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A couple of days ago I posted an article essentially saying that same sex relationships may be as loving and worthy of respect as heterosexual relationships, but they are a different thing, with different meaning to society, so it is wrong to get the government to force everyone to pretend they are the same.

Of all the odd responses I got, which included various names and obscene suggestions, this was surely the oddest: “How are they different? Give me one way they are different, you ignorant bigotted piece of sh%t.” I had three different variations of this question, including “Your an ar^$hole how th f$%k are they differnt?”

It surely cannot be the case that large numbers of people really cannot see any difference between a long term relationship between a man and woman which is open to the possibility of new life, and a relationship between two men or two women.

There are multiple differences. But the most fundamental is this: society can survive perfectly well without homosexual relationships. No society can survive without heterosexual relationships. This is why every society in every place and every part of history has given special recognition and protection to long-term heterosexual relationships. That is what marriage is.

To paraphrase gay activist Milo Yiannopoulos: ” I am in love. I would like that relationship to be recognised and celebrated. But It’s not a marriage. We all know it’s not a marriage. It is silly to pretend it is. Just call it something else.”

To be fair, people do and say silly things all the time. They don’t much matter. If some same sex couples want to go through a ceremony and say they are married, fine. I don’t want to stop anyone doing what makes them happy. But I do object to anyone trying to get the government to force everyone to pretend to agree, or labelling any disagreement “hate speech.”

Last word from gay Irish journalist Richard Waghorne:

“Marriage is vital as a framework within which children can be brought up by a man and woman.

Not all marriages, of course, involve child-raising. And there are also, for that matter, same-sex couples already raising children. But the reality is that marriages tend towards child-raising and same-sex partnerships do not. I am conscious of this when considering my own circle of friends, quite a few of whom have recently married or will soon do so in the future. Many, if not most or all of them, will raise children. If, however, I or gay friends form civil partnerships, those are much more unlikely to involve raising children.

So the question that matters is this: Why should a gay relationship be treated the same way as a marriage, despite this fundamental difference? A wealth of research demonstrates the marriage of a man and a woman provides children with the best life outcomes, that children raised in marriages that stay together do best across a whole range of measures. This is certainly not to cast aspersions on other families, but it does underscore the importance of marriage as an institution.

This is why the demand for gay marriage goes doubly wrong. It is not a demand for marriage to be extended to gay people – it is a demand for marriage to be redefined. The understanding of marriage as an institution that exists and is supported for the sake of strong families changes to an understanding of marriage as merely the end-point of romance.

If gay couples are considered equally eligible for marriage, even though gay relationships do not tend towards child-raising and cannot by definition give a child a mother and a father, the crucial under-standing of what marriage is actually mainly for has been discarded. What that amounts to is the kind of marriage that puts adults before children. That, in my opinion, is ultimately selfish, and far too high a price to pay simply for the token gesture of treating opposite-sex relationships and same-sex relationships identically. And it is a token gesture.

Isn’t it common sense, after all, to treat different situations differently? To put it personally, I do not feel in the least bit discriminated against by the fact that I cannot marry someone of the same sex.”

Credit for some of the above, including the long quote from Richard Waghorne, to Bill Muehlenberg’s thoughtful, detailed and meticulously researched book “Strained Relations.”

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