MA birth certificates: the slippery slope connection

Posted by: ST on July 29, 2005 at 12:49 pm

First, my thoughts on gay marriage, for those who are new to the ST blog. The definition of marriage has been defined throughout the ages as a union between a man and a woman. Whether over the centuries men were marrying little girls, or at the times when it was only whites who could get married, even then it was still man and woman. The man/woman criteria has been one that has *not* changed, until recently (thanks to the Massachusetts SC).

So here we are now, trying to change the definition of it. Let me ask this: in marriage, can there be no absolutes in how it is defined? Seeing as that marriage has traditionally been defined throughout history the union between a man and a woman, who’s to say that once gay marriage is legal in this country everywhere that the definition won’t change soon there after for couples who want more than one wife or husband? That’s one of the problems with the idea of changing the definition of anything, especially something like marriage. Once you start changing the definition, there’s no way for you to stop it and on down the road the term “marriage” as we know it is essentially diluted to where it has no traditional meaning outside of “two people together in a committed partnership” or “multiple people who care for each other in a loving relationship” both of which could encompass many things.

Words have meanings. Why even define something if you’re going to keep changing the definition of it? Once you start, you really can’t stop.

The child population of San Francisco is dwindling. I think the numbers are down to around 15%, where as the national average is over 20% in each state (going off the top of my head here). Here’s an article that discusses the dwindling child population there. It mentions economic factors as part of the reason but said SF’s gay population is also considered to be a factor, considering that expensive cities like New York aren’t experiencing this problem to the degree that SF is. Worry about how the population could decrease is another worry that anti-gay marriage people have and I’m hoping that pro-gay marriage advocates understand why a decreasing population (over time) could be considered alarming.

These are just some of the reasons people like me argue against gay marriage. The worry is that once you start changing the definition of marriage, you wont be able to stop it and also that over time the population will cease to flourish (i.e. it would significantly be reduced). Now a counter argument could be “well how do you know until you try” but frankly, changing the definition of marriage is something I don’t really think we should experiment with. We’ve engaged in too much ‘social experimentation’ over the last 40 years or so with regards to marriage and relationships; among the ideas were the feminist idea that a man was meaningless (a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle – remember that?), that you didn’t have to get married to have a family, you didn’t have to worry about the consequences of sex outside of marriage because if you slipped up and got pregnant, the govt would take care of the baby for you, etc etc – social experimentations that have had disastrous results both socially and economically by de-emphasizing the traditional family unit. I’m not willing to experiment with redefining the institution of marriage because frankly I don’t have the faith in the perceived outcome of changing it that some of my friends on the other side of the argument have. If history is any indicator as to how social experimentation in this country has fared over the years (with the exception of the welcomed Civil Rights movement) then I think I’m on the right side of things.

In a piece I read today at Townhall.com, Kathleen Parker discusses the situation going on in Massachusetts, where gay couples and Gov. Mitt Romney are at odds on how to classify the mother and father on birth certificates. Here’s a bit of what she had to say regarding the slippery slope:

In one case Romney recently had to entertain, two men – one a sperm donor and the other his boyfriend – became “parents” when a woman gave birth to the donor’s child. The two men wanted their names on the birth certificate, with the boyfriend replacing the birth mother. In a bold act of increasingly rare sanity, Romney said “no.”

No doubt the gentlemen-parents were distressed by this negative intrusion into their familial fantasy, but Romney appears to understand that effectively codifying the “family” of two men and a newborn birthed by a uterobot has extensive implications. Meanwhile, one can’t help but feel sorry for the infant – Baby C, or Thing Three?

“Thing” is used here neither dismissively nor derisively, but as a term of stunning accuracy. Throughout our culture, children have become objectified, “thingified,” created or acquired for the fulfillment of our selves – decor options, accessories, cute little bundles for our entertainment and amusement.

Unless, of course, we’re not in the mood, in which case we hit the “abort” button, the ultimate expression of “thingification.”

As long as children are viewed as mere extensions of our selves, put here to satisfy some narcissistic need for self-actualization, it is easy to suppose that our needs and their needs are complementary. If same-sex marriage is what “I” need, then two same-sex parents are what “my” child needs.

What we know but the courts apparently choose to ignore is that identity and selfhood are rooted, in part, in our biological origins. Adopted children seek out biological parents in their quest for identity. Genealogical organizations do a brisk business as families try to reconstruct their lineage. “Who am I?” keeps psychotherapists in new Volvos.

Obviously, narcissism isn’t limited to the gay community, but it is surely at the root of the current skirmish in Massachusetts. What’s really behind the push for biology-neutral birth certificates isn’t fairness, or equal rights, but the elimination of any biological/procreative connection to parenthood.

Same-sex couples need this and, therefore goes the Seussian Logic, it is good for the children as well as civilization. Once the idea of a biological mother and father is expunged from the culture, there is one less logical impediment to normalizing same-sex marriage, which is, of course, the point.

Bang on. The slippery slope is not just a figment of conservative imagination. It is alive and well and breathing in the state of Massachusetts and if leftist militant gay rights adovacates have their way, it will be in your state, too.

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  • 20 Responses to “MA birth certificates: the slippery slope connection”

    Comments

    1. scmommy says:

      “Words have meanings. Why even define something if you’re going to keep changing
      the definition of it? Once you start, you really can’t stop.”

      Well stated.

      This is the heart of the matter.

      Just found you today – great blog. I will be back!

      (Note from ST: This is another comment I am reposting – I have figured out what the problem is and it’s the Spam Karma that is installed – I need to work on configuring it this weekend. Until then, Spam Karma has been turned OFF so comments should go through just fine now. SO sorry about this! — ST) Thank you for visiting, scmommy, and glad you’ll be a return visitor :)

    2. actus says:

      “These are just some of the reasons people like me argue against gay marriage. The worry is that once you start changing the definition of marriage, you wont be able to stop it and also that over time the population will cease to flourish (i.e. it would significantly be reduced).”

      How can you extrapolate from SF, which does not have gay marriage, to what it would be like if there were gay marriage?

    3. fine dry wit says:

      Sis, well said. The mention of SF’s dwindling child population is chilling because the school districts with fewer children will eventually have to ‘downsize’ and the NEA would have none of that. Kathleen Parker’s mention of the “thingification” of children,with abortion as the utlimate stop button-I’ve been anti-abortion for 25 years, and I never had heard it stated so well. Thank you for
      posting her article. I hope you don’t mind, but I linked your blog at mine-I think you have a great blog, and I hope you continue to enjoy blogging.

    4. actus says:

      “Have you forgotten that once upon a time in SF that a certain mayor did declare gay marriage legal and how many hundreds of couples were ‘married’?”

      Unfortunately, for your thesis and for the cause of liberation, those were overturned.

      “You cannot ignore the correlation between the decreasing child population there and gay relationships/’marriage.’ To do so would be ignoring reality”

      I don’t know what the correlation is other than SF has a lot of gay people and a decrease in the number of children. SF also has a lot of technology, and an overpriced real estate market, and perhaps even a lot of single people too.

    5. Actus, the handwriting is on the wall. Whether you want to willfully ignore it or view the situation there for what it is is entirely up to you.

    6. Hi wit! Thank you – I do enjoy blogging a great deal and plan on continuing well into the foreseeable future. Thanks for linking to me :)

    7. actus says:

      “Actus, the handwriting is on the wall. Whether you want to willfully ignore it or view the situation there for what it is is entirely up to you”

      The handwriting I see is a growing acceptance of homosexuality — a generational gap in the understanding of these issues — and a growing likelyhood that the people resisting equality now are going to be seen as the george wallace’s of the day, yelling “segregation forever.”

    8. You really just shot your credibility on this one, actus, with your comparisons of the ‘gay rights movement’ to the civil rights movement.

      I note you still didn’t answer my question about the definition of marriage. Is it absolute or not?

    9. actus says:

      “You really just shot your credibility on this one, actus, with your comparisons of the ‘gay rights movement’ to the civil rights movement.”

      I don’t think they’re the same. I think we’ell look back on the people who resist equality today in the same way we look back on those who resisted in favor of segregation.

      “I note you still didn’t answer my question about the definition of marriage. Is it absolute or not?”

      I think the definition of marriage is absolutely up to the people defining it. If people want to call what britney spears or tom cruise do a marriage, thats absolutely up to them.

    10. LOL. That tells me all I need to know. Thanks.

    11. Big Worm says:

      I was unaware the United States was facing a significant underpopulation problem. If so, I fail to see how gay marriage would contribute to it, unless somehow prohibiting same-sex marriage would induce gay folks to turn straight.

      The logical fallacies in this post and comments are legion. Slippery slope arguments are generally regarded as one of the weaker forms of argument, because they are based on the false premise that the failure to draw one distinction implies the failure to draw another. The fallacy of equating correlation with causation is prominently displayed in this post as well.

      Please learn the distinction between a sound argument and a fallacious one.

    12. I was unaware the United States was facing a significant underpopulation problem.

      Me too. Where did you hear that?

      The logical fallacies in this post and comments are legion. Slippery slope arguments are generally regarded as one of the weaker forms of argument, because they are based on the false premise that the failure to draw one distinction implies the failure to draw another. The fallacy of equating correlation with causation is prominently displayed in this post as well.

      Please learn the distinction between a sound argument and a fallacious one.

      Please don’t lecture me how to make an argument, especially considering the argument you started out making and argued against was a strawman, since I didn’t state that the US was facing an ‘underpopulation’ problem. Instead of trying to educate me on how to argue, I suggest you do a little bit better of a job at reading what the argument made actually *is* rather than what you’ve made it out to be.

      As a side note, I should add that the people who usually pooh pooh the idea of a slippery slope the most are those who don’t think for five seconds what their consequences their ‘progresssive’ social ideas may have (see sex ed, war on poverty, 60s feminist movement for more details).

      I note you didn’t respond to my key question: is the definition of marriage absolute, or not? If you want to have an intelligent conversation about this, please go back and re-read my points and get back to me. Otherwise, don’t bother.

    13. Mark says:

      I note you didn’t respond to my key question: is the definition of marriage absolute, or not? If you want to have an intelligent conversation about this, please go back and re-read my points and get back to me. Otherwise, don’t bother.

      No. It’s not absolute. See Loving v. Virginia.

    14. Elendril says:

      Marriage can be defined any way you want to define it, that’s not the point. If a religion-based institution is used as the sole criteria for determining what kind of taxes you’ll pay, or whether you can rent a certain house, or have a certain job, or adopt a child, or make medical/legal decisions for the person with whom you’ve made a life-long committment, then we’re no better than Iran. The whole point of America is that no one person is better or worse than any other one person. This essentially is an equal rights issue.
      Not to mention, how bad would it really be for two loving, consenting adults to have an officially recognized committment? One that grants them the same rights that any other couple of loving, consenting adults is afforded?

    15. Baklava says:

      Elendril, The people (not a religious based institution) of CA voted FOR prop 22 about 5 years ago stating that marriage is between one man and one woman. I guess they/we are no better than Iranians?

      While I’d agree with your last paragraph, there is no reason to change the definition of marriage against the principles of the majority of the people in this nation.

      But alas, that isn’t good enough to just have the same rights… See Andrew Sullivan. He wants marriage changed.

    16. Elendril says:

      Baklava,
      I understand your last paragraph, but that’s the problem with this situation, they don’t even have the same rights. The laws are set up to recognize “married” couples, and the definition of marriage has changed over the centuries, at least in developed countries. No longer does the husband “own” his wife and resultant children. Women are now allowed to own property, earn their own money, gain custody of children, etc. Marriage has become a contract officially recognized between two equal individuals. I’m not speaking for various religions’ standards and views, but legal status, in a country where we are to make no laws regarding any particular religion.
      Majority rule is best, but not when it’s unconstitutional.

    17. Baklava says:

      Elendril wrote, “they don’t even have the same rights”

      That would be the middle ground to work towards but a majority of homosexuals don’t want just that. They want marriage changed. It’d be nice to have both sides work towards the middle ground.

      Elendril wrote, “but not when it’s unconstitutional” That opinion isn’t supported by the Supreme Court… And until that is so then your opinion is not factual.

      I personally don’t see where in the constitution marriage as currently defined is unconstitutional. It might be wise to read opinions from a lawyer who doesn’t agree with you so that you can understand why things are the way they are. It’d be helpful to our discussions.

    18. Walter E. Wallis says:

      If the traditional meaning of any word can be changed by one judge against the opinion of the majority of the people, then laws become suggestions and judges become Gods.
      Let homosexuals come up with a unique terminology to define their relationships and seek legislation specific to that definition.

    19. forest hunter says:

      Walter E. Wallis : You seldom speak but when you do ……………. =d> ^:)^