All aboard the gay marriage express!

Gay marriage is sure popping up all over the place these days, isn’t it?  Not actual gay marriages as it were but the push to normalize gay marriage.  I guess it’s a very important issue.  America is just a cruel, heartless place until gays are permitted the same joy of acrimonious divorce proceedings and bitter custody battles over the teacup poodles.

I kid, I kid.  I’m rather ambivalent on the subject of gay marriage.  Not being a religious person I have no particular objections on those grounds.  I do cling to the antiquated notion that traditional American morality has a great deal of value in our culture, so it is troubling from that aspect.  On the other hand I am pretty libertarian and think people should be free to live their lives how they choose as long as it doesn’t affect others’ freedom.  Which is where gay marriage troubles me the most.

Inevitably, some gay couple will demand a church that does not condone gay marriage wed them.  When rebuffed they will sue and force the courts to decide whose rights trump whose.  We’ve seen it with Sandra Fluke and abortifacients and Lord knows gay rights crusaders hold traditional religious beliefs in just as much contempt as militant feminists.  Funny how not forcing one’s beliefs on others is a one way street that only goes left.

Even so, why is gay marriage such a hot topic for discussion and urgent matter to be addressed in America today?  Obviously its proponents have an interest in making it an issue and they have a like-minded media more than willing to advance the narrative and cause.  Gay marriage must be an important issue on most Americans’ minds.  (Click the poll graphs to see the full report for each one).

national problems

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No, gay marriage is apparently of so little importance to Americans it isn’t even included by pollsters in questionnaires.  Yet it is still advanced as a very important matter by folks in the media with the ability to shape and influence debate.  Gay marriage isn’t included in the list of national problems polled by Gallup, but they do poll on gay marriage as a stand-alone issue.  Polls specifically on gay marriage show its acceptance to currently be at an all-time high.

gay marriage

Among those who support gay marriage, it’s the utes (age 18-29) who support it by the widest margin – 73-26.  Mission accomplished for those who sought to normalize homosexuality.  Young people pretty much accept gay couples as no different than their breeding counterparts.  The gay marriage media blitz as a whole has been successful, having basically flipped public opinion on the matter over the past two years.

Now here’s something I found interesting.  Just how gay is America?  I’ve had a number in my head for years that I understood to be pretty accurate when it comes to the percentage of people in the country who are LGBT.  Well it turns out that number was pretty spot-on.  The fine folks at Gallup polled people on that as well.

percent gay

Pretty amazing.  Over half of people polled estimate 20% or more of their fellow Americans are gay or lesbian.  Twenty-plus percent is a huge chunk of the population.  No wonder public opinion on gay marriage has swung so far in favor over the past twenty five years.  This is a huge issue that impacts a large number of our friends and neighbors.  Once again it’s young people leading on opinion – 70% of people age 18-29 estimate the percentage of Americans who are gay or lesbian to be greater than twenty.

Only one percent of people age 18-29 and four percent of people overall estimated the percentage of gay Americans to be less than 5% – which is the actual number.

actual gay

How can there be such a huge disconnect between perception and reality?  How can 60% of the people (and 79% of the utes) believe there are more gays in America than there are blacks (roughly 13% of the population)?  It boggles the mind.

It’s almost as if there has been a concerted misinformation campaign when it comes to homosexuality and its prevalence in America.    A deliberate effort by the media/entertainment industry to create the perception that homosexuals are just as if not more common than blacks and Hispanics.  Which would even be a misrepresentation of the media/entertainment industry.  Unless you work at MSNBC or CNN, anyway.

Would accurate reporting on the real percentage of Americans who will be affected by government enforced gay marriage have any impact on acceptance of gay marriage?  Who knows.  But you can rest assured we’ll never find out.  Why would our enlightened opinion leaders in the media make any attempt to correct the perception they’ve worked so hard to create?

That’s not to say rights shouldn’t apply to a group of Americans just because they only comprise a very small percentage of the population.  Merely an observation.  I don’t believe gay marriage is a particularly pressing concern.  I believe that under certain circumstances gay couples should have the same legal protections and rights as traditionally married couples.  Is splitting hairs over whether it’s under a civil union or “marriage” really the issue we need the federal government tussling with right now?

But hey, no better time than the present to hop aboard the gay marriage express.  The economy is still in the crapper, Obamacare is poised to send health insurance and claims costs skyrocketing, and we’ve run up $100 trillion in debt and future obligations on the national credit card.  What better time to wade into the culture wars?

Or maybe that’s the whole point.  Who’s going to notice an economy in the crapper, a health care system vivisected by Obamacare, and the looming economic collapse when there’s a good, old-fashioned culture war to be fought.

What I really want to know is twenty years from now who will school children be learning were the Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr of the gay marriage movement?

All aboard!  C’mon France, I’m looking at you.

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Posted by on March 27, 2013.
Filed under Gay Marriage.
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Baron Von Ottomatic was voted "Most Likely To Spend Time in a Methadone Clinic" by his high school classmates.

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  • jim_m

    How can there be such a huge disconnect between perception and reality?

    Because the media and the education establishment are indoctrinating our youth in lies. To a great extent it isn’t because they are for gay marriage as much as they are against traditional values. They aren’t about building anything up as mush as they want o tear the culture down.

  • Brucehenry

    “I don’t believe gay marriage is a particularly pressing concern.”

    Neither did Sen. Portman until he found out his own son was gay, then it was. Maybe you’ll have an epiphany once you discover a loved one wants to marry a person he or she loves but is being denied the right to do so.

    • jim_m

      I suppose I just don’t care that much for my own family then ( I have two gay relatives). There is no reason that the legal circumstances bestowed by marriage cannot be granted through civil unions. The only reason for demanding “Marriage” rights is to tear down the existing institution of marriage and to obliterate the traditional sense of family.

      • Brucehenry

        In my opinion “marriage” should be a function of religion and ALL marriages recognized as such would be “civil unions.” whether between same-sex or opposite sex couples. If you’re going to have legal benefits accrue to a relationship, that relationship should be recognized by the state whether or not a church recognizes it.

        Most of your comment is just Jimtalk. Apocalyptic grumblings about the upcoming End Of The World As We Know It.

        EDIT: In NC, banning gay “marriage” wasn’t enough for the regressives. They had to enshrine in our state constitution that same-sex civil unions would be forbidden as well.

        • jim_m

          My point is that when you can achieve your aims for legal equality but you demand that there be a destruction of a cultural norm in order to satisfy your wants, then the point is not for legal equality, the point is to tear down that cultural norm.

          They could get everything they want through civil unions and there wouldn’t be the resistance. When you demand that people change their way of life to suit your ideological ends it is not about equality it is about supremacy. In this case it is not about legal rights it is about tearing down a value system they oppose.

          For the leftists that demand this the only reason to do so is because they have a need to destroy the cultural definition of marriage and the culture that it comes from .

          • Brucehenry

            Notice my edit above? Banning gay marriage isn’t enough for some of these folks, Jim. They want everyone to live and love and worship like THEY do. THEY are the un-American ones if you ask me.

          • jim_m

            And just as conversely the left wants to force religious organizations to perform gay marriages and accept homosexuality as normal. I’ll just note that they only ever protest against Christian churches but they never protest against a mosque.

            What is un-American and intolerant is those who would force people to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. Gay marriage isn’t sufficient. Destroying Christianity is the end game.

          • Brucehenry

            Again, denying a whole class of people a civil right because you fear that some of them may sue a church. I got news for you — if they sue a church to force them to perform a ceremony, they will lose, just as surely as a Presbyterian would lose if he sued a rabbi who refused to circumcise his son.

          • Commander_Chico

            America is all about destroying all religions except for the worship of Eros, Bacchus and Mammon.

          • Scalia

            JIm, I would also add that once a redefinition of a term such as marriage is accepted, there is no logical defense against said redefinition being itself redefined. Why make “marriage” a romantic relationship? Why can’t friendship be considered a marriage for sake of access to legal benefits? Why must marriage be limited to at least two human beings? Why shouldn’t a person be given access to h/er “god-given” right to marry h/er lawn mower? Who says that the lawn mower’s inability to affirm the commitment should hold? Why should a citizen be denied tax benefits simply because h/er marriage is unconventional? To argue that “marriage” must be restricted to a romantic relationship on the basis that it was “always understood to mean that” logically undermines the original complaint. And if a person rejects tradition in favor of h/er current definition, why should that hold?

            Logically, then, one must accept any “unconventional” definition of marriage in order to avoid the charge of bigotry (or equal protection violation). That, ironically enough, renders the term “marriage” undefinable. For if it means “everything,” then it means “nothing.”

            As you and others have observed, there are legal remedies available. If those remedies aren’t available everywhere, they can easily be legislated without messing with the word marriage.

          • Brucehenry

            Lawn mowers…ppffffttt. Logic worthy of a guy named “Scalia.”

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

          Pushback is a bitch.

          Prop 8 was also a pushback.

    • http://wizbangblog.com/ Baron Von Ottomatic

      If a gay couple wants to go before a JP and be legally bound more power to them. But this will ultimately end up in the courts with gay couples demanding the Catholic Church preform the ceremony.

      The gay marriage brouhaha is about imposing beliefs on others – which is supposed to be a bad thing, right?

      • Brucehenry

        So you wish to deny a god-given right to a whole class of people because you’re SURE that someone will file a lawsuit with which you find fault.

        • jim_m

          Please show me where gay marriage is a God given right. A Bible passage would be sufficient. One that doesn’t call homosexuality an abomination might be helpful.

          • Brucehenry

            Figure of speech. I think freedom of speech is a god-given right but I don’t think there’s a Bible passage saying so. Maybe you know one.

            Besides, I’m not a Bible literalist.

          • jim_m

            Just pointing out that the major religions in our country (Christianity, Judaism and islam) all oppose homosexuality as a sin and while you can find some churches or denominations that do not make a big deal of it they run counter to millenia of church teaching and against the holy writings of all those religions.

            Also there is no claim that freedom of speech is a natural right in either the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.

          • Brucehenry

            Or the Bible.

          • jim_m

            I didn’t claim that freedom of speech was in the bible.

            I will now point out that marriage isn’t in the constitution. SO tell me where that right is found.

          • jim_m

            I didn’t claim that freedom of speech was in the bible.

            I will now point out that marriage isn’t in the constitution. SO tell me where that right is found.

          • Brucehenry

            Screwing with you, Jim, because of your nitpicking about my use of the figure of speech, “god-given right.”

          • jim_m

            Language should be used with more precision than we usually bother to do.

          • Brucehenry

            With more “precision,” you mean. Lol.

          • jim_m

            touche

            I had actually typed that but then changed my mind thinking that the construction was awkward and then did not change the beginning of the sentence.

          • Brucehenry

            Happens to the best of us. I know, because it happens to me.

          • Brucehenry

            In Loving v Virginia, SCOTUS found that marriage was a fundamental right protected by the equal protection clause, I believe.

          • jim_m

            The same with ultimately be said of polygamy and pedophilia. The only question is in which order.

          • Brucehenry

            You forgot bestiality.

        • http://wizbangblog.com/ Baron Von Ottomatic

          Do you believe a gay couple has a right to force a church who believes homosexuality is a sin to perform their marriage ceremony?

          • Brucehenry

            Well, they probably have a right to file a lawsuit, but if the statute is written correctly, they will lose.

            You can’t deny rights to people because you fear it will encourage lawsuits that will piss you off.

          • jim_m

            SO you believe that people should have the right to sue churches into penury by filing bogus lawsuit after lawsuit forcing the churches to pay ever escalating sums of money to defend their religious freedom.

            That’s not a question. It’s a statement of fact. Either that or a demonstration that you do not think your viewpoints out thoroughly.

          • Brucehenry

            You cannot deny a right to a whole class of people due to an overblown fear of litigation. It just ain’t the right thing to do.

            And make no mistake: like most of the fears that plague conservatives in general and you in particular, Jim, this fear of churches being sued into penury is just that — overblown.

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

            They currently have the exact same right under the law to, if they are not too closely related, marry the person of the opposite gender of their choice.

          • jim_m

            Small businesses such as photographers are already being sued into bankruptcy by homosexuals targeting them by forcing them to deny their religious beliefs and photograph gay weddings. The law is already being used as a weapon against religion. Your denials are just naive BS.

          • Brucehenry

            I don’t know that the photographers you mention are near bankruptcy, and neither do you.. I heard their business is UP, and I assume they have contributors to their legal defense fund.

          • Brucehenry

            I don’t know that the photographers you mention are near bankruptcy, and neither do you.. I heard their business is UP, and I assume they have contributors to their legal defense fund.

          • JWH

            I am familiar with the case you mention. It is currently on appeal before the New Mexico Supreme Court. There are actually several separate questions at play in the debate.

            Should a church be compelled to officiate/host a same-sex wedding? I would say no. And a crapton of caselaw backs up that contention. Churches do have the right to exclude anybody and/or refuse to conduct certain ceremonies. Religious organization, religious purpose.

            Should a photography business be compelled to take photos of same-sex nuptials? I would argue no, but not for religious reasons. In this instance, I would argue that a photographer merits protection because of the photographer’s free-expression rights. While there is a commercial element to the business, I would argue that this sort of legal compulsion veers precisely into territory that the First Amendment is designed to exclude from government regulation.

            Should a business, as a general rule, be required to provide services in support of a same-sex marriage? I would have to say yes. Once you establish that a business opens its doors to all and is a commercial enterprise rather than a religious enterprise, then that business is effectively subject to regulation under (in this case) a state’s power to regulate intrastate commerce or federal regulation of a business that partakes in interstate commerce. So I would say that, yes, a general business that serves the marriage industry could be compelled to provide materials for same-sex nuptials.

          • herddog505

            JWHOnce you establish that a business opens its doors to all and is a commercial enterprise rather than a religious enterprise, then that business is effectively subject to regulation under (in this case) a state’s power to regulate intrastate commerce or federal regulation of a business that partakes in interstate commerce. So I would say that, yes, a general business that serves the marriage industry could be compelled to provide materials for same-sex nuptials.

            I have often thought about this. Legalities aside, it seems to me that a business, as a private entity, has (or OUGHT to have) a right to serve whatever clientelle its owners desire, ranging from “no shirt, no shoes, no service” to “whites only” (yes, this is repugnant).

            For the government to mandate who a business MUST serve violates the right to property that our Anglo-Saxon legal tradition holds pretty sacred.

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

            Rights are individual, no “class” of people have any greater standing than any individual.

          • JWH

            Do you believe a gay couple has a right to force a church who believes homosexuality is a sin to perform their marriage ceremony?

            Absolutely not. A church is a religious organization, performing a religious function.

  • herddog505

    Baron von OttomaticHow can there be such a huge disconnect between perception and reality?

    Watch popular TV shows these days: every other character, it seems, is gay.

    It would be an interesting question to ask NOT “what fraction of Americans do you think are gay?” but rather “how many openly gay people do you personally know?”

    On the gay marriage issue, I agree with you: I’m ambivalent. I don’t see the point in screwing over people who want to be permanently hitched to one another, but, at the same time, it’s not how I swing. Perhaps because it’s being thrust down my throat*, I’m a little offended, as though I and my fellow Americans are being conned / browbeaten / stampeded into it.

    ====

    (*) It HAS done one good thing: I read today that our other senator, Kay Something-or-another, came out in favor of gay marriage. Hell, I didn’t think she actually existed, but there was a photo of her and everything.

    • Commander_Chico

      The gay stuff is very Roman Empire, which is where the USA is at now, so it all fits in. Traditionalists should be more worried about young women riding a carousel of cocks in their younger years a la “Girls” and then not being able to marry a sane man.

      Inevitably, some gay couple will demand a church that does not condone gay marriage wed them. When rebuffed they will sue and force the courts to decide whose rights trump whose.

      Don’t know if you intended it, Baron, but this is a strawman. The First Amendment free-exercise of religion clause will trump any other “right” to equality. The case of Hurley v. Irish American Gay and Lesbian Group explains it to you to some extent.

      • http://wizbangblog.com/ Baron Von Ottomatic

        Check back with me once the courts rule on whether the federal government can force employers who object to providing birth control and morning-after pills on religious grounds to do so.

        • Commander_Chico

          Same way they can force Mennonites to pay for war – Obamacare is a tax, as the SC has ruled.

          • herddog505

            I think that you just made Baron von Ottomatic‘s point for him.

  • Brucehenry

    I’m fairly sure that, in the 1960s before Loving v Virginia, there was a pretty small minority of couples wishing to marry that happened to be interracial. But that doesn’t mean that “anti-miscegenation” laws weren’t unconstitutional. Nor that getting rid of those laws wasn’t a “pressing concern” to justice-minded folk.

    • jim_m

      There is a difference between gay marriage and anti-miscegenation laws,

      • Brucehenry

        Yes, and there is also a parallel.

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

          Not unless you claim race determines behavior.

          • Brucehenry

            I thought you didn’t wish to engage me in argument, Rodney? I’m game if you are, but I won’t walk on eggshells. Will I find my comments edited or deleted if I say something that pisses you off?

  • Vagabond661

    Why does it have to be a marriage ceremony? Why not a civil union ceremony? If everyone,gays and straights, has to get get a civil union which would amount to a government tax first, then the religious people could go and have their religious ceremony.

    • Brucehenry

      Exactly. ALL unions recognized as legal marriages should be civil unions if the participants want the tax and other legal benefits. Then they could seek the blessing of the church of their choice if they so wished.

      The issue is, that ain’t gonna happen. That’s why gay people are insisting on the word “marriage.”

      • Commander_Chico

        Yeah, it’s really just another form of contract.

      • jim_m

        The issue is, that ain’t gonna happen

        It’s not going to happen because t is not sufficient to appease the left. Even in states where there are civil union laws the left still wants gay marriage.

        Otherwise I agree. The French model of civil union and then a religious ceremony makes sense. It’s just about the only thing that makes sense that came out of their revolution. Definitely makes more sense than their idiotic calendar.

        • Brucehenry

          A civil union in say, Vermont wouldn’t entitle a couple to file federal income taxes as a married couple and get the attendant tax benefit, nor would it entitle a survivor to SS checks.

          In other words, they are being denied equal protection under the law.

          • jim_m

            And how many attempts were there to pass a federal civil union law? Zip. This has only and always only been an effort for a change in the definition of marriage.

          • Brucehenry

            The problem is you wish to allow religious institutions to decide which citizens will and which will not enjoy legal rights. That is not the job of a religious institution. The state decides who gets this benefit or that tax deduction, not the church. That’s why it’s a political matter. That’s why it HAS to be a political matter.

          • http://wizbangblog.com/ Baron Von Ottomatic

            Congress can pass a law directing the IRS to treat civil unions the same as traditional marriage, and can pass a law that entitles surviving partners of a civil union to SS benefits. Problem solved.

          • Brucehenry

            That would be fine with me, but for the haters who voted for NC’s latest constitutional amendment, and those working to enact similar amendments in other states, that would suck.

            This is only my opinion, but I think those who vehemently oppose same-sex marriage on this bogus “traditional definition” basis are espousing bigotry, akin to the defenders of anti-miscegenation laws back in the day. And those who urge “slowing down” because they fear apocalyptic consequences or fear lawsuits that MIGHT happen only enable those who are espousing said bigotry.

          • jim_m

            We are not all from NC.

            Bullshit on your claim of bigotry. Since when has marriage ever been defined as between two people of the same sex? When the left demands that we redefine the idea of marriage to be between two people of the same sex they are the ones who are demonstrating a bigoted attitude toward religion.

            On the other hand mixed marriage goes back at least as for as Shakespeare (I’m thinking Othello).

          • Brucehenry

            And neener neener on your claims about hating religion.

          • herddog505

            In order to be explicit, let’s look at the text of the No. Carolina marriage law, i.e Article XIV sec. 6 of our state constitution:

            Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.

            What is this but a restatement of what has been US law since colonial times? When but in modern times would more than a handful of people (other than Mormons, perhaps) have identified marriage as anything BUT the legal union of one man with one woman?

            But let’s say that the only reason for keeping it this way is bigotry, hate, homophobia, etc. Where does the “new” definition of marriage end? One man and one man? One woman and two other women? One man, another man, and one woman? One man and one horse? I’ve seen gay marriage advocates bridle at these suggestions: “Of course not! Why, that’s just silly (and icky). We would NEVER support that. Anyway, the number of people who would want to enter into polyamorous marriage is pretty low, so why worry?”

            I further suggest that the No. Carolina amendment, in common with similar laws or bills around the country, is aimed more at judges who seem able (when it suits their purposes) to find a “right” to just about anything they please in the US or state constitutions, Roe v. Wade being an especially egregious example of this.

            Additionally, if the polls (and the number of democrat politicians who feel it safe to say what they’ve likely always believed, but were too cowardly to say openly) are to be believed, the whole issue will be moot in a few more years: instead of laws prohibiting “gay” marriage, there will be a slew making it perfectly legal. This is how law is SUPPOSED to be made in our country.
            I would also like to say, in regard to pressure on churches to sanctify gay marriages (or a marriage between a man and his Doberman, for that matter), I completely agree with others here: as we saw in the Georgetown / Fluke / BC controversy, the line the left will t2ake will be, “It’s THE LAW. You holy roller Jesus freaks don’t think you’re above THE LAW, do you?”

            The left hates and always has hated organized religion as it competes with THEIR god (the State) and also spoils their fun, what with all that “thou shalt not” and “that’s a sin” and so forth.

          • JWH

            The left hates and always has hated organized religion as it competes with THEIR god (the State) and also spoils their fun, what with all that “thou shalt not” and “that’s a sin” and so forth.

            I’m sure that the Rev. Martin Luther King, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and one Obadiah Bush might find this surprising.

          • herddog505

            I say nothing against King, but Jackson is a hustler whose ordination is not much more than a sham.

            I’m not sure why you include Bush, though I’m glad that you did: I had no idea of this Bush ancestor.

          • JWH

            Jackson, I think, would have been a good man at one point.

            Bush was an abolitionist (would have been a liberal in his time) and was quite religious, as I recall.

          • jim_m

            The problem is that you hate religion and deem it to be a lesser constitutional right and that freedom of expression is dependent upon everyone else getting their rights before my right of religious freedom. If you have you way there is no religious freedom.

          • Brucehenry

            There you go again

      • Vagabond661

        There are gay people and there are activist gay people. The activists are pushing the marriage concept. The gay people will accept any legal (or so I am told) way for them to cleave with their significant other. Of course, on the other side, there are strictly religious people who are opposed to any form of gay unions.

        Most of the straights and gays are fine with civil unions. We wonder why it is such a political issue when the polls listed above show it’s not that big a deal. Then it occured to me, it’s a wedge issue developed by the politicians who use these things to distract from the problems we are facing. Get people talking about anything else instead of what the real problems are. Kinda like blowing up an aspirin factory to distract the public about cigars and the Oval Office. Cheaper too.

        • Brucehenry

          The problem is, it seems to me, is that some religious folk refuse to recognize that there are TWO definitions of marriage. One is something like “a holy union of two souls, blessed by God and the church, in the sacrament of matrimony.” And the other is something like “a legal relationship between two people that comes with certain legal benefits, rights, and responsibilities.”

          Marriage equality proponents don’t want to change the first definition or force anyone else to change it against their will. They only want the second definition to include gay couples.

          If ALL couples, gay and straight, were participants in civil unions to enjoy the legal benefits, and only those wishing to have a church bless their union were “married,” there would be no problem with settling for civil unions. But as long as there are two classes of folks — first class citizens who can marry, and second class citizens who must settle for something less — I’m afraid proponents will insist on the word “marriage.”

          It may sound insulting, but I think those who would deny gays marriage equality want to impose their RELIGIOUS definition of marriage on the CIVIL sphere. No one is asking the government to force the Catholic church to perform weddings they don’t want to perform. They are simply asking not to be relegated to a lower legal status.

          • Vagabond661

            Well there is only one definition of marriage. The other is a civil union which I am fine with. There are two ways you can have a wedding, one at a church and one at a courthouse. Just like there are two ways to have a baby, one by C-section and one vaginal. The result is a baby. It don’t matter how it got there.

            So there is no need to change the definition of marriage. none at all. Been defined that way for thousands of year. no need to change it because a little over 3% of the population wants to.

            So maybe I am misunderstanding your point but if a gay couple are joined in a civil union and civil unions are raised legally to the same level as a marriage what exactly is the problem?

            I thought the legality was all gays cared about or at least that’s what we were told. They are just in love and want all the same legal perks that married couples have. You know as well as I do (in fact it already has happened), as soon as gay couple can get “married” then lawsuits will be filed when churches.refuse (per their first amendment right) to perform those weddings.

          • Brucehenry

            JWH answers your question in his comments below.

            And, as I have mentioned several times, we shouldn’t deny a right to a whole class of citizens because we fear someone may file a frivolous lawsuit. Should we have refused to pass the 13th Amendment because slave owners might file suit to hold on to their “property”?

          • Vagabond661

            It’s not a right, Bruce. There simply is no right to get married. There is no right to play golf at the Masters Golf Club. There is no right to to go shirtless or shoeless in a restaurant. Do you honestly think 3% of the population should dictate to the other 97% and while we are at what history has always been? Is that a democracy?

            If there is a “right” to same sex marriage, there must be right for 4 people to marrying each other. There must be a right for a person to marry her cat. There must be a right to marrying your house or car or anything else someone can dream up. Once you undo what a marriage is you can’t undo it. It will forever be destroyed for what it is, a union between and man and a woman.

            You mention denying a right to a whole class of citizens. What about the right to freedom of religion?

          • JWH

            It’s not a right, Bruce. There simply is no right to get married.

            There is such a right. Loving v. Virginia.

          • Vagabond661

            That was about Interracial marriage……..between a man and a woman. big difference. I meant, there is not a constitutional right to get married. If there is, please tell me where it is written.

          • Brucehenry

            It’s not written in the Constitution that you have a right to breathe, but you would object if you were denied it, I assume.

          • JWH

            It’s a Fourteenth Amendment thing.

            Let’s say that your state government passes a law saying that everybody gets a free muffin on Tuesdays. However, the law says that Irishmen get two free muffins on Tuesday because they’re special.

            That’s not allowed because everybody is to be treated equally under the law because of the Fourteenth Amendment. So that means that your state must give two free muffins, one free muffin, or zero free muffins to everybody on Tuesdays.

          • Vagabond661

            Huge difference between muffins and redefining what marriage is.

          • Brucehenry

            And there is a huge difference between an analogy and taking everything literally, lol.

          • Vagabond661

            “I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

            Just saying people treat the 14th amendment as carte blanche to do whatever they want to. If I remember right, it had more to do with equal treatment of blacks after they had been freed from slavery.

          • Brucehenry

            The Supreme Court, in Loving v Virginia, stated categorically that marriage IS a right. The question now is whether it is a right that will be extended to gay couples or not.

            What makes America America is not only majority rule but protection of minority rights. How small a minority do you reckon there was in the 1960s of interracial couple wishing to marry? There were HUGE majorities, especially but not only in the South, who thought that interracial marriage should remain illegal. The SC held, and rightfully so, that no matter how many people thought this right should be denied, it was indeed a right and COULDN’T be denied.

            Besides, have you seen the polls? Nothing LIKE 97% of the population oppose gay marriage. Recently opponents of marriage equality have found themselves in the minority!

            Saying that allowing marriage equality will infringe on freedom of religion for what you call the majority is like saying that the electric power grid is infringing on the religious freedom of the Amish. The Amish are free to live their lives as they wish. And if conservative religious folk don’t want to allow gay marriage in their denomination, nobody’s going to force them to. Or is ABLE to force them to.

          • Vagabond661

            Geez c’mon the Amish is not suing the electric companies. And I didn’t say 97% oppose gay marriage. I said 97% of the people are not gay. Don’t get me started on polls. If we did what the polls say Obamacare would have never passed, would it? People would drop the gun control debate too.

            And I said the right to marry is not in the Constitution which it is not. Loving v Virgina was about interracial marriage between a man and a woman. It did not redefine what marriage legally is which is what the same-sex marriage movement is trying to do.

            It amazes me, and I am not saying you do this, when people ignore what IS in the Constitution and claim stuff that is in there which is not.

            “And if conservative religious folk don’t want to allow gay marriage in their denomination, nobody’s going to force them to. Or is ABLE to force them to.”

            Google “Sued a church for not performing gay marriage”…I did.

          • Brucehenry

            “Geez c’mon”

            I know how you feel. I feel the same way every time someone says gay marriage is like people marrying lawn mowers, or cats, or their brothers, or what have you. But the Amish thing is just a rather silly, but I think apt, analogy.

            Because even if the LEGAL definition of marriage is changed if gays are allowed to marry, every faith would still have the freedom to decide what they, in their RELIGIOUS sphere, consider a valid marriage.

            The Amish think people should live as they did in the 19th century, without electricity, etc. They would consider themselves sinful if they suddenly adopted all the modern conveniences. But that doesn’t mean anyone else should be forced to live that way. Yes, kind of a far-fetched analogy maybe, but not THAT silly.

            Look, we live in a litigious society. People are going to file suit about this or that. In some cases lower courts will grant a victory to someone who shouldn’t have won, but in the long run, justice, common sense, and the constitution usually prevail.

          • Vagabond661

            So did you google “Sued a church for not performing gay marriage” yet? Doesn’t that blow your “why are you worried? churches will never get sued argument” out of the water?

            “Look, we live in a litigious society.” I wholeheartedly agree.

            Since most politicians are lawyers, this makes me believe that they WANT to redefine marriage. Then when churches get sued, and they will, the lawyers reap the benefits from all the litigation. And by the way since you brought it up what would stop any group of like minded people (insert your fetish here) of claiming they have a right to marry children or sheep? After all once marriage can be defined to include same sex, wouldn’t the equal protection clause apply here too? I know what you will say. It’s illegal to have sex with sheep or children. Well up until last year it was illegal to smoke pot too. Now you can smoke pot and they have no sobriety test to administer when they pull you over. Drunks have killed more children than guns ever have. I am not trying to change the argument. Just saying adding pot smokers into the mix does not help the situation.

            Last thing I will add is a gay man’s perspective:

            http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/im-gay-and-i-oppose-gay-marriage?fb_action_ids=10200439379580648&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

          • Brucehenry

            Yeah, I did. Did you click on any of the links? I clicked on 5 of the first page.

            Not one was case of what you fear happening actually, you know, happening. One was a YouTube video that claimed the “Methodist Church has already been sued,” but offered no details or authentication. The others were scare articles about what might happen, or articles that worried that a church might be forced to rent a clubhouse (that they rent to the public) to a gay couple — horrors! One was actually about a woman who sued a church because it DID perform a gay wedding! I didn’t see conservatives foaming at the mouth about THAT church’s freedom of religion.

            Yeah, a church that owns a building that it rents to the general public might have to rent it for a gay couple’s reception. But they might also have to rent it for a Muslim’s reception, or a bar mitzvah, if it is their policy to rent to the general public. Tough shit, and hardly the End Of Religious Freedom As We Know It.

            All I can say about the gay tea party dude’s article is that it is a rehash of the “what about the children?” argument that conservatives hate when it’s about gun registration, but love when it’s this subject. Unconvincing. Why not ban weddings of infertile couples, old couples, or couples who have no intention of having children? Do you support those bans?

          • Vagabond661

            If they will sue a photographer and a T-shirt shop, why wouldn’t you think they would sue a church? Are you that naive or do you think I am?

            http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/03/26/gay-marriage-religious-freedom-are-incompatible/

          • Brucehenry

            Dude, this is America. People have a right to sue if they want to, even if suing pisses you off. Doesn’t mean they’ll win their case. Why do you hate America? ;)

            If anyone tries to sue a priest for refusing to marry someone on whatever religious ground that priest claims that person will be laughed out of the courtroom.

            And I’m not speaking for anyone but myself here, but it seems to me that conservatives are using this “protect religious freedom” excuse willy-nilly lately to block anything they disapprove of.

            Don’t want the government mandating insurance companies pay for contraception for slutty college girls? Religious persecution is happening! Don’t think icky queers should have the same legal rights as God-fearin’ Murricans? Religious persecution MIGHT happen!

            It smacks to me of a desperate wish to hold on to majority privilege. Anyone who doesn’t hold to a Victorian view of morality is “lesser,” to be ridiculed and reviled, in the case of the “sluts,” and actually discriminated against, in the case of the queers.

          • Vagabond661

            “If anyone tries to sue a priest for refusing to marry someone on whatever religious ground that priest claims that person will be laughed out of the courtroom.”

            Well I guess as long as the priest is not a photographer or printing T-shirts, he is perfectly safe.

            Excuse me but I had people pooh pooh everyone’s misgivings about seat belt laws, lottery, Obamacare, gun control, school lunches and voter fraud. Forgive me if I don’t eat another spoonfull of crap. ; )

          • Brucehenry

            The photographer and the t-shirt seller are offering their wares to the general public. They won’t get to refuse to serve gays any more than they can currently refuse to serve blacks, or Hindus, or handicapped one-eyed dwarves, just as a restaurant cannot close its doors to blacks, Hindus, or handicapped one-eyed dwarves.

            The priest, on the other hand, is protected under the First Amendment from having to perform a religious ceremony for someone not adhering to his religious view. A frivolous lawsuit may indeed be filed to attempt to force him to do so, but it WILL fail. So, no, it ain’t the same.

            And lol on your examples of what people have “pooh-poohed”, dude. Those misgivings DESERVED pooh-poohing. All those things have come to pass, yet the Republic stands. No, it ain’t Ward Cleaver’s America any more — IT NEVER WAS — but America endures.

          • Vagabond661

            And freedom loses.

            I was in Florida when the push came out for seat belt laws. We were told how much it would lower our insurance rates. Boy were we gullible!

            Then they wanted the lottery in Florida. Oh imagine all the extra revenue this will generate “For the Children”. Then after it was enacted the politicians sucked the money out of the programs for the schools and replaced it with the lottery. Boy were we gullible!

            I could drone on (drones! don’t get me started on drones!) but excuse me if I am more than a little skeptical about the government and what people across the aisle are telling me. Especially when it has to do with gun control, amnesty, 32 ounce drinks and drilling for oil.

          • Brucehenry

            Insurance rates are up for a number of reasons, but seat belt laws ain’t one of them. Imagine how much higher rates might be without them.

            I opposed the lottery, too, but if I remember correctly, the lottery was pushed by a pretty damn bipartisan group. Some Democrats supported it and some opposed it. Some Republicans supported it and some opposed it. At least that’s how it was in NC, and I’ll bet it was the same in FL.

            Besides, what have those things to do with your original argument — that allowing marriage equality will ruin marriage for straight people, or kill religious freedom, or something? And what about the questions I asked you? Do you support a ban on marriage between infertile individuals or those without intent to reproduce? That’s the logical destination of your gay tea party dude’s argument, after all.

            And should we refuse to enact any law which people might use to file frivolous lawsuits?

          • Vagabond661

            The point was we were told that seat belt laws would drop rates. All it was doing was adding more money to the insurance companies. And while we are imagining, Imagine how low insurance rates would be without Obamacare.

            I would say people from all political persuasions were pushing the lottery. It was a big pile of money the government gets to spend. I purposely left out blaming Democrats or Republicans. My point was we were duped.

            Bruce that is not my argument. My point was calling a union between two men or two women a “marriage” is redefining what marriage means. The rest was what ramifications it could mean based on evidence we have today in, your words, “litigious society”.

            I don’t see how you can honestly say that redefining marriage legally is will not affect anything especially in this sue-happy society. On one hand you say this is a litigious society and on the other hand you say a priest can’t be sue. I am no lawyer and you may be right but the only people who can’t be sued are Congressmen.

            It’s like the old voter fraud catch 22. The left will say there is no proof of voter fraud. Well if you don’t show an ID, how are you committing fraud? Just because there have not been lawsuits against churches now does not mean when marriage is redefined there won’t be in the future. Like I said before, it seems the (lawyers) politicians are hoping it will pass because they are licking their chops at the money it will bring in.

            As far as the questions, you took some internet swipes at conservatism so it’s hard for me to answer people who are ignorant and/or biased on the subject. That being said, let’s look at that apparently serious question.

            “Do you support a ban on marriage between infertile individuals or those without intent to reproduce?”

            This seems so silly. The answer is no. Here is what the dictionary says about marriage:

            The formal union of a man and a woman, typically recognized by law, by which they become husband and wife.

            It doesn’t say you have to bear children to be married. I don’t remember my marriage license but I am pretty sure there was not a clause in there that required me to have children.

            However, you do know statistically (google it you want) the children have a better shot at life in a two parent household, right?

          • Brucehenry

            I was just asking because you cited the gay Tea Party dude, whose argument against gay marriage included the statement that marriage (or the state’s interest in it) is about children. “Period,” he says. So I ask about the infertility thing because, if you agree with this guy, the logical conclusion is no one should be allowed to marry unless there will be children as a result. Maybe you just read the headline and thought I’d be convinced because one gay guy says he opposes marriage equality, but I read the piece. The guy’s wrong.

            I didn’t say a priest can’t be sued, but I did say he can’t be SUCCESSFULLY sued. As you like to say, “big difference.” We all have the right, as Americans, to file suit, but the First Amendment protects our hypothetical priest. Yes, for a while there may be suits, but if so they will fail and eventually dwindle away.

            As for insurance rates being lower without Obamacare, maybe so, but Obamacare was basically IN RESPONSE to already sky-high insurance costs. Just as with seat belts, there’s no way to measure what rates “would” be in their absence.

          • Vagabond661

            If you or I are sued, we have to get a lawyer. There is an expense to that, right? The expense is the same no matter what the outcome. Lawyers win. They never lose. Have you noticed that?

            It seems like a lot to go thru when all the politicians (lawyers) need to do is elevate civil unions to the same level as a marriage license. They could even rename it to civil license and do away with the marriage label all together. I gotta believe for most gay couples (and straight) that’s all they are looking for. I think a small percentage of gays (and some or maybe even most are not gays) are militant and unyielding on this marriage label. And it’s costing a lot of people a lot of grief for no good reason.

            Health Insurance costs are high because of several reasons including malpractice insurance (lawyers win again!) and because of unrealistic coverage demanded by states drive prices up and because it’s not sold across state lines. Even with all that we had the best health coverage in the world and the cheapest.

            I put the Tea Party dude there because he had some interesting points. Just because I link to an article doesn’t mean i agree 100% with what it says. I rarely find anything I agree with 100%.

          • Brucehenry

            I agree with you that ALL legal unions should be called “civil unions,” as I said in the first of this thread two days ago. But if that is ever proposed it will be shot down, I’ll bet, not by proponents of equality but by anti-gay conservatives Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so.

            And that’s because opponents of gay marriage want to feel superior. They want to retain a right that “sinners” can’t have. Wizbang commenters seem pretty libertarian and open-minded on this issue, but you guys don’t speak for the rest of opponents of marriage equality. Many of them will never accept that gay people are not second-class citizens at best.

          • Vagabond661

            I don’t think they (we) want to feel superior. It’s that for hundreds of years we and the law defined marriage between a man and a woman. Why do we need some Johnny-come-lately telling us we are wrong to define it in that way. We aren’t wrong. Just because the government makes it difficult for gays legally to get married, don’t blame us. Get them to acknowledge civil unions. That seems to be the easier row to hoe then turn everything upside down.

            It would be similar to telling PETA that they must redefine what a vegan is to include meat. If they don’t, they are meatophobes. They are not open-minded. They are a bunch of out of touch old white guys who don’t realize we are not second class citizens for eating meat. By the way, if you want superior, get into a discussion with a vegan. Or someone who drives a Prius.

          • Brucehenry

            Well, I agree you got a point about Vegans and Prius owners. I drive a hybrid Mercury Mariner myself but just ’cause I got a good deal on it. It does get 25 mpg, pretty good for an SUV.

          • Vagabond661

            I am all for people driving what they want or eating what they want. I just don’t need to be converted.

    • Constitution First

      Liberals claim they want separation of church and state, yet they go crying to the courts to force churches to bend to the will of the state? You can’t have it both ways. Brucehenry is correct, let the state have their sandbox, stay out of church if you don’t like their rules.

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

        That path was rejected by the perpetually petulant populace.

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

        That path was rejected by the perpetually petulant populace.

    • Constitution First

      Liberals claim they want separation of church and state, yet they go crying to the courts to force churches to bend to the will of the state? You can’t have it both ways. Brucehenry is correct, let the state have their sandbox, stay out of church if you don’t like their rules.

  • Wild_Willie

    First off I think the SCOTUS is going to pass on this. They definitly lean towards it being a state matter.
    Secondly, BruceHenry comes out with the ‘you don’t believe like me that means your a hater and bigot’ argument, which is so trite and juvenile.
    Thirdly, the first amendment is an actual right which gives us the freedom of religion. That is to believe in and honor the God we choose. If most of the Christian population pray to that God, it is He that says homosexuality is an abomination. He doesn’t command us to hate, villify or do physical harm to, but He certainly doesn’t expect us to accept his sinful nature. So Bruce and your ilk, if you have a problem with this, get down on God, we are just loving and obeying Him.
    And the last thing is the argument at the SCOTUS that focused on why states got involved in marraige anyway. That was very interesting and worth a listen to. ww

  • herddog505

    Food for thought on the libertarian approach to this issue:

    [T]he public functions of marriage —both to require and to empower parents (especially fathers) to care for their children and each other — require a society-wide coordination. It is not enough if, say, a particular religion presumes a man’s paternity of his wife’s children, or recognizes his rights and duties toward their mother; or if the man and his wife contract to carry out certain tasks. For private institutions can bind only their own; private contracts bind only those who are party to them. A major function of marriage law is to bind all third parties (schools, adoption agencies, summer camps, hospitals; friends, relatives, and strangers) presumptively to treat a man as father of his wife’s children, husbands and wives as entitled to certain privileges and sexually off-limits, and so on. This only the state can do with any consistency. [emphasis original - hd505]

    http://spectator.org/blog/2013/03/28/refuting-the-libertarian-argum

    I think that there is a good point here. Perhaps JWH or somebody else with familiarity with contract law can throw light on this:

    Let us assume that Joe “contracts” with Bob in lieu of marriage: each is the other’s legal heir, each has power of attorney to deal with end-of-life issues, each is the other’s designated legal guardian for any children. How does the rest of society – more especially, the various levels of government – deal with this? Does, for example, the IRS recognize Joe and Bob as a couple who may file their taxes jointly? Would a school recognize them as the real parents of any children?

    • JWH

      Your last paragraph really deals with why I favor same-sex marriage. Joe and Bob, can, indeed enter into a domestic-relations agreement. In states that have not put particularly strong anti-SSM amendments into their constitutions and/or laws, Joe and Bob can even enforce the agreement against each other in court, just like they would any contract.

      To put it one way, Joe and Bob could, in lieu of marriage, enter into an agreement by which Joe will work at a job, while Bob agrees to keep house. Joe and Bob could agree to some term in their agreement (I don’t know off the top of my head what kind of limits would exist as to term). They could even include a clause wherein if the agreement is broken by either person, then Joe would be required to provide a certain amount of money to Bob each month for a period of 10 years after their agreement is broken. (a form of alimony).

      That’s probably not the best construct, however. More likely, they would create a structure — maybe a trust, partnership, or limited company of some sort — to hold assets that they want to hold in common. They would draft living wills and advanced medical records to designate each other as the “dude who makes decisions if I’m a mental vegetable.” They would rewrite their wills to designate each other as heirs.

      They would execute agreements that bind them as tightly together as they can be without a marriage law.

      But they run into two problems.

      First is a matter of procedural unfairness. States will allow two individuals to enter into contracts that replicate some of the benefits of marriage, but takes a raft of paperwork and a good lawyer to set up everything. A lot of work. A heterosexual couple gets that — and more — simply by signing a marriage certificate.

      Then they run into the second issue — substantive, legal unfairness. The IRS does not, in fact recognize Joe and Bob’s contract as a marriage. Even in the absence of DOMA, Joe and Bob would have to show that they are legally married. “Contractual agreement” won’t give them married filing jointly status. Is Joe in the military? Despite their “contractual agreement,” Bob doesn’t get to live on base or shop in the PX. They’re not married. The list goes on.

      And then there’s substantive, social unfairness. Is Mrs. HerdDog in the hospital? You, Mr. HerdDog, will be able to visit her and get lots of concessions by going, “Yeah, she’s my wife.” If Bob lands in the hospital, Joe might have the right to visit him … but “I have a contract with Bob” doesn’t carry the same weight as “Joe’s my husband.”

      The fundamental unfairness, I think, is that a same-sex couple has to go to extraordinary lengths just to get a tenth of what an opposite-sex couple gets by signing a single piece of paper.

      • Brucehenry

        There’s the rub, indeed.

      • herddog505

        Hmph. Well, I suppose that this sort of settles the question so far as I am concerned.

        Thanks.

        • JWH

          Which way does it settle it?

      • Scalia

        Hi, JWH. I’m not certain that the setup is as difficult as you describe. That may be the case as it now stands, but states such as Washington have domestic partnership (DP) laws that effectively consider property held within a DP to be community property (Washington has approved ssm, so the point is academic). Such an approach can be taken on a national scale without necessitating a redefinition of marriage. Note, I am only addressing the procedural unfairness that you cite. While current legislation makes it more difficult for gay couples to obtain “equal status,” future legislation need not even address “marriage” in order to remove the obstacles you mention.

        • JWH

          Howdy.

          In my discourse above, I assumed that in Joe and Bob’s home jurisdiction, there is no access to civil marriage for a same-sex couple, and that the jurisdiction has not enacted any laws that specifically extend marriage benefits (e.g. inheritance, etc.) to same-sex couples.

          Before the civil-union and domestic-partnership laws came into being, Joe and Bob had to make do with the solutions available to them under ordinary contract law.

          At the national level, I favor a fairly simple regime. If Joe and Bob have a validly concluded civil union or marriage, and they live in a jurisdiction that recognizes that recognizes said union/marriage, then the feds will extend benefits to them.

          I support SSM, but for now, I’m perfectly willing to let states figure it out for themselves.

          • Scalia

            Thanks, JWH. I think we’re mostly on the same page here. The only caveat is the ssm solution you seem to default to. I have not read all of your posts, so please forgive any assumption on my part. You perhaps defend ssm for other reasons. My only point is the procedural difficulties you mention do not logically lead to ssm. Society can retain the definition of marriage and grant DPs without difficulty.

            Kind regards.

          • JWH

            Thanks, Nino.

            I do, indeed, think that marriage rights should be extended to same-sex couples. I even think there’s a cognizable constitutional argument for such. But I also have to acknowledge that same-sex marriage is a fairly radical thing, so I prefer to see it implemented through legislatures rather than through the federal judiciary.

            Why do I say marriage, not civil unions? Because in my eyes, there is no reason to distinguish between the two. Civil marriage is simply a bilateral partnership agreement, and I fail to see how allowing same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples access to the word “marriage” affects existing marriages in any meaningful way.

          • Scalia

            Who is “Nino”?

            Thanks for the clarification. Although I disagree with your rationale, I appreciate your taking the time to explain your position.

            Best wishes.

          • JWH

            “Nino” is a nickname for Justice Scalia.

  • http://www.wizbangblog.com David Robertson

    #1 If a man and a woman in California get married to each other and then move to Texas, then the state of Texas will recognize the couple as being married, because the two were legally married in California.

    So, why then would it be constitutionally permissible for the state of Texas to not recognize the validity of a marriage between two men if those men were legally married in the state of California?

    #2 Suppose that same-gender marriage were to be legal throughout the USA. As already stated by another, the 1st Amendment recognizes the freedom of religion possessed by people. Thus, it would be unconstitutional to force ordained ministers to officiate weddings that conflicted with the religious beliefs of the ministers.

    So, if ordained ministers (in general) were to refuse to officiate same-sex weddings, who then would officiate such weddings?

    • JWH

      So, why then would it be constitutionally permissible for the state of Texas to not recognize the validity of a marriage between two men if those men were legally married in the state of California?

      Simple. Even in the absence of DOMA, existing law provides certain exceptions to the full faith and credit clause if a marriage validly concluded in one state is contrary to the public policy in another state. More informaiton here:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tobias-barrington-wolff/doma-repeal-and-the-truth_b_905484.html

      If SCOTUS adopts the most expansive ruling possible in Perry v. Hollingsworth, of course, then states, just like after Loving, won’t be able to deny recognition of same-sex marriages. But if the high court adopts a less expansive position (either the so-called “eight state” solution or a California-only verdict), then states will be able to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages (to some extent) under already existing laws.

      So, if ordained ministers (in general) were to refuse to officiate same-sex weddings, who then would officiate such weddings?

      Again, simplicity itself. Ordained ministers are not the only individuals who perform weddings. States have different rules about who may officiate a marriage, but generally, a marriage can be performed by a clergy member, by a judge (or retired judge), or by certain other public officials. In my home state, it is also possible for individuals to register as celebrants who may perform weddings under state laws.

  • Par4Course

    The anti-gay marriage crowd claim that marriage has been recognized for thousands of years as the union of one man and one woman. The problem is that, going back to the book of Genesis, polygamy was recognized. While the bible didn’t recognize SSM, it clearly recognized multiple spouse marriage. If we use biblical definitions, there is no reason to limit marriage to two participants.

    The ideal would be for the government to get out of the marriage business, letting individuals decide for themselves who is married to whom, but that’s not going to happen – the government is growing daily in size and scope with the blessing of the 53% who voted for the Obama encore. Recognizing gay marriage will not affect the vast majority of man-woman marriages. If anything, marriage is under challenge as an institution because so many couples are choosing to forego marriage, having families without any wedding ceremony.

    The real problems facing this country are economic – $17 trillion in debt, labor participation rate at an all-time low, food stamp participation at an all-time high, 7.8+ % unemployment becoming the new normal, coming insolvency for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, etc. Even a traditionalist like Rush has recognized that gay marriage is an inevitability. Wasting time arguing about whether same sex couples can legally wed is achieving nothing worthwhile.