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Getting wise to the gay marriage debate con

Updated on October 30, 2009

The debate over gay marriage is all over the media, and it's not what you might think. Whether you're for or against gay marriage, the debate says more about how misinformed Americans are about how their government works - and about what the mainstream media will and won't disclose - than it does about the morals or ethics of the issue.

Politicians have been using issues that tug at our emotional side - like gay marriage, abortion, or when to terminate life - for decades in order to obscure the political issue among a frenzy of impassioned public pleas. They embed critical political arguments in issues, re-frame them as something they're not really about (like whether the government should recognize gay marriage), and use the stirred-up public frenzy on the issue (on both sides, mind you) to enact new legislation that sets new and subtly powerful legal precedents. The whole point of all this for the politicians is to set those new precedents into legislation, because they purport to expand the powers and authorities of the government. And the gay marriage debate is an excellent example of this.

It's like the old saw about being in court testifying on the witness stand, and having the attorney for the opposing side ask you, "Have you stopped beating your wife?" If you answer Yes, you've just admitted to having beat her at some point in the past. And if you answer No, you're admitting to continuing to beat her. This is because the attorney's question has created a false premise, and you haven't taken the opportunity to shoot it down. To shoot it down you'd have to stick with the truth, rather than accept any of the bogus options (Yes or No) his question had given you. But the American public don't actively stick up for the truth, and we all know the old adage - If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.

In this case, the question is, "Should the federal government give its citizens permission to marry same-sex partners?" The debate is over the issuing of marriage licenses, with all of the federally-granted privileges that come along with it such as tax deductions and health-care benefits. But licenses are only granted when someone is trying to do what would otherwise be against the law. For example, a pyrotechnics license, a hypnotherapy license, or a driver's license. In the federal U.S., you can't legally practice those things without a license. And the same is true with marriage licenses. So why do federal citizens need permission from their government to get married at all?

Even straight marriages didn't require this kind of governmental permission originally. It was only in 1839, when a rich South Carolina plantation owner sought permission to marry his mulatto slave, that the first marriage license was granted.

MARRIAGE LICENSE. A license or permission granted by public authority to persons who intend to intermarry,..

INTERMARRIAGE. In the popular sense, this term denotes the contracting of a marriage relation between two persons considered as members of different nations, tribes, families, etc...

Because intermarriage would otherwise have been against the law, the plantation owner had to obtain a special license in order to do it. Since then marriage licenses have slowly crept into common usage, and are now believed to be a requirement for marriage, straight or otherwise. They aren't - people had been getting married in the Union before 1839 just fine without obtaining a license - permission - to do it. This is an excellent indicator of how the federal government manages to get itself more and more involved in things it wasn't created with the power or authority to control.

Consider an average straight marriage for a moment. It's self-evident that it is the Creator who joins them together, with a priest as an intermediary. The government doesn't enter into it, because the Creator is accepted as a greater authority than man's law. The government only enters into it in a financial and contractual sense - with those benefits I mentioned before. So the whole debate over who can obtain marriage licenses is really about what benefits and privileges the federal government will dole out to which groups of people. Morality doesn't enter into it. And more, the issue is really about how much the federal government can use benefits and privileges to give to some groups of federal citizens, and take away from others, to dictate to some extent social behaviors in the private lives of its citizens. The government is trying to establish legislation that will give it greater control over shaping and dictating public policy, and is using an emotionally-charged issue like gay marriage to stir up a dust cloud of controversy in order to do it.

Rights vs. privileges

Rights are intrinsic to people - they can never be taken away, and when they the government doesn't secure those rights it is liable for its failure. After all, that's what a government is designed to do - to make sure that citizens' rights are safeguarded from those who would threaten them. But privileges can be given, taken away, given back, and revoked again at will. They're just like parents giving their children the privilege to use their car - it isn't their right, it's a special privilege or benefit. And those benefits and privileges are usually doled out when someone has pleased an authority figure, whether it's a government or a parent. So benefits and privileges are always up for negotiation and haggling - rights are unassailable, and when people are deprived of them, someone has to pay.

This is how the federal government takes something that is a right, turns it into a benefit or privilege where they can argue and haggle over it, and then turn that into a means of control. And they do it by slowly altering the legislation, with the use of media campaigns that obscure the underlying political point, create an emotionally-charged three-ring circus, and then erode the system of politics in the long run.

Republic vs. Democracy

How many times have you heard politicans refer to the United States as a democracy? About "making America safe for democracy", "restoring democracy", and even "spreading democracy"? All well and good, but the Union is actually a republic. Remember the Pledge of Allegiance? "...and to the Republic, for which it stands..." Any politician who doesn't even know what form of government their own country has should either be impeached for incompetence or hung for treason - possibly both. So what's the difference between a democracy and a republic?

In a republic, everyone's rights are unassailable. They can't be taken away by anyone - they're considered to be God-given. In a democracy, however, rights can be voted away from a minority of people by a larger majority. In other words, no rule but mob rule. In a quote most often attributed to Alexander Tyler:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."

So we have politicians creating emotionally-charged issues whereby the majority will vote rights out from under a seeming minority of people, thus altering the legislation and the government's role with its citizens. When they want to shift things one way or the other, they'll contrive a political scenario where the new direction seems to make sense to most people on a moral or emotional level, but it's a side-point. They're using emotions, morality, ethics and even logic as mere tools to obscure politics. And usually, it works. Somehow, the scenario takes on national media coverage - it's easy to do when most of the mainstream media is owned by the same handful of megacorporations - and the public perception is swayed because people just aren't paying attention.

As I've outlined, the governments of the Union were created with certain duties, such as securing the rights of the People. The rights didn't come from the government, they were considered to have come from the Creator. The government was simply obligated to keep those rights secure - and it was in trouble with its citizens if it didn't. But today, most people seem to think that all of their rights were granted to them by their government as privileges and benefits, and can be taken away again at the government's pleasure.

In addition to dumbing the majority of citizens down, this effort also seeks to make them forget about their rights, by drawing attention to benefits and privileges that appear, at least at first, to be the same thing. Then, through the decades, the government can slowly and carefully take away or qualify or shrink those benefits, leaving federal citizens with next to nothing. Like the income tax, which was originally instituted as a temporary measure to raise money for a war. Or a driver's license, which originally didn't exist because everyone had a right to use the common roads for travel. (It was only when they needed to raise taxes to fix the roads that they decided to license those who were using it for commercial purposes, like delivering kegs of ale, that driver's licenses were created.)

Why you need permission to marry in the US

Getting citizens to trade away their rights for privileges also does something else - well, besides involve federal politicians in fraud and treason, that is. It creates an opportunity for citizens to establish contracts with their government, and that is a legal gotcha that has sought to totally redefine the relationship of American citizens with their government - to the disadvantage of the citizens, naturally. Have a look at the video to the right to see the monstrosity this has created.


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    • FirstStepsFitness profile image


      8 years ago

      Welcome to HubPages :) Very good read , well made points too . CA citizens are a diverse group , we should embrace our likes and differences not argue over which differences should not be tolerated . All will be judged , that day will come for everyone but as the bible states love thy neighbor . We are not here to judge one another .

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 

      8 years ago from SE US

      Excellent Hub! The bait and switch smoke screens for all types of issues is getting more serious every year. Thanks for doing such a great job of laying it out.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from California

      Hi Kelly, thanks for your comment!

      "Equal" is exactly the point. As long as the government uses issues like this to limit the rights of one group of its citizens, it then has the precedant set to limit the rights of anyone. This is the motivation behind the debate, using emotionally-charged issues like this to "divide and conquer" its citizens. Because as long as they can stir up debate on issues like that, they can make it seem as though limiting rights for anyone might be a valid issue that has some support behind it.

      Be well,

      - Satori

    • profile image

      Kelly McDonald 

      9 years ago

      I have been in a same gender pairrage for 17 glorious years and they have been the best years of my life. It troubles me that our elected politians can't show some courage and give us our right to marry. They pass it onto the voters and call it democracy, when it is really mob rule the majority deciding the rights of a minority (us). As long as this is allowed to continue we can forget our "Day in the Sun" and when my partner passes away I can forget about getting his social security. Someone once told me Kelly in the Oregon Constitution "There shall be no law passed that grants rights to one group that all groups shall not enjoy" . That means no special rights in Oregon. All we are asking for is to be treated equal not special, just equal.

    • illustros profile image


      9 years ago from Washington, D.C.

      This is issue is not being dealt properly by both its advocates and its oppositions. It just creates noise rather than enlightenment.

    • HealthCare Basics profile image

      HealthCare Basics 

      9 years ago from San Diego, California

      Well thought out article to an issue that continues to "stir the pot" for those who refuse to look deeper into the issue, or go beyond their religious rantings. Thank you!!!

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from California

      Thanks you for your comment, Mohamedhmm.

      While I can't say that I agree with your perceptions on this, I acknowledge your right to speak freely.

      I think that it's very easy for us to judge others as being morally in the wrong, but that it takes great effort to even begin to comprehend the Will of our Creator. I think it's something that requires a lot of soul-searching to comprehend with any assurance of certainty, and that complying with that Will requires far more dedication from us than merely repeating dogma that we may have read or heard from others. It has to be a strong life-choice itself, and it consumes our lives. How can we ever judge someone else correctly if we can't even judge ourselves?

      Housecleaning comes from within, first - it absolutely has to. Only then can we judge others - although at that point we may be less inclined to. We may choose to bring the elements around us in the world into better alignment with the Will of our Creator - once we're finally able to recognize what that is. But that doesn't happen by muddying the water - conflating politics, morals and ethics, perpetuating broken social orders, and condemning others when we don't really know for certain. Those are easy, convenient and slipshod approaches to serving our Creator - and eventually they just don't work. I believe that we ought to regard Him, and ourselves, far more carefully than that.

      Thank you for your Comment.

    • mohamedhmm profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      same sex people; they knew it's wrong act to marry same sex; So, they looking for a kind of authority-government- to legalize their act, and make their feeling better; because they are sick inside themselves; and i hope they could keep it for themselves and stop the madness of same sex marriage and crying loud to force us to accept their act as natural act; but it's not.

      in the end we are not against any one act if doesn't harm us.......

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from California

      I'm glad to know that this article could provide useful information to so many of you. desert blondie, you are correct - in fact, in a "civil union" the state is actually a third party to the union! This means that federal citizens are actually involved, at least in legal terms, in mass marriages - it's essentially polygamy.

      That's an interesting idea, Ralph - although I'd be much more in favor of a simple return to American common law, where people aren't put in a federal category where they're considered subordinate to the federal government and must scrape and bow to it in order to receive benefits and privileges in the first place. Remember, the federal government isn't supposed to have any jurisdiction outside of D.C.. What it's doing getting involved in what are supposed to be private marriages within the States themselves I have no idea - other than engaging in treason and obreption. It's totally outside the scope and authority of the federal government as created.

      Spryte - I'm glad you found it worthwhile. I find it pretty interesting. If you'd like more information on the topic, you might want to Google for "sovereign citizenship" or "14th amendment citizenship". There's a lot going on there, and most Americans generally only get the most meaningless, cursory inkling of what the political machine is up to.

    • spryte profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona, USA


      Thanks for the well thought out be honest, I'd never seen a republic vs a democracy spelled out so well before. But it does explain a lot.

      I've gotten a lot of food for thought out of this one.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      The most practical solution to the controversy might be to restrict the legal rights now flowing to married couples to couples of the same or opposite sex to individuals who enter into a legally binding civil union with one other person at a time of the same sex or opposite sex which would convey to them all the legal rights of marriage but would not be called marriage.

      Marriage would be left to churches, synagogues, mosques, covens, fortune tellers, witch doctors, etc., who would be allowed to perform marriages for whomever they chose. These ceremonies would not convey any legal rights presently enjoyed by people who are married. Civil unions would be required for parental rights, tax deductions, etc.

      As Satori observed, hot button issues like gay marriage, gun control, abortion, creationism v. evolution are used by the politicians to improve their chances of being elected so that they can then accomplish the goals of their financial supporters.

      This was a well written thought provoking Hub!

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Great hub!!! I agree! ALL marriages between men and women in the USA ARE "CIVIL UNIONS" that is...the STATE has agreed that they've given permission for someone to bond the two in marriage...a judge, a courthouse official, a member of a recognized church, even in some states...any ol' person who got 'licensed' on the internet (as long as their intent is not to commit fraud). All these worked up folks who are so upset about all this!!! Do they think it's their church ceremony that makes them married? It's that their state allows their church official to sign the STATE DOCUMENT that announces them 'married.' In Colorado, once you go to the county courthouse to get a marriage're married! No actual ceremony needed! That's just icing on the cake in legal terms. Gender was never even an element to most of these documents, and in most states there is still no official registering the two people by gender...there's a loophole for you! And what about common law...? In Oklahoma, back in the '70s, if anyone (a neighbor, a postman) could assume the two people were married...they WERE married! One of these "fundamentalists" just to use a term, knocked on my door a while back wanting me to sign a Man/Woman only petition. I asked her..."how does allowing same sex couples marriage erode my own union with the man who is my husband?" IF God is God (and I do believe affirmatively) then these humans running around the USA like they "know all" will be more firmly taken to task, than those who are seeking civil rights, the right to establish a firm and legal relationship, the right to protections that others have enjoyed, the desire to feel secure with another as they move forward in their lives. Well!!! I've rambled tooo long! Great hub!

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      10 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      I pesonally don't care if Gay or Lesbian people want to wed.  Marriage to me comes from the Church, not the government.  Any Church that does not want it should be free to make that choice.  Any Church that wants to sanctify a marriage between two adults of the same gender also should be free to make that choice.

      I also think you are 100% correct in saying that this is a smoke screen to keep us from looking at more important issues in our society.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from California

      I think a stripper president would be awesome - and tremendously liberating. Not only would he be relatively free of hang-ups and hypocrisy, all you'd have to do is check his g-string to see where his money was coming from.

      In all seriousness, when man's law gets further away from the Creator's law it's man's system that will lose. Increasingly totalitarian systems of government never work for long, they're too unstable. Not only do they defy what people actually want - which is dangerous for all involved - they cost more to enforce than they ever actually produce. This is why they invariably fall over - nobody actually wants them, and they defy the principles of Creation. As a result, they don't have a friend in the world, including the practical basis that makes governments work. I guess I just like to be on the winning side, that's all.

      Thanks for your readership, and your comment.

    • budwood profile image


      10 years ago from Southern Nevada

      Your hub, here, exhibits some dangerous thinking. I suppose that the next thing which you may point out is that the “Emperor” has no clothes.

    • Satori profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from California

      sukritha, I'm glad to hear that the Pride movement is making great advances in India. America has a very unique form of government, and when it isn't being abused here as a political tool it's an important issue.

      Pam, if only breeding required marriage! (And given the brain chemistry difference among the genders, I often wonder how they stay together long enough to have kids at all, let alone overpopulate the planet!) In all seriousness, "should be allowed" is the crux of the issue here. I mean, at this rate we'll have Sexual Intercourse Licenses for married couples too. You know, you want to have sex, you just plan it out three weeks in advance, fill out the forms in triplicate, go through the "cooling-off" period to make sure that you _really_ want to have sex, and then you just wait on government approval. Granted, a process like that would save countless embarassing "morning after" moments after a night's drinking for a lot of people, but would it really be worth it? Or what we created our government to do?

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      When I first heard about this debate my reaction was, "Oh no! They're going the wrong way with this thing! Nobody should be allowed to marry."

      But now, having thought it through more carefully, I realize that ONLY gays should be allowed to marry. That will keep the population down, and I may be able to get my money back from my last divorce attorney.

    • sukritha profile image


      10 years ago from Cochin

      In india last week there was a huge ralley of Homosexuals for demanding right to marry the same gender. Now they have associations too. If they are happy with it, government should allow them to make their wish come true.


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