YES...this last paragraph. Pumpkin head...did you catch this?
Think about a man and a woman who are married and being intimate to celebrate an anniversary or to comfort each other or just for fun...is that acceptable? Is it acceptable if he's got a condom on and she'd on the pill? What if she has a tubal ligation? What if they're both senior citizens? ..........now why shouldn't this permissibility apply for same sex lovers?
Just some ideas: Marriage isn't about sex. Sex doesn't have to be about procreation. Marriage doesn't have to be about procreation at all. Same sex relationships are about more than sex, just like opposite sex relationships are. Sex in a same sex relationship isn't just about satisfying the carnal and the erotic, just like in opposite sex relationships.
In spite of what the churches would have you think, marriage is a civil contract with the government that requires the government to provide certain rights and privileges to the couple. In some countries the male is given more rights than the female. In some countries polygamy is recognized. In civilized first world countries the evolution of human rights thinking has resulted in equal or almost equal privileges for both genders in the relationship and a ban on polygamy on the grounds that it exploits, enslaves and/or belittles the female.
The issues are based on the morality of human rights which should be of even more concern to atheists than they are to religionists.
Continued . . . . .
The (civil) marriage contract requires the couple to provide services to each other and to any progeny, natural or adopted, that they have.
In other words, the contract is meant to protect the rights of the couple and their progeny. Those who do not get married do not have access to these rights, and nor do their children.
In the more progressive countries marriage is entered into when the couple wish to start a family or obtain couple privileges that are not open to them without the certificate, such as insurance payouts, spousal job benefits, hospital visitation, burial rights (if one partner is dying), and so on. For other couples it increases the security of the relationship and thus changes it to something more mature.
In other words, the marriage contract is far more than a license to have children. It is a relationship contract that is open to people who cannot or do not wish to have children, or to have any more children. The state does not require that a couple who wish to marry are fertile. Imagine the uproar if that were the case. Many elderly couples who wish to marry would be denied the companionship they crave. It would also open up the possibility of civil marriage annulment if the couple did not conceive or care for dependent children. I am sure the government would save a lot of money if it no longer had to treat old or barren couples as married.
If you think the committed relationships of homosexuals should be ignored and excluded from the rights and privileges awarded to heterosexual unions on the basis of their reduced capacity or inability to procreate then try applying this same reasoning to heterosexual couples and see whether you consider this to be fair and reasonable. If the relationship is more important than the fertility of the couple then there is no reason bar prejudice why gay couples should not be allowed to marry.
Rosemary, you rock!
You said that letting gays get married will deem marriage worthless in the long run? Yeah, that makes sense, I guess. Wouldn't want the gays to render Britney Spears' 72 hour marriage in Las Vegas utterly worthless, now would we?
Someone recently apologized on behalf of the LGBT community for the damage to traditional straight marriage, and cited the Britney Spears case, as well as Newt Gingrich's three marriages. We are so powerful! lol
Society has experimented with polygamy and it causes many social problems. Young, poor men end up unmarried, which leads to aggression, which leads to fighting, which leads to social unrest. Here is a good overview.
The concern among adults who care about the well-being of other humans is that the women in polygamous relationships are rarely "consenting" in the true sense of the word. They submit to the relationship.
The male, however, is the predator and rules the roost. The power and the choices are his. This is exploitation, not equal partnership.