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  • Five Impacts of the New York Same-Sex Marriage Vote

    The New York legislature’s vote last Friday night to redefine the family and recognize homosexual marriage will have a number of impacts within and well beyond the Empire State. The vote does not signal an end to the now two-decade fight over the meaning of marriage. A new phase—not an endgame—has begun. Here are five key impacts:

    1. The vote continues an adverse trend for marriage law in New York.

    Last year the Empire State became the 50th state to repeal a fault-based divorce law. Weakened emphasis on the durability of marriage as a heterosexual institution has helped to undermine the stability of the institution and contributed to the rising incidence of cohabitation and out-of-wedlock births, a phenomenon that is now nearly universal in Western nations.

    2. The policy change emanates from a legislature and is reversible by the legislature.

    Changes to the meaning of marriage have been initiated by both legislatures and court rulings, but judicial activism has often taken the lead. The California Supreme Court created same-sex marriage in the Golden State, but that decision was reversed by referendum in 2008—the only time a state court ruling imposing same-sex marriage has been overturned by popular vote. Legislatively enacted same-sex marriage was reversed in Maine and the New Hampshire legislature will vote on repealing its same-sex marriage law early next year. Pro-traditional marriage groups vow to take the New York law to referendum, and Minnesota will hold its own referendum on the issue in November 2012. Steps have been taken toward ballot initiatives in Iowa and Indiana as well. The importance of all these votes is elevated by the action in New York.

    3. Religious liberty is suffering a death of a thousand cuts, and the collision of religious/ moral conscience and nondiscrimination laws still looms.

    The debate in New York came down to complex questions of religious liberty and whether the law would protect religious institutions and individuals from forced participation in and recognition of homosexual marriages. Some lawmakers would like to protect religious institutions from the aftermath of marriage redefinition, but nondiscrimination statutes, even without but especially with marriage/family redefinition laws, hurt religious and moral freedoms.

    4. Redefinition of the family is the clear goal of same-sex marriage activists.

    It is increasingly clear that the primary purpose of same-sex marriage laws is not to alleviate legal hurdles or provide benefits but to confer social approval on a new understanding of the family. As Democratic State Senator Carl Kruger of Brooklyn admitted before the New York vote, “What we’re about to do is redefine what the American family is. And that’s a good thing.”

    5. Marriage is a mega-issue and merits a full-scale national debate in 2012.

    The creation of same-sex marriage in New York does not necessarily signal a sea change in the marriage issue nationwide. To date, no popular vote has validated same-sex marriage anywhere in the United States. In contrast, 30 states have enacted constitutional amendments designed to protect marriage. New York is one of the most liberal states in the union. New York does illustrate, however, the potency of political leadership. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) made the issue a cornerstone of his first year in office. He did not “lead from behind.” The outcome in New York will spur activists on the marriage issue to redouble their efforts to secure national political leadership for their cause.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    64 Responses to Five Impacts of the New York Same-Sex Marriage Vote

    1. Randy S. says:

      Please, your arguments are ridiculous.
      PLEASE name me ONE, just ONE legally difinitvely way that same sex marriage causes proveable harm to opposite sex marriage.
      NO ONE has been able to do so. That is the plain and simple truth, because THERE IS NO HARM TO "traditional" marriages as you prefer to call them.
      On the other hand, there is a long list of harms caused to same-sex couples, their children and families, (yes we have them) by not allowing committed loving same sex couples to be recognized by the government as WED.
      If anything, same sex marriage will STRENGTHEN the institution of marriage, providing legal protections not otherwise availble, even through the ependiture of many thounsands of dollars in legal documents.
      If for no other reason, think about the millions of children (YES, there are millions) who have gay parents or have been adopted by gay couples, who more often than not are willing to adopt children that no one else will. These children certainly deserve the same legal protections as any other child, don't they?

      • agkcrbs says:

        Thanks for the daily laugh, sister. By that reasoning, I would also suppose that intimate relations with animals would, if anything, STRENGTHEN the human procreative act.

        I'll say it loudly and proudly: homosexuality is nature's curse, for which most Americans patiently await an effective scientific remedy.

      • Collin B. says:

        Children need a father. Children need a mother. They provide two very different sets of training that cannot possibly be fulfilled by two people of the same sex. How is a young man going to learn how to properly treat a woman when he was raised by two men? How is a young lady going to come to know her own true beauty and learn how she should be respected by men if she is raised by two women? These same issues occur in single parent homes. It is not the government's responsibility to do what is best for children. It is the parents'.

        • Gannon says:

          Probably the most articulate, well thought out (not to mention grammatically and orthographically sound) response on an internet article. Thank you for this, and also for your character. I agree one hundred percent.

      • @kabaka says:

        "These children certainly deserve the same legal protections as any other child, don't they? "

        Yes, they certainly do. Gender bias is hardly a good excuse to deprive a child of both a mother and father.

      • NY Honest Thief says:

        If the state legally redefines dogs as human, that causes "provable harm" to humans.
        If the state redefines bank robbery as honest banking, the provable harm will very quickly be shown by people running to withdraw their deposits.
        The same applies to marriage. Redefine it to include 2 men, 3 men, or 2 men and a pet, and you have harmed every single marriage contract.

      • snydrhrry says:

        As you know, from the Arctic circle to Patagonia, Cape Town or New Zealand, the human family (father, mother and children [with other relatives on the fringes] is the basic unit of society.) The Lincolns at the "Birthplace" cabin needed no bureaucracy to survive and do well, neither did the Ingalls in Kansas, Minnesota or So. Dakota. The homosexual "family" (two men or women, usually no children) is a sad parody of the human family.
        I believe part of the leadership is anarchic, seeking to destroy the society and produce a revolution. Another definite purpose is to produce a "dependent" who will be "entitled" to all the benefits of a regular spouse, and perhaps also to cover an HIV infected partner/spouse under the employer health insurance plan of the other partner/spouse. There is always more than meets the eye in these great, radical, new "rights." (There are also studies that indicate that homosexuals overall suffer more health problems than heterosexual persons, so those under the umbrella of medical insurance of whomever are at a distinct advantage.)

      • Robert Harkins says:

        Here is one. When states instituted the "No Fault" divorce and abolished the right to sue for "alienation of affection" the divorce rate Increased nationally to nearly 50%, millions of children were traumatized, and families broken. The cost of welfare necessary to address the havoc caused by no fault divorce sky rocketed and was useless in any event. The rate of out of wedlock birth increased dramatically as did crime and poverty. The chief victim? The woman forced to raise her children without a husband, the children who do not have the steadying and positive influence of a father and the taxpayer forced to pay for the outrage of liberal no fault divorce.

        Gay raising of children increases their propensity to engage in homosexual conduct. The children themselves are often at the mercy of homosexual pedophiles. Note that the homosexual establishment is the only one that has an organization NAMBLA dedicated to the institutionalization of "Intergenerational Marriage" I.e. the marriage of an adult male to a child.

        I could go on. But there are a few. Gay marriage, like no fault divorce will further maim an institution whose stability is critical to a stable society and a constitutional government.

        • Gays are Gross! says:

          Great response, wish you would have gone on! On top of everything you said, it's just plain nasty! Two women or to men is completely UN-NATURAL and all you sick & disturbed so called people, that CHOSE your life style will pay the consequences from OUR one and only Lord, Jesus Christ! Who is none other then the ONLY ONE that can define marriage as he clearly did in the BIBLE, more then once!

          BIBLE = Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

    2. Bobbie says:

      Congratulations to the admitted narcissists of limited thinking ability with refusal to comply with a simple definition, screaming your childish rants for the attention of a government corrupt, that gives into your intolerance. Your excuses hold no merit. Equal protection apply to children whether their parents are gay or not! Quit exploiting them for your selfish gain! To call out "same sex," " gay" and put marriage behind it is so lowly, using identity of sexual preference alone. For nothing but benefits!!! Nothing to do with marriage!!!

      Procreation has to do with marriage! That can only happen naturally between one of each gender, NOT TWO OF THE SAME! You don't have to be recognized WED to be a parent, spinner. If you and the remaining ignorant can't see the damning of your actions put on others who live by it's definition then live your life happily ever after!

    3. Trip says:

      Legal and Moral arent necessarily equivalent ………….but people with your problem never have and never will adress that…it ruins your rationale….i,ll bet you even have , out of utter ignorance, a Coexist sticker on your Lexus.

    4. Trip says:

      Oh..and before i go…show me ONE instance where homosexuality takes place in Nature???? …you wont..cause its not normal..its aquired…as far as homosexuals and lesbians raising kids…in fact all you,re doing is" cultivating" under the guise of caring.

      • JRM says:

        according to national geographic: birds, beetles, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins, and orangutans

        oh wait, you just asked for one. my bad ;)

      • Mark says:

        Bonobos. Look it up. (I stuck to just one)

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        would you argue that because we are all born with eyes, it is not natural for anyone to be born blind? That's the functional equivalent of the "it's not natural" argument. In point of fact, there are all sorts of conditions present from birth which deviate from the statistical norm, which interfere with the "normal" function according to "nature's design" – neither statistical majority nor proper functioning is a qualifier for being "natural" – what happens via natural processes is natural, by definition.

    5. James says:

      Lunacy has become the rule in NY. Your incites are on. I would love to see the national debate in the 2012 debate to highlight the fantasy of men marrying men and woman marrying woman.

      • Mark says:

        Meanwhile national polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support marriage equality. 70% of people under 35 support the law in NY. Opinion on LGBT equality has been the most rapidly shifting issues in public opinion that political scientists have ever documented, and it is in a sustained move toward greater equality across all demographics. Just stating the facts. Doesn't have to change your opinion, but the overall opinion of the country is moving.

    6. Speech says:

      Dude. There's an obvious HUGE PINK ELEPHANT in the room with this issue, that gay marrieds and their supporters seem to want to ignore. It's NOT natural! "Nature" has long ago made a unanimous decision that ONLY men and women can have babies and NO same sex couple ever will! That is why it's wrong, it's like mutating the watermelon to be seedless, or the HUGE corporations like monsantos owning the rights to seeds, it's SIMPLY not the way it's supposed to be! SIMPLE! And when WE as humans start redefining what "nature" has made clear for us, we lose our standards of what being human is all about.

    7. Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      Each of these arguments is easy to dispense with.

      "1. The vote continues an adverse trend for marriage law in New York."

      Chuck Donovan cites a fault-based divorce law, something that has absolutely nothing to do with the marriage equality bill. Obviously HE thinks that marriage equality is an "adverse" development, but in fact allowing Gay couples to legally marry is not an attack on marriage, but an ENDORSEMENT of marriage. I think it's far better for society to encourage compatible Gay couples toward lives of monogamy and commitment, rather then relegating them to the societal fringe, loneliness and isolation.


    8. Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      "2. The policy change emanates from a legislature and is reversible by the legislature."

      Not exactly an IMPACT of the marriage equality law, but whatever. Yes, the usual conservative and evangelical organizations are already on the warpath, threatening to repeal the law, punish the lawmakers who voted for it, and continuing to press for anti-Gay marriage amendments in states that don't have them. But since the federal government, through its own actions, has made marriage a FEDERAL issue, the U.S. Supreme Court will likely have the last word.


    9. Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      "3. Religious liberty is suffering a death of a thousand cuts, and the collision of religious/ moral conscience and nondiscrimination laws still looms."

      Muslim and Jewish and Atheist couples are allowed to marry, and churches have never been forced to provide weddings and other services to them. Frankly I don't care if religious institutions want to discriminate against Gay couples, as long as they aren't receiving taxpayer funding. The fact remains that none of the legal benefits and protections of marriage come from the church, they come from GOVERNMENT.


    10. Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      "4. Redefinition of the family is the clear goal of same-sex marriage activists."

      For Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples and their families, absolutely nothing is changing. Most people are Straight, always have been and always will be, and they will continue to date, get engaged, marry, and build lives and families together as they always have. None of that will change after Gay couples are allowed to do the same, nor will Straight people "turn Gay" (It doesn't work like that!). And even if Gay couples can't legally marry, many will still have children of their own, either through adoption or some other means.


      • The Blue Collar Man says:

        IMO, the whole problem is gay/lesbian activists "screaming" to be reconized, and forcing on the majority of us the concept of same sex "Marriage".
        If you would stop trying to be "Married", your life would be so much easier. If you would use some other term, the majority wouldn't have near the problems with your life choices. Trying to change thousands of years of tradition simply won't work, and doom you to constant struggles. But no, you insist to try to have it "your way". Marriage is between a man and woman, period, forever, and connot be changed, no matter how loud you are.
        Gays/lesbians have rights, just like I do. Drop the stupid fight to redifine "Marriage", use another term, and watch your problems go away. How childish to keep fighting, and demeaning your life.

    11. Chuck Anziulewicz says:

      "5. Marriage is a mega-issue and merits a full-scale national debate in 2012."

      Marriage equality for Gay couples has been debated for decades, and no doubt continue to be in the years ahead. But the "sea change" is occurring in public opinion. 30 years ago most Americans didn't know of any friends, family members, or co-workers who were Gay; today most Americans DO, and with that awareness has come increasingly acceptance and support. Gay individuals and couples are living their lives with honesty and integrity. Facebook has made the proverbial "closet" completely obsolete. Polling data now shows most American favor marriage equality for Gay couples. And years after Gay couples have the same legal benefits and protections that Straight couples have always taken for granted, people will wonder what all the fuss was about.

    12. @Mguidr1 says:

      My bible teaches me that homosexuality is an abomination. God destroyed two cities that held the same perverse moral views that you do. I am not thinking of those poor children being raised by the homosexuals, except to pity them, but of my own children, who are force fed this perversity by the media and the Govt. I never cared what homosexuals did, but it is apparent that they will never stop their activism until they have forced society to accept their acts as normal. Every popular vote that has been held on this issue has been against the gay/lesbian agenda. The only way that they get their agenda passed is through judicial activism or legislative action. The people will NEVER accept homosexual marriage as the norm outside of large immoral population centers. Im sorry but that is just a fact.

      • TURTLE says:


        • Tammy Rainey says:

          do you favor the government legislating all of God's law as U.S. law? we could have an interesting discussion about that…

      • Troy says:

        Its great that you have your bible and are able to use it to justify your intolerance of anything that doesn't conform to your beliefs. But the fact of the matter is marriage was around long before your bible so it wasn't what defined marriage. Here's an example that might help your shortsightedness, when women got the right to vote, did they change what it was called?

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        My bible teaches me that pre-marital or extra marital sex is a sin (punishable by death in the same books where you find that "abomination" description) and yet we do not expect the government to ban pre-marital sex do we?
        God destroyed two cities, according to the Bible, over 4,000 years ago, yet in the Christian era a great many cites and nations have done far worse (I assume we can agree that the nations around the world putting people to death for being Christian are doing worse that being gay?) and yet fire rains not fron heaven. Are we to assume that god thinks THAT much worse of homosexuality – or is it possible that passage doesn't mean what you think it means?
        Homosexuals do not ask your agreement that it is normal, merely your assent that it is not your business.
        if we subject people's liberties to a popular vote, we would never have given people the freedom to have interracial marriage, the South and other places which limited the rights of blacks would have continued to vote to limit their fellow citizen's freedom, in fact, very likely slavery would have endured many more decades before a popular vote eliminated it (even in the north blacks were considered lesser humans by most in 1860
        In various times and places, popular opinion, particularly when it was colored by religious doctrine, lagged far behind in granting liberties. How often were expansions of liberty in this country achived by popular vote, and how often by legislative or judicial action? shall we roll all those back for a popular vote? Just remember, when we do roll them back – women and minorities can sit the vote out because they won't have the right to participate. oh, and non-property owners too.

    13. Bristol says:

      Just because one lousy Senator said he is changing the definition of the family, doesn't mean that same-sex marriage laws are being pushed by homosexuals for that reason. A family is a group of people who love and depend on each other. It doesn't matter who makes up that family. Having a tight-knit family (whether you have two moms or a mom and a dad) takes away the need for someone to depend upon government. We need to take government OUT of our business and give us the CHOICE to do what we want to do, whether that be choosing who we want to create a family with or choosing what kind of health care we want.

    14. Mary says:

      Same sex marriage? Next, people will ask to marry their dog, cat, parrot, etc. I wish homosexuals would just do their thing behind closed doors and leave the rest of us in peace. They have to become activists because their life is so messed up, they need the affirmation and thrill of group activism to keep going. Well guess what. I have rights too – the right to raise my children in a world unpolluted by perversion. I'm sick of the political correctness that calls for all of us to coddle gays. I don't and I never will be in support of gay issues because they are forced upon me.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        Are you conceding that you can't think of any sound reason why one might marry their gay partner but NOT marry an animal?

        That's a strikng admission.

        As to your "right" to raise your children in a world untainted by "perversion" – you have no such right at all, either under the Constitution or under the Bible. Mainstream Christian doctrine instructs that we live in a fallen world in which evil exists, at no point are you commanded to eradicate evil or "perversion" in the world, you are to see to your own life and household. if you as a Christian parent cannot train up your child in a way that gives them the wisdom to process and deal with the "perversion" around them, then the failure is yours. Even if you didn't "coddle" gays, they are not going away – nor are all the sexual sins that many professed believers as well as others engage in regularly.

        what you seem to actually want to do is raise your children to look down on others who are more "perverted" than they are. perhaps you'll get lucky and all the perverts will react to this scorn by eating a bullet and you'll get your pervert free world? that's certainly a very Christian point of view.

      • tim says:

        Dogs, cats, parrots etc are unable to enter into contract. They do not have legal capacity. Homosexuals are people (whether you believe that or not) and can make basic decisions for themselves such as whether to apply for a state issued civil marriage license. This is a state issued license and by allowing homosexuals to obtain one is not coddling.

    15. Kevin M. says:

      People who engage in homosexual behavior are well able to carry out public responsibilities such as parenting, teaching, good citizenship, etc. However, this capability is an attribute of their humanity and, thus, in no way validates homosexual behavior as a norm. Homosexual behavior is, simply, a dysfunctional behavior that is inconsistent with biological self-evident truths. In addition to that, sexual proclivities are not the basis of identity and, therefore, are not the basis of individual rights. Our rights, regardless of sexual orientation, are based upon our common humanity. People who engage in homosexual behavior have equal access to marriage with the opposite sex, however because of their dysfunctional state, choose otherwise. It is not in the interest of society to redefine as a norm what is, in fact, a dysfunctional behavior. The greatest tragedy of this ruse has been upon those that have sought help to remedy this dysfunction and especially for those professionals that had been providing help in that area. In truth, homosexuality bears no positive outcome for society. Unlike homosexuality, heterosexuality exists and thrives wholly independent from homosexual behavior while, conversely, homosexuality is inherently dependent that heterosexuality continue. That is why homosexual "culture" has never and will never endure because it can never transcend its fundamental contradiction that each of its adherents were born via a heterosexual origin. Thus if homosexual behavior is to be the basis of a "culture," it will be a dysfunctional one; one that must feed upon heterosexual "culture." The truth is, enduring culture born of social stability has always been and will continue to be the attribute of the moral, spiritual, eternal commitment between a man and a woman. That is why it is in the interest of all that society protect the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        Your description of the physical nature of homosexuality is common to those who have never had to deal with it and therefore can freely point to the "other" and criticize safe in the knowledge their judgement will never fall on their own behavior.

        In point of fact, there is considerable reason to believe that homosexual orientation is inborn and present from birth. Yes, it is "abnormal" in the statistical sense, but so is being deaf or blind or autistic or a dwarf or having violet eyes.

        The question ought to be, in the absence of absolute certainty that it is NOT inborn, do we dare infringe on the liberty of our fellow citizens based on a supposition when the liberty we infringe harms no one?

        Allowing full liberty to your fellow citizen says nothing about the "abnormality" of the behavior either way, it says you are freedom loving and will only infringe when the state has a compelling interest to do so. Sending doctrinal messages about "normalcy" fails to meet that standard. It's true that homosexuality bears no "positive outcome for society" but neither does it bear a negative outcome. The negative aspects of being homosexual derive almost entirely from the psychological impact of being a pariah, of being constantly reminded that people consider you "deviant" and "perverted."

        Your whole rubric that homosexuality depends on heterosexual behavior to survive has two obvious flaws – first, it completely undermines your original assertion that they are not born that way (if it's nurture and not nature, then the practice of heterosexuality has no more to do with being gay than it does with bowling. If, on the other hand, homosexuality DOES depend on heterosexual sex, they are born that way and it does not de-legitimize their condition any more than it de-legitimizes being born blind.

        • admanda says:

          Tammy Rainey, you are the bomb dot com. Keep up your incredibly well-reasoned and precise defense of people who need it, in a forum we are trying to stay far far from. The ones you are addressing will never reach the heights of your shining intellect, but GOD its beautiful to see these beams of wisdom and truth from below. I hope to give you a hug in real life someday. <3 Also, hyenas.

      • Spikeygrrl says:

        @Kevin: Cogent and well-written — a true pleasure to read. Thank you.

    16. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Traditional marriage proponents advocate government recognizing an institution that promotes the civil society. Of course, two drug-free moms are better than a strung-out mom and dad, but all else equal, children reared by a married man and woman fair better than a single mom, single dad, two moms, two dads, etc. and are less burdensome to society over time at least in terms of poverty and incarceration rates.

      Traditional marriage laws and amendments are not discriminatory. They apply equally to all people. With minor variation, states do not allow the marriage of close family members, minor children or polygamy. Is the state discriminating against people who desire such marriages? No. If they want state recognition, they can abide by the law. If they don't like the law, they can, through their elected reps or referendum, change the law or even the constitution both state and federal.

      While the general population may be more accepting of gay people now more than ever, they are not yet willing to expand the definition of marriage. The proof again is that 60% of the states have defined marriage the old-fashion way, and apparently more are on the verge of doing so.

      • JRM says:

        there is no scientific evidence that link being raised by two parents of the same sex to higher poverty or incarceration rates.

        also. in the US more states allow 1st cousins to marry than they do same sex people.

        and as to your changing the law through their reps, thats exactly what they did.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        the problem, of course, is that even if you are right, all else is NOT equal. Even in the limited scope of how the government deals with hetero families. In so long as it is not illegal for a single parent to raise a child, it is inequality before the law for homosexuals to be infringed upon. in point of fact, a higher and higher precentage of married couple are childless and that in itself undermines the conception that governments sole interest in marriage is child-rearing, else it would take no notice of childless couples.

        As far as the other distinctions you mention in which the government limits liberty to marry, the thought process is simple – each variant you propose should stand or fall on it's own merit. the reasoning to be applied is this – the government needs a compelling and specific interest which cannot be addressed in a less intrusive way if it is to impose on citizen's liberty. whether or not a ban on homosexual marriage meets that standard is an entirely separate question from the one which asks whether or not a ban on polygamy does.

        it is intellectually lazy to assert or assume that they all come as a set and to approve one means you cannot separately consider another.

        Finally, while I am encouraged at the growing acceptance, ultimately equality before the law ought not be a subject for popular vote. in 1971 the public in most states would almost certainly have voted against interracial marriage but Loving was still decided correctly, as almost everyone now would be ashamed to say that race mixing was a sin.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        the problem, of course, is that even if you are right, all else is NOT equal. Even in the limited scope of how the government deals with hetero families. In so long as it is not illegal for a single parent to raise a child, it is inequality before the law for homosexuals to be infringed upon. in point of fact, a higher and higher precentage of married couple are childless and that in itself undermines the conception that governments sole interest in marriage is child-rearing, else it would take no notice of childless couples.

        As far as the other distinctions you mention in which the government limits liberty to marry, the thought process is simple – each variant you propose should stand or fall on it's own merit. the reasoning to be applied is this – the government needs a compelling and specific interest which cannot be addressed in a less intrusive way if it is to impose on citizen's liberty. whether or not a ban on homosexual marriage meets that standard is an entirely separate question from the one which asks whether or not a ban on polygamy does.

        it is intellectually lazy to assert or assume that they all come as a set and to approve one means you cannot separately consider another.

        Finally, while I am encouraged at the growing acceptance, ultimately equality before the law ought not be a subject for popular vote. in 1971 the public in most states would almost certainly have voted against interracial marriage but Loving was still decided correctly, as almost everyone now would be ashamed to say that race mixing was a sin.

    17. Denise says:

      The whole argument boils down to who has the right to "set the rules" — a power higher than ourselves where His "rules" are revealed in His written Word or popular opinion (which is really mob rule)? The Founding Fathers understood the answer to this question and the impact to the Constitution and the nation should it ever be forgotten or trampled upon. We are in a debate over this fundamental question with every issue that confronts us. Without recognizing a Providential being, it is simply a debate over "I want or think" vs. what you want or think. How will you win?

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        the Founding Fathers also well understood that just because god "sets the rules" and he does, that does NOT mean that a secular government should select and prefer ONE interpretation of his will over other interpretations. in point of fact, THAT sort of thinking is precisely WHY many of the first Americans came here.

        It is astonishingly ironic that opponents of marriage Equality so often invoke the people who bent over backwards to say that the Government MUST NOT endorse one religious doctrine over others in defense of their desire to do exactly that. Consider this: "god makes the rules" about how a marriage may end, but the governments rules are not aligned with his; god makes the rules about what constitutes faithful service to him (church attendance, prayer, and so forth) and yet, thankfully, we do not ask the government to enforce that opinion. It is either ill-considered, or purposely deceptive to suggest that because "God makes the rules" we must therefore invoke the power of human government to enforce those rules.

        We do not live in a theocracy, and neither of us should want to, lest the theology the government prefer be at odds with our own conscience. Let god and his church deal with sin and let the government deal with an orderly society.

    18. Stirling says:

      4. Redefinition of the family is the clear goal of same-sex marriage activists.

      In the eyes of "man" this may be acceptable by some who wish to push "God" out of peoples lives. But in the eyes of "God" thru his writtings it will never be. Those who are true to their spiritual faith know the abomination that is quoted on this subject which is why we as "God" fearing americans do not accept this.

      Morality stems from those charateristics we are taught from Religion and God. The perversion of morality causes social decay in society when it's citizens don't fear any consequences to their actions. Gay people are Gods children but have perverted his teaching to create the perception that it is acceptable behavoir.

      Therefore you can call it what you will but in God's eye it's not right..

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        As may be (though I disagree) – we do not live in a theocracy. A persons faith can and should inform the persons vote, but it takes more than religious doctrine to justify a secular government limiting the liberties of her citizens.

    19. Let's step back a little bit and not get on the normal bandwagon that tends to cause the youth and young to see the Church as anti-gay. First, I clarify, that I believe that marriage is defined traditionally and biblically as between a man and a woman and that is one thing that I uphold and will defend as a pastor and a faithful Christian. To see the implications of this is one that we must stand as a Church to see how far astray our country is continuing to move from the Word of God and the work for which our Lord has prepared us. Jesus Christ did not die so that we could attack and cast stones of aspersion against those that are being misled, but to provide a witness that is truly up to His calling. As a former ELCA pastor who has since left because of decisions of the greater body on this issue I must say that centrally we must refocus ourselves in ministering to those that are caught up in the lie with words of truth that break down the barriers. Had Jesus approached the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4) with the words, "You dirty adultress samaritan let me tell you the wrongness of the life you lead" the story would have been much different. First, we must begin with compassion. It is wrong how the Church has for so long demonized those caught up in homosexuality and placed that sin above all others in our eyes. In our act we have only emboldened them in their movement and have given the power that they never should have had. We offer the drink of Living Water in spite of what we believe.
      This debate has drained so much energy from us in our mission to "make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." The devil is at work and it is tragic that he has such a foothold, but the Truth of our Lord still stands and as we see the great work ahead of us, let us as Christians stand firm in the faith and speak the Truth in Love. There are those within the Church that have "itching ears" but that is no different then at the time of Jesus, the time of Paul, the time of Jeremiah, the time of Zechariah, the time of any of the prophets for that matter, and the time of the Reformation and Martin Luther.
      The threats that are attacking our families extend far beyond homosexuality and the "gay marriage" debate. As a church we must regain our voice by truly standing firm in the Word and witness to a dying people the true Gospel, the promise of eternal life to all who believe and are baptized. Homosexuals are not our enemies, sin is. When we begin with that we can put it all in perspective and refocus ourselves in the true work as God's people – proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth empowered by the glorious Holy Spirit that has been given to all of those who proclaim Jesus Christ is Lord.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        while we disagree on the issue, i applaud your proper sense of perspective and priority on providing a compassionate witness. Well done sir.

      • Beth says:

        What a well educated thoughtful reply. I agree wholeheartedly.

      • Tim says:

        Your church and religion are nothing more than make believe superstition. Please but out of my life. Thanks

    20. Tammy Rainey says:

      Having an effect ("impact") on the situation is not, of course, by definition, having a NEGATIVE effect. I don't think it is sensible to argue there is no effect, but whether or not the effect is are significant or as described is a different story. Here's my reaction to each:

      1. The notion that a bill passed AFTER all 50 states had weakened (according to your premise) heterosexual marriage has any part in affecting that weakening is difficult to understand. You might, i suppose, argue that no-fault divorce someone slippery-sloped us to the point of allowing homosexuals to marry, but the reverse would clearly be nonsensical. rather, I would suggest that your observation supports the argument of the marriage equality supporters in that all the best arguments against gay marriage do not represent actual realities found in heterosexual marriage.

      2. pretty much every change to the nature of marriage has been either judicial or legislative in nature. The idea of a public referendum is the rare exception – there was no vote among the public before or after the Loving decision on interracial relationships, for instance. By your own observation, all 50 legislatures have changed the nature of divorce significantly. Such stipulations as age and genetic relationship in various jurisdiction were always done – and sometimes changed – legislatively. This is not new at all. in fact, that very reality – that the terms and conditions of marriage in this country is very much a government driven process – runs counter to the popular mythology that "marriage" is only a church/god thing and the church has the right to exclude.

      3. I agree with you concerning the imposition on religious liberty (as in the Catholic Charities adoption mess in MA) but the fault there lies with too broad application of anti-discrimination laws, not with marriage equality. If, at some point, a religious institution is compelled under those laws to recognize a homosexual couple, the fault is not with the marriage law but the discrimination law.

      4. the family has already been redefined in a multitude of different ways over the last 50 odd years. Mainly due to liberalized divorce laws but in other ways, publicly and privately, as well. Changing the institution is a product of societal evolution, all the government can do is reflect what is already happening in society. if it happens that society evolves at a different rate in NY than in MS, that, too, is perfectly natural. The genie is, in short, out of the bottle and has been for a long time. If one argues they wish to go back to a more "traditional" definition, then one ought clarify which definition from the past is considered optimal, and upon what basis that definition is to be preferred – given that every revision pushes aside a previous tradition.

      5. A "full scale debate" flies in the face of the typical HF position of smaller more local government being the preferred situation. the same folks who worry that a couple in NY might come to TX and demand to be recognized (not without reason) are perfectly willing to have the people in TX dictate terms to NY. Either we believe in local rule or we don't. On the other hand, i do believe that ultimately all states will see the folly of inequality, just as we now look back in shame to our brothers and sisters 50 years ago who insisted that race mixing was immoral. Yes, many today insist "orientation is not the same thing as race" and believe this a convincing claim, but we are foolish if we don't realize that in 1960 that fellow with objections thought his were just as credible – but we realize he was actually just reading a cultural bias into his Scriptures.
      Some of us are doing it again.

      (please forgive any typos – I'm in a bit of a rush)

    21. Tim says:

      You forgot #6: Free, tax-paying citizens may be able to marry the person they love.

    22. snydrhrry says:

      I wonder what the members of the Muslim religion,especially the Shari'a segment, thinks about the efforts to make homosexual "marriage" coequal with traditional marriage. Any indications, or are they remaining outside the controversy, watching the U.S. society unravel into factions.?

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        I expect pretty much the same thing they think of all the Christians running lose in North America. Certainly they'd like to see less of each and tend to kill both, given the chance.

      • tim says:

        No,just like Christian theocrats, Muslim theocrats are equally as intolerant

    23. Robert says:

      Activists committed to the the acceptance of homosexual marriage seek nothing less than the annihilation of Western Civilization. Transgendered males for example

      Activists committed to the the acceptance of homosexual marriage seek nothing less than the annihilation of Western Civilization. Transgendered males for example, take poisonous doses of estrogen so as to feminize their shape and develop breasts. They mutilate their genitals so as to appear as women. They then demand that the world recognize them as a third sex. They are not, of course, a third sex. They are mentally aberrant men who have mutilated and poisoned themselves. Should Americans embrace this fantastically radical idea,they will accept absolutely any idea whatever. This is not a good sign for the conservative society in which it is possible to preserve a constitution and bill of rights.

      Homosexuals do not seek to persuade by reason because their ambition defies reason, is abnormal, and repugnant to human aesthetics. That said here is the real objection.

      1. They seek to gain their objectives by force. In ancient Sparta for example the Spartan decision to impose homosexuality was based on considerations of birth control and convenience. The male child when he became an adolescent was assigned a male lover. He was not given a choice.

      2. Children assigned to homosexual partners are more likely to embrace the homosexual lifestyle.

      3. The Homosexual, particularly the male homosexual, has a shorter life span, suffers more than normal people from psychic aberrations, and exposes himself and others to a number of dangerous sexually transmitted diseases. Indeed, for all the attempt of the media to propagandize otherwise, AIDS, perhaps one of the deadliest diseases to plague the human race in the last fifty years, is a homosexual disease. Although, the disease is potentially lethal– the Center for Disease Control– warns against it, homosexuals continue to engage in unprotected anal sex.

      4. The homosexual seeks to prevail by force in the imposition of a deviate sexual ideology. Those who oppose homosexual marriage are held out to scorn and ridicule. Everyone knows of the epithet "homophobe" literally a curse intended to intimidate and silence anyone who would criticize the homosexual life style.

      5. Finally. the advocates of normalizing homosexual conduct are engaging in a form of intellectual violence more typical of national socialist regimes. They insist that they have the right to mandate what you must believe or not, think or not think, speak and not speak, write or not write. This is a most savage form of totalitarianism comparable only to the power of the medieval church in the centuries of the Inquisition. Then a catholic insufficiently doctrinaire was first shown the instruments of torture and if that did not work, well, most know the story.

      6. Finally, the homosexual movement seeks to criminalize as hate speech,much like the Muslim countries, any speech critical of homosexual conduct. President Obama sought passage of such a rule through the U.N.

      Homosexuality is an aberration, so says about 4000 years of history. Nothing has changed.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        Wow Robert, we agree on virtually nothing but at least kudos for putting some effort into your reply.
        I'll try to take your points in order:

        A. You will have to explain how the actions of less than 3% of the population can possibly destroy Western civilization. I can point you to a great many heterosexual behaviors (the number of children growing up in single parent homes, for instance) which exist on a VASTLY larger scale and which are clearly more damaging to the social order. I'd like to see evidence that what the tiny minority of mostly unmarried mostly childless folks are doing over in the corner can trump that.

        B. Leaving aside the temptation to clear up your quite inaccurate description of the situation of transsexuals, as i'm sure the informed already know better and your mind won't change, even if everything you said about these people was true (and really, pretty much none of it is) they make up under 1/2 of 1% of the U.S. population. What difference do they make? there are way fewer transwomen than there are hetero-males committing adultery in any given week – which does more damage to the social order and moral fabric of western civilization?

        C. I've had a great many conversations, or attempts at conversations, on this subject and in my experience, there is FAR more reasoning on the pro-gay side than the anti-gay side (which, 95 times out of 100, amounts to "God said it and that settles it" Full stop. that might be true, but it's NOT an example of reasoning. whatever your own capacity for reason, you simply have not been paying attention if you think the average Christian employs much if any of it in discussing this subject (and i say this as a life-long Christian)

        D. Nothing about recognizing the rights of homosexuals (and transsexuals) to equality before the law requires anyone to doubt the ability to defend the constitution – in fact, the very act IS a defense of the constitution. We do not live in a society in which the government is charged with enforcing a religious doctrine – even a true one – in the absence of a compelling state interest. opponents of equity for gays have yet to demonstrate why the government has a compelling interest in infringing the liberties of these people – and let's be clear, "God said so!!!!" is NOT a reason, in this country, for the government to act. Countries who follow that rubric are found half a planet to the east.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        On your numbered points:

        1. We really have to resort to SPARTA to prove that gays are forcing the issue? Really? that's silly my friend, of course they are forcing the issue – just as blacks forced the issue in the 60's. and just as the patriots forced the issues with King George. Applying force to win equality is hardly evidence the cause is unworthy.

        2. patently false and well demonstrated to be so. I realize that is the popular mythology in the christian community (from the years i spent believing the same falsehoods) but it's not true. Think about it logically: IF children raised by gays were more likely to be gay, how is it that with an ever-increasing population of openly gay parents (that portion of the homosexual population both parent and out) then why does the statistical rate of homosexuality in the population remain unchanged? logically their numbers as a percentage of the population should be expanding if that is true (or if that nonsense about recruiting were true)
        - the simple reality is that homosexuality is, in the fast majority of cases (laying aside fetishism) innate (NOT genetic, most likely) and the parentage would have nothing to do with it. Though I will concede that in many religious homes, the gay teen will be indoctrinated with a worldview that will lead them to repress their nature and APPEAR straight, for a while. this almost always leads to a bad outcome.

        3. I do not deny the physical issues associated with the practice – albeit some of that is not relevant to the overall point (for instance, lesbians do not engage in anal sex protected or otherwise) – but this is not necessarily an argument against marriage equality. Particularly since in theory, the married gay man might well be MORE healthy than the more promiscuous single man (laying aside debates about the faithfulness of the married gay man – married hetero men have a poor record on that too)

        4. you are repeating point one – bad form. Nevertheless, it gives me a chance to point out that Christians have a long lexicon of derisive slurs thrown at homosexuals (all with loving intentions I'm sure!) – "abomination" "perverse" "deviant" "freak" "queer" "fag" "reprobate" and on and on and on it goes. in light of that, "homophobe" is pretty mild. the truth is, from a human psychology point of view, this is a group of people who've been taught usually from their mother's knee that people like them were filthy sinners, an abomination before God, rejected by all men, freaks of nature to be scorned – it is pretty much a given that when they seek to be unmolested, they will reply in kind. it may not be right, but it is, as it were, a dose of your own medicine.

        5. you speak here of the liberal progressive in general, and in general I'd agree with you – but this is not a point that is precisely about homosexual equality. Seen in isolation from the larger progressive agenda, allowing homosexuals to be equal before the law neither picks your pocket nor breaks your leg. it does nothing at all to infringe upon your rights or liberties. will you possibly have to see something you don't like? sure – we all do. that's what a free country looks like. it is interesting that you cite the failings of the medieval state/church (correctly) in order to defend the proposition that the government should legislate according to a religious doctrine. Fascinating even.

        6. Hate speech laws are unAmerican and one may in good conscious oppose them while supporting marriage equality – if one is thoughtful.

        Being aberrational by nature is not a cause to restrict liberty without cause.

    24. niels olsen says:

      next someone will want two wives or two husbands. or maybe three. what's to stop polygamy?
      i have pondered what was done in sodom and gommorah that got them destroyed.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        What's to stop polygamy? Simple: all marriage and divorce law is structured around a binary contract – the system isn't build to handle multi-partner arrangements and the burden of figuring out those vastly more complex rules would be too great. From a legal point of view they two are almost entirely not comparable.

        If you insist on engaging in the logical fallacy of the slippery slope argument, you are on much firmer ground if you say "What's to stop incest becoming legal?"

        as for S&G, what they did had to do much more with Pagan Worship than it did with the sexual behavior, but it was described as a wildly immoral place in several ways (including violence) not just homosexual acts. one would be studying the word improperly to assume that God destroyed the whole area based on the behavior of the crowd at the door. You have no way of establishing that because THEY had a homosexual aim, that this was the major fault of the whole city.

        Besides, look at the nations around the world that, for instance, will put you to death for being a Christian – don't you think if god starts destroying sinners on this planets he has several more heinous acts to get to before he worries about those who tolerate the gays?

    25. Beth says:

      I found it surprising that the effect on the family courts of New York was not mentioned as a side effect of this legislation. The court systems are overburdend with custody and divorce cases and the overcrowding will now be compounded.

    26. Ron Alford says:

      Any law made by the legislature, can be changed by the legislature. God's law cannot be changed. If some legislature down the line decides to change it back, what?, are they no longer married? They were never married to begin with according to God's law, which is the only law that matters.

      • Tammy Rainey says:

        That's simply myopic. it ignores the fact that government has been marrying people without the involvement of religion for the entire history of our country. Are none of those people REALLY married?

        what about the gays who have in fact been having religious wedding ceremonies in legitimate houses of worship for some 50 years now – those don't count? How does your religion get to trump there's in the eyes of the government?

        god's law says very little specifically about the terms of MARRIAGE. Especially in terms of specifying "these can and these can't" and what the law says is not simply a reflection of what the bible says and has, in fact, changed many times over the years. Nor does secular divorce law conform to biblical divorce instructions.

    27. ryan says:

      By this logic, it seems one could easily argue that teaching any religious dogma to children should also be illegal. Perhaps since the government should, according to the anti-gay marriage group, step into the homes and bedrooms of Americans to moralize their behavior based on an ancient scripture written by delusional desert-dwellers, they should also legislate the indoctrination of children? I think so, it should by all means be illegal to abuse children by training them in unscientific, non evidence based dogma that takes advantage of their innocent state of development to grow their delusional ranks. Sword cuts both ways, conservatives!

    28. admanda says:

      It happens all the time in nature: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexual_behavior_http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/
      But I don't expect any of you to actually care about what actually happens in nature. How about straight couples who cannot or choose not to procreate? Do they deserve to not have their marriages recognized?
      Its just silly that people think what happens down the street is magically going to affect their lives. Leave us alone and we will do the same, thanks. http://www.frumforum.com/i-was-wrong-about-same-s

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