15. Same-sex marriage (SSM) simply costs too much:
Assertion: When people marry, the state or province automatically grants them about 500
benefits; the federal government gives them about 1,000 more. This would be a
drain on the economy -- one that we cannot afford.
About 5% of the adults of North America are gay; another 3% or so are
bisexual. It is these populations that would enter into same-sex
marriage. As for heterosexuals:
Some would choose the single lifestyle.
Some would prefer to simply live together without marriage.
SSM is so new that it is impossible to estimate how many gay and lesbian
couples will choose to be married. Even if half of the homosexuals decide to
marry, and one
quarter of the bisexuals decided to marry same-sex partners, then SSM would still only constitute
less than 4% of all marriages. The total cost of benefits to these couples would be minimal,
compared to the cost of benefits to the 96% of marriages which would be by opposite-sex
If the goal is for the government to save money by reducing marital
benefits, a much more lucrative approach would be to prohibit marriages in
which one spouse is left-handed, or one spouse is blonde. That would involve
a larger number of couples, and save the governments much more money than
SSM would cost. Similarly, we could go back to the situation in 1966 and
prohibit inter-racial couples from marrying in some states. We could go
back to the culture of 1850 and prohibit African-Americans from marrying.
We would save a bundle of money. But elementary justice prohibits us from
It is profoundly immoral for the government to collect money in the
form of taxes from individuals and couples of all sexual orientations, and
then to dispense special privileges to opposite-sex couples only.
16: Same-sex marriage would irreparably harm marriage forever:
Assertion: Some religious conservatives talk in terms of protecting marriage. Others
talk in terms of the devastating effect that same-sex marriage would have on
Mr. Justice Harry Laforme
of the Ontario Superior Court wrote: "I find that there is no
merit to the argument that the rights and interests of heterosexuals would
be affected by granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry. I cannot
conclude that freedom of religion would be threatened or jeopardized by
legally sanctioning same-sex marriage."
In Ontario and British Columbia, where gays and lesbians are free to
marry, no opposite-sex couple has been denied permission to marry, except
for the usual requirements related to their age and genetic relationship.
No opposite-sex couple has been denied any of the benefits of marriage
which were due them. Some observers feel that the provinces have become
more supportive of the needs of loving couples and their children since
same-sex marriage was legalized.
Bill Graham, the Canadian federal Foreign Affairs Minister, became the second
federal minister to lend support to same-sex marriage. He said on 2002-AUG-5: "I respect
those who believe in the integrity of [same-sex] marriage. That is a
very important institution for us as Canadians, and for society. I think
it is equally important that gay and lesbian people who are in an
affectionate relationship over time want to commit themselves to that
relationship." Commenting on the past granting of equality to gays and
lesbians, Graham said: "It started with changes to the Criminal Code
and hate crimes legislation, and then was followed by changes to the human
rights code and substantial changes to the Pension Act and other acts to
provide essentially the equivalent of common law marriage status to gay
and lesbian couples, equal to that of a heterosexual common-law union. It
[same sex marriage] is the final part of the picture." He noted that
some Canadians are concerned of social chaos if same-sex marriage is
approved. He noted that previous equity legislation also engendered
similar dire predictions, but caused barely a ripple after taking effect.
17: Almost all of the churches are opposed to SSM:
Assertion: Diane Knippers, of the conservative Christian Institute on Religion and
Democracy, wrote: "The message of the universal Christian
Church on marriage and human sexuality is crystal clear. It’s not simply the
teaching of the largest churches--Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical.
It’s also the other more liberal “mainline" Protestant churches..." Only
the Unitarian Universalist Association, which is only
partly Christian, the Metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of
Christ, the United Church of Canada, and Reform Judaism favor SSM. All, or almost all, of
the other 1,000 or so Judeo-Christian religious groups in North America
This is true. Very few religious denominations support SSM. But this
is totally expected, because the fight for equal rights for gays,
lesbians, and bisexuals has barely begun. If you research every
significant social change in North America with a religious and/or moral
component, you will find that it is secularists and those faith groups who
place great emphasis on human rights and justice who first embrace change.
This happened with the Quakers, Mennonites, and Unitarians over the
abolition slavery; initially, all of the other Christian churches were in
favor of preserving slavery. But the abolition movement grew with the
eventual support from a broad range of denominations. A similar transition
has happened in the 20th century over women's suffrage, the availability
of birth control, abortion access, and now equal rights for homosexuals,
including the right of loving, committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.
What Ms. Knipper is saying is that we are early in the process, and that
-- to date -- only the most liberal denominations have supported SSM. The
rest will eventually follow. Consider how many denominations today oppose
interracial marriage. Yet it was illegal as recently as 1967 in some
18: Sex between a man and woman is the heart of marriage:
Assertion: Diane Knippers also mentioned: "Sexual intercourse is intended as the
expression of the very powerful physical force that bonds a man and a woman
into the most essential, basic, and universal unit of human society. It
ensures the propagation of the human race--and joins parents to the common
task of rearing children. Ultimately, it creates a mystical one-flesh union
between a man and a woman, a union in which two bodies, exquisitely designed
precisely for one another, are joined in self-giving love and generous
pleasure." 4 The implication is that sex does not have
these functions in a SSM.
Sexual expression is precisely the same "very powerful physical
force" that usually bonds couples, whether opposite-gendered, gay or
Along with the approximately 2.1 million infertile married couples of
childbearing age in the U.S., lesbian couples need assistance in the form
of artificial insemination or in-vitro fertilization to have children. But
many go this route.
Sexual behavior certainly can create "....a mystical one-flesh
union between a man and a woman in which two bodies "are joined in
self-giving love and generous pleasure." But exactly the same
phenomenon occurs between two lesbian spouses or gay spouses. Just
befriend a same-sex couple and ask.
Sex is an important part of marriage. But it is only one part. It is
the sharing, the commitment, the planning, the supporting, the
sacrificing, and other factors which form the main components of marriage.
These are present in all intimate and successful opposite-sex and same-sex
19: SSM will damage international relations:
Assertion: Mel Middleton, apparently of the Canada Family Action Coalition in
Alberta described the 2003-JUN decision of the Government of Canada to
legalize SSM as: "...a knife in the back to our democratic allies in the
third world." Speaking to pro-democracy individuals in East Africa he
found thatmost believe that the Canadian "government's decision
is going to make it extremely difficult for democrats in oppressive third
world countries such as Sudan to counter the charges that their oppressors
are certain to make -- that 'western democracy' leads to decadence, moral
depravity and societal decay." 6
There are many factors in western cultures that people in some
dictatorships and theocracies in the third world are mystified by:
Allowing individuals to openly proselytize persons of other
Permitting people to change their religion freely.
Allowing Atheists and others write and lecture about the
non-existence of God.
Restricting a man to only one wife.
Allowing a Muslim woman to marry a non-Muslim man.
Permitting a couple to marry without prior approval from their
Allowing two loving, committed same-sex couples to marry only adds one
more item to this list.
20: SSM legislation will permit incestuous marriages:
Assertion: Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte,
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Montreal, talked to the press about SSM at a
news conference arranged by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He is quoted as saying: "When you change the definition of the
institution, you open the door to things you can't foresee. If marriage is a
union between two persons who love each other - that's the new definition,
without the allusion to sex - where does the notion stop? Will you recognize
the marriage between a father and his daughter? Between a brother and his
sister? Or two brothers or two sisters?...It's very dangerous because we
don't know the consequences." 7
Canadian Justice Minister
Martin Cauchon responded to the Archbishop's concerns. He told reporters
in Calgary AB that both marriage and sex between a parent and child or two
siblings is illegal. "The question that they raise is an offence based
under the Criminal Code....I see no connection to what we are doing."
The Archbishop's comments
moved Shelley Sullivan of Oakville ON to write a letter to the editor of
the Toronto Star which said: "If the marriage of two persons could lead
to incest through the marriage of brother and sister, or father and
daughter, how is it that the current definition of marriage, a man and a
woman, does not exclude the possibility?...The answer is quite simple: The
law excludes it and that would not change." 8
Kathleen Lahey, a law
professor at Queen's University at Kingston, who was involved in the
British Columbia SSM case said that the Archbishop is trying to reduce the
concept to "its most absurd extreme...It is not a credible argument...I
know of no example anywhere in the world in which opening marriage to
same-sex couples has led to opening marriage to incestuous relationships,
or the other argument that is often made, polygamous relationships."
21: Most people are opposed to SSM.
Assertion: In a democracy, the majority rules. Since most people
oppose allowing same-sex couples to marry, the will of the majority should
prevail. SSM should remain forbidden.
The majority does not necessarily rule in democracies. That is why
every state/province and federal government has a constitution. One
function of governmental constitutions is to guarantee basic human
rights even though the majority would deprive minorities of those
rights. If we allowed the "tyranny of the majority" then governments
would strip away basic human rights from unpopular groups, such as
Agnostics, Atheists, Pagans, gays, lesbians, etc.
In some states of the U.S. and in Canada, the majority of adults
favor extending the right to marry to same-sex couples.
In most or all states in the U.S., the majority of youth and young
adults favor allowing same-sex marriage.
We hope to add additional points
in the future. If you have any to suggest, please
Email them to us.