The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality

In The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality, Adam Macleod puts into coherent words something I have been thinking about how to say. It’s nice when someone much smarter does that for you.

Alternate versions of marriage to the traditional heterosexual one can only exist as alternatives to the standard.  If the standard erodes away, or is legislated out of existence, those marriages also will disintegrate. Please read.

We sometimes destroy that which we seek.

The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality.

14 thoughts on “The Ambiguous Quest for Marriage Equality

  1. tildeb

    Macleod concludes with

    Some people speculate that a majority of the Supreme Court justices are determined to force this social experiment on all fifty states, whatever the costs. Well, what do they have in mind? Do they plan to be logically consistent and thoroughgoing about this? Will they eliminate the rights of children to have legal connections to their biological parents?

    I am no legal expert but Macleod’s fear mongering panders to the religiously deluded. All he needs to do is open his eyes and look past his professorship to countries that have have more than a decade of this absurdly described “social experiment” to see what real effects it has on the rights of children to have legal connections to their biological parents. And the answer is clear and unequivocal: none.

    This is not the answer he wants to hear or see or consider because it interferes with the fictional Chicken Little narrative he thinks is true, that the legal sky will fall if people of the same gender can legally marry. That’s simply not true and there are dozens of countries that offer ample evidence for this. But I understand that looking to reality can be a scary and very challenging option to people who have long assumed that their incompatible religious beliefs comport with it.



      1. tildeb

        You have gone to the same well for both reports and then tell me that I am unaware. I am aware that most families have some level of dysfunction and it would be bizarre to find no outliers in this issue about children raised by same sex parents. But the fact of the matter is that there is less familial dysfunction in same sex marriages as indicated by sources of repute outside of your careful selection. Just go to any psychological or psychiatric college that regulates its members’ licencing and see what the wide evidence is. And it isn’t about some additional harm in the aggregate. The idea that same sex marriage itself is somehow harmful just isn’t true.

        But the issue of affect on children alone is not what gay marriage is about. It’s about being able to be legally recognized as a spouse and all the benefits and responsibilities that legal recognition entails. Advocates against same sex marriage advocate against these legal rights that really does deeply affect how these very real people live, inherit, make medical decisions, file taxes, and so on. In this In this sense, the sky has not fallen in any of the some dozen and a half countries that do recognize this equality.

        Traditional marriage has not disintegrated and children being raised by same sex couples are not in some legal limbo or without any rights common to all. And in every one of these countries, the real cost of same sex marriage has been to those who want to continue to try to legally discriminate against real people in real life under the guise of various poor moral and ethical reasons that simply aren’t supported by real and compelling evidence… beyond these kinds of outliers. And that’s what you’re doing here: selecting what only appears to support your case to continue legal discrimination… supposedly for the sake of the children. And that’s bunk when we look at and compare the differences overall. What you’re doing is called ‘confirmation bias’ and it is you who need to try commenting with a more informed opinion that just what you think supports your opinion.


        1. madblog Post author

          OK, how about some evidence to back up your assertions? We could both be using confirmation bias, but you haven’t answered the hard evidence offered in the articles. Again, if you’re going with the flow, you aren’t likely to run aground of popular opinion or encounter what those who do experience.


        2. tildeb

          Yes I have, MB: I specifically said for you to “Just go to any psychological or psychiatric college that regulates its members’ licencing and see what the aggregate evidence is.”

          If you are actually interested in the subject, it might be interesting for you to follow the aggregate evidence to better inform your opinion and see why same sex marriage is not in itself harmful to children; poor parenting is.


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  3. madblog Post author

    tildeb, you still have not countered the real problems cited in the articles.

    In “Same-Sex Marriage Ten Years On: Lessons from Canada”, many cases are cited to show that freedom of speech is now conditional, and that those who find themselves under suspicion for having shared unpopular views are liable to be ruined financially or lose their jobs. Is the writer making this up, or are you saying it’s just not that important?

    “Expressions of disagreement with the reasonableness of institutionalizing same-sex marriage are understood by these bodies to be acts of illegal discrimination…” Throughout the political movement, there is no tolerance for any but one view, no willingness to believe that those who hold another view on SSM might have principled reasons for doing so. If you (the collective you, not YOU) have got to turn those who simply disagree with you monsters or imbeciles, you’re showing your own position to be weak indeed, and demonstrating that you will, or cannot, discuss or debate the issue.

    This is to say nothing of the difficult position not only parents, but children, are put in when facing what can only be called indoctrination in school. Just try to imagine you have a child who’s being subjected to…say, creationism-only, creationism-is-fact education in science class. Well, you don’t believe it, you don’t want your children to be indoctrinated with it, but your courts have recently ruled that to teach evolution is discriminatory, bigoted and backward. What would you do? What should someone do who believes that their children are being slowly but surely indoctrinated with a destructive worldview?

    That’s just the first half of one of the articles. I’ll have to pick it up later.


    1. tildeb

      Same sex marriage is about legal rights. Many of the issues raised are tangent but I’m quite willing to explain how these have been misconstrued.

      Bad legislation allowed tribunals to be set up to handle rent discrimination. That was the mandate and it worked very well to rectify the rampant discrimination specifically in Toronto against non whites. But the legislation was such that under the banner of ‘human’ rights these tribunals could be used when legal recourse was otherwise unavailable. Specifically, the tribunals became the go-to tool for discrimination in the workplace. It is not surprising that these tribunals then evolved into making illegal judgements that were rectified only through expensive litigation. The criticisms of these tribunals and the commissions that appointed its members grew. A perfect example is the national magazine Macleans that did a story on them and was then fined by the head human rights commission for using electronic communication for spreading ‘hate’.

      In this theater of the absurd, the federal government then dropped the article in the legislation that effectively dismantled their ability to make such judgements and the tribunals have gone back to handling clear claims of discrimination.

      As for what are called ‘hate speech’ laws, the objective in legislation and upheld by the Supreme Court is to reduce and eliminate discrimination as laid out in Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Yes, Canadians have the right to freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, freedom of belief, freedom of peaceful assembly, and freedom of association but all of these have legal limits. And one of the legal limits is where the meaning of the expression is specifically forbidden by the law. The law used against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is the Human Rights Act that specifies you cannot discriminate against someone on that basis. Again, this goes back to the intent of the Constitution where “Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination.”

      So the Supreme has ruled that freedoms are limited and no one has the right to discriminate – or promote discrimination – on a prohibited basis. And this legal battle is ongoing… involving all kinds of organizations.

      I lay all this out because in many cases where earnest people are trying their best to discriminate for what they think are good reasons meet this legal obstacle and then try to argue that they are the ones being discriminated against because they are not allowed to discriminate!

      Well, yeah!

      This is what’s going on in your examples. It’s a gross misrepresentation to assume that the obstacle isn’t the law clearly laid out (it is) but has to do with saying unpopular things. It’s not ‘unpopular’; it’s illegal because it is legally discriminatory! And that is prohibited by law.

      Look, In Ontario (about 14 million people) we have a same-sex married Premier. Throughout the country we have same-sex married members of Parliament. We have same-sax married officers and enlisted personnel in the Armed Forces. We have LGBT people in roles of leadership in business and the professions. It is not just illegal to advocate discrimination against these people but basically a non issue in the public domain. No one really cares because we’ve learned a person’s sexual orientation doesn’t really matter any more than the colour of one’s eyes or the racial makeup of one’s ancestors. What does matter are those misguided people who continue to abuse our common rights and freedoms in the name of reducing them for others. And that’s where the law in Canada will be upheld. It’s time for the throwbacks to get over their need to discriminate against others and move on into the present.


  4. madblog Post author

    If I understand you correctly, tildeb, you have confirmed my claims that there is active discrimination against those who defend heterosexual marriage, who have actual-not superficial-principled reasons for doing so, who believe that legalizing SSM will be destructive to the whole society, who are simply wanting to protect the kind of marriage that has been the cornerstone of human society until now; and you are happy about that discrimination and defending that discrimination as the proper way for the gov’t and society to respond to it. Got it.


    1. tildeb

      Nothing has changed for traditional marriages… they go on all the time. The only thing that has changed is that these so-called ‘defenders’ of traditional marriage (who lead the divorced cohort, I must add) cannot continue to publicly advocate for legal discrimination on prohibited grounds unless they wish to run the risk of being charged with enacting a hate crime. If people wish to do research on the social effects of legal equality and then publish these findings, they are welcome to do so. No one is being harassed defending heterosexual marriage for them; they are being held accountable if they advocate legal discrimination for others. There are no exemptions or privileges offered for bigotry – principled or superficial. Everyone of majority is legally entitled to the same treatment and protection under the law.

      Think of it this way, MB: there are those who wish to maintain legal privilege for men and advocate against, say, wage parity for women in the workplace… for what they claim are principled reasons against the legal equality of women. The law states that gender is a prohibited standard and so it cannot be used. the law clarifies that men and women doing the same jobs are entitled to earn the same pay. The law defines this gender-based pay inequity as discriminatory and therefore prohibited. Because the law is also charged with protecting women from this discrimination, charges will be brought against those who practice pay inequity on this basis. It’s deemed discriminatory. The legal defense that pay inequity is justified by ‘traditional inequality’ or ‘principled inequality’ or ‘justified social inequality’ fails to meet the standard set out for equal treatment under the law. In all cases, the gender-based practice is discriminatory by definition and therefore prohibited. Those who continue to advocate for it can be charged with a hate crime because they continue to espouse discrimination on the basis of gender and this is prohibited.

      The same principle of legal equality is used to defend and protect people against those who advocate for legal discrimination against certain men and women who wish to get legally married to another person of the same gender on the basis of sexual orientation. This is another prohibited standard because it is discriminatory by definition.

      My intention here was to explain that there is no compelling evidence of any additional societal harm to ‘traditional marriage’ or additional harm against children raised by same sex married couples derived from enacting this legal equality in marriage for all. In fact, there is compelling evidence that this enforcement for legal equality has brought about a greater social good in that suicide rates are much lower today in LGBT youth than from before this legislation was passed into law. Furthermore, there is greater legal protection for children raised in households with married parents (of either sexual orientation) than common law of only heterosexual couples.

      Look, I’m a huge proponent of marriage and the stated commitment between people to alter their legal status from individual to spouse. I think this commitment enables people to create a more stable environment in which to raise children. This commitment based on love and respect I see as the central root of ‘traditional’ marriage. I don’t want to deny anyone the right to enter into this social and legally binding contract especially when children are involved.

      I cannot wrap my little head around the fact that younger people seem less concerned with a lifelong commitment to bringing children into this world than they are making a legal contract of commitment with another person and be married. And I think those of us who are proponents of marriage have far more in common than those who think it’s an unnecessary institution when raising children. The opposite-gender vs same-gender issue in the kind of marriage I think does a HUGE disservice to children being born and raised without this binding legal contract between the parents who are raising them. And it does this disservice by taking away the attention that I argue is needed to privilege in law this basic family unit. This unit deserves legal privilege because ti is no longer equal by treatment in law to that of a single person without children. Because I think we share a central concern for the welfare of children, I think we should be natural allies in supporting married families. But I think the attention paid to the sexual orientation of the married parties rather than promoting marriage and advertising its many benefits itself undermines and diverts us from paying proper attention to the welfare and well being of children.



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