9 Logical Extensions of SCOTUS Ruling

On the one hand, I understand the joy and excitement many are feeling in the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges. In the streets and on the Internet, people are rejoicing on behalf of themselves and their dear friends. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, spoil anyone’s celebration, or worst of all give the false impression that I don’t value all human lives equally. I agree with the words of the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal.” But the fact that all people are created equal does not mean that all relationships are created equal, at least not in the sense of being the same. There exist real differences between the brother-sister relationship, the father-son relationship, the friend-friend relationship, and the husband-wife relationship. Only one type of relationship can logically create new human life, thus continuing the culture and the species. All societies until very recently have understood this biological fact and have recognized marriage as a special relationship that could only exist between a man and a woman. Truly we stand upon the threshold of a brave new world, one whose consequences and ultimate destination can only be guessed.

But even in the midst of our elation or despair, it is crucial to note that opposition to the redefinition of marriage is not based on faith alone, but reason as well. Yes, the Bible instructs a man to leave his mother and father and cling to his wife, as the two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). Yes, the Bible admonishes homosexuality as a sin (as well as divorce, adultery, fornication, and even lust, leaving an extremely small minority of the human race guiltless in this area). Yes, most of the people concerned over the SCOTUS ruling are practicing, orthodox Christians. However, it is possible to oppose the redefinition of marriage on purely logical grounds, as I will try to demonstrate in this post.

If you believe that marriage should or even can exist between two people of the same sex, then briefly consider whether you also support these nine propositions (one for each unelected, unaccountable member of the Supreme Court) that logically flow from it:

  1. There are no meaningful differences between men and women. The Bible states that God created man and woman. However, the differences between the sexes are also supported by science and common sense. It is a scientific fact that men and women are different. This doesn’t make them unequal; rather, they are complementary. Consider the ovaries and the testes. Without each other, they are useless. The reproductive system is the only system in the human body that can only fulfill its function with a member of the opposite sex. We don’t need another human being to breathe or digest, but reproduction has always required an opposite-sex partner. But assuming there are no differences between men and women, then there can be no meaningful differences between mothers and fathers, meaning…
  2. Children do not have the right to their biological mother and a father. Countless studies have shown that children do best when raised by their biological mother and father. Of course, there are situations like death and abandonment in which this is not possible. In these cases, adoption offers a compassionate and loving alternative. However, the loss of either one of a child’s biological parents creates a profound void which leads to great pain and suffering. Several adults raised by gay parents have bravely come forward to attest to this pain. Despite their love for the ones who raised them, their pain and loss are no less real.
  3. Parents do not have the right to their children. Since the relationship between parents and children is no longer acknowledged as natural but rather arbitrary and incidental, there is no reason the state should not make decisions on the child’s behalf, even over the objections of the parents. This already happens in Canada, where same-sex marriage has been the law of the land since 2005, and it is currently happening in California where children must now be vaccinated even over the medical and religious objections of their parents.
  4. Our identities are defined by our desires. To recognize a special class of persons designated by their sexual orientation is to define identity not by biology or nature but by desire and inclination. But what if I was born with the desire or inclination to burn things down? Should arsonists be designated as a minority group with special protections? The law would traditionally say that it is not how we feel but rather what we do with these feelings that counts, assuming a level of human rationality that makes it possible to hold people accountable for their actions. But if people are simply born with a set of morally-equal desires, how can we hold anyone accountable for any behavior?
  5. Our rights are defined by our desires. In truth, our rights come from God. This is stated in the Declaration of Independence and this is the only reason my right to speech is different than my “right” to eat ice cream for breakfast. But if someone’s emotional longing for something is now enough to make it a right, then there is no difference between a right and a desire. In which case, I have the right to anything and everything that I want. Unleash the moral anarchy now.
  6. Truth is defined by emotional satisfaction. The old motto of the Sexual Revolution is “if it feels good, do it.” But the new saying of the 21st century should be, “if it feels good, it must be right.” Photos of gleeful couples, a White House illuminated in a rainbow of colors, and a pink and red equal sign are enough to elicit warm and fuzzy feelings in a lot of people’s hearts. But when we start to rely on the subjective feelings of the majority versus the objective and unchanging reality of nature, we are headed for trouble indeed.
  7. Incestuous and polygamous relationships also have the “right” to be considered marriages. Why shouldn’t a brother and a sister be allowed to marry if they love each other? Aren’t they entitled to the same right to intimacy invented (I mean, discovered) by Justice Kennedy? Why shouldn’t three men who love each other, or three women, or two women and a man, or two men and a woman be able to get married if they love each other? Once the role of reproduction is removed (it remains an embarrassing fact that all people are created by the DNA of two parents: one mother and one father), isn’t the number two an arbitrary limitation? After all, love is love. #equality.
  8. Marriage of any kind is discriminatory against single people. We have heard a lot lately about the benefits marriage supposedly confers upon straight couples. But what about cohabiting couples who refuse to take the plunge? What about a grandmother and grandchild living together, or an uncle and a nephew? Regardless of same-sex/opposite-sex, if marriage is no longer fundamentally connected to procreation, why should the state confer certain privileges to couples who have made a legal, long-term (but with divorce, easily reversible) decision? If love is love, why bother with a legal designation in the first place?
  9. People who support the traditional definition of marriage should keep their views to themselves. In other words, they should stay in the closet. Many people see the Gay Rights movement as an extension of the Civil Rights movement. But while differences in race are truly skin deep, differences in sex are biologically far more significant. The Civil Rights movement was grounded in the truth that men and women are equal, regardless of skin pigmentation. The Gay Rights movement is (to a large extent) grounded in the falsehood that men and women are the same, and thus same-sex sexual relationships are the same as opposite-sex ones.

I would like to conclude once again with the disclaimer that I whole-heartedly believe in the equality of all people. If you are someone who experiences homosexual attraction, consider me the last person to condemn you. As a fellow sinner, I will cast no stones. But the definition of marriage is not contingent upon a particular religious belief. All the great religions of our world—from Hinduism to Islam to Buddhism to Confucianism to Christianity—have recognized marriage as the relationship between a man and a woman. Even cultures notoriously permissive of homosexuality, like ancient Greece and Rome, never sought to equate a homosexual relationship between two men with a monogamous and committed heterosexual relationship (i.e. marriage).

To all my readers, gay and straight, let me repeat: God loves you. Your dignity and worth as a person are not dependent upon your sexual orientation. However, your inalienable rights to life and liberty do not entitle you to your own reality. There is but one sort of relationship capable of creating, sustaining, and nurturing human life; that relationship has historically and across cultures been recognized as marriage. To redefine this institution is tantamount to its dissolution, a reckless act which carries a host of consequences that will ultimately prove detrimental to all people, gay and straight. The joy of victory, and the thrill of altering the course of history in the name of equality, will be as short-lived as the fervor of the early years of the French Revolution. Many conservative Christians are despairing, because we know the Reign of Terror awaits. Some of us will be marched to the guillotine and sacrificed at the great altar of Human Sexual Liberation, while others may be mercifully spared. But at the end of the day, whether we accept it or not, the truth remains.

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8 thoughts on “9 Logical Extensions of SCOTUS Ruling

  1. Interesting and dangerous times we are about to live through. You forgot that people are also going to want to marry their cats and dogs, after Justice Kennedy invents the Constitutional right to clear your #7. :/

  2. Solely in the interest of constructive criticism, I respectfully disagree that your 9 statements are logical extensions of the SCOTUS ruling. How does a ruling allowing a man to marry another man logically extend to “there are no differences between men and women?” Both heterosexual and homosexual couples recognize that there is a difference.
    To some degree, your statements fail to credit the distinction between the religious and/or moral aspects of marriage, and the legal significance of marriage. The state confers benefits on people who have made long-term legal commitments to each other because that legal commitment fosters stability in the community. Parents and children are also considered to have a legal, as well as moral, commitment to each other (this is why child neglect is a crime and biological parents are ordered to pay child support). If a grandmother has legal custody of her grandson, again that is a legal, as well as moral, commitment that authorities can enforce.

    • Kathy—first, thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. You raise a couple valid points, and I will try my best to respond. First, the redefinition of marriage does rest on the false belief that there are no meaningful differences between men and women, as it takes a gendered institution and makes it genderless. For millennia, humans recognized the sexual difference and complementarity of the sexes and sought to order that difference to the benefit of any children that might naturally result from their union. After Spain adopted gay marriage, one of the first things they changed was the birth certificate of children to read “Progenitor A” and “Progenitor B” instead of mother and father. But men and women are different, and not just in terms of their reproductive organs. They have unique gifts to offer society and especially children, which is why every child longs to know and be loved by his mother and father. “Marriage equality” rests on the false assumption that a committed same-sex couple is no different than a committed opposite-sex couple, but there are obvious differences in terms of their ability to create and raise children.
      To your second point about the differences between moral/religious and legal definitions, I would remind you: the state did not create marriage. Christianity did not create marriage. Thus, neither the state nor Christianity for that matter can redefine what is a natural law. The state can recognize the benefits and importance of marriage and seek to protect/enforce them, but that is all. The state has an interest in supporting monogamy and commitment between a man and woman in a sexual relationship, but what interest does the state have in ensuring that two sexually-involved men stay together for life? Marriage has always served as the foundation of the family, which is the bedrock of society. When we misunderstand marriage to be about nothing more than love and the emotional satisfaction of adults (something heterosexual couples are often just as guilty of), we do a great disservice to children and society as a whole.

      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Is your premise that God created marriage? I believe the state (in the general sense of government or “mankind”) did create marriage, as a way to create community bonds and clarify property rights, as well as to create and foster children (although certainly marriage is not required to create and foster children – it just works better that way once the society into which the child is born develops to a certain level of complication). The state has as much of an interest in fostering a long-term legal commitment between two same sex people (particularly if they are child rearing) as it has between a man and a woman. The legal bond creates more financial stability and flexibility for the family and for the society (it is not only parenting that benefits from having two participating adults — a legal bond helps protect society and individuals, for example, when one person is injured or sick or unable to work. Teams, and particularly teams of 2, tend to work better than individuals for many things.) And, while certainly there are important differences between men and women, I think we can agree that a happy, committed set of gay parents has many advantages over dysfunctional unhappy hetero parents, whether married or not. I don’t know whether there is a measurable difference in benefit to children raised by good hetero parents, as opposed to good homosexual parents. Homosexuals are a minority of the population, so there may not even be sufficient data out there to make a definitive statement on that.
        Both sexes include a tremendous range of gifts — the differences within each group are probably as great as the differences between the groups when it comes to non-physical aspects (emotional stability, attitude, confidence, assertiveness, capacity for joy, patience, etc.).
        I don’t think the gay couples who have invested so much time, money and effort in pursuing equality are thinking of marriage as “nothing more than love” and their emotional satisfaction (at least not any more than your average hetero-couple). I think they are just as invested as the most thoughtful, loving hetero-couples in all of the aspects of a committed marriage. When two adults voluntarily choose to make a long-term commitment to support each other, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, and otherwise, the whole society benefits. This is marriage at its best, and I don’t see how anyone loses from allowing more of that to take place in the world.
        Just my two cents.
        Thanks for this – I have enjoyed the interaction. I’ll let you get back to your philosophy (and I need to get back to work).

      • I believe that God created every aspect of nature, from the tallest mountain to the tiniest ant. I have reached this belief not through faith or a deep study of the Bible, but from reason and observation. So yes, I think marriage is part of God’s plan for humanity that is written into our very nature. Still, I don’t think one necessarily has to share a Judeo-Christian conception of God to be able to recognize certain facts about human nature and natural law. For example, it is wrong to murder people not just because the Bible or the government says so, but because respect for human life is something all people should be able to logically recognize as a common value. When a government passes a law punishing the crime of murder, it is neither creating the value nor the crime, but rather recognizing the fact that it is wrong to end an innocent human life. Thus, governments can pass laws recognizing the benefits that marriage provides society, but they cannot change the nature of marriage. Marriage and the family predate the state. Even stateless societies recognize marriage as a male-female sexual union, which is the only type of relationship that can create new life. Governments and societies have long promoted marriage, as this is the institution that has historically encouraged men to stick around and provide for their wives and children. Although this argument might sound dated, we still see it in the numbers: married moms are on average healthier and wealthier than single moms, and married men are on average less violent than single men.
        Children can of course be conceived outside of marriage, but countless studies show that children benefit from being raised by both a mother and a father. Even without the studies to back this up, it just makes sense that a child would do best with a mother and father present, as this is how they naturally came about. By the same logic, I know that a fish would do better in water than in orange soda because their natural habitat is the former and not the latter.
        I don’t doubt that there are several loving, committed gay couples doing their best to raise children, but I still believe all children have the right to know their mom and dad. For a pair of gay men to pay some impoverished woman in Nepal to rent out her uterus so they can have a child that will then never know his/her mother strikes me as deeply wrong to that child. Children are not commodities to be created or destroyed to suit the needs of adults, but human beings with human rights. My main concern is not over the relatively small number of gay couples who will now be recognized as married. I have several gay friends, and I know them to be good and caring people. My two primary concerns are that the redefinition of marriage will lead to the weakening of the institution itself (which I see as being essential to a well-functioning society and free-market economy) as well as religious persecution of Christians and a crackdown on freedom of speech. There have already been calls to end the tax-exempt status of churches (http://time.com/3939143/nows-the-time-to-end-tax-exemptions-for-religious-institutions/) and to end government recognition of all marriage as it discriminates against single people (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/30/opinion/the-supreme-courts-lonely-hearts-club.html?_r=0). I think we as a society will have to experience first-hand what we have lost (not just through gay marriage, but through divorce, pornography, cohabitation, etc.) before we are willing to go through the trouble of getting it back.
        P.S. Sorry for the long reply! I too have enjoyed the interaction. I appreciate the challenge and the chance to benefit from another perspective.

  3. Also in respect to reproduction, he completely ignored the fact that gay couples use surrogates to get a biological child all the time. Labs exist all over the country filled with thousands of egg and sperm samples for couples to use, even infertile straight couples.

    Another thing, vaccinations. He believes that shutting down antivaxers by making childhood vaccinations a necessity is somehow related to marriage rights. It just doesn’t correlate that way. People want these vaccinations in these children so the children and the children around then don’t get sick and die. Those people needed to get past the preconceived notion that vaccines cause autism and other deformities and treat their children, so now it’s a law.

    • I recognize that gay couples use surrogates and sperm banks and egg donors, and I think this is wrong to all parties involved. Children are not commodities to be acquired for the needs of adults, but human beings with human rights, one of which is the right to a mother and a father. Also, one does not have to believe that vaccines cause autism to object to the government-mandated vaccination schedule or to believe that parental rights should be respected. Now, if a parent were to reject a life-saving medication or surgery, that would be one thing. But I believe that as a parent I have a right to decide what gets injected into my healthy child.

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