it just doesn’t end, does it?

10 August 2006 at 1:11 (ethics, homosexuality, science)

So I realize I’m a little late on this, but I was reading Savage Love this morning, and I once again came accross this phrase “all too often casual or temporary,” which seems to be popping up a lot lately. For those who are as poorly informed as I was, this phrase is from a New York Court of Appeals decision (download here in pdf format) ruling against gay marriage. To quote the courts:

“Despite the advances of science, it remains true that the vast majority of children are born as a result of a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, and the Legislature could find that this will continue to be true. The Legislature could also find that such relationships are all too often casual or temporary. It could find that an important function of marriage is to create more stability and permanence in the relationships that cause children to be born. It thus could choose to offer an inducement–in the form of marriage and its attendant benefits–to opposite-sex couples who make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other.”

Now, obviously, the phrase in question is causing a lot of controversy among supporters of gay marriage, and for good reason. For the longest time, we’ve been told that gay parents are irresponsible and could not be trusted to take care of children, which is why they haven’t been allowed to marry. Now, apparently, they are too responsible to have children. Allow me to debunk this ridiculous statement with three simple points:

1) Allowing gay marriage does not disallow straight marriage, nor any of its attendant benefits.

2) Thus, casual heterosexual relationships that resulted in children would still be able to be lured into marriage by the offer of its many benefits.

3) Children are not a necessary outcome of marriage. If the discussion were on adoption, this reasoning may have been appropriate. As we are dealing with marriage only, children are an ancillary concern and can not, logically, be the basis for the decision.

I am, frankly, amazed that a group of intelligent adults could come up with such a logically flawed argument. Obviously, I don’t think there are any good arguments against gay marriage, but this one is so weak, I truly am aghast that it has come from the highest court in New York.

On the other hand, I suppose this could be a good sign. If this is the only argument left in the opposition’s arsenal that has any credibility, it can’t be long before this barely coherent, poorly realized opinion is thrown out, as well. While the decision does mention the so-called “traditional” definition of marriage, that is not part of the two-pronged reasoning it gives for denying homosexual people the right to marry.

If this truly indicates that the whole “traditional definition of marriage” argument is finally and rightfully considered complete bunk, then I think this decision could indicate an incremental step forward. It will only take about 10,000 more steps like this one before everyone is finally treated equally.


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mocking women is funny. wait, no it isn’t.

4 August 2006 at 13:39 (Christianity, ethics, Feminism & Sexism, homosexuality, religion)

I happened upon this article about women who are ordaining themselves as Catholic priests, completely by accident. I was researching Jean-Baptiste Dumas, who was a famous Catholic and scientist, and there was a link to this article from one of the sources I was using. The link also included this parody of the event, which is so bizarrely specific that many of the references are lost on those who aren’t completely engrossed in this controversy. I got the basic gist of it, but it frankly isn’t a very effective metaphor.

I’m always surprised that Catholic dogma really still thinks that women are men’s property, and subordinate in every sense. But what surprises me even more is the fact that women still choose to be Catholic in spite of this. But the problem with dogma is that you have to either accept it or reject it, or else it loses all of its power. These women are trying to reject a major part of Catholic dogma while still operating within the framework of that dogma. They are not basing their arguments on Catholic values, but on secular ones.

If you are going to commit yourself to every word of the Bible, you really can’t ignore the misogyny. To try to make Catholicism fit a secularly-derived conception of what is right completely misses the point; by accepting that secular morality is the more just of the two, you must necessarily reject Catholic morality, and you can’t really do that if you’re going to be a priest.

I agree that women shouldn’t be priests, and neither should gay men, and not because I think they have done something wrong by being women or being gay. But the Church is so fundamentally prejudiced against women and gay people, that having either one in a position of power is obviously contrary to both the aims of the person and those of the organization.

If a woman managed to rise to power in a club called “Women are Evil and Should Be Controlled,” she isn’t advancing the cause of her fellow women. Quite the opposite, in fact: she is becoming a tool of that same unjust organization, an enemy to herself as much as to her fellow women.

It seems obvious to me that if you think a group you belong to discriminates against your kind, you leave the group, rather than take a role that allows you to continue passing that message of discrimination to others. But tradition, especially personal or familial tradition, is a difficult foe.

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