Letters to the Editor

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MARRIAGE: Traditions evolve with passage of time

Letter by Anders C. Ibsen, Tacoma on Aug. 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm with 20 Comments »
August 15, 2012 2:23 pm

For those concerned about the end of “traditional” marriage by allowing gays and lesbians the right to marry, why don’t we consider other marital traditions we have ended?

In biblical times, it was routine for rulers like King Solomon to marry hundreds of women and have a harem of concubines as well. Should we bring back polygamy?

For most of our country’s history, women were considered the property of their husbands, and people of different races weren’t allowed to marry. Should we bring back coverture and miscegenation to honor those centuries-old “traditions”?

Or should we get real and recognize that it’s perfectly normal for traditions to evolve with time in response to changing realities?

As a happily married straight man, I can assure you that my marriage is in no way threatened by my gay and lesbian friends having the same right to affirm their relationship as I do.

(Ibsen is a Tacoma City Council member.)

Leave a comment Comments → 20
  1. RegisteringFool says:

    Sure! Let’s redefine marriage again! Why not! And maybe in another decade or so we can marry children, or animals. What the heck?


  3. bobcat1a says:

    “Tradition is the reason for doing something you can no longer think of a reason for doing.” -Pearls Before Swine, Stephen Pastis
    If that’s all you got, you got nothing!

  4. Which Founding Father said each gerneation should have its own revolution?

  5. HistoryFan says:

    Our marriage tradition of one women and one man comes from the Bible. All references to weddings in the Bible were between one man and one women. It is easy to see the Securlar Humanist, who do not believe in God and thus the Bible, agree marriage can be within the same genders.

    Not many years ago, the homosexual lobby wanted civil unions. We were told it was to ensure they got the same legal rights and privilages as married hetrosexuals. They got it but planned for more. This is where the camel’s nose got under the tent. Now they want to redefine marriage. Why? They get the same legal rights as heterosexual couples in a marriage. Their consistantly pushy agenda is to force everyone to agree homosexuality is fine. Next they will want to force Bible believing churches to marry them.

    Tolerance is not the same as acceptance.

  6. All references to weddings in the Bible were between one man and one women.

    Oftentimes it was more than one woman. Even a casual reader of the Bible should know that.

  7. LeePHill says:

    “It is easy to see the Securlar Humanist, who do not believe in God and thus the Bible, agree marriage can be within the same genders.”

    And luckily, our country is not governed by The Bible.

  8. buddyandelliott says:

    Oh come on beerBoy! You know that quoters of the bible only read the parts they like, not the parts that don’t fit the point they are trying to make.

  9. History Fan,
    In the bible a typical marriage ceremony was the father of the bride introducing the couple as husband and wife, followed by a feast.
    In many cultures, including the US:

    the typical marriage was arranged by the parents and

    the bride, along with all her real property, became the real property of the husband.

    I had Baptist neighbors who got around the multiple wives by claiming they were just marriages of convince and were never consummated.

    These were the same people who claimed the ‘wine’ in the bible was not fermented and thus was just grape juice.

  10. Theefrinker says:

    This was a well-written letter. Unfortunately though, reasonable arguments are not heard by those who do not have reasonable minds.

  11. Which founding father said each geneation(sic) shouldn’t have its own revolution?

    Which founding father said that things should never change?

  12. tellnolies says:

    “Every generation needs a new revolution.”
    Thomas Jefferson

    (from thinkexist.com)

  13. Another twist and turn to justify.

    Simple fact is what proponents of this notion, a small minority, are doing is trying to avert traditional standards and morals held by the vast majority.

    Just like this letter, it’s usually done by side stepping and detraction. It’s useless to try bringing racism, or feminism arguments into this. That is pure distracted justification.

    The minority who support this idea, know that, and that is exactly why they fall back on those tired arguments. They know the majority will not support same sex marriage, so they need to camouflage it by bringing in completely unrelated arguments.

    Unfortunately for Mr. Ibsen, getting the average citizen to accept this is going to take a long, long time….If ever.

  14. XBJ98N – you have heard the phrase “tyranny of the majority” haven’t you?

    The central argument is Equal Protection under the Law as enshrined by the Constitution.

    It doesn’t matter if you approve, or if only a minority are the ones clamoring for equal protection. This is not about acceptance by the average citizen (who oftentimes changes their minds once they realize that one or more of their loved ones are gay) – it is about equal protection under the law.

    Many of the opponents have been making a “separate but equal” claim with domestic partner provisions…..and that is where the history of racial inequalities in our country comes in. Separate but equal is – as the Supreme Court has rule – not equal.

  15. I disagree Beerboy.

    Proponents of the homosexual equality agenda know they can not make a convincing argument on their own merits so they often drag out the issues of some completely different battle of the past.

    The average American majority will not accept the act of homosexuality as “equal” or “normal” in the way that most Americans embrace different races, or gender equality. They may tolerate it at some point, and in certain regions, such as here in the PNW, they will do so earlier, but to the average American it will never be seen as equal.

    That is why there is this constant diet of distraction away from the actual issue, because they know it cant be argued on its own merit.

  16. XBJ98N – what you have written about the “average American majority” is what is known as third person effect – you are projecting your feelings onto “everyone else” without any evidence to support that projection.

  17. XBJ98N, you say this letter and other pro-gay arguments are just a “distraction away from the actual issue”.

    So far from you and others against gay marriage, all I see are arguments that have nothing to do with how we make laws, how we operate under the Constitutions of our states and nation, and least of all, how we carry out the fundamental propositions of liberty, freedom and equality under the law that our founders fought for.

    We have made laws based on what the public perceives as morals, religion, myths and other issues, but courts strike these laws down if they do not meet Constitutional tests.

    The Supreme Court has said that marriage and the choice of the person to marry is a fundamental human right. So no state gives anyone the right to marry. It already exists. Laws can only restrict or deny marriage, not grant it.

    No matter how small a minority, a law that does not provide equal protection for all people is unconstitutional. Any exclusions must be based on reason using concrete evidence. (

    Marriage between close relatives, for example, may be “immoral” to some, but the reason restrictions against it holds up in court is because there is real evidence it causes birth defects and genetic problems).

    States can limit or deny marriage, but they have to show there is evidence that such a marriage will cause harm. Gay marriage has not been shown to cause harm to anyone or to society.

    Freedom and equal protection under the law are the main issues, not distractions.

  18. anders_ibsen says:

    Well XBJ98N, considering that six states already allow marriage equality, 2 extra states recognize same-sex performed from other states, 2 states (including our own) will be voting to establish marriage equality, and the military just recently eliminated Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I think the cause of equality is alive and well in America.

  19. To “anders”…all your States combined, add up to 10 out of 50…I certainly wouldnt call that a majority. And of course those ten are the traditionally liberal demographic areas, certainly not the majority.

    And Beerboy, as far as your “third person projection”…Id be more inclined to say that I am not projecting my own opinion, but rather sharing what MOST people still see, beyond the double speak and distractions. The joining of same sex couples is just wrong in the eyes of the MAJORITY. ;)

  20. Of course we must remember! That MAJORITY, is not allowed to share THIER opinion or thoughts on the matter. Such insensetive nonsense grates against those thin skins of the “tolerant”! Haa……

    SO much for all that “open mind” and “tolerance” stuff! Speak your mind, share your opinion…..Just make sure your opinion is the same as OURS! HAAAAAA!

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