By: Scot Bear
Re: Re: Chicago Trib - Gay Marriage
Subj: (Chicago Tribune) Same-sex Marriage
Date: 96-01-25 09:51:05 EST
From: email@example.com (James Yorton)
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a SEPERATE COPY of the of the mail. The Illinois Federation for
Human Rights wants to track letters written on GLBT* issues.
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----- Begin Forwarded Message -----
[ Courtesy of Bill Stosine, BCS41@aol.com ]
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
- 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
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
OR fax it to: 312-222-2598
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
Thursday, January 25, 1996
Source: Stephen Chapman.
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
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.