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What he said

When I first discovered blogs, I was amazed and -- to be frank -- a bit intimidated by some of the biggest names out there. Foremost among them was Steven Den Beste, who always astonished me with his insights and abilities to draw connections and see the bigger picture, to complete the underlying patterns and trends.

He "retired" a few years ago, for health reasons, and has focused on Anime since. But he still occasionally writes political pieces, publishing them on various more-than-willing blogs. (If he ever feels like having something published here, I think we might be able to accomodate him.)

Well, he's done it again. This time he's taking on the topic of gay marriage, and I find it somewhat comforting that he and I see eye-to-eye on the topic: we both support it, but want it done properly, through the right channels, and not mandated by judicial fiat.

But Den Beste goes far further into why the manner in which it comes to be is so important, far better than I could have. Who would have thought that Al Gore is to blame for gay marriage being such a contentious issue today?

Well, I exaggerate. But not by much.

Go and see for yourself.


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Comments (16)

Insofar as the institution ... (Below threshold)

Insofar as the institution of marriage is a right, it ought not to be subjected to public opinion, as individual rights are non-negotiable (but cultural and intra-national rights are negotiable by necessity). Thus, due to the equal protection under the law to which homosexual individuals are entitled, gay marriage is a concept that ought to be determined by the Supreme Court.

Disagree if you will, but first familiarize yourself with what exactly a right is. Ronald Dworkin, Joseph Raz, and Will Kymlicka would be a good start; the philosophy of law is a tough slog, but I'm sure you'll manage okay. Don't worry too much about the footnotes to Kant, Locke, and J.S. Mill, as you're probably hip to those cats already.

An excellent post by Den Be... (Below threshold)

An excellent post by Den Beste. Without naming Gore specifically he emphasized that his contesting of the 2000 election may have been the start of the problem, the breaking of the "social compact." I had similar thoughts about Mr. Gore in May this year.

And as far as the institution of marriage being a "right", is it? Or is it a religious social construct designed to weave a stable societal fabric, established to encourage stable male/female households for the raising of non-sociopathic future generations?

It's hysterically funny to ... (Below threshold)

It's hysterically funny to read comments from conservatives about activist judges and the breaking of social compacts. It's particularly funny to connect the start to Gore.

It's a good bet that the Rhenquist court and its conservative judges have been one of the most activist courts in our history...striking down record numbers of laws enacted by our "representatives."

When will folks be honest enough to admit that the only meaning for "activist" in this context is one who upholds something (usually of a social nature) you disagree with? That term might be the most dishonest use of a phrase the right wing has yet conjured up.

Galls your ass don't it hug... (Below threshold)

Galls your ass don't it hugie? He he

Hugh, examples please?... (Below threshold)

Hugh, examples please?

I have considerably LESS of... (Below threshold)

I have considerably LESS of a problem with Courts that rule in bizarre ways (see 9th Circuit Court) than I do with those that INVENT LAWS out of whole cloth!!

goddess;Do your ow... (Below threshold)


Do your own research. There's plenty of info out there.

I'll translate for Hugh:</p... (Below threshold)

I'll translate for Hugh:

"I have no examples and have no idea what I'm talking about. How dare you ask me to back up what I say."

I'll translate for Hugh:</p... (Below threshold)

I'll translate for Hugh:

"I have no examples to back me up, I just like to say things that sound like I know what I'm talking about, even though I do not."

Aside from this law, <a hre... (Below threshold)

Aside from this law, http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/06/26/scotus.sodomy/
which I would assume Hugh supported the action, I am having a hard time justifing the claim of record number of laws struck down...

How do you call the Rehnqui... (Below threshold)

How do you call the Rehnquist supreme court a conservative court when 5 of the people on there tend to vote as more of a liberal would, whether or not there is a law?

Rehnquist - Conservative
Scalia - Conservative
O'Connor - Liberal
Stevens - Liberal
Kennedy - Liberal
Souter - Liberal
Thomas - Conservative
Ginsburg - Very Liberal
Breyer - Liberal

I know you're going to say "but alot of those libs were put on there by conservatives, blah blah blah". It doesn't matter who put them on the court, what matters is how they voted. Count those up and you have 6 Liberals to 3 Conservatives. Thanks to Bush, we've added another Conservative to take the place of "swing-vote" (aka liberal) O'Connor.

As it stands, the count is 5 Libs to 4 Conservatives and if Bush gets another pick, we might get to see a ruling the likes of Roe v. Wade overturned. Or if those lib judges are holing on to their seats so that Bush doesn't get another pick, they will more than likely have another Republican president to deal with in 2008 that will more than likely appoint some more judges that will actually rule on laws and not on feelings.

just a note about ac... (Below threshold)

just a note about activist judges, hugh. an activist judge is not one who strikes down un-constitutional or illegal laws. an activist judge is one who stretches laws and the constitution to encompass "rights" or "requirements" that were neither articulated nor intended. or ones that just make up the law as they go along.

just because a legislative body passes a law, doesn't make it constitutional. it's really a pretty simple concept.

Matthew, this is for you. ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Matthew, this is for you. How do you licence a right. Why is it, if marriage is a right, that you must meet state laws to get married? If one has the "right" to be married. Does that mean you can demand to be married? You are either an idiot or a fool, or a bias liar. You have no right to marry. Shut up.

"Thus, due to the equal pro... (Below threshold)

"Thus, due to the equal protection under the law to which homosexual individuals are entitled, gay marriage is a concept that ought to be determined by the Supreme Court."

Homosexual individuals do have equal protection under the law -- they can marry women just like heterosexual men may.

The leap to "gay marriage is a concept" that is equivalent to traditional marriage is a sheer whim. Special pleading.

Why not polygamy then?

This is known as making shit up as you go along, your civilization be damned.

As I said previously do you... (Below threshold)

As I said previously do your own research. Try Lexis/Nexis or West or even "the google" on the" internets" as Alfred E. Bush likes to call it.

But here's a starter: from 1994 to 7/2005 the Rhenquist court struck down 64 congressional actions.

Activist? Of course not cause it was a conservative court. Lol.

Zelsdorf,Thank you... (Below threshold)


Thank you for your thoughtful reply. Read the philosophical discussion on the subjects of rights, and of their relation to the issue of gay marriage (available in academic journals--you might have to get a library card, scary though the thought may be for you). I have read it, and one side wins. (Hint: not yours.) And as for assuming I'm gay, it is illuminating of your vast intellect.






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