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Author Topic: Iowa Supreme Court unanimously strikes down gay marriage ban
Samprimary
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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.

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Tresopax
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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.
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Mucus
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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?
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aeolusdallas
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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.

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Samprimary
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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.

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Olivet
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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?

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fugu13
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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.


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Orincoro
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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.

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Olivet
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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.)
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Tresopax
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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.
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fugu13
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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.

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twinky
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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.
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Orincoro
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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.

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dabbler
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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.
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Rakeesh
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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?

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Tresopax
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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 ]

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twinky
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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.

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Orincoro
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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]

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Rakeesh
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Tresopax, without Orincoro's sneer, could you tell me why you appear to be suggesting that your technical correctness on this issue is relevant?
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Orincoro
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He's not technically correct- he's just convinced that his fallacious reasoning sounds a whole lot better than stating the core issue.
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Rakeesh
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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.

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Tresopax
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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?"

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Samprimary
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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?
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Rakeesh
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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?

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Lalo
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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?
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Rakeesh
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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?

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Orincoro
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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.

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Rakeesh
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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.
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Paul Goldner
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"If you're looking at the argument on purely secular grounds, I agree. "

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

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Xavier
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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.

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Rakeesh
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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.
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Rakeesh
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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.
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The Rabbit
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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 ]

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Samprimary
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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.
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Tresopax
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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.

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Olivet
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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.

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Rakeesh
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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?
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fugu13
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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).

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dabbler
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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.

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BlackBlade
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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 ]

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Tresopax
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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.
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Rakeesh
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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.

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dabbler
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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.
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Tresopax
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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 ]

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Rakeesh
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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.
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Mucus
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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 ]

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Orincoro
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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.
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kmbboots
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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.
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Rakeesh
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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.
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Samprimary
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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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