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Discussion Topic: Gay Marriage

I'm interested in a discussion in the comment section, since most of the well reasoned and respectful arguments (pro and con) I've seen on other blogs where one's I found in the comments.

Same sex marriage is coming to Massachusetts soon. Assuming everything goes smoothly the state will be home to some number of gay married couples.

The question for discussion: What happens next?


Comment Guidelines: Be as long winded or short winded as you like. Be civil to to each other - attack others positions not their person.


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Comments (8)

California will have it nex... (Below threshold)

California will have it next. Another couple of states will join them.

The attempt to amend the constitution will fail.

We'll have a number of cases where courts struggle with the implications of states who refuse to recognize gay marriages from other states (See David Frum's 8 Questions).

Within 5-10 years, the U.S. Supreme Court will find that the Constitution requires gay marriage.

In 20 years, kids will grow up barely aware that gays ever weren't allowed to marry.

That's my prediction, anyway.

I'm with Spoons, assuming t... (Below threshold)

I'm with Spoons, assuming that he was using the same timeline that miscegenation laws were on. California was the first major state to have a court case invalidating laws against mixed-race marriages in 1948, a number of states reacted negatively, the Supreme Court ruled conclusively in 1967 on the issue, in another 10 years, more people were in favor of interracial marriages than were against, and today 75-80% are in favor, and the religious objection is hardly heard.

I'm also in agreement with ... (Below threshold)

I'm also in agreement with spoons. And in 20 years, political figures who oppose gay marriage now will be attacked for their 'homophobic past.' I have the feeling that this is part of the reason many of them are trying to word their comments carefully--there is little doubt that they will eventually lose.

Obligatory disclaimer: This... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Obligatory disclaimer: This is pure speculation and reasoned prognostication, not personal opinion on the issue itself.

I think the pro gay marriage side is pushing for too much, too fast. I was actually working on a piece about this (perhaps, for the next time Kevin accepts guest postings) that opened with "Where Voltaire said the perfect is the enemy of the good, here the 'fabulous!' is the enemy of the 'fine, whatever.'"
A few years ago there was a nationwide stink about Vermont endorsing civil unions. This week President Bush, who is extremely conservative on social issues, proposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, but actually giving states the right to set up civil unions. That is HUGE progress.
I believe that if the pro gay marriage side backs down slightly and starts pushing hard in the states for civil unions, they will win in most states. But if they keep pushing for full civil marriage, they could provoke a conservative backlash that could take unions off the boards for years to come.
Right now, the situation is completely intolerable to people who (regardless of their stand on the issue) believe in the rule of law and the will of the people. In Massachusetts, by a 4-3 vote, their supreme court actually ORDERED the Legislature to change the law, violating the separation of powers clause of that commonwealth's constitution. In California, one mayor has decided to issue licenses in DEFIANCE of a public referendum that passed, 61-39, in the last year or two. In essence, we have a situation where five people (four justices and one mayor) have decided that their opinions outweigh a written constitution and the clearly expressed vote of the people, and in doing so have triggered a nationwide crisis.
Now officials in New York and New Mexico are jumping on the bandwagon and rewriting the law to suit themselves. I'm starting to think that we just might need a constitutional amendment on the issue just to avoid years of chaos.

Article IV, Section 1 of the US Constitution:
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

That clause is the reason one doesn't need a different driver's license in every state. Why one can move from state to state and remain married, adopted children remain unorphaned, and Vegas divorces are so common. All it takes is one gay couple to move from California to Utah, file a married tax return, and then run to the 9th Circuit Court and demand they be recognized as such throughout the land. Then we have the issue before the Supreme Court -- the same body that once gave formal sanction to segregation and slavery.
Under Bush's amendment, the word "marriage" would be reserved for male-female couplings, but the individual states would be free to recognize civil unions, and no state would be forced to recognize another state's unions.

OK, now for my personal opinion: gay marriages should be allowed. I don't see the threat to the institution of marriage itself. By opening marriage to more people, it should only strengthen it. And enough violence has been done to marriage already -- if the 50+% divorce rate isn't enough to convince people, then let them explain away Liza Minelli, Michael Jackson, and Britney Spears. But I don't think the country is quite ready for it, and I am DEAD AGAINST it getting recognized in this manner. It must be done cleanly, above-board, and with the expressed full support of a majority of the people. If it's done by individuals and small groups through civil disobedience and judicial activism, the American people will resent having it rammed down their throats (as opposed to reluctantly going along with it), there very well could be a huge backlash against the whole gay rights agenda, and decades of progress (this one's for you, Rodney) wouldn't stand a fart's chance in a hurricane.

J.

There's really nothing much... (Below threshold)
mac:

There's really nothing much for me to add -- I think Spoons hit on the nose. Historically, this period of time is going to be remembered much like we think of slavery and when women didn't have the right to vote [or do anything] -- as a shameful period in our national history.

I hope this comes off as va... (Below threshold)

I hope this comes off as value to the discussion...
I remember the Murphy brown show and the vice president? conterversy what constitutes a family. Uproar that a single parent with a child isn't a family.
Single parents with children were offended evently the spotlight faded.

It is not against the law for gays to have chidren or even adopt. So they are not a family for not being married to each other, and are considered single? Governemnt doesn't come into homes and take children away for the parents being gay. What really is the problem letting two people marry each other regardless of gender.
Where are the studies children of gay couples are devantant and unproductive members of society as adults--there is none! There is no national uproar that high profile gay/lesbian couples have children.
Allow them to marry supports the long standing U.S. morals and ethics a couple should be married if have chidren. We all grew up with this value since grade school.

It comes down to fear and supreme rightousness and ignorance to difference.People must be affraid it happens in some way it will effect them personally.
These same people try to quote the Bible but forget timelines and passages of the history of marriage.

My prediction: There will be an insurgance in lobbying there will be hundrends of thousnad of protestors it will a media frenzy a "fight for the right to marry across America" on some given day.
This will not go away one day they will be able to marry.
All sorts of companies will surface to specialize in services for gay couple marriages and families-then it will be in prime time commericals one day.


A very interesting thread.<... (Below threshold)
Fritz:

A very interesting thread.

There's one assumption that nearly everyone makes that may be quite erroneous: All gay people support same-sex marriage.

In fact, many do not. Many are simply not voicing their objections because they feel that those who want to get married should have the right to do so. This philosophy was much more visible before the AIDS pandemic and monogamous relationships became a necessity for survival.

However, there are many gay people who believe that monogamy and marriage are unnatural behaviors. They believe that marriage is a tool that society used to control normal sexual drives and behaviors. The last thing they want is to fall into the same trap of repressed sexuality that straight people must endure.

It is very possible that this philosophy will grow in popularity as opposition to same-sex marriage increases. If this happens, it is likely that this philosophy will gain wider acceptance among heterosexuals -- thus reducing the popularity of the married lifestyle.

Ironically, by not allowing gay people to marry, the religious right may actually do more harm than good. They could end up quickening the end of marriage and monogamy in our culture.

Like it or not, gay people have a great deal of cultural influence. I think it would be better for our goverment to promote healthy, monogamous relationships than help create a movement that to reject marriage and two-parent families.

Hey, I am doing a project f... (Below threshold)
School Girl:

Hey, I am doing a project for school. Do you think that the civil rights movement has affected the decision to let gays marry? I personally think it has and all of you have given great points and ideas on the gay marriage rights and I feel like all of you are saying exactly what I am thinking.
Thanks,
School Girl




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