By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Chicago Trib - Gay Marriage Subj: (Chicago Tribune) Same-sex Marriag

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By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Chicago Trib - Gay Marriage Subj: (Chicago Tribune) Same-sex Marriage Date: 96-01-25 09:51:05 EST From: jjy@xnet.com (James Yorton) [ SENDER NOTE: If you email the Tribune, please forward me (jjy@xnet.com) a SEPERATE COPY of the of the mail. The Illinois Federation for Human Rights wants to track letters written on GLBT* issues. *** Please, please do NOT carbon copy (Cc:) me (or others) on the mail. This has happened in the past. This doesn't look good when you email editors and media, as it can cause them to wonder why you are "broadcasting" your mail to other recipients, when it should be intended for them. Thanks so much! ] ----- Begin Forwarded Message ----- [ Courtesy of Bill Stosine, BCS41@aol.com ] SPECIAL ALERT: The following excellent commentary appears today in The Chicago Tribune, one of the largest papers in America with over a million readers daily. The Chicago Tribune welcomes letters to the editor from anyone in the country. This is an excellent opportunity to write a letter to the editor on the subject. Some suggestions: You might... - Thank the Tribune for running this commentary - Make additional points of your own on the subject of gay marriage - Respond to anti-gay comments made by the American Family Association or other anti-gay arguments in general - Relate a moving personal story about your commitment with someone you would like to marry that will connect with readers hearts - Send in a letter you have previously written on the subject of gay marriage if you are short on time No doubt the anti-gay forces are already sending their letters to the Chicago Tribune. While editors do not print every letter they receive, they do base the final pro and con ratio on the ratio that they receive, so even a short note of support would be helpful to the overall total of pro-gay letters. Send your letter to "Voice Of The People" along with your name, address and telephone number for verification purposes (they ask writers to include a daytime telephone number, although in my experience they do not actually call before printing): E-Mail: Tribletter@AOL.COM OR fax it to: 312-222-2598 THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE Thursday, January 25, 1996 Source: Stephen Chapman. Section: COMMENTARY UNSPEAKABLE UNIONS? - THE FLIMSY CASE AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE A specter is haunting conservatives: gay marriage. The state of Hawaii is moving toward sanctioning homosexual unions, and that prospect has induced something approaching apoplexy on the right. Some opponents regard this as one of the defining political issues of the day. They want other states to refuse to recognize such marriages--a departure from the custom that a marriage transacted in one state is accepted by all. But why is there such resistance? This is not a zero-sum game. If homosexuals win the right to wed, the victory doesn't come at the expense of heterosexuals, who will retain all the pleasures, prerogatives and duties that come with matrimony. Much of the opposition stems from religious objections. "We just believe it's plain immoral," said Tim Wildmon, vice president of the American Family Association. "It goes against the Holy Scriptures." It may come as a revelation to Wildmon that American law and the 10 Commandments are two different things. We call ourselves a free society partly because we permit all sorts of things that "go against the Holy Scriptures"--blasphemy, fornication, making graven images, Sabbath-breaking,coveting your neighbor's maidservant and more. The supposed moral offense that upsets conservatives is sexual relations between gays--which is already permitted nearly everywhere. If Americans can tolerate gay sex, why not gay marriage? Conservatives, of course, do not willingly tolerate gay sex. But some of their thinkers have tried to come up with reasons to oppose gay marriage that are somewhat more persuasive than invoking Leviticus. The effort only demonstrates the emptiness of their cause. What they are engaged in is not reasoning but rationalization. The primary objection from Christian Action Network president Martin Mawyer is that if gays gain the right to wed, "marriage as an institution will be rendered meaningless." Society encourages marriage, he says, solely because "it is likely to produce a greater good, namely children, who are necessary for any society's existence." But not everyone who gets married has children, and not everyone who has children gets married. We allow unions between people who don't want children and people who can't have children. Marriage, conservatives argue, provides a vital framework for raising children. But gay couples also raise children--either children one of them has produced or children they have adopted. There is no law to stop a lesbian mother from bringing up her own son in a household that includes her female partner. Robert Knight of the Family Research Council says homosexual conduct has to be discouraged to preserve traditional marriages, which are precious because "the stability they bring to a community benefits all." But allowing gay marriage would advance the same interest by discouraging promiscuity and encouraging commitment--the opposite of what current policy does. If it's good for society when straight couples settle down in permanent, legally sanctioned relationships, why is it bad when gay couples do likewise? Because it would set a terrible precedent, according to Amherst College professor Hadley Arkes. Next thing you know, he warns, we'll have to allow marriage between men and boys, between fathers and daughters, even between multiple partners. Knight goes further, fearing that some men will want to marry dogs. Here we have passed into outright hallucination. Why does legalizing gay marriage lead to man-boy unions, any more than allowing heterosexual marriage leads to man-girl unions? Children may not marry for a simple reason that is irrelevant to gay marriage: They can't give true consent. As for incestuous pairings, they would doubtless remain illegal because they undermine a taboo that is crucial to the protection of children and because they carry health risks for potential offspring. Polygamy? If two women are happy to marry the same man and live together in a family, subject to the same strictures as two-partner marriages, there is no obvious reason to stop them. But such arrangements would be rare. There are lots of unmarried gay couples in America but very few unmarried men cohabiting with several women. These arguments serve mainly to obscure the issue, not illuminate it. Conservatives say they abhor gay marriage because they value marriage. The truth is they abhor gay marriage because they abhor gays. [From GayNews...]

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