Time to frame Gay Marriage as ‘Pro-Family’

It’s encouraging to see that a group of Tories have formed a campaign group in support of gay marriage. Let us hope it hastens the day when the Government put the necessary legislation in place.

At the end of 2012, I assume the Liberal Conspiracy website is not best place to make arguments for gay marriage. There is a sense of preaching to the converted. Far better that the core case is made on places like Conservative Home. But Christmas is coming, which is the perfect opportunity for us all to debate the issue with relatives or friends who may not yet be persuaded.

Over the turkey, then, you may hear a version of the tiresome talking point trotted out by Peter Bone MP over the weekend: Marriage has been defined as “between one man and one woman” for hundreds of years. This really seems to be all the opponents of gay marriage have left – a feeble call-back to historical precedent and utterly discredited religious authority. They fail to follow up with a persuasive “and this is a good thing because…” Any arguments for why exclusively heterosexual marriage might better than extending the marriage ‘franchise’ fail in the 21st Century (for example, no-one these days seriously suggests that marriage is primarily about procreation).

Second, many people try to hide behind religious reasons for their opposition. “It is Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve!” Yawn. To that soundbite, it is worth pointing out that in the Garden of Eden story, the very first thing that God says about His creation, is that man should not be alone (Gen. 2-18). By contrast, the position of the Christian churches currently requires gay people to be alone. It is a pro-loneliness, anti-Genesis position.

The prefixes “pro” and “anti” remind me of the ongoing political arguments over abortion, where the battle is over language as well as facts and values. The campaign for gay marriage needs to be similarly mindful of language. For example, the Coalition for Marriage uses the language of preservation, where in fact their policies suppress the possible number of people who can get married. The opposition to gay marriage is anti-marriage and anti-family, and should be framed as such.

3 thoughts on “Time to frame Gay Marriage as ‘Pro-Family’

  1. Yes, the argument for “the gay agenda” is whatever will advance the cause at the time!

    I remember the argument was, quite correctly, what is wrong with two consenting adults doing what they want in the privacy of their own home?

    Well, nothing!

    That argument once won, is soon forgotten and we move on – we now have kiss-ins. Staged lesbian kissing on Eurovision. Name calling objectors “bigots.”

    Now you are openly arguing the importance of language in your Orwellian attempt to persuade the public. Anyway, the public don’t need to accept you, there is always the courts.

    ……………………………

    In what sense does a gay sterile marriage have any resemblance to the generative fertile union of a man and his wife.

    Only by resorting to surrogacy or adoption of another persons child can you mimic this family.

    You only have to watch Jeremy Kyle (trashy show, I know!) to see that the biological parent bond IS important. Even after 20 years abandonment!

    THE BEST a gay union can produce is an unbalanced family.

    Real (BIO) Daddy, Daddy 2 (BIO DAD PARTNER) (Bio mum elsewhere spending her surrogacy payment.)

    REAL PRO FAMILY.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Tony, but I disagree.

    If anyhting, I think it is the anti-gay side of the argument which changes the nature of its objections. Previously, they did argue against what people did in their bedrooms. Now they have lost that argument, they have moved on to issues of procreation – conveniently ignoring the fact that many heterosexual couples do not have kids.

    I will take the term ‘Orwellian’ as a compliment here, although I assume you intended it as an ad hominem. What Orwell so brilliantly lays out in his work is that language is a political battleground. I am not ashamed to point out how social conservatives use their definitions of words and concepts and present them as settled fact, not social construction. It is the anti-gay-marriage campaigners who seek to control the definition of words like ‘marriage’, insisting on their own definition and refusing to let the word evolve organically as society changes. Using a phrase like ‘anti-family’ to describe those who oppose gay-marriage certainly does have an emotional and rhetorical effect. No apologies for that.

    Your use of the words ‘generative’ and ‘serile’ with regards to family also betray an extremely narrow conception of what marriage should be about. Child-bearing and child-rearing are not pre-requisites for marriage or (in the age of IVF, surrogacy, donation and adoption, the rearing of children). Sterility in a partnership is simiply not an arguament to nullify or refuse to legally recognise a partnership between two people who say they love each other.

    Finally, your instistence on genetic bonds being the defining feature of a family is also quite strange. Would you call mixed race family similarly imbalanced? Or a family of adopted kids similarly unhealthy?

  3. “Thanks for commenting, Tony, but I disagree.
    If anyhting, I think it is the anti-gay side of the argument which changes the nature of its objections…”

    I think the truth may lie somewhere between both camps, as attitudes evolve the “battleground” changes. There is no question that much of the anti-gay arguments historically have been vitriolic and lamentable.

    “I will take the term ‘Orwellian’ as a compliment here, although I assume you intended it as an ad hominem. What Orwell so brilliantly lays out in his work is that language is a political battleground…t. No apologies for that.”

    Then you acknowledge that your approach is Orwellian and make no apologies. Why describe my use of the word as an ad hominum attack? Orwell did not advocate language manipulation as a method of persuasion.

    “Your use of the words ‘generative’ and ‘serile’ with regards to family also betray an extremely narrow conception of what marriage should be about… love each other.”

    Marriage I am convinced must have evolved out of the shared parenting in the species. It is a programmed behaviour, probably encouraged by the selfish gene. Both partners are investing time and effort caring for their own genes. Different species have adopted different solutions, but we as humans, generally feel the desire to couple up, but not all. I believe in the nuclear family as the ideal.

    I wonder what will be the difference between Civil Partnership and Gay Marriage in
    practice. What do you think?

    Society recognises gay union. Why do you need more?

    However, insisting that gay marriage is equal (i.e. the same) is only possible if it is legally the same. I understand that the adultery definition (and consummation) definition is a sticking point. To make marriage and gay marriage the same will necessitate the removal of adultery. I find this idea abhorrent. Adultery is anti-family in my opinion. If the definition of marriage changes an inch in the direction of weakening the definition of marriage just to make the unequal equal, then I oppose it.
    My understanding and concept of the word may be narrow, but I believe that society should endorse the nuclear family as an ideal. It will take a generation or two to see the outcome of this social experiment.

    The wave of change launched by feminism (of the 70’s) is still rolling. Much good and much that is regrettable has resulted.

    You indicate in another post that feminism enabled gay marriage, which you see as good, no doubt. Though the worrying lesson is that we will have to wait 30-40 years or more to see where this leads.

    “Finally, your instistence on genetic bonds being the defining feature of a family is also quite strange. Would you call mixed race family similarly imbalanced? Or a family of adopted kids similarly unhealthy?”

    Race has nothing to do with this argument. Mixed race can have offspring. I wonder why you choose to lever in this word.

    I recognise that adoptive families can be healthy. I recognise that biological families can be damaging.

    However, you dismiss the biological link between families when it is staring you in the face.

    Watch episodes of “Long Lost Family” and paternity tests on Jeremy Kyle to see that this is a powerful programmed bond.

    The ivf given to gays in order to allow (one of them) to pro create is setting up an estranged genetic parent. Funding this on NHS in the uk is using the health care budget to fix the healthy. Equality? It is like the man on life of Brian (mentioned on another of your blogs.)

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