Is the debate really about Civil Rights?

I received a comment on my last post saying that this whole marriage debate is not about approval, but about civil rights. I posted the following reply:

My view is that marriage is not a civil right, it is a definition. and the current, most accepted definition is the union between a man and a woman. This debate is about changing that definition, and along with changing it, validating that all unions are the same, when in fact, they’re not.

Like the author in my previous post states, “To apply a mountain of laws based specifically on experience with relations between a man and a woman to a different relationship where sex differences are not involved would be like applying the rules of baseball to football.”

Should we really do that? What is wrong with calling a same-sex union something other than marriage?

In California civil unions and marriage are equal under the law. That fact invalidates any claim that this whole debate is over “civil rights”. Obviously, the gay rights movement is after something beyond civil rights that the title of a civil union cannot give them, and that is “moral equity”.

From Troy Rockwood, a commenter on http://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/an-analogy/:

“There are two kinds of equal… First is equal under the law. That means that you have the same rights and responsibilities from the law’s point of view. In California, civil unions and marriage are equal under the law. They have different names but the same rights are given to both groups. You can read the California code to be convinced of this (although I don’t think it’s really a contested point.)


http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=fam&group=00001-01000&file=297-297.5

The second type of equal is the idea that both things are of equal value. Here is where there is disagreement and why many are against having it taught in schools, for instance. This is NOT based on beliefs or faith, it’s based on facts. This isn’t saying that same sex couples are not better because homosexuality is a sin, it’s saying that same sex couples are not better because they result in outcomes that EVERYONE can agree are negative. I believe that most people who voted for prop 8 voted because they don’t believe that same sex unions and marriage have equal value and that teaching that they do would be dishonest to our children. Here are some links to data that support the idea that they are not of equal value:

Research shows that contributions from both a mother and a father are significant in the development of children:
http://www.alabamapolicy.org/pdf/currentfamilystructure.pdf
http://marriage.rutgers.edu/Publications/SOOU/SOOU2007.pdf
http://www.marriagedebate.com/pdf/Do_Moms_Dads_Matter.pdf

Same sex relationships are shorter term than traditional marriages between a man and a wife.
The average duration of committed relationships among gay steady partners was 1.5 years:
http://www.aidsonline.com/pt/re/aids/pdfhandler.00002030-200305020-00012.pdf
29% of relationships last more than 7 years:
http://glcensus.org/press/02052004.html
The average homosexual relationship in the US lasts only two to three years:
http://www.acpeds.org/?CONTEXT=art&cat=22&art=50

Same sex relationships are much more prone to domestic violence
Violence was twice as common among homosexual couples compared with heterosexual couples
http://www.statcan.ca/english/research/85-570-XIE/85-570-XIE2006001.pdf
http://www.acpeds.org/?CONTEXT=art&cat=22&art=50

Same sex relationships are more likely to prematurely end in death of one or both partners due to the very high rate of diseases such as AIDS (200 times more likely):
http://www.unaids.org/en/KnowledgeCentre/HIVData/EpiUpdate/EpiUpdArchive/2007/default.asp

Homosexuals are 10-25 times more likely to be child molesters:
http://www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_EduPamphlet2.html

Although same sex unions are equal under the law, they do not have equal value. They are plagued with these problems and it would be dishonest to our children to teach them that they are of equal value because unfortunately they are not.”