Gay Marriage and the U.S. Constitution

In a February 25th New York Times story titled “Republicans Sign Brief in Support of Gay Marriage”, reporter Sheryl Stolberg states the following:

Dozens of prominent Republicans — including top advisers to former President George W. Bush, four former governors and two members of Congress — have signed a legal brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry, a position that amounts to a direct challenge to Speaker John A. Boehner and reflects the civil war in the party since the November election.

In a February 23rd article featured in The Hill’s Blog Briefing Room, Bernie Becker writes the following:

President Obama’s administration said Friday that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, filing a brief weeks ahead of scheduled arguments before the Supreme Court.

In its brief, the Justice Department said that DOMA, which defined marriage as only between a man and a woman, “violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection.”

These challenges to civil bans on same-sex marriage may be appalling to social conservatives who are opposed to same-sex marriage for religious reasons. Indeed, the Abrahamic faiths speak against same-gender sexual behavior (which would include same-sex marriage). However, the U.S. Constitution does not permit civil governments within the USA to base laws on the rules of conduct of any particular religion. Social conservatives who want same-sex marriage to be banned have to come up with a non-religious argument against same-sex marriage that will stand up to constitutional scrutiny.

So, what if the U.S. Supreme Court were to rule that a ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional? If that were to happen, then social conservatives of faith would have to face the reality that their religious beliefs cannot be legislated in the secular arena.

Social conservatives of faith may perceive same-sex marriage to be a sign of a morality problem.  What they need to realize is that some problems can be solved only by a change of heart, and like it or not, a civil government cannot change hearts.

Thankfully, social conservatives of faith still have a constitutional right to declare and to teach that certain chosen behaviors are immoral, including same-gender sexual behavior. That is a reality that social liberals have to face.

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Posted by on February 26, 2013.
Filed under Constitutional Issues, Gay Marriage, Supreme Court.
Tagged with: .
A refugee from Planet Melmac masquerading as a human. Loves cats*. In fair condition. A fixer-upper. Warranty still good. Not necessarily sane. [*Joke in reference to the TV sit-com "Alf", which featured a space alien who liked to eat cats. Disclaimer: No cats were harmed in the writing and posting of this profile.]

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  • herddog505

    David Robertson[S]ocial conservatives of faith still have a constitutional right to declare and to teach that certain chosen behaviors are immoral, including same-gender sexual behavior.

    What planet are you living on??? Haven’t you heard of a little thing we like to call “hate speech”?

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/07/25/Rahm-Emanuel-latest-to-fight-Chick-Fil-A

    • Brucehenry

      Despite Rahm’s hissyfit, conservatives still do, indeed, have a constitutional right to declare and teach what they choose to declare and teach.

      Honest question: Did, or does, Chick-fil-A have any intent to open a store within Chicago’s city limits?

      • herddog505

        While I don’t know for certain, I can’t imagine why any restaurant WOULDN’T want to open in one of the largest cities in the country.

        As for what conservatives have a “right” to do: tell it to Juan Williams on the other thread. Tell it to the Fordham U. College Republicans who can’t have Ann Coulter speak at their college.

        Yes, I know: these are not official government actions, but is there any doubt that the left would demonize as “hate speech” anything like what David Robertson suggests? Or that they wouldn’t attempt to have the “h8er” fired or otherwise punished? Remember Dr. Mark Regnerus, who was the target of an official university “investigation” because he dared to publish research suggesting that the children of a gay parent(s) might have more developmental issues than the children of straight parents?

        If lefties limited themselves to argument, that would be one thing. But they like to be a little more… um… personal. Like Floyd Corkins, right?

        • Brucehenry

          I’m not familiar with those cases, but, I suspect there’s a BSDI thing here (Both Sides Do It). One Million Moms wants Ellen Degeneres fired as a spokesperson for JC Penney. Van Jones was hounded from office by Talk Radio kooks because of remarks he made in the past. There are other examples, from both ends of the political spectrum.

          As for Regnerus, I thought the investigation was about his using false comparisons and flawed data to reach a preordained conclusion. The tempest in this teapot was created by conservatives wanting a martyr to mythologize, as I remember it.

          • herddog505

            As I recall it, he was investigated for NOT reaching the “correct”, preordained conclusion, and the business about “false comparisons and flawed data” was a lot of trumpery to hide the real cause of complaint.

            At any rate, I stand by my original statement: the left will not permit conservatives to have their constitutional rights in this matter. Corkins is an extreme example of how far lefties will go to silence “hate speech”.

          • r.a.

            No, Regerus’s comparison was off–his study did not actually prove what he said it did. He was basically looking at the differences between “stable” and “unstable” households. If you look at the methods etc that’s pretty easy to see. I think you can find the paper online if you want. But that does not justify how some folks went after him. Just because he was wrong does not give others carte blanche to go into full character assassination mode.

          • jim_m

            As I recall it his accusers were all gay activists and the investigation by the leftist academic panel lurched into the realization that the accusations had nothing behind them. Just one more example of he left trying to destroy those who disagree with them. No tactic is too low for the left not to attempt it. None.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/author/rodney-graves/ Rodney G. Graves

            I suspect this is yet another case of you being FOS since you present no evidence in support of your contention.

          • r.a.

            You’re right about Regnerus, Bruce. He basically conflated causation in that study when he tried to use “homosexuality” as the main factor. What he was really seeing was the differences between stable and unstable households.

            The other problem with that whole controversy was that many of his opponents went completely overboard. People basically freaked out, instead of just looking at his argument carefully and challenging it with a somewhat level head.

          • herddog505

            Not to rehash this subject, but WHY were the houses “stable” v. “unstable”? Was that not part of his point, i.e that having a gay parent creates problems in child raising? And it hasn’t got to be invidious (“Gays are bad parents!”); it can simply be a statement about the problems that homophobia can cause for a family and their kids (“Bobby’s dad is a faggot! Everybody make fun of Bobby!”).

          • r.a.

            You should read the paper. I think I have it and can send it to you if you want. The point here is that he was not measuring what he said he was, and if you look at how he defined his different samples, then this point will make sense. He basically takes unstable households and defines them as the “homosexual” sample (based upon shaky criteria), and then compares them with stable households. It’s bad methodology and a bad comparison. In order to do the study correctly he would have to compare stable hetero households with stable homosexual households. If he wants to really make a valid point about differences in households, then he has to make a scientifically viable comparison. Basically, he jumped to a conclusion that does not hold up when you look at his data and methods. Again, reading the paper itself helps clear this up–it’s a pretty straightforward problem.

          • herddog505

            The university doesn’t appear to have thought so.

            http://www.utexas.edu/opa/wordpress/news/files/Regner-Provost-Memo-8-28-12.pdf

          • r.a.

            Well, that document is about whether or not Regnerus committed “scientific misconduct.” I agree with the university’s decision that he did not. But the doc doesn’t say anything about the actual merits or validity of his study, so it has nothing to do with what I am talking about here. Read his study, check the methods. It clearly does not prove what he said it did. I don’t know what else to tell you. Don’t just argue with me because you *think* I’m wrong. Read it. It’s all right there in his methods.

          • r.a.
        • JWH

          Yes, I know: these are not official government actions, but is there any doubt that the left would demonize as “hate speech” anything like what David Robertson suggests?

          Then you had better hope that “the left” is not a monolith.

          • Commander_Chico

            There have been legal actions of the like in Canada, the UK and Sweden, so it’s not impossible.

            Only the First Amendment stops it here, but who knows how interpretations might change? The case to read is the one on the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Boston – Hurley vs. Irish-American Gay and Lesbian Group, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurley_v._Irish-American_Gay,_Lesbian,_and_Bisexual_Group_of_Boston

          • JWH

            There are actually a few cases out there that explore this sort of thing, and I disagree with them somewhat.

            In New Mexico, a same-sex couple sued a wedding photographer who didn’t want to shoot their wedding. The case, last I checked, was pending before the state’s supreme court. So far, courts have ruled against the photographer — something I strongly disagree with because of First Amendment free-speech guarantees.

            Somewhat tougher are two other items I’ve read. The first is a baker who refused to provide a wedding cake for same-sex nuptials, and the other is the owner of a venue who refuses to allow a reception for a same-sex wedding.

            These cases present a lot of questions, and I’m not entirely comfortable with the answers to any of them.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            In those three cases, it seems much more like the folks who were rejected are trying to punish the photographer, baker and venue owner. Break ‘em with legal bills, force them to close – that’ll sure show those damn breeders!

            Man, if someone didn’t want to do business with me, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to coerce them into it. I might post on Yelp or Kudzu (depending on where you are) depending on how they acted – but to litigate over a refusal? The only people who win there are the lawyers.

            (Unless you count that smug feeling of self-righteousness when you ‘win’ a case and see your opponent bankrupt and forced to close.)

            Tom Paxton’s song “1 Million Lawyers” may have been right – how much can our poor nation stand?

          • JWH

            And you identified one of my problems with it. If the plaintiffs went from photographer to photographers, or baker to baker, and so forth, and all of them said “no,” then I could see suing over it. Strictly from a non-lawyerish standpoint, that’s an example of the person not being able to get any service, rather than just one person who’s taking a principled stand.

            On the other hand, I have something of a beef with the baker’s case. As far as I’m concerned, once I buy something from you, it’s mine to do with as I please. If I buy a cake from you, and I want to put two grooms, two brides, or Cthulhu and Hastur on top of it, it’s my business, not yours.

          • JWH

            To clarify: I don’t see much point in bringing a lawsuit against a single business owner just to punish them for not serving you. I think it reaches problem status if all or most of the businesses in your geographic area refuse to serve you, doubly so if they are acting in concert to do so.

            Not to mention that “I didn’t get a wedding cake” and “I couldn’t get this wedding photographer” doesn’t hold a candle to “I tried to stay at this hotel but they wouldn’t let me because of my race” or “I can’t go to this school because of my race.”

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Your second paragraph really hits it. Forcing X to be the equivalent of Y when it isn’t is simply foolish.

          • JWH

            It was one of the reasons I disliked a gay person’s lawsuit against eHarmony a few years ago. If you read the law a certain way, they had a winning case (and if I recall correctly, they did indeed win their lawsuit. But, as several commentators pointed out, the lawsuit sort of cheapened discrimination law. A dating service seems kind of … small potatoes … next to real, substantive discrimination in public accommodations, housing, or employment.

          • JWH

            It was one of the reasons I disliked a gay person’s lawsuit against eHarmony a few years ago. If you read the law a certain way, they had a winning case (and if I recall correctly, they did indeed win their lawsuit. But, as several commentators pointed out, the lawsuit sort of cheapened discrimination law. A dating service seems kind of … small potatoes … next to real, substantive discrimination in public accommodations, housing, or employment.

          • JWH

            One more note on these cases. I’ve followed the photography case fairly closely, and I’ve also looked at the baker’s situation. In both cases, they’ve made it clear that they have no problem with gay customers. That is, if you come into the bakery, say, “I’m gay, and I want a cake!!” he’s going to say, “What flavor would you like?” Similarly, in the photography case, the opinions indicate that the photographer said she’d be willing to do a studio shoot of the woman and her partner, but balked specifically at doing a wedding.

            I’m still wrestling with this one. Is refusing to provide a product or service for a same-sex wedding the same as wholesale discrimination based on sexuality? I honestly haven’t reached a conclusion on this yet.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            I’ll tell ya, I’m wondering if there aren’t some psychotropic drugs in the water nationwide… because there’s sure a lot of crazy shit going on, and I don’t see any sign of it easing.

          • JWH

            I have my own theory. It involves males waving around objects that they think are very large and impressive, if you know what I mean.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            lol…

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Cthulhu and Hastur are an item now? Why didn’t I see that in US, People, or the National Enquirer? Man, I’m always the last to know on stuff like that. Where are they registered, Souls’R'Us? I’d better get my sacrifices in early…

            As far as the bakery is concerned, again I think it’s their prerogative. If I went in and asked them to make a multi-layer cake decorated with frosting dildos and licorice bondage gear, I wouldn’t be surprised to have my request turned down. If they took the money and then refused to deliver the goods – I can see suing because they failed to provide what was bought.

            But again here – the only winner is the lawyer, I think.

          • JWH

            Let’s say you go in for a fairly generic cake, then you decide to go home and add your er … decorations yourself. Is it really the baker’s business what you plan to do with the cake once it’s yours? As far as I’m concerned, once I get the cake, it’s my property to do with as I please.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Once you get the cake, I agree, you can do what you want with it.

            If the process never gets that far, then you’re kinda out of luck.

            Which makes me wonder – did they go in and order a wedding cake, or were they explicit in telling the baker it was for a gay wedding’?

          • JWH

            Let’s say you go in for a fairly generic cake, then you decide to go home and add your er … decorations yourself. Is it really the baker’s business what you plan to do with the cake once it’s yours? As far as I’m concerned, once I get the cake, it’s my property to do with as I please.

          • herddog505

            [I]n each game there are two players who remain anonymous to each other. The first player is given an amount of money, say $100, and told that he has to offer some of the cash, in an amount of his choosing, to the other subject. The second player can accept or refuse the split. But there’s a hitch: players know that if the recipient refuses the offer, both leave empty-handed. North Americans, who are the most common subjects for such experiments, usually offer a 50-50 split when on the giving end. When on the receiving end, they show an eagerness to punish the other player for uneven splits at their own expense. In short, Americans show the tendency to be equitable with strangers—and to punish those who are not.*

            Toss in the political angle and the fifteen minutes of fame (“I’m in the news for suing people who refused to bake me a wedding cake! Yaaaay me!”), and who WOULDN’T sue them?

            And is this not likely the same motivation behind Sandra Fluke? She thinks that she’s being treated unfairly. Instead of simply going to another school, she chooses to try to shame – punish – Georgetown and the Catholic Church in general.

            Liberals are a poisonous lot.

            ====

            (*) http://www.psmag.com/magazines/pacific-standard-cover-story/joe-henrich-weird-ultimatum-game-shaking-up-psychology-economics-53135/

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Yeah, I’ve noticed that…. The world doesn’t fit their specifications, therefore they’re going to force it into line, and break out the largest hammer they can when it won’t align properly.

      • jim_m

        Did, or does, Chick-fil-A have any intent to open a store within Chicago’s city limits?

        Why would you want to open a store where your employees are all going to be murdered?

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          That is a point…

          Death benefits would definitely need to be figured into operating costs…

  • SteveCrickmore075

    Social conservatives of faith still have a constitutional right to declare and to teach that certain chosen behaviors are immoral, including same-gender sexual behavior.
    Whose immorality: the heathen, the laity or the church leaders, heaven forbid the latter’?

    Try and find one a find one teacher of morality of the church who is not involved with some sex scandal usually from members of his own sex, and you will be very lucky indeed. The latest hypocrite on immorality was Britain’s foremost angry advocate against gay marriage, the most senior UK Catholic leader, Cardinal O’brien, who has been accused of repeated “inappropriate acts” read homosexual acts against fellow priests, and as been forced to resign after a lifetime of public lectures on the immorality of homosexuality and recently gay marriage.

    Nearly all major religions, from their desert nomad traditions treat women as second class ciitizens, (Islam even worse) and don’t give them a equal part in marriages, so a church that can’t treat women as equals is certainly not going to be realistic about marriage between two men…but wizbang wants more lectures from priests about our behavior not theirs’. It would be better idea if we could lecture them about their behavior..

    • jim_m

      Thanks for your bigoted screed against religion. It might interest you to know that the Roman Catholic Church is not the only religion in the world and that few religions in the developed world treat women like property (except the mohammedans, but then you are OK with them treating women like cattle).

      When was the last time I saw a lefty criticizing muslims for murdering gays? Ummmmm Never. So don’t go complaining about hypocrisy until you take a good look in the mirror.

      • Commander_Chico

        Standard jim_m answer: it’s OK that priests are bum-blasting young boys, because muslims would be killing them. And you’re an anti-semite, too!!

        • jim_m

          You really hate it when we point out your hypocrisy. You really don’t care about what your fellow travelers, the radical islamists, do. Steve conflates Catholicism with all of Christianity, He paints all of Christianity with the same scandal that the RCC has been mired in. Not surprisingly you read criticizing his smear as defending the actions of the RCC, when it was nothing of the sort.

      • SteveCrickmore075

        I said in my previous comment that Islam was the worse. Women have virtually no constitutional rights in a muslim country and are treated as slaves or property by half the population because their male oppressors are born with a penis in one hand and the Koran in the other.

    • retired.military

      Funny all the latest kiidie sex scandals I have seen in the papers were teachers. Most are in the union and get paid for years to do nothing while the union fights their case (unless of course they are in jail).

      And women are treated as equals in the RCC. No they cant be priests but they can participate in every other aspect of the church. That is hardly being treated as a 2nd class citizen.

      As usual Steve spouts his leftie talking points and Chico chimes in.

      Same shit different day.

      • SteveCrickmore075

        Women can’t influence catholic policy even over their own bodies or birth control. The second Vatican council which represented the last major social and liturgical authority of the Catholic church was composed of 703 adults, not a single one a woman. nor did any one presumbly think of inviting one.. It is a total and absolute patriarchy. The women’s role like their marriage vow is to obey and serve men. Things might have been different if the messiah had been a.. ..

        • herddog505

          Steve, this isn’t the 15th century any more. The Catholic Church’s “oppression of women” that you seem so desperate to prove consists of telling them what God’s commandments are and urging them to follow them. Oh, and the CC (oddly enough) doesn’t like to pay for people to do things that God doesn’t want them to do (I’ll bet that those greedy fathers at Georgetown don’t pay for the male students to rent hookers, either). Is the CC oppressing men because it tells them to remain faithful to only one women for their lives, and that playing the field is wicked? Is it oppressing men for telling them that they ought to be good fathers to their children? Or that they ought to give to the poor?

          As for the behavior of SOME churchmen, both in the CC and elsewhere, I suggest that what you’re seeing is what we Christians like to call “sin”: we all do it. Therefore, we are all hypocrites in some way. I do not say that churchmen who sully their office shouldn’t be removed from that office or that the church, in cases where an outright crime has been committed, shouldn’t hand them over to the authorities. I don’t say that the CC has been highly remiss in this matter. But please stop with the “some priests do bad things, therefore the Church is wicked and evil and oppressive, just like the Muslims.”

      • Commander_Chico

        HTF are women treated as equals if they can’t run parishes, diosces or be pope?

        That sounds like the same shit I hear from muslims about the protection they give women, how they are equal but special.

        Now granted, I am not sure women should be treated the same, but let’s not spew BS.

  • GarandFan

    They can call it whatever they want, they still can’t make a baby without outside help. Perhaps they can take Mother Nature to court.

    • jim_m

      Why would they want to be punished with a baby? Better to kill such abominations in the womb.

  • fustian24

    I think most people viscerally know that marriage is about survival. It’s about successfully creating a next generation of your people so that society can go on.

    Marriage is expensive, hard to pull off, showy, and very public for good reasons. Society wants to make sure that their young folk don’t pair off until they are ready and able to take on the serious commitment of raising children. Even the state recognizes this value to society and they offer up some modest benefits to help young couples make a go of it.

    Gay couples look more like roommates to us. Society doesn’t actually have an interest in gay coupling. Stay together, break up, we don’t really care that much unless we know you personally.

    I think gay is something you’re born with. For me, I know that I simply could never be gay. No one could convince me, no gay agenda would ever change this about me. And this is true of the gay people I’ve talked to about it. If gay was a choice, do you really think so many people would make it? I see no reason to hate people for being gay (although I reserve the right to find parts of it unappealing personally. I mean, yuck.).

    Still, I am against gay marriage, but not because I feel any antipathy towards gay people. Au contraire.

    I am against gay marriage because I believe that once society loses that connection between marriage and survival we’re finished. If the average straight person feels that any old thing goes, then we give up on the next generation. And we start the process of dying. The more sophisticated a society becomes about sex, the less they use it for creating babies. And the future belongs to those that show up.

    I believe that there are gay couples that do have some legitimate issues with the way society treats them. As an example, I’m told that there have been times when a gay person could not get into a hospital to be with their seriously ill significant other without being “family”. This sort of thing seems stupid and fixable without needing to resort to marriage.

    Leave it alone please. It’s too important.

    • jim_m

      Very well stated.

      Of course, you presuppose that people want society to be successful. There are a lot of Malthusian ideals on the left. I would argue that the Malthusians would prefer to be right.

    • JWH

      Marriage is expensive, hard to pull off, showy, and very public for good reasons.

      Because wedding vendors sell people on the false idea that the wedding has to be really expensive to be special?

      • fustian24

        No, try again.

        Think of marriage as more like home mortgages. If they’re too easy to get, there will be trouble later on.

        • herddog505

          I suggest that “easy to get” and “cheap” are not the same things. It’s certainly possible to have a hideously expensive wedding… and a hideously expensive divorce a few years later (look at all the Hollywood types who do that). It’s also possible to have a cheap wedding and a lasting marriage, as did / do my parents.

          It seems to me that what plagues marriage in America these days is a combination of unrealistic expectations that marriage is supposed to be a romantic, blissful, sex-filled romp 24 / 7 and a want of stigma on people who refuse to make it work. I don’t wish to insult people who have gotten divorced, but when the rate is as high as it is (near 50%, I believe), it tells me that people are not taking it very seriously.

          In short, people don’t understand what they are letting themselves in for, and getting out is so easy that there’s no point in even trying to make it work.

          • fustian24

            Certainly there is a thriving wedding industry ready and willing to charge as much as the market will bear.

            It would be interesting to see some statistics on marriage success vs amount spent on the weddng. I would imagine that Vegas weddings fare poorly and I wouldn’t be surprised if over-the-top expensive weddings are not a good predictor of success either.

            But even a modest, tasteful wedding is still expensive. And I continue to believe that this is by design.

          • Wild_Willie

            Most denominations have some sort of preparation for intended bride and grooms that they must go through to marry in a church setting. I think if these same denominations make it mandatory to have the same church sign off on a divorce would make couples work harder to sort their differences especially for the children. ww

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Some of it certainly is. The dress – wow, why spend kilobucks for something you’ll only wear once? Because it’s how it’s supposed to happen. And the concept that you’re supposed to spend 2-3 months salary on the ring… thank heaven I found a woman who didn’t go in for that. Invitations – man, I recall those being insanely expensive.

            But the industry exists to provide for that ‘perfect wedding’ experience. And perfection isn’t cheap by any means…

          • JWH

            If a woman insisted I spend two to three months of my salary on her ring, I would run, not walk, away from her.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            You and me both, man… Because if getting all she can out of you like that is her priority, once you set the precedent for flippin’ expensive jewelry on demand, you’re hosed.

          • JWH

            Not to mention that those kinds of expectations are kind of outdated now, considering that women today are quite capable of earning a living just as much as a man is.

          • JWH

            Not to mention that those kinds of expectations are kind of outdated now, considering that women today are quite capable of earning a living just as much as a man is.

          • Wild_Willie

            Unfortunately at times love makes you do crazy things. Look at Valentines Day and all the commercials leading up to it telling guys you must by a diamond something or other to show your love, etc. Women don’t even understand it makes them look like pseudo prostitutes. ww

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            (Considers bad relationship in 1983-1984. Shudders.) Yeah, crazy’s just about it…

            But sometimes, you don’t really know what ‘love’ is.

            If you go with the current media portrayals of how a guy (and a girl) is supposed to act when they’re in ‘love’ – you’re screwed. Had this when helping my wife deal with a friend who was having a messy divorce – 25 years married to a psychologically abusive SOB. But she married for ‘love’, and was desperately trying to keep things going. After all, don’t things always work out in the movies? A rocky marriage leads to a happy ending, doesn’t it? A contentious relationship really means you’re suited for each other, right?

            Well, you can know something’s crap without seeing how it affects you. Once I (gently) pointed out to her that, media to the contrary, ‘love doesn’t conquer all’, and that after 25 years of crap from the guy it wasn’t reasonable to expect him to change (especially since he didn’t see he was doing anything wrong and wouldn’t go to therapy) she saw her way clear to file for divorce. Now she’s with a guy who loves her and treats her well… and she’s standing by him while he goes through cancer therapy.

            Love is real. It’s just the media and advertising portrayals are false as anything.

          • jim_m

            In short, people don’t understand what they are letting themselves in for

            You promise “for better for worse, in sickness and in health”, but you don’t realize how bad worse can be and how difficult sickness can be. I would almost swap with my friend whose wife struggled with colon cancer for many years in exchange for my ex’s mental illness.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            Like my folks – Justice of the Peace wedding at a San Francisco courthouse in WW2, and they made it for 65 years despite the best efforts of HIS side of the family to break them up.

            What it takes is commitment for the long haul – and it seems like all too many aren’t willing to make that.

          • JWH

            Whatever the merits of the rest of fustian24′s comment, his argument that “[m]arriage is expensive, hard to pull off, showy, and very public for good reasons” is patently ridiculous. A marriage is showy, expensive, and hard to pull off only if the participants make it so. In fact, it’s only been in the last few decades that the very public, very showy marriage has been the norm. For previous generations, it was enough to have a church ceremony, then celebrate with friends and family. And I suggest that if your priority is to spend a lot of money making a very showy wedding … then you have no idea what a marriage is really about.

          • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

            “then you have no idea what a marriage is really about.”

            Lot of women DO see the showy wedding as the be-all and end-all of the marriage experience, instead of the starting point for a new life together.

            And afterwards… Well, what do you do when you’ve had what you’ve been conditioned to believe will be the romantic apex experience of your life together? Everything else is an anti-climax, so to speak…

            They’re setting themselves up for failure out of the gate.

          • fustian24

            As old as I am, I was not there when our marriage traditions were formed. My understanding is that a big part of a formal marriage is a demonstration that the participants (the couple and their parents) have sufficient resources to support child raising.

            This does not suggest it is the only way to create a solid marriage, or even that it works all the time, but only that there is some method to the madness.

            My own wedding was relatively modest and our marriage has been making me happy for over 20 years now.

          • JWH

            So … in other words, with the exception of your wedding 20 years ago and maybe a few others, the ostentatious display of wealth is a necessary part of a wedding? That’s all kinds of messed up, man.

          • fustian24

            Troll much?

            Just picking a fight or do you just have bad luck when it comes to thinking?

        • JWH

          You”re right!! I found a reference:

          “Thou shalt not have a wedding unless it costs thee at least $20,000. And it shall not be considered a true wedding unless the father of the bride shalt rip out his hair, tear his garments asunder, and be left living in a barrel because of the bills. And woe betide the father who has two daughters, for surely his credit cards shall be maxed out after they wed.”

          It was right there in the Bible the whole time.

          • fustian24

            I stopped reading after you admitted I was right.

            Of course, I already knew that.

          • herddog505

            LOL!

          • JWH

            And, one more. “Pastels are an abomination unto the lord. And so are mismatched bridesmaids. And if the groom shall wear a powder-blue tuxedo with a pink bowtie, God shall surely smite him.”

    • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

      “This sort of thing seems stupid and fixable without needing to resort to marriage.”

      Powers of attorney, living wills, wills in general…

      I’m not convinced that it’s an insurmountable obstacle that can only be overcome by ‘marriage’.

      • JWH

        The argument against this, I think, is that the law as it stands automatically extends these benefits — along with certain statutory benefits — to heterosexual married couples, but that it does not extend those benefits to same-sex couples.

        As a political matter, I favor a compromise: The federal government will recognize a same-sex OR opposite-sex marriage, provided that it has been validly concluded in a state, territory, or the District of Columbia. The federal government will continue to treat marriages concluded in a foreign jurisdiction — whether opposite-sex or same-sex — the same way that it currently treats such marriages. However, I would leave it to the states (for now) to decide whether to allow same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions. As far as recognizing marriages (and the rights thereof) concluded in other states, I would let individual cases get fought out in courts until individual state legislatures figure out how they want to treat the issues that arise.

        • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

          Seems like a reasonable way to do things.

          • JWH

            I would not be surprised if SCOTUS does something similar in the cases before it right now. Both cases offer the court an out — it can throw them away over standing issues if it so chooses. But the two cases pose distinct questions. In one of the cases, a widow has sued the federal government because after her wife (in a marriage validly concluded in New York) passed away, the federal government required her to pay taxes on her inheritance — taxes that she would not have had to pay if her wife had been her husband.

            The other case is the Prop 8 case led by the legal dream team of Theodore Olson and David Boies. That one (which some in the gay community opposed on the grounds that it was too soon to push for full marriage rights under the Fourteenth Amendment) could potentially result in a nationwide guarantee of same-sex marriage … or it could result in something else.

            The Roberts court strikes me as conservative in two senses. First, it’s conservative as a matter of politics. Second, the court (particularly Roberts himself) strikes me as conservative in the sense of not rocking the boat too much. After the furor over Citizens United, Roberts doesn’t seem interested in pushing things too far.

            My prediction: The widow will win her case, probably on a 6-3 or even 7-2 margin. John Roberts will be the deciding vote here. In the Prop 8 case, I expect a semi-victory for the Olson-Boies team. A mishmash of opinions with a number of justices concurring in part and dissenting in part. But the essential holding will probably be a simple reiteration of the lower court ruling that the state can’t simply deny same-sex marriage rights once it had extended them for a period. That conclusion doesn’t seem entirely sensible, but I think that particular splitting of the baby will satisfy the court.

    • mopani

      Well stated.

      Also bear in mind that if sam-sex-marriage is legalized, then the equal protection argument will open the doors to polygamy, polyandry, combinations of both, and there will be no end.

      Except that the end result will be the end of any kind of legitimate marriage,
      and the end of the family unit for the most part as a stable foundation of society to raise and nurture children.

      Children need a mother and a father. Children who grow up in a stable family end up better off economically and socially than children in any single-parent
      or other combination family, and getting married and going to church are the best defenses against poverty.

      The research behind these statements:

      http://www.frc.org/marriresearchsynthesis/us-social-policy-dependence-on-the-family-derived-from-the-index-of-belonging

      http://marri.us/sexual-monogamy-polyandry

      http://www.frc.org/marriage-family#economics

      If you want to pick arguments with the research, argue the facts, not the
      source or the perceived bias. If you argue with the source then you’ve conceded that the research is correct because you apparently have nothing else to argue with. Truth is not mean, its the truth.

      • jim_m

        Also bear in mind that if sam-sex-marriage is legalized, then the equal protection argument will open the doors to polygamy, polyandry, combinations of both, and there will be no end.

        The left denies that this is a possibility because they believe that the law can be selectively enforced. Also, they deny any impact on children because children are not wanted as a product of marriage (children are “punishments”).

        You have to understand that in the view from the left, same sex marriage is only of interest because it comes with the hope of influencing votes. Pedophilia, polygamy and other deviancies do not represent a large enough demographic to interest the left. Once they do, then the law will be selectively enforced allow them additional rights. For the left this is not what marriage is, it is about how they can cater to special interest groups and keep them divided against one another.

  • Wild_Willie

    As someone who believes that homosexuality is a deviant sexual behavior, I do not hate gay people. Those who believe in God and trusts God has to follow all the teachings as best he or she can. If people think it is my decision to believe this way doesn’t know what they are talking about. If you want to call someone a hater, you hate God for not only saying it but pointing it out as a sin. Go on, publicly hate God. ww

  • Paul Hooson

    Interestingly, the nation was founded on the principles of freedom of religion, yet social conservatives have based many laws on imposing their religious views on the general public which include not only legal opposition to Gay rights, but obscenity laws, sodomy laws, and prostitution. I don’t include abortion here, because that involves a second life not that of the mother and cannot be viewed in terms of victimless crime laws.

    But, each of the first four areas have a questionable legal basis for public law. Some states like Texas for example would arrest and imprison married persons who performed oral or anal sex in the privacy of their own bedroom with the state’s sodomy laws. And a narrow 5-4 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, gave local communities the broad powers to enact laws banning commercial speech that they deemed was “obscene”, although most commercial speech is not locally produced, but nationally distributed books, magazines, movies, etc. The concept that some local judge or jury can subjectively define some commercial speech as criminally obscene based on their own tastes is an absurd legal premise. Further, the standard of what constitutes obscenity is a moving standard, where mere depictions of sexual intercourse once earned many sellers or producers of magazines or movies a prison sentence, but now sexual intercourse depictions are common in arthouse films as well as most mainstream commercial pornography and considered to be constitutionally protected speech is most parts of the United States at this period in time.

    Prostitution laws meant to protect minors or sexual slavery or human trafficking have a reasonable legal basis, but other laws limiting what consenting adults may do with their own bodies have a far more questionable legal basis. Further, many laws are very open ended. A Portland, Oregon area nightclub was seized by the local government because one stripper performed a single act of oral sex on one customer against the will of the management. All of the persons involved with the club were arrested for this single sexual act, including one man who simply worked as a carpenter for the club, building stages for the dancers. The entire forfeited business property was given by the courts to the police to use as a police station. In other cases, customers of a massage parlor or escort service had their cars and trucks seized for using a sexually oriented service like this. Two bikini coffee stands in Washington state were recently busted for prostitution because some of the baristas allowed some customers to touch their breasts for a tip.

    And the Gay community has suffered various legal attacks on their civil liberties and civil rights from those who subvert the legal system to deny rights to this group of American citizens.

    Rather than laws being narrowly defined to protect society from actual crimes, often criminal law has abused to socially control private conduct that neither harms the seller or the provider. The legal premise to justify many victimless crimes is usually wholly absurd and only based in religious views of some persons.

    Interestingly, some conservatives, notably those who are libertarians join with social liberals and oppose many of these religiously based laws. Further, it is only good politics for the Republican Party to widen their base of voters by being a more inclusive party. The concept of opposing so many concerns of so many groups has painted the Republican Party into a tightening corner of a shrinking pool of voters for winning national elections. Let religion decide it’s own rules for it’s own church members, but let politicians and society decide criminal law based off of actual crimes, not some personal conduct that fails someone’s moral litmus test.