Response to Adam Kolasinski’s “A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage”

 

http://bettystoneman.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/response-to-adam-kolasinski’s-“a-secular-case-against-gay-marriage”/

Response to Adam Kolasinski’s “A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage”

The Tech, MIT’s university newspaper, published an opinion piece on February 17th, 2004 by Adam Kolasinski entitled, “The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage.” For this paper, I will first analyze Kolasinski’s argument. Secondly, I will respond to Kolasinski’s argument with a variety of fallacies. Next, I will respond to Kolasinski’s argument with a counter argument. Finally, I will evaluate my response.

Analyzing the Argument

The issue Kolasinski is addressing is: Is there a “reason for the state to grant” homosexual relationships “the costly benefits of marriage?” Kolasinski’s conclusion is no, “there is no reason for the state to grant them the costly benefits of marriage.” In the U.S. homosexual marriage is not accepted. Therefore, if one were to take the issue on nationally, whoever argues in favor of homosexual marriage would bear the burden of proof. However, in this particular instance, Kolasinski primarily bears the burden of proof. He is being published in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology newspaper. Massachusetts as early as 2003 was amending state laws to incorporate protections for homosexual marriage in that state (Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries). Kolasinski bears the burden of proof because the people of the state and judicial system he was speaking to were predominately in favor of homosexual marriage.

There are two ways to read and interpret Kolasinski’s argument. The first way details and outlines all of Kolasinski’s points as sub premises. In the first way, the primary focus is on the need for marriages to serve an interest of the state in order to be recognized. The second way is more succinct and treats Kolasinski’s subsequent points not as a part of his main argument, but as counter arguments, thus not included in his main argument. In the second way, the primary focus is on procreation as the legal, societal and logical basis of marriage.

I will begin by looking at the first way to interpret the argument in which Kolasinski seems to have three main, linked, premises. The first main premise is “the recognition of marriage is not a universal right.” The sub premise is because “states have, in varying degrees, restricted from marriage couples unlikely to produce children” and the sub premise under this sub premise is because “propagation of society is a compelling state interest.”

Kolasinski’s next main premise is states recognize marriages that serve a state interest. The sub premise under this premise is because “When a state recognizes a marriage, it bestows upon the couple certain benefits which are costly to both the state and other individuals.”

Kolasinski’s final main premise is “the advocates of gay marriage” have not been able “to show what state interest these marriages serve.” There are four convergent sub premises under this main premise. The first is because the state does not “have an interest in recognizing lesbian marriage” and the sub premise under this is because “a lesbian’s sexual relationship, committed or not, has no bearing on her ability to reproduce.”

The second sub premise is it does not “serve a state interest to recognize gay marriages to make it easier for gay couples to adopt.” The sub premise under this is because “it is essential for a child to be nurtured by parents of both sexes if a child is to learn to function in a society made up of both sexes” and the sub premise under this is because the “The differences between men and women extend beyond anatomy.”

The next sub premise under the main premise is homosexual marriage does not “serve a state interest” to “enable homosexuals to live in committed relationships.” The sub premise is because “there is nothing stopping homosexuals from living in such relationships today” and the sub premise under this sub premise is because homosexual couples could sign living wills and designate each other as trustees and heirs.

The final sub premise under the main premise of “the advocates of gay marriage” have not been able “to show what state interest these marriages serve” is homosexual marriage would “exacerbate” “social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years.” There are two, linked sub premises under this sub premise. The first is “downplay[ing] the procreative aspect of marriage” is “to our detriment.” The sub premise under this is it leads to “broken homes, a plummeting birthrate, and countless other social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years.” There are two sub premises, linked, under this sub premise. The first is “the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its [the marriage’s] primary end” and the second is “When persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities.”

The linked second sub premise under homosexual marriage would “exacerbate” “social pathologies that have become rampant over the last 40 years” is homosexual marriage would “widen the separation between marriage and procreation.” There are three linked sub premises under this sub premise. The first is homosexual marriage would “enshrin[e] into law the notion that sexual love…is the sole criteria for marriage.” The second is a conditional statement stating “If sexual love becomes the primary purpose, [then] the restriction of marriage to [unrelated] couples loses its logical basis.” The third is an assumed premise marriage should have a logical basis. The diagram for this argument is as follows (in PDF):

The second way to read Kolasinski’s argument is more succinct. His conclusion is the same in that “there is no reason for the state to grant” homosexual relationships “the costly benefits of marriage.” Under this way of interpreting the argument, he has three, linked, main premises. The first main premise is “states have restricted from marriage couples unlikely to produce children.” The sub premise is because “states bestow upon married couples certain costly benefits” and the two, linked, sub premises under this are because “procreation is a compelling state interest to recognize marriages” and “marriage between two unrelated heterosexuals is likely to result in a family with children.”

Kolasinski’s next main premise stands alone and is “homosexual relationships do nothing to serve the state interest of propagating society.” His third main premise is “the societal purpose of marriage is procreation” which has two convergent sub premises. The first is “downplaying the procreative aspect of marriage is a detriment to society” because of the sub premise “it leads to social pathologies.” Under this sub premise is the two, linked sub premises “the happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become the marriage’s primary end” and “When persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities.”

The second, convergent, sub premise is “the purpose of marriage as procreation is logical.” There are two linked, conditional, sub premises under this which are “if sexual love becomes the primary purpose, then the restriction of marriage to unrelated couples loses its logical basis” and “marriage should have a logical basis.” The diagram for this argument is as follows (in PDF):

Fallacious Counter Arguments

Fallacious arguments, such as the following, would not work to respond to Kolasinski’s argument. First, one could argue Kolasinski lives in Massachusetts and is adamant about procreation being the firm logical basis for marriage, so Kolasinski must be Catholic. Therefore, being Catholic, its no wonder why Kolasinski is against homosexual marriage. Kolasinski’s argument is biased because of his religious beliefs.

Secondly, one could argue there are many reasons why it is in the states’ best interest to recognize homosexual marriages. For one, homosexual people are generally more open minded. Being open to listening to other points of view is good for a democratic society. Secondly, most people love weddings. Weddings are just big parties, so the more the merrier. Having fun helps society. Thirdly, its been such a slow economic recovery, the states could use more celebrations that require buying stuff. Consumerism helps society. Therefore, gay marriages should be recognized because they help society.

Thirdly, one could argue, if homosexual marriages are not recognized by the states simply because they do not directly result in procreation, then other marriages could become unrecognized by the states also. First it would be homosexual marriages, then marriages between senior citizens would be banned because women after menopause can’t have children. After banning marriages between senior citizens, then the states will start testing people for fertility so they can ban marriages between couples who are infertile. Next, states will start genetic testing and will ban marriages between people who are likely to have children who have disabilities or are prone to debilitating diseases, like cancer or Down Syndrome. After that, the states will only recognize marriages between genetically acceptable people within a very specific age range so as to best suit the states’ interests. Eventually, we are living in a completely fascist society with totalitarian rule over marriage.

Fourthly, one could argue homosexuals have the right to marry who they choose because marriage is a basic human right. All humans, including homosexuals, should be able to marry who they choose. Therefore, homosexuals have the right to marry who they choose.

Fifthly, one could argue homosexual marriages should be recognized by states because they do serve the states’ best interests. Homosexual marriages serve the states’ best interests because people, including homosexuals, being in committed relationships would cause a decrease in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. States who do not recognize homosexual marriages, or even civil unions, have more cases of sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, homosexual marriages cause a decrease in sexually transmitted diseases (for an anti-homosexual marriage variation of this argument, see Knight ‘Gay Marriage Is Not Only Wrong; It’s Socially Destructive’).

Counter Argument Against “A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage”

Okay, now for the real responses to Kolasinski. In the first way of reading the argument, Kolasinski is arguing, basically, no reason exists for states to recognize homosexual marriages because recognition of marriage is not a universal right, because states already restrict who can get married. States recognize marriages which serve a state interest because it is costly, and advocates of homosexual marriages have not been able to show how recognizing homosexual marriage would benefit the states.

In the first way of reading the argument, if marriage must serve a state interest but homosexual marriages have not shown they serve a state interest, then simply showing how homosexual marriages could serve a state interest would refute the argument. Kolasinski argues homosexual marriages do not serve a state interest because homosexuals are unable to procreate and procreation is a “compelling state interest.” However, procreation is not the only way marriages could serve a state interest. It would be incredibly beneficial for states to allow homosexual marriages which result in more adoptions. Between the fiscal years of 2001-2003 “the average annual amount of Federal foster care funds received by States range[d] from $4,155 to $33,091 per child” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Additionally, in 2003 states were reimbursed $5 billion for approximately 250,000 children in the U.S. foster care system (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). It is to be noted, those numbers include children who were only temporarily in foster care, not up for adoption. However, in 2009 a total of 114,562 children in the U.S. were in foster care needing to be adopted (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Homosexual marriages being recognized, thus making it easier for these couples to adopt, could provide children with homes and reduce the costs of foster care.

Regarding Kolasinski asserting children require both a mother and father, let’s take a look at the article Kolasinski cites, David Popenoe’s, Life Without Father. Popenoe’s argument is an inductive argument, asserting the increase in American society of “crime; premature sexuality and out-of-wedlock births to teenagers; deteriorating educational achievement; depression, substance abuse and alienation among adolescents; and the growing number of women and children in poverty” is due to missing fathers. Popenoe states “few researchers or government agencies have monitored it; and it is not widely discussed even today. But the decline of fatherhood is a major force behind many of the most disturbing problems that plague American society.”

Secondly, Popenoe argues “Much of what they [fathers] contribute to the growth of their children, of course, is simply the result of being a second adult in the home” and “Two adults cannot only support and spell each other-they can offset each others deficiencies and build on each others strengths.” Thirdly, Popenoe asserts there is a “special parenting style” of fathers which is different from mothers. Popenoe’s fatherly parenting style is one in which “fathers tend to stress competition challenge, initiative, risk-taking and independence” while “Mothers, as caretakers, stress emotional security and personal safety.” Popenoe asserts both, for development, children need both styles.

Regarding Popenoe’s first claim, if the issue has not been researched, nor even widely discussed, then what basis does Popenoe have to assert there exists a causal relation? Popenoe offers a lot of statistics but doesn’t answer this question, which leads his argument into the murky waters of Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc and False Cause (Third Cause or One of Many Causes) fallacies. There could be a lot of other causes for the problems in society Popenoe noted. Regarding his second claim, taking gender out of it, basically Popenoe is asserting children require two different types of parenting styles which would give children a balance between the two parenting styles. Okay, that’s fair and reasonable. However, for it to be asserted children require both a male and a female as parental figures for proper development, thereby implying all persons of one sex have parenting styles which are absolutely impossible for someone of the opposite sex to possess, is simply a hasty generalization. How would Popenoe or Kolasinski know women can’t have “male” parenting styles and men can’t have “female” parenting styles? What sample of the entire male and female populations has been researched to come to this conclusion? Regarding the third argument, what if two men (or two women), one with the “male” parenting style and one with the “female” parenting style, become married, and decide to adopt a child. Wouldn’t this child have Popenoe’s complimentary pair of parenting styles leading to a balanced upbringing? Also, with two adults in the home to “offset each others deficiencies and build on each others strengths,” wouldn’t this also fit into Popenoe’s description of what makes the best environment for bringing up a child? Essentially, if the parenting styles of the parents fit the descriptions offered by Popenoe, what does it matter what sex each of the parents are? Unfortunately, Kolasinski’s argument offers no adequate response to these questions.

So, why is it better for children to be adopted by homosexual couples than to remain within the foster care system? The response would be because the children are no longer being passed around from foster home to foster home, never really getting to know or be known by, thus connecting with, adults. Once a child is adopted into a stable home, where they don’t have to worry about when they are going to have to move again, what their new foster parents are going to be like, having to adjust to how each foster family is, then they can develop as people. My question would be for opponents of homosexual adoption, why is it better for children to continue to be within the foster care system as opposed to being adopted by a homosexual couple?

One could argue homosexuals do not necessarily have to be married to adopt because many states allow single parent adoption, some also allow partners to adopt via second parent adoption. Therefore, states could not recognize homosexual marriages but allow homosexuals to adopt children. In response, Kolasinski speaks of “responsibilities” to “children and society.” He stated “happiness of the parties to the marriage, rather than the good of the children or the social order, has become its primary end, with disastrous consequences.” Kolasinski also stated “When married persons care more about themselves than their responsibilities to their children and society, they become more willing to abandon these responsibilities.” It seems for Kolasinski marriage entails a commitment of more than just one adult to another, it entails a commitment to the children of the adults and to society. Therefore, wouldn’t marriage between two homosexuals solidify their commitment to each other, to the children they adopt, and to society? Having a legally binding marriage can act as incentive for people to work out their problems instead of simply quitting the relationship. If homosexuals are allowed to adopt children, wouldn’t it be best, as Popenoe stated, for there to be two adults with “complimentary parenting styles” in the child’s life? Wouldn’t it be best that the two adults are legally bound together so, as Kolasinski stated, they have more of a responsibility to their children and society?

Basically, my response to the first way of reading Kolasinski’s argument is a conditional argument. If only marriages which are likely to serve states’ interests are recognized, then homosexual marriages that are likely to serve states’ interests should be recognized. Only marriages which are likely to serve state interests are recognized because benefits to married couples are costly. Homosexual marriages are likely to serve states’ interests by providing stable homes for children needing adoption. Therefore, homosexual marriages that are likely to serve states’ interests should be recognized.

Now I would like to address the second, more succinct way of reading Kolasinski’s argument. The second way, despite it being shorter, is harder to refute because it brings up a very good question. The question is: What is the logical basis of marriage if it is not procreation? In this case, Kolasinski makes a very good point in that, as he states, if marriage is based on “sexual love” instead of procreation, then it opens the door for the recognition of marriages by siblings and polygamists, or anyone else for that matter. However, consider the idea of procreation being the basis of marriage and polygamy. Polygamists have no problem with procreating. If procreation were simply the basis of marriage, then why is polygamy not recognized?

To respond to Kolasinski, let’s look at the societal benefits of procreation. Why is procreation in states’ best interest? Procreation is in states’ best interest because it produces the next generation of citizens. However, simply having a lot of children would not be in states’ best interest. Society benefits from having the next generation of diverse children. Society benefits from diversity. Diversity of genes, diversity of intellect, and diversity of personalities are all good for societies. Genetically, if there is not diversity, then the human race would not survive. Genetic defaults would multiply generation after generation. Numerous physical and mental abnormalities occur when genes are replicated, and these abnormalities would eventually drive the human race into extinction. Additionally, society thrives off of everyone not thinking or being the same. If everyone thought and acted the same way physical, mental and technological advancements in society would not be made. Yes, procreation is in society’s best interest, but not just procreation, diversity in propagating society is in society’s best interest.

Why is it socially unacceptable for close relatives to marry and procreate? Because it would cause the same genes to be multiplied, it would be a lack of diversity. Why is it socially unacceptable for polygamy and procreation by polygamists? Because the same father of many children, even if by different wives, means the replication of the same genes in society. One husband with six wives, each with six children, means thirty-six children all with the same genes from the father. Genetic diversity is required for the human race to survive. Relatives and polygamists can not offer society genetic diversity.

So, what about marriage? Why can’t sterile or infertile people just marry whoever the want? For example, a sterile brother and sister, or a sterile man with six infertile wives? To respond, what benefit to states’ in propagating society do such marriages serve? The marriage of a sterile brother and a sister, or a group of sterile polygamists, simply for the sake of them marrying each other for their own reasons does nothing to benefit society. Kolasinski is right in that marriage is costly to states, therefore, states should expect some return on their investment. States should get some benefit if they are going to legally acknowledge a marriage and give benefits to those who are married. However, procreation is not the only way a married couple could help with the propagation of society. A married couple adopting a child, even though they did not procreate the child, they are still benefiting society with the propagation of society. As previously noted, adoption could be a huge benefit to states for acknowledging homosexual marriages.

But the argument then becomes, why can’t a sterile brother and sister have their marriage acknowledged if they are going to adopt? Wouldn’t this scenario be the same case as a homosexual couple? No, a sterile brother and sister adopting is not the same as a homosexual couple adopting, because the brother and sister couldn’t offer the child diversity. I agree with Popenoe in that children benefit from two adults with different parenting styles. But consider, how do people develop parenting styles? Are parenting styles learned from parents or are parenting styles genetically generated or do parenting styles arise some other way? This would lead into a whole different dimension of this issue, but let’s just take a look at the two most prominent theories, nature versus nurture. Under the nature theory, personalities, and thus parenting styles, would be genetic, meaning, exist inherently. So, if this is the case, then a brother and sister would genetically have similar personalities and parenting styles. Under the nurture theory, personalities, thus parenting styles, would be learned from experience and upbringing. So, if this is the case, a brother and sister would share the same upbringing and much of the same experiences, resulting in similar personalities and parenting styles. In either case, they would not be able to offer the child the diversity of parenting styles and personalities required to benefit society.

It is to be noted, that I stated “similar” not “the same,” because brothers and sisters can have different personalities but personalities that are still similar. To this, one could argue, well then unrelated people with similar personalities shouldn’t have kids because they can’t offer them a diverse upbringing. The combination of diversity in genes and diversity in personalities would be beneficial to children, thus beneficial to society. However, similar to some of Kolasinski’s arguments, personality tests for prospective parents would be simply unfeasible to administer, not to mention a bit totalitarian. The simplest way to both promote diversity in society, and accommodate the majority’s freedom, is to just make laws that relatives can not have children together.

So, why should states recognize homosexual marriages, but not recognize marriages between siblings and polygamists? Kolasinski stated, “If sexual love becomes the primary purpose, the restriction of marriage to couples loses its logical basis, leading to marital chaos.” I agree with Kolasinski, if sexual love becomes the primary basis for recognition of marriages, then many marriages could not be restricted. I also agree with Kolasinski that states should recognize marriages which can benefit society. Additionally, I agree with Kolasinski that procreation is a benefit to society. However, I would disagree states should have procreation as the logical basis to recognize a marriage. The logical basis for recognizing a marriage is it should meet two conditions: It should have the potential to be a benefit to society with propagating society and it should not have the potential to be a detriment society. The difference between homosexuals and siblings/polygamists, is marriage and/or procreation by siblings and polygamists either do not benefit the society or would be detrimental to a diverse society. Homosexual couples don’t have the same genetic make up (even if they did, they physically can’t procreate the same genes), so their marriages are not detrimental to society. But, homosexual marriages do have a huge potential to benefit society through adoption. Homosexual marriages should be allowed because homosexuals can’t procreate the same genes and homosexuals could provide stable, diverse, homes for children who need homes.

One could critique my argument by arguing homosexual marriages are detrimental to society. Kolasinski claims homosexual marriages would be detrimental to society. His hypothetical argument goes: If states recognize homosexual marriages, then it will widen the gap between procreation and marriage. If the gap between procreation and marriage is widened, then people will only care about their happiness and not their responsibilities to family and society. If people only care about their happiness and not their responsibilities to family and society, then they will abandon their responsibilities. If people abandon their responsibilities, then it will lead to broken homes, plummeting birth rates and social pathologies. Therefore, if states recognize homosexual marriages, then it will lead to social pathologies. But, how exactly would the gap between procreation and marriage cause people to not care about their responsibilities to their family and society? Perhaps people’s happiness is being responsible to their families and society. On another note, Kolasinski’s argument concerning homosexual marriages as being detrimental to society is based on the idea procreation is the primary purpose of marriage. If procreation is not the primary purpose of marriage, but the benefit to the states’ and society with propagation of society is instead the primary purpose, as I argued earlier, then the argument people will neglect their familial and societal responsibilities, which then leads to social pathologies, becomes null and void.

Basically, my conditional argument is: If marriages have the potential to be a benefit to society with the propagation of society and do not have the potential to be a detriment to society, then states should recognize these marriages. Homosexual marriages have the potential to be a benefit to society with the propagation of society and do not have the potential to be a detriment to society. Therefore, states should recognize homosexual marriages.

Critiquing My Own Argument

To critique my own argument, I would look at the first interpretation of the argument. Regarding this portion, I would look more closely at the statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The statistics are really quite vague. More detailed and specific statistics could improve the argument by showing just exactly what the impact is on tax payers and just how many children are affected. More statistics could, conversely impair the argument by possibly showing the effects are not as severe as they seem.

In addition, I would question just what is the impact to children in foster care. Are there any studies regarding the physical or mental well being of children in foster care? Also, I would question just how exactly children being adopted into homosexual homes could benefit (or conversely not benefit) society. Are there any studies done on homosexual couples who have adopted children which could be analyzed? Information from such studies could improve or impair the argument by showing what impact on children’s lives, and ultimately society, foster care and homosexual couples adopting could have. It could be questioned if the benefits to states to recognize homosexual marriage, and thus make it easier for homosexual couples to adopt, would outweigh the costs. Another question is, exactly how would state recognition of marriages make it easier for homosexuals to adopt?

Regarding my response to the second interpretation of the argument, I would also ask, what about sterile polygamists? Why can’t they adopt and have their marriages recognized? That situation would be diverse, a diversity of wives, right? The only response I could offer to this argument is if the state recognizes all the wives married to one man, and the man died, and all wives are paid out benefits, then it wouldn’t be a benefit to the state, it would be very costly for the state. But then one could ask, how many children should polygamists adopt before it becomes a benefit to the state to recognize their marriages? Or, if only one wife is paid out benefits, but children are adopted by several of the other wives, the wives with the children wouldn’t get the benefits and this wouldn’t be a benefit to the society with the propagation of society. I just don’t have, at this time, a good answer for the sterile polygamists wanting to adopt problem with my argument.

Also, I could ask, what about a genetically related brother and sister (or same sex siblings) who were adopted into different homes, but wanted to get married and adopt? By my argument, if one judges the case based on the nature theory of human development, then their marriage should not be recognized. If one judges the case based on the nurture theory, then their marriage should be recognized. Or, one could ask, what about a genetically unrelated brother and sister who were adopted into the same family, but wanted to get married and adopt? Again, the judgment would be dependent on nature versus nurture. I also don’t have a good enough answer for these scenarios either.

Overall, I feel my argument makes some good points. I feel I was able to offer an argument for why states should recognize homosexual marriages. However, my argument is certainly not without faults. I fully admit there are many areas of my argument which are questionable and able to be critiqued. However, delving into those questions could very well provide more support for my assertions.

Fallacy Identification

The first argument is a Ad Hominem – Bias fallacy. Kolasinski lives in Massachusetts and is adamant about procreation being the firm logical basis for marriage, so Kolasinski must be Catholic. Therefore, being Catholic, its no wonder why Kolasinski is against homosexual marriage. Kolasinski’s argument is biased because of his religious beliefs. This sort of response would be fallacious because it is attacking Kolasinski and not his argument. Despite the fact the arguer is merely assuming, without proof, Kolasinski is Catholic and is therefore, biased against homosexual marriage, the argument is fallacious because Kolasinski has presented an argument which should be critiqued on its own merits. One should critique only the argument, not the arguer.

The second argument is a Red Herring fallacy. There are many reasons why it is in the states best interest to allow and accept homosexual marriages. For one, homosexual people are generally more open minded. Being open to listening to other points of view is good for democratic society, right? Secondly, most people love weddings. Weddings are just big parties, so the more the merrier. Having fun helps society, right? Thirdly, its been such a slow economic recovery, the states could use more celebrations that require buying stuff. Consumerism helps society, right? These arguments are fallacious because they are completely irrelevant to the argument Kolasinski is making. Even if the arguments try to tie back into being good for society, they are irrelevant to procreation.

The third argument is a Slippery Slope fallacy. If homosexual marriages are not recognized by the states simply because they do not directly result in procreation, then other marriages could become unrecognized by the states also. First it would be homosexual marriages, then marriages between senior citizens would be banned because women after menopause can’t have children. After banning marriages between senior citizens, then the states will start testing people for fertility so they can ban marriages between couples who are infertile. Next, states will start genetic testing and will ban marriages between people who are likely to have children who have disabilities or are prone to debilitating diseases, like cancer or Down Syndrome. After that, the states will only recognize marriages between genetically acceptable people within a very specific age range so as to best suit the states’ interests. Eventually, we are living in a completely fascist society ruled by totalitarian rule over marriage. The argument makes a lot of scary claims, but doesn’t back up any of those claims with evidence or legitimate reasons.

The fourth argument is Begging the Question. Homosexuals have the right to marry who they choose because marriage is a basic human right. All humans, including homosexuals, should be able to marry who they choose. Therefore, homosexuals have the right to marry who they choose. Why should homosexuals have the right to marry who they choose? Because they are human and humans should marry who they choose. Why should humans have the right to marry who they choose? Because marriage is a basic human right. Why is marriage a basic human right? Because humans should be able to marry who they choose. Why should humans have the right to marry who they choose? Because marriage is a basic human right. Why is marriage a basic human right? This reasoning just goes in circles and doesn’t provide any legitimate reasons.

The fifth argument is the Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc fallacy. Homosexual marriages should be recognized by states because they do serve the states’ best interests. Homosexual marriages serve the states’ best interests because people, including homosexuals being in committed relationships would cause a decrease in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. States who do not recognize homosexual marriages, or even civil unions, have increasingly more cases of sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, homosexual marriages cause a decrease in sexually transmitted diseases (for an anti-homosexual marriage variation of this argument, see Knight ‘Gay Marriage Is Not Only Wrong; It’s Socially Destructive’). Surely, this would be in the states’ best interests, right? This argument’s fallaciousness is not due to it being ridiculous or even untrue, but it is indeed ridiculous and very possibly untrue (not to mention it is highly insulting). It is fallacious because it is taking two completely, unproven to be related, events and asserting there is a causal connection.

Works Cited

Knight, Robert. “‘Gay Marriage Is Not Only Wrong; It’s Socially Destructive.” Culture and Family Issues. Concerned Women for America, 22 Jun 2009. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

Kolasinski, Adam. “The Secular Case Against Gay Marriage.” The Tech. MIT, 17 Feb 2004. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries. “Massachusetts Law About Same-Sex Marriage.” Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries. Massachusetts Trial Court Law Libraries, 11 Apr 2011. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

Popenoe, David. “Life Without Father.” Mensight. Mensight, 2000. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. “Federal Foster Care Financing: How and Why the Current Funding Structure Fails to Meet the Needs of the Child Welfare Field” ASPE Issue Brief. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. “Children in Public Foster Care Waiting to be Adopted: FY2002- FY2009.” Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010. Web. 29 Apr 2011.

 

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One Response to Response to Adam Kolasinski’s “A Secular Case Against Gay Marriage”

  1. Kay Bailey says:

    I will write the answer that I learnt to the question why shouldn’t homosexuals marry? Homosexuals can’t marry because marriage occurs between an a man and a woman. The questions assumes that marriage occurs between any two people. Its doesn’t; one of the two persons have to be a man and the other a woman.

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