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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban (Page 5)

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Author Topic: Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban
Xaposert
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Why is it that women can't be fathers? Wouldn't it be more equal if we were to redefine the institution of fatherhood in our culture so that both men and women could take on the role of "father" if they wanted to?
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Not only is segregation not bad when it's for gays, it's actually good.

Yeah, this might be the problem. Whether you're being facetious or not, there are people who believe homosexuals are fundamentally not good enough for marriage.

At this point, there's not much more you can do than shrug and wait for them to die off. There aren't many people left today who think blacks aren't good enough to share white restrooms.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Yeah, this might be the problem. Whether you're being facetious or not, there are people who believe homosexuals are fundamentally not good enough for marriage.
In this conversation, the problem definitely isn't whether or not I'm being facetious.

Either you're being facetitious (in which case it's not funny, not because I'm offended, but because it's so deadpan and that doesn't always work online), or you're so grossly distorting the things I say that an actual conversation isn't possible.

I'd say that's a bigger problem than whether or not I was facetitious in response to you.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
Why is it that women can't be fathers? Wouldn't it be more equal if we were to redefine the institution of fatherhood in our culture so that both men and women could take on the role of "father" if they wanted to?

Is the government granting significant rights and responsibilities to fathers that it isn't to mothers, and I'm just not aware of it?

If not, then I'm unsure what your point is.

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Paul Goldner
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"Well, no actually it wasn't, Paul. At least not if I'm remembering correctly. There were half a dozen or so cases that comprised the whole, and I think only one or two of them didn't make claims of major inequality in staff, infrastructure, curriculum, etc. "

Yes. Some of those cases made didn't make claims of major inequality. And the SC ruled that regardless of whether or not the physical structures were equal, they were separate, and that made segregation unconstitutional.

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AvidReader
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quote:
Currently I favor making a big push for civil unions, provided that civil unions have identical legal rights as marriages.
I'm a page late, as usual. [Smile]

If they do that, I actually think it's time to relook at some of those benefits of marriage. I still find the whole part where parents can give a minor permission to have sex with someone much older to be seriously creepy.

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MattP
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quote:
Paul said the whole point of Brown was thus and so. I said that no, in fact, it wasn't.
From the Brown v. Board decision:
quote:
"separate educational facilities are inherently unequal."
The case was made - and the court accepted - that separation itself was unequal, regardless of the similarities in physical accomodations.
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Xaposert
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quote:
Is the government granting significant rights and responsibilities to fathers that it isn't to mothers, and I'm just not aware of it?

If not, then I'm unsure what your point is.

I thought we were talking about whether it would be fair to have "civil unions" for gay couples and "marriages" for heterosexual couples, and making both essentially the same legally except with a different name...

Mothers and fathers are treated mostly the same under the law, but they are definitely given different names and considered differently by our culture. I'm just asking why women can't be fathers... All things equal, wouldn't it be more fair to let parents decide for themselves who gets to be the father and who gets to be the mother? Why don't we consider it inherent segregation when we have one cultural institution of fatherhood for men and a different institution of motherhood for women?

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Mothers and fathers are treated mostly the same under the law, but they are definitely given different names and considered differently by our culture.
Is this true? With the possible exception of laws that deal with the real biological difference between parents (pregnancy), most laws use the gender neutral term "parent" . Yes, culturally we use the terms Mother and Father, but I don't think the laws generally make that distinction.
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Xaposert
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I was under the impression a distinction was made particularly in child custody issues.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
The case was made - and the court accepted - that separation itself was unequal, regardless of the similarities in physical accomodations.
I'm not disagreeing with that. I was never disagreeing with that. All I said was, quite plainly, that the whole point of Brown v. Board of Education was not that separate is inherently unequal. And it wasn't.

Pointing that out does not mean I think separate is equal, or that the government thinks it is. Am I not making that clear, or is it just that people are reading something other than what I'm writing here?

Then comes the question of whether or not marriage is or should be equivalent in the eyes of the law to public education.

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
I was under the impression a distinction was made particularly in child custody issues.

To answer your original question, then, yes, such laws (if they exist, and you aren't just talking about outcome patterns) should be revised to be gender neutral. There's no valid reason for the law to treat parents of one gender differently in child custody cases.

My impression is that child custody is usually awarded to the mother. Even if that is generally best for the kids, you don't need a law that says so. Such decisions really need to be made case by case.

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Xaposert
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But, to clarify, you see no problem with society as a culture making a distinction between mothers and fathers, as long as it isn't in the law?

Similarly, is there no issue here with society as a culture making a distinction between marriages and civil unions, as long as it isn't distinguished in the law?

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MattP
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quote:
Similarly, is there no issue here with society as a culture making a distinction between marriages and civil unions, as long as it isn't distinguished in the law?
There is no issue, in the same way that there is "no issue" with the existence of racism in society following the removal of segregation and anti-miscegenation laws.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
But, to clarify, you see no problem with society as a culture making a distinction between mothers and fathers, as long as it isn't in the law?

Similarly, is there no issue here with society as a culture making a distinction between marriages and civil unions, as long as it isn't distinguished in the law?

Sort of.

I think the law should avoid those particular distinctions but I don't think cultural distinctions are necessarily problematic. They can be.

For society to think mothers are generally better single parents than fathers, for instance, is not harmful by itself, but might cause problems with child custody cases where the fathers do not get fair treatment.

Another example is that a same sex married couple might be treated badly by people who disapprove of their relationship.

Either way, though, the existence (and difficulty of solving) cultural problems doesn't need to be a barrier to fixing the problems (as I see them) with the laws.

If same sex couples are allowed access to the same legal institution(s) as opposite sex couples - whether it's marriage or civil unions or domestic corporations or whatever - then I don't have a problem with people whose religious or moral views require it saying that the same sex couples aren't "married" but the opposite sex couples are. I do have a problem if that escalates to persecution or illegal discrimination, but I don't have any desire to wipe out the cultural distinction itself.

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
quote:
Is the government granting significant rights and responsibilities to fathers that it isn't to mothers, and I'm just not aware of it?

If not, then I'm unsure what your point is.

I thought we were talking about whether it would be fair to have "civil unions" for gay couples and "marriages" for heterosexual couples, and making both essentially the same legally except with a different name...

Mothers and fathers are treated mostly the same under the law, but they are definitely given different names and considered differently by our culture. I'm just asking why women can't be fathers... All things equal, wouldn't it be more fair to let parents decide for themselves who gets to be the father and who gets to be the mother? Why don't we consider it inherent segregation when we have one cultural institution of fatherhood for men and a different institution of motherhood for women?

You're trying really hard with this analogy dude, but it's not cutting it. Yes, mother and father are gender-loaded terms. So are woman and man. Are you saying marriage is also a gender-loaded term, and therefore can't apply to homosexual couples?

If so, you have a very sad grasp of English.

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Rakeesh
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I think he might be trying to point out that in our society, we do make legal distinctions in some areas for gender and racial purposes.
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Lalo
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Which in no way relates to marriage. He might as well point out that certain types of frogs can switch genders, for all that it adds to the debate.
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Lalo
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Furthermore, I'm getting tired of these sad attempts to disqualify homosexual marriage though grammar. JennaDean lies awake at night fearing that she'll have to explain she's married to a man. Tresopax wonders if mothers will become fathers. What the hell is wrong with people.
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Dobbie
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If frogs can change gender, why doesn't Kermit just change into a female whenever Miss Piggy goes after him?

Or would that just make things worse?

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Xaposert
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quote:
You're trying really hard with this analogy dude, but it's not cutting it. Yes, mother and father are gender-loaded terms. So are woman and man. Are you saying marriage is also a gender-loaded term, and therefore can't apply to homosexual couples?
I wasn't making an analogy.

I was pointing out that in our society, we have institutions that are defined in certain ways such that they aren't equally open to everybody. In the case of fathers and mothers, we have two institutions that are similar, but are given different names. Yet it appears this does not inherently imply we are committing an injustice. And it seems, at least to me, that we wouldn't simply redefine those institutions for the sake of equality, so men could be mothers and women could be fathers if they wanted; there must be some reason why we don't simply redefine our cultural institutions whenever we decide it is more fair to do so. I asked what is that reason?

quote:
If same sex couples are allowed access to the same legal institution(s) as opposite sex couples - whether it's marriage or civil unions or domestic corporations or whatever - then I don't have a problem with people whose religious or moral views require it saying that the same sex couples aren't "married" but the opposite sex couples are. I do have a problem if that escalates to persecution or illegal discrimination, but I don't have any desire to wipe out the cultural distinction itself.
The trouble is, I think the social distinction is really the crux of the problem, not the legal distinction. That's why I suspect the "everyone has a civil union" compromise wouldn't satisfy either side. More than simply being legally considered married, I think what gay couples really want is for society to accept their marriage as a legitimate marriage like any other. They think that by changing the law, they'll change the attitudes of the people. Similarly, I think what opponents of gay marriage really want is not just to legally call gay marriage something other than "marriage", but also for society to consider gay marriages to be less legitimate than heterosexual marriages. The law is more symbolism than anything; it's the attitudes of their neighbors that they really want to change.

Here's a quote from the article in the other gay marriage thread to illustrate: ""It's been a very long battle. It's been almost 20 years to get to this point," Dostis said. "I think finally, most people in Vermont understand that we're a couple like any other couple. We're as good and as bad as any other group of people. And now I think we have a chance to prove ourselves here on forward that we're good members of our community."

In other words, to Dostis, the real purpose of changing the law seems to be to change the minds of most people in Vermond and make them understand that they are a legitimate couple too. It's more about what it symbolicly implies than it is about tax breaks that married couples legally get.

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TomDavidson
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Hey, it's Eddie! Hi, Eddie!
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Furthermore, I'm getting tired of these sad attempts to disqualify homosexual marriage though grammar. JennaDean lies awake at night fearing that she'll have to explain she's married to a man. Tresopax wonders if mothers will become fathers. What the hell is wrong with people.

Well, we can always point them to a dictionary now, in case they need to convince people that people of the same gender can be 'married.'
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Teshi
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quote:
And it seems, at least to me, that we wouldn't simply redefine those institutions for the sake of equality, so men could be mothers and women could be fathers if they wanted; there must be some reason why we don't simply redefine our cultural institutions whenever we decide it is more fair to do so.
We could call fathers 'mothers' and mothers 'fathers' quite easily. But why change when we would still require a word for female parent and male parent.

There is no other reason why we should not redefine cultural institutions when the situation arises (as it just has). The only reason we don't is because people oppose it.

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JennaDean
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quote:
More than simply being legally considered married, I think what gay couples really want is for society to accept their marriage as a legitimate marriage like any other. They think that by changing the law, they'll change the attitudes of the people. Similarly, I think what opponents of gay marriage really want is not just to legally call gay marriage something other than "marriage", but also for society to consider gay marriages to be less legitimate than heterosexual marriages. The law is more symbolism than anything; it's the attitudes of their neighbors that they really want to change.
<nods> That sounds right.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
More than simply being legally considered married, I think what gay couples really want is for society to accept their marriage as a legitimate marriage like any other. They think that by changing the law, they'll change the attitudes of the people. Similarly, I think what opponents of gay marriage really want is not just to legally call gay marriage something other than "marriage", but also for society to consider gay marriages to be less legitimate than heterosexual marriages. The law is more symbolism than anything; it's the attitudes of their neighbors that they really want to change.
<nods> That sounds right.
This seems incredibly self-centered. To be brutally honest, nobody cares what you think of them. When I marry, it won't be to gain legitimacy in your eyes. But neither will I tolerate being denied equal rights by the government.

It has nothing to do with you. Nobody's forcing backwards churches to recognize gay marriage, and you can maintain all the gender- or race-restricted traditions you like. It's about forcing the government to apply its laws equally.

We've already won -- nobody under thirty still believes homosexuals are second-class citizens. We don't need your approval.

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Xaposert
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quote:
There is no other reason why we should not redefine cultural institutions when the situation arises (as it just has). The only reason we don't is because people oppose it.
But why do people oppose it? Are those people just being purely irrational?

I'll give another example, which doesn't have anything to do with gender or relationships at all: Sports. In our culture we have "sports" that people play and compete in, which are for whatever reason considered important by a whole lot of people. High schools around the country give sports special attention, funding, pep rallies, etc. Imagine a certain high school gives a varsity letter to every student who participates on a sports team, and this is considered an honor. Now imagine that members of the chess team complain, and argue that chess should be considered a sport too, and that therefore they should get the letter too. Then members of the music program, hearing the dispute, also argue that they should be considered a sport and qualify for the letter. I can guarantee you that there will be some segment of the community that responds "Wait a minute - chess and band aren't sports!" And true enough, they aren't what the institution of a sport traditionally meant. But at the same time, the school could simply decide to change the meaning of a sport and include all those other activities in order to be more equal to everyone. Would it be irrational and wrong for the school to rule that sports should remain what they traditionally were thought of as?

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Xaposert
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quote:
We've already won -- nobody under thirty still believes homosexuals are second-class citizens.
You may need to take another look at how gay students are treated by fellow teenagers in many high schools....
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JennaDean
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quote:
This seems incredibly self-centered. To be brutally honest, nobody cares what you think of them.... It has nothing to do with you.
When did I mention me? I was just responding that I thought Xaposert's description of the feelings of both sides was pretty accurate.
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Teshi
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quote:
But why do people oppose it?
People don't like to change.

quote:
Now imagine that members of the chess team complain, and argue that chess should be considered a sport too, and that therefore they should get the letter too. Then members of the music program, hearing the dispute, also argue that they should be considered a sport and qualify for the letter.
Do they want to be considered a sport, or do they want to be recognized/honoured in the same way those on the sports teams are for their efforts? Why shouldn't they be honoured in a similar way to sportif people?

I recognize that to some people 'marriage' means man + woman just as 'sport' means physical activity. But the word sport is just a word that has been chosen to make this distinction. There's nothing preventing the word sport from changing in its meaning to mean "activity" except how it is recognized in the minds of people.

In the future we will distinguish between homosexual and heterosexual marriage in just that way, by applying a modifying adjective. Otherwise, the marriages will be far, far closer institutions than chess and football.

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
It has nothing to do with you. Nobody's forcing backwards churches to recognize gay marriage, and you can maintain all the gender- or race-restricted traditions you like. It's about forcing the government to apply its laws equally.

Yes. The difference is that we do not have responsibility as citizens for what religious institutions say and do within their own spheres. What is said and done may be right or wrong, but it is not my responsibility that it happens.

In contrast, the laws and regulations enacted and enforced by our elected representatives are indeed our shared responsibility as citizens.

[And that is where the vested interest lies for all citizens, although only some citizens are invested with responsibility for religious beliefs; namely, members of those religions. Not all of us. But all citizens are members of the general institutions of government, for these purposes, and so responsibility is shared by all of us citizens.

That is why there is an impetus to change laws -- which we are all responsible for -- and not (to some of us) to change those things we are not responsible for. Those things may be good or bad, problematic or not, but they are not the same kind of thing.]

[ April 08, 2009, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
This seems incredibly self-centered. To be brutally honest, nobody cares what you think of them.... It has nothing to do with you.
When did I mention me? I was just responding that I thought Xaposert's description of the feelings of both sides was pretty accurate.
You believe, as you've stated before, that homosexuals are trying to change their neighbors' definitions of marriage. They're not.

Believe whatever you want, and use whatever definitions you want. So long as you don't apply them to deny other people equal rights, nobody cares.

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Xaposert
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The passions on both sides of this issue make no sense if it were solely an issue of legal semantics. I have to think it's about more than just what term the law uses to refer to a given relationship.
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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:

I'll give another example, which doesn't have anything to do with gender or relationships at all: Sports. In our culture we have "sports" that people play and compete in, which are for whatever reason considered important by a whole lot of people. High schools around the country give sports special attention, funding, pep rallies, etc. Imagine a certain high school gives a varsity letter to every student who participates on a sports team, and this is considered an honor. Now imagine that members of the chess team complain, and argue that chess should be considered a sport too, and that therefore they should get the letter too. Then members of the music program, hearing the dispute, also argue that they should be considered a sport and qualify for the letter. I can guarantee you that there will be some segment of the community that responds "Wait a minute - chess and band aren't sports!" And true enough, they aren't what the institution of a sport traditionally meant. But at the same time, the school could simply decide to change the meaning of a sport and include all those other activities in order to be more equal to everyone. Would it be irrational and wrong for the school to rule that sports should remain what they traditionally were thought of as?

This analogy presupposes that one accept that a particular activity (marriage) delimit the participants of the activity in its definition, and therefore an otherwise similar activity with participants of different type is itself a different activity. Obviously, those of us in support of SSM regard marriage between a man and a woman or a woman and a woman etc as the same activity.

By analogy, if basketball's rules included that it be a game played between men and a group of women followed the rules of basketball, but this activity were not granted the status of sport, then the school should change the definition of basketball and/or sport to acknowledge them.

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Juxtapose
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quote:
Originally posted by Xaposert:
quote:
There is no other reason why we should not redefine cultural institutions when the situation arises (as it just has). The only reason we don't is because people oppose it.
But why do people oppose it? Are those people just being purely irrational?

I'll give another example, which doesn't have anything to do with gender or relationships at all: Sports. In our culture we have "sports" that people play and compete in, which are for whatever reason considered important by a whole lot of people. High schools around the country give sports special attention, funding, pep rallies, etc. Imagine a certain high school gives a varsity letter to every student who participates on a sports team, and this is considered an honor. Now imagine that members of the chess team complain, and argue that chess should be considered a sport too, and that therefore they should get the letter too. Then members of the music program, hearing the dispute, also argue that they should be considered a sport and qualify for the letter. I can guarantee you that there will be some segment of the community that responds "Wait a minute - chess and band aren't sports!" And true enough, they aren't what the institution of a sport traditionally meant. But at the same time, the school could simply decide to change the meaning of a sport and include all those other activities in order to be more equal to everyone. Would it be irrational and wrong for the school to rule that sports should remain what they traditionally were thought of as?

This example is much better than the mother/father one. In this example, the members of the band and chess club aren't complaining because their activities aren't "sports."* They are complaining because the school is paying unfair attention and perks to activities that it classifies as "sport", symbolized here by the letters. Here, as in the case of SSM, the solution is for the school to stop using a discriminatory definition. In your example, the school could start awarding letters to "activities" rather than "sports". This doesn't change the culture surrounding the school, but that isn't the point. The point is that the school, as an institution, ought to execute it's programs in as fair and unbiased a way as possible.

*Actually, some would. CT's post above pretty well covers how I feel on that.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Furthermore, I'm getting tired of these sad attempts to disqualify homosexual marriage though grammar. JennaDean lies awake at night fearing that she'll have to explain she's married to a man. Tresopax wonders if mothers will become fathers. What the hell is wrong with people.
Hey, know what's a great way not to communicate well at all but make yourself feel really good?

Heaping scorn on people offering their opinions. If Tony the Tiger were here, he'd say it's great!

quote:
Which in no way relates to marriage. He might as well point out that certain types of frogs can switch genders, for all that it adds to the debate.
It certainly relates to the notion that our government does or should make no distinctions on SSM and heterosexual marriage because our government doesn't or shouldn't make distinctions like that.

Lest you start heaping scorn on me as well for not being as loudly supportive of equality for homosexuals, let me remind you that I don't think the government should make distinctions on this matter on the basis of gender. The fact remains, though, that our government - not just our society - is not blind deaf and dumb on all matters when it comes to gender.

quote:
This seems incredibly self-centered. To be brutally honest, nobody cares what you think of them. When I marry, it won't be to gain legitimacy in your eyes. But neither will I tolerate being denied equal rights by the government.

What, as opposed to your dainty word-mincing thus far?

Anyway, you're wrong again. For better or worse (I think it's for worse) it's clear that some people do care what other people think of them. Or do you imagine JennaDean is the only person in the entire country who feels the way she does?

That's certainly not anywhere close to being enough for legal impediment in my opinion, but it's just foolish to say, "No one cares what you think." Clearly some people do.

And for that matter if perceptions over legitimacy are so unimportant, remind me again why civil unions with exactly identical legal rights and responsibilities would be so onerous?

Well, I say 'again' even though you haven't reminded me once...

quote:
We've already won -- nobody under thirty still believes homosexuals are second-class citizens. We don't need your approval.
Good grief, where the hell are you living? No one under thirty?

Calling it a 'civil union' is for me just a dodge. If it would be faster and more attainable to try and persuade people to get the government to agree to marriage regardless of gender, I'd support that instead.

But I don't think it would be faster, and since no one has presented a compelling legal or moral reason to me why we shouldn't take the semantic cop-out, I remain unpersuaded.
------

JennaDean,

quote:
<nods> That sounds right.
The trouble with this is that the law is actually a very effective means of changing people's minds-over time. Specifically, generations. I daresay a Grand Wizard of the KKK didn't think any better of blacks in 1965 as he did in 1963, but his children probably felt at least a little differently than the otherwise would have. Or for an even bigger example, before and after women finally got the vote.
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JennaDean
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quote:
The trouble with this is that the law is actually a very effective means of changing people's minds-over time.
I completely agree. Which is why it's such a divisive issue - as Xaposert said, some people really want to change what has been the prevailing thinking in society, and others really want to not have that happen.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Anyway, you're wrong again. For better or worse (I think it's for worse) it's clear that some people do care what other people think of them. Or do you imagine JennaDean is the only person in the entire country who feels the way she does?

That's certainly not anywhere close to being enough for legal impediment in my opinion, but it's just foolish to say, "No one cares what you think." Clearly some people do.

And for that matter if perceptions over legitimacy are so unimportant, remind me again why civil unions with exactly identical legal rights and responsibilities would be so onerous?

The fact that Jenna feels uncomfortable with homosexual marriage is in no way evidence that she's being required to change her opinion. Perhaps if some law were passed banning people like her from marrying...

As far as "the semantic cop-out" of civil unions goes, heterosexuals don't get to cry and take the ball home. Marriage is not simply a heterosexual institution, no more than it's a Christian or white institution. For example, my eventual marriage will almost certainly be an example of miscegenation. Which, may I remind you, is forbidden by God:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

I don't care if people like JennaDean believe that God doesn't want my marriage to occur. I have no interest in changing her thinking. I do care if a law is passed forbidding my marriage.

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JennaDean
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Just for the record:
quote:
You believe, as you've stated before, that homosexuals are trying to change their neighbors' definitions of marriage. They're not.

Believe whatever you want, and use whatever definitions you want.

I believe that homosexuals are trying to change the up-till-recently commonly accepted (as well as the legal) definition of marriage.

It doesn't do much good to say "use whatever definitions you want". If we said that about every word, we couldn't communicate at all. We need to understand each others' meanings. Commonly understood definitions are what allow us to communicate.

And if you don't care about semantics at all (or about what anyone else thinks at all), what difference does it make to you whether it's called marriage or something else? As long as the legal effects are the same, of course.

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Rakeesh
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Lalo,

quote:
The fact that Jenna feels uncomfortable with homosexual marriage is in no way evidence that she's being required to change her opinion. Perhaps if some law were passed banning people like her from marrying...
That was an excellent dodging of the point. I was responding to your statement of, "This seems incredibly self-centered. To be brutally honest, nobody cares what you think of them. When I marry, it won't be to gain legitimacy in your eyes."

quote:
As far as "the semantic cop-out" of civil unions goes, heterosexuals don't get to cry and take the ball home. Marriage is not simply a heterosexual institution, no more than it's a Christian or white institution. For example, my eventual marriage will almost certainly be an example of miscegenation. Which, may I remind you, is forbidden by God:
And yet again you're failing to respond to a direct question.

quote:
But I don't think it would be faster, and since no one has presented a compelling legal or moral reason to me why we shouldn't take the semantic cop-out, I remain unpersuaded.
That's what I asked you. Creating a new arrangement called 'civil union' that is the only way for two people, opposite or same sex, to legally arrange their personal living and sleeping arrangements, isn't unequal treatment under the law. So you certainly don't have a legal argument on those grounds.

So your argument boils down to this: it's stupid for her (and those like her) to care what other people think and call marriage, but not for you to do exactly the same thing?

If it shouldn't matter to her, why does it get to matter to you, exactly? You don't just want equivalent legal rights.

quote:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Dude. Are you even aware of who said that? I've read that statement before, and it certainly doesn't come from God.

Heh. I'm tickled pink here:)

--------

quote:

It doesn't do much good to say "use whatever definitions you want". If we said that about every word, we couldn't communicate at all. We need to understand each others' meanings. Commonly understood definitions are what allow us to communicate.

Here's just one problem to using this as opposition to SSM: exactly how much trouble is it to explain you're married to a man after you say you're married?

Any possible confusion on the matter would be naturally alleviated after just a few moments conversation if the marriage topic came up.

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kmbboots
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One significant difference, I think, is that no one is altering what JennaDean's marriage is called. That particular debate is about what SSM marriages are called.
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SenojRetep
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Rak-

I don't believe it's a semantic cop out. The issue of what marriage is (speaking to its aspect as a social contract of acceptable sexual congress) has become socially contentious. The role of the government isn't to solve social contention when it comes to the realm of ideas; in fact, I believe it is expressly forbidden from "casting its vote" as it were to one side or the other. Thus the proper thing for government to do in the current climate is to withdraw its influence from the debate. The best way to do that would be to change the government recognized terminology to something that is neutral with respect to the current debate.

I also feel it's important for the state to simultaneously recognize that the civil contract, whatever it is called, no longer has sexual connotations. This would mean the government should allow any two consenting adults to form a partnership and achieve all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of that contract.

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kmbboots
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Nonsense.

As to the first part, government does cast a vote. See "civil rights".

As to the second part, why would including SSM make a particle of difference as to the "sexual connotations" of marriage?

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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
I believe that homosexuals are trying to change the up-till-recently commonly accepted (as well as the legal) definition of marriage.

It doesn't do much good to say "use whatever definitions you want".

Jenna, I don't think you get it. Your definition of marriage is not the definition of marriage. You have neither history nor logic defending your definition -- and you certainly don't have Constitutional protection defending your definition.

I'm truly sorry that homosexual marriage makes you so uncomfortable, but you don't get to give them a separate-but-equal status because of your discomfort.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:

I also feel it's important for the state to simultaneously recognize that the civil contract, whatever it is called, no longer has sexual connotations. This would mean the government should allow any two consenting adults to form a partnership and achieve all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of that contract.

Why is this important? There is no group actively advocating for this.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Dude. Are you even aware of who said that? I've read that statement before, and it certainly doesn't come from God.
Jeff... read your quote again. Out loud. Then read up on Loving v. Virginia.

Then explain to me again why homosexuals should not be able to marry.

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Nonsense.

As to the first part, government does cast a vote. See "civil rights".

As to the second part, why would including SSM make a particle of difference as to the "sexual connotations" of marriage?

Nonsense.

As to the first part, civil rights are about rights. This argument is about defining the social construct of marriage.

As to the second, including including homosexual unions as "marriages" will have a large impact on the social acceptability of homosexuality. I don't believe it's the responsibility of the government to define what <edit>ideas are or are not</edit> socially acceptable; a bit of overflow is unavoidable (an unfortunate consequence of the state being embedded in the civil society), but wherever possible the government should remain neutral in defining social constructs. In this case there is a simple solution that maintains government neutrality, specifically granting equal rights to any two consenting adults, regardless of sexual relationship, and referring to it by a socially neutral term like "partnership."

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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by natural_mystic:
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:

I also feel it's important for the state to simultaneously recognize that the civil contract, whatever it is called, no longer has sexual connotations. This would mean the government should allow any two consenting adults to form a partnership and achieve all the rights, privileges and responsibilities of that contract.

Why is this important? There is no group actively advocating for this.
Because otherwise the new contract, whatever it may be called, will been (rightly) seen as simply a semantic cop out, as Rakeesh suggested.

Do you feel there's some reason we shouldn't extend the benefits of inheritence, social security, hospital visitation, etc. to life-long commited couples who aren't in sexual relationships? Say, permanent roommates? Or unmarried siblings who choose to live together? I feel if they are willing to be the first-line of support to each other for all domestic issues, they should receive the benefits that go along with that role, regardless of whether the relationship is sexual or not.

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kmbboots
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And civil rights were also about social constructs.
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Lalo
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Nonsense.

As to the first part, civil rights are about rights. This argument is about defining the social construct of marriage.

As to the second, including including homosexual unions as "marriages" will have a large impact on the social acceptability of homosexuality. I don't believe it's the responsibility of the government to define what <edit>ideas are or are not</edit> socially acceptable; a bit of overflow is unavoidable (an unfortunate consequence of the state being embedded in the civil society), but wherever possible the government should remain neutral in defining social constructs. In this case there is a simple solution that maintains government neutrality, specifically granting equal rights to any two consenting adults, regardless of sexual relationship, and referring to it by a socially neutral term like "partnership."

1) Equal protection IS a right, amigo. The "social construct of marriage" is defined by whatever society you happen to belong to -- for most of us, that's a society where homosexuals are our friends and equals.

2) Using your logic: Sodomy laws were repealed, making sodomy legal. Now sodomy is "socially acceptable" because the government made it so. Therefore, sodomy is now a social construct?

Man up, son. As a straight man, I've always been able to marry a girl regardless of personal attractions or sexual relations, yet I never heard anyone crying out that the government must define marriage as a non-sexual partnership. Now that homosexuals can marry the ones they love, you're desperate to remove civil marriage from the government?

I'm not sure what the danger is in homosexuality becoming socially acceptable (which it already is among young people). If the only thing holding you back from homosexuality was negative social pressure, gay marriage is not your biggest concern.

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