So this topic came up during the Russian invasion thread. I rather enjoy reading the discussion about the situation in Ukraine, and I felt that the gay marriage debate was a stirring enough topic to warrant its own thread so as not to detract from the other thread. I took what I thought were the most relevant posts on the topic and provided them here as quotes so that they point back to the original comments. So that's the general idea. Should marriage remain defined as a union between a man and woman? Does that cultural distinction truly exist as argued by e.g. walle? As specofdust asks, if there is a cultural distinction, does that mean society can never question and ultimately alter that distinction? To provide an interesting side-bar to this topic, there currently is a bit of news coming out of Arizona where state legislators approved a bill that would allow business owners to deny service to customers on the basis of whether the owner feels that his or her religious beliefs would be affected. Although presented in fairly general terms, the proposed law was reported as a means for businesses to deny gay customers. The legislation passed, but was ultimately vetoed by the governor after a lot of criticism against the bill. Speaking out against the veto, Iowa Representative Steve King argued that homosexuality is "self-professed behavior" and can't be independently verified." I think this is part of the problem in the gay rights debate. Influential people such as Steve King have a platform from which they can issue such patently ignorant claims with no real worry about being held accountable for their statements. I'm actually of two minds on the proposed Arizona law. I don't really care about a person's sexual orientation; people are people as far as I'm concerned. However, I do somewhat support the right of a private business to deny service to anyone for any reason. One of the oft-cited examples is legislation proposed for the ballot this year in Oregon (with similar cases appearing in other states. In addition to possibly allowing gay marriage, a related ballot measure would allow businesses (e.g. photographers, cake decorators, and florists) legal protection to deny customers based on religious grounds. As a photographer, I wouldn't have an issue photographing a gay wedding. But as a photographer, I should have the right to deny a customer for any reason at all. It might make me unpopular, it might make me look antiquated and bigoted, and I may even lose business because of it. But it's my right to look stupid.