Marriage Talk At The Water Cooler

Watercooler OfficeTomorrow the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges on the states and marriage. When something this big comes along, even those who rarely think about the Supreme Court are aware of its importance, and you may get into conversations in the break room at work or with neighbors. Some people may not have strong feelings, but are only parroting propaganda about same-sex “marriage” simply because it’s everywhere. It’s prevalent not only in politics, but in the entertainment media: movies, television, and commercials. You may encounter those who are concerned and want to talk about marriage at length, and you may also encounter those who simply want to argue.

Marriage Qs As 260x214crHere are two very brief,  but very helpful lists of answers to common questions about marriage. The first is a pamphlet published a couple of years ago by the Heritage Foundation, “What You Need to Know about Marriage.” You can download it, you can buy it in bulk, or you can read it online. These are the questions answered in the Heritage pamphlet:

1. What is marriage?

2. Why does marriage matter to the government?

3. What are the consequences of redefining marriage?

4. Hasn’t divorce already harmed the institution you’re trying to preserve?

5. Isn’t same-sex marriage inevitable in all 50 states? Aren’t you on the wrong side of history?

6. Shouldn’t same-sex partners get benefits like others?

7. Why do you want to interfere with love? Why can’t we just live and let live?

8. Are you saying that gay parents can’t love and provide for a child?

9. If marriage is about children, what about couples who can’t or don’t have children?

10. Isn’t denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry the same as a ban on interracial marriage?

11. What could be more pro-family than expanding the rules on who can marry?

12. What does the research say?

13. Why doesn’t government just get out of the marriage business altogether?

14. Why shouldn’t everyone be able to marry the one they love?

15. How does redefining marriage weaken marriage?

Ryan Anderson answers these questions in greater detail in:

Another brief list of questions and answers was written by Stella Morabito in Ten Q&A on Same-Sex Marriage Canards and Evasions. She opened by saying:

Forces pushing for genderless marriage are a wellspring of fallacies and unanswered questions about the consequences.  Let’s explore some of them.

There is some overlap in the questions, but Stella lists some additional ones and provides excellent answers. Her tone is more blunt than the Heritage pamphlet, but I think that serves as a reminder that sometimes the same question can be asked both by someone who sincerely wants to talk, and also by someone with an agenda and without a benign interest in an answer. The purpose of discussion is persuasion and not oneupmanship, but naivety is not an immutable characteristic of treating others civilly. In other words, we have to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Photo: HK Admiralty night: Cecilsphase. (CC BY-SA 3.0),


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