Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Misuse of the Word "Hate" and the Problem with Alleged "Marriage Discrimination"

Have you ever been called hateful (or a similar word) simply for opposing either homosexual acts on a moral level or same-sex marriage (SSM) on a legal level?  Here's a quick rebuttal.

I, Doug Benscoter, eat chicken, steak, and other animal products.  However, if I were told by a vegan that my dietary lifestyle is morally wrong, would I accuse that person of being hateful?  Of course not.  I suspect that because sex involves so many hormones, regardless of sexual orientation, that people who accuse sexual conservatives as "hateful" do so only as an emotional, and not a rational, response.

This reminds me of how I was once accused of "condemning" gays and lesbians.  Would I feel "condemned" by the vegan above?  No way.  This person was just using an emotionally-charged word to either change the subject in which I defend myself from such an accusation, or else attempted to get me to backtrack, or both.

(By the way, I don't feel victimized by any of this.  However, people need to know how to use words correctly and not rush to judgment.)

Now as for "marriage discrimination," I have only one thing to say: any argument that opposition to SSM is based on discrimination can equally be applied to single people.  Why do I say single people, and not polygamous people, or those who want to marry within the family (immediate or extended), as many conservatives already do?  The reason is that the proponent of SSM can no longer say that SSM is different than polygamous marriage, etc., so that it's an unfair comparison.  I mention single people because they don't receive tax breaks, (in some states) adoption rights, hospital visitation rights as married people do, and so forth.  In other words, if opposition to SSM is opposition to "equal rights," then opposition for single people to receive the same rights is also discriminatory and an opposition to "equal rights."

The conservative case for limiting marriage to a man and a woman includes the government's attempt to provide an incentive for married couples to reproduce by providing them with tax breaks, etc.  It also includes the (albeit contested) fact that children do best when raised by a mother and a father.  Thirdly (and this will be the last for me to mention), it has been shown by numerous studies, including one conducted by Dr. J. Michael Bailey (a staunch gay-rights activist) that those who engage in homosexual acts are much more likely to suffer from various mental illnesses, from depression to schizophrenia.  Moreover, these studies were conducted in countries where homosexuality is highly tolerated, and even accepted (and it's been shown there is no statistical difference between these countries and countries less tolerant of homosexual acts).  Should the government provide an additional incentive for those who engage in homosexual acts to get married, knowing all of this?  I think the most compassionate thing to do would be to limit marriage to one man and one woman, while simultaneously treating those homosexuals who are dealing with these mental illnesses.  I also think hospital visitation rights laws should be revisited.  As far as I'm concerned, people should have the right to be visited by whoever they want.


  1. A few comments, Doug.

    Firstly, I don't agree with the use of the term "hateful" for those who oppose SSM, just as I e.g. don't agree with the use of the term "sodomists" for homosexual people.

    But that aside, some remarks. The fact that other discriminations exist does not mean that not allwoing SSM would not be discriminatory. I think we should get rid of all kinds of discriminations.

    In my country at least the tax breaks for married couples has nothing to do with an incentive to reproduce as reproduction is not a requirement for legal marriage. There are other tax breaks for couples with children as well as allowances. But also unmarried couples who have children get those tax breaks and allowances.

    The fact that those who engage in homosexual acts are much more likely to suffer from mental illnesses has no bearing on SSM since SSM does not in itself promote homosexual acts in any way.

    Of course the most compassionate thing to do is to treat people with illnesses, but limiting marriage to a man and a woman does not add anything to this compassion.

  2. Good point, Doug. Really, all this talk of "hate" and "discrimination" is just employed for rhetorical effect to make homosexuals and their supporters appear to be victims. Upon even the most pedestrian amount of scrutiny, it becomes clear that these accusations are childish and hollow. The fact that these accusations are thrown around so much also indicates to me that there is a sort of pandemic of individuals who either get their "feelings hurt" way too easily or otherwise that they are trying very hard to make it appear as if their "feelings" are "hurt."

  3. Walter, I join you in not using the term, "sodomists," to refer to gay people. People should just use "gay," "lesbian," or "homosexual." Maybe there are others, but I'd strongly discourage the use of words like "queen" and certainly "faggot."

    With that said, you're correct to point out that while other discriminations exist, that doesn't mean that opposing SSM isn't discriminatory. However, that wasn't my point. My point was that the use of the word, "hate," to describe opposition to any particular act or lifestyle is inappropriate as a sweeping generalization. I think you agree.

    Reproduction isn't a legal requirement for marriage in the U.S. either, but marriage does provide an incentive to procreate given the tax breaks for marriage itself along with having children. You have to understand that this is just one part of a cumulative case in support of traditional marriage. Marriage provides an incentive for monogamy, which is healthy, and it also provides an incentive to have children raised by both a mother and a father.

    I'm a tad bewildered by your claim that SSM does not promote homosexual acts. Of course it does. I'm not even sure how to respond to that.

  4. Carlos, I agree. Unfortunately, too many people are swayed by empty rhetoric and emotionally-based arguments.

  5. Doug

    So, you actually think that, in a country in which SSM is legal, there are likely to be more homosexual acts than somewhere else? I must say I am more than a "tad" bewildered by the fcat that you think that. So, it is your view that before marriage became a legal institution, there were significantly fewer heterosexual acts?

    What SSM does is, in fact, just as "traditional marriage" provide an incentive for monogamy. It is a way for people who already do "homosexual acts" to do them with one partner, protecetd by the law. That's it.
    Do not forget I live in a country where SSM has been legal for more than 10 years now, so I know what I am talking about.


    I agree that accusations of hatred and discrimination are thrown around too much, but it is also a fact that hatred towards homosexuals does exist and sometimes leads to violence and even murder.

  6. Walter, thanks for clarifying your comment. It wasn't clear that you were talking about marriage acting as an incentive towards monogamy. Rather, I interpreted you as saying that SSM doesn't provide an incentive to engage in homosexual acts, period. In my opinion, what you've laid out is the best argument for SSM. I just don't think it's enough to win the day. Perhaps if gay couples want some form of legal recognition, they should try to get some form of domestic partnerships that are not marriages, such as civil unions. In any case, I'm not too concerned right now with the arguments for or against SSM, but with the emotional rhetoric that clouds meaningful debate. I think you and I are agreed on this point.