Thursday, October 9, 2014

Things that worry me about LGBT rights - Part 1

(For those that read my blog to stay up to date on how I'm doing [by the way you guys are awesome], this and my next post are sorta a tangent to that and don't include any of how I'm doing - just my opinions on various stuff that I've wanted flesh out. So feel free to ignore them. I'm happy if you want to read them too though :) )

I'm first going to say that I have no opinion on legalizing gay marriage. I can understand why many people want to - being attracted to the same sex usually isn't a choice, and though entering in a relationship with someone of the same-sex is, the same is true with any relationship, including straight ones. And for people that are in a gay/lesbian relationship, I understand why they'd want to obtain civil marriage rights and benefits that straight couples obtain. I also personally believe that same-sex marriage is a sin (from my religious standpoint), but that's not something I should enforce on others and is for me alone to follow like any other standard that I have because of my religion (say not drinking alcholol, no smoking, and no illegal drugs, and reading the scriptures daily, for example).

I say "they," but the truth is I plan on (hopefully) being in a gay relationship with another girl someday myself, because I'm attracted to males and females, and for religious reasons I feel a future relationship with a girl makes more sense, because since I'm MtF trans my religion doesn't see it as a gay marriage apparently. I really don't think I ever plan on having biological kids myself, because I'm not willing to pass these mental health challenges I have onto my kids, that's not a fair thing to do. Also because hormones makes me pretty infertile. I might be willing to adopt, it would really depend on what the other person in the relationship wanted as well - and since I'm not in a relationship and I'm not very mature all of this is a very long time away, if ever.

The thing I do really support with the LGBT movement is discrimination protection legislation - many trans and gay people can be fired from their jobs without any other reason/be bullied in school/have acts of violence against them with regards to them being LGBT, so the fact that we're having open conversation about this and working to prevent I think is really good to see.




To what I really wanted to write about here, there's been some things in the LGBT rights movement that have really concerned me recently:

1: A description of marriage as being something like "A contract between two parties that love each other, to be terminated at will."

I as I said before, if they are being promoted, I think same-sex rights should only be promoted while having an increased focus on the importance of raising kids as a part of marriage. Since they are the innocent 3rd party. If you define it like this, it makes it seem like divorce is okay, but it's not. It really hurts kids. I have some close friends and family that have done through divorce, and it's a very difficult thing. I understand divorce is sometimes necessary, but that doesn't mean it should be essentially encouraged as okay.

If people plan on raising kids, it's a lifetime commitment. Thus their marriage should be too.

I get that raising kids is not the only important part of marriage - and that priorities should be spouses individual relationships with god, then with each other, then with their children, but I do think it's an important part. Because I feel that the ideal situation is for a kid to be raised with a Mom and a Dad that are both their biological parents, however this life is imperfect so that situation isn't always attainable. For example, personally I think it would be better for a child to be raised with loving same-sex parents than abusive straight parents. Or for a child to be adopted by loving same-sex parents rather than be raised in various foster homes growing up, if those foster homes didn't provide loving, supportive environments for them, which as far as I understand they often don't. That because of imperfection in this world individual adaptation is needed, and same-sex parents are a much better option than many alternatives, I feel. There's studies here as well but I feel like they're so politically charged it's kinda difficult to avoid bias either way, so I try not to too heavily rely on those.

However, if we look at divorce rates in last few years (from the National Bureau of Economic Research):


Also, to understand this graph, the blue line is divorce rates per 1000 people (married or single), which can basically be thought of as the percent of all people (married or single) that went through a divorce that year, while the green line is divorce rates per 1000 married people, which can be thought of as the percent of all married couples that went through a divorce that year.

So because there's actually been a steady decrease in divorce rates since the "bubble" in 1980, my hope is that most people see this issue the same way - that marriage is intended to be a lifelong thing and that divorce is generally harmful - and that whole viewpoint of marriage being something "to be terminated at will" is more of a position taken by extremists. I hope so.

It's also possible that that "divorce boom" was partially due to the marriage boom about 20 years earlier that was significantly higher than the past 80 years or so. Marriages decreasing should potentially be a concerning thing, except that I think it makes sense that marriages start decreasing around 1980 as divorces decrease (since there's less single people to have marriages), and overall it doesn't look like marriage rates have mostly just been fluctuating in the last 140 years without real perceivable trend up or down, I think.

There's some more things I could say about this graph that raise some concerns, but this seems good because this is mostly something I've talked about before.

2: Polyamory

Basically this is where people that are in relationships or marriages decide to commit to being in a "poly" relationship where they are both comfortable with the other person in the marriage sleeping with other people. Hence the "poly" part, it's a relationship/marriage composed of more than 2 people. If two people are married but in a poly relationship they are generally expected to hold each other as the relationship of highest priority, but I think it depends on the individuals for exactly how the dynamics of that work.

The thing that really frustrates me about this is, unlike gay marriage or trans issues, there is a direct aspect of choice involved here. Monogamous relationships are possible for most people, and it can be a very healthy thing. The point about same-sex attractions is that, for some people, relationships with someone of the opposite sex are very difficult to have/harmful to both parties, because almost all of their attractions are towards the same sex. Polyamory is, instead, a decision to abandon monogamy and dedication because they prefer the alternative. Not only is this breaking the law of chastity (so I feel it's wrong from my religious/moral perspective), it also is much more complicated as far as children are concerned. This wikipedia article explained how, generally, other people than the two spouses generally have a aunt/uncle type role with kids, but still my worry is that this lack of dedication to their spouse may have an impact on marriage as a whole. And it's something that didn't arise out of a biological imperfection in the first place.

Right now one of the biggest concerns polyamorous couples have is that, if they let others know they are polyamorous they could lose custody of their children because of discrimination. Like other discrimination I think this makes sense as something to fight for, however not as actively as others because there is more choice involved here, I think.

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