38 thoughts on “Disclaimer, 8/31/09

  1. “‘I don’t believe that church and state should ever be separate in the way it’s interpreted today,’ she said Sunday. ‘In fact, we’re happy to bring this up, because we want to talk about that. This is a moral issue.'”

    [spit-take]

    Another ‘we’ll make America safe and better by taking away the basic freedoms and undermining the ideals that form the basis of our government’ argument, eh? OK, then.

  2. Maybe you should point Jason to your past post anyway… just in case he turns out to be distantly related. Or as a public service.

  3. I have to wonder, since it is too early in the morning for me to think, how many of the people opposed to same-sex marriage are, themselves, in shaky marriages.

    Also, Massachusetts has had same-sex marriage for five years now, and the divorce rate there has actually decreased. [My emphasis.]

    Tina Turner in the morning, yes!

  4. How much better would this country be if people with profound religious convictions would remember that the rules their religion lays out for their life are to be accepted or denied on a personal basis?

    At this point homosexual couples probably have little trouble finding a religious leader who will perform the religious ceremony signifying their commitment to each other. So what we’re talking about now is allowing homosexual couples who commit to a life-long relationship to have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples who commit to a life-long relationship. This is a purely legal issue, not a religious one. The “moral” choice is to extend equal rights to all citizens.

  5. When a minority group that has been disempowered from their rights fights to establish those rights, there are going to be innumerable people who fear that if the group gets their rights, allowing them equality, that group will have more power in society, a society more favorably disposed to them as equal citizens, and if they have more power in society, then they become a threat because they will act against those not in their group who oppressed them. Because the group was denied their rights because they are less moral, intelligent, self-controlled, etc. than others, and so why wouldn’t they just wreak havoc if the oppression is taken away?

    If gays get marriage, it changes society and gives gays power and then gays will do bad things with that power, like force churches to marry gay people and teach our children to be gay. Which is why it’s a “morals” issue. And why our multi-racial black President must be trying to do reparations for black people with his new power, and is building a secret Dumbledore’s Army even though he already commands one of the mightiest armies on the planet, and wants to create a socialist facist regime for even more power, and will have death panels to kill white grandmas, because hey, if you had the chance for revenge, isn’t that what you would do?

  6. Thanks for linking to your previous post. Here in Maine we are getting ready to Vote “No on 1″ to protect the equal rights gay marriage bill that was signed into law by our governor in May.

  7. A lot of people who scream and stamp their feet on religious grounds forget that their religion was also oppressed when their ancestors came over on the boat.

    In other words, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    (Though according to National Lampoon, three do.)

  8. I found your blog through a series of links some time ago. I added your RSS feed to my ‘friends page’ a bit of time after that. I don’t have anything profound to say or to add to this subject except this type of thoughtful post is why I keep reading you.

    Continue on, sir, with what you have to say. I will be listening and learning.

  9. So his group is called “Marriage minutemen?” Seriously?

    Maybe his followers have more, um, innocent minds, but I can’t help having the phrase “ur doing it wrong” come to mind on hearing a name like that…

  10. John, that was a beautiful post. The Gay community is lucky to have such an eloquent speaker (writer) in our corner.

    In the world of Sci-fi writers, you are a welcome counter point to Orson Scott Cards lunacy.

  11. So this guy, according to the article… volunteered to serve in Iraq WITHOUT CONSULTING HIS SPOUSE first.

    And now he’s holding forth as an expert on what constitutes a proper marriage?

    Egad.

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think one spouse should =ever= decide to LEAVE THE COUNTRY FOR A LONG TIME =without= first saying to the other spouse, “Honey, what do you think about it?”

    LauraR

  12. cypheroftyr: I read #6 as sarcasm. Actually the beginning of the first paragraph sets it up, by giving real analysis of why people are so stupid. The rest of the post is a sarcastic reaming of the stupid viewpoint.

    I didn’t think it missed the mark at all.

  13. @10: The joke that popped into my head when I first read the phrase “Marriage Minutemen” was that they were clearly confused about the whole “British? or Gay?” meme that went around the net a while back.

  14. At least “marriage minutemen” isn’t as bad as when they were having “teabagging” parties. That one still gives me giggles from time to time.

  15. Was I the only person who grimaced at the promised “blitz” of fall activity as the rest of the world marks the 70th anniversary of the blitzkrieg of Poland and the start of World War II. Talk about fraking tin-eared…

  16. re 18/19

    yea, now there’s a ‘teabagger express’ bus tour from Sacremento to DC in 2 weeks – stopping to host ‘tea parties’ arcross the country. The stated goal, to “take our ountry back” from those that want to “increase taxes to fund out of control spending and bailouts”

    http://teapartyexpress.org/

    I don’t get it

  17. Oops, I better clarify my post #6, I guess. I was being sarcastic more than satiric, but yes, I am totally for gay marriage and equal rights. The bits about Obama come from actual extreme right views that have been expressed and discussed in the media, including put forth by such charming media crazies as Glen Beck. For me, underlying the bigotry and religious conflict is a good old-fashioned political power struggle. The view they hold is that the gays are trying to seize power, and so the gays getting equal rights is a “threat” that has to be “defended” against. It’s not coincidence that they use those words.

    And I agree that marriage minutemen is pretty funny, although again note that it’s supposed to connect to the American Revolution, implying that the gays are like the tyrannical British government and will take away heterosexual people’s rights who disagree with them if they get their equal rights to marriage, such as the freedom of their church not to marry gays.

    But my new favorite word is oligarhy, Beck’s grand conspiracy mis-spelling: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/28/as-sponsors-flee-the-igle_n_271321.html

  18. I hate religion. I am an atheist. But I can see good in religion. Hey if you want to run a food bank.. runb a shelter in god or Jesus’s name… amybe I’kll even give you a donation. If you want to promote hate against others then that is not even religion.

    I went to sunday school. I have read the bible. I think Jesus is a righteous dude. Basically to me.. good Chrisitanity is following the morality of the good samaritan. And the golden rule. And lest not ye be judged yourself…. anything else is stupid.

    Like that dude that wrote the book everything In needed to know I learned in kindergarden… well everything you need to know about being a Christian is in the Good Samaritan Story.

    Maybe I got the message wrong… maybe Jesus wanted us to use militarisitc nomenclature and methods to judge others that are not like ourselves? Did I get it wrong or did Jesus want all of us to go out in the street and give blankets and food to the poor.. no matter if they were just unlucky or mean criminals or mentally ill?

    To me as an atheist.. Christiantity is so freaking simple… it is as simple as it gets… I don’t understand how the vast multitudes of Christians do not get it.

  19. Sorry for the spelling… just got a netbook smaller keyboard!!!! Rereading my post it is horrid.. don’t know how to edit it!

  20. A theocracy lead by the christian taliban is just what is needed to let America enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the dark ages. Book burnings can help heat homes too.

    Amazing these wackos keep coming out of the cesspools.

    Extreme religious fundamentalism breeds these wackos, regardless of it being christian, muslim, jewish or any other you could name.

  21. Gay marriage isn’t so much about granting homosexuals the same rights as everyone else, as it’s about ceasing to deny them the rights already granted.

    That the legal category of marriage logically extends to agreements reached between two men or two women is evident in the demands to pass additional laws specifically excluding such pairings from recognition.

    Now if we can get people to extend their tolerance to marriages of more than two people, or – dare I say it? Yes, I dare! – abolish the legal concept of ‘marriage’ completely, erasing all special status and privileges associated with it, and leaving people free to associate as they wish…

  22. @27 “abolish the legal concept of ‘marriage’ completely, erasing all special status and privileges associated with it, and leaving people free to associate as they wish…”

    I think that’s where we’re going to end up eventually. Lawyers will, of course, gain from this by having to create lots of new M-corp documents as more and more people incorporate their relationships to gain the tax and other benefits that we now associate with marriage.

  23. @28 No, there wouldn’t be any benefits, tax- or otherwise. There would be no special status granted marriage by government whatsoever.

    There would be people who chose to enter into contractual obligations, and there would be religious rituals. And never the two would meet!

  24. #29 melendwyr

    I think the idea behind tax benefits (although the “benefits” might vanish depending on the incomes of you and your spouse) is to encourage “stable family units” and I think the government does have a vested interest in seeing these (raising future generations, tax basis, ensuring future minivan sales) so a little government encouragement makes sense. Various other contractual obligations can have tax benefits and other advantages, why shouldn’t the M-Corp do so?

    Plus there is all sorts of nonsense like family leave, sharing of health insurance, etc. I think it’s fine for marriage to be recognized as something special and different by the state.

    I don’t really disagree with separating marriage in the eyes of the state and marriage in the eyes of the church, except that I think that they are already pretty separate in most states. In California, any priest, minister, or rabbi can officiated, but it still isn’t legal until the state gets the forms – regardless of what the church thinks. The Catholic Church might not recognize your divorce, but the state certainly does (and, likewise, if the Church says that you marriage was annuled, that doesn’t mean that the state agrees or cares).

  25. @30:

    Various other contractual obligations can have tax benefits and other advantages, why shouldn’t the M-Corp do so?

    None of them should – but we’re getting away from the subject and straying into politics-in-general.

    Suffice it to say that I don’t think the government has a valid interest in molding the society that creates it. Solely vice-versa.

  26. melendwyr@29: there wouldn’t be any benefits, tax- or otherwise. There would be no special status granted marriage by government whatsoever. There would be people who chose to enter into contractual obligations, and there would be religious rituals. And never the two would meet!

    Ah, the libertarian objectivist view is so refreshing in its total disconnect from reality.

    Spouses usually have some default legal power to make medical decisions for their comatose partners if no living will exists. Spouses usually have some default form of inheritance if their partner dies and no regular will exists. Spouses usually have some default form of ‘who gets the children’ when their partner dies. Spouses usually have some form of “who gets the children” when they divorce. Spouses usually have some default form of divorce settlement even if no “marriage contract” or prenuptual agreement exists.

    Pretending that the current legal standing of marriage can be erased and replaced with some “contract-only” based agreement reflects a disconnect from reality.

    Simple counter-example is that most people would agree that if a man father’s a child with a woman, even if no contract or marriage or any such legal agreement exists between them, that the man has certain rights and obligations to the mother and child. Child support for example. And visitation rights as another example.

    The point being that shit happens. And government exists partly as a way for people to minimize how much damage shit happens can inflict on an individual going through shit that others have already had to suffer through.

    Marriage, divorce, children, end-of-life decisions, are all things that others have suffered through and the laws have slowly bent to minimize the amount of suffering that people going through the same circumstances will have to suffer.

    Saying that all the legal framework around marriage, divorce, visitation rights, inheritance, medical decisions, and other issues are purely an attempt by the government to “mold” the society is pure libertarian/objectivist nonsense.

  27. Pretending that the current legal standing of marriage can be erased and replaced with some “contract-only” based agreement reflects a disconnect from reality.

    Um… quite obviously, it can be. Whether that is desirable is another question – one that you are begging.

    Saying that all the legal framework around marriage, divorce, visitation rights, inheritance, medical decisions, and other issues are purely an attempt by the government to “mold” the society is pure libertarian/objectivist nonsense.

    Yeah, it would be. Good thing I didn’t say that. I’d have looked an awful fool, making statements that have no connection to the real world. Speaking of which, do you have any other arguments you’d like to put in my mouth?

  28. #31, yes we are straying. As least we see to agree that That Other Scalzi Person is an annoying monkeywanker. At least he recognized that going off to Iraq without telling Mrs. Monkeywanker was a bad thing, although why he couldn’t figure that out before gong is, frankly, beyond me.

    One quote from the article intrigued me. He said that he wants “to stop any redefinition of marriage that happens without a public vote”. Does that mean that he’d be okay with it if it did come down to a public vote? What a wishy-washy kind of attitude! Cherish your bigotry, my friend! Be against opposite marriage regardless (or even *irregardless*) of what the majority thinks.

  29. melendwyr@33

    Why is it obvious that the current legal standing of marriage can be erased and replaced with some “contract-only” based agreement?

    It seems like we’ve been stuck with it for quite a while now and it has a certain inertia. Rather than fight for a return to an idyllic state which never existed we should fight to allow marriage by those that want to be married and build on the limited success that has already been achieved.

  30. Why is it obvious that the current legal standing of marriage can be erased and replaced with some “contract-only” based agreement?

    Easy: both states exist only by fiat.

    It’s like asking why it’s obvious that alcohol can either be outlawed or left legal. It’s a trivial point.

    The question is whether it can be successfully done in terms of a goal, and whether it ought to be done. Not whether it can be.

  31. melendwyr: Easy: both states exist only by fiat.

    but then….

    The question is whether it can be successfully done in terms of a goal, and whether it ought to be done. Not whether it can be.

    Really? Is that your question? Because it seems to me that you keep saying stuff that indicates that the legal framework of marriage ought to be abolished.

    Oh, wait, you said exactly that in 27:

    Now if we can get people to extend their tolerance to marriages of more than two people, or – dare I say it? Yes, I dare! – abolish the legal concept of ‘marriage’ completely, erasing all special status and privileges associated with it, and leaving people free to associate as they wish…

    in 29, you defend and explain the idea: There would be no special status granted marriage by government whatsoever.

    In 31, you go even further and say I don’t think the government has a valid interest in molding the society that creates it, which again says you think the legal framework around marriage ought to be removed, that the government should NOT use marriage laws to mold society.

    I’m not putting that argument in your mouth, I took it from your own words.

    The gay marriage thing is interesting in how it the argument goes through the same thing every time.

    Gay marriage proponents say they want marriage extended to include them so they get the same benefits and protections that other married people get. Opponents say they don’t want that.

    Then some anti-government, libertarian nut comes along with the great suggestion to abolish the idea of legal marriage altogether and turn it into private contracts only.

    That’s got nothing to do with solving the issue around gay marriage. That’s some anti-government libertarian nut trying to use gay marriage to forward his own “Don’t Tread On Me! Get Gummint Off My Back!” crusade.

    It’s like the laissez-faire capitalist listening to people demanding health-care reform and a public option and respond with “well, I have a solution to the health care problem: Tort reform!”

    No. you just hijacked the thread.

    People actually affected by marriage laws don’t want to abolish the law. They want to expand the law to include them.

    I’ll bet a dollar that you’re not gay. that you’re not affected by exclusion of gays from marriage law. Which is why you brought up the idea of abolishing marriage law altogether and defended it and forwarded it in several posts, rather than dealing with a solution that the people actually dealing with the problem want.

    You’re not helping gay people get the right to marry. You’re forwarding your own anti-government project.

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