Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
DavidV

Gay Marriage

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

There are businesses that create contract templates. They are usually lawyer's offices, but my real estate agent uses contractual templates and I'm sure there are tons of other organizations who perform that function. In fact, upon reflection, my own company has contractual templates it uses. I'll bet most places are like that.

But marriage contracts are not issued by companies or individuals, really. The government issues them to couples and they are subsequently endorsed. That definitely seems wrong.

If we start from the idea of no government and we ask ourselves if two people should be allowed to enter into a contract that will allow them to combine their property, ensure that said property is passed on to their heirs properly, provide either party with the power to make medical decisions for the other in the case of incapacitation, and whatever else (?) comes with a marriage contract, surely we conclude that this should be permitted.

How did marriage contracts originate? Probably with churches. The terms and conditions thereof were simply inherited and used by the government.

My main point is that such contracts should be permitted by all couples who wish to enter into such a contract. Secondary to that, I contend that using the term "marriage" to describe those contractual states is legitimate and there isn't any real reason why a new term should be coined to distinguish between traditional and non-traditional contracts that have identical terms and conditions at their essence.

Ultimately, I am using the notion of using templates as just a practical consideration more than anything else. They aren't necessary, but for the sake of simplicity, they're a predictable development in the course of so many people entering into such agreements.

The party that proposes the use of such contractual elements seems like a small issue to me because all parties would be able to accept or reject those terms. But you do make your point well so I agree that this is a job best not left to the government at all.

There could be marriage companies! They would write up the contracts with all the special terms and conditions. They could use their own templates and file them for the individuals in question with the government for the purpose of protection. That would be a great idea in an ideal nation!

However, if the contract terms are changed to exclude the basic conditions of a marriage contract (This begs the question of what a marriage is essentially from the perspective of the government.) then it cannot be said they are entering into a marriage contract.

(Keenan previously argued that one of the essential characteristics of a marriage contract is that the parties be one male and one female. How this is objectively necessary remains a mystery to me.)

I'm admittedly ignorant about this: But are any specific terms and conditions outlined in marriage certificates presently? It seems like someone somewhere must have a comprehensive list of the terms and conditions for marriage contracts, although may be not. Anyone know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding GC's point about Insurance companies I just read this in an unrelated article on Capitalism Magazine by Walter Williams:

Here's my question: How come life insurance companies don't advertise lower life insurance premiums for heterosexuals? After all, life insurance companies do ask applicants about other forms of behavior that have an impact on life expectancy, such as: Are you a pilot? Do you abuse alcohol and drugs? And do you have DUI arrests? Why not also: Are you a homosexual? I think I know the answer. Life insurance companies would be charged with lifestyle discrimination. But isn't it also lifestyle discrimination to charge higher premiums to smokers, airplane pilots, drug and alcohol abusers, and drunk drivers? None of these lifestyles has the devastating impact on life expectancy that homosexuality does. The only answer I can come up with is that some forms of discrimination are politically acceptable, while others aren't.  - Unreasonable Prices

If those statistics are reliable, then GC's ideal insurance company would be smart to discriminate against homosexuals.

However, that doesn't really back up the point argument that there would be no way to discriminate if marriage contracts were expanded to subsume same-sex unions as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest The White Rabbit

I've just become aware of this board and currently exploring its many areas.

However this topic caught my eye and on a lighter note wish to just offer a brief,

and rather flippant comment on the matter of gay marriage:

"Sure why not? Legalize it and let them suffer like the rest of us."

Seriously though, I will soon register and then post a post that actually reflects some sort of thought rather than just 'blurb"

--T.W.Rabbit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What’s the solution? The solution is to create a new marriage contract for homosexual couples and treat as such – a separate legal contract. Private individuals will then be free to recognize it -- and provide the same benefits to gay couples or not to. Government should not provide special benefits to anyone – whether they are single, or in a traditional or non-traditional marriage. Since it respects contracts however, partners of gay marriages would still retain the same custodial and inheritance rights as those of straight ones.

sup Brown v. Board of Education

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
However, that doesn't really back up the point argument that there would be no way to discriminate if marriage contracts were expanded to subsume same-sex unions as well.

Btw, “discrimination” is not a Bad Thing. If you define it as “judging people (or entities) based on their characteristics,” then it is a necessary part of human life. Whether it is a positive thing or not depends on the context of the quality you are discriminating – that is whether the given quality is a relevant factor in a given evaluation. For example, it is irrational to discriminate according to race when judging moral content, and necessary when classifying ethnic origin. In the case of sexual orientation, it is certainly a relevant factor in evaluating moral content (whether or not homosexuality is immoral.) In the context of government however, everyone “is equal before the law,” so orientation would usually not be a relevant characteristic. However to say that discrimination as such is wrong is pure subjectivist nonsense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[...] to say that discrimination as such is wrong is pure subjectivist nonsense.

Just so we're clear, I didn't say that discrimination in itself if a "Bad thing." I certainly agree that it can be a very good thing if done rationally.

What I said is that the change I support would not prevent discrimination against same-sex couples, if that's what you choose to do. I apologize for not making that more clear.

Further, that post was made in support of your hypothetical insurance company that wants to discriminate against homosexuals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Everyone ought to seek romance with the individual that they are attracted to (provided that they are not related).

Would you say that a sexual relationship between consensual, related adults is immoral ? Is incest immoral even if adults who genuinely like each other indulge in it, of their mutual consent ?

Specifically, I am not talking about children.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I understand it, this is a discussion of gay marriage in politics, not ethics or morality. That's why there are two threads.

I think the incest question does belong somewhere else, though.

(I'm willing to try an answer for you, I just don't think this is the place is all.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The topic of gay domestic sexual relations is multi-faceted. One mistake that libertarians make is the premise that the moral is the legal, and the legal is the moral. We Objectivists, of course, don't commit this error. :)

First, look at the epistemological question. What is "marriage" as such? To paraphrase and clean up what someone else offered on this thread:

Marriage is a lifelong sexual and domestic partnership bewtween a man and a woman.

The genus is sexual and domestic relationship. The differentia is lifelong partnership between a man and a woman.

There are many sexual relationships, for example a man visiting a prostitute for an evening. There are many domestic relationships, such as a hired servant. These are clearly not "marriage" (even if they are man and woman).

One premise that's surprisingly (to me) controversial among "Objectivists" is that men are different from women. Without defending the premise in this post, I will offer it as a relevant fact. Men are different from women.

This is essential to the concept of marriage. Because men are different from women, they have different roles in a marriage. It's not arbitrary. Marriage isn't 3 cats and two dogs, nor is it two men, two women, or an entire drug-soaked toga party at the local college.

Now we come to "lifelong". A simple observation is that gay relationships are unstable. It is extraordinarily rare to find a gay couple who have been together for 10 years. One of the reasons is that a gay relationship creates a mind-body dichotomy, and the choice either for one member to try to play the role of the opposite gender, or else for both to switch back and forth. This is, by it's nature, unstable.

A question that few in today's culture ask or answer is: what leads to stability in such a relationship? What would make two people decide, at a young age, to share their entire lives together, in happiness and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in success and failure for the next 60 years or so?

Leaving aside the vast majority who get married without considering this, there are some people who do. I will leave this to another post.

Naaah! Men and women are the same. Viva La Feminisme!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody denies that men are different from women. The question is whether men are different from women with respect to innate psychological characteristics, or, perhaps, whether the obvious anatomical differences imply that they ought to be psychologically different in particular ways. It's not at all obvious that either of those are true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's put it this way:  If I ran an insurance company, I would discriminate against homosexual men, whether married or not.  I would consider it stupid not to do so, given the fact that gay men are much more likely to get STD's.  Futhermore, if gay marriage were suddenly legal, I would want my existing policies to exclude gay marriages by default. This is not "barnyard collectivism" but good business sense, and the government has no business deciding the merit of that decision for me.

I agree wholeheartedly (whole mindedly?) about your right to discriminate against gay men for the reasons you stated. However, could you actually have this with today’s legal system? I know that in an ideal system your beliefs could be acted upon. In today’s system, would this be possible? Are the discrimination laws for/against you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's exactly the nature of subjectivism. Such decisions as whether you can be prosecuted or not for discrimination in our legal system are based entirely on whim. It is impossible to know, in any instance, whether or not the government or litigant will have a case against you based on the law. The discrimination laws are not for or against; they are arbitrary. In answer - there is no answer aside from the both literal and rhetorical why not?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's one of the things that bother me. I'm homosexual, I don't have any diseases. I'm quite monogamous. I use reason as my method of cognition and ushering in a pure Capitalistic future where I’m denied of insurance really gets me. At least Tony Kushner loves me.

(The latter sentence was an uneasy joke)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main difference between a man and a woman are the attributes that identify them as such. The simularities stop there. They both have brains, they both make the decisions that dicate their own lives, and they both utilize volition to exercise those choices.

Everyone is trying to make the assumtion that homosexuality is biological, meaning that they don't have the choice on wheather or not to like the same sex. You cannot make this assumption, nor any other assumption for that matter, without validated proof. If it was biological, does that make it immoral for same sex couples to engage in sexual activity or marry? I don't see how it could be. Because, if it is biologica-l meaning they don't have a say in the fact they like same sex couples, it's like an attempt tp change human nature. Which is something that we cannot control.

Now, if homosexuality is not biological, meaning they do have the choice of partnering up with someone of the same sex, then it is based upon values. That individual homosexual's values. Not anyone else, not some stupid word in the dictionary, or some stupid law, which is trying to take that homosexual's choice and rights away to value something in the opposite sex. Meaning that if they value the same sex more than the opposite sex, more power to them. So in this case is it moral? Yes, I believe so- just so long as it doesn't infringe upon anyone elses' rights.

The definition of the word "marriage" is too closed minded. It doesn't take into consideration that people do in fact think for themselves. It's an attempt to influence and tell people that marriage has to be that way or not at all.

People also forget the fact that marriage is just a word. If two people get married and spend their life with each other for the rest of their lives, what does that mean? It means you do not have to get married in order to do so.

Even if they do pass a law against same sex marriage, that does not mean they cannot be happy with the same sex. It only means that they cannot lawfully marry.

And the disease thing is just an excuse. It means that the person values the companionship of that person more than they value the disease from which they contract from that individual. I don't see anything immoral with this, but I do not agree with it. This of course, is discounting the fact that the person could have no knowledge of the other person's present health. Which in turn would be an infringment of the latter person's rights.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong here..... :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Everyone is trying to make the assumtion that homosexuality is biological
Criminals value thievery and murder by conscious choice; there is no criminal gene...

Lazy fools value idleness and sloth by choice; there is no laziness gene...

Fat people value overeating by choice; there is no obesity gene...

Gay people are born that way, there is no chouce involved(!)

Which of these premises seems arbitrary?

Oh, you say some apes are homosexual? Don't some apes kill other apes? Is murder a gene? Studies of non-rational (and therefore non-volitional) animals aren't relevant.

Now, if homosexuality is not biological, meaning they do have the choice ... So in this case is it moral? Yes, I believe so- just so long as it doesn't infringe upon anyone elses' rights.

What if people had the choice to inject crack into their veins? Is it moral, just so long as it doesn't infringe upon anyone else's rights?

The moral is not the same thing as the legal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are rights biological? Do they have anything to do with the differences in biology between man and beast? No. They are proper. Respecting rights is proper to man.

We've concluded that, by obviousness, sexual preference is not an uncontrollable genetic/biological phenomenon; it is the product of volition. Many things are the product of volition, though: crime, laziness and folly, idleness and sloth, obesity. None of the things on that list is proper to man, because what is proper to man is to live one's life rationally and ethically (Rationality, Productiveness, Pride).

I don't believe anyone will argue with the premise that heterosexuality is proper to man. But is homosexuality proper as well; or, is there reason to claim that it isn't?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are rights biological?  Do they have anything to do with the differences in biology between man and beast?  No.  They are proper.  Respecting rights is proper to man.

Of course rights stem from the difference in biology between man and beast - consciousness and volition are biological phenomena. Theres nothing special about man that makes him more deserving of 'rights' than any other conscious/volitional animal - we have simply yet to encouter any non-human animal that we think possesses consciousness or volition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Criminals value thievery and murder by conscious choice; there is no criminal gene...

Lazy fools value idleness and sloth by choice; there is no laziness gene...

Fat people value overeating by choice; there is no obesity gene...

Gay people are born that way, there is no chouce involved(!)

Criminals value thievery and murder by conscious choice; there is no criminal gene...

Lazy fools value idleness and sloth by choice; there is no laziness gene...

Fat people value overeating by choice; there is no obesity gene...

Sick people get sick by choice; there is no sickness gene.

Stupid people are stupid by choice; there is no stupidity gene

Two legged people have two legs by choice; there is no two-legged gene

Am I doing this right?.

Oh, you say some apes are homosexual?  Don't some apes kill other apes?  Is murder a gene?  Studies of non-rational (and therefore non-volitional) animals aren't relevant.
Do you seriously believe that once a genetic organism reaches a level advanced enough for volition and consciousness to arise, the past X million years of its genetic history are instantly forgotten? Yes, volitional beings cant be treated as being isomorphic to nonvolitional beings due to the massive differences that volition entails, but I think its silly to claim that biological factors can play no part whatsoever in partially determining certain choices (the size of the part played would be a question for psychology and biological sciences). I dont really think that 'having volition' is a binary thing either - it kind of makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint to suppose that one person/species could have 'more volition' ('stronger' volition?) than another.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you seriously believe that once a genetic organism reaches a level advanced enough for volition and consciousness to arise, the past X million years of its genetic history are instantly forgotten?

That's a common enough mistake that you make. Yes, biological history gives people urges. However, see if it teaches one to act. Biological history does teach one how to open and shut his jaw; but see if it teaches one how to hunt - see if it teaches one how to survive.

Humans do come with urges. However, whether or not to act on them, and whether or not utterly to suppress them, are entirely volitional.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's a common enough mistake that you make.  Yes, biological history gives people urges.  However, see if it teaches one to act.  Biological history does teach one how to open and shut his jaw; but see if it teaches one how to hunt - see if it teaches one how to survive.

It 'taught' non-human animals how to hunt and survive. I doubt that humans magically forgot this genetic 'knowledge' as soon as they evolved volition. Humans came out at the end of a very long evolutionary process remember - whatever humans 'were' before they 'became' humans obviously 'knew' how to hunt and survive, otherwise it wouldnt have survived for long. If consciousness/volition automatically resulted in the loss of this knowledge, it wouldnt give any benefits from an evolutionary standpoint (and would probably even be a major disadvantage).

(please excuse the anthropomorphic terminology; I used 'these' to indicate where my word choice was technically nonsense).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poohat, let me ask you a question. I'm a smoker. Does that make it immoral for me to do so? No. It's legal and you have no right to know why I value cigarettes.

Cigarettes are an outside influence. They are addicting. However, who makes the choice for me to quit? The cigarretes or me?

The only biological urges that I have or cannot control are having the need to urinate, getting hungry, and getting tired. Is this all of them? No. I'm not going to list every biological need that I learned about in my college pshyc class. You cannot change the nature of man, nor nature for that matter. Ayn Rand basically quoted the same thing

Do any of these biological functions affect my choice in sexual partner? No. But values and my moral judgement based upon those values do.

I don't see why it is so difficult to understand that homosexual is, in fact, moral.

Okay, we are in agreement that homosexuality is not biological. Good.

So that means homosexuality is volitional.

Let me get this straight. Just because I can choose my sexual partner to be the opposite sex makes it wrong for a homosexual to choose a sexual partner of the same sex. Hmm.. something doesn't seem right here.

Who cares why a homosexual values the same sex. I don't even think I have the right to care what they value in the same sex. Do I have the right to ask a homosexual why he makes that decision? No. Because according to Ayn Rand's novel, "The Fountainhead," Steven Mallory had no right to ask Howard Roark what made him like his statue, what he was, or why he was there. It's on page 328 in Paragraph seven.

According to Howard Roark, the hero of "The Fountainhead," We can learn a lesson. We have no right to know what makes a homosexual like the same sex, what makes a homosexual a homosexual, and why a homosexual is a homosexual. If you truly want to know the reason to these answers, ask yourself the same question. You DO have a right to ask YOURSELF these questions.

I know what my values are, I'm a human being with the faculty of volition, and why I am a human being. However you have no business knowing what my values are. I think I'm quite capable of making my own decisions. I don't need anyone else to make them for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only biological urges that I have or cannot control are having the need to urinate, getting hungry, and  getting tired.   Is this all of them?  No.  I'm not going to list every biological need that I learned about in my college pshyc class. You cannot change the nature of man, nor nature for that matter.  Ayn Rand basically quoted the same thing
Can't these things be controlled though? Some people have 'taught' themselves to be able to go without sleep for very long periods of time, or to 'conquer' hunger. Wouldnt this bring these urges partly under the concept of volitional?

Do any of these biological functions affect my choice in sexual partner?  No.  But values and my moral judgement based upon those values do.
Nah, its too much of a coincidence. Most men are attracted to women, and vice versa. If this wasnt the case, then both their genes and the species would die out. Furthermore, most men and women are generally attracted to the TYPES of sexual partners that an evolutionary based study would predict (strong, 'protector' types in the case of the female, and good 'mother' types in the case of the male). On top of this, the sexual roles played in most cultures by men and women plays more than a passing resemblence to that found within the animal kingdom. Now, I suppose that sexual choice could be purely 'volitionally' and its just 'coincidence' that most humans happen to 'choose' to be attracted to the sexual partners that would give their genes the best chance of survival (and that almost every human culture has formed the institutes that best perpetuate the survival of the genes, such as pair bonding/marriage/etc), but its a rather far-fetched theory. The simplest theory based on current evidence seems to be that biology does in fact play a significant role in sexual choice, but this doesnt mean that volition isnt also involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...