tml> Is Same-Sex Marriage Good for the Nation?
  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Arline Isaacson] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
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Is Same-Sex Marriage Good for the Nation?
 
Closing Statements

Arline: Thank you, Brenna, John, Mike for putting this together. And this audience, you all came out on a Friday night. Don’t you have lives? [audience laughter] Thank you. Thank you for caring enough and finding this interesting enough and for being good enough to share this with us. This is a terribly important question that we’re discussing this eveing. It’s an issue that affects the lives of millions of Americans, an issue which will not go away anytime in the near future, and I think anytime. So is same-sex marriage good for the nation? Well, you obviously know what I think on that matter. But actually have thought all through this that the debate should have been called, is it bad for the nation? Those who wish to deny someone a freedom, a privilege, that the vast majority are born into, should as I said earlier, always carry the burden of proof to explain why a group shouldn’t be granted equality under the law. Obviously I think same-sex marriage is good for a lot of citizens in this nation. Obviously I think John would even agree with that. Did I say “same-sex”? Sorry. Obviously I think same-sex marriage is good for a lot of citizens in this nation. People who work hard, pay their taxes, volunteer for charities, have kids and struggle like all of us to live caring lives of compassion and decency, they need, they deserve a fair equal set of legal protections, rights and benefits just like anyone else. I believe that if a thing is good for the citizens of this nation, then it is good for this nation, period. One cannot say that marriage is good for heterosexual couples and society, and then say that it would somehow be bad to spread that goodness around. A lot of folks who are uncomfortable around gay people really believe that we are essentially unstable. Some believe we’re not monogamously inclined enough. It’s not true, but let’s say for the moment that it were true. Why then wouldn’t those who bemoan our lack of character and stability, literally push us into the institution that provides it? In what specific way is this nation better off when it helps to stabilize the family of Bob and Mary and their kids, when their family suffers in times of emergency, crisis and grief, but destabilize Sue and Mary and their family when they face the same situation. I’ve heard a lot of philosophy tonight, but not as many specific answers as I had hoped, about what practical purpose is served by denying us this right or this law or these laws. About who benefits and who is hurt. Mostly who benefits by denying us these laws. The courts have upheld an absolute, unrestricted freedom to marry for fathers who run out on their wives and dodge child support, for people who’ve been divorced over and over and over again, for prisoners including those on death row, for people who are insane. History is full of majorities who have had to, after long and painful discussion, and sometimes after terrible violence, have had to share with others the security and the privileges that they really would like to keep for themselves. But in this country we push ahead all the time towards freedom and equality. And in this matter it will be no different. [audience applause]

John: Arline, thank you so much. I have started this evening with a positive argument about yes to marriage. I’ve not said one ad hominem thing or made any caricature of any homosexual in any capacity. That is not my agenda.

Voice in audience: [inaudible] lesbian.

John: Homosexual includes male and female. OK. The argument that has been brought tonight is that we are denying rights. That’s historically not consistent because if the source for unalienable rights is the God of the Bible, and if Arline says why does it matter if it’s rights or laws or something else, then we’re dealing with a matter of historical identity. And if the unalienable rights, or the source of these rights, is to be overturned, then make the argument on those terms. Unalienable rights: life, liberty and property. I’ve made my argument there is no other source. And therefore to argue for same-sex marriage is to go against that source. And if I win this argument I win. If I lose, I lose. I won’t do it as one person either way. It’s part of the informed process in society. And I only argue against same-sex marriage because of a positive for marriage and for the basis of unalienable rights. Two final comments here. It’s interesting, I gave a number of concrete examples tonight of homosexual activists who have passed laws or articulated religious intolerance for those who dissent with them, restricting the equal access to make an argument of religious people who disagree with homosexuality. That is happening. It has not been answered. And so if I’m wrong, I hope I am. But if it continues then you will note that I had an observation in that context. Finally, Jesus himself was comfortable with all people. I have gone out of my way over the years to be with people who disagree with me. And that’s why I’ve enjoyed being with Arline tonight. She is a woman made in God’s image and that’s how I will treat her. And the truth is for her, any other homosexual person, if ever they were in a position where their life were endangered, and I was in a position to risk my life to save their life, I would do it like that, simply because they are made in God’s image, not because they agree with me. Thank you. [audience applause]

  [Contents] [About the Participants] [Opening Statement by Arline Isaacson] [Opening Statement by John Rankin][Dialog] [Questions from the Audience] [Closing Statements]
[Return to Mars Hill Forum]