Why Vs. Why: Bill Muehlenberg and Rodney Croome debate Gay Marriage
To celebrate the release of Pantera Press’s Why Vs. Why: Gay Marriage - Readings has invited the authors of the book, Bill Muehlenberg and Rodney Croome, to blog in summary their arguments both for and against gay marriage, as outlined in the book.
Rodney Croome rose to prominence as a gay human rights advocate, leading the successful campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in Tasmania. He remains a spokesperson for the Tasmanian Gay and Lesbian Rights Group, and is a Board Member of Australian Marriage Equality and the International Gay and Lesbian Law Association. Rodney has his own blog.
Bill Muehlenberg is author of In Defence of the Family and hundreds of articles and book reviews. He is Secretary of the Family Council of Victoria, and part-time lecturer in philosophy, theology, and ethics at several theological colleges. Originally from America, he now lives in Melbourne, Australia. Bill is married, with three sons. Bill also directs CultureWatch, a website providing critical commentary on current issues.
Why same-sex couples SHOULD be allowed to marry
For many supporters of same-sex marriage their case is obvious. The words “fairness”, “equity”, “respect” and, above all, “love”, occur frequently in the everyday conversations, talk-back radio calls, and letters-to-the-editor, explaining the need for reform.
But marriage equality is about more than these heart-felt values, as important as they are. Allowing same-sex couples the right to marry is crucial to removing legal and social discrimination against gay and lesbian people. It is also crucial to recognising their equal citizenship and humanity, as it was for Aborigines when laws controlling interracial marriages were removed.
Marriage brings with it many practical legal and social benefits for same-sex couples and their families, including a greater sense of security and belonging. Far from being a threat to religion or children, marriage equality will enhance religious freedoms and allow the children of same-sex couples the benefits of married parents. Marriage equality will also strengthen the institution of marriage by allowing it to embrace those same-sex couples who want to uphold its values, and by making it more relevant to contemporary society.
When we consider the purpose of marriage in today’s society we can see that same-sex partners can fulfil that purpose. When we consider the alternatives put forward for same-sex marriage it is obvious there are no substitutes for the right to participate in such a universal and valued institution. Finally, the growing support for marriage equality within Australia and across the world shows decision-makers who oppose it are increasingly out of step.
The reasons why same-sex couples SHOULD be allowed to marry are:
- Because, without the right to marry, same-sex partners are not free and equal citizens
- Because being unable to marry creates legal disadvantages
- Because marriage has practical social and cultural benefits for same-sex couples and their families
- Because same-sex marriage is good for marriage
- Because religion and children are arguments for marriage equality, not against it
- Because the alternatives don’t offer full equality or recognition
- Because of strong and growing support for equality
Why same-sex couples SHOULD NOT be allowed to marry
There are no compelling reasons to radically redefine the institution of marriage in order to appease homosexual activists. Indeed, there are at least seven reasons why we should not do so.
First, the legalisation of same-sex marriage negates what marriage is, and what is it for. It completely overturns the historic nature and function of marriage, effectively destroying it.
Second, there is little actual demand for it. Why should the institution of marriage be gutted to satisfy a tiny number of activists? Third, there is another agenda at work here. This is part of a larger demolition job on the natural family. Marriage and family have stood the test of time, and should not be so readily dismantled.
Fourth, not all relationships are alike, and it is foolish to equate married heterosexual relationships with homosexual coupling. Fifth, claims of discrimination and denial of equal rights are spurious. No rights are being denied to homosexuals, nor to anyone else who do not qualify for marriage.
Sixth, this is the thin edge of the wedge. Legalise same-sex marriage, and all manner of other sexual relationships will also have to be legalised. Seventh, marriage is intimately connecting with the rearing of children. Children have a fundamental right to their own biological mother and father. Children should not be treated as guinea pigs in adult social experiments.
For these reasons, we would be unwise and reckless to engage in such radical social engineering. Heterosexual marriage is far too important to be undone in this fashion.
The reasons why same-sex couples SHOULD NOT be allowed to marry are:
- Because it negates what marriage is, and what it is for
- Because there is little actual demand for it
- Because there is another agenda at work here
- Because not all relationships are alike
- Because claims of discrimination and denial of equal rights are spurious
- Because this is the thin edge of the wedge
- Because it is not good for children
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Finding stock availability...