The Supreme Court just upheld Proposition 8. I personally had more faith in them. At least in subjects like torture, abortion, etc, it's very easily ethically debated but gay marriage? It's hard to defend without delving into superstition.
In what way will your present or future heterosexual marriage be harmed or diminished by the presence of same-sex married couples? I'm not asking to start a fight, but to understand a non-religious defense of your viewpoint. Others have already addressed the history angle. From the "tradition" angle: see polygamy. It's traditional! But it's not legal. (And I'm not personally proposing it should be.) I think marriage should be between two legally consenting adults. Your "argument" that two people are equivalent to two flowers is ridiculous obviously, because we don't legislate the autonomous actions of flora and fauna, just people and occasionally pets or livestock (but again, it's the people owners who are responsible for the behaviors/actions of these animals). So let's get down to talking about humans, homo sapiens, people. Adults. Because I think 18 itself is ludicrously young age to make a "lifelong commitment" and in some states it's even younger. But let's assume we're discussing above-18s who are otherwise mentally competent and capable of entering into any other contract. Why does the word "marriage" used by two gay adults harm the institution of marriage, and why does the marriage of two heterosexual adults not? What is the difference other than sexual orientation?
"The origin of marriage was pretty much a man owning exclusive sexual access to one or more women."
Exactly. Not access to one or more men. And what do you mean by "pretty much"?
"... should we return to that? The husband owns the wife/wives?" No, of course not. Nobody should own anybody.
"Someone used an ad hominem against you? How horrible!" Don't worry. I can take name-calling but it still doesn't serve any argument.
"Also note: "I got lots of (insert minority here) friends!" Yes, the thought did occur to me that it would sound like you say. But I couldn't say it any better. You didn't give any suggestions.
So my argument still stands. Homosexual marriages are a new concept and new terminology should be sought. This happens in languages all the time. If somebody tells you he's getting married next week you would probably not reply "That's great. A gal or a guy?" If a friend were telling you, you would probably know the personal situation and the question would be superfluous. If it were somebody else you might risk offending somebody. I'm just trying to get across that marriage between a man and a woman is the default position. If two men or two women want to share their life together it's understandable that they want to seal it with some ceremony and official approval. They should have it, but let's not call it marriage.
"Homosexual marriages are a new concept and new terminology should be sought...I'm just trying to get across that marriage between a man and a woman is the default position."
Why? Good grammar? The word "marriage" is coveted by homophobic and religious zealots because homosexuals want to use it and enjoy the same rights associated with it, not because the word itself has some quality that is otherwise important. For that very reason the word marriage should be used by anyone who wants to.
Same-sex marriage is not a new concept. Same-sex marriages were quite common in pre-modern Europe and such unions were even sanctified by the Christian church historically. Marriage also has never been confined to "just a man and a woman" even if you exclude same-sex couplings, nor has it been a static entity over time. The notion that it has been "one man, one woman, since the dawn of time" is bull-poo perpetuated by religionists with an agenda. Furthermore nobody owns the term "marriage" so get over this idea that only straight couplings of a man and a woman can use it.
You really should know your history before you attempt to spew nonsense like "marriage has always been between a man and a woman" and "homosexual unions are a new concept". They may be new to you, but they're not new to humanity.
@ Buffy: Thank you for the links which were very informative. The first link speaks of same sex or same gender unions, not of same sex marriages, which is the point I am making. The second article describes other cultures where we can expect differences. The Masuo in China (quoted in the link) have no marriage at all. So why not ban marriages (of any kind) in our society?
Sadly according to rule of law they did what they had to do. We pretty much knew it was how they'd decide, not that it made it any easier when the announcement came down.
but gay marriage? It's hard to defend without delving into superstition.
Sadly there are some individuals who try to put forth "non-religious" arguments against same-sex marriage--some who even claim to be atheists or other secular sorts . They're nothing more than the same pathetic tripe offered by the religious people who are attempting to move away from the strictly religious arguments because they know they don't work anymore, and that it's not appropriate to legislate one's religion onto another. Blah blah "think of the children", blah blah "tradition", blah blah "marriage is about producing offspring" and all that garbage.
My kid has a lesbian aunt he calls "Uncle Dawn" and one of my best friends is a transvestite. It doesn't phase him one bit - people are people. I tell him all the time, "Some kids have two mommies. Some kids have two daddies. Some kids have more than one mommy and daddy called 'adoptive' or 'step' mommies and daddies. Some kids have one mommy and one daddy. Some kids have one daddy. You have one mommy. We're all different, but the thing that counts is that we love our kids." I don't see how on earth people think this is so damn hard.
I think one of the best things to retort that kind of ridiculous argument is to concede that marriage is indeed about making babies... and suggest that we ban infertile individuals from marrying, reinstate strict blood tests for possible couples, and set some sort of time limit on how long you can be married before you need to be expecting. I've heard people say that waiting more than 3 years into marriage before having a child is selfish, after all. It's not going to change many minds, perhaps, but it at least proves that it's all about religion and nothing to do with reason.
The California Supreme Court. Minor point I wanted to add.
My response to anyone who tries to say they support "traditional Biblical marriage" is to ask, "Oh, polygomy?" When the blank stare happens I just cite off the wives and concubines of David and Solomon, Abraham sleeping with his maid servant, and etc. etc. "one man, one woman" is a fairly recent construct and not biblically (or rationally) supported.
From what I understand, all the Supreme court did was rule on, that the people of California can "amend" the constitution. That is what was voted on before, and all the court did was say yes that they can. Am i wrong?