6 Bogus Anti-Gay Marriage Arguments Debunked


Four Catholic bishops from Washington released a letter on Tuesday attempting to coerce their combined 800,000 flock into voting down marriage equality at the Referendum 74 November ballot.

What Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, Spokane Bishop Blaise J. Cupich, Yakima Bishop Joseph J. Tyson and Seattle’s bishop Eusebio Elizondo, have actually stitched together is a list of the same tired and baseless arguments against marriage equality that we have heard time and time again. Here they are, lifted straight from the letter, and here’s why they shouldn’t fool anyone:

1) “The legal separation of marriage from procreation would have a chilling effect on religious liberty and the right of conscience” — To show this is absolute nonsense we need look no further than Referendum 74′s summary which makes explicitly clear the measure “preserves the right of clergy or religious organizations to refuse to perform or recognize any marriage or accommodate wedding ceremonies. The bill does not affect licensing of religious organizations providing adoption, foster-care, or child-placement.”

2) ”Once marriage is redefined as a genderless contract, it will become legally discriminatory for public and private institutions such as schools to promote the unique value of children being raised by their biological mothers and fathers.” – There is no evidenced “unique” value to heterosexual parents raising kids as, time after time, studies have shown that a two parent family gives an optimal environment for child-rearing regardless of the gender of the parents. Also, private religious schools will be able to teach according to their ethos. Public schools will teach the facts and adhere to nondiscrimination provisions in state and federal law. Marriage equality will not and cannot change that.

3) “Recent attacks on churches, businesses and nonprofit organizations that express their conscientious objection to the redefinition of marriage underscore the danger.” — This is a uniquely disgusting repackaging of the usual slippery slope argument because it attempts to capitalize on a lone gunman attempting to enter the anti-gay group the Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington a few weeks ago. The group itself has been exploiting that incident to try and have the SPLC drop the FRC’s designated hate group status (but it is there for a reason), and it appears the aforementioned Catholic bishops aren’t above milking the event either, the implied threat being “If we don’t stop marriage equality, anyone who is against it could be gunned down.” This is shameful scaremongering.

4) “Marriage is founded on sexual difference and ordered toward the fulfillment of husband and wife and the procreation and rearing of children.” – The historic uses of marriage have been to trade women for livestock and land and to unite men with four or five wives. Talking about what marriage is “founded” on really isn’t a solid defense against “redefining” it.

5) “[If you allow gay marriage] the civil meaning of marriage will be lost, and the institution that results will be a genderless contract without reference to children.” — And yet not a single Catholic church in America has throughout the entire length of this debate prohibited a heterosexual couple who are unable to have a child from marrying.

6) The foundational nature of marriage for the good and the strength of human society will be harmed beyond repair. – In America alone, six states, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire and New York, alongside the District of Columbia, have legalized and retained their marriage equality laws. Not once has any harm to the “nature of marriage” been established. Anti-gay forces were even unable to prove such harms during the Proposition 8 trial and such arguments have continued to go unsupported as House Republicans attempt to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in various court challenges.

Put simply, there is no good reason to deny same-sex couples the right to access civil marriage. What is offered above are all smokescreens, misdirection and parroted untruths that the Church should be ashamed to keep pushing.


Related Reading:

Lawsuit Over Washington’s ‘Prejudiced’ Marriage Referendum Title

Gov. Gregoire Signs Washington Marriage Equality Bill

Microsoft Supports Marriage Equality in Washington

WA Lawyer Moves to Repeal Gay Marriage (Before It’s Even Been Legalized)

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to Jason Tester.


Deborah Stewart
Deborah S4 years ago

What an entertaining thread! I hadn't meant to stay so long, but I was captivated by the exchanges involving DOT or . to those in the know or *The Poster Formerly Known As Michael M.* Well written and humorous, sometimes unintentionally I'm sure, his posts give imaginative and compelling insight into the inner workings of the upper echelons of international gay entertainment circles.

DOT is brutal in some of his descriptions of the gay lifestyle, which I find very sad. Because DOT sounds like a raging queen, who may or may not have attended college for a year, works in the mailroom of some large company and dreams of doing female impressions on a professional level - instead of just for his closest "royal" friends. He's never met Freddie Mercury or anyone else famous. But he does have 3 FM posters on his walls.

DOT, you should follow your dreams. I have a feeling you would be very good at it. I found you hilarious!

Pamela W.
Pamela W4 years ago

MARRIAGE per se, has been around longer than Christianity (and some other religions) so who the hell are they to have "defined" it, or to object to it being "redefined" ???? It wasn't theirs in the first place !!!!!!!!!

Spirit Spider
Spirit Spider4 years ago

Love is love

Cristina S.
Cristina Siegel5 years ago

You MUST be a homophobe, nigelT...I agree with maryC.Marriage is not about reproduction, but about love. As long as two people love each other marriage is permitted. And yes, I am a lesbian.

Mary Crook
Mary Crook5 years ago

Pfft... Many people found the idea of mixed marriages to be disturbing and utterly revolting as well.

Things that have devalued marriage:

Britney Spears' marriage of 55 hours
Newt Gingrich's 3 marriages
Rush Limbaugh's 4 marriages
A woman in Indiana holds the world record for being married 24 times and would do it again
The Bachelor and Bachelorette

Things that have not devalued marriage:

Gays and Lesbians

Mark M.
Mark M5 years ago

I set little store by any religious views or appeals to ancient authority. None of the arguments I have read so far seem to touch on the real issue which is about common gut feelings. The concept of marriage that has evolved over the years is being attacked and redefined. A fundamental change is being demanded in social attitudes and behavior. Rightly or wrongly society is being asked to give its blessing to something many people find disturbing, if not utterly revolting. For me it just seems wrong to encourage and legalize a fundamental change in traditional values without very good reasons. Of course the idea of lifelong monogamous association for mutual care and the procreation, care and well being of children has been largely lost in the fickleness and immorality which is increasingly becoming the norm. Social security has freed people from responsibility and already enabled the majority to abandon the link between marriage and procreation. So what exactly is left? Maybe the debate about gay marriage will draw us back to thinking about the value of proper family structure and the way things ought to be. On the other hand it may just devalue the concept of marriage for everyone.
I suspect the latter.

Mary Crook
Mary Crook5 years ago

I don't give a rats ass what it says in the bible... To be legally married one must receive a license from the state to be married. Thus.. Religion has NOTHING to do with it.

The bible also discusses how you should treat slaves. The bible doesn't say slavery is wrong... It actually tells you how to treat them. If your holy book gets something so abhorrent as slavery completely wrong, how is anyone supposed to look at it for getting something as harmless as marriage between two consenting adults correct???

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson5 years ago

love is love. it belongs to everyone. period

Lika S.
Lika P5 years ago

I never understood why it was an issue. I don't care if Genesis 2:24 states "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." - define wife. Does a wife have to be female? If it were gender neutral, a person will leave their parents and cleave unto their spouses.

And it's not forcing the church to have gay marriage. If they don't like them, don't perform them. Once upon a time, it was illegal to have an interracial marriage. Same sex marriage does not take away, but adds more quality to American life.

Kevin M.
Kevin Moore5 years ago

These people ought to remember that most gay marriages don't give most of the rights that hetero marriages do- I can't remember the legal terms for them, but in some places they can't adopt children, can't have hospital visitation rights (in family-only cases), or be considered next-of-kin, as the spouse would be in a traditional mariage. Also, where is the point that until the 60's inter-racial marriage was also illegal in the US? Have they conveniently forgotten that, as Christians often like to do ( and by that, I mean forget things to make their point seem all the more extreme)?