Once again, clicking on the title of this post will lead you to a post by another author that bears relevance to this post.
Here is another way to look at it:
One of the tenets of doing things "Pauls Way" is that if what you want to do doesn't harm anyone else, then you should be allowed to do it.
Many things in this country, and this world, are forbidden by law. Recreational drugs are not allowed. Same sex marriage, not allowed. These are just two examples of the things that the government of the United States does not allow. I would like to place them in a juxtaposition, just so they can be seen in a different light.
Drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, LSD, MDMA, and heroin, are outlawed in the U.S. .
While by themselves they have no apparent victim, I can in part understand why a nation would wish that it's citizens did not partake of them. In part because of the fact that you cannot tell legally if someone is on a drug at a particular moment, as you can with alcohol, means that person cannot be accused of DUI for a drug. Cannabis LSD, and heroin reduce productivity in the workforce. The jury is still out on the long term affects of MDMA, but someone high on it is useless to do anything other than pleasure themselves. All of these things can be harmful to the community at large. At least that is the common "wisdom", but that is for another post. While I may not agree with the current drug laws in this nation, I can certainly understand them. There is some inherent harm to drug usage.
Is there any harm in same sex marriage? To begin with, I plan to throw any moral arguments out of the window. If you happen to think same sex marriage is immoral, then don't get married to someone of the same sex. Do not, however, try to impose your morals on someone else. Now that I have set aside any discussion of morals, Lets take a look at marriage first, and what it is.
Marriage is a civil contract, a contract designed to improve the stability of family, it helps garner cheaper insurance rates, it makes for a desirable situation for a child(ren) to grow up in. Marriage is also an expression of love for another individual, and a commitment, to him or her, to provide for, care for, and protect that person for as long as you live.
It is a heavily debated point whether a child is best brought up by a man/woman marriage, or by a same sex marriage. However, I do not believe that this should be a criteria to judge a marriage by, since many couples choose not to have children at all. A same sex marriage can only adopt. In this case, only the other standards apply. Is the couple committed to each other? Do they understand the contract they are entering? Do they wish to achieve stability? Should they be able to share insurance together? Will they be more stable with a license than without? Will they be just as stable whether male/female or same sex?
Divorce is a common thing in today's world. The commitment and love for each other that a male/female couple has at the time of marriage has no bearing on whether they divorce or not. So this criteria is valid for marriage either way.
Their is no mental competence hearing for a marriage license, but perhaps there should be. To understand the commitment of the civil contract a same sex couple is entering into, they only have to say "I do". If this were different, perhaps divorce rates would be lower, but until then, we will have divorces as a common occurrence, and either way, there is still no way to differentiate from a same sex marriage or a male/female marriage.
The truth of the matter is, whether of the same sex, or opposite, some couples stay together, and some do not. In some cases, the commitment to marriage alone is the stabilizing factor, sometimes that commitment is too much. There is no scientific way to tell ahead of time which couples stay together, and which ones don't.
Now for the insurance. When I married my wife, my insurance rates decreased, across the board. The reason for this is that insurance companies believe that marriage is a commitment to stabilize a couples future, making them less likely to take unwarranted risks. The insurance companies have many facts to back up this belief. Why should a same sex couple be viewed differently? What difference is there, then, between a same sex couple, and a male/female couple?
The only difference is a lack of tolerance for that which goes against the "norm". A "norm" established centuries ago. As a worldwide community, we have accepted change, after change, after change. Why not this change as well?
Since the only debate left is whether a same sex couple can raise a child as effectively as a male/female couple, why don't we, as a society, enact new laws. To date, any two people, of opposite sex, can have a child, just because they decide to. This means any butt loving assholes can have a baby. We have tests to get a drivers license, but not to have a child. That is the change needed. Test all couples, same sex or not, and decide if they show the patience and love needed to raise a child. Test for the ability to care for a child. If a couple can prove they can raise a child responsibly, then let them have one. Until such a time, allow same sex marriage, and put off the decision whether they can raise a child until we can reasonably determine(as a society) if any couple would make for suitable parents.
That's Pauls Way.