Same-sex marriage is legal in Illinois and Hawaii, but it's still wrong

Every child has a right to a mother and a father

That's based on the fact that men and women are different, and each generally brings to the marriage arrangement different abilities, qualities and characteristics to child-rearing.Each of these benefits children in different ways, and in combination better makes for a complete person.

This has got nothing to do with religion. My opposition to the formal institutionalization of same-sex marriage by government is that it destroys the exemplar that is inherent in the definition of marriage  as between a man and a woman.

As I said in a previous post:

We will be shown the “evidence” of the research that demonstrates that children are no worse off when raised by same-sex couples. Even though there’s other research that challenges the premise. Suffice to say that for now, the social science evidence is not conclusive in either direction.

In any case and cognizant of the inherent deficiencies of social science research, I’m not so ready to ignore the evidence that is before our own eyes, that men and women are indeed different, that each brings contrasting qualities and behaviors to bear not just in child-rearing but in so many facets of life.

I'm not so ready, either, to turn over the creation of public policy to social scientists. I know that some "progressives" would ask us to check our intelligence and common sense at the door and genuflect before the squishy conclusions of this soft science.

Arguments based on "fairness" and "equal rights" fail to recognize the reality that marriage is not about individuals but about something larger--the common good. As appealing as the equal rights argument has been and the inroads that it has made in gaining public support, it's fundamentally a "where's mine?" argument. It's based on the assertion that the rights of "partners" in a relationship ultimately trump the rights and good of the children.

It is a selfish argument. And it is a sad commentary on today's culture  that it is one on which the same-sex marriage debate has centered.

A footnote: Please don't tell me that because I believe that a man and a woman in union makes for better parents that I would outlaw single-parent families, or make people stay in an abusive marriages and so forth. I'm advocating for the preservation of a standard; the fact that we sometimes fall short of a standard doesn't mean that we should abandon that standard.

That said, let the hate mail roll.

Get two copies of my historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812," for the price of one in this Christmas sale. For details and how to order, visit http://www.madness1812.com

To subscribe to the Barbershop, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

 

Comments

Leave a comment
  • I think you assume that all men and women provide stereotypical masculine and feminine roles in a child's life. Those stereotypes don't even exist all the time in hetero marriages with more stay at home fathers and working mothers. Or maybe the really traditional marriage where the dad is at work all the time and never involved with his kids. You might want to open your heart a bit to what parenting is and what may be best for children, because it may not be the 1950s style that is most effective. How many millions of kids are born out of wedlock and never see their dads? Isn't that far more harmful to our society than a same sex couple that both love and nurture their children?

  • In reply to Bumsteer:

    As I suggested in the last paragraph, I'm going to be hearing this argument, again and again. "Because we fall short of a standard, we should not try to maintain that standard."

    I've also seen it used elsewhere: E.g. Because x percentage of people speed, we should do away with speed limits. Or dilute them.

    And why do we always hear about the 1950s?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    "And why do we always hear about the 1950s?"
    Perhaps because folks who think like you are still living in them.

  • In reply to Ron Giordano:

    No, it's because you hold a stereotypical view of the 1950s--Ozzie and Harriet, etc. The 50s actually were a period ripe with change and progress. It fueled, for example, the civil rights movement and a flood of creativity in the arts and sciences. It only figures: After decades of travail--the Great Depression and World War II--America broke out in a period of not just prosperity but serious reflection and self-examination. You show your ignorance or your rigid ideology by trying to trash the 50s.

  • fb_avatar

    Dennis,
    Since, in your opinion, the purpose of marriage is child raising, does that mean that an infertile person should not be allowed to marry? Or that a couple that doesn't plan on having children, or that can't for other reasons, age, etc. shouldn't be allowed to marry?

  • In reply to Wayne Driscoll:

    No, it doesn't mean that.

  • Dennis, the right that every child has is to be raised in a loving, compassionate family, however it is structured. Those "abilities, qualities, and characteristics" you cite but do not identify can just as well be provided by same-sex parents and reinforced by the child's grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and family friends. Remember a nuclear family is not an island but part of a mainland of larger communities: the extended family, the circle of friends, school and work relationships, and the numerous, overarching, influences of society in general and its pervasive culture constructs..

    We progressives absolutely do not "check our intelligence and common sense at the door", but use both rather to unlock the doors of prejudice and blind orthodoxy that have held the common good prisoner for too long.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Prejudice and blind orthodoxy? I really expected better from you. Yes, the extended family is available, and I'm glad it is. But, once again, should we abandon an institutionalized goal because it is not always reached?

  • Thanks for your reasoned, common sense response. Unfortunately, the modern notion that "me", my wants and rights trump everything. This view has invaded everyone's psyche and therefore our culture, public policy etc. Pope Benedict referred to it as relativism and he was so right. You are another 'lone voice in the wilderness' Mr. Byrne and your opinion pieces are much appreciated and needed.

  • fb_avatar

    Dennis, I would like to point out that you are attempting to discredit "progressives" for believing in "soft sciences" when you yourself are trying to perpetuate a very subjective view of what an ideal household is.

    "Each of these benefits children in different ways, and in combination better makes for a complete person"

    You are providing no evidence for why a man and a woman are better to raise a child nor are you providing the rubric for judging what makes a more "complete person" (e.g. better success in career, more loving family life, better relationships with spouse).

    I find your view to be very dated and subjective. In my experience, members of your generation have this insistence that your way of life growing up or while raising your children was the best, period, and that anything outside of that is absolute rubbish. Sticking to such an outdated hardline attitude has really caused a rift between my generation and yours because there is no room for leniency.

    You come from a time where there was a lot more uniformity and you found comfort in the idea that there was a single best way to run a home. That just is not the case anymore and I hate to break it to you, but that is not coming back anytime soon.

  • In reply to Dan Howery:

    Dan, I didn't say that anything outside of my view is "absolute rubbish." I would suggest that you follow the link to my earlier comments. Here it is again: http://www.chicagonow.com/dennis-byrnes-barbershop/2013/10/a-loving-response-to-deb-mells-beautiful-homage-to-her-wife/

    And, as I pointed out above, the "evidence" from social science is mixed, as it usually is.

  • "Every child has a right to a mother and a father"

    Every child has a mother and a father otherwise they would not be created. Basic biology.

    I think you are living in some fantasy world where you think that very heterosexual marriage lasts and therefore the "mother and father" are part of the child's life forever. You keep denying the fact that 50% of heterosexual marraiges end in divorce. What happens to the kids then. Technically they still have a mother and a father, but what happens to the children when they are being raised by one parent?

    You say this: "I'm advocating for the preservation of a standard; the fact that we sometimes fall short of a standard doesn't mean that we should abandon that standard"
    How is children being raised by a same sex couple abdandoning the standard. Isn't it just falling short of the standard that you just talked about? Isn't just another form of the standard just like children being raised by single parents or other family members?

    Lastly, you seem to forget about all the children that are in the foster home system. Those children were abdanoned by both their mother and father, so much for your ideal situation. I guess you would prefer these children to be in foster homes instead of being adopted by same sex couple.

  • Where and how do you establish that every child has the "right" to a mother and a father? There is nothing in our Constitution or Bill of Rights establishing such a guarantee. I'd be curious to hear how you propose that our government protect such a guarantee.

    You also fail to explain how gay marriage contravenes the "common good" that you allude to as the true basis of the argument at hand. It was, in fact, these types of assertions that held increasingly less weight with the courts as anti-equality defendants tried (and failed) to prove "harm" to the state. You seem to indicate harm to the children, without citing institutionally accepted research to back such a claim.

    Lastly, you conclude that "the fact that we sometimes fall short of a standard doesn't mean that we should abandon that standard." It seems to me that the only way we'd be abandoning the heterosexual "standard" would be to outlaw heterosexual marriage, which only a few have proposed.

    As a professor, I'd give you low marks in your argumentation.

  • In reply to GBruhn:

    I didn't say there was a constitutional right (although liberals seem to be good at finding rights in the constitution that aren't there). I believe that it is a human right, or if you prefer, a natural right. One that flows from the same reasoning that illuminates so many of our other rights that are not specifically enumerated.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    In other words, you're falling back on a "where's mine" argument?

  • In reply to GBruhn:

    I don't know how you come to that conclusion. But I think the "where's mine" argument remains a good one.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    And I quote: "It is a selfish argument"

  • fb_avatar

    OK, Dennis. Let us stipulate that kids growing up with parents of opposite sexes tend to be "do better", whatever that means, then kids of same-sex couples. Let us further stipulate that they do better in some statistically measurable way, that they are somehow "proven" to fare better.
    I think you will also find that kids who grow up with more books in their home do better, very likely with a higher statistical correlation. Probably higher incomes help, and--who knows?--maybe church (or synagogue, or mosque) attendance.
    So if you are going to base marriage on what will make the child "more complete", to use your preposterous phrase, why stop at outlawing same sex couples? Why not also include standards for literacy, income, and church attendance?

  • In reply to Max Raimi:

    Oh, gee. You got me there.

    Let me try anyway: Literacy, income and church attendance are not state licensed. Marriage is. It was and is because there was general societal and cultural agreement that there was a wider state interest in an opposite sex couple raising the next generation. It doesn't mean that it will ALWAYS produce a better next generation. But it's something that we, as a society, ought to strive for. That societal agreement has now fallen by the wayside and so be it. I accept that it is the direction that we are headed. I just don't think that it is a good direction.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Actually, societal agreement now includes same-sex marriage. It's really all just an actuarial issue but few expected that societal agreement would accelerate so fast. In 10-15 years virtually every state will have legalized it and everyone will be dumbfounded it wasn't always legal.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Jimmy, I think I said that society is heading in the direction of agreeing with same sex marriage. Sorry if it wasn't clear.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    No, you were. I missed your second-to-last sentence in the comment. My bad.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Sorry, Dennis, I was going too fast for you. I was asking why literacy, income, and church attendance are not considered in LICENSING marriage, since these too create that "better" next generation that "we, as a society, ought to strive for". Is this clear now?

  • In reply to Max Raimi:

    I don't think you understand what you wrote:

    "So if you are going to base marriage on what will make the child "more complete", to use your preposterous phrase, why stop at outlawing same sex couples? Why not also include standards for literacy, income, and church attendance?"

    Go back and read it and maybe it will become clear to you.

  • Dennis - lookup "Confirmation Bias". I think you are anti-gay and you are just looking for a better justification for it. The fact is, gay people can have kids whether they are married or not. If a gay couple wants a monogamous, long term, loving reletionship, why should we tell them "no". I fail to see how gay marriage diminishes, or takes anything away from straight people. If the church doesn't like it - tough. They don't like jews, muslims, atheists, or anyone else that disagrees with them already.

  • In reply to BigDMcGee:

    Who is "they?"

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    They = The Church = The Catholic Church. And I notice that you did not dispute the fact that you are anti-gay and just looking for any justification for your homophobia.

  • In reply to fallout:

    I said my argument wasn't religious, so why bring it in to the discussion? What good would it do for my to deny that I am anti-gay or homophobic since you have already decided it to be so?

  • In reply to BigDMcGee:

    "The fact is, gay people can have kids..."

    Biology says otherwise.

  • In reply to Amelie57:

    Oh really. A gay man and a gay woman can have sex and produce a child. You are trying to say equate sexuality with gender. You are also saying that you need to be in love with a person in order to produce a child, which is far from the truth.

    You want one more fact. Put 50 sterile men and 50 sterile women on an one island. On another put 50 gay men and 50 gay women. The island with the gay men and women has a better chance of producing kids than the other one.

  • So where is that law that removes all children from homes where there is only one parent? I mean if all children have a right to a two parent family, it's only right they be taken from their widowed moms and given to a family where there are two adults, one of each gender.

  • I'm not for such a law. Nor does my position argue for such a law.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I agree with you that peoples' views on the success of same-sex parenting are influenced by social science research, but what you have left out of this article is that this is true also of the nature of homosexuality itself. It matters, for instance, whether one believes that psychological gender is something one is born with (or a combination of nature and nurture) rather than purely a lifestyle choice. Because if you believe it is simply a choice , you will fail to understand that a child of a gay couple IS being exposed to gender behavior which is typically not the same as just pairing two heterosexual same-sex persons together. In the 40 -some years since gay couples became a visible part of our society, the gay community itself has had a chance to see how the dynamics of gay couplehood work themselves out. It was not always assumed that there was much a of future for gay couples , that perhaps the conventional wisdom of the time was right:that because there was something somehow unnatural about same-sex partnerships gay couples would not be expected to survive as a long-time unit. But history has show those in the gay community that longtime bonded relationships are potentially just as healthy, deep and lasting for them as for heterosexuals. More importantly It has shown them that the very fact of inborn gender behaviors means that just as the opposite gender attributes of heterosexual males and females contributes to their bonding , to the way that each completes the other , the saem is true of gay couples. HTer are many differnt gender dynmaics at work in gay relationships. In some , one partner has predominately masculine behaviors and the other predominately female ones. Other couples seem to act more as twins, each having equal amounts of male and female qualities.. The point is, what the gay community has discovered over time is that what matter is that, whichever gender dynamics are in play in any given couple, the successful relationship is a dance , a balance, a mutual completing of each other. I believe that Dennis' objection to Gay marriage begins not with the parent-child dynamic, but with his not accepting the inborn basis of gender behavior, Without getting that concept, gay couplehood already seems to him off-balance, and therefore prejudices his view of their effectiveness as parents.

  • You're obviously an intelligent guy and I respect you for responding to these comments, but I fail to see how allowing gay marriage harms the 'common good.' Or how it's a 'where's mine' thing... they're not asking for special rights, just the same rights as heteros have. And how are rights and good of the children trumped by this?

  • In reply to AKB88:

    The logical response is: They have the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex. But I fear this is not about logic.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Then you are saying marriage is about who gets married rather than what the institution of marriage is about. Then to you marriage begins and ends when the vows are read and both parties say "I Do". You dismiss the institution about being about love and commitment.

    Furthermore if gays have the same rights as rights as straight peopel when it comes to marriage, then you shouldn't have an issue marrying a gay woman, if she wanted to marry you.
    The statement you made dismisses the fact that marriage is about love and commitment.

  • In reply to Richard S.:

    Nice try, but I do not dismiss the fact that marriage is about love and commitment.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Well then how can you say gays have the same rights as straight people when it comes to marriage. There is no way a gay person can love someone of the opposite sex in terms of marriage.

    So you want to deny gay people the right to marry the person they are in love with?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    It's all about logic to me... the logic that loving, committed couples are ALL treated the same and allowed the same rights. So the gay couple across the street is not somehow lesser than my wife and I. I think it's a logic my 9-year-old understands when she was shocked to find out gays COULDN'T marry. 'Why not?' she asked, probably thinking about that wonderful, loving couple across the street and the wonderful little girl they're raising. Help me answer her because I failed.

  • fb_avatar

    Preventing gay marriage will not keep gay couples from having children. They can already adopt, or use a surrogate. What marriage can do is help to protect the children. Critics of equality always claim it's about the children, but is it really? If so, you'd want them to have the benefits of married parents. They didn't choose their parents, after all. Why punish them? Please, think of the children!

    It's sad when people in a majority (who of course want / expect to keep their rights), are so intent on denying others the same rights. That's what is really selfish. Why do you put "fairness" and "equal rights" in quotes? To show how disdainful those ideas are to you?

    The fact is that we all "fall short" of many standards that have been set, by us or others. It could be that falling short of a standard means the standard needs to be examined. There have been amendments to the constitution, after all. Previous standards of life, which were once thought correct, have been rethought. Tradition is not always an adequate reason.

  • fb_avatar

    While looking through your article, readers' responses, and your responses to those responses, I am perplexed by this concept of "a standard." There was no agreement of a standard among the numerous nations before the Europeans arrived, no agreement among the immigrants from numerous places around the world, and certainly no agreement between slaves and non-slaves. The very notion of a father taking an active role in his children's lives is very recent (among the mainstream white population.) Before that, it often took the form of beating the children (and wife) to keep the household in order. Should we base our standard off of African-American matriarchal structures or impose the European patriarchal model?

    When building up your super-strong structure, you might want to take a look at your precarious foundation.

  • fb_avatar

    If the evidence regarding whether children "do better" is equivocal, please cite evidence (that has not been debunked or funded by a religious organization) for your de-institutionalization argument. Gay marriage has been legal long enough; where is that evidence? (Massachusetts has experienced a decade of gay marriage. Are straight people still getting married in Massachusetts? Are they still raising children that "do better"?)

  • In reply to J Matthew:

    I put a link in the column to one such study. Here it is again:

    http://www.chicagonow.com/dennis-byrnes-barbershop/2013/10/another-downside-for-children-of-same-sex-couples/

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    The answer I requested is still missing--this is just more about children "doing better" in straight households. Even if I were to accept that premise as true, the other key premise--for which you've not given any support--is how same-sex marriages deconstruct the heterosexual institution of marriage. Only then could you rationally justify denial of marriage benefits to same-sex couples. I would like see your evidence for that claim. Certainly, if that claim were true, a decade-long experience in Massachusetts would have shown at least some evidence of deinstutionalization, would it not?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to J Matthew:

    I wanted to make another point about the importance of our view of gender as having a strong inborn component rather than as just a lifestyle choice. Lets say Dennis Byrne was raised by an old fashioned masculine-acting father and feminine mother. He might argue that this gender polarity allowed him to identify with and learn masculine traits his father, while benefiting in other ways from his mother's femininity, such as in being prepared for relating to potential partners. But , as a gay man with an equal mixture of masculine and feminine traits, I would likely not find that home environnment as beneficial as one led by a gay couple. Indeed, I had to seek out friends whose gender traits were similar to mine as a child in order to make up for what my parents, as a typical gender-polarized straight couple, couldn't provide me. The lesson here is that, because we ALL exist on a multidimensional gender spectrum, no two parents will likely provide the perfect gender-behavior match for their kids. Gay kids will often not fully identify with the gender signals given off by their straight parents, of course, but thee same may be true of masculine boys raised by feminine straight dads. Also keep in mind that before gays came out of the closet, they mostly married, so there are many homes led by such feminine dads or masculine moms. But, I think Dennis rejects the very notion of a kid who comes into the world with a need for something other than a classically straight masculine or feminine role model, and that is the basis of his belief that gay parents will fail to offer the so-called normal .gender models that supposedly normal kids all need.

  • In reply to Josh Soffer:

    I agree that some of both qualities are beneficial. The most likely way that a--if you will--balance will be achieved is through parenting by opposite-sex couples.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    But could you address my implicit question(i know you must be getting carpal tunnel syndrome from responding to all these comments) concerning your view on whether there is such a thing as an inborn psychological gender disposition( a physiological wiring for gender traits , if you will) that manifests as a spectrum within the male population as well as and within the female population? In other words, if your male child has female traits, do you believe that these can be caused by physiological wiring, and that such wiring can have a global effect on speech patterns, manner of walking, whether one 'throws like a girl', perception of color, as well as which gender one is sexually attracted to?

  • In reply to Josh Soffer:

    I agree that there is an inborn psychological gender disposition. Obviously so. I think we have a long way to go to understand how this works. In the nature versus nurture discussion, I believe that it's some of both. That balance can and does vary from individual to individual. How many males exhibit female characteristics (and vice versa)? I think it's a small minority, although it's a scientific question that I don't believe has been fully answered.

  • Mr. Byrne--

    There's no need for hate mail, or any kind of "hate" whatsoever, for that matter. I don't know you, but you are likely a good person with some obsolete ideas. Those ideas hurt people, to be sure, but my generation has finally recognized that fact and we are therefore rejecting them. You see, you are just the George Wallace or Archie Bunker of today, part of another chapter in the history of the post-industrial social change. And like the voices of those thinkers before you, the voices of your cohort are--quite literally--coming to an end.

    You see, it's gay marriage today, but it was "anti-miscegenation" yesterday. Your generation fought that--over the loud objection of your parents' generation--but you won out and, eventually, the old ideas went where they belong: to the grave. To that end, it's no accident that the median age of a Fox News viewer is over 65.

    Don't get me wrong, I wish you a long and happy life. But death is the only certainty in life (indeed, it far predates even taxes), and you will ultimately take your ideas back to ashes, where they will be scattered along with those of slave traders and opposers of women's suffrage.

    Again, I wish you a happy and healthy life. However, I am also glad that--before too long--there will be a generation of children whose jaws drop when first told that your generation thought the way it did. Just as my 4th grade class did when we heard that people of different races couldn't marry when my parents' generation were still children.

    Until then, remember when girls were girls and men were men, my elder.

  • I am old enough to remember George Wallace, etc. and if you knew me, you would understand that your comparison is a load of crap.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Actually, Mr. Byrne, I picked someone that I thought you would despise. It doesn't have to be him, in any event, the point is remains: you probably hated the ideas espoused by bigots of your parents generation, just as my generation hates the ideas of bigots such as you. So enjoy your golden years and then...

    good riddance, sir.

  • In reply to BN36:

    Nice.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Life isn't nice. I mean, can there be evolution sans death? Consider it an "argument from Malthus," haha.

    By the way, speaking of antiquated--barber shop? You could use a good stylist, hon ;)

  • The Wallace comparison is harsh but not untrue... you like him are on the wrong side of history on this issue.... denying rights to people different than you based on your own close-minded, 'traditional' beliefs. History will group you with the segregationists... nice company.

  • In reply to AKB88:

    Being on the "wrong side of history" is a feeble argument that seeks to avoid the central issue.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I'm not avoiding the central issue, or what I believe is the central issue... It's exactly what I said: that people want to deny a basic right to other people who are different than them. To me that's it... you obviously disagree but I'm not avoiding anything.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    No, Mr. Byrne, it is not a feeble argument. Nor is it a strong one. It is not an argument at all: it is a statement of fact. Right or wrong, your ideas will soon be history. Indeed, in 2013, who will step up to attack Loving v. Virginia? Do the state's arguments matter anymore?

    It is the twilight of your bigotry, any way you cut it. That's not arguing, it's simply making an easy prediction.

  • fb_avatar

    You didn't check the sources you claim might show gay couples as parents might harm a child. Literally BOTH studies (and there are only two that make this spurious claim out of thousands) that you cited as showing "harm" to gay couples' kids have been profoundly discredited. One author is under review for purposefully distorting his results.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joe Daniel:

    Other than the two discredited studies you mention Dennis, literally EVERY study show the kids do as well or better by any measure growing up with gay parents. Forget being on the wrong side of history, you're on the wrong side of the overwhelming statistical science.

  • fb_avatar

    As to your "common sense" argument...the actual common sense answer? Kids that the gay parents PLAN on--even going to the extent of adoption, in-vitro, donors, surrogacy, etc.--will by any common sense measure wind up in a more loving, affluent and balanced household than the "oh she got pregnant and we had to get married" heterosexual 1950s ideal you seem to prize so much. That leads me to wonder...are you just trying to be provocative? are you in fact quite biased? OR is it simply you really haven't thought through the actual common-sense answer.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Joe Daniel:

    Further, given that most of the kids raised by gay couples alive today did NOT have the financial and emotional stability of legal marriage, inheritance, tax advantages, etc, behind them, they are doing REMARKABLY better, not just a a little bit better.

  • In reply to Joe Daniel:

    Anyone who adopts, gay or straight, is wonderful.

    But in my opinion, gay couples who impregnate someone of the opposite sex just to have a baby are no better than the hetero couples who get married just because she is pregnant. It doesn't matter how loving a gay household might be, you are still creating a broken home for your child (or worse, putting the child in a position where he/she would not know his/her mother or father at all). A child needs stability, not to bounce from house to house living out of a suitcase. Do not underestimate the strain this can put on a person's childhood. And once a couple chooses to have children, THE KIDS are supposed to be the first priority, not the adults.

    It's so much better to adopt! Give the kids who have no parents a chance to be loved in a stable household. We do not need to add to the population of kids in broken homes.

  • fb_avatar

    Oh, Dennis! We all know the only reason you're so upset by this is due to the fact it wasn't an option when you were a strapping young man.

  • Dennis, I will make this very simple! life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let people try to achieve reach this in are shot lives! and stop putting your silly backwards take on things.

  • I have no problems with gay marriage itself (as long as the definition of marriage remains between 2 people and doesn't escalate to 3 or more people), but I do have problems with a method by which gay couples sometimes "have children". It really bothers me when I hear about a gay male randomly impregnating his female friend just so that he and his husband can have a baby. It just seems extremely selfish and unnecessary to go down that route instead of adoption.

    There are enough kids in the world who don't get to live with both of their parents, why create even more of them? No matter how loving and supportive either parent's home might be, it is only natural for children desire to live with both their mom and dad if it's possible (assuming both parents are loving, sane, etc). It is stressful and a hassle to spend one's childhood torn between two households (or worse, hardly getting to see one biologically parent at all). It's usually not a fun or desired experience, regardless of how loving both homes may be.

    Sure, oftentimes these types of kids will still turn out fine, but it's really far from ideal to switch between houses every week, or to just see one of your parents on an occasional weekend. Parents sometimes don't realize the burden they place on their children and think that as long as they are loving and supportive, everything is fine. A lot of times, it's not! Maybe people who have grown up in broken homes can understand what I'm saying.

    Instead of selfishly creating another child with a broken home life, why not adopt a child? There are so many children out there who would love to have any parents at all. Adoption is a perfect way for a gay couple to not only have a child, but to improve that child's current way of life.

    I just truly hope that gay marriage does not further encourage gay people to randomly impregnate their friends (which is an issue in and of itself) and create even more children who do not have the privilege of living with both of their biological parents under the same roof. And I wish people would stop downplaying how much children YEARN to live with both of their biological parents (the fact that it's sometimes not a good living arrangement is besides the point). You cannot redefine biology! There are already so many kids out there who are in need of parents. Please adopt!

  • In reply to Olyfan:

    Sorry for any typos. I did proofread, but didn't catch every one.

  • In reply to Olyfan:

    I meant to say "many", not "maybe" at the end of paragraph 3. An edit feature would be great.

  • In reply to Olyfan:

    "It really bothers me when I hear about a gay male randomly impregnating his female friend just so that he and his husband can have a baby. It just seems extremely selfish and unnecessary to go down that route instead of adoption."

    Does the same apply to heterosexual couples that use a sperm donor or egg donor and use a serrogate to deliver the child?

  • In reply to Richard S.:

    Yes, I'm not a big fan of that either. The poor kid will grow up with a "mystery parent" and will probably feel confused about his or her identity.

    But there's just something especially off-putting about encouraging the youth of America that it's totally okay to sleep with people you aren't in love with as long as it produces a baby. We frown upon hetero couples who have kids out of wedlock (with no intentions of living together), and we should frown upon a gay man and a gay female who have a child out of wedlock as well.

  • Dennis, you must have a liking for masochism. Right and wrong has no place in the progressive mind, as there is no absolutes for them, except when it comes to forcing their minority beliefs on the majority. Then the ends justify the means, and tolerance for the ideas and beliefs and traditions of others, not to mention the law, means nothing. It is too bad they just don't come out of the closet with these fascist attitudes.

  • The whole argument against gay marriage is based on 3 very wrong assumptions:
    1. Gay marriage doesn't equal gay parenting.
    Gay marriage is mainly about acceptance of gay relationships by society, including tax breaks etc. Adoption by gay couples is a very different issue. There are many circumstances where people can get married, but may not adopt a child. If there were indictions that gay parents might be have a negative effect on children, gays could simply be banned from adopting, just like poors, people with a criminal record etc. already are.

    2. There is no "exemplar" in instutionalizing discrimination.
    Even if it was true, that societys goal is (or should be) to have only families consisting of mum, dad, two cars and two kids, discrimination against other is not the way to reach that goal.
    It can be considered a fact, that being raised by a single working parent is generally detrimental to a kid's life in a sense that is less likely to graduate from college, win the pulitzer price or become a billionaire. However, that doesn't mean this problem can be solved by cracking down on single parents, but by helping them.

    3. The alternative to being raised by a gay couple is not being raised by a straight (or at least man-woman) couple.
    If someone is gay and already has a child, it can be raised by a single gay parent, by a gay couple living together "informally" or by a married gay couple. These are the options that really do exist in reality. Getting straight a marrying a girl from high school probably isn't an option. Therefore, I feel that the married option sound best for the child. It's similar for adoption. For kids awaiting adoption same-sex parents might be a desirable alternative to state care in a children's home.

  • The argument for gay marriage is based on the assumption that there is no difference between men and women.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Obviously there are some biological differences but you dismiss that roles can be reversed in a household? Do you feel a stay at home dad provides the same as the stay a home mom?

    I thought providing a child with a loving, nuturing and safe home is what is important in raising a child, not who is providing that to the child.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Absolutely wrong. You are missing the point. The argument for gay marriage is that all people are created equal, and have the same rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

  • The differences aren't purely biological. There are psychological, emotional, etc. differences too. In general (but perhaps not in every case) those differences are important. Even Deb Mell recognized those differences when she called her partner her "wife."

    These roles aren't something that extreme right wingers made up. They have been documented and are so obvious that they are recognized by nearly everyone….except those who wish to deny them to make an ideological point.

    Providing a child with a loving, nurturing and safe home is indeed the most important element in raising children. But the absence of an active, loving and competent father in so many children's lives has led to so many problems. It's not just because there's not a second person in so many single parent households. It's because there's no loving, active and comment male on which boys can pattern their behavior, values and indeed their entire lives. An uncle or father who drops by is, indeed, a good thing. But it is not enough in my view. The social dislocation--including the violence on the streets-- that we see so evident today is evidence of the problem.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Dennis - perhaps you are right that a household should have a father and mother. But IF you are right, aren't you fighting the wrong fight? Look at the inner city. There are lots of broken homes with troubled kids with straight parents. Wouldn't it make more sense to try to save these kids, rather than kids with gay parents?

    Your argument just makes no sense to me. You are a crusader trying to save kids by banning gay marriage - WTF? I think there are many more useful ways to spend your time that would have a bigger impact.

  • In reply to BigDMcGee:

    I have passionately throughout my column writing career advocated for two-parent households (i.e. a man and a woman). I was attacked even more passionately for "trashing" single mothers and called a Dan Quayle (who, by the way, was proved to be right in his criticism of single mothers in the Murphy Brown debate).

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    But you didn't answer the question. Of all broken homes - what percentage do you think have gay parents? I'd guess 3-5%? That leaves 95% of broken homes with straight parents. If you are really all about the kids - why not go after those homes. Say you are successful and ban gay marriage. Will that prevent unmarried gay couples from having kids (adopting, or through artificial means)? What will you have accompished? Will it prevent people from being gay? Will it make life better for straight people? I'm don't see what you are trying to accomplish.

  • Dennis - What would you think of someone if they said they didn't support mixed races getting married? Would you think they are ignorant, uninformed, backwards thinkers? What did people think of it 40 years ago? That is how I view people who are against gay marriage today. When today's young people are grown up, gay marriage will be a normal thing, and they will look back and think we were ignorant.

  • I don't disagree that it probably will be regarded as normal. I'll jut have to accept history's judgment. Cultural norms do shift, and it won't bother me as much as you think it will. I suppose it won't do much good to explain why I think that same-sex marriage isn't the same as mixed race marriage. By the way, I was around back in those days and passionately opposed anti-miscegenation laws. It's a nice rhetorical device that you employ, but it doesn't apply.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    Actually, it would be very helpful if you explained the difference. The interracial marriage arguments seem to have been the only ones to have given you pause (you even admitted that they were, if nothing else, rhetorically compelling) and so it would be interesting to know why you ultimately do not find them to be valid. It would especially useful if you did so in light of the "appeals to nature" arguments made in the anti-miscegenation era.

    As it stands, you've shown your hand that these arguments at least strike you with a facade of legitimacy, so it would indeed say a lot if you were to turn tail on them now.

  • Gentlepeople,
    Like you, I have to return to making a living. But this dialogue has been enlightening and fun--yes, fun. I hope that I have helped you understand my position more clearly. On this side, we're not all Bible-thumpers and haters. But if that's what you must think of us, I guess we'll have to live with it.

    So, live life with love and passion. I'll always be ready to exchange honest and ardent viewpoints.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    This is coming from the guy who should change his blog's name to "The Crotchety Polemicist?" Heh, it's just like a (fully) right wing resurrection of the ol' Hitch, only much nastier, poorly reasoned, and constantly reaching not for "Mr. Walker's restorative" but, rather, for the Gold Bond Medicated Itching Powders.

    And there I go again... I suppose that we all have a little ad hominem in us, don't we Mr. Byrne?

  • Here is what I find to be obvious.
    People are born gay. They do not choose to become gay.
    Gay people form loving and lasting commitments to each other.
    Marriage does not, in and of itself, beget children.
    "Traditional" male and female traits vary widely across the respective populations even in heterosexuals.
    The government should not be in the business of telling me whether I am "man-enough" to be a parent.
    If the government wants to be in the business of marriage, at-all, it should not discriminate.

  • In reply to postcrispy:

    Well said!

  • In reply to postcrispy:

    Absolutely. But we're still discriminating though-- against people who do not believe in monogamous marriages. How about the people who want 2, 5, 10 spouses? There are people who believe humans were not made to be with one person and that it is very natural to want more than one spouse. If we are going to redefine marriage once, can't we do it again? Where do we draw the line?

  • Nobody here is stating what this is really all about! It's really all about rampant political correctness. That is not an innocent subject.

    Political Correctness is a branch of social engineering and its real name is Cultural Marxism (Frankfurt School). The goal of Cultural Marxism is expressly to break up the family unit, religion (particularly Christianity) and national identity. The aim is to replace those with dependency on the state (ultimately global). It's how Communism grows internationally when there is no chance of a war. It's why the dollar is being devalued and industry and jobs handed directly over to China.

    I don't like homosexuality - get over it! What counts is that I tolerate things I don't like but that don't cause harm. I tolerate gays. I don't expect them to like me - but I do expect tolerance from them regarding my feelings - and that's not what comes from Political Correctness.

    Gays need to learn to tolerate the fact that marriage is between man and woman and to show respect for that.

    The media and education are heavily involved in one gigantic social engineering project and unfortunately for everybody, eventually, it is winning. This is something that does not warrant tolerance. Gay marriage is nothing more than crass social engineering and I'm 100% against it for that reason. It only works because society and education are extremely dumbed down and are full of pseudo intellectuals at best. Lenin described socialists as "Useful Idiots" and they still haven't learned.

    By the way - I'm not a Christian or a Republican.

  • In reply to skicoach:

    skicoach - "Gays need to learn to tolerate the fact that marriage is between man and woman and to show respect for that. "

    But why is marriage between a man and a woman? Who made it that way? And in whose view? Marriage in the eyes of the government is really more of a contract that entitles the people in the contract to certain legal rights - it has nothing to do with "love". Things like rights to benefits (health, medical, life insurance, making medical decisions, inheritance, survivors benefits, tax implications...).

  • In reply to BigDMcGee:

    Why is marriage between 2 people? Why can't a guy marry all 5 of his girlfriends? (he may even claim to be biologically programmed to want that many). Why can't a brother and sister marry each other? Why can't a woman marry her beloved pet? I have nothing whatsoever against gay relationships, but I'm skeptical when we start changing definitions of words.

  • As a fellow Chicago Now blogger, you are the exact type of garbage that should not be writing and representing Chicago Now as a whole. Take your small mind and offensive words to another place, like back to the year 1969. Seriously, spend some time turning that HATE into LOVE and see where that takes you!

  • In response to Mr. Byrne's opinion against same-sex marriage and an invitation for the "hate mail to roll": http://www.chicagonow.com/art-of-business/2013/11/same-sex-marriage-is-good/

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • Visit my new website

    I'm a freelance writer, editor and author. I can help you with a wide variety of projects. Check out my new website at www.dennisbyrne.net

  • Meet The Blogger

    Dennis Byrne

    Chicago Tribune contributing op-ed columnist and author of forthcoming historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812." Reporter, editor and columnist for Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Daily News. Freelance writer and editor.

  • Subscribe to The Barbershop

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Dennis Byrne’s Facebook Fan Page

  • Categories

  • Like me on Facebook

  • Our National Debt

  • Twitter

  • Tags

  • Recent Comments

  • /Users/dennisby/Desktop/trailer.mp4
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: