Meanwhile in Connecticut

The Connecticut Supreme Court grants same-sex marriage rights. Good for them. It’s a nice kick in the head to the hateful folks currently trying to destroy marriages in California with Proposition 8, who unfortunately at the moment seem to be gaining ground in their efforts. I recently donated money to the “No on 8″ folks, because they need it; I suggest you do it as well, if you think legal, existing marriages should not be voided simply because they make someone else uncomfortable. A relevant comment about that topic from the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling:

 Although we acknowledge that many legislators and many of their constituents hold strong personal convictions with respect to preserving the traditional concept of marriage as a heterosexual institution, such beliefs, no matter how deeply held, do not constitute the exceedingly persuasive justification required to sustain a statute that discriminates on the basis of a quasi-suspect classification. 

Amen to that.

122 thoughts on “Meanwhile in Connecticut

  1. Before any one asks, why, yes, it is absolutely an act of hate to destroy legal, existing marriages, as Prop 8 will do if it’s passed. If you don’t think it’s true, think of how you would react to someone saying to you, “Your marriage doesn’t count. It doesn’t exist. And that’s because I just voted to kill it.” There’s no difference, legally or morally, between the person would destroy a legal same-sex marriage, and one who would destroy any other legal marriage.

  2. I agree, any two people in a loving commited relationship should have the right to be recognised in terms of their status to each other. I would want the person I have bought a house with and am going to spend the rest of my life with to be recognised legally and publically regardless of whether or not we were the same sex.
    I think the people behind prop 8 should be treated like anyone else guilty of hate crimes.

  3. I can’t understand why so many people are so rabidly against consenting adults making commitments to each other.
    Can someone please explain it to me without referring to religion?

  4. A Now we get to hear the anguished outcries about arrogant unelected activist judges forcing the immoral homosexual agenda down the throats of Connecticut Christians. Then will come the accusations of a political agenda in announcing this decision far too late for the decent people of the state to do anything about it, the demands for a rehearing by out-of-state religious reich bodies, lawsuits concerning religious freedom, and the attempts to recall all the judges. Then after all that hysteria accomplishes nothing, the religious reich will start a “wide-based coalition of concerned people” to try to amend the constitution, once again under the guise of “protecting marriage.”

    B Laura@3. “Numerous studies show the terrible effects on children raised without a male father and a female mother.” It’s a lie, of course, but it is a non-religious explanation of sorts.

  5. So I wonder how long it will take for McCain to fold this into his campaign. After, his running mate still considers being gay a “choice” (reference comments to Palin’s statements about friends that are gay making a choice she couldn’t or wouldn’t make).

  6. I’ll be the voice in the wilderness here. Look, on a personal basis, I have no objection to two consenting rational adults of whatever sex, joining together with some sort of standardized legal agreement that confers a set of default privileges vis-a-vis each other. Some of my best friends, etc.

    That said, unless you’re a fan of bull-baiting, this kind of political action is stupid to the nth degree. There are people who feel passionately about this; I know, I’m related to a few. They will grudginly accept civil unions (which do provide for all of the above default privileges) when instituted via “representative” action, but insisting on “marriage” and getting there via judicial edict or parliamentary games is waving a big red flag in their faces, accompanied by loud nyah-nyah-n-nyah-nyahs. Play hardball if you want, but don’t be surprised (and quit whining about it) when the bench-clearing brawl erupts.

    If you would care to see a rational discussion of this (and some rather sensible recomendations) from the other side, I would recommend Donald Sensing’s essay on his old blog: http://www.donaldsensing.com/2004/02/separate-legal-and-spiritual-in.html

  7. bud, you don’t live in Massachusetts, do you? I do. We heard all those arguments years ago, and I admit it was scary back then. Turns out that “insisting on “marriage” and getting there via judicial edict” might be a problem, but actually living with gay marriage? Not a big deal. When the constitutional amendment came up for its mandatory second vote, a lot of legislators had switched their votes to support gay marriage–because their constituents had changed their minds.

    From the data we’ve got so far, legalizing gay marriage might actually be one of the most effective ways of getting people to like it.

  8. Happy news!!!!

    The other day I got on facebook, only to discover that one of my old high school friends from Utah had gone and joined a Save Marriage for Man and Woman sort of group. I blinked and then went out to join the first No to Prop 8 group I could find.

    (One of the LDS church leaders came out saying that people should organise to vote yes on prop 8 and they would blessed for their actions. Shades of organising to defeat the ERA. Fuck them. Glad I left.)

  9. Oh, and I lived in Massachusetts for the last year and a half, abandoning it to move to Seattle. But I abandoned it because of the snow and ice, not because of the crazy gay marriage that permeated the state.

    (Seriously, it was a nice state. If civilization was trying to collapse there, as a sign of God’s disfavour, it just was taking its own sweet time doing it.)

  10. @3, 6, 7: “Numerous studies show the terrible effects on children raised without a male father and a female mother.”

    Numerous studies, oh my! Said studies were, without doubt, conducted with clinical detachment and scientific rigor, right?
    Whoops, back up: study != controlled experiment, so forget the rigor and the detachment.

    Seriously, I wonder how much it would cost — purely in the interest of full and reasoned comparison — to study at least one instance of each of the alternative cases. The medical and genetic trickery needed to produce one child of a female father and a male mother would cost a bundle, I’ll betcha.

  11. I think the people behind prop 8 should be treated like anyone else guilty of hate crimes.

    I wonder if you openly oppose democracy or if you are suffering from a terminal case of cognitive dissonance? I mean, most people here at least give lip service to the holy Will of the People.

    Before any one asks, why, yes, it is absolutely an act of hate to destroy legal, existing marriages, as Prop 8 will do if it’s passed.

    Come on, John. That’s absurd. “The law” is a fictional construction anyhow so there’s nothing to destroy. Will the various relationships magically vanish simply because the state doesn’t formally recognize their existence? And try to keep in mind that once you get the government involved, the fiction is wholly malleable depending upon whom is in control. Live by the anti-democratic dictate, die by the referendum. Deal with it.

    Now, the state should certainly be kept out of these issues and people should be free to contract whatever agreement they wanted with any number of people they wanted. Of course, genuine freedom would mean that people wouldn’t be forced to hire those in non-traditional relationships or do business with them either.

    So, as is so often the case, logic dictates that you must either give up your utopian ideal or embrace anti-democratic totalitarianism. Personally, I would support Prop 8 because as much as I dislike democracy, I despise judicial dictatorships even more. A court with the power to create homosexual marriage rights can also decide that homosexuals have no rights, it’s just a matter of who sits upon it.

  12. I can’t understand why so many people are so rabidly against consenting adults making commitments to each other.

    That’s not what they’re against. They’re against people like Adele demanding the right “to be recognised legally and publically” by them. It’s obviously not about “consenting adults making commitments to each other” since people can do that already.

    Convincing a few judges is not tantamount to convincing the electorate. And crying “it’s the law now” makes no sense, given that the law is a dynamic thing, complete with processes for its modification.

  13. Before any one asks, why, yes, it is absolutely an act of hate to destroy legal, existing marriages, as Prop 8 will do if it’s passed.

    I was incredibly disappointed to see that this point was not made in the arguments in our Voter’s guide. There is no mention in the text by those against Prop 8 that this will invalidate currently existing marriages.

  14. The secular argument I’ve seen trotted out most often is the idea that the civil institution of marriage was created primarily as a matter of record-keeping for inheritance purposes. In other words, it was about keeping track of offspring/heirs.

    Thus, since same-sex couples cannot biologically produce children (from a pair of their zygotes) the civil purpose of marriage is moot for them. If there are no biological offspring to track for record-keeping purposes, then there’s no reason to register that couple with the state.

    (This was the kind of argument used in the recent Washington State supreme court decision against ss marriage.)

    Of course, this argument completely falls apart when you start asking people whether the state should also deny marriage licenses to opposite-sex couples who are infertile, have adopted children or are childless by choice. If marriage is solely about creating kids, surely we ought to require opposite-sex couples to produce a child within three years of getting married or have their license invalidated. Oh, and they also get to divorce as soon as the kids are raised and they’re no longer biologically capable of creating more.

    The purpose of Holy Matrimony is a sacrament from $deity. The purpose of civil marriage is to create legal and financial responsibility between adults who want that bond. Legalizing civil marriage for same-sex couples does jack squat to change the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

  15. VD:

    “Come on, John. That’s absurd. ‘The law’ is a fictional construction anyhow so there’s nothing to destroy.”

    Speaking of absurd comments. Describing the law as a “fictional construct” is lazy solipsism which is not worth taking seriously. The law exists and has force, both in itself and in its effects in society. And there is a manifest difference in what happens when there is legal recognition of a relationship, and what happens when that legal recognition is withheld — or is destroyed because of pure discrimination.

    And of course, if you genuinely believe law is a fiction and not of any real import, I invite you to legally divorce your wife, since presumably it won’t matter to the status of your relationship if you do. If you’re not willing to do that, for whatever reason, you might entertain the notion that other folks might wish not to be made legal strangers to their own spouses, whomever those spouses may be, by the mere whims of other people who are not themselves in the relationship.

  16. John,
    If 8 passes (I’m voting no, since I’m in Cali), is it possible it will be overturned? I don’t know enough about the power the state has to stop this sort of idiocy, so perhaps you have an opinion.

  17. I despise judicial dictatorships even more. A court with the power to create homosexual marriage rights can also decide that homosexuals have no rights, it’s just a matter of who sits upon it.

    I assume you’re against the idea of the Constitution, then? Or just the Bill of Rights?

    A document guaranteeing the rights of the people is useless without a judiciary set with the responsibility of enforcing those rights.

  18. If 8 passes (I’m voting no, since I’m in Cali), is it possible it will be overturned?

    Theoretically, it could be, as could every other anti-ss-marriage amendment in other state constitiutions.

    No law that violates the U.S. constitution, even if it’s found in the constitution of a state, is legally valid.

    However, it would have to be SCOTUS that decided this, and thusfar, the current assemblage of people in those seats has seemed unwilling to properly apply the provisions of the 14th Amendment to queer folk.

    (Incidentally, this is part of why the anti-gay crowd harps so hard on the “it’s a choice!” stuff. They know very well that if it becomes legally enshrined that being gay is a state of being and not just something one “does” on a whim, that gays as a group will necessarily have to be covered under the equal protection clause.)

  19. If 8 passes (I’m voting no, since I’m in Cali), is it possible it will be overturned? I don’t know enough about the power the state has to stop this sort of idiocy, so perhaps you have an opinion.It’s an amendment to the state constitution, so no. Only the voters can change the constitution.

    I suspect that, regardless of if 8 passes this year, there will be constitutional amendments on this issue to vote on in every California election in the near future. If 8 passes, there will be an initiative to strike those words from the constitution, which will then prompt another Prop 8, and on and on. If it fails, another Prop 8 will be on the ballot next time.

  20. SMD:

    “If 8 passes (I’m voting no, since I’m in Cali), is it possible it will be overturned?”

    Note: I am not a lawyer.

    It can’t be overturned by California law, no, because it’ll be part of the California Constitution. In order to change it, there would have to be another constitutional amendment repealing it.

    I do imagine that if Prop 8 passes, the instant it does it will be appealed in Federal court, probably on 14th Amendment grounds, and probably relating specifically to the rights of those same sex couples already married — i.e., that their right to be married, already established as legal, cannot be dissolved against their will or some such.

    In that case I would expect enforcement of the Prop 8 amendment would be put on hold and the marriages of those couples would remain valid while the issue wends its way through the federal legal system on the way to the Supreme Court. If Obama wins, it’s possible a court congenial to the recognition of same-sex couples (or at least opposed to the involuntary dissolution of marriages) would be on the bench; if McCain wins this seems somewhat more unlikely.

    If the amendment is put on hold pending federal court resolution, and couples are allowed to remain married, this would allow those couples (and those sympathetic to them) time to try to rescind the Prop 8 amendment in order to save their marriages. If such a new amendment passes, then the federal court case is likely to be dropped because the law being challenged would no longer apply.

  21. “Before any one asks, why, yes, it is absolutely an act of hate to destroy legal, existing marriages, as Prop 8 will do if it’s passed.”

    The problem here is that you seem to define “marriage” in secular terms. I understand marriage as something that only God can define and recognize. What the state says is immaterial.

    What legalizing same-sex “marriage” actually does is force a huge swath of the citizenry to – in a sense – recognize a relationship they view as immoral. The hatred – if you must use that inaccurate descriptor – is more on your end of the debate. The intolerance is yours since you are forcing homophilia on others.

    I personally don’t care what people do or how they view their relationships. They can call it marriage if they want, but to get the government involved (assuming you are in a democratic system – mayhaps you only want your voice to be heard, but that would hardly be democratic) is the same as getting people like me involved, since they are supposed to have a voice as well.

    How about we do this! How about we get governments out of the marriage business entirely?

    “If you don’t think it’s true, think of how you would react to someone saying to you, “Your marriage doesn’t count. It doesn’t exist. And that’s because I just voted to kill it.””

    If I was married, I wouldn’t care because I don’t give the government or this hypothetical individual that much power over me. Somebody who is so insecure as that perhaps may need to re-evaluate their own feelings on the issue.

    “There’s no difference, legally or morally, between the person would destroy a legal same-sex marriage, and one who would destroy any other legal marriage.”

    If the law is illegitimate, then I don’t care whether there is no legal difference.

    Morally – since same-sex marriage doesn’t actually exist and can’t magically exist just because a government or some of you wish it to, your point makes no sense.

    The only individuals with the power to destroy any marriage is God and those people who are actually in the relationship.

    “I can’t understand why so many people are so rabidly against consenting adults making commitments to each other.”

    Very few people, relatively speaking, actually give a crap. That you seem to think they do tends to points to a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue at hand. I’m somewhat cynical with all this smear garbage, and so am highly tempted to think that the misunderstanding is purposeful.

    “Can someone please explain it to me without referring to religion?”

    If you are asking why some people think that homosexuality is wrong – to that, I would ask why you may think incest or bestiality is wrong, your ideas would make just as much sense to the person who believes that brother/sister loving is a-ok.

    I find it fascinating how folks imply that they would like the religious citizens disenfranchised. They seem to forget that even their opinions are informed by a worldview.

    “and thusfar, the current assemblage of people in those seats has seemed unwilling to properly apply the provisions of the 14th Amendment to queer folk.”

    Yah, and I’m sure the authors of the 14th amendment were really thinking of homosexuals.

    “(Incidentally, this is part of why the anti-gay crowd harps so hard on the “it’s a choice!” stuff.”

    I love reading this crap. It really legitimizes my pov when folks like you seem to think you understand your opposition.

    1. No, it’s not part of the reason why.
    2. To act on one’s homosexual inclinations is a choice, just as much as it is a choice of any of you to act out on your lustful (perhaps hetero) proclivities. Whether someone tends to homosexual attractions is almost universally recognized. I used to listen to, read, and watch a lot of Christian evangelical “right wing” stuff, and I don’t think I remember once somebody saying that they think the attraction is a choice. If they really thought that, they wouldn’t be supporting ex-gay ministries.
    3. Christians are actually *more* tolerant than all of you, since we recognize that there is a nature inside of every one of us that tends towards bad behaviour. We know it in ourselves, and we see it in most non-Christians literally every single day, and so we are not surprised or shocked when somebody says that they are homosexuals. It’s just the sad state of the human race as a whole. God loves us all anyways. If you can’t understand that, can’t wrap your head around it, or can’t accept it, then the problem is yours and not ours.

    “They know very well that if it becomes legally enshrined that being gay is a state of being and not just something one “does” on a whim, that gays as a group will necessarily have to be covered under the equal protection clause.”

    I think you should stop projecting your illogical train of thought on others. You are looking very very bad. Thanks, though, for encouraging me in your own little way.

    Oh, and next time, do yourself a little favour and actually listen to what the other side says.

  22. The problem here is that you seem to define “marriage” in secular terms. I understand marriage as something that only God can define and recognize. What the state says is immaterial.

    You understand wrong.

    Since what the state deals with are secular, then what the state defines as marriage for the purposes of its laws is secular. By definition. What the state says is most certainly material.

    Now, this does not have to have anything to do with what religion calls marriage. But sloppy thinkers will conflate the two.

  23. Sarahthecanucki:

    “The problem here is that you seem to define ‘marriage’ in secular terms.”

    Marriage is defined in secular terms here in the US, since it’s administered by the government, and that fact is definitely not a problem.

    What you’re saying is, basically, “marriage isn’t what it actually is, it’s what I think it should be.” Well, you’re wrong about that, and any argument you make from that point is flawed at its foundation and thereby not worth discussing. Please come back when you actually want to talk about what marriage is, not your intolerant version of what you think it should be. If you can’t, don’t bother coming back. It’s not too much to ask for people to argue from reality.

  24. Sarah @ 27:

    What legalizing same-sex “marriage” actually does is force a huge swath of the citizenry to – in a sense – recognize a relationship they view as immoral.

    What legalizing mixed-race “marriage” actually does is force a huge swath of the citizenry to – in a sense – recognize a relationship they view as immoral.

    If you are asking why some people think that homosexuality is wrong – to that, I would ask why you may think incest or bestiality is wrong, your ideas would make just as much sense to the person who believes that brother/sister loving is a-ok.

    Or why miscegenation is wrong, right? We can all see the impurity involved there.

    I’ll leave the rest of “I violently don’t care about this irrelevant, disgusting issue!” to someone else.

  25. And for the record, it is possible to be someone who’s very radical about government not being involved in marriage and still be pleased by the CT ruling. Considering the institution of marriage as it currently exists in the US, this is a blow for freedom and justice and not being a hateful ass.

  26. We recently had this dialog in Canada, as it turned out that it was unconstitutional to refuse marriage on the grounds of gender or sexuality. So, our Supreme Court tossed the question back to the lawmakers to have them sort it out. The usual arguments for and against were trotted out, but the one that stuck with me was a simple one.

    Our Prime Minister at the time was a church-going Catholic who had strong personal misgivings about “redefining” marriage (as the debate was frame by some). The fact is the very idea of homosexuality in a nation where common-law is predicated upon Judeo-Christian moral is tricky for most people to navigate.

    However, after some reflection, he changed his mind, which led us down the path of a very contentious debate. Part of this was a political movement, but he did suggest that it was the will of the people he had to represent in this matter, not his personal morals.

    Anyway, the part that stuck out for me was his assertion that a true democracy is not /only/ about representing the will of the majority; it is also necessary to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority. That is, lawmakers have to sort out these grungy details precisely because the law must protect those who have no other protection. It is the very definition of a social democracy. Without this notion we may as well all give in to the de facto meritocracy-oligarchy that exists in most rich western states, and hope that one day the right to work, or marry or walk down the street or assemble peacefully isn’t slapped out of our hands because 51% of the voters (filtered through various representational modes, which is a rant for a whole different place) say it is so.

    And since Canada has already been bitten by the “equal, but distinct” clauses in our constitution, most lawmakers on either side of this debate were willing to attempt to hammer out a “civil union” disaster. It was just easier to give everyone full participatory rights, privileges and protection as citizens.

    Anyway, I often return to this notion (of democratic process and law being there to protect the people who need the most protection in our society) when confronted with one of these “freedom to, freedom from” arguments. As you can probably tell, I’m an old-school social democrat (urban western Canada flavour).

    I know I’m intellectualizing this a bit too much, though. The fact is that during the time the same-sex marriage debate was going on in Canada, only a scant majority was actually for it (based on polls, so you can draw your own conclusions on that). The same polls indicated that even though some percentage of people were not supportive of the idea of same-sex marriage, they honestly didn’t care which way the debate went because few thought it would actually affect their lives and marriages at all, and there were bigger fish to fry. That is, it turns out that your opinion on this debate was strongly aligned with your age, socio-economic place and geographical location within Canada, but many other separate issues were actually important to you.

    Many politicians understood this about their constituents, and voted accordingly.

    So, I guess I’m saying that framing this debate as a basic democratic, constitutional right and privilege (or not) is probably a completely intellectual thing. Even those who may disagree on principle may already feel that the point is moot anyway. Since law is based on splitting principles along the finest of hairs, we have to have this debate (it’s just too bad the the US has to have it 50 times or more) but I wonder how many people actually feel it has any direct impact on them?

    That being said, I hope you guys can negotiate these waters safely in the coming years. Be careful, or you’ll end up a shambles of social degradation like Canada, The Netherlands or Denmark.

    I can go on, can’t I?

  27. The law exists and has force, both in itself and in its effects in society.

    It’s quite clear you’re not a lawyer. Speak to a few experienced lawyers, or better yet, a few old judges. Most will readily tell you that the law is whatever the judge presiding says it is at that moment, regardless of whatever the written law or the case law might appear to state.

    To describe this as a “lazy solipsism” not worth taking seriously only demonstrates a fortuitous lack of knowledge of the American legal system. But, for example, consider the way in which many of the laws relating to the equity markets have magically proven to be not-laws in the USA and other nations in light of the rapid change in stock prices. It’s clear from this that law is both logically and empirically a fictional construct; it exists and has force only insofar as a sufficient number of people elect to abide by it and are willing to make others do so as well.

    I assume you’re against the idea of the Constitution, then? Or just the Bill of Rights?

    The idea? Not at all. The charade of them? Absolutely.

    Now, this does not have to have anything to do with what religion calls marriage. But sloppy thinkers will conflate the two.

    Completely true. State “marriage” is a contract between three parties establishing a corporation over which the state has jurisdiction, whereas an actual marriage is a contract between a man and a woman. California has explicitly stated as much: “This state is a party to every marriage contract of its own residents as well as the guardian of their morals.”

    Thus, it is a bit amusing to see smart non-Californians like John waxing indignant over what sort of corporations California decides it will or will not establish and to which it will or will not be a party. But we’re probably bordering on red pill territory here, so I’ll leave it at that.

  28. Seriously, I wonder how much it would cost — purely in the interest of full and reasoned comparison — to study at least one instance of each of the alternative cases. The medical and genetic trickery needed to produce one child of a female father and a male mother would cost a bundle, I’ll betcha.

    Actually, all you’d need to do is find a couple consisting of a transman and a transwoman, who had not given up their reproductive abilities.

  29. VD:

    “To describe this as a ‘lazy solipsism’ not worth taking seriously only demonstrates a fortuitous lack of knowledge of the American legal system.”

    Well no. It demonstrates that I think you’re being lazy and solipsistic in your description of the nature of the law, which is not the same thing. Neither are you a lawyer, since you bring that up as a relevant criterion, and if you want to play it that way I am equally able to point to nebulous lawyer and judge friends who would happily disagree with your lawyer and judge friends about the nature of law. My phantom lawyers and judges are just as good as yours if we’re going to use unsourced appeal to authority as a basis of argument. Better, even. My lawyer-and-judge-friend-fu is unstoppable.

    In any event, the intolerant schmucks who are fronting Prop 8 certainly believe that law is real and has consequence, which why they’re trying to change the law. Since the State of California will be obliged to agree with them, because it is a state of laws (and therefore as fictional, I suppose, as the law, which will no doubt come as a surprise to many Californians), it obliges those who would prefer not to have marriages destroyed by people not actually in those marriages to oppose such folk, and their ambition to change the law.

  30. What legalizing same-sex “marriage” actually does is force a huge swath of the citizenry to – in a sense – recognize a relationship they view as immoral.

    What outlawing same-sex civil marriage actually does is force a huge swath of the citizenry to – in a sense – adhere to the rules of a religion to which they do not belong.

    You’re arguing for religious law to be applied as civil law, and that’s simply not how we do things here.

    Unless you want to start banning the consumption of pork, shellfish, coffee, tea, alcohol and cheeseburgers and mandating circumcision, you really need to get away from the idea that your religion’s rules apply to anyone who does not subscribe to your religion.

    Your right to practice your own faith is in no way diminished by non-believers behaving in ways that are contrary to your faith’s rules. Jews get this. I’ve never seen a one setting up a protest at McDonald’s. Heck, even most Mormons get this. They’re not out picketing Starbucks, last I checked. And most Catholics are also smart enough to not go marching on city hall for allowing remarriage after divorce (though there are a few who seem to think they have the right to force Walgreens to stop distributing birth control pills.)

    Why can’t conservative Protestants understand that civil marriage works on the same principle?

    You may, if you wish, proselytize to non-believers and ask them to convert to your faith. But you don’t get to employ the rule of law as a conversion tool.

  31. Wow, what a bunch of huff and puff.

    Is fellating the state and blowing for its approval truly hold such sway over such an self-believing erudite crowd?

    Perhaps that is why I care so little for you self-professing intellectuals.

  32. Oh Please! Oh Please! Validate me State!

    For all that is Holy about St. Darwin of the Galapagos…

  33. Conan:

    Those comments are funny. The words make sentences, but the sentences don’t actually make sense! Guess you have to be a self-professing intellectual to be coherent.

  34. Sarah:

    I am also Canuckistani, and I invite you to do something simple for me.

    I agree, let’s get the government out of religious sacrament. Oh, it seems the word “marriage” is in way too many statutes to fix; and of course, if you do it anyway, all the married couples that only had a civil ceremony will no longer be “married”. You think they’re going to be happy about it? But I have a solution – stop me if you’ve heard it before…

    The state defines marriage as between two committed persons. Some people want to make that more restrictive; some churches, for instance. Okay, go ahead. We’ll even give you all the rights of real marriage (most of the time, in most cases, provided you don’t leave the province), just choose another name for it. “Religious Union”, for instance.

    See how hurt you are? You do that for others? Okay, so I’m not serious, there, but seriously, call your religious sacrament “gameos” – after all, that’s a much older word than “marriage”, and with much more significance to a reader of the Gospel.

    Sin? Hmm. So you want *legal* anathema for acting out behaviour that is against God’s Law? Really? “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Translating for genders (unless, Sarah, you’re a man), so, have you ever fantasized about George Clooney/Patrick Swayze/insert screen-hunk-of-choice here? Oh well, I guess you’re as sinful as the gays – according to that quote, which you might just recognize – whether they “choose to act” on their urges or not.

    “God loves us all anyways. If you can’t understand that, can’t wrap your head around it, or can’t accept it, then the problem is yours and not ours.” Ain’t that a good thing – because I’m a pretty hard-to-love guy. And I bet you’re pretty far away from perfect, too, and are certainly not going to get a lot of love here (although I will try). But it sure seems like a lot of people who are up in arms about this particular government acceptance of sin (funny, I don’t seem to hear much fight for congressional amendments against divorce, immodesty, women not wearing hats in church, or anything else except same-sex marriage) also talk a good love game, except when it comes to putting it into practise. So, as I say, ain’t it a good thing that God loves us all anyway. Because a lot of Christians sure don’t (if that sounds hypocritical, given the signature, well, I’m working on it). And God loves them (and me) too.

    It should be done democratically? Well, at least in California, *it was*. Twice. Twice the Governor said, in effect, “this is not something that can be changed by law, as it conflicts with Proposition 22, which may not be constitutional, but is currently law-by-voter-initiative. Go to the courts and get a ruling on that; either it is, in which case, your law can not stand, whether I signed it or not; or it isn’t, in which case there’s no need to sign it.” Guess what? The court found the restriction unconstitutional. If proper procedure of ALL THREE BRANCHES of the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED, or CONSTITUTIONALLY APPOINTED GOVERNMENT have decided that this is the way it should be, it sure as hell isn’t “undemocratic”. Oh, and funnily enough, during the time that One Man autocratically said “no, the will of the people as passed by both Houses of Legislature Will Not Be”, I didn’t hear anything about “legislation being created by the executive branch”. I wonder why?

    One final thing: whether or not you accept the word, if Prop 8 passes, among other people, George Takei and his partner would no longer be married; nor would many, many other legal marriages in California. If you support Prop 8, you are saying that that’s okay.

    I hate to say this here, but the above is not an undeniable fact – the California AG and at least one Constitutional Law Scholar have said that it would be impossible not to grandfather in the “May to December marriages” (sorry, I couldn’t resist). However, I’m sure any attempt to actually enforce grandfathering will be challenged in those “undemocratic courts”. Call me cynical.

    M. (member of the United Church of Canada (for those unfamiliar, the second largest denomination of Christianity in Canada, after the Catholics), practising in a congregation that married men and women to men or women well before the government accepted those marriages. And while my (straight) marriage isn’t doing so well right now, it has nothing to do with the many married gay couples in the world, or even in my congregation. Really it doesn’t).

  35. No John, I just get all bunged up about such moronic crap…And I don’t conflate myself as one such as many here seem to…The OMG! OMG! people don’t think like me so they must be soooo stupid and hateful.

    Such analysis is truly not amazing. People don’t have to HATE to disagree with you.

    Stop looking to the govt. to be your answer. That god can give just as well as it can take away. Why should the govt. be in the marriage business anyway? Seems like it ain’t any of their damn business in the first place. Simple thoughts really.

    Don’t seek the govt’s approval as it is a bitch of mistress.

    I guess someone stupid as myself is not as clogged with such high thoughts so as to see such simplicity.

    Live your life, and request not that govt. approve. You can find your way around the system…or you can wail and cover yourself in ashes.

    I don’t care, either way.

    I will not be forced to approve or disapprove. Why do feel you require it? Rhetorical…

    Don’t be such a drama queen.

  36. If the law and civil society either imaginary or immaterial to people’s religious views, then can we take away legal recognition of churches? E.g., no tax exemptions, no right to own property, no building permits, and so on?

    Fair’s fair, after all.

  37. correction:

    No John, I just DON’T get all bunged up about such moronic crap…

    probably other error…no preview feature. Oh well.

    And to add:
    This world would be a better place if people did not care.
    But it seems we are all about the caring…and the children…or correctness… or some other clap trap.

  38. #
    # Williamon 10 Oct 2008 at 10:30 pm

    If the law and civil society either imaginary or immaterial to people’s religious views, then can we take away legal recognition of churches? E.g., no tax exemptions, no right to own property, no building permits, and so on?

    Fair’s fair, after all.

    Now that is a good thought…and then we could be govt regulations out of the religious institutions and let them preach and teach without fear of govt. revoking their 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status.

    But you non/irreligous types might not like that muzzle and leash being removed.

  39. Please note that in Canada, same-sex marriage has been legal for three years by legislation, and in most of the country for five years by the courts deciding the laws against it were unconstitutional.

    That might last past next Tuesday, if we’re lucky and the Conservatives (who categorically deny they plan on doing this, please give us a majority) don’t get a majority.

  40. Oh, and John, just because someone doesn’t agree with you and you have a hard time understanding doesn’t mean that sense has not been made. Perhaps you evaluate yourself to highly. It would not be the first time someone did so. Or to repay you sweetness and light, perhaps next time I will s l o w d o w n m y t y p i n g.
    so you can keep up and all.

    Or better yet, wouldn’t the world be a better place if you could just force everybody to believe as you, our great philosopher-king.

  41. We’re celebrating here in CT tonight (I’m just about to head out to a GRF swing dance)! We never seem to get much attention for just quietly creeping ahead with progress on this issue, so it’s nice to see someone notice! There’s going to be an attempt at a constitutional change here, but locally people just don’t get too worked up about these things, and even our (anti-marriage-equality but pro-civil union) Republican Governor doesn’t think it’s going anywhere.

    I’m with Robert @ #31 in being someone who would actually prefer to remove government from marriage entirely, but since that’s unlikely would at least like the special rights extended to all. I doubt we’ll get them for poly marriage in my lifetime, though.

    I do have one question: can anyone provide a definitive legal answer on whether Prop 8 would annul existing marriages? California AG Jerry Brown said back in the summer that it would not. I’m seeing a lot of this particular argument, and agree that it would be a heinous occurrence, but is it true?

    (Prop 8 should be defeated regardless, of course; no argument there.)

  42. SarahtheCanucki:

    You are arguing that “marriage” is a religious term that government cannot define, yet legalized same-sex marriage would force a definition of marriage offensive to you down your throat.

    There’s a contradiction here. If government can’t declare what is and isn’t a marriage, if it’s immaterial, why do you care what it says about same-sex marriage? You already consider the government opinion of what’s a marriage irrelevant. You can just go on doing that. (See Catholics, divorce and remarriage).

    Also, if it’s about “marriage” and not legalities and the government, why do so many of the anti-samesex marriage amendments and legislation have language like “and all the accouterments thereof” blocking things like civil unions?

  43. Conan:

    “People don’t have to HATE to disagree with you.”

    I’m not aware of saying they do. I said it’s hateful to destroy marriages that already exist. Two different things.

    “Oh, and John, just because someone doesn’t agree with you and you have a hard time understanding doesn’t mean that sense has not been made.”

    I didn’t suggest so. I said you weren’t making sense. Once again, two different things. A rather large number of people here disagree with me and do it cogently and without appearing as if they’re vomiting up talking points, badly. You haven’t been one of them so far.

    I really enjoy being lectured by people who drop in and shit all over the place and think it means they’re being clever.

    You argue poorly, and your snark is pedestrian and uninspiring. Do better or go away.

  44. California does not have a law that makes same-sex marriage legal. It had a law that excluded same-sex relationships from the definition of marriage, which was struck down by a one-vote-margin court decision.

    In New Jersey when the supreme court there decided same-sex relationships needed to not be discriminated against according to the New Jersey constitution, they didn’t just make up a law on the spot. They sent it to the constitutionally provided lawmaking body, the state legislature, to decide what to do about it. That is what California’s and Connecticut’s courts should have done instead of saying that something that had no recognition under law for the entire history of the U.S. was suddenly legal because when the people found it was necessary to spell out what the definition of marriage was, they didn’t do so carefully enough (by making it a constitutional initiative in the first place).

    I personally strongly believe that marriage is a moral issue, but at the same time legislating from the bench is a serious legal issue in our country that needs to be addressed.

  45. As a citizen of California and an ordained minister, I say to hell with Prop 8. To hell with nullifying my friends’ marriages. To hell with mucking about with my state’s constitution. And to hell with those stupid, stupid ads. For all that money they’re pouring into this thing, can’t they find better writing?

    If you can, give some cash, make some calls, write some letters, and, for the love of all that’s good and right, vote this stupid thing down.

  46. —Also, the court in California could have chosen, when they made their decision, to wait on implementation until the constitutional initiative came up for its vote, since it was already headed there. Instead, they purposely short-circuited the process.

  47. #
    # John Scalzion 10 Oct 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I really enjoy being lectured by people who drop in and shit all over the place and think it means they’re being clever.

    You argue poorly, and your snark is pedestrian and uninspiring. Do better or go away.

    Yes, because the canard you raise in this post is so very compelling. It is as if those that wish to can’t st up powers of attorney, inheritance, or other such crap that seem to be deemed so special and important. A canard rose by any other name…

    I do not snark, you do but seem to be to be offended by those that call you out for that you espouse.

    As you call and claim..Whatever.

    Excuse me for not being a sycophant that joins in your group-think idiocy.

    You may impress some, but I find you ever so pedestrian, aka boring.

    But please do continue to consider yourself special.

    Your expansive pandering will always endear you to the lesser of thought. You are so enlightened and have provided such logical, insightful, and pointed response to me that I can’t help but be convinced of your arguments. I must bow out to you, oh great philospher king. /sarcasm.

    No wonder modern/recent sci-fi sux…. Frank Herbert and Robert A. Heinlein need not worry in their graves. Only Rampant Incompetence have followed them.

    Let the group-think of neo-utopians/marxists reign. May they rule us in perpetuity with their generous wisdom. We must all bow down and worship their wondrous Brave New world.

    Let the future come and the great fear of independent thought that destroy all that dare challenge it.

    Thank you of merciful tyrant and benevolence you bestow upon us all.

  48. SarahtheCanuki:
    Morally – since same-sex marriage doesn’t actually exist and can’t magically exist just because a government or some of you wish it to, your point makes no sense.

    Please allow me to disagree.

    There is nothing imaginary about my state of Massachusetts legally recognized same-sex marriage.

    There was nothing imaginary about my same-sex marriage before Massachusetts got around to recognizing it–there are faiths that have been performing gay and lesbian marriages for quite some time (some are even Christian. I notice your argument doesn’t mind disenfranchising these religious citizens, myself included.)

    Yes, the legal status of our relationship offers rights and protections that are crucially important and I worry about my friends in other states for whom such things do not exist.

    But a vow to love and cherish, in good times and bad, forsaking all others…the definition of marriage is right there in the ceremony and, frankly, neither any state nor any church has the ability to keep me and mine from making these vows to each other, sanctioned or not.

    Laura:

    I think the issue is not at all about the consenting adults, but rather the kids. As much progress has been made, I’d hazard it’s safe to say that it’s still a pretty hostile world for most gay and lesbian teens.

    The institution of marriage is highly valued and also perfectly ordinary. If kids (all kids) grow up thinking it is okay for people of the same sex to marry, it follows that they will think it is okay for people of the same sex to love each other in the first place.

    This is why I have exactly no patience for those on the other side of this issue demanding to be treated with civility and respect–apparently, they’re unaware that such niceties already seem fundamentally absent to those of us whose lives are actually at stake.

  49. #58 “The institution of marriage is highly valued and also perfectly ordinary. If kids (all kids) grow up thinking it is okay for people of the same sex to marry, it follows that they will think it is okay for people of the same sex to love each other in the first place.”

    For those of us that believe homosexual relations to be a sin, that’s our point exactly, and it’s one reason it’s so hard to have any reasonable debate between the two sides. If it is a sin, then legalizing it makes it more likely that our children will be tempted by something that seems so ordinary and acceptable. If it’s not a sin, and is simply distasteful to a segmant of the population then why should anybody have a problem with what other people do?

    I have a problem with your use of the word disenfranchise though. You get to have a vote on Proposition 8 just like everybody else. It’s the judges ignoring all those votes that disenfranchises people.

    #41 “funny, I don’t seem to hear much fight for congressional amendments against divorce, immodesty…”

    The reason you don’t hear about that is because churches are still free to preach against those sins (and they do) without being sued for “hate speach.” Many churches have been fighting a downhill battle against the decline of traditional marriage in this country since long before the same-sex issue came into it, (Here, I’m talking about divorce, fornication, adultery, having children out of wedlock, child and spouse abuse, etc) and will continue to do so because even if they cannot convince society at large that such choices lead to unhappiness on a grand scale (and here I’m not talking about divorces due to abuse), they can convince individuals to make better choices.

  50. Saying gays should not be able to marry is bigotry.

    Couch it in whatever terms you wish – if you are against gays marrying you are a bigot.

    It is indeed hatred that is pushing this Proposition forward. Thank you, John, for pointing that out.

    For anyone else saying “marriage is an illusion” and “government should not be involved in marriage” and a bunch of other crap – that is not the argument and you are only clouding the issue. The issue is, since government validates marriage using forms and stamps and a fee, can they deny it to certain people because they are marrying someone of the same sex.

    If you say “Why, no. When two consenting adults decide to marry, it is no one’s business but theirs to enter into that contract, so the government needs to protect them just like they protected my Uncle Harry when he married that woman he met in Vegas at the craps table on the same night he met her,” then you are what being a human being is all about.

    If you say “Yes! Don’t let those fags marry cause they’ll be doing the buttseks and I can’t have that in the house next to mine even though I can’t see it and I’m not doing it and it has nothing to do with me!” then you are a bigot.

    I hope this helps.

  51. Saying gays should not be able to marry is bigotry. Couch it in whatever terms you wish – if you are against gays marrying you are a bigot.

    No, calling people names simply because they don’t believe what you believe is bigotry. Celebrating metaphorical kicks in the head to those who don’t believe what you believe is bigotry. Calling for the criminalization of those exercising their political rights in opposition to what you believe… well, that’s just the usual liberal fascism. Simply repeating “bigotry, bigotry” while demonstrating bigoted behavior is not exactly the most convincing approach.

    What traditionalists are saying is that gays CANNOT marry. Homogamists are attempting to forcibly redefine a concept that has been clearly defined and understood for thousands of years; two men can no more marry than a fish can be a squirrel. You could make a much stronger case for polygamy.

    The issue is, since government validates marriage using forms and stamps and a fee, can they deny it to certain people because they are marrying someone of the same sex.

    That’s not the issue at all; you clearly haven’t understood it. Government does not validate state marriage, government creates a special exemption and becomes a party to the tripartite entity it creates with the marriage license. As a party to that new entity, it can reasonably deny its license to anyone it deems fitting, especially given that it explicitly claims jurisdiction over all such entities. If “marriage” is a government prerogative, then government can do whatever it chooses, discriminating by age, sex, income level, blood condition, or any of the myriad ways in which government currently discriminates.

    The constitutional argument for homogamy is particularly illogical in light of the history of marriage licenses in America. But then, as previously stated, it’s a fictional construct anyhow.

  52. “No, calling people names simply because they don’t believe what you believe is bigotry. Celebrating metaphorical kicks in the head to those who don’t believe what you believe is bigotry. Calling for the criminalization of those exercising their political rights in opposition to what you believe… well, that’s just the usual liberal fascism. Simply repeating “bigotry, bigotry” while demonstrating bigoted behavior is not exactly the most convincing approach.”

    Just because one does not like the label they paint themselves with doesn’t mean no one else should use it – if you wish to stop someone from engaging in an activity you are able to engage in simply because they think/act differently than you, you are engaging in bigotry.

    If you don’t see that, maybe you should look a little harder.

    Besides, John has already pointed out the errors in the argument about marriage being a “fictional construct” or some sort of tripartite entity – besides, that is just more obfuscation.

    This is simple – should consenting adults, in this case two of them, be allowed to all have the same rights when it comes to marriage. That is the only issue. Any answer other than “Yes, they should.” is bigotry.

  53. Oh BTW, (and sorry for the multiple posts) – I don’t really expect my comment to change minds, much like any other commenter on here. I’m just tired of seeing people dance around the truth by using some sort of moral argument or a philosophical discussion of law or some fictional studies about endangering kids.

    By brother is gay. I am bi, as is my wife. (Yes, a woman.) Anyone telling any of us we cannot marry whomever we please as long as they are consenting adults is a horrible person. I refuse to mince words about this. However, as I have pretty much said my piece, I’ll only be lurking on this issue from now on. Enjoy tearing me apart, Vox or whomever.

  54. A similar ballot initiative in Florida is polling to pass. Ironically, the move to constitutionally prohibit same-sex marriage is on the same ballot as a constitutional amendment to clear old text prohibiting foreigners “ineligible for citizenship” (meaning Asians, back in the early 20th c. they were banned from applying for citizenship) from owning real estate in the state. So while one group is attempting to remove bigotry ensrhined in state law, another group is attempting to expand it. N.B. – since there are no foreigners “ineligible for citizenship” anymore, the one initiative is purely symbolic from a legal point of view. Can’t say as much for the anti-gay marriage initiative.

    I’ve been saying for a while that the only way out of this mess is to get government out of the religious “marriage” business, and ONLY license civil unions for any couple that wants to. In fact I’d like to see it go sort of in the direction of marriage in “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, in order to bring back the benefits of an extended family.

    But the main point is that if the state isn’t licensing marriages to ANYONE, then the “sanctity of marriage” argument is completely irrelevant. The state licenses civil unions with the corresponding legal rights and responsibilities. The couple can marry in the church of their choice, but gain no legal rights from such an action. Churches are free to prohibit same-sex marriage or to allow whatever type of marriage within their adherents, as long as it didn’t violate laws like statutory rape, which would apply regardless of religion.

  55. Corby KennardExactly why is saying that “the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage” crap? It’s a legitimate question of separating church and state. The laws in this area were developed based on the assumption that marriage WAS a “one man/one woman” relationship, simply because the concept of gay marriage was completely outside the cultural references of the time in both the religious and civil realms.

    The problem we are having now is that the assumptions on which our legal system of marriage is based are no longer valid. Religions are also split on what marriage should be. But because the legal system is premised on the word “marriage”, it becomes a buzz-word for the churches that continue to believe in “one man, one woman”, and raises a false specter of government interference in religion.

    The whole anti-gay marriage argument is premised on conflating the legal marriage performed by the government licensing process with the religious marriage performed by the church. The argument then goes that allowing gays to marry interferes with religion X’s supposed freedom to discriminate against them. To me, getting the government out of the marriage business is simply the most expedient way of resolving the argument without getting everyone even more pissed off. And it’s starting to look like an awful lot of us are going to be relying on “the kindness of strangers” over the coming years, so mending rifts in our society is a pretty high priority right now.

    If you grant the same legal rights that are currently granted by a “marriage” license, but call it something else FOR EVERYONE, a) there is no double-standard between homo and hetero, b) it eliminates any argument, no matter how far-fetched, that the sanctity of an anti-gay church’s marriage ceremony is in any way tainted by the government licensing policy and c) it’s a small step to restoring the constitutional separation of church and state in the US.

    So disagree with the idea of renaming government “marriage” if you want, but calling it crap without any logic or explanation behind it is just white noise, mudslinging, and/or BS.

  56. Sorry about the multi-posts…
    origamikaren
    Whether same-sex marriage is a sin is a matter for your church to decide, but since other churches are in disagreement about this issue, it is not an area where the government should impose one church’s particular view over another. Since some churches say “yes” while other churches say “no”, the government can’t choose either option for legal “marriage” without appearing to interfere with religious rights on either side. Hence my earlier posts.

    As for the “for the children” argument, where’s Bill Maher when you need him? You want snark? He can get it for you wholesale. Especially when the religious go into “for the children” mode.

    I’ll try to act as a harmless but inadequate substitute. One of the great dangers of faith is that the “universal truth” espoused in any particular faith is not seen that way by the entire world. It doesn’t mean your church isn’t right, it just means that no one on earth can know except by faith, and faith has led different people to different answers.

    While your church views same-sex marriage as a sin and something that children should never be exposed to, not everyone agrees, even among the religious. And here’s a news-flash: It’s NONE of you or your church’s GODDAMN BUSINESS what people outside your church are doing!

    They aren’t your children, they aren’t being abused or mistreated any more than children in hetero marriages, and most importantly, children of homosexuals do not necessarily grow up to BE homosexuals. In fact, your church probably has even more opportunity to brainwash the disaffected teen-age children of same-sex marriages than it does of hetero marriages.

    When teenagers rebel against their same-sex parents they will look to move as far away in core beliefs as possible. What could be farther away from their parents’ values than your church? So please view this as a marketing opportunity for your church, rather than another long step in society’s descent into sin and depravity.

  57. John
    Why are YOU conflating secular and religious marriage?

    And on a side note, if the government DID get out of the marriage business and started issuing “civil union licenses” to everyone, perhaps even doing this retroactively for prior marriage licenses, would you view this as destructive of your marriage? I don’t see how you could, since the nature of your relationship with your wife is still sanctioned by law (and presumably the church of your choice) in the same way it was before, but your post seems to imply it.

  58. origamikaren:

    Please give one example of a church being successfully sued for hate speech in the United States.

    Also, “we’re supporting anti-gay marriage legislation because people are mean to us about it” is not exactly the most mature position.

  59. Conan@57:

    Your post is so very much the typical “new person with no idea about the site shows up and makes an ass of himself” post that I think I’ll probably use it as an example of the form for future folks who, like you, think they are roiling the waters just by showing up. I mean, it’s just perfect. Thanks for that.

    In the meantime, be assured I’ll give your opinion of me exactly the consideration I feel it deserves. I also think you should read the comment policy, as it’s pretty clear you have not.

    Bozo the Clone:

    “Sorry about the multi-posts…”

    Normally I tell people to put responses to multiple posts into a single post but your posts were so long I don’t know that that would have been advisable. So my advice to you specifically is to reply more concisely and then put it all in a single post.

    “Why are YOU conflating secular and religious marriage? ”

    I’m not.

    As for your second question, the possibility of the government getting out of the marriage business is so close to zero that I don’t find it useful or interesting to speculate about, nor is it relevant in the real-world case of Prop 8 (or, for that matter, with what just happened in Connecticut).

  60. origamikaren:

    “I have a problem with your use of disenfranchise”

    You’re right–I wasn’t paying close attention to my terms when I echoed SarahtheCanuki’s original line, because I was busy being cranky about her insistence that “religious” folks are the ones being infringed upon here, as if all religious folks agree.

    I am a religious person. I am also a lesbian. The two are in no way mutually exclusive.

    As for your worry about your children–I worry, too. In my experience, kids don’t “become gay” because they knew it was acceptable. (I grew up in the burbs, my wife in a small town, my best friend, a gay man, in rural Alabama. In the ’70s. I can assure you no one told us any such thing.) But gay kids do grow up and I’d like to see the world be a safer, healthier, saner place for them to do it.

  61. Strech, you posed a question in #72
    ” Please give one example of a church being successfully sued for hate speech in the United States ”

    Howzabout our friends at Westboro Baptist Church, or don’t you count that, as they were sued for invasion of privacy and intent to inflict emotional distress?

  62. Hugh:

    As a technical matter, I think if they’re not actually sued specifically for speech issues, they ought not count. The charges you note they were sued for can be separated out from speech issues (invasion of privacy certainly and emotional distress more arguably).

  63. I don’t mean to entirely conflate sex with reproduction (as Heinlein squicked at times) but, in the context of overpopulation, shouldn’t governments consider banning heterosexual marriages?

  64. I think what has most opponents of gay marriage upset is that in all three states (Massachusetts, California, and now Connecticut), the changes allowing it have come as rulings from the bench. They see it as activist judges overstepping their authority.

  65. Inasmuch as “Activist Judge” is generally code for “judges who make rulings I don’t like because I have absolutely no understanding of the remit of judicial review,” I have little sympathy for these folks.

    Indeed, “Activist Judge” is one of those phrases, like “Teach the controversy,” that immediately lets you know that the person using it is probably profoundly ignorant on the subject on which they are currently holding forth.

  66. 75:

    Several charges were dropped against Westboro due to first amendment issues; both of the charges you state are content-neutral and are not “hate speech” charges. (And they’re certainly not for simple preaching).

    Now, there does exist an argument that “emotional distress”, like harassment laws, can be used as a stalking horse for prosecuting unpopular speech. This doesn’t mean that is happening in the Phelps case, nor does it mean emotional distress and harassment laws are illegitimate or restrict speech. (If you could point me at details of the WBC case, I’d be grateful; I can’t find more than general news stories. Mind you, the idea that Fred Phelps isn’t trying to cause emotional distress on some level is somewhat questionable.)

    78:

    Indeed, Massachusetts was so terribly offended by the activist judges they failed to even get 25% of the legislature to back them up in the second vote, after being able to voice their opinion of their legislators’ first votes.

    I also assume those that are terribly upset by activist judges consider Loving vs Virginia one of the worst decisions in history because it forced the 1967 legalization of a practice that 72% of the population opposed at the time, and that didn’t get majority support until 1991.

  67. Judicial review is fine. But it appears to me that some judges have gone way beyond the role of review, and are creating laws from the bench. And it seems to me that the backers of Proposition 8 feel that they are trying to undo something which never should have been done in the first place. (I don’t live in California, so this is all based on what I’ve seen in the news.)

  68. In the California case, Johnny, since the governor vetoed two attempts by the legislature to legalize same-sex marriage because he wanted to hear what the California Supreme Court had to say about pending cases on the matter, it’s difficult to see how the judiciary might have overstepped its bounds.

  69. Besides, John has already pointed out the errors in the argument about marriage being a “fictional construct” or some sort of tripartite entity – besides, that is just more obfuscation.

    John took exception to my assertion of the malleable nature of the law but he pointed out no errors in it. There is no error in the argument about state-licensed marriage being a tripartite entity and John wisely did not dispute that since it’s a straightforward and easily verifiable fact.

    Noting the tripartite nature of state-licensed marriage is not obfuscation and it is far more relevant to the issue than all the emoting about horrible people you don’t like and committed, loving relationships. Since the state is a party to the tripartite contract, it obviously has the right to decide with whom it contracts.

    State-licensed unions and religious marriage should be two entirely different things. Now, if you want the state to license and exercise jurisdiction over your loving, committed relationship with two men, three women, and a golden retriever, that’s your business and I could not care less. But, so long as the state insists on encroaching upon historically religious matters, the religious majority will tend to dictate the forms despite the political machinations of the interested minority.

    Remember, separation of church and state is supposed to cut both ways. This issue is a very good example of why it’s an worthwhile principle for society.

  70. Vox:

    “There is no error in the argument about state-licensed marriage being a tripartite entity and John wisely did not dispute that since it’s a straightforward and easily verifiable fact.”

    I have no disgreement with the idea that the state is a party in marriage contracts, but to be clear, in a general sense, my not commenting on something someone says here should not necessarily imply agreement on my part with that statement. I have lots of reasons for not commenting on stuff here, not limited to lack of interest, lack of time, being away from the computer, and confidence that someone else will come along and argue the point. My not commenting on something simply means I haven’t commented on it.

  71. But, so long as the state insists on encroaching upon historically religious matters

    The appropriate response, then, would be for the anti-same-sex-marriage folks to insist that the State get out of the historically religious institution of marriage entirely. It’s nonsense to pretend that the government is not “encroaching upon historically religious matters” when it sanctions no-fault divorce or the equality of spouses under the law, but is stepping on the Church’s hem when it allows two men to marry.

    Johnny, the idea that the same-sex marriage decision was “judicial activism” is a lie, unless you believe that Marbury v. Madison was an unspeakable wrong that must be undone. The CA Supremes did exactly what they were supposed to do: determine whether or not a law conflicted with the state’s Constitution. John’s comment in @79 is completely correct.

  72. how about this…
    -society serves itself
    -hetero, reproducing couples propagate society
    -society, to assist propagation of itself, will give perks and bennies to those who contribute to society
    -gays dont reproduce
    -society should not reward behavior that does not benefit society itself

  73. Sean, when you master the concept that gays do reproduce, you can go tackle Logic 101, then try again.

  74. Sean, why on Earth do you believe that random reproduction benefits society?

    What is this “reproduction” you speak of, anyway? Is it the condomless, death by over-birth, children-on-the-street, nineteenth-century, industrial revolution reproduction? If that “served society” the pill would be outlawed and women wouldn’t be allowed to study, ’cause you know, all those years in college would be better spent cranking another loaf out of the oven.

    And as mythago points out, gays have nothing wrong with their fertility other than natural in-built birth control.

  75. which part of the homosexual act results in a child?
    and yes, gays do reproduce, HETEROSEXUALLY.

    A family unit-male, female, and offspring is how propagation happens…hey, mythago do you want to debate ideas or semantics, ’cause you’ll see the real world doesn’t give a flying ‘f’ about fallacious arguments, they care about and reward fact.
    btw, if you don’t want to argue religion in the gay discussion, then, just to keep up, argue your side without emotion….

  76. hey sara, i thought we weren’t supposed to bring up eugenics when discussing reproduction, if you have a problem with its ‘random’ nature…

  77. Sean:

    “the real world doesn’t give a flying ‘f’ about fallacious arguments, they care about and reward fact.”

    Inasmuch as reproduction (or intent thereof) is not a requirement for marriage here in the US for anyone, and indeed your entire argument is thus the very definition of “fallacious,” the fact you write this is delightfully ironic.

    This argument is completely idiotic at its root, Sean, and since it’s not actually useful in any way, I’m going to tell you to stop trying to make it here. Come back when you have an argument rooted in reality.

    Additionally, you’re beginning to smell trollish (well, more than you did before). Try not to.

  78. I could buy sean’s argument if he only followed it through to its logical conclusion; I will help him out with a modest proposal:

    1. No one should marry unless they have already reproduced together to prove fertility and intent to use it; couples too old to reproduce or infertile should not be permitted to marry at all. Hets who aren’t breeders are no better than gays!

    2. Should one’s children die, divorce is mandated unless another child is produced within nine months. Let’s not be sentimental here; society’s interest is in propagating itself, and dead kids do not produce grandchildren.

    3. Divorce is automatic on the day one’s youngest child turns 21. We can’t have people who aren’t actively parenting freeloading on society with all those perks and bennies!

    4. Poly marriage is permissible provided there is reproduction going on among all possible combinations.

    Did I miss anything?

  79. Sean, conflating birth control with eugenics is so freaking random I almost didn’t even bother to point it out.

    I can imagine a myriad homosexual acts resulting in a child. Admittedly, most of these involve cups, turkey basters, and other more standard toys.

  80. [Deleted because people apparently don't listen when they are told to stop, and that's not how things work here -- JS]

  81. Being gay is not a choice, but even if was freely chosen and could be freely abandoned, what difference does that make? Religion is a choice, but discrimination based on religion is still outlawed. It’s changeable. Many people change every day. If it was not changeable, the single biggest contributor to “yes on 8″ in California would be wasting massive amounts of time and trouble sending missionaries out to change people.

    Marital status is a protected status, and yet it is changeable and freely chosen. Nearly everyone changes marital status at least once.

    If the determining factor for equal protections is that a characteristic must be inborn and unchageable, the all protections based on religion and marital status must be immediately appealde.

    To a certain few, who the hell cares if you don’t want to hear about gay relationships. And don’t tell me you don’t flaunt it. I absolutely WILL NOT agree that a picture of a boyfriend on a man’s desk is flaunting, but a picture of a boyfriend on a woman’s desk is right and proper.

  82. Anyone who wants government “out of the historically religious institution of marriage” really needs some remedial history lessons.

    Meanwhile, speaking as a devoutly religious person, I note that my nicely orthodox religious position is that marriage is a contract no more special to the divine than a loan, a will, or any other legal arrangement, and equally subject to judiciary oversight for enforcement.

    Your god wants bonus provisions on your legal contract? That’s your cross to bear.

  83. Mr. Scalzi,

    Marriage is a union of man and woman. Period. The best the state can do, then, is recognize and support it.

    But what if, as in Connecticut’s supreme court, the state feels it can go outside this principle? I suppose they can. Just as they could issue a ruling that declared that cats shall bark and dogs shall meow. Or that summer shall be cold and winter hot.

    Further, the state legislature could participate in the charade, pass a law to that effect, and the governor could then sign it. The citizens, too, could pretend that that were so: wear heavy coats in July and short-sleeved shirts and short pants in January.

    All that would be an excercize in solemn foolery, just as homosexual marriage. It would change nothing.

  84. Mark Slater:

    “Marriage is a union of man and woman. Period.”

    You’re wrong. Period.

    I do so love it when the ignorant and the homophobic make flybys to the site.

  85. It would change nothing.

    Geez, then why all the fuss? Go ahead and let the queers marry, since it will “change nothing”; it’s as harmless as other people wearing shorts in January, isn’t it?

    One wonders why they make all this fuss about same-sex marriage if the government’s actions are so meaningless to the essential nature of marriage.

  86. Slater: Marriage is a union of man and woman.

    Scazi: No, it isn’t.

    Slater: Yes it is.

    Scazi: No it isn’t. …. etc.

    Pity that’s as far as your argument goes.

    Mythago: “One wonders why they make all this fuss about same-sex marriage if the government’s actions are so meaningless to the essential nature of marriage.”

    Well, as for myself, I just like to see government actions correspond with reality.

  87. Mark Slater:

    “Pity that’s as far as your argument goes.”

    It’s not required to go any further because your statement is false on its face. You’re not entitled to your own facts, Mr. Slater, and the fact is same-sex marriage exists, both here in the United States and in several countries around the world. Your definition of “reality” does not appear to include reality in it. It’s clearly your opinion that marriage is a man/woman thing, but your opinion does not change the fact that’s not the only option.

    When you want to make an argument that warrants a more expansive response than “you’re wrong,” you let me know. Until that time, try not to be disappointed that your flatly wrong statement merits no more consideration than that.

    To encourage you on the matter, any further statements by you asserting as fact that marriage is only between a man and a woman, or alternately that same-sex marriage does not exist, will simply be deleted. Why? Because I find postings from people who can’t handle reality annoying and sad, and I don’t want them cluttering up my site. That said, I would be happy to entertain a reality-based line of argument from you.

    I will note I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time in this thread having to smack down people whose conceptions of what marriage actually is and how it works are varying degrees of incorrect, ranging from “flatly wrong” to “offensively wrong.” It’s a little wearying.

  88. “It’s not required to go any further because your statement is false on its face. You’re not entitled to your own facts, Mr. Slater, and the fact is same-sex marriage exists, both here in the United States in several countries around the world.”

    That, Mr. Scazi, is abundantly clear. You have failed, however, to explain *why* Homosexual marriage exists. Because various governments have said that it does? Have not whole governments lied either now or in the past?

    Should I have believed Imperial Japan when it declared they were peaceful? Or our own government when they declared that Iraq was a great threat possesed with weapons of mass destruction?

    Government, in Connecticut or anywhere else, does not have the power to bring to existence that which cannot be.

  89. Vox @83

    OK, I’ll admit I misconstrued Scalzi on the contract thing. I was imagining his comment about the error in your law argument extended – Apparently not.

    Although, with his answer, he didn’t expressly state he agreed – so there you go.

    Out. (Again.)

  90. Mark Slater:

    “Government, in Connecticut or anywhere else, does not have the power to bring to existence that which cannot be.”

    Then obviously same-sex marriage can be, since governments can and do sanction them.

    That’s sorted.

    Mr. Slater, your apparent argument that because governments have lied about other, unrelated things, we are not to believe that the same-sex marriages they sanction are real and legal, is full of dumb. It is a different sort of dumb than your initial dumb statement in thread, but it’s still dumb. Please stop filling my comment thread with your dumb. I’ve tired of it already.

    Which is to say, you no longer have posting privileges on this particular thread. Further posts from you on this thread will be deleted. You are welcome to comment on other threads, however, if you choose, so long as you stick to the topic of the thread. Try to avoid making dumb arguments on them.

  91. Well, as for myself, I just like to see government actions correspond with reality.

    Would you be encouraging your fellow travelers to spend millions of dollars to overturn a government proclamation that January is a warm month?

    John, I know you already know this, but to put it out there for the Marks of the world: the dumb in question is the pretense that “MARRIAGE” is some kind of unchanging, Platonic ideal of a thing that cannot be altered by human agency. They are mentally incapable of or unwilling to understand that (at least in the US) marriage is a legal status conferred by law, and the law is not a Platonic, ideal of a thing that cannot be altered by human agency.

    Consider what happens if you meet the requirements of marriage as set out by your faith, but not as set out by your government. The State of California doesn’t give two rips if your union was appropriately blessed and you fulfilled all the sacraments; if you didn’t obtain a valid marriage license, you’re not married. On the other hand, if you did get all the paperwork in order, the State of California is never going to send you a letter saying “We’re sorry, but it has come to our attention that you were a convert to Judaism and your husband is a kohen, so your marriage is invalid.”

  92. Wow. Very exciting conversation.

    As a gay person who was married in California on 08/08/08, I appreciate the attention and recognition on the site for how dangerous Proposition 8 is.

  93. As a religious person, I’ll note that my denomination (The Episcopal Church) has only two sacraments that are considered necessary for the faithful: Baptism and the Eucharist.

    Hmmm…anyone see something missing there ?

    I’d also like to see any religious commenters acknowledge that there is a difference between marriage and “holy matrimony.” Marriage is a state that is defined by civil law. Change the law, change the definition of marriage. Simple.

    Holy matrimony is defined in various ways by different churches. And no one in Calif., Conn., or anywhere else is saying there’s a realistic chance that the state will try to legislate religious practices. If you do hear this, your first thought should be: red herring (or perhaps, bullshit).

    David
    Who is straight, but not narrow, and religious, but not a jerk about it. Matter of fact, I think there’s someplace in the Bible where Jesus tells me not to be an asshole. Probably somewhere in Matthew… ;)

  94. If the proposition 8 crowd can’t handle being called bigots, that’s rather too bad for them. It’s still going to keep happening. If they had a problem with the proposition that someone was going to take up arms and force actual churches to change doctrine and ceremony, they’d have a point.

    But that’s not what they’re saying. The prop 8 crowd is actually lying in order to decide what the state, not the churches are allowed to recognize as a marriage. So if someone’s in favor for prop 8, I suppose there’s always the chance that they are complete and total morons who got suckered into believing a transparent lie, and not bigots.

    California *had* a legal proposition granting same sex marriage rights. It was not signed by the Governor, specifically because he said it was a question for the courts. So for anyone paying attention, and not engaging in liberal baiting, this was decided both by the legislative, the judicial, and the executive branches. What we’re seeing now is a new, fear and lie based campaign to overturn all of that work. If you pump enough money into a lie, you’ll get a large number of either idiots or bigots turned out to support it. This is nothing new in human history.

    I don’t always like the result, and the California proposition system is incredibly stupid,, but overall, I prefer a constitutional representative democratic republic to the alternatives. And of course, if it passes, we can always overturn prop 8 another year.

  95. What lies are you referring to? We (Proposition 8 supporters) are saying same-sex marriage will be taught in elementary schools as a normal practice. Do you think that won’t happen? Many people in this thread will be perfectly happy with it, judging by the responses. I am not. If the proposition fails, it fails, but I’m glad I get a chance to vote on it.

    My previous boss is gay, my previous coworker is a lesbian, and my friend’s girlfriend’s twin is bisexual. I know at least my friend and his girlfriend have a big “no on prop 8″ sign, and I assume the others, who I always got along with very well, will also be voting no. But even though I am all for things like hospital visitation rights and inheritance rights, I must vote on this issue according to my beliefs about what is best for this culture and this country.

    Who am I to say what is best? I’m just a member of society, the same as anyone else, and I have a voice like everyone else. I want the world to be a place where it’s easier, not harder, for my daughter (and anyone else I don’t happen to be related to) to live a moral life. No, I don’t expect that passing the proposition will solve the issue forever. Society will have to be changed from the inside, one family at a time. Maybe it won’t happen, and society will just continue on the path to amorality. It wouldn’t surprise me. But voting yes is one thing I can do to make my voice heard.

    My best friend from eighth grade later became known as gay. When I was a sophomore in high school choir, there were some very popular gay seniors, and a freshman boy looked very similar to one of the seniors. People started treating him (in a positive way) as if he were gay too. Within two years, he was. A complete coincidence? Maybe. I saw him five years later at BYU—where I’d never expected to see him—and he told me how when his family had moved away from that town his last year in high school, he fell in with a different crowd and stopped living a homosexual life.

    I don’t expect someone with a different background from me to understand where I’m coming from, but I do not hate gay people. I don’t hate anyone. I find lying extremely distasteful and too often hurtful, so I don’t do it—even white lies. I was picked on throughout school, which taught me a healthy dislike for belittling anyone, even in jest. I don’t do it. But I believe homosexual sex is wrong, because of the integral nature of the traditional family in how God sends his spirit children to earth to learn and grow. What people choose to do in their bedrooms, whether or not they believe as I believe, is their own business, but whether or not marriage in the state I live in should be defined to include same-sex couples is something that will affect my daughter and my daughter’s peers, and generations to come, so it’s something I have to speak about.

    If I did not have personal reasons to believe as I do, the arguments supporting letting everyone live their own lives as they feel best would be quite compelling—indeed, I believe the way I do largely because the freedom to choose one’s actions is a central concept of the faith I follow. Yet the question of same-sex marriage is about a fundamental societal change that contradicts—or rather, if what I believe were said to have three central concepts, it contradicts another of the three.

    Children have a right to be born into a family with a loving mother and father. Passing proposition 8 would go only a very, very small way toward protecting that right for all children; it’s a right that society has been eroding for decades, and it will take decades to restore, if its restoration is possible. But it’s a right worth fighting for.

  96. Peter Ahlstrom:

    “Children have a right to be born into a family with a loving mother and father. Passing proposition 8 would go only a very, very small way toward protecting that right for all children; it’s a right that society has been eroding for decades, and it will take decades to restore, if its restoration is possible.”

    Peter, I would like you to point out where, in the entire legislative history of the United States, there has ever been an enumerated a “right” such as you describe — i.e., that an unborn child has the right not only to opposite sex parents, but that they must also be “loving.” I’m curious to see how “loving” was defined, and also what enforcement process was implemented to ensure such a constant state.

    Also, as you are for this “right” and are willing to cast your vote to destroy an existing legal right to marriage to protect it, one also wonders if, in principle, you would also be for forcing pregnant widows to remarry before their child is born, in order to protect such a right of the child. After all, if this right of the unborn child is so critical that you are willing to take away other people’s existing rights to protect it, surely this is not too onerous, and if it is, I’m curious to hear why.

    Alternately, instead of engaging in what will almost certainly be an act of moral pretzel-making to explain why taking marriage rights from same-sex couples is fine, but requiring loving re-marriage from pregnant widows is not, you might also entertain the notion that such a “right” has never existed, not only in the history of the United States but in the history of the world, that attempting to legislate such a right would radically redefine marriage and trample the existing rights of others, whether they be gay or straight, and that this “right” you enumerate, which does not exist nor ever has, is largely the thin quasi-moral salve that people such as yourself have for justifying a vote that is nothing more than bigotry — and won’t work anyway, because so long as there are turkey basters, willing men providing baby batter and willing women with wombs, there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop gays and lesbians from having children in an unmarried state. I mean, unless you’re under the impression that gays and lesbians will stop having the kids they’re already having.

    Look, Peter. If you want to vote for Proposition 8 because you think the queers just shouldn’t marry, and your God believes that too, just own up to it. Don’t hide behind “the children,” and in particular don’t rationalize the act through a silly “right” that doesn’t exist now nor ever has. It just makes your intended act that much more contemptuous.

  97. I don’t know how Proposition 8 is going to end up, although I do hope (and predict) it will get the drumming it deserves.

    I am, however, dead sure about three things:

    1. The tide of equal marriage rights is irreversible at this point. It may take another decade or three, but sooner or later, this sort of state-sanctioned discrimination will be dead and gone, just like the miscegenation laws. The opponents of equal marriage rights are fighting a rear guard action in a war they’ve already lost.

    2. In fifty or a hundred years, “One Man, one Woman” marriage laws and amendments are going to be regarded like miscegenation laws are regarded today, as the moral outrage they are.

    3. The same people who oppose equal marriage rights are the kids and grandkids of the people who opposed interracial marriages. They use the same arguments (“Activist courts! States’ Rights!”), the same reasoning (or lack thereof), and the same methods. Yet, when people discuss gay marriage in fifty years, their children and grandchildren are going to claim their parents were not only never in opposition of gay marriage, but that they were actually instrumental in defeating the bigoted marriage laws of fifty years ago. (By then, the Zealotry Brigade will have a new enemy to rally against–perhaps clones, or some other abomination that’s obviously a mockery of God’s plan–and the cycle will be in full swing once more.)

  98. Peter wrote, …he told me how when his family had moved away from that town his last year in high school, he fell in with a different crowd and stopped living a homosexual life.

    Well, that one’s easy. The guy’s bisexual. So ?

    I want the world to be a place where it’s easier, not harder, for my daughter (and anyone else I don’t happen to be related to) to live a moral life.

    Fine*, so raise your daughter in whatever moral system you and your wife decide upon. But where in the hell do you get off trying to use the power of gov’t to decide what’s “moral” for me, my family, and our friends and neighbors in this arena ? Keeping your religion and your moral philosophy to yourself in a case like this is equivalent to the old saying about “your freedom to swing your fists wildly around ends at my nose.” This is America, dammit – Back Off.

    *(One wishes the religious morality police would realize that the only appropriate response to their feeling “I don’t like the idea of gay marriage” is to not marry someone of the same sex as yourself. Period.)

  99. Peter: What lies are you referring to?

    What I was talking about was the lie that churches would be forced to conduct same sex ceremonies.

    As for all the gay people you know, I know racists who know black people, but still believe that black people are intrinsically more criminal or less smart. Heck, Andrew Sullivan, gay conservative, still believes that the book, The Bell Curve wasn’t racist, and was right. He’s supporting Obama now.

    Just because you know gay people dosen’t mean you’re not being a bigot by supporting proposition 8. It’s a bigoted law.

    But really, here’s where you fall down:

    Children have a right to be born into a family with a loving mother and father. Passing proposition 8 would go only a very, very small way toward protecting that right for all children;

    In case you haven’t noticed, same sex couples do this thing called adoption. And also, as I’m guessing you’re not interested in seeing, same sex couples raising kids do just as good a job as two opposite parents.

    Your faith in gay sex being a sin does not change that. And your implication that same sex couples raising children puts those children in danger is not only stupid, it’s insulting.

    And here’s the question I always ask when someone bring up inheritance and visitation – But even though I am all for things like hospital visitation rights and inheritance rights, I must vote on this issue according to my beliefs about what is best for this culture and this country.

    Can you, right now, without going and looking it up, give me an EXACT list of all of the rights that same sex couples would be allowed to get under your view of what they deserve, and what rights should be reserved only to married, heterosexual couples?

    You can’t. Can you? I don’t even know all of the legal rights involved in marriage. Professional lawyers need to look this stuff up. So what it comes down to is a word. Just a name. That’s it.

    You’re offended that gay people get to use the name “marriage” , not that they get duplicate rights.

  100. Words/names have a lot of power, and this word has more power than many others. Why else do you think homosexuals are working so hard to have it applied to their unions? Yes, the rights are important, but when they have the rights without the word, as was the case in Connecticut, many don’t feel it’s enough. So “it’s just a word” isn’t an argument that holds much water for either side. Also, I’m not offended by the notion. I disagree with it, but it doesn’t offend me.

    John: “If you want to vote for Proposition 8 because you think the queers just shouldn’t marry, and your God believes that too, just own up to it.”

    I thought I was pretty clear that I think homosexuals should not marry same-sex partners, and that “my God” believes that too. But that’s not the point. There are a lot of things I believe in that I don’t even begin to think it’s worth trying to make laws about. And there are many people who are personally against homosexual sex who still think it’s not something any laws should be made about. So what makes this particular belief is so central to my belief system, and to those who think similarly, that I do think it’s something worth putting in the constitution?

    I also gather that most people in this thread would have great difficulty imagining how I could possibly be for this proposition and yet believe strongly in the individual exercise of free will—which I do. I think the resolution of that dichotomy is something worth trying to describe to someone who does not have access to a shared background and mindset with me. So I’ve spent a couple hours typing up an explanation as a response to the three replies to my post, trying to give the necessary background to how I can possibly believe this, and I’m probably less than half done. But if even the idea of attempting to explain this concept is something you find worthy of contempt, then it’s probably a poor use of my time to finish it and post it.

    If you’re at all interested in hearing my response, and will read it with as open a mind as I’m sure you’d like me to have—not that I imagine I’d come close to convincing you, but perhaps you’d at least see where I’m coming from—then I’ll keep writing it up. But if you’re not, I won’t, loath though I am to leave unanswered the contempt toward my beliefs that has been posted here.

  101. Urgh, that was supposed to read “what makes this particular belief so central” without the “is.”

  102. Peter Ahlstrom:

    “I thought I was pretty clear that I think homosexuals should not marry same-sex partners, and that ‘my God’ believes that too. But that’s not the point.”

    Well, no, actually, it is the point, and no, you attempted to rationalize your position by putting children in front of you and suggesting it was for their benefit. Be that as it may, rationalizing a hateful act — in this case depriving people of their rights — doesn’t make the act less hateful, and your excuses will matter very little to the people whose marriages you intend to void with your vote.

    Beyond that, I feel very sorry for you that you think your morality requires you to strip the marriage rights of other people, and that very likely as a consequence, thousands of legal marriages will be destroyed. I suspect that if you are a person of good conscience, you’ll one day come to regret that position. At least I hope you will.

  103. loath though I am to leave unanswered the contempt toward my beliefs that has been posted here

    The religious meaning of marriage is entirely beside the point, because we are discussing the legal construct of marriage, not the religious sacrament. It is fundamentally unequal to deny gay couples the protections that straight couples are permitted. You mentioned gay civil unions that have all the same features of marriage, that are literally marriages in all but name. If they’re fundamentally the same entity, then I see no reason not to use the same name for them under the law.

    If you think this shows contempt for your beliefs, well, I find them contemptible. But you’re entitled to believe whatever you want, and your sect is entitled to marry or not marry whomever it wishes. What it is NOT entitled to do is codify its beliefs into law in defiance of fairness and equal protection and all the ideals we as a nation are supposed to stand for in front of the rest of the world.

  104. John, I think the why of a person’s beliefs is more interesting than the what, and it was the why that I was trying to explain. The way you’re reacting indicates you don’t understand my motivations, so I’m offering to clarify them.

    It’s not a rationalization to say it’s about children, because my religion is all about children. The sole purpose of God is raising his children. If you think that’s a confusing thing for me to say, let me know, and I’ll continue writing my post.

    So yes, I’m for this proposition for religious reasons—because of the children. Same-sex marriage in California won’t affect my own marriage at all. Almost the only thing I’m concerned about is how this will affect the next generation and the next after that.

  105. Peter Ahlstrom:

    “The way you’re reacting indicates you don’t understand my motivations, so I’m offering to clarify them.”

    I understand your motivations perfectly well. And they are rationalizations for bigotry, whether you choose to see them that way or not. I’m saying they are not a good excuse for what is fundamentally a hateful and terrible act. And I feel sorry for you that you think the awful, bigoted act you intend to perform will benefit your children in any way. It certainly doesn’t benefit my child, who deserves to live in a world where everyone has the right to marry the person whom they love, or the children in the families whose legal existence you feel compelled to wipe out.

    I find your willingness to do so appalling. That you seem convinced that you do it from a standpoint of moral obligation I find, frankly, tragic.

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