Stanley, I hate to revert (so to speak) to promiscuity again, but I don’t think that it works to claim that (male) homosexuals are more promiscuous than their heterosexual counterparts because of the absence of the restraining influence of women and from that to argue that the mere existence of homosexual civil unions would threaten the monogamous ideal of heterosexual marriage.
To raise just one objection, I cannot imagine the circumstances in which a husband would successfully convince his wife that an ‘open’ marriage was acceptable simply on the grounds that Bert and Ernie next door (yes, it’s true!) have an ‘open’ civil union. If the nature of heterosexual marriage were to be changed by legally recognized homosexual unions that supposedly put less of a premium on fidelity than their straight equivalents, women would, by definition, have to agree. Why would they? Blogger Justin Katz (who has plenty to interesting comments on this controversy – much of it at odds with my own viewpoint) comments “it isn’t the slip of paper used for a marriage certificate that encourages men to “settle down,” it’s the women whom they marry.” Yes, and a change in the law to permit homosexual unions would be unlikely to change that.
Lets also take another look at the numbers. If we agree that 2-3 percent of Americans are homosexual and that only a (relatively) small percentage of that population would want to get ‘married’, we would then be looking at a small percentage of that tiny percentage that would believe it acceptable to fool around. That’s not going to threaten the existence of an institution (heterosexual marriage) that has survived for thousands of years despite a great deal of (heterosexual) fooling around.