Hypothetical debate link:
A common reply to this: Infertile/old-aged heterosexual couples are still deemed to have the potentiality to conceive children in so-far as (a certain definition of) natural law is concerned, since such a definition of natural law doesn’t concern itself with contingent parameters/circumstances (eg. age, birth control, barrenness) that might nullify the return outcome of a given natural function.
An example analogy of nature could run something like:
creature offspring= homosex(); // the above would not make sense because "homosex(...)" is a function with a void return data type and thus won't compile. homosex(); // this would compile, because the return data type of the function is void. creature offspring = heterosex(); // would be a sensible consideration since heterosex() is a function that clearly has a return data type of creature , even if the function heterosex(...) returns a null value due to parameters/circumstances)
This biological argument/analogy above is rather weak though because as mentioned, it runs under a certain definition of natural law which is assumptive in nature. The assumption doesn’t concern itself with the contingent parameters/circumstances, thus conveniently letting old-aged/infertile couples off the hook (ie. the common “Hey, they are still playing ball in the same soccer field” analogy). Also, there is an artificially imposed distinction between 2 types of functions, one which is procreative with a return data type of “creature”, and the other non-procreative with void return data.
It also doesn’t address how a function with a ‘void’ return data type is any more “moral” compared to function with a ‘creature’ return data type, except perhaps the hetero function seems more beneficial to sustaining/affecting the population of the creature species, thus compelling human government interest.
After all, the design could exist simply as a generic function such as…
creature sex(creature1, creature2,..)
…and it would still work, where homosexuality is simply the incidental case of creature1 and creature2 being of the same gender , thus returning a null value result for a creature. Also, a null result is also returned if creature1 and creature2 are of different species. The issue of genders in this case, becomes a variable parameter of the function within the 2 creatures involved , rather than an implied default within a particular function. For the function between 2 human creatures, the issue of gender between the 2 species goes beyond an incidental/unintentional case to an intentional one as well. (ie. humans are deemed aware of the parameters and the intrinsic nature of the 2 species that determine the natural/procreative output of the function, unlike animals acting purely on instinct).
Unless one is willing to take the first code analogy and have an assumption of natural law that that artificially “discriminates between 2 different types of sex”, or in the second design, where the opinion that all (or at least potentially some) operations of sex() with regards to it’s parameters, should work in accordance to (rather than against) fulfilling the return output data type in procreating new creatures, perhaps, the biological argument can be deemed valid. In the end, certain people (regardless of their sexual orientation) might believe that the parameters to the function must at least involve an “intrinsic biologically complementary structuring/frame” of male/female gender pairs within the same species to consider it “good”, and anything outside it to be “bad”.
With regards to natural law, it isn’t solely a biologically-driven thing anyway, but a human thing, so biological arguments against homosexuality fall short in that aspect. Natural law also has to consider all aspects first (the purpose of civil law, fundamental human rights, and whether there are universal and objective definitions of marriage that should be adhered to), before determining what is beneficial and good for society as a whole. Weighing one’s conscience, should this mean being tolerant of letting homosexual couples marry anyway (even if one doesn’t necessarily agree with what they do?).
Practically, I’m not too sure if the rationale behind tax benefits and such lies solely on the fact that such couples can give birth to new children, otherwise straight elderly couples or any other couples that are clearly known to be infertile, should be exempt from such benefits as well unless you adopt the first assumptive premise, and assume that even old-aged couples can give birth and bear children. (miracles can happen, right?)
Having both a biological mother and father component isn’t necessarily a silver bullet when it comes to rearing a family, when there are many other factors that can affect the outcome of a family’s success.
In some cases, I would assume non-(fully)-biological parents could sometimes take greater care over their foster/half-foster children compared to biological parents that may take their biological parentage status for granted. Nevertheless, one needs to ask the children themselves that were born into such a family, whether they regretted being in such a family without both biological parents, but were raised by non/half-biological parents. A fair comparison would be the best model of a loving family of biological parents, vs. the best model of a loving family of non/half biological parents. Are there any studies that conduct such a fair test?
But of course, legalizing same-sex marriage doesn’t necessarily mean allowing for legal adoption of children in such marriages.
I’m not sure about such laws, but is there allowance for the adoptee to decide whether they wish to be adopted by both a husband and wife rather than a same-sex couple or are the children are too young to decide on that matter? Is the case for responsible caregivers as a criteria good enough? After all, in a modern egalitarian society, both mothers and fathers are able to fulfill many roles in childbearing interchangeably. What makes the notion of having both a mother and father different in that respect?
I think with regards to artificially conceived children by same-sex couples, I think the ethics of letting children be born out artifical insemination, eg. into a situation without both biological parents as caregivers is better discussed as a seperate topic, outside of the same-sex-marriage situation. In general, are children severely disadvantaged simply because they lack both biological parents as caregivers?
I think there’s a lot of outside factors that make such determinations inconclusive. In a not so ideal situation, if the “water” is “better” than the “blood”, is it better to choose “water”? Unfortunately, the ideal case of “blood” being as strong as “water” wasn’t as such.
Nevertheless, raising a child responsibly isn’t a “selfish” thing, obviously.
A life is a life that is generally considered of infinite worth regardless of the situation it’s born into.
Regarding the “equality” of same sex marriage, it’s obvious when it isn’t equal, particularly in cases where both a husband and wife is required, or in various other dimensions where the complementary aspect of differing genders would be necessary. The whole advocation towards “normalization/equalization” of marriage is a misnomer I feel, if it means accepting “queer” or “different” as “normal” it just doesn’t work and sounds self-contradictory. However, accepting “queer” for what it is, (accepting that it is out of a given norm of various culturally accepted notions of marriage) is a different matter altogether.
The root of the issue is whether you are comfortable with redefining marriage to mean different things to different individual groups of people rather than promoting a “universally accepted” standard of marriage/family that expects having biologically conceived children, being both fathered and mothered for the next generation something to “model after” as “the only naturally available and right option”.
As such, straight elderly couples that marry can be considered “queer” according to such a cultural standard even though their heterosexuality does “model after” “the standard” if external-circumstances such as time/age is factored out of the equation. (eg. one can rationalize that marriage is considered “timeless”, but not gender-less, so they are considered a “normal” couple in that respect.).
I think so long as such marriages do not in any way erode what groups of people hold important to their idea of marriage, traditional or not, it’s fine. Additionally, the freedom of dissent needs to be rightfully available and that no freedom of another to live peacefully with good conscience is infringed upon (eg. The case of baking an ideological cake).
I think part of the problem is that some people are uncomfortable with the idea of marriage “no longer having a universal and objective definition” that should be adhered to. But then again, it wasn’t entirely the case in human history anyway (plural marriages, for example).
That aside, polygamy (and surrogate wives within heterosexual unions) in ancient times was highly procreative and would be considered “beneficial” to society in the past. In short, marriage equality with regards to the ‘gender’ is different from marriage equality regarding ‘exclusivity’ in plural vs monogamous marriages. People tend to lump the 2 cases together, when they are of different premises and should be treated as such separately. (eg. The argument, “But what about the slippery slope down to other types of marriages like plural/open marriages”… is a non-sequitur, because the premise of gender has nothing to do with the premise of exclusivity.)
I guess some would consider re-defining “family” to also possibly mean something else outside of a biologically available father and mother, to be “harmful” to society. But the word “family” is a very broad term that can also cover non-blood tie relationships, unless such a blood distinction is made or assumed. Those that use the biological argument for traditional families can unintentionally discriminate against heterosexual couples that choose to adopt as well, but heterosexual couple foster-families do give a “semblance” to that nuclear family.
As far as everyone else is concerned, the proof is in the pudding. The thing is, there are both good and bad pudding. And even though the proof is in the pudding, the pudding isn’t the proof itself.
“Marrying as individuals
Marrying as part of a social institution.”
This question can only be answered in terms of whether two are marrying as individuals, or/and marrying as part of a social institution, and what this “social institution” means in terms of various norms and expectations which are “rightfully” factored in.
The common consensus goes like this:
For the Institution:
For the Individuals:
What about gender? It is as arbituary as something like race?
Maybe it all boils down to situational contexts:
In the end, it all boils down to definition.
It is not inherantly discriminatory if:
institution of marriage = husband and wife.
(ie. marriage is inherantly a union between husband and wife, paying due relevance to it’s natural means of raising up new families with minimal government involvement).
However, if marriage is revised inherantly as:
institution of marriage = civil binding of individuals with modular features/benefits according to government regulations
Then how i see it is: It’s no longer discriminating between that of a civil union vs a marriage as far as the definition is concerned, thus allowing for same-sex “marriages”.
In my opinion, let a secular state define their own legal meaning of marriage as long as it doesn’t infringe on one’s own individual (or religious) definitions of marriage.
After all, a secular state sees marriage purely as a man-made institution, where it is pretty much a case of balancing it’s institutional concerns, to that of individual concerns. They calibrate their policies accordingly to what they deem advantageous to their civilisation.
In either case, that balance is needed, regardless of which “side” a state takes.
The premise of the Gender Complementary vs the Exclusivity/Plurality of marriage.
Consider the following functions:
// conservative marriage(human husband, human wife) // For the conservative function, when it comes to various tasks within it, if a husband/wife's boolean coercion/determination of their gender value does not fit accordingly to what is required between male and female respectively, and exception error is thrown rather than "silently fail" in that task. // non-conservative marriage(human human1, human human2)
When “pink” advocates for gay marriage, what they are fighting against is the perceived discrimination that exists with regards to the implied gender between “husband” and “wife” or between human1 and human2. They are not asking for a fundamental change in the parameters to something like:
// poly (overloaded method) marriage(human human1, ...partners)
The issue here is a discrimination against the nature of the 2 parameters/people involved rather than number/availability of additional parameters (or having multiple marriages plurally), and whether that particular characteristic of the human ( in this case, gender) is relevant with regards to the prescribed function/purpose of marriage(human human1, human human2). After all, society is more egalitarian in general, and not necessarily all marriages involve procreation or sex either due to circumstances/choice. So why discriminate based on gender when since it holds no relavance in various cases?
I do admit that the above nuance isn’t so obvious, and that laypeople would often see it as as an equivocation to mean “So, no implied parameters regarding gender therefore any kind of parameters are allowed?) This does make sense in the context of “permissiveness” in general.
Non-traditional marriage seems to treat the institution more of a modular assortment of features, without any key-identifying feature. Rather, it’s with a combination of these modular features that defines “marriage’ in a collective sense, rather than anything specifically “uniquely-defining”.
There is no such thing as a “husband” or “wife” in same-sex marriage.
Why i think “husband and husband” and “wife and wife” within an institution of marriage is a misnomer of terms.
Definition of husband/wife:
Thus, I find SSM doesn’t have parameters of husband/wife, but simply parameters of human-to-human. This makes more sense in situations where gender isn’t clearly spelt out in a binary way for certain individuals, and the notion of “complementarity” goes beyond one’s biological gender (organs).
Note that from a purely secular point of view, there can be no transcendent meaning, intent or value held over what a husband and wife means within marriage(human1,human2) or to what the male/female gender complementary means within the function of sex(human1,human2) beyond it’s varied practical implications.