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No Really It Will Only Be Massachusetts...

Andrew Sullivan and others twisted and contorted to assure readers that what happens in Massachusetts stays in Massachusetts. He's wrong. Gay marriage will be imposed not by the peoples representatives, but via the bench. Funny I was saying the same thing last month when it was New York, today it's California.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A judge ruled Monday that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional, saying the state could no longer justify limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

In the eagerly awaited opinion likely to be appealed to the state's highest court, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said that withholding marriage licenses from gays and lesbians is unconstitutional.

"It appears that no rational purpose exists for limiting marriage in this state to opposite-sex partners," Kramer wrote.

The judge wrote that the state's historical definition of marriage, by itself, cannot justify the denial of equal protection for gays and lesbians.

Judicial activism - it's whats for dinner...

Update: Law professor Eugene Volokh notes that what some have, in the past, called "hysterical," "emotional scare tactic[s]," or "canards" may well have been quite reasonable predictions. Interestingly he's not referring to the standard denials of same sex marriage advocates, rather he's looked back to the Equal Rights Amendment era.


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Comments (195)

Hey, bossman, are you tryin... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Hey, bossman, are you trying to start a turf war or something? I thought I was in charge of Massachusetts-bashing.

I KNEW I shoulda stayed out of posting about sports...

J.

When are the peoples repres... (Below threshold)
david:

When are the peoples represenatives going to start moving against these activist Judges and start procedings to throw them off the bench!!! Judges are supposed to enforce/interpret law not make it! ARE there none with "cahones" enough to stand up and say this far and no farther!

IMPEACHMENT... (Below threshold)

IMPEACHMENT

It is a huge mistake for th... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

It is a huge mistake for these issues to be imposed by judicial fiat.

This is something that has to be decided in the state houses and debated among the people and their representatives.

In the end this is not going to be a good thing.

I am not certain about the ... (Below threshold)

I am not certain about the superior court trial judges, but the California Supreme Court Justices are elected --- remember the infamous Rose Bird, Supreme Court Chief Justice, who was impeached in a recall election back in the 1980's?

If the trial court judges are elected also, this could be fodder for a very entertaining campaign.

Joser,Allowing evil ... (Below threshold)

Joser,
Allowing evil to prevail in society and usurping the clear will of the people of an entire state is by no means compassionate. This judge's ruling has nothing to do with enforcing the Constitution and everything to do with rule by fiat. If you are so all-fired intent on having gay marriage, then win that right through changing the law - not the imposition of the will of activist judges. What happened today is an egregious and shameful act of piracy.

I made a promise with my... (Below threshold)
julie:

I made a promise with my girlfriend that I wouldn't marry her until gays could get married as well

1. Does this bullshit line really work? lol

2. If the California Supreme Court reverses, are you willing to divorce her?

"This judge's ruling has no... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"This judge's ruling has nothing to do with enforcing the Constitution and everything to do with rule by fiat. If you are so all-fired intent on having gay marriage, then win that right through changing the law - not the imposition of the will of activist judges."

Exactly.

It isn't so much that allowing gays to marry isn't the right cause to fight, it is how it is being fought. This case should be made in the state legislature and debated there, not imposed through the judiciary.

I made a promise with my... (Below threshold)
nambla panda:

I made a promise with my girlfriend that I wouldn't marry her until gays could get married as well

Fucking brilliant! I'm going to use this line!

Joser, one question, how do... (Below threshold)

Joser, one question, how does "lack of marriage" mean not being treated as a human being?

See Joser that is half your... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

See Joser that is half your problem you don't think you can make a case for your position before the people, therefore your opinion is the only one that counts and should be imposed by judicial fiat, rather than the will of the people.

If you feel your position is the correct one, then make a case for it, most people in fact are not biggots, many of them just may not have bothered to consider all sides of the issue.

Make your case, argue your point, but don't just paint everyone with the biggot brush, and say you shouldn't have to, because that really isn't how the consitution or our government or the judiciary was ever designed to work.

Sure some people out there are biggots, but when you consider that huge majorities of people in the various states (many of them states that went for Kerry) you have to realize that you are dealing with more than biggots, unless your position is that 60-70% of the voters are hopeless biggots and whose opinions can't be swayed by open and honest debate.

They already have the same ... (Below threshold)

They already have the same rights as straight couples - they can marry anyone of the opposite sex.

"So, though people may watc... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"So, though people may watch Will and Grace and Queer eye and think that gay people are normal everyday people, there are always going to be republicans, and some democrats alike, who are going to make sure that the masses are afraid of the repurcusions of the institution of gay marriage."

See this is half your problem, you just think everyone is a biggot.

When in fact that just haven't heard anyone make a case.

It isn't a matter of making sure the masses are afraid of anything, but the problem is that gay marriage absolutely does take an instutition that has been around since the begining of time, and flips it on its ear, it is rediculous to think that there won't be any ramifications from that flip. Some will be easy to deal with, others may not, and others may not be felt for generations to come.

That is why these issues should be debated, and if takes 20 more years, then it should take 20 more years.

When our constitution was written, there were abolitionists at the time, but the US wasn't ready to end the institution. Now was it right at that time morally? No, but the abolitionists didn't win through judicial fiat, they won by taking the debate to the people, they won, by making a case against slavery, and it still took a couple of generations to change the tide of public opinion.

Look at the civil rights movement for AA's, that also wasn't done over night, and for the most part wasn't brought about through the judiciary, the civil rights acts were debated on the floor of the senate (remember that wonderful senator from WVA who fillibustered the civil rights act?), and passed over time.

The problem is that those in favor of gay marriage want to avoid the debate, they don't want to be bothered with it, and they want what they want now.

But if they win this war by judicial fiat, instead of bringing peopl around, and educating them, they are instead going to have to overcome hostility and anger that the issue was decided by some judge they didn't choose.

Sure going the route of legislative debate takes longer, and requires far more efforts, but in the long run you will win more people over to your side, if you take the time to persaude them, than just have the debate declared over, and that their position loses.

I realize I may appear a bi... (Below threshold)

I realize I may appear a bit naive about all this... BUT - it is my understanding that the Constitution of the United States specifically puts the ultimate "last word" in the hands of the people.

If the people define marriage as "one man one woman," and a judge who overturns that is un-Constitutional.

Now, I know that the States have specific rights granted to them, BUT - again - the ultimate power is held by the people.

Just wondering...

---R'cat

I have no illusions of conv... (Below threshold)

I have no illusions of convincing y'all that GLBT Americans deserve the same civil rights as straight Americans---for the same reason I wouldn't try to convice a racist that blacks deserve the same civil rights as whites.

Either you believe in equal rights, or you don't. Clearly, most of the people on this blog are in the "don't" column.

Fifty years ago, many of you would have been howling about activist judges legislating from the bench in Brown v Board of Education

Separate but equal isn't equal. It's just that simple.

If you would like to tell your children someday that you were on the side of equality and justice, you should be supporting gay marriage any way you can.

If you want to explain to your children someday---as Sen. Byrd has had to do---that you hated people who were different than you and tried to make them second-class citizens, then by all means carry on.

Human rights are things lik... (Below threshold)

Human rights are things like freedom, the right to vote, free speech, etc.

They don't include the "right to marry whoever you want", the "right to happiness", the "right to abort your baby", the "right to file taxes jointly", or the "right to not be called a hedonist".

Gay people already have protections against discrimination in jobs, housing, etc. Almost no one is taking away their freedom, or trying to prevent them from voting, or speaking their minds. (And by the way, comparing their sexual practices to bestiality may not be nice, but it does not constitute taking away any rights.)

Try to be a little less hysterial, and maybe you'll convince someone.

This argument that this is ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

This argument that this is an example of judicial fiat is shallow. Judges are there to interpret the constitution, and therefore, laws get thrown out all the time. It is a checks and balances thing. The general theme in this thread is a curious argument against judicial review, which we've had for 200 years since Marbury v Madison.

And just because California voters passed a ballot initiative doesn't make the initiative constitutional. All of California's controversial direct initiatives go through judicial review, and many of them get tossed out. It is frustrating when it happens, but a completely and necessary constitutional process.

So the majority doesn't exactly rule in my state, or anywhere in the country, and for good reason. The tyranny of the majority can sometimes be quite a burden. Thank goodness we have judicial review, and a judicial branch that is co-equal with the legislature. Who would want it any other way?

Oh and Don, there are many ... (Below threshold)

Oh and Don, there are many people who don't think there should be any discrimination at all against gays in terms of housing, jobs, etc, but don't think they should get married. There are even many people who think civil unions between gays are ok, but don't think we should call that marriage.

This is not hatred, and it's not treating gays like second-class citizens. There's many people who can't get married - for instance people who are already married, and people who are under a certain age. That doesn't make them second-class citizens and those laws don't mean that everyone hates them.

Maybe instead of insulting everyone, you could try to convince them.

And by the way, I wouldn't at all be suprised if there are some old folks, some of them judges, out there who supported/agreed with Brown v. Board of Education but don't support gay marriage.

"Either you believe in equa... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Either you believe in equal rights, or you don't. Clearly, most of the people on this blog are in the "don't" column."

Actually this is a huge assumption to make.

I am not opposed to gay marriages, I am opposed to judges taking the debate out of the hands of the people and telling the legislature what laws they must right.

Even civil rights and slavery-two huge things from our history were not defined in the courts, but in the state houses. Shoot the supremes even gave us the dred scott decision, which should teach us all that, court decisions without the will of the people behind them, can be overturned.

If you want support for your position, you must first garner the support of the people to bring them to your way of thinking, people don't like being dictated to, and court decisions on these issues make them feel that way, it makes them feel powerless and ends up pissing them off.

"See Joser that is half... (Below threshold)

"See Joser that is half your problem you don't think you can make a case for your position before the people, therefore your opinion is the only one that counts and should be imposed by judicial fiat, rather than the will of the people."

Democracies are not simply defined by their deference to the will of the majority. Political systems that only protect majoritarian interests are fascist. Democracies are also defined by their structural mechanisms to defend the rights of minorities. The right to marriage in this country, since Loving v. Virginia, has been defined as a fundamental human right. It is not constitutional under our democracy to deny a fundamental human right to a class of citizens simply because the majority of citizens don't think that class is entitled to it.

The courts are functioning, in this instance, as the founders intended them to, with the result that we are becoming more like the founder's dream of America (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and less like a fascist state (werk macht frei).

So, just because the state ... (Below threshold)

So, just because the state (not to mention the ENTIRE country) has a history of defining marriage as a HOLY union between a man and woman, doesn't mean it should stay that way? How long before the Christian (all of them) church(es) are FORCED to recognize these "marriages" (no matter that to do this would be a CLEAR violation of the 1st Ammendment).

Which state defines it as a... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Which state defines it as a HOLY union?

Smoke Eater, the Catholic church has never been forced to accept marriages of other churches, or civil marriages of any kind. Ever. And they aren't forced to recognize divorces either. That argument is a red herring.

If the law forbids me to ma... (Below threshold)
Brad Ervin:

If the law forbids me to marry my sister or my labrador retiever is it inhuman? Has our republic been inhuman for over 200 years?

Whom you choose to sleep with or room with or commune with is your business, I don't see why I even need to know; but why apply marrage to these arrangements? What does marrage have to do with sex anyway. Would you agree that you must be married in order to have sex? If I am incapable of having sex am I incapable of getting married? Is being married about living together or making a household? If my best buddy and I want to buy a house together must we marry first?

Tolerance is about allowing others their way, not forcing others to embrace their ways. The Mormans tried to redefine marrage and were denied.

Marrage isn't about a piece of paper to file away or about a tax break; it's about a commitment to make and raise babies.

Where IS that Marrage Ammendment?

"There's many people who ca... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"There's many people who can't get married - for instance people who are already married"

Well, why not?

I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people.

Anyone care to explain that?

This argument that this ... (Below threshold)
david:

This argument that this is an example of judicial fiat is shallow. Judges are there to interpret the constitution, and therefore, laws get thrown out all the time. It is a checks and balances thing. The general theme in this thread is a curious argument against judicial review, which we've had for 200 years since Marbury v Madison.

And just because California voters passed a ballot initiative doesn't make the initiative constitutional. All of California's controversial direct initiatives go through judicial review, and many of them get tossed out. It is frustrating when it happens, but a completely and necessary constitutional process.

So the majority doesn't exactly rule.....

That argument just doesn't hold water. Majority rule Isthe rule of this country> That's how elected officials from the President down to Judges etc. etc., get to represent us and our wishes-by the majority rule of our Vote which dictates Our choice of how we choose to live and by which representative, in whichever capacity we wish-by majority rule of our vote. Which I might add is how Proposition 22 came about to amend California's Family Code-section 308.5. By a majority Vote of the citizenry 61.4% to 38.6% .
When activist Judges circumvent the majority rule of the people by overthrowing their wishes they have denied us of our rights. They have become minority dictators,saying in effect "We shall tell you what you can and cannot do." "We shall decide for you." Mostly according to their personal political mandates.

Where is representative government in that? Where is the will of the People? Of what use is our Vote and Our right to decide, if a small minority of activist liberal or conservative Judges circumvent Us(In this case by legal Proposition) or the laws enacted by our duly elected representatives?

The churches of Canada ARE ... (Below threshold)
Brad Ervin:

The churches of Canada ARE being forced to recognize and embrace gay marrage. A situation which is clearly outside their accepted theology.

How far can the State go in demanding accordance with "public attitudes" before we become a totalitarian society?

If the governmental imprint of legitimacy is placed on gay marrage will we as citizens be forced to embrace it in our homes and churches? My first amendment rights are muted to the point of irrelevance if the gay rights agenda can be used to define the Bible as hate literature.

I have no hatred for any person regardless his views but I also have a first amendment right to free association and the right to practice my religion.

It totally figures that t... (Below threshold)

It totally figures that this would snowball in the way that it has. These activists can't make a really good, cogent argument to their state's legislature, so they go to a judge and ask them to do the heavy lifting for them. It's total weasel-like behavior.

Jesus, some people around h... (Below threshold)
hpe:

Jesus, some people around here badly need a junior high civics class.

Be careful David. We live ... (Below threshold)
Brad Ervin:

Be careful David. We live in a republic not a democracy. Our rights are GRANTED by our Creator and guaranteed by the government. A majority is not sufficient to overthrow a right, not even a super majority. The courts have a responsibility to interpret the law but only within the bounds of the Constitution. A right, as defined in the Constitution, may only be modified by an amendment to the Constitution.

For years it was shown that a "majority" favored removing the second amendment but no amendment was ever successful. It was then that those against private gun ownership turned to the juditial branch to "redefine" the second amendment as a right given to official state militias (the guard units).

Marrage isn't about a pi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Marrage isn't about a piece of paper to file away or about a tax break; it's about a commitment to make and raise babies.

So what about married folks who don't want to or can't have children? And must you be married in order to conceive?

Where IS that Marrage Ammendment?

Your precious DOM amendment was never going to happen, it's a carrot dangled in front of you in order to get votes. It's simply, what's the word? Oh, right, pandering.

I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people.

Because marriage is a legal contract, and entering into one while already married would be acting in bad faith. However, it should be noted that by some estimates there are about 30,000 polygamists in Utah right now, and no one is bothering to prosecute them.

hpe:Given the qualit... (Below threshold)
Addison:

hpe:
Given the quality of the average High School Civics teacher, I'm afeared the cure is worse than the disease.

The churches of Canada A... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The churches of Canada ARE being forced to recognize and embrace gay marrage.

Says who?

Joser: How does je... (Below threshold)
julie:

Joser:

How does jerking around your girlfriend like this achieve anything but jerking around your girlfriend?

And if the Calif. Supreme Court overturns Judge Kramer are you going to divorce your wife? According to you, it would be the only decent thing to do.

Brad, what "Right" are you ... (Below threshold)
david:

Brad, what "Right" are you referring too.

Uh, Loving v. Virginia <... (Below threshold)
julie:

Uh, Loving v. Virginia held marriage was a fundamental right between a man and a woman. The founders never dreamed of gay marriage. Pretty weird that you would say gay marriage was the intent of the founding fathers. Just because you disagree or don't like a decision, doesn't make people fascists or this a fascist country. Anyway, this fascist meme of yours is so old moonbat (osay oldway oonbatmay).

""I'd really like to hear s... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

""I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people."

Because marriage is a legal contract, and entering into one while already married would be acting in bad faith."


Well, that's not exactly what I asked, but I guess I'll clarify :

I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone - who is not already married - can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people at the same time.

Sorry Mantis, the exclusivi... (Below threshold)
Brad Ervin:

Sorry Mantis, the exclusivity of the marriage contract is as negotiable as the sex of the participants. When the house falls it falls on everything.

As to the DOM contract, it may be that these Juditial fiats may be all it takes to break the log jam. Everywhere that a DOM initiative is placed on the ballot it passes by huge margins.

It was said that Sen Kerry lost the election when the Mass. Supreme Ct. forced gay marriage.

By the way, I am not pro or anti gay; it's an individual decision, but I am resentfull of an agenda being forced down my throat by totalitarian judges.

We live in a "Democratic Re... (Below threshold)
rls:

We live in a "Democratic Republic", not a "Democracy". We, as the people, do not vote on every issue before the nation - we elect "Representatives" to foster our points of view. In rare instances, in some municipalities and states, citizens MAY bring before the voters, by referanda or initiatives, issues that they want ALL voters to decide.

The Judicial Branch of the government interprets these laws and decides disputes between parties based on the laws as passed by the Legislative Branch. The only way the Judicial Branch can circumvent the laws of the Legislature is to declare all or a portion of the law as "Unconstitutional". As long as the law comports to the constitution, judges must decide disputes based on the "merits" of the case,not the constitutionality of the Law.

There are currently laws on the books in California that prohibit marriages of minors without parental consent, that prohibit marriage if one partner has a STD, that prohibit sisters and brothers from marrying each other, first cousins from marrying, fathers from marrying daughters and sons from marrying mothers. None of these laws are unconstitutional.

Since a California Judge has declared the law banning same sex marriage as unconstitutional, theoretically brothers may now marry in that state. Since there is no current law prohibiting marraige between a man and his dog or a woman and her cat, one could assume that would now be legal.

The Constitution of the US gives us certain rights as outlined in the Amendments. Nowhere in that document is a right of people of the same sex to marry. There have been many amendments to this document, everyone of them a major national issue. Same sex marriage IS NOT a major national issue.

If California or any othe state wishes to allow same sex marriages, then the people (Legislature or referendum) should pass such a law. However, such a law would then force a calling for a Constitutional Amendment banning such marriages, as the Constitution prohibits States from not recognizing marriages from other States in the Union.

I personally do not care what consenting adults do in the privacy of their homes and am of the opinion that wills and living trusts provide all the protection non-married partners need. What I do NOT condone is giving "extra" rights to a class of individual, because of their gender, sexual preferences, race or religion or whether they are blue eyed or left handed. Gays currently enjoy all the same rights as straights - what they want is "special rights" written into the State Constitution for them.

By the way, I am not pro... (Below threshold)
mantis:

By the way, I am not pro or anti gay; it's an individual decision, but I am resentfull of an agenda being forced down my throat by totalitarian judges.

How is anything forced down your throat? If you're not gay this will not affect you in the slightest. BTW you still haven't answered regarding Canadian churches.

The Constitution of the ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The Constitution of the US gives us certain rights as outlined in the Amendments. Nowhere in that document is a right of people of the same sex to marry.

Nowhere in the Constitution is the right of people of different sexes to marry written either. Should we ban marriage altogether?

Um...Brad, I hate to pile o... (Below threshold)

Um...Brad, I hate to pile on, but jeez...

Do you really think that the government of Canada is a Theocracy? What do you mean by "their" theology (singluar)?

Our Rights are not guaranteed by the government -- they're guaranteed by the Constitution and enforced by the judicial (not juditial) branch, not the government (note that the Rill of Rights doesn't so much define what our rights are as much as it defines what the federal goverment cannot do to us).

Where did you get your Second Amendment history lesson? Try this one: http://www.guncite.com/journals/vandhist.html; or this one, http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5200 --

As a matter of law, the meaning of the Second Amendment has been settled since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939). In that case, the Court ruled that the "obvious purpose" of the Second Amendment was to "assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness" of the state militia.

Since Miller, the Supreme Court has addressed the Second Amendment twice more, upholding New Jersey's strict gun control law in 1969 and upholding the federal law banning felons from possessing guns in 1980. Furthermore, twice - in 1965 and 1990 - the Supreme Court has held that the term "well-regulated militia" refers to the National Guard.

In the early 1980s, the Supreme Court addressed the Second Amendment issue again, after the town of Morton Grove, Illinois, passed an ordinance banning handguns (making certain reasonable exceptions for law enforcement, the military, and collectors). After the town was sued on Second Amendment grounds, the Illinois Supreme Court and the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that not only was the ordinance valid, but there was no individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment (Quillici v. Morton Grove). In October 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of this ruling, allowing the lower court rulings to stand.

Since the Miller decision, lower federal and state courts have addressed the meaning of the Second Amendment in more than thirty cases. In every case, up until March of 1999 (see below), the courts decided that the Second Amendment refers to the right to keep and bear arms only in connection with a state militia. Even more telling, in its legal challenges to federal firearms laws like the Brady Law and the assault weapons ban, the National Rifle Association makes no mention of the Second Amendment. Indeed, the National Rifle Association has not challenged a gun law on Second Amendment grounds in several years.

On March 30, 1999, U.S. District Judge for Northern Texas Sam R. Cummings restored a domestic abuser's firearms, citing the Second Amendment as guaranteeing an individual right to keep and bear arms. This decision flies in the face of years of precedence and jurisprudence and can only be viewed as a renegade decision. In his opinion, Judge Cummings was unable to follow usual judicial practice and cite legal precedents that undergird his decision because there are none. This ruling has been appealed and since that decision, two federal courts, including a higher Circuit court, have ruled that the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to keep and bear arms (Gillespie v. City of Indianapolis).

Homework, dude.

David...Any right, as liste... (Below threshold)
Brad:

David...Any right, as listed in the Constitution, usually taken to mean the Bill of Rights. A more correct way to say it would be that the whole Constitution is a set of laws that may only be changed by constitutional amendment.

My point was that our rights are not as we wish they were or think they are but how they are written AND interpreted. In England the Parliment may pass any law it wishes, they are a democracy; in America laws passed by the Legislature are subject to reviewal and rejection by the juditial branch, even if passed by 100% of the legislators.

The Constitution, and our republican form of government protects our civilization from rash and hasty moods of the people. If, God forbid, a majority of Americans favored the containment of a segment of our population (except in times of war) for what they believed the courts would strike down that measure for being in violation of the Constitution reguardless the public support.

If the courts find, as the Mass. S. Crt. and the Cal. Crt. did, that the traditional concept of marriage is un-Constitutional then the only way back will be the DOM ammendment.

If we, as a people, are ready to abandon our traditional concepts of what our civilization is about then this "new way" won't be wrong but if you hold that our 250 year old society is pinned on the set of beliefs espoused by the founding fathers then maybe we are headed the wrong way.

Totalitarian, adj.:<p... (Below threshold)

Totalitarian, adj.:

Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed: “A totalitarian regime crushes all autonomous institutions in its drive to seize the human soul”

I'm no fan of activist judges, but let's not overdo the hyperbole!

Joser and Don,Gays... (Below threshold)
Greg:

Joser and Don,

Gays and lesbians already have the right to marry. There is no law that singles them out for exclusion.

Before you have your knee jerk reaction, let it sink in a moment.

I have known several gays and lesbians who have made the decision to marry. The central issue is not if homosexuals can marry, it is how marriage is defined. It has been defined for centuries as one man and one woman. Do you really think an activist judge, going against the will of the people and centuries of human history should get his way?

Mantis, no answer for me? :... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Mantis, no answer for me? :

" I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone - who is not already married - can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people at the same time."

Would anyone like to try to answer that?


Though, I think Brad has the truest answer yet, given the current social/political climate:
"the exclusivity of the marriage contract is as negotiable as the sex of the participants. When the house falls it falls on everything."

Does anyone disagree with that?


I don't have the links at h... (Below threshold)
brad:

I don't have the links at hand but the Clinton DOJ disiminated a paper that agrees with you but reciently the Bush DOJ has issued a paper in support of the individual right to gun ownership. The issue isn't as settled as either of us would like and both sides can find some support. Most Constitutional scholers suggest that the weight of evidence is on the side of individual rights; and just to prove that, in most places, individuals do in practice have an individual right to bear arms. The limitations you list are more in line with the prohabition of some types of weapons rather than the limitation of the second amendment to state militias.

Brad, I beg of you, stop (a... (Below threshold)

Brad, I beg of you, stop (and while I'm at it, use spellcheck)!

"If the courts find, as the Mass. S. Crt. and the Cal. Crt. did, that the traditional concept of marriage is un-Constitutional (sic) then the only way back will be the DOM ammendment (sic)."

The Massachusetts SJC ruled that the MASSACHUSETTS CONSTITUTION gave same sex couples the right to marry. The case had nothing to do with the U. S. Constitution. The federal DOM is only intended to protect other states from having to give full faith and credit to the law of Massachusetts (i.e., recognize a marriage that is lawful in Masachusetts, even if it is unlawful in that state).

I'd really like to hear ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone - who is not already married - can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people at the same time."

Because there are laws against it.

Before this even gets to th... (Below threshold)
julie:

Before this even gets to the Cal. Supreme Ct. this will be on the ballot as an initiative to amend the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Since, it was only a few years ago that Californians voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as that between a man and a woman, I predict it will pass.

wavemaker and JustMe (among... (Below threshold)
-S-:

wavemaker and JustMe (among others here) have already made excellent (and quite lucid) comments here but I can see that sense and sensibility are the ways of the bigots (the actual ones) on this issue, this thread and others. Because, the actual bigots are those who insist that "rights" are whatever they want them to be, however 'they' are interpreted and deemed due on delivery by demand. And that includes today this entire demand for "gay marriage."

Every citizen already has the same "right" as every other citizen and that is the right to marry another person of the opposite sex. There is, actually, no "right" in our Constitution to marry anyone, and yet that's just bypassed by this ill defined accusation by "gay marriage" proponents that it's "a right" and provided, even, by our Constitition, for "gay" people to "marry" other "gay" people.

Anyway, read the Constitution and come back afterward with an accurate reference but I seem to recall that it's the issue of 'right to happiness' and something related to contracts and such by individuals, licenses in a civic sense...

Which is already resolved, since "gay" citizens already have all the same rights and privilegs as any other citizen. What "gay marriage" proponents want (by demand) is a special right, something above and beyond what currently is provided to all citizens, something that is special to "gay" behavior. Which is, again, something that would be apart and beyond and in addition to what rights already are provided for all citizens.

But, the entire offense here -- I agree with what wavemaker and JustMe and others have written here -- is that the issue is being insisted on being resolved by the judiciary by those making these demands and THAT is bigotry, THAT is the offense to the Constitution since we are provided BY that Constitution to be a government determined by the people, not by the judiciary.

And that's the difficulty here on a social level, that bigots demanding special 'rights' not already in the Constitution, be established aside and apart from the Constitution and by quite contrary-to the Constitutional process, some newly carved territory.

The concept of "marriage" isn't based in homosexuality throughout our society, our government, the history of human societies any/everywhere, and bigotted "gay marriage" proponents use the very concept of reproductive family relationship (which is what "marriage" is, in definition, despite the naysaying that "gay marriage" proponents always detract when this subject is raised which always leads me to to ask, why detract, destruct the very relationship that you say you desire and demand -- if "marriage" is such a tawdry, disposable thing then why do "gay marriage" proponents seek it so?), anyway, bigotted proponents of this rewrite, in my opinion after reading so many hundreds of illogical statements about this meme, seem to want to actually change the concept of reproductive family relationships, if not destroy the very thing itself.

There is no such thing as "gay marriage." You can share wills, materials, property, finances, even children in some states, but it's anti-Constitutional to insist that judiciary start carving out "new" or additional Constitutional concepts and territory just because it's demanded by a few. If this concept holds water, then respect the voters and allow it to be determined within a Constitutional process, not by elected judiciary.

The judiciary is not the legislative branch of our government and San Francisco has proven today that. And proven again just how little they respect the U.S. Constitution. And, again, to my read, the real bigots in this issue are those (both on the judiciary and off) who are insisting on carving out special concepts for other bigots. Think about that: you have a minority insisting on being provided with a social process on demand that is unacceptable to the majority, and so far clearly identified as such by the legislature, by representational government.

What is bigotry is the vile insult to a social relationship by a few who even revile the very Constitution they make pretense to represent, but don't. Let the people vote on this issue and live with the results.

You may want whatever, but desire and want do not make it a "right" by demand to be delivered that whatever. People confuse subjective wants with freedoms.

Mantis,why won't t... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

Mantis,

why won't those laws outlawing marriage of more than one partner not be declared unconstitutional now when brought forth by another minority within our society? What's to stop someone from bringing a lawsuit against the state regarding the refusal of the state to issue another marriage license to someone? That's what happened here in Massachusetts.

Where does this creation of special rights end? Will it ever end?

As to Totalitarianism... (Below threshold)
Brad:

As to Totalitarianism

There has been as yet NO totalitarian state. There have been many that are totalitarian is some or many aspects. The use of totalitarian in relation to the issue of gay marriage is whether the State will, in a totalitarian way, dictate to the citizens of the State how they will embrace this issue. As it stands now churches and citizens are free to accept, or not, gay unions.

The issue isn't whether my brother and I can cohabitate but whether that cohabitation is defined as marriage. Traditionally such a union (or family) has not been deemed marrage. In this sense the recient juditial edicts are a departure from our 250 year tradition. By what yardstick do the judges base this sudden and jarring departure from the norm? And once we have left the safety of our traditional heritage what will restrain us?

I also find it very curious... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I also find it very curious that proponents of "gay marriage" rely on two courses of argument: one, that of insulting the values and beliefs of anyone who isn't a proponent of 'gay marriage," and, two, that of decrying the lack of a religious quality in others who are not a proponent of "gay marriage."

I mention this because it is these very beliefs, values and religious traditions that those who DO promote "gay marriage" actually oppose, and many who actually revile them.

We're supposed to have the Freedom of Religion. We're free to exercise our concept of religion without interruption by the government, without threat and assualt by the government. IF the government is forced on demand to assualt, even corrode or prevent, the freedom of religion by many, based upon the demands of a few, then that, too, is entirely non Constitutional.

But, on an interpersonal level, the offense to my read is that the values, the religious tenets that define what marriage is to me, to many like me who share my religious perspectives, is that our values are derided. We get harassed and taunted because we don't agree that a "marriage" consists of two persons of the same gender, by people who insist they are seeking some enlightened "spirituality" that is evident in the fruit it bears: denigrations to others, humiliations of ideals, assault on respected concepts and relationships. Which is, in fact, not at all the evidence of anyone enlightened, much less well balanced.

So far, society in general has to be convinced that "gay marriage" makes beneficial sense, makes sense at all and by insulting the very concept of marriage itself as is already established, there doesn't appear to be much headway there in garnering support for the "gay marriage" issue, and so the judiciary is sought to insist the issue onto the people, which is, in fact, both an insult to our democratic process and an insult to the very religiousity that "gay marriage" proponents suggest they represent.

So far, it's a losing method in my experience, one based upon the desire to literally redefine what "marriage" is, and why. Meaning, it's not, actually, to be real here, an argument about "rights" at all, but an insistence on certain obstacles to behaviors being desolved. Christianity is an obstacle and that's the actual issue here to those who are promoting this entire issue. Our government not to include church? Then don't base "gay marriage" pleas upon any concept of false religiousity. Our government to provide a new classification of "rights" delivered to some by the judiciary based upon a handful of individual desires? Doesn't describe a democracy, at least not that in the United States.

These arguments are tired a... (Below threshold)

These arguments are tired and old. They were used to oppose interracial marriage 50 years ago, and-- surprise-- legal interracial marriage hasn't brought about Armageddon.

Same-sex marriage will not lead to bestiality marriages because bestiality still is illegal. I don't have any of the relevant bills in front of me, but I'm pretty sure the wording regarding marriage is that of "persons", which is pretty clear.

Same-sex marriage will not legalize polyandry (the gender-neutral form of polygamy). Outlawing it had no relevance to same-sex relationships. No one has used the gender-specific language that outlawed Mormon-style polygamy in an effort to circumvent same-sex issues. The two have no relationship. The ruling said "person", singular. Marriage is a legal contract that lays out pretty specific exclusivity clauses. Couples may fuck everyone else they see, but the legal contracts limit their marital status until dissolved.

Same-sex marriage will not compel churches to perform ceremonies they oppose. You can't walk into a Catholic church and demand that they marry you and your opposite-gender partner. They will have conditions to impose, as would most religions. This is why a judge can perform marriages, for people who don't want to conform to a religious standard. If the Catholics, or the Jeish synagogues, do not have to perform heterosexual weddings they don't wish to, they can't be forced to perform gay weddings.

If, as so many of you have suggested, these things MUST always hinge on a popular vote of elected officials, our country would be vastly different today. Slavery would not have been abolished on just a legislative vote. Women's suffrage would not have happened for decades more, if it were up to the all-male Congress to decide. Brown v. Board of Ed. would not have passed that standard. Interracial marriage would not have gotten a majority at the time it was finally allowed.

I am not calling the opponents of same-sex marriage racist or misogynist. I'm saying that you aren't thinking these things through. When a judge rules the way you want to, that's justice. When they don't, that's judicial activism. Plain and simple: if you aren't gay, this doesn't have a single thing to do with you. Your marriage is just as stable as it was yesterday. If it isn't stable, it's not the fault of gays in California. If you dislike gay marriage so, the solution is obvious: don't marry a gay person.

""I'd really like to hear s... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

""I'd really like to hear someone who supports gay 'marriage' explain why someone - who is not already married - can't get 'married' to 2, 3 or more other people at the same time."

Because there are laws against it."


Uh-huh. Right up until 3 people claim it is a 'Human Right' for them all to be married together and a judge rules in their favor. All the same arguments for gay 'marriage' will also be used for group 'marriage'.

(not much) time will tell.

If you can't drive 55, you ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

If you can't drive 55, you get a speeding ticket. If you drive without a license, you get a fine, sometimes you get incarcerated or close to it. What the individual wants is up to their own imagination and capabiliities, but what society organizes based upon citizen majority determination sets the rules for behaviors for (most) all. That's what socieity is.

"Gay marriage" is only as viable an idea as society determines it to be. As to governmental process, it takes a representational government to make that and most other determinations. If it's determined otherwise, it's not Constitutional and San Francisco and Massachusetts, as examples of that, prove time and again that they disregard our very form of representational government by a handful of opinions. Now, again, WHAT is "bigotry?"

why won't those laws out... (Below threshold)
mantis:

why won't those laws outlawing marriage of more than one partner not be declared unconstitutional now when brought forth by another minority within our society?

Well likely because polygamy is considered fraud and is a criminal act. Gay marriage is not a criminal act. There is no problem with the government providing boundaries on marriage, the question is where the line should be drawn. As far as your slippery slope argument goes, the same thing was said about miscegenation, but that didn't lead to legalized bigamy or incestuous relationships.

to Wavemaker..Heh, H... (Below threshold)
Brad:

to Wavemaker..
Heh, HEh Heh I TRUELY do apoligize. I am typing as FAST as I can and I CANNOT spell. I am typing into the comment window which has no spellchecker. But I really do apoligize.

You are entirely correct. The state courts have found only state rights but the 14th Amendment will be used to bludgen the rest of the states into accepting the gay marriages, especially if many states find for gay marriage. The U.S. Constitution is silent on marriage as it was concidered a state issue, or, at least it was NOT thought to be a federal issue. The modern use of equal protection has rendered states rights null if not void. In this sense what individual states do is pretty important, particularly in respect to an institution like marriage. My Wife and I got married in Athens Greece but I'm pretty sure I'm still married in Iowa.

What Gay people do is not my consern or interest but when their lifestyle is crammed down my throat then I am conserned. And it seems a short way from Gay marriage to demanding that my church and my household pay homage to it.

Tolerance is a two way street and I don't see where the gay community respects my point-o-view.

I think pretty much once th... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think pretty much once the courts all agree that prohibiting gays from marrying is uncontistutional, pretty much any and every other law regulating marriage will be declared unconsitutional, about the only ones that may stand are those relating to the ability of minors to marry.

But the courts won't have a leg to stand on in regards to any other laws regulating marriage.

One of the reasons I don't like the idea of these decisions being made through the judiciary absent any debate, is that a lot of these issues really do need to be worked throuh in debate, and turning the intitution of marriage upside down after thousands of years of a pretty much universal definition is going to have affects. Maybe not enough to continue to not recognize such marriages, but we are kidding ourselves if this decision doesn't affect the institution of marriage, and I am one who doesn't think it is going to affect it for the better.

Gays marrying probably won't have much affect on me or my marriage, but it very well may harm the institution itself, and we need to work through the ramifications of just what that may mean.

We also need to realize that sometimes because a law is dumb, or unfair, that doesn't neccessarily mean it is unconstitutional. I feel like we are heading down a road where every dumb law must be a violation of some constitutional rights, rather than just being a dumb law.

What Gay people do is no... (Below threshold)
mantis:

What Gay people do is not my consern or interest but when their lifestyle is crammed down my throat then I am conserned. And it seems a short way from Gay marriage to demanding that my church and my household pay homage to it.

How is allowing gays to marry each other cramming their lifestyle down your throat. Are you forced to watch Queer as Folk or listen to showtunes? Also, does the state demand your church and household pay "homage" to straight marriage? No, it doesn't. Why should that happen with gay marriage.

Randy: I assure you, many ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Randy: I assure you, many of your fellow citizens have already well thought this issue through, and arrived at conclusions different than your own, and by different processes and references.

There you go again, denigrating the worth, veracity, of your fellows, just because you want what you want.

Believe what you want, but don't force your beliefs as being "government" issue just because you imagine same-gender individuals as a family. "Marriage" is well defined as what it is for many millions of people, and has been for a long, long time now, and most religions present evidence why it is and how it is defined, as now. To redefine the relationship itself if the issue for those seeking variations of the genders involved (among other amlifications that will become possible if the first is enabled), and so far, the redefinition has been based upon ASSUMPTION and OPINION by some. Not the stuff that convinces others beyond reading, considering, moving on.

Well isn’t this interesting... (Below threshold)
jmaster:

Well isn’t this interesting?

Three or four semi-literate, left leaning bloggophiles have decided to come here and attempt debate.

Is this 1% or maybe 10% of their total population?

Whatever, it’s a start.

Three or four semi-liter... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Three or four semi-literate, left leaning bloggophiles have decided to come here and attempt debate.

Who you calling semi-literate, knuckle-dragger?

manits: as with others of ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

manits: as with others of similar perspective to yours, you are not taking into consideration the value that is placed on the relationship itself by many others. Marriage as concept and religious definition, ideal, relationship, all of which are suggested as being held inviolate by the 'gay marriage' proponents. And, and even or, by government process in the civil definition, still held in certain regard and sancitity. Otherwise, men and women would continue to simply cohabitate without further regard, but why don't they? Why aren't children marrying their parents or whatever?

Because society has an ideal of what family is, what marriage is, what genders are, what age represents and why. These issues are more seriously evaluated by many than perhaps you recognize.

So far, there's been absolu... (Below threshold)
-S-:

So far, there's been absolute failure on a social level by those promoting the idea of "gay marriage" as an enlightened perspective. That is, the actual retrogressive perspective ("spiritually," socially, intellectually, governmentally) just may be the insistence on the idea, the promotion of the idea itself.

Because, highly indulgent s... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Because, highly indulgent social organizations don't have a good track record of longevity. Nor do the cultures that permit them.

As to miscegenation and pol... (Below threshold)
Brad:

As to miscegenation and polygamy:

There have been many changes effected on our Constitution, mores and traditions. Some were good, some not so good. Ridding our country of racially devisive laws and restrictions were an unmitigated good. But to suggest that because THEY were good then ANY change must also be good is silly.

Polygamy is illegal only because the laws are interpreted that way. Same sex marriage is illegal in the same way. If you can make one legal by juditial fiat you can make the other legal the same way, the same day. The fact that there are poygamist groups living together, 30,000 or 300,000, is not justification for legalizing that situation.

Where I am it's 7:30 am and I have to go now. If anyone wants to take issue with what I've written, spelling, grammer, content, email me. Thanks to you all!...Brad

"Well likely because polyga... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Well likely because polygamy is considered fraud and is a criminal act. Gay marriage is not a criminal act. "

But on what basis is it criminal? The state government said so, but what did they base this on? How is this basis different from why they prohibit gay marriage? I honestly don't see a huge compelling interest here, that would declare one still wrong but the other unconstitutional.

"There is no problem with the government providing boundaries on marriage, the question is where the line should be drawn."

This I agree with, but you see it isn't the government legislature that is getting to discuss this in a debate, it is the judiciary imposing its will on the people. The judiciary isn't where this debate belongs at this moment in time.

" As far as your slippery slope argument goes, the same thing was said about miscegenation, but that didn't lead to legalized bigamy or incestuous relationships. "

Except that it really isn't the same. The Loving decision was still about men marrying women, allowing blacks to marry whites didn't change much in the definition of marriage, also, the issues in the Loving case were debated and discussed for over 20 years before the case was taken to the Supreme court, and by that time, less than half the states (think it was 16 but may be 13) still had laws prohibiting it. Basically by that time, the court could easily argue that the states were trending away from the prohibitions (and what the states are deciding is something SCOTUS considers, when deciding a case).

At this point in time, not a single legislature has chosen to recognize gay marriage, one did so by directions of the Supreme court, and the other state went the route of civil unions (although I admit I actually agree more with how the Vermont court did it than Mass. Vermont courts said-there is a problem the legislature needs to come up with the remedy, Vermont legislature debated it, and chose Civil unions, in Mass the courts basically told the legislature exactly what law they had to pass).

But you can't really compare the two in regards to what can happen to the institution of marriage itself. There is no debate that historically marriage has always been defined as a man/woman. What these cases are about is changing the definition to something else, and this really is something that has to be debated, in the long run it will be much better for the cause than what is happening now.

If the left could ever get ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

If the left could ever get it through their thick skulls into their tiny little brains marriage IS NOT a right. The sooner that they come to grips to this little fact the sooner this can be resolved. Marriage is a priviledge, there are restrictions on it. I couldn't marry my sister if I wanted to in any state but maybe Arkansas or West Virginia. Would it make any difference if we had a "loving relationship? Marriage is just like driving, you must meet certain requirements to qualify for a license, if you don't they deny you the license. If you think driving, fishing, hunting, being a hairdresser, or anything else is a right how do you explain the licensing requirements? Rights are not obtained with a license or a permit and cannot be revoked short of a law being enacted that is subject to supreme court review. No matter how passionately you feel that marriage is a right it isn't. If you can ever get together and get it written into the constitution that it is a right it will become one, but it's not true now, never has been on the past, and won't ever be without that. Wishing it was true doen't make it true.

What bullwinkle wrote (^^).... (Below threshold)
-S-:

What bullwinkle wrote (^^).

-S-,as with oth... (Below threshold)
mantis:

-S-,

as with others of similar perspective to yours, you are not taking into consideration the value that is placed on the relationship itself by many others.

Ah yes, the sanctity! I have taken it into consideration, and dismissed it as both irrelevant and hypocritical. It is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with law. It is hypocritical because no one seems to care that somewhere between 40-50% of all "sacred marriages" end in divorce. If our laws must are to take into account the sanctity of marriage, why is divorce legal?

Brad,

Ridding our country of racially devisive laws and restrictions were an unmitigated good. But to suggest that because THEY were good then ANY change must also be good is silly.

Didn't suggest that. I brought it up because people made the same argument then that you make now, that this is a slippery slope and pretty soon it will be ok to marry your daughter and your pet frog. Didn't happen with interracial marriage, won't happen with gay marriage.

Polygamy is illegal only because the laws are interpreted that way. The fact that there are poygamist groups living together, 30,000 or 300,000, is not justification for legalizing that situation.

I wasn't suggesting that. I was just noting it as a curiousity, especially because no one seems too upset about them destroying the "sanctity" of marriage.

I guess I was being a littl... (Below threshold)
jmaster:

I guess I was being a little harsh earlier.

I should have said 2 or 3 semi-literate and 1 literate left–leaning blogophiles…etc., etc.

bullwinkle,Well my... (Below threshold)
mantis:

bullwinkle,

Well my tiny little brain understands just fine that marriage is not a right but a privilege. But I agree many on the left who call it a right are usually pretty dippy or don't understand their terms. Let me ask something though. Can you get a fishing license if you're gay? If so I wonder what it's doing to the sanctity of fishing.

Mantis,Okay, I can... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Mantis,

Okay, I can't resist just one more. Why is same sex marriage "cramming it down my throat?"

Because it won't stop there, IT CAN'T. Already it's being used as a battering ram to define uncivil thought, unallowed thought. My kids bring it home from school. I live in a Christian house, run by Christian tenets. Homosexuals are NOT evil, they are NOT the problem but active homosexual unions ARE evil and when I cannot teach my kids that then I have an issue with the society I live in. I have a right to live in a society that respects my traditional American beliefs. Shouldn't my church be able to hire people that espouse the beliefs of my church? Isn't this what tolerance is about? Religous freedom?

In a way, the problem isn't gay marriage. Gay marriage is just the symptom of the destruction of the values and tenets of our civilization. The writer above..S.. mentioned that societies that are "indulgent" are tending to distruction. I would have said that a civilization that can't grasp what it is and what it means to be that civilization will not long endure. If you don't know what you believe in why fight wars for the survival of that belief.

Disraeli said that a conservative is someone that allows change in accordance with tradition and a liberal is one that demands change in accordance with commonly held views. I am a conservative in this vein and not a libertarian or liberal.

Thanks for the debate. I've found you perfectly literate and engaging. Have a great day, or night; whatever it is where you are....Brad

mantis: see? There ya' g... (Below threshold)
-S-:

mantis: see? There ya' go, reverting to the tiresome and quite self defeating retort along the lines that marriage is useless, worthless, lacks merit (so many divorces, after all, it can't be worth much as a relationship)...

Which then takes me back to the line of questioning, if marriage lacks value to proponents of 'gay marriage,' then why the focus on marriage at all?

First, you denigrate the values and worth of the relationship itself, then you denigrate any religious value of genders and separations of genders (among other things), then you resort to sarcasm.

It's the same old same old that fails repeatedly to inspire anyone (else, outside the, um, movement) to support the idea that you and yours write that you must have. Your demands are failing to inspire adequate social support to enforce delivery of what you want, and so you resort to demeaning the society itself.

The sarcasm...I just don't understand it, gave up trying a long time ago. Sarcasm is like a little car with a bad transmission trying to make a hill: you backfire, everyone else speeds ahead, you fall back down to where you started, no one's giving you a push, everyone else has topped the hill and gone forward, there you are, sitting at the bottom in that little sarcastic vehicle.

I don't know about the sanc... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I don't know about the sanctity of fishing, but I'm assuming that the added stress of seeing the human that just caught you get bent over and screwed by his boyfriend coupled with the strenuous act of being drug into a boat one a hook could possibly negate any positive effects of the catch and release program. Not that there's anything wrong with that........

I really like it when bigot... (Below threshold)
jerry:

I really like it when bigots out themselves. Blogs and Google are in fact a good thing.

l8r 81g0t5!

Bullwinkle has indeed made ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Bullwinkle has indeed made an interesting argument, but it begs the point. His argument is that marriage is defined in law, which brings us full circle to the point itself, which is: is the law constitutional or not. Property rights are a matter of law as well, so his argument would be perfectly lucid when applied to keeping slaves. In that case, the property laws were orginally upheld by the courts and much later overturned in the post-war period. Nobody is arguing what the legislative branch has said about marriage in California. The argument is about the constitutionality of those laws, which is the function of judicial review. So that argument really gets us nowhere.

Like I said, until there's ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Like I said, until there's a constitutional ammendment, like the 13th in the case of slavery, marriage is not a right. It's going to take the same thing for gay marriage, slavery wasn't outlawed by activist judges. If gays want to get married they're going to have to quit pissing like me off by demanding it or calling a right before the fact, the whole point is that these thins are done through legislation, and should be. I couldn't care less if they get married or not, but I do care if a judge overrides the will of the majority. I strongly support common unions as the sanest way to end the debate on the matter, but that's not good enough for them. It never will be as long as they keep believing that marriage is a right. Marriage is extremely overrated anyway, there are only two ways out, death or divorce, I know one isn't any fun at all, and I strongly supect the other pretty much sucks also.

We find some common ground ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

We find some common ground here. A lof of the arguments on both sides come down to simple semantics. "Marriage" is a word loaded with important religious tradition, but the same word also represents legal civil unions. As example: if I get married at the courthouse, my Catholic church doesn't call that a marriage. So we are using the same word to represent different thoughts.

Politically, the gay marriage folks would be smarter to advocate a different word for legal unions of same sex couples. If the eskimos can have seven words for snow, surely we can have two words for marriage. Sort of a separate but equal status. This is true if the cause is truly about obtaining the same legal rights as married couples.

I think the end-game is for the Supreme Court to rule, as it must eventually. I hope that ruling is to leave marriage law up to the states, because it would be an amazing stretch for either side to find any grounds for their argument in the US Constitution.

If they ever looked at thin... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

If they ever looked at things reasonably they'd realize that marriage isn't a right for anyone, it's the exact opposite. When a couple gets married they give up the right to decide whether or not they owe each others debts and the right to divide their property however they see fit. The only right I know of you gain is that your spouse can't be compelled to testify against you, doesn't mean they won't if you piss them off, just that they can't be forced. Bullwinklette and I have been together for years but we've both kept the rights to our personal property, either of us can come and go as we please without owing the other anything. Had we married we'd give up that right, in effect turn it over to a judge to decide how our property would be divided, and the right to decide if and when we could marry someone else if we decided to do so. How such a loss of rights is suddenly a desirable right to someone that never had that worry before is beyond me. It's kinda like asking for the right to cancer or a higher tax bracket.

The problem is a lot of mar... (Below threshold)
McCain:

The problem is a lot of marriage priviledges are codified into law. "Married" is tax filing status, for example. "Married" defines certain after death perks, such as the continuance of public pension payments, and inheritance in the absence of wills. "Marriage" defines who makes decisions upon incapacitation (witness the Terri Schiavo case) . etc etc etc. Marriage is important under law. I may agree with you that only a fool would get married, but there is no question it comes with certain legal priviledges.

As far as I know all of tho... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

As far as I know all of those but the continuance of a pension can be handled by a durable power of attorney and a will. You can turn over all of your business to any other person and leave your money to your cat. I turned over the right to make medical decisions in case I was unable to a friend when I was undergoing treatment for cancer without any problems in the 80's. You can make nearly anyone the beneficiary of your life insurance and most health insurance policies I've ever seen have the option to add any permanent household member just like they are family. I don't know about other states but even back in the 70's it was an option on the insurance I was offered through the jobs I had in Texas. Changing the name to a common union or a legal union could settle all of that if they'd just settle for that. They practice a different type of sex complete with different names for it with no problem, why they object to having their relationship termed differently is beyond explanation, at least to me.

Randy and Brad, one at a ti... (Below threshold)

Randy and Brad, one at a time:

Randy: Worthless argument. Interracial marriage woes half a century ago revolved around RACE. Not Gender. Those being discriminated against were couples of one MAN and one WOMAN. Get an angle that's intelligent, instead of a revised version of history.

Brad: Just to correct your idea of rights: Our rights were not written by, or into, the constitution. That document is not a giver of rights, and has never had that power. Our rights existed long before that document was ever written. It was drafted as carefully as possible to protect the rights we already had been given by our creator, as we had acknowledged them. Just wanted to point that out.

Sure bullwinkle, but that l... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Sure bullwinkle, but that line of reasoning applies the same to heterosexual civil unions. Why have a civil marriage status at all if it is so unimportant?

Jim, that is an interesting... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Jim, that is an interesting argument. If one is to believe such a divine inspiration for the US Constitution, what would be a circumstance that would ever justify amending it?

bullwinkle and McCain...you... (Below threshold)
-S-:

bullwinkle and McCain...you're right about that mystery, that unspecified motivation, because it's not really about marriage but about implementing, by hook or by crook, an override to a set of values. Marriage represents a certain extension of the Judeo Christian theology, even among those civil contracts (otherwise, why even bother with the latter if not for certain motivations, however unstated, as to changing the social definition of a relationship)...it has something greater to do with what's not being expressed about the motivation for 'gay' marriage (an oxymoron), than what is being stated.

Despite all the woes and drawbacks and failures, most people still approach marriage as some sort of religious experience. Breaking it down to being regarded as mere contract in society also breaks down regard for other values. Which is what I believe is the actual motivation, that and Social Security benefits...an huge issue not being discussed, by the way, if and when 'gay marriage' is ever implemented.

bullwinkle...your fishing a... (Below threshold)
-S-:

bullwinkle...your fishing analogy is mystifying to me, however creative it is.

~:-D

The only reason I could see... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

The only reason I could see is for tax purposes or a pension. They are trying force it for the name and the fact that they feel they are being deprived of a right somehow. I don't want any "rights" that force me to surrender my rights, and I can't understand why they do. If they are anticipating the need for their mate to be protected from having to testify against them they need to rethink their plans to something a little more in line with the law. The biggest problem behind this is the feeling they are being deprived of a right, but there is no such right for either gays or straights. Maybe there should be, but there isn't now.

If it's only contract, simp... (Below threshold)
-S-:

If it's only contract, simply civil arrangement by sanction, then why the cakes, the dresses, the hugs and kisses and all that merry making at the "ceremony"? Meaning, it's not about marriage so much as it is about forcing a key aspect to Judeo Christian relationship include that which most of the theology instructs against. Unfortunately for the gay marriage movement, Nature already spoke. It was a definitive expression.

As for the issue of 'rights... (Below threshold)
-S-:

As for the issue of 'rights', however, bullwinkle, yes, what you write. There is no right to marriage, there's no right to homosexuality, there's no right to heterosexuality. The entire argument that the 'gay marriage' movement is making about a "denial of rights" thing is illogical, isn't based in reality. I don't find the opinion by the S.F. court to be logical, also. The issue of "discimination" is absurd.

-s-, because in practice, t... (Below threshold)
McCain:

-s-, because in practice, they really are trying to shove their concept of marriage down your throat. But so what -- if they want to make fools of themselves, it doesn't infringe on my rights. And in my church, as in all churches, I don't even have to accept their marriage. So I can have my marriage, and they can have their civil union. There is a great disninction between marriage and marriage, that is, between a civil marriage and a religious marriage.

Well -s-, you would have to... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Well -s-, you would have to define what you mean by "right". Certainly there is no right to marriage of any kind in the US Constitution. But one wouldn't argue that heterosexual marriage is therefore unconstitutional. At a state level, if the rights of married and unmarried people are different (and they ARE), then you have to decide if that is allowable. I would argue it IS allowable, as long as the state constitution defines marriage that way. If it doesn't, then the legislative branch is granting special status to a group of people based on thin air, and the courts are entirely correct in striking those laws down.

That special status isn't b... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

That special status isn't based on thin air, it's based on those requesting it fullfilling certain requirements, in most states one of those is that they are a male/female couple. There are several other requirements that vary from state to state like age, whether or not the couple is closely related, and some states even limit the total number of marriages previous to the one being applied for. Failing to meet any of those requirements is reason to deny the license. If that is thin air then those who can't meet the requirements have considerably less than thin air, and considerably less to complain about when they are denied a marriage license.

As far as I know all of ... (Below threshold)
julie:

As far as I know all of those but the continuance of a pension can be handled by a durable power of attorney and a will.

That’s for sure. All these arguments I hear that they are being denied rights is b.s. I believe there were a couple of instances where someone was in the hospital and the family kept the partner from visiting. But that was over 30 years ago. Hell, half the staff in hospitals are gay these days. They aren’t going to keep anyone out.

I’ve heard people whine about why shouldn’t they be allowed to have rights of survivorship without the cost of a will. Not very wise. If you have no assets, I have two words for you: nolo press. It's very simple. If you have assets of any significance, you should see an atty, whether gay, straight, married.

I hear all this whining about insurance coverage. Most government agencies have coverage for domestic partners. Which, as a taxpayer, I am also responsible for. Where’s my discounted medical coverage?

There is no discrimination in that there is no denial of equal protection. How does marriage entitle one to a tax break? Do you even get a tax break when you’re married? Isn't that discrimination against single people? I'm suppose to want to lower someone else's tax burden by increasing mine? No thanks. I’m not here to pay for everyone else’s benefits.

It’s all about acceptance. They want acceptance which has nothing to do with being treated fairly. You can not legislate everyone elses thoughts, feelings, etc. What about people who have religious objections against homosexuality? What's next? Church doctrine must be changed?

I guess the thing I resent about this whole issue (besides the ridiculous interpretations of the constitution) is that I feel I am being forced to take part in a game of the Emperor’s New Clothes. I can not pretend some man is someone else’s wife. It ain't gonna happen. Sorry. Uh Uh. Find someone else to catch the bouquet. I'm all camped out.


One more reason we need ot ... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

One more reason we need ot find an unused spine to implant into Dr. Frist.

JEFF:"If you are so all-... (Below threshold)

JEFF:"If you are so all-fired intent on having gay marriage, then win that right through changing the law - "

Then the people of California will have to change the State constitution.

JUST ME:"the will of the... (Below threshold)

JUST ME:"the will of the people."

Once upon a time, that will endorsed Jim Crow laws.

JUST ME: "No, but the ab... (Below threshold)

JUST ME: "No, but the abolitionists didn't win through judicial fiat, "

Does the Civil War ring a bell?

DAVID:"Where is the will... (Below threshold)

DAVID:"Where is the will of the People?"

We have safeguards against "the tyranny of the majority."

Suzy: Awwww c'mon, there's ... (Below threshold)

Suzy: Awwww c'mon, there's nothing wrong with sarcasm -- so long as it is used to emphasize a legitimate point and not as a substitute for the ability to make one.

Now the difference between "right" and "privilege" --

There are two concepts of marriage: one is a statutory construct, the other is the relationship between (two) people that is (theoretically) protected by (the penumbra of) the Bill of Rights (u.e., "privacy," "freedom of association," "libery & the pursuit of happiness").

The Massachusetts court said simply that there is no basis in the MASSACHUSETTS Constitution to deny the statutory "right" to marriage to gays. In other words, if the statute grants the privilege to straight people, gays have the right to demand the same privilege.

No federal court has yet to suggest that the Bill of Rights does for gays what the Massachusetts Constitution does. Perhaps the concern that it will is what is driving a great deal of this debate.

Aside: Did everyone detect the monumental contribution made to this discussion by "Jerry," who snuck in, tossed a dud, and slinked out? Way to go!

"Politically, the gay marri... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

"Politically, the gay marriage folks would be smarter to advocate a different word for legal unions of same sex couples."

I absolutely agree with this. I also think it is a mistake that they didn't go the civil union route, if marriage was their ultimate goal, they still should have used this as a stepping stone. Right now things are moving too fast and too quickly for the majority of people.


"Does the Civil War ring a bell?"

Did you by any chance ever take a US history class? The debate over slavery didn't begin with the Civil War, it did end there, but the debate was in the state houses and legislatures and in the US congress for more than two generations, and the abolitionists were making strides.

Every state at the signing of the constitution permitted the ownership of slaves, but within about 10 years, the abolitionists position was taking root in the North, and all the Northern states had abolished it. Then you had the various debates over whether new states would be permitted to be slave or free states (think Missouri compromise, Mason-Dixon line etc-you know those debates that occure in CONGRESS well before the Civil War).

The South absolutely wanted to hang onto its slaves, because unlike the North its economy was tied much more to the ownership of slaves, but the South could see that the abolitionists were starting to win the debate, that is why they were scared of Lincoln. The Civil War started before any slaves were freed (as a matter of fact the Emancipation Proclomation only freed the slaves in the Confederacy, the slaves in the union slave states weren't freed).

But if you think that slavery debates began and ended with the Civil War, then you need to go re read your history books, the debates began before the constitution was even written, and gradually the abolitionist's case was made to the people, and they supported it.

Had the abolistionists just given up, and not made their case to the people, our history may have looked a lot different.

Judicial activism MY ASS! I... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Judicial activism MY ASS! In grade school we learn that the judiciary decides whether or not laws which are written by Congress are constitutional, it's their job.

We shouldn't be forced into... (Below threshold)
Mike:

We shouldn't be forced into a position where we have to write into a state constitution what the definiation of marriage is!! That's ridiculous, but we are forced because of a vocal minority that wants special rights for themselves. The definition of marriage has been around for centuries, what gives some judge the power to change it?

I agree with others here that a simple change of wording would make all the difference in the gays agenda. Civil unions I can understand, but marriage between 2 men and/or 2 women is a contradiction in terms. And its not something I want my kids associating with when they learn about marriage.

Steve J.:This consta... (Below threshold)
julie:

Steve J.:
This constant and offensive comparison to slavery and blacks is going to come back and bite you in the ass.

Patrick:
Finding rights that don't exist encompassed by the constitution is judicial activisim.

Mike:
They won't go for a simple change in wording. We already voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman. We've had domestic partnerships since 2002. Link. Schwarzenegger says he wants to see what happens in the courts first before changing the constitution. I predict it will be on ballot before the supreme court hears it

Folks, slavery in the U.S. ... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Folks, slavery in the U.S. did not end because of a court decision. It ended because of the 13th Amendment. Get your facts straight.

-S-, you have touched on th... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

-S-, you have touched on this in some of your previous posts, and I'll be daring and go a bit farther with it... I think there is at least a fraction of the gay activist community that would very much like to lose on this issue, and I think they are intentionally aggrevating the situation to make sure that happens. Why? So they can claim victim status. They don't want equal rights; they want special privileges.

If gays expect to win on this issue, they've got to get control of the agenda and take a more rational approach. Unfortunately, as in the case of the Democratic Party, right now the moonbats among them are in control.

Cousin Dave also Slavery di... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Cousin Dave also Slavery did not end over the course of 20 or even 30 years.

It took generations for the abolitionists to take control of the debate. The majority of that debate took place in the legislative branches, not the courts.

The Civil Rights movement was also a generations thing, and the majority of rights won, were also won not through the courts but through debate and the legislative (and executive) branches.

Gay marriage has maybe been a prominent issue for about 10 years now. Instead of just running around squalling "biggots" maybe they should seek to use some diplomacy and actually work to make a case for their position, instead of just calling the other side names.

>If you are so all-fired in... (Below threshold)
Kent:

>If you are so all-fired intent on having gay >marriage, then win that right through changing >the law

Um, so exactly WHAT law currently forbids it in Calif?

Blogdog said:Th... (Below threshold)
Dave Conway:

Blogdog said:

They already have the same rights as straight couples - they can marry anyone of the opposite sex.

And, heterosexuals would still have the same rights as gays if same-sex marriage were legalized: they could marry someone of either gender.

It's not about "Special Rights".

>Marrage [sic] isn't about ... (Below threshold)
Susan C:

>Marrage [sic] isn't about a piece of paper to >file away or about a tax break; it's about a >commitment to make and raise babies.

Oh, really! Hmmm, please show me any law in any locae that mentions "a cmmitment to make babies"!

So then, you believe that infertile people should be forbidden to marry? Obviously you do. You believe that senior citizens, past menopause, should be forbidden to marry for companionship in their twilight years? Obviously you do!

Why don't you tell Republican senator Elizabeth Dole that she needs to get divorced RIGHT NOW, because she has not lived up to her "commitment to make babies"!

BREED FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!--where have we heard THIS before?


[Susan C] I don't take Dave... (Below threshold)
Ardy:

[Susan C] I don't take Dave's comments literally. What I take from it is, at least with a man & a woman, the normal consequence of "fooling around" as man & wife is having a baby. (You're right, infertile couples are the exception to this rule.)

That powerful "risk" has a funny way of putting the brakes on frivolous match-ups and dubious unions. Because the two getting together have to know that there's a good chance that they'll have a baby whether they want it or not. This implicitly values marriage (as well as any other long-term relationship).

With same-sex couples, on the other hand, the chances of that same behavior resulting in a baby is precisely zero.

There's no pressure whatsoever not to marry. It would be financially stupid if all manner of "couples" -- both legitimate gay couples and "fraudulent" hetero couples -- didn't marry in order to take advantage of the copious financial rewards of married life. The potential for abuse (given no regular social norms to restrict behavior) would be huge.

Doesn't that have anything at all to bear on the issue, or is this just more irrelevancy from the same "majority rules" tyranny?

Where does this creation... (Below threshold)
Kent:

Where does this creation of special rights end? Will it ever end?

What "Special Rights" do you mean? If same-sex marriage were legal, EVERYONE would have the exact same right to take part in it, just as you claim EVERYONE can now marry someone of the opposite sex. Just because you have no interest in partaking of it does not mean a right is not there.

"Special Rights" would mean that you HAD to be gay in order to benefit from it. I currently know of NO case where someone is asked "are you gay? If not, you can't do X", although there ARE plenty of instances where people are asked "Are you heterosexual? If not, you can't do X" [e.g. serving in the US Military, donating blood, getting certain security clearances, working in certain companies, etc.].

If anything, heterosexuals are the group who currently have "special rights". Legalizing same-sex marriage would not give anyone "Special rights" since ALL people would have the same right to marry a same-sex person.

Although, along the special... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Although, along the special rights issues, what does marriage give a couple that a civil union doesn't?

[Randy]When a jud... (Below threshold)
Ardy:

[Randy]
When a judge rules the way you want to, that's justice. When they don't, that's judicial activism.

Judicial activism is real. It's a continuous pattern of behavior driven by certain law schools and judicial circuits who feel entitled to legislate from the bench in order to change society, not safeguard it. Hey, sometimes I like their decisions. But I realize that the way they go about it is just not proper.

[Patrick] Judicial activism MY ASS! In grade school we learn that the judiciary decides whether or not laws which are written by Congress are constitutional, it's their job.

C'mon, this is just being naive. A raging judicial activist judge obviously can't do it alone; he or she teams up with a willing lawyer and a "plaintiff" who files a tailor-made Trojan Horse lawsuit with the Court. When it is denied by the lower courts & then appealed -- only Appeals court rulings typically have the desired "reach" -- the judges on the bench have the opportunity, through their ability to overturn decisions, to change the de facto law of the land.

The "unconstitutional" card is just a sideshow. It's great for them when these opportunities pop up (to invalidate entire laws) as well, but it's not the only bread & butter of a judicial activist.

[Randy]
Plain and simple: if you aren't gay, this doesn't have a single thing to do with you. Your marriage is just as stable as it was yesterday. If it isn't stable, it's not the fault of gays in California. If you dislike gay marriage so, the solution is obvious: don't marry a gay person.

Thanks Dave Conway for shooting down this myth. Because we are a society that believes in equal rights for everyone - gay and straight - they will legalize same-sex marriage for all same-sex couples, not just for gay couples. Correct?

Besides, AFAIK there's no scientific "test" to tell whether someone is straight or gay -- it's whatever the person says it is. So they couldn't restrict the law to gays even if they wanted to. Therefore everyone will be able to marry a same-sex partner. For this reason the decision affects all of us in a very real way, not just those of us who identify themselves as GLBT.

>Politically, the gay marri... (Below threshold)
Susan C:

>Politically, the gay marriage folks would be >smarter to advocate a different word for legal >unions of same sex couples. If the eskimos can >have seven words for snow, surely we can have >two words for marriage.

Most gay peolpe I've talked to actually agree with this, HOWEVER, there are over 1000 rights currently bestowed by "marriage" that would NOT come part and parcel with a "union", such as inheritance laws (yes, you can will your property to a same-sex partner, but s/he has to pay a lot of taxes on it that a "spouse" would not), Social Security survivors' benefits, life insurance, adoption laws, and even car insurance rates where "married" people pay less than "single" people. Unless there was a clause wherein all of THESE rights went hand in hand with the "union", then nothing short of marriage will be demanded by the gay community.

My brother has been with his partner for 22 years--probably longer than some of the Right-wingers posting here have been alive--and yet in the eyes of the law, they are two "single" men with no connection to each other. They both pay hefty Social Security taxes, but won't have access to each other's when one of them dies. They both pay higher "single male" car insurance rates. His partner, who owns his own business, has to pay exhorbitant health insurance premiums because he can't get a spousal policy through my brother that would cost far less.

Meanwhile, I could run down the street and marry the first street bum I found (as long as he was male) and BOOM, instantly he gets over 1000 rights, including my insurance, Social Security, access to my private documents and hospital rooms if I were ever in one, etc.

It is THESE rights, moreso than the word "marriage", that gay people are fighting for and being denied. They don't care if a church they don't belong to refuses to "mary" them in a religious ceremony; they just want to same rights as a monogamous, committed couple, that any newlyweds assume before the wedding cake is even cut.

Susan you have a misunderst... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Susan you have a misunderstanding of what Civil unions are then.

Civil unions in Vermont permit all those legal things that Vermont is able to bestow (social security is the one that they can't, but then that is a Federal matter not a state matter, and Federal law currently does define marriage as being between a man and a woman).

So once again, if the government has civil unions what does marriage bring them that a civil union doesn't?

Why is it marriage that they want? What is it about marriage that they have to have it, when civil unions are on the table.

Look at various polls, ask people if they support civil unions, and the majority of people polled say yes, change it to marriage, and the trend totally reverses.

It is because most people see something in the institution of marriage that they want to keep-so back to my earlier argument. Gays would have been much smarter to have stuck with seeking civil unions-the idea of civil unions doesn't bring the threat to the instution of marriage that many see in gay marriages, and it also would give gays in favor of full out marriage a bully pulpit to argue from, but right now, the people on the "no gay marriage side" feel like they are having the other sides position crammed down their throats without the chance to debate.

Do gays want the legal benefits that come from marriage (which can easily be given through recognized civil unions) or is it marriage, and what is it that marriage brings that a recognized civil union wouldn't?

mantis:Ah yes, th... (Below threshold)
Ardy:

mantis:
Ah yes, the sanctity! I have taken it into consideration, and dismissed it as both irrelevant and hypocritical. It is irrelevant because it has nothing to do with law.

Of course it doesn't - we agree - but what does that prove? It's the law that follows society's consensus of what is decent and proper, not the other way around. You don't influence what society thinks is right or proper by changing the law, you change what society thinks is right & proper... then the law changes.

Here's where the sanctity of marriage comes in: it may shape society's consensus of what a proper definition of marriage ought to be.

(The law then follows the consensus. Ninth Circuit legal jujitsu notwithstanding, there is nothing on the horizon to indicate that a law pointing either way would be "unconstitutional" unless the applicable constitutions themselves were changed to prohibit defining it one way or the other.)

[McCain:]Bullwink... (Below threshold)
Ardy:

[McCain:]
Bullwinkle has indeed made an interesting argument, but it begs the point. His argument is that marriage is defined in law, which brings us full circle to the point itself, which is: is the law constitutional or not.

You're framing the question as if it's a referendum on whether the law "restricting" marriage to a man and a woman is constitutional.

First - the question isn't whether the law is "constitutional", but whether it is explicitly unconstitutional. This may be what you meant, but since there's a semantic difference I wanted to be sure we're all talking about the same thing.

Second - we are pointing out the obvious: that society's recognition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman is not an unconstitutional act. Nor does a legal statute clarifying that recognition violate the Constitution. The law is, quite simply, a fundamental recognition of the definition of marriage. It's not really a restriction in the sense that brother-sister, father-daughter or 1st cousin marriages are "restrictions", because all of those fall within the established definition of marriage.

Even polygamy - which may look similar to the same-sex case but isn't - is more of a restriction than a redefinition. After all, in traditional (one-man many-woman) marriages, the women are all married to one man but not to each other. Each marriage is a separate contract between one man and one woman.

It is within our rights as a collective society to retain the historic definition (not "restriction") of marriage through the law. Nor, BTW, does this definition restrict marriage to heterosexuals. We often lose sight of this fact lately (because those advocating same-sex marriage have begun to scoff at this of their own volition) but [self-declared] homosexuals have every right to pair up with whomever they wish, or - if they choose - to marry. Civil unions seem designed to answer every conceivable need for same-sex couples except the right to demand that the rest of society recognize them with equal status to that of married couples. (If I'm wrong here - and there are reasons I'm leaving out - then I truly need to be set straight on this.)

If our laws ... are to take into account the sanctity of marriage, why is divorce legal?

If for no other reason than someone might discover, after they get married, that they are gay. (Why should I have to tell you this?) Because marriage is not a prison. Neither should you let the route of judicial activism become yours.

Q: [from wavemaker] ... (Below threshold)
Ardy:

Q: [from wavemaker] Do you really think that the government of Canada is a Theocracy?
A: Since Canada is driven more by ideology than theology (or the will of the majority), that would make it more of an "ideocracy" than a theocracy (or democracy).

(Sorry :)

Legalizing same-sex marr... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Legalizing same-sex marriage would not give anyone "Special rights" since ALL people would have the same right to marry a same-sex person.

So all people would have this right? Well I am already married, do I have this new right to marry a same-sex person now? I want that right too, but I want the right to maintain my current marriage to an opposite sex person. You say I can't? Well I'll sue and have that new right granted to me by some sympathetic judge! Now we have the legalization of multiple marriages. You say that can't happen because it is just stupid, well think about the first time someone proposed 2 men marrying each other, I bet most people found that stupid (and still do).

Marriage is not a right!!! It is not something you are guaranteed by birth. If you're an ass and no one can stand you, it's not like you can sue to get a spouse. A blind person is denied the privilege of driving a car, children are denied the privilege of pretty much anything (with the exception of abortions), and 2 men are denied the privilege of getting married to each other!

Yeah, these arguments and situations are far-fetched, loony, and over-the-top. But so are the insuations from those on the left that people against gay marriage are biggots or are denying gays a basic human right.

Judicial activism</p... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Judicial activism

Activist judges

A raging judicial activist judge obviously can't do it alone; he or she teams up with a willing lawyer and a "plaintiff" who files a tailor-made Trojan Horse lawsuit with the Court. When it is denied by the lower courts & then appealed -- only Appeals court rulings typically have the desired "reach" -- the judges on the bench have the opportunity, through their ability to overturn decisions, to change the de facto law of the land.

Well, legal conspiracy theories aside (your trojan horse theory requires the collusion of 3000 "willing" plaintiffs and lawyers who filed suits challenging prop 22), I feel I should note that the judge in question is a Catholic who was appointed by a Republican. When will Republicans stop appointing these activist judges anyway?

Civil unions in Vermont ... (Below threshold)
Susan C:

Civil unions in Vermont permit all those legal things that Vermont is able to bestow (social security is the one that they can't, but then that is a Federal matter not a state matter, and Federal law currently does define marriage as being between a man and a woman).

So once again, if the government has civil unions what does marriage bring them that a civil union doesn't?

You JUST ANSWERED this--Federal benefits. Most of the 1000 benefits that same-sex couples are denied are FEDERAL. Civil unions do not and will not achieve those rights. Now, if the US Gov wants to rewrite all of the code and change it to "spouse of civil partner", then you've got an argument, but until then, the answer to your question is just what you say: The 1000 or so Federal rights that come about the instant someone signs a marriage certificate.

Until this injustice is righted, the same-sex marriage crowd is not going to roll over and play dead. Britney Spears and her 8-hour marriage in Vegas does FAR more to harm "the institution of marriage" than any gay couple does, and yet she and her "husband" got those 1000 rights for their publicity stunt that have eluded my brother for over 20 years.

I typo'ed"Now, if ... (Below threshold)
Susan C:

I typo'ed

"Now, if the US Gov wants to rewrite all of the code and change it to "spouse of civil partner", "

Make that SPOUSE *OR* CIVIL PARTNER

Well I am not sure what Cat... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Well I am not sure what Catholicism has to do with it, as John Kerry has proved being baptised and saying you are one, doesn't mean you actually believe the proponents the church teaches.

As for your question about the GOP appointing activist judges, I can't help but wonder the same thing, I would much prefer to see more Scalia and Thomas types on the bench than the screw ups like Souter, who is an activist judge, so maybe the GOP should do a better job of choosing its nominations.

Susan exactly what is stopp... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Susan exactly what is stopping them from seeking civil unions in the federal level.

I said government, I didn't specifiy which, and California, Vermont and Massachussettes are all state, changing things at the level isn't going to do a damn thing to get Federal recognition, you do that at the Federal level.

So once again-what does having a government recognized civil union (just think any government) fail to give them that marriage does? What is it that gays/lesbians are really after? Is it the benefits or is it the institution?

Thanks Dave Conway for s... (Below threshold)
MINDY:

Thanks Dave Conway for shooting down this myth. Because we are a society that believes in equal rights for everyone - gay and straight - they will legalize same-sex marriage for all same-sex couples, not just for gay couples. Correct?

Yes, just as marriage right now is not limited to hetersexual "couples", and *any* man can marry *any* woman (and do) for reasons such as Green Cards or other spousal benefits. Yes, people could abuse it, and "marry" a roommate just for the benefits, but that's no different than the many who marry an opposite-sex friend (or stranger) for such reasons today.

Just because a few people abuse the system now is no reason to deny a class of people the right to marry their lifepartner. any abuses that could happen under same-sex marriage are already happening with opposite-sex marriage, make no mistake! Crack down on the problems, not social progress.

Way to go Ardy!... (Below threshold)

Way to go Ardy!

"It is within our rights as... (Below threshold)
McCain:

"It is within our rights as a collective society to retain the historic definition (not "restriction") of marriage through the law."

It is also within our rights as a collective society to change the historic definition of civil marriage through the law, as has been done often. For example, polygamy and bigamy were matters of local law until the late 19th century, allowed in some places and disallowed in others. In 1967, an activist court had the audacity to declare bans on interracial marriage unconstitutional. Indeed, the definition of legal CIVIL marriage in our young country has constantly evolved.

I find the conversation about rights versus priviledges to miss the main point. Driving a car is truly NOT a right. However, if a state passed a law that said gays (or blacks) cannot drive, we would all be glad when that is tossed out based on equal protection under the law. Such it is with gay marriage. The challenge is to apply priviledges equally, which is of course what the constitution requires.

Here is the problem: "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States .... nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

McCain,What equal ... (Below threshold)
Mike:

McCain,

What equal protection are gays being denied?? There is no right granted them to marry another gay person of the same sex. There just isn't. It is not defined anywhere.

I have the privilege to marry a woman and we obtained the license and were married. Any other male out there is allowed that privilege as well. Marriage is not a right!

It's not about "Special ... (Below threshold)
julie:

It's not about "Special Rights”
Sure it is. You want to change the definition of equal protection and marriage to accommodate a special group.

And driving is not a right.... (Below threshold)
McCain:

And driving is not a right. Please respond to the content of my post.

Your argument would apply equally well to interracial marriage. You would simply say that neither blacks nor whites were denied any rights since they could legally marry someone of the same race. In other words, the definition of marriage at the time was between a man and a woman of the SAME RACE. So I don't think your argument has great sway.

Susan C: Oh, re... (Below threshold)
julie:

Susan C:

Oh, really! Hmmm, please show me any law in any locae that mentions "a cmmitment to make babies"!

There are hundreds of years of public policy, laws, and regs in this country to promote the welfare of children and families. Go to your local library and knock yourself out.

So then, you believe that infertile people should be forbidden to marry?

Let's retire this lame argument. I don't want to expand or diminish the definition of marriage. Oh, and I see we are back to the if we don't agree with your poorly thought out position, we are nazis. bigot.

Kent:

If same-sex marriage were legal, EVERYONE would have the exact same right to take part in it, just as you claim EVERYONE can now marry someone of the opposite sex.

Sorry, won't work. The point is to NOT expand the definition of marriage.

Legalizing same-sex marriage would not give anyone "Special rights" since ALL people would have the same right to marry a same-sex person.

Sure it would. You are now giving special rights to gay couples that they previously didn't have and that you aren't giving to non-couples.

Susan C:yes, yo... (Below threshold)
julie:

Susan C:

yes, you can will your property to a same-sex partner, but s/he has to pay a lot of taxes on it that a "spouse" would not

With a spouse, you are just delaying the paying of the estate taxes. If your assets are large enough to be hit by estate taxes, you should consider estate planning.

Social Security survivors' benefits, life insurance,

That's nice but who absorbs the cost of paying out extra benefits? Single people?

adoption laws,

Most Americans prefer adoption by a nuclear family composed of a mother and father.

and even car insurance rates where "married" people pay less than "single" people.

There are so many other ways to get a discount in insurance rates, this is just silly: Age, good driver, certain professions, lojack, etc. If, as you say, your brother has been hooked up for over 22 years, I doubt he is paying a "single male" rate. He's not in the age group that require higher rates single males.

They both pay hefty Social Security taxes, but won't have access to each other's when one of them dies. . . . His partner, who owns his own business, has to pay exhorbitant health insurance premiums because he can't get a spousal policy through my brother that would cost far less.

Your brother doesn't have any more problems than, I, as a single person do. You want to ameliorate your brother's financial burden by increasing mine. And you want to do so by bastardizing both the constitution and definition of marriage.

McCain, the definition of m... (Below threshold)
Mike:

McCain, the definition of marriage did not change with interracial marriage. Opposite sexes were still going to get married. You are asking that we change the definition of marriage and create rights for gay people. Sorry, I don't buy the equal protection angle you're peddling.

Well I am not sure what ... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

Well I am not sure what Catholicism has to do with it, as John Kerry has proved being baptised and saying you are one, doesn't mean you actually believe the proponents the church teaches.

And just how many Catholic Americans do you think follow the Church's stance on every single issue? The Church is opposed to contraception and abortion, but also the death penalty. The Church supported America's role in the Cold War, but not the War in Iraq. The Church calls for moral living, but defines that as social justice which looks out for the poor. You're fooling yourself if you believe that handful of our Bishops who claimed Catholicism was only about one issue, abortion.

And save the snideness about Kerry not being a real Catholic. He went to Church more often than our publically pious president, who doesn't attend weekly services.

It's not about "Special ... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

It's not about "Special Rights”
Sure it is. You want to change the definition of equal protection and marriage to accommodate a special group.

No offense, but typing that sentence should've made your head explode. Applying the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment is a technique that strikes down uneven or "special" rights and instead ensures, that's right, equal treatment before the law.

Someone else has already said this, but it bears repeating. Homosexuals aren't the ones asking for "special rights" here. They're merely asking that the same rules and rights that apply to everyone else -- in this case, marriage, and all the rights and responsibilities that come with it -- be applied to them as well. Right now, they're second-class citizens. Taxed like all the rest of us, but denied the right to marry, to serve in the military, etc.

Kevin you just proved my po... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Kevin you just proved my point, what does the judges Catholicism have to do with it?

Once again, everyone on the... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Once again, everyone on the left repeat after me, "Marriage is not a right, it's privelege." You cannot be denied a right that does not exist. Gays are not denied the right the be married, they can marry if they conform to the requirements that meet the legal definiton of marriage. Stop calling it a right. The right is to apply for a marriage license, to be granted, and that's the keyword here, granted, the privilege to marry you must meet the requirements. Rights are not granted. Military service is not a right, they won't let you in if have flat feet, that's not discrimination, it's a requirement of military service you must meet to be granted the questionable privilege of being shot at. The sooner you stop confusing the issue and start admitting the facts the sooner this be resolved. If you have to get a license to do it, whatever it is, it's no a right. Did you all have a hard time understanding it on that childhood trip to Disenyland that you must be a certain height to ride the rides?

Fine bullwinkle, then do yo... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Fine bullwinkle, then do you have a problem with states banning interracial marriage? And if not, why not? Saying "it isn't a right" doesn't really get us anywhere. And I hope that you will try fielding my question about a state denying gays (or blacks) the priviledge to drive -- how you see that priviledge differing from the marriage priviledge.

And Mike, I don't get the distinction you are making between sex and race. If you don't see that the definition of civil marriage changed in 1967, as it has often changed throughout history, we'll just agree that we don't have a foundation for debate. Oppose races could not marry in some states before 1967. Opposite sexes cannot marry in some states in 2005.

I'm not saying that it's a ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

I'm not saying that it's a case right or wrong for gay or interracial marriage, only that marriage is not a right. Like I said earlier, I couldn't care less if gays marry, it doesn't effect me one way or the other. Ditto for interracial marriage, my last wife was a half black latina from El Salvador, and a Catholic too, so interfaith marriage is no problem for me. What I do care about is activist judges who should know better approaching the issue from the perspective that marriage is a right and people on the left claiming it is. People of all races, creeds, sexual preferences, and religions are denied driver's licenses all the time, for being unable to meet the requirements. Right now the privilege of marriage has some requirements that same sex marriages don't meet. If you want that changed vote for someone that will change it. But don't try to make it a question of rights, it's not and never has been.

Having read most of the pos... (Below threshold)
Eagle:

Having read most of the posts so far, I have come to the conclusion that logic is lost on those who will not consider it. George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and the segregationists of the 50's and 60's were a similar lot, but destined for extinction.

It is patently wrong for the majority to treat a minority differently just because it disapproves of some characteristic that the minority has, be it race, sex, religion or (GASP!) sexual orientation.


Bullwinkle, Your "... (Below threshold)
Eagle:

Bullwinkle,

Your "privilege" argument is still-born.

To say that the government may discriminate in the treatment of certain classes of people merely by using the term "privilege" as opposed to "right" is asinine.

The equal protection clause states that ALL people should be treated equally by the government, unless there is at least a rational basis for treating them differently.

The only basis for not allowing gay people to marry is that "it says so in the Bible." None of the other arguments dreamed up by the conservatives make any sense (as shown by the thoughtful opinion of Judge Kramer). ((BTW, how many of you have actually READ the opinion??))

Then you're saying that if ... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Then you're saying that if we keep anyone from obtaining a driver's, marriage, fishing, medical or pilot's license for any reason we are practicing discrimination and depriving them of their rights. Failure to meet the legal requirements is no reason to deny someone a license in your opinion. The only stillborn arguement here is that marriage is a right. It's not, if you want to continue to say it is show us some proof. Our rights are laid out clearly in the constitution, that would be a good place to start looking. Get back to me when you find it, I'd love to read that one. It's probably right between the one about judges not being able to revoke driver's licenses because of traffic violations and the one that says lawyers can't be disbarred for misconduct.

- For those of you that hav... (Below threshold)

- For those of you that have never studied the federalist papers, nor understand the whole purpose of the "federation" in the first place, that and the "forgotten" amendmenst to the bill of rights, the XI and the X, they would be clarifying reading before pontificating in a public forum. The Fed has zero power other than those it is given by unanimity from the states. The federal government is orginized to act at the behest of the state federation, and as such has only the soveiregnty given it at any given time by state agreement and mandate, and not one iota more. If you are unaware, you are a citizen of your state first and one of the United states second.

- The fact that the Fed, and worse the 9th circuit and the SC, has taken on the role of legislation surruptitiously, as well as the over zealous activities of the Fed itself for the last 100 years, leads most people to lose sight of this. And of course Washington likes it just fine that way.....

- Of course the problem is that at some point the electorate will get pissed enough to reassert the desires of the majority and halt this law making rigamarole through the bench. The Dems, mainly the liberals, are doing through the courts what they can't do through the ballot box, because they hate the idea of majority rule.....

- Of course the problem ... (Below threshold)
david:

- Of course the problem is that at some point the electorate will get pissed enough to reassert the desires of the majority and halt this law making rigamarole through the bench. The Dems, mainly the liberals, are doing through the courts what they can't do through the ballot box, because they hate the idea of majority rule.....

Thank You Big Bang Hunter!!

Thank you for the civics le... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Thank you for the civics lesson, Mr. Hunter. And I do concur with the strict construction view of the constitution, something Scalia prefers to call "original intent," and I therefore believe that the reserve clause really means what it says. But none of that is important to this debate.

The reason none of that is important to this debate is that the debate is about equal protection, which is something specifically found in the constitution. In other words, you don't have to infer it from the constitution -- you can plainly see it. I posted an excerpt of the equal protection clause earlier, but here is section 1 of Amendment XIV in its entirely:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Others in this thread have pointed out the many ways that same sex partnerships do not have the same equal protections as opposite sex partnerships, so we don't have to rehash that. We have a situation where a state is offering opposite sex couples perks that same sex couples are not able to receive, by offering a special status under law called a marriage. That is the constitutional case.

Gee, that would mean that t... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Gee, that would mean that they can't deny a blind person from getting a driver's license if you apply it that way. incest laws are all invalid, you can't allow non-incestuous relationships and make a law against incestuous ones. For some reason I can't quite put my finger on I don't think that works. Maybe you can explain it to me.

No offense, but typing t... (Below threshold)
julie:

No offense, but typing that sentence should've made your head explode. Applying the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment is a technique that strikes down uneven or "special" rights and instead ensures, that's right, equal treatment before the law.

Oh, of course you meant to be offensive. Not only am I familiar with the Equal Protection and DP clauses, unlike you, I can write a sentence that makes sense. Is this your special technique, i.e., write gibberish so people can't respond?

Someone else has already said this, but it bears repeating. Homosexuals aren't the ones asking for "special rights" here. They're merely asking that the same rules and rights that apply to everyone else -- in this case, marriage, and all the rights and responsibilities that come with it -- be applied to them as well. Right now, they're second-class citizens. Taxed like all the rest of us, but denied the right to marry, to serve in the military, etc.

Sure you are. You conveniently ignore the fact that the EP does not bar all discrimination so long as it is rationally related to legitimate state interest. You are not entitled to strict scrutiny. It is your burden to show the law against gay marriage is not reasonably related to any legitimate State interest or purpose. You have the burden to negate every conceivable basis which might support traditional marriage. Those are the rules and requirements that apply to everyone else who makes an EP/DP challenge.

McCain: And are yo... (Below threshold)
julie:

McCain:

And are you throwing out Constitutional law? You well know the standards of review and burdens of proof are different for race based and gender discrimination.

It is patently wrong for... (Below threshold)
julie:

It is patently wrong for the majority to treat a minority differently just because it disapproves of some characteristic that the minority has, be it race, sex, religion or (GASP!) sexual orientation.

And, it's a lie to state all discrimination is (GASP!) illegal. And, it's another lie for you to misrepresent the objections to redefining marriage as bigotry.

The equal protection clause states that ALL people should be treated equally by the government, unless there is at least a rational basis for treating them differently.

A more than over simplification of the necessary analysis and burdens required. But, hey! Don't let constitutional law get in your way.

The only basis for not allowing gay people to marry is that "it says so in the Bible."

Another lie.

None of the other arguments dreamed up by the conservatives make any sense (as shown by the thoughtful opinion of Judge Kramer). ((BTW, how many of you have actually READ the opinion??))

I have. His arguments are almost as simplistic as yours. Which makes me think that you haven't read it.

Julie --- what you said!!!!... (Below threshold)

Julie --- what you said!!!!!!!!

Way to go.

We have a situation wher... (Below threshold)
julie:

We have a situation where a state is offering opposite sex couples perks that same sex couples are not able to receive, by offering a special status under law called a marriage. That is the constitutional case.

What is the rational basis for same sex couples receiving these said perks as opposed to single people? I want my perks! Seriously, where's my tax break?

- Aside from all the other ... (Below threshold)

- Aside from all the other pertinant statements clearly showing what is and isn't "rights" and what is and isn't considered acceptable discrimination there is another basis to all of our laws from the very beginning of our Federal Republic. Namely the idea of "legislative concordence with the wishes and greater good of the majority of the electorate as a whole"....

- If someone can tell me why its good for me to take my 7 year old daughter julie to Universal studios so that in between kissing Minnie Mouse and riding "back to the future" I have to explain the reason two Men or two Women are sitting on a park bench, hugging and kissing in obviously passionate embrace's, then I will take a different view. Until then I will continue to resist the obvious atempts by the left to "normalize" something I find patently offensive in public.......

Bullwinkle, the blind perso... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Bullwinkle, the blind person can't have a driver's license because in the California State constitution, the legislative branch can deny priviledges based on the public interest. That is the state level. At the federal level, I guess a strict constructionist would look to the general welfare clause in the long list of ennumated rights

Nevertheless, I happily concede that my argument presented in the last post is one sided and can be countered, including some good points that haven't been presented yet. As Julie mentions, the equal protection clause in the US const. has been construed by loose constructionists (i.e. those darn judicial activists) to make exceptions for the public interest. I intended it only to inspire thought, and in the end, I expect and hope that the US Supreme court leaves gay marriage up to the states as it should most matters. Of course, that is the very situation we have today that everyone is complaining about -- a dispute that is solely among the California constitution, legislature, and juciary branch.

About bigamy/polygamy and consenting incestual relationships, you are talking with a libertarian so that isn't going to be as easy for me as you had hoped. (Let's remember now that the US Supreme court recently struck down state sodomy laws.) Certainly one would look to the same sources that block the blind man from driving, in other words, make a public interest argument.

Mr. Hunter, you have an eas... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Mr. Hunter, you have an easy outlet for that predicament: Ask Universal Studios to ban smooching in their park, and if they won't, then tell people who offend you that they are making asses of themselves. Obviously, one would not advocate that the state legislature ban smooching on private property, right?

Voyeurism (on either side of the act) offends my sensibilities as well. Our parents generation was offended by interracial lip locks. Of course, this thread is about civil marriage rather than noogie, so we are getting off topic.

And Julie, I think you are ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

And Julie, I think you are perky enough already, but I'll give you one example: should your spouse die someday, your perk is that you are eligible for social security survivor benefits. Just turn your question around and ask what is the rational basis for not allowing that same perk for same sex relationships.

And indeed, race and gender discrimination are treated differently under law. So if you are conceding that the discrimination exists, but that it is okay because it is discrimination based on sex, then at least we have a foundation for argument. Under the California constitution, however, the document goes to great pains to make race and sex discrimination equivalent sins.

- McCain - you make light o... (Below threshold)

- McCain - you make light of My intended point. I don't give a flying rats ass what anyone does in the privacy of their own surroundings whether thats the back seat of a Volkswagon, flower beddecked, min-bus, or their bedrooms. My beef with the rainbowers is they want to press their proclivities into the general public. They insist on doing that in fact. Thats what I have a problem with, and what I believe offends most people of any persuation. And all this legal tap dancing is aimed at the "normalization" I spoke of. I'm assuming they'll feel less freakish if its commonly accepted in any public setting. Which to put bluntly, sux.......

Yes, I am making light, but... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Yes, I am making light, but it honestly offends me as well. But a lot of things offend me that aren't illegal. We don't have a right to be un-offended. Nonetheless, I don't have a problem with banning certain behaviors in public places. But your example is a private business location, at which you are a guest and should follow their rules. But you can also speak up for yourself. It is a wonderfully empowering feeling to tell kids with pants halfway down their cracks that they look like morons. I've done it, and recommend it highly for your example.

BBH,Then what do y... (Below threshold)
mantis:

BBH,

Then what do you say to all of the homosexuals who have no desire to make public displays of sexuality or affection? What about the many, if not most of, homosexuals who do not think the parades are tasteful, who don't like the caricatures that represent gay people on television? I know quite a few of these people, and most of them are in long-term, committed relationships. Most people, gay or straight, are decent, civilized people who have no desire to throw their sexuality around. But gay or straight, there is a portion of the population that feels sex should be front and center all the time. Take a look at television and movies for evidence of this. Should the rest of the population be demonized because of those with little dignity or shame? If your real problem is with public displays or entertainment/media, then why deprive all of the decent and modest homosexuals out there? What, I ask, have they done to you?

Mantis, that all sounds ver... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Mantis, that all sounds very nice, but there is an unhealthy portion of the gay population that are consumed with their gayness. My gay friends are frank enough to call it a gay personality trait. Too many really DO like to throw their sexuality around in public, which is why the complaints that people have about getting the gay agenda thrown in their faces is a valid complaint to recognize.

And yes, of course, all humans are capable of voyeurism, but it is disproportionate in the gay community. And I don't understand your comparison of art (television) to life.

Too many really DO like ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Too many really DO like to throw their sexuality around in public, which is why the complaints that people have about getting the gay agenda thrown in their faces is a valid complaint to recognize.

I agree it's a valid complaint, and many of my gay friends also agree that this personality trait is too common. Of course I don't think my friends, or those like them, should be discriminated against because of the actions of others. But I think we are probably in agreement on this. As far as art/television/entertainment goes, I was just trying to make the point that sexuality is more prevalant than ever, gay and straight, and to ignore one and demonize another is misguided. But BBH didn't really mention homosexuality in the media per se, so I guess I was arguing with nobody there.

I'll give you one exampl... (Below threshold)
julie:

I'll give you one example: should your spouse die someday, your perk is that you are eligible for social security survivor benefits.

That's nice, McCain, but your example sidesteps my question.

Just turn your question around and ask what is the rational basis for not allowing that same perk for same sex relationships.

Because it will increase other people's benefits while increasing my obligations. While everyone is handing out benefit to everyone, who's going to be stuck paying for them? What is the rational basis for treating same sex couples differently from me? Because they are a couple? How is that rational? And don't tell me I can always get married. They can always get married to a member of the opposite sex, too. Therefore, we should be treated equal!

And indeed, race and gender discrimination are treated differently under law. So if you are conceding that the discrimination exists, but that it is okay because it is discrimination based on sex, then at least we have a foundation for argument.

Oh, you make it sound so dirty! Term of art: A word or phrase that has a precise meaning in a particular subject area.

When someone is claiming an EP violation, i.e., discrimination, the court applies different standards of review and burdens of proof depending on what is being claimed. Claims of gender discrimination have a different standard of review (intermediate) than race discrimination (strict scrutiny).

Now, I got to get to bed. Good night.

all right, julie... let's t... (Below threshold)
bertie:

all right, julie... let's take away the whole "sexual orientation" discrimination formulation, which only gets rational basis.

try this one:

man 1 cannot marry man 2, whereas woman may marry man 2.

in this formulation, a man is not allowed to do what a woman can.

gender discrimination. intermediate scrutiny.

Bertie:You can say... (Below threshold)
julie:

Bertie:

You can say, “let's take away the whole sexual orientation discrimination formulation," but all you're doing is calling something what it is not. The ban on same sex marriages does not give women any more rights than it does to men, and vice versa. It is not gender discrimination. This is what I object to – this game of the Emperor's New Clothes. No matter what you say, the guy is still buck naked.

Oh the painful contortions ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Oh the painful contortions one must go through to offer an argument against gay civil marriage. I got a good chuckle out of the revelation that it costs tax payers more money. That of course would be a great argument for no marriage for anyone, which would satisfy Julie's other concerns as well. No perks for anyone, no tax burden for anyone, no problem. Shacking up is the answer; heterosexual marriage is the problem.

And I find that Julie's differentiation of sex and race discrimination is a wonderful semantic excuse for discrimination. She is saying that the law looks at the things differently, and she is right, but so what. The standards of proof are irrelevant to the central point. A state can easily change the law by changing the definition of marriage, something that has been done often throughout our history. And something Massacheussetts has done and California is in the process of doing. So the definition of marriage varies by state, and varies over time, and therefore our ability to discriminate also varies.

What is the legal argument against California changing the definition of marriage in that state?

(In an effort to catch up o... (Below threshold)
-S-:

(In an effort to catch up on a discussion here...sorry, I am still recovering from me move and now have a mild case of pneumonia, waiting for my antibiotics to gain higher ground):

To McCain: yes, I agree with what you write, as to the marriage (I am also a Catholic and share in your perspectives and definitions there); I recognize the huge difference from a civil ceremony (bestowing a "marriage" certificate on two persons) and that of marriage as sacred, as sacramentel relationship, but the very attempt by "gay marriage" proponents (again, I write, "gay marriage" is an oxymoronic expression and yet some in society seem to glom onto the nonsense implied as if it was truth, and that's part of the problem of the oxymoronic discussion about this issue), the very attempt to force a rework of the terminilogy, the relationship that is, by definition, one that involves one man and one woman into being something that has sliding parameters, is the issue.

And, as julie pointed out, and I tried to earlier, this thread, other day, the entire attempt to rework the relationship to include whatever modifications someone is attempting to make believable is the issue.

As in, as to "gender," a person can modify their morphology but they can never modify their chromosomes. You are born male or female and that's that, despite whatever treatments, surgeries and/or costumery you engage in later. You can pay a great deal of money to people to plump up the fantasy that by modifying your physiology, you've magically transformed but the reality is and remains to most the rest of us that a person remains male or female by way of their birth -- even those few conflicting morphologies among humans born with birth defects still are characterised by one form of chromosomes or another (even some among those).

But, about confusing and confused sexual behaviors, I am finding it far more plausible if and when those with confused sexuality and even insistence on rejecting their own chromosomal definitions by one rationalization or another, that they simply accept their actual personhood and stop with the attempts to force a false understanding of who they are upon everyone else, because everyone else isn't believing the false understandings. Just taking a lot of those in stride.

Where marriage is concerned, the very arrangement is one between one man and one woman and cosmetics and various surgeries aside, a man and a woman are defined by their chromosomes. About the various fantasies and needs by some to rework those definitions, that's the problem here, and the attempts to further fantasize about just who is what and who is to do what.

But, as cleary available, anyone with any property or desire or request can easily, already, make those arrangements by law. So, it isn't marriage for the sake of some social necessity that 'gay marriage' proponents are pushing here, but their demand to force a rework of a social relationship onto others.

And, about protections from the majority for the minority, so far as the voters have determined, even the minority rejects the concept of 'gay marriage.' It's only a few on the bench and a handful of activists who are creating and motivating this issue -- but to my experience, this is one case of the need to protect the majority from the tyranny of the few. Society has defined marriage as being between one man and one woman and for many reasons why (otherwise, the relationship would not even exist nor be as popular and traditional as it is), and to force society to rework that definition because a few people demand that it be is the actual tyranny here. It's also a great example of a disturbed psychology demanding that society make acceptable that which society has found unacceptable -- again, tyranny by the minority here.

And, to everyone who attempts to continue to equate the issue of homosexuality and/or as "gay marriage" with racial differences, that's another great example of disturbed psychology grabbing at straws. There's more than enough evidence that racial types are an aspect of DNA; there's more than enough evidence that homosexuality is not an aspect of DNA -- and, a racial type is not a sexual behavior, nor vice versa. An illogical attempt to use the issue of racial differences to equate and promote homosexuality, which equals another example of illogical reasoning.

Race isn't sexuality and vice versa. And, in my experience, a lot of humans with racial characteristics of one type or another find it entirely sickening to be equated with homosexuality by one way or another. It also demeans the issue of racial inequality to attempt to equate that with homosexuality -- the attempt to correlate these two issues needs to stop because whenever anyone relies on this false correlation, it only adds to the illogic of the entire 'gay marriage' pleas.

mantis: then you need to a... (Below threshold)
-S-:

mantis: then you need to admit that you reject all of the United States Constitution because when you reject the issues of sanctity and religious idealism, you then reject all the laws and legislations that were inspired by those.

It's completely blind to attempt to allege that idealism of the religious kind (among other types) has "nothing to do with the law."

Being admitted to practice law involves an oath, a pledge of honor and fidelity to a set of principles. As just one example of inspiration and organization of just what "the law" means and is to our society.

The entire country, democracy itself, our republic, were founded upon idealism inspired by religious ideology. As was that "law" you attempt to falsely frame as being santized from any/all religious inspiration.

Unfortunately, it is still a premise of and by the homosexual community that religion is the souce of their banes -- SusanC acknowledges that, also -- and what it comes back to time and time and time again is that inorder to justify homosexuality in various social acceptances, those who need this acceptance must first denigrate religious ideology/ies. It is the foundation point, the actual bed upon which the entire movement amplifies outward.

And THAT is at the heart of this whole "gay marriage" thing, in my opinion. Just trying to cut through the b.s. and get to the heart of things.

However, the discussion on less specific areas related to this issue is still possible, I recognize. It's just that the entire premise of 'gay marriage' (an oxymoron) promotional movement is oddly targeted to and about the very thing that defines most human adult and familial relationships, a sort of force that targets that which remains the most idealized. And not for mere homosexuals themselves, but to denigrate a cornerstone of our society.

Again I write, however, that there is no "right" to homosexuality. There is nothing there in our society that alleges or even legalizes anyone's "right" to sexuality beyond holding as forbidden certain acts with certain protected human classes. As to marriage, it is not a sexual "right" but a privilege of relationship intended for a socially and to most folks, a spiritually, religiously defined purpose.

Kevin: Kerry's not a Catho... (Below threshold)
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Kevin: Kerry's not a Catholic by value, by acceptance of Church (required) teaching and instruction. Kerry's one of those people (and you seem to be, too) who thinks that by attending a service with some regularity, that makes for a a holiness that those who do not fail to meet.

Kerry speaks out against and actually campaigns upon issues that OPPOSE what the Catholic Church teaches, and then has the audacity and deceit to rely on his "but I'm a Catholic" salespitch. Kerry is no Catholic any more than King Henry V was. King Henry founded his Church of England so "the church" wouldn't hold him responsible as sinful for repeat marriages and, more significantly, putting various wives to death. Kerry hasn't quite reached those proportions in acts but his sin is, in my view, of equal offense as was King Henry's.

You can stand in a pew all you want and then brag about it later but it still won't make you "a Catholic" and a Christian. When you speak out and endorse, actually encourage others to support your efforts, in acts and premises that oppose what the Church and Christ instruct, you're not a Catholic, you're not a Christian. There are many occultists who share in this behavior and they tend to be very "spiritiual" too, liking church attendance, like to present themselves as "church" members and can often even be found on church boards and such. They tend to sorta glom onto the idea of church as a social affiliation.

If you denounce what the Catholic Church instructs, even if you're standing in a pew doing it, you're not a Catholic in practice nor in reality. Sin is a terrible thing and separates us from God -- even when we're in a pew.

Oh the painful contortio... (Below threshold)
julie:

Oh the painful contortions one must go through to offer an argument against gay civil marriage.
It requires no contortions at all, McCain. And definitely, no pain. Granted, I didn't give case cites, but every argument I've made here was based on the holdings of USSC case law.

I got a good chuckle out of the revelation that it costs tax payers more money. That of course would be a great argument for no marriage for anyone, which would satisfy Julie's other concerns as well. No perks for anyone, no tax burden for anyone, no problem.
Oh, yeah? And, I'm chuckling now because you are avoiding answering my question. You argued it was unfair to give married people a tax break and not do the same for gay couples. Why isn't it just as unfair to not give unmarried people one, too? And are you saying that by lessening the tax burden on one segment of the population, it will not increase the burden on others?

And I find that Julie's differentiation of sex and race discrimination is a wonderful semantic excuse for discrimination.
Actually, it's Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist.'s differentiation.

She is saying that the law looks at the things differently, and she is right, but so what.
So, what?? It's one of the basic premises of constitutional law. You seem to think the law can be anything you want it to be. That you can pull out a legal phrase, think, Hey, that sounds good! I think I'll use it! But you're using it in a entirely different way and giving it an entirely different meaning, than the courts.

The standards of proof are irrelevant to the central point.
Are you kidding me??? It's a very big deal and often determines who will ultimately prevail.

A state can easily change the law by changing the definition of marriage, something that has been done often throughout our history.
Well, obviously not, since I'm unaware of it having ever been done before.

And something Massacheussetts has done and California is in the process of doing.
Uh, no and no. The state of Mass. did not change the law – a court did. The state of Calif. did not change the law, one superior court judge made a ruling. And in California, superior court, unlike NY, is your lowest level court. The opinion carries no weight outside of SF.

So the definition of marriage varies by state, and varies over time,
Hasn't varied in almost 40 years and has never varied to the point of same sex marriages. What I am seeing is more and more voters going to the polls and amending their state constitutions to prevent judges from changing the definition of marriage. California already voted a few years ago to define marriage as between a man and a woman and it won big. What I see ultimately happening is that voters will have the opportunity to amend the constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman.

and therefore our ability to discriminate also varies.
Do you mean discriminate as in people are treated legally different? Or, do you mean discriminate in that denial of gay marriage is akin to slavery and jim crow laws? Because, not only is that a lot of hooey, all it does is piss people off.

What is the legal argument against California changing the definition of marriage in that state?
What is the legal argument for California changing the definition of marriage? See where that pesky burden of proof comes in?

SUSAN C WROTE:>... (Below threshold)
-S-:

SUSAN C WROTE:

>>>"Federal benefits. Most of the 1000 benefits that same-sex couples are denied are FEDERAL. Civil unions do not and will not achieve those rights. Now, if the US Gov wants to rewrite all of the code and change it to "spouse of civil partner", then you've got an argument, but until then, the answer to your question is just what you say: The 1000 or so Federal rights that come about the instant someone signs a marriage certificate....Until this injustice is righted, the same-sex marriage crowd is not going to roll over and play dead. Britney Spears and her 8-hour marriage in Vegas does FAR more to harm "the institution of marriage" than any gay couple"


You see, there's the illogical leap right there (^^): alleging as truth that which is not true. To allege that what you describe, even in regard to federal benefits, is "injustice" and needs to be "righted," is the issue here.

It's not "injustice" to deny a privilege to someone. Society has defined marriage as what it is for good reasons and it's not likely that sexual-behaviors-not-being-rewarded-by-taxpayers is "injust" just because you allege that it is.

You can allege, also, as many people do, that homosexuality is some rightful state from birth, and yet it isn't proven to be so. SOME individuals are so, many are not. A lot of homosexuality is proven to be, also and to the contrary, due to behavior and environment. Therefore, the whole "homosexuality" issue as birth right and therefore some sort of "natural" state is bogus to everyone except, say, homosexuals.

Homosexuality is still classified as a form of mental/emotional illness, it just can't necessarily on a clinical level be "cured" and so many clinicians stopped seeking/trying to cure those with the problem. But still a classification that is outside the concept of normalacy, even to clinicians, despite the social insistence on normalacy.

The two areas are separate. Most adults have long since trying to run anyone else's personality and so remain indifferent to others as to choice, selection, particularly as to private behaviors. Which can be interpreted as acceptance when, in fact, it's more like indifference but on an individual basis only.

As to social systems, however, that's a different area. Society represents communal opinion about these issues and society creates (or should be, except in places like San Francisco and Massachusetts, among others) the legislature that defines what and who the society is.

So, again and again, as has already been mentioned here, there's no "right" or "injustice" for and about homosexuals that this individual within our society recognizes. Because of that, there's no "discrimination." If two gay people cohabitate, make certain dedications to one another, fine, that's their business (most people respond as I do), but when you start to present those persons as being deprived of "rights" and being the recipients of "injustice" by society becuase they can't as same-gender individuals "marry," suddenly there are so many comingled issues there that the very assumptions involved seem convenient only for a special purpose and not for the greater society. If society benefits from this assumption of issues...I don't think it will, but that's my vote, my opinion, my (actual) right as a voter to pursue...then that's yet to be proven.

But crying victim and calling everyone else offensive names, among other bad behaviors, about this issue only makes homosexuals and "gay marriage" proponents look even more unrealiable intellectually, emotionally and, yes, spiritually to my view.

Boy, Suzy, in the time it t... (Below threshold)
julie:

Boy, Suzy, in the time it takes me to peck out one response, you manage to post three long ones with time to spare. :p

julie: you rule.~... (Below threshold)
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julie: you rule.

~:-D

Sorry, typo, earlier (^^): ... (Below threshold)
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Sorry, typo, earlier (^^): that'd be King Henry VIII, not the V.

Sumpin's wrong with Wizbang... (Below threshold)
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Sumpin's wrong with Wizbang's index. page...thus, julie, only those with direct link to threads are commenting on them (and, thus, more isolation than is usual here). I really enjoyed reading your comments, this thread.

-S-The fact that a p... (Below threshold)
McCain:

-S-
The fact that a person can't change their sex isn't really relevant to the definition of marriage. A person also can't change their race, and yet the definition of marriage was changed to accomodate mixed race couples. Race and sex are both in the DNA, a point that you made later in the very same post. Whether or not sexual orientation is nature, nurture, or choice is unknown to science, so you can't present your opinion about it as fact. My opinion about it is all of the above, and that it varies by person. And I agree with you that race and homosexuality are an apples and oranges comparison, but I don't think you read that comparison in this thread. I am equating race with sex, and mixed-race couples with same-sex couples. Each have chosen their mate, and neither has chosen their DNA.

Your thought that anyone with any property or desire or request can easily, already, make those arrangements by law is a common urban myth. Among many examples, deal with the fact that social security survivor benefits can ONLY be given to surviving spouses.

Actually Julie, the courts ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Actually Julie, the courts didn't "change" the law. They struck down laws during their very constitutional process of judicial review. You may not like the constitutional process, but judicial review is the way things work. What that actually changes is the definition of marriage itself in those states, again, following the constitutional process.

I am glad that you mention "burden of proof," because obviously the burden of proof was met for this judge, and the state supreme court in Mass. So try again: what is the legal argument against gay marriage in these states, given that the burden of proof was met?

And just because you aren't aware that states have never changed the definition of marriage before, you'll agree that lack of knowledge isn't determinate . Rather than give you a list, I invite you to google the topic yourself. Bigamy laws are well known, as are race requirements, but you'll find many more examples of states changing the definition of marriage. California did that in these laws that were just struck down.

I'll deal with the other list of trees in your post later, but it is sometimes worthwhile to also see the forest.

Actually McCain, the Massac... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Actually McCain, the Massachussette's supreme court pretty much dictated the law the legislature had to pass.

Unlike Vermont, which ruled that there was a problem, and left it to the legislature to work out in law-they still had to remedy the difference, but the supreme court let the Vermont Legislature decide how to remedy it.

McCain: I realize (all tha... (Below threshold)
-S-:

McCain: I realize (all that you suggest you are recapping from my earlier comments, etc.)...it was an aside issue, something written to make a point in conjunction with the thread issue.

Not a specific point pertinent to the thread issue, which I'd assume most readers could easily recognize (the additional point I was making, the amplification of information), but, woefully, you missed that.

While I'm not quite sure what the highbeam critical beam is that you continue to point toward my comments, whatever they are, you tend to often, if not consistently, criticise some aspect about what I've expressed that is entirely, well, tangential. Hint: you're standing too close, I can smell your cologne.

Homosexuality is still c... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Homosexuality is still classified as a form of mental/emotional illness,

Are you still on the DSM I? They're already up to IV now. Maybe it's time for an update. Take a look under H and see if you find anything.

And, McCain, you might try ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

And, McCain, you might try to be specific when attempting to use specifics as your references: if you refer to "sex" (as in, "a person's sex"), you're referring to a person's behavior(s) (what they do intimately with another person, persons and/or themselves), which is a misnomer entirely when what it is you then continue to discuss as being a person's gender.

Which CAN be changed in a morphological and behavioral sense. Just not as to their chromosomes, which determine their gender.

And, gender and "sex" (the activity/ies) are aspects to the "gay marriage" issue, at least as to that issue as a socio-political movement.

So, both these areas bear discussing, just with more specificity than often takes place. A person who modiifies their morphology and appearance and probably their behaviors to a certain degree can modify their "gender" APPEARANCE and IDENTITY on a social and political sense (and that can be done confidentially, to a degree), but they will never be able to modify their gender biologically (if a man is born a male, has an X and a Y chromosome, or even those that have double YY chromosomes [a rarity], that individual will remain a male biologically even if he later undergoes "gender reassignment" surgery that modifies his morphology alone, combined with certain hormonal therapies that temporarily alter certain manifestations by those unchangeable chromosomes) (and same theoretically for females engaging in that process, who will continue to possess two XX chromosomes even if they are induced by surgeries and hormones to display other outward manifestations)...all that, because any human remains whichever gender they received after conception based upon chromosomal characteristics, etc.

Anyway, the point being that some persons can manifest, display one (false) gender through cosmetics and medical procedures and yet still be another gender contrary to what they've adopted as display and behavior...still an aspect to the "gay marriage" issue, since transgender individuals are a part of that movement.

My only complaint is with the terminology used, as in "sex" isn't gender. Gender is male or female, determined by chromosomes, all that. "Sex" is a behavior.

But, socio-politically, no,... (Below threshold)
-S-:

But, socio-politically, no, I don't at all agree intellectually that "race" is equatable with gender, or with sexuality.

Unless you want to suggest that one race or another is compelled to engage in more sexual activity than others, or something strange like that (which I don't think you are intentionally, but that's the conclusion of that argument whether intended or not, and that's racist in nature, as most would readily recognize, and as do I)...or that one race or another suffers one type of discrimination about their sexual behaviors or does not...etc. (it's all a racist line of reference to my read).

The "gay marriage" (an oxymoron) movement attempts to equate their demands for 'gay marriage' to certain/various social changes in human society/ies as to racial types and racial understandings, which I find an indication of desperation, something akin to someone flailing away without ideas, without capacity to reason and recognize subtleties and complex issues, the reasoning of the unreasonable.

A person is born with a racial characteristic as manifested by their chromosomes, yes. As they are/we all are as to the gender we have. The 'gay marriage' movement alleges that their homosexuality is some 'natural' manifestation of their own chromosomal nature, which it is not, that they are "born that way" and that, therefore, they have no control over their homosexuality, that the behaviors are an aspect of who they are biologically. My point is that there's no evidence that this is so on a chromosomal basis, and if it IS actual biologically, it has yet to be proven (no one has yet to identify the 'gay gene' or the 'gay process' biologically as it could be identified via developmental physiology), and so because of that, we see again yet another version of the "it's so because we say it is" argument by proponents of 'gay marriage' that makes no sense biologically.

There is, however, a lot of evidence to explain homomsexuality in a behavioral, emotional and environmental sense. But, as to being "born that way," there's no biological evidence to suggest the actual formulation of homosexuality, although there are some studies that I am aware of that provide some evidence of males who later engage in homosexuality as having a different shape of brain than other males -- but it's not consistent (meaning, it's not a consistent difference among all males who engage in homosexuality, just shared by some of them and usually shared by those who characterise the 'I was born that way' line of reference to the behaviors).

Racial differences are not sexual differences. The two areas even in socio-political perspectives are not related in issue nor in dilemma. Unless, of course, a person needs us to believe that the use of race bating and racial stereotypes is, um, "progressive."

JustMe, it is true that the... (Below threshold)
McCain:

JustMe, it is true that the Mass. state supreme court set boundaries for what would be constitutional or not, and set a timeline for remedy. In fact, the legislature requested that guidance after the first ruling. All of that is within the function of judicial review, so I don't understand the distinction you are making.

mantis: I realize by now b... (Below threshold)
-S-:

mantis: I realize by now by my own perceptions that you aren't a physician (nor am I) but I'll try to respond as one layperson to another about your comments about my comments, as to homosexuality as a disorder.

It is. Psychology is a social science, not an area of study or practice born out of the physical sciences, and so relying on areas of psychology (and many psychologists) is akin to suggesting that one economist can accurately interpret the National Debt (or any other area of conceptual economics)...my point being that these are subjective fields that allow for individual opinion to be 'fact' but only in a subjective sense, based upon the individual perspective and references.

But, yes, as to homosexuality, basically medical science declassified it as a mental illness ONLY because they had to effective treatment for it. Medicine is based upon providing treatment for conditions. If you have no treatment to provide, it's not something you can offer treatment for (and, thus, a physician declines to provide treatment).

However, that fine line of what and how medicine is practiced was completely overlooked by ardent pro-homosexual sources and taken to be an "acceptance" of the condition. Not at all, just a reclassification, one that provides a clear indication that homosexuality was not a condition for which medicine offered treatment, as to a cure, as to a healing, a reversal of the condition.

Another example of just how awry on a socio-political sense the entire issue about homosexuality is.

The objective of medicine is to induce persons to recover from a condition or at least to make a non recovery as comfortable as possible. If you can't offer any treatment or assistance toward that process, you can't treat anyone. Thus, the reclassification of and about homosexuality, the offers to gender reassign, ease and abet, etc. (all of which are indications to make a non recovery as comfortable as possible).

As to psychology, however, it's a social science, can and does mean just about whatever it often can and does based upon the imagination and/or personal attitudes of the social scientists involved, and is another source of social engineering often by persons with a mission. Not a physical science.

All a "disorder" means is t... (Below threshold)
-S-:

All a "disorder" means is that it's different than the norm, the mean, within a population.

Our human species is a population. One, two, maybe three percent act out homosexual behaviors. Which represents a disorder when compared to the population. It's an abnormality of behavior based upon what the normal is within our human species.

How we consider and regard those with disorders is the issue. Unfortunately, if you write about concepts accurately in our present times, someone grabs the accuracy and runs with it into emotionaly hysteria, interpreting and applying and projecting all sorts of ogre qualities to the information.

And, so far, homosexuality has yet to be diagnosed on anything other than behavior. Not like people are born with a "homosexual mark" or appendage on them. It's still an area of human behavior, not an inherent one.

Actually Julie, the cour... (Below threshold)
julie:

Actually Julie, the courts didn't "change" the law. They struck down laws during their very constitutional process of judicial review.

Oh, yada yada yada. It's sort of like how you wrote: A state can easily change the law.. . A state doesn't change the law. The state legislature enacts laws. Striking down a law results in a defacto change in the law.

You appear to assume that a court's judicial review results in an opinion that is always constitutional. If that were true, we wouldn't need higher appellate courts now would we?

You may not like the constitutional process, but judicial review is the way things work.

Honey, I love the constitutional process! And I live and die for judicial review!!

What that actually changes is the definition of marriage itself in those states, again, following the constitutional process.

Let's see, you said: Actually Julie, the courts didn't "change" the law. They struck down laws .... [which] actually changes is the definition of marriage.

And the definition of marriage is codified. So, if they changed the definition of marriage they did so by changing the code by striking it down, which resulted in a de facto change in the law. So, it all comes back to the court changed the law. Got it. :p

So try again: what is the legal argument against gay marriage in these states, given that the burden of proof was met?

Gee, mcclain, download the cases and read them for yourself. Because if you insist that I do it, I'm going to have to see the cash first.

And just because you aren't aware that states have never changed the definition of marriage before, you'll agree that lack of knowledge isn't determinate .

Better read what you wrote, snarky. Which states have ever changed their definition of marriages to include same sex couples?

Rather than give you a list, I invite you to google the topic yourself.
No thanks.

Bigamy laws are well known,
Your analogies suck, mcclain. Bigamy laws never changed the definition of marriage. Just because some code somewhere has some tangential relationship to marriage doesn't mean it has changed the definition of marriage. That's really pathetic.

as are race requirements,
You wrote: So the definition of marriage varies by state, and varies over time,
I responded: Hasn't varied in almost 40 years

anti-Miscegenation laws were truly laws affecting marriage. Not your crappy bigamy analogy. My answer – hasn't varied in almost 40 years was a reference to Loving v. Virginia, which clearly flew over your head.

but you'll find many more examples of states changing the definition of marriage.
I doubt it.

California did that in these laws that were just struck down.

But, but, Mcclain, earlier you were absolutely emphatic that the judges did not change the law instead they struck down the law which changed the definition of marriage. Now you're saying the states changed the definition of marriage in striking down the laws. So which is it? (See what happens when you insist on playing stupid word games. )
You also demand answers to questions but never answer questions put to you.

I'll deal with the other list of trees in your post later, but it is sometimes worthwhile to also see the forest.

Don't bother. The only dead wood in this forest is you. After, you leave, everyone will have a clear view.

S-I was responded to... (Below threshold)
McCain:

S-
I was responded to the content of your 1st of 3 posts from earlier today. I responded to the heart of your post, and you do your excellent argumentative skills a disservice to claim that the issue of free-will versus DNA was an aside, or that your urban myth was an aside. They are key to the discussion and repeated often on this thread. I am challenging the entire content of your first post, after the Catholic church part, simply because I find it weak and that is what we do on blogs. You can handle that challenge without getting defensive, whether or not my cologne is attracting you.

About the word "sex", I should have clarified my term in a discussion like this, since it may have been confusing. Of course I am referring to your definition of gender, which is the recent term of preference to distinguish the two things. That distinction has NOT been absorbed into the mainstream of our language yet, but I recognize that change would be advantageous when and if that eventually happens. Since you think I confused things with the traditional use of the word 'sex', let me clarify that I am comparing race and gender, and not race and noogie.

About the nature versus nurture line, there just isn't enough evidence to know, but I've already offered my opinion about it. Unfortunately, visceral reactions from either side of the debate will cause any evidence to be scorned, like the studies that have documented trait differences between the races. You'd think that adoption studies could shed light on this topic.

Oh Julie, sophistry may be ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Oh Julie, sophistry may be valued in a freshman debating class, but I am confident we can get beyond it.

The reason that conservatism has triumphed over liberalism in the past 40 years is through the power of conservative ideas. Present the ideas and let them stand on their own weight. But instead, your approach is to play little semantic games and word traps rather than present a powerful argument, and when that doesn't work you want to complain on a personal level. Obsession with unimportant detail is a domain normally reserved for liberals, lawyers, and accountants.

Here are my answers to your questions contained in your last post:

Q."Which states have ever changed their definition of marriages to include same sex couples?"
A. Massacheussetts. However, my actual point that you didn't respond to is that the definition of marriage changes from time to time, for many reasons. Some peopl incorrectly claim that civil marriage has a sacred definition that has been chiseled in stone since eternity.

Q. "You appear to assume that a court's judicial review results in an opinion that is always constitutional. If that were true, we wouldn't need higher appellate courts now would we?"
A. I don't assume that, and it could easily be that the ruling is overturned on appeal and then overturned again. As I said, we all know this whole issue will be heard by the US supremes someday. I do believe it is the correct ruling for the reasons I have stated, which is mainly an equal protection argument.

Oh Julie, sophistry may ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Oh Julie, sophistry may be valued in a freshman debating class, but I am confident we can get beyond it.

You mean sophistry like in you attacking me or the arguments or making up legal standards?

But instead, your approach is to play little semantic games and word traps rather than present a powerful argument, and when that doesn't work you want to complain on a personal level. Obsession with unimportant detail is a domain normally reserved for liberals, lawyers, and accountants.

Well, I started out making EP arguments based on federal constitutional law and all I got in return was a snarky little semantic nitpicking post from you. So don't whine when it's done back to you. And, what you ignorantly label as unimportant details are *very* important legal standards.

Q."Which states have ever changed their definition of marriages to include same sex couples?" A. Massacheussetts. However, my actual point that you didn't respond to is that the definition of marriage changes from time to time, for many reasons. Some peopl incorrectly claim that civil marriage has a sacred definition that has been chiseled in stone since eternity.

So, one state now qualifies as “often”? That's what you originally wrote: “something that has been done often throughout our history.” And you're using the fact that Mass changed their law as support for Mass changing their law? Color me unimpressed! I answered the point you did make, or, actually you did: States have not changed their laws throughout history to define marriage as that which includes same sex couples. In fact, they have done the exact opposite. And I cited the anti-miscegnation laws which were declared unconstitutional 40 years ago.

Q. "You appear to assume that a court's judicial review results in an opinion that is always constitutional. If that were true, we wouldn't need higher appellate courts now would we?" A. I don't assume that, and it could easily be that the ruling is overturned on appeal and then overturned again.

You certainly act like it's chiseled in stone. You're quip that challenging a judicial opinion means that I must not like the “very constitutional process of judicial review” as you put it. And again, “You may not like the constitutional process, but judicial review is the way things work.” Or, is this one of those free speech for me, but not for thee, things? Judicial review okay for thee but not for me?

As I said, we all know this whole issue will be heard by the US supremes someday. I do believe it is the correct ruling for the reasons I have stated, which is mainly an equal protection argument.

No, we don't “all know” this. And no, you never made a cogent argument. And certainly not a coherent legal one.

Since this has been a long ... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Since this has been a long thread, I'll summarize my position here and will be pleased to debate the general principles with you:

Civil marriage and religious marriage are different and independent of each other. One is facilitated by the state while the other is facilitated by private religious organizations.

Civil marriage is not a sacred tradition. Religious marriage is an important sacred tradition within each church, something I would NOT what to see redefined in my Catholic church. The religious definition of marriage varies between churches and is wholly the responsibility of churches to define.

This creates an obvious distinction between these two things, which is often confused because our language has only one word to describe civil and religious marriages.

The word "marriage" is further confused by describing what gay partners are seeking. I support those who are seeking the same perks that are available to opposite sex unions. Others are indeed using the word "marriage" to create friction by throwing their lifestyles into the face of our culture, and also to try to gain acceptance for themselves. This tact dismays me because it offends my senses and confuses the legitimate equal protection argument, but it is irrelevant to that argument.

So I would prefer to see a different word used for what gays are seeking, and am fine with civil unions, schmarriage, or whatever, as long as these unions have the opportunity to receive the same perks. I am fine with separate but equal, as it only creates a distinction without a difference.

Civil marriage bestows certain perks on individual who qualify for each state's definition of marriage. It is true that some of those perks can be obtained in other legal ways, but it is error to claim that all can be obtained. Regardless, placing extra burdens on those who seek those same perks also creates an equal protection problem.

The definition of civil marriage varies between states, and changes over time within each state. Therefore, one state changing the definition of marriage (to include same-sex unions or mixed-race unions) is only shocking when it is new. It is error to claim that marriage definitions don't change. [incidentally, Julie, that is the point I made -- that marriage definitions change, obviously NOT that marriage definitions with respect to gay marriage change often. I read back through the thread and do not see how you misconstrued: --A state can easily change the law by changing the definition of marriage, something that has been done often throughout our history. -- 3/16]

Judicial review is part of the process that defines law. There is nothing weird about a judge declaring laws unconstitutional, including marriage laws. The argument that judges are "legislating from the bench" is therefore imprecise and begs the point. Instead, one must explain why the judicial decision is unconstitutional, or one must revisit Marbury-Madison to argue against judicial review.

This issue is similar to the debate about mixed-race couples in important ways. In both, neither partner can choose their physical characteristics (race or gender), and each chooses their mate (opposite race, or same gender). In both cases, a different choice was technically possible (choose the same race, choose the opposite gender). Those who argue that gay couples have the opportunity to choose an opposite-sex mate are ignoring this simple fact.

The only legitimate argument against gay unions/marriage that I recognize is a common good argument. Nobody has made that argument directly here. Make a powerful argument about why excluding gay unions is good for society, and then we would have something challenging to discuss. [Julie, you are on to something here when you say that single people don't have the same perks as married folks. The state promotes marriage, but why? The answer to the common good question is here. As a libertarian, I think these perks are unfair to all, but that's a different topic.:)]


Well, McCain, it was an int... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Well, McCain, it was an interesting work of fiction, a story, what you wrote. I can't say that I found much of substance in there, other than you rown opinion about what the world means to you.

Marriage, no, is not limited to or merely something spiritually defined by various churches on various scales of various religious tenets. Were that so, there would be no license involved, nothing contractual of a legal definition.

You like others with similar sorta' SIMS-environment creations that represent what society means to the individual (as in, whatever you can craft is what it is), fails the social standard mechanism. Socieity is an ugly, bumbling, awkward, sometimes very badly functioning thing but eventually you end up with social norms and social requirements and social customs and more that is what the most people have decided works best for everyone.

Marriage is a corner stone relationship that society (ours, others, most) have established and continue to enforce and recognize as building block to what society (ours, others, most) believe best organizes families and individuals in relationship to those families.

That it is a licensed, legally contracted thing in and of itself bespeaks just to what extent society (ours, others, most) have gone to to ensure the protections for and about what family is and what relationships are expected and even demanded of those involved in families, in human relationships. Otherwise, we'd still all be roaming from cave to cave, without a thank you, without an expectation, without a reliance, without helps, helpers, donors for our love and affections, caregivers for those we value, all of that...

So, it comes down to marriage as a thing that society wants/needs to protect, defend and ensure or does not. "Reworking" how marriage is defined is not likely to occur since it's a complex social arrangement that does bode of family, the rearing of children, the ensurance to society that someone specifically is there to assume responsibilities for someone or those who are vulnerable and in need. Society has a right to make these expectations and demands since the alternatives are very grave and mostly ensure socialism and/or communism, some sort of society that is to be relied upon for the care of the vulnerable (for the care of any/all) instead of a family, to, literally, replace by social requirement or allowance, at least, the reliance on self and individuals by the state, by the larger society itself.

But, no, race and gender are not related issues in this discussion about some who need marriage to be redefined to allow for same-gender individuals to pose as husband/wife, to literally rework the definition of what we now know to be marriage as between one man and one woman.

The issue of race is an easy cop-out, however, by people who need a sort of social threat in this argument, to attempt to intimidate others into assuming that if they defend the definitiion of marraige as being between one man and one woman, that they are somehow irrationally motivated ("bigots" and such, which is a case of actual bigots calling everyone else by a pejorative for the sake of attempting further intimidations).

There's just no correlation between the two areas of race as considerations for all things and genders as considerations for all things, and particularly where the definition of marriage is concerned. Trying to further that is so far-fetched that it's illogical as to the issue/s involved, here and elsewhere.

Race is an inherent aspect to any individual. Gender is also. However, as to the gender-manipulations and all that goes along with that, no, it's not an inherent aspect to individual life, just a recognized variation for a few individuals within the greater species, the greater, if you will, society.

So far, from my experience, people with these various conditions including homosexuality and gender affecting desires have been given a great deal of consideration and extended a great deal of extra special care by the greater society. Not like everyone's lives aren't complicated enough, and yet there is still time and concern by nearly everyone to extend special understandings to those with certain concerns that are not shared by most individuals. I think what it indicates is more of a problem by those with the concerns than by society itself...it's a case of there never being enough provided to them for their needs, and to now assume that the very definition of marriage be modified is, well, something that goes way beyond normal to my view.

No, McCain, you and other p... (Below threshold)
-S-:

No, McCain, you and other proponents have not made an argument FOR such a thing as "gay marriage," an oxymoron again I write.

Society has no obligation to rework such a grave definition simply because someone makes a demand to do so. The argument has yet to be made that is convincing or even motivating as to why the definition of marriage should be modified.

JulieYou just made t... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Julie
You just made the same argument made in 1967 against interracial marriage: you have said in 1000 words what could be summarized in very few -- "marriage traditions are important."

And I agree with you about that in a religious sense but not in a civil sense. Otherwise civil society could never change. Just as our parents' generation is still uncomfortable with interracial marriage, you will be personally uncomfortable with same sex unions, but our children won't give a damn. This is the world of the future, since western society generally progresses toward more individual freedom rather than less. After all, liberty is THE important tradition in our culture.

On race versus gender, let['s try this from a different angle. I invite you to xplain why the 1967 ruling which struck down all laws against interracial marriage was the correct decision. You have the floor, and let's stipulate that marriage traditions are important.

And wow, congratulations on usage of the word "bespeak" in a sentence!!! My publisher would be mightily impressed, and I would insist on leaving that baby in context. By the way, I think you are totally cool and so it dismays me to disagree with you so on this issue.

Mmmm, that last one is mean... (Below threshold)
McCain:

Mmmm, that last one is meant for -S-. So sorry.

no gay should be allowed to... (Below threshold)
andrea:

no gay should be allowed to marriage. get those faggots away from children...




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