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What's Wrong with Gay Marriage?

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Hunter Haufler

on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of What's Wrong with Gay Marriage?

What's Wrong with Gay Marriage?
Katha Pollitt
Born in New York City in 1949
Poet & Essayist
Liberal perspective
1970s she began to arise in
The New Yorker
and The Atlantic Monthly
She lives in New York City with a column in
What three arguments against same-sex marriage does Pollitt summarize in her first three paragraphs, and how does she refute each argument?
Pollitt refutes three arguments to gay marriage: procreation, domestication of men, and the history of marriage. Procreation, she says cannot stand because marriage is allowed to people that have any intention of having children. Domestication of men does not work because of such things as “domestic violence child abuse, infidelity and abandonment.” The history of marriage is refuted because the idea of true love is relatively new; in old times there were forced marriages and child marriages.
What does Pollitt believe to be the most basic reason why people object to same-sex marriage?
Pollitt believes people object to same-sex marriage because of their religious affiliation and what their religion states.
What is Pollitt's thesis, and where does she state it directly?
Pollitt’s thesis is: “Gay marriage – it’s not about sex, it’s about separation of church and state.” She states this directly at the end of her essay, to tie in all her arguments into this one statement.
What is the effect of Pollitt's opening her essay with the querstion the she does? of her asking several questions in paragraphs 2 and 5?
Pollitt opening with a question incites the reader into wanting to know what the answer to the question is, while also trying to interest the reader. As she asks questions in paragraph two and five, Pollitt is trying to prove to the reader than there is nothing wrong with gay marriage.
Why do you think Pollitt spends a paragraph on her own negative views of marriage? Does this paragraph strengthen or weaken Pollitt's argument?
Pollitt spends a paragraph on her negative views of marriage to show the reader that she is not supporting gay marriage for a biased reason or her own personal experience. This strengthens Pollitt’s argument, since a critic cannot say that she is biased on the subject of gay marriage.
Some of the language in paragraph 2 is deliberately humorous. point to examples of humor in the paragraph. Why do you think Pollitt chose to use such language at this point in the essay?
Examples of humor in paragraph two are: "…married men are much less likely than singles to kill people, crash the car, take drugs, commit suicide; although it overlooks such husbandly failings as domestic violence, child abuse, infidelity and abandonment.” As well as, “The gay men and lesbians who want to marry don’t impinge on the male-improvement project one way or the other.” She uses this humor here to make fun of the opposition to gay marriage, saying that the argument is too humorous to even matter.
Gay "Marriage": Societal Suicide
Charles Colson
Born in Boston in 1931
Alumni of Brown University earned a law degree from George Washington University
Served in US Marine Corps
Involved in Watergate scandal, imprisoned for seven months
Founded Prison Fellowship Ministries
This essay written with Anne Morse in Christianity Today in 2004

What is Colson's thesis? Where does he state it directly?
Colson’s thesis is stated in the fourth paragraph: “Marriage is the traditional building block of human society, intended both to unite couples and bring children into the world.”
What other argument does Colson make against same-sex marriage?
Colson also argues that there is a “natural moral order for the family.” Having a mother and father is the best circumstances for child nurturing, and as such must be limited to that only.
Why does Colson use quotation marks around marriage when referring to same-sex unions?
Colson uses quotation marks around marriage for the reason that he does not believe same-sex marriage is actual marriage.
What role does cause and effect play in the essay?
Colson speaks of Norway and the legalizing of same-sex marriage and how out-of-wedlock birth rate rose dramatically afterwards. Another example of cause-and-effect is the idea that if a child is raised by heterosexuals, then that child will be missing the fundamental thought of traditional marriage.
Define the following terms:
Unprecedented: unattainable, not able to be surpassed
Gleefully: being full of joy or delight
Millennia: a thousand years
Decoupling: to be separated from someone or something
Procreation: to create or produce, usually involving selection of genes
Intact: held together, not broken
Unorthodox: unconventional, against normal or moral thought

Works Cited

Colson, Charles. "Gay 'Marriage': Societal
Suicide." Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader: Tenth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 554-556.

Pollitt, Katha. "What's Wrong with Gay
Marriage?" Kennedy, X.J., Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane E. Aaron. The Bedford Reader: Tenth Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2009. 548-550.

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