Friday, October 26, 2018

How Marriage Equality Supports Family Values and Morality

There are people who constantly make a point of telling us their beliefs that marriage is important for our countries, that being married is good for adults and for children, that commitment is good, that unmarried sex is bad, unmarried cohabitation is bad, that being a single mother is bad, and that marriage is needed to “channel male sexuality.” They cite with worry the fact that there are fewer married households now and more children being raised outside of a home headed by married parents. These are what they say “family values” and “morality” are about. Everyone should get married and only have sex and raise children in marriage and should go to church every week and enjoy “freedom of religion.”

Let’s consider some facts, at least how the stand in the US (your country may vary.)…

  • Some people are gay, some people are lesbian, and almost all of them are going to be having sex for all of their adult lives.
  • Some people are inherently nonmonogamous, and won’t be monogamous even under the threat of losing everything in their life.
  • Some people belong to religions that promote a form of polygamy or polyamory.
  • Consensual adult sex, gay, heterosexual, or whatever, monogamous, group, or whatever, is only illegal if it is consanguinamorous (in most states) or even if it isn’t, but still falls under anti-incest laws. Legally married or not, it isn’t illegal for adults to have sex with multiple adults they and perhaps their church considers their spouses, or complete strangers, including a different person (or two) every night.
  • There are people in consanguinamorous relationships, some with children together, who would marry if they legally could.
  • It isn’t illegal for one man to get multiple women pregnant at the same time.
  • It isn’t illegal, in most states, for three or more adults to live together as spouses or sexual partners.
  • A man can have woman carry a child for him as a surrogate mother and he can raise the child by himself or with another man or men. There’s also adoption.
  • A woman can use donated sperm to get pregnant and raise a child by herself or with another woman or women. There’s also adoption.
  • There are people doing all of these things, and they’re not going to stop.

Given all of these facts, if these adults could legally marry any consenting adults, and at least some of them did as we know some would, it would mean more of the sex, cohabitation, and parenting that is going to happen anyway would happen within marriage. More of the households would be married households. Fewer children would be living with unmarried parents. More people would have the benefits of marriage.

Given these facts, wouldn’t it be better for “family values” and “morality” and “freedom of religion” to support full marriage equality?

Full marriage equality would also mean fewer marriages undertaken solely for something like immigration purposes and fewer people being unwittingly used as beards for someone who is in the closet. Polygamous marriage even makes it more likely that young children can be with a parent rather than in day care, if that is something someone is worried about. Think about it; in many places families can't live on one income, but if there are three spouses, two can earn incomes while the third is home.

If “family values” are really about helping people, and reducing unmarried sex, cohabitation, and parenting, then people who use that phrase will support full marriage equality. It not, then we’ll know they’re really most concerned with protecting privileges for heterosexual, claimed-monogamist, Christians-of-only-some-denominations.[Note: This entry was first posted on this blog several years ago. It is still relevant. Nothing written in this entry is intended to be against nonmarital relationships or sex.]
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  1. how does the election of Donald Trump and the Bannon conservative influence/tendency impact the full marriage equality project?

  2. You make so many good arguments. Everyone is different, and society should recognize that. Like me and my brother, we are married in our hearts even if the government would not officially recognize our marriage, and we are raising our daughter together. We are a happy family, and what is wrong with that?

    Liz Smith

  3. Ooh! First off. Amazing piece! I love it! Huge fan! Where have you been hiding this jewel at. Now I understand why you take older pieces and repost them. Its posts like this that keep me excited and want to just keep coming back!

  4. This is to navin. Im curious why you called it the full marriage equality project? I wouldnt call people wanting and demanding their rights a project. A project tends to be a temporary undertaking. You do it for a bit and then stop. I think keith says it good when he calls it a labor of love. A labor of love is not a project. But i think its a labor of love for all of us. We all want to see full marriage equality in our lifetimes. In my humble opinion... i think that Donald trump and conservatives play a huge role in the impact on full marriage equality. As president he can veto bills that congress passes. But i always subscribe to the belief that where there is a will, there is a way. Keith is a great example of someone who has a strong will. I am sure that he has a family and job and a whole lot to do in his life. But look at what he is doing. He takes so much time out of his day to devote to this blog and to all of us here. So. I think that no matter who is in office or what they believe, as long as we have someone like keith on our side then nobody can stop us. Not trump. Not anyone. All i ever have to do is take a look at the hateful things people say and then i come here and get recharged by keith. Just like today. He posted this and fills me up with hope and pride. Just think about all the years keith has selflessly dedicated to this site. Trump is only here for 4 years. I can honestly say that keith will always be here no matter what.

  5. I dont know when or how we will all have full marriage equality, but i do know this, although there are people like trump who can hinder our efforts, they cant stop us. And its people like keith we should support. Everyday we are getting closer to our goal because everyday keith is shinning the light on ignorance, hate, and injustice. Thats just my humble opinion.

  6. Morality? Who's morality? What is right? What is wrong? I think that we all have to decide for ourselves what is right and wrong. Personally, i think everyone should be free to live the way that they choose as long as it doesnt infringe on another persons rights. I think that is easy enough. You cant kill because that infringes on anothers rights. You cant rape or steal because it infringes on anothers rights. Getting married doesnt infringe on anothers rights. But denying marriage infringes on peoples rights.

    Who has the right to tell another person that they cant marry? Who has the right to decide what is right or wrong for others.
    I dont have the right to tell anyone what is right or wrong and nobody has the right to tell me what is right or wrong.

  7. Family values are whatever values the family chooses to have, not "values" others think they should have.

  8. Polygamous marriage even makes it more likely that young children can be with a parent rather than in day care, if that is something someone is worried about. Think about it; in many places families can't live on one income, but if there are three spouses, two can earn incomes while the third is home.

  9. I think Keith should run for president! You have my vote!

  10. I could not think of a better word at the moment. Project appears to cover it..the project for full marriage equality of which Pullman's effort/contribution is a notable, major part.

    the issue is as tall as it is wide and it means a particular something in our day. it was here before us and we no doubt will leave it at some stage on our way out.

    Marriage is not the be all and end all to me. however a culture decides to conduct its business,relative to social need in existence is fine by me. I have no say anyway as such. I have opinions forged in my experience of life and I can and do contribute... and that is the say I have

    Trump as president is constituted to have a much wider impact than any individual like me on issues of the day. I know Trump is reputed to be of particular and extreme ideological positions, one of which is probably opposed to the granting of full marriage equality as argued for by Pullman and others... particularly in support for example, of the legalization of incest and the right to marry for those involved in such relationship and would like to formalize them.

    how is Trump viewed for this set back, neutral etc.

    at that point that question seemed important so I asked it. it may not be that important anymore. those opposed to Trump are in support of full marriage equality and appear to be about to Rum Trump out of outcome I would not be in agreement with..although I support full marriage equality but in conditioned and nuanced ways I do not see here..or anywhere for that matter

    but its a long story..........

  11. I think that government is the cause of, not the solution to this problem. At some point some plurality of humans decided to create an "elite" class of humans, call them "government," and pretended to give them "authority" to say who can and cannot call themselves "married." Then they deprived those who were not "married" of certain rights.

    Sounds to me like the solution is to get these self-important authoritarian maniacs out of the business of defining people's personal, private relationships altogether. We don't need to legalize marriage, we need to de-legalize it, so that it's not a legal institution at all. We're smart - we'll find other, better ways to deal with next-of-kin issues - ways that involve consent.


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