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Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=102691961
quote:
The Iowa Supreme Court unamimously struck down the state's gay marriage ban Friday, ruling that it violates the constitutional rights of gay and lesbian couples.

In 2005, Lambda Legal, a New York-based gay rights organization, sued on behalf of six gay and lesbian Iowa couples in Polk County who were denied marriage licenses. Some of their children are also listed as plaintiffs.
The case was appealed to the state Supreme Court in 2007, after Polk County District Court Judge Robert Hanson agreed with the plaintiffs and ruled that the ban was unconstitutional.

Hanson's ruling prompted nearly two dozen people to apply for marriage licenses in the county, Iowa's most populous and home to Des Moines. Only one couple, Sean and Tim McQuillan of Ames, managed to get married before Hanson stayed his decision the next day.

During oral arguments before the state Supreme Court in December, Des Moines lawyer Dennis Johnson argued that the ban violated his clients' due process and equal protection rights.

"We are suggesting that everybody be able to participate equally in an institution that has existed since the beginning of this state," Johnson said during arguments.

Roger Kuhle, an assistant Polk County attorney, argued that the lower court's ruling for the plaintiffs violates the separation of powers and that the issue should be left to the Legislature.

"We are not here opposing the individual plaintiffs' sincerity. We are here because, in our view, the issue is one for the Legislature to decide as a matter of social policy," he told the seven-member court.

During oral arguments, Chief Justice Marsha Ternus explained that the high court would determine whether the district court erred by finding that the same-sex marriage ban violated the state constitution, and whether it erred by not allowing the county's expert witness testimony.

The timing of the ruling's release could be awkward for state lawmakers, who are on track to end the legislative session in coming weeks.

Before the ruling, Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal told reporters that it's "exceedingly unlikely" that the Legislature would deal with the gay marriage issue this year, regardless of the court's ruling.

"This is the final step in a lengthy legal proceedings," the Democrat said. "We're going to wait and see that decision and review it before we take any action."

Around the nation, only Massachusetts and Connecticut permit same-sex marriage. California, which briefly allowed gay marriage before a voter initiative in November repealed it, allows domestic partnerships.

New Jersey and New Hampshire also offer civil unions, which provide many of the same rights that come with marriage. New York recognizes same-sex marriages performed elsewhere, and legislators there and in New Jersey are weighing whether to offer marriage. A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Vermont is before the state House.

=)
 
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
 
The court ruling. It's a beautifully written document that addresses just about every possible angle.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
Cue bemoaning about the destruction of marriage and/or abandonment of ideals necessary for children in 5, 4, 3 ..
 
Posted by Vadon (Member # 4561) on :
 
I'm happy about this.

You may want to continue counting down after my post. [Smile]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Cue bemoaning about the destruction of marriage and/or abandonment of ideals necessary for children in 5, 4, 3 ..

The decision addresses those.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
I'm sure it does; what does that have to do with the expected bemoaning?
 
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
 
[Frown]
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
I think it's great. I thought it was a very well reasoned decision. However, it's the only court decision I can remember reading through in full, so I don't exactly have a measured standard for these things.

My bias is toward SSM, not really as a matter of fairness or justice but because I think it will benefit society. My expectation is that marriage, as an institution and as a social force for stability and producing good citizens, will be strengthened by making it available to more people (It has to be both attractive and attainable). I don't fear for the kids of gay couples because they're more likely to be wanted and cherished (and therefore raised conscientiously) than kids of opposite sex couples. I think this factor by itself outweighs any unique benefit that comes from having both a mom and a dad. I also think that increased social acceptance won't increase the rate of homosexuality but will decrease rates of sexual repression that has harmful side effects.

I'll be watching with interest to see if Iowa opponents of SSM rally to do something like California's Proposition 8.
 
Posted by 0Megabyte (Member # 8624) on :
 
Now careful. No need to give the impression of gloating. (I get the impression, so whether it's there or not, I'd imagine actual opponents of SSM might perceive it.)
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
[Smile]
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by 0Megabyte:
Now careful. No need to give the impression of gloating.

Aw, why not?
 
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
 
Hey, Iowa is driving distance from here.

Anyway, 3 down, 48 to go (I'm counting DC).
 
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Cue bemoaning about the destruction of marriage and/or abandonment of ideals necessary for children in 5, 4, 3 ..

There goes another respectful discussion.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
quote:
I don't fear for the kids of gay couples because they're more likely to be wanted and cherished (and therefore raised conscientiously) than kids of opposite sex couples.
???
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
I don't fear for the kids of gay couples because they're more likely to be wanted and cherished (and therefore raised conscientiously) than kids of opposite sex couples.
???
I think that scifibum is referring to the fact that SS couples rarely have children by accident.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
I don't fear for the kids of gay couples because they're more likely to be wanted and cherished (and therefore raised conscientiously) than kids of opposite sex couples.
???
Statistically it's true, I think, that kiddos raised by same-sex parents are more likely to have a stable and productive environment to grow up in.

Causation vs. correlation aside, that's prolly what that means.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
JennaDean, please note the use of "likely". I think there are unexpected and unwanted kids born to opposite sex couples*, and that this might correlate to poor parenting. I think this is much less likely to happen to a same sex couple.

This does not reflect on the quality of parenting of opposite sex couples who want to have children. (And I think there are a lot of parents, myself included, with accident babies who nonetheless do a good job.)

*Or single heterosexual parents.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
quote:
Originally posted by JennaDean:
quote:
I don't fear for the kids of gay couples because they're more likely to be wanted and cherished (and therefore raised conscientiously) than kids of opposite sex couples.
???
I think that scifibum is referring to the fact that SS couples rarely have children by accident.
And the fact that a far higher proportion of gay parents have to convince some board whose job it is to look out for the welfare of children that they will be good parents.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
I think I phrased it very badly. It'd be more clear to say that same sex couples are highly unlikely to have accident babies, and that premeditated babies are more likely to have a stable and support home environment. Sorry if I gave the impression that opposite sex couples are somehow inferior parents.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
Or, in less clear terms, if you're behind the veil of ignorance, you should choose to be born as the child of a same-sex couple rather than a hetrosexual one. Less chance of being born into abject poverty that way, too.
 
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
 
"Premeditated babies", heh.
 
Posted by Javert (Member # 3076) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
"Premeditated babies", heh.

That's my new band name.

Great ruling. [Smile]
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
How disappointing.

Reading the decision, I don't believe this ruling would have happened without California's bumping up the scrutiny standard. I think California was wrong in that finding, and so have been Iowa and Connecticut, inasmuch as they are based on California.

Here's hoping the citizens of Iowa can rectify the situation. And that the US Supreme Court corrects the scrutiny misjudgment.
 
Posted by Javert (Member # 3076) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
How disappointing.

Quick question, and it's not meant as an attack.

What could it take for you to be convinced that same-sex marriage is okay? Anything?

I don't fully know what you expect to happen with same-sex marriage legal, but if Massachusetts and Connecticut and Iowa don't fall into...whatever it is you think they will fall into...will that convince you? Or will nothing do it?

Just curious. If you've covered this in another thread, I apologize, but I haven't seen it.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
How disappointing.

Reading the decision, I don't believe this ruling would have happened without California's bumping up the scrutiny standard. I think California was wrong in that finding, and so have been Iowa and Connecticut, inasmuch as they are based on California.

Here's hoping the citizens of Iowa can rectify the situation. And that the US Supreme Court corrects the scrutiny misjudgment.

Does the opinion say that the California decision had anything to do with their decision to apply heightened scrutiny? Without re-reading the whole thing, my impression is they made a good case, independent of anything that happened in California, that rational basis test did not apply and that heightened scrutiny was required.
 
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
 
Happy though I may be to see this ruling, I think its joyous reception is counting chickens before they've hatched.

I know there are measures in other states before state legislatures and what not that are considering legalization, and in places like Vermont, they probably stand a decent chance of going through.

But Iowa? The forces of anti-gay marriage are going to have a new poster child for the 2010 elections, and you can bet that a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage will be on there, and I'll be surprised if it doesn't pass. I'm a little surprised they didn't join the bandwagon of other states that have banned it in the last few years, especially on the 2008 elections. 2006 and 2008 were banner years for anti-gay marriage supporters. It would appear they still have battlegrounds left to partake in in 2010, and I have no doubt that they will do so.

This was the easy part. They only had to convince nine people. Now they're going to have to get a majority of the citizenry on their side.

Poll taken on December 1st, 2008 in Iowa. In fact, the poll specifically asks people questions about the very Supreme Court decision we're talking about now. The result?

62% oppose gay marriage. 58% are in favor of civil unions.

On the Supreme Court decision specifically?

35% would accept a decision that legalized gay marriage. 55% support amending the constitution to ban gay marriage, but 27% of those say they'd vote to allow civil unions as an exception to the ban. Almost 10% are undecided.

The Supreme Court didn't decide this long term, they just threw down the gauntlet.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
How disappointing.

Reading the decision, I don't believe this ruling would have happened without California's bumping up the scrutiny standard. I think California was wrong in that finding, and so have been Iowa and Connecticut, inasmuch as they are based on California.

The more states that abolish this form of discrimination against the rights of gays, the closer the top courts and legislators come to the establishment of the universal legality of same sex marriage in the united states.

If we tie that back to California 'bumping up the scrutiny standard,' under your theory, that means that decisions 'sparked' by California have brought us closer to a more expedient resolution of SSM discrimination issues by making it legal in all 50 states.

Which means that the conservative groups and religions who worked their butts off to get prop 8 passed in Cali will have, for the benefit of that short-term gain, inexorably harmed their movement in the long run.

I find this all profoundly encouraging and even vindicating, considering that over four years ago I concluded and brazenly stated that:

1. the establishment of gay marriage rights are inevitable in the US, and

2. the groups that fight against gays will be internally harmed and politically and culturally marginalized by this crusade; those that fight the hardest will lose the most.

Onward to victory.
 
Posted by Bokonon (Member # 480) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
How disappointing.

Quick question, and it's not meant as an attack.

What could it take for you to be convinced that same-sex marriage is okay? Anything?

I don't fully know what you expect to happen with same-sex marriage legal, but if Massachusetts and Connecticut and Iowa don't fall into...whatever it is you think they will fall into...will that convince you? Or will nothing do it?

Just curious. If you've covered this in another thread, I apologize, but I haven't seen it.

I'm more interested on the implication that the Massachusetts ruling rested on a substantially different rationale than California's, and is there a reason for Iowa and Connecticut to use use that rationale versus the one in Massachusetts? I'd be interested in hearing why that is.

-Bok
 
Posted by ambyr (Member # 7616) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
But Iowa? The forces of anti-gay marriage are going to have a new poster child for the 2010 elections, and you can bet that a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage will be on there, and I'll be surprised if it doesn't pass. I'm a little surprised they didn't join the bandwagon of other states that have banned it in the last few years, especially on the 2008 elections.

Unlike other states, Iowa's constitution requires more than a direct referendum for amendment. Details here, but in short, two consecutive assemblies would need to approve the amendment before it could go out to the voters for final approval. So no way to pass an amendment before 2012 at the earliest.
 
Posted by natural_mystic (Member # 11760) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ambyr:
Unlike other states, Iowa's constitution requires more than a direct referendum for amendment. Details here, but in short, two consecutive assemblies would need to approve the amendment before it could go out to the voters for final approval. So no way to pass an amendment before 2012 at the earliest.

At least we know in advance the reason for every natural disaster in Iowa between now and 2012 [Wink]
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:

Reading the decision, I don't believe this ruling would have happened without California's bumping up the scrutiny standard.

I'm pretty sure that both California and Mass both said that they found that bans on gay marriage didn't even survive the rational basis test, let alone the higher levels of scrutiny. The Iowa judges didn't explictly consider the rational basis test, but what is your evidence for thinking that the Iowa judges would disagree with their counterparts in those states?

Are there states where the court did find that banning gay marriage passed the rational basis test?
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
Nice post Sam. I feel very deeply about this issue as a fundamental example of the onward progress of personal freedoms in the US. I hope anti-gay demonstrators and ban-supporters feel shame for what they've done in the future. But hell, there are still people alive today who voted against civil rights amendments in the 1960's, and we don't hear a whole lot from them- so I have some hope.

And I think that's pretty justified. Hardcore bigotry is not, I think, the biggest issue with this whole debate. Most of the people who support these ban amendments are 1) older people, and 2) more passively unwilling to change the status quo for any number of reasons. I really don't think the religious convictions that lead some to support bans will prevail even in most churches- people will grow old and die, new pastors and priests will come up, new younger parishioners will come to churches, and the dinosaur ideas about homosexuality will slowly shrivel and die. They give nothing to their religions, and as Sam pointed out quite succinctly, they take away a great deal of those churches' ability to stay centered and accessible. There will always be gays, and thus, there will always be progress.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
The arc does bend toward justice after all.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
Bok-

Here's a Slate article written at the time of the California ruling (not Prop 8, Samp; I'm not sure what you're talking about) that explains why strict scrutiny (or the slightly watered down "heightened scrutiny" used by Iowa and, IIRC, Connecticut) is a significantly higher bar for laws to overcome.

Essentially, if a group characteristic (in this case sexual orientation) is deemed sufficient according to certain standards, then laws must meet a higher level of justification. In the MA case, the SJC ruled according to "rational basis," which indicated that a lower threshold of justifiability would be required for laws restricting gay marriage. The CA court asserted strict scrutiny protection for laws pertaining to homosexuals, setting the bar significantly higher. Which I believe was the precedent under which the law in Iowa (and Connecticut) was deemed unconstitutional.

Javert (sorry, this turned out to be quite long, and I don't have time to go back over and edit it; read at your own peril. Also the length virtually guarantees that I have made general statements that I wouldn't be able to back up if asked to, so YMMV)-

I have covered my feelings in other threads, and it usually leads me into highly contentious arguments, which leads to insomnia, which leads to me feeling that it's not worth it. So I will try to state my feelings, but I won't guarantee to engage in the discussion long term.

I believe that marriage is primarily a social construct and the definition of it should be left to civil society, rather than the state. I don't believe marriage is a "right" in a substantive sense. I do recognize the state's current interest in regulating (particularly promoting) marriage-like relationships. However, I believe the current marriage laws, even under a liberalized construction, are at odds with that interest.

Marriage exists external to the state; when the state organized, it chose to regulate marriage. I posit two possible reasons: 1) to prevent certain citizens from procreating or 2) to promote stable dyadic unions within the society. I personally believe it was primarily for the former, but over time, and particularly as our society has become more mobile, the latter interpretation has come to dominate. This is unfortunate, because the latter interest doesn't really relate to "marriage" but to what I think is more appropriately termed "domestic partnerships" which would include all forms to socially-stable dyadic unions, including many that remain excluded even under a liberalized definition of "marriage." Simultaneously, the state has moved fairly determinedly away from regulating reproduction, through refusing to legalize abortion, forgoing mandatory genetic testing, and implicitly or explicitly rejecting laws that would confine heterosexual intercourse to be within a marriage.

So, I feel the state has lost its interest in regulating marriage. What it still has an interest in is regulating domestic partnerships, a set of relationships which would include most if not all marriages.

The problem is in the conflation of the two different things. What I feel is needed is not a further incursion by the state into defining the social construct of marriage, but an unentangling of its interest in regulating reproduction from its interest in promoting socially stable dyadic unions. <edit>Particularly because the liberalized versions of "marriage" continue to exclude classes of domestic partnerships taht I feel should be promoted under the same auspices</edit>

I'm not institutionally opposed (although I am personally opposed) to extending the term "marriage" to include homosexual unions. What I do feel, though, is it should be carried out in churches and clubs, in businesses and bars, rather than legislatures and courtrooms. When (if) society is sufficiently comfortable with extending the construct, it will be established not through the force of the state, but as a natural outgrowth of the society. I generally feel that the use of state powers to compel the citizenry to accept a particular construct, to force public opinion through the threat of law, is dangerous and should be avoided.
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
You assume that public opinion is not in favor for equal rights, or will remain not in favor of equal rights. I think that's changing, and I think individuals exercising their rights in courtrooms brings legitimacy and attention to their real life needs- not of a future utopia, but of today. Gays realized at some point in the past few decades that the rest of society would be pretty content just to just ignore their needs as long as they didn't ask for anything else. But the needs of a free individual today are just as valid as those of a future person, in a more perfect union. We have a duty to tackle these difficult changes when they arise, and not when we feel safe and ready, because, guess what? That time will never really come- the change will be a struggle no matter what.
 
Posted by dkw (Member # 3264) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
I generally feel that the use of state powers to compel the citizenry to accept a particular construct, to force public opinion through the threat of law, is dangerous and should be avoided.

It appears that the Iowa Supreme Court agrees with you.

quote:
From the ruling:
Whether expressly or impliedly, much of society rejects same-sex marriage due to sincere, deeply ingrained— even fundamental—religious belief.
Yet, such views are not the only religious views of marriage. As demonstrated by amicus groups, other equally sincere groups and people in
Iowa and around the nation have strong religious views that yield the opposite conclusion.

Our constitution does not permit any branch of government to resolve these types of religious debates and entrusts to courts the task of
ensuring government avoids them.
The statute at issue in this case does not prescribe a definition of marriage
for religious institutions. Instead, the statute declares, “Marriage is a civil contract” and then regulates that civil contract. Thus,
in pursuing our task in this case, we proceed as civil judges, far removed from the theological debate of religious clerics, and focus only on the concept of civil marriage and the state licensing system that identifies a limited class
of persons entitled to secular rights and benefits associated with civil marriage.


 
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
 
Impliedly?

There's my new word for the day.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
I have to wonder if we're headed for a future where every state ends up having to explicitly spell out the definition of marriage in their Constitution, in order to prevent courts from defining it in ways the voters don't like.
 
Posted by Speed (Member # 5162) on :
 
Alabama: Marriage is defined as the legal union between a man and his underage cousin.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Marriage exists external to the state; when the state organized, it chose to regulate marriage.
I don't follow. Taking religion out of the question - as we should for a question of whether or not the state should do something, generally - in what way did marriage exist external to the state?

Prior to any sort of government, wouldn't marriage pretty much be people shacking up together and (usually) producing children some time after?
 
Posted by Boris (Member # 6935) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Marriage exists external to the state; when the state organized, it chose to regulate marriage.
I don't follow. Taking religion out of the question - as we should for a question of whether or not the state should do something, generally - in what way did marriage exist external to the state?

Prior to any sort of government, wouldn't marriage pretty much be people shacking up together and (usually) producing children some time after?

Marriage has only been recognized and rewarded officially by governments in the modern age. They were primarily religious or familial contracts until modern governments decided to grant specific advantages to family organizations.
Medieval marriages were governed only by the Catholic Church and were not given any special benefits (though it could be argued that in many situations the church *was* the government, but that's a completely different discussion). Marriages prior to modern times were often arranged and designed to resolve disagreements or just strengthen ties in general. Royal marriages in particular were often meant to act as a stronger form of peace contract or alliance between rival nations. After all, a piece of paper can be easily ignored, but how do you attack the nation of the person you share a bed with and not hear about it every single night?

Government bodies giving rewards for marriage and family units is a relatively recent phenomenon in respect to the whole of history.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
So I was talking about this with a guy I know at work. He's the sort of fellow who's pretty complacent in his ignorance, if you know what I mean. Somehow the other day we got talking about Alexander the Great, and he mentioned that Alexander was mentioned in the Bible. By name, specifically.

Anyway, I mentioned this court ruling to this guy knowing I'd get a rise out of him. Somewhere in his rants about America being a Christian nation, us being one step closer to people marrying their pets, and how he'd have to put his kid into private school, he said he'd heard on the radio that the governor of Iowa could overturn this Supreme Court decision.

Naturally I was skeptical of such a claim, but I was wondering: is there any inkling of truth to that, from anyone more familiar with the subject than I am?

I mean, I read the CNN story and it's mentioned that the earliest a marriage amendment could even get on a ballot is 2012. Is that accurate, and is there anything the governor could do about that?

It'd be pretty damn awesome if it really would stick for 2 1/2 years, though, without any conservative 'family values' group being able to whip up a frenzy and stop it.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
You assume that public opinion is not in favor for equal rights, or will remain not in favor of equal rights. I think that's changing
Opposition to gay marriage dropped into a plurality not too long ago; it's not impossible that support for gay marriage has taken the top slot by now, and it will definitely have happened in 3-5 years.

Everything else, clear majority support for the gays. Equivalent rights to marriage for gays, mega-majority. Likewise with support for allowing gays to adopt.
 
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
 
First of all, [Smile]

Secondly, this is one of those topics that makes me absolutely certain I don't see things the way most people do.

I don't get why people want the government defining their sacraments, or why secular rules can't just be the same for everyone regardless of gender, race, religion, or the size of their nose.

I've tried really hard to see the difference between this and the bans on interracial marriage that many states once had.

This may be because I don't really believe there is any significant difference between men and women, outside their obvious and enjoyable meat space differences.

I'm usually really good at seeing things from all perspectives, and it disturbs me a little that I have yet to hear a pro-ban rationale that makes logical sense to me. [Frown]
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Happy though I may be to see this ruling, I think its joyous reception is counting chickens before they've hatched.
...

I agree.

I'd also add that the way this (great?) game seems to be playing out is in a painful internecine state-by-state manner via courts and referendums.

Without some form of federal intervention, this thing could drag on for many years. It is also worth noting that if Obama doesn't address the issue that could easily mean 8 years without a final word (and if he's succeeded by a Bush III, perhaps 16 years).

Also, it is worth noting that immigration to the US tilts towards Latin America, traditional marriage advocates will find allies that can slow down the zeitgeist(?) that we seem to be appealing to.

So while I certainly hope to be pleasantly surprised by a resolution in the near future, I'm not sure I share the optimism that it likely will.
 
Posted by Vadon (Member # 4561) on :
 
Five Thirty Eight is predicting that the decision will likely stay in place until at least 2012 because of institutional road-blocks.
 
Posted by scholarette (Member # 11540) on :
 
Olivet- I kinda agree with you. For me, the fact that the government has the power to say that 2 stranger who get drunk in Vegas are a family, but 2 other people, who have been devoted to each other for years, raised a child together and bought a house together are not family. It's not just that I disagree with their decision, I disagree with their ability to make that decision. Which is why I love the CA amendment- where you replace marriage with domestic partnership. And it could force national reform. How will the federal government handle it? Will all those straight unionized folks no longer get to claim spouses as deductions? Somehow I don't see people standing for that. And so if the federal government agree to call a domestic union the same as a marriage, then wouldn't they also do that for people in all the other state's with civil unions?
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Olivet- I kinda agree with you. For me, the fact that the government has the power to say that 2 stranger who get drunk in Vegas are a family
Now, hold on. There's no need to make fun of my first three marriages to make your point.
 
Posted by Blayne Bradley (Member # 8565) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Bok-

Here's a Slate article written at the time of the California ruling (not Prop 8, Samp; I'm not sure what you're talking about) that explains why strict scrutiny (or the slightly watered down "heightened scrutiny" used by Iowa and, IIRC, Connecticut) is a significantly higher bar for laws to overcome.

Essentially, if a group characteristic (in this case sexual orientation) is deemed sufficient according to certain standards, then laws must meet a higher level of justification. In the MA case, the SJC ruled according to "rational basis," which indicated that a lower threshold of justifiability would be required for laws restricting gay marriage. The CA court asserted strict scrutiny protection for laws pertaining to homosexuals, setting the bar significantly higher. Which I believe was the precedent under which the law in Iowa (and Connecticut) was deemed unconstitutional.

Javert (sorry, this turned out to be quite long, and I don't have time to go back over and edit it; read at your own peril. Also the length virtually guarantees that I have made general statements that I wouldn't be able to back up if asked to, so YMMV)-

I have covered my feelings in other threads, and it usually leads me into highly contentious arguments, which leads to insomnia, which leads to me feeling that it's not worth it. So I will try to state my feelings, but I won't guarantee to engage in the discussion long term.

I believe that marriage is primarily a social construct and the definition of it should be left to civil society, rather than the state. I don't believe marriage is a "right" in a substantive sense. I do recognize the state's current interest in regulating (particularly promoting) marriage-like relationships. However, I believe the current marriage laws, even under a liberalized construction, are at odds with that interest.

Marriage exists external to the state; when the state organized, it chose to regulate marriage. I posit two possible reasons: 1) to prevent certain citizens from procreating or 2) to promote stable dyadic unions within the society. I personally believe it was primarily for the former, but over time, and particularly as our society has become more mobile, the latter interpretation has come to dominate. This is unfortunate, because the latter interest doesn't really relate to "marriage" but to what I think is more appropriately termed "domestic partnerships" which would include all forms to socially-stable dyadic unions, including many that remain excluded even under a liberalized definition of "marriage." Simultaneously, the state has moved fairly determinedly away from regulating reproduction, through refusing to legalize abortion, forgoing mandatory genetic testing, and implicitly or explicitly rejecting laws that would confine heterosexual intercourse to be within a marriage.

So, I feel the state has lost its interest in regulating marriage. What it still has an interest in is regulating domestic partnerships, a set of relationships which would include most if not all marriages.

The problem is in the conflation of the two different things. What I feel is needed is not a further incursion by the state into defining the social construct of marriage, but an unentangling of its interest in regulating reproduction from its interest in promoting socially stable dyadic unions. <edit>Particularly because the liberalized versions of "marriage" continue to exclude classes of domestic partnerships taht I feel should be promoted under the same auspices</edit>

I'm not institutionally opposed (although I am personally opposed) to extending the term "marriage" to include homosexual unions. What I do feel, though, is it should be carried out in churches and clubs, in businesses and bars, rather than legislatures and courtrooms. When (if) society is sufficiently comfortable with extending the construct, it will be established not through the force of the state, but as a natural outgrowth of the society. I generally feel that the use of state powers to compel the citizenry to accept a particular construct, to force public opinion through the threat of law, is dangerous and should be avoided.

Umm, I can posit a third reason, TAXABLE INCOME.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
Secondly, this is one of those topics that makes me absolutely certain I don't see things the way most people do.

I don't get why people want the government defining their sacraments, or why secular rules can't just be the same for everyone regardless of gender, race, religion, or the size of their nose.

I've tried really hard to see the difference between this and the bans on interracial marriage that many states once had.

This may be because I don't really believe there is any significant difference between men and women, outside their obvious and enjoyable meat space differences.

I think you already hit on their reason in this quote: They don't want the government to redefine their sacraments for them. People are free to consider themselves married and act married, but that doesn't force others to consider them married. But when the government starts recognizing a given marriage, that to some extent forces everyone to recognize it.

I think most people are fine with the government defining sacraments, but only as long as it defines sacraments in the same way they do.

quote:
Without some form of federal intervention, this thing could drag on for many years. It is also worth noting that if Obama doesn't address the issue that could easily mean 8 years without a final word (and if he's succeeded by a Bush III, perhaps 16 years).
Obama really can't do much, though. He can't trump state constitutions. He opposes gay marriage but I don't think he's interested in trying to force that opinion on states, particularly when many fellow Democrats support gay marriage. He could try to broker a compromise, but I'm not sure either extreme would be happy with it, and I'm not sure what means he'd have to enforce it - short of a U.S. constitutional amendment.

So, I think it's going to have to be decided on a state-by-state level.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Somehow the other day we got talking about Alexander the Great, and he mentioned that Alexander was mentioned in the Bible. By name, specifically.

Is he a member of one of the sects that defines Maccabees 1& 2 as part of the Bible? Because if so, I think he might be right.
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
quote:
But when the government starts recognizing a given marriage, that to some extent forces everyone to recognize it.
Ha! You don't have any friends that have the piece of paper that you don't considered really married? Cause I've got one that just did it for the baby. I'm not sure how interested in each other they really are, but they love their daughter. Personally, I don't consider that a real marriage and I'm waiting for one of them to decide she's old enough to not need both of them at home and get divorced.

Heck, even the government doesn't always trust the people they give out the paperwork to. They go back and investigate folks if they think they just did it to get a green card. They don't really bother to define what they think a marriage should be, but they still know that isn't it.

All this would be easier if we the people demanded that the government define a marriage and then made them realize that they can't possibly regulate it. We won't, but we should.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Is he a member of one of the sects that defines Maccabees 1& 2 as part of the Bible? Because if so, I think he might be right.
Nope, he's said (at great length) that he's a strictly King James Version guy. It would be quite like him, though, to cite as biblical evidence from books he specifically doesn't believe are in the bible.
 
Posted by andi330 (Member # 8572) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by AvidReader:

Heck, even the government doesn't always trust the people they give out the paperwork to. They go back and investigate folks if they think they just did it to get a green card.

Getting married to an American citizen no longer guarantees you a green card or legal alien status. Just as having children who are born on American soil and therefore American citizens no longer guarantees you the right to live in the United States. If it did, my cousin and his girlfriend (wife in all but legality) would already be married. Although when getting married did guarantee a green card, you are correct in your above statement.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
They still go back and check up, even though the marriage is not a guarantee of the green card.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Is he a member of one of the sects that defines Maccabees 1& 2 as part of the Bible? Because if so, I think he might be right.
Nope, he's said (at great length) that he's a strictly King James Version guy. It would be quite like him, though, to cite as biblical evidence from books he specifically doesn't believe are in the bible.
Maybe he's confused and is confusing Cyrus the Great with Alexander.
 
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Somehow the other day we got talking about Alexander the Great, and he mentioned that Alexander was mentioned in the Bible. By name, specifically.

Is he a member of one of the sects that defines Maccabees 1& 2 as part of the Bible? Because if so, I think he might be right.
Maccabees, Chapter 1, Verse 1:
Alexander of Macedon son of Philip had come from the land of Kittim and defeated Darius king of the Persians and Medes, whom he succeeded as ruler, at first of Hellas.
 
Posted by Ron Lambert (Member # 2872) on :
 
The name "Alexander" only appears in the New Testament, and none of them refer to the Greek Emperor. Alexander the Great is DESCRIBED by the prophecy of Daniel 8:5-8, 21, 22, as the "great horn" on the goat, descibed as "the first king," who would then be broken, with four kings arising in his place. After the death of Alexander, the Grecian Empire was divided among his four generals. It is a pretty good description.

Alexander is also alluded to in Daniel 10:10.

I am not as familiar with the Apocrypha. If Alexander is mentioned there, fine--but that would not be part of the present King James Version.
 
Posted by Ron Lambert (Member # 2872) on :
 
Dobbie's quote of Maccabees 1:1 seems to name the right Alexander. But since Maccabees was written during the time of the Grecian Empire (after it had been divided into four parts), that is not a big deal.
 
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
 
I was merely confirming what rivka wrote.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Dobbie:
I was merely confirming what rivka wrote.

Shehechiyanu v'kiyimanu v'higiyanu lazman hazeh!
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
quote:
Getting married to an American citizen no longer guarantees you a green card or legal alien status.
I had no idea. Thanks, andi!
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
I think you already hit on their reason in this quote: They don't want the government to redefine their sacraments for them.
I think you are very close to identifying the problem. Marriage is the only sacrament of any religion that is given legal status. And while that has a very long history, I think the problems with that are becoming evident. Marriage plays multiple roles in our society.

1. It is a sacrament within various religions.

2. It the means by which a community recognizes legitimacy on sexual relationships.

3. It is connected to a host of legal rights.

4. It is a means by which a couple can solemnize their commitment to each other.

There are probably others as well, but these at least are important.

The problem is that the vast majority of us agree that peoples of all religions should be treated equally under the law. But at the same time, we are also wary of government attempts to change things we hold sacred. This isn't a thing that is easily resolved.

The only way I see for this to turn out well is for government to get completely out of the marriage business and to replace it with adult domestic partnership. And I'm not just talking about gays, I'm talking about everyone. That would cleanly differentiate between the legal aspects of marriage and the social and religious aspects.

There is no reason that the legal recognition of familial relationships should be based on whether the majority of people consider peoples sexual relationship "legitimate" or even whether the relationship is sexual at all. The legal right to be treated as a familial unit should be based solely on peoples desire to be consider as a family and their willingness to accept the legal and financial responsibilities associated with that relationship.

And in my mind, this is something that religious people should really get behind because as long as the government gives legal status to marriage, there will always be the threat of government regulating what they see as a sacred religious sacrament.
 
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Dobbie:
I was merely confirming what rivka wrote.

Shehechiyanu v'kiyimanu v'higiyanu lazman hazeh!
I didn't realize being right would be such a unique experience for you. [Hat]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
You agreeing with me certainly is.
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
That's just because you don't capitalize the first letter of your name.

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
[Confused]
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
Rivka, we've been over this. [No No]

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
The problem is that the vast majority of us agree that peoples of all religions should be treated equally under the law. But at the same time, we are also wary of government attempts to change things we hold sacred. This isn't a thing that is easily resolved.
Perhaps FundieDude at work has made me skeptical, but I wonder. Get him going, and he's not at all embarrassed or reluctant to admit that a) the USA is a Christian nation, and maybe we shouldn't oppress other religions (mostly Muslims and some Christian religions), but we should definitely have it ensconced in our government that Christianity (Baptist, to be specific) is Right, and b) he'd be delighted if we changed sacraments around to his way of thinking.

I wonder if what our society does is actually a very good job of encouraging people to be embarrassed about those sorts of opinions enough that they don't speak `em out where just anyone can hear, unprompted.
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
Rivka, we've been over this. [No No]

We have?

. . . they do say the memory is the second thing to go . . .
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
Last few posts here.

[EDIT: I'd like to point out that I bolded the first letter of your name only in my post. It was quite a clever bit of topography if I do say so myself. Which I did because I knew no one else was going to.]

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
I remember that conversation. I just don't see what it has to do with whether Dobbie agrees with me or not.
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
Nothing of course, it's all about the context. Which in this case is that I'm amazingly hilarious. Now you know.

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
Which in this case is that I'm amazingly hilarious. Now you know.

I already did.

But I'm still confused.
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
Dobbie never agrees with you because, unlike him, you don't capitalize the first letter of your name. If that's not a principle for hilarity I don't know what is.

[EDIT: It's kind of like a racial thing, but not being a member of a race that's ever been persecuted by anyone you probably wouldn't understand. It just struck a chord with me as an upper-middle class white male I guess]

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
 
. . . ok.
 
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
 
...huh?
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
Yah, well the good news it that it took 12 posts to figure out exactly how funny I am. Always nice to be an instrument in interrupting an actual discussion with my wacky antics.

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Hobbes, did somebody slip something into your lemonade? Like gin, perhaps?
 
Posted by Boris (Member # 6935) on :
 
Or LSD? But I congratulate you on effectively derailing the thread.
 
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
You agreeing with me certainly is.

I don't see the distinction here.
 
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
 
I am posting in this high quality thread.
 
Posted by lem (Member # 6914) on :
 
quote:
The only way I see for this to turn out well is for government to get completely out of the marriage business and to replace it with adult domestic partnership. And I'm not just talking about gays, I'm talking about everyone. That would cleanly differentiate between the legal aspects of marriage and the social and religious aspects.

There is no reason that the legal recognition of familial relationships should be based on whether the majority of people consider peoples sexual relationship "legitimate" or even whether the relationship is sexual at all. The legal right to be treated as a familial unit should be based solely on peoples desire to be consider as a family and their willingness to accept the legal and financial responsibilities associated with that relationship.

And in my mind, this is something that religious people should really get behind because as long as the government gives legal status to marriage, there will always be the threat of government regulating what they see as a sacred religious sacrament.

That is exactly how I feel about marriage, but I have never expressed it as succinctly. [Hat]

* Emphasis added by me because I liked it
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The problem is that the vast majority of us agree that peoples of all religions should be treated equally under the law. But at the same time, we are also wary of government attempts to change things we hold sacred. This isn't a thing that is easily resolved.
Perhaps FundieDude at work has made me skeptical, but I wonder. Get him going, and he's not at all embarrassed or reluctant to admit that a) the USA is a Christian nation, and maybe we shouldn't oppress other religions (mostly Muslims and some Christian religions), but we should definitely have it ensconced in our government that Christianity (Baptist, to be specific) is Right, and b) he'd be delighted if we changed sacraments around to his way of thinking.

I wonder if what our society does is actually a very good job of encouraging people to be embarrassed about those sorts of opinions enough that they don't speak `em out where just anyone can hear, unprompted.

The hurdle is twofold. There is a distinct crusade against equal rights for homosexuals, and it is very, very plainly a religious one. To get government out of marriage is against the goals and preconceptions of a large portion of the religious in this country who perpetuate this culture struggle. They don't want marriage to lose its legal status because they honestly believe and wish to perpetuate the notion of America as a 'Christian nation' 'founded on Christianity' 'by Christians,' etc. To them, the institute of marriage in America is christian and it is supposed to be pretty much dictated by Christian definitions, not secular ones. There are also large, large portions of these culture warriors who fight and advocate for the repression of homosexuals because they are terrified that equal rights for gays will tear apart morally structured stability or some other necessary, Christian-themed environment needed to perpetuate America (see: Orson Scott Card).

They don't want to go this route; they want to go the complete opposite route. They want marriage to be a tool for structuring society as they see fit in God's eyes. secularism, tolerance, or fairness be damned.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
...
I wonder if what our society does is actually a very good job of encouraging people to be embarrassed about those sorts of opinions enough that they don't speak `em out where just anyone can hear, unprompted.

Thats an interesting point and I think you're probably right.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
They don't want to go this route; they want to go the complete opposite route. They want marriage to be a tool for structuring society as they see fit in God's eyes. secularism, tolerance, or fairness be damned.
I'm sure there are some who think that way, but I sincerely doubt they make up anywhere near the majority of opponents of same sex marriage.

Its very large uncharitable to take diverse group of people and assign to them unflattering motives which few if any have actually voiced. If you made an honest attempt to understand people rather than demonizing them, you'd have a much better chance of finding a compromise that meets everyones needs.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
They don't want to go this route; they want to go the complete opposite route. They want marriage to be a tool for structuring society as they see fit in God's eyes. secularism, tolerance, or fairness be damned.
I'm sure there are some who think that way, but I sincerely doubt they make up anywhere near the majority of opponents of same sex marriage.

Its very large uncharitable to take diverse group of people and assign to them unflattering motives which few if any have actually voiced. If you made an honest attempt to understand people rather than demonizing them, you'd have a much better chance of finding a compromise that meets everyones needs.

Okay, then can you show us any evidence for the existance of this large, silent majority of people who oppose same-sex marraige, but would be okay with the government granting civil unions to all instead?

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.

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. And a whole lot more upset at all those godless atheists getting married civially. The Bible is actually quite clear...Christians don't have to worry about respecting Caesar's taxes, so why should they worry about his civil marriages? It has to do with wanting to be religiously and socially superior to people who live their lives differently. And equal government treatment undermines that.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
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. I've never heard anyone express an opinion that atheists (or any non-Christians) shouldn't be allowed to legally marry. Perhaps you can direct me to some source?

It's also worthy of note that gays aren't necessarily atheists, many including some who post here are devoutly religious.

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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Bok-

Here's a Slate article written at the time of the California ruling (not Prop 8, Samp; I'm not sure what you're talking about) that explains why strict scrutiny (or the slightly watered down "heightened scrutiny" used by Iowa and, IIRC, Connecticut) is a significantly higher bar for laws to overcome.

Essentially, if a group characteristic (in this case sexual orientation) is deemed sufficient according to certain standards, then laws must meet a higher level of justification. In the MA case, the SJC ruled according to "rational basis," which indicated that a lower threshold of justifiability would be required for laws restricting gay marriage. The CA court asserted strict scrutiny protection for laws pertaining to homosexuals, setting the bar significantly higher. Which I believe was the precedent under which the law in Iowa (and Connecticut) was deemed unconstitutional.

. . .

What I do feel, though, is it should be carried out in churches and clubs, in businesses and bars, rather than legislatures and courtrooms. When (if) society is sufficiently comfortable with extending the construct, it will be established not through the force of the state, but as a natural outgrowth of the society. I generally feel that the use of state powers to compel the citizenry to accept a particular construct, to force public opinion through the threat of law, is dangerous and should be avoided.

The bar you're referring to requires what's referred to as reasonable, substantial, and compelling state interest in regulating a certain behavior, each harder to pass than the last. Decisions made with second- and third-tier scrutinies aren't as landmark as top-tier, and are more easily reversed.

The thing is, this isn't going to be reversed. While there certainly doesn't exist any compelling state interest in discriminatory marriage licenses, there's not even a reasonable one. And the tide is turning -- with all due respect, people who still believe homosexuality is somehow wrong are increasingly dying out. I personally know of nobody against homosexual marriage (but I also live in NYC), and I can all but guarantee the number of people under 30 who still oppose homosexual equality can be counted as a percentage on two hands.

If you really believe marriage should not be a state institution (which I agree with), then vote to remove it from state regulation. But how does maintaining a state institution which discriminates against homosexuals benefit your position at ALL?
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
" I've never heard anyone express an opinion that atheists (or any non-Christians) shouldn't be allowed to legally marry."

That's his point.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
quote:
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.
In my experience, that's primarily because the gay community sees that as separate, but equal.

Not that that affects your point, just sayin'.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
quote:
There is a distinct crusade against equal rights for homosexuals, and it is very, very plainly a religious one.
This is not an accurate way to put it. The crusade is not about giving heterosexuals rights that homosexuals don't get. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals and bisexuals would have the right to marry - as long as it is to a member of the opposite sex. Neither heterosexuals nor homosexuals nor bisexuals would have the right to marry someone of the same sex. Thus the crusade is not about equality; rather it is a crusade against homosexuality as a practice, and an effort to prevent it from being officially recognized as a legitimate relationship.

Having said that, as the Rabbit points out, I also don't think it is correct to assume most opponents of SSM marriage oppose it because of that sort of a crusade. I'd suspect the majority of SSM opponents haven't thought that much about it, and simply oppose it because that's not what they think a marriage is.
 
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
 
quote:
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.
There's a difference between persuading people to accept that gays can have civil unions and persuading those people to give up THEIR government sanction marriage. There's also a difference between gays accepting civil unions when straights still get to have the word "marriage," and accepting everyone being equal under a universal "domestic partnership" law.

"Marriage," as a word, by itself, is incredibly powerful, and I think it's at the crux of the issue.

I found this interview interesting:

http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2008/11/14/02
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
quote:
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.
The problem, IMO, is that there may be a silent majority of moderate voters who would support civil unions for all, but the major organizations that fund and direct the anti-SSM campaigns like the AFA and Focus on the Family are strongly against even civil unions for gays. Even the LDS church hasn't explicitly support the idea of civil unions for gays, let alone for everyone. The closest they could come was endorsing the idea of certain civil rights being available to gays. Though when these specific rights were proposed in the Utah legislature this year they were quickly dismissed.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
quote:
quote:
There is a distinct crusade against equal rights for homosexuals, and it is very, very plainly a religious one.
This is not an accurate way to put it. The crusade is not about giving heterosexuals rights that homosexuals don't get. Both heterosexuals and homosexuals and bisexuals would have the right to marry - as long as it is to a member of the opposite sex. Neither heterosexuals nor homosexuals nor bisexuals would have the right to marry someone of the same sex.
Heterosexuals have the right to marry the person they love and want to spend the rest of their life with. Homosexuals do not.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
Heterosexuals have the right to marry the consenting human adult of their choice, with some restrictions based on genetic homology.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
Come back in a few years, read this, and try not to be embarrassed.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
OK.

Heterosexuals have the right to marry the person they love and want to spend the rest of their life with, as long as that person consents and is not closely related, underage, already married, or an animal. Homosexuals do not.

Anything else?

ETA: For the moment, I'm ignoring the (barely) separate point that, quite often, civil unions do not confer all the rights and responsibilities that marriage does.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
 
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".
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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"?
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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"?
 
Posted by Dan_raven (Member # 3383) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Brilliant argument, Jeff. I missed you.
 
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lisa (Member # 8384) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"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?
 
Posted by scholarette (Member # 11540) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by King of Men (Member # 6684) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Humean316 (Member # 8175) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by jebus202 (Member # 2524) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
 
Actually there were 19 kings of Israel after Solomon, not counting the kings of Judah.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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).
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Aris Katsaris (Member # 4596) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Bokonon (Member # 480) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
Bok-

Here's a Slate article written at the time of the California ruling (not Prop 8, Samp; I'm not sure what you're talking about) that explains why strict scrutiny (or the slightly watered down "heightened scrutiny" used by Iowa and, IIRC, Connecticut) is a significantly higher bar for laws to overcome.

Essentially, if a group characteristic (in this case sexual orientation) is deemed sufficient according to certain standards, then laws must meet a higher level of justification. In the MA case, the SJC ruled according to "rational basis," which indicated that a lower threshold of justifiability would be required for laws restricting gay marriage. The CA court asserted strict scrutiny protection for laws pertaining to homosexuals, setting the bar significantly higher. Which I believe was the precedent under which the law in Iowa (and Connecticut) was deemed unconstitutional.

Javert (sorry, this turned out to be quite long, and I don't have time to go back over and edit it; read at your own peril. Also the length virtually guarantees that I have made general statements that I wouldn't be able to back up if asked to, so YMMV)-

I have covered my feelings in other threads, and it usually leads me into highly contentious arguments, which leads to insomnia, which leads to me feeling that it's not worth it. So I will try to state my feelings, but I won't guarantee to engage in the discussion long term.

I believe that marriage is primarily a social construct and the definition of it should be left to civil society, rather than the state. I don't believe marriage is a "right" in a substantive sense. I do recognize the state's current interest in regulating (particularly promoting) marriage-like relationships. However, I believe the current marriage laws, even under a liberalized construction, are at odds with that interest.

Marriage exists external to the state; when the state organized, it chose to regulate marriage. I posit two possible reasons: 1) to prevent certain citizens from procreating or 2) to promote stable dyadic unions within the society. I personally believe it was primarily for the former, but over time, and particularly as our society has become more mobile, the latter interpretation has come to dominate. This is unfortunate, because the latter interest doesn't really relate to "marriage" but to what I think is more appropriately termed "domestic partnerships" which would include all forms to socially-stable dyadic unions, including many that remain excluded even under a liberalized definition of "marriage." Simultaneously, the state has moved fairly determinedly away from regulating reproduction, through refusing to legalize abortion, forgoing mandatory genetic testing, and implicitly or explicitly rejecting laws that would confine heterosexual intercourse to be within a marriage.

So, I feel the state has lost its interest in regulating marriage. What it still has an interest in is regulating domestic partnerships, a set of relationships which would include most if not all marriages.

The problem is in the conflation of the two different things. What I feel is needed is not a further incursion by the state into defining the social construct of marriage, but an unentangling of its interest in regulating reproduction from its interest in promoting socially stable dyadic unions. <edit>Particularly because the liberalized versions of "marriage" continue to exclude classes of domestic partnerships taht I feel should be promoted under the same auspices</edit>

I'm not institutionally opposed (although I am personally opposed) to extending the term "marriage" to include homosexual unions. What I do feel, though, is it should be carried out in churches and clubs, in businesses and bars, rather than legislatures and courtrooms. When (if) society is sufficiently comfortable with extending the construct, it will be established not through the force of the state, but as a natural outgrowth of the society. I generally feel that the use of state powers to compel the citizenry to accept a particular construct, to force public opinion through the threat of law, is dangerous and should be avoided.

Sorry to get back to this so late. So essentially MA made it easier to reverse the decision?

-Bok
 
Posted by Javert (Member # 3076) on :
 
Somewhat related, Vermont now allows same sex marriage. Check it out.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
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.
It's not? Seems to me a whole helluva lotta people get married in churches for something that isn't a religious institution. Anyway, you cannot deny that there are some substantial religious connotations to marriage for many if not even most people who participate.

Is it a purely religious institution? Well, obviously not. Mostly a religious institution? And of course in many countries around the world already civil and religious services must take place seperately (sometimes in a particular order) without it being a 'national embarrassment'. In fact in the United States if I'm not mistaken the civil service and the religious service are said to be taking place simultaneously in many cases to avoid the state giving credence to a religious marriage.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
So, to sum up: marriage is not a religious institution.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Nor is it a secular institution, Tom. For lack of a better term, 'secularists' have no more right to have the marriage fight go entirely their way than religious folks do.
 
Posted by The Pixiest (Member # 1863) on :
 
Rak: Only where the gov't is concerned. Gay people have no right to get married in a church that forbids it. But Gay people have the right to demand equal treatment under the law.

I've long supported an amendment that would open up gay marriage to everyone but at the same time spell out that which is implied in the first amendment. That no church should ever have to sanctify ANY union which violates their stated beliefs.

Rabbit: Like others, I disagree with your statement that most anti-SSM types would support equal treatment under the law so long as it wasn't called Marriage. I think some do. And I think many on this board do. However, the vast majority of them out there, especially in particularly red states, would fight tooth and nail to prevent *any* form of civil rights to gay people. Example: My home state of Arkansas passed a constitutional amendment to bar any single people from adopting or fostering children. They did this because the court said they couldn't specifically ban it for gay people. They kept ALL single people from fostering/adopting just to keep it from gay people.

Maybe you were tossing a bone to the opposition, or maybe you were looking for the good in people when there really isn't any.

...

Anyway, Huzzah for Iowa! and Huzzah for VT! and here's hoping that the CA supreme court makes it 1/10th of the states!

Still.. on the page 1 topic of gloating... We have no reason or cause to gloat until LBG marriages are given equal footing in all 50 states and by the federal government. And that won't happen for many years and can't happen without the repeal of the DOMA. (Something Obama doesn't seem to care about.)
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Nor is it a secular institution, Tom. For lack of a better term, 'secularists' have no more right to have the marriage fight go entirely their way than religious folks do.

I think that the religious folks have every right to determine what their sacraments are. I don't think that they are right to determine what the law is using only reasons that apply to their religion.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Vermont on Tuesday became the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature's vote.

The Legislature voted to override Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.

The other states allowing same-sex marriages are Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa.

Nice.

*checks another one off the list*
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
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.

Did you read what I was responding too? Rabbit was claiming that things didn't change until the Reformation. It's right there in his post.

Obviously I don't think that the Bible or traditional Judaism or Christianity views Solomon as a sexual sinner, but that was Rabbit's argument.

And yes, it is hypocritical for you to tell someone "Your rights should be curtailed becuase of traditions, but don't even think about curtailing my rights with those same traditions."
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Did you read what I was responding too? Rabbit was claiming that things didn't change until the Reformation. It's right there in his post.
Her. How many times does that need to be mentioned?

Anyway
quote:
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.
So, no, that's not what the Rabbit was saying at all.

---------

quote:
Rak: Only where the gov't is concerned. Gay people have no right to get married in a church that forbids it. But Gay people have the right to demand equal treatment under the law.
Certainly. And I agree, even though some don't, that the right to SSM qualifies as 'equal treatment'. However, can you explain to me in what way it wouldn't be 'equal treatment' if all 'marriages', in civil terms, were instead recognized as civil unions?

quote:
Maybe you were tossing a bone to the opposition, or maybe you were looking for the good in people when there really isn't any.
What, none?
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Nor is it a secular institution, Tom. For lack of a better term, 'secularists' have no more right to have the marriage fight go entirely their way than religious folks do.

Well, they .. actually do, what with the backing they receive from constitutionally guaranteed principles.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:

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.

I get the point fine, it just doesn't match the facts of how real people think about marraige.

The idea seems to be that religous people will be like science fiction super computers fed two conflicting facts:

1) all gay sex is sinful

2) all married sex is fine

and that their heads will explode if gay couples are legally married.

Well, Catholics have been putting up with this for years, and their heads don't explode. No one's head is going to explode. And it's stupid to think that this fear is what's driving opposition to marriage equality.

Rabbit also changed the argument half way through. The argument I first responded to was not about sexual sin, but about the sacredness of sacrements. And then when I pointed out that millions of godless people had been using and abusing that 'sacrement', without religious people caring at all, then the argument changed.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Might I just interject my usual reminder that "religious people" do not necessarily have the same or even similar views on this or many other matters?

Thanks.
 
Posted by scholarette (Member # 11540) on :
 
swbarnes- while Catholics heads haven't exploded, how do we know that Protestant heads won't explode?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Well, they .. actually do, what with the backing they receive from constitutionally guaranteed principles.
They have the constitutionally guaranteed right to have an at least partially religious term and institution such as marriage completely transformed in the eyes of society into a secular word and institution, as opposed to 'civil unions'?

Well, actually...you'll have to explain that. The Constitution says 'equal treatment'. Civil unions with identical responsibilities and benefits for all couples would be equal treatment.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
More news

D.C. Council Votes to Recognize Other States' Gay Marriages

quote:
The D.C. Council voted today to recognize gay marriages performed in other states, on the same day that Vermont became the fourth state to legalize same-sex unions.

Domestic partnerships are already legal in the nation's capital, and gay couples married in other states are recognized as domestic partners when they move to the city. But today's legislation, billed as an important milestone in gay rights, explicitly recognizes them as married couples.

The initial vote was 12-0. The unanimous vote sets the stage for future debate on legalizing gay marriage in the District and a clash with Congress, which approves the city's laws under Home Rule. The council is expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month.

boom, steamrollin'
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
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.
So, no, that's not what the Rabbit was saying at all.
That's great. You copy and paste what Rabbit wrote, and claim that I am misstating Rabbit's position.

I'm sorry, but if copying and pasting Rabbit's words is the wrong way to cite her argument, what exactly do you have in mind?
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
swbarnes- while Catholics heads haven't exploded, how do we know that Protestant heads won't explode?

Given that Seventh-day Adventist heads haven't exploded, I think we can see that Protestant heads are very tough and durable under extreme pressures.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Well, actually...you'll have to explain that.

If marriage remains in the U.S. as a legally recognized, gobbamint enforced institution (likely) that confers benefits of any sort to those who are recognized to have acquired that form of union from the gobbamint (likely), then you set the stage for secularism rightfully ruling the distinctions of who is allowed these rights, because this is a secular government with rules that specify that we are constitutionally mandated to be 'fair' in these regards.

exa: this ruling; check out how many clauses the OH court said that gay marriage prohibition violated.

There's about 1400 federal rights and privileges based on marriage. There's about a hojillion more state privileges. They make rulings like this inevitable, cuz you gotta give those benefits to the gays as well.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
If marriage remains in the U.S. as a legally recognized, gobbamint enforced institution...
I wonder if you read the stuff that came later in my post, Samprimary?

------

quote:
I'm sorry, but if copying and pasting Rabbit's words is the wrong way to cite her argument, what exactly do you have in mind?
For one thing, addressing her post as a whole would be a good start.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
If marriage remains in the U.S. as a legally recognized, gobbamint enforced institution...
I wonder if you read the stuff that came later in my post, Samprimary?
Yes.
 
Posted by The Pixiest (Member # 1863) on :
 
Rak: Calling *all* marriages civil unions would suck for everyone. In that, it would be fair.

As for the "no good in anyone" comment... Last summer's attempt to adopt through the county, combined with the passage of prop hate, obama's election and the lay off of my favorite people at work has left me bitter, broken, misanthropic and despondent. Please take my comment in the spirit in which it was meant.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Rak: Calling *all* marriages civil unions would suck for everyone. In that, it would be fair.
How would it suck?

If the 'how would it change your life' argument can be applied to anti-SSM folks, then can't the same argument be made against those who are opposed to the semantic twist of 'civil unions'?
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh

quote:
I'm sorry, but if copying and pasting Rabbit's words is the wrong way to cite her argument, what exactly do you have in mind?
For one thing, addressing her post as a whole would be a good start.
Hold on here.

You are still claiming that the following:

"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. "

Is not an accurate statement of what Rabbit was trying to say?
 
Posted by Raymond Arnold (Member # 11712) on :
 
quote:
Rak: Calling *all* marriages civil unions would suck for everyone. In that, it would be fair.
Also bear in mind this doesn't remove the word "marriage" from the world. Civil Unions is the word for the legal implications, but the sacred vow itself is still marriage, however you personally define it.
 
Posted by The Pixiest (Member # 1863) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Rak: Calling *all* marriages civil unions would suck for everyone. In that, it would be fair.
How would it suck?

If the 'how would it change your life' argument can be applied to anti-SSM folks, then can't the same argument be made against those who are opposed to the semantic twist of 'civil unions'?

It's a solution I would prefer to anything short of Marriage for all. In that, I'm not opposed to it.

I would still refer to myself as Married.

And I would even if my husband was a wife.

It would still cause a lot of red tape if a state implemented this solution as opposed to the feds. Move from Civil Union state to a Marriage state? Are you still Civil Unioned? Are you Civil Unioned and filing jointly on your taxes?

Just let everyone get married and make it easy on everyone involved.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Might I just interject my usual reminder that "religious people" do not necessarily have the same or even similar views on this or many other matters?

Thanks.

Yes, you are right, I was being sloppy.

But my point is is that I don't think that conservative religous people who oppose ssm really believe the "sacredness of the sacrement" argument, or the "OMG, we have to know who the sexual sinners are" argument

If people were really moved by the desecration of religious marriage by government marriage, they'd spend a whole lot more money on stopping civil divorce, and they'd care a lot more about atheists using and abusing their "sacrement". But those aren't exactly priorities. (And no, "bemoaning" divorce rates isn't the same as spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, like opponants have spend opposing ssm)

And if some conservative religious people think that gay relationships are sinful, then why would a government piece of paper alter that? A child wouldn't be confused.

I think the answer is a lot simpler...some people just want to think that they are better than other people. They want to socially outrank other people. Humans are social creatures, it's natural for us to think like this. When people who are different, who live differently get legal and social sanction, there goes the social specialness.

But that's an ugly arguement to make openly, hence a lot of other arguments that fall apart when you examine their consequences closely.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
I would still refer to myself as Married.
So then what does it matter? That is, after all, one of the arguments frequently made to anti-SSM folks.

quote:
Just let everyone get married and make it easy on everyone involved.
It wouldn't be easy on everyone involved. Unless you're counting the problem of anti-SSM folks not getting to have society call marriage what they want to call it as inconsequential. Which brings me back to what I mentioned before: why can't you do the same?

quote:
It would still cause a lot of red tape if a state implemented this solution as opposed to the feds. Move from Civil Union state to a Marriage state? Are you still Civil Unioned? Are you Civil Unioned and filing jointly on your taxes?
That's an artificial obstacle. Our society is already perfectly capable of making a legal distinction between civil marriage and religious marriage-we already do, in fact. And it's no more difficult than the arduous fight that's sure to happen as this issue spreads from state to state anyway.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:

"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. "

Is not an accurate statement of what Rabbit was trying to say?

I'm saying your response to it was inadequate, and you were addressing only a portion taken out of context.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
But that's an ugly arguement to make openly, hence a lot of other arguments that fall apart when you examine their consequences closely.
My take:

99.999999999999999% of all arguments made against gay marriage that claim to be 'secular arguments' are basically fronts for religious objections, in the same way that Intelligent Design was a thin coat of paint over an obviously Christian creationist agenda. They are given the 'secular' veneer in an attempt to be made constitutionally/legally palatable, much in the way that ID was designed explicitly to try to escape the establishment clause that would have otherwise kept it out of schools because the U.S. government can make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

it is the SAME thing with the vast, vast, almost total majority of 'secular' arguments against SSM. It is a cloak over a desperate attempt to keep gays from gaining equal social legitimacy. Anti-SSM folk default to the 'secular' objections because they know that 'secular' arguments against SSM are the tool that the constitution forces them to rely upon if they wish to keep same sex marriage from being eventually guaranteed by law.

I could point to a hundred anti-SSM pundits and organizations and find the biblical objection to homosexuality to be the core motivation behind all of them.

It is the case in all but freak instances; whenever someone comes peddling a 'compelling secular argument' against SSM, it is reliably neither secular nor compelling.

In nearly all cases, what you have is a person who undeniably has a religious objection to gay marriage, and who desires either to find or to craft an argument that does not rely on their real objections, but crafts new ones to 'legitimize' the argument in a way that furthers continued political and legal repression of gays.

In fact, you could use Orson Scott Card as a poster-boy example of this.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
I've gone back and forth on the civil-unions-vs-marriage thing. Is it better to get what you can? Or are people asking for civil unions settling for the next best thing, separate but not equal?

Currently I favor making a big push for civil unions, provided that civil unions have identical legal rights as marriages. Legally, they would be marriages, but by avoiding using the loaded term "marriage" the process might go a bit more smoothly.

And then, within a generation or two, most people will be calling them marriages anyway and gradually they'll merge into one legal contract, with churches recognizing/performing their own ceremonies with whatever restrictions they wish. Win by attrition and familiarity, not by head-on legal challenges.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
best thing I heard on that issue:

quote:
Changing the name will mean nothing and anyone who is hung up on it are fooling themselves. Marriage is a perfectly legitimate term for the joining of two people together and is as religious as the delicious marriage of raspberry and cheesecake I am going to shove into my fat stomach.

 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:

"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. "

Is not an accurate statement of what Rabbit was trying to say?

I'm saying your response to it was inadequate, and you were addressing only a portion taken out of context.
No, no no, that's not what you were saying, and I have the text of your post to prove it.

You quoted Rabbit word for word, and then said that the quote wasn't what she was saying. You made it look as if what you quoted was my paraphrase, when it wasn't. That's dishonest, and you know it.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
right okay, i'll just step back for the time being while this runs its, ah, course
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
You quoted Rabbit word for word, and then said that the quote wasn't what she was saying. You made it look as if what you quoted was my paraphrase, when it wasn't. That's dishonest, and you know it.
What? I don't even understand what you're talking about anymore.

Rabbit had a substantive post and taking bits of it singly distorts the meaning of the overall message. That is what I was saying you were doing. That's all.

I'm through discussing this with you. It's irrelevant to the larger discussion anyway, it's frustrating, and I doubt I'll get anywhere. Consider me as having posted dishonestly if you like.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Bokonon:
Sorry to get back to this so late. So essentially MA made it easier to reverse the decision?

My understanding is that when it legalized SSM, the MA SJC found the practice forbidding it didn't have "rational basis" which means that it didn't meet a rather low level of justification. This left the possibility open that a law that did pass "rational basis" and illegalized SSM could be constitutional.

In the CA case, they explicitly stated that any law outlawing SSM would need to pass the much more rigorous standard of "strict scrutiny."

After the MA decision it was possible that a law which passed rational basis but not strict scrutiny would not be unconstitutional. After the CA decision that was no longer true.

Caveat Emptor: I'm probably out of my depth on most of this; wish Dagonee were still around.
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
You quoted Rabbit word for word, and then said that the quote wasn't what she was saying. You made it look as if what you quoted was my paraphrase, when it wasn't. That's dishonest, and you know it.
What? I don't even understand what you're talking about anymore.

Rabbit had a substantive post and taking bits of it singly distorts the meaning of the overall message.

I didn't take bits. I quoted most of it, I only trimmed out the weaker parts becuase the post was too long.

But if you want to deal with the "substantialness" of arguments like thse:

"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. "

Go for it. Explain about how, when Marco Polo wrote about the Chinese a few centuries before the Reformation, how the whole Christian world thought they they all must be fornicators by definition, and how they didn't change their minds for centuries. Or how it took centuries for the Christians to decide that the Jews who'd been living in Europe for centuries weren't all shameless fornicators after all.

Really, you show me evidence that the Christian world really was that small-minded, that stupid, I'll happily concede I was wrong.

quote:
That is what I was saying you were doing. That's all.
The record of your post is quite clear. I don't need to amplify it.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
... Explain about how, when Marco Polo wrote about the Chinese a few centuries before the Reformation, how the whole Christian world thought they they all must be fornicators by definition, and how they didn't change their minds for centuries. ...

Reminds me of this 250 years after Marco Polo:

quote:
At its best, this tradition in Christianity to loudly denounce immorality and injustice has given the West its high degree of social conscience. At its worst, it has meant that those who did not or could not conform to Christian standards have been cruelly exposed and persecuted. The Buddhist monk's role has always been very different from his Christian counterpart. His job has been to teach the Dhamma and to act as a quiet example of how it should be lived. This, together with Buddhism's rational approach to ethics and the high regard it has always given to tolerance, has meant that homosexuals in Buddhist societies have been treated very differently form how they have been in the West. In countries like China, Korea and Japan where Buddhism was profoundly influenced by Confucianism, there have been periods when homosexuality has been looked upon with disapproval and even been punishable under the law. But generally the attitude has been one of tolerance.

Matteo Ricci, the Jesuit missionary who lived in China for twenty-seven years from 1583, expressed horror at the open and tolerant attitude that the Chinese took to homosexuality and naturally enough saw this as proof of the degeneracy of Chinese society. "That which most shows the misery of these people is that no less than the natural lusts, they practise unnatural ones that reverse the order of things, and this is neither forbidden by law nor thought to be illicit nor even a cause for shame. It is spoken of in public and practiced everywhere without there being anyone to prevent it."

http://www.buddhanet.net/homosexu.htm

Sadly, we know he essentially won with China importing Western attitudes toward homosexuality along with all of the rest (technology, political ideologies, etc.)

That said, I'm have little idea what point you're trying to make about Rabbit's post.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
The record of your post is quite clear. I don't need to amplify it.
I'd hate to see what qualifies as actual amplification, then:)
 
Posted by swbarnes2 (Member # 10225) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
That said, I'm have little idea what point you're trying to make about Rabbit's post.

Well, I don't see what your quote has to do with mine, so I guess we're even. I didn't claim that Christians thought that Chinese were paragons of sexual virture, I just alledged that Christians didn't think that every single Chinese couple living together were fornicating.

Do you agree that it took centuries for the Christian world to think that non-Christians were married, as Rabbit wrote? That the process started with the Reformation, as Rabbit wrote?

It's pretty much a yes-no question.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
Well, yes. Kinda.

I mean, I have little knowledge as to what proportion of Christians thought that marriage was a religious institution at which time. But it would seem to be reasonable that if you did view it as inherently a religious institution, then it would be difficult for non-Christians to share that.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
The Iowa Senate Majority Leader explains his opposition to an amendment that would undo the Supreme Court decision.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2s2R5qKhbo
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
So, to sum up: marriage is not a religious institution.

Hahaha!

Rakeesh, you're obfuscating the issue by quibbling over semantics. Marriage transcends religion, and both the religious and the non-religious, the homosexual and the heterosexual, the fertile and infertile all have the right to marry the one they love.

If you happen to be religious and want to put a religious spin on your marriage, feel free. I'm certainly not going to obey your random choices, and I'm not going to tolerate your intolerance of people who don't follow your religion. As an atheist, I will marry the one I love and the law can't call it a "civil union" just because it's not your religious preference. A homosexual has just as much right to equal treatment as I do.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Lalo,

quote:
As an atheist, I will marry the one I love and the law can't call it a "civil union" just because it's not your religious preference. A homosexual has just as much right to equal treatment as I do.
Aside from your saying so, is there some reason the law can't create a legally identical arrangement as marriage is in the United States currently and have it apply to homo- and hetero-sexuals, to the fertile and infertile, to those in love and those just looking for money, to those who are bored, to those who are expecting a child, to whatever the heck the reason might be, and that not be 'equal treatment under the law'?

Explain to me how creating an institution that treats everyone equally is somehow treating people inequally under the law, please.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
As long as there is one institution for everyone, than its treating everyone equally under the law.

If there are two institutions, and group B can't enter into institution X, and institution X is the socially superior institution, then group B is being treated less well than group A which can enter into institution X, even though institution Y, which B can enter into, is legally identical except in name to X.

The whole point of Brown v Board of Education is that separate institutions are not equal, even if they are functionally equivalent.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
As long as there is one institution for everyone, than its treating everyone equally under the law.
That's what I'm proposing. Supporters of SSM claim that opponents shouldn't care if someone else calls something marriage that they (the opponent) doesn't think is marriage, because it doesn't actually impact them. I agree with this position.

Why then shouldn't supporters of SSM be held to that same standard? If it shouldn't matter to the opponent of SSM what someone else calls their cohabitation agreement, why should it matter to supporters what SSM is called so long as it's equivalent?

I'm saying, create one system under the law that treats everyone equally. Call it civil union. Let Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, atheists, agnostics, and whoever call their formal cohabitation agreement whatever they like amongst themselves, be it marriage, life contract, or shackin' up.

quote:

If there are two institutions, and group B can't enter into institution X, and institution X is the socially superior institution, then group B is being treated less well than group A which can enter into institution X, even though institution Y, which B can enter into, is legally identical except in name to X.

I wasn't aware of provisions in the constitution for making sure society approves of the actions of others.

quote:
The whole point of Brown v Board of Education is that separate institutions are not equal, even if they are functionally equivalent.
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
The whole point of Brown v Board of Education is that separate institutions are not equal, even if they are functionally equivalent.
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.
Aha. So in your mind, the major problem addressed in Brown was not that blacks were segregated, but that they weren't given new books.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Aha. So in your mind, the major problem addressed in Brown was not that blacks were segregated, but that they weren't given new books.
Wow. That's not what I said at all.

Paul said the whole point of Brown was thus and so. I said that no, in fact, it wasn't. That's all. You can either read what I read into that that I disagreed that was the whole point of Brown, or you can take one of the most uncharitable inferences possible, which is what you did.

Thanks a bunch.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
So segregation is bad... except when it's for gays?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Not only is segregation not bad when it's for gays, it's actually good.

ETA: I feel like Adama in BSG when Gaeta is 'trying' him for treason and aiding the enemy. Something along the lines of:

Gaeta: Admiral, didn't you provide aid and comfort to the enemy?

Adama: Aid and comfort? Yeah, I comforted them. I love the enemy. I got into bed with the enemy.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"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.
 
Posted by AvidReader (Member # 6007) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
I was under the impression a distinction was made particularly in child custody issues.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Dobbie (Member # 3881) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
Hey, it's Eddie! Hi, Eddie!
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
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.'
 
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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....
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
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 ]
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by natural_mystic (Member # 11760) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Juxtapose (Member # 8837) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
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?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by natural_mystic (Member # 11760) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
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."
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
And civil rights were also about social constructs.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
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.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
The role of the government isn't to solve social contention when it comes to the realm of ideas...
The trouble is that very few things at all truly exist only in the realm of ideas. Marriage is not one of those few things. In fact, as ideas go, it's one of the most tangible we've got, isn't it? I mean that in the sense that it's an idea that's got a major, constant, subtle, and overpowering impact on human affairs.

quote:

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.

That would make for some messy situations involving children and divorce-spurred-by-infidelity, just to name two problems.

-------

quote:
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.
That tone's sure to win her over. Really instills confidence you're interested in a dialogue on the issue, it does.

Also, can we dispense with the notion that a heterosexual definition of marriage doesn't have history on its side? Of course it does. Throughout almost all of the world, in most times, marriages have been heterosexual, be they monogamous or polygamous. Sometimes for love, sometimes for money, sometimes for status, sometimes for politics, sometimes because some poor woman was raped and the misogynistic definitions of 'honor' at the time demanded it, sometimes for green cards, sometimes for cost-of-living savings, sometimes because some people made a pact in high school, sometimes because they got drunk in Vegas, sometimes sometimes sometimes.

But in almost all times and places a heterosexual framework was a part of it. Even if the marriage was never even consummated, or only consummated once just for form's sake. Do you dispute that, Eddie? Does anyone?

Now, I'm not saying that just because heterosexuality has been implicit in the overwhelming majority of marriages throughout all histories and cultures, that that's a reason why we shouldn't allow homosexual marriages to be accepted by the government on equal grounds with heterosexual marriages. I'm not. We as a species used to do a lot of stupid s@#t, after all. And we still do.

But if only for the sake of my poor little eyeballs rolling enough to see my own brain, can we dispense with the notion that we shouldn't say marriage is historically a heterosexual concept, because after all there have been exceptions?

Of course there have been exceptions. It's an issue dealing with human beings. There are always exceptions when you start dealing with human beings. There are no absolutes. But I think you'd find, if you dug a little deeper than preachy self-righteousness, that JennaDean at least probably does not mean that marriage has been between one man and one woman in all times and in all places and among all people when she says, "Marriage is a heterosexual thing."

quote:
Jeff... read your quote again. Out loud. Then read up on Loving v. Virginia.
You claimed that 'miscegenation' was forbidden by God. Your source for that claim was an (in)famous quotation from a crusty old white racist jurist from Virginia half a century ago.

So...no, your claim that after all we allow biracial marriages and that's forbidden by God, so why not homosexual marriages too is pretty absurd.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
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.
Where are you living, Eddie? Odds are that, unfortunately, homosexuals aren't equals in the eyes of society where you're living.

Iowa and Vermont come close to being able to say that so far, but the final test will come when we see whether or not the matter comes up on their respective ballots or they arrange constitutional conventions.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Also, can we dispense with the notion that a heterosexual definition of marriage doesn't have history on its side? Of course it does. Throughout almost all of the world, in most times, marriages have been heterosexual, be they monogamous or polygamous. Sometimes for love, sometimes for money, sometimes for status, sometimes for politics, sometimes because some poor woman was raped and the misogynistic definitions of 'honor' at the time demanded it, sometimes for green cards, sometimes for cost-of-living savings, sometimes because some people made a pact in high school, sometimes because they got drunk in Vegas, sometimes sometimes sometimes.

...you HAVE to be kidding me. You just listed a dozen ways marriage has evolved over the centuries. Jenna's interpretation of it as a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love is an incredibly young interpretation.

No, she does not have history on her side.

quote:
You claimed that 'miscegenation' was forbidden by God. Your source for that claim was an (in)famous quotation from a crusty old white racist jurist from Virginia half a century ago.

So...no, your claim that after all we allow biracial marriages and that's forbidden by God, so why not homosexual marriages too is pretty absurd.

That crusty old racist was actually quoting a crusty older racist, lending his religious interpretation of marriage the legitimacy of historical tradition. What exactly does Jenna's religious interpretation have? Or are you prepared to admit that maybe we shouldn't legislate religious interpretations of marriage?

If you're going to replace marriage because otherwise homos will get to marry, older generations had every right to remove marriage from those immoral interracial couples who fought to redefine marriage.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Lalo,

quote:
...you HAVE to be kidding me. You just listed a dozen ways marriage has evolved over the centuries. Jenna's interpretation of it as a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love is an incredibly young interpretation.

No, she does not have history on her side.

Yes, I'm kidding you. I would have to be kidding you to have said that marriage hasn't evolved over the course of human history. I would have to have been equally whimsical to have suggested that JennaDean's definition of marriage was the definition throughout the course of history.

...you know, I wish I had said that, because it really would have been funny. Unfortunately I'm not that funny. I only said that 'heterosexual' has been the overwhelmingly common factor in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places. That's not funny at all, unfortunately. That's just a plain cut and dried fact.

quote:
That crusty old racist was actually quoting a crusty older racist, lending his religious interpretation of marriage the legitimacy of historical tradition. What exactly does Jenna's religious interpretation have? Or are you prepared to admit that maybe we shouldn't legislate religious interpretations of marriage?
If you'd been listening for more than a spot to put in about how enlightened and tolerant you are, you might have heard that I have been admitting, from the very start, that we shouldn't be legislating religious interpretations of marriage at all. Religion being another though much less common factor throughout human marriages throughout history in addition to heterosexuality, no, as a matter of fact I don't think our government ought to be in the business of legislating it.

Which is one reason I support the government creating an institution by which any two people of legal age, male or female or hermaphrodite, can arrange to have the list of legal and financial rights and responsibilities currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples who get married in this country.

quote:
If you're going to replace marriage because otherwise homos will get to marry, older generations had every right to remove marriage from those immoral interracial couples who fought to redefine marriage.
This in no way follows from anything I've said, Eddie.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Also, can we dispense with the notion that a heterosexual definition of marriage doesn't have history on its side? Of course it does. Throughout almost all of the world, in most times, marriages have been heterosexual, be they monogamous or polygamous. Sometimes for love, sometimes for money, sometimes for status, sometimes for politics, sometimes because some poor woman was raped and the misogynistic definitions of 'honor' at the time demanded it, sometimes for green cards, sometimes for cost-of-living savings, sometimes because some people made a pact in high school, sometimes because they got drunk in Vegas, sometimes sometimes sometimes.

...you HAVE to be kidding me. You just listed a dozen ways marriage has evolved over the centuries. Jenna's interpretation of it as a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love is an incredibly young interpretation.

No, she does not have history on her side.

[Dont Know]

I'm just about speechless. When did I ever say marriage was "a liberated woman marrying a man of any race for love"? How young do you think I am?

Sorry, I suppose I should let the straw man answer for himself.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Er. If you DON'T define marriage that way, how DO you define it?

Are women still property?

Are interracial couples still prohibited?

Are marriages still political family arrangements?

Etcetera. Assuming you're like most modern American couples, you're likely married under a very young interpretation of the contract of marriage.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I only said that 'heterosexual' has been the overwhelmingly common factor in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places. That's not funny at all, unfortunately. That's just a plain cut and dried fact.

Egads. No, heterosexuality has not been the exclusive norm "in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places." Greece, India, and China beg to differ. And the current institution of marriage is INCREDIBLY young, going back maybe sixty years. But this is also an overwhelmingly stupid argument, since slavery and rape and genocide have also been extremely common "throughout human history, in almost all places." If opponents of equal rights really need to fall back on the same arguments used in the modern Middle East, they've already lost.

The historical argument is a red herring, and has almost no relevance to the question of whether homosexuals deserve equal rights today. I'm tired of hearing about "tradition" when it's a) inaccurate and b) irrelevant.

quote:
Which is one reason I support the government creating an institution by which any two people of legal age, male or female or hermaphrodite, can arrange to have the list of legal and financial rights and responsibilities currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples who get married in this country.
A.K.A. marriage. If interracial couples can have it, homosexual couples can have it.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Lalo,

quote:

Egads. No, heterosexuality has not been the exclusive norm "in almost all marriages throughout human history, in almost all places." Greece, India, and China beg to differ.

That's a substantial claim you're making there (in addition to responding to some things I didn't actually say). Can you provide some documentation for how homosexual marriage was common in Greece, India, and China at any point in human history? Heck, I'll even take something pointing to it being more than a rarity in any of those cultures.

quote:
And the current institution of marriage is INCREDIBLY young, going back maybe sixty years.
Can you point to a place where I've said or even suggested otherwise, please?

quote:
But this is also an overwhelmingly stupid argument, since slavery and rape and genocide have also been extremely common "throughout human history, in almost all places." If opponents of equal rights really need to fall back on the same arguments used in the modern Middle East, they've already lost.

Well, you may recall I said something pretty similar to the first part. Or if your dialogue on this thread is any indicator, you probably won't recall it, actually. Anyway, I wasn't suggesting the 'this is how it's been' argument is a persuasive reason to oppose SSM. I was simply calling into question your repeated claims that that's not how it's been.

Oh, and just for a clear list in one place of the things I didn't say: I didn't say heterosexual has been the exclusive norm, I didn't say the modern notion of marriage was old, and I especially didn't say that because this is how marriage has always been it should continue to be this way. That would be especially difficult for me to have said, because I didn't say the first part that the statement hinges on.

quote:
A.K.A. marriage. If interracial couples can have it, homosexual couples can have it.
I think a man and his pet cactus should be able to have it if he can find or create a church for it, or if he just wants to call it that himself. Government needs to be in some form of civil union business. I fail to see why it needs to be in the marriage business.

Do you have some reason why it should, that is actually in response to something I actually said?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I think a man and his pet cactus should be able to have it if he can find or create a church for it, or if he just wants to call it that himself. Government needs to be in some form of civil union business. I fail to see why it needs to be in the marriage business.

Because civil marriage is a secular contract between two people. Renaming it to protect marriage from gays is just embarrassing.

There's no substantial reason to rename it a "civil union," except to provide relief to bigots. It's a marriage. Let's not pretend otherwise to fool the stupid and satisfy the vicious.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Because civil marriage is a secular contract between two people. Renaming it to protect marriage from gays is just embarrassing.

There's no substantial reason to rename it a "civil union," except to provide relief to bigots. It's a marriage. Let's not pretend otherwise to fool the stupid and satisfy the vicious.

I don't grant the second premise, and your first reason is, "It's embarrassing." Hardly a persuasive argument for a course of legal action.

And then there's the question of who exactly it embarrasses. You? I'd say that's not very compelling either, except that if your approach to this discussion is any indicator you don't embarrass easily.

Also note your answer was basically, "Because it is the way it is." Well, that settles things!

quote:
Let's not pretend otherwise to fool the stupid and satisfy the vicious.
Well if we're not going to do that, can we (and by 'we' I mean 'you') also talk more like people interested in learning what other people think, and less like people thumping their chest and crowing about how smart and tolerant they are and how stupid and hateful those who disagree with them are?

That's a serious question. Please lemme know if you're gonna continue in this fashion.

ETA: Oh, and as for no 'substantial reason', here's one: throughout most of history, and for most people, 'marriage' while not only a civil institution is also one with heavy religious overtones. Why not take government out of that business, and let people call or not call their cohabitation arrangements marriages if they want to-privately?

'Because it's embarrassing' is a crap answer.

(Oh, and do you have anything about China, India, or Greece for me? You don't even need a citation. Just tell me where to look.)
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Jeff, I can't state it more simply. When interracial couples "changed" the definition of marriage to include them, it would have been a travesty to retain the term only for single-race couples and grant interracial couples "civil unions." The same applies for homosexual couples.

This isn't merely a question of embarrassment, it's a question of legality. If we retain "citizenship" for white people and give black people "civil participation," it's criminal. If upon the advent of civil rights we retracted citizenship from the government and applied "civil participation" to everyone, it might have been legal, but it would have been a black mark on our history.

Quite frankly, people like Jenna need to grow up. Homosexuals have suffered long enough for their stupidity.

I've already pointed out that the historical tradition argument is inaccurate and irrelevant, but if you demand links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_and_Hinduism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_China
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece

I was right about this argument eight years ago, and I'm right now. You've said it yourself, and you're nitpicking now because you can't stand conceding. But homosexuals will have full equality very soon, and the world will be better for it. If we have to do the grating half-steps of civil unions, hopefully that at least winds up in further alienating young people from the awesome stupidity of organized religions.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... Oh, and as for no 'substantial reason', here's one: throughout most of history, and for most people, 'marriage' while not only a civil institution is also one with heavy religious overtones.
...
(Oh, and do you have anything about China, India, or Greece for me? You don't even need a citation. Just tell me where to look.)

The Chinese experience doesn't really aid either side of the overall debate all that much since it clashes with both assertions.

On one hand, marriage in China doesn't have religious overtones. No priest, no religious building, and its been like that for a long time. As I understand it (and I'm like the last Chinese person to ask, but since no one else will probably answer), the relationships between husband and wife were largely governed by Confucianism which is a non-religious system of philosophy.

So religion, no.

On the other hand, marriages in China were generally arranged by the parents to ensure offspring, male to continue the family line, and female to take care of the parents. A same-sex marriage is right out, not for any religious reason, but simply because it basically means no children.

So same-sex marriage, no.
(Here's a long review of a very long and in-depth look at the subject http://www.yawningbread.org/guest_1997/guw-017.htm )

I'll add this fun tidbit:
quote:
Li Yinghe, an academic at the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has repeatedly proposed legalising gay marriage, but thinks the Chinese political system must develop first.

"When there are ways to deliver these demands, this issue can be put on the agenda. Maybe it will take 10 years - maybe it needs decades," she said.

Yet the underlying ground may be fertile. Gay men and lesbians say there is less overt hostility than in the west and certainly less physical harassment. Li's research in cities suggests about 91% of people are happy to work with gay colleagues - a higher rate than in US surveys - and that 30% back gay marriage.

She argues that Chinese culture has historically been more tolerant than others: "We don't have religions which are absolutely against homosexuality, for example. But the pressure to marry is huge - far greater than in the west."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/feb/25/gay-rights-china-beijing
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
On one hand, marriage in China doesn't have religious overtones. No priest, no religious building, and its been like that for a long time. As I understand it (and I'm like the last Chinese person to ask, but since no one else will probably answer), the relationships between husband and wife were largely governed by Confucianism which is a non-religious system of philosophy.

So religion, no.

As I understand it, Confucianism IS a quasi-religion framed as a social order. Grace radiates outward in concentric circles from the emperor, prioritizing leaders over followers, husbands over wives, parents over children. The emperor himself was linked to some form of divinity.

Excellent post.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
Oh, also.

Polygamy has been pretty much been the accepted state of things (for the upper class) in Chinese marriage for most of Chinese history only starting to openly die off after the Communists crushed it.

So, two people marriage, not so much either.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Mucus: I think you are downplaying (not necessarily intentionally) the Taoist and Buddhist influences in Chinese culture.

I think you are right in that religion plays less of a role in Mainland China as far as marriage is concerned. In the past however, there were alot of traditions associated with ancestor worship as well as Taoist reverence. These traditions often varied even from village to village but they all had them to some extent. Some women could not remarry if their husbands died as it was held by many that her two husbands would fight over her soul in the afterlife.

In Taiwan it seems like the religious component of society is significantly deeper than Mainland China. There's more special feast days, religious processions, miao attendance, etc.

I think I agree that as far as homosexuality is concerned the desire to have children specifically sons probably plays the biggest role in deterring it. I doubt culturally it's that big of a deal.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
As I understand it, Confucianism IS a quasi-religion framed as a social order.

AFAIK, Confucius is just treated as some guy* which had some pretty good ideas. But there are no deities, no afterlife, and no creator so it basically makes no sense as a religion from Western eyes. From Chinese eyes, many of the basic principles are still basically in effect totally divorced from any sign of religion, either inside or outside China. Thats why the CCP has no real problems promoting it these days.

* Incidentally, he'll be played in an upcoming film by Chow Yun-Fat
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Lalo,

quote:
Jeff, I can't state it more simply. When interracial couples "changed" the definition of marriage to include them, it would have been a travesty to retain the term only for single-race couples and grant interracial couples "civil unions." The same applies for homosexual couples.
And once again you're not listening. I'm not talking about heterosexuals retaining the term marriage. I'm talking about everyone, homo and heterosexual alike, to arrange cohabitation under the law in the same system.

It would be wrong, I believe, to have one legally recognized marriage and call it marriage for heterosexuals, and another for homosexuals called 'civil union', even if the legal rights and responsibilities were exactly identical. But that's not what I'm talking about.

Listen!

quote:

This isn't merely a question of embarrassment, it's a question of legality. If we retain "citizenship" for white people and give black people "civil participation," it's criminal. If upon the advent of civil rights we retracted citizenship from the government and applied "civil participation" to everyone, it might have been legal, but it would have been a black mark on our history.

Except it's not the same thing, however much you want the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement to apply in all ways and in all cases even down to word definitions to SSM. Our Constitution doesn't say, "We the White Male Landowning Christian People," it says, "We the People." The words the Founding Fathers wrote make no distinction. Those came later.

Marriage's history in humanity, however, is different. Overwhelmingly heterosexual, and in most times and places with serious religious implications. That's just a fact. It's not a reason homosexuals shouldn't have the same legal rights and responsibilities as heterosexuals do, but it is our history as human beings.

quote:
I've already pointed out that the historical tradition argument is inaccurate and irrelevant, but if you demand links:
No, you didn't actually point it out. And as for your links, clearly you haven't read them. Nowhere do they say homosexual marriages were routinely practiced or approved of by any of those cultures.

Once again you're arguing against a point I'm not making. You're arguing as if I've said homosexual behavior has been universally condemned throughout all of human history in all cultures. I'm not saying that. I haven't said that. I challenge you to quote me where I said that.

LISTEN

quote:
...hopefully that at least winds up in further alienating young people from the awesome stupidity of organized religions.
Clearly, then, you are the Pope.

-------

Mucus,

quote:
On one hand, marriage in China doesn't have religious overtones. No priest, no religious building, and its been like that for a long time. As I understand it (and I'm like the last Chinese person to ask, but since no one else will probably answer), the relationships between husband and wife were largely governed by Confucianism which is a non-religious system of philosophy.
I'm far from an expert on Confucianism, or even a very well-informed layman for that matter, so bear with me: isn't Confucianism as practiced in China bear some similarities to religion? And doesn't Chinese cultural reverence for ancestors play a role as well?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Mucus,

quote:

Polygamy has been pretty much been the accepted state of things (for the upper class) in Chinese marriage for most of Chinese history only starting to openly die off after the Communists crushed it.

So, two people marriage, not so much either.

You'll note I made a very careful exception for that:)
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Mucus: I think you are downplaying (not necessarily intentionally) the Taoist and Buddhist influences in Chinese culture.

Eh, I just don't think they're all that relevant here on marriage.

quote:
In the past however, there were alot of traditions associated with ancestor worship as well as Taoist reverence.
I don't really treat ancestor worship as religion though. Among my friends and family, its just a really strong tradition and you'll find that even though statistically religious identification in Hong Kong (and associated overseas communities) is very weak, ancestor worship is still very common (maybe even moreso than on the mainland).

It also doesn't get displaced like other religious rituals do (i.e. I'd bet that most Chinese people who converted to a religion would still practice it unless it is explicitly barred by the new religion).

Its possible that it may have been more linked with religion in the past, I'm certainly not an expert in this area. But it doesn't really seem that way to me.

Its like feng shui, superstitions about the number 4 and 8, or the Chinese zodiac. Little bits of Chinese culture that are popular, but aren't treated as religious, and that can be plugged in and out independently.

Rakeesh: Oh, I was speaking more generally on that last point which is part of why I separated it into a different post. IIRC, there were people earlier like JennaDean that were more tied to that one.
 
Posted by Earendil18 (Member # 3180) on :
 
Hehe, another 25 plusser! See you all in June!
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
Here's a different perspective on what I'm saying, but from Wikipedia and from Taoism:
quote:
Taoism does not fall strictly under an umbrella or a definition of an organized religion like the Abrahamic traditions, nor can it purely be studied as the originator or a variant of Chinese folk religion, as much of the traditional religion is outside of the tenets and core teachings of Taoism. Robinet asserts that Taoism is better understood as a way of life than as a religion, and that its adherents do not approach or view Taoism the way non-Taoist historians have done.
I think thats generally true in spirit. Westerners are a lot more likely to see religion where Chinese people looking at the same thing probably wouldn't.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
quote:
Quite frankly, people like Jenna need to grow up. Homosexuals have suffered long enough for their stupidity.
Ah, I see now. Thank you for showing me the light. You're helping so much.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
My favorite passage so far, from The Anonymous Liberal:
quote:
I also love the casual assertion that "marriage is by nature the union of a man and woman," as if marriage is some sort of naturally occurring phenomenon like evaporation or mitosis. Marriage is a social construct. It's whatever we say it is. And it has meant many different things over the course of human history. For instance, polygamous marriage was once very common (still is in some parts of the world). And for many centuries, marriage was primarily a financial arrangement and a way of ensuring inheritance rights. Women were essentially bought and sold. The modern concept of love as a basis for marriage is of relatively recent vintage. And civil marriage is a very different thing than religious marriage (which itself differs from religion to religion and culture to culture). The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish. Marriage was created by human beings and human beings can choose how they want to define it.

 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
quote:
The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish.
While I accept this as truth, the fact is that this is not a persuasive argument to, say, a Mormon, whose church includes as one of its central tenets the concept that there is a sort of platonic essence to marriage.
 
Posted by Hobbes (Member # 433) on :
 
I think more to the point that argument that "marriage is whatever we say it is" falls more on the side of those who argue that the vote of the populace should determine what marriage is.

Hobbes [Smile]
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The idea that there is some sort of platonic essence to marriage is just rubbish.
While I accept this as truth, the fact is that this is not a persuasive argument to, say, a Mormon, whose church includes as one of its central tenets the concept that there is a sort of platonic essence to marriage.
Yeah, if you think marriage is ordained by God - an essential mechanism of exaltation - then "created by human beings" can be a sticking point for some people.

But it doesn't completely undermine the argument. Even Mormons ought to recognize that it's people who are burdened with writing and voting in constitutions and laws, and that if people decide to define marriage - the legal/civil kind - to include same sex unions, they can.

I think the fact that civil marriage generally isn't wholly congruent with whatever eternal marriage principles exist is hard to deny, and that lack of congruence is because humans have been defining civil marriage.

I think one can believe in the platonic essence and yet be open to the idea that civil marriage just isn't the same thing.
 
Posted by Chris Bridges (Member # 1138) on :
 
Fair enough. Then it's just a matter of time.

And Tom, I don't expect Mormons, or any other people with strong beliefs on heterosexual marriage, to agree with me, nor do I plan to try convincing them. I do expect the legislature to enact secular laws, though.
 
Posted by fugu13 (Member # 2859) on :
 
Hobbes: only if you think things should be defined as the majority sees them, instead of in a way that balances the needs of minorities and the wishes of the majority. You may be familiar with the latter as an important basis of our system of government.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Hobbes:
I think more to the point that argument that "marriage is whatever we say it is" falls more on the side of those who argue that the vote of the populace should determine what marriage is.

Hobbes [Smile]

This would be true if the US were a country that wasn't formed with certain ideals of equality under the law.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
I think more to the point that argument that "marriage is whatever we say it is" falls more on the side of those who argue that the vote of the populace should determine what marriage is.
Heh.

Or we could just pretend we live in Eddie's land, where no one under thirty looks down on homosexuals.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
I have every hope that, someday, we will.
 
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
 
There are certain places in the world in which Lalo is right about the majority's attitude to homosexuality. To come out of one of those places (often, say, a city) and experience the prejudice and "weirdness" of homosexuality as viewed elsewhere... I can understand his incredulity.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
There are certain places in the world in which Lalo is right about the majority's attitude to homosexuality. To come out of one of those places (often, say, a city) and experience the prejudice and "weirdness" of homosexuality as viewed elsewhere... I can understand his incredulity.

I've lived in California, Ohio, New York, England, Italy, India, Mexico, and Costa Rica -- not counting all the places I've visited for shorter periods of times. Of all those places, the only area where I found even a trace of homophobia was a worry about lesbians molesting the smaller girls at a Calcuttan orphanage.

Everywhere else, nobody cares. I've dated fundamentalist Christians, faithful Muslims, and Italian Catholics -- and nobody cares. Nobody wants to deny them equal rights. Whatever it is that older generations fear about homosexuality, we don't. I'm sure there are still colleges like BYU or Bob Jones that viciously oppose homosexual equality, but they're few and far between -- and increasingly irrelevant to the real world.

We don't care. Homosexuals are our friends and equals. People who keep pretending otherwise are going to be reviled by their children and scorned by history.
 
Posted by MattP (Member # 10495) on :
 
quote:
I'm sure there are still colleges like BYU or Bob Jones that viciously oppose homosexual equality, but they're few and far between -- and increasingly irrelevant to the real world.
Even at my daughter's high school, which is literally across the street from BYU, attitudes are substantially more liberal on this matter than in the adult population around here.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Everywhere else, nobody cares.

I'm not unsympathetic, but you may be overstating your case. Consider:
quote:
As gays and lesbians seek rights and acceptance around the world, Gallup surveys conducted in 113 countries find most people unlikely to say the city or area in which they live is a good place for gays and lesbians to live. Across the globe, a median of 24% say the area in which they live is a good place for homosexuals, while a median of 50% feel it is not a good place. The results vary widely by region, with acceptance most likely in the Americas and least likely in Africa.
http://www.gallup.com/poll/102478/Perceived-Acceptance-Homosexuals-Differs-Around-Globe.aspx

In particular, the UK is within shooting distance of the US. Italy, Mexico, and Costa Rica are significantly lower than in the US in terms of acceptance (perceived anyways, its possible the real acceptance is higher, but I can't explain that).
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
American Teenagers Split on Gay Marriage

quote:
A recent Gallup Youth survey of 546 teenagers, ages 13-17, conducted Dec. 5, 2005-Jan. 16, 2006, shows that about half approve of gay marriage, while half disapprove.

 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Sorry, I should've clarified: nobody in my age group cares. There's a huge generational shift occurring -- my little Mexican cousins in Texas are fine with homosexuals, even if their mother is still alarmed at the prospect.

The first person my devout immigrant Muslim girlfriend introduced me to was her gay best friend, so he could appraise her atheist boyfriend. I think that speaks volumes.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
Another Gallup Poll

Assuming Lalo's age group is 18-39 year olds, this poll says that 43% of 18-39 year olds consider homosexual relations to be morally wrong, which is much more than "nobody". 51% of 18-39 year olds say gay marriage should be legal, and 62% say homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle.

It appears from the polls that a generational shift is occurring - but to say that it has already completely occurred, or that we know for sure it will keep occuring, or that gays are now accepted completely by all young adults is not true.
 
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
 
I've seen stats cut a little more finely than that, Tres, and one thing that's interesting is that the smaller you cut it, the more obvious the shift. People under 20 are less likely to see anything wrong with homosexuality than people under 24, who in turn are less likely to dislike homosexuality than people under 28, etc. I'd be curious how many of those who disapprove of homosexuality under the age of 39 are over the age of 30.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Tom beat me to it. My age group is not 18-39. I'd be very interested in a survey of the average high school today to see how many still see homosexuality as a negative or subversive trait.

Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
Lalo, I think the truth is not that "nobody in your age group cares" its "nobody in your social group cares". You are presuming that your social group is representative of society as a whole. Polls like the on Xap cites above indicate that it is not. Elections like the prop 8 election in California, indicate that your experience is not representative.

It is true that a growing number of people from all cultures don't care whether or not someone is homosexual or heterosexual. But there are still vast segments of the population, in every age group, that care a great deal.

I should add that although I am a radical leftist, I'm also a Mormon and a University professor who has lived in several different countries and is currently living in the Caribbean. I have have friends on all sides of the political spectrum and neighbors from every continent (except Antarctica). That experience informs me of two key things.

1. Almost everyone underestimates the diversity of opinions out there. Because most people gravitate toward people who share their views, they tend to presume that the majority of the world agrees with them. This fallacy is common on all sides whether they are conservatives claiming "The Moral Majority" or progressives talking of "Common Dreams". It is, however, a fallacy. No matter what your opinion is, you are very likely a minority.

2. Both sides of the political spectrum are prone to see only a gross characakture of the oppositions arguments. Few people understand or even want to understand the nuanced positions of those who disagree with them. Its much easier to demonize those who disagree with you, labeling them "homophobes" or "moral degenerates" than it is to actually take the time to understand where they are coming from. This is particularly true when people are emotionally invested in an issue.
 
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
 
The poll of teenagers (posted above, at 12:09 pm) showed teens were split evenly, on gay marriage at least. That was from 2006, but I doubt it has changed significantly in three years.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Sigh. Are they unaware that "rainbow coalition" is already being used? And their banners could get a little confusing.

And how many time must that New Jersey thing be debunked?
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
The Rabbit, you do realize that you're including some pretty broad generalizations in your warning against broad generalizations, right? [Razz]

(Not that it invalidates your point.)
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
The Rabbit, you do realize that you're including some pretty broad generalizations in your warning against broad generalizations, right? [Razz]

(Not that it invalidates your point.)

Yup, My generalizations are the exception that proves the rule. [Taunt]
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Tom beat me to it. My age group is not 18-39. I'd be very interested in a survey of the average high school today to see how many still see homosexuality as a negative or subversive trait.

Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

I prefer this video by the Courage Campaign than that sad laugh they emailed me about the other night.

... Actually, the contrast makes them work well as a pair.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

'rainbow coalition'
 
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
 
quote:
I prefer this video by the Courage Campaign than that sad laugh they emailed me about the other night.
That's adorable.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Also, for sad laughs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

'rainbow coalition'

Their "rainbow coalition" commercial is missing any Asians. For the first time in a long while, I'm seeing the silver lining in chronic non-representation [Wink]
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
Without some form of federal intervention, this thing could drag on for many years. It is also worth noting that if Obama doesn't address the issue that could easily mean 8 years without a final word (and if he's succeeded by a Bush III, perhaps 16 years).

Huh. Looks like someone ran the math and it turns out my educated guess is only one year off.

quote:
Polling guru Nate Silver has built a regression model, based on demographic and political trends, to forecast when a majority of the voting public in each of the 50 states might vote against a gay-marriage ban, or vote to repeal an existing one. His findings: by 2016, most states will have legalized gay marriage, with Mississippi alone holding on until 2024. His analysis is loaded with caveats but, in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling against the state’s gay-marriage ban, raises an interesting question: is legal same-sex marriage inevitable?
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/is-legal-same-sex-marriage-inevitable/

2009+16 years gives 2025 which means I'm "off" by a year [Wink]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Lalo, I think the truth is not that "nobody in your age group cares" its "nobody in your social group cares".
If my experience talking about this with him even in an online setting, even when I'm not opposed to equal rights for homosexuals is any indicator, I'd be amazed if he hasn't been selecting socially against that trait for a long time now.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
Yeah.

I don't like to hang out with people who would disapprove of my brother marrying someone he loves. Surprise there. I also don't hang out with people who disapprove of the races intermarrying - which sadly includes some of my relations (not family, as far as I'm concerned) - since, yahknow, I'm in an interracial marriage.

It's amazing how a person - like myself - doesn't like to hang out with others who hurts her family and friends, or hell, good, decent people who are strangers. Shocker, really.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Yeah, that's definitely shocking. Now that I read your well-intentioned, thought provoking post I realize that when I suggested I disapproved of Eddie selecting socially against that, or against anyone else electing not to associate with such people, I was completely and totally wrong. Probably bigoted in some way, too.

Thank you so much for enlightening me, Jhai! Everything is so clear now.

How about I create a user name here like _Rakeesh so that whenever you'd like to respond to something I post, you can just post what you want to respond to yourself, and then respond to it?

It'll remove a lot of the guesswork from the equation, don't you think? So far I'm having a very hard time guessing ahead of time what awful thing I was supposed to have said, and I'm even worse at actually saying it even when I do guess right.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Jeff, you're obnoxious.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
I will overlook racism and discrimination towards homosexuals in older relatives. I also, though, tend to find I have little in common with people my own age who discrimate so I suppose I socially select as well.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Jeff, you're obnoxious.
After about a half-dozen posts of you responding to very little I actually said, insinuating or outright stating that I said something I didn't say, and completely ignoring each time I called you on it, let's just say I'm feeling obnoxious. It's because I used to enjoy talking with you, but on this topic you're behaving like a jackass.
---------

quote:
I will overlook racism and discrimination towards homosexuals in older relatives. I also, though, tend to find I have little in common with people my own age who discrimate so I suppose I socially select as well.
It's pretty much the same thing with me. Not that I discuss politics much with my older relatives, but when the subject comes up I generally overlook what I feel are the more egregious stuff they say (only occasionally talking about it them, like once every few times it comes up).

But I don't for example hang out or socialize with anyone who feels, say, about Democrats the way my father does.

So I'll refrain, for my part at least, from saying, "NOBODY CARES!" on a controversial issue simply because no one I know cares. I don't know everyone, after all.

One can either take from my saying this that I only think people tend to associate with like-minded people, or that I am criticizing anyone who doesn't go out of their way to associate with people who hate them.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Lalo, I think the truth is not that "nobody in your age group cares" its "nobody in your social group cares". You are presuming that your social group is representative of society as a whole. Polls like the on Xap cites above indicate that it is not. Elections like the prop 8 election in California, indicate that your experience is not representative.

It's totally possible. My social group tends to be well educated and racially diverse. But I have plenty of friends in (conservative) frats and others who joined the workforce after high school, and I still can't find anyone who opposes it. I often hang out with a Christian group on campus, and while I've heard prayers for science to stop persecuting their beliefs (seriously), they're nice people and don't give a damn about discriminating against homosexuals.

There's a new Christian crop coming up that's way more focused on the environment and social justice than the traditional Religious Right scumbag issues. Again, this might just be my experience with college students, but I don't see them radically transforming into Jerry Falwells as they get older.

I think you might be ignoring the snowball effect. My mom had never even considered gay marriage until I became a passionate advocate as a teenager, and now she celebrates victories in Iowa and Vermont with champagne. There's a huge number of people out there who maintain religious traditions for no other reason than identification, and upon examination will realize how stupid they are. It's already happened with young people. All that needs to happen is a population of supporters large enough to act as a catalyst.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
There are many things that my friends and I can disagree on that don't bother me at all. Political issues, religious issues, artistic values. Lots of stuff. But discrimination against homosexuals personally hurts people for no reason that makes any sense to me.

"You can't have a family because I don't want the definition of marriage to be different." That has no more merit than people supporting Jim Crow laws because they were uncomfortable drinking out of the same water fountains as black people or who liked their privileged seats on the bus. Sure. Their lives did indeed get worse, they did have to do uncomfortable things and they did have to give up some things, but that was no justification for keeping Jim Crow.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
quote:
His findings: by 2016, most states will have legalized gay marriage, with Mississippi alone holding on until 2024.
Mississippi? Not Utah? [Wink]
quote:
His analysis is loaded with caveats but, in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling against the state’s gay-marriage ban, raises an interesting question: is legal same-sex marriage inevitable?
I think it's just a matter of time.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:

There's a new Christian crop coming up that's way more focused on the environment and social justice than the traditional Religious Right scumbag issues.

See, you can say things like this and wonder why anyone would doubt the political diversity of your social activities?

How would you even know if someone around you felt differently than you do on this subject? It's hardly as though you were open to a polite discussion on the topic.

Maybe you don't actually know what the people around you think as well as you think you do.

And before you begin (mis)quoting me, I'm not saying you shouldn't select (though I am saying you shouldn't select in such a rude and dishonest way) your social circles. I'm just saying that if you're a human being, you do it.

quote:
There's a huge number of people out there who maintain religious traditions for no other reason than identification, and upon examination will realize how stupid they are.
Yeah...I'm the obnoxious one:)
 
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:

There's a huge number of people out there who maintain religious traditions for no other reason than identification, and upon examination will realize how stupid they are. It's already happened with young people. All that needs to happen is a population of supporters large enough to act as a catalyst.

You'll draw a lot of people into your snowball by telling them how stupid they are. Keep at it.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Don't talk to him like that. He's got lots of religious friends, so we know he's OK.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
The "they" in his sentence isn't clearly denoting the people - it could be the religious traditions that a person keeps despite the fact that they don't actually believe in them. That's the way I read it.

My MIL, for instance, won't sleep on white sheets (white is the color of mourning in Hinduism), despite the fact that she has a Masters in Philosophy and doesn't believe that there's anything wrong with white sheets, or that anything bad will happen. She admits that this is stupid behavior, but nonetheless continues to do it.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
The "they" in his sentence isn't clearly denoting the people - it could be the religious traditions that a person keeps despite the fact that they don't actually believe in them. That's the way I read it.
That's a very charitable way to read it, and completely out of step with other things he has to say on the matter, yes.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Oh, now that you're calling just religion stupid, that proves you're totally unbigoted.
 
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
 
No, I recognized the ambiguity of the pronoun. But you're not going to win people to your side any easier by calling their religious beliefs stupid as opposed to calling the people themselves stupid. All you're doing is exposing yourself as as ignorant as you're accusing them of being.

One example of white sheets doesn't justify calling religious beliefs stupid. Heck, you're not scoring any points with your MIL by calling her refusal to sleep on white sheets stupid, even if she herself admits it.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
Jhai, I never said (nor intended to imply) that there was anything wrong with socializing with people who share your values and your world view. It's perfectly normal.

My complaint was with people who conclude that the majority of people agree with them because the majority of their friends agree with them. In science, we call it selection bias. I think its important for people to recognize that their friends and associates are much more likely to agree with them than a random stranger.

My second observation was that unless people associate with people who disagree with them, they are prone to presume that their own gross characakture of those peoples beliefs are accurate. Its much easier to presume the opposition is either stupid or evil than it is to really understand them. People are unlikely to make a sincere and concerted effort to truly understand the opposition unless they have friends among the opposition. Many people avoid making friends among the opposition because it puts them in the uncomfortable position of having to understand those people which can cause a great deal of cognitive dissonance. Certainly it isn't necessary to socialize with people you disagree with to come to understand them, its just rare that people actually make the effort.
 
Posted by SenojRetep (Member # 8614) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mucus:
quote:
Polling guru Nate Silver has built a regression model, based on demographic and political trends, to forecast when a majority of the voting public in each of the 50 states might vote against a gay-marriage ban, or vote to repeal an existing one. His findings: by 2016, most states will have legalized gay marriage, with Mississippi alone holding on until 2024. His analysis is loaded with caveats but, in light of the Iowa Supreme Court’s ruling against the state’s gay-marriage ban, raises an interesting question: is legal same-sex marriage inevitable?
http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/is-legal-same-sex-marriage-inevitable/

2009+16 years gives 2025 which means I'm "off" by a year [Wink]

The "caveats" in the analysis are pretty significant. He uses a linear model of the rate at which marriage bans are losing ground, which is sort of the equivalent of trying to get to China by traveling in a straight line. It works pretty well for a few miles, but pretty soon the ground falls out from under your feet and your moving into outerspace.

Silver's great for populism of statistical inference, but in this case I think he let his (admitted) ideological bias effect the quality of his analysis.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
No, I recognized the ambiguity of the pronoun. But you're not going to win people to your side any easier by calling their religious beliefs stupid as opposed to calling the people themselves stupid. All you're doing is exposing yourself as as ignorant as you're accusing them of being.

One example of white sheets doesn't justify calling religious beliefs stupid. Heck, you're not scoring any points with your MIL by calling her refusal to sleep on white sheets stupid, even if she herself admits it.

I'm not saying anything on the topic of religious beliefs in general - I'm talking about religious beliefs that an individual follow that the individual doesn't even believe in are stupid. Because at that point it's just a superstition. And, uh, my relationship with my MIL is just fine, thanks.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
Jhai, I never said (nor intended to imply) that there was anything wrong with socializing with people who share your values and your world view. It's perfectly normal.

My complaint was with people who conclude that the majority of people agree with them because the majority of their friends agree with them. In science, we call it selection bias. I think its important for people to recognize that their friends and associates are much more likely to agree with them than a random stranger.

My second observation was that unless people associate with people who disagree with them, they are prone to presume that their own gross characakture of those peoples beliefs are accurate. Its much easier to presume the opposition is either stupid or evil than it is to really understand them. People are unlikely to make a sincere and concerted effort to truly understand the opposition unless they have friends among the opposition. Many people avoid making friends among the opposition because it puts them in the uncomfortable position of having to understand those people which can cause a great deal of cognitive dissonance. Certainly it isn't necessary to socialize with people you disagree with to come to understand them, its just rare that people actually make the effort.

Rabbit, just for clarification, I wasn't responding to your post. I was responding to Rakeesh's, which I thought was impolite in tone (not that some of Lalo's haven't been), and was, moreover, pointing out the incredibly obvious. I don't need to interact with anyone to know that they'll tend to hang around like-minded folk. It's a pretty fundamental part of human nature, as you describe.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Rabbit, just for clarification, I wasn't responding to your post.
Gotcha.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Rabbit, just for clarification, I wasn't responding to your post. I was responding to Rakeesh's, which I thought was impolite in tone (not that some of Lalo's haven't been), and was, moreover, pointing out the incredibly obvious. I don't need to interact with anyone to know that they'll tend to hang around like-minded folk. It's a pretty fundamental part of human nature, as you describe.
Some things to consider.

Most of Lalo's responses to me have been at best impolite, and frequently dishonest as well. Most of the conversation has consisted of my saying something, him responding to something I didn't say, my pointing that out and asking him to show where I did say the bad thing, and him moving on.

Kind of like a malanthrop-lite on the liberal side in that respect.

On the basis of that experience I said I'd be surprised if he wasn't selecting for like-minded people, because as much as it's a common human trait, it's even more common amongst humans who can't hold an honest conversation.

From that interaction I got your hostile lecture.

Finally, if it's so obvious, why are you telling me? I was telling him what was obvious, but what he was simply refusing to see: that just because everyone he socializes with thinks similarly to him is hardly reason to think "No one thinks this" which is what he's said repeatedly.

So, you saying you were posting to respond to discourtesy and unnecessarily obvious posts...well, it doesn't really make much sense.

And that's not saying anything about your very impolite suggestion that I somehow disapprove of people not hanging out with those who are hateful to them and their loved ones.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
...
Silver's great for populism of statistical inference, but in this case I think he let his (admitted) ideological bias effect the quality of his analysis.

*shrug* Still better than nothing. But out of curiosity, how would you change his predictions to match the way you see things going?
 
Posted by Amanecer (Member # 4068) on :
 
quote:
There's a new Christian crop coming up that's way more focused on the environment and social justice than the traditional Religious Right scumbag issues.
You live in New York right? Because in Texas this is not my experience at all. The vast majority of people I know are very concerned with more traditional Religious Right issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc.) and think that environmental issues are mostly made up.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
Oh, now that you're calling just religion stupid, that proves you're totally unbigoted.

This is one of the stranger things I've encountered. I hurt your feelings? Are you aware of the laws you've helped pass, and what they do to homosexuals? Are you aware of the discrimination, brutality, and humiliation suffered by homosexuals, all enabled by your attitude?

They're murdered. Regularly. And when they're not murdered, they're beaten. Raped. Humiliated. Alienated. Heroes like Alan Turing were chemically castrated. But what really matters here is that people don't suck up to you enough when they ask you to please repeal the discriminatory laws you so proudly maintain.

It's absolutely disgusting. As if homosexuals need to coddle and beg you to pretty please maybe be nice. It's their right to be treated as equal human beings. You don't get to simper about how your feelings were hurt because the homos aren't letting you discriminate against them anymore.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
It's all dependent on where you live. Even in texas, the younger you are, the more likely you are to be okay with gays, have gay friends and not be weirded out by them or think that they are abominations before god or that they're destroying marriage by wanting equal rights to it. And when you have gay friends and like them, you quickly become disillusioned and frustrated with organized christianity's crusade* against them, and like so many of our younger people, you end up dropping out from affiliation or association with your church. Cultural battles like evolution and homosexuality, and the stands that churches have taken on them, have only stood to harm their place in society. And we're already seeing the results.

*loaded terminology, I know
 
Posted by natural_mystic (Member # 11760) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
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.

I started responding two days ago, but then was swamped with work.
--------------------------------------

If SSM were called a 'civil union' it would be a cop out only in the sense that the opportunity to forcefully state that the homosexual population was not second class was missed. As one of the popular arguments against SSM boils down to an objection to the meaning of marriage being changed (i.e. semantics), an appropriate response to this argument is to introduce a new term as it successfully evades the thrust of the argument.

As far as platonic couples goes:
1)is there a market for such contracts? If no one is asking for it and there is no reason to think anyone will ask for it in the future, it is probably overreach to implement it.
2)I think this would be a much bigger change than you realize. For example, friends and romantic partners are not typically mutually exclusive- at what stage in one's life do you think one would choose to "marry" a platonic friend and so put an impediment in the way of marrying a romantic interest?
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
Lalo, you're acting naughty. Quit associating all the opposition with the worst of the bigots. (I'm on your side but you're doing nobody any favors with that kind of misdirected attack.)
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Lalo, you're acting naughty. Quit associating all the opposition with the worst of the bigots. (I'm on your side but you're doing nobody any favors with that kind of misdirected attack.)

You're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying KATHERINA is murdering and raping homosexuals, only that her attitude enables it to happen.

You don't see a lot of people jumping interracial couples anymore, mostly because society got over it and realized miscegeny isn't a shame or a sin or a crime. Once homosexuality's no longer fought in the legislature and the pulpit, the mouth-breathers who get their kicks out of beating on gays are going to have a much harder time justifying it.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
That's inflammatory, and I was about to call you on it, but ... eh, for the most part, it's true. It does enable it.

But one question though. Violence against homos, sure. But how does equipping homophobia encourage people to rape homosexuals?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Why on earth did you drag me into this? Are you high?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Well, at least you're not backing off from the 'religion is stupid' thing. So, Jhai, your interpretation was in fact incorrect.

quote:
Are you aware of the laws you've helped pass, and what they do to homosexuals? Are you aware of the discrimination, brutality, and humiliation suffered by homosexuals, all enabled by your attitude?
So, your argument is that she - and others who oppose SSM and believe homosexuality is a sin - must answer for the worst crimes perpetrated against homosexuals, throughout the nation and the world?

What, then, do you have to answer for? Are there not things done by people on the fringes of your various political beliefs that are heinous to you, that you would never countenance personally?

quote:

They're murdered. Regularly. And when they're not murdered, they're beaten. Raped. Humiliated. Alienated. Heroes like Alan Turing were chemically castrated. But what really matters here is that people don't suck up to you enough when they ask you to please repeal the discriminatory laws you so proudly maintain.

Of course if you only said 'religion is stupid' in response to this particular issue, you might have some credibility when you claim it's because of righteous anger over abuse of homosexuals. But you don't. Or has that changed?

quote:

It's absolutely disgusting. As if homosexuals need to coddle and beg you to pretty please maybe be nice. It's their right to be treated as equal human beings. You don't get to simper about how your feelings were hurt because the homos aren't letting you discriminate against them anymore.

That's not what she, at least, is doing.

And just for fun, please allow me to review some of the questions and statements you've completely ignored, and give you an opportunity to answer them after days of ignoring them-or at least demonstrate what bad faith you're having this conversation in.

quote:
No, it's a pointless legal distinction. Race is ALSO an important personal characteristic, but it's no basis for legal discrimination.
You were wrong about that, but somehow it just got dropped from the discussion. You were equally wrong about government making no legal distinctions ever on the basis of gender, and yet somehow that as well got sidelined and you dropped it.

And of course you were also wrong when you said repeatedly that 'no one cared' what people like JennaDean thought. You reluctantly qualified that nonsense statement.

And of course there was your completely ludicrous citing of a racist judge in Virginia ruling against miscegenation, which you then claimed was religion's word on the subject or something.

When asked repeatedly what exactly would be the legal argument against creating an institution under the law by which any consenting adult couples could 'marry', and having that be the only institution that would be recognized civilly, you had no response except to say 'it's an embarrassment'.

And of course you also said that there is no history or logic behind the notion that marriage is a heterosexual institution, which was also stupid. When asked to defend your argument there you cited India, China, and ancient Greece (from wikipedia, I might add), none of which were actually refutations at all of marriage being historically heterosexual.

Those are just a few examples of what a bad-faith participant you really are in this conversation. Your latests posts illustrate that even more effectively. You don't want to talk to people who disagree.

You want to rail and insult and demand change of the people who disagree. And you want to talk with people who agree with you about how awful the other sort are, and how great it'll be once change is forced down their throats.

All of which is fine. It makes me angry, too. It's why I've specifically voted against anti-homosexual discrimination in the past (unfortunately in Florida the issue has come up in a very clear-cut way), and why I'll continue to do so in the future. It's why when the issue comes up amongst friends or coworkers, I don't tolerate baseless and unAmerican arguments to go unopposed, such as, "America is a Christian nation," or, "Homosexuality is just wrong."

So believe me when I say it's fine that you get angry about it. But stop pretending you're looking for an honest dialogue on the subject.

Anyway, that's all I have to say on the subject with you. My memory is good enough to know that I have very little chance of this post actually getting you to answer for some of the things I've said above, and even less hope of your not making repeated bigoted remarks towards religious people. So I'll try and get off the merry-go-round, though I'm not always as good at that as I'd like to be. I still talk at malanthrop, too.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
You MUST be high. I have posted nothing on this topic at all except that calling religion stupid makes someone a bigot.

Everything else you have made up wholesale. What the hell?

Stop mainlining crack and at least TRY to anchor yourself to a smidgeon of reality. If you are going to parade around like a vigilante self righteous inquisition, you're going to have to actually QUOTE people before accusing them of whatever baloney you're making up.

And Samp - honestly, you're a complete embarassment.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
Yes please raise the standard of dialogue vs. lalo by constantly suggesting he is on illegal substances, thanks kat.
 
Posted by natural_mystic (Member # 11760) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
That's inflammatory, and I was about to call you on it, but ... eh, for the most part, it's true. It does enable it.

But one question though. Violence against homos, sure. But how does equipping homophobia encourage people to rape homosexuals?

I'm not weighing in on Lalo's thesis; however I did read a story recently about gang rape of lesbians occurring in South Africa justified as an attempt to 'set straight' the lesbians.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
That's inflammatory, and I was about to call you on it, but ... eh, for the most part, it's true. It does enable it.
You should have called him on it, unless you think we're all answerable for what the fringes of our own political and religious groups do that we quite specifically disapprove of.

Eddie's example of Christianity is especially stupid, of course. In what way can Christianity be said to be enabling the violent abuse of homosexuals? The people doing that may cite Christianity, but they're also failing to cite the many more examples throughout the Bible of not treating people violently.

But instead people like Eddie say, "Christianity enables it!" instead of saying, "The people that do this are breaking faith with Christianity."

Even though it would be accurate to say that as well.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
ew.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
You are accusing me of murder on the basis of NOTHING. If it isn't crack, it is some sort of hallucinogen.

Considering the baloney you are making up against me, it is either crack, you have had a psychotic breakdown, or you are completely dishonest and so far gone you think it isn't obvious, which leads back to the first two choices.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Lalo, you're acting naughty. Quit associating all the opposition with the worst of the bigots. (I'm on your side but you're doing nobody any favors with that kind of misdirected attack.)

You're misunderstanding me. I'm not saying KATHERINA is murdering and raping homosexuals, only that her attitude enables it to happen.

You don't see a lot of people jumping interracial couples anymore, mostly because society got over it and realized miscegeny isn't a shame or a sin or a crime. Once homosexuality's no longer fought in the legislature and the pulpit, the mouth-breathers who get their kicks out of beating on gays are going to have a much harder time justifying it.

Your disgust is misplaced either way. Beating up, killing, bullying homosexuals is not inextricable from the question of legal same sex marriage. I tend to agree that until gay couples have access to the same legal institutions that opposite sex couples have, there will be attendant social impacts to the discrimination. But I don't think they necessarily rise to the level of hatred and violence that you were describing. I think the days of such violence are nearly behind us whether SSM is legal or not. (It's worth noting that such violence is not typically done by older people, it is typically done by relatively young men flush with testosterone [the very generation you were seemed to be claiming has little remaining trace of homophobia].)

The more important point is that a hostile tone, and vocal disgust, is a really bad way to persuade people.

When you associate their largely well-meaning (however misguided you feel it to be) political stance with violence and hatred, you are slamming the door shut.

It's just not that helpful, in other words. katharina pointed this out and you just upped the ante. I want you to know that as a SSM supporter I agree with katharina on this point, and it'd probably help to measure your words a bit more, assuming your goal is not just to fling poo.

Edit: Ok, i wrote this before katharina posted a few more times. She's over the top too. (I guess if nothing else it helps demonstrate the pointlessness of turning up the volume on these conversations.)
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
I know personally two lesbians who've been raped for being gay, though one's now 35. It might have to do with the huge homosexual population of homosexuals in New York City, but these cases don't seem to be uncommon.

Keep in mind that often, people aren't attacking these people for being gay. It's that being gay, and thereby inferior, gives people license to treat them badly. If they're subhuman, then beating or raping them isn't really that bad. All of these infuriatingly stupid attempts to keep homosexuals as second-class citizens only prolongs their status as targets.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
Kat, seriously. You honestly had a good shot at having a firm and mature grounding vs. lalo's claims, but you pretty much throw it all away when you do stuff like go SERIOUSLY ARE YOU MAINLINING CRACK, GET OFF THA DRUUUUUUUGS

It leaves you no room to lecture other people about their conduct, because you're being more hotheaded and less mature than them, and that's your greatest failing in conflicts like this.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Refuting claims? Honestly - YOU ARE MAKING IT ALL UP.

I have posted ONCE in this thread and it had NOTHING to do with what you are talking about. YOU ARE COMPLETELY MAKING STUFF UP.

Not even twisting. There is nothing to twist. It is so dishonest that mainlaining crack would be an improvement on what actually happened, which is wholesale, willfull slander by a couple of amoral liars.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
Will you stop? Or at least step back and chill down, or something?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Will you apologize for the willfull slander?

This is a new low, which is quite an accomplishment for a thread where you were licking the basement floor already.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
I'm not slandering you, sorry.

Besides, even if I were, you would have to find a better example than "amoral liars" and the whole "mainlining crack" thing.

You're in the wrong. Tap out, or take it to another thread afore you flame out. You can't delete this one.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Lalo accused me of murder on the basis of NOTHING, you agreed with him, and you are definitely both either mainlaining crack or the two most dishonest people Hatrack has had the misfortune to meet.

It's shameful and you would both be writhing in shame if you had the brain power or morals to know what that is.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
Your disgust is misplaced either way. Beating up, killing, bullying homosexuals is not inextricable from the question of legal same sex marriage. I tend to agree that until gay couples have access to the same legal institutions that opposite sex couples have, there will be attendant social impacts to the discrimination. But I don't think they necessarily rise to the level of hatred and violence that you were describing. I think the days of such violence are nearly behind us whether SSM is legal or not. (It's worth noting that such violence is not typically done by older people, it is typically done by relatively young men flush with testosterone [the very generation you were seemed to be claiming has little remaining trace of homophobia].)

The more important point is that a hostile tone, and vocal disgust, is a really bad way to persuade people.

When you associate their largely well-meaning (however misguided you feel it to be) political stance with violence and hatred, you are slamming the door shut.

It's a good point, but exactly how much should we coddle homophobia? It is stupid, and we both know it.

I honestly think it might be more disrespectful to pretend mincing semantical arguments are at all impressive, or that personal interpretations of confused religious dogma are somehow relevant to secular law. Let's give people some credit to learn from their mistakes.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Lalo accused me of murder on the basis of NOTHING, you agreed with him, and you are definitely both either mainlaining crack or the two most dishonest people Hatrack has had the misfortune to meet.

It's shameful and you would both be writhing in shame if you had the brain power or morals to know what that is.

I'm sorry, the last time you railed on me for a while about something I was assuredly, in your eyes, doing, I was able to clearly and plainly refute the notion that I was doing it. And you still refused to change your tune. You seem to 'stick' on these notions that I am doing something even when I am not doing it, like how here you are clearly asssured of the idea that I am agreeing that you are a murderer.

I'm not, but I don't hold much hope that I can get you to calm down and admit that you are wrong, because once you get high-strung and emotional, you don't back down. The best I can hope for you to do is to finally give your classic "I have no interest in conversing with you anymore" line since that would at least give me the hope that you'll quiet down and stop blintzing my thread.

So, how about it. Are you about ready to conclude I'm not worth talking to ever again for the fifth time or so?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Kat, nobody accused you of murder. You're crazy and need to chill.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Will you stop? Or at least step back and chill down, or something?
One wonders why you don't say this to the other guy who's in the wrong and spouting nonsense too, Samprimary.

It certainly does unfavorable things to your credibility on the subject. You're clearly not very interested in taking people to task when they've being immature and hot-headed, hence the, "You know, you're not so wrong, Lalo."
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I realize you want to hinge all your lies on a specific person, but you should try to stick to some modicum of reality and find someone who claims something at least in the national boundaries of what you're attacking.

In other words, you have no idea how I feel about the topic under question because I have not and will not post about it.

Everything you think you know, you don't. You made it up. Completely. And then attacked me for what you made up about me. What is wrong with you?

The crack explanation is the most charitable.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
Well, there lies a question: have I said that lalo's not doing anything wrong?

What's funny about this is that I was about to really get on that issue when katharina soundly interrupted that with a bunch of 'hurrr u mainlining crack amoral liars'

poor old lalo got overshadowed =(
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Go ahead, then. Knock yourself out.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Everything you think you know, you don't. You made it up. Completely. And then attacked me for what you made up about me.
I'm sorry, I'm certainly not making up the part where you are shouting at people that they are amoral liars who might as well be mainlining crack.

Besides, when you give me the advice that 'should try to stick to some modicum of reality and find someone who claims something at least in the national boundaries of what you're attacking' you would be well suited to follow your own advice considering that neither lalo nor I have accused you of murder.

=)
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
You ascribed an attitude to me based on absolutely, completely nothing. Not even something you could twist to mean that. Nothing, nothing at all.

If that doesn't make you writhe in shame, you have lost the ability to feel shame at all.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Lalo: You said this,
quote:
Are you aware of the laws you've helped pass, and what they do to homosexuals? Are you aware of the discrimination, brutality, and humiliation suffered by homosexuals, all enabled by your attitude?

They're murdered. Regularly. And when they're not murdered, they're beaten. Raped. Humiliated. Alienated.

It seems pointless to then try and draw a distinction between (to use an analogy) a man who slowly approaches a victim with a knife and murders them and a person who stands next to the victim and simply observes the whole thing.

You are accusing katharina of de facto murder, by suggesting that she is involved in legislation that results in homosexuals being murdered. You are also accusing her of murder by saying that her attitudes embolden others to commit the atrocities you listed.

Now you seem to be saying that you are not accusing her of murder and yet it seems like your previous statements strongly suggest you are.

Could you perhaps clarify your position then?

As an aside you seem to be making what I believe is the classic mistake that if somebody opposes homosexuality as a lifestyle that they are by definition homophobic.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I AM NOT INVOLVED IN LEGISLATION. I DO NOT HAVE A STATED ATTITUDE IN ANY DIRECTION ON THIS TOPIC.

Lalo made up the entire thing. Forget the finer points of the crime - he made the thing up completely. It's like he accused me of planning to bomb the World Trade Center. There is exactly the same amount of evidence for both - which is NOTHING.

Dishonest liar and his synchophantic sidekick. My stars.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
You ascribed an attitude to me based on absolutely, completely nothing. Not even something you could twist to mean that. Nothing, nothing at all.

If that doesn't make you writhe in shame, you have lost the ability to feel shame at all.

Your ridiculous hyperbole completely aside, I can assure you quite plainly that what you have accused me of doing, I have not done.

Case in point: I have not accused you of being a murderer, nor agreed that you are a murderer, nor any of the various permutations that would allow you to be credible when you say I called you a murderer.

Yet, despite my not having done this, you will not only claim that I have done so, but you use it as an excuse for

- calling me ridiculous
- calling me shameful
- suggesting I am lacking the brain power or morals to know shame
- saying that I must definitely mainline crack, if I am not one of the two most dishonest people Hatrack has had the misfortune to meet
- willfully slanderous
- calling me dishonest
- so dishonest in fact that mainlining crack would be an improvement
- calling me an amoral liar
- suggesting psychotic breakdown as a cause
- calling me a complete embarrasment


See, when you pin violent and vehement vitriol (lol v for vendetta) on such a completely bogus charge, it really, really puts you in the wrong.

For two reasons! One, for making such wildly disrespectful and hateful claims about me. Two, for having those claims be based on a complete misunderstanding of my words in the first place.

This is the point where you should back up and really, if you're hoping to come off as a mature person, say "okay, I guess those things were out of line."

Remember: just because lalo's not really being a good arguer does not mean that you have any excuse for being worse.

Which is kind of what's going on right now!
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
You ascribed an attitude to me based on absolutely, completely nothing. Not even something you could twist to mean that. Nothing, nothing at all.

If that doesn't make you writhe in shame, you have lost the ability to feel shame at all.

Haha christ, chill. It happens that I do know your political stance on gay equality, unless you've radically changed it for the better over the past decade, but my response was to your claim that it's bigoted to point out that religious homophobia is stupid.

Your hysterics aren't incredibly convincing. Religious homophobia is stupid. If you'd like nuanced reasoning as to why saying so isn't "bigoted," it's because it's I take it on as an intellectual position rather than as an identity. Religious homophobia has no substantial reasoning behind it, no scientific evidence supporting it, and incorporates the absolute worst aspects of humanity in its formulation and execution.

And yet in the eight years I've known you, though I've never seen you once defend homosexual equality, you've consistently complained about bigotry every time discriminatory laws are questioned. It's just sad.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Samp - can you acknowledge that my name has been used in this discussion on the basis of absolutely nothing and there no evidence of my opinion, attitude, or actions in ANY direction on this? And that dragging me in was a completely dishonest act?

Considering you nodded enthusiastically to Lalo's lies when he said them about me, you clearly were okay with them before.

If you had any honesty at all, you would apologize for the synchophantic fawning and acknowledge the completely dishonesty of such slander.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
And yet in the eight years I've known you, though I've never seen you once defend homosexual equality, you've consistently complained about bigotry every time discriminatory laws are questioned. It's just sad.

But you can't really take this and use it as an excuse to fill in the gaps and ascribe an assumed position to someone, you know.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Nice, Lalo - insulting religion definitely makes willful slander okay!

Now it's blackmail? The choices are either to agree with you - which would be appalling under all circumstances because you slime and ruin whatever you touch, even if you were championing free ice cream on your birthday and sunshine on the fourth of July - or else be subject to your dishonest slander? If I don't take your side it's free game to lie about me?

What is wrong with you??
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Lalo: You said this,
quote:
Are you aware of the laws you've helped pass, and what they do to homosexuals? Are you aware of the discrimination, brutality, and humiliation suffered by homosexuals, all enabled by your attitude?

They're murdered. Regularly. And when they're not murdered, they're beaten. Raped. Humiliated. Alienated.

It seems pointless to then try and draw a distinction between (to use an analogy) a man who slowly approaches a victim with a knife and murders them and a person who stands next to the victim and simply observes the whole thing.

You are accusing katharina of de facto murder, by suggesting that she is involved in legislation that results in homosexuals being murdered. You are also accusing her of murder by saying that her attitudes embolden others to commit the atrocities you listed.

Now you seem to be saying that you are not accusing her of murder and yet it seems like your previous statements strongly suggest you are.

Could you perhaps clarify your position then?

As an aside you seem to be making what I believe is the classic mistake that if somebody opposes homosexuality as a lifestyle that they are by definition homophobic.

I'm quoting you in full to respond to every point you've raised.

In your analogy, supporters of discriminatory laws aren't simply passive observers -- they would be, in this analogy, people who routinely and loudly condemn the victim as subhuman, enable policies that confirm the victim as subhuman, and shrill about the victim as attacking the murderer's cherished institutions and morals (and children). In the setting created by these people, it'd be surprising if there weren't attacks on the victim.

There were plenty of segregationists who were in no way violent, but it's completely dishonest to claim their policies didn't enable, encourage, and excuse violence.

As to your second point, homosexuality is not a lifestyle, no more than heterosexuality is. I honestly don't understand how people can use that term with a straight face.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Samp - can you acknowledge that my name has been used in this discussion on the basis of absolutely nothing and there no evidence of my opinion, attitude, or actions in ANY direction on this? And that dragging me in was a completely dishonest act?
I'm well aware of where I stand on the issue. Your name has been invoked in this discussion on tenuous grounds.

Though, check this. You're trying to skip my well-founded charges against you. This is the point where you should back up and really, if you're hoping to come off as a mature person, say "okay, I guess those things were out of line."

Which leads to a counter question. Can you acknowledge where you've acted and spoken in the wrong? When you're not ordering others to follow your standard, can you at least follow those same principles for yourself?

I assure you that if I were arguing against you with the same level of hysterics and venom, you would be furious with the conduct, yet you excuse it .. for yourself.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Kat, you need to take a walk and breathe deeply. You're way over the top.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Lalo: I can't respond to all of your well considered post (running off to work again). I meant lifestyle in terms of "living one's life openly with aspect of homosexuality an obvious feature."

A monk though he may feel attraction to women if he remains celibate and dedicated to his duties is not living a "heterosexual lifestyle" IMHO.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Sam, it's probably time to disengage with her. I have no problem debating different opinions, but Kat and Rakeesh aren't out for civil discussion.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Lalo, you're a blackmailing liar and dragging my name into this on the basis of nothing at all.

You can run around in circles and bleat all you want, but leave my name out of it.
 
Posted by JennaDean (Member # 8816) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Sam, it's probably time to disengage with her. I have no problem debating different opinions, but Kat and Rakeesh aren't out for civil discussion.

[ROFL]

I just find it so funny that it's Lalo saying this.

Carry on.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Lalo: I can't respond to all of your well considered post. I meant lifestyle in terms of "living one's life openly with aspect of homosexuality an obvious feature."

A monk though he may feel attraction to women if he remains celibate and dedicated to his duties is not living a "heterosexual lifestyle" IMHO.

The issue I would have had with this sort of terminology is that USUALLY when someone is talking about the 'homosexual lifestyle' they are using this wordage as part of a belief that homosexual orientation itself is just something you 'choose' to do and its something you can give up.

What I would use to define the difference between a celibate monk and a person who has sex is to say that one is part of a "sexually active lifestyle," personally. It avoids that seeded NARTH type of connotation that exists :/
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:
Sam, it's probably time to disengage with her. I have no problem debating different opinions, but Kat and Rakeesh aren't out for civil discussion.

I think you need to take a good look at where the hostilities erupted between you and rakeesh.

though it might be the most Nanners thing I've said all year, I see points in nearly all of your posts which evoke hostility where its not needed and drown your points in contentiousness.

It's all well and good when the goal is to get into a good knock-down drag-out efight, but I think it causes you to have an extremely poor estimation of Rakeesh's proclivity to default to civil discussion.

I am pretty sure if you asked him, he'd prefer one!
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Lalo, I think that you are wrong about Rakeesh wanting a civil discussion.

I don't think that you are wrong about anti-homosexual attitudes, including opposition to SSM, creating an environment where abuse towards homosexuals is acceptable. I don't think that causality is as clear as you are making it seem to be.

I understand your passion about this, but if you really read what Rakeesh is writing, I think you will be better off.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
Haven't any of you ever read any existentialist philosophy? Or at least some of Peter Singer's work in modern ethics? Everyone** in the modern world is responsible for murder and deaths, at least indirectly through inaction and your particular set of priorities. Children die the world over through your and my inaction, when we could work easily enough to save their lives through some simple medicine. Other people are murdered by corrupt governments and civil wars - murders that could be reduced, if not completely eliminated if you (or I) made an effort to save some of them.

None of us should bury our heads in the sand regarding these things. People die, and if you had acted to help them, at least some of them wouldn't have.

**I suppose I should modify this to exclude children, and adults who truly lack the information or resources to make a difference outside of their local communities. But that's certainly not any adult here on Hatrack, and very few Westerners in general.
 
Posted by Teshi (Member # 5024) on :
 
Whoa, this thread took a turn for the worse.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
Haven't any of you ever read any existentialist philosophy? Or at least some of Peter Singer's work in modern ethics? Everyone** in the modern world is responsible for murder and deaths, at least indirectly through inaction and your particular set of priorities.

haha yeap! I can honestly say that I am in some way related to plenty of deaths and plenty of misery through my support of stuff like cheaper t-shirts, and my fondness for products with palm oil.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
kmbboots,

Thanks for saying that. I know it's a little thing, and it's just an online discussion, but I really do appreciate it:)

quote:
I don't think that you are wrong about anti-homosexual attitudes, including opposition to SSM, creating an environment where abuse towards homosexuals is acceptable. I don't think that causality is as clear as you are making it seem to be.
The difficulty with this is that the matter is complicated. Granted, religious backing for anti-homosexual behavior is undeniably there, in my opinion.

However, if religious teaching is to be credited with this, why is it acceptable that religious teaching only be credited with its bad influences? After all, churches teach other stuff, too.

(Not saying you disagree with any of that, I'm more just expanding on the subject.)

--------

quote:
Or at least some of Peter Singer's work in modern ethics? Everyone** in the modern world is responsible for murder and deaths, at least indirectly through inaction and your particular set of priorities. Children die the world over through your and my inaction, when we could work easily enough to save their lives through some simple medicine. Other people are murdered by corrupt governments and civil wars - murders that could be reduced, if not completely eliminated if you (or I) made an effort to save some of them.

That's not the sort of responsibility Lalo is talking about. I suppose you could read it as such, if you really squint and try and look for a nice thing. But as he discarded your charitable interpretation there, I doubt he will fail to do so here as well.

Because after all, if he didn't, then he as an American would be responsible for all sorts of things.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
That's not the sort of responsibility Lalo is talking about. I suppose you could read it as such, if you really squint and try and look for a nice thing. But as he discarded your charitable interpretation there, I doubt he will fail to do so here as well.

Because after all, if he didn't, then he as an American would be responsible for all sorts of things.

Interesting. A scale of responsibility. Zero would be no responsibility at all but not doing anything to relieve misery. Let's say we put living an average middle class life without doing anything particularly good or bad, as a 2 on the scale of responsibility for general world misery and, say, people who buy conflict diamonds at a 5, and arms dealers at a 9.

I would say that the responsibility of someone who actively opposes SSM at about a 4, maybe a 3 if they also actively oppose violence.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
Edit: in response to Rakeesh.

Really? I think it's exactly the same sort of responsibility, just different subject matter. My understanding of his argument is, at its most extreme, "Every time you say it's okay for homosexual marriage to not be allowed, you're responsible for helping to create the attitude that makes some people think it's okay to murder gays".

My take on that regarding poverty or the like in third world countries would be "Every time you buy small luxuries or devote your leisure time to messing around having fun, you're responsible for helping to create the attitude that makes people think that they don't have to help stop needless deaths around the world." In fact, not only are you helping to create that attitude, you're explicitly choosing your luxuries and fun leisure time over helping to save lives. If doing that is acceptable morally (and I personally think it is), then I can't see any argument that could make the (edit: the responsibility towards the murder of gays that Lalo's statement, if true, gives you) morally reprehensible.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
kmbboots,

quote:
Interesting. A scale of responsibility. Zero would be no responsibility at all but not doing anything to relieve misery. Let's say we put living an average middle class life without doing anything particularly good or bad, as a 2 on the scale of responsibility for general world misery and, say, people who buy conflict diamonds at a 5, and arms dealers at a 9.
I'd define it a little bit differently, perhaps.

For me personally, for example, there is never such a thing as no responsibility, because I believe we all, no matter our various beliefs, have a responsibility to try and relieve misery, even if it is completely unconnected with us.

I believe there is a scale...but who the hell knows where we fall on it except at the extremes? Not me.

------

quote:


Really? I think it's exactly the same sort of responsibility, just different subject matter. My understanding of his argument is, at its most extreme, "Every time you say it's okay for homosexual marriage to not be allowed, you're responsible for helping to create the attitude that makes some people think it's okay to murder gays".

That is exactly what he's saying, with even more implications carried on his invective and tone.

quote:
... then I can't see any argument that could make the Lalo's statement morally reprehensible.
Simply because of this: have you ever met someone whose entire reality is defined by any one thing? Much less by opposition to SSM?

As boots said, if someone opposes SSM, but also actively opposes violence? Are they to be held responsible for the first but the second will be ignored? How can someone be held responsible for attitudes that encourage violence towards homosexuals if they also foster attitudes that condemn violence, at the same level or even moreso?

For example, let's just take a paragon of nonviolence, Gandhi. Imagine him - or someone like him - opposed SSM. By Lalo's rationale, he is to be held partially responsible for violence against them, because after all he fosters the attitude that encourages it.

But he's also fostering an attitude of nonviolence as strongly as or much more strongly than his opposition to SSM.

So, call it a 4 on the scale boots mentions, but a -8 on the issue of violence, leaving a -4 overall on a scale of 1-10. Lalo makes no such distinctions. If you oppose SSM, you're guilty. That's one reason why he's wrong, and one reason why he can accurately be called a bigot on this subject when it comes to religion.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Rakeesh - Zero on my hypothetically scale would be a real neutral - neither adding nor consuming anything. Basically not existing.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Simply because of this: have you ever met someone whose entire reality is defined by any one thing? Much less by opposition to SSM?

As boots said, if someone opposes SSM, but also actively opposes violence? Are they to be held responsible for the first but the second will be ignored? How can someone be held responsible for attitudes that encourage violence towards homosexuals if they also foster attitudes that condemn violence, at the same level or even moreso?

Jeff, you just said that people are not restricted to any one thing. In that unaltered quote.

Preaching non-violence does not engender non-violence, whereas preaching hateful attitudes often does. The two don't cancel each other out. To quote what I said before, there were plenty of segregationists who were in no way violent, but it's completely dishonest to claim their policies didn't enable, encourage, and excuse violence. And this is segregation, these discriminatory laws against homosexuals.

I'm giving you a shot again, but please don't turn this back into an aggressive nitpicking case. I know we largely agree on this issue, aside from whatever flamboyant claims you make about me hating all Christians or whatever. I'd like to hear how you would justify denying homosexual couples marriage, and how you'd feel if it were denied to interracial couples when they tried to change the definition of marriage.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
Rakeesh - I edited my statement a little bit because I realized it could be (rightly) interpreted in the exact way you did so - and that's not what I meant.

What I meant was that if I'm partially responsible for deaths around the world - deaths I could have stopped if, for example, I gave up buying expensive teas and backpacking gear and instead donated it towards charities that provide food to starving kids - then I don't see how being partially responsible for fostering an attitude that then leads to death could possibly be worse. At the very least you'd have to make a pretty good argument to convince me that the responsibility that Lalo is giving out to people like kat is more morally reprehensible than the responsibility I already have for not doing more to stem world poverty.

If, like me, you don't believe that using money to consume luxuries is morally reprehensible, I don't see why you'd care about this responsibility about attitudes towards homosexuals that Lalo is trying to heap on you. You're already in it for the pound - the penny doesn't matter all that much.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
quote:
people like kat
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!! You mean people who do not have a stated a stand on the issue? Because THAT'S who is "like Kat." That's it.

Anything else is made up, imagined, assumed, and unwarranted.

To say otherwise is willful dishonesty.
 
Posted by Jhai (Member # 5633) on :
 
I didn't say that Lalo was right in laying that responsibility at your feet, kat, just that he was trying to. Or do you dispute that he's tried to do so?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Ah, I thought you were using "like kat" to mean people with a specific attitude, instead of to mean "people whom Lalo is accusing."

My apologies.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
If, like me, you don't believe that using money to consume luxuries is morally reprehensible, I don't see why you'd care about this responsibility about attitudes towards homosexuals that Lalo is trying to heap on you. You're already in it for the pound - the penny doesn't matter all that much.

I don't know if the two examples are equivalent. One is a passive consumer, the other is a political activist. While buying goods made in China does enable a despotic regime, it's not quite the same as passing laws that restrict the purchase of goods not made in China.

A better analogy might be interracial relationships.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jhai:
I didn't say that Lalo was right in laying that responsibility at your feet, kat, just that he was trying to. Or do you dispute that he's tried to do so?

Ugh. Let's please not play along with Kat's fantasies -- I responded to her accusation of bigotry when I called religious homophobia stupid. Nothing more.

Kat was a vitriolic opponent of homosexual marriage back in the day, but I'm overjoyed that she's apparently taking the time to rethink her position. Beyond that, I really don't have much to do with her beyond endorsing a chill pill.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Dishonest, amoral, complete and total lies and slander. You still know nothing and are making up crap and pretending that you do. You don't. You probably never will. You are absolutely wrong to ascribe to me views I have not expressed, and your lies are transparent and desperate. And pointless. What the hell? What's wrong with you?

I told you to keep me out of it, you mentally-challenged crack addict.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Uh, in case anyone's wondering after two pages of this, I've never actually used crack.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
...when I called religious homophobia stupid.
That's not what was said.
 
Posted by advice for robots (Member # 2544) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lalo:

I honestly think it might be more disrespectful to pretend mincing semantical arguments are at all impressive, or that personal interpretations of confused religious dogma are somehow relevant to secular law. Let's give people some credit to learn from their mistakes.

This is another example of the contempt that is making discussion with you kind of pointless. You just can't seem to keep it out of your posts.
 
Posted by scifibum (Member # 7625) on :
 
I'd really like some crack about now.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I told you to keep me out of it, you mentally-challenged crack addict.

I suppose this is your effective response to the internal question as to whether or not you can act mature.

An emphatic "no, I'd rather namecall and be hotheaded"
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Of course I CAN.

However, I really think there is something broken in Lalo's brain if he persists in this willfull slander and insistence on involving me when I have not taken a public stand of any kind on this issue. I really think there is something wrong with him. Mainlaining crack is the most charitable and hopeful of explanations.

After all, he can always quit. If the behavior has another source (mental damage or a character flaw), that would be harder to fix.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Lalo,

Since you're finally addressing something I actually said...

quote:

Preaching non-violence does not engender non-violence, whereas preaching hateful attitudes often does. The two don't cancel each other out. To quote what I said before, there were plenty of segregationists who were in no way violent, but it's completely dishonest to claim their policies didn't enable, encourage, and excuse violence. And this is segregation, these discriminatory laws against homosexuals.

So you really are saying that bad things which have roots in religion can be attributed to religion and its followers, but good things that happen with their roots in religion cannot be attributed to religion and its followers?

That's a strange but completely unsurprising argument for you to make.

Of course preaching non-violence engenders non-violence! Unless you believe no one nowhere was swayed away from violence because of what someone else convinced them was right and wrong?

Since that was the only part of your post that replied to something I actually said or suggested, that's the only part I'm going to respond to, Eddie. I guess I'm just not flamboyant enough.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
That's not what was said.

Looks like it.

quote:
Originally posted by advice for robots:
This is another example of the contempt that is making discussion with you kind of pointless. You just can't seem to keep it out of your posts.

If there's some stunning evidence I've missed -- or any -- that explains rational opposition to equal application of the law, I'd love to hear it. So far, I've only heard mincing semantics and irrational fundamentalism -- which, given the very serious consequences they have on good people, deserve scorn. It's amazing how sensitive these same people are to their own hurt feelings without giving a damn about what their victims go through.

I'm not sure what you would do in my place. If I wanted to deny you rights and alienate you from the community because I disliked your race/sexuality/height, and advanced exactly identical arguments to those used in this thread, would you pretend they were intelligent thoughts?

Find an argument in this thread, or anywhere, that you think makes an intelligent case against equal application of the law. I promise to give it my full consideration.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
So you really are saying that bad things which have roots in religion can be attributed to religion and its followers, but good things that happen with their roots in religion cannot be attributed to religion and its followers?

And this is why I don't bother discussing things with you. Intellectual honesty goes a long way toward making a civil discussion.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
However, I really think there is something broken in Lalo's brain if he persists in this willfull slander
So, is there something equally broken in your brain if you persist in your willful slander, or do you hold yourself to a kinder double-standard?

Honestly, you'll unleash wrath and fury at someone if they so much as uncharitably describe you yet you honestly think the appropriate response is to keep slandering them with comments like HUR U MUST MAINLINE CRACK

What gives? Is it, charitably, something I could describe as a 'do as I say, not as I do' thing? Or do you just not understand how volatile and insulting you are?
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
I am not involved in this discussion. I have been dragged into it, against my will, and lies have been spoken about me in ALL SORTS OF DIRECTIONS.

NOTHING OF WHAT LALO SAYS ABOUT ME IS TRUE.

Nothing. He knows nothing, and to say the least, his insistence on continuing the willfull slander is indicative of something terrible. What, exactly, I don't know, but crack the most charitable of explanations.

Leave. My. Name. Out. Of. This.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
Sam, seriously. Stressing Kat out isn't going to help the situation.

Kat, chill.
 
Posted by katharina (Member # 827) on :
 
Lalo, leave my name out it and stop lying and speculating about me. You know nothing. Stop claiming that you do.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Lalo,

Since you're finally addressing something I actually said...

quote:

Preaching non-violence does not engender non-violence, whereas preaching hateful attitudes often does. The two don't cancel each other out. To quote what I said before, there were plenty of segregationists who were in no way violent, but it's completely dishonest to claim their policies didn't enable, encourage, and excuse violence. And this is segregation, these discriminatory laws against homosexuals.

So you really are saying that bad things which have roots in religion can be attributed to religion and its followers, but good things that happen with their roots in religion cannot be attributed to religion and its followers?

That's a strange but completely unsurprising argument for you to make.

Of course preaching non-violence engenders non-violence! Unless you believe no one nowhere was swayed away from violence because of what someone else convinced them was right and wrong?

I wouldn't say that preaching non-violence is as effective at promoting non-violence as preaching violence is at inciting violence.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
I am not involved in this discussion.

?

You seem to understand the meaning of the word 'involved' as well as you understand the word 'lies.'
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
Katharina-
"I have not taken a public stand of any kind on this issue."

"I oppose same sex marriage."

http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=044058;p=0&r=nfx#000013

I guess you have taken a public stand on the issue.
 
Posted by Papa Janitor (Member # 7795) on :
 
This thread is getting a time-out. Several of you are over the line. As I've said before, I don't like locking threads where important subjects are discussed just because some people can't keep within the rules. After the thread is unlocked, please stop the bickering, name-calling, etc.

(Apologies if anyone loses a post because the thread got locked.)



Edit -- I'm unlocking this now. Hopefully tempers have cooled a bit, and can remain cool. If I feel it necessary to lock the thread again, it will remain locked.

--PJ

[ April 11, 2009, 09:38 AM: Message edited by: Papa Janitor ]
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
Let's all redirect our rage at Papa Janitor! [Mad] [Mad] [Mad]
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
Papa Janitor, you allegedly suck! AHAHAH!!!!
 
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
 
We could throw moon-pies, maybe make some fluffernutter sandwiches.

Er, that isn't about ona-- ... you know.
 
Posted by Marlozhan (Member # 2422) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
But that's an ugly arguement to make openly, hence a lot of other arguments that fall apart when you examine their consequences closely.
My take:

99.999999999999999% of all arguments made against gay marriage that claim to be 'secular arguments' are basically fronts for religious objections, in the same way that Intelligent Design was a thin coat of paint over an obviously Christian creationist agenda. They are given the 'secular' veneer in an attempt to be made constitutionally/legally palatable, much in the way that ID was designed explicitly to try to escape the establishment clause that would have otherwise kept it out of schools because the U.S. government can make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

it is the SAME thing with the vast, vast, almost total majority of 'secular' arguments against SSM. It is a cloak over a desperate attempt to keep gays from gaining equal social legitimacy. Anti-SSM folk default to the 'secular' objections because they know that 'secular' arguments against SSM are the tool that the constitution forces them to rely upon if they wish to keep same sex marriage from being eventually guaranteed by law.

I could point to a hundred anti-SSM pundits and organizations and find the biblical objection to homosexuality to be the core motivation behind all of them.

It is the case in all but freak instances; whenever someone comes peddling a 'compelling secular argument' against SSM, it is reliably neither secular nor compelling.

In nearly all cases, what you have is a person who undeniably has a religious objection to gay marriage, and who desires either to find or to craft an argument that does not rely on their real objections, but crafts new ones to 'legitimize' the argument in a way that furthers continued political and legal repression of gays.

In fact, you could use Orson Scott Card as a poster-boy example of this.

I think 99.999999999999999% is a bit exaggerated. Certainly many arguments are biblically based, but there are legitimate arguments that are secularly based. The question in these arguments then becomes whether or not the research they are based on is legitimate, but they are not biblical arguments. They are arguments that have to do with the emotional and physical health of homosexuals and the children they raise.

As evidence that other arguments are happening, here is a page that discusses a variety of arguments against same-sex marriage. I am not Catholic, but this is a Catholic page, so obviously many of their arguments are biblically-based, but they don't hide this. Here is one part (among others), however, that addresses secular evidence:

quote:
Homosexuals of both sexes remain fourteen times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexuals47 and 3½ times more likely to commit suicide successfully.48 Thirty years ago, this propensity toward suicide was attributed to social rejection, but the numbers have remained largely stable since then despite far greater public acceptance than existed in 1973. Study after study shows that male and female homosexuals have much higher rates of interpersonal maladjustment, depression, conduct disorder, childhood abuse (both sexual and violent), domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, anxiety, and dependency on psychiatric care than heterosexuals.49 Life expectancy of homosexual men was only forty-eight years before the AIDS virus came on the scene, and it is now down to thirty-eight.50 Only 2 percent of homosexual men live past age sixty-five.51

Male homosexuals are prone to cancer (especially anal cancer, which is almost unheard-of in male heterosexuals) and various sexually transmitted diseases, including urethritis, laryngitis, prostatitis, hepatitis A and B, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, and genital warts (which are caused by the human papilloma virus, which also causes genital cancers).52 Lesbians are at lower risk for STDs but at high risk for breast cancer.53 Homosexuals of both sexes have high rates of drug abuse, including cocaine, marijuana, LSD and other psychedelics, barbiturates, and amyl nitrate.54

Male homosexuals are particularly prone to develop sexually transmitted diseases, in part because of the high degree of promiscuity displayed by male homosexuals. One study in San Francisco showed that 43 percent of male homosexuals had had more than 500 sexual partners.55 Seventy-nine percent of their sexual partners were strangers. Only 3 percent had had fewer than ten sexual partners.56 The nature of sodomy contributes to the problem among male homosexuals. The rectum is not designed for sex. It is very fragile. Indeed, its fragility and tendency to tear and bleed is one factor making anal sex such an efficient means of transmitting the AIDS and hepatitis viruses.

Lesbians, in contrast, are less promiscuous than male homosexuals but more promiscuous than heterosexual women: One large study found that 42 percent of lesbians had more than ten sexual partners.57 A substantial percentage of them were strangers. Lesbians share male homosexuals' propensity for drug abuse, psychiatric disorder, and suicide.58

The statistics speak for themselves: If homosexuals of either gender are finding satisfaction, why the search for sex with a disproportionately high number of strangers? In view of the evidence, homosexuals will not succeed at establishing exclusive relationships. Promiscuity is a hard habit for anyone to break, straight or homosexual. Promiscuous heterosexuals often fail to learn fidelity; male homosexuals are far more promiscuous than heterosexual males, and therefore far more likely to fail. Lesbians are more promiscuous than heterosexual women. There is little good data on the stability of lesbian relationships, but it is reasonable to speculate that their higher rates of promiscuity and various deep-seated psychological problems would predispose them to long-term relational instability. Existing evidence supports this speculation.59

The more radical homosexual activists flaunt their promiscuity, using it as a weapon against what they call "bourgeois respectability."60 But even more conservative advocates of gay marriage such as New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan admit that for them, "fidelity" does not mean complete monogamy, but just somewhat restrained promiscuity.61 In other words, they admit that exclusiveness will not happen. And without exclusiveness, their "marriages" will have little meaning.

Sullivan argues that marriage civilizes men, but anthropology would counter that marriage to women civilizes men. Male humans, homosexual or heterosexual, are more interested in random sex with strangers than women are.62 Men need to be civilized, to be taught the joys of committed sex, and that lesson is taught by marriage to women, not by other men who need to learn it themselves. The apparent instability of lesbian relationships suggests that lesbians understand that lesson less well than heterosexual women do. Exclusivity will not happen, and without exclusivity, marriage does not exist.

Again, these arguments come down to whose research is more reliable, but it really bugs me when people say: 1) this is only a religious argument and 2)all of your research that outlines the harms of same-sex marriage is bad.

There is research out there suggesting that there is no harm from same-sex marriages, and there is research that suggests it is harmful. The secular arguments on this stuff are not closed, just because people want to look at part of the research, but blaming it all on religious reasons makes an easy excuse for ignoring all of the research.

I am a family therapist, and if there is one thing I have learned repeatedly, human behavior is complicated and there are a multitude of consequences in human mental and emotional health that stem from factors people did not consider or don't yet know about.

So, I have my own religious views on this subject, but just because I have beliefs, don't discount my secular arguments by saying they are just based on my faith. In my mind, this whole movement regarding same-sex marriage is happening too quickly, before we have had time to be sure of the consequences. Unless the above evidence (and other evidence not cited in that article) has been proven to be false, it is irresponsible of us to start pushing for social measures that will make fundamental changes for families and children, because if we are wrong, our children and grandchildren will pay the price.

In a nutshell, the secular arguments on this subject are not closed, but I hear so many people say that "there is no evidence that same-sex marriage is unhealthy for adults or children", when, in fact, there is evidence. In science, when you have evidence that falls on both sides of the argument, you keep doing your research until you figure out the discrepancy, before you start making conclusions, theories, and policy changes.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
I think 99.999999999999999% is a bit exaggerated
in addition, completely fabricated!

quote:
As evidence that other arguments are happening, here is a page that discusses a variety of arguments against same-sex marriage. I am not Catholic, but this is a Catholic page, so obviously many of their arguments are biblically-based, but they don't hide this. Here is one part (among others), however, that addresses secular evidence:
That 'secular section' component of the Catholic group actually acts as a perfect example of what I am talking about, right down to the correlative flubs; they bring up homosexuals having a higher incidence of suicide and psychiatric disorder without bringing up factors such as societal persecution.

What it address (albiet in the wrong way) is that homosexuals have it tougher in life. But these Stern Warnings are based on a series of bald and oft pseudoscientific premises that the catholic site runs off of: that because of these negative associations with the homosexual lifestyle, we need to 1. prevent them from 'making the mistake' of allowing themselves the ability to marry each other, and 2. encourage them to stop being homosexual, as if it were a choice. I could go on, and on. I could sit down and write an essay on how bad the argument that site presents is. If I had time, I might. I am especially appalled that it mixes its scientific data seamlessly and non-professionally with the views of individual pundits such as Andrew Sullivan, as though the words of political opinion-writers can be cited as the final word in determining that homosexuals 'cannot achieve monogamy.' It's bonkers.


so, to recap, that site is essentially a perfect example of what I mean when I say

quote:
whenever someone comes peddling a 'compelling secular argument' against SSM, it is reliably neither secular nor compelling.

 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
It is bizarre to me that those who would deny legitimacy to SS relationships are using the fact that homosexuals lack legitimate relationships to justify that denial. And that they seem to do it with no awareness of irony.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
If I extrapolate the arguments that the catholic site is using to say that 'and this is really why they shouldn't be allowed to get married,' then if they were to apply those justifications without adding artificial caveats, it's incumbent upon them to not allow anyone with bipolar disorder to marry either. It's absurd.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marlozhan:
The statistics speak for themselves: If homosexuals of either gender are finding satisfaction, why the search for sex with a disproportionately high number of strangers? In view of the evidence, homosexuals will not succeed at establishing exclusive relationships. Promiscuity is a hard habit for anyone to break, straight or homosexual. Promiscuous heterosexuals often fail to learn fidelity; male homosexuals are far more promiscuous than heterosexual males, and therefore far more likely to fail. Lesbians are more promiscuous than heterosexual women. There is little good data on the stability of lesbian relationships, but it is reasonable to speculate that their higher rates of promiscuity and various deep-seated psychological problems would predispose them to long-term relational instability. Existing evidence supports this speculation.

Uh. Aside from the whole question of why, in the face of promiscuous sex, you wouldn't want to promote monogamy -- if promiscuity really makes one unfit for marriage, I know a lot of sorority girls who should be banned for life. Let's see some hilarious equal application.

That said, the Church is spot-on. If you want to limit a population's promiscuity, why not shame public homosexuals and drive them to fleeting and secretive sexual relationships? It's worked fantastically for Larry Craig and Ted Haggard.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
By the way, Marlozhan, though the evidence you've provided in no way backs the Church's wacky conclusions, it is evidence of some sort. I'd rather have something meaty to discuss than vapid semantical or religious complaints.

Seriously, thanks. If more opponents of homosexual marriage put the effort into at least trying to back up their opinions, this would be a better world.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
Er, that isn't about ona-- ... you know.
It's not? [Wink]

quote:
Certainly many arguments are biblically based, but there are legitimate arguments that are secularly based.
Hmm. I'll say this: I've never heard a secularly-based argument that was both legitimate and sufficient to justify denying equal treatment under the law to homosexuals, Marlozan.

I realize that's not quite what you said, though. I don't recall offhand the secular arguments against legitimizing SSM (because, honestly, they don't get made very often) well enough to say firmly that none of them are legitimate.

quote:
Again, these arguments come down to whose research is more reliable, but it really bugs me when people say: 1) this is only a religious argument and 2)all of your research that outlines the harms of same-sex marriage is bad.
Certainly some people say all of the research is bad...I don't know whether it is or not. What I will say comfortably, though, is that no legitimate research I've ever heard of comes close to being substantial enough to justify the conclusions people who cite it support.

quote:
...because if we are wrong, our children and grandchildren will pay the price.
The trouble is, there is already a price being paid. It's not as though we've got zero price being paid now versus the possibility of a price being paid in the future. We've got a price being paid right now.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
Just as a caveat, that site is not an "official" site of the Church. That is not to say that the opinions stated are in disagreement with the Church.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Just as a caveat,

I totally seeded your mind with that word, didn't I [Smile]
 
Posted by Marlozhan (Member # 2422) on :
 
First of all, I am suggesting that more research needs to be done, not that the research on that Catholic page is infallible. And they do at least bring up social persecution as a factor, but albeit only in passing. One side says the psychological problems exist because they are inherent in homosexuality, and the other side says it is because of social persecution. My point is, the argument is not over.

Now, let's say that one day it is shown that homosexuality brings inherent psychological and emotional problems with it for individuals and the children they raise, that brings us to another question, namely:

Since homosexuality is unhealthy for society and families, does the government get to have a say as to whether or not to allow same-sex marriages?

If yes, I assume it is because the government has decided that marriage is an institution that is designed for the welfare of society and that it has a right to maintain that welfare. If no, then it means the government has no right to dictate whether or not any given marriage is healthy for society, and it simply must allow anyone to get married because it is a right. This is related to the comment about not restricting people with bipolar disorder from marrying.

See, I have always believed that the question regarding same-sex marriage came down to whether or not same-sex marriage was ultimately good for society or harmful to society. This is based in the idea that the marriage institution was established by the government to benefit society, else why would the government even get involved in marriage licenses? Why would the government even care whether or not you were married? You may say that it is because marriage was originally instituted due to religious traditions, which if that is the case, then I guess we need to get rid of marriage altogether on a governmental level, because the government has no right to decide who should and should not be allowed to marry. There should not even be government marriage licenses. The whole reason for a license is to regulate things. I had to get a nursery license from the department of agriculture, so they can regulate whether or not the plants I grow are healthy enough to be propagated and sold. Business licenses allow the government to regulate business, etc.

I suppose another alternative is to say that the government has marriage licenses to strictly manage marriage from a financial standpoint, namely for tax purposes and such. But again, why would the government have any right to decide whether or not marriages get more or less tax advantages, unless the government had reason to show that marriage benefited society and its government? Again, if marriage does not benefit society, what right does the government get to have a say in it? Perhaps the government needs to manage marriage licensing to keep track of who is married, or polygamous behavior and such, but this is all based on the notion that the government has a say in the health of marriages.

If, on the other hand, the government does have the right to decide what does and does not constitute healthy marriage, then my main argument has been that there needs to be more research before reform. The Catholic church may cite bad research or opinion articles, but this happens on both sides. The subject is not conclusive. And, this also raises the argument of who does and does not get to be married, such as in the example of a bipolar person. I don't claim to have an answer to that problem, which is precisely why I think this argument needs to be researched and discussed more before policy change.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Since homosexuality is unhealthy for society and families, does the government get to have a say as to whether or not to allow same-sex marriages?
Okay, so your hypothetical is one where it is conclusively judged that homosexuality is, in fact, a mental disorder. And the question is, because it is a mental disorder, is this appropriate cause for the government to bar them from marriage and/or adoption, etc?

Let's take some data that is real and not hypothetical: the fact that people with bipolar disorder, another mental disorder, overall and with much greater statistical regularity than gays, 'bring inherent psychological and emotional problems' that overall statistically greatly negatively impact their marriages and childrearing. In response to this understanding, does the government exclude people diagnosed with bipolar disorder from being allowed to marry? If the goal is to inhibit a group with certified negative impacts on children and families from being enabled or legally encouraged to organize into families and raise children, the bipolar parents are certainly more statistically 'dangerous' than the danger gays are hypothesized to have. If you're legally prohibiting gays from marrying based on these rationales and yet you still let people with more serious disorders get in on the institution of marriage, this is a neglectful double standard, at best.

The real issue is that using this rationale to say 'see, this is why gays can't marry' is as absurd and, really, terrible, as if the government was to prohibit people with bipolar disorder from marrying for the same rationale. It's not a perfect comparison (someone could say 'well, a homosexual can marry someone of the opposite sex, and it is equivalent to a bipolar sufferer staying on their meds, its an attempt to hold back the disorder' or they could argue that homosexuality, unlike bipolar disorder, is a 'choice') but hopefully you get the point I'm getting at; that I think it's a bogus criteria for mandating these societal restrictions against gays.
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marlozhan:
First of all, I am suggesting that more research needs to be done, not that the research on that Catholic page is infallible. And they do at least bring up social persecution as a factor, but albeit only in passing. One side says the psychological problems exist because they are inherent in homosexuality, and the other side says it is because of social persecution. My point is, the argument is not over.

Maybe not, but that's moot for legal purposes. I can argue that dysfunction and disorder are inherent to the Negroid race, and back it up by pointing out that black people have overwhelmingly larger proportions of venereal disease, imprisonment, homicide, infidelity, and domestic violence. But even if I feel black people should be barred from equal rights, the government doesn't get to deny it to them.

Now, what you're saying isn't without merit -- I would love it if people were forced to apply for licenses to reproduce, based on literacy, IQ, criminal record, etc. There are absolutely monstrous heterosexual parents everywhere, and our country would be enormously better if they weren't popping out spawn every year. But even if such licenses existed, how would homosexuality qualify as a restriction? If it should, then homosexuals should not only be barred from marriage and adoption, but also from voting and civil participation. If they're not mentally stable enough to have healthy relationships, they're certainly not stable enough to help run the country.

So let's ban gays from voting.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Marlozhan,

quote:
One side says the psychological problems exist because they are inherent in homosexuality, and the other side says it is because of social persecution. My point is, the argument is not over.
I can understand someone believing it's inherent. What I can't understand is someone attempting to suggest, scientifically, that it's inherent. Isn't the only way to even attempt to discover the answer to that question to examine homosexuals in an environment where the social persecution is absent?

Or, as has been said, to suggest that problems possibly stemming from persecution are why persecution shouldn't be ended is pretty strange.

quote:
Since homosexuality is unhealthy for society and families, does the government get to have a say as to whether or not to allow same-sex marriages?
Not unless the government gets to have a say in whether or not a host of other very damaging social practices - such as adultery, for example - must become criminal.

quote:
If no, then it means the government has no right to dictate whether or not any given marriage is healthy for society, and it simply must allow anyone to get married because it is a right. This is related to the comment about not restricting people with bipolar disorder from marrying.
It's not about the government declaring anything. It's about the government restricting something.

quote:


See, I have always believed that the question regarding same-sex marriage came down to whether or not same-sex marriage was ultimately good for society or harmful to society.

The trouble I have with understanding this is simple: we as a society permit (legally speaking) a great deal of behaviors that are dreadfully damaging to children and families. Like, for example, alcoholism. I'm not talking about a guy who gets a few brews with his buddies every weekend, but for instance a guy who drinks to become drunk many times a week. He's not violent, he doesn't drive, and he's able to be functional so he doesn't lose his job - such people are not uncommon.

But if he's not violent, if he doesn't drive, if he doesn't lose his job, he's simply never going to come under society's welfare-of-children radar.

Or, hell, just being a terrible parent. Many examples.

Why must homosexual marriage, out of all the frowned-upon but permitted things which do or may damage, be the one which is legally restricted?

quote:
Business licenses allow the government to regulate business, etc.
Instead of asking whether the government could - obviously it could - why not ask whether it should regulate on this particular issue?

quote:

If, on the other hand, the government does have the right to decide what does and does not constitute healthy marriage, then my main argument has been that there needs to be more research before reform.

Right now we have a denial of rights. It seems distinctly unfair to me, unjust even, to continue that state of affairs until 'more research' is done. Don't we as Americans have it as an implicit part of our culture that we don't restrict rights until we have a reason, rather than we wait to stop restricting rights until we learn if there's a reason or not?
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
In fact, as I read that catholic site further. I think a full rebuttal of it would have to circle in slowly but firmly onto this particular part.

quote:
Our society is at a turning point. Are we going to undo the mistakes of the past thirty years that have given us an epidemic of divorce, fatherlessness, drugs, and violent and promiscuous children? Or are we going to continue the legitimization of same-sex unions by giving them the same status as heterosexual marriages?
When you analyze the context and the arguments that lead up to this statement, and then you observe the question as is, it is straight-out no jokes textbook example of a false dichotomy fallacy. It is difficult to find purer, more blatant examples. You could literally use it as a study in a textbook about fallacies.

And it is a major line of reasoning that people are falling to in today's society. A major one.

Forget diversity courses. Perhaps the best way to expedite gay rights is to engage in expanding people's exposure to logic courses.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
If it should, then homosexuals should not only be barred from marriage and adoption, but also from voting and civil participation. If they're not mentally stable enough to have healthy relationships, they're certainly not stable enough to help run the country.
Once again, you are misunderstanding the argument from the anti-SSM side here. They are perfectly fine with gay people marrying, as long as they aren't marrying a person of the same sex.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
Out of curiosity, what would they consider to be possible harms that could result from a marriage of two homosexuals that would be *greater* than a marriage formed with a homosexual forced to marry a heterosexual through government policy?
 
Posted by aeolusdallas (Member # 11455) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
It is bizarre to me that those who would deny legitimacy to SS relationships are using the fact that homosexuals lack legitimate relationships to justify that denial. And that they seem to do it with no awareness of irony.

This is the thing that bothers me most about so many anti gay marriage/ anti gay arguments. They are in effect saying gays don't form life long monogamous relationships. Then they oppose every attempt to help gays form those relationships.

Like back when they used to deny gays employment in the federal government. They would say openly gay people can't work for us because they may be blackmailed. But if they are allowed to serve openly then what could they be blackmailed with? It was the secrecy that made them vulnerable.

They are using a very similar argument today. They say "Gays can't be married because they are promiscuous" What do they expect if gays have to sneak around with the ones they love? If gays being promiscuous is a problem then the logical solution is to encourage monogamy.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
You get that whole cyclical cause thing going too with the whole 'they're more likely to be depressed/commit suicide/have emotional breakdowns' part.

Yes, and a big part of this is the discrimination they face. Using it as a reason to continue discrimination is the same sort of dark and unintentional irony.
 
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
 
I think it's really squicky that people care so much what is in other people's pants and what they do with it and with whom.

The whole argument makes no logical sense to me. I just... really?
 
Posted by fugu13 (Member # 2859) on :
 
Tresopax: I think a very good response to that was in the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision (emphasis mine).

quote:
It is true the marriage statute does not expressly prohibit gay and lesbian persons from marrying; it does, however, require that if they marry, it must be to someone of the opposite sex. Viewed in the complete context of marriage, including intimacy, civil marriage with a person of the opposite sex is as unappealing to a gay or lesbian person as civil marriage with a person
of the same sex is to a heterosexual. Thus, the right of a gay or lesbian person under the marriage statute to enter into a civil marriage only with a person of the opposite sex is no right at all. Under such a law, gay or
lesbian individuals cannot simultaneously fulfill their deeply felt need for a committed personal relationship, as influenced by their sexual orientation, and gain the civil status and attendant benefits granted by the statute.
Instead, a gay or lesbian person can only gain the same rights under the statute as a heterosexual person by negating the very trait that defines gay and lesbian people as a class—their sexual orientation.


 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
If it should, then homosexuals should not only be barred from marriage and adoption, but also from voting and civil participation. If they're not mentally stable enough to have healthy relationships, they're certainly not stable enough to help run the country.
Once again, you are misunderstanding the argument from the anti-SSM side here. They are perfectly fine with gay people marrying, as long as they aren't marrying a person of the same sex.
Yeah, and racists have no problem with black people, as long as those black people act, sound, dance, dress, talk, and think like white people- what's your point?

I for one, *do* have a problem with gay people marrying members of the opposite sex. I find the idea quite repugnant actually, for all involved.
 
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
 
Well, the same argument was used to defend laws against inter-racial marriages. Of course they could legally marry-- within their own race. Also, the same sort of societal arguments were used. Breakdown of society, blah, blah, social apocalypse, blah, blah, won't somebody think of the children. (People actually argued that interracial couples shouldn't be allowed to marry because of the social stigma that their biracial children would face. Not that it doesn't happen, sometimes, but it is an extremely thin rationale for supporting a law.)
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
Tresopax: I think a very good response to that was in the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision (emphasis mine).

The Iowa Supreme Court's reasoning is wrong on that point. A right is definitely still a right even if you have no desire to use that right.

For instance, the fact that I have no desire to own a firearm does not negate the fact that I have the right to own firearms; nor does it mean the government is obligated to give me some other right in order to make up for the right that's not useful to me.

quote:
Well, the same argument was used to defend laws against inter-racial marriages. Of course they could legally marry-- within their own race.
Yes, and so it would be just as incorrect to say an inter-racial marriage ban takes away the right to marry from people who want to marry people from another race. It doesn't take away the right; it limits the right. In the case of inter-racial marriages, it limited the right in a way that was technically equal to all races, but also in a way that was bad for society overall and promoted a racism that we are now hoping to eliminate.
 
Posted by fugu13 (Member # 2859) on :
 
The Iowa Supreme Court is using a more useful and less pedantic definition of right than you are. Specifically, one that realizes that something restricted by class of person in certain ways is not, in fact, a right. That is, equal protection is a necessary quality of rights.

Your right to own a firearm is not being restricted to a class of person in one of those ways. Thus, it is not an effective counterexample.
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
The Iowa Supreme Court's reasoning is wrong on that point.

If you haven't read the entire decision, you should.
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:

quote:
Well, the same argument was used to defend laws against inter-racial marriages. Of course they could legally marry-- within their own race.
Yes, and so it would be just as incorrect to say an inter-racial marriage ban takes away the right to marry from people who want to marry people from another race. It doesn't take away the right; it limits the right. In the case of inter-racial marriages, it limited the right in a way that was technically equal to all races, but also in a way that was bad for society overall and promoted a racism that we are now hoping to eliminate.
You are voicing the argument against your point. "Limiting" or whatever other euphemism you care to use is inappropriate. The right to freedom of speech is "limited," but it is not limited in such a way as to afford only some people equal protection under the law. You can't have a "limitation" of a right only for some people- that is institutional bigotry. So don't massage the language to make it sound any better than it was, which was a full on breach of individual rights. Just because people were still allowed to marry certain other people does not, I repeat *does not* indicate to me that their rights were even partially respected. They were not.

Rather like feeding your children dog food, and then claim to child protective services that you never starved them. They still had to eat dog food.


Aside from this, what disturbs me about you, and people like you, is the limp-wristed, wishy-washy way in which you cling to these feeble and wretched old canards that you pass back and forth to each other like bouts of cold. Does it never bother you, never stick in your craw, that the arguments you persistently put up against same-sex marriage, or in favor of ID being taught in schools, or whatever other infringement of the 1st Amendment you have as a pet cause this week, are so obviously rotten and weak? I mean really, we see links here all the time, as we have again recently, to arguments against SSM that commit the most egregious logical fallacies, practically daring the reader not to laugh or wretch in disgust at the ham-handedness of the deception. Honestly, it's pathetic. It's been pathetic for a long time, and sooner than you think, (I believe Sam has his prediction in at under 5 years) it will be such a shame to so many people that they ever indulged in this silly, tragically silly, debate.
 
Posted by dabbler (Member # 6443) on :
 
In general, I think it's pointless to pretend that each thread on hatrack is its own universe. Instead, it is one moment of conversation of a very very long conversation in which many of us have voiced opinions. Editing out things we said several years ago is disingenuous. Accepting that we typed those words before is part of being a mature member of this community.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
For instance, the fact that I have no desire to own a firearm does not negate the fact that I have the right to own firearms; nor does it mean the government is obligated to give me some other right in order to make up for the right that's not useful to me.
Tresopax, it all depends on how you define the 'right' to marriage.

If you look at it from the, "We've all got the right to marry someone of the opposite sex," well then you're technically right. Though that's not really a very useful 'right'.

If, however, you look at it the way the right to marriage is actually practiced, it's more like this: we've all got the right to marry who we want to marry if we can get them to say 'yes'.

Only a specific desire to restrict marriage away from homosexuals would lead someone to say, "The only actual right we have is the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, and homosexuals have that right too." It's a technicality.

We shouldn't be in the business of legislating people's happiness and what they do in their own personal lives when it doesn't hurt anyone else on mere technicalities. Especially not if those same people are also expected to shoulder an equal load of the responsibilities we all have as citizens.

I'm not sure if you're speaking for yourself against SSM, or if you're rather defending the PoV of those who are against it. Either way, though: why do you think we should restrict marriage to heterosexuals?
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
he Iowa Supreme Court is using a more useful and less pedantic definition of right than you are. Specifically, one that realizes that something restricted by class of person in certain ways is not, in fact, a right. That is, equal protection is a necessary quality of rights.

Your right to own a firearm is not being restricted to a class of person in one of those ways. Thus, it is not an effective counterexample.

The Court is using the same definition that I am. The right to marry is not being restricted by class of person; the restriction of not being allowed to marry a member of the same sex applies equally to both homosexual and heterosexual people. The only difference is that heterosexual individuals don't normally ever want to marry someone of the same sex.

quote:
"Limiting" or whatever other euphemism you care to use is inappropriate.
We've already established in this thread that there are limitations to marrying - you can only marry someone who consents, you can't marry your sibling, etc. So it is appropriate in at least some ways.

quote:
I mean really, we see links here all the time, as we have again recently, to arguments against SSM that commit the most egregious logical fallacies, practically daring the reader not to laugh or wretch in disgust at the ham-handedness of the deception. Honestly, it's pathetic. It's been pathetic for a long time, and sooner than you think, (I believe Sam has his prediction in at under 5 years) it will be such a shame to so many people that they ever indulged in this silly, tragically silly, debate.
I agree with you that this whole debate is somewhat silly. But just because it seems to make sense to alter the legal definition of marriage for the sake of gay couples doesn't mean it's okay to use bad reasoning to justify that position. A right is still a right even if you have no desire to use that right - I really think that is fairly clear, and I suspect the only reason people would argue otherwise is because they've decided beforehand that they like the conclusion that restricting gay marriage is unfair and are looking for an emotionally convincing way to argue in favor of their conclusion. Saying "you're taking away their right to marry!" is emotionally convincing, but in the case of gay marriage it is not rationally correct.

I believe the real logic (by "real logic" I mean the line of reasoning that in my view seems to follow from correct assumptions) for the pro-SSM side is simpler and rational, but also less emotionally compelling. The reason is this: Civil marriage is just a definition we've set, which we altered in the past, and can alter now. It would make the lives of gay couples better if we do so, and it won't hurt anything to do so. So why not do it? I think that argument is very convincing - but it also isn't the sort of argument that will get people up in arms.

One of the downsides to how our political system works is that groups advocating a given side are motivated to use more emotionally but ultimately incorrect arguments to back their view, rather than giving arguments that actually follow. That's why the anti-SSM side makes claims that allowing SSM will destroy the institution of marriage, when it's fairly obvious there's no reason to believe that. It's the same deal - it's not a rational reason to believe what they believe, but it sounds good and fires up the base so they go with it.

[ April 12, 2009, 01:22 PM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]
 
Posted by twinky (Member # 693) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
he Iowa Supreme Court is using a more useful and less pedantic definition of right than you are. Specifically, one that realizes that something restricted by class of person in certain ways is not, in fact, a right. That is, equal protection is a necessary quality of rights.

Your right to own a firearm is not being restricted to a class of person in one of those ways. Thus, it is not an effective counterexample.

The Court is using the same definition that I am. The right to marry is not being restricted by class of person; the restriction of not being allowed to marry a member of the same sex applies equally to both homosexual and heterosexual people. The only difference is that heterosexual individuals don't normally ever want to marry someone of the same sex.
[Added: This makes possession of the "right to marry" utterly meaningless for homosexuals. The effect of defining a right in a a particular way matters; you're only considering the definition, not the effect of having a right defined in a particular way.]

From the Iowa decision:
quote:
First, the County argues the same-sex marriage ban promotes the “integrity of traditional marriage” by “maintaining the historical and traditional marriage norm ([as] one between a man and a woman).” This argument is straightforward and has superficial appeal. A specific tradition sought to be maintained cannot be an important governmental objective for equal protection purposes, however, when the tradition is nothing more than the historical classification currently expressed in the statute being challenged. When a certain tradition is used as both the governmental objective and the classification to further that objective, the equal protection analysis is transformed into the circular question of whether the classification accomplishes the governmental objective, which objective is to maintain the classification.

 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
quote:
quote:
"Limiting" or whatever other euphemism you care to use is inappropriate.
We've already established in this thread that there are limitations to marrying - you can only marry someone who consents, you can't marry your sibling, etc. So it is appropriate in at least some ways.
But not in the way that you used it, certainly not.

There are appropriate boundaries to every right- that is what was established. These are not always express limitations, but merely the point at which an individual right cannot be applied- mainly and most often because it would infringe on the rights of another person. However, to lump incest and slavery in with interracial marriage (I hope it pains you to see what you've done there) does not an equivalence establish.


quote:
Saying "you're taking away their right to marry!" is emotionally convincing, but in the case of gay marriage it is not rationally correct.
It is not semantically correct. In every way that really matters however, it is quite correct.

I've seen you play this game so many times, it's sad. It reminds me of Michael Scott at the end of an episode of the office, finding a way to make things seem as if they've turned out well, and because of what he has done.

Tres, this is an emotional issue. It has everything to do with emotion- you go ahead and sit in your ivory tower and play with your porcelain dolls and statues, and I'll live down here in the real world, where people's feelings actually matter. [QUOTE]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Tresopax, without Orincoro's sneer, could you tell me why you appear to be suggesting that your technical correctness on this issue is relevant?
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
He's not technically correct- he's just convinced that his fallacious reasoning sounds a whole lot better than stating the core issue.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
He is technically correct that marriage is not a right being denied homosexuals. They can, after all, still marry provided one very (for homosexuals) unfair and unjust condition is met.

I just don't think it matters.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
Tresopax, without Orincoro's sneer, could you tell me why you appear to be suggesting that your technical correctness on this issue is relevant?
First: Because I think it's going to be difficult or even impossible for one side to understand the other side if they aren't willing to limit themselves to what they strictly know to be true and if they aren't willing to grant the other side any ground. In this case specifically, I don't see how the pro-SSM side could feel any empathy towards or understand the anti-SSM position as long as they view that position simply as "taking away the right to marriage from gay people." Both sides are going to just talk past eachother - which is exactly what is going on.

Second: Because, as an individual, I believe I make better decisions if I distinguish between what is technically true versus what just seems true-ish. On this particular issue, it feels true-ish to say gay people are losing rights if they can't marry their partner, but it also feels true-ish to say marriage as a tradition has always been about men marrying women and that traditions like that are important. Those feelings directly contradict, so if I hope to figure it out I have to stop and say "Okay, what's really true here?"
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
I don't see how the pro-SSM side could feel any empathy towards or understand the anti-SSM position as long as they view that position simply as "taking away the right to marriage from gay people."
I don't know how many on the pro-SSM side view the anti-SSM side as 'taking away' a right that, by and large, doesn't exist for them yet; the only people who say that are probably referring to the repeal in cali, which would be a correct appraisal?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Tresopax,

quote:
In this case specifically, I don't see how the pro-SSM side could feel any empathy towards or understand the anti-SSM position as long as they view that position simply as "taking away the right to marriage from gay people."
So in your opinion, anti-SSM folks generally feel that a fair response to complaints against their position is, "But homosexuals aren't denied any rights; they have the right to marry, too." Is that correct?

If it's correct, I have to say I disagree, and wonder how many people opposed to SSM you actually know well and have spoken with. In my experience, "Homosexuals can still get married," if it comes up at all, doesn't come up until a variety of other more important (to them) reasons are discussed at length.

quote:
On this particular issue, it feels true-ish to say gay people are losing rights if they can't marry their partner, but it also feels true-ish to say marriage as a tradition has always been about men marrying women and that traditions like that are important.
Except here's the thing: homosexuals are losing rights if they can't marry their partner. Granted, that's a subjective opinion - 'rights' - but from the American perspective it's the correct opinion, plain as day. As Americans, we're not supposed to care what folks do in their own personal lives so long as they're not hurting anyone and they're living up to their obligations as citizens. There is no evidence existing on purely secular grounds that is potent enough to justify us as Americans actively caring - and stopping - what homosexuals do in their lives.

That's not just 'true-ish', that's the truth-is there anything there you dispute, Tresopax?
 
Posted by Lalo (Member # 3772) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
If it should, then homosexuals should not only be barred from marriage and adoption, but also from voting and civil participation. If they're not mentally stable enough to have healthy relationships, they're certainly not stable enough to help run the country.
Once again, you are misunderstanding the argument from the anti-SSM side here. They are perfectly fine with gay people marrying, as long as they aren't marrying a person of the same sex.
Speaking from genuine curiosity, why would you want gay people to marry the opposite gender? Are you interested in marrying a woman who has no sexual interest in you?
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
kmbboots,

quote:
I wouldn't say that preaching non-violence is as effective at promoting non-violence as preaching violence is at inciting violence.
I forgot to respond to this, but I agree, though with a qualifier: the question being discussed wasn't one of promoting violence vs. promoting non-violence, but rather between promoting non-violence specifically and promoting discrimination against homosexuals generally.

The question Lalo has (still) not answered is if religion is to be blamed, in whole or in part, for violence against homosexuals because of the attitude of discrimination against them it promotes, does it not get any credit for preaching non-violence?
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
Tresopax, without Orincoro's sneer, could you tell me why you appear to be suggesting that your technical correctness on this issue is relevant?
First: Because I think it's going to be difficult or even impossible for one side to understand the other side if they aren't willing to limit themselves to what they strictly know to be true and if they aren't willing to grant the other side any ground. In this case specifically, I don't see how the pro-SSM side could feel any empathy towards or understand the anti-SSM position as long as they view that position simply as "taking away the right to marriage from gay people." Both sides are going to just talk past each other - which is exactly what is going on.

Yes, we realize that your intellectually bisexual- some of us are interested in changing the law to expand the freedoms of our friends and neighbors. I'm really not willing to engage in a debate with someone who bases their thinking, in this matter, solely on the Christian party line.

See, most of us have this knack for figuring out when we're talking to dumb people. So far, and without exception in my personal experience, the anti-SSM arguments have been dumb, dumb, intolerably dumb. That's it- it's that simple. I get three sentences into these things, and I'm falling into huge gaps in reasoning. But hey, I'm a self-righteous atheist, so it's not like I've never been ignored before.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
I'm really not willing to engage in a debate with someone who bases their thinking, in this matter, solely on the Christian party line.
Time will tell if this is true or not, Orincoro:)

quote:
So far, and without exception in my personal experience, the anti-SSM arguments have been dumb, dumb, intolerably dumb.
If you're looking at the argument on purely secular grounds, I agree.
 
Posted by Paul Goldner (Member # 1910) on :
 
"If you're looking at the argument on purely secular grounds, I agree. "

In terms of law, are there other grounds that matter?
 
Posted by Xavier (Member # 405) on :
 
quote:
If it's correct, I have to say I disagree, and wonder how many people opposed to SSM you actually know well and have spoken with. In my experience, "Homosexuals can still get married," if it comes up at all, doesn't come up until a variety of other more important (to them) reasons are discussed at length.
The host of this site has used this line, IIRC, though I don't feel masochistic enough to search through the essays to confirm.

I see it as the weakest, most insulting, and intellectually dishonest of all the anti-SSM arguments. I'm amazed anyone can say it with a straight face.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
In terms of law, are there other grounds that matter?
Nope. And at this point, I'm a bit surprised to be asked that question, as I've said repeatedly there aren't.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
quote:
The host of this site has used this line, IIRC, though I don't feel masochistic enough to search through the essays to confirm.
OSC has, however, gone to some lengths about the subject.
 
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Olivet:
I think it's really squicky that people care so much what is in other people's pants and what they do with it and with whom.

The whole argument makes no logical sense to me. I just... really?

I suspect you don't really mean what you've just said. I'm fairly confident that there are some forms of sex you do consider to be bad, bad enough to be illegal and severely punishable -- for example pedophilia, incest or rape. And I suspect that when you say you don't care what's in other peoples pants and what they do with it -- you aren't including the kinds of sex you consider to be really bad. You probably didn't even including them when you were thinking about it. II suspect you'd care a great deal if you had reason to suspect someone was a rapist or a pedophile.

And I'm not saying that homosexuality is just like rape or pedophilia. And please don't shower me with reasons why pedophilia and rape aren't at all like homosexuality. The only thing I think they have in common is that many people consider them to be really bad, harmful sexual activity. So if you just can't empathize with people who want to ban same sex marriage, ask yourself this -- how do you react to groups or individuals that try to make pedophilia social acceptable. What would you do to try and stop them?

Oh, and BTW I'm largely favor of legalizing same sex marriage. And I say "largely" solely because I have serious reservations about having government have a say in marriage at all or deciding what relationships are "legitimate" and which are not. But as long as government sponsors legal marriages, it should allow it for any two adults who wish to marry -- regardless of gender, age, familial relationship or anything else.

My whole objective in posting this has been to try to help people to understand opponents of same sex marriage a little better. Even though I don't agree with them, I know many people who are opposed to SSM and they aren't voyeurs obsessed with other peoples sex lives or repressed homosexuals or generally hateful people. The crude and gross characatures you people are making of them don't do anything but encourage hatred and intolerance of those who disagree with you.

[ April 12, 2009, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Goldner:
"If you're looking at the argument on purely secular grounds, I agree. "

In terms of law, are there other grounds that matter?

In terms of law, those are the only grounds that are allowed to matter.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
So in your opinion, anti-SSM folks generally feel that a fair response to complaints against their position is, "But homosexuals aren't denied any rights; they have the right to marry, too." Is that correct?
I think anti-SSM folks don't view this as about denying rights to anyone. They view it as properly defining the right to marriage.

quote:
Except here's the thing: homosexuals are losing rights if they can't marry their partner. Granted, that's a subjective opinion - 'rights' - but from the American perspective it's the correct opinion, plain as day. As Americans, we're not supposed to care what folks do in their own personal lives so long as they're not hurting anyone and they're living up to their obligations as citizens. There is no evidence existing on purely secular grounds that is potent enough to justify us as Americans actively caring - and stopping - what homosexuals do in their lives.

That's not just 'true-ish', that's the truth-is there anything there you dispute, Tresopax?

I'd disagree with the notion that as Americans we're not supposed to care about what people do in their daily lives so long as they aren't hurting anyone. I'd prefer to help people, when possible - although I recognize that often trying to force help on people through the government ends up causing more harm than help.

Having said that, I'm not sure that this is about trying to regulate what homosexuals do in their lives. A change in the definition of marriage won't alter how homosexual individuals act daily. I think it's more about preserving a tradition and symbolism, even if there's no real reason for the tradition to exist other than tradition's sake.

As I see it, if you eliminate the arguments that aren't really sound, here's the general outline of what I think you'd be left with...

Pro-SSM:
1a) We are allowed to change definitions, there is no real cost to doing it in this case, and it will bring joy to gay couples if we do so.
2a) Allowing gay marriage will be a symbolic act against anti-gay discrimination.

Anti-SSM:
1b) Marriage has been between a man and woman traditionally, and tradition is important.
2b) Allowing gay marriage will be a symbolic act suggesting homosexuality is not a sin.

But (2b) only stands if you think homosexuality is a sin. I don't, so that means that for me it is essentially a weighing of the value of tradition against positive symbolism and improving the lives of gay couples.
 
Posted by Olivet (Member # 1104) on :
 
I understand the emotional reality of those who oppose SSM, and I feel a bit bad for them, because it is a losing battle. It's the way the rationale is inextricable from that emotion that baffles me. It's smoke and mirrors, and supposition. Actually, after I posted the last post, I almost edited because what I meant was not "people" but "the government" because I don't see why sex should impact legal standing in s just society-- why it should matter, to the government, what people consent to in private.

But your point is taken. I'm a bit wary of anything that provokes such a strong emotional reaction, though, because emotions dull the ability to think clearly, in my experience.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Tresopax,

quote:
I think anti-SSM folks don't view this as about denying rights to anyone. They view it as properly defining the right to marriage.
That was a very solid evasion, and not quite what you were saying before when you were suggesting one defense against was that homosexuals weren't being denied rights at all.

quote:
I'd disagree with the notion that as Americans we're not supposed to care about what people do in their daily lives so long as they aren't hurting anyone. I'd prefer to help people, when possible - although I recognize that often trying to force help on people through the government ends up causing more harm than help.
It's difficult to have a conversation with you. In what secular way is denying homosexuals the right to share equivalent rights with heterosexuals helping them? As Americans, we're not supposed to interfere in the private lives of other citizens unless they're hurting someone, or (maybe) if we have a very solid, rational reason to believe doing so will be a major help. Do you dispute that?

quote:

Having said that, I'm not sure that this is about trying to regulate what homosexuals do in their lives. A change in the definition of marriage won't alter how homosexual individuals act daily. I think it's more about preserving a tradition and symbolism, even if there's no real reason for the tradition to exist other than tradition's sake.

The first part isn't true at all. I'm neither gay nor do I know many openly homosexual people personally, but even I know that legalized SSM in this country would have a substantial impact on the daily lives of homosexuals. On a strictly legal level, it would substantially impact the sorts of steps they would need to take dealing with inheritance, offspring, health problems, and so on and so forth. On a social level, there would obviously be less of a social stigma against being openly homosexual (though equally obvious, it wouldn't vanish), which would have a substantial impact as well.

I really don't understand how you can suggest legal SSM wouldn't impact homosexuals' daily lives and expect to be taken seriously.

quote:

Pro-SSM:
1a) We are allowed to change definitions, there is no real cost to doing it in this case, and it will bring joy to gay couples if we do so.
2a) Allowing gay marriage will be a symbolic act against anti-gay discrimination.

Anti-SSM:
1b) Marriage has been between a man and woman traditionally, and tradition is important.
2b) Allowing gay marriage will be a symbolic act suggesting homosexuality is not a sin.

Pro:
1. Actually, we make our own definitions. We've been doing it ever since the Revolution. So it's not about there being a current definition, it's about us choosing the current definition, or not.
2. Allowing gay marriage has a host of immediate substantial legal and civic benefits. The benefits in no way are limited to the symbolic.

Again, I'm not sure how you can suggest it's just a symbolic thing.

Anti:
1. Tradition is important but it is not significant when it's entirely on its own.
2. As Americans, whether or not homosexuality is a sin shouldn't stand at all. We allow the abuse of alcohol, adultery isn't a crime, greed isn't a crime, idolatry isn't, and so on and so forth.

quote:
I don't, so that means that for me it is essentially a weighing of the value of tradition against positive symbolism and improving the lives of gay couples.
Which way do you think the scales tip?
 
Posted by fugu13 (Member # 2859) on :
 
The court is emphatically not using your definition. As the court considers the definition of a right, it must be equally available to all persons similarly situated. The court found that marriage was not equally available to all persons similarly situated, in particular was not available to homosexual couples similarly situated to heterosexual couples, and thus was being inappropriately restricted.

Did you read the decision? If so, please point out the part of the reasoning you disagree with: rights must apply to all people similarly situated (I suggest reading the decision for some background on what that means), homosexual couples are similarly situated to heterosexual couples, or marriage is a right (and thus should be available to all those similarly situated).
 
Posted by dabbler (Member # 6443) on :
 
quote:
I suspect you don't really mean what you've just said. I'm fairly confident that there are some forms of sex you do consider to be bad, bad enough to be illegal and severely punishable -- for example pedophilia, incest or rape.
I'm sure you know the arguments why those three examples are different from homosexual sex.

I would argue that it's not actually the squicky pants part that makes pedophilia and rape unacceptable in society. The parts of it that make it unacceptable are:
1) Violence
2) Non consensual
3) Abuse of trust in an inherently unequal relationship.

Each state makes their own decision on the age in which people can consent to sexual activity. Violence is a given. Really the first two are enough for pedophilia and rape. The 3rd may be the hardest to identify or support as a required societal rule. However it is similar to the following sexual relationships:

- Between two adults, one of which is the patient of the other.
- Between two adults, one of which is teacher to the other.

Both of which are shunned though aren't illegal as far as I understand. Incest, well, as long as they're two adults in which #3 doesn't appear to apply, I'm not shunning or calling for it to be illegal.
 
Posted by BlackBlade (Member # 8376) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dabbler:
quote:
I suspect you don't really mean what you've just said. I'm fairly confident that there are some forms of sex you do consider to be bad, bad enough to be illegal and severely punishable -- for example pedophilia, incest or rape.
I'm sure you know the arguments why those three examples are different from homosexual sex.

I would argue that it's not actually the squicky pants part that makes pedophilia and rape unacceptable in society. The parts of it that make it unacceptable are:
1) Violence
2) Non consensual
3) Abuse of trust in an inherently unequal relationship.

Each state makes their own decision on the age in which people can consent to sexual activity. Violence is a given. Really the first two are enough for pedophilia and rape. The 3rd may be the hardest to identify or support as a required societal rule. However it is similar to the following sexual relationships:

- Between two adults, one of which is the patient of the other.
- Between two adults, one of which is teacher to the other.

Both of which are shunned though aren't illegal as far as I understand. Incest, well, as long as they're two adults in which #3 doesn't appear to apply, I'm not shunning or calling for it to be illegal.

dabbler: Perhaps you should have dabbled into the rest of Rabbit's post, she literally in the next paragraph after the segment you quoted preempts your objection.

[ April 12, 2009, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
That was a very solid evasion, and not quite what you were saying before when you were suggesting one defense against was that homosexuals weren't being denied rights at all.
That's because before I was giving you what I thought, but now you are asking what I think most anti-SSM folks would say.

quote:
It's difficult to have a conversation with you. In what secular way is denying homosexuals the right to share equivalent rights with heterosexuals helping them? As Americans, we're not supposed to interfere in the private lives of other citizens unless they're hurting someone, or (maybe) if we have a very solid, rational reason to believe doing so will be a major help. Do you dispute that?
I do dispute it - I do not think that being American requires acting libertarian or refraining from interfering with our neighbors. And I don't think you need a secular reason to interfere - Americans can vote to outlaw X simply because they think X is a sin or is wrong (and they have many times in the past, for many different X's, such as alcohol consumption).

I don't believe forbidding gay marriage helps gay couples in any way - but I could see how, if one thought homosexual behavior was wrongful, one could argue that you are helping them by discouraging that relationship.

quote:
I'm neither gay nor do I know many openly homosexual people personally, but even I know that legalized SSM in this country would have a substantial impact on the daily lives of homosexuals.
Well, I can think of one particular gay couple I've known for a while... They appear to be very happy together, accepted by the community, with two adopted children who are both well adjusted. Frankly, not thinking too much about it, I'd always assumed they were married until I just recently realized they can't be, since it isn't legal in this state. But for all intents and purposes, they are essentially married, even if not legally. You are right that being legally married would alter some things like inheritance and health care. But as far as the core elements of their lives go, I think they'd remain the same - they are a family now, and they'd be no more a family then. No legal definition has stood in the way of that.

quote:
2. Allowing gay marriage has a host of immediate substantial legal and civic benefits. The benefits in no way are limited to the symbolic.
I'm assuming the alternative is giving gay couples "civil unions" with equal benefits, but a different name.

quote:
quote:
I don't, so that means that for me it is essentially a weighing of the value of tradition against positive symbolism and improving the lives of gay couples.
Which way do you think the scales tip?
Well, even if we ignore the symbolism benefit, I'd have to think it doesn't make sense to refuse gay couples something that means a lot to them simply to preserve a tradition for tradition's sake. So, my view is that the scales tip firmly in favor of changing the definition so gay couples can marry.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Tresopax,

quote:
That's because before I was giving you what I thought, but now you are asking what I think most anti-SSM folks would say.
Fair enough, but note that I was asking what you thought most anti-SSM folks would say before, too.

quote:
So in your opinion, anti-SSM folks generally feel that a fair response to complaints against their position is, "But homosexuals aren't denied any rights; they have the right to marry, too." Is that correct?
quote:
I do dispute it - I do not think that being American requires acting libertarian or refraining from interfering with our neighbors. And I don't think you need a secular reason to interfere - Americans can vote to outlaw X simply because they think X is a sin or is wrong (and they have many times in the past, for many different X's, such as alcohol consumption).

I don't believe forbidding gay marriage helps gay couples in any way - but I could see how, if one thought homosexual behavior was wrongful, one could argue that you are helping them by discouraging that relationship.

I'm not suggesting we as Americans have it within our power to enact laws that interfere with our neighbors. We are a representative system after all. And I think you probably could have guessed I didn't mean that.

I'm saying we as Americans have a duty as Americans, in keeping with our civic heritage which is supposed to value freedom of choice more than compulsion towards right not to interfere with the private lives of our fellow citizens through means other than personal persuasion, not the force of votes.

quote:
I don't believe forbidding gay marriage helps gay couples in any way - but I could see how, if one thought homosexual behavior was wrongful, one could argue that you are helping them by discouraging that relationship.
This would hold more water if those same people were arguing in favor of criminalizing adultery, alcoholism, tobacco use, strip clubs, and insulting God in the media.

To be fair, some opponents of SSM are sufficiently radical to advocate in favor of all of those things, but not very many. Why is homosexuality to be afforded this special treatment, then?

quote:
Well, I can think of one particular gay couple I've known for a while... They appear to be very happy together, accepted by the community, with two adopted children who are both well adjusted. Frankly, not thinking too much about it, I'd always assumed they were married until I just recently realized they can't be, since it isn't legal in this state. But for all intents and purposes, they are essentially married, even if not legally. You are right that being legally married would alter some things like inheritance and health care. But as far as the core elements of their lives go, I think they'd remain the same - they are a family now, and they'd be no more a family then. No legal definition has stood in the way of that.
You're shifting the argument again. First of all, I never disputed they couldn't be a family before. Second, do you imagine that the issue of who is answerable for things like the health care of the children has never come up, or even been thought of? Do you imagine they had to leap no hurdles for the adoption at all due to being homosexual? If they didn't, they're in a very fortunate minority.

Rather than assume you haven't considered this to the extent that you wouldn't have thought of these things, I'm almost tempted to believe you're being deliberately obtuse. But just in case, try asking them some time. Ask them if the legal right to marriage would have had a substantial impact on their daily lives.

Really, Tresopax. Are you asking me to take you seriously when you say you don't think there would be?

quote:
I'm assuming the alternative is giving gay couples "civil unions" with equal benefits, but a different name.
That doesn't in any way address the objection to one of the points you made. You said:
quote:
2a) Allowing gay marriage will be a symbolic act against anti-gay discrimination.
Obviously the act will be much more than symbolic.

quote:
Well, even if we ignore the symbolism benefit, I'd have to think it doesn't make sense to refuse gay couples something that means a lot to them simply to preserve a tradition for tradition's sake. So, my view is that the scales tip firmly in favor of changing the definition so gay couples can marry.
OK, then. It would've been nice, though, if that hadn't been like pulling teeth, to get a straightforward opinion out of you.

Here's another question, though: when is preserving tradition for tradition's sake ever a reason to do or not do something when there are known benefits or drawbacks otherwise?

I'm not saying eschew tradition. I'm saying that things should only get to be a tradition if they're effective and good. If they're not, we can't stop them from being traditions soon enough.
 
Posted by dabbler (Member # 6443) on :
 
I reread The Rabbit's comment and I still think my response holds. I simply think it's not a solid enough parallel because it doesn't invalidate a pants comment.
 
Posted by Tresopax (Member # 1063) on :
 
quote:
This would hold more water if those same people were arguing in favor of criminalizing adultery, alcoholism, tobacco use, strip clubs, and insulting God in the media.

To be fair, some opponents of SSM are sufficiently radical to advocate in favor of all of those things, but not very many. Why is homosexuality to be afforded this special treatment, then?

Don't ask me... I think the priorities of those who advocate the need for government to encourage moral behavior don't make any sense at all. That's especially true from a Christian perspective - Jesus doesn't talk about homosexuality, yet somehow that issue ends up taking away the focus from the issues that are central to the New Testament.

quote:
You're shifting the argument again. First of all, I never disputed they couldn't be a family before. Second, do you imagine that the issue of who is answerable for things like the health care of the children has never come up, or even been thought of? Do you imagine they had to leap no hurdles for the adoption at all due to being homosexual? If they didn't, they're in a very fortunate minority.
Okay, since there's confusion, let me reword my original claim: A change in the legal definition will not stop gay couples from living a homosexual lifestyle. They can do that anyway, even without the official legal title of married. So I don't think the purpose of defining marriage in this way is to regulate/prevent homosexuality, or if it is then it won't work.

quote:
Here's another question, though: when is preserving tradition for tradition's sake ever a reason to do or not do something when there are known benefits or drawbacks otherwise?
The Redskins (as in the NFL team) is a name that is found offensive by some, but rather than changing it to something that is offensive to fewer, I think the tradition is worth keeping. If you drop that tradition, you lose a valuable connection to the past. I think there are plenty of traditions that are worth keeping just for tradition's sake, even though there are known drawbacks. I'm not sure how to define which these are though, other than saying it's a judgement call case-by-case.

quote:
OK, then. It would've been nice, though, if that hadn't been like pulling teeth, to get a straightforward opinion out of you.
All you have to do is straightforwardly ask. [Smile] Although, I'd think me just giving my opinion isn't that helpful to the discussion. If I have anything to add that's useful, I'd think it's going to be the reasoning behind the opinion, not the opinion itself.

[ April 13, 2009, 08:22 AM: Message edited by: Tresopax ]
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Tresopax,

quote:
Don't ask me... I think the priorities of those who advocate the need for government to encourage moral behavior don't make any sense at all. That's especially true from a Christian perspective - Jesus doesn't talk about homosexuality, yet somehow that issue ends up taking away the focus from the issues that are central to the New Testament.
While I don't know of course, there aren't many reasonable conclusions one can come to about why homosexuality is afforded this special concern, but for example we don't hear much talk about criminalizing adultery or blasphemy. But it seems to me the reason homosexuality gets this special treatment is simply because it's homosexuality. I don't see how it can be considered more harmful to marriage and families than serial adultery, or how it could be considered more offensive to God that either.

quote:
Okay, since there's confusion, let me reword my original claim: A change in the legal definition will not stop gay couples from living a homosexual lifestyle. They can do that anyway, even without the official legal title of married. So I don't think the purpose of defining marriage in this way is to regulate/prevent homosexuality, or if it is then it won't work.
That's not a 'rewording', that's a 'reworking', Tresopax:) That said, I don't think people opposing SSM do so to prevent homosexuality either. I think it's mostly to prevent social legitimacy of homosexuality.

quote:
The Redskins (as in the NFL team) is a name that is found offensive by some, but rather than changing it to something that is offensive to fewer, I think the tradition is worth keeping. If you drop that tradition, you lose a valuable connection to the past. I think there are plenty of traditions that are worth keeping just for tradition's sake, even though there are known drawbacks. I'm not sure how to define which these are though, other than saying it's a judgement call case-by-case.
That's a poor example. Some find it offensive, some think it's great. Drawbacks either way.

quote:
All you have to do is straightforwardly ask. [Smile] Although, I'd think me just giving my opinion isn't that helpful to the discussion. If I have anything to add that's useful, I'd think it's going to be the reasoning behind the opinion, not the opinion itself.
I have, repeatedly. And it's quite possible to give a straightforward opinion and explain the reasoning behind it.
 
Posted by Mucus (Member # 9735) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
... This would hold more water if those same people were arguing in favor of criminalizing adultery, alcoholism, tobacco use, strip clubs, and insulting God in the media.

To be fair, some opponents of SSM are sufficiently radical to advocate in favor of all of those things, but not very many. Why is homosexuality to be afforded this special treatment, then?

A touch of "politics is the art of the possible?"

It may be that same-sex marriage is the only one of those possible measures that still stands a chance in today's society, hence the one that gets the most attention. Why discredit yourself by advocating a losing cause?

Edit to add: I may note that restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, and strip clubs to still exist in certain areas. Additionally, in certain other jurisdictions, they are taxed with what are called "sin taxes"

[ April 13, 2009, 09:35 AM: Message edited by: Mucus ]
 
Posted by Orincoro (Member # 8854) on :
 
quote:
I do dispute it - I do not think that being American requires acting libertarian or refraining from interfering with our neighbors. And I don't think you need a secular reason to interfere - Americans can vote to outlaw X simply because they think X is a sin or is wrong (and they have many times in the past, for many different X's, such as alcohol consumption).
Tres, this is exactly why the courts struck down a law that had been passed by representatives of the citizens- it is not the place of the people to substitute their morality for the precedent of the law, and ultimately the constitution.
 
Posted by kmbboots (Member # 8576) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
kmbboots,

quote:
I wouldn't say that preaching non-violence is as effective at promoting non-violence as preaching violence is at inciting violence.
I forgot to respond to this, but I agree, though with a qualifier: the question being discussed wasn't one of promoting violence vs. promoting non-violence, but rather between promoting non-violence specifically and promoting discrimination against homosexuals generally.

The question Lalo has (still) not answered is if religion is to be blamed, in whole or in part, for violence against homosexuals because of the attitude of discrimination against them it promotes, does it not get any credit for preaching non-violence?

I think we would get more credit for it if we, as a group, did a better job of it.
 
Posted by Rakeesh (Member # 2001) on :
 
Mucus,

quote:
A touch of "politics is the art of the possible?"

It may be that same-sex marriage is the only one of those possible measures that still stands a chance in today's society, hence the one that gets the most attention. Why discredit yourself by advocating a losing cause?

Edit to add: I may note that restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, and strip clubs to still exist in certain areas. Additionally, in certain other jurisdictions, they are taxed with what are called "sin taxes"

I respond to your point about 'politics of the possible' with, well, your own post:) It's possible to the extent that it actually exists, currently, in some places.

--------

quote:
I think we would get more credit for it if we, as a group, did a better job of it.
Well, certainly. But there's a difference between us not doing our best and not getting any credit whatsoever for what is done.
 
Posted by Samprimary (Member # 8561) on :
 
The hits keep coming!

quote:
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Gov. David Paterson will announce plans Thursday to introduce same-sex marriage legislation in the state Assembly, according to an assemblyman who was asked to be present for the announcement.

"The governor's office called me and asked if I would stand with the governor," said Micah Z. Kellner, a state assemblyman from Manhattan. "I said I will be thrilled to stand with the governor when he makes this announcement."

Paterson has expressed support for gay marriage in the past but when asked Tuesday, he would not confirm details of an announcement.

"There is clearly a problem in that those individuals who are gay or lesbian who would live in a civil union are still not entitled to somewhere between 1,250 and 1,300 civil protections" available to married couples, Paterson said. "We would like to try to address that at some point in the near future."

Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer introduced the same bill in 2007. It passed in the Assembly 85-61 but died in the state Senate.

The bill's chief supporter in the Senate, Democratic state Sen. Thomas Duane, said Paterson "knows how hard it is to pass this kind of legislation."

"He worked to try to pass hate crime legislation for many years," Duane said. "I know how strongly the governor feels about this kind of civil rights legislation."

Paterson has previously said he is committed to bringing "full marriage equality in New York State."

"No governor in the history of New York has been at the forefront," said Kellner. "He realizes it is the civil rights movement of the 21st century."

Duane agreed. "I also know that he [Paterson] knows that this will be a defining moment."

Bruce Anderson, interim executive director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, said it's "high time that we have the opportunity to discuss this in Albany."

"We have waited very long," he added.

If the legislation passes, it would make New York the fifth state to legalize same sex-marriage. Similar measures have been approved by courts or lawmakers in Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Iowa.

Because of its previous success in the Assembly, the bill is expected to pass there, but it will need 32 votes to pass in the state Senate.

"We hope to have this bill passed at the end of June, at the end of the legislative session," said Kellner. "No one wants to bring this to the floor to fail, it would be a huge disaster. We want to make sure that if we bring this to the floor for a vote that it passes."

I love this. It's .. oh, what to call it.

homomentum.
 


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