Just how good are the responses to objections to same-sex mirage? Well, our friend Bob Seidensticker thinks that he has effectively rebutted those arguments in his blog series, “20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted”. In this post we will examine part two of his series to see how these “rebuttals” stand up. Part 1 of this series can be found here.
Bob begins by targeting what marriage does for society in his fifth “rebuttal” to one of Turek’s arguments, in providing a secure environment for procreation, by writing,
[…]Frank seems confused about cause and effect. Children are important to society, but give credit where it’s due. It’s sex that makes babies, not marriage. Two people might barely know each other but still start the baby-making process in five minutes, which has very little to do with what we think of as marriage.
Well that is not really a coherent response to the actual argument that Turek is making in regard to the societal utility of marriage. Yes, people engage in the act that can result in a baby within minutes of meeting each other. So what? The fact that people engage in a particular behavior whether inside or outside of a marriage covenant doesn’t invalidate the argument being made, because it is about outcomes and not the mechanics, something even the leftist Huffington Post must admit.
Bob, then tries to side-step, writing,
Second, Jesus is portrayed in the Bible as the metaphorical husband married to the church. The ideas of joy, love, and protection are used when discussing this marriage, never making babies. Frank needs to explain why his definition is at odds with that in the Bible.
Bob really needs to learn what an analogy is. He misses the point in this game of “whatabout-ism”. How Jesus is portrayed in relation to the church has nothing to do with the argument that is being made. But Bob continues,
Third, it’s true that government makes laws that protect and encourage stable families. However, there’s a lot more to marriage than just children. For example, society makes laws about divorce, spousal abuse, care of elderly, taxes, control of assets when a spouse is imprisoned or incapacitated, the definition of common law marriage, inheritance, and more that affect marriages with or without children.
Um, yeah, again it has nothing to do with the argument being made, and is only relevant if there is an objective definition that can provide the moral categories that are being assumed in the making of those laws. Bob persists,
Fourth, Frank now has a fun slogan: “it’s not bigotry—it’s biology!” Don’t blame him; we’re bound by the realities of nature. But if it’s all about the biology, wouldn’t you expect to see this biology made plain in marriage vows or in the state’s marriage certificate? The silence screams volumes.
Um…apparently Bob doesn’t read previous paragraphs when he’s making an argument, because none of what he he names in it appears on a marriage certificate either. However, those laws exist because of moral categories that arise from an objective definition of what a marriage is. Then Bob fires this,
If marriage is all about making and raising children, then don’t offer marriage to straight couples who don’t or won’t or can’t have children. Give a willing couple five years, say, and if they don’t produce, yank the marriage license. Or consider another example: my wife and I won’t be making any more children, so do we deserve to still be married?
This is simply a canard. The argument is not that marriage is the only mechanical means by which children are produced, but that society has privileged marriage because it produces the children that form and maintain a stable society. This fact of the argument slips right past Bob because he writes,
If you’re okay with childless straight couples, then be consistent and support gay couples with no interest in children. And if your focus is on the children, support the 40,000 children in California living with same-sex parents, prohibited until recently from getting married.
Well, we have to ask a question here: why might a “straight” couple be childless? There could be medical reasons: one of the people in that relationship could be infertile, or may have an issue where conception is difficult. For example, a couple with whom my wife and I are acquainted had been struggling for years to have a child. Both were able, as far as the medical tests revealed when it came to their fertility, but as much as they tried, they were unable to conceive until the wife had to change gynecologists because the one she had been seeing since she was a teenager retired. This new gynecologist, on her first examination, noted that our acquaintance had a “defect” in the lining of her uterus that made implantation nearly impossible. However, the gynecologist performed a simple surgery and now they have two beautiful girls. This couple had resigned themselves to not being able to produce children on their own but, even in that particular reality, had resolved to be a model for and a help for those who could. And that is the refutation of the second half of the canard that couples who cannot or do not want children, are to be models and helps in the community in which they live to those who do.
Bob, of course, tries to get around matters regarding the well-being and stability of children brought up in same-sex couples by citing a study from Australia. The study has some obvious problems though, like small sample size and, most glaring, that only the parents are interviewed, not the children, nor does it seek to trace outcomes, unlike the much ballyhooed work of sociologist Mark Regnerus.
Turning to “rebuttal” number six, Bob attempts to get around whether or not homosexuality is harmful or not, from this post by Turek, which goes into differentiating between desires and behaviors related to those desires, especially sexual desires, and biology.
Sure, we have desires we shouldn’t act on—harmful ones. The problem for Frank’s argument is that he does nothing to argue that homosexual desires are harmful.
Well, interestingly—again if Bob would just follow the links provided—he would see that he hasn’t “rebutted” anything. Turek is merely expanding on a prior article that he wrote, which is reviewing a book written by someone who is for same-sex marriage, but recognizes that it has demonstrably poor outcomes not only for individuals but for society. Bob’s hand-waving upsets his own apple cart.
Alright then. Well, so much for this post. In the next in this series we’ll look at part 3 of Bob’s series and respond to it. Until then, keep thinking.