Civil Unions

User Forum Topic
Submitted by carlislematthew on November 18, 2006 - 8:27am

I have a question for the conservatives on this board, and I ask the question seriously and respectfully of your views.

If you have an issue with gay people being able to get married (which I realize does not cover all conservatives), is that due to using the word "marriage"? If instead gay people could have "civil unions", would that be OK with you, as long as marriage was kept between a man and a woman?

I would define a civil union as something recognized at the federal level and equal to marriage in everything (taxes, inheritance, etc) but name.

I don't want to start a flame war, or have anyone call anyone else names. I'm just interested in opinions on this matter, and I respect everyone's views (unless you're mean of course!).

Submitted by kristinejm on November 21, 2006 - 5:39pm.

This is from the mainstream American Academy of Pediatrics ("AAP") Most American pediatricians are members of this physician-focused organization.

"Children born to and raised by lesbian couples also seem to develop normally in every way. Ratings by their mothers and teachers have demonstrated children’s social competence and the prevalence of behavioral difficulties to be comparable with population norms.8,24 In fact, growing up with parents who are lesbian or gay may confer some advantages to children. They have been described as more tolerant of diversity and more nurturing toward younger children than children whose parents are heterosexual.25,26

In 1 study, children of heterosexual parents saw themselves as being somewhat more aggressive than did children of lesbians, and they were seen by parents and teachers as more bossy, negative, and domineering. Children of lesbian parents saw themselves as more lovable and were seen by parents and teachers as more affectionate, responsive, and protective of younger children, compared with children of heterosexual parents.25,27 In a more recent investigation, children of lesbian parents reported their self-esteem to be similar to that of children of heterosexual parents and saw themselves as similar in aggressiveness and sociability.15

Recent investigations have attempted to discern factors that promote optimal well-being of children who have lesbian parents. The adjustment of children who have 2 mothers seems to be related to their parents’ satisfaction with their relationship and specifically with the division of responsibility they have worked out with regard to child care and household chores.28 Children with lesbian parents who reported greater relationship satisfaction, more egalitarian division of household and paid labor,29 and more regular contact with grandparents and other relatives30 were rated by parents and teachers to be better adjusted and to have fewer behavioral problems. "

Submitted by jg on November 21, 2006 - 5:42pm.

Uhhh, KJM, I knew who I was quoting; note my comparison to other neutral names for 'front' organizations.

Nevertheless, the citations, data, and logic in both of my links appear reasonable and defensible, at least to me.

Balls in your court, Anne C. Dote.

Oh, you complained about having to pay $5-10K more in taxes annually because of lack of tax recognition for same sex marriage. I pay $43K in tuition annually ($24K for my daughter and $19K for my son) to provide the best education in town for my children, in seventh and sixth grade, respectively. I do that in part to avoid the public school agenda of promoting 'alternative lifestyles.' The $43K is not tax deductible. You call your 'tax' the 'Gay Family Penalty Tax.' I call my tax the 'The Christian Education Tax.'

Yep, there's a price to pay for the choices that we make.

Submitted by kristinejm on November 21, 2006 - 5:53pm.

Agreed. There is always a price for the choices we make. Always.

Hope you don't see it as a wasted investment if one of your children comes out as a homosexual in the future. :)

Submitted by jg on November 21, 2006 - 6:02pm.

I'll love my children no matter what. We'll have spirited and heated discussions, though, about choices that they make.

And, at the right time, I'll be prepared to go 'nuclear': disowning (that's a running joke at our house, along with the kids threatening to 'fire me from the family').

Submitted by kristinejm on November 21, 2006 - 6:49pm.

It sounds like you have a good relationship with your kids. It important for me that my kids understand that my opinions are well-considered, and that they understand my values.

There just isn't anything that my kids could choose to do that would make me not want to be a part of their lives.
Those are my family values.

Submitted by jg on November 21, 2006 - 8:43pm.

So, the public policy question remains: do the benefits of same sex parenting that you point out -- more tolerant, more nurturing, seeing themselves as less bossy and more loving, that if their parents are okay their parents and teachers see them as okay -- offset the costs -- 50X higher incidence of incest, earlier/higher rates of sex for daughters, higher in home violence, etc. -- that my references point out?

I think it's clear, looking at the data, that raising children in a same sex parent household is a bad, bad idea. It may be 'rewarding' for the parents, but it exposes the children to horrid risks.

Submitted by poorgradstudent on November 21, 2006 - 8:52pm.

jg, the links you posted largely use apples to oranges comparisons.

The first pretty clearly states at the top that data on homosexual parenting is largely incomplete and spotty. The reality is that there just isn't enough long term evidence to know for sure if there are any effects, especially once you control for other variables.

Promiscuity has nothing to do with one's ability to parent.

Comparing legally married heterosexuals and all homosexual couples is ridiculous. I'm 28, heterosexual, never married, and my average relationship has been less than 2 years. A far fairer comparison would be of all heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships, but that wouldn't futher the agenda.

The rates of abuse in lesbian relationships cited is comparable to those in heterosexual couples.

Mental health issues for homosexuals is a huge issue in this country. It's pretty clear that the depression, substance abuse and suicide are largely caused by being part of an oppressed minority.

Submitted by jg on November 21, 2006 - 9:30pm.

I don't know of any data that says depression, suicide, etc. in homosexuals is caused by 'hostile environment.'

Homosexuals are different, physically. MRIs of the brain are proving that today, and I vaguely remember that blood testosterone levels in male homosexuals are, on average, higher than in male heterosexuals.

The higher rates of depression, substance abuse, and suicide in homosexuals may reflect the underlying physiological differences between them and heterosexuals.

The interesting question is, given that homosexuality doesn't result in offspring, why has it survived, genetically? A neat, insightful fellow -- Marvin Harris -- hypothesized that homosexuality survives genetically because homosexuals aid in the raising of their siblings' families, conferring a survival advantage to those children, and ensuring that the (recessive?) genes for homosexuality are passed on through those nieces and nephews.

Oh, by the way, promiscuous parents make lousy parents. If you need data, I'll get it for you, but folks who are bed hoppers pay less attention to their kids and are more apt to have broken marriages. You'll learn these things as you age, son.

Submitted by kristinejm on November 21, 2006 - 10:19pm.

Sigh, you win.

I guess there's nothing left to do other than molest my children and kill myself.

This site just isn't worth this shit.

Submitted by PerryChase on November 22, 2006 - 9:37am.

Don't despair, kritinejm. I'm sure jg is alright but just a little blinded by his conservatism. Everyone knows that gays are just as good as straights. Our laws and institutions need to catch up to where society is at.

Submitted by startingout on November 22, 2006 - 11:50am.

The interesting question is, given that homosexuality doesn't result in offspring, why has it survived, genetically?
My husband's family are farmers (cattle and sheep primarily), and he has pointed out to me that homosexual behavior is quite common among the animal kingdom. He also said he doesn't believe that the animals that exhibited homosexual behavior helped to raise any other's offspring, so I'm not too sure about that hypothesis.

Also, the research regarding whether the homosexual brain is different from the heterosexual brain is still in the early stages, and at this point there is not enough evidence to say conclusively that they are physically different.

A personal hypothesis of mine (which I will make clear is not based on any research, I merely think it could be an interesting point), is that homosexuality could be nature's population control. In the animal kingdom, an excessively large population of species in a certain habitat can be harmful to that species (limited resources, etc.), and it could be that having a few homosexual individuals within the population that do not have offspring is a way to stem the population tide, so to speak.

My views: Yes to civil unions
Yes to adoption by a LGBT couple or individual
Yes to stem cell research

Submitted by PerryChase on November 22, 2006 - 12:21pm.

I read once that there is no gay gene. Any combination of genes can result in homosexuality. We just don't know what the combinations are. That's why homosexuality persists and thrives even if gays don't reproduce.

I think it's also psychological. Sex for reproduction and raw sexual attraction is one thing; but one can have an affinity for one's same sex without sexual desires. There also are as many gay types as there are straight types. They maybe your neighbors, friends, relatives, coworkers, politicians or religious leaders.

Sex is so taboo in our society that we're afraid to talk about it. It's a natural part of life so what's the big deal? I'm hetero but I have had gay sex. Intimacy between two individuals is satisfying on many levels. It's nothing to be ashamed of. There, I said it.

So long as people are responsible and productive, they should all be treated fairly and equally.

Submitted by rankandfile on November 23, 2006 - 11:09pm.

There should not be government incentives for marriage. Since there are, they should also be allowed for all people who decide to form a civil union in the eyes of the government.

With that said, I personally do not agree with the homosexual lifestyle. I feel that it is a choice and not something we are born with. I would love my child if they decided to go down the homosexual path, but I would not approve of it.

The best analogy that I can relate this to are those of a drug addict. If my son had a drug problem, I would still love him but I would not be happy about his situation. This is not to say that I am not tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. However, there are many people in this world who feel that it is a sin and unnatural to partake in homosexual intercourse. I don't mind that people do what they want behind closed doors. However, I personally feel there is a gay agenda and that it is marketed like any other product or lifestyle that is trying to increase membership. How would you feel if there was a Heroin Addict float in the Rose Parade with a bunch of druggies walking down the street marketing and promoting the heroin lifestyle? On the one hand you want to be tolerant, but on the other you feel like it's being shoved down your throat.

Submitted by lostkitty on November 24, 2006 - 6:20am.

I have to agree with the "you feel like it's being shoved down your throat." Comment. (No pun intended.)

Recently I was very sick for a large number of days (six LONG weeks, but who's counting?). I checked out a bunch of movies, and ALL of them had some sort of heavy gay story-line. Only one of them advertised it ahead of time. I am not against homosexuality, but this is just getting to be too much in the movies/tv shows.

Submitted by Mark Holmes on November 26, 2006 - 2:47am.

Well, lostkitty, I can only agree with you wholeheartedly. I know exactly how you feel. If I have to go to AMC24 one more time to see a good old-flashioned action flick, only to be surprised half-way through it by Tom Cruise suddenly getting nasty with some buxom blonde/brunette/redhead... I mean, it's OK to be heterosexual, but why does it constantly have to be shoved down my throat? And didn't I pay 10 bucks to see an ACTION flick?!

My point is, lostkitty, and trust me on this... from my side of things, there is far more "promotion" of straight life out in the media. I know, I know, not a fair comparison, you'll say. But this is how it feels being gay. Just try for a moment to imagine a world where 95% of the world is different in the most fundamental of ways and half of that 95% actively despises you. It's not fun, trust me. And then having those same people telling you that you made "a lifestyle choice"... is, well, infuriating.

Why exactly do conservatives even care how gay people even lead our lives? If we're being decent, honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens, then, for God's sake, just let us be.

And if the gay agenda is to simply be given the same legal rights you already have and always will have, what exactly is your objection?

From my standpoint, the only honest answer is simply bigotry. Call it what you will, but that is what I see.

But I do think that as the younger generation, the Xs, the Ys, the 2Kers, grow into adulthood and middle-age, these points will become moot. I hope.

Submitted by powayseller on November 26, 2006 - 5:13am.

jg, I picture you as a great loving man, so I'm having difficulty reconciling this perception of you with your dislike of gays.

kristinejm, thanks for sharing your views. You sound like a great mom.

Submitted by lostkitty on November 26, 2006 - 6:10pm.

Well put, Mark Holmes... I hadnt thought of it from your perspective.

Submitted by deadzone on November 26, 2006 - 6:33pm.

I thought Tom Cruise was gay.

Submitted by jg on November 26, 2006 - 6:51pm.

MH, you want the same legal rights; why you and not others? Will pedophiles be allowed to marry their unwitting victims? Will rich, powerful men be allowed to marry 12 wives, leaving fewer available for lesser men (see Saudi Arabia for the effects of this, when widespread)?

Ordinary folks understand the logical consequences of allowing gay marriage, and we want no part of such.

Enjoy your sexual life in private, MH, but don't expect legal recognition of such, because it has ugly consequences for society, and ordinary folk well understand that.

Submitted by powayseller on November 26, 2006 - 7:10pm.

I figured jg would come up with comparing gays to pedophiles. How is love between adults similar to sexual violence of a minor?

Unless of course the problem lies in the sexual aspect. Maybe you disapprove of anything other than a traditional missionary position?

Submitted by PD on November 26, 2006 - 7:32pm.

Allowing civil unions is not going make a great change in society. People are not suddenly going to choose to be homosexual becaue they can now get married.

A friend tried to argue that marriage was only for procreation. If that is the only case for marriage, then only fertile people should be allowed to get married.

Submitted by jg on November 26, 2006 - 8:03pm.

ps and PD, if Bill is allowed to marry Jim, why can't Bill be allowed to marry Jimmy?

This is the logical next step.  No thanks.

Submitted by PD on November 26, 2006 - 8:08pm.

It is not the next logical step. We are talking about allowing adults to marry. There is nothing about civil unions that will erode protections for minors.

Submitted by jg on November 26, 2006 - 8:28pm.

Uh, check again, PD:

"The legal age of consent for sex ranges from 14 to 18, depending upon the state, and whether the sexual partner is a peer or adult."

Just as you are redefining marriage from its traditional narrow scope, there would soon be a move afoot to redefine the age of consent (for marriage and 'consensual' sex) from 14-18 to something younger.

Again, no thanks.

Submitted by jg on November 26, 2006 - 8:42pm.

See pages 70 and 71, written in 1974, in which future Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg cites a bill before the 1973 Senate, which proposed to lower the age of consent to 12 (rape was to be redefined as, among other things, sex with someone less than age 12).


Submitted by powayseller on November 27, 2006 - 8:27am.

I agree, we should not allow minors to marry.

Submitted by carlislematthew on November 27, 2006 - 9:57am.

Wow, lots of posts here! I'm very happy to see that most conservatives are for civil unions (i.e. equal rights!).

Another interesting thing to ponder is that when you have a straight paedophile, he/she is called a "paedophile" but when you have a gay paedophile, he/she is called a "homosexual paedophile".

OK, so technically it's correct, but it obviously gives the impression that being homosexual and being a paedophile are related.

Given that the majority of paedophiles drink coffee, should we refer to them as "coffee drinking paedophiles"? Anyone here on this board drink coffee? Hmm...

Submitted by PerryChase on November 27, 2006 - 10:24am.

For those who love history, not that long ago, Christendom had arranged marriages of minors (under 18).

As a society, we'd be better off if we openly discuss rather than hide our fears and desires. I believe that Scandinavian countries have the right formula.

Submitted by no_such_reality on November 27, 2006 - 10:41am.

I believe the problem with Coffee Drinkers was covered quite nicely in March 1939.

I turn to the Kaffeetanten article often these days because the rhethoric in our political arena is so close it seems that you could merely substitute a word or two and the underlying theme remains the same.


Submitted by bgates on November 27, 2006 - 9:53pm.

I'm not sure the distinction you raised (pedophile vs homosexual pedophile) is actually used all that much, nor do I think its use would imply a link between homosexuality and pedophilia. An adjective can highlight an unusual characteristic as well as a common one. John Paul II was routinely described as the 'Polish Pope', not because Popes generally come from Poland, but because for several hundred years none had.

Personally, I found Boswell quite convincing on the subject of homosexuality in the Church, though I was predisposed to his point of view before reading his book.

Perry, is government censorship part of the Scandinavian formula you're applauding? The people the Swedes want to appease take a decidedly dimmer view of gay marriage than anyone writing in this thread, you know.

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