"IS THERE A RATIONAL BASIS for banning same-sex marriage?"The rhetoric on this subject is totally backwards. The headline should read:
Is there a rational basis for re-defining marriage to include homosexual unions?The problem here is three-fold:
First, the burden of proof has magically been moved from those seeking a change of the status-quo (ie the gay-rights crowd who are hell bent on changing the meaning and *legal definition* of the word marriage) to those who oppose such change. Does this strike anyone else as bass-ackwards? Usually when someone seeks to change a venerable and well-functioning institution, the burden of proof falls on those seeking alteration, not vice-versa.
Second, the phrase "ban same-sex marriage" misrepresents the issue. Imagine, if you will, someome who proposes a "ban on heterosexual marriage". To me this sounds like a law against forbidding men and women from living together as husband and wife. This is *not* how I would describe someone who was merely quibbling about the *label* that society attaches to a man and woman living together as husband and wife.
AFAIK, noone is proposing a ban on homosexuals living together as a couple -- so why the disengenuous rhetoric? Traditionalists merely oppose redifining a word that provides a useful distinction, a description of certain type of solemnized co-habitation.
Third, the question (as posed) is a raging case of Circulus in demonstrando (circular argument). In other words the whole issue is posed in a way that accepts homosexual relationships as a form of marriage -- the very thing that is at dispute! No honest discussion of this issue can begin with a question including the words "same-sex marriage", because for traditionalists of my persuasion those words are meaningless: marriage is (by venerable and long-standing definition) never same-sex.
Lastly it also occurs to me that this SSM push seems fundamentally illegal -- all of the laws governing marriage have been passed with a traditional marriage in mind. By redifining the word marriage, a revolution in law will have been perpetrated in an essentially un-democratic way.