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    It does not matter whether homosexuality is natural or nurtured. If there is a 'gay gene', homophobes will just try, through eugenics or embryo selection (etc.) to find a non-gay child. If it is nurtured, they'll just use that as an excuse to deny gay people the right to adopt children or to work around children etc. Either way, homophobes will still find a way of trying to prevent homosexuality.

    Marriage may be a traditional institution. Then again, so is slavery and witch burnings. We got rid of them because we found them to be unethical. As well, we have granted rights where previous generations would have wavered - the right for women to vote, the right to vote at all. It is called progress. It's 'traditional' to have a tyrranical monarch with no democratic process at all. But we drop traditions if they are unethical or barbaric.

    Marriage has two functions: religious and legal. The religious function is simple: it is saying, in the eyes of God (or Allah or Vishnu or the Invisible Pink Unicorn or Elvis Presley or whoever it is you worship) that the two people in front of you are to marry. It also has a legal function. Actually, lots of legal functions. First of all, the estates of the two people generally become one estate. The name of the bride, in many instances, changes to that of the groom (although there are many who double barrel it, keep their old name or put use it as their middle name - eg. Hillary Rodham Clinton). There are a number of financial responsibilities and a number of financial bonuses (I won't use the word 'incentives' because few people get married to save a few hundred quid on their council tax bill or some nonsense like that) depending on where they live, of course. In probate law, if a person dies without a will (this has a term, but it's slipped my mind and I'm not going upstairs to find it out) the spouse is first in line for inheritance. Ditto with pensions - if a person is married there are things like War Widow's pensions for people in service.

    With Registry Offices, though, one can have the legal function, but not the religious function. Indeed, if you are divorced and want to get married, many churches here won't marry you. My grandmother had this problem because her late husband had been divorced. Eventually they found someone who would marry them (I think it was in the crypt of one of the big churches in London or Edinburgh - sorry, hazy memory again). But if you are an atheist, you can have a nondenominational marriage at a Registry Office (and, if the British Humanist Association / National Secular Society get their way, anywhere with the 'blessing' of a secular Registrar).

    If gay marriage were to come in, it would not force churches to marry gays. If they wanted to, they could, but there would be no requirement for a church (or other religious group) to marry people if they didn't want to.

    Now to the 'icky' argument. The government isn't there to legislate away what you may find distasteful. With this argument, what would happen if you substituted 'fat' instead of 'gay'. "I find the idea of fat people having sex disgusting, therefore they shouldn't be allowed to marry." But you have to put that aside. It is exactly the same as free speech. I find some of the arguments on this thread distasteful, but I don't think that the person should be made a criminal of because they are making them. If one's opposition to gay marriage is based on the fact that one finds homosexual activity disgusting, surely whether you let single-sex marriages take place will not change the amount of actual homosexual activity taking place. They're not going to think "The government haven't let us marry, so we are not going to have sex", so by not allowing gay marriage, one is not actually curbing the behaviour they have a problem with. And, I feel confident in saying, whatever people think of homosexuality, people don't want their sex lives legislated. I mean, just think about it: the Government deciding on sexual issues. Look at how bad they cocked up the railways.

    As for the idea that gays marrying 'devalues' marriage, I can see no evidence of this. If two men decide to marry (or obtain a marriage-like legal state, such as the civil unions that have been introduced in some jurisdictions and proposed in many others), does it prevent a straight couple from marrying? No. It neither prevents them from marrying, nor continuing in matrimony. If there were only limited amounts of marriages allowed (say an annual quota), the idea that a certain group should have favour may hold some weight, logically speaking. But as the 'supply' of marriages is only as finite as the supply of couples who want to marry, I can see no way in which it devalues marriage.

    As for it devaluing the importance of an individual marriage, I'm not sure how that works either. If Mr and Mrs A are married, and Mr and Mrs B also decide to get married (let's stick with straight to keep it simple), it does not make A's marriage legally worse. In fact, if only Mr and Mrs A were married, and nobody else in the world, they would have no advantage. In fact, the government would probably not recognise the legal aspects of that marriage, and deny them any of the financial benefits/responsibilities that marriage has attached these days, simply because there is no reason to make an exception in the law for one person. If the government decided to end all special treatment they give to married couples tommorow, there would be outcry. But if only Mr and Mrs A were married, there wouldn't be. Therefore, the more people who are married, the stronger the "collective bargaining power" is for the laws on taxation (etc.). It is as if all married people are part of a trades union. The higher percentage of people who are part of it, the greater its power.

    Does it devalue the religious elements of marriage? Only for those religions which are opposed to homosexuality. In fact, if I started a religion that said homosexuality was a very positive thing, not providing the right for homosexuals to marry would devalue my religion. Indeed if a religion has no view on homosexuality (a "don't mind if you do, don't mind if you don't" viewpoint), it would not either increase or decrease the value of marriages (straight or gay) performed by that religion.

    I personally think that religions should be part of a 'free market of ideas', where each religion is based on its merits. Therefore, if no religion is forced to marry people who they have some kind issue (theological or otherwise) with, it should not affect the religious function of marriage.
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    (Original post by tommorris)
    It does not matter whether homosexuality is natural or nurtured. If there is a 'gay gene', homophobes will just try, through eugenics or embryo selection (etc.) to find a non-gay child. If it is nurtured, they'll just use that as an excuse to deny gay people the right to adopt children or to work around children etc. Either way, homophobes will still find a way of trying to prevent homosexuality.

    Marriage may be a traditional institution. Then again, so is slavery and witch burnings. We got rid of them because we found them to be unethical. As well, we have granted rights where previous generations would have wavered - the right for women to vote, the right to vote at all. It is called progress. It's 'traditional' to have a tyrranical monarch with no democratic process at all. But we drop traditions if they are unethical or barbaric.

    Marriage has two functions: religious and legal. The religious function is simple: it is saying, in the eyes of God (or Allah or Vishnu or the Invisible Pink Unicorn or Elvis Presley or whoever it is you worship) that the two people in front of you are to marry. It also has a legal function. Actually, lots of legal functions. First of all, the estates of the two people generally become one estate. The name of the bride, in many instances, changes to that of the groom (although there are many who double barrel it, keep their old name or put use it as their middle name - eg. Hillary Rodham Clinton). There are a number of financial responsibilities and a number of financial bonuses (I won't use the word 'incentives' because few people get married to save a few hundred quid on their council tax bill or some nonsense like that) depending on where they live, of course. In probate law, if a person dies without a will (this has a term, but it's slipped my mind and I'm not going upstairs to find it out) the spouse is first in line for inheritance. Ditto with pensions - if a person is married there are things like War Widow's pensions for people in service.

    With Registry Offices, though, one can have the legal function, but not the religious function. Indeed, if you are divorced and want to get married, many churches here won't marry you. My grandmother had this problem because her late husband had been divorced. Eventually they found someone who would marry them (I think it was in the crypt of one of the big churches in London or Edinburgh - sorry, hazy memory again). But if you are an atheist, you can have a nondenominational marriage at a Registry Office (and, if the British Humanist Association / National Secular Society get their way, anywhere with the 'blessing' of a secular Registrar).

    If gay marriage were to come in, it would not force churches to marry gays. If they wanted to, they could, but there would be no requirement for a church (or other religious group) to marry people if they didn't want to.

    Now to the 'icky' argument. The government isn't there to legislate away what you may find distasteful. With this argument, what would happen if you substituted 'fat' instead of 'gay'. "I find the idea of fat people having sex disgusting, therefore they shouldn't be allowed to marry." But you have to put that aside. It is exactly the same as free speech. I find some of the arguments on this thread distasteful, but I don't think that the person should be made a criminal of because they are making them. If one's opposition to gay marriage is based on the fact that one finds homosexual activity disgusting, surely whether you let single-sex marriages take place will not change the amount of actual homosexual activity taking place. They're not going to think "The government haven't let us marry, so we are not going to have sex", so by not allowing gay marriage, one is not actually curbing the behaviour they have a problem with. And, I feel confident in saying, whatever people think of homosexuality, people don't want their sex lives legislated. I mean, just think about it: the Government deciding on sexual issues. Look at how bad they cocked up the railways.

    As for the idea that gays marrying 'devalues' marriage, I can see no evidence of this. If two men decide to marry (or obtain a marriage-like legal state, such as the civil unions that have been introduced in some jurisdictions and proposed in many others), does it prevent a straight couple from marrying? No. It neither prevents them from marrying, nor continuing in matrimony. If there were only limited amounts of marriages allowed (say an annual quota), the idea that a certain group should have favour may hold some weight, logically speaking. But as the 'supply' of marriages is only as finite as the supply of couples who want to marry, I can see no way in which it devalues marriage.

    As for it devaluing the importance of an individual marriage, I'm not sure how that works either. If Mr and Mrs A are married, and Mr and Mrs B also decide to get married (let's stick with straight to keep it simple), it does not make A's marriage legally worse. In fact, if only Mr and Mrs A were married, and nobody else in the world, they would have no advantage. In fact, the government would probably not recognise the legal aspects of that marriage, and deny them any of the financial benefits/responsibilities that marriage has attached these days, simply because there is no reason to make an exception in the law for one person. If the government decided to end all special treatment they give to married couples tommorow, there would be outcry. But if only Mr and Mrs A were married, there wouldn't be. Therefore, the more people who are married, the stronger the "collective bargaining power" is for the laws on taxation (etc.). It is as if all married people are part of a trades union. The higher percentage of people who are part of it, the greater its power.

    Does it devalue the religious elements of marriage? Only for those religions which are opposed to homosexuality. In fact, if I started a religion that said homosexuality was a very positive thing, not providing the right for homosexuals to marry would devalue my religion. Indeed if a religion has no view on homosexuality (a "don't mind if you do, don't mind if you don't" viewpoint), it would not either increase or decrease the value of marriages (straight or gay) performed by that religion.

    I personally think that religions should be part of a 'free market of ideas', where each religion is based on its merits. Therefore, if no religion is forced to marry people who they have some kind issue (theological or otherwise) with, it should not affect the religious function of marriage.
    Great cut n paste job there Tom. Well done!
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    If you dislike the message, just accuse the writer of plagiarism. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by tommorris)
    If you dislike the message, just accuse the writer of plagiarism. :rolleyes:
    I thought you were dead you old git! My grandaddy was called Tom Morris.......spooky!

    PS: I don't know if I like the message or not since I couldn't be assed to read it.
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    Was your grandfather a golfer by any chance?

    Anyway, to confirm, I did write it in it's entirety.
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    (Original post by tommorris)
    Was your grandfather a golfer by any chance?

    Anyway, to confirm, I did write it in it's entirety.
    Well done then. It was unfair of me to slate you after you'd gone to such lengths to make a valuable contribution.

    No, he was a chippy.
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    I think there are two very good arguments in favour of letting homosexuals marry. The first is equal rights in favour of discrimination, the second is the "why not?".

    Basicly, all arguments against letting homosexuals marry is based on tradition and culture etc etc. Well, cultures change and so does traditions. Giev us one reason why it would be so horrible to alter a tradition in favour of more equal rights. Why not?
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    The only arguments i see for gay marriage and adoption are very selfish. Firstly, the 'equal opportunities' argument. This is simply considering the gay folk, the children should be at the centre of our considerations, not the adults. Gay folks are not meant to have kids, nobody has a right to have kids, nobody. Even if gay folk want kids, they juts want them to satisfy their own needs. It isn't fair on the kkids, having to put up with bullying etc. It just isn't a proper family atmosphere for them. As nasty as it seems, a gay couple IS NOT a good place for kids, nomatter how much love they could give them, nomatter how stable they are or anything. With orphans etc. when we have the opportunity to choose a child's family, we need to choose the best one for tehm, not give them to a couple in the interests of equal opportunities or any of that selfish stuff that adults busy themselves with.
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    (Original post by Joseph_SOUTH)
    Gay folks are not meant to have kids, nobody has a right to have kids, nobody.
    Many "gay folks" have children. You are assuming that everyone continually and constantly only has sex either homosexually or heterosexually.
    Even if gay folk want kids, they juts want them to satisfy their own needs.
    This applies to heterosexual people too. Historically, people had sex "to satisfy their own needs" or for fun. Children were a- welcome or unwelcome- by-product of this.
    It isn't fair on the kkids, having to put up with bullying etc.
    Children have to put up with bullying- or bully- already.
    It just isn't a proper family atmosphere for them. As nasty as it seems, a gay couple IS NOT a good place for kids, nomatter how much love they could give them, nomatter how stable they are or anything. With orphans etc. when we have the opportunity to choose a child's family, we need to choose the best one for tehm, not give them to a couple in the interests of equal opportunities or any of that selfish stuff that adults busy themselves with.
    Presumably this applies to all parents? What is a "proper family atmosphere"? The idea of a family has varied enormously through history and across cultures. It takes a certain ignorance and vanity to assume that what we have today in the west is- at last- the real thing.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    I think there are two very good arguments in favour of letting homosexuals marry. The first is equal rights in favour of discrimination, the second is the "why not?".

    Basicly, all arguments against letting homosexuals marry is based on tradition and culture etc etc. Well, cultures change and so does traditions. Giev us one reason why it would be so horrible to alter a tradition in favour of more equal rights. Why not?
    Let me be clear about this. Are we talking about marriage in the eyes of God or in the eyes of the State?

    I don't see how it is possible to force the Church of England for example to conduct gay marriage rites so despite what laws are passed such marriages are likely to be a civil, (basically a glorified "civil union") rather than religious.

    This being so, the break from tradition argument, becomes a bit irrelevent. Who cares what goes on in the registry offices?
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    The idea of a family has varied enormously through history and across cultures. It takes a certain ignorance and vanity to assume that what we have today in the west is- at last- the real thing.
    This is PC crap.

    Why are we so concerned about "gay rights" here? Surely the only rights that matter a damn where issues like adoption are concerned are "child rights"

    It's undeniably true that children do best brought up by two married parents of different sexes (tons on suitable couples who meet this description but who are unable to have children of their own)

    Sorry, but a childs right to be brought up in such an environment takes precident in my mind over a couple of gay's "rights" to raise children.

    So, "tough ****" to gays and want children because they consider it "their right" and "fuc* equal opportunituies" if it's coming to madness like this.
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    (Original post by Joseph_SOUTH)
    The only arguments i see for gay marriage and adoption are very selfish. Firstly, the 'equal opportunities' argument. This is simply considering the gay folk, the children should be at the centre of our considerations, not the adults. Gay folks are not meant to have kids, nobody has a right to have kids, nobody. Even if gay folk want kids, they juts want them to satisfy their own needs. It isn't fair on the kkids, having to put up with bullying etc. It just isn't a proper family atmosphere for them. As nasty as it seems, a gay couple IS NOT a good place for kids, nomatter how much love they could give them, nomatter how stable they are or anything. With orphans etc. when we have the opportunity to choose a child's family, we need to choose the best one for tehm, not give them to a couple in the interests of equal opportunities or any of that selfish stuff that adults busy themselves with.
    I was going to write a big response about this, but there are just too many things to disagree with. People with these views shouldn't be allowed to breed - their kids might get bullied at school for having bigoted parents.
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    In a world where many children are shipped off to foster care, or come from broken or unloving homes, surely it is acceptable for gay couples to adopt them. Nobody has a right to have children, gay or straight couples, but we do have a responsibility to bring up children in a safe and loving environment. Therefore I see no reason why a stable gay couple cannot adopt children, in the same way a stable straight couple can.

    Will the children turn out to be more gay? Probably not. Will they be more open and accepting of differences? Probably, which is a good thing.
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    oh yes the wonderful tradition..I know the family situation of about 10 people- its 3 divorced, 4 getting ready to divorce, 2 hate eachother, and 1 is quite ok.- all heterosexual by the way, and they were brought up the 'traditional way'. What's really important in a family is love- if the parents love eachother and then the children are happy too. I want to have kids, something like 4-5 or more. Why shouldnt I be allowed if I have a good income, can provide stability, a home, and love and affection by both me and my partner? Just because our kids might be bullied? Bringing up kids that have self-respect, self-esteem and are aware of the world around them will propably ensure they dont become victims of bullies- and if the bully wont understant- the school can deal with it!
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Historically, people had sex "to satisfy their own needs" or for fun. Children were a- welcome or unwelcome- by-product of this.
    Well, the human body uses the "pleasure" of sex as a reward for the act of procreation. Procreation, not pleasure, was historically the function of sex.

    Thought I would just point this out. As for Howard's previous post on "gay rights" and "child rights" I would definitely agree that married parents have the potential to provide the best family environment more easily than other less than "ideal" situations (e.g. single parents, gay couples, grandparents etc) but this is not necessarily the case. Heterosexual married parents do not always make good parents, just as a homosexual couple would not always make bad parents.

    I totally agree with this point by weejimmie and believe that whilst there are loving homes and an attempt to make everything as "normal" as possible (e.g. providing role models of the opposite sex, making sure there is a family member to collect a child from school, making sure there is enough money and a good work ethic instilled into a child by good role models) there should be no real objection to allowing children waiting for adoption to go to these families.

    What is a "proper family atmosphere"? The idea of a family has varied enormously through history and across cultures. It takes a certain ignorance and vanity to assume that what we have today in the west is- at last- the real thing.
    I do, personally, object to gay and lesbian couples using artificial insemination to create a baby of their own, just as I object to a woman using her dead husband's sperm or that of an ex-boyfriend, on the grounds that it just isn't naturally possibly. Two people of the same sex bringing up a child is perfect natural, if not "ideal" to many people.
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    go blissy
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    (Original post by Howard)
    This is PC crap.

    Why are we so concerned about "gay rights" here? Surely the only rights that matter a damn where issues like adoption are concerned are "child rights"
    Who said anything about adoption? Many gay people have children anyway.

    It's undeniably true that children do best brought up by two married parents of different sexes (tons on suitable couples who meet this description but who are unable to have children of their own)
    Evidence that this is "undeniably true"? Historically, as i said, there have been a great many other systems of child-rearing. It's impossible to say which children do best in. By the way, do the two married parents of different sexes need to be married to each other?

    Sorry, but a childs right to be brought up in such an environment takes precident in my mind over a couple of gay's "rights" to raise children.

    So, "tough ****" to gays and want children because they consider it "their right" and "fuc* equal opportunituies" if it's coming to madness like this.
    Even if such an environment is "naturally" superior to all others, there are other factors. Fred and Rosemary West fulfilled your criteria admirably. Unfortunately, they had other qualities which made them wholly unsuitable as parents.
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    (Original post by blissy)
    Well, the human body uses the "pleasure" of sex as a reward for the act of procreation. Procreation, not pleasure, was historically the function of sex.
    Hardly; people have always had sex purely for fun far more often than they had sex purely to breed.
    I do, personally, object to gay and lesbian couples using artificial insemination to create a baby of their own, just as I object to a woman using her dead husband's sperm or that of an ex-boyfriend, on the grounds that it just isn't naturally possibly. Two people of the same sex bringing up a child is perfect natural, if not "ideal" to many people.
    One of the problems with advancing technology is the question of what is "natural". By-and-large, humans have always naturally done whatever they can do. After all, many gays and lesbians had children conceived in the traditional way, because it was the only way they could. Incidentally, shouldn't your last sentence read "Two people of opposite sexes...", or did you change your mind?
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    Children can only be conceived naturally by a fertile man and woman who have sexual intercourse.

    However, children already born by "normal" means can be raised by anyone so I think the "natural" argument (barring gay people from having children because they cannot conceive naturally) doesn't hold. Both society and individuals have different scales of what is the "ideal" situation. I think most people would agree that ferrel children would be the least favourable situation in which a child is raised, alongside serious criminals etc.

    It's when we decide what is the "ideal" situation that we all start to disagree. I would personally rate a loving and stable gay couple higher than most single parents as the gay couple would tick more of my boxes for what I believe are the best conditions to raise a child in. Surely it then comes down to just how "ideal" do you have to be in order to be in custody of a child (whether they be your own or someone else's)? Perhaps we need a standard set of "tick boxes" that disregard the sexual oreintation of the parents. My personal ones would be:

    Loving couple of so many years and have proved steady.
    Female role model readily available.
    Male role model readily available.
    Finances adequate.
    Good provision of available at-home care (e.g. during school holidays, after school).
    Willing to spend time with child to guide child's academic/cultural/moral learning.

    That kind of thing, alongside more practical things like back garden, flights of stairs blah blah.
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    (Original post by Weejimmie)
    Hardly; people have always had sex purely for fun far more often than they had sex purely to breed.
    One of the problems with advancing technology is the question of what is "natural". By-and-large, humans have always naturally done whatever they can do. After all, many gays and lesbians had children conceived in the traditional way, because it was the only way they could. Incidentally, shouldn't your last sentence read "Two people of opposite sexes...", or did you change your mind?
    I didn't change my mind - the last sentence was correct. It's really hard to try and explain what I mean by natural and unnatural. Can you try and see past my failings in my actual explanation and try and understand/decipher what I'm trying to express? I could try and clarify but it's ever so difficult! (plus I have a muggy head at the moment. <smiff>)
 
 
 
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