FT: Dude -- let me ask you a serious question. If I told you that there is no difference between saying, "Marriage is meant to be a union between a man and a woman," and "marriage is meant to be a union between two people," would you say that I'm being sane and reasonable, or that I am being unreasonable and illogical?
Not-LGBT: Sounds reasonable to me.
FT: Then why is anyone trying to eliminate the first definition for the sake of the second definition? That is: the objective of the current push is to say that the first is wrong – too restrictive -- and the second is right. Why?
Not-LGBT: That's not at all true. The second is inclusive of the first where the first is exclusive of the second. Because one is right doesn't mean the other has to be wrong.
FT: Dude: that's false. While it is true that under the second it doesn't matter if the two people are parts-compatable or parts-identical, the second demands that the first not be the definition of marriage. If the first statement means the same thing as the second statement, no one should have their ideological rainbows in a knot -- they should just marry under the existing definition and move on.
But: what is at stake is that the first is not the same as the second -- and that the second makes the first obsolete, or that the first makes the second impossible.
Not-LGBT: [thinks for a moment] Would you agree that the phrase "All men are created equal" includes women? For a long time it didn't but now it’s generally accepted that it does. So why didn't the founding fathers allow women to vote? If they intended them to be equal wouldn't they have given them equal rights?
What I'm saying is the meaning behind laws and definitions change over time with society.
FT: The idea that indiscriminate moral change is just a market force and should be welcomed is utterly fatuous.
Are you personally married, Dude?
Not-LGBT: No, I am not.
FT: Since you are not married, let's test your thesis on you: you can marry any person. What if it turns out some fellow at work decides you're the right man for him -- would you accept his proposal? Would you be interested?
Not-LGBT: No, but that would be my choice. There are several women I wouldn't accept a proposal from either.
FT: Dude: but no men, right? If all people are interchangeable, why are there no men possible on your list?
Not-LGBT: If I loved him then I would accept, I guess. You're reaching here Frank, I've answered all of your points and now you're making fatuous suppositions. We'll likely never agree (on a lot of things) but let's not be foolish about it.
FT: I’m not reaching in the least.
If I told you that there is no difference between saying, "Marriage is meant to be a union between a man and a woman," and "marriage is meant to be a union between two people," would you say that I'm being sane and reasonable, or that I am being unreasonable and illogical?
It's your contention that to say that marriage is simply to be "between any two people" is utterly interchangeable with "between a man and a woman". But your clarification is this: not for you personally. You wouldn't accept "any person."
Not-LGBT: Ok – sure. But let’s not forget choice. I'm free to choose who I love and who makes me happy. Having a right doesn't mean you must exercise it or be opposed to it.
FT: I would say, without any reservation, that whenever what I do requires "my choice" to be justified, that I am probably going the wrong way.
Look: let me help you out here. What if I said, "I want to be the pastor of a confessionally-centered church, but if someone else wants to be the pastor of a gas station or a strip club, it's a big world -- a big tent. Live and let live, I say."
You should be right to say, "Well, wait: being the pastor of a Strip Club sounds awesome. Why won't you do that?"
It sounds less than straightforward to say at that point, "well, that's just a matter of preference." In fact, it sounds like you're trying to hide something.
Not-LGBT: No. I reject that. You're putting words in everyone's mouth now.
FT: I'm willing to say, "maybe." Maybe I'm putting words in your mouth. But you're a young fellow -- maybe you feel like you have a lot of time. What if you're 40 and you don't find the right person of the opposite sex? What if you're 60? Would you rather die without a spouse than take a spouse of a the same sex?
You know: I'm asking because you say there's no difference between same-sex unions and marriage. If there's no difference in theory, in general, why is there a difference for you personally?
Not-LGBT: Because it is my choice. I already did say, btw, that if I loved the other guy, I would marry him. Listen: nobody can force me to marry someone ... nobody can force me to marry someone I don't care for. Just because I don't care for someone doesn't mean I hate them.
FT: True enough -- but you are mixing classes now. Your attempt to fix the problem here says that somehow the chemistry might just be wrong, given the million variables possible between two people -- you're not a bigot if you fall in love with Rachel and not Leah.
Not-LGBT: Exactly. That's exactly what I mean.
FT: I might say, "I think you are forgetting that, for you personally, we're not talking about the million variables in the chemistry between two people: you have eliminated a class of people in spite of your affirmation that people are people." The only reason I won't say that is the reason you paused when you said, "Listen: nobody can force me to marry someone ..." You were going to say, "someone ugly, or smelly, or who couldn't cook," or something along that line of thinking. But you realized that saying that really says, "for me, being gay is like being ugly." You knew you couldn't say that and still maintain that any ol' two people can unite and form a marriage. You personally are not just looking for the right person. You personally are looking for the right woman.
Think of it this way: If you were to say, "marriage is meant to be a union between two people" but then add the qualifier, "except when I think about me personally; I will only marry a person of the correct race," what is that? If you told me that you would never consider marrying a person who was something other than you idea of racially-fit for marriage to you, how would that sound? No number of "not that there's anything wrong with thats" would escape the howling objections of 10,000 angry anti-racists.
Not-LGBT: No. [Thinks a minute] No. Because heterosexuality is not the same thing as racism.
FT: What? Wait a minute -- make sure you mean what you say here, because this is critical. This may be the place where you solve the problem forever. What do you mean by that?
Not-LGBT: Heterosexuality is not the same thing as racism. Racism ... racism isn't fair. It's bad.
FT: Why is racism bad?
Not-LGBT: Because it is. It means people hate each other. I don't hate homosexuals if I'm heterosexual. Just because I prefer women sexually doesn't mean I hate men.
FT: That's it. That's exactly right. The dictionary says "racism" is "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others." In "racism," is the superiority of one kind over all others real, or imagined? Does it have a basis in fact?
Not-LGBT: [Thinks for a minute] No. If racism is false, saying one kind is better than another is false. It's an ideology, a lie.
[Thinks for a minute] So wait: you're saying marriage is based on some kind of fact and not based on some kind of preference?
FT: Yes. I am in fact saying that. I am saying that the institution of marriage is based on the fact that there are two sexes in our kind, and that they are intentionally, inherently, on-purpose compatible. You know this: you can't avoid it. It is not anything like racism to say that you hope to find a woman to marry, and will not even consider a man.
You know that marriage isn't for any two people because you personally want your marriage to be with a woman. You know it's not any kind of sexism or racism or homophobia to say that the marriage for you is as a man to a woman, and inconceivable otherwise. And here's the thing: that's why marriage exists in every single culture in the world: because the obvious, default setting is the union of a man and a woman for the sake of establishing the basic, self-propagating social unit. It's a fact that pre-exists all laws.
Not-LGBT: But you are forgetting something: gay people don't feel the same way. Their feelings tell them that they should be paired with someone of the same sex.
FT: I agree that their feelings tell them that - but you're changing the subject again. Heterosexuality is not a feeling, but a fact, and marriage is based on the fact of heterosexuality. Having different feelings doesn't change that.
Not-LGBT: As you say here at your blog, "Aha!"
Now you're saying that Homosexuality is not a fact. That, my friend, is the problem.
FT: Well, maybe for your point: not mine. I am completely willing to say that Homosexuality is a fact -- but such a fact has nothing to do with marriage. I'm not saying Homosexuality isn't a fact: I'm saying that whatever biological fact causes Homosexuality, it's not the biological fact that stands behind marriage and for which purpose marriage is established.