I think that marriage is a civil liberty, not a religious/secular institution. You can have your wedding ceremony held in a church, and you can have it in a courthouse with no mention of the word god in your ceremony - but regardless.. all paperwork must be filed through the state. This to me tells me marriage doesn't belong to one or the other. It is a right that we deserve as human beings to protect our families and assets.
I think just about ALL of the arguments against gay marriage are secular, since The Holy Book doesn't really say anything specifically on the subject, does it?
Well, there is some controversy over whether gay parenting (along with single parenting, foster parenting, step parenting) is as good as the traditional Ozzie and Harriett stable heterosexual permanent coupling. "Alternative" parenting styles have been alleged to expose children to a variety of risks to their mental and physical health and well-being. There is a famous article, "Dan Quayle Was Right" (googleable) which appeared, I believe, in The Atlantic. It was written by someone who assumed when she began her research that she would be proving that committed and well-intentioned "alt" parents would do about as good a job as traditional couples in raising their children. Instead she found that, in the aggregate, children of such couplings were poorer, had poorer health, were more at risk to disease, more at risk of abuse, and were unhappier in their adult lives and were more prone to be criminals or commit suicide than kids who had a mother, a father, and a home life that was stable all through their growing up.
Of course, her conclusions were "in the aggregate" and so some of her findings applied to gay marriages but some did not. At the time, it stirred up a huge controversy, as you might imagine.
At any rate, I think most objections to gay marriage have little serious scriptural basis and are at heart based on non-scriptural attitudes and emotions. This doesn't mean that the people don't believe their beliefs have a religious basis. Often they do believe that.
STABLE heterosexual relationship is key. Too many mom & dad marriages are NOT that. Mental and physical abuse and indifference occur all too often.
Outside the necessity for legal purposes (partner healthcare benefits, tax entitlement, inheritance, etc) I see marriage as an institution becoming obsolete at some point. Commitment to a relationship is falsely bound by paperwork.
"Commitment to a relationship is falsely bound by paperwork."
...but add that it can also be falsely bound by monetary commitments (e.g. a ring), and a big, expensive one day ritual/ceremony.
Out of curiosity, did you avoid the confirmation fallacy by also devoting equal (or more) diligence looking for studies that tended to show otherwise? If so, what were the results?
Now, don't misunderstand. I'm in favor of gay marriage on basic ethical principles, but I can certainly imagine that the children of gay couples can face some particular prejudices and other obstacles that the children of straight parents do not.
Marriage has a lot to do with religion, right? And religion has a lot hate against Gay people... Homosexuality and religion cross eachother in marriage. (Sorry if I'm wrong, I'm not a expert)
I think it's more of a cultural institution that gets enshrined in religion rather than a religious institution that gets enshrined in culture. The desire to form such unions seems to be pretty common across numerous cultures, despite considerable differences in philosophical and theological views.
Even if I am mistaken, I don't know which religion would get to define 'marriage'. The word itself is older than Christianity, so certainly they don't get dibs, at least not if tradition and historical definition of the word is their claim. Islam is out too. Certainly members of their religions don't have to get same-sex marriages if it goes against their beliefs, but that's no reason for me to limit the way I apply the term.
Ah oke oke! I think you're right, I had a "christian" view on marriage (like the wedding dress, and the wedding girls to fear off bad demons, and the priest, and the christian madding vows)
So now I know that marriage doesn't have to be based on religion, I see no reasons against gay marriage. thanks Kris !
(English is not my native language as your can read)
What you were thinking of is what a lot of people mean by marriage. It's just that this sort of definition is only part of the picture.
There's a good clip explaining some of the history located here: http://vimeo.com/16071935
Love that you pointed out the cultural aspects regarding the practice of marriage Kris!