« FBI Uncovers Plot to Bomb NYC Tunnels | Main | I Hate Being Sick »

If Gays Can't Marry, Then No One Can - Civil Commitments for Everyone

That's what Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-125th District) is proposing in the wake of the New York high court's decision that the state constitution does not recognize same sex marriage.

"Let's get government out of the wedding business and have everyone, equally, have a civil arrangement," she said.


The proposal Lifton supports would replace the word "marriage" with "civil commitment" in state laws, creating a legal contract she said would be accessible to everyone, while leaving the religious aspect of the union to religious institutions.

"Why should state government become a religious institution?" she asked.

Ms. Lifton makes her idea sound so simple: it's just replacing one word with another, that's all. But it's much more than that. It fundamentally turns the institution of marriage, the union of a man and a woman before God and man, into nothing but an impersonal and emotionless legal contract akin to a business transaction. In other words, if gays can't marry, then no one can.

Stanley Kurtz at The Corner responds to Ms. Lifton's proposal:

And as we've seen with [Michael] Kinsley and [Jonathan] Turley, if we're no longer talking about "marriage," multi-partner "civil commitments" will surely follow. In any case, it wouldn't take multi-partner unions to make the abolition of civil marriage a disaster. Just removing public support for marriage as an institution would be damaging enough.


This proposal has no chance of passage right now. Yet it's a clear sign that as same-sex marriage spreads, more and more people (including traditionally religious opponents of gay marriage), will begin to look to the abolition of civil marriage as a "solution." This is the reality of what same-sex marriage has brought: not a strengthening of traditional marriage, but calls for its abolition.

Indeed.

Added: If this proposal were to pass, does that mean that a New York man will no longer propose marriage to a woman, but he will instead propose a civil commitment? Just imagine that scene: the man and woman are at a posh, romantic New York restaurant. He gets on one knee, presents her with a beautiful diamond ring, looks lovingly into his girlfriend's eyes and asks, "will you enter into a civil commitment with me?"

You may think I'm being ridiculous, but considering how the PC crowd has had quite a bit of success removing politically incorrect language (Merry Christmas) and behavior (praying in public school or any mention of God in public school) from public life, the passage of a proposal like Ms. Lifton's would give the PC thought police ammunition to work toward eliminating any mention of the word marriage from public discourse. Since marriage would no longer exist, the phrase "we're getting married" would be labeled "outdated and bigoted," not to mention meanspirited toward gay civilly committed couples because, as long as the term marriage was still used, it could cause them to feel like second class citizens. Instead the traditional institution of marriage would be relegated to people's homes and churches, absent from public life.

It may sound crazy right now, but I can see the moonbat left pulling something like this.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference If Gays Can't Marry, Then No One Can - Civil Commitments for Everyone:

» Below The Beltway linked with Getting Government Out Of The Marriage Business

» The Liberty Papers linked with Getting Government Out Of The Marriage Business

» Getting Nothing But Static From MSM linked with Eliminate All Marriages per NY Assemblywoman

Comments (135)

"It fundament... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"It fundamentally turns the institution of marriage, the union of a man and a woman before God and man"

All that this proposal will do is place the "before God" portion of this institution back into the church, where it belongs.

Even if Ms Lifton is seriou... (Below threshold)

Even if Ms Lifton is serious, the civil institution still has to be defined.

If there is nothing "special" about the gender of the people involved, then what's so special about the number? Or the familial relationship between the members petitioning?

If there is nothing "spe... (Below threshold)

If there is nothing "special" about the gender of the people involved, then what's so special about the number? Or the familial relationship between the members petitioning?

The specialness is manifest in the equality of application.

Common Law has dictated "two"; gays want only equal application.

I think it was cowardly and craven for two courts to wash their hands of Equal Protection enforcement, throwing it back to legislatures, when then didn't in the 60s.

From the civil point of vie... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

From the civil point of view, and I'm sure Darleen will correct me here, that's the only real reason that the government is involved, because it is a civil contract between a man and a woman, currently.

No where in a marriage license does it specify what religion you have to be or if you even have to be a religious person, to get a marriage license. Religion does not enter into the equation, from the government side of things.

It's purely a contractural arrangement, and as cold and impersonal as that may seem, it appears that way to me. Speaking as someone who has been through the ending of a marriage and experienced the "settlement of the contract terms" as it was.

rwilymzCommon law ... (Below threshold)

rwilymz

Common law dictated one man/one woman ... and?

You're arguing in circles. Either The People can define a public institution or they cannot. If they cannot then the institution cannot limit itself by another other than age of participants (minors cannot contract).

I'm only shocked that there are still some commonsense judges in NY.

Not surprised that the NYTimes is wringing their hands...when the Left sez "power to the people" they don't really mean it.

Religious people should be ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Religious people should be able to have whatever kind of religious marriage in whatever church they want, but it doesn't make any sense for a religious sacrament to be codified within state policy. (Especially a secular state like the United States.) I completely support the idea that marriage licenses be replaced by some other legal document, while allowing every religion to perform whatever ceremonial rights they want and excluding whomever they please.

Kurtz's empirical arguments about the effects of the liberalization of the institution of marriage are half-baked, unsurprising since most of his recent data comes from Holland. (Ba-doom-ching!) Birth rates might decline--oh no! We need more human beings!!! I think his "research" is motivated by a racist concern over the dramatic change in the racial make-up of the U.S.. He, out all the writers of the National Review excluding Jay Nordlinger, deserves the least attention.

DavidBEven more th... (Below threshold)

DavidB

Even more than not asking religion, they don't even ask sexual orientation or about love. ANY two adults, not family related, can get a civil marriage license, as long as it is two adults of opposite sex.

If same-sex marriage is to happen in our society it has to come from ss advocates persuading the majority of their fellow citizens it is in societies best interest to redefine the institution.

NO ONE is interferring with same-sex couples from privately taking all the legal avenues open to them to grant guardianship, set up inheritance, set up medical PoA, etc.

Mattwhat is "racis... (Below threshold)

Matt

what is "racist" about worrying about the devaluation of family and children?

To paraphase Robert Heinlein, when a society rejects the moral imperative of "women and children first" it is doomed to extinction.

Darleen, the people get it ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Darleen, the people get it wrong a lot of the time. The people opposed the legalization of bi-racial marriages. Thank goodness the judge who struck down that idiotic prohibition was smarter than the masses.

What is right, and what is wrong, is open to interpretation, but it ought not, and CANnot, be considered a popularity contest. People's opinions, and people's actual interests, are divergent in a very important sense.

It fundamentally turns t... (Below threshold)
r:

It fundamentally turns the institution of marriage, the union of a man and a woman before God and man, into nothing but an impersonal and emotionless legal contract akin to a business transaction.

And here is the crux of the issue, from the perspective of the state, this is the only interest it has, the contractual dimension and the benefits that contract provides.

All religions have different standards that they impose on marriage. There are people who are married legally as far as the state is concerned that are not recognized by the Catholic Church. As far as the RCC is concerned any one who was not married under their auspices is not married.

Now my question is, should the state go to the Roman Catholic dioceses of the United States and tell then that since the US government recognizes married couples joined without the blessing of the Church that they should be forced to recognize those marriages as well? Of course not, the separation between the religious and civil aspects have been well understood since the founding of the country.

Since the state has no interest in what religious organizations do WRT marriage then any input from religious institutions on the conditions for marriage have no standing under the law. A church can marry any two people, they can call them married but the civil part will not be recognized by the state.

So what we are talking about with marriage as far as the state is concerned has nothing to do with the traditional aspects of the institution, the states interest begins and ends with only the civil contractual part of it. You could easily craft a domestic partnership law that would have no overt sexual aspect involved for say two same sex elderly people that want to join in a relationship with each other for their mutual protection in their golden years. These people might not be in a sexual relationship of any kind.

There is no reason not to extend the right to any two people who want to be in a legally recognized relationship. People in the same family have no need to marry because they are already related and that relationship is recognized by the state, marriage would be redundant. Well other then to make a big political culture war fight out of it.

Hmmmm.Then we'll h... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

Then we'll have:

1. Multiple partner civil unions.

2. "Line" contracts.

This is where new partners are added to an existing civil unions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_marriage

3. Then we'll also have *Time* based civil unions.

This is where you agree to love, cherish and all that stuff for 4 years with an option to extend for another 2 years if some specified targets have been met.

...

Frankly the only people who'll gain anything from this crap are:

A. gays.

B. polygamists.

C. Dirty old men looking to "marry" 18 y/o girls in short term civil union contracts with escape clauses. Considering that I'm slowly entering into this demographic let's keep this one on ice for the moment just in case.

Joy. Let's see what else we can collecively turn into crap.

Common law dictated one ... (Below threshold)

Common law dictated one man/one woman ... and?

Common law was superceded by statutory. History. Not just for high school graduation.


You're arguing in circles.

That's certainly news.


Either The People can define a public institution or they cannot.

No one suggested otherwise, did they?

The answer is "no, they did not, and I just made a false assumption by insinuating it."

If they cannot then the institution cannot limit itself by another other than age of participants (minors cannot contract).

More history for yuz: We The People didn't define "marriage" as "man - woman - one each" in more than about 1/3 of the states until about 10 years ago. So ... technically ... in most states, two guys could go down to the county clerk's office and get a marriage license, and nothing under the law could have been done to prevent it. "Assumption" isn't a legal basis for anything except getting yourself into trouble.

I'm only shocked that there are still some commonsense judges in NY.

Yeah? Which one's that?

Not surprised that the NYTimes is wringing their hands...when the Left sez "power to the people" they don't really mean it.

"Power to the Poeple" of the same sort in the 60s would have left blacks in the back of the bus, wouldn't it have?

The answer to that is, of course, "Why, yes it would have; darn, you caught me being a superficial hypocrite yet again."

There are still several states where the laws do not require a marriage license be gotten for a man and woman. In those states, if a clerk denies a license to two women, technically he is in violation of the law.

And that has nothing to do with the Constitutional argument that gays are the only people [here, as regards this specific aspect of property and contract law] to be left out of Equal Protection.

The issue is, for the simple-minded, We The People have every authority to define social and contractual institutions, but those institutions cannot deny the participation of everyone who chooses to participate. Equal Protection was so important that we put it in the Constitutino twice.

...devaluation of family... (Below threshold)

...devaluation of family and children?

What about letting two men or women get married devalues family and children in a way that 50% divorce rates among heterosexuals doesn't?

While I agree that kids should have two parents the fact is that the biggest offenders at creating single parent famlies are hetrosexuals, the gays have nothing to do with it, letting them marry will not change anything in the hetrosexual world.

Then we'll have:1... (Below threshold)

Then we'll have:
1. Multiple partner civil unions.
2. "Line" contracts.
3. Then we'll also have *Time* based civil unions.

1] only if laws are created forming them; allowing gays to participate in currently-existing laws won't accomplish this.

2] only if laws are create forming them; allowing gays to participate in currently-existing laws won't accomplish this.

3] we already have this; it's called "no-fault divorce".

Multiple partner civil u... (Below threshold)

Multiple partner civil unions.

You mean like the ones in the bible? I thought you all wanted to return to the traditional notion of marriage.

Sorry Darleen, our last pos... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Sorry Darleen, our last posts crossed. My bad!

Well, last I checked Heinlein wasn't an evolutionary psychologist OR an anthropologist, so I don't see your point.

I find Kurtz to be racist, because I think he would still be up in arms if (hypothetically) people of European/Semitic heritage stopped having kids entirely, while all of the Hispanic, Asian, and African people subsequently replaced them with non-white offspring.

I'm glad that there are men and women who reproduce. They will still be doing so long after the Supreme Court has recognized gay marriage, or replaced the word 'marriage' with 'civil union' within the law. All of the evidence that suggests gay people make worse parents is bunk; and even if gay people were more likely to have gay children, which is a tenuous claim, that wouldn't be relevant because being gay is perfectly normal.

If Kurtz cares so much about the family, he should investigate the crazy divorce rate amongst Congresspeople, especially Republicans.

Why is there a marriage res... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Why is there a marriage restriction on family members "tying the knot"? If the word "marriage" is to be redefined from it's traditional meaning then why can't it mean anything the happy couple wants it to mean.

In fact, why just a couple? Marriage contracts don't say anything about couples, does it? Why can't all of my neighbors join each other in {Holy [redacted]} Matrimony. I think I'd like to marry my golden retriever; oh, wait, I haven't got one; but if I did I'm marry her (or him).

And if we can have this much fun redefining "marriage" think how much fun we could have with "liberty" "privacy" "Right to Life, (Liberty & Happiness)." Pretty soon we'd be just like the pigs in "Animal Farm." Or would we be in a predicament more like the other animals and be at the mercy of the pigs?

MattThe laws again... (Below threshold)

Matt

The laws against "mix-raced" marriages were not widespread, had little American historical precedence and the biological myth of "race" is in no way equivalent to gender.

Biologically and legally, men and women are different.

Understand, I AM in support of extending the public institution of marriage to include same-sex couples...but ONLY when it comes from a consensus of my fellow citizens and I will fight HARD against any attempt to designate same-sex marriage a "right" newly discovered by the judiciary. The implications for society and law are much more far reaching than people realize, or "same-sex marriage as a RIGHT" advocates will publicly admit.

Why is there a marriage ... (Below threshold)

Why is there a marriage restriction on family members "tying the knot"?

Because from a civil standpoint "marriage" is joining two unrelated people into a legally recognized relationship, marrying your sister is redundant; you're already related in the eyes of the law.

RickMonogamy was a... (Below threshold)

Rick

Monogamy was a huge step forward in the rights of women.

Why should anyone wish a return to society with "women as chattel" to be bartered and numbered like prize cows?

"right" newly discovered... (Below threshold)

"right" newly discovered by the judiciary.

All unenumerated rights were "discovered" by the judiciary including the right to free association, the right of corporations to be a "legal person" under the law, the right to have the bill of rights apply to individuals and override state law.

Read the ninth amendment to the constitution, it was out in there by the founders on purpose.

For thousands of years, the... (Below threshold)
bob:

For thousands of years, the established definition of the word "marriage" has been one man and one woman.

Gays have the right to create a similar tradition that would grant them exactly the same legal status from the government - but they DON'T have the right to come in and redefine what the word "marriage" already means to people who are already married and hold the concept of marriage sacred.

After all, if someone came along and wanted the established definition of the word "Gay" to suddenly be changed to include pedophilia and beastiality, I'm sure Gay people would fight like hell to stop it.

This is what married people are fighting for now. Gays DON'T have a right to impose their beliefs on other people by changing what marriage means. They need to go do their own thing, start their own tradition, under their own terminology, and leave other people's traditions alone.

RickBut a brother/... (Below threshold)

Rick

But a brother/sister relationship doesn't automatically confer the legal benefits that being spouse would add.

Again, YOU are drawing an arbitrary line at unrelated people, other people draw the arbitrary line at number, currently the line is number, gender, family relationship.

It is not incumbent upon the status quo to prove its position, it is incumbent upon the challengers to persuade those of the status quo to change.

Remember (since Matt decided to bring "race" into this) .. that it was moral persuasion that allowed the success of the Civil Rights movement.

I've yet to see a convincin... (Below threshold)
MikeB:

I've yet to see a convincing argument as to why the state should be involved in personal relationships period. Marriage, as far as the state is concerned, is simply a legal contract. Marriage, as far as the church is concerned, is more than a legal contract.

My primary concern, should the state decide that marriage (the legal contract) be availabe to anyone, is that certain groups will try to use the courts to force the churchs' participation (e.g. using their tax exempt status as leverage).

- MikeB

Monogamy was a huge step... (Below threshold)

Monogamy was a huge step forward in the rights of women.

So then you are in favor of changing the institution of marriage when it suits you personally? Interesting, that is exactly how gay people feel.

No I don't give a whit about the "traditional" notion of marriage. How other people live dosen't effect me. But the specter of polygamy gets trotted out all the time in the "gay marriage" debate and I find it ironic that one argument is that marriage has been "unchanged for 1000's of years yet you all seem to be OK with one of the major changes that was made to the institution.

The laws against "mix-ra... (Below threshold)

The laws against "mix-raced" marriages were not widespread

By "not widespread" you probably mean "ubiquitous".

At one time or another, every state had de facto laws or de jure practice against "miscegenation".


...the biological myth of "race" is in no way equivalent to gender.

So because "gender" =/= race" the concept of Equal Protection does not apply?

You aren't serious, are you?

Biologically and legally, men and women are different.

Biologically, in many ways, legally, in only a few.

Yet ... Equal Protection is supposed to apply regardless.

Understand, I AM in support of extending the public institution of marriage to include same-sex couples...but ONLY when it comes from a consensus of my fellow citizens

Then you shouldn't be quibbling, because that consensus is already achieved. See the 5th and 14th Amendments, and the words "Equal Protection". Now, I will grant that this is one of those unforeseen applications of same that may be hard to swallow for some -- or even most. But the consensus has declared, not once but twice, that We the People are to be treated equally, and given the same opportunities.


I will fight HARD against any attempt to designate same-sex marriage a "right" newly discovered by the judiciary.

Were you equally obstinate about the "newly discovered" "rights" of blacks? or women?


The implications for society and law are much more far reaching than people realize, or "same-sex marriage as a RIGHT" advocates will publicly admit.

Such as?

Gays will be forced to hire divorce lawyers before splitting up the goldfish?

RickAgain... civil... (Below threshold)

Rick

Again... civil marriage is a public institution in which people contract. Parameters which define contracts are not about "rights" but about what the State considers in the best interests of citizens it is charged with protecting. Thus we have laws governing landlord/tenant relationships, business partnerships, etc. Two consenting adults cannot make a contract where one sells him/herself to another in slavery in return for forgiveness of debt.

But Darleen, the achievemen... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

But Darleen, the achievements of the Civil Rights movement would have been no less praiseworthy had EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN opposed them! Morality is not dictated by mob rule!

Please explain what the "far-reaching" implications for society would be, were gay marriage to be legalized (or marriage scrubbed from the law). Empirical evidence would be nice. Slippery slope arguments are unsound, as rwilmyz explained above. Why should anybody care? The "family" has never been a static concept, especially not as described in religious scripture (not that I care about scripture, but I suspect you might).

For thousands of years, ... (Below threshold)

For thousands of years, the established definition of the word "marriage" has been one man and one woman.

Sorry to be pedantic here, but I must; there's too many others attempting to be pedantic to not return the, um, "favor".

For "thousands of years" there was no word "marriage". "Marriage" is an English word, and English, as we understand it today, wasn't spoken before, roughly, the 1500s. Avail yourselves of dictionary.com to find the etymology.

Additionally, "for thousand of years" the United States of America didn't exist, and laws of same had no meaning since they, frankly, didn't exist.

We are talking about a US Law thing here, and that only goes back 230 years -- almost to the day. [223 years, if you want to get really pedantic and start from the time of US creation by the Treaty of Paris and international recognition which came from it].

But, since we're talking US law, and US state law at that -- the feds still largely absolve themselves of marriage -- it wasn't until the last decade that states started legally defining marriage as "one man one woman". Most states had vague definitions of "marriage".

"Thousands of years" is wholly irrelevant to the issue.

Let's see if this comment s... (Below threshold)

Let's see if this comment survives today...

Marriage is about "doing it" for the children (beget, begat, begot). Production of a new child still requires a contribution from each gender, as opposed to cloning (re-production?). As far as I am concerned, the only "state interest" served by the government involvement in marriage is minimizing the progeny of incest. Beyond that, anything else between two people is a partnership.
rwilAre you really... (Below threshold)

rwil

Are you really saying there are no differences between men and women?

Should gender-specific public restrooms be banned? Gender specific gyms and the lockerrooms within? How about gender specific schools, camps, organizations?

If same-sex marriage is a "right", what do you want to do to churches that preach the homosexual act is a "sin"? Lose their tax exempt status? What about schools they run, or facilities that host Little league teams?

The US military is a public institution that grants special benefits unavailable to people who don't join AND the instition discriminates (original meaning of the word) on who gets to join ALL THE TIME. Is that a violation of equal protection?

Because the institution of marriage defines parameters for participation and grants benefits unavailable, does that mean it is a violation of equal protection that a single person cannot get those benefits? Three people? Six?

Stop conflating "equal protection" which deals with individuals with a CONTRACT.

Darlene you can't possibly ... (Below threshold)

Darlene you can't possibly be so clueless as to say this: civil marriage is a public institution in which people contract. Parameters which define contracts are not about "rights" but about what the State considers in the best interests of citizens it is charged with protecting.

You are, at once, declaring gays to be incompetent to marry [i.e., in need of legal protection from the civil institution of marriage], and utterly in denial about a citizens freedom to contract -- one of those 9th amendment court-created things you are going to fight tooth and nail to deny everyone.

rwiUS law didn't s... (Below threshold)

rwi

US law didn't spring whole, like Athena from Zeus' head, it is based on English Common Law (which in itself was a formal codification of common rules towards the goal of consistency and unification)

Amazingly, on one hand ss-as-right advocates want to cite precedence when it comes to race, but don't want anyone else to use precedence when they point out that no major western society in history has allowed same-sex marriage.

Are your arguments so poor about the societal benefits of including same-sex couples in family statutes you have to keep flogging the risible "ss as right" line instead of the legitimate course of getting the majority of the country to agree?

Additionally, "fo... (Below threshold)
Additionally, "for thousand of years" the United States of America didn't exist, and laws of same had no meaning since they, frankly, didn't exist.

We are talking about a US Law thing here, and that only goes back 230 years -- almost to the day. [223 years, if you want to get really pedantic and start from the time of US creation by the Treaty of Paris and international recognition which came from it].

Please do not overlook that much of our law and judicial precedent stems from English Common Law (which has been around awhile...). As a citation, Marbury v Madison cites Blackstone and the laws of England.

rwiwhere did I dec... (Below threshold)

rwi

where did I declare gays incompetent to marry?

Do NOT lie about what I am stating.

Gays can marry today. As long as the person they are marrying is the opposite sex. The State's requirements to contract in the institution of marriage do NOT include any question of sexual orientation or romance.

Does the State have the obligation to define the parameters of landlord/tenant contracts? Should the State be require to enforce ANY contract between any consenting adults?

Darlene can't get the point... (Below threshold)

Darlene can't get the point: Are you really saying there are no differences between men and women?

What KIND of differences? Physical? or legal? Do not not not equivocate around me, ever. Physical differences -- me having a schlong and you having a cooter -- does not imbue either of us with a presumption of LEGAL differences.

Should gender-specific public restrooms be banned?

Do not not not equivocate around me, ever. If you can point out the relevance, I will address it. Until then, you are red herring-ing.


Gender specific gyms and the lockerrooms within?

See above.

How about gender specific schools, camps, organizations?

See above.


If same-sex marriage is a "right", what do you want to do to churches that preach the homosexual act is a "sin"?

Freedom of speech is also a right. You want to subordinate one 1stAm right under another?


Lose their tax exempt status? What about schools they run, or facilities that host Little league teams?

See above.


The US military is a public institution that grants special benefits unavailable to people who don't join AND the instition discriminates (original meaning of the word) on who gets to join ALL THE TIME. Is that a violation of equal protection?

Frankly, yes. Gays ought to be able to join the military as well.


Because the institution of marriage defines parameters for participation and grants benefits unavailable, does that mean it is a violation of equal protection that a single person cannot get those benefits?

One person already has the pertinent property rights that are shared by act of marriage. So the example is meaningless.


Three people? Six?

No matter how dishonestly you wish to discuss this subject, the issue is not "Three people" nor is it "six". It is two. Gays wish to be afforded the same rights to join that civil institution created for two that the rest of us enjoy.

If you wish to see "three people" marriages, then petition your lawmakers. But when it happens, you cannot deny the three person marriage to three men OR three women without running into Equal Protection.

Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend?

Again... civil marriage ... (Below threshold)

Again... civil marriage is a public institution in which people contract.

Darleen ... sure no quarrel. But we do have the right to enter into contracts, unless of course your two men who want to avail themselves of civil marriage. So now you ahve to explain why two men should not be able to make the same contract aman and a woman can. Are there any other contracts where the sex of the participance are an issue?

Also : If same-sex marriage is a "right", what do you want to do to churches that preach the homosexual act is a "sin"?

There are many things that are a sin under church law that are not against the laws of the states. Co-habitation is one; sex outside of marriage is another. Unless the are people who are being successfully prosecuted for calling co-habitation sinners then I don't think you have much of an argument. Right now you are not married as far as the RCC is concerned if you were not married with the blessing of the RCC, is there anyone suggesting that the RCC should be forced recognize all marriage even if it does not conform to their religious beliefs?

Stop conflating "equal protection" which deals with individuals with a CONTRACT.

Why the equal protection he is talking abtou is the right to enter into the contract in question.

Dancing around citing "Stat... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Dancing around citing "State Rights" and "Civil Rights" and "Constutional Rights" is skirting the issue.

The issue, plainly and simply, is that the Christian Right wants to force their church's definition of marriage onto everyone -- gays, straights, Jews, Mormons, Catholics, etc.

Suggesting otherwise is ignoring the elephant in the living room.

Darlene continues to... (Below threshold)


Darlene continues to astound:


Amazingly, on one hand ss-as-right advocates want to cite precedence when it comes to race, but don't want anyone else to use precedence when they point out that no major western society in history has allowed same-sex marriage.

I'm unsure what you mean by "ss" here. Probably not the Nazi secret police.

Equality trancending race is a relatively recent invention as well, so you're going to get nowhere arguing that racial equality is ancient. ... if that's what you're getting at.


Are your arguments so poor about the societal benefits of including same-sex couples in family statutes you have to keep flogging the risible "ss as right" line instead of the legitimate course of getting the majority of the country to agree?

I've never argued posit#1 about any "societal benefits" of same-sex marriage. You, on the other hand, have alluded to societal anti-benefits that I haven't seen you define. What might they be? You're argument isn't that poor that you can't fill it out, is it?

And frankly, the "societal benefit" of striking down anti-miscegenation laws by court fiat rather than popular legislative deliberation are rather empty as well, since the only "benefit" is that it made a handful of couples happy and millions UNhappy. Striking down anti-gay marriage laws would have the same effect, frankly. It's a wash either way.


where did I declare gays incompetent to marry?

Right here:
Rick

Again... civil marriage is a public institution in which people contract. Parameters which define contracts are not about "rights" but about what the State considers in the best interests of citizens it is charged with protecting. Thus we have laws governing landlord/tenant relationships, business partnerships, etc. Two consenting adults cannot make a contract where one sells him/herself to another in slavery in return for forgiveness of debt.

Posted by: Darleen at July 7, 2006 02:04 PM

You are declaring that there is no "right to contract" [in denial of a whole passel of case law], and that contract law is set up to prevent certain types of contracts in deference to those of us it is protecting. I.e., gays need protecting from the right to enter a marriage contract; which means they are incomptent to marry.

Now, "incompetent" is a legal term, and you should probably be aware of its legal meaning before you deign to lecture at Harvard Law School. ...or lecture me, either. But you just said that gays are incompetent to marry. They need "protecting". Like children.


Do NOT lie about what I am stating.

Don't worry; I didn't.


Gays can marry today.

Yeah? Who? Not the people they want to marry. And this is the same argument the state of Virginia made in 1965 or whenever they were justifying their miscegenation laws: "Blacks and whites can both marry -- just not each other."


Does the State have the obligation to define the parameters of landlord/tenant contracts? Should the State be require to enforce ANY contract between any consenting adults?

We've already gone over this, and you've shown yourself to be a dishonest discusser. The state can make any laws it wants to; it simply has to enforce them equally. The law prevents a rich white man from contracting himself as a slave the same as it does a poor black woman. It allws heterosexuals to marry the person they want. But not homosexuals.

Do you get it yet?

"Instead the traditional in... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"Instead the traditional institution of marriage would be relegated to people's homes and churches, absent from public life."

As it should be.

Lee: "The issue, plainly... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Lee: "The issue, plainly and simply, is that the Christian Right wants to force their church's definition of marriage onto everyone -- gays, straights, Jews, Mormons, Catholics, etc."

huh?

FORCE their definition?? The "Christian Right" (and a whole lot of non-Christian, non-Conservative folks) are not FORCING anything. They are DEFENDING against those who ARE attempting to FORCE a change in the historical and societal norm.

Period.

It allws heterosex... (Below threshold)
Mark A. Flacy:
It allws heterosexuals to marry the person they want.
Not in all cases, it doesn't.
Does anyone really need to ... (Below threshold)

Does anyone really need to be told that Lee is a superficial weenie?

While "the right" is against gay marriage by something like 3- or 4-1, "the left" is also against gay marriage by 3-2. Labelling this as a "religious right against sane sensitivity" is as dishonest as anything else.

Frankly, conservative rightists ought to be in favor of gay marriage since marriage is both a financial and productivity enhancer; married people live longer, use fewer public resources per capita, earn more money, pay more taxes, vote more often, etc. http://home.gwu.edu/~dcr7/marriage_meth_4.pdf

The more people getting married, the better off the nation is. [the more people staying married, too, but let's forego the no-fault divorce issue for now].

Oh, but gay marriage is different, because it's just so icky! And a queasy stomach is more important an issue than anything else ...

To add a thick layer of sub... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

To add a thick layer of substance...

You ever see a freestyle rap-battle? If not, when someone lays a verbal smack-down on their 'opponent', everyone standing around the ring hoots and hollers and yells things like "Oh SNAP! You got SERVED!" while waving their hands at funny angles. Same deal with breakdancing battles.

Point is, I totally did that after reading rwilymz absolutely demolish the "arguments" against gay marriage. Then he nailed it at the end of his post @ 3:26: it's not about tradition. It's not about the family. It's about the butts. It's unnatural (although the Greeks managed okay). Jerry Falwell said as much on Crossafire once: "The plubming just don't work!" Portray him and Dobson as radical fringe clerics if you want, but they speak for a large group of people who care about this issue more than everybody else, the same people who expect the frickin' Rapture to happen sometime. The CRAZY people. Why should anybody care what they think?

What was with the remark about "sin", Darleen? What place does that have in a discussion of the legal status of anything? And so what if God hates fags? He also hates shrimp!: http://www.godhatesshrimp.com (no html skills, sorry about the non-linked link).

Sorry about chirping at you earlier, rwilymz. You're pretty damn good at this. Lawyer?

Sorry ... rwilymz. You'... (Below threshold)

Sorry ... rwilymz. You're pretty damn good at this. Lawyer?

No. Have familiy in law.

I don't equate sentimentality with rationality. Both have their place, but they aren't interchangeable.

The subject here is the ability of a 1-to-3% section of our population to avail themselves of a civil contract/institution the same as the other 97-to-99% of the population ... in a society that is built upon equal treatment under the law.

I understand some people find it troubling, some disgusting, some outright scandalous. Same thing was thought 40 years ago when black males [eeeeeek!!] wanted to marry white females -- and vice versa. A few people liked it, almost everybody hated it, ["troubling", "disgusting", "scandalous"] and our courts had no problem finding it within their authority at that time to enforce the Constitution upon the state.

Why they can't find that authority now ["I know we left it around here somewhere ..."] is beyond me.

The issue is NOT multiple-party marriages, polygamy, polyandry, legalized bestiality, anything else. The issue is: 1-3% want to have the same ability to make use of a law that the other 97-99% use everyday. The same law, not a different one.

It does no good to make the discussion into something it isn't.

I hate Homophobes,... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

I hate Homophobes, who oppose 'equal' marriages between gay couples .

I hate Numberists, who oppose 'equal' marriages between 3 people.

rwilymz is just a filthy goddamned Numberist, no better than a racist or a homophobe or a sexist.

Who the hell does he think he is, telling us that 3 people can't marry? What gives him the right?

Nobody has the right to tell me that 2 is legal but 4 or 5 or whatever is not.


Right?

Les, for wilfully ignoring ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Les, for wilfully ignoring the multiple times he trounced the slippery slope objection, you demonstrate yourself to be lazy and pigheaded. Or maybe you read it and you didn't understand it. You can pick.

Legalizing gay marriage will not open the floodgates and wash away social norms, turning morality into an anything-goes Mad Max free-for-all. The same reasons for opposing beastiality (animals cannot consent) and polygamy (said relationships are inherently unequal and subjugatory) will apply whether or not Bert and Ernie can finally tie the knot.

I've yet to see any democra... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I've yet to see any democrats or liberal organizations campaigning in favor of the constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. There are plenty of conservative church groups up in arms over this issue, and actively campaigning however.

Public opinion, and organized opposition, are two entirely difffent things. The organized opposition against gay marriages is principally from the religous right.

I think it was cowardly ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I think it was cowardly and craven for two courts to wash their hands of Equal Protection enforcement, throwing it back to legislatures, when then didn't in the 60s.

Your argument is fundamentally flawed.

Interracial marriage did not permit men to marry women.

Gay marriage DOES allow men to marry women.

There is no equal protection argument to make here.

I think his "research" is motivated by a racist concern over the dramatic change in the racial make-up of the U.S.

When you can't debate the point, just smear the person. Nice tactic.

Ignoring that one of the fundamental reason for governments to recognize women is to assist with parenting.

What is right, and what is wrong, is open to interpretation, but it ought not, and CANnot, be considered a popularity contest.

Except that is precisely what you advocate.

Just with a ridiculously small pool of people making the decision.

What about letting two men or women get married devalues family and children in a way that 50% divorce rates among heterosexuals doesn't?

It's ironic that many of the same groups who championed "no fault" divorces are now condemning the long-predicted huge problems that the "no fault" divorce caused.

It takes chutzpah to pass rules to deeply damage an institution --- and then to use the damage that they helped cause to justify FURTHER damaging of the institution.

"Power to the Poeple" of the same sort in the 60s would have left blacks in the back of the bus, wouldn't it have?

"Power to the people" would have also freed the slaves without the War Between the States.

SCOTUS kept slavery alive.

1] only if laws are created forming them; allowing gays to participate in currently-existing laws won't accomplish this.

Feel free to provide ANY instance in which legalizing gay marriage WON'T cause these to occur.

Because from a civil standpoint "marriage" is joining two unrelated people into a legally recognized relationship, marrying your sister is redundant; you're already related in the eyes of the law.

Says who?

If equal protection covers two men marrying each other, it also covers a dad and his daughter marrying.

What KIND of differences? Physical? or legal? Do not not not equivocate around me, ever. Physical differences -- me having a schlong and you having a cooter -- does not imbue either of us with a presumption of LEGAL differences.

Darleen can abort an unwanted child.

If you have an unwanted child, you have to support it.

Thus, a legal difference.

Freedom of speech is also a right. You want to subordinate one 1stAm right under another?

It routinely is subordinate to the 14th Amendment.

Notice how you aren't allowed to advertise "Blacks need not apply"?

Yeah? Who? Not the people they want to marry.

You have no right to marry whomever you want.

They have to say yes.

If your girl says "no", your rights were very much not violated.

You seem to mistake something "legal" for a "right".

Marriage is as much a right as smoking.

We've already gone over this, and you've shown yourself to be a dishonest discusser. The state can make any laws it wants to; it simply has to enforce them equally.

Marriage between a man and a woman is very much enforced equally. Whether you LIKE that equality or not is more than a little irrelevant.

If you wish to change that --- there is a well-known mechanism to go about it.
-=Mike

nd polygamy (said relati... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

nd polygamy (said relationships are inherently unequal and subjugatory)

Feel free to explain how.

If the man and the women (since it never seems to be a woman with multiple men) say they want it --- who are YOU to say they don't warrant it?

You willing to sell out your argument?
-=Mike

If we were to set aside the... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

If we were to set aside the religous implications of "marriage," then I doubt that many people would oppose same-sex unions so vehemently. The separation of church and state in this country requires, however, that we do just that. I do not understand how intelligent people who understand this still argue so passionately against SSM.

I have not heard a single good reason for excluding gays from the CIVIL institution of marriage. Will someone please give me one GOOD reason that is not based on the Bible.

Contrary to what many believe, marriage was for thousands of years a property arrangement between families. Women went from being the property of her father to being the property of her husband usually in exchange for other goods. Rarely was she given a choice in the matter.

The concept of practice of marriage has changed throughout the centuries, and the world did not come to a screeching halt. Changing it again to make it more inclusive will not be the end of the world.

This comment was deleted be... (Below threshold)
Anonymous:

This comment was deleted because of its grossly offensive language.

Civil debate is welcome, but I will not tolerate such disgusting language on my thread.

Kim

matt"Legalizing gay ... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

matt
"Legalizing gay marriage will not open the floodgates and wash away social norms, "

Heh. Wash away this one particular social norm, but we promise none of the other ones will change.

Sure they won't.

But more importantly, (and more stupidly, on your part) :

"..polygamy (said relationships are inherently unequal and subjugatory).. "

1.Two men marrying is equal but 3 is not? How?

2.Two men and two women all getting married together is subjugatory? How?

3. Who the hell are you to tell anyone that 3 people can not get married?

(hint to everyone else besides matt and rwilymz : they won't answer those questions with anything that makes sense. watch and see.)

It's my choice to hate a... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

It's my choice to hate a fudge packin cock sucker, and if I don't want to accept a bulldike or a sugar britches into MY society, then I won't.

No, Tim, you do not have to accept anyone. You are welcome to wear your white gowns and burn your crosses (in your own yard).

I ask you, though, how one man marrying other man affects you at all? Will it make you love your wife any less? Will you stop having children? Will you withdraw from society and hide in your trailer? How will it affect you?

Les, just admit you hate th... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Les, just admit you hate the gays and stop pussyfooting around with word games and number counts.

"Les, just admit you hate t... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Les, just admit you hate the gays and stop pussyfooting around with word games and number counts."

Heh. See?

Avoiding my points, just like I said.

Accusing me of 'hating gays'.
So old. So lame. So predictable.

I have absolutely no proble... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

I have absolutely no problem with easy access for gays to the basic protections afforded married couples (medical approvals, wills, etc).

I do, however, strongly believe marriage is and ought to be between ONE man and ONE woman.

Further, I truly believe that much of the ATTACK on the institution of marriage is not so much a desire of large numbers of gays to marry (the stats say otherwise) as it is a way to attack yet one more underpinning of American society. Living in the SF Bay Area I routinely hear the argument that
"Marriage is a joke, just look at the divorce rate...therefore WE want to be able to marry (and presumbaly divorce) as well". Huh?

Marriage needs to strengthened and ENCOURAGED, not dilluted and DISCOURAGED.

It'll be too late to change... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

It'll be too late to change course when the lefties finally figure out they have destroyed the country and their families are dying along with the conservatives they hate. The terrorists and the (just say the word) queers are not concerned with anyone but themselves. They can't keep the population going so the world would die under their leadership, or maybe they think a bunch of clones will take over. Haven't they heard that the so called successful cloning successes have now all proven failures. You only create medical monsters and failures in a bowl. I notice that the antique MSM has failed to report on the results (failures) of cloning after a few years.
I see cloning as accurate as the ice age a few years ago and now the global warming hype by a few failed scientist and Algore. All BS.

Marriage these days has to ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Marriage these days has to do with love (although that's a relatively recent development in the history of human relationships). Love is a human emotion experienced equally by gay and straight people. It presupposes a focus that cannot be forked between multiple partners. There is one literary character I'm aware of that you could use as a counter-example, but Don Juan de Marco is supposed to be fantastical, an absurdity. As in, no such person has or will ever exist, because it is conceptually impossible. A Mormon can claim, accurately, that he loves each and every one of his wives, but he cannot claim that he does so all at the same time, and thus it is an unequal "partnership". It's predatory, and it doesn't make a bit of difference what polygamists think of polygamy, any more than it matters whether or not there were slaves who liked slavery. Polyamorous marriage is too distinct in kind from gay marriage to work as a slippery slope argument.

And the slippery slope to beastiality is just stupid, because animals cannot consent. And neither can children. Incest won't work either, as it does actual harm to society, whereas homosexual relationships do not.

As for the comment about women being somehow necessary for raising normal children, that's false. Gay and lesbian couples make great parents, the only difference being that their kids are more likely to be tolerant of other lifestyles.

Okay MikeSC, some of your points are worth thinking about, but why not legalize gay marriage? You can twist and bend the law to defend the illegality of it, but the law would clearly accommodate it. So why not? (Same goes for Les, except none of your points were worth thinking about, as they were already debunked before you made your post.)

I hope no one quoting Heinl... (Below threshold)

I hope no one quoting Heinlein forgot his depictions of civil unions in his works.

I can not agree that limiting marriage as currently defined is strictly a religious argument. A strawman is set up that is then attractive to tear apart.

The conventional marriage union is a societal construct (that religious mores support). Just because the most vocal supporters of conventional marriage are religious, does not make the argument one of religion alone.

If our society changes and/or desires to change a basic child rearing and basic human relationship structure we have followed for centuries (there are many anthropologic example of other possibilities, and creative minds have imagined untested ones as have Heinlein), then let the society, if it is democratic, decide democratically.

Divorce rates are a sad statistic demonstrating a decline in an individual and group will in our society to make a serious promise/commitment and keep it. I don't think that broadening the definition of folks who can make a serious marriage commitment is going to have a positive effect upon that statistic.

Personally, I'm all for a graded legal status (learner's permit, restricted permit, daytime only permit) requiring demonstrated economic stability, maturity, and participative citizenship before allowing a limited marriage license, with reproductive/adoptive/child rearing rights withheld for a two year period after the initial contract. No concern regarding sex of the two individuals necessary.

Aren't you glad I'm not King?

I agree that marriage shoul... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

I agree that marriage should be strengthened and encouraged. That is why I support SSM. Two people who love each other and wish to support each other should be encouraged to marry. What does it matter whether it is a man and a woman or a man and a man or a woman and a woman?

Somebody is intentionally m... (Below threshold)

Somebody is intentionally missing the point.

If we accept that marriage is the joining of two people, and if we accept the notion of a fidelity commitment between these TWO people, then in no case can a "homosexual marriage" be "equal" to a "hetersexual marriage" because the former cannot produce offspring without outside intervention.

I recognize that not all heterosexual couples are capable of producing, and that not all want to. But the fact remains, it is a non-negotiable fact that it requires both genders to create new life.

It is true that marriage has been a property arrangement in many instances, but I've heard much more debate in my many years about children being born out of wedlock, than I ever have about property rights.


Incest won't work either... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Incest won't work either, as it does actual harm to society, whereas homosexual relationships do not.

How so? By many accounts, few people are as inbred as the royal families of Europe.

It is logically impossible to say that incestual marriage would cause any harm, whatsoever, to society.

As for the comment about women being somehow necessary for raising normal children, that's false. Gay and lesbian couples make great parents, the only difference being that their kids are more likely to be tolerant of other lifestyles.

There is not an actual study in existence that argues that gay couples are as good as straight couples when it comes to raising kids.

Not one single study.

Okay MikeSC, some of your points are worth thinking about, but why not legalize gay marriage? You can twist and bend the law to defend the illegality of it, but the law would clearly accommodate it. So why not? (Same goes for Les, except none of your points were worth thinking about, as they were already debunked before you made your post.)

Shokingly enough, I don't care if it gets legalized.

My beef is HOW they are going about doing that.

THIS is what a legislature is there for. To make an end-run around it is deplorable and something I cannot ever respect.

For me, gay marriage advocates are dramatically worse than the Religious Right because the Religious Right got their influence through the ballot box, which is the way it's meant to be done.

Scrapiron, if you are allow... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Scrapiron, if you are allowed to get married and raise kids, then gay people sure as hell better be allowed to. Read what you just posted! I mean actually READ it, and absorb your own words! You are out of your mind, dude.

To the other conservatives (assuming that's what Scrapiron is--he might actually be a DU lurker having some fun)--you can claim not to be merely homophobic, but you should make some noises about this lunatic in your midst to pay lip service to the notion that you are not merely bigots.

And Justrand... who are you "quoting"? Do you have such a low opinion of gays and lesbians that you think they're all out to undermine society by pleading for the right to marry just so that they can go through costly divorces? I don't expect that you have any gay friends, but really, how can you actually have such a crass opinion of such a large number of Americans? And how would allowing more couples who are in love with one another to marry each other "dillute and DISCOURAGE" the institution of marriage? You know what needs to be addressed? The crazy divorce rates in the red states. (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0923080.html)

Unless you want to blame Southerners' marital problems on the homosexual menace, which would be a totally awesome argument to listen to in divorce court.

It'll be too late to cha... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

It'll be too late to change course when the lefties finally figure out they have destroyed the country and their families are dying along with the conservatives they hate. The terrorists and the (just say the word) queers are not concerned with anyone but themselves. They can't keep the population going so the world would die under their leadership, or maybe they think a bunch of clones will take over.

I will address scrapiron's lunatic rantings because I want to make a point. Many of you who oppose SSM claim that it is the LEFT that wants to use SSM for some nefarious purpose.

To set the record straight (so to speak), I am a conservative. I am Christian. I voted for Bush (twice) AND I support the right of gay people to marry the partner of their choice. I believe that SSM is something that conservatives should support since it STRENGTHENS the institution of marriage.

If people wish to "save" the institution of marriage they should focus on limiting divorce, not denying the institution to 2-7% of the population. Call me cynical, but I believe that many of these people who oppose SSM on the grounds that they want to "save marriage," will not touch divorce laws because that may affect them. Attacking gays does not affect them.

How many of you who oppose SSM have been divorced? Just curious...

Sigh... Chuck, they're equa... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Sigh... Chuck, they're equal in dignity, and in value (for the persons so joined), but not in identity. And it doesn't require both genders to have children, only their biological material. Gay men can donate to sperm banks which lesbian couples can go to. But the child-bearing-feasibility argument you brought up is in fact reduced to absurdity by the point you brush away, namely, that if gays can't marry because they can't have kids, then how is it justified for senior citizens or infertile adults to get married without referring to the other reasons that demonstrably ought to be extended to gay couples as well?

There is not an actual study in existence that argues that gay couples are as good as straight couples when it comes to raising kids.

Not one single study.

Provide a study to the contrary, then, from an academic source (and not a Christian think tank). Otherwise go to a park in NYC or San Francisco and watch the gay couples with their kids, and you tell me that they shouldn't be able to raise kids. All of my friends from non-traditional households (parents never married but still common law, mother artificially inseminated by a donor she never met, two moms) are very well-rounded people (and--shock!--very liberal), whereas a lot of the people I know from broken nuclear families are variously effed up.

For me, gay marriage advocates are dramatically worse than the Religious Right because the Religious Right got their influence through the ballot box, which is the way it's meant to be done. So for you the anti-miscegenationists were worse than the racist bigots because they went through the SCOTUS and not the ballot box, then? Of course not! I know you didn't mean it.

This issue allows the Republican congress to ignore its Christian base, but to try and kiss and make up during election years by targeting a group of people who overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Cynical, yes. True, yes.

"It'll be too late to ch... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"It'll be too late to change course when the lefties finally figure out they have destroyed the country and their families are dying along with the conservatives they hate. The terrorists and the (just say the word) queers are not concerned with anyone but themselves."

It's statements like that keep me coming back to this place, and it actually makes me proud when Scrapiron or one of his ilk attacks me.

Re: rwilymz points:I... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

Re: rwilymz points:
If there is nothing "special" about the gender of the people involved, then what's so special about the number? Or the familial relationship between the members petitioning? Darlene
The specialness is manifest in the equality of application. Common Law has dictated "two"; gays want only equal application.
The 'equality of application' is only manifest as to number, not gender.

If they cannot then the institution cannot limit itself by another other than age of participants (minors cannot contract).Darlene
More history for yuz: We The People didn't define "marriage" as "man - woman - one each" in more than about 1/3 of the states until about 10 years ago.
And that is so only because prior to 10yrs ago same-sex marriage was unimaginable.

Sorry to be pedantic here, but I must; ...For "thousands of years" there was no word "marriage". ...Additionally, "for thousand of years" the United States of America didn't exist, ...We are talking about a US Law thing here, and that only goes back 230 years...since we're talking US law, and US state law at that -- ... -- it wasn't until the last decade that states started legally defining marriage as "one man one woman". Most states had vague definitions of "marriage".
"Thousands of years" is wholly irrelevant to the issue.

Wholly irrelevant...You are not only being pedantic but more pertinently, purposely obtuse.

You are well aware of the great antiquity of the institution of marriage. No doubt you are also aware of the long route society's have taken to reach the consensus that children are optimally raised and society are best served through loving, monogamous, publicly committed couples of opposite gender. (Heterosexuals abysmal inability to meet that standard in no way invalidates its worth)

You have acknowledged that men and women are biologically different. Only the ignorantly politically correct will argue that the biological differences are not manifest in psychological gender differences.

Those differences have been judged by almost all society's to be essential in the raising of children into healthy adults.

Yet you would overturn the acquired wisdom that millennia of experience has brought humanity out of an arrogant presumption that legal acumen and logic are all that are required in determining the optimum definition of marriage. You cavalierly dismiss all concerns as trumped by a narrow interpretation of the institution of marriage. Obtusely refusing to acknowledge that if gender is arbitrary then number is as well.

We The People have every authority to define social and contractual institutions, but those institutions cannot deny the participation of everyone who chooses to participate. Equal Protection was so important that we put it in the Constitutino twice.

Everyone is free to participate. Under the conditions presently formulated.
Your argument is simply that the social and contractual institution of marriage should be redefined, as justification, you assert that it is strictly and solely a matter of equal protection.

Then we'll have:
1. Multiple partner civil unions. By Ed
1] only if laws are created forming them; allowing gays to participate in currently-existing laws won't accomplish this.

But it will accomplish this, because it is the logical extension and inevitable legal consequence of your equal protection argument. The equal protection argument places all 'conditions' of the marriage contract, other than the status of being a minor, into the category of legally indefensible arbitrariness. In time, multiple partners HAVE to be legalized because the equal protection clause would legally apply to them as well.

The US military is a public institution that grants special benefits unavailable to people who don't join AND the instition discriminates (original meaning of the word) on who gets to join ALL THE TIME. Is that a violation of equal protection? Darlene
Frankly, yes. Gays ought to be able to join the military as well.

So you reject the assertion that it harms unit cohesiveness? If so, upon what basis do you base that rejection? Or, if you do accept the assertion, do you again use equal protection as the basis to override all other concerns?

Three people? Six? Darlene
... the issue is not "Three people" nor is it "six". It is two. Gays wish to be afforded the same rights to join that civil institution created for two that the rest of us enjoy. If you wish to see "three people" marriages, then petition your lawmakers. But when it happens,(my emphasis; so you DO acknowledge it!) you cannot deny the three person marriage to three men OR three women without running into Equal Protection.

You define the issue as two because acknowledgment of the legal inevitability of multi-partner consequence, undermines the wisdom of pursuing the path you wish to see society follow...

Why is this so difficult for you to comprehend?

We comprehend it just fine. Why do you insist that legal definitions are all that matter when discussing society's foundational infrastructure?

But then, I just answered that above, didn't I?

Gays can marry today. Darlene
Yeah? Who? Not the people they want to marry.

Ah, it is ALL about wants isn't it?

The state can make any laws it wants to; it simply has to enforce them equally...Do you get it yet?

Not to be pedantic, but you left out the constitutional qualifier as to the state having the power to make any law it wants...

Amusing how we wonder the same about you, but then it's not about comprehension, is it? It's about acceptance...

Oh, but gay marriage is different, because it's just so icky! And a queasy stomach is more important an issue than anything else ...

A queasy stomach is the result of your atrophied moral conscience trying to communicate with an intellect wedded to flawed logic.

Logic cannot examine its originating premise. Our logic no more than yours. The difference is that we are not relying on logic solely; to reach a conclusion about overturning millennia of accumulated societal wisdom.

Your logic is based in the premise that your secular relativism is superior to every previous generation's perceptions about the optimum societal infrastructure. What absolute arrogance, you must be a baby boomer. Or have you simply accepted the pablum your college instructors fed you?

Word, Lee. While waiting fo... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Word, Lee. While waiting for people to reply or while trying to kill another five minutes at work I idle my time away trying to imagine how many flannel shirts Scrapiron has, what TV shows he watches (assuming he hasn't shot his TV, which is a bold assumption), which calibre of handgun he keeps under the seat of his truck, and which in his glovebox...

Before you lash out at me, Scrapiron, realize that I'm just making fun of you. It's lighthearted. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a dick from time to time, but you seem to think that I, and others like me, are your enemy! I meant it earlier when I said I hope you put those brush fires out, because I sincerely don't want your home or any of your neighbours' to be destroyed.

But when you address a liberal/Democrat/moonbat (as though they're interchangeable), you sound like you're ready to strangle somebody. We all get mad, but honestly, what's up? Did a drunk-ass Kennedy run over your dog when you were a boy? Did Maureen Dowd divorce you and take half your stuff? I'm all for heated discussion, but I think you go way over the top.

VA Gamer ... Nobody's stopp... (Below threshold)
Tim:

VA Gamer ... Nobody's stopping gays from living together and sharing their love. Why don't gays fight for all the perks marriage provides instead of marriage itself? Simple answer. The benefits from marriage aren't what gays want. They want marriage so it will bring them another step closer to being accepted into society. Why get married? The tax rate is higher. Why not just push for the insurance issue, spousal support...ect

Logic cannot examine its... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

Logic cannot examine its originating premise. Our logic no more than yours. The difference is that we are not relying on logic solely; to reach a conclusion about overturning millennia of accumulated societal wisdom.

Your logic is based in the premise that your secular relativism is superior to every previous generation's perceptions about the optimum societal infrastructure. What absolute arrogance, you must be a baby boomer. Or have you simply accepted the pablum your college instructors fed you?

Sorry, d_Brit, but your "logic" does not pass the test of historical accuracy. Please define "millenia of accumulated societal wisdom." If you think that marriage throughout the centuries has been some version of the 1950s utopian "one father/one mother/2.2 kids/dog/white picket fence", then you need to go back to your history books.

The institution of marriage and ideas about child-rearing have certainly changed and evolved over the centuries. True, they did not include same-sex couples, but that change would be smaller than other marital changes over the years.

Consider how radical it would have been for marriage to change from a simple property arrangement where the married couple may never have learned to love each other to an institution where the couple themselves fell in love and made the decision to marry.

The institution survived radical re-definitions and will continue to do so.

Tim, I assume that you are ... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

Tim, I assume that you are not gay, so I ask how you presume to know what gay people want. Do they all want the same exact thing? Do you think they will sleep better at night once they get your blessing?

Your argument is silly. Why should gay couples have do do anything different to get the same benefits that their straight friends get? Why should they have to get a lawyer to write a contract for all the rights that are assumed with a marriage contract?

Furthermore, why is it any of your business? Does their marriage somehow affect you?

The 'equality of applica... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

The 'equality of application' is only manifest as to number, not gender.

Then the burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate why the gender criterion can be used discriminatorily instead of inclusively in this case. Same-sex marriage advocates deny the relevance of gender for equal application. Your exception is ad hoc, and follows either from tradition (not a good way to argue anything) or prejudice (ditto). Gender is irrelevant, but age isn't, because gender has nothing to do with competence.

"Thousands of years" is wholly irrelevant to the issue.

Wholly irrelevant...You are not only being pedantic but more pertinently, purposely obtuse.

I disagree. I think arguments against SSm based in traditionalism are pretty weak if said tradition has been, traditionally, incredibly elastic and vaguely defined.

You are well aware of the great antiquity of the institution of marriage. No doubt you are also aware of the long route society's have taken to reach the consensus that children are optimally raised and society are best served through loving, monogamous, publicly committed couples of opposite gender. (Heterosexuals abysmal inability to meet that standard in no way invalidates its worth)

When did history check and see how well institutionalized gender-blind civil unions would serve society? Liberals are biological evolutionists, not social evolutionists. There is no reason to assume that because our culture won out over, say, Native American cultures that children and families are better off as a result. All it shows is that one society beat another in a conflict. Irrelevant.

Those differences have been judged by almost all society's to be essential in the raising of children into healthy adults.

Based on empirical research? Or based on incredulity at the very IDEA of buggerers having children? Why, they can't even fornicate like Christians! And everyone knows how delicate lesbians are! Boys would develop no masculine traits in a lesbian "household"! (/jokes)


On gays in the military: So you reject the assertion that it harms unit cohesiveness?

YES!!! You think gays are so unpatriotic that they would rather stare at hot Marine ass instead of doing their job? Canadians allow women into combat roles (rightly so), and thus far there have been no reports of patrols in Afghanistan getting ambushed because they were all too busy having sex with each other.

Not to be pedantic, but you left out the constitutional qualifier as to the state having the power to make any law it wants...

Don't be silly. He meant laws that are within their authority to issue. He obviously knows a thing or two about what he's talking about, so you could assume he understands that the Constitution applies to Congress.

Your logic is based in the premise that your secular relativism is superior to every previous generation's perceptions about the optimum societal infrastructure. What absolute arrogance, you must be a baby boomer. Or have you simply accepted the pablum your college instructors fed you?

Well, you obviously didn't go to college (which is fine) because you don't know how to use the term "moral relativism". Liberals are not relativistic on this issue. This is a human rights issue, and human rights are universal. To argue, though, that gay marriage is bad because a majority of Americans are opposed to it is paradigmatically relativistic. It's populism, that ugliest of political justifications which holds that moral truths are relative to the will of the people and subject to change. Fuck that they are. Blacks were human beings before they were recognized as such, and gay marriage is good and just so long as the institution of marriage has any meaning in American society. Whether it takes four years or fifty for it to be made legal (as it certainly will) is irrelevant.

Otherwise go to a park i... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Otherwise go to a park in NYC or San Francisco and watch the gay couples with their kids, and you tell me that they shouldn't be able to raise kids.

OR, in layman's terms, "go with anecdotal evidence" --- which science has said is useless.

Take every single study of the problems of kids in single parent households.

The gay household has even MORE problems.

All of my friends from non-traditional households (parents never married but still common law, mother artificially inseminated by a donor she never met, two moms) are very well-rounded people (and--shock!--very liberal), whereas a lot of the people I know from broken nuclear families are variously effed up.

And while those are nice little stories, anecdotes are a poor substitute for actual evidence.

When you don't have science on your side, go for anecdotes, I guess.

So for you the anti-miscegenationists were worse than the racist bigots because they went through the SCOTUS and not the ballot box, then?

Since blacks couldn't vote and gays CAN vote --- no, it is not the same thing.

But keep trying to compare the suffering of gays to the suffering of blacks. It's a SHADE less offensive and ridiculous than PETA'S claims of a chicken farm being similar to the Holocaust.

It's really absurd, mind you, but a little less than that.

This issue allows the Republican congress to ignore its Christian base, but to try and kiss and make up during election years by targeting a group of people who overwhelmingly vote Democrat. Cynical, yes. True, yes.

It's funny how much "Democrats" actually, you know, dislike "democracy".

Why is it an issue now? Because left-wing judges are making it a legislative issue by overstepping their bounds, as per usual.

It's like blaming Israel for fighting back against constant terrorist attacks.

Before you lash out at me, Scrapiron, realize that I'm just making fun of you. It's lighthearted. I'll be the first to admit that I'm a dick from time to time, but you seem to think that I, and others like me, are your enemy!

Gee, why would he think you're his enemy? You don't ACT like it, right?

But when you address a liberal/Democrat/moonbat (as though they're interchangeable), you sound like you're ready to strangle somebody. We all get mad, but honestly, what's up? Did a drunk-ass Kennedy run over your dog when you were a boy? Did Maureen Dowd divorce you and take half your stuff? I'm all for heated discussion, but I think you go way over the top.

That you say this while supporting Lee is funny.

I doubt you'll notice it, though.

Consider how radical it would have been for marriage to change from a simple property arrangement where the married couple may never have learned to love each other to an institution where the couple themselves fell in love and made the decision to marry.

Yes, that is DRAMATICALLY more radical than, oh, changing the sex of the partners involved. That is almost minor.

And marriage has historically been primarily concerned with children. Since gay marriage cannot result in children --- your entire argument is null and void.

Why should gay couples have do do anything different to get the same benefits that their straight friends get?

You don't see ME whining that it is harder for me to get into colleges and get grants and all due to my gender and skin color, do you?

I deal with it.

If all gays want are the perks, then they have the ability to get them. It's really not even that difficult.

Why should they have to get a lawyer to write a contract for all the rights that are assumed with a marriage contract?

How is it "unfair" when they have access to it?

Are you really trying to use "Well, it should be EASIER" as an argument for your case?

If so, it is a rather weak one.

Furthermore, why is it any of your business? Does their marriage somehow affect you?

Because I dislike the courts making decisions that belong to the legislature.
-=Mike

Your reply to Tim is right ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Your reply to Tim is right on, VA Gamer.

I remember reading a column, or perhaps a blog entry, by David Frum claiming that since most gays in Canada did not get married within a year after it was made legal, that this was reason to rethink the whole thing. That's stupid. It wasn't made legal for pragmatic or functional reasons, but moral and legal ones.

Since it's a moral question, it is thus an objective one. A legal right ought not to be revoked because no one chooses to exercise it. Similarly, there is a socially contingent aspect to marriage (but not relativistic--it's a difficult distinction, which Joseph Raz explains in Engaging Reason) that contains a great deal of meaning for people who enter into a marriage. It may have religious origins (as a sacrament or whatever), but marriage is a social institution now. To suggest that gays might be as well-off with lawyered-up agreements in place of a marriage license misses a great deal of what is important for same-sex marriage advocates, Tim. Gay and lesbian couples ought to have the right to engage in the same practices as straight couples (those which are biologically possible, at least), and what they choose to do with that right is no one's business but theirs.

And it doesn't re... (Below threshold)
And it doesn't require both genders to have children, only their biological material. Gay men can donate to sperm banks which lesbian couples can go to.
One half of the biological material still must come from outside of the marriage, regardless of what scientific breakthrough is employed.

I'm still thinking about the "Senior citizen/infertile couple" argument.

Since it's a moral quest... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Since it's a moral question, it is thus an objective one.

Ah, so your morality is the only one that matters, eh?

Got it.

Pretty authoritarian of you there.

To suggest that gays might be as well-off with lawyered-up agreements in place of a marriage license misses a great deal of what is important for same-sex marriage advocates, Tim.

I. Do. Not. Care.

They can get what they want.

If they are hoping for the courts to make people think they're "normal", they'll sadly learn that this strategy will do the opposite.

Gay and lesbian couples ought to have the right to engage in the same practices as straight couples (those which are biologically possible, at least), and what they choose to do with that right is no one's business but theirs.

And they do now.

Your argument for gay marriage is...what?
-=Mike

MikeSC, perhaps you should ... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

MikeSC, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the pending constitutional amendment in Virginia. It would not only define marriage as between a man and a woman but also void any contract that attempts to approximate marriage. Thus, such contracts, insurance policies, wills, hospital visitation rights, etc would be ILLEGAL.

Please tell me how you think this is fair. A majority of Virginians will be all it takes to make this happen. In the home state of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, this will almost certainly pass. I have long wondered that if slavery would be put up to a vote in Virgina, would it still pass? I cannot be 100% that it would fail.

Were it to pass, Mike, should it be allowed? After all, the democratic majority would have voted for it. Democracy, simply defined, means majority rules WITH minority rights. The role of the courts is to assure that minority rights are not trampled on by the majority.

Should some state courts decide that their state constitutions allows gay marriage, why would that be wrong? They are simply protecting minority rights.

Since blacks couldn't vo... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Since blacks couldn't vote and gays CAN vote --- no, it is not the same thing.

But keep trying to compare the suffering of gays to the suffering of blacks. It's a SHADE less offensive and ridiculous than PETA'S claims of a chicken farm being similar to the Holocaust.

It's really absurd, mind you, but a little less than that.

Comparing me to PETA, Mike? Well, check and mate, eh? Sheesh. Are you saying that only after blacks were legally permitted to date and marry white women were bi-racial relationships acceptable? And how do you think gay and lesbian (and bisexual) Americans are expected to accomplish anything with ballots? This is why there is a Supreme Court, to protect minorities from the tyranny of the majority.

It's like blaming Israel for fighting back against constant terrorist attacks.

I'll bring this up next time I get chewed out for going off-topic (as I frequently do).

Gee, why would he think you're his enemy? You don't ACT like it, right?

You're a nutcase. Is everyone you dislike your enemy? Is everyone you strongly disagree with your enemy? I hope the answers are "No" and "No", respectively, else you're a very angry and unstable individual who probably shouldn't be allowed to own firearms. And I wasn't defending everything Lee has ever said, but just having a chuckle with him about our pal Scrapiron.

You say that love and other emotions being incorporated into marriage is less radical than allowing same-sex couples to get married. You're obviously wrong. Gay marriage can result in children because adoption is legal. Same for infertile straight couples. Mike, you can do better than this, and you usually do as you're pretty sharp. I'm not saying you're having a stupid day, though, but see this as an indication that this issue is a loser for conservatives. Isn't there some dwarf with nuclear weapons clamoring for attention in N. Korea right now?

One half of the biologic... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

One half of the biological material still must come from outside of the marriage, regardless of what scientific breakthrough is employed.

But same-sex couples don't mind. Take as long as you like with the infertile straight couples bit, but I'm afraid it's a winner. ;)

Bleh, sorry about my atroci... (Below threshold)
TM:

Bleh, sorry about my atrocious lack of ability to use html tags properly, Mike. I think you should be able to decipher which words were yours, and which mine.

And another thing. I have r... (Below threshold)
TM:

And another thing. I have recently promised a close friend to stop being mean and to stop calling people names. I apologize for calling you a nutcase, Mike.

Maybe I'll start previewing this stuff...

Ah, so your morality is ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Ah, so your morality is the only one that matters, eh?

Got it.

Pretty authoritarian of you there.

That's not what I said. I'm not advocating prescribing my moral convictions for every human being. Objectivism isn't universalism. What I was saying, is that the truth-value of the contents of a moral judgement are not subjectively dependent on the will of the person or group who makes the judgement. This is what allows us to say "You're wrong." The alternative position, which is untenable, can be summarised as "Right and wrong is in the eye of the mob." Again: Joseph Raz, in Engaging Reason, explains how morality can remain objective and still allow for reasonable disagreement (as it obviously does).

And now I'm going to eat the hell out of some chicken wings. Don't tell my friends at PETA! =)

MikeSC, perhaps you shou... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

MikeSC, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with the pending constitutional amendment in Virginia. It would not only define marriage as between a man and a woman but also void any contract that attempts to approximate marriage. Thus, such contracts, insurance policies, wills, hospital visitation rights, etc would be ILLEGAL.

Note how it's being put to a vote? You seem to forget that my criticism is the MEANS gay marriage advocates are going about "Getting their way".

If a similar vote completely legalizing gay marriage passed, I'd applaud THAT, too.

Please tell me how you think this is fair. A majority of Virginians will be all it takes to make this happen.

That's Constitutional Amendments for you.

How is this less fair than allowing a small group of old lawyers to make the decision instead?

In the home state of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, this will almost certainly pass.

God knows trashing the state's voters is a winning formula for electoral success.

I have long wondered that if slavery would be put up to a vote in Virgina, would it still pass? I cannot be 100% that it would fail.

It's because you're delusional.

Were it to pass, Mike, should it be allowed?

Yup.

After all, the democratic majority would have voted for it. Democracy, simply defined, means majority rules WITH minority rights. The role of the courts is to assure that minority rights are not trampled on by the majority.

Them's the breaks. If the majority feels something is wrong, then that is the way it goes.

If the majority voted FOR gay marriage in an Amendment, I doubt you'd be going so nuts for it.

Should some state courts decide that their state constitutions allows gay marriage, why would that be wrong? They are simply protecting minority rights.

No, it is MORE wrong than this as a small group of lawyers makes the decision, rather than the electorate at large.

The gay marriage advocates have decided to not try and make a case.

C'est la vie.

Comparing me to PETA, Mike?

No. Just that your arguments are equally insane.

Are you saying that only after blacks were legally permitted to date and marry white women were bi-racial relationships acceptable?

No. I'm saying that they were always acceptable --- they were illegally forbidden as it was clearly unfair treatment.

This is not even in the same state, much less the same ballpark.

I'll bring this up next time I get chewed out for going off-topic (as I frequently do).

Yes, comparisons are so off-topic.

You're a nutcase.

Deeply are my feelings wounded.

Is everyone you dislike your enemy?

How can you dislike somebody you don't know?

And you call others "nutcase"?

You say that love and other emotions being incorporated into marriage is less radical than allowing same-sex couples to get married. You're obviously wrong.

You proved me wrong so thoroughly, too. Danke.

Gay marriage can result in children because adoption is legal.

And your cause takes another blow.

Same for infertile straight couples.

Again, no. But since you cannot say what couples are infertile immediately, you cannot say "You can't get married".

That'd be unequal treatment.

I'm not saying you're having a stupid day, though, but see this as an indication that this issue is a loser for conservatives. Isn't there some dwarf with nuclear weapons clamoring for attention in N. Korea right now?

It seems to be passing in every state proposed.

That is a loser?
-=Mike

That's not what I said. ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

That's not what I said. I'm not advocating prescribing my moral convictions for every human being. Objectivism isn't universalism. What I was saying, is that the truth-value of the contents of a moral judgement are not subjectively dependent on the will of the person or group who makes the judgement. This is what allows us to say "You're wrong." The alternative position, which is untenable, can be summarised as "Right and wrong is in the eye of the mob." Again: Joseph Raz, in Engaging Reason, explains how morality can remain objective and still allow for reasonable disagreement (as it obviously does).

But, if there is fervent disagreement as to what is right and what is wrong --- which is the case here --- how is it better to limit the people who can vote on the issue to 7 or 9 judges (based on your state) rather than the voters at large?
-=Mike

"how is it better to limit ... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"how is it better to limit the people who can vote on the issue to 7 or 9 judges (based on your state) rather than the voters at large?"

Because our system is designed to protect the RIGHTS of the individual from the TYRANNY OF THE MASSES. Mob rule sucks. Always has, always will.

Funny how "conservatives" understand that when it's guns or tax money at stake and always seem to forget it when OMG TEH GAYZ are the issue.

Mmm, them was good chicken ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Mmm, them was good chicken wings. Anyway...

"Were it to pass, Mike, should it be allowed?

Yup."

Really? So any hypothetical example we could come up with of people voting for patently absurd or immoral statutes would meet your approval as a legitimate exercise in democracy? What about in Iraq? What if the Shiites exercise their collective will and make racist laws against Sunnis and Turks? Would that be alright with you? Institutionalized hatred? I will assume not, in which case I can say, by extension, that this point goes to the blue team.

Democracies require more than just ballot boxes. They require minority protections. When the majority errs in this regard (by which I mean when the majority gets it objectively wrong, as you acknowledged is possible like with bi-racial relationships), it falls upon the Supreme Court to do something about it. If you think otherwise, then you're un-American. America's Constitution is more populist than the parliamentary systems of England and Canada, but the Founders recognized that voters aren't infallible, morality isn't relative, and judges can better be trusted with hard legal cases than laypeople. I don't care if you think that makes me an elitist, because I think it's a necessary condition for having a full appreciation of what it means to be an American. I'm not questioning your patriotism, but asking you to rethink your position. And yes, sometimes the SCOTUS gets it wrong too, but it's a necessary if imperfect check on the will of the people.

"I'm saying that they were always acceptable --- they were illegally forbidden as it was clearly unfair treatment."

A judge determined that miscegenation laws were "illegal" (I presume you mean unconstitutional). A judge rectified the situation. He acted as an "activist", for civil rights in this case, and I'm glad that you approve. If we know something is without a doubt unjust, it doesn't matter what a voter thinks about it, especially since this voter might be better off with the continuation of said injustice. The courts should, and thankfully sometimes do, supercede Congress when the situation warrants it. It's not like they're writing tax policy from the bench. Their jurisdiction is usually pretty clear, as with human rights which are non-negotiable and not subject to democratic whimsy. (But then they hold a hearing for Anna Nicole Smith's fight for her inheritance. I like the concept of the Supreme Court, but I don't much like this particular one.)

I said: "You say that love and other emotions being incorporated into marriage is less radical than allowing same-sex couples to get married. You're obviously wrong."

Your reply: "You proved me wrong so thoroughly, too. Danke."

My reply to that: I did. The first transition involved rewriting the rules of the game. The second involves letting other people play the same game. Now unless you think same-sex couples are abominable, you won't find the difference between them and straight couples as significant as the difference between marriage-as-property-transer and marriage-as-loving-partnership. I thought it was obvious, so I didn't elaborate.

Mike, come on: "But since you cannot say what couples are infertile immediately, you cannot say "You can't get married".

That'd be unequal treatment."

Let's say a 70 year old couple applies for a marriage license, and you have to approve or reject their application. You can a) assume they're getting married to fulfill their biological roles, or b) are unable to procreate, but acknowledge that it's no business of anyone's what they do in their spare time. If you assume a), you're being stupid and/or mean, and if you assume b), you're potentially a decent person with at least a minimal understanding of what marriage ought to be in American society.

You've argued that procreation is relevant for justifying who can get married, which is flat-out wrong and contradicts current social norms in the reddest of states; and defended the idea that if the will of the people is immoral, then it behooves the courts to respect it. And I'm not even oversimplifying! You acknowledge that these are your beliefs! They're absurd!

And I don't care if America votes to ban gay marriage, because, as I explained, whether or not gay marriage is right is not dependent on anyone's opinions of it. It's a "winner" for liberals and libertarians because they win this argument on principle. I'm confident that the Court will get it right too, eventually.

Mike, the reason that TM is... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

Mike, the reason that TM is correct about the inevitability of marriage equality is that your side cannot make a reasonable case against it. Most Americans are fair-minded and tolerant. Your side of this issue often comes across as mean-spirited and intolerant.

The Christian Right will ha... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

The Christian Right will have to move into the mainstream if it wants to continue to have any influence. A great way to do this is to preemptively allow the civil institution of "marriage" to be codified as a secular one, while demanding (and getting) a guarantee that their tax-exempt status won't be affected by how they discuss this issue in their churches and whether they choose to allow gay people to get married within the context of their own religion.

Dobson, Falwell and Robertson probably won't compromise, but them's my two cents.

Because our system is de... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Because our system is designed to protect the RIGHTS of the individual from the TYRANNY OF THE MASSES. Mob rule sucks. Always has, always will.

So allowing 4 people to vote instead of all of the public helps you...how?

There are no rights that gays lack.

Marriage is not, nor has it ever been, a right.

Funny how "conservatives" understand that when it's guns or tax money at stake and always seem to forget it when OMG TEH GAYZ are the issue.

Funny how Dems assume voters don't know anything and then wonder why voters don't vote for them terribly often.

Substituting a "Tyranny" by the voters with a "tyranny" by unaccountable judges is hardly a preferrable option.

Really? So any hypothetical example we could come up with of people voting for patently absurd or immoral statutes would meet your approval as a legitimate exercise in democracy?

Seeing as how it is not patently immoral or absurd, it's an immaterial point to make.

This isn't voting to legalize slavery.

What about in Iraq? What if the Shiites exercise their collective will and make racist laws against Sunnis and Turks? Would that be alright with you?

Whether it's OK or not is irrelevant, since it is their country to do with what they wish. We as Americans have no control over that.

Democracies require more than just ballot boxes. They require minority protections.

A tyranny of the minority is worse than a tyranny of the majority.

When the majority errs in this regard (by which I mean when the majority gets it objectively wrong, as you acknowledged is possible like with bi-racial relationships), it falls upon the Supreme Court to do something about it.

Seeing as not allowing gay marriage is neither illegal nor immoral and the only reason it is an issue is that some judges "found" the right in centuries-old Constitutions when nobody else found it before is why it's an issue now.

If you think otherwise, then you're un-American.

Wow. Un-American. You, again, deeply wound me.

Notice how I have yet to question your patriotism, even though you're clearly not fond of elections or voting?

Do you want to be reminded of problems SCOTUS made worse? Slavery would have withered away and no Civil War would have occurred --- had Dred Scott not been decided. SCOTUS made segregation the law of the land in Plessy.

It's significantly easier to overturn a law than a SCOTUS decision as SCOTUS isn't fond of overturning itself.

America's Constitution is more populist than the parliamentary systems of England and Canada, but the Founders recognized that voters aren't infallible, morality isn't relative, and judges can better be trusted with hard legal cases than laypeople.

Jefferson, actually, would rather vigorously disagree with that. As would the other Founding Fathers.

. I'm not questioning your patriotism?

But you also said:

If you think otherwise, then you're un-American

Which is it?

My reply to that: I did.

I assumed adding "/sarcasm" was not needed.

I was wrong.

Alas.

Now unless you think same-sex couples are abominable, you won't find the difference between them and straight couples as significant as the difference between marriage-as-property-transer and marriage-as-loving-partnership. I thought it was obvious, so I didn't elaborate.

Yes, again, because replacing property for love as a reason for marriage is SO much less drastic than, oh, replacing the need for the opposite sex.

Because the REASON for marriage is so much more drastic a change than THE FUNDAMENTAL ASPECTS OF MARRIAGE.

Let's say a 70 year old couple applies for a marriage license, and you have to approve or reject their application. You can a) assume they're getting married to fulfill their biological roles, or b) are unable to procreate, but acknowledge that it's no business of anyone's what they do in their spare time.

As long as it is a man and a woman, it is not my concern.

If you want to change the rules, you need to actually go through the procedure to change the rules.

You've argued that procreation is relevant for justifying who can get married

Nope. But nice try, though. I said it was a historic reason why states got involved in the first place.

which is flat-out wrong and contradicts current social norms in the reddest of states; and defended the idea that if the will of the people is immoral, then it behooves the courts to respect it.

It'd be grand if you'd expend the energy to argue points I made and not one that you wish I made.

You acknowledge that these are your beliefs! They're absurd!

Yes, stating the reality of why it was done means I support it.

Pure logic.

Hmm, so if I can explain the very tenuous legal reasoning behind Roe v Wade, it must mean I agree with it.

Shocking.

Well, I can even explain how Hitler gained power and I understand how he managed to win votes as he did. I suppose it means I'm actually a Nazi.

Wow, I am floored.

I can EVEN understand Communistic principles --- why, I MUST also fully agree with Communism.

I mean, that IS your point, right?

I know, it's an absurdly silly point I'd, personally, be too embarrassed to make in a public forum, but hey --- I'm not you.

And I don't care if America votes to ban gay marriage, because, as I explained, whether or not gay marriage is right is not dependent on anyone's opinions of it. It's a "winner" for liberals and libertarians because they win this argument on principle. I'm confident that the Court will get it right too, eventually.

Yes. Because when courts make decisions, it NEVER causes more problems.

I mean, abortion is not even a little hot as an issue, right?

Mike, the reason that TM is correct about the inevitability of marriage equality is that your side cannot make a reasonable case against it.

*sigh*

Yet again, I don't CARE about gay marriage.

I DO care about groups deciding to go to lawyers in pretty robes to get what they cannot get through the legitimate, legislative process.

In case you missed it --- if an Amendment was passed legalizing gay marriage, I'd applaud it.

I doubt you'll read my statement this time either --- but I'm putting it out there for you.

Again.

Most Americans are fair-minded and tolerant. Your side of this issue often comes across as mean-spirited and intolerant.

Hmm, I haven't called anybody un-American.

The same cannot be said about the gay marriage advocates.

My beef is with HOW they go about what they want, not WHAT they want.

It really isn't THAT challenging a concept to grasp, is it?
-=Mike

The Christian Right will... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

The Christian Right will have to move into the mainstream if it wants to continue to have any influence. A great way to do this is to preemptively allow the civil institution of "marriage" to be codified as a secular one, while demanding (and getting) a guarantee that their tax-exempt status won't be affected by how they discuss this issue in their churches and whether they choose to allow gay people to get married within the context of their own religion.

If you don't mind me asking --- how would that be "the mainstream" when, in every state it's proposed in, voters oppose gay marriage by healthy majorities?

I mean, if you want a group to join "the mainstream", you might want to look at your side.
-=Mike

"Funny how Dems assume vote... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"Funny how Dems assume voters don't know anything and then wonder why voters don't vote for them terribly often."

I'm not a Dem, genius. I'm a registered Republican and I voted for Dubya. Twice. Nice snarky little try you made there.

I also know when my own are being asses, and this issue makes asses out of a great many "conservatives" who just can't WAIT to get the government to enforce their religious moral codes in this matter.

It disgusts me.

By the way, it's not about marriage being a right. It's about being treated equal under the law, and that IS a right we are all supposed to have. Some conservatives still understand and believe in equality and liberty. I'm sorry you're not one of them.

Mike, it was difficult to m... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

Mike, it was difficult to muddle through your posting since everything was bold. I find it very difficult to believe that you would accept every vote of the majority but find no room to accept the need for a judiciary.

Let's say, for instance, that the voters of South Carolina (your home state?) decided that women should show more modesty in their dress. Thus they passed a law by popular vote to outlaw mini-skirts. Not complacent with that law, they then go on to vote that women should wear head covering. This would be acceptable to you simply because the majority voted for it?

Mike, it was difficult t... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Mike, it was difficult to muddle through your posting since everything was bold. I find it very difficult to believe that you would accept every vote of the majority but find no room to accept the need for a judiciary.

I have far more faith in the voting public than in the courts. For every Brown v Bd of Education the SCOTUS rules, there is a Plessy v Ferguson.

Or Dred Scott, which did more to keep slavery alive and led to the War Between the States than anything else.

Or Kelo v New London

Or Hamdan v Rumsfeld.

Courts have a long history of making problems worse more often than they correct problems.

As for the bold, don't get it either. I thought the tags were correct, but I can't go back and edit to fix it.

Let's say, for instance, that the voters of South Carolina (your home state?) decided that women should show more modesty in their dress. Thus they passed a law by popular vote to outlaw mini-skirts. Not complacent with that law, they then go on to vote that women should wear head covering. This would be acceptable to you simply because the majority voted for it?

I'd find it deplorable and would organize to have an initiative to overturn it.

But, since there is also, literally, no chance whatsoever of it ever occurring, I'm not terribly worried, either.

It is easy to be cavalier w... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

It is easy to be cavalier with an issue that does not resonate with you. I still doubt your sincerity, though.

Marriage is one of the most fundamental human institutions. Can you see why those to whom you would deny it would argue vehemently against you?

Let's clarify the issue. Were it not for the hundreds of rights that are assumed with a civil marriage contract, I doubt that gays would care one iota for the legal impramatur. Some gays might view this as a fight for acceptance by society, but I expect that most simply want the same legal rights that straight people get once married.

So you believe that you can withhold rights to some fellow Americans just because a majority say so? And you think this is fair?

Please do not spew the same crap that gay people have the same right to marry as straight people. That argument goes over like a fart in church. We are talking about the right to marry the person one loves.

It is easy to be cavalie... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

It is easy to be cavalier with an issue that does not resonate with you. I still doubt your sincerity, though.

An anonymous person on the internet questioning my sincerity ranks rather low on the list of concerns in my life.

Marriage is one of the most fundamental human institutions. Can you see why those to whom you would deny it would argue vehemently against you?

And you diminish the institution by stretching its definition to absurd lengths.

Can you see why those for whom the institution is important might not like your plans?

Let's clarify the issue. Were it not for the hundreds of rights that are assumed with a civil marriage contract, I doubt that gays would care one iota for the legal impramatur.

Hundreds?

Umm, yeah.

Some gays might view this as a fight for acceptance by society, but I expect that most simply want the same legal rights that straight people get once married.

Am I wrong to question their sincerity?

So you believe that you can withhold rights to some fellow Americans just because a majority say so? And you think this is fair?

Seeing as how marriage isn't a right, I won't play the game by whatever rules you deem fit.

Please do not spew the same crap that gay people have the same right to marry as straight people.

Reality can be a bitch.

That argument goes over like a fart in church.

Because your argument is emotional and not logical. If you were being logical, you'd get the argument.

But you don't. You're blinded by your emotion.

Emotion leads to bad law.

We are talking about the right to marry the person one loves.

Seriously, spare me the maudlin performance.
-=Mike

At this point, Mike, we are... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

At this point, Mike, we are talking past each other. Clearly I will not persuade you, and you certainly will not persuade me.

I firmly believe that within our lifetimes, we will see marriage equality. As a country we have tended to move toward more freedom and more equality (albeit with occasional setbacks).

"1.Two men marrying is equa... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"1.Two men marrying is equal but 3 is not? How?

2.Two men and two women all getting married together is subjugatory? How?

3. Who the hell are you to tell anyone that 3 people can not get married?


(hint to everyone else besides matt and rwilymz : they won't answer those questions with anything that makes sense. watch and see.)"

As I thought, nobody will answer these questions.
Funny, huh?


It's not a question of 'slippery slope'. If 2 men are allowed to 'marry', then there is no logical reason not to allow 3 men to marry.

"Whether it's OK or not is ... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

"Whether it's OK or not is irrelevant, since it is their country to do with what they wish. We as Americans have no control over that."

HITLER WON AN ELECTION. What kind of person are you? I've been accused of moral relativism for urging calm when dealing with psychos with nuclear weapons. You're clearly a relativist, though, which is morally indefensible.

"Yes, again, because replacing property for love as a reason for marriage is SO much less drastic than, oh, replacing the need for the opposite sex."

IT IS! There is no *need* for the opposite sex within marriage, because procreation could occur as it does in the Handmaid's Tale, or even in test tubes. (Neither hold any appeal to me, except to demonstrate that marriage is unnecessary for the survival of the human species.) [Marriage as loving bond] is VERY different from [marriage as one-way contract (wife can't opt out, and has very few rights)]; whereas [marriage as loving bond between a man and a woman] is so similar to [marriage as loving bond between a man and a woman, or two of each] that I can't even believe you made me address this point again. You're just being stubborn. As for the "fundamental aspects" of marriage: do you mean a man's right to beat his wife with a stick no wider than his thumb? Stop being a traditionalist! You want to talk about a lack of logic? Well, what kind of logic is "because that's the way it's always been done!"? It's not logic, it's an emotional appeal to tradition. Bill O'Reilly is a traditionalist, and he's a very stupid man. Again: do better!

"And you diminish the institution by stretching its definition to absurd lengths."

How does letting gay people get married cheapen the idea of marriage for you? Marriage isn't like Harvard Law School, where you get to brag about the credential based on its exclusivity. If you like the idea of marriage, you should have no problem with the SCOTUS letting every consenting adult enter into a lifetime partnership based on love and devotion. (The current legal alternatives are not available in all states, and lack the sanctity of the institution of marriage, so don't try that route.)

"Am I wrong to question their sincerity?"

To question the sincerity of an entire movement that is demanding equality in the eyes of the law: yes, you are. Suggest an alterior motive, because I can't even imagine one. Marriage is expensive, and so is divorce, so you can't cash it out in terms of economic gains. Some mouth-breathers in the Bible Belt actually might actually believe that The Gay is trying to take over the world, and that being allowed to get married somehow plays an integral part in their scheme, but you're smarter than that. People questioned the motives of First-Wave feminists and civil rights activists, but history has shown those insincere sceptics to be complete and utter douche bags.

And I know you know you've lost this argument. You're being ridiculous, Mike. Gay marriage advocates cannot win support in the public forum, so they have to get the courts to impose it on people, which will lead to gradual public acceptance, as it did with bi-racial marriages and no-fault divorce. Don't like things being imposed on you? Well, don't get born in a developed nation next time.

And I don't claim to be in the mainstream. I'm proud that I'm not, actually. Have you heard some of the shit Americans will believe? And the piece of shit movies they'll pay to see? But creationists in the Bible Belt aren't in the mainstream either. They're a vocal minority who only care about imposing their morals on other people and I'd be happy to see them all go live in a giant bunker in Utah or Alabama or wherever and leave us folks who aren't afraid of Spongebob Squarepants' ambiguous sexuality here to deal with the Armageddon.

And all of your examples of the SCOTUS issuing immoral, fucked-up judgements are extremely dated. Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld isn't, but it's not in the same ballpark as Dred Scott. It's a different issue, one that both sides can debate. The difference here is that rather than argue both sides empirically and/or ideologically, hardening the trenches, and then shaking hands (or hocking loogies) and walking away from the battlefield, you've been routed. I'm done rebutting every single point you feel like trying to make. Conservatives reading this thread either went away because there is nothing left to be said or they agree with those of us who accept the logic of same-sex marriage advocates. You've made it very clear that you don't like the SCOTUS stepping in and righting the ship, and that's fine, but I suggest you go start your own country where the majority has an unqualified right to exert its influence. You can't accept the distinction between 1) majority rule buttressed by court checks and 2) an oligarchy, so I'm done with this issue. Take a deep breath and re-read a lot of this thread, because I think that you and other opponents of same-sex marriage have made as good a case as possible against it and lost the argument beyond a shadow of a doubt. Remember it when the SCOTUS forces Congress to respect gay couples' wishes in the near future.

Les, it's not a logical rea... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Les, it's not a logical reason, but a moral one. And anyway I replied to your shitty slippery slope argument. (Search for "Don Juan".) You guys got smacked down pretty hard, but it's not your fault. It's an issue that same-sex marriage advocates cannot lose in principle, so it's a matter of time before that homophobe Scalia and his sidekick Clarence are replaced by people from this generation. It's an issue of equality in the eyes of the law, and same-sex couples don't have to earn your approval or defeat your lightweight attempt at ethical reasoning to deserve it. They have to persuade 5 out of 9 very well-versed legal scholars. America: love it, or leave it.

Let's retire this thread before Les starts bringing up beastiality and people marrying their own eight-year-old children.

"Les, it's not a logical re... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"Les, it's not a logical reason, but a moral one."

Well at least you admit there is no logical reason that 3 men can get 'married' if 2 men can.

So you are saying that there is a moral reason 3 men can't get married? What is that moral reason?

Give it up, totally matt; r... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Give it up, totally matt; rwilymz already conceded that there is no Constitutional reason that 3 men can't marry if 2 men can marry :

"

If you wish to see "three people" marriages, then petition your lawmakers. But when it happens, you cannot deny the three person marriage to three men OR three women without running into Equal Protection."

Got that? :
"But when it happens, you cannot deny the three person marriage to three men OR three women without running into Equal Protection.""

HITLER WON AN ELECTION. ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

HITLER WON AN ELECTION. What kind of person are you? I've been accused of moral relativism for urging calm when dealing with psychos with nuclear weapons. You're clearly a relativist, though, which is morally indefensible.

So, you seek an empire? I mean, there is no other way we can make sure a government isn't horrible outside of us directly controlling it and dictating all of its policies.

Thanks, but no thanks. I'm not interested in imperial conquests, personally.

We're giving Iraq a chance to choose their destiny.

If they choose poorly, it is their problem, not ours.

As for Hitler --- if anybody in Europe or the US ever told him "no" when he started taking over countries, he would've crumbled years earlier. His own generals knew they couldn't hope to fight a war with any remotely competent army.

IT IS!

As long as somebody thinks so.

A cogent argument to back up this indefensible point would be lovely.

There is no *need* for the opposite sex within marriage

...nor is there need for only 2 people.
...nor is there need for non-family members.

Notice how easily your strained logic works for a lot of issues you don't claim to agree with?

because procreation could occur as it does in the Handmaid's Tale, or even in test tubes.

Since the genetic material would have to come from outside the marriage, your point would be laughable if it was not so painful.

[Marriage as loving bond] is VERY different from [marriage as one-way contract (wife can't opt out, and has very few rights)];

Marriage between man and woman and marriage between man and man is not just fundamentally different, it is a complete change of the entire concept.

whereas [marriage as loving bond between a man and a woman] is so similar to [marriage as loving bond between a man and a woman, or two of each] that I can't even believe you made me address this point again

You've yet to address it in anything resembling and intelligent or logical manner. Don't blame me for pointing that out to you.

You're just being stubborn.

I feel the same of you.

Notice how I'm not whining about it, though?

As for the "fundamental aspects" of marriage: do you mean a man's right to beat his wife with a stick no wider than his thumb?

Why, yes, that is exactly what I was referring to. I've often defended the abuse laws of the past. Why, I have a hard time NOT defending them on a daily basis.

...or you could point to what I wrote that even approaches the ballpark from where you're swinging at your self-created softballs from.

You want to talk about a lack of logic? Well, what kind of logic is "because that's the way it's always been done!"?

What kind of logic is "Well, yeah, it's equal --- but it's not the equality I like. And screw the 'whackos' who win majorities opposing this in every state where it gets on the ballot"?

t's not logic, it's an emotional appeal to tradition. Bill O'Reilly is a traditionalist, and he's a very stupid man. Again: do better!

In a news flash, I am not Bill O'Reilly.

Try arguing with me and not the straw men you seem so fond of concocting.

To question the sincerity of an entire movement that is demanding equality in the eyes of the law: yes, you are.

Well, I do find it necessary to run my beliefs by you. I'm glad you clarified it for me.

So, since you apparently have come to the conclusion that you are, in fact, God --- is there anything else us lesser mortals should think or believe?

Hate to get you upset and all.

How does letting gay people get married cheapen the idea of marriage for you?

The same way you claim that polygamistic marriages would cheapen marriages. Or incestual marriages.

All can easily be justified using the identical phrases --- heck, verbatim phrases --- you use to justify this.

Marriage isn't like Harvard Law School, where you get to brag about the credential based on its exclusivity.

Then care to explain why you are so passionate over something that is not "special" in your eyes?

Just trying to piss in everybody else's pool?

Some mouth-breathers in the Bible Belt actually might actually believe that The Gay is trying to take over the world, and that being allowed to get married somehow plays an integral part in their scheme, but you're smarter than that.

Thank you for caricaturing an entire portion of the country as troglodytes. Pretty open-minded of you there.

Notice how I'm not saying gays are, you know, "bad"?

Why is it so hard for you to do the same?

People questioned the motives of First-Wave feminists and civil rights activists, but history has shown those insincere sceptics to be complete and utter douche bags.

Then we watched the civil rights groups and feminist groups morph into laughable coalitions backing such reprehensible laws as "hate crime" legislation and making the phrase "Betty, that's a nice shirt" an open invitation to legal action.

Yup, things NEVER go the opposite extreme.

And I know you know you've lost this argument. You're being ridiculous, Mike. Gay marriage advocates cannot win support in the public forum, so they have to get the courts to impose it on people, which will lead to gradual public acceptance, as it did with bi-racial marriages and no-fault divorce.

Do you REALLY want to defend no-fault divorce? THAT was a winner of a policy.

And, apparently, groups now don't want to even go through the effort of trying to convince people. They simply want to convince a group of lawyers who are unaccountable to go along with really specious reasoning behind their case.

Who says they can't win? I mean, sure, calling all of America bigots and the like isn't going to win you many votes.

But you can TRY and MAKE A CASE FOR YOURSELF. Nothing will guarantee you a lack of social support for your policies like refusing to even attempt to make the case.

Don't like things being imposed on you? Well, don't get born in a developed nation next time.

I could the same to you --- but unlike with you, I actually support the whole evil "democratic process" and if the gay marriage advocates got it passed, I'd applaud them for it.

But your side doesn't feel you have to. You're too good to lower yourself to try and make a case that changing something in as fundamental way as humanly possible is a good idea.

Don't complain to others because your side won't spend any time or effort trying to make their argument.

And I don't claim to be in the mainstream. I'm proud that I'm not, actually.

And here comes the elitist crap that turns the country off your "message".

Have you heard some of the shit Americans will believe? And the piece of shit movies they'll pay to see? But creationists in the Bible Belt aren't in the mainstream either.

Yes, you're just too gosh-darn wise to fall for what those average Americans think.

Those rubes, eh?

And keep in mind that I'm not thinking too highly of what you believe, so your elitist brush can go both ways. I'm just too civil to do that.

BTW, nice of you to mention creationism, since it could not possibly have less to do with this topic than it does. It's not even a remotely cogent analogy.

They're a vocal minority who only care about imposing their morals on other people and I'd be happy to see them all go live in a giant bunker in Utah or Alabama or wherever and leave us folks who aren't afraid of Spongebob Squarepants' ambiguous sexuality here to deal with the Armageddon.

To quote you:

They cannot win in the public forum. Don't like things being imposed on you? Don't live in a developed country.

Notice how easily your arguments --- weak as they are --- can be used to justify a wide array of things?

And the elitism is REALLY a nice touch. The reason your side wants to go to court is that you have such contempt for the public-at-large --- heck, a hatred of those who disagree with you --- that you want to be able to "make them" do what you want and taunt them while doing it.

Bullying by tort is quite an innovative tactic. Loathesome, but innovative.

And all of your examples of the SCOTUS issuing immoral, fucked-up judgements are extremely dated.

"Sure they screwed up before. But it won't happen NOW. No chance of that."

Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld isn't, but it's not in the same ballpark as Dred Scott. It's a different issue, one that both sides can debate.

Yes. Applying the Geneva Conventions to groups specifically listed as not being covered BY THE CONVENTIONS is quite the topic that can be debated.

But whether gay marriage should be legal? Nah, no need to debate THAT.

The difference here is that rather than argue both sides empirically and/or ideologically, hardening the trenches, and then shaking hands (or hocking loogies) and walking away from the battlefield, you've been routed.

You seem to mentioning, with some frequency, some "victory" you've "won" here.

Sounds like you're trying to convince yourself of that. If you call empty rhetoric, shallow logic, and elitist emotionalism "winning", then you've performed admirably.

Note how I don't mention how I'm "routing" you here, even though it is painfully obvious that it is the case?

It's because I don't NEED to mention it. Reality is too hard to miss.

If you are shooting for logical consistency, you've not done yourself or your family proud.

Sorry.

I'm done rebutting every single point you feel like trying to make.

You started?

When?

Conservatives reading this thread either went away because there is nothing left to be said or they agree with those of us who accept the logic of same-sex marriage advocates.

Or they found you tiresome.

I'm sure your theory is more sound though.

Hee hee hee.

You've made it very clear that you don't like the SCOTUS stepping in and righting the ship, and that's fine, but I suggest you go start your own country where the majority has an unqualified right to exert its influence.

But how will I live without you telling me what is right and wrong? I mean, you're the dispenser of all worldly knowledge and all.

You can't accept the distinction between 1) majority rule buttressed by court checks and 2) an oligarchy, so I'm done with this issue.

Or, more precisely, you've never had a point and are getting pissy that I don't buy into your whiny emotional rhetoric and that I won't call you homophobic slurs because, deep down, I don't care if gay marriage is legal or not.

Take a deep breath and re-read a lot of this thread, because I think that you and other opponents of same-sex marriage have made as good a case as possible against it and lost the argument beyond a shadow of a doubt. Remember it when the SCOTUS forces Congress to respect gay couples' wishes in the near future.

Again, another mention of how your side "routed" us.

Is it hard having to convince yourself of something you know to be false?

Les, it's not a logical reason, but a moral one.

And with you being God and all --- your morals are the only ones that matter.

And anyway I replied to your shitty slippery slope argument. (Search for "Don Juan".) You guys got smacked down pretty hard, but it's not your fault. It's an issue that same-sex marriage advocates cannot lose in principle, so it's a matter of time before that homophobe Scalia and his sidekick Clarence are replaced by people from this generation.

Wow, more slurs of men far wiser than you.

Quite frankly, the gay community's biggest problem in the world are "advocates" such as yourself. You take somebody like me, who only opposes the tactics, and makes me hope they never get to marry simply because I find you tiresome.

They have to persuade 5 out of 9 very well-versed legal scholars.

So, as I said, you like VERY limited democracy.

Your elitist nature has come out loud and clear and it makes you, honestly, a rather unpleasant person.
-=Mike

Hm, I seem to have written ... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

Hm, I seem to have written more than I expected to and probably still not been clear. Ah, well, on with the show -
---
"It fundamentally turns the institution of marriage, the union of a man and a woman before God and man, into nothing but an impersonal and emotionless legal contract akin to a business transaction."

Nope. The word "marriage" is being used for two rather different things. Don't get hung up on the religious side - that is where marriage is. But on the State side, it is a license recognizing a [limited] partnership, no more (and no less). Its purpose, when some truly brilliant bureaucrat dreamed it up for The Republic of Rome (pre-Empire) was and remains to ease a burden on government by being a cheap and easy (and sneaky, as the reason was obscured even then) way for people to achieve the effect of a will without having to contemplate death or even realizing they were doing so. In return for the license fee (collected by priests, in turn administered or licensed by the State), the State would apply a standard set of rules on the estates of people who died intestate. Before, dying without a will almost guaranteed a legal squabble: now, contesting the distribution of the estate would involve going up against the whole of the government, not just cousin Joe from Widespot-in-Road.

Will a man have to propose a "civil union" rather than a "marriage" then? Again, no: get married by your religious custom, and optionally get the same license as always from the State - no difference, except it may be called something other than a marriage license. Yes, optionally: you can be married within your religion and choose not to get the license, or conversely get the license without a religious ceremony. That is the way it works now! A few states will even forgo the fee, reasoning that a couple co-habiting for a certain length of time have established themselves with the same rights - usually called "common-law marriage".

Will gays, polygamists, polyganists, etc. be able to get the State license? Not unless they already can. Somewhat related, I checked my own State's law a while back: the homosexual thing is not addressed (the drafters fell into the language trap), but I noticed that the religions whose officiators can issue the license are explicitly stated and rather limited. A Shinto priest, for example, is not empowered to sign the license because that religion is not listed. OTOH, a number of judges, the Clerk of the Supreme Court, and oddly one town's sherrif may issue the license, so if you can persuade one to do so it is not clear that it would be illegal.

You oppose the concept of t... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

You oppose the concept of the Supreme Court. You think 50%+1 of Americans need to think something is good in order for it to be made law. So you think that if slavery had been supported by the majority (as it was), that there could be no justification for making it illegal.

That's all I need, Mike. You won't address these critical counter-examples, because your position commits you to mob rule. You have lost this argument. Why? Because by claiming that the will of the people ought to be the only thing that matters, you commit yourself to accepting a lot of absurd and immoral conclusions. Doesn't matter that they're hypothetical--that's how thought experiments work. And some of the examples aren't even all that far-fetched. What if Milosevic Jr. (no such person) won an election and claimed that he was going to continue to "cleanse" the region of Albanians? "Will of the people! Let 'em do their thing!" would be your reply.

Well, it's the wrong reply. It's a failure to acknowledge and respect the universality of human rights, which transcend democratic processes. Same sex couples ought to be entitled to equal protection under the law, and the SCOTUS will see it that.

Ergo, you lose.

And where I come from, and with the people I hang out with, I have no problem with you calling me an elitist. I'm not running for office, and I'm not a high-level political consultant. I think that an exasperatingly large number of Americans hold stupid beliefs (i.e. creationism, that there is a place called "Hell", that homosexuality is "unnatural"), and I'm proud to say that while I may not be smarter than them, my beliefs are better. Because I'm not a relativist. You are, remember?

And Les, I'm waiting for you to reply to my objection to polyamorous relationships, namely, that human psychology prevents an equal partnership within such relationships. Sure, the Mormons will scream "But we wanna!", but again, morality isn't about a show of hands.

Man, I'm tired."..... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Man, I'm tired.

"...and the SCOTUS will see it that [way eventually]."

"..human psychology prevent... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

"..human psychology prevents an equal partnership within such relationships."

And when 3 people come forward and say 'No, we're fine with the equality of our threeway partnership and we demand to be married' , then what? Their 'human psychology' is o.k. with it; who are you to say no?

'Human psychology' impels males and felmales to have sex with one another. If 1% of the population wants to be with the same sex, should we institutionalize that with 'marriage'? If 1% of the population wants to be polygamous, should we institutionalize that with 'marriage'?

If same-sex-marriage proponents were honest and said 'we demand ss marriage. we also concede that if there is ss marriage, then there is no logical reason to prohibit three-way marriages.', that would be one thing. But that is not the way the debate is portrayed to society.

Fact: if ss marriage is allowed, multi-marriages will be allowed.

(For the record, I really do not care if two guys (or whatever) shack up together. I see it as none of my business. However, it is not a Marriage.)

I've returned, sorry for th... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

I've returned, sorry for the unavoidable abscence.

"Sorry, d_Brit, but your "logic" does not pass the test of historical accuracy. Please define "millenia of accumulated societal wisdom." If you think that marriage throughout the centuries has been some version of the 1950s utopian "one father/one mother/2.2 kids/dog/white picket fence", then you need to go back to your history books. The institution of marriage and ideas about child-rearing have certainly changed and evolved over the centuries. True, they did not include same-sex couples, but that change would be smaller than other marital changes over the years. Consider how radical it would have been for marriage to change from a simple property arrangement where the married couple may never have learned to love each other to an institution where the couple themselves fell in love and made the decision to marry. The institution survived radical re-definitions and will continue to do so.
Posted by: VA Gamer"

With the exception of a very few groups here and there, monogamy has been the norm for well over 2000 years. That monogomous relationship was commonly incorporated into extended families; grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. all living together in a larger group dynamic.

There is a reason why the vast majority of society's adopted the monogomous, opposite gender marriage dynamic; millenia of experience has demonstrated it to be the optimum arrangement for child-rearing and thus the most stable basis upon which to rest societal interactions. It best ensures the future benefits for posterity.

For you to state,"that change(same-sex marriage) would be smaller than other marital changes over the years." is a patently false and even ludicrous assertion.

As example you compare arranged marriages with 'modern' marriages (with thier 50% failure rate and 75% re-marriage failure rate) the negative impact of divorce upon the children of failed marriages is all around us in the increasingly prevelent single-parent households with 'young adults' inability to bond in a mature relationship that withstands the test of time.

Then many, out of defensiveness, try to assert that neither a male role model nor a female role model is needed in the raising of children. Which is the defacto assertion of same-sex couples using scientific technology to gain what nature will not provide them.

Undoubtedly Prior Generations are rolling in their graves astonished at a level of immaturity and obtuseness that can barely be comprehended.

As for arranged marriages, you reveal the typical modern patronizing attitude toward what you have never investigated.

Most arranged marriages were and are NOT insensitive to the necessity that the couple like each other and demonstrate compatibility and a willingness to enter into what is considered (in society's who use(d) arranged marriages) a sacred covenant, God ordained.

In times past, parents loved their children, female as well as male, just as much as today. Parents arranging a marriage for their children naturally sought a good match so that the union would be stable and of benefit to their children and thus extend to both family groups.

Hollywood and our modern society's immature glorification of aolescent infatuation is responsible for our warped view of arranged marriages, using our natural outrage at the occasional injustice of a 'forced arrangement' to impugn any value to the practice.

Have you forgotten Romeo and Juliet? Their fictional nature is irrelevent because Shakespeare was writing a story that his audience could relate to, as every playwright must. Writing more than 500 years ago his audiences were quite familiar with romantic love. Great love affairs have been known since time immemorial, its nothing new and has undoubtedly been around since mankind developed individuality.

It is you whose historical perspective is very narrow when you talk of the 50's, implying that I am advocating an idealized version of 'Ozzie and Harriet', with its nuclear family.

It is you who fail the 'test of historical accuracy."

As for the institution of marriage's ability to weather this storm, certainly it will but for those able to see past the immediately obvious, it is the inevitable legal consequences of same-sex marriage that will provide the fatal 'quicksand' which marriage as an institution cannot survive.

The 'equality of applica... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

The 'equality of application' is only manifest as to number, not gender.
Then the burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate why the gender criterion can be used discriminatorily instead of inclusively in this case.

I am agreeable to satisfying that burden in a subsequent post, though I have already laid out the basic presumptions of my position. However, it is you who has advocated change. It is thus incumbent upon you to satisfactorily address sincere objections to suggested changes. Especially when prior generations did not view restricting marriage to opposite genders as discrimination.

Same-sex marriage advocates deny the relevance of gender for equal application. Your exception is ad hoc, and follows either from tradition (not a good way to argue anything) or prejudice (ditto).

Simple denial of relevance does NOT equate to proof of irrelevance. Common law has held for time immemorial that gender is relevant; ultimately the burden of proof is upon the advocate for change.

Your disparaging of tradition reveals a youthful arrogance that assumes that good reasons for the establishment of precedent either never existed or are now false.

That is a presumption that experience frequently exposes as naïve.

Labeling a position which states that unintended negative consequences shall necessarily progress from the advocated change is NOT inherently prejudicial but it is a way for an intellectually challenged advocate to attempt to 'win' the debate.

"Thousands of years" is wholly irrelevant to the issue.
Wholly irrelevant...You are not only being pedantic but more pertinently, purposely obtuse.
I disagree. I think arguments against SSm based in traditionalism are pretty weak if said tradition has been, traditionally, incredibly elastic and vaguely defined.

I am NOT arguing against SSM out a simple position that it violates tradition. To misunderstand or mischaracterize my assertions as: 'that's not the way we've done it in the past' ignores my central assertion; the inevitable legal consequences that progress from the inclusion of SSM within a newly redefined concept of 'marriage'.

I am only using historical precedent and 'tradition' to challenge the idea that the increased knowledge of modern generations necessarily equates to increased wisdom.

You are well aware of the great antiquity of the institution of marriage. No doubt you are also aware of the long route society's have taken to reach the consensus that children are optimally raised and society are best served through loving, monogamous, publicly committed couples of opposite gender. (Heterosexuals abysmal inability to meet that standard in no way invalidates its worth)
When did history check and see how well institutionalized gender-blind civil unions would serve society?

Sorry, not clever enough by half, this is a circular argument.

Liberals are biological evolutionists, not social evolutionists.

Please elaborate on your intended definition of a 'biological evolutionist' especially as it pertains to the discussion. If legalization of SSM isn't social evolution, in this context, what is an example of social evolution?

There is no reason to assume that because our culture won out over, say, Native American cultures that children and families are better off as a result. All it shows is that one society beat another in a conflict. Irrelevant.

??? Sorry, how exactly is this relevant? I know it's late and I'm certainly getting tired but this escapes me...

Those differences have been judged by almost all society's to be essential in the raising of children into healthy adults.
Based on empirical research? Or based on incredulity at the very IDEA of buggerers having children? Why, they can't even fornicate like Christians! And everyone knows how delicate lesbians are! Boys would develop no masculine traits in a lesbian "household"! (/jokes)

Actions speak louder than words. How we choose to raise our children is quite possibly the most profoundly important choice we make, certainly for the children and society, this is undeniable.

Do you really mean to suggest that we need scientists conducting 'empirical research' to confirm that loving parents, in a committed relationship, providing a positive male and female role model for their children is the optimum arrangement?

To seriously suggest so is to argue with reality and our inherent nature OR you must necessarily presuppose that the gender differences that are naturally necessary for the reproductive process are strictly limited to the physical. That the male and female mental hard-wiring that we all undergo in the womb is of no societal consequence in the raising of children. Upon what would you base that assertion? Other than wishful thinking, that is...

On gays in the military: So you reject the assertion that it harms unit cohesiveness?
YES!!! You think gays are so unpatriotic that they would rather stare at hot Marine ass instead of doing their job? Canadians allow women into combat roles (rightly so), and thus far there have been no reports of patrols in Afghanistan getting ambushed because they were all too busy having sex with each other.

Really... Consider that: Men and women in the military are separated when bathing, etc. To not do so would certainly lead to a breakdown in unit cohesion, with natural sexual impulses creating difficulties.

Separating hetero and homosexual men and women from each other is impractical and would certainly lead to discomfort, as soldiers would know that some of the their sex were looking at them in a covetous manner. Just as hetero women would if they were forced to bath with men. We don't reprimand women for a natural discomfort when 'ogled' by men, and in circumstances requiring public nudity it would be especially understandable. How is a hetero discomfited by sexual interest they are constitutionally incapable of returning, less understandable?

Throw men and women together in the pressure cooker of combat and you certainly will get increased sexual activity. Increased sexual activity inevitably leads to pregnancies. Do you seriously doubt this? BTW, exactly what are the statistical pregnancy levels of those women in combat units?

Not to be pedantic, but you left out the constitutional qualifier as to the state having the power to make any law it wants...
Don't be silly. He meant laws that are within their authority to issue. He obviously knows a thing or two about what he's talking about, so you could assume he understands that the Constitution applies to Congress.

I knew what he meant. I was responding to his patronizing attitude toward Darlene. Or do you think he shouldn't have to partake of the same 'medicine'?

Your logic is based in the premise that your secular relativism is superior to every previous generation's perceptions about the optimum societal infrastructure. What absolute arrogance, you must be a baby boomer. Or have you simply accepted the pablum your college instructors fed you?
Well, you obviously didn't go to college (which is fine) because you don't know how to use the term "moral relativism". Liberals are not relativistic on this issue. This is a human rights issue, and human rights are universal. To argue, though, that gay marriage is bad because a majority of Americans are opposed to it is paradigmatically relativistic. ... Posted by: Totally Matt

I purposely chose the word 'secular' rather than 'moral' because it is the source of his morality.

As for college, you're right that attendance is not a 'qualifier' for the worth of an assertion, or veracity in discussion.

However just to provide 'full disclosure' I hold two degrees and attended college for six years.

More importantly, the truly educated never graduate...when you are 57, and still learning as am I, then we can have a meaningful discussion about the difference between wisdom and knowledge.

Liberals are 'relativistic' on every issue, you believe in 'shades of gray' excluding black and white. (The truth is that reality is composed of both) Your problem is your inability to discern one from the other.

Upon what do you base 'human rights'? Without Divine providence, you only have the rights that the 'mob' grants you in any time and place. Hardly a 'universal' principle, much less an eternal 'right'. But 'human rights' that we grant to each other through agreement that they MUST exist (because we say so) IS a necessary liberal rationalization.

I am not arguing that same-sex marriage is bad because the majority oppose it. That is your false characterization of my position.

I am saying that same-sex advocates are ignoring the law of unintended consequence. That those consequences are legally inevitable and that they will prove deeply injurious to society's most basic structural foundations.

Just for clarification, the... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

Just for clarification, the above post was directed to Totally Matt.

Now I have to get to bed and get some sleep, talk about masochism...

I'll return tomorrow, good night all.

Most arranged marriages ... (Below threshold)
VA Gamer:

Most arranged marriages were and are NOT insensitive to the necessity that the couple like each other and demonstrate compatibility and a willingness to enter into what is considered (in society's who use(d) arranged marriages) a sacred covenant, God ordained.

d_Brit, the institution of marriage pre-dated the Christian Church. Romans established the institution as a property arrangement. The Christian Church did not even get involved in the marriage business during its first few centuries. They viewed it as the purview of the state. They were more focused on the debate of the need for celibacy in preparation for Christ's second coming. (See St. Augustine's "City of God," "Confessions," and letters). Celibacy was considered the best option. For those who could not remain celibate, marriage was the alternative.

Unfortunately, the word "marriage" carries too much baggage. We must separate religious "marriage" (d_Brit's "sacred covenant") from the civil "marriage" (legal contract between two people).

I would fight for a church's right to define religious marriage in whatever way they deemed appropriate. However, it is pure discrimination to keep gay people from civil marriage. Perhaps we need to get the government out of the "marriage" business altogether. Maybe everyone should be granted a "civil union" from the government. Would that sooth those of you who oppose same-sex CIVIL marriage?

You oppose the concept o... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

You oppose the concept of the Supreme Court.

Again, argue the points I make and not the ones you invent, 'K? I support it FAR more than you support voting.

You think 50%+1 of Americans need to think something is good in order for it to be made law.

Again, continue arguing points you invent. It makes you look better.

When there is NO law at all about it --- the courts have nothing, whatsoever, to rule on. So, a law must be passed.

So you think that if slavery had been supported by the majority (as it was), that there could be no justification for making it illegal.

Again, seeing as how SCOTUS made slavery WORSE, I'm not sure this is something you want to cite them.

Notice how they VOTED for Republicans to END it?

Voting works.

That's all I need, Mike.

Invented arguments are fun.

You have lost this argument.

Have you started believing it yet?

I mean, I KNOW I've handed you your ass. I don't feel the need to repeat it incessantly.

? Because by claiming that the will of the people ought to be the only thing that matters, you commit yourself to accepting a lot of absurd and immoral conclusions.

Again, stick with arguments I made and not ones you wish I made.

Doesn't matter that they're hypothetical--that's how thought experiments work. And some of the examples aren't even all that far-fetched. What if Milosevic Jr. (no such person) won an election and claimed that he was going to continue to "cleanse" the region of Albanians? "Will of the people! Let 'em do their thing!" would be your reply.

Seeing as how ALBANIA AIN'T AMERICA, yeah, there is nothing I'd do about it. I don't want an empire of colonies.

After seeing how people like you gripe about our humanitarian mission in Iraq, your desire for it now is rather clearly a lie.

Then again, Albania couldn't not possibly ever threaten the US, so you might support that.

Well, it's the wrong reply. It's a failure to acknowledge and respect the universality of human rights, which transcend democratic processes. Same sex couples ought to be entitled to equal protection under the law, and the SCOTUS will see it that.

They are given equal protection. You just don't like equality, which is pretty much a given at this point.

And, again, unless you can find a way to guarantee rights in foreign countries without us possessing those countries, I'm sure we'd all be interested.

And where I come from, and with the people I hang out with, I have no problem with you calling me an elitist.

Your friends are jerks, too? Wow.

I think that an exasperatingly large number of Americans hold stupid beliefs (i.e. creationism, that there is a place called "Hell", that homosexuality is "unnatural"), and I'm proud to say that while I may not be smarter than them, my beliefs are better.

Thank you, Mein Fuhrer. It takes a special level of non-education to believe as you do.

BTW, I thoroughly enjoyed watching d_Brit take you out back and smack you around. That was amusing, to say the least.

That you are so oblivious to how much of a jerk you are is funny.
-=Mike

This proposal sounds exactl... (Below threshold)
Al:

This proposal sounds exactly like the old Communist system. Officially the country was atheist, therefore all parties married in a civil office. Really worked for the Communists.

Les: Sigh...Polyga... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

Les: Sigh...

Polygamists can't claim that there relationship follows from their psychology, because it doesn't. It's socialized behaviour.

Gays are born gay. Why anybody would choose to be gay in the United States of Christendom is beyond me. There is no parallel between homosexuality and polyamorous marriage. Stupid argument: debunked. Get a better one.

And d_Brit: prove that people are better off with a mommy and a daddy instead of a mommy and another mommy. No evidence outside of pamphlets available in mega-church gift stores. Nobody with scientific credibililty has authored or signed off on a study supporting this claim. All I have are anecdotes, but frankly I think people are better off in non-traditional households if only because they grow up more tolerant and open-minded. (Hey, maybe cons. oppose SSM because it'll lead to more liberal voters! Perhaps thousands of them!) =)

Also, Romeo & Juliet were like twelve or thirteen year old kids, so you might not want to bring that up as a good example of how relationships ought to work.

It is thus incumbent upon you to satisfactorily address sincere objections to suggested changes. Especially when prior generations did not view restricting marriage to opposite genders as discrimination.

Who cares about "prior generations"? My grandfather is opposed to gay marriage because he hates gay people. This goes back to the anti-miscegenation analogy. If a majority of the people get something wrong, the Court can get it right. No reason not to let gay people have equal protection under the law, as is their right, apart from a historical distaste for gay relationships. The argument against SSM based on the suitability of the arrangement for propagating the species is moot, unless you want to tell septagenarians or infertile young adults that they can't get married. It's a social institution, not a biological one. Humanity might one day cease to exist, but it won't be because everyone went and got themselves gay-married.

I am only using historical precedent and 'tradition' to challenge the idea that the increased knowledge of modern generations necessarily equates to increased wisdom.

This works well in, I dunno, agriculture; but as for moral questions, involving rights and such, history typically gets them flat-out wrong. Women and African Americans know this. Gays do too.

As for "social evolution"... think eugenics. Biology for improving society. SSM advocates want the law to evolve, and society will follow, maybe. But social Darwinists basically believe that weak humans, when revealed as such, can be rejected as chaff. It's contrary to human rights. I brought it up, because you said that history has shown our concept of marriage to be superior, which is false. All that it shows is that historically, the people with a concept of marriage similar to ours defeated people with alternate models of the family, including native North and South Americans. Doesn't mean their family models were inferior; it has more to do with their immune systems not being able to fight European diseases.

Do you really mean to suggest that we need scientists conducting 'empirical research' to confirm that loving parents, in a committed relationship, providing a positive male and female role model for their children is the optimum arrangement?

Yes. Your gut feeling will not suffice. I would agree with you until you snuck "male and female role model" into the equation. I'm unaware of any reason to assume that two lesbians or two gay men would be unable to raise a perfectly normal human being.

BTW, exactly what are the statistical pregnancy levels of those women in combat units?

This is misogynistic. If indeed there is a ton of hot military orgies because Canadian women are allowed to fight, your assumption that they'll just get pregnant and drop out of service is insulting. A responsible woman in that situation would be on birth control.

If a gay soldier harasses a straight soldier, that would be sexual harassment which is illegal. What's the problem? Would it make you uncomfortable if a gay man checked you out at a bar? You wouldn't be flattered? I think you're revealing yourself to be homophobic.

Upon what do you base 'human rights'? Without Divine providence, you only have the rights that the 'mob' grants you in any time and place. Hardly a 'universal' principle, much less an eternal 'right'. But 'human rights' that we grant to each other through agreement that they MUST exist (because we say so) IS a necessary liberal rationalization.

Well, it's harder for secular liberals to rationalize 'human rights' without just being able reference the Bible. Look, I can't have an argument with someone who thinks that God is the source of human morality. I agree with lots of Christians about a lot of things, but I don't believe in any supernatural phenomena in the universe and I don't want to have a theological discussion with you. Humans have evolved morality, I believe. Sometime we get it wrong. But our moral psychologies usually work pretty good, and we can tell when someone else's doesn't. Suggested reading: Immanuel Kant, "Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals"; or for a more contemporary flavour, Bernard Williams, "Moral Luck".

And Mike...

Seeing as how ALBANIA AIN'T AMERICA, yeah, there is nothing I'd do about it. I don't want an empire of colonies.

So you only care about Iraq insofar as it posed a threat (which it didn't). If this is your idea of winning an argument, then you're not as smart as I thought. You glibly accept a reductio ad absurdum of your position. Good. That means you have been reduced to absurdity by virtue of the fact that you disapprove of humanitarian intervention if it's not in America's interests. Morally indefensible. Period. You cannot defend America's involvement in the European Theatre of WW II if you believe what you have just typed at me.

Good to know where you really stand.

I don't care if you think my friends and I are jerks. Life ain't a popularity contest. Just morality and the law, right Mike?

d_Brit took me out back to try and sell me a Bible. I wasn't buying. He's a traditionalist. You're a moral populist who is advocating American isolationism while failing to give one good reason why gay marriage should not be made the law of the land that wouldn't also apply to why slavery shouldn't be re-legalized if 50%+1 of America wanted it. Get up, dust yourself off, and go find an issue that conservatives do not lose on principle.

To VA Gamer:Mos... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

To VA Gamer:

Most arranged marriages were and are NOT insensitive to the necessity that the couple like each other and demonstrate compatibility and a willingness to enter into what is considered (in society's who use(d) arranged marriages) a sacred covenant, God ordained.
d_Brit, the institution of marriage pre-dated the Christian Church. Romans established the institution as a property arrangement. ..

The institution of marriage predates the Romans; They did NOT invent nor establish the institution. We have extensive archeological evidence that the ancient Mesopotamians and the Egyptians had lawful marriage contracts and divorces well over 2000 yrs before the time of Christ.

"Mesopotamia was truly ancient; the history of the region dates back to the first discovered archeological findings in the region, 12,000 years ago, becoming increasingly complex when systems of writing develop and people merge into cities about 5,000 years ago.

The earliest known society was a community established around 7000BC at Jericho.

During the time of Ur-Nammu and Shulgi (2112-2047BC), the first kings of Third Dynasty of Ur; two themes discussed in the laws of these texts are responsibilities of the citizens and repercussions. One societal institution supported by law is marriage. The responsibility to hold on to a wife is enforced by assigning monetary punishment for divorce."

We have actual Sumerian divorce documents dating from 2038-1990 B.C.

It is reasonable to presuppose that the institution itself greatly predates what incomplete written records we possess.

"Marriage in ancient Egypt" from about.com
"Egypts earliest dynasties commenced around 3,000 BC.

Polygamy was very rare because few men could afford to support two wives and two families. Monogamy was the norm for most ancient Egyptian marriages.

Although many marriages were arranged by families, we know from statues, poetry and paintings that ancient Egyptian spouses did love and respect one another.

There are many indications that husbands and wives in ancient Egypt were often happy and in love, with many touching portraits and statues of families including spouses and their children that reveal marital delight and warmth within the family."

Unfortunately, the word "marriage" carries too much baggage. We must separate religious "marriage" (d_Brit's "sacred covenant") from the civil "marriage" (legal contract between two people).

Personally, I don't find the 'baggage' of marriage all that burdensome. But then I'm not the one trying to redefine it...

... it is pure discrimination to keep gay people from civil marriage.

Yes, it is discrimination.

I simply hold that society has the right to define 'marriage' pretty much as it sees fit. That to a certain degree, discrimination is both unavoidable, necessary and in certain cases, beneficial.

That there are compelling reasons why society is 'discriminating' against SSM. I am asserting that the legal consequences of redefining marriage to include SSM necessarily and inevitably open the legal 'doors' to almost any other 'marriage arrangement' desired.

That only minors and animals can be defined as being unable to render consent, so that any other individuals or groups can claim and win their legal case to be legally entitled to 'marriage' once the rationale of discrimination is set as the defining legal characteristic determining who may be married.

Perhaps we need to get the government out of the "marriage" business altogether. Maybe everyone should be granted a "civil union" from the government. Would that sooth those of you who oppose same-sex CIVIL marriage? Posted by: VA Gamer

That is not a practical solution. The government cannot remove itself from the various aspects surrounding children, as well as the property, inheritance and financial aspects of marriage.

Proposing the title of a 'civil union' in replacement of the word marriage is a case of, 'calling a rose by any other name'...

"which marriage as an insti... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"which marriage as an institution cannot survive. "

The sky is falling! Quick, stop the gays!

No one ever explains *why* this will happen. Why will straight couples who want to marry in the traditional sense act any differently after gay marriage is legal? How does it affect current marriages in any way?

Specifically and exactly, lay out how marriage will "die."

How many wives could the fo... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

How many wives could the folks in Ur have, d_Brit? Monogamy was the norm because women were expensive to feed and clothe, but presumably you would be the coolest guy in town if you had like a hundred wives and a bunch of concubines too.

I simply hold that society has the right to define 'marriage' pretty much as it sees fit. That to a certain degree, discrimination is both unavoidable, necessary and in certain cases, beneficial.

Well I simply hold that society has the right to define 'person' pretty much as it sees fit. That to a certain degree, discrimination is both unavoidable, necessary and in certain cases, beneficial.

After all, I, a Republican, would benefit from black people being classified as one-half of a person, as it will prevent the Democrats from getting elected. I would benefit from women being classified as 'near-persons', so that they deserve our respect but we cannot be held responsible when Jim Beam causes us to raise our hands in anger.

Sounds stupid, I know. It's stupid because subjugating questions of individual and minority rights to broader questions of social benefit and majority taste is crazy at face value.

As for your repeated insistence that gay marriage will open the floodgates to overall social decline, you need to give some evidence; and as for it ruining the institution of marriage, you need to find better arguments that the slippery slope to Sodom that you think we're constructing. Gay people have the same reason to oppose polygamy (it's inherently disrespectful of the dignity of the partners involved, typically women) and incest (it's typically predatory and extremely psychologically damaging) that straight people do.

You need better arguments here. I encourage you to vote for representatives who will champion the illegality of homosexual marriage, if that is what is most important to you, but as with many of the greatest advancements in civil liberties, this will go through the courts. You're in your mid-to-late fifties, so I understand your perturbation; my dad feels the same way, but my mom (raised strict Roman Catholic) has a very gay brother, and he and his friends opened her eyes to the fact that gays aren't harmful, and that they ought to be afforded every right and dignity that straight members of society are.

A hundred years from now, this debate (not the one right here, but the overall national dialogue) will seem quaint.

*than the slippery slope</p... (Below threshold)
Totally Matt:

*than the slippery slope

Jeebus, words is hard. I'm going to the beach.

d_Brit at July 8, 2006 04:... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

d_Brit at July 8, 2006 04:21 PM

Quibble: Rome did not establish marriage, but the Republic of Rome (pre-Empire) did establish the "marriage" license, and it was for reason of property not propriety. SEe my previous post.

Totally Matt:d_Br... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

Totally Matt:
d_Brit: prove that people are better off with a mommy and a daddy instead of a mommy and another mommy...

You presuppose that for children, 50% of the human race is unnecessary. You presuppose that a father figure is not of unique value to a child. You are either being disingenuous or you are so wedded to a 'mental construct' as to have divorced yourself from reality, nature and common sense.

I think people are better off in non-traditional households if only because they grow up more tolerant and open-minded. (Hey, maybe cons. oppose SSM because it'll lead to more liberal voters! Perhaps thousands of them!) =)

Tolerance and open-mindedness are not synonymous with acceptance of any proposed mental construct invented out of whole cloth. "You have to believe in something, or you'll fall for anything"

Also, Romeo & Juliet were like twelve or thirteen year old kids, so you might not want to bring that up as a good example of how relationships ought to work.

Are you being purposely obtuse? VA Gamer was asserting that prior to a few centuries ago marriage was about property exchanges and had relatively recently evolved into contracts based upon romantic love. I said, "Their fictional nature (or age) is irrelevant because Shakespeare was writing a story that his audience could relate to, as every playwright must. Writing more than 500 years ago his audiences were quite familiar with romantic love." I was establishing that romantic love was well known as a basis for marriage to Shakespeare's audience thus demonstrating that marriage did NOT recently 'evolve'.

Additionally, we have written records that as far back as 642 BC the Egyptians were changing their view of arranged marriages to include input from the prospective bride...

It is thus incumbent upon you to satisfactorily address sincere objections to suggested changes. Especially when prior generations did not view restricting marriage to opposite genders as discrimination.

Who cares about "prior generations"? My grandfather is opposed to gay marriage because he hates gay people. ... If a majority of the people get something wrong, the Court can get it right. No reason not to let gay people have equal protection under the law, as is their right, apart from a historical distaste for gay relationships. The argument against SSM based on the suitability of the arrangement for propagating the species is moot, unless you want to tell septagenarians or infertile young adults that they can't get married. It's a social institution, not a biological one.

"Those who refuse to learn from the lessons of the past are doomed to repeat them" THAT is why you should care about prior generations. Your grandfather's views are not a valid basis for sweeping aside the wisdom of millennia. Again, "It is thus incumbent upon you to satisfactorily address sincere objections to suggested changes." you have yet to do so.

Instead you continue to insist that any objection to SSM is solely based in a "historical distaste for gay relationships" that is being intellectually dishonest.

It is a social arrangement instituted to control a biological process for the children sake and to render societal stability. Pragmatically, you cannot successfully separate the two.

I am only using historical precedent and 'tradition' to challenge the idea that the increased knowledge of modern generations necessarily equates to increased wisdom.
This works well in, I dunno, agriculture; but as for moral questions, involving rights and such, history typically gets them flat-out wrong. Women and African Americans know this. Gays do too.

That's a very convenient reading of history. The code of Hammurabi. Greek Democracy. The Ten Commandments. The Roman republic based upon the rule of laws. The Noble truths of Buddha. Christ's Sermon on the Mount. The Magna Carta. The philosophical writings of Locke, Hume and John Stuart Mill. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution of the US. The Principles of the Bahai Faith. The establishment of the UN.

NONE of these were accomplished through SCOTUS forcing the American people "to get it right".

As for "social evolution"... think eugenics. Biology for improving society. SSM advocates want the law to evolve, and society will follow, maybe. But social Darwinists basically believe that weak humans, when revealed as such, can be rejected as chaff. It's contrary to human rights. I brought it up, because you said that history has shown our concept of marriage to be superior, which is false. All that it shows is that historically, the people with a concept of marriage similar to ours defeated people with alternate models of the family, including native North and South Americans. Doesn't mean their family models were inferior; it has more to do with their immune systems not being able to fight European diseases.

Eugenics...which Webster's defines as: "improving the human species by controlling heredity" You said, "Liberals are biological evolutionists, not social evolutionists" exactly how will you evolve society thru controlling heredity?

You left out 'Guns and Steel' but exactly what non-monogamous 'family models' did Native North and South Americans practice? What alternative to the opposite gender, monogamous pair-bond did they offer?

Do you really mean to suggest that we need scientists conducting 'empirical research' to confirm that loving parents, in a committed relationship, providing a positive male and female role model for their children is the optimum arrangement?
Yes. Your gut feeling will not suffice. I would agree with you until you snuck "male and female role model" into the equation. I'm unaware of any reason to assume that two lesbians or two gay men would be unable to raise a perfectly normal human being.

Your gut feeling that it is not a concern does NOT equate to proof of the opposite. I have overwhelming historical evidence in support of my assertion. You have only put forward the argument that 'it's not right' and same-sex couples love for their children is ALL that is needed for successful parenting.

Two lesbians or two gay men raising a child presuppose that the opposite genders contributions to child raising are either unnecessary or easily substituted for, while millions of people have personal testimony as to the opposite genders importance in their own childhood.

Gays and lesbians presuppose that children do not need both a male and female role model. THAT idea can only be entertained by someone more interested in a personal agenda than in children's welfare.

BTW, exactly what are the statistical pregnancy levels of those women in combat units?
This is misogynistic. If indeed there is a ton of hot military orgies because Canadian women are allowed to fight, your assumption that they'll just get pregnant and drop out of service is insulting. A responsible woman in that situation would be on birth control.

Birth control is not 100% effective as you well know. I was NOT implying that even the majority of women in a combat unit will become pregnant and 'drop out'. I WAS asserting that unplanned pregnancies must of neccessity, disrupt unit cohesion.

An accusation of 'hating women' to derail an honest request for you to provide evidence for your assertions is a despicable ploy. It indicates a level of intellectual dishonesty that is pathetic.

If a gay soldier harasses a straight soldier, that would be sexual harassment which is illegal. What's the problem? Would it make you uncomfortable if a gay man checked you out at a bar? You wouldn't be flattered? I think you're revealing yourself to be homophobic.

Now you compound your insults by stooping to accusations of homophobia.Well if you can't win the debate on points you can always libel your opponent, right?

It is not an issue of being 'checked out' in a bar. It is an issue of creating discomfort in the ranks when of necessity hetero men and women would be bathing publicly with gays, in the nude and the men (or women) knowing that homosexuals are in the ranks and phsyically desiring them.

Men especially are visually oriented and gay men will look with desire upon other men, especially when in the nude. Whether the 'object of interest' is gay or hetero will not matter in the least to the homosexual, as it is their inherent nature to find others of the same sex attractive.

Incidentally, I have been checked out by gay men. It bothered me not in the least. So much for homophobia.

Upon what do you base 'human rights'? Without Divine providence, you only have the rights that the 'mob' grants you in any time and place. Hardly a 'universal' principle, much less an eternal 'right'. But 'human rights' that we grant to each other through agreement that they MUST exist (because we say so) IS a necessary liberal rationalization.
Look, I can't have an argument with someone who thinks that God is the source of human morality. Humans have evolved morality, I believe. But our moral psychologies usually work pretty good, and we can tell when someone else's doesn't.

It isn't theological belief that leads me to recognize that without Divine truth there is no basis for placing your idea of 'human rights' above Saddam Hussein's concepts of your 'rights'.

Yes, it's clear that you can't dispute that 'human rights' is a human invention. The physical universe cares not a whit for your demand for 'human rights' and your rights depend upon the 'mobs' agreement as to what your rights consist.

d_Brit took me out back to try and sell me a Bible. I wasn't buying. He's a traditionalist.

I see that you belong to the intellectual school subscribing to the "I know you are, but what am I?"

Stubbornly insisting upon mischaracterizing my position as religious or traditional does NOT make that assertion true.

But then agenda-based argument doesn't concern itself with fairness, accuracy in restating ones opponents' position, or any other of the 'traditional' rules in debate, does it?

"which marriage as an in... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

"which marriage as an institution cannot survive. " The sky is falling! Quick, stop the gays! No one ever explains *why* this will happen. Why will straight couples who want to marry in the traditional sense act any differently after gay marriage is legal? How does it affect current marriages in any way? Specifically and exactly, lay out how marriage will "die."
Posted by: JimK

Many of us are attempting to do just that. It would help if you read the thread. When you've done that you should have more appropriately secific questions to ask.

d_Brit Quibble: ... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

d_Brit
Quibble: Rome did not establish marriage, but the Republic of Rome (pre-Empire) did establish the "marriage" license, and it was for reason of property not propriety. SEe my previous post.
Posted by: John Anderson

In what way is a marriage 'license' essentially different from a marriage 'contract'? As detailed above, we have ME divorce decree documents listing monetary damages from 2018BC...

Of what use to a society would formal divorce documents without marriage contract/licenses?

It is you who is quibbling.

Totally Matt,I'd lik... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

Totally Matt,
I'd like to respond to a comment you made that was not addressed directly to me but does pertain directly to my central assertion that the 'legalization' of SSM will necessarily and thus inevitably lead to the legalization of multiple partner marriages.

Polygamists can't claim that there relationship follows from their psychology, because it doesn't. It's socialized behavior.Totally Matt

A plausible but flawed claim. Consider the following:

A 2003 study of young Dutch homosexual men by Dr. Maria Xiridou of the Amsterdam Municipal Health Service, published in May in the journal AIDS, mirrors findings of past research.

The Dutch study focused on transmission of HIV and, found that men in homosexual relationships on average have eight partners a year outside those relationships.

Earlier studies also indicated that homosexual men are not monogamous, even when they are involved in long-term relationships. (Many of those men will be raising children, can anyone seriously doubt that they will communicate those 'values' to their children. The vast majority of which will be heterosexual?)

In "The Male Couple," published in 1984, authors David P. McWhirter and Andrew M. Mattison report that in a study of 156 males in homosexual relationships lasting anywhere from one to 37 years, all couples with relationships more than five years had incorporated some provision for outside sexual activity.

"Fidelity is not defined in terms of sexual behavior but rather by their emotional commitment to each other," the authors said. "Ninety-five percent of the couples have an arrangement whereby the partners may have sexual activity with others."

The state of Vermont has allowed civil unions between same-sex couples since 2000, and a study by two University of Vermont psychology professors compared homosexual couples in civil unions with homosexual couples not in unions, and married heterosexual couples.

Among the Vermont findings, the overwhelming majority of women -- both lesbians and married heterosexuals -- felt it was not acceptable to have sex outside of their primary relationship. However, 79 percent of married men felt sex outside marriage was not OK, compared to 34 percent of homosexual men in committed relationships and 50 percent of homosexual men in civil unions.

But such open relationships -- in which homosexual men accept that their partners will have sex with others -- are not harmful, said Anne Peplau, a psychology professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. "There is clear evidence that gay men are less likely to have sexually exclusive relationships than other people -- but this is not typically harmful to their relationships because partners agree that it's acceptable," said Miss Peplau.

So according to your assertions TM, Gay men's behavior springs from their inherent 'psychology'. A psychology that sees outside partners as acceptable. Not much of a stretch to multiple partner marriages after all, is it?

But let's not limit evidence to mere surveys. Let's look at what society's that have already formalized SSM are experiencing.

In March of 2004, it was reported that the local youth wing of Sweden's governing Social Democrat party had endorsed the idea of replacing marriage with a gender-neutral, multi-partner-friendly marriage system.

Around the same time, the youth wing of Sweden's Green party called for formal recognition of polyamorous (i.e. multi-partner) relationships.

When called upon, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner reaffirmed the legality of multiple partner cohabitation contracts. Donner also went so far as to assert that contracts regulating multiple partner cohabitation can fulfill "a useful regulating function" (also translatable as "a useful structuring role"). In other words, the Netherlands Justice Minister has articulated the rudiments of a "case for group marriage."

Green party spokesman Femke Halsema, a key backer of gay marriage, has affirmed her party's support for the recognition of multiple partner unions.

In a real world case, a Serge Régnier had been married to his wife Christine for four years when Christine's unmarried sister Karine moved in with the couple. Karine wanted children, and after discussing the matter with her sister and brother-in-law, it was agreed that Serge would father children with Karine and live with the women as a threesome.

Into this ménage à trois came Judith, a childhood sweetheart of Serge. Serge had told Christine when he married her that, if she were ever available, Judith would have to be welcomed into their house.

When Judith divorced her first husband and showed up on the Régniers' doorstep, all agreed to admit her. The result is one husband, three wives, and 30 children, with several more children hoped for by the wives.

Serge is unemployed, and the entire family is supported by government subsidies. The women say there is no jealousy among them and they would even welcome a fourth wife if she was "nice."

When it comes to marriage, culture shapes law.

Polygamists can't claim ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Polygamists can't claim that there relationship follows from their psychology, because it doesn't. It's socialized behaviour.

There is as much evidence that polygamy is genetic as there is that homosexuality is genetic.

Namely, there is absolutely none.

So, until you can prove otherwise, homosexuality is socialized behavior.

Gays are born gay. Why anybody would choose to be gay in the United States of Christendom is beyond me. There is no parallel between homosexuality and polyamorous marriage. Stupid argument: debunked. Get a better one.

Why would somebody choose to be a criminal?
Why would they choose to be a pedophile?
Choose to be a polygamist?

Try proving a point rather than mistaking empty platitudes for evidence.

And d_Brit: prove that people are better off with a mommy and a daddy instead of a mommy and another mommy. No evidence outside of pamphlets available in mega-church gift stores. Nobody with scientific credibililty has authored or signed off on a study supporting this claim. All I have are anecdotes, but frankly I think people are better off in non-traditional households if only because they grow up more tolerant and open-minded. (Hey, maybe cons. oppose SSM because it'll lead to more liberal voters! Perhaps thousands of them!) =)

So, you've never read...well, ANY sociological studies in your life. Got it.

Arguments borne solely out of ignorance are truly sad, because the believers are dangerous because reality and facts are nebulous things for them if they come in conflict with your beliefs.

Congrats. You've just become more closed-minded than the Christians you so bemoan.

The argument against SSM based on the suitability of the arrangement for propagating the species is moot, unless you want to tell septagenarians or infertile young adults that they can't get married.

Seeing as how you're the one openly ignorant of history and sociology, you might want to stop digging this hole you've placed yourself in.

This works well in, I dunno, agriculture; but as for moral questions, involving rights and such, history typically gets them flat-out wrong. Women and African Americans know this. Gays do too.

Women and blacks got the vote via the electoral process.

Slavery was ended due to the vote and through bloodshed.

Take away idiotic SCOTUS decisions like Plessy v Ferguson and Jim Crow wouldn't have become ingrained in the first place.

As for "social evolution"... think eugenics. Biology for improving society. SSM advocates want the law to evolve, and society will follow, maybe.

And RATIONAL people would like to see law "evolve" through, you know, CHANGING THE LAW.

If the law can "evolve" into something completely different with no input from the people or their representatives, you don't have law.

No reason not to let gay people have equal protection under the law, as is their right, apart from a historical distaste for gay relationships.

They have equal protection. But feel free to continue missing reality to protect your absurd worldview.

You are just like the Christians you condemn --- except Christians believe based on God's teachings and you believe because, deep down, you believe yourself to be God.

I brought it up, because you said that history has shown our concept of marriage to be superior, which is false.

No, he argued that the concept of marriage has been consistent and you attempted to argue that changing the reason WHY men and women marry changing is dramatically different than eliminating the whole "man and woman" thing.

Yes. Your gut feeling will not suffice.

But you expect YOUR gut feeling to suffice, which is hypocritical and idiotic of you.

I'm unaware of any reason to assume that two lesbians or two gay men would be unable to raise a perfectly normal human being.

Your ignorance is well-known. You don't need to re-testify to it.

This is misogynistic.

Yes, because concerns about sex amongst troops when you advocate keeping straight and gay men together is SO ridiculous to a discussion of UNIT COHESION. Presenting rather clear evidence of the problem is so out of the bounds in a discussion of this.

Of course, if you had ANY evidence (mind you, in all of this time, you've yet to actually PRESENT any evidence to back up any of your claims), you'd have mentioned it.

If indeed there is a ton of hot military orgies because Canadian women are allowed to fight, your assumption that they'll just get pregnant and drop out of service is insulting. A responsible woman in that situation would be on birth control.

Yes, ignore the point. Continue on with that.

If a gay soldier harasses a straight soldier, that would be sexual harassment which is illegal.

And, gee, IN A COMBAT SITUATION, that is such a good idea to make a potential problem.

Really, good plan.

Would it make you uncomfortable if a gay man checked you out at a bar? You wouldn't be flattered? I think you're revealing yourself to be homophobic.

So, women who don't like it when men hit on them are heterophobic? Got it. Men just WANT to be hit on. It's ALL any man wants. Constantly.

Well, it's harder for secular liberals to rationalize 'human rights' without just being able reference the Bible. Look, I can't have an argument with someone who thinks that God is the source of human morality.

Because they're the "closed-minded ones", right?

So you only care about Iraq insofar as it posed a threat (which it didn't).

Yup.

You glibly accept a reductio ad absurdum of your position.

Well, we can now add Latin and basic logic to the list of areas you're clueless about.

That means you have been reduced to absurdity by virtue of the fact that you disapprove of humanitarian intervention if it's not in America's interests.

Seeing as how we lack the means to cure ALL cruel treatment on Earth, we have to prioritize. Again, it's the height of hypocrisy to bitch about Iraq and then bemoan my lack of desire to cure all problems for all people in the world.

Morally indefensible. Period. You cannot defend America's involvement in the European Theatre of WW II if you believe what you have just typed at me.

Germany was clearly a threat and --- this, admittedly, is a technicality --- DECLARED WAR ON US IN DECEMBER, 1941. http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/wwii/gerdec41.htm

However, I cannot justify US intervention in Haiti.

Or Yugoslavia.

Hmm, so we now have history, Latin, basic logic, and sociology on the list of what you don't quite comprehend. List is getting lengthy now.

I don't care if you think my friends and I are jerks. Life ain't a popularity contest. Just morality and the law, right Mike?

You lack morality and ANY understanding of law.

You really are a tiresome troll. You are horrendously dull to deal with and mind-boggling in your utter lack of education.
-=Mike

"Many of us are attempting ... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"Many of us are attempting to do just that. It would help if you read the thread. When you've done that you should have more appropriately secific questions to ask."

I have read every single word of this thread and the question is still not answered. How will a couple comprised of a man and a woman who want to be legally joined and joined in a house-of-worship-of-your-choice service affected by two strangers they don't know getting married, regardless of gender?

How will my marriage be destroyed by two gay men getting married?

Can you answer those questions without resorting to insults, namecalling or F.U.D. about animals and polygamy?

It won't impact your marria... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

It won't impact your marriage.

It will impact the institution of marriage in the future.
-=Mike

"I have read every singl... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

"I have read every single word of this thread and the question is still not answered. How will a couple comprised of a man and a woman who want to be legally joined and joined in a house-of-worship-of-your-choice service affected by two strangers they don't know getting married, regardless of gender? How will my marriage be destroyed by two gay men getting married? Can you answer those questions without resorting to insults, namecalling or F.U.D. about animals and polygamy? Posted by: JimK

Your questions define the issue as strictly one of short-term dimensions. That is a profound error.

Your marriage will most likely not be affected at all. I never claimed otherwise and I don't recall anyone else claiming that either.

As MikeSC succienctly put it," It will impact the institution of marriage in the future."

Sorry to be a bit dense but what is F.U.D.?

As my primary objection to SSM revolves around the issue of the legal inevitability of multiple partner marriage, etc. with that being a completely predictable consequence of SSM, to exclude that leaves me with nothing to discuss with you on this subject.

If you wish me to elaborate on the rationale that leads me to that conclusion, I can and will do so.

I can assure you that my rationale is completely independent of religious and 'traditional" arguments against SSM.

As I said previously in the thread, I only brought up the traditional argument because of its appropriateness in countering others assertions that 'modern' thinking is inately superior to ALL previous generations views.

F.U.D. is "Fear, Uncertaint... (Below threshold)
JimK:

F.U.D. is "Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt." It has become shorthand meaning arguments that have no actual basis in anything but...well, fear, uncertainty and doubt. No independantly verifiable evidence, no valid logic, just a lot of beating the drum and trying to raise the emotional stakes of an argument.

You avoided my first question. How will a couple comprised of a man and a woman who want to be legally joined and joined in a house-of-worship-of-your-choice service affected by two strangers they don't know getting married, regardless of gender?

d_Brit at July 8, 2006 08:0... (Below threshold)
John Anderson:

d_Brit at July 8, 2006 08:07 PM

The marriage contract was far more complicated - and is still in use (even here if you consider pre-nuptial agreements), and still a lot more complicated and costly.

The State's license basically is quite simple: more than one person agrees to be legally connected in all matters not otherwise covered by law - sort of an unlimited partnership.

Yes, divorces (and of course deaths) occurred before the license. But the Republic's innovation was that in cases of death where there was no registered will (another fee, by the way, as well as having to acknowledge one's [future] death) the estate would be distributed according to a formula developed by the State - and taking the State to court was rarely worth the costs. A cheap way of making a will without all the work and expense. Before that, either the State seized everything (no, not usually in Rome) or if a second cousin wanted to take the deceased's "second-best bed" away from the spouse (or whoever had ripped it out of the house first) the cost of going to court to try to get it was much less costly - and the courts were clogged with such suits and counter-suits.

Note that a legally established will was primary with or without the license - the concern was not having a will. Property, not propriety.

The basic concern has been expanded over many centuries into (for example) hospital rights of visitation. Many hospitals don't consider (for other legal reasons) an "unlicensed" spouse to be "family" for urposes of visiting a patient in an Intensive Care Unit, and don't care if the Pope presided at the marriage ceremony.

Again, we are arguing two different things, actual religious marriage and that which the State calls marriage as a form of shorthand since for centuries it had (largely, discounting anomaiies like the Latter Day Saint's polygamy) been thought of as the same thing by anyone with a voice that could be heard outside friends and family.
- - -
Or perhaps if I state my position itself...

Should same-sex marriage be allowed? Not unless the religion involved allows it. And the State, if it allows its license to be used for same-sex, should not be allowed to force churches to perform their religious ceremonies. Not any change from current usage - two Baptists cannot be married in the Jewish religion (or as more commonly said, Roman Catholic) and vice-versa.

Should the State issue something inclusive, like "in any law or regulation passed prior to this time, the word 'marriage' will be replaced by the phrase "civil union'"? In reading some of my own State's law concerning the license, I cannot find it making any other change necessary, but perhaps a referendum ballot would be preferable to just having the legislature do it: OTOH, perhaps referendum on redefining the word, in law, as "one man, one woman."?

Does it affect me, personally? Being neither gay nor married nor very religious, not much. I just do not feel comfortable agreeing to the restriction, by law, of women, Blacks, Chinese - or homosexuals. OTOH, I do not want to change the law to say I must allow removing any and all restrictions: I do not mind using the same restroom as a woman, but I'm uncomfortable with using it at the same time... But that is a trained response, I cannot think off-hand of any real reason. Especially if the women's-room couch and table come with the deal.

- - -
Well, that was incoherent, wasn't it? OK, I just thing religious marriage and the State marriage license are not actuall about the same thing - else why would the State marriage not need a religious component? One word, two meanings - not at all unusual, browse any dictionary.

"It will impact the institu... (Below threshold)
JimK:

"It will impact the institution of marriage in the future."

How will it prevent a man and a woman from having a traditional marriage in the future? Be specific and exact. You can't just *say* it will and think you've said anything.

This is essentially the conversation we're having:

You: You're all going to die next week.
Me: How, exactly, are we all going to die next week?
You: You're all going to die next week.
Me: You said that. Can you be specific please? How?
You: You're all going to die next week.
Me: Yes. I get that. I'd like you to tell me how each person reading this will no longer be alive. By which I mean please outline the manner in which we will cease to live and become, as you are predicting, dead.
You: You'll be dead next week.

I'd like to know specifically how - if the gays are allowed to *gasp* get married legally - a straight, presumably religious couple, would no longer be able to get both legally and ceremoniously married in both the eyes of the state and the eyes of God and live their lives as a traditionally married man and woman, with whatever traditions, precepts and ceremonies thier beliefs prescribe.

"I'd like to know specif... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

"I'd like to know specifically how - if the gays are allowed to *gasp* get married legally - a straight, presumably religious couple, would no longer be able to get both legally and ceremoniously married in both the eyes of the state and the eyes of God and live their lives as a traditionally married man and woman, with whatever traditions, precepts and ceremonies thier beliefs prescribe." Posted by: JimK

I was not trying to avoid your question. I thought I had implicitly addressed your question when I acknowledged your question regarding the impact of SSM upon your present marriage.

But to answer succinctly and specifically; Gay marriage will NOT directly prevent a couple from personally living their lives according to their beliefs.

Please note that I never claimed otherwise.

Societal considerations however are another matter and we ALL live our lives within a greater whole which DOES affect all of us and indirectly impacts the raising of children. Children and the Family ARE the foundational structural basis for Society.

Your question is focused on the personal impacts of SSM, my focus is upon the future societal impacts of SSM, when imposed legally upon a society.

My contention is that the courts ruling that same-sex marriage is legally and constitutionally valid based upon equal protection AND defining the legal case as solely one of discrimination necessarily and inevitably results in legal consequences.

The only remaining logically objective basis for legal exclusion of any desired 'marriage' arrangement will be consent. So, minors and animals have an objective basis for continued exclusion from 'marriage'.

The discrimination argument places every other previous criterion for determining marriage into the realm of the subjective and arbitrary.

Subjective and arbitrary are thin ice indeed when constitutional considerations are being weighed.

Those legal consequences arise from the removal of ALL objectively rational objections to multiple partner marriages.

As example, Society and the Courts would be left with no objective basis to exclude 3 men desiring to marry. Nor practically speaking, any other multiple partner arrangement desired.

Acceptance of the 'discrimination' argument removes the 'number' requirement from consideration because SSM eliminates biological gender and reproduction as THE objective criteria for society's determination as to who may and may not be 'married'.

SSM reached through court decrees based in the equal protection clause also legally opens the door to marriage between family members who have reached the age of majority.

While the scientifically verified inappropriateness of children born through incestuous relations is a valid objection to incestuous 'marriage'; contraception, vasectomies, sterilization, etc., and the legality of abortion make that a somewhat problematic legal objection.

If the objection of children is removed, then the claim of discrimination as the basis for society's exclusion of 'familial' marriage MUST of legal necessity stand. There is NO avoiding that consequence.

It will be a matter of when it is acknowledged, not if.

This is not an example of F.U.D. (BTW, thank you for the explanation :) because my contention is grounded in legally undeniable assertions.

The courts defining SSM marriage as strictly a matter of 'discrimination' and thus constitutionally invalid due to the equal protection clause legally ensures the compulsory acceptance by courts of the equal protection argument for almost any other desired 'marriage' arrangement individuals and groups may desire in the future.

While I doubt the wisdom of doing so, I have NO legal objections to societies voting to allow SSM and, then observe the results of that arrangement.

However, pragmatic objections to a state legalizing SSM through the vote, then after a period of time deciding it isn't a good idea after all and then voting to 'disallow' SSM marriage, are valid.

Personally, my only objection to Gays and Lesbians marrying centers around children.

Yes, adoption of children by a loving same-sex couple is superior to the child languishing in a institutional 'home'.

However, I also believe that it is absurd to posit that children do not need a positive male and female role model.

One by definition that only heterosexual couples can provide.

To me, it is the height of hubris when homosexual couples (or single heterosexuals) intentionally 'create' a child through modern technology, implicitly asserting that neither a Father nor a Mother is needed for the optimum psychological development of a child.

If you love a child, you want the best for that child. Denying the child you have personally created any chance to permanently bond with either a positive parental male or female role model is an act of profound selfishness and is an inherent and specific indication of unfitness as a parent.

"Well, that was incohere... (Below threshold)
d_Brit:

"Well, that was incoherent, wasn't it? OK, I just thing religious marriage and the State marriage license are not actuall about the same thing - else why would the State marriage not need a religious component? One word, two meanings - not at all unusual, browse any dictionary.
Posted by: John Anderson "

It was a bit hard to follow. Nevertheless I agree that the religious and secular forms of marriage are subtlely different from each other.

When I pointed out that marriage has existed long before the Romans I was not implying that the Romans did not contribute significantly to our modern understanding of the institution.

That said, my main points stand. The concept of marriage has overwhelmingly been practiced and considered the monogomous union of opposite gender couples, for all of recorded history and in all probability long before that as well.

I also maintain that romantic attraction and love must always have been the primary impetus to coupling, it is our very nature and the driving impetus to reproduction. Not sex per se but the emotional 'connection' we all desire. Sex is simply the most intense physical expression of that need.

'Marriage' is simply the societal institution created to 'channel' that natural impulse in a manner that most benefits society, with its children being the future of every society.

Saying things in a long-win... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Saying things in a long-winded manner doesn't make them any more true. You;ve not demonstrated any practical, actual ways in which two gay men marrying legally will affect straight couples wishing to observe traditional marriage. You claim you're noy using F.U.D. but that is precisely what your argument is. It boils down to "OMG if you let the gays marry then anyone can do anything!" Not to mention the religious aspects you could not help but to let creep in.

It's ridiculous.

This is a fight you will lose someday soon. I, for one, hope it's not just within my lifetime, but within ten years. I don't want any part of treating devoted, dedicated gay couples like they were second-class subhumans.

Going to try to catch up fr... (Below threshold)

Going to try to catch up from the w/e...

Les Nesman blabbered
rwilymz is just a filthy goddamned Numberist, no better than a racist or a homophobe or a sexist.

Okay, I'll accept that.

Who the hell does he think he is, telling us that 3 people can't marry? What gives him the right?

I haven't done anything to stop multiple marriage; the legislatures have. But when the legislatures prohibited polyandry and polygamy [polyamory, in the lingo] the courts and the cops applied it equally. That is to say, NObody can marry multiple concurrently. Not simply certain people.

Nobody has the right to tell me that 2 is legal but 4 or 5 or whatever is not.

This is a democracy; of course we do. We also have the authority to tell you to wear a seat belt.

Lee shows soff his blinders:

The organized opposition against gay marriages is principally from the religous right.

Look at the black churches, squirt.

...or are black churches another bastion of Religious Right fervor?


MikeSC goes for broke and ends up broke

There is no equal protection argument to make here

Look, Mikey, just because you don't have the capacity to understand the subject does not mean others can't. Equal Protection becomes an issue when some people can use a law, or are protected by a law, and others are not. The State has to have an "interest" in order to differentiate. What is the "interest" in preventing black males from marrying white females in the 60s? The "interest" was: "the majority thinks it's ooky". Well, that doesn't matter; "ooky" isn't a legitimate state interest.

What is the interest in preventing gays from ditto? Essentially, same thing: "ooky". It turns people's stomachs.

Well, fine; buy some Pepto. There are still several states which do NOT have "one man one woman" requirements on their marriage laws; gays cannot -- under the law -- be prevented from marrying in those states. Yet they are. There are several other states where the "one of each" requirement was invented in the last decade, just after this issue came up. There is a very good argument that the requirements were changed just to prevent gays from getting married -- which you can't do. There's bunches of case law on that.

If equal protection covers two men marrying each other, it also covers a dad and his daughter marrying.

Only if some fathers are allowed to marry their daughters and other fathers are not. Equal Protection means that everyone is presumed to have the ability to use [or the protection of] the same law. We do not have a law that allows fathers to marry daughters, so Equal Protection isn't relevant.

Darleen can abort an unwanted child.//If you have an unwanted child, you have to support it.//Thus, a legal difference.

And that is wrong as well.

But it's a different subject.


Notice how you aren't allowed to advertise "Blacks need not apply"?

Notice how Equal Protection comes up again? "Gays need not apply".


Marriage between a man and a woman is very much enforced equally.

Here's what you're missing, skippy, and the answer ain't changing just cuz you need to change out of your wet panties: several states do not have "one man one woman" requirements in their marriage laws.

Les Nesman continues to babble:

1.Two men marrying is equal but 3 is not? How?

Because we already have laws allowing two [adult] people to marry. It is not being enforced equally, because certain [adult] people cannot apply. "Gays need not apply". We do not have laws allowing three people to concurrently marry, so discussion about its equal enforcement is moot.

2.Two men and two women all getting married together is subjugatory? How?

Because the law has defined multiple marriages as a form of fraud. It is [apparently] being enforced equally.

3. Who the hell are you to tell anyone that 3 people can not get married?

Someone who understands and isn't confused by reality? We live in a democratic republic, and we can have whatever laws we want to have -- as long as we apply them equally.

...and as long as those laws are not inherently violative of other Constitutional parameters, but that is a different subject as well.

and Justrand rationalizes:
I have absolutely no problem with easy access for gays to the basic protections afforded married couples

So you want the "special treatment" laws...? The conservatives were correct about one aspect of this whole issue, and this was it. Gays couldn't get married, so they wheedled "special treatment" -- getting the benefits of marriage without marriage, and which were not granted to heterosexuals who were 'shacking up' -- and this, as if it needs to be said, ALSO violates Equal Protection. Giving some unmarried people certain benefits just because they live together without giving those same benefits to all who live together isn't equal treatment under the law.


Scrapiron adds the follow gem
The terrorists and the ... queers are not concerned with anyone but themselves

Well halle-friggin-lulya! This is true.

But then, so is everybody else concerned only about themselves. Those who are against gay marriage largely do so because it violates their sensibilities in some form or fashion. Some because, well, using the courts like the blacks did 40 years ago is poor form, we need to pass laws instead. Others because it turns their stomachs and they're, doggone it, all out of Rolaids. EVERYone is concerned about his own sensibilities at all times, and rarely about anything else.

And that's a nice break point.

Some people have some growing up to do. I'll leave them to do it now.

dumbass rwilymz slobbered:<... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

dumbass rwilymz slobbered:

"Les :Nobody has the right to tell me that 2 is legal but 4 or 5 or whatever is not.

rwilymz: This is a democracy; of course we do. We also have the authority to tell you to wear a seat belt."

O.k., dumbass, then let's take a vote on it. How will that vote work out? Not too good for your side. Every state that has put it up for a vote has had ssm go down to defeat by huge margins.

Nice of you to defeat your own arguments. Heh.

rwilymz continues to show his ignorance:

"Les : 1.Two men marrying is equal but 3 is not? How?

rwilymz: Because we already have laws allowing two [adult] people to marry. It is not being enforced equally, because certain [adult] people cannot apply. "Gays need not apply"."

No, dumbass. Gays can apply. ANY man is free to marry a woman. ANY woman is free to marry a man.
They just can't marry the same sex.

The way we do it now defines a Marriage as between one man and one woman.
The way YOU want to do it changes the definition of marriage. The polygamists will say, 'hey, if gays can just change the definition of marriage to fit their agenda and the court is o.k. with it, then so can we'. And there will be no Constitutional or logical reason to refute them.




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy