Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gay Marriage - It's All About the Sex

On the way home from work I was thinking about Sideon's post about gay marriage. I was wondering why it seems to upset so many people, especially religious people, and it got me to thinking about the "traditional" purpose of marriage.

When I was growing up I reached a certain age when my father carefully and very sensitively explained to me that I should NEVER be in bed with a girl unless I was married to her. I was especially NEVER, EVER supposed to be in a bed with a girl without my clothes on! Uck. Why would I want to do that?

In Mormonism, as with most Christian religions, and probably most other religions and cultures extra-marital sex is a really, really bad thing. Of course, the reasoning for this is pretty simple. Sex can result in pregnancy which produces children and children are usually better off being raised in a stable relationship with two parents. Marriage was the step people took to formalize a stable, committed, long term relationship suitable for raising children.

So, sex and marriage are traditionally pretty inextricably intertwined in most people's minds with marriage being the prerequisite for having sex.

This all makes a lot of sense until you attach a lot of other things to marriage. From a legal standpoint marriage has evolved into a complex contract that confers all kinds of rights and responsibilities. I hazard a guess that if all of the implications were disclosed to the parties getting married a lot of them would hesitate before signing. Heck, it seems pretty ridiculous that a car loan has more disclosure and paperwork than probably the most complex legal contract most people will enter into during their lives.

Of course, the sexual aspect of marriage becomes irrelevant in an age where sex only results in children when you're trying to have a kid or if you're irresponsibly stupid. And of course homosexual sex hasn't ever resulted in a pregnancy, as far as I know.

So here's the disconnect. Many people in committed relationships want to formalize that relationship and enter into the legal obligations and receive the legal protectionis traditionally given to married couples. That seems pretty reasonable and in fact completely unobjectionable.

So why are so many people getting bent out of shape by it? I think it is because they believe that it's a sin to have sex outside of marriage and that if you allow homosexuals to marry then you are condoning homosexual sex. They believe that homosexual sex is a grave sin and they don't want the law to be seen as condoning it. But the idiots seem to miss the fact that gay and straight people are boinking like bunnies without being married. Marriage, for most people, is simply not about sex anymore except to religious people.

My solution? I think that the state legislatures should require marriage licenses with full legal disclosure of all of the terms and conditions of the marriage contract. If the want they can call it marriage for traditional straight marriages for all I care and something else for everyone else. But the law shouldn't have anything to say about consenting, adult sexuality. The law should be about the law. The legal aspects ought to be handled like any other contract with standard terms and conditions and the religious or ceremonial aspects should be completely separate with no legal implications whatsoever. In that world, couples could get married in a church or their backyard and it would mean absolutely nothing before the law until they sit down and sign the marriage contract and file it with the government.


erlybird said...

Probably right in your reasoning, Bull. I will go one step further...

I really, honestly believe, like you, that it is really only religious people who have a problem with same-sex marriage. There may be some insecure good-old boys out there who are just too squeamish to admit that there is no reason to oppose it but the true opposition comes from religious groups...I think that goes without saying.

But, I also think, that religious groups would take it even further. If they could they would actually try to legislate the TYPE of sex even HETEROSEXUAL couples are having. Homosexual relationships are wrong to them because of the SEX, like you said...but so are HETEROSEXUAL relationships if the sex is the wrong KIND of sex. Sadly, for these religious folks, there is no way to get into people's lives THAT far in order to do anything about it.

I am SURE that these religious folks would ban, if they could, oral sex, dirty talk, sexy toys, lubricants, role-playing, all the "bad" sexual positions, and anything else that didn't make it seem like you could actually do it in the pew of a Church while singing a hymn at the same time.

All this says is that the whole point is pathetic. Religion diminishes our lives rather than expanding our lives. Sex is wonderful, a lot MORE wonderful and more powerful than religion could EVER hope to be, and so religion has ALWAYS tried to diminish this power through BOREDOM. And it won't EVER work.

Charlotte said...

It's actually all about education. Marriage is a basic civil right that should be attainable by all Americans if they choose. For those who are uncomfortable with gay marriage check out our short produced to educate & defuse the controversy. It has a way of opening closed minds & provides some sanity on the issue:

erlybird said...

You can't educate religious folk, Charlotte. Some short video is not is going to make these people say to themselves, "Oh, I see now, gosh, sorry, I was reading my Bible...I was listening to my preacher rant about about people...silly that I am educated I agree with YOU!" Not going to happen.

sideon said...

"But the idiots seem to miss the fact that gay and straight people are boinking like bunnies without being married. Marriage, for most people, is simply not about sex anymore except to religious people."

Best thing I've read all week. Thanks, Bull.

Erlybird nails it, too (no pun intended). Religious groups take such a strict view of various TYPES of sex that most of them can't say the word without self-flagellating and signing up for the first/nearest confessional.

The only religion I know is the full spectrum of sexuality.

Anonymous said...

The best way to stop gay people from having sex is to let them get married!

Anonymous said...

Romans 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.
24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,
25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature.
27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers,
30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful;
32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Bull said...

Congratulations, Anon. You can quote ancient documents. But can you think? Any comments on my post? Any actual thoughts?

Bull said...

I'm a little unclear, also, about your meaning. Are you also advocating death to children that disobey their parents?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure where you come up with death to children who disobey their parents. If you read the passage in context, it's talking about men and women, not children.

After your response to what Scripture says, me giving you my own thoughts on your post doesn't look like a very attractive option. So I will pass that opportunity up. But thanks for the invitation.

Bull said...

Anon, did you not read v. 30. People disobedient to parents are lumped in with a laundry list of things worthy of death.

Your response basically confirms an inability to think for yourself leaving you no option to depend on questionable authority. I'd be more sympathetic toward your view if you'd a) stated your view and b) given some rationale behind it.

That doesn't sound like a very sound basis for morality.

And no, I don't accept the Bible as any more authoritative than the Veda or the Koran or other books. After all it is only a compilation of writing of men that was made hundreds of years after Jesus Christ by cherry picking the available manuscripts that agreed with those that compiled the Bible. Even the Old Testament was written after the Babylonian captivity and is record of the oral traditions of the Jew of the diaspora.

It's a little disappointing when people claim an authority for the Bible that it doesn't even make for itself. It is men you have tried to make it inerrant when even the writers never made such claims.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I realized later that I didn't finish the thought about your comment on disobedience to parents. I still contend it is talking about men and women...adults who have made it a life habit from childhood to be disobedient to parents, hence disobedient to most authority. IT is not talking about children specifically, but is pointed toward those who from childhood have made it a life habit to be this way. Read the whole thing in context. I just thought I would clarify that.

As to your other remarks, I see no value in repsonding or arguing with someone who is so opposed to God and who holds no respect for the Bible. What purpose would there be in it? All it would accomplish is one of us trying to one-up the other. There is no point to that.

So it's ok with me if you walk away rubbing your hands in glee that you won another battle over someone who "can't think for themselves" and won't state what they think on your post. I stated what God thinks and that's all that matters. You can fight with Him.

sideon said...


God told me to stone you to death, but because I do think for myself... I told him I'd spare you. I'm magnanimous that way. And might I recommend a subscription to Playboy or Penthouse? It's a different kind of religious experience.

Bull - in 2+ years, I've only had one Bible-thumper on my blog. **big sigh** I'm jealous. Positively green.

Bull said...

I was almost swayed by the impeccable logic: "My book says X is bad." Why? "Because my book says so." I don't believe your book is right. "Well, then if you don't accept that I'm right, then there's really no point having a discussion."

Ummm. OK.

I'm not sure how you can parody this stuff.

Anonymous said...

"Bull - in 2+ years, I've only had one Bible-thumper on my blog. **big sigh** I'm jealous. Positively green."

So you don't have to be jealous and feel left out, I could come over and say a few things on your blog if you want me too! :-)

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure how you can parody this stuff."

You don't unless you are really creative. I am sure you could figure it out though. I'll be waiting to see what you come up with. It'll be entertaining.

Nephi Mormon said...

Bull said...

Hey, NM, how about actually posting a comment instead of spam links to your blogs. I looked at them and they are entertaining in a probably unintentional way.