June 17, 2008

Gay marriage in California

California is the ideal place to experiment with a fundamental redefinition of society's foremost building block, marriage. After all, there are only 38 million people in California, Californians are famously level-headed and rational, and Californians don't have any influence over the media. So, if it turns out a generation from now to have been a bad idea, no harm done!

My concern, since 2001, is that more gay men would be interested in getting married (i.e., in a theatrical ceremony) than in being married (i.e., sexual monogamy). We're talking about some awfully flamboyant folks: Gay Pride parades could more honestly be renamed Gay Narcissism parades.

So that the long term danger from gay marriage would likely be to make more straight guys reluctant to go through the already punitive process of getting married. Being the groom in a wedding ceremony is a pretty uncomfortable thing already, but at least it's a guy thing, not a gay thing. As John Derbyshire quoted me in 2003:

On the other hand, there's a process of gay ghettoization that goes on when straight men recognize that some institution is disproportionately attractive to male homosexuals. Broadway, for example, has gone from a popular national institution to a largely gay ghetto in recent decades. It's hard to get a serious discussion going of this since nobody wants to be accused of being homophobic, but I see it everywhere. I don't think marriages will be popular enough among gays to start this process, but I worry that weddings will be. It wouldn't take much to get the average young man to turn even more against participating in an arduous process that seems alien and hostile to him already. If some of the most enthusiastic participants become gays, then his aversion will grow even more.

The subheadline in the LA Times today reveals a campaign by gay leaders (and, no doubt, their allies in the media) to keep the ceremonies toned down until after the November California initiative vote:

"Flamboyant images from same-sex ceremonies, activists say, could be used by opponents to convince California votes that gays and lesbians shouldn't have the right to marry."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

58 comments:

William said...

On the other hand, there's a process of gay ghettoization that goes on when straight men recognize that some institution is disproportionately attractive to male homosexuals. Broadway, for example, has gone from a popular national institution to a largely gay ghetto in recent decades.

Well maybe marriage is where the tide will turn. Why abandon any worthy pursuit because it's "gay"?


I don't think marriages will be popular enough among gays to start this process, but I worry that weddings will be.

OTOH, maybe if weddings become gay, guys will have one more reason in their quiver of reasons not to spend money on extravagant weddings catered by Mexican illegals and spend it instead on, say, a house.

testing99 said...

William, Women will NEVER give up the great big party for "Me!!" that weddings are. Heck most of them have been planning them since age 10 or so. No actual ceremony btw can live up to that fantasy.

Guys are just going to opt out of the whole thing anyway. Weddings/marriage = Gay? Guys will stay away like they do from showtunes.

Experience in MA shows about 1,000 people per year after the hoopla dies down, for gay marriage.

What Steve doesn't say, is that sure there will be gay marriage, but also polygamy. There'll be plenty more takers for that than gay marriage.

And no, they won't be able to tone it down. San Francisco is probably going nuts right now with gay weddings that are more narcissistic than ever.

simon newman said...

testing99:
"Women will NEVER give up the great big party for "Me!!" that weddings are"

I think that's the big question. Most guys are ok with getting married, but not so keen on spending a large fortune on something they don't enjoy. Will women be ok with getting married without the lavish ceremony? If not, they may not be getting married at all. Here in the UK much of the white middle class routinely cohabits for decades and rears children without marriage, something that in practice suits the men much more than the women.

William said...

San Francisco is probably going nuts right now with gay weddings that are more narcissistic than ever.

Think of all those economic stimulus packages being waved around in San Francisco...


Weddings/marriage = Gay? Guys will stay away like they do from showtunes.

The dumb guys will. For smart guys Wedding (ONE wedding)=Marriage=More Kids (far more than those who prefer no marriage at all). NBA basketball players excepted, of course.

Then again we've learned from the last 40 years or so just how very many people buy into the latest, greatest CW on marriage and relationships Hollywood, academia, and the MSM decide to profess.

michael farris said...

Honest to god, that has to be the lamest anti-SSM argument I've ever heard. Any straight guy who doesn't want to get married because some gay guys are is basically a ... pussy.

Cultural conservatives have an important role in vetting and trouble-shooting social innovations, but the objections they've come up with for SSM are pretty unconvincing.

Personally, I'd prefer a transition period with civil unions (or whatever you want to call them) but cultural conservatives weren't going to have any of that, so by their own choice the only realistic option is onward to SSM and we'll see what happens. Personally I think SSM is less a redefining of marriage than the 20th century shift of the role of wife from brood-mare/property to roughly equal partner (which cultural conservatives also fought against).

The biggest problem with their arguments are that they're too late. The big innovation was same sex couples setting up households together (openly). If CC's are really convinced about the perils of same-sex pairings (as opposed to scoring political points) that's what they needed to prevent or, since that cat is out of the bag, work against legislatively (good luck).

At this point, denying legal protection to same sex couples disengages the processes of forming a household and marriage (which reinforces the separation of marriage and children).

Felix said...

This is a distinct possibility.

Just as many young males now resist anything "cultural" in reaction to media propaganda portraying culture as a gay domain.

testing99 said...

Michael, why is it dumb?

Marriage as it has been defined has served us well since about AD 900 or so (Western monogamy dates from about then with Christianization). Do you honestly think you have anything better?

What, we should embrace Gay Marriage because "all the cool people are doing it?"

Guys are going to pass on the whole marriage deal, because the Wedding is going to be one giant Gay Party and that's a deal breaker for a lot of guys, and a requirement for most women.

Moreover, you'll get almost no benefit. We are talking about a thousand gay weddings a year in CA, as opposed to what for Polygamist Weddings? How about 10,000, or 20,000?

Already given Boumediene, the Supreme Court Ruling, one jihadi picked up on the battlefield in Afghanistan (an AQ member) for killing a US soldier with a grenade, is suing to be released because his MIRANDA RIGHTS were not read him on the battlefield. He'll be released too, since that's how the legal system works.

In the same way that lawyers are pressing for as much as they can get out of the Supreme's decision about Criminal Court access for terrorists caught on the foreign battlefield, you'll see lawyers for polygamists swarming over CA asking for legalized polygamy. For what gain?

Women as "brood mares?" Maybe in your feminist cool-people redoubt. In reality Western nations have always given women better treatment, Muslim visitors to the court at Vienna were shocked by women being accorded respect and 12th Century crusaders in the Levant shocked by the horrific treatment of women by Muslims. This from basically, thugs in armor. Women got the vote in Wyoming in the 1870's and the territory refused to come into the Union without their women retaining the right to vote. Wyoming elected female judges in the 1870's also.

dearieme said...

Speaking as the father of a daughter, I'm all for something which doesn't impede marriage but does deter weddings.

ERM said...

Marriage as it has been defined has served us well since about AD 900 or so (Western monogamy dates from about then with Christianization)

Excuse me?

icr said...

The battle was essentially lost during the Great Sixties Cultural Revolution with the mainstreaming of both non-marital cohabitation and female promiscuity. A short time later no-fault divorce swept the country with virtually no controversy. The so-called Religious Right was an impotent reaction to these developments(along with Roe v Wade). All it really did was create the opportunity for lefties and gays to wax hysterical over a mythical Christian theocracy.

godlesscapitalist said...

Some important facts to center this debate.

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1) Homosexuality was declassified as a mental disease because of protests by gays at the 1973 APA conference:

http://psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/57/6/863?ijkey=7db3914243418ec6d81624d5aa32215d4185e8e2

Alliances were formed with other contemporary activist groups. In May 1970, hundreds in the antipsychiatry movement joined gay activists in forming a human chain barring psychiatrists from entering the American Psychiatric Association's 124th annual meeting. During a similar disruption the following year, gay activist Frank Kameny grabbed the podium and declared war on psychiatry for its DSM classification of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder. Wanting the protests to stop, the American Psychiatric Association formed a task force, which, by a vote of 58 percent, officially deleted homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973.

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2) There are several mental illnesses in which affected people believe that they're not ill, including schizophrenia:

http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/denialhelp.htm

A very common question we get at this web site is "How do I get help for my seriously mentally ill family member who is exhibiting all the classic symptoms of schizophrenia - major delusions, paranoia, etc. but who won't see a doctor and who doesn't think anything is wrong with them?"

------

3) Significant research dollars are being expended towards curing schizophrenia, including whole genome association studies:

http://hum-molgen.org/NewsGen/03-2007/000036.html

A genetic basis for schizophrenia found on both the X and Y chromosomes, is presented online in Molecular Psychiatry. Todd Lencz and colleagues examined over 500,000 genetic markers with a method known as Whole Genome Association (WGA) to determine potential susceptibility genes for the disease.

Schizophrenia is the third-leading cause of disability in the US among individuals aged 15 to 44. This highly heritable disorder shortens patients' life spans by an average of 10 years. It is widely researched, but despite active efforts to identify key genes, the factors contributing to the condition are still poorly understood.


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4) Gay males have much higher disease burdens than straights; both AIDS and many other diseases (e.g. MRSA) are more prevalent in that community. Epidemiologists know of the gay community as a disease reservoir.

http://www.avert.org/usastatg.htm

Around 48% of all people diagnosed with AIDS were probably infected with HIV through male-to-male sexual contact

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/nyregion/02hiv.html?pagewanted=all

“There were feelings of terror, like when you were a little kid and there’s that thing that terrifies you,” he said. “This was it. The worst nightmare, and I brought this onto myself.”...As a young, black gay man, Lynonell Edmonds says it seems like a miracle that he has not contracted the AIDS virus. Before he turned 20, he had a haunting realization: in his group of 20 close gay friends, he was the only one without H.I.V.

http://www.2blowhards.com/archives/2007/02/aids_and_immune.html

[From Richard Berkowitz' Staying Alive book]: I estimate I've had approximately 3,000 men up my butt ... At age twenty-seven I've had: gonorrhea, syphillis, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis non-A, non-B; intestinal parasites including amebiasis, e. historicia, shigella, giardia; herpes simplex types one and two; venereal warts, mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus, and now cryptosporodiosis, for which there is no known cure.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/93960.php

"Infection with multidrug-resistant USA300 MRSA is [13 times more] common among men who have sex with men, and multidrug-resistant MRSA infection might be sexually transmitted in this population."

In a separate press statement, the researchers expressed their concern that the new MRSA strain could soon spread to the general population. It can be spread through skin to skin contact but appears to be trasmitted more easily through intimate sexual contact, they said.


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5) Genes for sexual behavior have been identified in a complex metazoan, Drosophila:

http://cmgm.stanford.edu/devbio/baker/Courtship.htm


We have shown that wild-type fru function is required for all, or nearly all, aspects of male sexual behavior, from the initial recognition of a potential mate, through the transfer of bodily fluids and the duration of copulation. The sex determination hierarchy, in which fru functions, specifies all somatic sexual differences between males and females.


http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-06/cp-sgi052705.php

Single gene is genetic switch for fly sexual behavior

A male fly's sexual courtship of a female fly is a complicated business of tapping, singing, wing vibration, and licking, but a single gene is all that is needed to produce this complex behavior, according to new research published in this week's issue of the journal Cell.

The gene encodes the Fruitless protein. Male and female flies carry different versions of the fruitless protein, as a result of sex-specific splicing of the mRNA. The male form of Fruitless is critical for the male courtship ritual and males' preference for mating with females, as previous studies have shown.

Now, Barry J. Dickson and Ebru Demir of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences show just how intimately fruitless is linked to these stereotypically male behaviors. They discovered that female flies with the male version of fruitless behave like males, directing at other females a sexual display nearly identical to their male counterparts.

Female flies with the male version of the protein also make amorous advances toward male flies that express female pheromones. In these cases, "we have been able to reverse the sex roles during Drosophila courtship," Dickson and Demir say.

Dickson and Demir created male-spliced versions of fruitless in female flies and female-spliced versions in male flies. Males with the female version of fruitless "barely court at all" when paired with virgin female flies in an observation chamber, according to the researchers.

Males with the female fruitless splice form were also more likely to court other males than flies with the male form, suggesting that male-specific fruitless splicing "not only promotes male-female courtship, it also inhibits male-male courtship," the researchers say.

Dickson and Demir refer to fruitless as a behavioral "switch gene" that is both necessary and sufficient to produce a particular behavior. Switch genes that trigger the development of a particular anatomical feature like wing structure have been studied extensively, but there are very few studies of switch genes that control a complex behavior, the researchers note.

In part, this is because finding behavioral switch genes can be a difficult task. The key, says Dickson, is demonstrating that a specific gene is sufficient to produce a particular behavior.

"This means showing that gene X is sufficient to create the potential for behavior Y in an otherwise normal animal. It is the 'otherwise normal' part that is tricky," he says.

"Putting gene X into another species and expecting to see a behavior is unrealistic--a 'flight' gene from Drosophila, if it existed, is not going to make a mouse fly," Dickson explains, noting that only members of the same species might be expected to share the same set of "normal" behaviors.

"So you need to put gene X in a normal animal of the same species that doesn't normally do Y. This is really only possible with sex-specific behaviors" like courtship, he says.

Dickson also says there is "something of a debate going on between the view that single genes can have profound effects on behavior, versus the more holistic view that behavior is so complex that we can never learn anything meaningful about a behavior by studying the action of a single gene."

Still, studies show that a single gene can trigger the development of complex anatomical structures like eyes or limbs, by influencing sometimes hundreds of other genes, Dickson notes.

"I don't see any good reason why innate behaviors, which are a consequence of how the nervous system is built, should be any different. Indeed, I think that is what our work shows," he says.

In a second Cell paper, Dickson and colleagues demonstrate that nerve cells expressing the fruitless gene are linked in a circuit in both males and females. The finding suggests that the "essential difference in sexual behavior between males and females lies in the functioning of this circuit and not its construction," according to the researchers.

Dickson and colleagues have already begun collaborations with other researchers to determine how the fruitless gene might be involved in other behavioral patterns like aggression. "I think it is going to be fascinating to try to figure out how a fly decides between 'love' and 'war', and what fruitless and the fruitless-expressing neurons have do to with this," he says.


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6) Drosophila are models for many complex human neurological diseases

http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.0060053&ct=1

In the decade since human genes associated with neurodegenerative disease were first used in flies to create pathological phenotypes [1–5], a minor industry has sprung up using flies as a model to study the mechanisms underlying central nervous system malfunction in humans. Why study neurodegeneration in flies? Their small size, rapid generation time, and low costs for maintenance as compared to mammalian models make them attractive enough. The true value of flies to the study of neurodegenerative disorders, however, is their capacity to provide a platform for unbiased genetic screens to identify components of pathological pathways. If expression of pathological human genes in the fly successfully generates an abnormal phenotype, such as slowed motor activity or degeneration of the retina, this phenotype can then be used in conjunction with the rich genetic toolbox that Drosophila researchers have developed over the last 90 years to identify pathways that contribute to this degeneration. This approach is unbiased, i.e., it does not depend upon prior assumptions about mechanisms underlying disease, and genome-wide screens can be carried out in the fly that would be difficult if not impossible to carry out using mouse models.

Key to such an approach is how similar flies are to humans. A stunning 75% (approximately) of the genes implicated in human genetic disorders have at least one homolog in the fruit fly (see http://superfly.ucsd.edu/homophila/ for further information). In general, fundamental aspects of cell biology relevant to processes as diverse as cell cycle regulation, synaptogenesis, membrane trafficking, and cell death are similar in Drosophila and humans. Of course, there are important differences between flies and humans; for example, the circulatory system is much simpler in the fly, and cognitive processes are much less complex. Nonetheless, the fly has proved itself as a useful adjunct to mammalian models for neurodegenerative diseases.



------

7) Related research in mammals has been protested:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1582336,00.html

A few weeks ago, London's Sunday Times picked up the story in an unnerving article that states the research "raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual." The story has pinged around quite a few blogs since, and Rush Limbaugh and Martina Navratilova have taken their predicted positions. (Limbaugh: gay activists finally have a reason to oppose abortion. Navratilova: homophobes are murdering gay sheep.)

It's a pity that a story with so much potential for moral indignation and bad sheep puns (ewegenics!) turns out to be wrong. To be sure, a group of researchers led by physiologist Charles Roselli of Oregon Health & Science University has killed about 55 sheep, homosexual and heterosexual, in order to study the neurological basis of sexual attraction. They have confirmed that test sheep are gay by allowing them to pick among males and females that have been restrained in stanchions to await sexual intercourse.

But Roselli says he and his colleagues never had any intention of creating a drug that will turn people straight. And while they have examined whether sheep sexuality can be altered with various treatments, that's not the sole point of their work. Instead, like many other scientists over the past two decades, they are conducting basic research into the nature of sexuality by manipulating hormones in animals. (Such experiments were done on zebra finches--to see if females would pair with other females--as long ago as 1988.) A colleague of Roselli's, Fredrick Stormshak of Oregon State, says a means of identifying gay sheep would be useful to breeders who need to ensure that males will reproduce, but the team hasn't had much success. In its most recent experiments, the group used drugs to block the action of a hormone thought to play a role in making most sheep straight (in other words, this test was designed to produce more homosexual sex, not less). But the results were inconclusive.

The Oregon group's work has shown, however, that gay rams have different brain structures from heterosexual ones, news that should cheer those who see homosexuality and heterosexuality as mere biological variations. (Another small but fascinating finding: all gay rams are butch--none present themselves sexually the way ewes do.) ...

What would happen if research like Roselli's did lead to, as the Sunday Times imagined, "a 'straightening' procedure [such as] a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn like a nicotine patch"? I hope scientists have better things to do, but would a Hetero Patch be so awful? It would allow bigoted women to get what they want--straight kids--and ensure that gay kids grow up with moms who, at the very least, didn't try to prevent their existence. Gay people seem to fear we would die out if such a device existed.


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/article1290213.ece

But it’s not unimaginable to see scientific insight into the origins of animal homosexuality being abused if directed towards human beings in their first months and years. Maybe hormonal manipulation in utero could make homosexuality less likely in a sheep — or a child. Or maybe in the future, research like that being done now on sheep could be used to detect homosexual orientation in foetuses or babies — and prevent it. Why not, if that’s what parents wish?

The answer, of course, is an ethical no-brainer. Experimenting on other human beings crosses a bright moral line — even when that other human being is in your own womb. There is no medical reason for meddling with anyone’s sexual orientation, let alone in the crucial first months of a human being’s life. And the potential for all sorts of unintended consequences is huge. Most ethical doctors would abhor such practices. And rightly so. Laws could even be passed, and enforced, to ban them.

But what of the darker scenario in which we merely discover scientific clues to the origins of homosexuality in human embryos and allow the potentially gay ones to be selectively aborted? That, it seems to me, is by far the likelier scenario. In fact, we’d be naive not to expect something like it.

We already have widespread gender-selective abortion, with fewer and fewer girls being born in the developing world. And most parents across the globe are far more hostile to the idea of a gay child than of a daughter. Tests that could infer even a slightly higher probability of homosexuality in foetuses could lead to the equivalent of a “final solution” to the existence of gay people — the dream of bigots for millenniums.


http://www.gaypatriot.net/2007/01/09/will-science-lead-to-gay-genocide/

http://blog.bioethics.net/2007/01/martina-navratilova-leave-gay-sheep.html

Researchers argued that sexual orientation is an aspect of human sexuality that is a valid area of scientific interest. Opponents argued that the research is homophobic, and Martina Navratilova faxed letters to the presidents of both Oregon universities involved, charging:

How can it be that, in the year 2006, a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments? ... I respectfully ask that you pull the plug on this appalling and misguided research. Surely you can find a way to redirect the millions of public tax dollars that are being wasted on these experiments to a more fruitful venture-perhaps by funding a gay and lesbian community center to foster dialogue and acceptance for people of all sexual preferences?


-----

To summarize:

1) Homosexuality was only declassified as a mental disease because of protest, not science
2) People afflicted with mental diseases often protest the diagnosis
3) Significant funding is allocated towards a cure for schizophrenia, despite the fact that many of those afflicted believe they're "ok"
4) Homosexuality itself is a risk factor for many other diseases; in this respect it's like AIDS itself, in that it increases disease susceptibility
5) We have altered sexual behavior deterministically in complex metazoans (namely flies).
6) Flies are a model organism for many neurological diseases and the conclusions are often extensible to mammals
7) Research on even more closely related sheep has occasioned protests by gays. Andrew Sullivan thinks it is "right" to pass laws against fetal treatments for homosexuality, and Navratilova and co. want the research to be ended. Many portray a cure for homosexuality as "genocide".


Point: due to the results of activism rather than science, research into possible cures for homosexuality has been diverted and attacked. One can calculate the numbers, but we're talking at least 3-4 orders of magnitude and likely more in terms of funding for AIDS cures (= distal symptoms) rather than funding for whole genome and biochemical studies of homosexuality *as a curable disease* and proximal cause.

The media seems only to discuss the possibility of a cure for gayness in the context of "ex gay" ministries rather than high powered molecular genetics. This is exactly analogous to the way in which race realism is discussed by reference to the Ku Klux Klan rather than the Human Brain Atlas or the HapMap.

Note that a cure would be desirable for any woman who desires grandchildren. Homosexuality is behavioral sterility -- not 100%, but certainly very high. It causes sterility/infertility in a different way from less motile sperm, but the results are no less predictable (notwithstanding the small number of gays who have biological children).

Moreover, if it really is at 1% or more, its incidence is on par or greater to that of schizophrenia, widely considered a serious disease.

With all this in mind, the debate around gay marriage can be seen in the appropriate context. As with all other h-bd related issues, genomics and neuroscience are a slowly ticking nuke right under the assumptions of the NYT.

robert61 said...

Lots of guys are pussies, michael farris. A certain type of pussy makes a very good father.

And isn't "SSM" a brand of hockey sticks or mini pool tables or something?

Christopher said...

To expand on the more-straight-guys-reluctant theme, let us address the punitive aspect. For the sake of argument, let's agree it's punitive for a good many men in the ceremony. But it is, or at least must be in the perception, rewarding, for some men in the marriage. What do I mean? The day might be a drag, but lotsa mediocre guys make out ok with a monogamous traditional marriage set of rules. To the extent gay marriage weakens that overall system, then, there's a marginal increase of high-prospect men who might use that weakening as a way to avoid taking part, with the commensurate knock-on effects of serial monogamy, hypergamy, frustrated betas, used-up women. Basically, in an anything goes system, why would a great catch of a man settle down? Why would a decent woman settle for lifetime commitment to a mediocre man? The old answers were: 'cause if he pissed off one more brother of a sister (course we have only children these days so that's another thing) there'd be a whole posse after him; 'cause all the good ones are taken and mediocre is better than nothing, ever; and, the whole community supports this too.

Sleep said...

I see only a few webhits for this story, with conflicting information:

http://dprogram.wordpress.com/2008/06/18/oklahoma-to-feds-dont-tread-on-me/
http://politicalinquirer.com/2008/06/15/oklahoma-declares-sovereignty/
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=67229


Google for "oklahoma 1089" to get more.

Either they've declared sovereignty or at least the House has ... now I know that they dont mean sovereignty in the sense that the Lakota nation did ... just that they think they should be able to override federal statutes when their own state legislatures want to. In either case, the Oklahoman legislature agrees that a federal Constitutional amendment can still overrule their state constitution, because constitutional amendments have to be ratified by the states.

Now as to why this is happening, opinions differ ... some say they don't want to deal with having to recognize gay marriages made in California and Massachusetts ... some say it's about immigration ... others say it's just for the sake of defending states' rights as an end in itself.


Immigration seems the most likely answer, but the gay marriage amendment begs the question of whether a national conflict over the issue will arise and whether or not it will be resolved by an actual Constitutional Amendment either prohibiting or (far more likely) enshrining the legality of gay marriage.

Anonymous said...

My concern, since 2001, is that more gay men would be interested in getting married (i.e., in a theatrical ceremony) than in being married (i.e., sexual monogamy).

I know plenty of gay men who are in long term committed relationships, and the truth is, you don't actually need to sexually monogamous to be in a committed relationship - especially when you're talking about men. The gay men I know mostly seem happier in their relationships than most straight men (or women). I think gays being legally "married", and enjoying the legal rights and protections of married couples is fine. I just have a problem with the actual wedding ceremonies - sorry, but there is something farcical about two people of the same sex trying to go through a ritual that was designed with the express purpose of uniting a man and a woman. So gay marriage - cool, gay weddings - should be outlawed.

Concerned said...

Broadway was already in a state of decline due to competition from television and movies. And rock music. Gays just took over what was becoming ghettoized.

Similarly with marriage. The decoupling (literally) of marriage with reproduction has been going on for at least 30 years.

Concerned said...

"At this point, denying legal protection to same sex couples disengages the processes of forming a household and marriage (which reinforces the separation of marriage and children)."

Michael, you are making a lot of good points but the above is not one of them.

If you are so concerned about the reinforcement of separation of marriage and children, then why are you not concerned about the reinforcement of separation of a child from his natural mother, or father?

For that is what "gay parenting" is.

Purposely breeding children via artificial insemination, as in the case of lesbians, or hiring a womb like a meat locker, as in the case of gay males, creates a child that has no legal or quotidien relationship with one parent.

How is that good?

Given the technology, and the irresistible urges of people to do whatever they want, it may be unavoidable, but how is it good?

In what human society has this ever happened?

Anonymous said...

And isn't "SSM" a brand of hockey sticks or mini pool tables or something?

CCM. They used to be an independent company making hockey equipment that got bought by Reebok. Predictable decline in quality and appearance.

Concerned said...

Godless,

Do you think it's possible that a treatment for male homosexuality might be as simple as hormone replacement therapy?

Just asking.

Martin said...

Just last night or the night before, Jay Leno did a joke in his monologue about how "gay" even straight weddings are. The straight-flight begins.

Of course, the "legalization" of gay marriage (I put it in quotes because the proper term for when judges just make stuff up should not be legalization) opens the door to the legalization of polygamy. There is now no reason that could withstand a court challenge for outlawing it. Expect to see it legalized - and normalized - within 5-10 years.

Marc said...

My concern, since 2001, is that more gay men would be interested in getting married (i.e., in a theatrical ceremony) than in being married (i.e., sexual monogamy). We're talking about some awfully flamboyant folks: Gay Pride parades could more honestly be renamed Gay Narcissism parades.

Steve,

Personally, I think this is one of your sillier notions. (The "gays will take over marriage" idea, not the "gay pride parades are huge displays are narcissism" idea, the truth of the latter being pretty obvious.) But even so, there are enough countries in the world where gay marriage is legal and has been for a long time that you need to stop kicking around this theory and start actually looking at the data.

As for my feelings on your concern, yes, gay men are flamboyant, but why throw a wedding, which has the specific purpose of celebrating a lifelong commitment, for the purpose of throwing a party when you can just throw a party? It's somewhat, albeit not entirely, analagous to gay men suddenly throwing faux bar mitzvahs for themselves just so they can have an excuse to dress up and party.

jbday said...

How many straight frat boys wear pink polos? If that's not a problem for them, I doubt marriage will be either.

c.o. jones said...

My problem with the "gay marriage" issue is the law of unintended consequences. Will some goofy judges rule that polygamy is now OK? I can almost envision a nutty ruling where some judge decides that a polygamous gay marriage involving 3 men is OK, while a polygamous heterosexual marriage involving 1 man and several women is not.

The other problem I see is that this creates a new avenue for immigration fraud. I get the impression that fiancee visas are not very closely monitored, so one individual could have multiple "fiancees" and probably make money doing so. Let's not forget also that most countries don't have legal gay marriage, so this will probably mean that a new category of refugee will be created, since not being able to marry your lover in your own country will undoubtedly be viewed as some sort of human rights violation.

Finally, the big reason that is always brought up by proponents for gay marriage is the "now I can visit my partner in the hospital" argument. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but if you've done proper estate planning including advance medical directives, powers of attorney and so on, I don't think a hospital is going to deny visiting privileges to someone who has a legal document in hand stating that he/she is authorized to make decisions on your behalf.

Anonymous said...

"But even so, there are enough countries in the world where gay marriage is legal and has been for a long time that you need to stop kicking around this theory and start actually looking at the data."

I'm going to venture the hypothesis that countries that have given legal force to "gay marriage" have declining birthrates and an increase in fatherless households.

The future does not look pretty.

robert61 said...

I can almost envision a nutty ruling where some judge decides that a polygamous gay marriage involving 3 men is OK, while a polygamous heterosexual marriage involving 1 man and several women is not.

That would be a good ruling, under the circumstances. "Marriage" variants involving several men together or several men and a woman may be distasteful to many, but they are unlikely to do much social damage. The scenario where alpha males begin collecting harems - especially in an era when an explosion of information-sector money is making income gaps bigger than ever - now that's a nightmare.

Chris Anderson said...

Hi Steve,

I'm a gay man that reads your site, and I agree with some of your other commenters that the ghettoizing of wedding ceremonies by gay men is goofy.

How about asking a gay man? Hey, I'll even volunteer: My partner and I, together for 7 years, exchanged rings four years ago, rings that we wear on the traditional wedding ring finger. FWIW, my sister considers this cheating, in that we didn't "get married" the way she did, but we see it first as a symbol of commitment for ourselves, and secondarily as a signal of non-availability to potential flirts.

Anyhow, as Michael Farris said, our lack of access to legal marriage hasn't prevented household formation. We live quite openly as a couple in a house we own together. Perhaps we're outliers, but neither of us wants the big flamboyant ceremony that you assume we do. In fact, during the most serious consideration of having a ceremony, what I wanted was something on the beach in Provincetown with our families and a few of our closest friends. Partner didn't even want to go that far.

You'll have to take my word on it, but monogamy is quite important to us, far more so than a wedding.

Finally, as much as I would welcome the legal status, benefits, protections etc that marriage confers, I'm not sold on the idea for same sex couples, for the vaguely Hayekian reason that we cannot know for sure what's going to follow after messing with one of the fundamental customs of our society. For some non-nutty (sorry Steve but I think you are a little nutty about the gays) reasoning on this, I would recommend this old post by Megan McArdle.

Chip said...

Concerned,

You write:

"Purposely breeding children via artificial insemination, as in the case of lesbians, or hiring a womb like a meat locker, as in the case of gay males, creates a child that has no legal or quotidien relationship with one parent."

What about good old-fashioned adoption? I bet that lesbian marriages will prove beneficial to orphaned and abandoned children in need of homes.

William said...

now I know that they dont mean sovereignty in the sense that the Lakota nation did

Oh well why not? Shouldn't the "original inhabitants" get special protections and privileges separate from the "newcomers"?

Cultural conservatives have an important role in vetting and trouble-shooting social innovations, but the objections they've come up with for SSM are pretty unconvincing.

How 'bout this reason, Cupcake: We live in a republic where elected representatives decide what's law, not a bunch of unelected power-grabbing Ginsburgians.

Personally, I'd prefer a transition period with civil unions (or whatever you want to call them) but cultural conservatives weren't going to have any of that

And how much discussion was there of that, precisely? I've been paying attention to politics for a pretty long time and I don't remember any pushing for civil unions or even gay marriage before gays tried suing the state of Hawai'i for the right to marry (not civil unions).

Gay groups tried to do an end-run around the political process, they got smoked, and now they're all in a tiff.

What I love is how muh grupthink there is: every single first marriage in every state that's adopted the practice is between "loving, dedicated couples" who've been together for a decade or more, like all the pictures yesterday of the 84 and 87 year-old lesbians who've been together for 50+ years. (Gee, wonder if they chose to be lesbians due to the post-war man shortage?)

Basically, in an anything goes system, why would a great catch of a man settle down? Why would a decent woman settle for lifetime commitment to a mediocre man?

The current method of hooking up ensures more mediocre men (and women). One night stands and quick rolls in the hay encourage the proliferation of "mating strategies" designed to impress a girl quickly while distracting her from the fact that you're basically a putz, and then get her panties off ASAP.

The old courtship method requires you to actually take the time to prove to the girl that you're a decent guy.

PRCalDude said...

I can't help but wonder if, since we've redefined marriage once, the Muslims will be allowed their definition. And once they become more numerous here, what effect will that have on the gay agenda and gay existence in general, since Muslims aren't particularly fond of gays? Stay tuned.

black sheep said...

The true problem with gay marriage as opposed to civil commitment is that it's already being used as a weapon to force conservative JPs and clergy to submit to the whims of the gay community. There will be no right for a person who performs weddings to restrict the ceremonies to hetero couples only.

Throughout the 80's liberals complained loud and long about the religious right attempting to legislate morality but legislating morality is exactly what the gays and liberals intended to do all along.

Why does each act of protective legislation guaranting the rights of members of one identity group or another inevitably lead to a restriction in rights for everyone else? I predict that there will be people who are forced out of their jobs over this. Although maybe a loophole could be religious ceremony vs legal ceremony.

Chief Seattle said...

If gay marriage ever gets popular, Is it going to become un-PC to assume someone's spouse is of the opposite gender? Is this going to be another question to tip-toe around? Just asking.

Acilius said...

The biggest problem with their arguments are that they're too late. The big innovation was same sex couples setting up households together (openly).

Michael Farris-

That reads like Michael Oakeshott's remarks about women's suffrage in "Rationalism in Politics." If it was right that women should be granted the franchise in Britain in the 20th century, it was so not because of any eternal and universal moral truth, but the right to vote in Britain at that time had long been bundled with a set of other rights and responsibilities, and British women had by that time already acquired so many of those other rights and responsibilities that the traditional bundle would no longer hold together unless they received suffrage as well.

Whether you've been reading Oakeshott or not, I think you (and he) are exactly right. If we believe that homosexual couples have rights to engage in sexual activity together, live openly together, buy real estate together, raise children together, etc, then it makes no sense for us not to believe that they have a right to marry.

Anonymous said...

Let's stipulate that everything that godlesscapitalist hints at is completely true. Namely: male homosexuality is a kind of disease that has a profound health impact and that it is mediated by a simple switch and which will soon be subject to medical treatment.

If all or most of this is true then male homosexuality may very well be just a passing phenomenon that will soon be nothing but a historical curiosity. Cochran believes something like this. He thinks humanity will homogenize itself as it gains power and knowledge. Albinos, dwarfs, and gays will not have a place in our future.

That's the long run, what should be our policy stance on gay marriage in the short run? Male homosexuality may or may not be a valid life style choice but it is incontrovertably a public health problem. The public and its government need to do something about male homosexuality so as to promote less disease. Gay marriage tends to promote less gay promiscuity. Therefore it is an institution that should be encouraged.

Its simple really. Same sex marriage isn't an endorsement of homosexuality its just a basic public health policy like - "dig the latrine downhill from the spring". Everyone should favor a policy that controls microorganisms.

Anonymous said...

Gay marriage is a harbinger.

The western world has been under Marxist attack for 150+ years and now it has entered into the death throes of Matriarchy.

Forcing your enemy to accept Matriarchy is a decisive revolutionary act. But Matriarchy is an unstable and brief transition phase for a society.

In the next phase we go into the fire: Extreme Patriarchy. The upcoming patriarchy will be the most extreme in history. Essentially, they will take a blow torch to the human race. It is only a matter of "Who? Whom?"


Phase 1: Strong Patriarchy (intolerant, long/stable)

Phase 2: Weak Patriarchy (tolerant, short/unstable)

Phase 3: Matriarchy (hyper-tolerant, brief/chaotic)

Phase 4: Extreme Patriarchy (hyper-intolerant, brief/chaotic)

Phase 5: Strong Patriarchy (intolerant, long/stable)

c23 said...

To me, the biggest problem with gay marriage is that it opens the door to other kinds on non-traditional marriage.

Next it'll be polygamy. I just saw polygamists being normalized on Oprah the other day. Of course, there was not one mention of what the social consequences of widespread polygamy would be. I'll bet that within the next few decades we'll see a push to legalize it, and then it will gradually become more socially acceptable and prevalent, with the consequence of making our society more like the societies that already practice polygamy, such as sub-saharan African countries.

But, as for gay marriage itself, I doubt straight people would pay much attention to it if the media didn't make a big deal over it, which it won't after it's legalized. I just wonder how the left is going to overturn democracy regarding the constitutional amendments against gay marriage that passed in many states in the last few years.

halfbreed said...

Concerned -- you asked if the "cure" could be something as simple as hormone replacement therapy. I've been around sports long enough to have seen plenty of gays who've taken steroids -- the ultimate hormone replacement therapy -- and it doesn't change their orientation at all (it just makes them temporarily hornier homos).

testing99 said...

William said:

"The current method of hooking up ensures more mediocre men (and women). One night stands and quick rolls in the hay encourage the proliferation of "mating strategies" designed to impress a girl quickly while distracting her from the fact that you're basically a putz, and then get her panties off ASAP.

The old courtship method requires you to actually take the time to prove to the girl that you're a decent guy."

--------------

This has to be one of the more insightful comments ever on iSteve. The old mediating institutions that socialized men and women are gone. Which has caused the problems William describes. Gay marriage is probably another indicator.

punnett square said...

godlesscapitalist

There are several mental illnesses in which affected people believe that they're not ill, including schizophrenia:

Gay people didn't just convince themselves that they don't have a mental quirk. They convinced half of society of the same thing.

Obviously they're wrong which makes this no small accomplishment. I guess it proves that if you work hard enough you can accomplish anything.

punnett square said...

Concerned

Do you think it's possible that a treatment for male homosexuality might be as simple as hormone replacement therapy?

This is a very likely possibility but it's years away. Scientists have already done this with Fruit Flies.

"It was amazing. I never thought we'd be able to do that sort of thing, because sexual orientation is supposed to be hard-wired," he said. "This fundamentally changes how we think about this behavior."

Concerned said...

"What about good old-fashioned adoption? I bet that lesbian marriages will prove beneficial to orphaned and abandoned children in need of homes."

Did you read my question?

Halfbreed:

Taking steroids ISN'T hormone replacement therapy. Obviously, you don't know what you are talking about.

I'm talking about something carefully calibrated, analagous to taking levothyroxine for hypo-thyroidism, but much more specific and delicate, targeting something we don't understand yet.

Stay out of discussions you don't understand.

Acilius:

Re Oakeshott, you are quite right. My question about breeding children is directed towards this. The technology has outstripped our moral structures. People will do what they can, regardless of the consequences. I wonder what the human consequences of purposely breeding motherless and fatherless children are. Chris, I wonder what you and your partner think.

There's an egg hatching factory in California, the name of which I forget, whose purpose is to match up wombs with cashed-up gay men who want kids. Two-thirds of their customers state a preference for male babies. What do you think of that?

none of the above said...

godless:

Surely, the reason schizophrenia is still considered a disease is because it visibly messes up your life and makes you nonfunctional, in ways that are pretty independent of any kind of social surroundings. The large number of gays and lesbians living pretty quiet, productive lives suggests that their situation is quite different.

Gay men are often rather promiscuous, which has consequences for STDs that can be mitigated, but not eliminated, without giving up on that promiscuity. I believe lesbians have lower rates of STDs than straight women, though I could be wrong about that. (I'm pretty sure they have lower rates of HIV, since one sure way not to sleep with a bisexual man is to never sleep with men.)

I can't see being gay as any more of a disease than choosing not to have kids (at least as big an effect on your reproductive rate as being gay), or being an atheist (about as offensive to some subset of the population as being gay, though not quite as rare.).

none of the above said...

Steve,

Has the rate of straight marriages gone down (faster than it already was) in other countries that have allowed gay marriage, or in MA? This effect seems pretty implausible to me, especially since gay men aren't going to be marrying women in their marriages.

A lot of the commenters on this blog, when they talk about family, marriage, women, and society, seem to live in a very different world than I do. My (east coast, high tech, racially-mixed) workplace has lots of smart, nerdy, successful people, and pretty much everyone over about 30 is married. Most of the married people have kids. It's kind-of a mark of being a grown-up. I don't get the sense that the younger folks in our office are bailing out of marriage, though they're caught in the same situation as most people on the right end of the bell curve in the US, in that they're going to be well into their 30s before they can afford to start having kids.

I think the notion that big men with harems are going to have much impact on the demographics of the US if polygamy is allowed are nuts--nothing keeps a big man from keeping such a harem today, if he can manage it. Instead, on the high end, the big men mostly seem to go for serial monogamy, or for one wife + one mistress. On the low end, they go for multiple girls who raise their kids (which they mostly didn't want, though their genes did) on public money, while they dodge the child support.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure that (straight) men are as altarophobic as they're sometimes made out to be. For example, a poll by the New York Times found that more girls than boys thought they could have a happy life even if they never married. Another survey of single people in Thailand found that more men than women expressed a desire to be married. While I'm not sure what effect if any gay marriage will ultimately have on its heterosexual counterpart, I don't think men as a group necessarily need to be coaxed into walking down the aisle.

Emilia Liz (emilia_e_murphy@yahoo.ca)

rob said...

gays who've taken steroids -- the ultimate hormone replacement therapy -- and it doesn't change their orientation at all (it just makes them temporarily hornier...

There were actually a study on T supplementation in gay men a while back. They found the same thing.

As far as I know, no one has ever tried giving hormone supplements of their biological sex to transpeople. I don't know that it would work. One commenter here mentioned that he had gender dysphoria as a child that went away at puberty, so there is anecdotal evidence that it might work. It is far easier for a biological male to take testosterone or for a biological female to some estrogen/progesterone combo than it is to have sex-reassignment surgery, so I don't see any ethical problems with experimenting on consenting human subjects.

Concerned said...

It's true: most successful, high IQ, high-status men are long-term married, or married twice at the most. Three times is considered unstable. Having a long-term mistress is OK, but keep it VERY discreet. We shouldn't judge by a few media phreaks.

Will Saletan claims that we will be able to choose the SO of children:

http://www.slate.com/id/2193841/

halfbreed said...

Concerned --

"gays who've taken steroids -- the ultimate hormone replacement therapy -- and it doesn't change their orientation at all (it just makes them temporarily hornier...

There were actually a study on T supplementation in gay men a while back. They found the same thing."

Well well. It seems my little bit of firsthand observation has been borne out by the study Rob mentioned. Wouldn't common sense tell you that if the more bludgeon-like effect of testosterone or some other anabolic agent can't affect sexuality, that lower, more "carefully calibrated" doses would be unlikely to as well? (And in fact, taking testosterone IS a fairly common hormonal replacement therapy for older men, or for men who are HIV-positive, just as taking estrogen is a hormonal replacement therapy for post-menopausal women.)

And you say you'd want something more "specific and delicate targeting something we don't understand yet," right after telling me to stay out of discussions I don't understand? Shouldn't you be taking your own advice?

What I've read on the subject seems to indicate that the only time hormones affect sexuality is during the fetal stage, and then it's a very storng effect. Of course, trying to affect a pregnant mother's hormonal output would be an incredibly complicated biological and moral issue which I won't pretend to understand. But please, you go right ahead...

David said...

michael farris said

the 20th century shift of the role of wife from brood-mare/property to roughly equal partner

Nice to know my grandmother and every married woman in our family who came before her was a broodmare/property.

Do lefties listen to themselves?

Broodmare/property = reproduced themselves and reared the children responsibly.

The non-broodmare/non-property "revolution" causes birthrates below replacement levels, i.e. the dying of our race.

The celebration of sterility known as "gay" "marriage" is the ultimate expression of the suicide of a nation.

Note that communists always call things by dishonest terms. "Liberation" = being the slave of a totalitarian state. "Diversity" = no dissent; etc. Now we have the term "gay" for a mere simulacrum of sexuality. We're dying out, and we're happy about it!

Anonymous said...

none of the above said

Surely, the reason schizophrenia is still considered a disease is because it visibly messes up your life and makes you nonfunctional, in ways that are pretty independent of any kind of social surroundings. The large number of gays and lesbians living pretty quiet, productive lives suggests that their situation is quite different

Except that they don't reproduce.

Worse than infertility or individual choices to not have children is a whole "lifestyle" or "orientation" whose sine qua non is sterility.

The respect for homosexuality is, socially, a lunatic celebration of evolutionary death. There will never be enough resources to grow another human race out of test tubes. No - homosexuality by itself won't (necessarily) kill off a race; but "large numbers" of homosexuals is the wrong direction and a grave problem for any society. At least as bad as the other psychoses, and much more pressing.

Anonymous said...

"Except that they don't reproduce."

well lesbians do. I live right around the corner from two different couples of that persuasion and they have bred. The one couple I don't know where they got the kid, but he does look like one of them so I presume from artificial insemination. The other couple I talked to explained how one of them got the male goods from a mutual lawyer friend. Yes, they do pay attention to good genes, just like Jodi Foster). That couple has three kids (second was twins.)

Concerned said...

Halfbreed:

Physically healthy, non-AIDS affected gay men do not lack testosterone, therefore, boosting their testosterone levels will have no effect on their sexuality.

I was thinking more along the lines of (ANALOGY ALERT) thyroid supplements for people who are hypothyroid. This can have a variety of effects, not only on metabolism. The thyroid is a powerful master switch of many processes.

Studies of “gay” rams show that their hypothalamus differs from that of hetero rams, although they do not behave as ewes do. I was wondering if a hormone supplement (NOT TESTOSTERONE) might affect that.

That’s all.

Is this too subtle for you to understand? Maybe so.

rob said...

Halfbreed,

I'm not sure what your comment was addressed towards. I do wonder if anyone will try to do "molecular surgery" on developing fetuses. I think it will happen eventually.

If homosexuality is genetic. Screen, abort, and try again will probably be the most frequent action. It will be very interesting to see how pro-life and pro-choice people react if it is genetic.

Can you imagine pro-choice people outside abortion clinics harrassing women to make sure the fetus is not a member of a protected class?

Chip said...

Concerned,

I read your question. My point is that the example you give overlooks commonplace adoption, where the harm of separation from one's biological parents (if such a harm exists, which I question) has already taken place.

When adopting parents play no purposeful role in initiating the separation of adoptive children from their biological parents (i.e., when that event has already occured), such adoptive parents most likely act to the benefit of the children they adopt. Since there are already many, many children who need homes, it seems that the emergence of SSM (by which I mean mostly lesbian SSM) could have the offsetting benefit of placing more already-abandoned children in caring homes.

I take it that your view is that extending the marriage franchise will more likely have the long-term effect of steering gay couples toward new breeding technologies, with unknown social consequences. This is indeed possible. I'm not too worried about it, but it's possible. And it will be interesting.

What seems certain, though, is that for those many children who are already lingering in foster care, a sudden increase in the number of prospective adoptive families is good.

Anonymous said...

"For example, a poll by the New York Times found that more girls than boys thought they could have a happy life even if they never married. Another survey of single people in Thailand found that more men than women expressed a desire to be married. While I'm not sure what effect if any gay marriage will ultimately have on its heterosexual counterpart, I don't think men as a group necessarily need to be coaxed into walking down the aisle."

Getting rid of feminine accessories like weddings and diamond rings might appeal to men but it might repel women. Benefits the average man more than the average woman. The average man (ie not George Clooney) gets more assured sex and companionship than he would if he had to chase it anew every night. The average woman on the other hand, assuming that her husband is an average guy, gets someone who is probably not as supportive and understanding as her best girlfriend, who is less tidy than her best friend and who forgets birthdays and anniversaries. American men are indeed better in this regard than men in Asia and that is one reason that Japanese women are puzzled by American women's craze for finding husbands. In Japan women reject marriage altogether, while American women have their wedding and seek divorces two thirds more often than women.

halfbreed said...

Rob -- My comment was addressed to "concerned".....Thank you for citing the testosterone study.

Concerned said...

Chip,

You keep evading my point. No one is offering SSM as an antidote to the problem of “unwanted children” (ie, hard to place kids with incompetent heterosexual parents).

The rationale for SSM is that same-sex relationships are as worthy and necessary of legal recognition and sanction as straight ones. There is no evidence that SSM couples are more willing or able to adopt than straight ones.

But, lesbians ARE having kids via artificial insemination. Gay men are breeding motherless children with the help of agencies.

Finally you address my point:

"I take it that your view is that extending the marriage franchise will more likely have the long-term effect of steering gay couples toward new breeding technologies, with unknown social consequences.”

No, I didn’t say that. I said that SSM is cathing up with the technology , not the other way around. I'm not as nonchalant about the consequences as you. It would be ironic if gays bred homophobes.

Marc said...

Chris,

I sympathize with your post. I'm gay and a homebody by nature. I would love to find someone with whom I could settle down and raise a fair-sized brood of children. But in the interest of intellectual honesty, I feel that we should admit that we are in the minority, and that the majority - though not the overwhelming majority - of gay men do not have a serious interest in long-term monogamy.

Having said that, I don't feel this is an argument against gay marriage for any means. Saying, "Well, a lot of gay men won't even want to get married," doesn't say anything about the relevance of the issue to those of us who do. At this point, I think the best argument against gay marriage is that it will open the door to legalized polygamy, which I think would be a terrible step for our society to take.

Still, as others have noted, if we were a more confident culture this wouldn't be a problem. We could simply state that we are permitting gay marriage because we like gay marriage and outlawing polygamy because we don't like polygamy, and that's that, no further explanations needed. If you don't like it, shove off! (Fat chance of that happening.)

Marc said...

Rob,

FWIW, they tried giving testosterone supplements to gay men way back in the day. It just made them more promiscuous. Whoops.

Not the same as transgenders, I know, but close.

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