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Author Topic: NY gay marriage
SenojRetep
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The NY gay marriage bill is likely coming to the floor later today. It nearly passed last year, and under pressure from Gov. Cuomo, it's quite likely to pass now. The Senate is almost evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, but it looks like at least a few Republicans are going to cross over to vote in favor of the bill.
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Stone_Wolf_
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As long as there is no clause in it to compel churches to marry them, I'm for it!
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
As long as there is no clause in it to compel churches to marry them, I'm for it!

Surprisingly enough, I've heard from some folks there isn't. I was kinda wondering if they were mistaken about that.
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fugu13
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Why on earth would there be such a clause (not that such a clause would ever pass constitutional muster)?
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Stone_Wolf_
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Yea BB, why is that surprising that there isn't a clause to force churches to marry homosexuals?
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BlackBlade
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Sorry I wasn't clear, your wording threw me off. I meant, there is no clause specifically protecting churches from being compelled to perform gay marriages.
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SenojRetep
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Perhaps BB meant that, surprisingly, the NY bill doesn't include a religious exemption.

My understanding is that it does include a religious exemption, but some Republicans are balking, feeling that the expemption is insufficiently strong to prevent successful litigation against churches that refuse to marry gay couples under some situations.

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Miro
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How could any church be forced to marry anyone, whether the objection be gender, faith, or anything else?
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Rakeesh
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I wonder at how realistic a fear that is. Are churches regularly compelled to marry people at the whim of the couple themselves? Is there a history of, say, a Christian going to a mosque and demanding to be married there, and carrying it through? Or for that matter a Baptist going to a Presbyterian chrurch for the same, and getting it?
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SenojRetep
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There has been at least one lawsuit (in Oregon, I believe) in which a church was sued for not allowing same-sex couples to rent church-owned facilities that were available to be rented for marriage ceremonies.

I also wonder if a church could be sued for refusing to marry a couple on the basis of race. It seems likely to me (although IANAL) that, while churches may be able to discriminate based on religious differences, other protected groups might be able to compel equal treatment under the law.

<edit>A little googling turns up the court case Green v. Connally, in which the USSC ruled that any private organization discriminating on the basis of race was not eligible for tax exempt status. I imagine there's some concern that a similar result w.r.t. sexual orientation would someday apply. Perhaps the feeling is that specific exemption clauses make such an outcome less likely.</edit>

[ June 23, 2011, 09:01 PM: Message edited by: SenojRetep ]

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Amanecer
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What happened when anti-miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional? It seems like there's clear precedent- but I have no idea what the answer is. If churches aren't able to be sued for refusing interracial marriages, it seems this isn't a concern. If they are, it's rational.
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Amanecer
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quote:
A little googling turns up the court case Green v. Connally, in which the USSC ruled that any private organization discriminating on the basis of race was not eligible for tax exempt status
I googled Green v. Connally and it appears it was a district court case relating to private schools who discriminated not being allowed to keep their tax-exempt status. Which seems like a totally different issue than 1st amendment protected churches.
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SenojRetep
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Wikipedia says you're right. I hadn't read it closely.
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Speed
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quote:
Originally posted by SenojRetep:
There has been at least one lawsuit (in Oregon, I believe) in which a church was sued for not allowing same-sex couples to rent church-owned facilities that were available to be rented for marriage ceremonies.

Any chance you're thinking of the New Jersey case that was brought up in that memo supporting Prop 8? If so, you might find item #2 in this document worth checking out.
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Shmuel
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quote:
Originally posted by Miro:
How could any church be forced to marry anyone, whether the objection be gender, faith, or anything else?

My take is that they can't, but that this is a face-saving maneuver for those who switch sides. By adding in a superfluous religious protection clause, they can claim to have won a compromise. If that helps them pass the thing, I say go for it.
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Orincoro
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(roll eyes) Yet more evidence that religious institutions have no business being tax exempt in the first place.
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Emreecheek
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I wonder, though. Perhaps a pastor that refuses to marry gay couples would have her marriage license (Not for her marriage - The one that lets you marry people for real) put in jeopardy. That would be the rub. You don't have to marry people in your church, but if you refuse to marry people on the basis of sexual orientation, you forfeit your license to marry people.
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katharina
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There is no such thing - being ordained as a minister is the "marriage license" you speak of. For that to be revoked, the law would have to be changed to actually create such a marriage license and then to require ministers and such to get it on top of their ordination.

It's done state by state.

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Samprimary
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A licence to marry people is such a trivial thing anyway. Anyone can get one in less than five minutes for free.
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Olivet
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The fellow who married my Beloved and I insisted on counseling us first, with the caveat that if he didn't think we should marry, he wouldn't marry us. I think who a minister does or does not marry is generally a matter of conscience. (There was a justice of the peace in Hammond, LA. who refused to marry a mixed race couple last year. He brought a world of hurt upon himself, but he wasn't a minister, either.)
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kmbboots
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Churches don't have to marry anyone who is not in good standing with the Church. So how is this a problem?
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Mucus
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If it helps, since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Canada, AFAIK, there has been no legal attempts by same-sex couples to get married in churches that do not want them to and the Charter protection of religious freedom seems to make a challenge on those grounds unlikely (although your legal framework could be different).
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
Churches don't have to marry anyone who is not in good standing with the Church. So how is this a problem?

Because it's unclear (legislatively and judicially) exactly how far that prerogative extends. If the only thing that keeps one from being in good standing with the church is a trait that qualifies one as a federally protected minority (such as gender, race, or (increasingly) sexual orientation), it seems likely that refusal to perform the marriage at least brings up a legal question that has not been previously addressed.

I see it as similar to churches' ability to discriminate by gender in hiring clergy based on religious principle. I believe that that question has been litigated and I imagine this question, at some point, will be too.

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kmbboots
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Right. That is how we finally got all those women priests.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Miro:
How could any church be forced to marry anyone, whether the objection be gender, faith, or anything else?

Here is an elected Justice of the Peace who refused to marry an interracial couple. If memory serves we covered the whole shebang right on here on hatrack as well. Now if this man is an elected official and he refuses to fulfill the obligations of his office openly due to what our legal system would consider discrimination, how is that differant from a service that provides wedding ceremonies discriminating against gay couples?

Black rights, womens rights, gay rights are all human rights and should never be refused to peaceful law abiding people.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Originally posted by Miro:
How could any church be forced to marry anyone, whether the objection be gender, faith, or anything else?

Here is an elected Justice of the Peace who refused to marry an interracial couple. If memory serves we covered the whole shebang right on here on hatrack as well. Now if this man is an elected official and he refuses to fulfill the obligations of his office openly due to what our legal system would consider discrimination, how is that differant from a service that provides wedding ceremonies discriminating against gay couples?
Separation between church and state. The government is supposed to be a servant of the people. All of the people. It can't discriminate. Anything non-governmental should be allowed to discriminate.
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AchillesHeel
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On the basis of race, gender and sexuality? what else, origin of birth and income level? You do realize that if it were true that non-governmental establishments were allowed to openly discriminate there would be parts of this county where you wouldnt even be allowed to eat at a diner let alone buy a home, simply because you are jewish (ETA) and a woman.
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Geraine
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I agree Lisa. I find it apalling that when religion bleeds over into government the church and state card is pulled, but when government blees over into religion, it seems to be just fine.

Which amuses me because the whole idea of separation of church and state was to protect religion from the government.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
On the basis of race, gender and sexuality? what else, origin of birth and income level? You do realize that if it were true that non-governmental establishments were allowed to openly discriminate there would be parts of this county where you wouldnt even be allowed to eat at a diner let alone buy a home, simply because you are jewish (ETA) and a woman.

Sure. Here's my question. Why do you think that someone should be forced to engage in trade with me? What can possibly justify that sort of violence? And it is violence. If I go into a grocery store, take a box of Rice Crispies, and go to pay for it, only to be told that some law says I have to buy Corn Flakes instead, when I don't want Corn Flakes, that's state supported violence against my rights. If I go into a store, and before I decide what breakfast cereal to buy, a cop comes over and tells me I have to, under law, buy motor oil (even if I don't have a car), that's more state violence.

What part of "free" do people not understand? Forcing someone to employ me (i.e., trade money for my time and skills) or rent to me (i.e. trade a dwelling place for my money) is no different than forcing me to buy something I don't want. It's worse, because if you force me to buy something I don't want, I can just throw it away once I get it home.

Yes. I can be discriminated against because I'm gay. Because I'm Jewish. Because I'm religious. Because I'm a woman. Because I'm trans. Because I wear glasses. Or because they just plain don't like me. And that's their bloody right, so long as they don't take from me what is mine against my will or violate a contract they've entered into with me. If they do discriminate against me for any of those reasons, they're a**holes. And I will feel free to publicize their a**holery far and wide and do my damnedest to convince others not to do business with them on the grounds that they're a**holes. And that's my right. But to go to the government and try and coerce the a**hole into trading with me? That's utterly immoral. I'm not saying it might not have utility, but since I actually care about acting morally, the loss would outweigh any possible gain.

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Strider
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Lisa, it seems to me that your entire world view is based on the assumption that "freedom" is the greatest and only value that all ethical systems should be built upon and all normative statements judged against. (or at least that it supersedes any other values)

What's your justification for this?

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Geraine:
I agree Lisa. I find it apalling that when religion bleeds over into government the church and state card is pulled, but when government blees over into religion, it seems to be just fine.

Agreed. There's a whole other thread discussing something like that right now.
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Frisco
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Looks like we approved it. Have to say I'm happily surprised!
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Strider
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Are you in NY these days Frisco?
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Frisco
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Yep. Been in Brooklyn for the last couple years. You still nearby?
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Strider
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Lehigh Valley, PA (for another month and a half).

I'm actually in the city every once in a while, even used to be up in Brooklyn regularly, but not so much the last few years.

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El JT de Spang
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I spent two weeks in Brooklyn in Feb/March, and didn't know Frisco was there. Weak sauce!
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Icarus
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If you guys had gotten together, there would have been a massive explosion from all the concentrated Awesome, and nobody wanted that. [Smile]
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Samprimary
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Oh no, another state government that osc has to destroy!

Man, those seem to be cropping up all over the place, these days.

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Icarus
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*laugh*
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
Lisa, it seems to me that your entire world view is based on the assumption that "freedom" is the greatest and only value that all ethical systems should be built upon and all normative statements judged against. (or at least that it supersedes any other values)

What's your justification for this?

Actually, life and one's ownership of his life is the greatest value. Freedom derives from that. Property derives from that.

Any system which doesn't recognize my right to my life is evil. Surely you can't argue with that. And if my life is my own, than the product of my life is my own.

See, people are people. They aren't pawns on a gameboard that Those Who Know Best are entitled to move around for some "greater good". There is a myth that's widely accepted that society is an entity that has the right to coerce the individuals making it up in a way that an individual wouldn't have. That's a claim that has never been established. It's only been asserted, at what's essentially gunpoint. Overwhelming force doesn't win an argument. It sidesteps the argument.

If it isn't okay for me and my friend to take money away from you for a purpose we deem important (and after all, there are two of us and one of you, so isn't that democracy?), then it isn't okay for me and my 10,000 friends to do it either. There is no magic number or critical mass at which a mob gains any moral right to do anything that any of its constituent members can't. And you can't show that there is. You can only use force to avoid having to show that there is.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Overwhelming force doesn't win an argument. It sidesteps the argument.
A curious statement given many of your thoughts on American foreign policy, and the domestic and foreign policy of other nations-most notably Israel.

I'm just pointing out that on the one hand, you insist on moral equivalence of arguments across the board: the exact same principles in the exact same ways must govern interactions between society and its members, and its members and each other. That there be no such thing as actual democracy. That any 'overthrow' of this ideal constitutes a use of force, and the doesn't address an argument, but sidesteps it.

You're quite happy 'sidestepping' disputes elsewhere, though, with force. Largely when the use of force enables a policy you approve of, of course.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Any system which doesn't recognize my right to my life is evil.

Let's say I am disallowed from killing you, but most anything else is fair game; I move you to a place of my choosing (without you having any choice in the matter) and obligate you to have to live and work there, without the option of leaving. Does this still 'recognize your right to your life' or is it still somehow Evil?
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Overwhelming force doesn't win an argument. It sidesteps the argument.
A curious statement given many of your thoughts on American foreign policy, and the domestic and foreign policy of other nations-most notably Israel.
How so? Surely you can see the difference between initiating force and the use of retaliatory force? Jewish law says, "One who rises up to kill you, get up first and kill him." And one of the reasons given for this is "is his blood redder than yours?"

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
I'm just pointing out that on the one hand, you insist on moral equivalence of arguments across the board: the exact same principles in the exact same ways must govern interactions between society and its members, and its members and each other. That there be no such thing as actual democracy. That any 'overthrow' of this ideal constitutes a use of force, and the doesn't address an argument, but sidesteps it.

You're quite happy 'sidestepping' disputes elsewhere, though, with force. Largely when the use of force enables a policy you approve of, of course.

Not at all. Retaliatory force isn't the same thing at all.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Any system which doesn't recognize my right to my life is evil.

Let's say I am disallowed from killing you, but most anything else is fair game;
Why on earth would I say anything like that?

quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I move you to a place of my choosing (without you having any choice in the matter) and obligate you to have to live and work there, without the option of leaving. Does this still 'recognize your right to your life' or is it still somehow Evil?

It's a complete violation of my right to my life.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Any system which doesn't recognize my right to my life is evil.

quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
I move you to a place of my choosing (without you having any choice in the matter) and obligate you to have to live and work there, without the option of leaving. Does this still 'recognize your right to your life' or is it still somehow Evil?

It's a complete violation of my right to my life.
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
I would pay you money if you could find a way to send all the Jews to Israel and quarantine us there.

Hmmmm.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

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Rakeesh
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So...'initiating violence' doesn't resolve an argument, but 'retaliatory' violence can? Sounds very arbitrary.
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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
So...'initiating violence' doesn't resolve an argument, but 'retaliatory' violence can? Sounds very arbitrary.

Not at all. A person is entitled to defend himself against someone violating his rights.
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Raymond Arnold
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And if a person can't defend themselves against a violation, is another person entitled to help them?

If a large number of people are violating another group of people's rights, is it okay for another large number of people to step in?

If so, well, that's what government is. If not, I think the knowledge that they are part of a system of "freedom" is not very reassuring.

(To be clear: I believe freedom is an important thing to have. Adequate access to food, shelter, and other things are also important. I do not think it's obvious that of those things, freedom is most important, nor that an unlimited quantity of it would not yield diminishing returns of value to myself.)

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