Changing the definition of marriage is bad for society.
By Dennis Prager
[Note: a more appropriate name is gender-neutral marriage, as there is a spectrum of gender expression at the biological level as well as gender and sexual identity at the personal level]
Prager dissembles when he accuses both sides of not addressing the questions of the other side, yet he first creates a strawman of the "proponents question" (which he also incorrectly assumes is a singular question) and then fails to even adequately address that.
Prager ignores critical questions such as the constitutionality under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment; he ignores that marriage in the United States has been repeatedly found to be an Individual Right, a personal right founded on the rights of privacy (to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects), association, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Prager ignores that the foundation of our Rights are the understanding that sometimes Individual liberty is greater than societal concerns, the societal interest has to be legally 'Compelling'.
Prager argues that the comparison to anti-miscegenation laws (against mixed race marriages) is unfair, because "Because racial differences are insignificant and gender differences are hugely significant" which is just flabbergastingly backwards, read it again carefully. Mixed races CAN marry because their differences are 'insignificant' but only opposite-sex marriages are allowed because 'gender differences are hugely significant'. I think it is safe to say that logic isn't his strong point.
Prager's "Opposition to racism was advocated by every great moral thinker" is a blatant lie & slap in the face to those who suffered under some 1400 years** of Christian slave owners.
** For how many years were Christians slave owners?
Do we count back to the time of Paul when he returns the slave Onesimus to his Master Philemon, the wealthy Christian?
Should we begin the count after the imposition of Christianity on Rome under Constantine (~312CE)?
And when should our count end? We could pick the Emancipation Proclamation 1863 (but that didn't end Christian slave ownership).
Or should we use 1902, when the Rev. and Mrs. Hunter died, having never told their slaves about the Civil War or that Lincoln had freed them.
Or should we use 1981, when Mauritania became the last country in the world to abolish slavery.
Or should we continue the count to this day because people are still kept in slavery, despite it being illegal?
I don't care how you count it, it was many hundreds of years. And yes, to their individual credit, a few Christians through the years tried to argue that Slavery was wrong, but they did so against their own Bible and were largely unsuccessful as a result. And in the 19th Century it also true that many Christians came to the side of the abolition of Slavery (as did secular thinkers and activists of the period such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B Anthony, Ernestine Louise Rose, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, and Robert Ingersoll). But it is also undeniable that the Christians of the time were slavers and argued strenuously against the abolition of the institution and committed much violence against the African slaves in their care.
Biblical slavery also cannot be excused as mere indentured servitude (which it ALSO has, but only for the fellow Israelites, not foreign slaves):
Leviticus 25:46 foreign slaves are yours forever
Exodus 21:20-21 slaves are property & can be beaten
Let's look at the type of equality offered in the Bible. In Exodus 21:12 we see that if you 'Murder' (the Hebrew word for 'Murder' is not the same as the word for 'kill', you may 'kill' in self-defense or when ordered by God such as carrying out God's Law; while 'murder' pertains to killing an innocent party) someone it says you are to be put to death (Hebrew: מוּת (muth), put to death). However, in Exodus 21:20-21, when a slave, who is your property, is beaten to death there is to be נָקַם (naqam) Avenged for כָּ֫סֶפ (keseph) Silver (a fine is to be paid).
Also, in Genesis 9:25-27 Noah says, of his own youngest son, 'Cursed be Canaan' and condemns his family line to be the lowest of slaves to the lines of his brothers, Shem and Japheth. This will resurface as a command to commit genocide against the seven nations in Deuteronomy 7:1 When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou
Our own Declaration of Independence reads 'all men are created equal' yet we institutionalized slavery. Because, as the Rev. Fuller would later argue against the abolition of slavery "What God sanctioned in the Old Testament, and permitted in the New, cannot be a sin".
Prager asks "Second, if opposition to same-sex marriage is as immoral as racism, why did no great moral thinker, in all of history, ever advocate male-male or female-female marriage?" This is nothing but an appeal to tradition, as vapid as the SAME appeal to tradition many Christian slavers made "If slavery is immoral, why didn't God or Jesus speak out against it; why has it been around for so long...". These appeals ring empty and false.
If we look back through history we actually find numerous cases of same-sex marriages "thirteen out of the first fourteen Roman Emperors held to be bisexual or exclusively homosexual". It wasn't until after Christianity came into the culture that this practice was outlawed, followed shortly by the fall of Rome (and Gibbon attributes this fall, in part, to the rise of Christianity). So Prager's thesis here fails on the facts.
Prager argues "To argue that opposition to same-sex marriage is immoral is to argue that every moral thinker, and every religion and social movement in the history of mankind prior to the last 20 years in America and Europe was immoral", haven't these societies failed in just about every other way possible anyway? People considered Menarche (a young girl's first period) the proper 'Age of consent' for ages, know we know that this is not an appropriate age and that forcing these young women into sexual intercourse and marriage at young ages does them lifelong emotional damage. Slavery was tolerated and often praised ("oh look at us, we're saving the poor savages from themselves and giving them a proper 'Christian' education". Wars of aggression, deceitful politics, ... how haven't these societies failed? But it's one thing to fail out of our ignorance - the past we know of, the last 6000 years or so - has plainly been a long, painful, slow crawl out of ignorance with many missteps along the way. That's not an excuse to PURPOSEFULLY perpetrate another.
Prager says "the question is whether redefining marriage in the most radical way ever conceived", other people getting married doesn't affect your marriage in the slightest and I think I've shown that this is a plainly false claim because same-sex marriages very clearly existed in our past.
Prager then goes into a slippery slope argument about how there is a war on gender "render meaningless the man-woman distinction". I'm sorry but this is just pathetic.
Goes on to say "those who, for religious or other reasons, wish to retain the man-woman definition of marriage will be legally and morally as isolated as racists are today", utter hogwash. I'm a father of a wonderful son and two guys getting married doesn't affect me in the slightest.
In conclusion Prager repeats himself, "There are reasons no moral thinker in history ever advocated same-sex marriage"... Well, Mr. Prager, the great moral thinkers of our age disagree with you.
So I now ask, is it 'good for society' when bigotry is allowed to define loving relationships for other individuals?