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Hey, Jenny: Some of us actually DO put sincerity above rhetoric

by Jeremy Hooper

200803131745We always see our opposition using the "marriage is all about children" strategy, so that they can play on people's fears that gay marriage would somehow destroy kids' lives. But this little blip from Focus on the Family's Citizenlink (the subject being the state of marriage equality in Maryland) is just bizarre in its misdirection:

Those who oppose traditional marriage often claim same-sex partners are denied basic rights and face discrimination. But Focus on the Family Action’s associate marriage analyst, Jenny Tyree, said that's not the case.

“Maryland's homosexual 'marriage' proponents betray their short-sighted view of marriage with their constant talk of it simply to obtain benefits and recognition,” she said. “They ignore the fact that the heart of marriage — our most pro-child institution — is to help ensure every child has a mom and a dad.”

Okay first off: What does that even mean, "betray their short-sighted view of marriage"? If she thinks our marriage views are short-sighted, wouldn't a betrayal of those views be a well-rounded, fully thought out view of marriage?

But confusing syntax aside: Are these folks seriously trying to deny that benefits and protections are denied to our couplings because of our inability to marriage? Because even if they want to make the ridiculous claim that marriage is all about a non-required (but wonderful and loved) byproduct of the union, how can they honestly say that their view is not denying gay couples of certain things. Have they ever struggled to obtain insurance for their partner? Have they ever been forced to file separate taxes from the person with whom they share finances? Have they ever had to pay unfair estate taxes at the time of their partner's death? Have they ever had to fight to just be in the same room with that partner when he or she passed? No, they have not! And that's exactly why they can make such asinine political statements about true to life gay realities.

Look, we love kids. This writer and his partner plan to have a couple in the next few years. And you know what would seriously help us to bring them up in the world? NOT BEING SEEN AS LEGAL STRANGERS IN THE EYES OF THE LAW!! People like Jenny Tyree and organizations like Focus on the Family are the ones who are truly harming children by disseminating childishly simplistic viewpoints on this situation.

Same-Sex 'Marriage' on Hold in Maryland [Citizenlink]

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Your thoughts

Actually Dan, not only do you and your partner have less rights, benefits, and protections than a straight couple, but your children will have less rights, benefits and protections than a straight couple. To name a few.

You will not be able to file jointly on your taxes. Right there your family will spend thousands more on taxes a year. You may not be eligible for the child tax credit, college tuition credits, and even Bush's stimulus refund even though a married family of the same size would get these. The limits are different. Over a childhood, this can add up to $20,000 to $40,000 per child depending on your income level. These benefits are intended for children so that the money can be used for things like food, clothing, college savings or whatever you as a parent feel is best for them, but only the children of hererosexual, married parents get this. Your children lose out. You're not alone though. The children of any single parent miss out on this as well.

In some states you both cannot adopt your children. Ms. Tyree would like it to be this way all over the US. This can put the children of gay headed families at a disadvantage in many ways. It complicates issues like dealing with school, obtaining health insurance for the family, making decisions in medical emergencies, crossing the border for vacations etc. At best, you will have to spend an extra few thousand dollars on lawyers for both of you to adopt. No pony for your kids I guess!

In some states, your children's parents can be fired from their jobs for being gay. Ms. Tyree would like your children to have this level of security.

Divorce sucks and the process is not always in the best interest of kids, but there are a few policies in place that offer some protection to children in the unfortunate event that their parents split. Depending on the state, your kids may not have these protections. There may be no child support guaranteed for your child. If one parent wants to be a total dick (and unfortunately that happens in divorce) he/she may be able to prevent a child from ever seeing the other parent again because legally that parent may be just a stranger.

The list goes on, but basically, Ms. Tyree should come clean on why she thinks the children of heterosexuals should have more rights than the children of gays.

Also, I wonder if these issues shouldn't be more at the forefront of the gay marriage fight. Some people will never like us, but may be swayed when they understand what is really in the best interests of children.

Posted by: Steve - Geneva, IL | Mar 14, 2008 9:34:29 AM

Who's Dan? i'm going to assume you meant that for me (Jeremy.)

And yes, you're absolutely right. It is OUR children who are left vulnerable because of marriage inequality. Which is the reason why their constant "protect children" logic is SO ENRAGING!!

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 14, 2008 9:36:11 AM

Sorry Jeremy, I got you mixed up. I also meant to say in my initial paragraph

"but your children will have less rights, benefits and protections than THE CHILDREN OF a straight couple."

I guess it pays to proofread twice.

Posted by: Steve - Geneva, IL | Mar 14, 2008 10:33:20 AM

No worries. I'm certainly no stranger to typos.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 14, 2008 10:35:26 AM

Marriage integrates the sexes.

SSM cannot do that.

Marriage provides contingency for responsible procreationl

SSM cannot do that.

How would an all-female or all-male arrangement attain children?

Adoption is not procreation, let alone responsible procreation.

Use of third party sperm/ova supplies is extramarital even when husband/wife duos use the practice.

The marriage presumption of paternity applies to all unions of husband and wife. It is required. And, although rebuttable, it is based on something that is inapplicable to any one-sexed arrangement (homosexual or not, sexually active or not).

The man-woman criterion is also a legal requirement for marriage.

SSM is not a subset of marriage. It is non-marriage. It is nto a form of marriage that is denied recognition, like, for example, polygamy or incestuous marriages.

If you choose a nonmarital alternative, that's up to you. But don't complain about it.

On what basis would you be entitled to any of the legal incidents that are associated with marital status?

What is the type of relationship that you have in mind? What are the essentials, as per your implied insistence of legal requirements that define eligibility?

I doubt you could distinguish the type of relationship you have in mind from the vast range of other relationship types that form the nonmarital category, but you might do better than others who have tried.

The marriage presumption of paternity, for one example, is based on the sexual relationship of man and woman. Maybe you would abolish such a presumption? That is what would be required if SSM arugmentation succeeds in merging nonmarriage with marriage recognition. This would make marriage, in the eyes of the State, something other than a sexual relationship type. It would eliminate the presumption of paternity that works very well across society. It would undermine both the integration of the sexes and contingency for responsible procreation; it would demote marriage from its preferential status to something merely about protections.

Why would you have society treat all unions of husband and wife as if they lacked either husband or wife?

Posted by: Chairm | Mar 14, 2008 12:48:44 PM

Right, Chairm. Go back to Opine Editorials.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 14, 2008 12:52:48 PM

You raised the subject in your blogpost. I responded. Are sincere responses not welcomed by you here? Why?

Posted by: | Mar 14, 2008 1:04:28 PM

Of course your response is welcomed. Everyone's is. We're just not going to go back and forth on this with you the way we have when you've made similar comments.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 14, 2008 1:10:07 PM

Yes but Chairm, you forgot to inform us about how our love is completely fake, and that we have no business even mentioning the word, let alone discussing it in relationship form.

How are we supposed to realize what complete idiots we are if people like you don’t tell us outright?

Surely we'd break up en-masse and become heterosexual if only we were told to be attracted to what revolts us the most? But how are we to recognize as much if people like you are unwilling to state point blank that this is true?

Oh woe is me, another day, and I'm still gay...

Posted by: Emproph | Mar 14, 2008 4:35:32 PM

From the original blogpost: "This writer and his partner plan to have a couple [of children] in the next few years."

By what means would two men or two women plan on attaining a couple of children -- without segregating motherhood and fatherhood?

If they'd seek protections via an adult relationship status, at law, please describe how the legal incidents would have anything at all to do with their means of attaining children.

Posted by: | Mar 14, 2008 5:41:55 PM

The previous comment, without a name, is mine. I did not mean to leave an anonymous comment.


Posted by: Chairm | Mar 14, 2008 5:43:09 PM


What kind of love, by the way, do you have in mind? Please cite the definitive legal requirement that demonstrates that love is at the core of the relationship type you have in mind. Maybe it is written in the marriage statutes of Massachusetts, for example.

On this basis of love, would you object to polygamy or to incest even where love was present?

As I said earlier, the conjugal relationship is a both-sexed sexual relationship type. But SSM argumentation negates the marriage presumption of paternity which is based on something that cannot apply to any one-sex-short arrangement (homosexual or not). The SSM merger cuts that out of marriage recognition. So don't make the mistake of assuming that you can object to love which is not based on sexual attraction, much less sexual behavior. That's the gist of the claim that society must treat the one-sexed the same as the both-sexed combinations.

So SSMers have taken on the burden of explaining the core of the relationship type you have in mind and, if it is love, of establishing legal requirement that makes it mandatory.

You can't rely on tradition and custom alone. Right? And you can't exclude if there is love present, right?

And since the SSM type of relationship rejects the centrality of sex integration and responsible procreation, you can't rely on concerns about these things as you draw lines around the core of the relationship type you think should be called "marriage".

Marriage requires both sexes, equally, for there is no sex equality if one sex is simply excluded. Marriage provides contingency for responsible procreation by which the mom-dad duo stick around to be the child's social parents, not merely sperm or ova suppliers. This is evident in our laws, customs, and traditions. The social institution is a coherent whole.

But SSM argumentation deconstructs it into bits and pieces that are then merely optional items on a menu. Nothing is essential, apparently, except gay identity politics. Society must now view marriage through that lense rather than through the core of the conjugal relationship itself.

Frankly, if you have not thought this much through, yet are certain you are right, then, your stand may not be idiotic, exactly, but ill-formed and ill-informed. It would be easy, if you are certain and have thought this through well, to state the core of the relationship that you have in mind and then to list the definitive legal requirements that identify that core.

Posted by: Chairm | Mar 16, 2008 5:49:14 PM

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