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Gay marriage

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Arcane
784540.  Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:26 pm Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
As a gay man I have absolutely no interest in the 'right' to marry, I approach the problem from the other direction. To me it's not a question of a right being denied to one group as one of why that right is being granted to any group.

If, as we all seem to agree, a marriage should be about nothing more than the love between the persons involved then why should there be any state sanction or regulation of it at all? Arcane, I'd be interested to know your view on polygamy? Or do you only allow for marriage between two people?


My feelings regarding polygamy is basically WHY? Firstly, why would you want all that complication? To me, it seems to be about having your cake, in fact an entire bakery and eating it too. Marriage is essentially defined as a commitment of two people excluding all others - if you want to get married then surely you should be going in with that thought in mind? Otherwise, don't get married if you're going to say "I'll make a public statement that says I will be only with this person", then either cheat on them or take a few more "wives/husbands"! Married, unmarried, doesn't bother me there either.

All I am saying that if gays want to get married, then they should have that opportunity. Plenty of people get by perfectly well not being married, for some, that works better. I do not think I'll marry again, I think I'll be happy with long term relationships if they happen to come may way, but I realise now I don't really want to be married. If I were gay though and I wanted to be married, then surely I should be allowed that?

As far as gender roles go, I have long and loudly stated that what we do in life should be based on our individual capabilities, needs and wants. The bits that make us male and female do not mean that we are incapable of doing pretty much most things - I have said there are many men who would make far better stay at home parents than the women, and if women want careers outside the home whilst their partner takes care of the house or kids, then who is stopping it? To be honest, I think it's the men who need to speak up more and say "Hey, if we can do this then I want to". It's all right for women to say we want equal rights, but perhaps men still need to think outside the box and give it a go. There is however, that tricky area of equal pay and equal opportunities for women in the workplace, which has still been shown in many countries that it is not happening.

http://www.dfat.gov.au/facts/women.html

http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/women/equalpay/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_pay_for_women

It is still assumed that women will either have to make a choice between career or kids. It's hard to get ahead in a demanding career if the expectations are from the workplace that you devote all your time to that, and then does your family suffer? Or how do you get opportunities in the workplace if you have to take a time out to have a baby? Still, the onus is on women to make that choice.

 
suze
784542.  Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:41 pm Reply with quote

I struggle a bit with this actually.

I'm certainly not one who insists that marriage should be between one man and one woman - I have no problem with it being two men or two women.

And yet I do feel that it ought to be an arrangement involving two people. When it comes down to it, I don't want my husband having sex with anyone other than me, and I'm sure he feels comparably.

To which exnihilo or anyone else could reply "OK, so you don't want to enter into a polygamous arrangement. Fine, no one is saying you have to. But why shouldn't people who do want to do it be legally entitled to."

I cannot really argue against that, and yet there's something within me which doesn't consider polygamy to be the quite the thing. Is that because I'm on the fringes of the Christian faith, and I'd feel differently if I held no religious beliefs? I don't know.

 
sjb
784544.  Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:10 pm Reply with quote

From where I stand, there seems to be a strong relationship between polygamy and the need/desire to procreate as much and as efficiently as possible. I'm not sure I've really heard an argument for polygamy other than the increased amount of offspring. I'm discounting the "status symbol" idea--"Look at me, I can afford x-number of wives! I'm a baller." I can't imagine anyone marrying multiple wives as a status symbol who wouldn't also intend to have a large number of children for the same reason.

I'm not sure who needs 5, 10, 20+ children these days. So, that's certainly why I cringe a bit at the idea of polygamy.

It would be nice if the groups who are adamantly in favor of polygamy (and don't need* a big brood) were out adopting a gaggle of children instead of creating them the old-fashioned way. Then, I guess I'd have to rethink my opinion on polygamy.

*I'm sure there are groups of people out in the wider world who lead agrarian lives, for example, and still need a large number of offspring to get by.

 
Arcane
784557.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:09 am Reply with quote

I'm not sure who can afford 5, 10, 20+ children these days.

 
Moosh
784564.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:54 am Reply with quote

sjbodell wrote:
From where I stand, there seems to be a strong relationship between polygamy and the need/desire to procreate as much and as efficiently as possible. I'm not sure I've really heard an argument for polygamy other than the increased amount of offspring. I'm discounting the "status symbol" idea--"Look at me, I can afford x-number of wives! I'm a baller." I can't imagine anyone marrying multiple wives as a status symbol who wouldn't also intend to have a large number of children for the same reason.


When I think of polygamy, the idea of a guy with multiple wives isn't what comes to mind. You, (and suze, and Arcane), seem to be viewing it as several simultaneous binary relationships, rather than one relationship between more than two people.

But at the end of the day it doesn't really matter to me, since I'm more of the "do what you want, unless there's a reason not to" school than the "these are the things you're allowed to do" school. So rather than saying "should we allow polygamous marriages", I think we should be saying "is there a reason not to allow them?" and I really can't think of one.

 
Arcane
784571.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:58 am Reply with quote

I would be interested to know if anyone has information on the history of polygamy; IIRC it existed even in the Bible, so why did it end up that it was legal to only have one spouse?

My thought was not the legality of why, but just why anyone would want to go through a marriage and have "wives" or "husdbands", (plural), instead of being single and having girlfriends/boyfriends?

I just think of a bunch of women in one house, all having share of the same man and the feelings that must go on there. *shudders*

 
bemahan
784572.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:04 am Reply with quote

Arcane wrote:
I just think of a bunch of women in one house, all having share of the same man and the feelings that must go on there. *shudders*


Surely I'm not the only one that read that both ways?

 
Moosh
784573.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:10 am Reply with quote

Arcane wrote:
My thought was not the legality of why, but just why anyone would want to go through a marriage and have "wives" or "husdbands", (plural), instead of being single and having girlfriends/boyfriends?

Surely for the same reasons anyone wants to get married? It's a public, and a private, expression of your commitment, it's a symbol of your love, etc. etc. I don't see why you think those, and other, reasons don't apply to relationships with more than two people in them.

Quote:
I just think of a bunch of women in one house, all having share of the same man and the feelings that must go on there. *shudders*

I'm not saying that there aren't some poly relationships like that, but I'm genuinely curious why the "harem" is what you think of, rather than the usual 3 or 4 people, who may be male or female in any proportion. Would you feel the same way about a relationship with two men and two women? Or 3 women and no men?

 
Sadurian Mike
784581.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:10 am Reply with quote

Well from my viewpoint (and I've been thinking a lot about the subject recently...) modern marriage is a way to say to someone, "out of all the prospective partners out there, I think you are the most special and I therefore want to commit to you alone."

That message gets rather diluted when you add, "oh, and I also think X is the most special as well, so I'm also going to marry them".

Now that reason for monogamy obvious only works if you follow the same mindset as me so it is unlikely to be universal, but I image that many people getting married do so for similar reasons.

 
Spud McLaren
784588.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:45 am Reply with quote

Polygamy makes for a complicated society, though. Let's imagine that Zena is married to 3 men, Alan, Bruce and Chris. Yolande is married to Alan and Bruce, but not to Chris. She is also married to Dave, who is also married to Wendy and Val, etc.

I have a suspicion that polygamy is usually banned because of the probability of unwittingly marrying your own half-sister, or similar occurence. Let's face it, in the history of human relationships it will have been tried at least once, somewhere. There must be a reason why the practice was discontinued, on a societally sanctioned basis at least.

 
soup
784603.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:32 am Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:

I have a suspicion that polygamy is usually banned because of the probability of unwittingly marrying your own half-sister, or similar occurence.


Obviously you have never been to a family gathering Spud. Aunties would take charge of the information of who was related to whom, after all they seem to take great delight in knowing "oh him, he is Mary's second husband's son from his previous marriage to that Wendy".

:o)

 
Spud McLaren
784605.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:38 am Reply with quote

soup wrote:
Obviously you have never been to a family gathering Spud.
Very true. I've always taken the view that you can choose your friends, but you're stuck with your relations. By and large, I know who I'd rather spend my time with*.

*people who don't care about correct grammar, obviously.

 
Bondee
784613.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:03 am Reply with quote

Spud McLaren wrote:
people who don't care about correct grammar, obviously.


Well my grammar's been dead for over 25 years so I can't spend any time with her!
; )

 
suze
784614.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:08 am Reply with quote

Moosh wrote:
I'm more of the "do what you want, unless there's a reason not to" school than the "these are the things you're allowed to do" school.


To a large extent, so am I. So quite why I think I have the right to say that the marriage relationship ought to be between two people I don't know. Even so, I do more or less say that.


Arcane wrote:
I would be interested to know if anyone has information on the history of polygamy; IIRC it existed even in the Bible, so why did it end up that it was legal to only have one spouse?


The Old Testament does not condemn polygamy, no. But while polygamy was allowed in Geographic Palestine of Biblical times, it seems to have fallen rather out of fashion, and by the time of Jesus was rare. Indeed, at least some Jewish sects had forbidden it by then (this we learn from the Dead Sea Scrolls).

The New Testament is not explicit on the subject, and Jesus does not speak on the matter. But Timothy notes that a bishop ought to have only one wife, and some interpret 1 Corinthians 7:2 as forbidding polygamy.

"But for fear of fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband."

In post-Biblical times, the prohibition of polygamy among Christians came from the Roman Catholic Church, and indeed it's mentioned in the Catechism. It's from there that Western society draws its general disapproval, although we should note that Martin Luther was not implacably opposed.

 
exnihilo
784623.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:49 am Reply with quote

I had a feeling that the 'why not polygamy?' question would result in the 'because I don't like it' response. That's why I asked it, because as far as I can see that's exactly what people are lambasting the Iowan chappy for saying. You think marriage should only be between two people, he thinks it should only be between two straight people. What makes either one of you right or wrong?

This is why I think we're fighting for a right we shouldn't want or need. I don't actually give a monkey's if you 'marry' one person, two or twenty, and I don't think the state should either. I certainly don't think it should afford you any privilege whatsoever, or exalt you in any way over those who do not marry anyone. If you choose to publicly and privately express your commitment and exclusivity to someone else, of any gender, or to a small group of people that's your business and nobody else's.

 

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