The Gay Marriage Debate: A Possible Solution

The Debate

There has been raging in the USA a debate over gay rights and marriage. In this debate sides have been taken and lines have been drawn. States have taken sides and the federal government has taken a neutral stance, although we are not certain how long that will last. Some people argue that each state should decide for itself whether gay marriage should be allowed. Others say that there should be an over all ruling on whether this should be allowed or banned. 

Until recently, I have been on the side in favor of each state making the choice, but recent events have brought this view into question. This issue is deeply rooted in morality and the possible effects that such a decision can have on our society. I am opposed to gay marriage, and the article linked below by a friend will give some of the reasons why, but I have to ask a question. Is there a better way?

The Debate, the Anger. Is there a solution?

Demonstrators on both sides of the gay marriage debate rally outside the Statehouse in Trenton before a Senate vote on Jan. 7, 2010.
Demonstrators on both sides of the gay marriage debate rally outside the Statehouse in Trenton before a Senate vote on Jan. 7, 2010.

The Issue of Equality

Currently, under the law of the majority of states, homosexual couples are not recognized nor given any of the tax benefits that heterosexual couples enjoy. I understand there are those who object to homosexual behavior because of the life style and the moral implications (which I agree with) but that does not mean that we have the right to force them not to have those relations as consenting adults. Hate the sin, not the sinner is a phrase I hear often, but I digress, this is not the point I intend to make.
The fact is that under the law, we have an issue of segregation. This is not based off of the color of any person's skin, but rather based of sexual orientation. This is against the law and what I personally stand for. Preferential treatment is wrong, no matter who it is for. I get angry when another is given preferential treatment based off the fact that my heritage comes from Europe while his or hers is from Africa, South America or any other number of places. The same holds true in the reverse for me and applies to ALL situation. Equality is not something I pay lip service to only when it serves my personal gain. There needs to be a solution to this problem when it relates to homosexual marriage and I do not think legalizing homosexual marriage is that solution. But, I think there is a solution which will satisfy almost everyone!

The Solution

My solution is quite simple. Do not have any tax benefits for heterosexual couples. As the tax laws currently exist, currently single people are at a disadvantage, not to mention the aforementioned issue with homosexuals. This does not eliminate tax benefits for people with children and should not affect family law as it currently exists. In this way, most, if not all, of the people on either side of the issue will be appeased. We will not have to attempt to redefine marriage. Yes there are those die hards on either side of the line that are for all or nothing. But in the end, there will always be someone who is not happy. At least with this solution people like myself do not have to change our moral beliefs while people such as some of my co-workers will have equal protection and representation under the law. We have a revolution over taxation, why should be deny or with hold benefits from one group while giving it to another. If tax law sees people as individuals, then at least part of this issue is resolved.

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Comments 17 comments

KT 6 years ago

nice article. You make a fair point and try to be unbiased despite strong personal beliefs. I think the problem with your solution is the range is too small. Taxes are an issue yes, but removing couple benefits does not change the couple rights of estate inheritance, health care, insurance, and so on that give them advantage over others.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 6 years ago from Utah Author

You are very right and thank you for your thoughts. Yes, these are all valid issues and I think that my idea would be step one in a process of true equality without a major social overhaul. If the principle is applied with respects to health care and insurance then that may be a solution as well. Estate inheritance requires more research I can see, but I think the basic principle applies.

OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Great hub, the duck

jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 5 years ago from Tasmania

ibbarkingmad, thankyou for starting this Hub.... it's obviously an attempt to move the debate away from the dead-end, repetative arguments that seem to dominate with fundamental attitudes.

Just a couple of points to think about, if you will. First is that statement about "morality." Isn't morality primarily concerned with how "my" actions affect the wellbeing of others? Or do you think it's an innate thing, defined and confined by some written edict? As an example, in our "western" society it would be immoral to pee on the side of the road in full view of everyone. Yet in some countries it is seen as something normal which does not even deserve mention. In one country it's immoral, in another it's not.

I suspect the immorality of homosexuality is it's association with anal intercourse. Do you agree with this?

My second point is about this thing Marriage. Why would we gay people take on an institution of old, which today is treated by so much of society as temporary, to be used as a convenience; nothing deeper than that. Divorce is so, so common. The breaking of those vows, "til death do us part" is so prominent that why would anyone make such a promise in the first place.

Instead of calling it marriage, call it "Loving Relationship" or some other meaningful term. Stop trying to align with failure.

All that you have written about equality and avoiding prejudice is valid and important, but let's be real and honest about it.

Thank you again, keep it up.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

jonnycomelately, first an apology. With finals, work, moving and the holidays I haven't had time to reply to your questions and comment like I normally do. I greatly appreciate what you have written and wish I could have replied sooner. If it is any consultation, I have thought about what to say a lot before this reply.

First your question on morality. I feel that morality and ethics are two words that have been very confused. The root words that they come from in the Greek language indicate that English has switched the meaning and muddled things a bit. The morality of behaving in a way that you do not harm another is to me a code of ethics as well as being a moral thing. As for morality in the use in the hub, I would say I mean it in the manner of a socio-religious code. To deny that religion in such a discussion as this to deny a major influencer for how people think and act (& I view atheism and agnosticism as a religion just to everyone knows). That is the HUGE factor in the gay marriage debate and there is no getting around it. I personally have a faith that says that homosexuality and sexual promiscuity are wrong. Where I differ from some is that I feel that all should have the right to choose their own path and behaviors so long as they do not harm others. Christ would not turn away any person, so why should I. I love all of my brothers and sisters and I have no right to judge them for their choices because that is between them and God.

Also, you being up culture. You mention a person urinating in the street. The problem with that point is this. In some countries it is acceptable for a child that is born with an undesirable trait such as being female, having a physical deformity or being intellectually disabled (formerly called being retarded) to be left outside to be killed by wild animals, exposure and starvation. In yet other countries the ritual mutilation of female genitalia is acceptable. Still other countries the practice of turning a blind eye to wife and children abuse is common and acceptable. When we bring in other cultures and behaviors we open a whole new can of worms. To keep it simple I would like to say we are talking about the USA and other western nations such as the UK, Canada, Australia and the like. Here is where the debate is taking place.

As for anal intercourse, as far as I know there are heterosexual couples that do this regularly. I wont speak of my wife's and my relationship in that matter because it is private, but I can say that I personally don't care so long as such is not against any persons will.

In regards to loving relationships, marriage and divorce, I am sad to hear of your view on that. While there is divorce and the like and I have seen it affect those I know and love, I have also seen success and such wonders from those who seek to fight for their marriages. As for till death do us part, that is not in the cards for me. My wife and I are connected for eternity and I wouldn't have it any other way!

No, the reason for this hub is to point out that there is a solution to the problem and that is to get the government out of dealing with something that isn't even the government's business. Marriage is a religious institution and the only reasons government has ever been involved is because of the post practices of having no separation between church and state. Secularism is still a rather new idea. I'm not saying that there can't be any religion in the state but rather that the state should not be involved with marriage in any role other than recording them for a matter of public record. Anything more is stupid. If a person want to get married and belongs to a church where the minister will preform the marriage of his or her choice then fine. Then that person can get married to whom ever they want and the state has no say in the matter. Incentivising and punishing individuals for being married or not married is stupid plain and simple. This creates inequality and makes those who feel they are LGBT that they are not equal. That is the same in my mind as persecution for one religious or political beliefs. My ancestors come to America from Scotland to practice their faith and political beliefs without such persecution. Others of my ancestors fled Illinois to go to Utah to practice their faith without persecution. I think I have a somewhat unique prospective from having family that is Baptist and Mormon. I think that prospective has gotten even more unique since I've married my wife since half her family is Mormon while the other half is Buddhist. Either way, I feel that it is my ethical duty to champion ideas that promote equality and tolerance rather than to place myself behind platforms and ideas that do not reflect my views and opinions.

I hope that this rather long response help you understand where I am coming from. Thank you again for you comments and ideas. Please feel free to comment further if you wish.

jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 5 years ago from Tasmania

ibbarkingmad, thank you for that thoughtful reply. I have not commented in return, because I like to leave your points of view firmly and respectfully with you. They don't need to be argued.

The only point I did think twice on was that about the deformed child being left out for the wild beasts to devour. Yes, I spent a couple of years living as a volunteer in an African country. It was accepted as a normal thing... if a mother was unhappy with the baby, it would be left out at night for the hyenas. To our way of thinking that is horrific, yet in the reality of a society which does not have sophisticated services for dealing with the "imperfect," it's a very practical response. Also, if you think about it, a quick and effective death for the baby and a way of excluding imperfect genes from transmission.

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ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

That is where you and I will have to differ then. How is such a thing different than the euthanasia practiced by the Nazis in Germany. Also, that reference is not just in regard to Africa, but also other places as well. Additionally, consider the loss to that society of the child's mind. Stephen Hawking could very well have had the same thing happen to him if he had been born in such a place. The right to life is precious and not to be taken lightly or just because that life is inconvenient to the parents or society. It is just a short step further to argue that a specific racial group is inferior so we should eliminate them from the gene pool or to say that since homosexuality could be considered an evolutionary dead end due to the lack of children form the relationship that those people should be eliminated. Any argument like or similar to this is in my world view wrong because I hold life to be the most precious of gifts and it can only be taken in the most extreme of circumstances, and even then other options should be considered.

jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 5 years ago from Tasmania

Please look at your arguments. Suggesting that a loving understanding of a tribal African woman's instinctive actions is opening up an acceptance of evil practices elsewhere is just not good logic.

Christians tend to regard ourselves, the human species, as superior, and God's gift to the world. They take something from the book of Genesis and try to justify our dominance. This is one of the reasons I do not belong in the christian camp. I cannot accept such interpretation of our existence. I regard all Life, human included, as just part of the beautiful Whole. We humans will one day disappear from this planet. We will return to the Cosmos. There is no fanciful "heaven" or "hell" where you and I and all other past, present and future mortals will meet again.

Yes, life is a precious gift; the nature of that Giver we cannot know, except that "it" is infinite. We fit into the big Jigsaw Puzzle as just one small part of it.

I accept life and death in a much more realistic way than maybe you and others do. This does not automatically mean that I would support evil, convenient "disposal" of people we don't like or want. Utterly out of the question.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

You confuse instinctive with cultural. Also, while I have the Judao-christian world view, I understand that others differ in their view. Still and all the premise of the preciousness of life does not disappear with the changing in world views. Also, I do not call the woman who does this evil, just ignorant. What is evil in my mind is justifying such behavior as good. George Washington did not die from natural causes, but rather from excessive blood letting because he had a fever. You see, doctors of the time believed that fevers were caused by too much blood causing too much heat in the body. The doctor was not evil, just ignorant.

jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 5 years ago from Tasmania

Ok, so would you see there being only one code of good? Does your version of good/bad apply world-wide, across cultures, regardless of different backgrounds?

Is the Judeo-Christian view the only one which is valid?

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

Well, we've established that an ethical code or a moral code that is universal is one in which a person can do as he or she wishes so long as those actions do not harm another person. For the sake of simplicity we can define 3 specific rights that each person has which some theorist call inalienable. These being Life, Liberty (or self determination) and to Pursue Happiness (through ones actions and acquisition of things he or she needs to obtain that happiness). I admit that my studies have shown that this code started predominately within Western thinking circle, but I think these basic concepts can be applied across all cultures, languages and the like. The Judeo-Christian view is not the only one and there are things that are flawed within it. The reason I mentioned it is because I am influenced by it. Does this mean it is the only valid one? Of course not. It simply means that I am being honest in saying that it holds a higher priority as a world view than say the Islamic world view.

So, back to the discussion of the mother in Africa who leaves the child out to die. I do not see her as evil or bad. Rather I see a custom that has developed that is contrary to the basic rights that all humans should have. The child has just as much right to life as the parent and placing it in harms ways i removing that right just as surely as if a soldier were to burst in to the home and execute the child. These rights are called in alienable because they are not given by other men to us, or from governments. These rights originate from a higher power. Call that power the Universe, Mother Nature, Allah, Jehovah, Elohim, Gitche Manitou, Ek Onkar, Bahá, Ahura Mazda or many other views of who or what the higher power is, the point is that these rights are granted by this entity and can only be taken away by others legally in the cases of extreme crimes and through due process of law. While application world wide is hit and miss, my interviews with people I've met from around the world in my travels and theirs indicate to me that this view I have just share is one of the closest views of the world that is close to being universal.

jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 5 years ago from Tasmania

All that you say sounds very reasonable and acceptable, except that it is totally Anthropocentric.

You claim that each person born has unalienable rights. One of the Ten Commandments is "Thou shalt not kill." Then we turn around and say it's ok to kill an animal to eat. If a lion could talk, it would say "it's ok to kill a human animal for me to eat it." I know this sounds pedantic and stretches the argument a bit far, but I prefer to try seeing the inter-relationship of life much more holistically. This is my main problem with Christianity.

Although I will continue killing a mosquito that's bothering me, without any sense of guilt, I still feel a bit of personal weakness in not being able to tolerate it's being there. Yet in this awareness, the way I am able to look at it, I feel some success because I am stretching my consciousness beyond the mundane.

This is something I wish many more Christians would do. More than any amount of gospel-ising and quoting scriptures, it would move them some way towards enlightenment.

Thank you for continuing the discussion.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

While I do view a human's life of more value than say a dog, I do not condone unwarranted killing of any living being. If I find a spider in my house, I place it outside rather than smashing it. Everything has its place and order. The Native American view of taking life when it is needed is something I love dearly. I thank the animal for what it gives to me because that animal has a spirit and soul. I also thank God for giving me the animal so I may eat it. I do the same with plants for all things have a spirit and live. Like with any religion there are levels to the faith. The deeper you go the more you see deeper into that faith and belief. True I believe that the Earth was made for humanity, but that does not mean we should dominate and abuse the creatures that exist on it. I firmly believe there is scriptural proof in the Bible that the Earth is a living entity. Furthermore, since I am a practicing Latter-day Saint (Mormon) I also have found evidence in modern revelation to indicate that the Earth and all its creatures are spiritual beings. If there is a God who notices the fall of even a single sparrow then how can he not care about that sparrow?

Going back to the right of life. I am focusing not on the commandment to not kill, but rather the right of life in the state of nature. John Locke discusses this at length in in his Second Treatise on Government. The idea is that if there were no laws, no government, no religion there would still be certain rights that each individual would have in the state of nature. These are things each person is born with and is naturally aware of. I can understand how you would assume that I was referring to the commandment not to kill and I freely admit that that commandment has sway in my personal ethical compass. Still, there is more to socio-political philosophy than the influence of religion. Western civilization is somewhat unique in its recent history (although not totally unique over a total view of history) in that secularism has developed, which is the ideal of separating religion from government.

(Just so you know, I think you already know this stuff, but I am stating these things for the sake of others who may read this.) My reading and research on this subject leads me to think that while these philosophers (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Blackstone and Locke just to name a few) where somewhat influenced by Judeo-Christian ideas, they were almost equally influenced by Greco-Roman ideas as well as other ideas and world views. I try to base my ideas and arguments in these ways of thinking with a leaning towards Deism with my religious influences.

I am glad to discuss. Understanding drives away fear and hate. I am happy to discuss and share and love to learn from others. I know I am not always rights and so seek to change and grow. Just so you know, I do not subscribe to the popular Christian misconception that all those who fail to accept Christ will burn in hell forever. I know that Christ's sacrifice was much broader than what some believe. His grace is sufficient to save all from hell. Therefore, all people are saved from the torments of hell. The "glory" each receives is determined by their actions and life and their acceptance of Christ, but that does not limit since I know that every person will have opportunity to accept Christ in this life or the next. Still, I digress, this discussion is more on the secular side of things. I just wanted you to be aware of my views to facilitate understanding in the discussion.

jonnycomelately profile image

jonnycomelately 5 years ago from Tasmania

Thank you. I will lay off now for a while, in case someone else wishes to contribute or change the direction of this discussion.

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 5 years ago from Utah Author

Thank you for your conversation and insights. It is much appreciated.

rehana 4 years ago

homosexual is a modified version of saint who donot marry

in this world

ibbarkingmad profile image

ibbarkingmad 4 years ago from Utah Author

Homosexuality is a desire that people act upon. because I believe people should have free will I think there should be an option for people to make that choice, but the Old and New Testament are very clear that such actions are a sin. I view it as a temptation just like porn, infidelity or alcoholism. The acting upon such temptations is does not make the person evil. They are making a mistake in my mind. My faith teaches that christ accepts all who wish to come to him. He does not reject anyone who wishes to know him. So rehana, to say that homosexuality is a modern version of sainthood is false. A saint is any follower of christ. Saints, while not perfect, do attempt to follow the commandments and homosexuality is clearly in opposition to those commandment. Now, I understand others do not share my world view. Again, the reason for this article is because I believe all should have the right to exercise their own will and I personally feel legislating is wrong. If a behavior does not harm to infringe on another individuals liberties then it should be up to the individual as to whether they should do it or not. Judgement is left up to God, not me. As such, I love and respect all my brothers and sisters even if they feel they are justified in behaviors that I personally feel are morally wrong. This is the concept which the USA was founded on. This is what it means to have separation between church and state.

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