Homosexuality and heterosexuality are not natural distinctions, but rather societal distinctions peculiar to the human species. Elsewhere in nature,
there is an "anything goes" attitude, where sex is used for bartering, conflict resolution, group bonding, dominance and other purposes. This is not
an aberrant occurrence but rather very common, having been observed in more than 1500 species and well described in several hundred species
). To argue that homosexual behaviors are in defiance of
nature is to ignore a mountain of evidence to the contrary. Thankfully, humans are advanced enough to be able to identify which naturally-occurring
sexual behaviors are detrimental to human society, and thereby prohibit them. Homosexuality remains in the “benign” category of human sexual
behavior, alongside heterosexuality. But nonetheless, there are other arguments in the opposition’s arsenal, which I will address further on.
One oft-cited reason to discourage homosexual behavior is that it is in violation of a putative god-given rule that limits marriage to a man and a
woman. The trouble is, to which god (and religion) do we look to when writing our laws? Outside of a theocracy, laws are not to be dictated by any
religious book, no matter how many individuals hold it to be true. To do so would be to violate the will of the great number of individuals who do not
adhere to the particular religion's rules. Religously-guided laws are tantamount to "mob rule"--a terrifying prospect in any matter, but
particularly when it influences the harmless private liberties of citizens.
It is likewise futile to argue that marriage exists for the cause of procreation. Marriage is not a biologically-based institution; it is a system
based upon the emotional and intellectual processes of human beings--it needs no biological justification. Arguing that successful reproduction is
necessary for marriage would, by default, argue against the marriage of infertile couples. Many infertile couples find no success with fertility
treatments and must opt for adoption. In these very common situations, the couple is unable to add to the human population, but no sensible person
would deny them the right to marry on
the simple basis of an inability to procreate. The argument against gay marriage on the basis of procreation is therefore moot.
But above all, I find that the most compelling reason to allow gay marriage is that there is simply no constitutional reason to prevent it. The laws
of the United States are in place to protect the liberties of the people. Gay marriage is not in violation of anyone's liberties (can an opponent
please cite a personal injury they will incur if homosexual couples marry? "It violates my personal ethics" is not admissable.). In contrast,
banning gay marriage is a direct violation of the personal liberty of millions of consenting adults. When anything is rightfully outlawed, it is
because its encouragement would be to the detriment of society as a whole. If you wish to crusade against the factors that are ruining society, you
really ought to look elsewhere--I can think of a great number that do far more damage than homosexual marriage could ever hope to do.
When Californians voted to ban gay marriage, they did so in violation of a great number of fellow citizens. This is precisely why their motion OUGHT
to have been overruled. Americans, of all people, should not be in the business of supporting a violation of personal liberty.
As an aside, I must directly address the rather ill-developed argument floating around this thread: allowing homosexual marriage will not undermine
heterosexual marriage or procreation. It is simply an allowance for every American citizen, regardless of their sexuality, to participate in a
marriage between two consenting adults. TKainZero's remark that "a species that does not reproduce will not survive" has no effect upon the
argument of homosexual marriage. No one is arguing that humans cease to reproduce. Gay marriage is not the end to heterosexuality, by any
means—humans will continue to procreate and form heterosexual unions.
Gay marriage is not a gateway for the legalization of incest, polygamy, pedophilia, bestiality or any other deleterious relationship an opponent can
think of. The reason? Homosexual marriage in this instance is an emotionally equalized union between TWO CONSENTING ADULTS. Things like pedophilia,
bestiality, incest and polygamy are by their very nature unequal, as these instances lack the necessary balance of power and/or mental capacity. The
relationship between two consenting adults humans is not the same as a relationship between a dog and a human, an underage child and an adult, or the
polygamous union between ten women and a man.
[edit on 16-5-2008 by paperplanes]