Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is the Definition of Marriage?

Here's the video from the exchange between Perez Hilton and Dennis Prager on CNN's Larry King Live. As noted at Political Vindication, "This one’s not really a contest from the get go ... Prager has command of the issue while Hilton looks a bit like a minor leaguer getting his first start in the majors":

Prager exclaims:

Every religious and nonreligious tradition, every major moral thinker in history, not one of them in any tradition has ever advocated for changing the definition of marriage to same sex.
And he also says:

I want gays to have every right. However, redefining marriage is not called for.
That's the key point, by the way. Not simply "civil rights" (which gays enjoy), but the interchangeability of language. Prager hammers Hilton on precisely this issue, and he held himself up quite well; while Hilton responded with same stale talking points from radical gay marriage ayatollahs.

Anyway, as
I've blogged the gay marriage debate endlessly for months, let me link to what others are saying:

Laura from
Pursuing Holiness is debating Robert Stacy McCain at The Green Room. See, respectively, "Let Gays Have Marriage; We’re Not Using It," and "‘Forbidding to Marry’ (Reply to Laura)."

Cynthia Yockey's commenting on the indomitable Jean Prejean, and she links to Becky C.'s essay, "The Essential Republican Gay Strategy" (note that this blog was flagged with a Blogger content warning, perhaps for Becky's post, "A Gay and Libertarian Republican Restoration "). Click through to some of these posts for a glimpse into the Meghan McCain program of "Twenty-First Century Conservatism," which, frankly, I can do without.

Also, check out
Little Miss Attila's thoughtful post, "Okay. Gay Rights, Gay Marriage," and the link to Darleen Click's post, "Thought Crime" (on the Hilton/Prager exchange).

Also, with reference to Perez Hilton's argument that interracial couples previously couldn't marry, see my early post, "
Gay Marriage is Not a Civil Right."


The Vegas Art Guy said...

Wow, that was interesting. I wonder if Larry King knew that Prager would do so well and set up Perez in an ambush?

AmPowerBlog said...

It was good, Vegas Guy!

Tim said...

A gossip columnist out of his league. Not surprising.

The issue will go on, the definition will eventually change. I have no issue with being patient now. It's a force of nature that will eventually be realized. It's pretty much a done deal.

Except in Islamic countries, of course.

JBW said...

First Tim, you're right. This guy (who incidentally I don't know shit about) is some kind of gossip columnist who has been thrust into the spotlight of this debate and probably has never had to defend his views to anyone more intelligent than Paris Hilton's bodyguard. You want a real, educated intellectual to weigh in? Seat Andrew Sullivan across from Prager and watch him pick him apart.

That said, marriage has been redefined several times over the centuries. Wives were at one time the property of their husbands, with dowries thrown in to sweeten the deal. At certain times marriage between the races was indeed forbidden and at others marriage to more than one wife was socially acceptable. Even now, people marry for business arrangements, citizenry rights and oftentimes just stupidly as a lark.

Prager is right in that men and women are different, but he's also wrong in saying that there is no corollary difference between the races. Different races are more or less susceptible to different diseases and genetic conditions (the fact that he says that these differences are "invalid" does not make it so), just as men and women are each better suited to the roles that evolutionary biology has laid out for them.

Prager says that society recognizes civil marriages yet clings to his belief that it somehow must define marriage strictly by religious guidelines. I say let any two people marry each other in a civil ceremony with all of the attendant rights and privileges that society grants that institution, and then let those two people decide for themselves (outside of the legal proscriptions of society at large) what exactly they want to do in the eyes of their religion, or lack thereof.

Now as a single, hetero atheist I'm not subject to any of these hangups or loopholes in religious dogma so I'm free to saunter down to my local watering hole to pick up the piece of ass du jour, and I do as often as I can. USA! USA!

DFS said...

And he also says:

I want gays to have every right. However, redefining marriage is not called for.That's the key point, by the way.It seems to me that gay marriage is somewhat inevitable, given the current debate. The problem I see is that it will be difficult to accede that gays should have civil rights, can have their own on-line hook-up sites, their own olympics, etc. - but then not cave to their last demand. Once you've accepted the gay lifestyle as mainstream, the next generation will have no reason to even question the morality of it.

It would seem to me that the only intellectually honest argument against homosexuality is to say it is hurtful to society, the people doing it, those that see it, and does affect heterosexual marriage.

However, I didn't see that in this debate. Prager says gays should have every right. And he was talking about civil unions. If homosexuality is wrong, then they shouldn't have civil unions, because it would damage society.

So which is it? Is homosexuality simply morally bankrupt and as such we should (as a society) not tolerate the gay parades, olympics, hook-up sites, and civil unions. Or is it ok for some and does no real damage to society as a whole?