April 20, 2013

What's "fake" about 2 gay couples — where gay marriage is illegal — colluding to create 2 opposite-sex couples?

Here's this Daily Beast article titled "China’s Fake Gay Marriages":
In China, where homosexuality was classified as a mental illness until 2001 and a crime until 1997, gays and lesbians still face serious discrimination, [and] where the pressure to get married is strong and starts early, it has long been common for gays to marry straight spouses. Now, some are finding what they consider a better alternative. Known as “cooperative marriages,” or hunzuo hunyin, gay men and lesbian women are increasingly marrying each other — often aided by the Internet. (Such marriages are also known as “fake marriage” [jia jiehun] or “ritual marriage” [xingshi hunyin].)
This could be a structure for producing children — children who could then live with both biological parents. Obviously, a male and female can produce a child together, without ever having sex and without medical intervention. In China, this is being done in a way that deceives their family, and sometimes they're doing nothing together but having a wedding. So, depending on what the couple does, it could be fake. But what if, say, a female gay couple and a male gay couple were compatible friends, who pooled their resources to buy a big house and they really wanted to raise their children together responsibly and with both parents in the house. Would it be wrong for the males to marry the females? 

104 comments:

Dante said...

Isn't it hard enough to raise kids in heterosexual families? Those families have the benefit of millions of years of humans procreating, presumably with both male and female adaptations to child rearing.

Ann Althouse said...

Try to refrain from the usual descent to the question whether people will be marrying dogs.

This is a specific topic, not "At the SSM Café... you can say whatever you want."

Ann Althouse said...

"Isn't it hard enough to raise kids in heterosexual families? Those families have the benefit of millions of years of humans procreating, presumably with both male and female adaptations to child rearing."

In my hypo it is heterosexual: a mother and a father raising their children. It's part of the hypo that the mother and father are great friends and responsible about forming a family.

Palladian said...

This scenario is almost like Ang Lee's "The Wedding Banquet"

Surfed said...

I think it's a lovely idea. And besides who's business is it anyways? A governments? I don't think so....

Rob said...

"Obviously, a male and female can produce a child together, without ever having sex and without medical intervention."

Are you suggesting the use of turkey basters (do they even have those in China?) or something equivalent? If not, what are you suggesting?

Palladian said...

Are you suggesting the use of turkey basters (do they even have those in China?) or something equivalent?

Where the hell do you suppose plastic basters are manufactured? The United States?!

Coketown said...

Um. I think constructing an artifice to deceive people from discovering the truth of a situation is the very definition of "fake."

Obviously, a male and female can produce a child together, without ever having sex and without medical intervention.

What? You cannot get pregnant sharing a toilet. It's either sex or turkey baster in a clinic--not neither.

And what exactly is the hypothetical a solution to? Why should gay males marry gay females? I'm not following this. So you have this house of four people where the males are emotionally and sexually invested with each other, ditto for the females, but each male is paternalistically invested with a female. And the children are like, "what the fuck is going on here? Why are mommy and daddy so cold to each other except when discussing how I should be educated and disciplined?"

This is a lot of subterfuge to keep parents from finding out their kids are gay. Wouldn't it be easier to address that rather than construct this weird artifice?

This is so fucked up and over-the-top, it should be on a baby boomer quiz.

All in all, I think it would be preferable that people marry dogs rather than even attempt this ridiculous smorgasbord of absurd horseshit.

wyo sis said...

This sounds like a sit-com.
Probably not to the kids though.
I'd say the chances of it working are exactly zero.

dreams said...

There are a lot of closet gays in heterosexual marriages already usually without their spouse's knowledge and there are about ten per cent of men raising children that blood typing studies have shown aren't theirs so people do what they want to or feel they need to as long as they can do it and get away it.

Coketown said...

Where the hell do you suppose plastic basters are manufactured? The United States?!

I think there's a lot of things they manufacture in China that aren't commonly found in China. I'm not familiar with Chinese cuisine. Do they have and eat turkeys? Or do they eat other birds that require a baster? Maybe every household has a pheasant baster that everyone hates having to clean. And that's the running joke with fertility clinics.

It'd be strange for a country like China to have fertility clinics, too. But I'm sure they do.

Synova said...

The "fake" bit might be a translation issue.

Personally... I think that about the worst thing is if someone who is gay marries a straight person. That is so unfair to the person who goes into the relationship expecting to be desired.

A gay man marrying a lesbian woman, if the culture expects marriage, seems like a wonderful solution. Neither person is going to expect desire from the other or feel rejected when they don't get it.

Coketown said...

Try to refrain from the usual descent to the question whether people will be marrying dogs.

It's just amusing that Ann precluded this possibility by sinking the discussion even lower--to the question of why homosexuals shouldn't pool resources into community housing and impregnate each other to raise children in sexless, loveless, confusing domestic constructs.

n.n said...

This is not really about homosexual couplets. This is about our inability to address the main issue, which is a diversity of unions, both sexual and platonic, and our attempt to rationalize and justify an artificial departure from an evolutionary process.

It is an experiment, but is it worth conducting?

It seems that the burden of proof lies with the people who want to conduct the extra-evolutionary experiment. That is if they are seeking to normalize their dysfunctional behavior. If they are instead asking for tolerance, then their burden is lessened.

Synova said...

We do have an English word for two people getting married for a reason other than being in love and not expecting a love relationship... it's called "a marriage of convenience."

Synova said...

Expecting marriage to be about love rather than a practical arrangement is Historically unusual.

Renee said...

"A gay man marrying a lesbian woman, if the culture expects marriage, seems like a wonderful solution. Neither person is going to expect desire from the other or feel rejected when they don't get it."

I agree... but I don't. It still objectifies the child. We're in this arrangement, because we want a child. The child isn't a product of mutual love between the wife and husband, the arrangement is there for two separate interests of two people who want a child.

Palladian said...

Ah, my favorite sleep-aide n.n., who has the amazing ability to make every comment read like a college sophomore's padded-out research paper.

rhhardin said...

I used to buy a 10-20 day stay excursion tickets between Newark and Miami in pairs in opposite directions, so as to make a two day trip to Miami every other weekend, at greatly reduced fare.


Coketown said...

Expecting marriage to be about love rather than a practical arrangement is Historically unusual.

I think it's a blessing we've reached the point where marriage can be about love instead of material or cultural practicality. It seems regressive to go back!

Palladian said...

It's just amusing that Ann precluded this possibility by sinking the discussion even lower--to the question of why homosexuals shouldn't pool resources into community housing and impregnate each other to raise children in sexless, loveless, confusing domestic constructs.

You're defining marriage for other people, just like the social conservatives and other statist-types like to do.

It's really no one else's business what domestic arrangements consenting adults make for themselves.

Palladian said...

I think it's a blessing we've reached the point where marriage can be about love instead of material or cultural practicality. It seems regressive to go back!

Again, why is it up to you or anyone else to decide what other people's marriage should be about?

dreams said...

Does anyone think that having two gay parents might increase the percentage of their offspring being born gay?

Baron Zemo said...

I don't know.

It didn't work out for Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

EDH said...

Ann Althouse said...
Try to refrain from the usual descent to the question whether people will be marrying dogs.

What about eating them at the reception dinner?

n.n said...

Synova:

What about the children? A dysfunctional relationship, for example one of convenience, does not engender a positive outcome for their normal development. Perhaps instead of marriage, the man and woman can join in a platonic union (or corporation) in order to pool their resources.

The criterion for normalizing a behavior, or acknowledging it as normal, is that it has a redeeming value to society and humanity. That is satisfied when it engenders a positive contribution to the standard of living, and promotes evolutionary fitness. Neither homosexual behavior nor a platonic relationship meet that criterion other than through the individual or joint contributions of its members. The latter union is structured as a cooperative or corporation. A marriage is, on the other hand, the foundation of a biologically motivated first level of social organization.

Synova said...

"I think it's a blessing we've reached the point where marriage can be about love instead of material or cultural practicality. It seems regressive to go back!"

This is China. Is it going back?

"We're in this arrangement, because we want a child."

I had thought they were in the arrangement because there was intense and relentless pressure in China to marry. Considering the fact that there are no other children for a couple to look to for grandchildren, I would think that there would also be intense and relentless pressure to have a child as well.

In other words... it's probably not about the homosexuals selfishly wanting a child.

Foobarista said...

There's no law that says you have to "enjoy" sex. After all, if gayness is genetic, it would have been bred out of humans early on if gays didn't have some sort heterosexual sex.

People who prefer same-sex activity have existed forever, but since marriage, large families, and lots of children are required in all premodern agricultural societies, they obviously had children.

The idea that you have to "enjoy" everything you do is distinctly modern, and typically Western.

Palladian said...

Does anyone think that having two gay parents might increase the percentage of their offspring being born gay?

No. I've never been convinced by any of the so-called research that says otherwise, especially the vile Paul Cameron stuff.

And who cares if it does? In that case, it would strongly suggest a genetic basis for homosexuality, which woud be interesting.

Synova said...

"A marriage is, on the other hand, the foundation of a biologically motivated first level of social organization."

The china one-child thing has so messed up the "first level of social organization" already, that I don't really see why a "ritual marriage" is going to make it worse.

In fact, as I mentioned, if you have no siblings, you don't *get* to be the gay uncle that contributes to the success of your genes in a lateral manner.

Coketown said...

It's really no one else's business what domestic arrangements consenting adults make for themselves.

So long as we're clear that "domestic arrangements" do not equal "marriage" then we're in agreement. But if you think the government should recognize Ann's model of community housing project with weekend orgies, and give it special tax breaks and legal status, then no, we're not in agreement.

Palladian said...

After all, if gayness is genetic, it would have been bred out of humans early on if gays didn't have some sort heterosexual sex.

That's not true. Genetic variance can persist without direct heritability.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

When I was in college, a female classmate came back from Christmas break with the announcement that her parents had told her over break that their marriage had been "of convenience" and that Dad was gay & Mom was a lesbian. Oh, and by the way, those close family friends? Uhhh, well, no.

Her parents' marriage would have had to have occurred in 1950's California if she could have been produced on schedule to be standing before us a college junior in 1976.

So, there are (or were) probably more "convenient" marriages on this side of the pond than are ordinarily discussed.

Palladian said...

So long as we're clear that "domestic arrangements" do not equal "marriage" then we're in agreement. But if you think the government should recognize Ann's model of community housing project with weekend orgies, and give it special tax breaks and legal status, then no, we're not in agreement.

Marriage, as currently defined by the State, doesn't preclude "weekend orgies". So now you want State-sanctioned marriage to come with all sorts of moral parameters?

If they let faggots join the Family Research Council, you ought to sign up.

n.n said...

Palladian:

Are you suggesting that after the second year, the academic devolves to precise, emotional arguments?

That may be true in the exception, but it seems that outside the ivory towers, there are objective standards which direct our development and lives.

In any case, I would prefer not to address reality through arguments of faith or emotion. They have a notoriously short-lived lifetime.

That said, why am I even responding to you. Your comment contains precisely zero information. It certainly has no value to me or to sponsoring a spirited debate about a prevailing issue in our world, which contrary to popular opinion, is not limited to homosexual couplets.

Coketown said...

Again, why is it up to you or anyone else to decide what other people's marriage should be about?

Okay, you're going to have to define marriage so we can pick your definition apart. You don't seem satisfied when anyone else uses the word in a sentence. And, no, marriage is not the equivalent of "domestic arrangement." Or is it? I'm single; am I also married? Who are you to say yes or no? Durr.

Steven said...

A dysfunctional relationship, for example one of convenience, does not engender a positive outcome for their normal development.

And, of course, you have studies that show a marriage of convenience harms child development, right?

Ann Althouse said...

oral medicine syringe

Synova said...

The idea of your parents having sex is just completely gross to kids due to the "proximity during toddlerhood equals no-sex" part of human nature.

I don't see how parents *not* having sex is going to mess a kid up at all.

And of course children have been raised in homes where moms and dads have little to do with each other since whenever, and I don't know that it's harmed them greatly. It probably harms them far less than divorce does. In fact, absent abuse, it undoubtedly harms a child far less to have both parents in the home, even if they are not affectionate, than to be the child of divorce.

Ann Althouse said...

"Um. I think constructing an artifice to deceive people from discovering the truth of a situation is the very definition of "fake.""

There's fakery involved, but is the marriage fake? I'm not giving a legal opinion about whether the marriage is valid if it's never consummated and the couple doesn't live together. But in my hypo, I have them living together.

Palladian said...

Okay, you're going to have to define marriage so we can pick your definition apart. You don't seem satisfied when anyone else uses the word in a sentence. And, no, marriage is not the equivalent of "domestic arrangement." Or is it? I'm single; am I also married? Who are you to say yes or no? Durr.

I'm not. That's up to you and your partner(s) and, if you like, a church or other religious or social institution.

It's not the business of the State beyond, perhaps, a neutral civil contract. The State, in my opinion, should not be in the business of licensing or defining or regulating such personal/romantic/religious arrangements at all.

Ann Althouse said...

A turkey baster is huuuge.

n.n said...

Synova:

The process of normalization is not about guaranteeing outcomes, but about promoting desirable or preferred outcomes. The rest, in the majority, is either tolerated or rejected.

As for the gay uncle, his sexual behavior has no redeeming value to a family, community, society, or humanity. His contribution is solely as an individual or as a member of a productive cooperative. As a member of any social organization, and humanity, his value is exclusively offered as an individual.

Palladian said...

A turkey baster is huuuge.

It's long, but lacking girth.

Coketown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

n.n. - I think that you're assuming a cultural and social situation that is idealized. And to an extent I do believe that we improve society by putting value into an ideal and then attempting to behave as if the ideal is true.

One thing, though, that bothers me about the ideal of "marriage as love" is that it normalizes divorce.

Marriage is great if you love each other, but if marriage is about raising children then it's not about love, it's about those kids. But our current understanding of marriage in the US is that it's about the relationship between mom and dad. And what that normalizes is the divorce of mom and dad the moment that relationship goes south.

If marriage is about kids, then the marriage of a gay man and lesbian woman for the purpose of making their parents happy and producing a grandchild together only normalizes a focus on the child-rearing and raising part of the definition of marriage.

Harold said...

dreams said...
There are a lot of closet gays in heterosexual marriages already usually without their spouse's knowledge and there are about ten per cent of men raising children that blood typing studies have shown aren't theirs so people do what they want to or feel they need to as long as they can do it and get away it.

The studies that show 10% of children don't belong to the men are self selcteed studies where the man involved suspects from the gitgo that the kid is not his before the DNA typing is done. From that, we can conclude there is LESS cuckolding going on then thought or suspected.

A general double-blind study of kids vs. "father's DNA" hasn't, to my knowledge, been done. As for my 5, most people who meet my kids think they were cloned. From me, not my wife. I have no fear of what a DNA test would reveal, and no reason to incur the expense of running one.

Coketown said...

It's not the business of the State beyond, perhaps, a neutral civil contract. The State, in my opinion, should not be in the business of licensing or defining or regulating such personal/romantic/religious arrangements at all.

See? We agree! No need to be uncivil. Although you're very amusing when you're sharp and short with people.

There's fakery involved, but is the marriage fake?

I guess if you're redefining the thing to include the forgery, then no, it's not fake.

If a gay man and woman get married to deceive their families into thinking the qualities of their relationship are everything that would result in a marriage, as culturally defined in China, then that's fake.

Just like a forged Rembrandt is a fake. Superficially it's indistinguishable. But it's fake.

But if you redefine marriage to say marriage is only the ceremony and certificate and legal status of two people regardless of if they're getting hot and heavy beneath the sheets or on the kitchen counter, then I guess that's marriage.

Just like that painting is now a Rembrandt because it looks like one--and who's to say what a "Rembrandt" is, anyway?

n.n said...

Synova:

It's not about sex per se. It is about the personal relationship, and promoting a desirable or preferred behavior. It's also about perception's influence on individual behavior and evolutionary fitness.

As I said, normalizing dysfunctional behaviors is an experiment. With respect to homosexual behavior, it will be automatically limited when it reaches some critical mass in the population, or the society will fail. We have not yet reached that conclusion.

The immediate threat to the stability of our population is dysfunctional heterosexual behaviors, including: promiscuity and elective abortion, and generally dreams of material, physical, and ego instant (or immediate) gratification. Women, and men, were promised this outcome without perceived consequences. They were deceived by people with ostensibly good intentions for political, economic, and social profit.

creeley23 said...

The article mentions 19 people in China (population 1.3 billion) looking for such arrangements.

What are we talking about here?

Renee said...

"And of course children have been raised in homes where moms and dads have little to do with each other since whenever, and I don't know that it's harmed them greatly. It probably harms them far less than divorce does. In fact, absent abuse, it undoubtedly harms a child far less to have both parents in the home, even if they are not affectionate, than to be the child of divorce."


That's one sad home.... It sure harms the child, because the parents are role models of love. If your mother and father can't stand to be in the same room with each other, they notice.

I think we tend to forget how much parents really do affect us, growing up we talked about our parents (a bit of a secret and privately with close friends). More then our culture likes to think teens do.

n.n said...

Synova:

I am not so naive to believe there will ever be a Utopia with ideal, universal outcomes. As most everything in our world, marriage is clearly not just about love. That doesn't suggest we should pursue a suboptimal outcome.

And that's my point. We classify behaviors for normalization, tolerance, and rejection. This discussion is clearly not limited to homosexual couplets. That particular behavior and relationships is only a small subset of the comprehensive whole. It is generally about the criteria we explicitly and implicitly identify and exploit to determine a proper classification for a behavior.

Coketown said...

God damn it.

We aren't even arguing about marriage. We're arguing about words! Words and their meaning. Prescription v. description.

A fruitless endeavor--fattening for the mind, but provides no succor. I just realized this. I'm slow out of the gate.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Ann Althouse: A turkey baster is huuuge.

It's a lot smaller than a baby though.

n.n said...

creeley23:

Welcome to the rarefied atmosphere of the ivory towers. Where matters of grave and frivolous circumstance are discussed, recycled, and ignored. It's not unlike the real world, but the process is highly accelerated, and with notably less dire outcomes.

As for China, their "overpopulation" problem arises from urbanization or concentrated (i.e. density) population centers, and dreams of instant gratification. The communists are notorious for making false promises of grand returns. Still, it must be appreciated that they are at least not hiding the consequences of their promises. Perhaps they will yet succeed, but only with persistent extraordinary sacrifices.

Jane said...

What's a "fake" marriage? It's true in this hypothetical case that the couple is being deceptive in hiding their sexual preferences, but until recently romantic love and displays of affection were not a part of Chinese marriage. That's changing, but I would expect it hasn't wholly changed yet, so that a man and woman who were tempermentally suited to each other could marry for the purpose of forming a family unit without expectations of being "in love" - either on their part or those around them.

Anyone who gets upset about this idea has some rethinking to do -- if we've now moved so far in the direction of "marriage = romantic love" that people can't even accept any other form of marriage but this.

Palladian said...

You know I love you, Coketown.

edutcher said...

I can see it now.

The next lawsuit frontier - impersonation of a homosexual.

The penalty?

20 years listening to show tunes.

Coketown said...

You know I love you, Coketown.

Ditto.

Jason (the commenter) said...

In China it's not unusual to marry someone your family picked out, maybe to someone who's little more than a gold-digger.

These "fake" marriages sound like they're at least based on sexual compatibility (by being openly incompatible).

In context, they sound more real than most!

Marshal said...

How can a "fake" marriage exist when marriage means whatever those involved want it to mean?

chickelit said...

rhhardin said...
I used to buy a 10-20 day stay excursion tickets between Newark and Miami in pairs in opposite directions, so as to make a two day trip to Miami every other weekend, at greatly reduced fare.

Plus when you boarded those planes wearing those short shorts you probably cleared out some leg room on both sides.

Win-win!

Mitch H. said...

I'm pretty sure that people used to do this here. It only works in cultures with strong divorce laws, though. What happens when one couple splits up but the other doesn't? It strikes me as very unstable in a no-fault divorce regime, and could possibly result in serious domestic violence in a legal environment *without* no-fault.

Effectively, it's a two-pair group marriage. What did Heinlein call them, "line marriages"? As for the healthiness of the environment for children, depends on the participants and the living arrangements. One of the reasons I was for limited-experiment specific-state gay marriage, was to let the more adventurous states like California splash about as they like, and provide twenty years or so of experimental data in the "state laboratories". Is the mother/father dynamic psychosexually necessary for stable childhood development?

But social engineering experiments are... morally dubious. Better that a fragment voluntarily plunge into the abyss than the whole drawn willy-nilly into the void on an emotional appeal.

As you can tell, I'm not that deep into the bottle today. Not yet.

Question, though: they believe these days that homosexuality is caused by epigenetic conditions in the gametes and the uterine environment at the time of fertilization, right? What kind of conditions are we talking about? There's some suggestion that a regular, emotionallly stable sexual relationship between the mother and the father provide the hormonal counter-environment that tends to produce a healthy, straight child. What would the turkey-baster insemination of a mother with semen from a man she has no hormonal relationship with result in? Would that child have significant developmental issues, outside sigma? Forget the gay thing, what about emotional or psychological stability?

Homo sapiens has been optimized for stable male-female pair-bonding for as long as there's been a sapiens, and probably longer. It's notable even in the last century that periods of high social instability and cultural violence see a decrease in fertility - such as the post-war Soviet Union, for instance.

Anyways, something to be wary of, whenever y'all get into a social engineering mood.

ed said...

Well.

1. We are talking about a society where a woman over the age of 25 is considered "over the hill" and unsuitable for marriage.

2. Hey it might work. If nothing else the husband can go trolling for chicks in the local bars and bring the wife along. Maybe she'll get lucky.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's a lot smaller than a baby though."

Look at a baby. Look at your penis. Think about it.

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse: A turkey baster is huuuge.

Just checked the drawers and found one. It's about 8" long but only a thumbs' width in girth.

How big is the turkey baster at Althouse?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Althouse: Look at a baby. Look at your penis. Think about it.

Quotable Althouse, people!

gutless said...

Hey, I can see the pit of hell from here!

deborah said...

n.n. said:

"This is not really about homosexual couplets. This is about our inability to address the main issue, which is a diversity of unions, both sexual and platonic, and our attempt to rationalize and justify an artificial departure from an evolutionary process.

It is an experiment, but is it worth conducting?"

It's not an experiment, it's social evolution. It's diversifying approaches to child bearing/child rearing toward the continuation of the species.

bpm4532 said...

Polyamory here we come!

Seriously, anyone who goes down the road of same-sex marriage, needs to answer the question, "What's special about 2?" For if we limit it to two people, the only reason can be that it is based on the biological requirement for creating new life. If it's about "love and commitment" then three or more can be part of such a partnership.

bpm4532 said...

Since everyone is about changing the language, let's create a new term for a marriage between a man and a woman. Let's make it really popular and everyone start using it. Pretty soon, the homosexual community will start agitating for the definition to be extended to them.

Palladian said...

Hey, I can see the pit of hell from here!

That's no way to talk about your wife!

Inga said...

"Polyamory here we come!

Seriously, anyone who goes down the road of same-sex marriage, needs to answer the question, "What's special about 2?""
-------------------------
Not a damn thing.

Balfegor said...

n.n:

What about the children? A dysfunctional relationship, for example one of convenience, does not engender a positive outcome for their normal development.

Arranged marriages seem to me to generate better outcomes for the children than modern-style love/lust matches, at least from the examples I've seen. That's not to say that arranged marriages are inevitably loveless -- they certainly don't seem to be, though it's certainly none of my business. But arranged marriages are not love matches. I don't think that makes them dysfunctional at all. Indeed, the rate of dysfunctional unions seems to me much higher among love matches, born as they are of messy, fleeting passion.

ken in sc said...

Considering how hard it is to find another person you can get along with, finding three people you can get along with is going to be really hard. Other than that, I don't see anything wrong with it.

Gahrie said...

Would it be wrong for the males to marry the females?

Short answer?

No.

Browndog said...

It's not an experiment, it's social evolution. It's diversifying approaches to child bearing/child rearing toward the continuation of the species.

Ah, now were getting somewhere.

Too bad nobody really has the guts to call what's really going on by it's name.

It's not about SSM, or evolving, or progressing...

It's about Androgyny

Jason (the commenter) said...

"Fake"

Was that label applied because we're dealing with the Chinese, who we think of as copiers? So we call these types of marriages fake, and feel an extra sense of superiority!

betamax3000 said...

In the hidden chamber of Diamond Manor the pensive Neil Diamond waits silently by the Diamond Phone. He knew this Call would Come. Human Nature in all of its Variety: he wrote about it in 1968's "Velvet Gloves And Spit":

Two bit manchild I was
Born for nothin' mostly
Good time with sometime women
Nothin' ain't ever hold me

At times like these he wondered if the World was ready for his Cape....

Æthelflæd said...

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2013/0419/Florist-sued-again-for-refusing-to-provide-flowers-for-gay-wedding?nav=87-frontpage-entryInsideMonitor

Nini said...

Surfed said...
I think it's a lovely idea. And besides who's business is it anyways? A governments? I don't think so....



Of course, it is the government's business. Think of tax avoidance, tax planning, ripping the system off for benefits.

Not to mention the social side to this kind of arrangement. What kind of future generation will result from this kind of dishonest arrangement and this kind of lifestyle. What values can children imbibe from these kind of relationships in which dishonesty is the essence.

Nini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nini said...

EDH said...
Ann Althouse said...
Try to refrain from the usual descent to the question whether people will be marrying dogs.

What about eating them at the reception dinner?



Sure, didn't Obama admit in "Dreams of my father" that while in Indonesia he ate dog meat and grasshopper too. He said, I think, that grasshopper was crunchy!

dbp said...

Clearly there is subtrafuge going on in such a situation, so it is hard to criticise the word "fake". Still, given the strong social expectation of kids and marriage it certainly seems justifiable.

I could certainly see entering into such an arrangement myself if I was not hetero and wanted kids.

Ann Althouse said...

"How big is the turkey baster at Althouse?"

This is an item I've never owned. I think basting is unnecessary. But for sel-insemination, the Internet recommends a oral medicine syringe.

chickelit said...

I haven't used one for years either. I recommend self-basting using a spit. Things marinate in their own juices. Success every time!

deborah said...

@Browndog "Ah, now were getting somewhere.

Too bad nobody really has the guts to call what's really going on by it's name.

It's not about SSM, or evolving, or progressing...

It's about Androgyny"

I disagree. I think it's about individual freedom and people being able to live happily wherever they fall along the spectrum of sexuality, androgyny included.

Synova said...

"Indeed, the rate of dysfunctional unions seems to me much higher among love matches, born as they are of messy, fleeting passion."

I don't advocate arranged marriages, but I think that they do tend to focus on the child-rearing financial-coupling aspects of creating the family unit as primary and the affection, which is certainly hoped for and possible, as secondary.

Prioritizing passion, as I mentioned, actually normalizes divorce. The other person is expected to "make me happy" and when I'm not happy I leave. The most important thing is to be in love, so when I don't feel lovely I leave. Faithfulness is effortless because I'm in love, if I feel an itch to be unfaithful I leave.

And then tell stories to make myself feel better about how the kids really are better off because I've made myself happy by leaving their father and jerking them around, destroying their security and making sure they know that my happiness is the most important thing.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Arranged marriages seem to me to generate better outcomes for the children than modern-style love/lust matches

I agree. The idea of arranged marriages horrified me when I was younger. Now, having just celebrated 12 years and looking forward to many more, it's clear that marriage works so much better when the potential spouses or wise and mature people working on their behalf carefully and soberly consider practical factors of compatibility. Also, a notion of marriage as a vocation and a project that carries more significance (religiously, socially, what have you) than simply the pleasant/self-actualized feelings of the participants helps too.

creeley23 said...

Prioritizing passion, as I mentioned, actually normalizes divorce.

Synova: Spot on.

Carl said...

And what if two human beings, sincere good friends, who really feel in their hearts that they are horses, regardlesss of the mere accident of their fleshy envelope, pool their resources and buy a first-class barn with good heat and drainage, arrange for fresh hay each morning, and raise their adopted Chinese daughter to the best of their sincere abilities just as a stallion and mare should?

Do you think their "filly" will have a chance at the Belmont Stakes?

What always amazes me about the lawyerly mind is how flexible it is. For example, we find some that, having used Biology to explain why homosexual preferences are just a normal variation of the DNA -- 100% nothing at all to do with rearing or culture, say -- in contrast to having a thing for girls who look underage, or wanting your woman to dress up like mom, or wanting to do it with sheep, which is just nasty and clearly the result of a bad childhood -- they then promptly forget all about the rest of biology.

If a homosexual man cannot, with the strongest will in the world and his best intellectual efforts, turn himself on to women, then how do we imagine his mere will and conscious thought can turn him into the father biology designed for his offspring? How is it that in the one thing, we are prisoners of the DNA, but in the other, it's all about what we set out to do with sincerity, good will, and an intellectual grasp (we assume) of the issues?

Maybe Dr. Spock is to blame, along with the typical extravagant faith in the intellect that is characteristic of the intellectual. After all, he (Spock) started the trend of believing good parenting was a learned (or readily learnable) intellectual skill. You could get it by reading books. Practising, like you do a foreign language. Listening to lectures, reading words of wisdom.

There is, in short, in the modern mythology of parenting no starring role for innate talent, or lack thereof, nor yet any ineffable quality of character, built up over a young lifetime of a certain type of experience and effort, which does not express itself as conscious thought and deliberate choice, which appears in your unconscious attitudes, behaviourisms, preverbal communication, and instinctual choices.

Imagine our laughter, if a horse could talk, and it told us quite sincerely that most of what made it a horse was a matter of conscious choice after intellectual reflection. A biologist from Sirius studying H. sapiens would enjoy a very similar horse laugh, I think.

creeley23 said...

As I recall from previous gay marriage topics, Althouse has a curious fascination with this homosexual menage a' quartre which produces children.

Whatever. It's exceedingly rare to the point of freakishness.

By the article's numbers the current Chinese interest in this arrangement is on the order of one in a seventy-five million.

I imagine with Americans, lacking a homophobic society which strongly pressures for grandchildren, the rate would be virtually nil.

So why are we talking about this?

Synova said...

I think, Carl, that you're way off the deep end. And I actually believe that men and women (and anyone else) have innate differences and are not interchangeable.

Jason (the commenter) said...

chickelit: I haven't used one for years either. I recommend self-basting using a spit. Things marinate in their own juices. Success every time!

A "spit" also being the traditional means of insemination.

"You've got to spin around for this to work!"

kentuckyliz said...

Confucius say, there are no gays in China.

Passing is not a new concept.

Class factotum said...

Why should gay males marry gay females?

In the US, it would be a good way for them to get spousal benefits from the employer.

DWPittelli said...

They're making the best of a touch situation. I bet there's some of this in the Arab world too.

The potential problem comes when a couple seeks a divorce. Not the legally married hetero "couple," but the legally nonmarried but actually a couple, gay or lesbian couple. It could get uglier even than regular divorce, when you consider the custody issues of biological parents, house ownership, and the other, lesbian or gay couple.

Greg said...

Your hypothetical super family could happen with heterosexual couples as well.

A married couple with a teenage daughter goes on vacation and meets another married couple, who has a teenage son. The two couples hit it off so well that they both decide to divorce, with each husband marrying the other husband's ex-wife. Then they buy a big house and move in together.

I've just described the anime Marmalade Boy.

Now, would that be better or worse for the children in these relationships?

ZZMike said...

First off, they can do their best to change the definition of "marriage", but it's not going to work. Marriage is t=what it's been for millenennia. Even the variants, like polygamy, weren't there for the wives to cuddle.

If they want to cohabit in some sort of civil (or uncivil) union, tehn as long as no-one is hurt or victimized, society should say "go ahead".

But a Chinese "fake marriage" is no more a marriage than the Islamic


The trend is spreading to the Islamic world:

Muslim Gays Seek Lesbians For Wives

R.C. said...

Is the question whether such an arrangement, once it forms, is capable of producing relatively undamaged kids?

Of course it is.

Is the question whether 1000 such arrangements, once they formed, could produce a population of kids more than 50% of whom were relatively undamaged?

I'm less certain, but I think it's possible. Lower the success threshold to 35% and I'll assert it's extremely likely.

Or, is the question whether, provided that society were to assert that such structures are a culturally-approved norm for childrearing, of the children raised by homosexuals who, at the time the children were conceived, intended to live by that norm, more than 50% of those children would be relatively undamaged?

In that case -- what I'd call the real-world "normal use" scenario, I'm gonna guess that around 25% of the kids wind up entirely healthy; with the remainder suffering from various forms of dysfunction.

(But keep in mind that intact two-heterosexual-parent till-death-do-us-part homes don't have perfect records of producing children without dysfunction. Their record is vastly better, but not perfect.)

Human societies and cultures didn't spring full-formed out of Zeus' head. They evolved; presumably many times they failed after certain experiments went awry. The civilizational high-points of the past and present represent models working at peak performance with respect to survival and human thriving.

But society, being like an organism, cannot function correctly if you just suddenly make major alterations to one part of its internal organs. The system is too "tightly coupled" in software parlance; even small changes in one place produce radical outcomes elsewhere.

I think we have to accept that what we're doing here is like making random DNA changes to an organism and hoping it all works out all right.

My guess is that attempts to fight the biological norm with respect to childrearing will sometimes work, but will be fraught with unexpected difficulties which reveal themselves only after time.

...continued...

R.C. said...

...continuing...

When all things are optimal -- I'm talking about a pair of marriages between two highly educated but otherwise sane millionaire lesbians and two highly educated but otherwise sane millionaire gay men -- then the success rate will be high because, even though such a group is fighting against biology in myriad ways, their other socioeconomic advantages will provide fallback mechanisms and coping mechanisms.

But when things are not optimal, economic and emotional ruin and misery will be common. Paris Hilton can afford the indiscipline of being vacuous; her spiritual sister in the trailer-park cannot. Likewise with gay persons who adopt...or who try to form four-person family structures.

The chaos mathematics of the proposed system suggest extreme instability of course. I'm not saying somebody has to do the math; they don't: It's like asking your tax attorney whether you'll owe any taxes on ten billion dollars' wages. He doesn't need to pull out a calculator to answer "yes." You don't need to actually model this system to know that its positive feedbacks are uniformly centrifugal!

Some obvious points of instability include: What happens when one couple or one person's job takes them to a different city. Do ALL FOUR uproot themselves? (It's hard enough with just ONE other person.)

And, what happens when one or both couples break up?

And, are there strange behavioral dynamics from having the sexual attraction flowing in unusual directions?

And, are any of the folks bisexual in inclination? Would some heterosexual bonds begin to form? What jealousies would arise?

And, how do you handle the property-ownership issues?

And, how do you synchronize all the other "value systems" one must teach a child? Suppose an atheist, a Buddhist, a (wildly progressive and presumably non-communicant) Catholic, and a Jew get "married?" What's the kid? Rinse, repeat for political systems, attitudes about consumerism and charitable giving and saving and business ownership and firearms in the house, and, and, and, and...!

I'll betcha that for every 10 times this kind of family structure is attempted, it lasts as a stable structure until the last kid's 18th birthday only 5% of the time or less.

Serket said...

I have a lesbian second cousin who married her gay friend and he is the father of their children. They do not currently live together and I'm not sure if they ever did. They actually live on opposite sides of the state. Their son rotates between them, but I'm not sure for the other kids. I assume they have never consummated the relationship, but used in vitro fertilization. I'm not sure why they did this, but probably something to do with custody and benefits.

I also know a guy that I met in junior high and he is gay and married to a woman and they have children together and seem to be in a happy relationship. I think the main reason he did this was for religious beliefs.

Both of these scenarios make me annoyed when people make simplistic arguments like "gays can't get married" or "gays can't marry someone of their choosing."

In China, where homosexuality was classified as...a crime until 1997

Wasn't it still a crime in parts of the USA until 2003?

Obviously, a male and female can produce a child together, without ever having sex and without medical intervention.

I thought these were the only two options.

Brian Macker said...

"Obviously, a male and female can produce a child together, without ever having sex and without medical intervention. "

Why the ridiculous assumption that gay men cannot climax inside a woman? Speaking as a heterosexual man, I could climax in a woman I'm not attracted to, so I'm pretty sure a gay guy could to. Plus, most heterosexual males have achieved climate with manual stimulation by a male hand, their own. Pretty sure gay men can do the same and stick it in just as they are climaxing. They could even get help from the male of this supposed foursome before insertion. So no need for turkey basters.