added for a few specific points. Otherwise it can be assumed that I have added my thoughts about what the authors have said. In Part Two, I have included other sources and cited them properly.
Equal Treatment the Real Issue
In this piece the author assumes a basic fact: that because something is essentially a fundamental right at least at some point it becomes necessary for our social institutions (including government and possibly religious ones) to protect the use of the activities the rights allow for. This is what the U.S.A. Today article meant in paragraphs 4, 5, and 6, for example. Rights, after all, would be useless if there were all type of obstacles put in their way of their actually being exercised. History and the law have placed themselves on the administrative side of this argument by allowing for the creation of a number of their own institutions that basically reward behaviors like marriage, which are very intimate representations of our freedoms of being caring, loving human. The article points this out in regards to the marriage ceremony and what happens when the death of a spouse occurs, for example. Since this is the case, it becomes increasingly more difficult to separate the whole idea of marriage into just a religious reflection. And any effort to do so will likely just bring about even louder arguments that will have to be arbitrated through political compromise (paragraph 1) & #8230; which seems to return the issue to one of administrative importance. For religious institutions, this may become more problematic and will make it necessary for them to look again at their moral concerns.
VALUES: The values that underlie this argument center on the belief that the systems which people make for themselves should exist to facilitate the rights we allow ourselves. Because we live collectively and operate under a form of social commitment, it is necessary that we have a contract of agreement about how this arrangement will work. Without this, social order and likely responsibility would fall apart and result in a messy entanglement (USA Today, opening). Government's role thus helps establish rules of conduct and ensure that those rules are implemented in accordance with certain expectations. Not surprisingly, marriage and the idea of there being a central institution that supports families, children and the raising of the next generation is put out front. Having government processes for protecting such an institution seems like a natural role for keeping the social agreement of marriage working.
ASSESSMENT: The argument presented here seems to be fundamentally sound. It is clearly the case that many people do not look at marriage as being grounded in religious directives or at least that marriage doesn't have to be tied to their church or its expectations. For as long as there have been governments, it seems, there have been options for marriage outside of churches (see Part Two below). In addition, there is evidence that same-gender marriage has existed for as long as people have been organized into communities. Since this is the case and because government is supposed to facilitate our rights -- not pass moral judgments on what we think or do -- it established systems for protecting that responsibility. This is clearly different from just proclaiming that "Thou Shall" or "Thou Shall Not" do something in regard to one's family. Under such a setting, the only way to get to another level of agreement is for there to be a compromise that get used and tested to see what happens in practice. The military's mixing of people of different sexual identities without the fall of order cannot be denied.
Gay Marriage Unnatural
ASSUMPTIONS: Sheldon thinks that propagation of the species is quite possibly the single most significant value of marriage. Men and women are to get married in order to bring about the union of their biological components so as to reinforce cultural standards and bear children. In addition, it is clearly the case that the biological parts of men and women were designed to impregnate the female and allow for making offspring (Sheldon, paragraph 1). This fact is indisputable and therefore must come from biological and genetic roots, which presumably arise from the Creator's grand plan. When laws and relationships are altered by historical or popular expectations, tyrannical judges, who have the power of legal authority, are thought to be seeking to find a way around these natural directives in favor of other biases (Sheldon, paragraph 3). The majority of people, the article says, are opposed to gay and lesbian marriage (Sheldon, opening), and therefore they must know something that the judges and others do not about what is allowable and biologically sound. This is the only way that the human pieces fit together (Sheldon, paragraph 1)!
VALUES: The primary value being expressed here is the supremacy of sexual reproduction as being "God's purpose" in marriage. Biology was designed to enable procreation and therefore it must be correct, natural and the acceptable reason behind the union of men and women. Cultural manifestations such as marriage seek to reinforce this and use the power of society to ensure that the religious assumptions are upheld in order to ensure that society does not fall away from the moral imperatives. Judicial or even legislative interference with this perspective cannot be accepted as an alternative explanation to what nature intended.
ASSESSMENT: The argument that marriage is about sexual reproduction, though sometimes evident in certain religions, has never been found to be a very strong measure of reasoning. If it were the case that procreation was the purpose of marriages or even heterosexual liaisons, then there would have to be little or no acceptance of sex without the bearing of children. Neither the male nor the female systems of sexuality seem to support this, since both obviously allow the fulfillment of their biological cycles whether or not an attempt is made to mix sperm and the egg. Rev. Sheldon's insistence that "the parts" are not compatible (paragraph 1) does not make for a solid argument. The release of sexual liquids during the act of sex could be for improving the possibility of pregnancy or it could just be to enhance pleasure (or both). His argument obviously also runs into challenges when it gets to trying to deal with adoptions, technologically supported fertilizations and other types of social parenting that gay men and women can be involved in. And it also assumes that just because one's physiology has a purpose that that should be the reason behind the choice to make a baby. Gay men can make babies with lesbian women without there being any necessary violation of one's sexual identity. These facts make the case presented here biologically and socially weak in many ways. Rev. Sheldon seeks to base way too much of his argument about gay marriage on the biology of sexuality, heterosexual or homosexual, and so his argument is weak because of this.
INTRODUCTION: Like many people I have thoughts on both sides of the issue. As I have watched the issue unfold more recently I have come to the conclusion that as with other tough political issues society will have to come to a compromise about what is going to happen. And the chances are very good that the result on this issue will be the legalization and then the acceptance of gay and lesbian marriage.
THESE STATEMENT: For the same reason that America's military is not breaking apart in arguments about the explosive impact of mixing gay men and women with straight soldier, there will eventually be same-gender marriage. And the underlying reason is the argument made in the first article reviewed above: because the government is essentially an administrative agent that is designed to protect the rights of its people. It has proven that it can do this without substantially hurting either social or even biological human conditions (Frank, 2010).
Since it cannot be proven that gay and lesbian integration into society is damaging, it cannot be proven that same-gender parenting is (Hunter, 1994). The issues of whether or how the baby is made or identified may continue to be discussed but that is not the same as assuming that many types of people can be good nurturers. The mechanics of how couples do it no longer seems relevant. That there was no explosive reaction to gays and lesbians in a very structured organization like the military proves the point that regimentation cannot accept variation -- the evolution of the human species actually seems to require it. Female and male biology might be expected to work in certain ways but that does not mean they cannot achieve other human purposes (Hunter, 1994). People such as Rev. Sheldon are not right when they argue that homosexuality is not generational. The evidence is unfolding that there are many families of same-gender parents who have been successful and raised children that are now parenting in their own ways (Random…