Friday, November 14, 2008

On the gay marriage debates

Something I have noticed on the Gay Marriage debates is what causes people to change their minds, and it is generally social proof.

  • Those most likely to change from opposed to in favor of gay marriage know gays in long term, monogamous, committed relationships.
  • Those most likely to change from in favor to opposed meet gays seeking benefits who are either not in exclusive relationships or who are hostile to a religious or heterosexual group.

From studying conflict resolution, I find myself often just as interested in how the process of conversion works as any other part of a conflict.

But I started reflecting on what marriage was and what it has become.

At one time, sterility was a basis for annulment. marriage was a child rearing procreative driven economic partnership. In some cultures love was considered inappropriate, in others, impossible vis a vis marriage. Marriage was something far different.

But what is it now? As far as I can tell, there are two competing models.

  • There is the "forsaking all others" model, marriage as a celebration of pair bonding. Monogamous marriage.
  • There is the "marriage is a pathway to entitlements" model, marriage as a title that conveys a benefit. Often seen in "open" or social marriages (such as green card marriages where the parties have no contact and nothing in common).

I'm not going to argue what marriage should be, only state that I think that, perhaps, gay marriage may be the wrong frame for the debate as to what marriage is and should be.

See my longer post on the same topic, simulposted at Mormon Matters.


BrianJ said...

I always enjoy thoughtful posts; especially when they are about topics that have already been well thought over. Great job!

MainTour said...

One of the main pieces of info I came across is that a gay union normally has a shorter life duration span then heterosexual union.

Also that a gay partner is about 9 times more likely to have an affair then a hetero partner.

Thus a gay relationship is more likely to model infidelity to its offspring than a traditional union.