists lecturing America about the sanctity of marriage.

Anonymous said...

Typical republican hypocrisy keep marriage between a man and a woman because same sex marriage will threaten the institution meanwhile go have an affair.....similar to the Catholic position while the clergy abuse youths

The sin is hypocrisy

Rick Esenberg said...

It would be refreshing, actually, if Rick were right --- which would require so-called family values conservatives to start talking seriously, publicly, and frequently about the work that goes into marriage and parenting (not to mention at least considering public policies, e.g. subsidized child care and family leave, that actually help families strive and stay together).

Of course, they do talk about these things. Whether families are better served by subsidies to some paid for by taxes on others (or by mandates that make hiring people more expensive) is an entirely different question. Answering that question does require considering the potential benefit of such schemes, but can't be limite to consideration of the potential benefit. There are costs as well.

There certainly are conservatives who have proposed - largely as alternatives - covenant marriage laws, but calling for the enforcement of adultery laws would be quixotic and silly. That really would be "castigating others as wrong." Not every moral good can be enforced by law.

Michael said...

Here's my issue:

Marriage is a legal contract.

Adultery is the breaking of the spirit if not the letter of that contract.

Shouldn't there be some penalty for the person who breaks the contract?

Anonymous said...

"Not every moral good can be enforced by law"......exception to this is gay people, lets keep them in their place, perhaps sodomy laws can be reinstated and we can go back to the Chief Brier days of raiding gay bars and publishing the names of thoses arrested so they can lose their joobs

Anonymous said...

Extramarital affairs require an apology and have enormous personal consequences. They do not, in and of themselves, require resignation.

Resignation God Forbid we need these republican adulterers to keep marriage safe and between a man and a women

Anonymous said...

Interesting the governor of a state disappears without notifying his staff or the people he serves. Most employers will terminate an employeee who fails to show up for work without calling in ....oh im sorry republicans can do this if they need to carry on an extramarital affair

Sandra said...

Of course, they do talk about these things.

With some admirable exceptions, like this wonderful blogger, you would be hard pressed to find social conservatives talking seriously, publicly, and frequently about the work that goes into marriage and parenting. As others note, their efforts and energies seem directed far more rigorously on preventing gay people from marrying.

Michael J. Mathias said...

Sandra’s comments are right on—what we have most often from “family values” conservatives is not a reasoned dialogue of the policy issues behind their positions, but red meat rhetoric for the base designed solely for the next election cycle, i.e. Karl Rove’s strategy of running against gay marriage in 2004. Not only is this divisive (Juliana Appling referred to “Adam and Steve” during the 2006 debate on gay marriage), but the worst of it seems to result in homicides of innocent people, as in the shootings of the Holocaust Museum guard and Dr. Tiller.

I don’t have the link handy, but the best commentary I heard yesterday was from Ezra Klein, who pointed out that lost in the media frenzy yesterday was the fact that Sanford has been a lousy governor, and that most of his opponents were from within his own party. The real question is why anyone thought that a little-known governor with few accomplishments was presidential material…oh, whoops. Well, I guess you could argue that he has more foreign policy experience than Palin.

Rick Esenberg said...

Focus on the Family isn't really my style but they spend all sorts of time on the difficulties of marriage. Ramesh Ponneru and Ross Douthat are all over a GOP agenda for middle class families.

Opposition to same sex marriage is not tantamount to castigating anyone and does not imply support for enforcing sodomy statutes. It does not even imply opposition to including sexual orientation in laws pertaining to, for example, housing and employment discrimination.

Michael, if you don't think there is a reasoned dialogue you're not listening.

Sandra said...

the worst of it seems to result in homicides of innocent people

While I do think demonizing rhetoric has real effects, I would not arrive at this conclusion.

The "worst of it," to my mind, pertains the health of marriage and family in this country. If you believe that the single most important factor for marriage is, to put it colorfully, a penis and a vagina, then you occlude what really matters: the hard work, sensitivity, and thinking that go into being a good spouse and a good parent.

Anonymous said...

Rick you write a good line but in truth much of the rhetoric on same sex marriage is really disguised hatred against gays.....back in the 60s and 70s the rhetoric towards gays was that gay were abnormal deviants, mentally ill and that was just disguised hatred.

Anonymous said...

I am 56 and have lived long enough that to know that the polite rhetoric against gays is disguised hate pure and simple.... you may recall Anita Bryant overturned some local ordinances forbidding discrimination against gays in housing and jobs and she did so with a "save our children" campaign similar the "briggs amendment" banning gay school teachers in california (which did not passed) was based on hate and prejudice....all this talk about family values saving the institution of marriage by the republican is really meant to feed on peoples prejudice towards gays and garner more votes among the uneducated who fall for this crap.

Anonymous said...

Rick I agree with your statement "Opposition to same sex marriage is not tantamount to castigating anyone and does not imply support for enforcing sodomy statutes. It does not even imply opposition to including sexual orientation in laws pertaining to, for example, housing and employment discrimination."

True it does not imply these things because politically correct hatred and prejudiced always hides in a disguise

Anonymous said...

No one has addressed the issue that a governor of a state who has 24/7 responsibilty left his state without notifying the leiutenant governor nor his a captain leaving a ship without letting anyone know....what if some diaster hit south carolina in the governors abscence....he left his responsibility to his state in order to have an affair with a women in another....he should be impeached.....Why don't you address this Rick instead of this other stuff about the "Extramarital affairs require an apology and have enormous personal consequences. They do not, in and of themselves, require resignation. " this is an elected official (chief executive of a state who left his post unattended without letting any one know he left AWOL

Basic responsibilty

Reddess said...

anon 11:02

And God also knows that we need a liberal like Ted Kennedy to be in the Senate to remind us that "yes you can" get away with letting someone die in a car in the river.

And what about Bill Clinton? Oh that's right - it was only sex, an extramarital affair. Wait a minute...
And we all remember that his impeachment was for lying under oath, not sex.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:42

Oh please. You describe the plight of gays in the terms used to describe the struggle that African Americans faced. Not even in the same ballpark. I have yet to see a person sent to the back of the bus for being gay...or prohibited from drinking from a water fountain. Not to mention that those African Americans lost all of their freedom. If you want to make a point keep it realistic. Noone has said that they want to go back to gay bars being raided resulting in the loss of jobs.

Anonymous said...

Ted Kennedy was not a governor, CEO of a state. Bill Clinton did not leave his post. Sanford left his state and his country. Sanford forsook his responsibility as the Governor to go to another country to have an affair and did not inform anyone he was leaving...a ship without a captain. Reddess you are comparing apples and oranges

Anonymous said...

I never mentioned race in comparison to sexual preference you however did

Anonymous said...

just as Bill Clinton was impeached for lying under oath so should the governor of South Carolina be impeached and removed from office for lying about his whereabouts (hiking the appalacian trail)and for leaving his post unattended

Anonymous said...

The post on the governor leaving his position strikes a chord. I am a nurse if I were to leave the hospital without telling anyone and thus abandoning my patients I would be dismissed from my job and my license would be pulled. What Governor Sanfors did is the same he should be removed from office for leaving his post without informing anyone in the chain of command (i e lieutenant governor) and leaving his state without a chief executive.....the affair is a secondary matter forsaking ones responsibility without informing others is the primary issue

reddess said...

anons 4:20 and 4:38

I agree.

reddess said...

Wow...Michael Jackson is dead.
Wall to wall coverage on cable for the next week or so.

Very weird (but a sad figure) person.

Anonymous said...

You have grown a cult. Lefties (like me) grabbing onto their talking points and rightys all remembering that lefties have done the same thing in the past. And everyone works off the same playsheet. "Oh, its so bad. Its so bad for the wife. How will she ever survive?"

I'm gonna guess fine. Just like everyone else this "happens" to. Guy cheated on his wife. Why would I care? Cuz he's the governor of a state I'll probably never be in? Or cuz he's a Christian. Maybe he's a hypocrite (I've not seen one of those since, uh, yesterday? Nor have I ever been one... since uh, probably yesterday).

I presume schadenfreude is a reason. I do enjoy the republican Clinton hater cheating on his wife angle quite a bit. But I don't know this guy, or his family, and I don't care about them at all. And I'm tired of people pretending they do ("I pray for his family?" Yeah, must be tuff beig them).

Franky, I'm just happy he wasn't eaten by a bear.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
illusory tenant said...

"Some argue that this means that Republicans ought to drop the emphasis on family values."

Only if they want to be taken seriously.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

Shark, if the fight against gay marriage were really about protecting the sanctity of marriage, then shouldn't you social cons also be pushing other policy options, such as ending no-fault divorce and criminalizing adultery, as part of an overall effort?

Seems to me right now the gays are the only target of your political efforts. Making divorce more difficult and criminalizing adultery would without question make people think a lot harder about entering into marriage and put a lot more work into maintaining it, thereby strenghening the institution, would it not?

Since you're not going after these obviously effective measures, it's a little hard to take you seriously when you make one issue that really has nothing to do with the strength of hetero marriage the centerpiece of your effort to protect it while ignoring much more effective efforts.

It's the same reason I don't take you social conservatives seriously on abortion. You're (in general) opposed to measures that have been shown in other countries to reduce teen pregnancy and the need for abortion, prefering instead to advocate policies (abstitence-only sex ed) that have shown to be utter failures, all in the name of imposing your cultural beliefs.

Rick Esenberg said...

Anon 7:20

Unless you have some special source of knowledge, your comments about why someone else's marriage ended are speculation and, in this case, potentially defamatory.


That argument is a trick. It's an attempt to marginalize social conservatives by asking them to embrace something that you know is politically impossible and practically unworkable. There is nothing inconsistent about saying that some things that are wrong should not be made illegal. In any event, if you read the literature on same sex marriage, opponents of SSM often cite no-fault divorce laws as examples of a legal change having a harmful expressive impact.

As far as abortion laws, I don't know what you are referring to. If you mean things like condom distribution, social conservatives tend not to believe that these things work very well at all.

Sandra said...

It's an attempt to marginalize social conservatives by asking them to embrace something that you know is politically impossible and practically unworkable.

In a decade, the same will be true of arguments claiming we should continue preventing gay couples from marrying.

Display Name said...

A moral race to the bottom? How about a race upward from here, up to reality, with a big dose of public maturity? I'd prefer a race where the players honestly strive to explain... because I don't see honest explanations. I see political positions. The guv who seems baffled to explain how he fell in love with another woman while he was married... Another politician who only bristled and gruffed when asked how he squared his party's positions with his gay daughter's very existence. I remember another who only chirps about the wonders of babies when asked to square her preaching with her teen daughter's pregnancy. No, it doesn't mean the principles are wrong... it could mean that your approach to them isn't nuanced, isn't reality-based, or that your proposed implementation of them in laws for everyone might not be as fair and just as you claim it would be. It's all "family values" when the spotlight is pointed outward, but it's all personal and messy and off-limits when the light shines inward. I could go on, but I've already written more at Brawler's place.

Anonymous said...

Good comment John....George Bush was against same sex marriage however Cheney with a lesbian daughter did not seem to have a problem.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps as some of these conservative bloggers are blessed with gay children and gay grandchildren they will modify their views

Sandra said...

Perhaps as some of these conservative bloggers are blessed with gay children and gay grandchildren they will modify their views.

They've always been so blessed. The difference now is that they will no longer be able to keep those children and grandchildren in the closet.

Once, the parents and grandparents, operating under the prejudices of their generation, changed their children. Now, as with the Cheneys, the children are changing their parents.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

So let me get this straight - passing policies that would actually strengthen the institution of marriage are politically difficult, so your movement doesn't want to marginalize itself by even trying; but since going after the gays is politically expedient, you'll deny them the benefits of the insitution we heteros have already degraded because it's more politically expedient, even though giving them those benefits would have no discernable effect on the institution itself.

You're a respectable guy, but how is your argument respectable at all?

illusory tenant said...

"You're a respectable guy, but how is your argument respectable at all?"

Many have pondered ever thus.

Anonymous said...

respectable arguments are use to hide prejudice .....was done with slavery.....was done with interracial marriage...and the chinese exclusion act...dred scott

reddess said...

Perhaps as some liberals are blessed with children with Down Syndrome they will stop murdering them through abortion.
I can say that with authority. I had a little girl with Downs.

AnotherTosaVoter said...


Deflection. If abortion were banned forever or Down's cured tomorrow, this specific issue would remain, as would the weakness of Rick's argument.

Actually address the topic at hand.

Anonymous said...

while we are off the a nurse I can not fathom how Newt Gingrich could have gone to his first wifes bedside with divorce papers while she had cancer.....such a despicable act and such a man still is a spokesman for the republican party what a stain

Anonymous said...

no family values
no human values

sanford reflects the same

Rick Esenberg said...

Reddess is responding to the argument about conservatives changing their mind when they have been been blessed with gay children.

Tosa - It's not that these things would be politically difficult. They would be impossible, although there may be room for modification of divorce laws. Beyond that, criminalizing adultery has a history. It doesn't work.

The argument against SSM is not "going after" gays. It is that the reasons that marriage is culturally and legally structured in the way it is has to do with the unique nature of heterosexual relationsips. There is no reason for society or the state to extend that cultural and legal structure to other forms of relationships and there is no reason for persons in other forms of relationships to accept them.

Extending marriage to other forms of relationships will inevitably change those legal and cultural constructs. In the specific case of same sex marriage, it will also tend to reinforce the already insidious notion that children are not, in the great run of cases, best off when raised by their biological mothers and fathers.

If you really want to try and understand this argument, I wrote about in extensively here in 2006. You might also check out the scholarship of Maggie Gallagher, Helen Alvare, Mary Ann Glendon, Thersa Stanton Collett, Robert George and the Institute for American Values.

Again, the argument is hardly unreasonable. There are academic advocates of same sex marriage (e.g., Ladelle McWhorter) who predict and welcome such an effect and a body of academic literature that criticizes the privileging od marriage.

But these arguments are complicated and don't lend themselves to the short attention span of the blogosphere. In addition, here, they tend to be met by invective rather than reason. As you can see from the comments here and in the recent post, lots of people are invested in the notion that opponents of SSM just "must be" homophobic (whatever that means) or hateful.

If you see marriage as the conferral of "benefits" or you buy into some Hegelian notion of the evolutionary eradication of all traditional distinctions, then you won't be convinced. If you are the type of person who believes we can remake the world as we want it to be, you won't be convinced.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

You're right, I am not convinced, because neither you nor any of the anti-SSM scholars you mention (I've read a few) make an argument that makes any sense.

You accuse me of wanting to remake the world as I want it to be. That's not accurate. I favor same-sex marriage because marriage no longer, if it ever did, have the one-size-fits-all definition across all couples, as you arrogantly claim to be able to define. Marriage's purpose and structure has evolved across time, across cultures, and across individual couples far more than you admit.

I favor it because society is evolving in its attitude towards gays and is gradually coming to the conclusion that if the state is going to grant legal benefits to couples, there isn't a reason any longer to deny those benefits to couples. Religions are changing much more slowly, and some never will, but that's irrelevant. Your religion also says I'm not supposed to work on Sunday and that if I'm rich it'll be hard for me to get into heaven, but I don't see any of those provisions written into law and people are free to believe and practice those things if they wish.

Rick, I'm afraid it is you who are defending a world you think should exist but no longer does. You seem to refuse to recognize the fact that gay couples can and will continue more and more to have children through adoption, IVF, surrogacy, or whatever; not to mention the fact that sticking a kid in foster care who can't find a hetero home while refusing to allow a gay couple to adopt is about the most immoral example of letting perfection be the enemy of the good that I can think of.

Given this reality, your argument makes no sense. At all. It doesn't matter much because my opinion will win out in my lifetime, while your opinion will be viewed as a relic like the stagecoach or the fax machine.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

I think, if I may summarize, the thing about socially conservative politics is this:

1>Social conservative politicians argue for a social order, that, to the extent it existed at all (the 1950s or even the victorian age seem to be models, yet sexual hypocrisy was rampant at those times too, just not publicized as well. And come to think of it, were those times any more moral? Bastard children were shunned because of the actions of their parents, wives were forced by convention to stay in abusive marriages, etc.), no longer exists since the sexual revolution. They seem to make the argument that the sexual revolution can be put back in a bottle. Good luck with that.

2>Social conservative politicians provide all the evidence one needs that this desired social order cannot exist, since as the biggest proponents they seem to fail at higher-than-average rates to live up to its supposed tenets.

3>Given that this social order either never existed or no longer exists, and given that putting the sexual revolution back in the bottle and the gays back in the closet is an idiotic notion at best, and given that social cons can't even seem to get their desired lifestyle right,

What sense does it make to even try?

reddess said...

Anon 11:14
Being a nurse myself, I can't understand how:

1) John Edwards cheated on his wife while she had (has) cancer.

2) Teddy Kennedy left a woman in a car in a river. She died. And drowning is not a pleasant way to die as you well know.

Both are such despicable acts. And one of them has remained in the senate for a long, long time.

Barney Frank and Bill Clinton are faces of the Democratic party as well. I need not go into detail.

Rick Esenberg said...


If it makes no sense to you so be it, you haven't refuted a thing I have written on the subject for over two years, so you'll understand that your view doesn't do much to make me reconsider.

"My religion" (by which I take it you mean Christianity) calls for many things that cannot and should not be written into law. My argument against same sex marriage has nothing to do with religion or the traditional positions of the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) that homosexual conduct is sinful. Writing that position into law would mean criminalizing homosexual conduct. I certainly don't favor that. I don't even favor criticizing homosexuals because I do not believe that it is helpful or accurate to call them sinners on account of their sexual orientation or, say what you want, decision or need to act upon it. (In that sense, I dissent from the traditional position of "my religion" although its more complicated than that; sin is not always the simple black and white concept we believe it to be.)

I have said repeatedly that I am not prepared to say that Heather's two mommies are sinners. Whether we ought to change the legal and cultural definition of marriage to include their relationship is an entirely different question.

What the social trends are is, of course, entirely irrelevant unless you think that whatever the social trend is must always be good.

This is not an issue on which I have read "a few" opinions. I have read many and given it great consideration. Perhaps you have done that, but your comments here really do nothing more than parrot the bumper stickers. That's why you are able to say that it is an easy issue. It's not.

Sandra said...

I did go back to read the 2006 posts.

A couple points stand out:

1. You were a more reasonable man then than you are today. In 2006, you said of the amendment's civil-union language: "I do not like it much," and further, "there is a reasonable argument that civil unions ought not to be recognized." Now, you think paltry domestic partnership protections will be, quite literally, the downfall of marriage and western civilization.

2. You rely heavily on abstractions in order to evacuate real people from your discussions, as if lesbians and gay men exist only as fearful, murky ghosts.

3. The argument that we need to keep heterosexuality as the exclusively normative form of existence is, frankly, cruel. It is, of course, an argument that we need to maintain stigmas against homosexuality. If barring lesbians and gay men from marriage is one way of, as you say, "maintaining the idea that heterosexuality is normative," then what other tools should we also employ? Like gay jokes or anti-gay harassment. Under your reasoning, wouldn't those also produce a net benefit because they present heterosexuality as normative while (really the same thing) stigmatizing homosexuality?

4. The argument about adultery is particularly germane to recent discussions. Let me put real people back into the spectral substance of your argument: you think that allowing the lesbian couple down the street to obtain a civil marriage license will make you more likely to commit adultery -- or, perhaps more generously, to create an "open" arrangement. This type of argument denies people their fundamental sovereignty, not to mention the dignity through which they forge their own lives. It's a breed of finger pointing that egregiously removes people's agency and responsibility.

At bottom of all these arguments is a simple fear that we will stop seeing heterosexuality (and heteosexuals) as better than homosexuality (and lesbians and gay men). It's a fear that, quite frankly, we'll stop stigmatizing our lesbian and gay neighbors. I think that's why this argument seems so anachronistic to me, a relic from a meaner time.

More and more, the norm is to know a lesbian or gay couple and, frequently, to know a lesbian or gay couple raising children. For those of us who do, these kind of arguments positively turn the stomach.

Anonymous said...

I am a middleaged gay man who enjoys Rick's column

Rick you pose arguments based on reason
I do not perceive you as coming from a bias against gay people

It has been my perception through life that those who argue against gay rights in whatever form have done so based 1) on leviticus 18:22 and/or 2) some individuals are afraid of they fact that even though they are straight they have attractions to members of the same-sex so they deal with it by disliking gay people, and/or men who really dislike gays are often hung up on their sense of masculinity, (curiously I have never found this to be the case among women).

Within a fundamentalist view of christianity and among mormons gay people have no place and are sinners, (the Catholic church is marginally better),
(Episcopalian church is more reasoned on this)

Happy Pride

Rick Esenberg said...

For those of us who do, these kind of arguments positively turn the stomach.

I was elected Senior Warden of a church with a substantial gay population. Almost all of that group are very nice people (there will always be a few in any bunch).

At the risk of sounding like a guy making a "some of my best friends argument," I have broken bread with gay people. I've had gay people stay at my house. Whatever you think of my arguments, they don't stem from not knowing - or liking - any real gay people.

Your hypothetical about what will happen to me if there is a lesbian couple down the street suggests that you don't or won't understand what I am saying. The lesbian couple down the street is not the issue; the issue is the redefinition of marriage and its impact (not tomorrow by some type of osmosis or, as one commenter supporting SSM, "gay germs") but over time on the legal and cultural norms surrounding marriage.

I am not saying that heterosexuality should necessarily be the normative form of existence. To discuss that we'd have to get into Catholic Theology of the Body and I suspect that I would not say anything like that. I do think that children being raised by their biological mother and father ought to be normative in the sense that it is their birthright and, all things equal, their odds of thriving are better that way. Of course, it's not always possible so I do not believe that it should be considered normative in the sense that families in which that could not happen ought to be looked down upon.


Thanks and, to be clear, I do not regard Leviticus as establishing norms for human sexuality in 2009.

Happy Pride to you as well.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

There are two flaws in your argument, Rick.

The first is that it's based on a strawman and a fear of the slippery slope at the same time. It seems you're not so much against granting gays the same thing us heteros have, it's that you're afraid of some sinister "real motive" of some, in fact a tiny fringe, same sex marriage supporters. This real motive seems to be some communist-inspired plot to destroy the nuclear family.

The second reason your argument makes no sense is its focus on children. I agree that children do best with their mother and father. The problem is, gay couples are already "having" children through their own means. In the case of adoption, these are children whose biological parents have already been determined - in the absense of gay marriage - to be better off with anyone besides their biological parents. Either the state has taken them away or the parents themselves have made the choice. In other cases, gays are having children via IVF or surrogacy. As with laws against no-fault divorce or adultery, it seems your side is not looking for the actual legal remedies to the problem you identify.

I'm sorry if my rhetoric has been out of line, but quite frankly I haven't seen much in your argument that goes beyond that bumpersticker showing that marriage = the two pictures of men and women shown on restroom doors.