Practical Reasons for Anti-Gay Marriage?

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IRG CommandoJoe
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Practical Reasons for Anti-Gay Marriage?

Post by IRG CommandoJoe » 2007-12-11 10:56pm

Tonight I just had a debate with my parents on whether or not gays should be allowed to marry and have kids. My father's main argument against it is that the children would be screwed up and my mother's reason is that it's against the word of God. I tried in vain explaining that gays are just as good as parents as heterosexuals and the only obstacles they face are discrimination from ignorant fucks, and that America is not a theocracy, therefore a religious argument is illegitimate.

Is there any practical reason at all to ban gay marriage? I can't think of any. I just e-mailed my parents this article, with the following message:
IRG CommandoJoe wrote:According to this article, the only problems the children encounter are from homophobic assholes, similar to how any arbitrary group of people suffers from prejudice. And yet no one ever took away the right to have children from other groups based on the fact their children would be socially ostracized.
So perhaps it might change their views slightly. But my father is adamant that only a man and woman can properly raise a child.

Also, I read my father this excerpt from this child development psychology textbook:
Laura E. Berk wrote:Gay and Lesbian Families

Several million American gay men and lesbians are parents, most through heterosexual marriages that ended in divorce, a few through adoption or reproductive technologies (Bigner, 2000). In the past, laws assuming that homosexuals could not be adequate parents led those who divorced a heterosexual partner to lose custody of their children. Today, several states hold that sexual orientation is irrelevant to custody. In others, fierce prejudice against homosexual parents still prevails.

Research on homosexual parents and children is limited and based on small samples. Nevertheless, findings consistently indicate that gay and lesbian parents are as committed to and effective at child rearing as are heterosexual parents (Patterson, 2001). Some evidence suggests that gay fathers are more consistent in setting limits and more responsive to their children's needs than are heterosexual fathers, perhaps because gay men's less traditional gender identity fosters involvement with children (Bigner & Jacobsen, 1989). In lesbian families, quality of mother-child interaction is as positive as in heterosexual families. And children of lesbian mothers regard their mother's partner as very much a parent (Brewaeys et al., 1997). Whether born to or adopted by their parents or conceived through donor insemination, children in homosexual families seem as well adjusted as their children. Also, the large majority are heterosexual (Allen & Burrell, 1996; Chan, Raboy, & Patterson, 1998; Golombok & Tasker, 1996).


He claims that the phrase "large majority" means a significant portion turn out to be gay (a warped misinterpretation, I think). He also claims it omits that the children are screwed up bcause their parents were of the same sex, ignoring the "well adjusted" part. He disbelieves it. I asked why and he said because a child needs to have male and female roles to model themselves after and they would face social ostracization from their peers. I think this is just wrong. Maybe they face ostracization, but no more than any other group that's prejudiced against. We don't ban atheists, blacks, Jews, Muslims, etc. from marrying and having children, do we?

Also, strangely enough, instead of giving me clear anectdotal evidence of gay parents screwing up their children, he says that he knows a bunch of single parents who have screwed up kids, and that the same principals apply because gay parents are a single sex. I tried in vain arguing that it's a totally different situation, that same sex parents could share different roles of child-raising, but it seems as though his views on gender roles are extremely rigid.

I really don't know how to approach this any better. Any suggestions?
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Post by Dark Flame » 2007-12-11 11:33pm

He claims that the phrase "large majority" means a significant portion turn out to be gay
This argument is also easily applied to parents who smoke, but that hasn't been made completely illegal even though it is more clearly harmful.
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Post by Pint0 Xtreme » 2007-12-12 02:34am

Kids from single parent homes have a higher tendency to be screwed up because there is only one parent handling the enormous task of raising the child instead of two parents sharing the responsibility. To be honest though, it doesn't seem like your dad is willing to listen to reason at all. You might as well learn to tolerate his intolerance to the best of your ability and just accept the fact that some people will remain prejudiced no matter what.
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Post by Darth Raptor » 2007-12-12 03:38am

What I noticed is that he's repeating his position again and again as if you're supposed to care. Demand evidence. Studies, hard data, etc. If he's making the claim that homosexual parents raise maladjusted children, the onus is clearly on him to support that claim. In fact, just ask him to prove each and every unfounded assumption he makes, like where he plucked the "a lot of them turn out to be gay" line out of the aether. If he can't, I would flat-out accuse him of lying. Or "dishonesty" as you might want to mince words with immediate family.

I personally find it surprising that he's using the widespread failure of single parents to justify his position (most in my experience have given that issue a wide berth). Does he think that single-parent families should be outlawed? Or does his ostensible concern for the weal of children start and end with this thinly-veiled bigotry? Rhetorical question.

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Post by IRG CommandoJoe » 2007-12-12 05:05pm

Dark Flame wrote:
He claims that the phrase "large majority" means a significant portion turn out to be gay
This argument is also easily applied to parents who smoke, but that hasn't been made completely illegal even though it is more clearly harmful.
How does it apply to parents who smoke exactly?
Pint0 Xtreme wrote:Kids from single parent homes have a higher tendency to be screwed up because there is only one parent handling the enormous task of raising the child instead of two parents sharing the responsibility.
That's what I tried to point out.
To be honest though, it doesn't seem like your dad is willing to listen to reason at all. You might as well learn to tolerate his intolerance to the best of your ability and just accept the fact that some people will remain prejudiced no matter what.
It seems as though this what I've been dealing with for years. Looks like it'll just have to continue. *shrug*
Darth Raptor wrote:snip
I also tried demanding evidence but he could only produce one anecdotal instance where he knew two gay men who raised a child, but he lost contact with him and doesn't know what the outcome was. Useless.
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Post by Pint0 Xtreme » 2007-12-12 05:20pm

IRG CommandoJoe wrote:
Dark Flame wrote:
He claims that the phrase "large majority" means a significant portion turn out to be gay
This argument is also easily applied to parents who smoke, but that hasn't been made completely illegal even though it is more clearly harmful.
How does it apply to parents who smoke exactly?
People who smoke are allowed to get married and have kids despite the fact that kids who have parents who smoke are twice as likely to pick up smoking. If gay marriage opponents were consistent with their logical arguments, they should advocate banning marriage for smokers as well.
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Post by Dark Flame » 2007-12-12 06:57pm

Thanks you Pint0. That's exactly what I was getting at.
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Post by Zixinus » 2007-12-14 11:10am

Personally, I wouldn't bother, unless we are talking about your parents taking part in anti-gay movements or vote based on these beliefs. I personally believe that its not worth getting on your family's bad side just to be right.
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