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Some Facts about Marriage
- Marriage is not by definition restricted to opposite-sex
- Same-sex marriage ceremonies have been known throughout
history and throughout the world. Since definitions of words are
meant to be descriptions of actual usage, the claim that by
definition marriage is a relationship between opposite sex couples
is refuted by history. Not long ago the same people now opposing
same-sex marriages were arguing that by definition marriage was a
relationship between persons of the same skin color.
- Marriage is not a state endorsement or approval
- A civil marriage license is not a sign that the state endorses
or in any way approves of the couple granted the license.
Incarcerated, convicted murderers, rapists and child molesters are
allowed to marry. A marriage license means nothing more than that
the couple meets the minimal requirements to be married and can
properly fill out the application form.
- Marriage is not tied to procreation
- The ability to procreate is not a requirement for marriage.
The purpose of marriage in modern times is first and foremost for
companionship and personal and financial support, and this fact is
recognized by laws allowing marriage of infertile couples, very
elderly couples, and couples who use birth control methods to
prevent conception. In a world already overpopulated and unable to
adequately feed everyone, it is irrational for the state to
- Civil (legal) marriage is not the same as religious
marriage (holy matrimony)
- Much of the criticism of the idea of same-sex marriage only
seems persuasive because of the tendency many people have to
confuse legal marriage with holy matrimony. The fact that these
are two separate ideas is clear when one realizes that not all
marriages are performed in a church, nor by a religious authority.
A justice of the peace can perform a legal marriage with no
accompanying ceremony of holy matrimony. It happens all the time.
Same-sex marriage is about civil (legal) marriage only!
- Legal same-sex marriage would not burden religion
- Legal recognition of same-sex marriages would not impose any
burden on religion. Ministers, priests, rabbis and other religious
leaders who are permitted to perform legal marriages in
conjunction with ceremonies of holy matrimony are not required to
perform marriage ceremonies that conflict with their religious
beliefs or conscience. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage
would not change this.
- Legal same-sex marriage would not demean holy matrimony
- The argument that letting same-sex couples marry would demean
religious marriage plays on the confusion between legal marriage
and holy matrimony. Same-sex marriage is about legal marriage and
has no implications for religious marriage. Atheists and other
non-Christians are allowed to marry (in the legal sense) and
people don't worry that religious marriage is thereby being
demeaned. Religious motivations per se are never valid reasons for
civil laws in the U. S., because our constitution guarantees
separation of church and state in order to protect minority
- Same-sex marriage is not gay marriage
- When opposite-sex couples go to get married, no one asks them
if they are straight. Marriage is not about being straight or gay.
Marriage is about joining one's life with another person for
mutual benefits of many sorts, chief among them being
companionship, and personal and financial support. It's not about
sexual orientation and it's not necessarily about sex at all.
- Opposite-sex couples with no sexual interest in one another
can be legally married and I know happily married couples who
married with no intention of ever having sex. If opposite-sex
marriage is not heterosexual marriage, by virtual of not
necessarily being sexual at all, then same-sex marriage is not gay
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Copyright ©2009 by Duane T. Williams. All rights
Last edited 21 December 2009.