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The Real Purpose Of Marriage: Sex, Not Love – America’s Right-Wing’s Ridiculous Anti-Marriage Equality Arguments

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I’ve been working to try to understand the recent arguments America’s Right Wing has been trying to make against marriage equality. If you have been following the reports from Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the federal trial that will determine the constitutionality of Proposition 8, or have read, “Gay People Cannot Be Allowed To Marry Because Straight People Cannot Be Trusted?,” my piece detailing the, dare I say, “ridiculous” arguments America’s Right Wing is using against same-sex marriage, you’ll know what I’m talking about. But even well before Prop 8, America’s conservatives have been actively involved in maintaining second-class citizenship for gay and lesbian Americans.

Whether you have or you haven’t been following along, let me share with you (even more of) the reasons why I say America’s Right Wing’s anti-marriage equality arguments are, indeed, ridiculous.

The Real Purpose Of Marriage: Sex, Not Love is the fifth and final part in our week-long series, America’s Right-Wing’s Ridiculous Anti-Marriage Equality Arguments.

Part Five: The Purpose Of Marriage

Another ridiculous and disturbing argument America’s Right Wing makes against same-sex marriage goes to the very core of how conservatives view the institution of marriage. Now, let me remind you that marriage has a long and, at times, by twenty-first century standards, inglorious history. Marriage in the past was used to united kingdoms, secure wealth, subjugate women and treat them as property (chattel,) and so on. (The Bible details many examples of this.) It is only in recent times that the concept of marriage has become about love, not money. Except for the anti-marriage equality folks on the Right, who still insist marriage is not about love, but about sex.

Specifically, and this is central to the argument used in the Prop 8 case, America’s Right Wing says that the primary purpose of the institution of marriage is to “channel” man’s natural desires into procreation. In “Hijacking the Marriage Debate,” at the National Review, Thomas Messner writes,

“Marriage is not fundamental to our ‘existence’ and ‘survival’ merely because it sometimes is marked by expressions of love, commitment, and respect. Marriage is fundamental to our existence and survival because it remains society’s best and most effective way of ordering sexual relations between men and women, encouraging procreation, and increasing the odds that a child will have the influence and support of both a mother and a father.”

Once again, this shows the ridiculousness and zero-sum mindedness of conservatives, like Messner.

What has gender or orientation have to do with the desire and ability to marry?

One of the essential questions surrounding state-sanctioning of marriage, (opposite-sex or same-sex marriage,) is, “Is it in the best interests of the state?” If the state has a vested interest in marriage, then it has a right to intercede and to regulate. (So lawmakers think.)

Is it in the state’s best interest to offer marriage only to opposite-sex couples? It is not.

Marriage does afford couples many benefits, including monogamy (should they choose,) financial and emotional stability, and societal acceptance, recognition, and support. Why should these ideals be limited to opposite-sex couples, when clearly it is to society’s benefit, and therefore, the state’s, to offer these to everyone?

(Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin published a piece on her blog yesterday titled, “Google to Pay Heterosexuals Less Than Homosexuals,” which exhibited the extreme arrogance and sense of entitlement America’s Right Wing, especially the “Tea Party,” has. It also displayed their extreme lack of desire to understand social issues, especially as they relate to non-traditional families. In, “Michelle Malkin: “Google to Pay Heterosexuals Less Than Homosexuals,” I write, “Yes, that’s right. America’s Right Wing, ever trolling to find ways to “prove” they are victims and the unfairly-treated majority, thinks now that because same-sex couples, who for, well, forever, have had to pay over a lifetime thousands upon thousands of dollars more in taxes than their opposite-sex married counterparts, are getting a “break” from beneficent corporations like Google, that it’s tantamount to discrimination against straights.”)

And again, the conservative dictum that only a mother and a father can raise a child comes to the fore. And we know — studies prove it, as does common sense, and millions of single parents and same-sex parent couples — that children can thrive in a variety of households, as long as love, not procreation, is the basis for the desire to be a family.

Sad, when you think about it, that the people who claim to be trying to “protect” marriage, see it as merely an institution to foster procreation.

So, the Right thinks that if gay marriage is legalized, children will be in trouble. Somehow, parents will give up their biological children automatically to same-sex couples, or, same-sex couples will come to straight households in the dead of night and, like Peter Pan, perhaps, convince children to fly away to NeverLand.

Additionally, the Right fears that if same-sex marriage is legalized, straight couples will cease to want to marry, and straight married couples will cease to want to have children.

We’re not going to steal children from same-sex couples, and we’re not going to stop having them or adopting them, regardless of the laws surrounding same-sex marriage. But laws that support same-sex marriage would serve to strengthen our families and protect children. Sadly, the Right is only concerned about protecting straight marriage and protecting children of straight parents.

Back in January, Nate Silver, founder of FiveThirtyEight.com (now a New York Times site,) published, “Divorce Rates Higher in States with Gay Marriage Bans.” He writes, “Over the past decade or so, divorce has gradually become more uncommon in the United States. Since 2003, however, the decline in divorce rates has been largely confined to states which have not passed a state constitutional ban on gay marriage. These states saw their divorce rates decrease by an average of 8 percent between 2003 and 2008. States which had passed a same-sex marriage ban as of January 1, 2008, however, saw their divorce rates rise by about 1 percent over the same period.” (Emphasis added.)

It’s almost as if the anti-marriage equality crowd secretly thinks if same-sex marriage (I’m sorry, when same-sex marriage) becomes legal, their spouses will leave them and enter into a same-sex relationship. Perhaps they’re right?

The other fact — since we’re bringing up statistics — the Right doesn’t want you to know, is that states that offer full marriage equality also have the lowest incidents of child homelessness. It’s true. In, “2.9 Million Orphans, Happy Father’s Day,” I write that, for example, Utah, which “ranks #38 [50 being the worst,] prohibits adoption by ‘a person who is cohabiting in a relationship that is not a legally valid and binding marriage.’ Coincidence?”

The Right wants to make people believe that “homosexual marriage” (they love to call it that too, because “homosexual’ sounds “bad,”) will somehow obliterate “traditional marriage.” Well, it won’t. Marriage, is marriage.

In a bigoted and strongly fallacious piece, The Family Research Council says that, “[h]omosexual marriage degrades a time-honored institution.” The Family Research Council thinks that marriages are like iPhones. The moment a new model comes out, it makes the existing ones less valuable.

The folks who really should be angry at that are the folks who have been in long-term marriages. Those marriages have withstood the test of time, making their relationship one of beauty and value.

All of this bigoted, hate-mongering is preposterous.

As is this concept: If marriage equality becomes the law of the land, it will mean that homosexuals are normal.

Oh, wait. We ARE.

And that, my friends, is what America’s anti-marriage equality Right Wing is really afraid of.

(image: kevindooley)

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MN Police Officer Sentenced 3.5 Years for Death of George Floyd

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Former Minneapolis police officer J. Alexander Keung has been sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for aiding and abetting manslaughter in the death of Black city resident George Floyd.

Keung, age 29, had accepted a plea deal in order to avoid an additional charge of aiding and abetting second-degree murder. His guilty plea acknowledged that the restraining holds used by police on Floyd were excessive and likely to cause serious harm.

Video of Floyd’s May 25, 2020 murder at the hands of city police captured footage of Keung kneeling on Floyd’s back while another officer knelt of the man’s neck. for over nine minutes, officers applied pressure to Floyd while he laid face down in the street, crying and telling officers that he couldn’t breathe while also calling out for his mother.

Video of Floyd’s murder sparked international outrage and inspired protests against institutional racism and police brutality.

Keung is the fourth and final police officer to receive prison time for his role in Floyd’s death. He will serve his new sentence and a federal sentence for Floyd’s death concurrently, serving a total of about 2 1/2 years for the killing.

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Virginia Republican Files Bill Defining a Fertilized Egg as a Human

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Virginia State Delegate Marie March (R) has pre-filed House Bill 1395, a law that would define life as beginning at fertilization.

“Life begins at conception and each person is accorded the same rights and protections guaranteed to all persons by the Constitution of the United States,” the proposed bill states.

The proposed bill would effectively outlaw all abortions in the state and even endanger the use of Plan B (aka. “The morning-after pill”), a medication that prevents fertilized egg cells from attaching to a woman’s uterine wall.

The bill could also effectively criminalize in vitro fertilization, a method of inducing pregnancy that uses fertilized eggs and discards any unused ones.

Even though Republicans control the state’s House of Delegates, it’s unclear if the bill would have any chance of passing the state’s Democratic-led Senate. The legislature won’t reconvene until January 11, 2023.

Virginia currently allows a woman to get an abortion within roughly 26 weeks of pregnancy. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has proposed passing a law that would reduce that window to 15 weeks, a period of time in which most women may not even realize they’re pregnant.

In response to March’s bill the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance said in a statement, “In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and despite the vast majority of Virginians who oppose it, Virginia’s anti-abortion elected officials keep proving there are no limits to their extremism and true intentions to ban abortion for all Virginians.”

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Georgia GOP Says Its Voting Restrictions “Backfired” & Helped Dems Win Senate Seat

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When two Republicans lost Georgia’s special runoff senate elections in January 2021, state Republicans in the General Assembly re-wrote voting laws to restrict absentee ballots and give voters fewer days to vote in future runoff elections.

However, after Republicans lost yet another runoff election for Georgia’s Senate seat — with Herschel Walker losing to his Democratic competitor, Rev. Raphael Warnock, earlier this month — state Republicans want to re-re-write the rules, hopeful of a more favorable outcome.

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), the official who oversees the state’s voting procedures, said he plans on giving three proposals to lawmakers when they return to the General Assembly in January.

“[The proposals] include forcing large counties to open more early-voting locations (in an attempt to reduce the hours-long lines some voters waited in) … lowering the threshold candidates must achieve to avoid a runoff from 50 percent to 45 percent; and instituting a ranked-choice instant-runoff system that would not require voters to come back to the polls again after the general election,” The New York Times reported.

To be clear, it’s unclear whether these changes would’ve helped Walker win. But they stand in contrast to the changes state Republicans made to voting laws following their failed January 2021 Senate runoff ambitions.

The changes after that time severely restricted the types of people eligible to receive an absentee ballot. While 24 percent of the January 2021 vote came via mail-in absentee ballots, the rule changes resulted in 5 percent of mail-in votes coming in for the January 2022 runoff.

Republicans also lowered the number of in-person early voting days to five (though the rule change allowed counties to add extra days.) The Times found that 28 of Georgia’s 159 counties opted to add extra in-person early voting days — 17 of the counties that did largely backed Warnock while 11 backed his challenger.

Before the recent run-off election, Raffensperger also tried to enforce a state law forbidding in-person early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. However, Warnock successfully sued to prevent the law from going into effect.

Overall, the changes may have “backfired,” Republicans told The Times, actually encouraging Democratic voters to come out in greater numbers.

While Republicans point to the large turnout of runoff voters as “proof” that their changes didn’t discourage voting, Warnock’s campaign criticized the changes, saying that such restrictions shouldn’t make it harder for people to vote in the first place.

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