Obama’s evolution of marriage and sexuality: An Asian perspective

During the re-election cycle in 2012, President Obama sent seismic shock waves through the news media when he became the first American president to publicly support marriage equality. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court sided with the president’s views in a 5-4 decision, sending a ruling “like a thunderbolt” through American society in favor of marriage equality in all 50 states[1].

As the longtime advisor, David Axelrod revealed in his recent book[2] that candidate-Obama was in favor of same-sex marriage (when running for the US Senate[3]) before he was against it (while running for the Presidency[4]), and then he did a U-turn when he gently sent VP Biden to make it public that his views on marriage equality have “evolved” in support of transforming the institution of marriage.

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family … In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than they once were. … Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right,” Justice Kennedy wrote.[5]

Obama called the plaintiff Jim Obergefell to congratulate him on the making of history. Can we say Obama is the first ‘African-American-Biracial-Pacific-Hawaiian-Multicultural President,’ who pushed forward gay marriage or marriage equality?  How much more evidence do we need of Obama’s hybrid identity? His political identity cannot be hybridized any further; the debate has truly been had.  It is now undeniable Obama is the harbinger of the cultural changes that will sweep America in the 21st century, as I have argued ad-nauseam in my two books on the president.

Post-structural anthropologist and philosopher, Michele Foucault, pioneered what was known in the 1970s and 80s as “Queer Theory” on college campuses, with his landmark volumes about the “History of Sexuality.”[6]  Obama was an undergraduate at Occidental College and Columbia University during this period.

Michele Foucault argued that in the West sexuality was not “repressed,” as it has been often argued, rather it was “socially constructed and monitored”, the object of “fixation” throughout the 17th and 18th century.  Sexual transgressions had to be confessed, studied and analyzed, and hence “controlled” and “punished”, which over time led to restrictions in the judicial system, pedagogy, hygiene, public health, medicine and shaped psychiatry and various forms of the modern “talking cures.”

Anything that deviated from the “natural” heterosexual lifestyle was seen as an impediment to the reproduction of “the traditional family,” “race,” and “species,” invariably classified as “perverse,” “abnormal,” “hedonistic,” and “deviant.”

However, desires often considered “biological” or “natural” are conditioned by societal constraints, cultural context, and historical dynamics.  While in the East (especially South Asia) sex was eroticized and made into an art form, to be kept secretive and mysterious, “Ars erotica”, the West turned it into a “Scientia sexualis,” with its obsession for confession, analysis and control.

Homosexuality was part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association till it was yanked out of DSM-II in the early 1970s.[7]  “Coming out” then was seen as a form of “socially constructed” confessional process, which some therapists still try to push as a psychological treatment or conversion therapy.[8]

“Social constructionism” as an idea was au courant during the time Obama was the president of the Harvard Law Review, as described by James Kloppenberg in “Reading Obama”; it was one of the legal theories of choice for scholarship. “Kuhn and Geertz were but two home-grown intellectual revolutionaries writing at a time when the ideas of thinkers such as Frantz Fanon, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and various theorists of race, class, gender, and post-colonialism on both sides of the Atlantic were throwing more monkey wrenches … The challenges posed by the civil rights movement, second-wave feminism, and the antiwar and student movements caused many American intellectuals to conclude that the idea of a universal human nature had been routed,” according to Kloppenberg.[9]

Obama’s former mentor at Harvard, constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe, partly credited Obama for coming up with the analogy that interpreting the constitution is like a “conversation.”  Thus, it was not a quantum leap for Obama to come out in favor same-sex marriage as he has supported the view that all social institutions are context-specific, mutable and evolving.  Obama said in an interview on May 9, 2012, “For me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”

Genealogically, from his paternal side of the family, Obama belongs to Luo tribesmen who practice polygamy in Kenya, Africa; both his father and grandfather practiced polygamy. Obama’s decision to support marriage equality may have also been shaped by his own early childhood experiences in Indonesia, where his stepfather hired a gay cook to work in the house and where alternative lifestyles were not uncommon. Indonesia has neither developed a law banning homosexuality until recently (only in Aceh), nor any civil protections against discrimination.

Lolo Soetoro did not have a “gay nanny” as it has been reported in NYT[10] and in the fictionalized Indonesian film about his boyhood, “Little Obama.” When I interviewed Obama’s male nanny, Pak Saman, in 2009 he was a happily married man[11]. But Obama’s stepfather did hire a gay cook, named Trudi, who used to work in the Soetoro household when the young Obama lived on Dempo Street in Jakarta[12]. Whether Trudi evolved into a gay nanny or some other role is not clear; however, Obama was exposed to fluid gender roles from a very young age while living in his stepfather’s house in Indonesia.

His mother, Ann Dunham, decided to live and work in Indonesia for all her adult life, as I argued in my book, partly because Indonesia has a “matrifocal kinship structure, where women have significant amount of power over men in the domestic world. Women’s status tends to be higher in Indonesia compared to other patriarchal Asian countries. Even infant mortality and nutritional indicators tends to be better for young girls than boys. The sex-role differentiation between Indonesian boys and girls is not that clearly demarcated or rigidly drawn in early childhood (Megawangi, 1997). For all these reasons, Alice Dewey, Ann’s mentor and colleague, told me that Ann may have felt more at home in Indonesian culture; she felt more empowered as a woman there.”[13]  Thus, Obama’s formative years (ages 6-11 years) spent in Indonesia were indelibly shaped by his mother’s early conditioning.

Obama’s outstanding support for marriage equality opened the donor’s floodgates in 2012, accumulating several millions in a few days, capping it off with a $15 million fund raiser in Hollywood at George Clooney’s house. Will it do the same for the democrats and Hillary Clinton in 2016? Will the donors gather again in big numbers in support of marriage equality? Or, will there be a cultural backlash?

”America is weeping,” the conservatives are opining now in 2015. The religious right-wing groups immediately issued a response: “Obama had shaken his fist at God”, said the angered Franklin Graham in 2012 prior to the re-election, the son of Billy Graham, a preacher and adviser to many presidents.  He lamented, “It’s a sad day for America.” After the Supreme Court ruling, Franklin Graham said, “I believe God could bring judgment upon America.”

“Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman,” Romney told a group of gatherers without mentioning a word about his Mormon faith, yet drawing a sharp contrast with “the faith of his forefathers,” who had a complicated yet fascinating history of polygamy. Many of the conservative candidates will replay the conservative narrative on marriage again in the primaries and the 2016 general election.

In the 2012 general election, we had two candidates with a long family history of polygamy, who held diametrically opposite views of sex and marriage. Romney was for the traditional marriage and extolled “high monogamy,” while Obama was open to the “evolving” views of marriage and sexuality. Patriarchal notions of marriage and sexuality seems to be shaking loose at the roots under Obama, now that marriage equality has been made law of the land and potentially we may have a woman candidate seriously vying for the highest office in the land.  Will there be a backlash or a retrenchment of diversity against the first woman candidate on the democratic ticket?

As we approach another election year, where economy, jobs and global security may have been the dominant issues, and culture wars could have receded into the background, Supreme Court’s decision supporting Obama’s stance on core cultural issues – marriage, family and sexual orientation – will motivate key segments of the American electorate for or against cultural change.

This landmark decision, deeply shaped by three liberal women justices – including President Obama’s two key appointments (Justice Kagan and Sotomayor) – reflects the president’s transformation of policy on marriage and sexuality.

Dinesh Sharma is associate research professor at Binghamton University’s Institute for Global Cultural Studies in Binghamton, N.Y. He is the editor of “The Global Obama: Crossroads of Leadership in the 21st Century,” published by Routledge Press. His previous book, “Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President,” was rated as the Top Ten Black History Book for 2012.

[1] Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. CNN Politics, June 27, 2015.

[2] Axelrod, David. (2015). Believer: My forty years in politics. New York: Penguin.

[3] Obama Once Supported Same-Sex Marriage.

[4] Obama Says Adviser ‘Confused’ on Marriage Equality ‘Evolution’.

[5] Supreme Court rules in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. CNN Politics, June 27, 2015.

[6] Foucault, Michele. (1978). The History of Sexuality. New York: Random House.

[7] Spitzer, Robert. (1973). Homosexuality and Sexual Orientation Disturbance:

Proposed Change in DSM-II, 6th Printing, page 44. APA Document Reference No. 730008.

[8] Gay Conversion Therapy Is A Fraud, New Jersey Jury Says. HuffPost, June 25, 2015.

[9] Kloppenberg, James. (2010). Reading Obama. New Jersey: Princeton Press.

[10] Onishi, Norimitsu. Obama visits a nation that knew him as Barry, New York Times, November 8, 2010. Accessed on December 3, 2010.

[11] Sharma, Dinesh. (2012). Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia. Connecticut: Praeger.

[12] Obama, Barack. (1995). Dreams From My Father. New York: Three Rivers Press.

[13] Sharma, Dinesh. (2012). Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia. Connecticut: Praeger.

(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)



Categories: Asia Times News & Features, Southeast Asia

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  • Jay

    Tradition-upholding cultures, as those found in Asia and the Levant, often have a place for sexual “minorities,” but a place apart. Normalizing said groups is off the table, and understandably so.

    Much of the world has never forgotten, as the West has, that marriage is first and foremost about producing children, not simply rearing them. It is how the society projects itself, physically and culturally, into the future. Homosexual unions cannot produce children, and hence cannot ever be “equal” to heterosexual ones, which at least have the potential to do so.

    One might argue that in a racially/ethnically non-homogeneous society, such as the US, this view of marriage is inapplicable, as there are no common blood/cultural ties to be projected. Perhaps, but what does that say about the life expectancy of such a society?

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    First let me state that in my opinion the Supreme Court decision that supports “gay marriage” will not be accepted by a good deal of Americans. This decision cuts across 16 states who have banned gay marriage, and is one of a few issues that is causing a rift between state laws and Federal laws. The others being Obama’s “Amnesty” for illegal immigrants, to EPA regulations that the Obama administration has used to push Federal mandate over state laws. It is divisive at best and reason for secession at worst.
    Having stated that I give a brief synopsis of the American Gay movement. It began in New York when the “Stonewall riots’ occurred. These were riots by gays against the abuse of the New York Police against this community. This happened in the late 1960’s, which was also a time of the “Free Speech” movement, which began in Berkeley California, the “counter culture” movement, the “Feminist movement”, and even the “black militant movement”. This was an age of extreme social upheaval in the US.
    The Gay movement was led by men. Decades later, in the 1990’s the AIDS epidemic devastated the male Gay population, including many of the founding leaders. During the 1990’s the age of the Single family household started to define the American family. Mostly from the black community, women became heads of their family and black men became irrelevant (due to many reasons which go from Government policies to the inner city Ghetto culture). The AIDS epidemic put Lesbians, by and large, as the new leaders of the Gay movement in the US.
    Unlike their male counterparts, a Lesbian union can produce children, usually with the help of a male family member who would donate. It then became imperative that marriage is introduced or the children would not be “legitimate” in the eyes of society. Gay marriage is a necessity among Lesbian Unions but the American society still sees this as an intrusion into the traditional aspects of marriage.

  • Paul Kekai Manansala

    The views towards gays and women in the Philippines, where I grew up partially, are similar to those in Indonesia. It does give one a much different perspective than that of the average American kid at the time that Barack Obama was growing up (he’s about my age). Like him, I grew up partly in Asia, but mostly in the United States.

    Of course, even in Hawai’i, they have different attitudes towards gays or “mahus,” as they call them.

    The cultural push-back comes from the African American church, which has been hesitant to accept the idea of same sex marriage. In many ways, Obama began “adopting” African American culture during his high school days. He was little exposed to it before then from what I’ve read.

    He has always had a powerful desire to “fit” into the African American community, so the idea of pushing LGBT rights may have come hard for him at first as it may have been yet another thing that made him look “different” as compared to the “average” black person.

  • Jay

    A lesbian union is not “producing” children if a male has to be involved.

    By the same logic, a same-sex male union is “producing” a child when a female egg/womb donor participates.

    As for the single-head household increasingly defining the American family — this is a trend that has to be reversed.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Jay
    Not the same at all. the womb is the central aspect in a Lesbian Union. Both women have biological capacity to be mothers. the best a male to male union can do is use the womb of a woman. Neither male can bear a child. That is the power of being a mother. You also did not address the single family household which is primarily a female led household in the straight world.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Secondly the single family household is decades old.
    Government policy supported black families on the basis of the number of children they had. More children more welfare. it did not specify that these children have to come from one father. That negated the black man from being a father and the woman would have multiple partners. there is a term used long before gay marriage and that was to refer to black men as only “sperm donors”
    Then the gang culture fed by the drug culture and the devastation of AIDS hit the black community so hard that Grand mothers would raise grand children since a generation was lost. This went on for decades and no one did anything. Now you want it reversed? how?

  • Jay

    “Bearing” and “producing” are different things. Only a man/woman union can produce a child, even if the man’s presence only amounts to a few ccs of fluid.

    And I agree that motherhood is a power. A power that, tragically, more and more women are being programmed to demean and reject.

    As for the single parent trend, who wouldn’t want it reversed? How to reverse it? Changing government policy would be a good start.

  • IndiaRising

    In Philippines, similar to Indonesia: Non-commercial, homosexual relations between consenting adults in private are not a crime, although sexual conduct or affection that occurs in public may be subject to the “grave scandal” prohibition in Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code.

  • IndiaRising

    Same-sex marriage does not threaten birth rates or child-rearing, By Carlos A. Ball, March 25, 2013, http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/03/25/same-sex-marriage-does-not-threaten-birth-rates-or-child-rearing/

  • IndiaRising

    American Men’s and Gay Rights Movement: Timeline
    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0761909.html

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Jay
    Then the whole concept of marriage has to be discussed. without which a woman loses the legitimacy of her children, and the rights to property. A man does not lose anything in a union without a marriage. He can impregnate a woman and leave her.
    A traditional marriage requires the society to witness and acknowledge the contractual; union, and by that bind the man to his progeny and to be responsible in taking care of the woman. the exceptions being Polyandry where the woman marries many men. Even that is a process of keeping property rights under the woman, and the child is legitimized by the mother’s last name (not the many fathers).
    Polygamy where one man marries many women also is a legitimate marriage process. All of the above deals with thousands of years of tradition.
    The modern world that includes one family house holds. the right of women over their womb (as i eluded to in the :Feminist movement),the issue of divorce and remarriage have helped define or set new rules on the rights of women and the need to make legal a child that is born.

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    IndiaRising
    Before I go into that site you are dealing with 2 issues. The rights of American men took off mainly due to lopsided divorce proceedings where the husband loses a lot. American courts would generally give the children to the mother, and the husband has to pay alimony. then there is the issue of the division of property, where in many cases the wealth was made by the man but had to be divided in half after a divorce. Pre nuptial agreements play a part in keeping some balance, but that movement is not part of the gay movement.

  • IndiaRising

    Feminism Helped Pave the Way for Marriage Equality June 29, 2015 by Audrey Bilger; http://msmagazine.com/blog/2015/06/29/feminism-helped-pave-the-way-for-marriage-equality/

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    The Feminist movement of the late 1960’s in the US was a very broad issue. It covered.
    equal pay
    Rights of women in every aspect, including dress (epitomized by the burning of the bra)
    rights of women within marriage
    Rights of women over their reproduction, married or not. use of the pill. right to abortion, (married or not)

  • IndiaRising

    Gay marriage is ‘economic sense’ say Australian firms
    By Phil Mercer BBC News, Sydney. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-32655943

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Well good for Phil for I am not for that type of Marriage but I am not going to stand in their way.

  • Marriage has always been viewed more in contractual than romantic terms. Centuries ago it wasn’t love that instigated the union but rather a desire to increase ones holdings, money, land or perhaps even political influence. That’s not to say that couples never got together for love, but it was rare. It wasn’t romanticized till very later. Even in Victorian times people often got married because they were expected to start a family (especially women). And children were pretty much an after thought. Pretty much a hope to carry on the bloodline, and little else.

    My uncle was born in 1930. He knew he was gay from a very young age. When he came back from the army, as he tells it, he had a choice: Either go to San Francisco where a lot of gay people were heading to, or stay home and do what everyone expected of him. Get married and start a family. He chose the latter (like so many others in his situation), and he and his wife had six children. Eventually they did divorce. On his own, my uncle met his partner and they’ve been together for over 30 years (they were recently married in Florida). They’ve been together longer than the abysmal union that was my parents’ societally sanctioned marriage in which they were miserable so they made their kids miserable. I still carry scars from that union.

    So I have very little patience with this notion that gay couples are less deserving of the same legal rights that societies give hetero couples. The US as a nation and nations around the globe need to start growing up about issues such as this. My parents’ marriage had a much greater and much more negative impact on me than that of the union between my uncle and his partner. In fact, my uncle and his partner have showed more love than I ever saw expressed between my parents.

    Also, this ridiculous (and convenient) notion of marriage being for procreation: We live in amazing times. People can find all sorts of ways to procreate. If that were the only reason to marry, then infertile couples would not be allowed to marry. Senior couples would not be allowed to marry. Everyone can find a way to have children in their life, biological or otherwise. (Of course with every union, gay or straight, the question is, can they handle bringing a life into the world and not screwing it up?).

    I am incredibly proud of the way President Obama has handled this. He was not for gay marriage when he started out. But, as he is want to do, he thought about it, truly considering all the angles, and changed his attitude. That shows growth in my opinion.

    I agree with this author: Obama is a unique president in unique times. It is unfortunate that he had so much obstruction during his time as president cause if the other side had worked with him a bit, it would have been better for the country. But I deeply respect a man who is willing to change an attitude for the benefit of all.

  • sciteach123

    It is not marriage “equality” It is marriage perversion.

  • sciteach123

    Phony homosexual “marriage” is still a perversion of the term marriage.

  • IndiaRising
  • IndiaRising
  • Fernando Martinez

    America cannot continue to impose it’s culture on other people. Respect others views as well.

  • Fernando Martinez

    Gay lobbies around the world think this gives them a green light to ram the USSC’s through their own national courts. Many of these countries are profoundly religious and conservative, let America do as it wishes but stop the strongarming of other places. Enough.

  • Laura Enright

    So it’s a good thing no one is imposing its culture on other people in this regard. This is a global issue because homosexuality exists in all countries and through out time, like it or lump it. The people cause no harm, they simply want to live decent lives. That doesn’t sound that complicated until religion and antiquated and pathetic societal notions start oppressing people. That’s where the true shame lies.

    And no, on this issue, I have no respect for people who would oppress someone simply on the basis of their sexuality. Just as i would have no respect for someone or a nation oppressing people on the basis of their skin color or gender. It’s wrong.

    Again, not complicated.

  • Laura Enright

    As I stated, the world is going to have to start growing up about this issue. You’ve illustrated my point completely. Thank you.

  • Fernando Martinez

    Not complicated for you, you talk about how your feelings were hurt, but what about the feelings of those who have those “pathetic” beliefs. You cannot simply brush aside peoples beliefs, their sensibilities because you consider them….outmoded, outdated and not in vogue with whatever popculture is saying is “Cool’….Wally Brewster in Dominican Republic is doing this very thing. Agressively pushing the LGBT agenda in a conservative country, if it’s going to happen, let it happen naturally and gradually. You advocate it happening now, yesterday. When the reaction or backlash takes place, then people like you are the first one asking for that “respect and toleration” groups like yours seldom show others. Wake up Laura, don’t be a fanatic. Your hearts in the right place, but enough with this social engineering under threat of sanction. Your supporting bullyboy tactics, be well.

  • Fernando Martinez

    The run of the mill gay person who lives their life as you say is cool. It’s the activist, the provocateur, the agitator who like I said wants to ram their lifestyle onto others, the over the top marches, the half naked displays, the taunting. That is oppression, that is subjugating others to bully them into what you/they believe. Not cool and very unfair, your becoming the strangler of liberty and the cause of misery in others who simply want to live “their lives”……

  • Laura Enright

    So…if someone has the belief that blacks are inferior, I’m to say nothing, correct? After all, I wouldn’t want to “brush aside peoples beliefs.” Or how about people who say that women should be hidden away. Say nothing is your advice?

    Now in some parts of the world, gays can be imprisoned, tortured or killed for being gay. You’re good with that then, huh? We certainly wouldn’t want to upset anyone in these countries by speaking out for the gay victims, would we? Enlighten me, what part of that sick attitude toward other human beings should I show “respect and toleration” to?

    This has nothing to do with pop culture saying anything is “cool” and to try to boil it down to that is really quite oblivious to the point (again, it’s biology). These are human beings who are doing nothing wrong. They have suffered for centuries because of…yes, pathetic beliefs that need to be changed and yes, I do advocate it happening now because, well as I just stated, the bigotry has been going on for centuries. Let it happen naturally and gradually? How much more gradual can it be. These people have been looking for marriage equality for decades. You can call me a fanatic all you want, that doesn’t make those bigotted beliefs any less wrong.

    Or perhaps your an advocate of always lowering the bar in social issues that affect people’s lives.

    And out of curiosity, who has suggested “threat of sanctions” if countries don’t stop discriminating against LGBT? Social engineering: If a country says its okay to rape woman, would my insisting that it isn’t make me guilty of attempting “social engineering” or am I just calling out for justice? If you can’t tell the difference on that, than there’s not much that can be said.

    Also, can you enlighten me as to where I talk about my feelings being hurt over this issue? I don’t remember that being part of the discussion.

    Also, you’re claiming Wally Brewster is aggressively pushing the LGBT agenda in the Dominican Republic. Can you cite examples of what you’re talking about? Or is it because Brewster happens to be gay and was chosen as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic?

    And in essence, isn’t the Wally Brewster case proving my point? We have an ambassador who happens to be gay who has been very disrespected by people in the country he’s been sent to be an ambassador of. He hasn’t done anything wrong, hasn’t caused harm to anyone. He’s simply gay. That’s his sin.

    As I say, time to grow up.

  • Laura Enright

    American gay lobbies around the world? Or gays in the countries of their birth trying to change the way those countries treat them? How is that wrong if gays in Uganda (or any country) try to get their government to stop brutalizing them? Oh my goodness, how terrible! You’re right, they should immediately stop and accept their lot as oppressed peoples. We wouldn’t want to upset the profoundly religious and conservative would we? Though, it’s good to remember, homosexuality is biological. Religion is philosophical. The latter can be changed and should be when those views cause harm to others.

  • Laura Enright

    “It’s the activist, the provocateur, the agitator who like I said wants to ram their lifestyle onto others, the over the top marches, the half naked displays, the taunting.”

    Ah! so the stereotype, you’re referring to.

    First of all, most activists are trying to stop discrimination against gays. They’re no more trying to ram their lifestyle onto others as heterosexuals are ramming their lifestyles onto others when they allow their kids to run around all over the place. They just don’t want their sexual orientation to be responsible for the denial of basic rights. It is a shame that in 2015 activists still have to try to make sure gays are protected against discrimination, but what can you do?

    The provocateur? Something tells me that anyone who expresses a defense for gay people would be considered a provocateur by you. The agitator…again, anyone trying to get basic and decent treatment would be considered an agitator by you if it upset the status quo of discrimination against gays.

    As for the over the top marches and half naked displays…that happens (kind of like when heterosexual idiots go to Mardi Gras and act the fool). Should I hold all Catholics responsible for the stupidity of some of their drunken brethren in a St. Patrick Day parade (and is that parade oppressing me because I disagree with honoring a man who was responsible for the death of the pre-Christian Irish culture)? Again, to boil this issue down to some acts at a gay pride parade is just astonishing to me. You have people who are being beaten in certain countries with or without the governments okay. You have people who are discriminated against adopting children. Discriminated against housing. jobs. ect. And you’re telling me about half naked displays at parades by idiots (and all groups, by the way, contain idiots)? Really?

  • Rafasa Arandas

    Do most Asians truly support homosexuality? I would rather think not, many Asian families even in the West are extremely conservative about these issues….

  • Fernando Martinez

    Your mixing in different issues that have nothing to do with each other, Wally is a hardcore activist who is pushing, ramming down… his agenda on a people who have constantly said “leave us alone”. He’s not even a real diplomat, he bought his commission. Ooooooooh corruption………..
    The point is always the same the “exceptional nation” simply wants to continously impose itself on the others.
    All the things you’ve stated have validity if done for the right reason, but not when it’s in the USA’s imperial, social engineering agenda, nation building garbage, conquering hearts and minds swill, bringing democrazy, promoting “Human rights”, supporting the bubble gum pop culture LGBT mania….
    Now your telling the world to simply “grow up”?
    I’ll grow up as soon as you do Laura.
    Peace out.

  • 12banjo

    The New Testament says women are “easily deceived”–which is why conservative religion does not include a female priesthood. Looks like that’s how gay marriage was foisted on the US, through the tyranny of a few credulous females.

    And shortly, bigamy will be decriminalized, and polygamy the new fad. Traditional marriage has always protected women in particular from the predations of males…now soon that protection will disappear.

  • 12banjo

    I’m looking forward to the spectacle of masses of gay divorces…and the younger man taking the older queen for all he’s worth…

  • IndiaRising

    7 Times Indians Had The Perfect Response To US Supreme Court’s Marriage Equality Ruling

    http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2015/06/27/marriage-equality-india_n_7676714.html

  • Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha

    Being very frank the male gay movement was to get away from the traditional aspects of marriage. it was the male version of the “Feminist movement”. males could do what they wanted with no consequences. any diseases then were dealt with penicillin. S e x was a nice word, not a dirty word. For males there was no issue of pregnancy. that changed due to A1DS. If not for that, the male version of this movement had no reason for legalized marriage.

    the Kinsey report stated that over 75% of the male Gays came from marriages. they were married men, many with children who then decided to switch.
    Now yes. Just as in the straight world opportunistic unions will be even more common. I am not looking forward to so much pain and misery on so many older people who will end up with a terrible situation. I would not want to wish that on anyone.

  • Laura Enright

    No, actually I’m using examples of discrimination to illustrate how wrong you were in our statement, “You cannot simply brush aside peoples beliefs, their sensibilities because you consider them….outmoded, outdated and not in vogue with whatever popculture is saying” People who tend to discriminate said the same thing when others tried to get them to stop calling blacks inferior and they say the same thing now when people try to get them to stop treating women as inferior. They use the excuse, “Oh, it’s our culture. It’s our faith. It’s our sensibilities” to ignore the harm they are doing to those they are oppressing.

    You accuse the US of social engineering all the while ignoring the many gay people in your own country who just want security and equality and the chance to be who they are (and not to have to worry that they’ll be found wanting because of their sexual preference). Yet you brush their concerns off as some sort of brain washing implanted by the evil, “imperial” USA. If you want to blame the US, by all means do. I’m proud of my country for this if that’s the case. But make no mistake, this isn’t an American thing, this is a human thing and perhaps gays around the world are inspired by what’s going on in the US, but that fire was always there, in each one, in each of their respective countries.

    To the point of Wally Brewster, I asked you quite specifically to cite examples of your charges against him, yet in response you simply level another charge against him, “He bought his commission.” You offer no citations or examples of how this man is pushing a gay agenda as ambassador for the US, yet I’m supposed to take on face value your words, a man who obviously has an agenda of his own that he’s pushing. So it comes down to this: Assuming there is a “gay” agenda being pushed, which is the more negative agenda: One that is pushing for fairness and equality for everyone in society (the “gay agenda”), or one that is pushing for discrimination (yours)?

    Sadly, when it comes to growing up, I fear you may never grow up. Perhaps you will surprise me though. In the meantime, I hope the rest of the world does on this issue. People’s lives depend on it.

  • johnschuh

    Sweden has been the darling of socialists for many decades. Yet it is at bottom one vast tribal society. Just see what problems they have with the immigrants they take in.

  • johnschuh

    Because gays do not married in large numbers. But they do encourage the idea of the childless society. Gays here have pointed up for years the similarity of gay couples and childless straight couples, and the “unfairness”of treating differently the two groups of sterile couples.

  • johnschuh

    Children, like it or not, are the basis for the continuation of a society. Liberals are so future oriented but their choosing not to have children means the end of a natural increase in the population and the perpetuation of their culture.

  • johnschuh

    Oh, but it is. There are radical differences in human cultures, and history tells us that people are inclined to impose their cultural values, their “gods” so to speak.

  • johnschuh

    The gay activists are trying to use the law to bludgeon into submission anyone who disagrees with or does like them. They will not tolerate the Christian notions of sexual sin, or the Christian idea of family. The way they have been able to persuade the public that being gay is like being black, this despite the fact that much of the prejudice against blacks comes from their physical appearance. Blacks who look African suffer color discrimination, while those who look white can actually pass into the white population. A gay person is judged by his sexual behavior. He literally has to call attention go himself to be discriminated against.

  • johnschuh

    You say that homosexuality is biological, but where is the proof of that? We do not know the physical cause of it.

  • johnschuh

    Every “tribe” in human history has regarded its own to be preferable to others, and to be most tolerant of those most like their own. Extensive intermarriage tends to increase tolerance. For instance where Christians whose family members marry Jews.

  • Laura Enright

    Did you know that if prior to their legal marriage, if the partner of my uncle wanted to be involved in any of his end of life legal proceedings, he’d have no right to it? Despite having been with the man, in a spousal situation, for four decades (again, longer than the nightmare that was my parents marriage). So…prior to gay marriage (marriage being basically a contract) if my uncle became sick and need to be hospitalized, the man who has been with him, for 40 YEARS, would have no say in what happens to him. If they were a legally sanctioned hetero marriage, that would be fine. My mom, divorced from my dad in 1987, would have more say if something happened to my dad, than my uncles’s partner would have if something happened to my uncle.

    You’re okay with the man who has loved my uncle being denied access to him at the end of his life (and I pray that never happens) because of the gay marriage thing? See, because of access to the right of marriage, now they don’t have to worry.

    Yes, my uncle could have passed for straight. In fact, for many years he did (remember how I said he came back from the war wondering if he should cut ties to his family and move to San Francisco or marry as everyone expected him to do). He was married to a woman, had six children. I’m sure he was very good to his wife and he absolutely adored his children, but it is completely sad that he was put in that situation.

    Yeah, you’re right. He had to call attention to himself. My parents, by the time I was born, weren’t even sleeping in the same room. By the time I was 10, they were barely speaking to each other (made even worse by the alcoholism). As rotten as my parents were to each other and to their kids, if they kissed on the corner, no one would say word one. (Well I might be completely shocked knowing the vast level of hatred they had for each other). But if my uncle and his partner kissed, there’d be a huge deal made about it. Do you honestly think that’s fair? If my uncle and his partner wanted to move into together (rent an apartment), there might be some question.

    It would be nice if life was as simple as you try to make it, but it isn’t.

    I will admit, I have not concern for the Christian idea of family.I was raised a Catholic. I saw the error of that when i was 14 (it helped that Catholicism was against divorced when I knew that everyone in my family would be happy if my parents did divorce). I renounced Catholicism and never looked back. Because of my experience living in a two parent family, I know that noting is guaranteed.

    And, Johnschuh, you realize there are countries where homosexuality is a crime punishable by prison term or death riight? Do you honestly think that’s okay? My uncle (I use him as an example a lot) fought for his country. Hes paid taxes to support his country all this time. Do you think if his country suddenly decided to punish him for being homosexual (which has had no bearing on anyone else) that’s okay? Let me ask you: If a homosexual couple lived down the street from you, would it really impact you? I can tell you the impact that my parents’ heterosexual union had on me (it was costly, I assure you, as I had to fix all the things they broke in their children since they were as damaged as they were). But really, you have to ask yourself (and taking religion out of it…which I could have a huge debate with you on if you insist) how has people who are homosexuality negatively impacted you? My guess is that there has been none (I don’t want to assume, but really…).

    Here’s where my uncle might call attention to himself: When he wants his partner to make life decisions for him that any spouse (hetersexual) would be allowed to make but because the union between my uncle and partner wasn’t accepted, they have to take their chances. How would you feel in that situation? I love my uncle’s partner. I know he has nothing but the best interest of my uncle in his heart; As I say I’ve seen more love between those two then I ever saw between my parents. So you think it’s okay that the “spouse” that has stayed by my uncle’s side for 40 years be kicked to the curb because they’re union isn’t sanctified? Somehow, and I could be wrong, but somehow I don’t think you’d agree with that. It’s a fairness issue.

  • IndiaRising

    Gay and Childless Couples are the Happiest. The Rubin Report.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERt4gwf_GiI

  • IndiaRising
  • No it really isn’t. But people make it complicated. There have been many attitudes that have changed over time because people have realized how destructive they are. It is possible.

  • Show me the proof that heterosexuality is biological.

  • johnschuh

    But you beg the question. Are all attitudes equally right? The gay rights movement is founded on the rejection of the idea of a universal human nature. Therefore all cultures are equally valuable, Yet history tells us that people naturally divide into tribal groupings and then assert that their own tribe is to be preferred before others. Call this racism. Now sometimes religion becomes the basis of “tribalism,” or what is called sectarianism, but just as under racism there is the feeling of a kind of moral superiority. Our way is right; your way is wrong. We refuse to submit to OUR will but we will make YOU submit to ours.

  • But in terms of “tribalism” you forget, there are universal beliefs held by all humanity (as a whole. Of course there are individuals who want to do things differently). Thou Shalt Not Kill was not invented by the Jews. It existed in all cultures before then and has been refined over time.

    Humanity has evolved in its thinking over time on certain issues. At one time owning slaves was not questioned at all. It took a long time, but we are now at a place where, globally, slavery is considered wrong. Of course there are those countries who still need to evolve and have no problem with slavery of one form or another. But generally, the idea that slavery is the harming of another individual so it’s wrong. At one time women could be stoned to death if they were raped. Generally, we’ve moved beyond that (sadly I believe the notion still exists in some cultures). The same with discrimination. There is legal discrimination globally in some countries. Does that make it right? Is it right to hold someone down on the basis of something physical that they have no say in? Are we to lower the bar because there are bigotted countries in the world and we shouldn’t criticize the cruel parts of their culture, or do we raise the bar and insist that other countries stop hurting a segment of their population? I raised the question before to Fernando: There are countries where gay people can be tortured, imprisoned and killed. Their being gay has not harmed anyone, but they’re being brutalized for it by their own fellow countryfolk (ironically, in countries that profess to be Christian despite the fact that their saviour, Jesus Christ, told us to love our neighbors). Are we simply to ignore this? At one time in Germany, per the culture, Jews (and members of other groups) were sent to interment camps and later killed. It became culturally acceptable even before that to discriminate against Jews. Again, are to say, oh that’s fine. That’s just Germany’s culture. If a cultural attitude does harm to people, then that attitude needs to go. Minds need to evolve on the issue. This is a human thing that goes beyond cultures.

  • johnschuh

    The only reason why your uncle’s friend –and that is what he was-being denied a role in his care was because your uncle did not make legal provision for this. That may not have been simple, perhaps, but no more so, than say, working out the terms of a prenuptial agreement.

    But obviously, like justice Kennedy, you see “love” as the central issue.
    By that you mean personal affection. But marriage law is not based on personal affection nor even solely on the notion co consent but the common good of society. The common good on which the law focuses is the bearing and raising of children and the inheritance of property. The Code of Hammurabbi which dates back 4000 years and which is carved on a black stone now found in the Louve is mainly about marriage law. It is not a religious code, and marriage is defined in terms of children and inheritance because of the importance of such an institution to the continuation of the King’s empire. The sexual morality of that time was extremely permissive, far more so than that of the Hippie culture of our time, Yet the king saw how central marriage was to its continuence. Even Kennedy defers to this fact but he thinks this we

    must not only tolerate but privilege the position of homosexual couples. So now we are getting this affirmative action moment which brands all opposition to HIS opinion as disruptive of good order. This moment, like the whole gay rights movements, rides piggy-back on the race problem in the United States.

    There is nothing, IMHO, more of a false analogy, to compare the predicament of gays under the law with that of the blacks. Racial intermarriage was not allowed BECAUSE a mixed race couple COULD produce children, and as I have argued above, children have always been central to the institution of marriage. If you remember the story of “Fiddler on the Roof,” a Jewish woman who fell in love with a Christian” was cast out of the Jewish community. Under the miscegenation laws, the same fate befell a white woman who dare have a child by a black man. The same principle applied. Love conquers all? Not sexual love.That has never been the judgement of mankind.

  • johnschuh

    You use the concept of right. WHO decides what is right? On what grounds Back in the 1850s the British were negotiating a treaty with the Turkish Sultan and as a condition demand the suppression of the African slave trade. Out of expediency, the Sultan agreed, even though that trade was large. Muslims simply have no principled reason for opposing slavery. You say we are now at the point of regarding slavery as wrong. You assume that this is now a settled matter? But history tells us that there are cycles: regressions as well as progressions.

  • johnschuh

    Human beings are animals. The sexual urge in humans is not limited to seasons; we bred like rodents.

  • Humanity as a whole. Just as humanity, as a whole, did with slavery, women’s right etc. And yes, as a whole, humanity is at a point were slavery is regarded as wrong. But if you read what I wrote, I acknowledge that ever country is on board with that idea. It is an evolution. Just as we evolved on other issues.

    You’re the one stuck on the idea that one country deciding this for another. I’m talking about humanity as a whole. Yes, there are cycles of regressions and progressions. We are in a cycle of progression. We should encourage it. I’ll ask again then, are you suggesting we say nothing when a group of people are being harmed?

  • Too simplistic. Indeed, we are animals and we have sexual urges, but we are able to control them. We also fall in love for any number of reasons. Not every couple breeds, also.

  • And you prove my point. When my parents were married, my father didn’t have to make legal provisions for my mother if he died or was hospitalized. That’s implied in the contract of marriage that was denied to my uncle and his partner. Essentially, they shouldn’t have to make extra legal provisions.

    As for marriage and marriage law, some form of marriage (or commitment) has existed throughout history. Long before this King you speak of ordained it. People married for all sorts of reasons, often to unite lands. Children were important, but not the only reason. And sometimes marriage involved many people.

    Things are different now and as I have stated a gay couple can produce children. But to that point, we do not discount the marriage of a senior couple who decide to get married even though they can’t have children, do we? We don’t deny the right to marry (and all the legal protections it entails) to an infertile couple, do we? If a couple decides not have children, we don’t insist they divorce.

    The child issue is no longer important in terms of marriage. So that shouldn’t even be a consideration.

  • johnschuh

    Why do you think we are in a progressive cycle? The 20th century was in many respects the worst in human history.

  • johnschuh

    Marriage was indeed centered in inheritance and the best way to insure an orderly transfer of title was to fix it in the natural heirs. This is why monarchy became hereditary, why queens were so much a part of the process. The birthing of a royal heir was a public event. Lots of witnesses to make sure that no one slipped in a ringer. All of which Hammurabi had in mind. What worked for him also worked for any household with property. Plus it fixed a responsibility on the Dad for any kids he produced. Provide for them. sell them, whatever. Keep everything shipshape.

    Now you have a point about the products of artificial insemination. Used to be that animal husbandry was could be applied to humans. Now anything goes, in large part because the abortion right has lessened our respect for human offspring and, of course, reduced the number of children for adoption. The toe bone is connected to the head bone.

  • johnschuh

    The fact that we have urges is biological. The urge to mate with a woman often leads to offspring; the urge to mate with a man is not more fruitful than mating with a sex toy.

  • Laura Enright

    Yes, that adds to my point. We need to take advantage of this energy and, as a species (not one country trying to social engineer) grow up about this issue. (and I believe we have other issues to grow up about, but this issue is germane to the topic of the article).

  • Laura Enright

    And while I’m at it, (cause I think I’m going to dive out of this soon), I do want to thank you for an interesting discussion regarding this topic. It’s been a pleasure to discuss without hyperbole or crassness. 🙂

  • Laura Enright

    Oh please. The old and new testament says a lot of crap. That doesn’t make it the case.

  • Laura Enright

    Well, 12banjo, I can tell you that my uncle’s marriage which had 30 years prior to their legal marriage won’t be divorcing soon. But really, keep on with your negativity. Cause that’s what the world needs. More lousy, negativity in it.

  • Laura Enright

    And that’s true. But there is no guarantee that a man meeting a woman will lead to offspring. As I say, we don’t instantly demand a revocation of the marriage license if the couple hasn’t reproduced for whatever reason. And quite frankly, that shouldn’t be the basis of it. I am from a union where the couple had four children and weren’t the best of parents. If you ask me, rather than this hue and cry over gay marriage, we should be encouraging people around the world to take more care in their reproduction. Be sure you can handle bringing another life into the world cause it’s not fair to that other life if you aren’t equipped to handle it.

    And mating isn’t behind the urge for one man to have sex with another because unless they’re completely stupid, I would guess they know that reproduction is not going to happen in their coupling. It is love. It is something beyond that urge with lower animal species possess. It’s kind of ironic. Many religions, especially Christianity which fights this so hard, insists on one man one woman. They’ll invoke the whole “sex must be for procreation” as if we were all animals, yet completely ignore how often, among the lower animals, sex has no part in monogamy. Every sexual cycle a female will be “serviced” by a different male.

    The bottom line is that there is something more to unions among humans and that needs to be honored.

  • 12banjo

    I’ll bet you don’t like that Sodom and Gomorrah thing. But you don’t have anything against forcing Boy Scouts to march in Orgy Parades–maybe you were handing out the penis-shaped water bottles? Ugh.

  • johnschuh

    Energy can be misdirected. Back in the early part of the 20th century, the KKK built on the energy of the reconciliation between the North and South, which led to the increase in racial segregation. We forget that the KKK was highly respected middle-class movement to whom figures like Margaret Sanger appealed in his efforts to vilify foreigners and political radicals. Indiana and Oregon, not the Deep South were the most important centers of the KKK.

  • Laura Enright

    Actually I don’t believe that Sodom and Gomorrah thing ever happened. But I have no idea what you’re talking about Boy Scouts forced to march in Orgy Parades. Are you saying this happened and if so can you explain the example you used and cite some sources on the story?

    And for that matter, are you capable of debating intelligently? Ugh indeed.

  • Laura Enright

    People against marriage equality fixate on this notion of children. These are different times. Marriage equality doesn’t mean that suddenly people are going to stop having children. And the right to an abortion has hardly reduced the number of children for adoption.

    Indeed, natural (or blood) heirs were a good way to assure inheritances were passed down, but they weren’t the only way. Often children were adopted to ensure it was passed down. It was indeed a legal contract (one that we have romanticized over the generations). But whatever marriage meant 4,000, 2,000, even 200 hundred years ago, things are different now. Women, for example, have many more rights afforded to them then thousands of years ago. For example, they don’t lose the house or have it passed down to their eldest son when their husband dies. Should we return to a time when they did? (Of course I know there are some men who say “Yes!”)

    Now, children are not seen as important, at least in a secular society, to a healthy union (of course religious denominations might think differently). I don’t know of any marriage license (again, a marriage license issued by the state, not a marriage ceremony conducted by a religious order) that tells the couple they must be able and willing to have children before they can be granted the contract of marriage. I know it is different with Catholicism, for example, where the couple are asked if they plan to have children (and in fact their relatives are also grilled on that as my mom and I were when my brother wanted to get married. BTW, they never had children.)

    So if we’re going to fixate on a marriage producing children, and use that as a reason to deny marriage equality, then we must question all marriages out there that have never produced children. And as I’ve said before, then all those marriages must be invalidated and the couple lose their legal rights.

  • johnschuh

    Any discussion of marriage must focus on marriage just as any discussion of agriculture must focus on land. The institution would not exist if children did not exist as a result of procreation. The institution would not exist if families did not exist, but long ago it was established that the welfare of the family depended on its natural offspring and the commitment of the father to them. The heart of a marriage is that commitment. Even a lion has commitment to his brood, and none to the brood of a rival whom he has overthrown to take over the pride. Humans have the same inclination, but marriage aims to strengthen not only his commitment to his own but to any issue of his women. Marriage civilizes men. It creates rights for women and children.

  • Laura Enright

    I disagree. In 2015 children are not considered as necessary to a marriage. (And by the way, marriage does not guarantee commitment to the brood on the part of the parents. My dad had really very little commitment to his brood. My mom did most of the hunting and gathering. A woman whose husband owns what could be a thriving business (if he did it right) should not have to pack staples at night to make sure she has money for the kids. And I know many a child who had little commitment from either mother or father. It’s a nice fantasy, but not always a reality. Ask a woman whose husband beats her how civilized marriage has made her husband. And in the past it created little in the way of rights for women and children who were considered the property of the man and the man could do with them as he wished. And sadly there are countries where you can still find this awful idea). Plus, procreation existed before the institution of marriage. People didn’t just drown their children or something because they were produced before marriage became a thing. So one can exist without the other.

    But you still ignore my point. Are you suggesting that all marriages of people who haven’t or are incapable of producing children should be made invalid?

  • johnschuh

    I am not saying that children are necessary to a marriage, but the existence of children is necessary to institution of marriage. Kennedy basically reduced it to an affectionate relationship which has always been called simply “friendship.” Sex is not necessary to friendship. It is incidental even in many longstanding homosexual relationships.

    As for the civilizing effects of marriage, please look at the incidence of boy-friends beating up on women. Something always to keep in mind: men by and large are physically stronger then women, and the fact of domestic violence being what it is, the law is much more sympathetic of a wife beaten buy a husband than a woman being beaten by a lover. You may think the opposite but the weight of evidence is against that.

  • johnschuh

    I didn’t see the last sentences. The institution of marriage has developed around the need of society to take care of children. This is an historic fact. Infertile couples is a question that has been taken up by casuists with modest success, but it is best resolved by this: it depends on the capacities of the parties. Men and women couples who have intercourse have children but not all. No homosexual couples who have intercourse produce children. Two different ven diagrams.

  • IndiaRising
  • IndiaRising
  • Laura Enright

    “As for the civilizing effects of marriage, please look at the incidence of boy-friends beating up on women. Something always to keep in mind: men by and large are physically stronger then women, and the fact of domestic violence being what it is, the law is much more sympathetic of a wife beaten buy a husband than a woman being beaten by a lover. You may think the opposite but the weight of evidence is against that.”

    At one time, when police were called to a case of domestic violence, they often just left never once arresting the man. (That’s why you have women’s shelters. It isn’t that simple as the law being much more sympathetic to a wife than a lover). Times have changed, rightfully so. But as I say, there is no guarantee. And an attitude of lower tolerance for the husband beating a wife, as opposed to the man beating his girlfriend, doesn’t stop the husband from beating his wife (and doesn’t stop some cultures from allowing it). Marriage has very little to do with that now and as recently as decades ago, marriage gave men carte blanche to do as he would with his wife.

    As for children: Children aren’t now nor have they ever been necessary to the institution of marriage. They might have been one factor for it, but they weren’t necessary. A couple can take part in the legal contract of marriage or the ritual of marriage never intending to have sex. Yes, at one time it depended on the couple and the family that couple was from. Those restrictions are gone. You can have two people marry who never intend to have sex. You can have two people marry for purely financial reasons. My own parents, yes got married and had sex. That eventually stopped after my younger brother was born. They remained married, never sleeping with each other after that, because the marriage had soured so. They stayed together for financial reasons (or at least my mom did because at the time it was hard for a woman to leave a marriage and support four kids. When she finally did get divorced, she couldn’t even get a credit card cause she had no credit history. All the bills had been in my dad’s name, even though toward the second half of the marriage, she was the one making the payments). I know of other people who are still married yet don’t even live together (they remain married because the wife can still get access to the husband’s health insurance).

    So sex is not necessary to a marriage either. That’s a fact. Marriage, as we have discussed, is a contract between two people that doesn’t necessarily insist on a promise of sex or children.

    Unions are complicated. Marriage is complicated. People are complicated. One couple’s reasons for being together may not

  • johnschuh

    What you are describing is a friendship. Marriage law centers on the necessity of providing for the raising of the next generation.

  • Laura Enright

    Nope. If that were the case, again, all unions that are registered under the contract of marriage that can not or do not produce children would be struck down as invalid. Actually, they would not even be allowed to be married (unless they lied to get married, then they could be caught for contempt of court). I’ve yet to hear of any senior couple, for example, told that they can not get married because they can’t produce children. It doesn’t work that. Marriage is a contract between two people. A business deal.

  • johnschuh

    The traditional legal test of validity has included its “consummation.” King married queen, but then he must take her to bed and in the presence of witnesses have sex with her. When male and female mate, there is always potential for offspring but actuation requires penetration.

  • Laura Enright

    You keep dancing around the issue by bringing up the past. (And very frequently, consummation was a cultural thing). And at one time, women were chattel and kids not much more. Times have changed. Thankfully. So again, it has little bearing on what we know to the legal contract of marriage today (and that includes having little bearing on heterosexual marriage) because consummation is not a requirement to being married, no is having kids. So if a heterosexual couple can’t be denied marriage on the basis of whether or not they’re going to have kids (whether they can or are infertile due to illness or age), then that shouldn’t be a consideration in the issue of gay marriage.