Last updated on: 7/7/2015 1:04:18 PM PST
Should Gay Marriage Be Legal?
In Obergefell v. Hodges (decided June 26, 2015), the US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 majority opinion written by Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, held that:
"[M]arriage is a keystone of our social order... There is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle. Yet by virtue of their exclusion from that institution, same-sex couples are denied the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage. This harm results in more than just material burdens. Same-sex couples are consigned to an instability many opposite-sex couples would deem intolerable in their own lives. As the State itself makes marriage all the more precious by the significance it attaches to it, exclusion from that status has the effect of teaching that gays and lesbians are unequal in important respects. It demeans gays and lesbians for the State to lock them out of a central institution of the Nation’s society. Same-sex couples, too, may aspire to the transcendent purposes of marriage and seek fulfillment in its highest meaning...
[T]he Equal Protection Clause, like the Due Process Clause, prohibits this unjustified infringement of the fundamental right to marry...
No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right."
June 26, 2015 - Obergefell v. Hodges (429KB)
M.V. Lee Badgett, PhD, Director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Research Director of the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy, wrote the following in a Mar. 22, 2011 email to ProCon.org:
"Same-sex couples are similarly situated to different-sex couples in terms of their economic status, their family decisions, their interdependence, and their valuing of marriage. It’s no surprise, then, that gay couples eagerly take advantage of the right to marry when they have it. Research shows that couples who marry - gay or straight - want to express their commitment to each other and to their family and friends. Same-sex couples want to marry to create a firm personal and legal foundation for their own lives and security for their current and future children.
Gay couples need access to civil marriage for the same reason that heterosexual couples need it: only the law can create a family relationship between adults that will be recognized by the state and third parties, like employers and insurance companies. Gay couples need the cultural status of marriage (not civil unions) because that’s what their friends and family understand and look for.
Overall, the evidence suggests that letting same-sex couples marry would be good public policy. Same-sex couples and their families will benefit, and the institution of marriage does not suffer. Gay couples’ interest in marriage is a vote in favor of the ongoing relevance of marriage in today’s world, a change that should strengthen, not weaken, the institution."
Mar. 22, 2011 - M.V. Lee Badgett, PhD
Barack Obama, JD, 44th President of the United States, stated during a May 9, 2012 interview for ABC News with Good Morning America's Robin Roberts:
"When I think about members of my own staff who are incredibly committed, in monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet, feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is gone, because they're not able to commit themselves in a marriage; at a certain point, I've just concluded that for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married...
...[W]hen I meet gay and lesbian couples, when I meet same-sex couples, and I see how caring they are, how much love they have in their hearts, how they're taking care of their kids, when I hear from them the pain they feel that somehow they are still considered less than full citizens when it comes to their legal rights, then, for me, I think it just has tipped the scales in that direction."
[Editor's Note: Prior to Barack Obama's May 9, 2012 statement above, he expressed Pro, Con, and Not Clearly Pro or Con positions at various points in his political career.]
May 9, 2012 - Barack Obama, JD
David Blankenhorn, MA, Founder and President of the Institute for American Values, stated in his June 22, 2012 New York Times op-ed titled "How My View on Gay Marriage Changed," stated:
"In my 2007 book, 'The Future of Marriage,' and in my 2010 court testimony concerning Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, I took a stand against gay marriage. But as a marriage advocate, the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do...
I don’t believe that opposite-sex and same-sex relationships are the same, but I do believe, with growing numbers of Americans, that the time for denigrating or stigmatizing same-sex relationships is over. Whatever one’s definition of marriage, legally recognizing gay and lesbian couples and their children is a victory for basic fairness.
Another good thing is comity. Surely we must live together with some degree of mutual acceptance, even if doing so involves compromise. ...I have no stomach for what we often too glibly call 'culture wars.' Especially on this issue, I’m more interested in conciliation than in further fighting.
A third good thing is respect for an emerging consensus. The population as a whole remains deeply divided, but most of our national elites, as well as most younger Americans, favor gay marriage. This emerging consensus may be wrong on the merits. But surely it matters."
[Editor's Note: Prior to David Blankenhorn's June 22, 2012 Pro statement above, he made a Con statement on Sep. 19, 2008.]
June 22, 2012 - David Blankenhorn, MA
Mark Osler, JD, Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, wrote in his May 19, 2012 article for CNN.com's "Belief" blog, titled "My Take: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage":
"I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.
What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others...
It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.
Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.
The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.
The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods' love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!"
May 19, 2012 - Mark Osler, JD
Mildred Loving (deceased), co-plaintiff with Richard Loving in the US Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which declared interracial marriage to be constitutional, stated on June 12, 2007, the 40th anniversary of her case:
"I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about."
June 12, 2007 - Mildred Loving
Lambda Legal, the largest legal organization in the US committed to the civil rights of gays and lesbians, wrote the following in the article "Marriage," available at www.lambdalegal.org (accessed Sep. 12, 2012):
"Regardless of how completely their lives are intertwined or how deeply they care for each other, individuals in same-sex relationships frequently are treated like strangers under the law — and none are afforded full equality in this country. This unequal treatment causes concrete and devastating harm. It most deeply affects those with children, those with fewer financial resources, people of color, senior citizens or those with less access to education. In addition, the government's denial of legal statuses and protections available to different-sex couples brands lesbians and gay men as second class. Lambda Legal will continue to seek an end to discrimination in access to civil marriage so that same-sex couples in this country have the same choices other couples have, including whether or not to marry."
Sep. 12, 2012 - Lambda Legal
Ted Olson, JD, former US Solicitor General under President George W. Bush and lead attorney with David Boies, JD, in challenging California's anit-gay marriage Proposition 8 in federal court, wrote the following in the Jan. 9, 2010 Op-Ed "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage," published in Newsweek:
"Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.
Legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights. It is, some have said, the last major civil-rights milestone yet to be surpassed in our two-century struggle to attain the goals we set for this nation at its formation."
Jan. 9, 2010 - Ted Olson, JD
Marshall Forstein, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard University Medical School, was quoted in the New Jersey Civil Union Review Commission's Dec. 10, 2008 final report titled "The Legal, Medical, Economic & Social Consequences of New Jersey's Civil Union Law," available at www.state.nj.us, as having said:
"For young people coming out, which is about 5 to 15 percent of the overall U.S. population, the presence of role models who have equal status via marriage in society has significant meaning both internally and socially and has potential for reducing their isolation [and] sense of stigma that gay teens face in their everyday lives. And I point out here the data on suicide among gay and lesbian teens which is about three times that of the general teenage population.
Same-sex marriages provide stability for couples in terms of public acknowledgment of their commitment and provide legitimacy for the children being raised by gay and lesbian parents.
Nothing is more basic from a mental health perspective to happiness and liberty than the right to love another human being with the same privileges and responsibilities as everyone else."
Dec. 10, 2008 - Marshall Forstein, MD
Andrew Sullivan, PhD, author and political commentator, wrote in an Apr. 4, 1997 email debate with David Frum titled "Gay Marriage," available at www.slate.com:
"The truth is I'm not at all indifferent to the fate of marriage as a whole, but I cannot for the life of me see what terrible damage same-sex marriage would actually do to it. Would it accelerate divorce rates? I cannot see how. The only country with anything like comparable legal protections for gay couples, Denmark, has actually seen lower divorce rates among same-sex couples than among heterosexual ones. In many ways, I think, the inclusion of more people into the institution might actually have the opposite effect, sending a message about matrimonial responsibility and mutual caring to the entire society, rather than to merely 97 percent of it. Would it harm children? Why on earth should it? Are the kids of a heterosexual family going to be harmed by meeting other kids who are the legitimate children of a gay couple down the street?...
Here are a few of the advantages of same-sex marriage for the society as a whole that I have laboriously spelled out: lower rates of promiscuity among gay men, more stable homes for the children of gay parents, less trauma in families with gay offspring, lower rates of disease transmission, more independent and self-reliant members of society, etc., etc. These aren't appeals to sympathy; they're arguments that same-sex marriage would be good for all of us - and for conservative reasons to boot."
Apr. 4, 1997 - Andrew Sullivan, PhD
The Economist wrote in its Feb. 26, 2004 editorial "The Case for Gay Marriage," available at www.economist.com:
"The case for allowing gays to marry begins with equality, pure and simple. Why should one set of loving, consenting adults be denied a right that other such adults have and which, if exercised, will do no damage to anyone else? Not just because they have always lacked that right in the past, for sure: until the late 1960s, in some American states it was illegal for black adults to marry white ones, but precious few would defend that ban now on grounds that it was 'traditional'. Another argument is rooted in semantics: marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and so cannot be extended to same-sex couples. They may live together and love one another, but cannot, on this argument, be 'married'. But that is to dodge the real question—why not?—and to obscure the real nature of marriage, which is a binding commitment, at once legal, social and personal, between two people to take on special obligations to one another. If homosexuals want to make such marital commitments to one another, and to society, then why should they be prevented from doing so while other adults, equivalent in all other ways, are allowed to do so?"
Feb. 26, 2004 - The Economist
The American Bar Association's House of Delegates passed "Resolution 111" by a voice vote with only one person voting against it on Aug. 10, 2010 (available at abanet.org):
"[T]he American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.
Many gay and lesbian people seek a committed, lifelong partnership with another adult, and to raise children. ABA policy has kept pace with our society’s evolving understanding that gay and lesbian people are healthy, functioning contributors to our society who face discrimination – both as individuals and as families…
This proposed recommendation will signal the ABA’s support for the extension of equal marriage rights to same-sex couples under state, territorial, and tribal law, as consistent with our country’s constitutional principles of equal protection and due process, as well as states’ strong interest in protecting and fostering the family unit…
In addition, the denial of these important protections harms the hundreds of thousands of children being raised by same-sex couples. Treating same-sex couples differently not only tangibly harms those individuals, couples, and their families, but also stigmatizes them and their children by deeming them unworthy to enjoy fundamental and equal citizenship rights."
Aug. 10, 2010 - American Bar Association
Steve Schmidt, former Senior Advisor to John McCain's 2008 Presidential Campaign, said in an Apr. 17, 2009 speech at the Log Cabin Republicans Convention in Washington, DC, available at logcabin.org:
"[I]t cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un-American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence – liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, I believe, gives the argument of same sex marriage proponents its moral force...
Opponents to giving women the vote argued such a change would undermine marriage and other social institutions. I think the institution would be strengthened by the inclusion of more couples who are genuinely committed to each other. But even if you believe marriage would be changed for the worse by same sex unions, I’m not sure it’s a compelling argument for their exclusion. We don’t forbid divorce, a more proven and prevalent threat to the health of our society...
Marriage can be a profoundly gratifying state that strengthens the virtue of individuals and societies, and increases the measure and quality of the happiness we enjoy. It seems to me a terrible inequity that any person should be denied that responsibility, and the emotional enrichment it can provide. And I cannot in good conscience exclude anyone who is prepared for such a commitment from the prospect of such happiness."
Apr. 17, 2009 - Steve Schmidt
Tom Campbell, JD, PhD, former US Congressman (R-CA), wrote the following in an Oct. 14, 2008, article, "Ending Marriage Discrimination in California: Why Republicans Should Vote No on Prop 8," available at www.reason.com:
"[The] right decision, in my view, is to allow same-sex marriage in California. Republicans believe deeply that government should be limited. Government has no business making distinctions between people based on their personal lives. That's why, as a Californian and a Republican who has held elective office at the federal and state levels, I will be voting No on Proposition 8...
Oct. 24, 2008 - Tom Campbell, JD, PhD
Russ Feingold, JD, US Senator (D-WI) at the time of the quote, said in an Apr. 4, 2006 released statement, available at www.freedomtomarry.com:
"Gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy. Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue."
Apr. 4, 2006 - Russ Feingold, JD
Dick Cheney, MA, 46th Vice President of the United States, said in a June 1, 2009 speech at the National Press Club for the Gerald R. Ford Foundation journalism awards, available at www.c-spanvideo.org:
"I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. As many of you know, one of my daughters is gay and it is something we have lived with for a long time in our family. I think people ought to be free to enter into any kind of union they wish. Any kind of arrangement they wish. The question of whether or not there ought to be a federal statute to protect this, I don't support. I do believe that historically the way marriage has been regulated is at the state level. It has always been a state issue and I think that is the way it ought to be handled today, on a state-by-state basis. Different states will make different decisions. But I don't have any problem with that. I think people ought to get a shot at that."
June 1, 2009 - Dick Cheney, MA
Byron Williams, MA, Pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in Oakland, CA, and columnist for the Bay Area News Group, wrote in the Oct. 17, 2008 article "Prop. 8 - Irrational, Incongruous, and Illogical," available at www.huffingtonpost.com:
"The other illogical pro Prop.8 argument is that same-gender marriage threatens traditional, biblically based marriage. This may be the greatest red herring that is readily assumed as normative.
There is no such thing as traditional, biblically based marriage - at least in the Western hemisphere. I know of no heterosexual couple living in the United States that has a marriage that is remotely similar to what is found within the Bible. Biblical marriage viewed women as property; based almost exclusively on procreation.
Thus, those who wish to oppose same-gender marriage on a biblical basis must do so by advocating for their private view of morality as the best way for society, using a stagnant definition of marriage that never existed in a world that is constantly evolving…
If Prop.8 passes, which means same-gender marriage is defeated, no one benefits. All this initiative would do is deny certain couples the right to marry for no other reason than their perceived failure to fit into the dominant paradigm as defined by the dominant culture.
Prop.8 is illogical because it is narrowly defined as being about marriage, but ultimately it is about equal rights -- a concept that all Californians should endorse. And we should stand in staunch opposition when there is an initiative on the ballot, like Prop.8, that seeks to take away one of our most fundamental privileges."
Oct. 17, 2008 - Byron Williams, MA
David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, wrote in his Nov. 23, 2003 column "The Power of Marriage," available on www.nytimes.com:
"We shouldn't just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity."
Nov. 23, 2003 - David Brooks
The American Psychological Association wrote in its Aug. 11, 2010 press release "American Psychological Association Reiterates Support for Same-sex Marriage," available on www.apa.org:
"Research has shown that marriage provides substantial psychological and physical health benefits due to the moral, economic and social support extended to married couples. Conversely, recent empirical evidence has illustrated the harmful psychological effect of policies restricting marriage rights for same-sex couples. Additionally, children raised by same-sex couples have been shown to be on par with the children of opposite-sex couples in their psychological adjustment, cognitive abilities and social functioning."
Aug. 11, 2010 - American Psychological Association
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) said in a June 26, 2015 statement posted on its website titled "God Defined Marriage":
"God designed marriage for humanity. As first described in Genesis and later affirmed by Jesus, marriage is a God-ordained, covenant relationship between a man and a woman. This lifelong, sexually exclusive relationship brings children into the world and thus sustains the stewardship of the earth. Biblical marriage — marked by faithfulness, sacrificial love and joy — displays the relationship between God and his people...
Nothing in the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges opinion changes the truth about marriage. What has changed is the legal definition of marriage, which is now at variance with orthodox biblical faith as it has been affirmed across the centuries and as it is embraced today by nearly two billion Christians in every nation on earth.
In its role as a moral teacher, the law now misleads Americans about the true nature of marriage. Evangelicals and other followers of the Bible have a heightened opportunity to demonstrate the attractiveness of loving Christian marriages and families. Evangelicals should renew their commitment to the sacrificial love and covenantal faithfulness to which Jesus calls all husbands and wives."
June 26, 2015 - National Association of Evangelicals (NAE)
Mike Huckabee, 2015 Republican Presidential candidate and former Governor of Arkansas, said in a June 26, 2015 op-ed for USA Today titled "Mike Huckabee: Fight Gay Marriage Judicial Tyranny":
"The Court created a national right to same-sex marriage that doesn't exist in our Constitution, it hijacked the democratic process, subverting the will of Americans in more than 30 states who voted to protect traditional marriage, and trampling on America's most fundamental right — religious liberty...
June 26, 2015 - Mike Huckabee
Peter S. Sprigg, MDiv, Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council, wrote the following in an Apr. 12, 2011 email to ProCon.org:
"Marriage is a public institution because it brings together men and women for the reproduction of the human race, and keeps them together to raise the children produced by their union.
Future generations are fundamental to the survival of society. The quality of their nurture is directly related to the quality of life within society. Bonding the man and woman whose sexual union produces a child to one another and to that child is the most efficient way of insuring that nurture.
Opposite-sex relationships are the only type capable of producing children through natural intercourse, and the only ones assured of providing children with both a mother and a father. Affirming only opposite-sex relationships as marriage thus makes perfect sense.
Social science has shown that children raised by their own biological mother and father, committed to one another in a lifelong marriage, are happier, healthier, and more prosperous than children in any other households.
Does society need children? Do children need a mom and a dad?
The answer to both questions is Yes.
Legalization of same-sex marriage would amount to a declaration that the answer to both is No.
This would be a foolish and tragic choice."
Apr. 12, 2011 - Peter S. Sprigg, MDiv
Chuck Grassley, MA, US Senator (R-IA), stated before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary at its Nov. 10, 2011 Executive Business Meeting, in remarks available at Grassley.Senate.gov:
"I have always supported a definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
To me, this debate is about stable families, good environments for raising children, and religious belief. It is not about discriminating against anyone. No society has limited marriage to heterosexual couples because of a desire to create second-class families.
This differs from treatment of interracial marriages. Traditional marriage in many states until the 1960’s was limited racially for reasons that had nothing to do with the creation of marriage as an institution and everything to do with racial discrimination. Loving v. Virginia, which has been referenced a number of times, has nothing to do with gay marriage."
Nov. 10, 2011 - Chuck Grassley, MA
Justin Raimondo, author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, wrote in his Apr. 4, 2011 article for The American Conservative titled "The Libertarian Case Against Gay Marriage":
"[Legalizing gay marriage would be] a disaster for those it supposedly benefits: gay people themselves...
Extending the authority of the state into territory previously untouched by its tender ministrations, legalizing relationships that had developed and been found rewarding entirely without this imprimatur, would wreak havoc where harmony once prevailed...
[I]f 'gay pride' means anything, it means not wanting, needing, or seeking any sort of acceptance but self-acceptance. Marriage is a social institution designed by heterosexuals for heterosexuals: why should gay people settle for their cast-off hand-me-downs?"
Apr. 4, 2011 - Justin Raimondo
Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage, wrote in the May 22, 2009 PBS.org "Issue Clash" article on gay marriage:
"Marriage has its own dignity and purpose and its own mission: bringing together male and female so that children can know and be known by, love and be loved by, their own mother and father. Same-sex marriage is unjust because it is founded on an untruth. Same-sex unions are not marriages…
Only a fairly small minority of same-sex couples actually enter marriages where they are available. What gay marriage will do and is doing is disconnect marriage as an idea from its natural roots, and increasingly stigmatize the people (and institutions) who adhere strongly to our traditional views of marriage…
Same-sex marriage is profoundly unjust because it misuses the law to require something that is not true: these unions, however great they are in other ways, are not marriages and nobody should be required by law to treat them as marriages."
May 22, 2009 - Maggie Gallagher
Teresa Stanton Collett, JD, Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, wrote the following in "Constitutional Confusion: The Case for the Minnesota Marriage Amendment," published on Mar. 29, 2007 in William Mitchell Law Review:
"Civil marriage should be recognized as only the union of one man and one woman. Only the union of a man and a woman may involve the unique physical act from which children are created, and children best flourish when raised by their biological mother and father who are united in marriage. The legal institution of marriage has historically been the societal mechanism channeling men and women into permanent, exclusive sexual relationships to insure that the partners who participate in the creation of the child provide both material and personal support to the child.
There is a growing consensus in the social science literature that clearly establishes that children do best when they are raised by both biological parents who are married to each other...
Preserving the traditional institution of marriage need not eliminate any legal status for mutually supportive couples. Loving, committed relationships exist not only between same-sex couples, but also between many other individuals who are not sexually intimate. The civil institution of marriage should focus on insuring the well-being of children, but it is possible to create other legal arrangements to take care of the diversity of human relationships found in contemporary society. Creation of a reciprocal beneficiary status, like that found in Hawaii, is a viable and reasonable alternative to recognizing same-sex unions as marriage."
Mar. 29, 2007 - Teresa Stanton Collett, JD
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, writer and gay rights activist, stated in her May 27, 2008 article for AlterNet.org titled "Why One Queer Person Is Not Celebrating California's Historic Gay Marriage Decision":
"Though I am a queer person living in San Francisco, I will not be celebrating the California Supreme Court decision overturning the ban on same-sex marriage. Nor will I join those who say, 'I would never choose to get married, but I think everyone should have the right.'...
...[T]he push for gay marriage has shifted advocacy away from essential services like HIV education, AIDS health care, drug treatment, domestic violence prevention, and homeless care -- all crucial needs for far more queers than marriage could ever be. And this pattern will undoubtedly continue, as millions of dollars will be spent fighting an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment proposed for the November ballot, at a time when social services are being scrapped across the country, and especially in California.
The spectacle around gay marriage draws attention away from critical issues -- like ending U.S. wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, stopping massive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids across the country, and challenging the never-ending assault on anyone living outside of conventional norms.
While many straight people are reaping the benefits of gay liberation and discovering new ways of loving, lusting for and caring for one another, the gay marriage movement is busy fighting for a 1950s model of white-picket fence 'we're just like you' normalcy. And that's no reason to celebrate."
May 27, 2008 - Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
Trayce Hansen, PhD, licensed psychologist, wrote in the Oct. 15, 2007 article "Love Isn’t Enough: 5 Reasons Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Harm Children," available at drtraycehansen.com:
"[I]f society permits same-sex marriage, it also will have to allow other types of marriage. The legal logic is simple: If prohibiting same-sex marriage is discriminatory, then disallowing polygamous marriage, polyamorous marriage, or any other marital grouping will also be deemed discriminatory. The emotional and psychological ramifications of these assorted arrangements on the developing psyches and sexuality of children would be disastrous...
Certainly homosexual couples can be just as loving as heterosexual couples, but children require more than love. They need the distinctive qualities and the complementary natures of a male and female parent.
The accumulated wisdom of over 5,000 years has concluded that the ideal marital and parental configuration is composed of one man and one woman. Arrogantly disregarding such time-tested wisdom, and using children as guinea pigs in a radical experiment, is risky at best, and cataclysmic at worst.
Same-sex marriage definitely isn’t in the best interest of children. And although we empathize with those homosexuals who long to be married and parent children, we mustn’t allow our compassion for them to trump our compassion for children. In a contest between the desires of some homosexuals and the needs of all children, we can’t allow the children to lose."
Oct. 15, 2007 - Trayce Hansen, PhD
Joseph Ratzinger, DTh, Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the time of the quote, wrote in the July, 3, 2003 report approved by Pope John Paul II "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons," available at www.vatican.va:
"God has willed to give the union of man and woman a special participation in his work of creation. Thus, he blessed the man and the woman with the words 'Be fruitful and multiply' (Gen 1:28). Therefore, in the Creator's plan, sexual complementarity and fruitfulness belong to the very nature of marriage.
Furthermore, the marital union of man and woman has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church (cf. Eph 5:32). This Christian meaning of marriage, far from diminishing the profoundly human value of the marital union between man and woman, confirms and strengthens it (cf. Mt 19:3-12; Mk 10:6-9)...
There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. Homosexual acts 'close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.'
Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts 'as a serious depravity...'"
June 3, 2003 - Joseph Ratzinger, DTh
Michael Steele, JD, Chairman of the Republican National Committee at the time of the quote, wrote in a May 6, 2009 RNC email, available at www.mydd.com:
"Our party platform articulates our opposition to gay marriage and civil unions, positions shared by many Americans. I believe that marriage should be between one man and one woman and strongly disagree with Maine’s decision to legalize gay marriage.”
May 6, 2009 - Michael Steele, JD
David Blankenhorn, MA, President of Institute for American Values, wrote in his Sep. 19, 2008 article "Protecting Marriage to Protect Children" published in the Los Angeles Times:
"I'm a liberal Democrat. And I do not favor same-sex marriage. Do those positions sound contradictory? To me, they fit together...
All our scholarly instruments seem to agree: For healthy development, what a child needs more than anything else is the mother and father who together made the child, who love the child and love each other...
Because I also believe with all my heart in the right of the child to the mother and father who made her, I believe that we as a society should seek to maintain and to strengthen the only human institution - marriage - that is specifically intended to safeguard that right and make it real for our children.
Legalized same-sex marriage almost certainly benefits those same-sex couples who choose to marry, as well as the children being raised in those homes. But changing the meaning of marriage to accommodate homosexual orientation further and perhaps definitively undermines for all of us the very thing - the gift, the birthright - that is marriage's most distinctive contribution to human society. That's a change that, in the final analysis, I cannot support."
Sep. 19, 2008 - David Blankenhorn, MA
Margaret A. Somerville, DCL (Doctor of Civil Law) and LLB, Founding Director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, wrote in a brief titled "The Case Against 'Same-sex Marriage,'" submitted to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights in Montreal, Quebec on Apr. 29, 2003 available at www.marriageinstitute.ca:
"It is also argued by those advocating same-sex marriage, that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is the same act of discrimination as prohibiting interracial marriage, which has rightly been recognized as a serious breach of human rights. That argument is not correct. Because an interracial marriage between a man and a woman does symbolize the procreative relationship, its prohibition is based on racial discrimination which is wrong. In contrast, not extending the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, is not based on the sexual orientation of the partners, but the absence of a feature of their relationship which is an essential feature of marriage.
In conclusion, society needs marriage to establish cultural meaning, symbolism and moral values around the inherently procreative relationship between a man and a woman, and thereby protect that relationship and the children who result from it. That is more necessary than in the past, when alternatives to sexual reproduction were not available. Redefining marriage to include same-sex couples would affect its cultural meaning and function and, in doing so, damage its ability and, thereby, society’s capacity, to protect the inherently procreative relationship and the children who result from it, whether those children’s’ future sexual orientation proves to be homosexual or heterosexual."
Apr. 29, 2003 - Margaret A. Somerville, DCL, LLB
George W. Bush, MBA, 43rd President of the United States, stated in a Feb. 24, 2004 speech supporting a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, available at www.foxnews.com:
"The union of a man and woman is the most enduring human institution, honored and encouraged in all cultures and by every religious faith. Ages of experience have taught humanity that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society. Marriage cannot be severed from its cultural, religious and natural roots without weakening the good influence of society.
Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all.
Today, I call upon the Congress to promptly pass and to send to the states for ratification an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
The amendment should fully protect marriage, while leaving the state legislatures free to make their own choices in defining legal arrangements other than marriage.
America's a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. This commitment of freedom, however, does not require the redefinition of one of our most basic social institutions."
Feb. 24, 2004 - George W. Bush, MBA
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, a religious lobbying organization, wrote in its position paper "NYCF Opposes Redefining Marriage," available at www.nycf.info (accessed Sep. 12, 2012):
"Marriage encourages the sexes to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Even the most successful homosexual relationships, at best, only mimic marriage.
Marriage is the union for the purpose of natural reproduction of the human race. Only a man and a woman can accomplish this. Even childless marriages are a social anchor for children.
It is wrong to create fatherless or motherless families by design. Same-sex marriages have more to do with the desires of adults than the needs of children. Human experience and a vast body of social science research show that children do best in married, mother-father households...
Marriage laws are not discriminatory. Marriage is open to all adults, subject to age and blood relation parameters. As with any acquired status, the applicant must meet minimal requirements, which in terms of marriage, means finding an opposite-sex spouse.
Same-sex couples incorrectly assert that they need marriage to gain certain legal rights, such as the right to visit one another in the hospital, but same-sex couples have had hospital visitation rights by New York State statute since 2004. Anyone, including homosexuals, can use legal instruments such as power of attorney, wills, etc. to share property, designate heirs, dictate hospital visitors and give authority for medical decisions."
Sep. 12, 2012 - New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles issued the document "Proclamation on the Family" on Sep. 23, 1995, available at www.lds.org:
"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children....
The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife…
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity."
Sep. 23, 1995 - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Lynn D. Wardle, JD, Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, wrote the following in "A Response to the 'Conservative Case' for Same-Sex Marriage: Same-Sex Marriage and 'The Tragedy of the Commons,'" published in the Winter 2008 volume of BYU Journal of Public Law:
"By redefining marriage to include same-sex couples, the meaning of marriage will be changed in ways that will loosen the already-impaired link between marriage and parenting; the intergenerational connections of marriage will become attenuated. The notion that marriage is merely a private matter - a 'common' that should be open to all - will grow, as the public commitments and expectations of marriage erode. The chaos of sexual irresponsibility (especially infidelity and promiscuity within marriage) will grow, and the moral expectations of the basic institution of society will fade as the sexual ethic of gay and lesbian lifestyles is embraced as marriage. Instability in marriages will increase as the pattern of transitory relationships of same-sex couples is included in the social understanding of what is marriage. Sexual segregation will increase and the historically gender-integrated public institution of marriage will be redefined to include sexual apartheid couples.
Instrumentalization of marriage partners will result from the inclusion of the gay lifestyle as an accepted form of the public institution of marriage. The transformative power of including gay and lesbian relationships in the public understanding of marriage will alter the institution of marriage as never before."
Winter 2008 - Lynn D. Wardle, JD
Ann Landers, late advice columnist, wrote in her July 21, 1996 column appearing in the Chicago Tribune:
"I believe that same-sex couples should be entitled to the legal rights that married couples enjoy.... But, my friend, that is as far as I want to go. I define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Before you gay-rights folks land on me with both feet, I would like to remind you that I have been supportive of your movement for many years, have withstood a great deal of criticism in the process and have risked the wrath of some editors and publishers. I cannot support same-sex marriage, however, because it flies in the face of cultural and traditional family life as we have known it for centuries. And that's where I must draw the line. Sorry."
July 21, 1996 - Ann Landers