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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban
JennaDean
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quote:
I just don't think that the real problem people have with ssm has anything to do with keeping marriage sacred. If it were, they'd be a whole lot more upset at people breaking vows made to God about life-long bonds.
Um, I don't know any Christians who aren't "a lot upset" about this. The high divorce rate is regularly bemoaned.

I personally know people opposed to SSM who don't want same-sex relationships recognized or sanctioned in any way by the state, and I also know people opposed to SSM - myself included - who would support civil unions.

I heard the other day that the soy milk industry is trying to get permission to just label their product "milk". Supposedly it looks like milk and can be used like milk and is nutritionally equivalent to, if not superior to, milk. The producers of traditional milk objected on the grounds that the word "milk" has a specific meaning that it's had for thousands of years and everyone knows what it means, and soy milk does not fit that commonly accepted definition.

That's how I feel about defining a same-sex relationship as a marriage. I have no problem with civil unions. I would even have no problem with requiring everyone who wanted to get married in a church to also go to the state and contract a civil union. But I don't want to change the accepted definition of "marriage" that everyone has understood for thousands of years.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
quote:
Heterosexuals have the right to marry the person they love and want to spend the rest of their life with. Homosexuals do not.
Not true... heterosexuals can't marry brothers, sisters, anyone underage, animals, people who are currently married to someone else, or anyone who doesn't consent to marrying them. If the only person a heterosexual man loves is a girl who won't consent to marrying him, he can't argue that marriage laws are unequally biased against people who want to mary people who don't love them back. Unfortunately for him, part of the definition of marriage is a two-sided consensual relationship, or at least so our society says.
Kind of a pointless, quibble, isn't it? The original meaning is understood even if it isn't precisely stated. It's rather cumbersome to state this in a way that isn't subject to ANY possible misinterpretation (I know because I tried once). But why hang up the conversation when everyone already knows what is meant?
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
... But I don't want to change the accepted definition of "marriage" that everyone has understood for thousands of years.

Why does this "thousands" of years thing come up so often and why does it apply for "everyone?"

I daresay there's a small but decent number of us that have polygamy only a few generations back.

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MattP
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quote:
The producers of traditional milk objected on the grounds that the word "milk" has a specific meaning that it's had for thousands of years and everyone knows what it means, and soy milk does not fit that commonly accepted definition.

Milk producers have a legitimate worry that customers will not be able to distinguish between the products. Their concerns are concrete, if speculative.

Could you articulate the concrete risks associated with allowing the label of marriage to be applied to same-sex relationships? Will people be unable to distinguish between marriages consisting of two males and those consisting of one male and one female?

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
I just don't think that the real problem people have with ssm has anything to do with keeping marriage sacred. If it were, they'd be a whole lot more upset at people breaking vows made to God about life-long bonds.
Um, I don't know any Christians who aren't "a lot upset" about this. The high divorce rate is regularly bemoaned.

I personally know people opposed to SSM who don't want same-sex relationships recognized or sanctioned in any way by the state, and I also know people opposed to SSM - myself included - who would support civil unions.

I heard the other day that the soy milk industry is trying to get permission to just label their product "milk". Supposedly it looks like milk and can be used like milk and is nutritionally equivalent to, if not superior to, milk. The producers of traditional milk objected on the grounds that the word "milk" has a specific meaning that it's had for thousands of years and everyone knows what it means, and soy milk does not fit that commonly accepted definition.

That's how I feel about defining a same-sex relationship as a marriage. I have no problem with civil unions. I would even have no problem with requiring everyone who wanted to get married in a church to also go to the state and contract a civil union. But I don't want to change the accepted definition of "marriage" that everyone has understood for thousands of years.

Except that you haven't really articulated WHAT that difference is. What is it that makes a heterosexual marriage different from a homosexual marriage?

It's a pointless distinction. All citizens are subject to identical treatment by the law. It's like saying fat people marrying isn't really marriage, because for thousands of years we've been much skinnier.

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JennaDean
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The difference is that right now when I say "I'm married," everyone knows I mean I'm married to a man. They ought also to know it means that I'm off the market and I'm going to be that way for the rest of my life, but that is increasingly not true anymore. Increasingly the word "married" means temporarily off the market; soon it will mean "currently in an exclusive-but-not-permanent relationship with another adult."

Maybe none of those things matter anymore; but then the word "marriage" has no meaning, and we ought to do away with it altogether. But I don't want to do that, because I'm married and I want it to still mean what it meant when I became that way. If people want to enter into some other kind of relationship than "an opposite-sex one-on-one life-long adult family partnership", then let's use another word. That's all.

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scifibum
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JennaDean, I'm interested to know how you think it will impact you if someone who doesn't know you well enough to know better thinks there's a small chance you're married to another woman.
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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
I heard the other day that the soy milk industry is trying to get permission to just label their product "milk". Supposedly it looks like milk and can be used like milk and is nutritionally equivalent to, if not superior to, milk. The producers of traditional milk objected on the grounds that the word "milk" has a specific meaning that it's had for thousands of years and everyone knows what it means, and soy milk does not fit that commonly accepted definition.
Heh. It's not legal to call goat's milk "milk".
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Rakeesh
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quote:
It's a pointless distinction. All citizens are subject to identical treatment by the law. It's like saying fat people marrying isn't really marriage, because for thousands of years we've been much skinnier.
It's hardly a pointless distinction. Gender is one of the most important things about us as human beings. I don't think the government should make that distinction, but that's not at all because it's pointless.

Rather because it's a big point is why I think the government shouldn't be involved in it. Homosexuals have the equivalent rights as heterosexuals concerning marriage, up to a point: like heterosexuals, homosexuals can marry someone of the opposite sex and divorce and remarry and divorce or cheat or whatever to their heart's content.

The controversy at hand is whether same-sex marriage should be treated as equivalent to heterosexual marriage in the eyes of our government. I think it should, but to pretend they are identical is just silly. Our laws aren't about the government believing that everyone is identical, but rather treating everyone equally under the law regardless of differences.

quote:

Maybe none of those things matter anymore; but then the word "marriage" has no meaning, and we ought to do away with it altogether. But I don't want to do that, because I'm married and I want it to still mean what it meant when I became that way. If people want to enter into some other kind of relationship than "an opposite-sex one-on-one life-long adult family partnership", then let's use another word. That's all.

Let's suppose it does make an impact of some sort on your life to have some random person be in a state of confusion as to what exactly your status is when they hear you're married. The question is, do you have a right - at the expense of what someone else gets to call their own relationship - to be free from that other person's confusion?
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MattP
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quote:
The difference is that right now when I say "I'm married," everyone knows I mean I'm married to a man.
Not necessarily. Canada and several European nations have SSM. A few US states also do now. And even amongst the domestically partnered and civily unionized, it's not uncommon to refer to your significant other as your spouse and your relationship as marriage.

Issues of permanence ("off the market for the rest of my life") are really a separate consideration. Marriage became less permanent quite some time ago, completely separate from SSM.

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JennaDean
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Won't impact me. Might impact the overall environment of the world we live in - in some ways very good, in some ways bad (in my opinion; I know that not everyone sees those changes as
bad). But no, it won't impact me.

It's like the changing of the definition of "gentleman". Used to mean something quite different than it means now, and now it's quite useless at describing what it originally described. I'd like "marriage" to continue to describe what it originally described so I can continue to use it in the way we always have, and not have to put a bunch of explanations and caveats and parentheses into my sentence when I say "He just got married."

I wonder how those gentlemen felt a couple centuries ago when they had to start explaining they were "a gentleman who owns land and doesn't work for a living"?

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Because the ratio of times I've heard this idea trumpeted by people who supported same-sex marriage versus those who oppose it is about 50:0.
Because, after all, relying on anecdotal word-of-mouth evidence in situations where elements of the discussion are incredibly vocal and memorable is a good and reliable way to measure things?
Hence my asking for evidence.

There are lots of organizations that are anti-ssm. If you can provide a quote from one of them saying that civil unions for everyone, no civil marriage for anyone is the right way to preserve marriage, go for it.

Again, the only people I ever hear suggesting this is a good idea are people who don't mind same-sex marriage. It would work if the bone of contentions really were the concept of civil marriage, but it's not. It's about how legal protection and social acceeptance will mean that people who have a slightly different lifestyle won't be able to be kicked around as social inferiors anymore.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
... when I say "I'm married," everyone knows I mean I'm married to a man ...

Again, not everyone ...

Edit to add:
quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
... I'd like "marriage" to continue to describe what it originally described so I can continue to use it in the way we always have ...

"Originally", "always", "we" ... not so much. Thats a whole lot of stretching.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
The difference is that right now when I say "I'm married," everyone knows I mean I'm married to a man. They ought also to know it means that I'm off the market and I'm going to be that way for the rest of my life, but that is increasingly not true anymore. Increasingly the word "married" means temporarily off the market; soon it will mean "currently in an exclusive-but-not-permanent relationship with another adult."

Maybe none of those things matter anymore; but then the word "marriage" has no meaning, and we ought to do away with it altogether. But I don't want to do that, because I'm married and I want it to still mean what it meant when I became that way. If people want to enter into some other kind of relationship than "an opposite-sex one-on-one life-long adult family partnership", then let's use another word. That's all.

You seem to be confusing sexual orientation with the perpetually-bemoaned moral decline of society.

To be absolutely clear, if your spouse were a woman, your marriage would have no meaning. And if two lesbians married one another, your marriage with your husband would have no meaning. Correct?

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Tresopax
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quote:
quote:
quote:
Heterosexuals have the right to marry the person they love and want to spend the rest of their life with. Homosexuals do not.
Not true... heterosexuals can't marry brothers, sisters, anyone underage, animals, people who are currently married to someone else, or anyone who doesn't consent to marrying them. If the only person a heterosexual man loves is a girl who won't consent to marrying him, he can't argue that marriage laws are unequally biased against people who want to mary people who don't love them back. Unfortunately for him, part of the definition of marriage is a two-sided consensual relationship, or at least so our society says.
Kind of a pointless, quibble, isn't it? The original meaning is understood even if it isn't precisely stated. It's rather cumbersome to state this in a way that isn't subject to ANY possible misinterpretation (I know because I tried once). But why hang up the conversation when everyone already knows what is meant?
Except this whole issue revolves around the fact that people disagree on what is meant. Many people feel that "member of the same sex" belongs among "anyone who doesn't consent" and "anyone already married" as exceptions implied within the right to marry the person one loves. Other people feel that it doesn't.
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MattP
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quote:
I'd like "marriage" to continue to describe what it originally described so I can continue to use it in the way we always have, and not have to put a bunch of explanations and caveats and parentheses into my sentence when I say "He just got married."

Why are explanations or caveats necessary? When you say "uncle Joe got married last week" the people that know that uncle Joe is gay will know exactly what that means, and the people that don't won't care. I might wonder why you're even telling them about it.

If it bothers you that much, adding "...to another man" doesn't really seem like all that much bother. You can even roll your eyes while you say it, if you'd like.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
I'd like "marriage" to continue to describe what it originally described so I can continue to use it in the way we always have, and not have to put a bunch of explanations and caveats and parentheses into my sentence when I say "He just got married."

Originally?

You mean "love, honor, and obey"?

Let me guess, you read in the news that the Afghani president has passed a law making marital rape a non-crime, and you want that kind of excellent tradition to make a comeback in the US?

That's what marriage originally meant. That's what it still means today in lots of places.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Maybe none of those things matter anymore; but then the word "marriage" has no meaning, and we ought to do away with it altogether. But I don't want to do that, because I'm married and I want it to still mean what it meant when I became that way. If people want to enter into some other kind of relationship than "an opposite-sex one-on-one life-long adult family partnership", then let's use another word.
I don't like using lists for this kind of thing, as they read in a very curt voice, but sometimes it's the best way for me to organize my thoughts.

1) Many, many words have multiple meanings. They aren't useless.
2) I have no problems with you using marriage to mean whatever you want. Kindly grant me the same courtesy.
3) Forgive me for questioning your statements, but I'm a little shocked. Are you saying your objection to SSM is linguistic?

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
It's a pointless distinction. All citizens are subject to identical treatment by the law. It's like saying fat people marrying isn't really marriage, because for thousands of years we've been much skinnier.
It's hardly a pointless distinction. Gender is one of the most important things about us as human beings. I don't think the government should make that distinction, but that's not at all because it's pointless.
No, it's a pointless legal distinction. Race is ALSO an important personal characteristic, but it's no basis for legal discrimination.

I'm absolutely baffled by people like Jenna. I don't think she's a bad person, but homosexuality is such a weirdly arbitrary trait to get hung up on. Why not height, weight, or literacy? How will equal application of the law "impact the overall environment of the world we live in" in "some ways bad"?

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Dan_raven
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Jeanna, I think you have a point.

The majority of people who oppose SSM are not homophobic, or religious zealonts, or dangerous CSA (Christian States of America) wannabe's.

They are just lazy.

To them marriage means one thing--the church, the white dress, the man and the woman and off to Niagra Falls to honeymoon and quickly produce a kid or too.

Such is the shared tradition of America in our zeitgeist, in our memory of "how things should be."

The wedding each girl is supposed to dream about and each man is supposed to agree to is this.

Its not a law, its not a sin, its something far more tenuous and far stronger. Its cultural TRADITION.

Any deviation from that is considered odd, unique, a deviation. Honeymoon somewhere else and that is worth noting. Get married at the courthouse, or by an Elvis wannabe and that is odd, not a true wedding. If the bride wears something other than white, well thats just not right.

To imagine such a scene with out the Bride or Groom, with two Brides or Grooms, sets this whole image off.

Its not what we want at our wedding.

Its not what we've seen at any wedding we've ever been to.

And we assume since we've never been to such, such has never existed. Too often people define for ever as for as long as they've lived.
The believe that certainly Martha Washington walked down the aisle to the bridal march we use today, and then honeymooned at Niagra.

Now some fear mongering politicians looking for a cause to replace communism as the liberal devil, CSA dreamers, or homophobic nutcase has grabbed this cause and created all kinds of excuses, rationalizations, and explanations that fit their agendas.

The truth is that some people see this as a change and don't want it to happen. And because of this laziness of cultural mindset other people, Lesbians and Gay Men in love, will have to suffer for it.

On the Christian States of America front: It is interesting that these folks are using the one remaining area where Church and State cross paths, to launch this stand. They are hoping to use this as a springboard to create the Christian State they dream of, but it may result in them losing it as the idea of civil unions for all marriages is forced out as a viable option.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Hence my asking for evidence.
Well no, that's not exactly what you did.

------

quote:
No, it's a pointless legal distinction. Race is ALSO an important personal characteristic, but it's no basis for legal discrimination.
Even race is not a 'pointless legal distinction'. We're working towards that in our society, but it still remains in some cases an actual legal distinction.

Anyway, now you're using qualifiers. I don't think gender should be a legal distinction either for purposes of civil unions. But that's quite different from saying it's a pointless distinction.

quote:

I'm absolutely baffled by people like Jenna. I don't think she's a bad person, but...

Heh
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Lalo
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Brilliant argument, Jeff. I missed you.
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Maybe none of those things matter anymore; but then the word "marriage" has no meaning, and we ought to do away with it altogether. But I don't want to do that, because I'm married and I want it to still mean what it meant when I became that way. If people want to enter into some other kind of relationship than "an opposite-sex one-on-one life-long adult family partnership", then let's use another word. That's all.
The notion that marriage (or any other word or institution) has always meant the same thing is completely false. It's meant everything from pretty much slavery to equal partnership and everything in between. It's been between one man and one woman, one man and multiple women, one woman and multiple men.

In any of its incarnations, though, the word has held a cultural power. That power is not meaningless - the very fact that millions of people on both sides of the debate care about it gives it meaning. To claim the definition of the word that was used when you got married as your own and demand that others come up with a new word is telling those people they are second class citizens, because any word they come up with will not be infused with the same cultural power.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
And a whole lot more upset at all those godless atheists getting married civially.
Really? I've thought we were talking about same sex marriage, I had no idea the real issue was atheists marrying.
The issue was the hypothesis that you brought up about the problem that ssm-opponents have with it is that the sacredness of marriage would be somehow sullied by allowing same-sex marraiges to exist.

Well, the godless have been marrying and divorcing and remarrying with abandon for decades, and religious people didn't feel even slightly threatened. So why would these same religious people pull out all the stops because a couple with two penises or none wants the same godless marriage that atheists couples with just one penis have been cheerfully and profanely getting for years?

quote:
quote:
Okay, then can you show us the large, silent majority of people who oppose same-sex marraige, but would be okay with the government granting civil unions to all instead?
My experience in discussing the issue with people is that many (the majority in my experience) who are strongly opposed to same sex marriage can be persuaded to support civil unions -- as long as those in civil unions have the same legal responsibilities as those who are married. The gay community has largely opposed this route.
That's not what I asked.

Where are all the people who, given the choice between everyone having honest civil marriage, and no one having it, pick "no one gets it, not you, not me, not any other staight couple or gay couple"?

Or are all the people you talk to willing to extend civil unions to others, so long as they get to keep "marriage" for themselves and people like them?

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Jhai
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quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
quote:
Maybe none of those things matter anymore; but then the word "marriage" has no meaning, and we ought to do away with it altogether. But I don't want to do that, because I'm married and I want it to still mean what it meant when I became that way. If people want to enter into some other kind of relationship than "an opposite-sex one-on-one life-long adult family partnership", then let's use another word. That's all.
The notion that marriage (or any other word or institution) has always meant the same thing is completely false. It's meant everything from pretty much slavery to equal partnership and everything in between. It's been between one man and one woman, one man and multiple women, one woman and multiple men.

In any of its incarnations, though, the word has held a cultural power. That power is not meaningless - the very fact that millions of people on both sides of the debate care about it gives it meaning. To claim the definition of the word that was used when you got married as your own and demand that others come up with a new word is telling those people they are second class citizens, because any word they come up with will not be infused with the same cultural power.

It's been between two men, two women, and two male gods in Hindu scriptures, too. The gods and the women even managed to procreate within their homosexual unions. Indian culture is generally homophobic, but the scripture (and some groups) are quite welcoming of homosexual marriages.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Well, the godless have been marrying and divorcing and remarrying with abandon for decades, and religious people didn't feel even slightly threatened

So why would these same religious people pull out all the stops because a couple with two penises or none wants the same godless marriage that atheists couples with just one penis have been cheerfully and profanely getting for years?

You are starting off with a false hypothesis. Let me try to clarify this. The traditional religious view is that all sex outside of marriage is a sin, but God approves of sex between married people. I suppose that was a very simple to deal with when there was only one church in town and that church regulated all the marriages. And if you look at the time period following the reformation (when multiple churches first became common in the west), you will see that it did in fact take decades, maybe even centuries, for religious people to accept that it wasn't a sin for people to having sex if they were married by a different religion. But over the centuries, most religious people have largely come to accept a very ecumenical attitude toward the sacrament of marriage, with "legally married" by any church or even a civil authority being accepted as good enough for God for most purposes.

But same sex marriage throws a wrench in the works because many religious people think that homosexual sex is a sin under all circumstances. If it is true that God thinks homosexual sex is bad (and I'm not saying that it is or isn't), then legalizing it can't make it OK. Legalizing it would then completely destroy the whole system for deciding who is married, and therefore can have sex without committing a sin, and who isn't.

And I think this is the big problem. But people don't realize that the root of the problem isn't homosexuality, it is that we have made a legal contract equivalent to religious sacrament. It creates a very serious conundrum.

I think most people, even conservative religious people, are willing to accept that homosexuals should be treated fairly and kindly under the law. But they aren't ready to say homosexuality isn't a sin. And if "legal marriage" is no longer considered the dividing line between righteous sex and unrighteous sex, then it creates some seriously erodes religious prohibitions against sex outside of marriage. Church's will then have to find some other means to determine what relationships are acceptable to God and which are not. It completely throws the unofficial ecumenical acceptance of marriage into a spin.

And you are right that it isn't and easy problem to solve but if people begin to see how ludicrous it is to allow the government, the courts, the legislatures or majority vote to decide what relationships are acceptable to God and which are not, I think they would be willing to take marriage entirely out of the hands of government.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
And you are right that it isn't and easy problem to solve but if people begin to see how ludicrous it is to allow the government, the courts, the legislatures or majority vote to decide what relationships are acceptable to God and which are not, I think they would be willing to take marriage entirely out of the hands of government.
I suggested this to my fundamentalist Christian friend, and he reacted very negatively. I think a few other people here have already hit on why: the same people who think (and care) that homosexuality is a sin also want to return closer to a world where religious principles (i.e. their religious principles) have legal meaning. To them, the single church that conducted all marriages in town is an idealistic time they want to return to. Divorcing the last remaining connection between religion and government does not help them in their goals at all.
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The Rabbit
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I'm sure there are some people whose opposition to gay marriage is part of an overall political agenda to use legal force to back Christian ideals. Its possible your friend is one of them. Those people aren't going to be persuaded by my arguments.

My claim isn't that such people don't exist, it is that they are a small minority of the people who oppose gay marriage. I can't prove that but your anecdote does not disprove it either.

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scifibum
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My impression is that there are a lot of people who think that having their partnerships endowed with exclusive legal status is a good thing. They might settle for civil unions for same sex couples, but would not want to sacrifice their exclusive status in order to get the state out of marriages entirely.

I've never seen a poll that asks about this specific compromise, though. If I find any information I'll post it here (though if I don't find anything and post it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, of course [Wink] ).

BTW, it's my favorite compromise. I just think there's going to be a feeling from the current beneficiaries of marriage that they shouldn't have to give up anything; that compromise is a bad idea.

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Lisa
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The Christians who want to bar SSM because their religion doesn't agree with it would probably go berserk if the majority was Catholic and tried to make divorce illegal on the same grounds. All of a sudden, they'd be screaming about church and state. But when it's their religion, it's all hunky dory.
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MattP
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quote:
My claim isn't that such people don't exist, it is that they are a small minority of the people who oppose gay marriage. I can't prove that but your anecdote does not disprove it either.
They may be a minority, but I wouldn't say they are a small one. Several of the largest Prop 8 donations came from organizations which are opposed not only to SSM, but also to civil unions. Of the loudest anti-SSM voices, there's a virtual silence on the subject of civil unions except where it's politically expedient to mention them. The "they already have all the same rights as married people" commercials are paid for by people who would be happy to strip those rights if given the opportunity.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Let me try to clarify this. The traditional religious view is that all sex outside of marriage is a sin, but God approves of sex between married people.

King Solomon in the Bible is reported to have had 700 concubines. Are you claiming that the traditional read on King Solomon is that he was a big time sexual sinner?

Or is the "traditional" take on sex outside of marriage is that it's fine for men to do with other women, just not with other men's wives?

And why on earth do you think that I am ignorant of what religious people claim is their tradition?

quote:
But over the centuries, most religious people have largely come to accept a very ecumenical attitude toward the sacrament of marriage, with "legally married" by any church or even a civil authority being accepted as good enough for God for most purposes.
So you are arguing that religious opponents of ssm think that atheist couples have gone through a holy sacrament…without knowing it? Without wanting to?

So that if a divorced Catholic couple gets remarried civilly, most Catholics think that they’ve had the good-enough version of the sacrament of marriage? You think that’s what conservative Catholics think?

quote:
But same sex marriage throws a wrench in the works because many religious people think that homosexual sex is a sin under all circumstances.
Of course I know that. Everyone knows that.
I knew a same-sex couple, and one of them was in hospice for a year. The sick one could hardly breathe, so sex was pretty much out of the question.

Are you really claiming that large numbers of people who oppose same-sex marriage would have been fine with this couple I knew marrying, because they weren't going to have sex ever?

I think not.

quote:
Legalizing it would then completely destroy the whole system for deciding who is married, and therefore can have sex without committing a sin, and who isn't.
Umm, the way you decide who's legally married is you see if you have the legal certificate. It's not hard a system to figure out.

Really, Catholics worked this out a long time ago. If you get divorced and remarried, the answer is “Your piece of paper means nothing, you are still fornicating”.

quote:
And I think this is the big problem. But people don't realize that the root of the problem isn't homosexuality, it is that we have made a legal contract equivalent to religious sacrament. It creates a very serious conundrum.
No, we haven’t. How can a religious sacrament be touched by what a bunch of bureaucrats sign and stamp and process? Who honestly thinks that paper-pushers have power over God?

quote:
I think most people, even conservative religious people, are willing to accept that homosexuals should be treated fairly and kindly under the law.
Really? When the new head of the RNC was asked if he thought that civil unions were worth pursuing, he was amazed. He thought it was an obvious non-starter. The LDS has made quite clear that anything that helps families headed by gay people “undermines” ‘real’ families. If you have some well-known figures in mind, go right ahead with names.

quote:
And if "legal marriage" is no longer considered the dividing line between righteous sex and unrighteous sex, then it creates some seriously erodes religious prohibitions against sex outside of marriage.
So you are arguing that, say, in the eyes of the Catholic Church, the dividing line is the legal license? (Hint, think non-procreative sex) Are you really saying that religious people think that the government decides the line between sinful behavior and non-sinful behavior?
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Paul Goldner
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"I think most people, even conservative religious people, are willing to accept that homosexuals should be treated fairly and kindly under the law. "

Then why are these people voting to ban gays from being treated fairly and kindly under the law?

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scholarette
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I don't think Catholics view the legal license as the difference between sin and not, but I do think a lot of Protestants do (atleast the ones I talk to). But the Protestants I know also have a more lenient view in some ways on marriage within a church- they may personally go to a Lutheran church, but got married in a Baptist church and its all good.
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King of Men
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quote:
I'd like "marriage" to continue to describe what it originally described so I can continue to use it in the way we always have, and not have to put a bunch of explanations and caveats and parentheses into my sentence when I say "He just got married."
Seriously? This is really your actual, deep-down objection? You would really deny a large group of people the ability to marry their loved ones on the grounds that you prefer a word to have a particular meaning? I don't think you can have thought this through. Take a look at some of the gay people on this board who would like to get married; would you stand at the church and look them in the eye and say "Sorry, you can't call it marriage, that would require me to change my sentences around a bit."? If you really would do that, I can only call it shallow beyond belief. Is this genuinely the person you want to present yourself as, to yourself and the world at large? Is this what you want your children to read that you wrote, twenty years from now? I urge you to reconsider.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
King Solomon in the Bible is reported to have had 700 concubines. Are you claiming that the traditional read on King Solomon is that he was a big time sexual sinner?

Or is the "traditional" take on sex outside of marriage is that it's fine for men to do with other women, just not with other men's wives?

And why on earth do you think that I am ignorant of what religious people claim is their tradition?

Maybe because you use arguments like the one you just made about Solomon?

I mean, seriously. Clearly because modern Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) has different standards now than they all did millenia ago, we're all such dreadful hypocrites.

quote:
I wonder how those gentlemen felt a couple centuries ago when they had to start explaining they were "a gentleman who owns land and doesn't work for a living"?
ETA: You know, the gentry actually survived that and other various changes. Pretty well, really.
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Humean316
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quote:
Jeanna, I think you have a point.

The majority of people who oppose SSM are not homophobic, or religious zealonts, or dangerous CSA (Christian States of America) wannabe's.

They are just lazy.

To them marriage means one thing--the church, the white dress, the man and the woman and off to Niagra Falls to honeymoon and quickly produce a kid or too.

While I think there are some who think SSM is an evil because of prejudice or hatred, I think you have to understand where most who argue the position come from. My mother is a Christian woman who simply wants to do what God commands, she wants to be a good Christian woman who embraces Jesus Christ and who bases her life on the perfect love he embodied. Thus, when she claims that SSM should not be legal, it's not out of a deep resentment, homophobia, or a hatred of homosexuals, it is simply her best take on what the Bible says is correct. She works 50-60 hours a week, she goes to church on Sunday, she fixes dinner every night, and she tries to be the best possible person she can be. Clearly, she isn't evil nor is she some stupid person bent on subjugating homosexuals, she is simply doing the best she can between all the other things she has to do. She also happens to be the person I most admire, and I disagree with her about everything, including SSM.

But that's beside the point, I guess. I think sometimes we expect too much from people. It's a great thing to expect the best of people and to seek progress, but I also think it helps to understand that some people are just trying to to do the best they can. I don't think those who oppose SSM are lazy, I just think they don't have the time.

And that has to be ok in a world where there are only 24 hours in a day.

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jebus202
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
King Solomon in the Bible is reported to have had 700 concubines. Are you claiming that the traditional read on King Solomon is that he was a big time sexual sinner?

Or is the "traditional" take on sex outside of marriage is that it's fine for men to do with other women, just not with other men's wives?

And why on earth do you think that I am ignorant of what religious people claim is their tradition?

Maybe because you use arguments like the one you just made about Solomon?

I mean, seriously. Clearly because modern Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) has different standards now than they all did millenia ago, we're all such dreadful hypocrites.

Yea, obviously God's laws can change, duh. I mean he's an eternal being who knows all and sees all, so he's bound to change his mind now and then. Not about gays and marriage though, only about other stuff.
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AvidReader
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Wasn't Soloman the one who messed up so bad that Isreal hasn't had a king since? I thought the 700 wives and concubines was part of that?
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Dobbie
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Actually there were 19 kings of Israel after Solomon, not counting the kings of Judah.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
My claim isn't that such people don't exist, it is that they are a small minority of the people who oppose gay marriage. I can't prove that but your anecdote does not disprove it either.

Whenever I've seen americans polled on the issue, the anti-ssm contingent largely DON'T want to remove marriage as a legal status granted by the government, and they DO want to ensure that marriage holds the definition of 'between a man and a woman.'

Even as this formerly majority view dwindles into a plurality and — most likely — a minority, the reasoning in the words of those who try to keep gays from marrying is straightforward. They want marriage to be a tool for structuring society as they see fit, based on their religion.

To remove marriage from the government's control denies them this power.

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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
I mean, seriously. Clearly because modern Christianity (and Judaism and Islam) has different standards now than they all did millenia ago, we're all such dreadful hypocrites.
Yes, that's exactly why. The whole point is that the "marriage has meant the same thing for thousands of years" thing is not true.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Yea, obviously God's laws can change, duh. I mean he's an eternal being who knows all and sees all, so he's bound to change his mind now and then. Not about gays and marriage though, only about other stuff.
Another compelling argument.

As humanity grows and thus along with it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc., it's only natural that some rules would change. That's the same for any system. There's nothing untoward about it.

quote:
Yes, that's exactly why. The whole point is that the "marriage has meant the same thing for thousands of years" thing is not true.
This I agree with. It's one reason I believe religious people should not insist the government be in the religion business (marriage).
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
This I agree with. It's one reason I believe religious people should not insist the government be in the religion business (marriage).

You know, it's worth pointing out that marriage ISN'T a religious institution. It's one that religions engage in, but it's long since outgrown purely religious connotations. As an atheist, I expect to be married someday.

I'm all for separation of church and state, but re-terming the government contract of marriage as "civil unions" just because otherwise gays will get to say they're married would be a national embarrassment.

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The Rabbit
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quote:
So you are arguing that religious opponents of ssm think that atheist couples have gone through a holy sacrament…without knowing it? Without wanting to?

So that if a divorced Catholic couple gets remarried civilly, most Catholics think that they’ve had the good-enough version of the sacrament of marriage? You think that’s what conservative Catholics think?

The Catholic Church is highly problematic for numerous reasons, the most important being that there is a very large divergence between what most practicing American Catholics believe and the official church position. I have a hard time deciphering Catholocism because I can't get consistent answers from any two Catholics.

But this much I am confident of, if you are divorced Catholics consider you divorcee even if you were married civilly. This implies that at some level Catholics consider civil marriage to be binding and recognized in the eyes of God.

I also know that my family members who are practicing Catholics consider people who are married outside the Catholic church to be really married. I understand that if I were to convert to Catholicism, the Catholic Church would expect me to undergo a sacrament to sanctify my marriage but its kind of fuzzy because it isn't like they consider me "unwed" or that it is sinful for me to have sex with my husband unless we participate in that sacrament.

Bottom line, even though its a bit fuzzy Catholics do in fact have an ecumenical attitude toward marriage which recognizes all legal marriages as binding in the eyes of God.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
I just don't think that the real problem people have with ssm has anything to do with keeping marriage sacred. If it were, they'd be a whole lot more upset at people breaking vows made to God about life-long bonds.
Um, I don't know any Christians who aren't "a lot upset" about this. The high divorce rate is regularly bemoaned.

Oh, yeah, "bemoaned". It didn't stop supposed Christians from supporting divorcee McCain. Do you think they'd ever support McCain if he was openly gay instead?

So, yeah, Christians can bemoan away about divorce rates, but they don't really care about divorces. There aren't any signs saying "God hates divorcees", there's signs saying "God hates fags" instead.

The amusing thing is I'd be all in favour of banning remarriages after a divorce. In this matter I'm much closer to the teachings of Christ than the supposed Christians are.

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Xaposert
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I don't think the fact that Christians often supported McCain is any sort of evidence that they don't really care about divorces. Rather, it's evidence that they think someone who had a divorce might still make a good leader.

And there do exist Republican politicians who are openly gay.

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SenojRetep
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To Samp's and swbarnes' point about some Christians who want to enshrine a specifically Christian definition of marriage in order to use the government as a tool for social construction, that argument swings both ways, as Lalo just demonstrated. There are plenty of advocates of SSM who would not be satisfied with the solution that the Rabbit proposed (and which I proposed previously in the Prop 8 thread), specifically because they want the government to take a stand in favor of social acceptability for homosexuality. They aren't satisfied with a solution that allows the government to avoid the social acceptability issue.

How many Jatraqueros who support SSM would also support uniform domestic partnerships <edit>meaning no marriages at all, just partnerships that could be made between any two consenting adults, regardless of sexual attraction, gender, familial relation, etc.</edit>? If not, why not? Lalo's already said it would be a "national embarrassment." Are there other opinions?

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MattP
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I would consider uniform domestic partnerships to be an acceptable compromise, as it does make for an equal playing field. I do feel, however, that it would be an unfortunate and embarassing one. If rings of "If I can't have it then no one can.", which seems rather petty.
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scifibum
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quote:
There aren't any signs saying "God hates divorcees", there's signs saying "God hates fags" instead.
I think there might be a case to be made that the level of public concern about homosexuality among many conservative religious groups is disproportionate to their concern about divorce, child abuse, etc., but this isn't it.

The sign bearers you mention are actually a very small and extreme sect which has nothing to do with any mainstream (i.e. politically significant) churches in the U.S. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps

I think the reason they get so much attention is a combination of freakishness leading to fame, and also because painting religious bigotry against gays with a brazen tone is useful to some demagogues.

swbarnes: You need to try a little harder to get Rabbit's point. Why are you imagining all those inane arguments in her post? Rabbit's point is a simple (but good) one: some people are attached to the notion that legal marriage helps define the difference between sinful sex and OK sex. Note she is not arguing that legal marriage (or civil unions) should continue to delineate the difference.

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