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PROP. 8: Heterosexual marriage best for children

Letter by John W. Ford, Puyallup on Aug. 10, 2010 at 12:57 pm with 40 Comments »
August 10, 2010 3:07 pm

Proponents of gay marriage have managed to frame the issue as one of equal treatment under the law, often asking opponents to demonstrate how the marriage of two men or two women could cause harm to anyone’s heterosexual marriage.

This is an entirely wrong and misleading framework and question. The more relevant question ought to be why governments have an interest in sanctioning marriages at all.

The answer to that one is clear. Because of their concern for the general welfare, governments have a compelling interest in sanctioning behaviors designed to perpetuate order and progress. With that in mind, they have an interest in sanctioning the only kind of sexual relations best designed to lead to healthy children being raised in a way that gives them the greatest chance for success as adults. That is through the marriage of one man and one woman

But now Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco has overturned voter-approved Proposition 8. Along the way, he managed to cast those in favor of Proposition 8 as irrational people who base their feelings on moral and religious views, which he sweeps aside as an immaterial basis for a law.

To the contrary, the benefits of heterosexual marriage are rational and time-tested. Governments have no interest in sanctioning or solemnizing the love people may have for one another. They do, however, have a great interest in sanctioning a time-tested institution that is best for children.

Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. So we need big government to tell everybody and legislate what is “best” for them. It seems like the same crowd that screams about lack of freedom and “big government” when studies actually show harm to people, our society or our environment like smoking, cell phone usage, speed cameras, or others, are the ones calling for “big governemnt” to keep gays from marrying, even though there is no study that shows harm to people, our society or the environment. The benefits of gay marriage in several studies actuallya re greater than opposite-sex marriage in terms of children’s health, well-being, education, income, etc.

    If you have studies that show that opposite-sex marriage is superieor to same-sex marriage, please provide it to the lawyers who will be arguing the appeal. They sure didn’t present any evidence in the trial and they will need it to overcome the Constitutionally guaranteed equality under the law and their desire to limit the inalienable right of marriage to just those people who fit a certain mold. There have been many studies that show that children are better off if parents don’t divorce, so let’s outlaw divorce because it is not “best” for children. Studies show that children are better off if there is no second hand smoke in trhe house, so lets outlaw those who smoke from beiung able to have children. We have to have government legislate what is best for our children, don’t we?

  2. It’s those heterosexual marriages that tend to produce homosexual children.

  3. This is simply the letter writer’s opinion based on nothing more than their own gut feelings about homosexuality. The judge heard evidence that shows no impact to the future success of children when raised in a homosexual household. In fact, there is proof showing children of lesbian couples are better adjusted, happier and more successful in school than their peers who live in heterosexual households.

    If you want to base your argument on your own bias and bigotry, do so but do it honestly.

  4. The Supreme Court has already interpreted our Constitution to protect the right of marriage as inalienable. Government does not “sanction” marriage, it can only limit it. It limits it by licenses and laws prohibiting certain kinds of marriage. And, in many cases, such as the interracial case, marriage among close relatives it has already satted the only reasons to limit it is if it harms democracy (polygamy), if it harms society (marriage among close relatives) or if it harms the individuals involved (underage marriages). Proponents of gay marriage are not taking a “misleading framework” at all and do not have to establish those points that have already been decided by the Supreme Court. If you argue that the inalienable right to marry must be limited in some way, you have to show the reasons why it must be limited and those reasons must pass Constitutional muster.

  5. colsprague says:

    So the government should stop issuing marriage licenses to couples past the age of procreation.

  6. dankuykendall says:

    To stop the arguement of marriage, stop calling it marriage and use the term civil union. Marriage is religous and Civil Union is just that a civil ceremony extending all of the benefits of marriage without the religous overtones..

  7. the3rdpigshouse says:

    If you are a proud gay – return to the closet & get out of my anti-gay world please!!!

  8. johnearl says:

    “With that in mind, they have an interest in sanctioning the only kind of sexual relations best designed to lead to healthy children being raised in a way that gives them the greatest chance for success as adults. That is through the marriage of one man and one woman”

    Assuming that there is evidence that heterosexual couples are superior at raising children (and this newspaper daily prints stories of heterosexual couples that do not prove your point), and MR. Ford has evidence to that effect that he could present the court with, and…

    …Further assuming that the State has a compelling interest in _only_ sanctioning marriages that optimize the task of child raising, (and Mr. Ford can explain why the State should give preferential treatment _only_ to what he decrees as “best designed” child raisers) then…

    …Mr. Ford has just built a case for the state to refuse to sanction any marriage that does not produce children. If one takes Mr. Ford’s logic to its natural conclusion, the elderly, the infertile, and those heterosexual couples who purposely choose not to have children would all be barred from marrying.

    Do you really want to give your government that much power over private lives?

  9. reformedliberal says:

    “The judge heard evidence that shows no impact to the future success of children when raised in a homosexual household.”

    Judge Walker (who unsurprisingly, turns out to be gay himself) ignored decades of science in child development, and admitted in his written decision that the evidence supporting some of his conclusions was either scant or missing.

    Along the way, in order to reach his chosen destination, Walker decided that children do not need, nor have any legal right to have, a mother.

    Read that to yourself again, slowly. In order to support the Judge’s decision, you MUST be willing to say you believe the very same thing, because that’s how Judge Walker justifies his argument.

  10. Well, according to Jennifer Aniston, and you know how brilliant and educated thos those H’wood celebrities are on every subject from war to weather…anyway, SHE says kids don’t need a father, and if she says so it must be true. It was all over the news!

    As I’ve said before, a moment of silence please for the death of journalism…and reason…in the USA.

    Kids need a mother and a father; that’s why we were made to reproduce in the manner that we do.

    Granted, some bio parents prove to be unable to protect and love their children, in which case, surrogate parents are needed. Good gay people make better parents then than lousy heterosexual ones.

    But babies need a mommy and a daddy.

  11. spotted1 says:

    I am throroughly convinced that, on this topic, it does not matter if there were irrefutable evidence availble to support one side or the other that it would not matter. Even in the face of vetted research, people would still bury their heads in the sand and state that the research was wrong.

    With that in mind. I am all for more homosexual unions. Good population control.

  12. reformedliberal, please quote me where, in the judges opinion he stated that the evidence supporting his conclusions was “scant or missing”. I have read the decision a couple of times, but might have missed it. What I know he said was that the evidence brought by the lawyers defending Prop 8 was not credible, was based on supposition or was pure opinion without any basis in peer-reviewed scientific research. The judge made decisions on the basis of what was presented in court. If you have “decades of science in child development” research that shows that heterosexual marriages are better for a child or that there is harm in same-sex unions, please ship that right off to the lawyers defending Prop 8, because they will need it for the appeal. I am sure they will be appropriately relieved to find that you have had that info all along. They certainly couldn’t find it before the trial.

    Judges in trials do not present evidence. That is the responsibility of the two opposing sides. The judge could not ignore something that wasn’t even on the record.

  13. reformedliberal, so your opinion is that all children have a legal right to have a mother. What about two mothers, when two lesbians marry? What about a child whose mother divorced and left the family or whose mother died? Can the child then sue the father and make the father get married if the child has a legal right to a mother, or do you advocate the government taking away the child from a home where there is a father only? Did you even read what you wrote?

  14. vickistired says:

    “dankuykendall says:
    August 10, 2010 at 4:32 pm
    To stop the arguement of marriage, stop calling it marriage and use the term civil union. Marriage is religous and Civil Union is just that a civil ceremony extending all of the benefits of marriage without the religous overtones.”

    No – that’s an opinion, not fact. Marriage is not by its very definition religious. I am not religious – I did not have a religious ceremony; my husband and I were married by a judge. Marriage is a social union or legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. One can have a religious ceremony, if one chooses to do so and the particular house of worship is willing to perform such a ceremony for the couple. But marriage can also be performed by a judge without any religious sanction.

    Non-religious marriages are not the same as civil unions; and civil unions do NOT give the same rights as a marriage. Marriages are recognized both by the state and federal government which means that if you are married in Washington, your marriage will be considered legitimate in Oregon. Civil Unions do not extend these protections beyond the borders of the State in which that Union was granted. Moreover; because Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples. Other federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks; the ability to visityour spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to – Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them.

    The point? Civil Unions are not the same. The argument that marriage should only be open to heterosexuals for religious reasons falls flat.

  15. 3PH – If you truly don’t want to deal with gays in your “anti-gay world”, It would be more efficacious if you just went into your brick house bunker, closed all of the metal shutters and locked them up tight, and subsisted for the rest to your years on MREs purchased from Army Surplus, never going out, and never having any contact with the outside world except Rush, Savage, Coulter, Beck, et al.

    I would recommend against other media as gays continue to grow in their presence in tv, internet, radio, etc.

  16. Sumner401 says:

    Why do all rightwing christians feel the need to force everyone else into their moral shoe box, when they themselves can’t/won’t live in that same box?

  17. Every child needs a loving parent or two; an extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents, even better.

    Although much of our society frowns upon same sex relationships, those two loving parents are as good as any, and better than some. It’s mostly that frowning that causes any distress to the child, so, Mr. Ford, if you truly care about the children and not just your petty prejudices, you would do well to accept what may be the best case scenario for those adopted children.

    You can continue to be one of the frowners and part of the problem, or you can accept the fact that same sex relationships can provide as much love and nurturing, and that extended family, for a children as any heterosexual relationship can.

  18. In the purist sense of the word, marriage does not have anything to do with religion, though for many it has the connotation of sacrament.

    But let’s say that we go with the purist definition. Here’s my question–Once states decide to sanction gay marriage, how long do you think it will be before pastors will be REQUIRED by law to officiate over gay unions?

  19. And pen_ your vulgar comment only serves to diminish you as a person worth listening to.

  20. I didn’t know that religious leaders were required by law to marry anyone, unless maybe their religion required it.


  21. sozo – the 1st Amendment would have a lot to do in preventing your paranoid scenario from occurring.

    What could happen is that Churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriages might have their tax-free status threatened but that isn’t the same as being forced to perform the sacrament (you know “render unto Caesar….”)

  22. nwcolorist says:

    Don’t try to scapegoat the religious right as the “bad guys”. Going back many milleniums, in virtually all religions and ethnicities up to the present, homosexuality has been seen as wrong.

    Don’t you think that, over the course of all that time, this issue has been debated and argued extensively? Is our generation suddenly smarter and wiser than the collective wisdom of a hundred generations?

    I agree that gays should not be denied basic human rights, but changing the definition of one of the fundamental building blocks of civilization is NOT the way to deal with it.

  23. “Don’t you think that, over the course of all that time, this issue has been debated and argued extensively?”

    Not like this, nwcolorist. The masses didn’t have the tools we have today to communicate with each other and express their thoughts and feelings.

    “Is our generation suddenly smarter and wiser than the collective wisdom of a hundred generations?”

    Yes, but not suddenly. We’re only a link in this evolutionary process, but our collective is most certainly more inclusive and has access to more information than whatever collective may have existed then.

  24. C’mon Polago, are we really smarter? Perhaps you are among those who confuse knowledge with wisdom. There’s little to separate us from our predecessors when it comes right down to it.

    I didn’t say religious leaders WERE required by law to perfom marriages, I was posing a question which bBoy answered in a reasonable way.

    Guess it’s just one more reason we must do everything in our power to ensure the preservation of the 1st ammendment.

  25. John, there isn’t one bit of imperical evidence to substantiate your argument that hetero marriages are best for children. The research finds you on the wrong side of the truth there. Your arguments are time tested mythology.

  26. Since religious leaders are not required by law to perform marriages that disagree with their beliefs now, there’s no reason to think that same sex marriage will be treated any differently, sozo.
    One can be wise, but without knowledge that wisdom lacks the tools to make wise decisions.

    We are, by far, much more knowledgeable than our predecessors.

  27. We are a lot more knowledgeable abut a lot of things that that religion once had dominion over. We know how to grow pigs so they aren’t a danger to our health. We know when to harvest shellfish so they don’t contain toxins that will poison us. Fortunately, we don’t send our second-born and third-born sons (who, btw, have been shown by science to be more likely to be gay than first-born sons) off to a monestary so they can be celibate (yeah, right) and isolated among like-natured men. For better and for worse, we know how to treat most STDs.

    We now know a lot more about the nature of freedom and equality under the law and what it means to be a human than even those who wrote the Constitution. We now know a lot more about the nature of same-sex families, same-sex relationships. That’s what it means to move toward a “more perfect union”, using that knowledge to increase freedom and equality and justice, not to hold dearly to outdated and unsubstantiated ideas and falsehoods that diminish people and diminish our republic.

    If you feel your religion does not let you eat shellfish, that is fine with me. However, I love Dungeness crab and will picket any politician who tries to outlaw eating them because of their views on the immorality of it.

  28. reformedliberal says:

    “I didn’t know that religious leaders were required by law to marry anyone, unless maybe their religion required it.”

    We have more than ample experience that tells us gays will force it through the courts. That’s how they have acquired almost all of their new rights over the last decade or so.

  29. reformedliberal, your paranoid rant shows how desparate some people are to sow hatred and fear about this subject. Some ministers refuse to marry interfaith couples, interracial couples, divorcees, etc. and it is their right to do so based on their religious beliefs. That will never change. The license to marry is granted by the state, not the church. People go to another minister or they get a civil marriage. I know the far-right does not believe in the separation of church and state, but the courts do, and the non-lunatic fringe right all think so too.

  30. It makes no sense for someone to try to force any religious leader to marry any couple they to which they had objections.

  31. nwcolorist says:

    Polago, as sozo said, we may be smarter in the sense of having more knowledge, but that hasn’t stopped the brutality of the last century – possibly the most barbarous in history. We may be intellectually smarter, but emotionally, most of the world is still in the stone age.

    And yes, the format for debating has progressed over time from a family sitting around a campfire, to a town meeting, to a global internet. But we are all still talking about the same substantive issues – the pros and cons of homosexuality. That hasn’t changed.

  32. pen_mightier_than_sword says:

    Oral sex is not vulgar, it is pleasurable and very natural. Just ask zookeepers who see gorillas and chimps engage in oral sex all the time.

  33. rl – try to keep your comments somewhat connected to reality.

    Constitutional protections relate only to the government and how it impacts individual citizens.

  34. If that comment was an example of the mightiness of your pen (or sword), I would say it seems rather flaccid.

  35. That’s pretty much what you can expect from boys who like to talk about sex a lot, bBoy — a lot going on in the upper story of the mouth and very little going on on the floors below.

  36. pen_mightier_than_sword couldn’t possibly have been the product of a heterosexual relationship.

  37. Bb- Note – You are inadvertently agreeing with the Bible and of course you didn’t even know it. “..many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
    Dan 12 : 4.

    But no Bb, we merely have more information and transportation, but as Sozo alludes, there is a vast difference between knowledge and wisdom, which is the use of knowledge relative to God’s Word. The more info we seem to acquire, the faster we have to utilize it to gain and control things like market share, voter preference or just ‘being first’, none of which necessarily exhibits wisdom.
    Rom 1 : 24 – 32.

  38. villager98 says:

    Aside from lack of reason and thought, this letter was so full of bigotry, dishonesty and was very nearly obscene that one wonders why TNT would even consider printing it. The writer obviously has no authority to discuss the morality of others.

  39. PeterPlumber says:

    I hate it when people say this one judge threw out the opinion of 6 million voters. The voters voted to add discrimination to the state constitution. The judge ruled that the Prop 8 should never have been voted on in the first place. It is dicriminatory and has harmed society in California.

    I am a proponant of same sex marriage, being in a same sex relationship myself, and I fail to see how allowing same sex marriage can harm society. My partner & I will never procreate. Why is that a concern of yours? What other excuses do the “Protect Marraige” people have? People say that being gay is “morally wrong”. Well, God made me gay, I never asked to be gay. So how can anything God made be wrong?

  40. villager98 says:

    The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, ratified on Dec. 15, 1791, guarantees the free practice of religion and can only be changed by amended the Constitution. No government action or law can require any religious organization to perform same-sex marriages. Only a homophobic idiot would believe otherwise. Mr. Ford and those who agree with his letter are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, but not to their own facts.

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