My presentation at the 2013 Mormon Transhumanist Association Conference, held 5 April in the Salt Lake City Public Library.
An earlier draft version of the paper version is here.
Thanks for the invite below. Marching in Washington D.C. sounds like an exciting opportunity! I've advocated publicly for traditional marriage myself, via calling voters in Maine in 2009, and I also feel that the Prop 8 case is a very significant one.
I did want to ask though, if you wouldn't mind sharing, why you feel to support a traditional version of marriage rather than a more inclusive version, i.e. one that accommodates homosexual as well as heterosexual orientation. Since opposite-sex marriage is much more difficult an arrangement for gay people than same-sex marriage, some argue that a more inclusive marriage (that is to say, for gay people as well as straight people) helps to strengthen marriage by making marriage an expectation and opportunity for a larger portion of our community. Buttressed by traditional norms of caretaking and commitment, gay couples and their families arguably stand to gain from entering into marriages, just as their opposite-sex counterparts do.
There are a couple of reasons I feel strongly that marriage should continue to be defined as between a man and a woman. The most important to me is my religious beliefs, of course.Thanks for responding! Great to hear from you. This is a very thoughtful question, and I appreciate you asking it because I think discussion on this issue is so important.
But since my religious beliefs don't matter to most people, there are a few secular reasons I believe this is the best policy as well. Most of them center around children. Research shows, and I believe strongly, that children do best when they have both a mother and a father.
Legalizing gay marriage would almost without question lead to legalization of adoptive rights for gay and lesbian couples. Some argue that this would be better than leaving children in foster care or orphanages. Some also argue that gay couples are also more loving and caring than many heterosexual couples. I can definitely see their point on both of these counts.
However, if our aim is to get children out of foster care or orphanages, or to increase kindness in the home, there are other ways to accomplish this goal than legalizing a type of union in society that can never hope to replicate the ideal situation of having both a mother and a father in the home.
Children do not have a voice in this debate, so we must speak up and explain what would be best for children and their development in society.
I would agree that children do not have a voice in this debate, but that fact does not mean that your position or its opposite is any more right than the other.Additionally, the legalization of gay marriage has shown in many cases to decrease religious freedom, as well as parental rights in education. Both of these concern me deeply as a religious person and as a parent.
Perhaps: but couldn't religious persons and parents who take the opposite position argue just as strongly in the opposite direction? A straight mother who believes in same-sex marriage claims the absence of gay marriage diminishes her parental right in education. A religious gay man says his religious freedom is decreased because gay marriage is not legal. What marginal argument from parental rights in education or religious freedom can be made against gay marriage, that can't be made against its absence?
These are just a few reasons. So feel free to ask additional questions if you'd like!