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Roadtoad
5th September 2005, 01:11 PM
SACRAMENTO—Handing gay rights advocates a major victory, the California Senate approved legislation Thursday that would legalize same-sex marriages in the nation’s most populous state.

The 21-15 vote made the Senate the first legislative chamber in the country to approve a gay marriage bill. It sets the stage for a showdown in the state Assembly, which narrowly rejected a gay marriage bill in June.

“Equality is equality, period,” said one of the bill’s supporters, Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol. “When I leave this Legislature I want to be able to tell my grandchildren I stood up for dignity and rights for all.”

But Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-La Mesa, suggested that a “higher power” opposed the legislation.

“This is not the right thing to do,” he said. “We should protect traditional marriage and hold all of those values and institutions that have made our society and keep our society together today.”

Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Redondo Beach, said a number of churches supported the bill.

“I don’t think anyone should claim God as being on their side in this debate,” she said.

Gay rights advocates called the vote historic.

More information
at the Sacramento Union website. (http://www.sacunion.com/pages/state_capitol/articles/6069/)

JenJen
5th September 2005, 01:30 PM
The fundis think that God sent Katrina occured to punish NO for the upcoming gay pride parade. Maybe he actually sent Katrina to divert fundi attention while the courts were ruling?

Are we close to calling this a done deal???

Jen

Roadtoad
5th September 2005, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by JenJen
The fundis think that God sent Katrina occured to punish NO for the upcoming gay pride parade. Maybe he actually sent Katrina to divert fundi attention while the courts were ruling?

Are we close to calling this a done deal???

Jen

It now goes to the Assembly, and then, there will be the likely challenge in the State Supreme Court. Given there was a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, it ought to be over and done with rather quickly, with the Court calling this law unconstitutional in the State, but the CASC has rarely been easy to predict.

My own guess: It's going to pass the Assembly, the CASC will uphold it, and we'll see the same thing we did last year on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall.

Scot C. Trypal
5th September 2005, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
It now goes to the Assembly, and then, there will be the likely challenge in the State Supreme Court. Given there was a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, it ought to be over and done with rather quickly, with the Court calling this law unconstitutional in the State, but the CASC has rarely been easy to predict.

My own guess: It's going to pass the Assembly, the CASC will uphold it, and we'll see the same thing we did last year on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall.

I thought it was a ballot initiative, not a constitutional amendment in CA?

If so, there’d be no occasion for the courts to get involved, right? It’s like changing liquor laws.

BUT, those against same-sex couples getting marriage rights, are currently trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot asap in Ca, if I remember correctly. It even takes away the rights already given to these households. This step by the senate will only help them raise the funds they need to get it done…

Unless, maybe, this passes in the assembly quickly. If civilization does not collapse, I’m optimistic enough to think the majority may then not be as inclined to annul marriages, take away the health insurance of homemakers, and such.

JenJen
5th September 2005, 05:17 PM
Didn't they decide last April (or was it December) that banning gay marriage was unconstitutional in CA? Jeez - I just can't keep up with all this stuff!

:confused:

Jen

Roadtoad
6th September 2005, 07:28 PM
You know, as Conservative wail about the death of marriage, let's take a moment to look at what's really killing this institution.

What's really killing marriage is a 50% divorce rate within this nation, and the fact that Christians themselves have a divorce rate that has in recent years equaled or exceeded that number. (Source, Focus on the Family, and Dr. James Dobson, particularly his book, Love Must Be Tough.) It's the fact that Christians are splitting up, claiming that they have prayed about it, and God has given them a peace about leaving the mother of their kids so he can take up with the Newer Model.

It's spousal abuse, with husbands beating their wives, and occasionally, wives beating their husbands, and the continual refusal to accept responsibility on the part of the abuser. It's the perpetual "You made me do it!" and the ongoing abuse of someone who's supposed to be worth a damn in their lives.

It's child abuse, and its twin, child neglect. Kids are supposed to raise themselves, while the parents satisfy their own egos, their own desires, and God forbid any child ever demand anything more than the latest video game or the latest toy. We can't have kids demanding TIME with their parents, can we?

It has nothing to do with no-fault divorce, and nothing to do with gays, lesbians, or what have you. It has to do with refusing to accept your responsibility in a relationship, such as Rush Limbaugh being married, what, four, maybe five times?

It's the end of "we," and the insistance on "me." And there's no law in the world that can fix that.

Lisa Simpson
6th September 2005, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad


It's the end of "we," and the insistance on "me." And there's no law in the world that can fix that.

And the kids in these marriages are learning what they live. So they too, can grow up and marry and divorce and marry and divorce ad infinitum.

Blaming the "marriage crisis" on gays is just so unbelievably illogical, I am stunned that anyone goes along with it.

I don't know if it's true, but there is a (possible) urban legend around Orange County that there is a higher divorce rate amongst people married at The Crystal Cathedral than the overall divorce rate. My brother-in-law's first marriage was held there. He is now on number three.

JenJen
6th September 2005, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
You know, as Conservative wail about the death of marriage, let's take a moment to look at what's really killing this institution.

...

It has nothing to do with no-fault divorce, and nothing to do with gays, lesbians, or what have you. It has to do with refusing to accept your responsibility in a relationship, such as Rush Limbaugh being married, what, four, maybe five times?

It's the end of "we," and the insistance on "me." And there's no law in the world that can fix that.

No kidding! I used the Rush Limbaugh thing on my dittohead uncle who says that his marriage would mean less if gays get married (no joke!) Didn't phase him. And let's talk about Brittney ...

Then again ... he believes in the world according to Genesis and that Darwinism claims that monkeys turn into man and dogs turn into cats. Jeez ...

I'm so embarrassed!

On the upside, he makes for good storytelling.

Jen

WildCat
6th September 2005, 08:54 PM
It's now passed the Assembly: (http://start.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20050906/431d1440_3ca6_1552620050906515464829)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Legislature on Tuesday became the first legislative body in the country to approve same-sex marriages, as gay-rights advocates overcame two earlier defeats in the Assembly.

The 41-35 vote sends the bill to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose office had no comment on the bill when it cleared the Senate last week.

Will Arnie sign? If so, Cali will become the first state to legalize gay marriage through the legislature. Here's hoping he will!

JenJen
6th September 2005, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by WildCat
It's now passed the Assembly: (http://start.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20050906/431d1440_3ca6_1552620050906515464829)

Will Arnie sign? If so, Cali will become the first state to legalize gay marriage through the legislature. Here's hoping he will!

He's kind of a hard guy to figure. One reason so his numbers are so low here is because he's willing to piss people of equally. He seems to do what he thinks is best - even if he gets a lot of flack for it - not popular in politics. On a quick google, I wasn't able to find much reliable info on what his position is.

Jen

Beanbag
6th September 2005, 09:28 PM
I just can't understand why people are opposed to a law that encourages people to form long-term relationships and grant the partners equal responsibilities to each other in providing care and decisions for each other. Gay, straight, whatever, I can only see that such a law makes for a more stable society.

Beanbag

RandFan
6th September 2005, 09:38 PM
Cool. :) I'm one that voted for the so called Defense of Marriage Act. I wish I had it to do over again.

JenJen
6th September 2005, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Beanbag
I just can't understand why people are opposed to a law that encourages people to form long-term relationships and grant the partners equal responsibilities to each other in providing care and decisions for each other. Gay, straight, whatever, I can only see that such a law makes for a more stable society.

Beanbag

I wonder why the gov't is involved in it in the first place but I wonder why gov't needs to be involved in most things where they involve themselves. Just a little social engineering from people that frequently have questionable moral/ethical codes themselves.

Jen

Mycroft
6th September 2005, 10:40 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
More information
at the Sacramento Union website. (http://www.sacunion.com/pages/state_capitol/articles/6069/)

Good for them! I hope it passes.

thaiboxerken
6th September 2005, 10:45 PM
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2005/09/06/state/n210908D31.DTL

Assembly passed the bill. Why am I not surprised that not one Republican voted for gay marriage?

thaiboxerken
6th September 2005, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by Beanbag
I just can't understand why people are opposed to a law that encourages people to form long-term relationships and grant the partners equal responsibilities to each other in providing care and decisions for each other. Gay, straight, whatever, I can only see that such a law makes for a more stable society.

Beanbag

Because it's unchristian like behavior, that's why. When it really comes down to it, the bigotry is really rooted in religion.

Art Vandelay
6th September 2005, 10:54 PM
Originally posted by JenJen
The fundis think that God sent Katrina occured to punish NO for the upcoming gay pride parade. Maybe he actually sent Katrina to divert fundi attention while the courts were ruling? What do the courts have to do with it?

RoadtoadGiven there was a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, it ought to be over and done with rather quickly, with the Court calling this law unconstitutional in the State, but the CASC has rarely been easy to predict. When was that?

What's really killing marriage is a 50% divorce rate within this nation, and the fact that Christians themselves have a divorce rate that has in recent years equaled or exceeded that number.
...
It has nothing to do with no-fault divorce, and nothing to do with gays, lesbians, or what have you. It has to do with refusing to accept your responsibility in a relationship, such as Rush Limbaugh being married, what, four, maybe five times?

It's the end of "we," and the insistance on "me." And there's no law in the world that can fix that.I don't understand how you can say that the problem is more divorces, then deny that no-fault divorce can have anything to do with it. And if the problem is the end of "we" and the insistence on "me", then doesn't that include gay activists? The clear majority of people, both nationwide and statewide, oppose same-sex marriage, yet proponents apparently have no qualms about overriding popular will. Gavin Newsom even issued illegal marriage licenses as a publicity stunt. The entire gay movement is based on the idea that personal fulfillment should take precedence over societal norms. How can you support this, yet deny that there are any implications for marriage?

Lisa SimpsonBlaming the "marriage crisis" on gays is just so unbelievably illogical, I am stunned that anyone goes along with it.I don't think that homosexuality causes marriages to fail, but I do think that same-sex marriage moves us further from the concept of marriage as a sacred institution.

BeanbagI just can't understand why people are opposed to a law that encourages people to form long-term relationships and grant the partners equal responsibilities to each other in providing care and decisions for each other.But does it really encourage long term relationships? If all marriage is is filling out a form at City Hall, doesn't that mean that ending a marriage is nothing more than filling out another form? How does that encourage long term relationships? People are going to get married because they have long term relationships, not have long term relationships because they're married.

Scot C. Trypal I thought it was a ballot initiative, not a constitutional amendment in CA? I don't think that they're mutually exclusive. Many Propositions are constitutional amendments, although Prop 22 was not (it was a statutory initiative).

Roadtoad
7th September 2005, 05:37 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Many Propositions are constitutional amendments, although Prop 22 was not (it was a statutory initiative).

Error on my part. I thought it was Constitutional.

Darat
7th September 2005, 05:46 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
...snip...

Lisa SimpsonI don't think that homosexuality causes marriages to fail, but I do think that same-sex marriage moves us further from the concept of marriage as a sacred institution.


...snip...

Sacred? - What's sacred about something that was primarily a social tool of property division and inheritance rights?

Lisa Simpson
7th September 2005, 06:05 AM
Here's the definition of sacred from dictionary.com:

1. Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
2. Worthy of religious veneration: the sacred teachings of the Buddha.
3. Made or declared holy: sacred bread and wine.
4. Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person: sacred to the memory of her sister; a private office sacred to the President.
5. Worthy of respect; venerable.
6. Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.

So--how does letting gays marry violate sacred-ness?

Darat
7th September 2005, 06:10 AM
Originally posted by Lisa Simpson
Here's the definition of sacred from dictionary.com:

1. Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
2. Worthy of religious veneration: the sacred teachings of the Buddha.
3. Made or declared holy: sacred bread and wine.
4. Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person: sacred to the memory of her sister; a private office sacred to the President.
5. Worthy of respect; venerable.
6. Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices.

So--how does letting gays marry violate sacred-ness?

To almost answer my own question as well I suppose it's because same gender marriages aren't mentioned in "sacred texts" like this one: http://www.vanuatu.usp.ac.fj/library/Online/Texts/Custom%20Stories%20from%20Epi/1.htm ?

Lisa Simpson
7th September 2005, 06:16 AM
I'm geniunely curious about the idea of "sacred" marriage. My husband and I are both atheists. Is our marriage not "sacred"? Or is it sacred solely because he and I are not a homosexual couple (obviously)? :p

Lisa Simpson
7th September 2005, 06:22 AM
According to KTLA (http://ktla.trb.com/news/local/la-me-gaymarriage7sep07,0,3726449.story?coll=ktla-news-1) it's likely The Governator will veto the bill. :(

crimresearch
7th September 2005, 06:42 AM
Getting this bill passed is a signal accomplishment, but far from the end of the struggle.

pgwenthold
7th September 2005, 07:41 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Lisa SimpsonI don't think that homosexuality causes marriages to fail, but I do think that same-sex marriage moves us further from the concept of marriage as a sacred institution.


And integration moved us further from the concept of the all-white country club as a sacred institution.

pgwenthold
7th September 2005, 07:45 AM
Originally posted by JenJen
No kidding! I used the Rush Limbaugh thing on my dittohead uncle who says that his marriage would mean less if gays get married (no joke!) Didn't phase him. And let's talk about Brittney ...


Fortunately, my folks haven't brought that up, yet. I would like to think it is because they know, based on the experiences of my brother, that the effect of allowing gays to marry is nothing compared to the effect of allowing lying, cheating sleaze to marry.

Upchurch
7th September 2005, 08:59 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
When it really comes down to it, the bigotry is really rooted in religion. I would say this bigotry is rooted in religion. I don't think religion is the common factor in all bigotry.

JenJen
7th September 2005, 09:23 AM
Originally posted by Upchurch
I would say this bigotry is rooted in religion. I don't think religion is the common factor in all bigotry.

Agreed. People often use religion to justify giving in to their baser - natural - instincts. (My Pollyanna persona is a little squeamish about admitting that bigotry is natural.) It's just harder to find justification if you don't think laws were written in stone (which has some apparent flexibility when viewed peripherally) by some guy in the sky and there is no higher purpose in society than to try to get along with each other. For the athiests - good news - it's not impossible.

Jen

Kimpatsu
7th September 2005, 09:43 AM
Originally posted by Lisa Simpson
I'm geniunely curious about the idea of "sacred" marriage. My husband and I are both atheists. Is our marriage not "sacred"? Or is it sacred solely because he and I are not a homosexual couple (obviously)? :p
I can answer that one froma Neocon Xian perspective, because I raised the issue with the chairman of Republicans Abroad over here about six months ago. He replied that only ceremonies held in Xian churches are marriages; the rest are civil unions (even if held in synagogues, mosques, Buddhist temples, Shinto Shrines...)

Kimpatsu
7th September 2005, 09:46 AM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
But Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth, R-La Mesa, suggested that a “higher power” opposed the legislation.

“This is not the right thing to do,” he said. “We should protect traditional marriage ...
Fine by me. Traditionally, marriage in most societies have been polyamorous. In honour of my agreement with Sen. Hollingworth, the first orgy under this traditional definition of marriage is at my place, and his wife is definitely invited... :p

pgwenthold
7th September 2005, 09:52 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
I can answer that one froma Neocon Xian perspective, because I raised the issue with the chairman of Republicans Abroad over here about six months ago. He replied that only ceremonies held in Xian churches are marriages; the rest are civil unions (even if held in synagogues, mosques, Buddhist temples, Shinto Shrines...)

So fine. Then as long as christian churches don't hold gay ceremonies, then he should not have a problem with the state legalization of gay "unions."

tofu
7th September 2005, 12:39 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad
It's child abuse, and its twin, child neglect. Kids are supposed to raise themselves, while the parents satisfy their own egos, their own desires, and God forbid any child ever demand anything more than the latest video game or the latest toy. We can't have kids demanding TIME with their parents, can we?

wow. excellent points! I'm big on the idea that rights should have enforced responsibilities attached to them. If I exercise my right to buy a gun, but then fail in my responsibility to keep it locked up, and some kid finds it and shoots himself, then I should go to jail. OK, if exercise my right to have children, but then fail in my responsibility to raise them, there should be some consequence. Not jail obviously, but something because I do think it's abusive.

davefoc
7th September 2005, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by RandFan
Cool. :) I'm one that voted for the so called Defense of Marriage Act. I wish I had it to do over again.

I voted for a defense of marriage type act in California. I'm not sure how I'd vote again.

Basically, I thought that expanding the definition of marriage to include people of the same sex was unnecessarily confrontational. Laws that establish civil unions seemed like a reasonable approach to me back then.

I think this forum has worn me down a bit on this issue and maybe I'd vote against a defense of marriage initiative if one is on the ballot the next time.

luchog
7th September 2005, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by JenJen
He's kind of a hard guy to figure. One reason so his numbers are so low here is because he's willing to piss people of equally. He seems to do what he thinks is best - even if he gets a lot of flack for it - not popular in politics. On a quick google, I wasn't able to find much reliable info on what his position is.

Jen

Looking what what I've seen of his voting record, he appears to be something of a moderate Republican with strong libertarian leanings. A position guaranteed to piss of nearly everyone at some point.

JenJen
7th September 2005, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by davefoc
...

Basically, I thought that expanding the definition of marriage to include people of the same sex was unnecessarily confrontational. Laws that establish civil unions seemed like a reasonable approach to me back then.
...

It's a minor point but it annoys me to have a whole set of "marriage" laws and a different set of "civil union" laws that should be equal, anyway. But then I've got my libertarian streak that gov't has no business in any of it, anyway.

Jen

CapelDodger
7th September 2005, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by davefoc
Basically, I thought that expanding the definition of marriage to include people of the same sex was unnecessarily confrontational. Laws that establish civil unions seemed like a reasonable approach to me back then.It seems to me that once civil marriage is legislated - as it has been in the UK - same-sex marriage is undeniable in principle.

Roadtoad
7th September 2005, 03:33 PM
At the risk of raising the ire of the whole board, or worse, winding up on Hammegk's buddy list, Just kidding, Hammy, it's a bad joke...

This whole issue is nothing new. In this country, it's grown from the Stonewall Riots, brought about because the Police continued to harass and entrap gay men simply because they were gay, to where we now have a move to allow marriage between gays and lesbians, more as a desire to finally be allowed some basic acceptance, some basic civil liberties, as experienced by the bulk of the straight population.

I would question just how many Gays and Lesbians are even going to bother with this. Frankly, and this is just from my own contacts with them, I would think that the bulk of them would simply want to be left the hell alone. Unlike the "Gay Culture" crowds in San Francisco and Seattle, (where, I've found, there's lots of straights passing themselves off as Gay because they think it's cool, only to get married later on in life; another form of homophobia, only bearing a polite mask on a cruel act), the majority of Gays and Lesbians I know simply want people to treat them if not as equals, at least with some degree of civility.

I had a wonderful neighbor named Deanne, who worked at the Albertson's in Granite Bay, CA. I had fellow Christians who told me I shouldn't allow my sons to hang out with her, because, God forbid, there were "secret Lesbian ceremonies" that would turn my sons Gay. (I wish Deanne had let me in on some of those secret ceremonies. Bad enough she and Jon and Matt were making chocolate chip cookies, but they didn't save any for me!) Part of what she had to deal with was sexual harassment from a pair of young men who constantly were telling her that they'd "straighten her out," and a boss who let it happen. Ultimately, they fired her because some whack job woman claimed that Deanne, who loved kids dearly, has somehow given her kids some weird venereal disease.

Now, keep in mind, my boys loved Deanne, (still do, too), and were with her constantly. Don't you think that if this woman's kids had some odd disease, that my kids would have caught it, too?

I don't shop at Albertson's anymore. And I sure as hell miss my friend. (I keep hoping she might share some cookies, but I'm not supposed to have any.) She was never out there flaunting her sexuality, (except for one time, when she went on a march with Act Out, I think), and truth to tell, I really believe that all she wanted was a chance to make a few friends, make a good life, and be happy.

I hope she's been able to do that.

Frankly, if we'd just treated Gays and Lesbians with the respect they asked for in the first place, I don't think this would have been an issue.

luchog
7th September 2005, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by davefoc
I voted for a defense of marriage type act in California. I'm not sure how I'd vote again.Basically, I thought that expanding the definition of marriage to include people of the same sex was unnecessarily confrontational. Laws that establish civil unions seemed like a reasonable approach to me back then.

I think this forum has worn me down a bit on this issue and maybe I'd vote against a defense of marriage initiative if one is on the ballot the next time.

I am not sure how I'd vote. It would certainly depend on the wording.

I take the libertarian stance that the government has no business validating or invalidating any sort of personal relationship. Whether you choose to call it a marriage, civil union, or whatever; I don't want the government in my bedroom. As far as inheritance, child guardianship, property rights, power of attorney, etc., well, that's what civil contracts are for. That would have the added benefit of not being bound by ridiculous state divorce laws (all-or-nothing, mandatory community property, etc). And to forstall the obvious objection (which i've heard millions of times), there is no need to hash out all the minute details; there are such things as standardized contracts. That's what the state marriage and divorce laws are -- a one-size-fits-all mandatory contract.

This is one area where I differ greatly from most other Christians (though by far not the only one); I believe a marriage is between two (or more) people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to each other. While most Christians say that "Marriage is between a man and a moman", what they really mean is that "Marriage is between a man, a woman, the United States Federal Government, and the local State government".

CapelDodger
7th September 2005, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by JenJen
It's a minor point but it annoys me to have a whole set of "marriage" laws and a different set of "civil union" laws that should be equal, anyway. But then I've got my libertarian streak that gov't has no business in any of it, anyway.
I think the full-blood libertarian would ask "Any of what?" Any partnership between individuals is their own business, as freely acting agents. What (I surmise they would ask) is this thing called "marriage"? A social construct, of use only to the controlling forces of religion and gumment.

davefoc
7th September 2005, 08:27 PM
California already has a domestic partnership law:

http://gaylife.about.com/cs/mentalhealth1/a/dompartcali.htm

The only thing I could see as a practical difference between it and a marriage certiciate in CA is that domestic partners are not allowed to file joint income tax returns.

One thing I've wondered about on this issue is whether there might be a whole spate of civil unions between various people (adult child and the parent they care for, adult siblings, etc) that might eventually decide to become domestic partners for financial or other reasons. So far there doesn't seem to be much sign of that but domestic partner laws are pretty new right now.

Kimpatsu
7th September 2005, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by pgwenthold
So fine. Then as long as christian churches don't hold gay ceremonies, then he should not have a problem with the state legalization of gay "unions."
It's not quite that simple. He's claiming that civil unions are markedly inferior, as exemplified by his claim that if I married an American, for example, I would have the right to a green card and to live in America, whereas if I enter into a civil union with an American (even one of a different sex), I would not be entitled to a green card or to live in America. Remember: only Xian marriages are truly valid unions! (I.e., no Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, etc. is really married.)

thaiboxerken
7th September 2005, 11:17 PM
http://www.365gay.com/newscon05/09/090705veto.htm

Arnie says "F you!" to gay marriage.

Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday night that he will veto legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry.

Antiquehunter
7th September 2005, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by Roadtoad


I would question just how many Gays and Lesbians are even going to bother with this.

A couple of years ago, I would've agreed with you. But I learned that my father went to an ultra-conservative Anglican (Episcopal) meeting to protest his church's liberal stance on same sex marriage.

As a result, me and my partner of 10 years are tying the knot in April 2006. Party at the Monte Carlo Hotel Casino in Vegas April 16 - 19.

That'll show 'em.

thaiboxerken
8th September 2005, 12:00 AM
I would question just how many Gays and Lesbians are even going to bother with this.

Doesn't matter, the option (freedom) should be there.

Darat
8th September 2005, 12:13 AM
Part of the reason there may be relatively few same-sex partnerships/civil unions/marriages registered is because of the widespread bigotry and discrimination against homosexuals. Even homosexuals who may not consider themselves "in the closet" may be reluctant when they realise from the moment they enter into a civil partnership most dealings with officialdom will probably start with the declaration “I’m a homosexual”.

The bigotry and discrimination is still very real and deep rooted (at least in the UK), for instance although the civil partnership law comes into effect at the end of the year it is still not wrong to discriminate in the workplace against a homosexual as it would say a Christian or a Muslim or someone of certain ethnicity.

Roadtoad
8th September 2005, 05:48 AM
Originally posted by Antiquehunter
A couple of years ago, I would've agreed with you. But I learned that my father went to an ultra-conservative Anglican (Episcopal) meeting to protest his church's liberal stance on same sex marriage.

As a result, me and my partner of 10 years are tying the knot in April 2006. Party at the Monte Carlo Hotel Casino in Vegas April 16 - 19.

That'll show 'em.

Should I rent a tux, or would a suit be acceptable?

Congratulations.

pgwenthold
8th September 2005, 07:21 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
It's not quite that simple. He's claiming that civil unions are markedly inferior, as exemplified by his claim that if I married an American, for example, I would have the right to a green card and to live in America, whereas if I enter into a civil union with an American (even one of a different sex), I would not be entitled to a green card or to live in America. Remember: only Xian marriages are truly valid unions! (I.e., no Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, etc. is really married.)

But that isn't true. The government extends all the rights of marriages to non-Xian unions. It doesn't matter what he calls them, marriages between atheists in from of the JP still have all the legal rights given to those xians married in a church.

The same would apply to gay marriages. He can call them whatever he wants, and can consider them "not true marriage, but only civil union," making it no different from the union of atheists. Regardless of what he calls it, the "civil union" of atheists is legally treated exactly the same as marriage.

thaiboxerken
8th September 2005, 08:47 AM
I think Arnie's problem is with the activist legislatures in his gumment. I mean, who are they to make laws?

Mark
8th September 2005, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I think Arnie's problem is with the activist legislatures in his gumment. I mean, who are they to make laws?

LOL!

C'mon, only Republicans are allowed to pass laws in 21st century America!

Kimpatsu
8th September 2005, 10:10 AM
Originally posted by pgwenthold
But that isn't true. The government extends all the rights of marriages to non-Xian unions. It doesn't matter what he calls them, marriages between atheists in from of the JP still have all the legal rights given to those xians married in a church.

The same would apply to gay marriages. He can call them whatever he wants, and can consider them "not true marriage, but only civil union," making it no different from the union of atheists. Regardless of what he calls it, the "civil union" of atheists is legally treated exactly the same as marriage.
I'm telling you what he believes; not what's true.
Of course, were he in charge...
Look, the point here is that he considers Xian marriages to be superior to all other marriages. 'Nuff said.

jj
8th September 2005, 02:19 PM
Now that Christian Reconstructionists run the government in all 3 branches, how long do you think it's going to be before Atheists who are married not in a church are declared to be "illegally living in sin" and their marriages retroactively revolked, their various marriage benefits eliminated, and them and their children cheated out of a lot of money, etc?

fishbob
8th September 2005, 03:26 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
I think Arnie's problem is with the activist legislatures in his gumment. I mean, who are they to make laws?

Details below:

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 7 - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Wednesday he will veto a bill to allow gay marriage in the state and said the issue should be decided by the courts or by voters directly but not by the Democrat-controlled legislature.He ain't from around here is he?

source (http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2005-09-08T051159Z_01_SCH817981_RTRUKOC_0_UK-RIGHTS-CALIFORNIA-GAYS.xml&archived=False)

Art Vandelay
9th September 2005, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by Darat
Sacred? - What's sacred about something that was primarily a social tool of property division and inheritance rights? Are you saying that you believe that they are mutually exclusive? Surely you would agree that the concept of marriage enjoys an esteem beyond merely being viewed as a utilitarian, practical matter?

Lisa SimpsonSo--how does letting gays marry violate sacred-ness?Because "marriage" means "union between a man and a woman". I can understand how people can find this definition unfair, but I can't understand how someone could deny that this is the meaning of the word. We cannot grant same-sex marriage; it's simply not possible. We can create a new institution that includes same sex couples, and call it marriage, but that won't make it marriage.

Marriage is based on the concept that certain opposite sex couplings are worthy of special respect and consideration, set apart from every other relationship. How can you disagree with the basic foundation of marriage, then question how you are failing to give it respect and veneration?

I'm geniunely curious about the idea of "sacred" marriage. My husband and I are both atheists. Is our marriage not "sacred"? Or is it sacred solely because he and I are not a homosexual couple (obviously)? Marriage has acquired a sacred quality separate from a particular religion, or indeed from religion in general. Marriage exists as a strange mixture of both a secular and religious institution.

pgwentholdAnd integration moved us further from the concept of the all-white country club as a sacred institution.So is it your position that marriage is worthy of the same level of respect as all-white country clubs?

RoadtoadFrankly, if we'd just treated Gays and Lesbians with the respect they asked for in the first place, I don't think this would have been an issue.Quite possibly, or at the least less of an issue. On the other hand, I think that the focus on marriage has taken attention away from more legitimate complaints, such as discrimination in the military. If gay activists are going to insist that discrimination against same-sex couples is the same as discrimination against homosexuals, I think that they will find it difficult to get many people to support the elimination of either. Such sophistry as "the law discriminates against gay people because it doesn't allow them to marry whom they want to" simply drives more people into the conservative camp.

KimpatsuHe's claiming that civil unions are markedly inferior, as exemplified by his claim that if I married an American, for example, I would have the right to a green card and to live in America, whereas if I enter into a civil union with an American (even one of a different sex), I would not be entitled to a green card or to live in America.Was his position that, according to his value system, only people with Christian marriages deserve green cards, or that, according to US law, only such people are eligible?

AntiquehunterAs a result, me and my partner of 10 years are tying the knot in April 2006. Party at the Monte Carlo Hotel Casino in Vegas April 16 - 19.I realize that my position may seem excessively moralistic, but I think that much of tradition is being needlessly thrown away, and I couldn't help being disturbed by such an irresponsible affront to decency.

It's "my partner and I are tying the knot". Sheesh.

Kimpatsu
9th September 2005, 11:21 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Are you saying that you believe that they are mutually exclusive? Surely you would agree that the concept of marriage enjoys an esteem beyond merely being viewed as a utilitarian, practical matter?
Not to me. Just living with a partner is sufficient, a view shared by increasing numbers of Brits.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Was his position that, according to his value system, only people with Christian marriages deserve green cards, or that, according to US law, only such people are eligible?
That only Xians are married; everyone else has a civil union. (I.e., if I marry my partner in a register office, that's a civil union, and so is inferior to a "real" (i.e., Xian) marriage, and as such is undeserving of green card status. I have no idea where US law stands on the matter.)

Thumper
10th September 2005, 07:56 AM
Not to sound too libertarian here, but can someone give me a logical reason that unions between two consenting adults should not be recognized as a legal marriage?

Is marriage not a contract? Doesn't the government already have limits on what constitutes a valid contract?

If we start equating marriage (in a legal arena) as being sacred, holy, etc., doesn't that mean the government is imposing their religious views on the rest of us?

I guess I'm of two minds here. First, why is the government involving itself in a fundamentally religious exercise? Second, if it's not a fundamentally religious exercise, how can the government refuse to allow legal contracts to be created and exercised?

My law prof kept telling me that refusing to allow gay marriage is a violation of the 14th amendment (equal protection under the law) and I never understood that. Maybe I'm now seeing his point.

Mark
10th September 2005, 08:44 AM
Originally posted by Thumper
Not to sound too libertarian here, but can someone give me a logical reason that unions between two consenting adults should not be recognized as a legal marriage?



Ignorance? Paranoia? Fear of latent homosexual tendencies?

Ipecac
10th September 2005, 09:44 AM
Because "marriage" means "union between a man and a woman". I can understand how people can find this definition unfair, but I can't understand how someone could deny that this is the meaning of the word. We cannot grant same-sex marriage; it's simply not possible. We can create a new institution that includes same sex couples, and call it marriage, but that won't make it marriage.

Marriage is based on the concept that certain opposite sex couplings are worthy of special respect and consideration, set apart from every other relationship. How can you disagree with the basic foundation of marriage, then question how you are failing to give it respect and veneration?

Ah, of course. We can't grant equal rights to certain individuals because the definition of the word restricts it. How silly of us.

Fifty years ago, marriage meant "union between a man and a woman of the same race". Guess what? We changed the definition of marriage. Happens all the time in a progressive society moving towards tolerance and equal rights for all.

It should happen again now.

jnelso99
10th September 2005, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Ipecac
Fifty years ago, marriage meant "union between a man and a woman of the same race". Guess what? We changed the definition of marriage.

Pardon my butting in, but didn't "marriage" once also mean "union between a man and any number of women"? Seems like that definition has changed as well. No reason not to change it now, either.

TragicMonkey
10th September 2005, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by jnelso99
Pardon my butting in, but didn't "marriage" once also mean "union between a man and any number of women"? Seems like that definition has changed as well. No reason not to change it now, either.

Call me a softhearted romantic, but I prefer the traditional definition of marriage, which is "a union between a man and a portion of a woman's father's property with legal guarantees that the woman is probably a virgin, and can be replaced if she doesn't produce a male heir."

Random
10th September 2005, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Thumper
Not to sound too libertarian here, but can someone give me a logical reason that unions between two consenting adults should not be recognized as a legal marriage?
Not really, no. And belive you me, the religous right has been searching furiously for one.

There are a lot of half-baked rationalizations. Traditional meaning of marriage, homosexual couples can't naturally reproduce, the majority of the public is uncomfortable with it, evil homosexual agenda, etc. Of course, none of these reasons can withstand a gentle breeze of logic. Look at all the arguments with an open mind and all you will find at the center is a scruffy guy shouting "God Hates F*gs!" over and over again. It really is that ephemeral.

This is one of the reasons that the religous right is so loud about all this. If it comes down to rational debate, all they have is God, and the first amendment says you can't deny people rights based on that. So they rant and rave and try to make it look far more controversial and dangerous than it really is.

As for a rational reson for banning gay marriage, well, if a zillion highly determined right wing ideologues can't come up with one, it probably isn't there.

Lisa Simpson
10th September 2005, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Call me a softhearted romantic, but I prefer the traditional definition of marriage, which is "a union between a man and a portion of a woman's father's property with legal guarantees that the woman is probably a virgin, and can be replaced if she doesn't produce a male heir."

I like it too. Everybody whose marriage fits this traditional definition of marriage, raise your hand.

{raises hand}

Anyone else?

Ipecac
10th September 2005, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by jnelso99
Pardon my butting in, but didn't "marriage" once also mean "union between a man and any number of women"? Seems like that definition has changed as well. No reason not to change it now, either.

Sorry, that's apples and oranges. Polygamy raises a host of other issues including inheritance, medical consent, custody, etc. which would require a restructuring of American law. Changing the definition from "man and woman" to "two adults" requires no additional laws.

Besides, you just prove my point that the definition of marriage can and has changed. Why not so now?

And, in the end, if there's a legitimate discrimination issue, perhaps polygamy should be reexamined.

Art Vandelay
10th September 2005, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
Not to me. Just living with a partner is sufficient, a view shared by increasing numbers of Brits. Which is kinda the point.

Originally posted by Thumper
If we start equating marriage (in a legal arena) as being sacred, holy, etc., doesn't that mean the government is imposing their religious views on the rest of us?There's a difference between being sacred, and being associated with religion.

Second, if it's not a fundamentally religious exercise, how can the government refuse to allow legal contracts to be created and exercised?Seeing as how the government is party to the contract, it has grounds for refusing. Furthermore, if civil unions are allowed, then it is not a contact that is being refused, but a label.

Originally posted by Ipecac
Ah, of course. We can't grant equal rights to certain individuals because the definition of the word restricts it. How silly of us.Lying about other people's positions isn't going to make them change them.

Fifty years ago, marriage meant "union between a man and a woman of the same race".No, it didn't.

We changed the definition of marriage. Happens all the time in a progressive society moving towards tolerance and equal rights for all.

It should happen again now. And perhaps it will. But it hasn't happened yet, and the government can't change the meaing of words just by passing laws.

Lisa Simpson
10th September 2005, 04:10 PM
No, it didn't

Umm...yes, it did

In the English common law tradition, from which our legal doctrines and concepts have developed, a marriage was a contract based upon a voluntary private agreement by a man and a woman to become husband and wife. Marriage was viewed as the basis of the family unit and vital to the preservation of morals and civilization. Traditionally, the husband had a duty to provide a safe house, pay for necessities such as food and clothing, and live in the house. The wife's obligations were maintaining a home, living in the home, having sexual relations with her husband, and rearing the couple's children. Today the underlying concept that marriage is a legal contract still remains but due to changes in society the legal obligations are not the same.

Marriage is chiefly regulated by the states. The Supreme Court has held that states are permitted to reasonably regulate the institution by prescribing who is allowed to marry, and how the marriage can be dissolved. Entering into a marriage changes the legal status of both parties and gives both husband and wife new rights and obligations. One power that the states do not have, however, is that of prohibiting marriage in the absence of a valid reason. For example, prohibiting interracial marriage is not allowed for lack of a valid reason and because it was deemed to violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/marriage.html

How exactly is marriage between people of different races in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, but marriage between two people of the same sex not?

Art Vandelay
10th September 2005, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Lisa Simpson
Umm...yes, it did:rolleyes:
No it didn't.
Do you think that saying something enough times is going to make it true?

How exactly is marriage between people of different races in violation of the Equal Protection Clause, but marriage between two people of the same sex not? Huh?

LostAngeles
10th September 2005, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
:rolleyes:
No it didn't.
Do you think that saying something enough times is going to make it true?

Huh?

Yes, it did. Did you miss the evidence she posted? Have some more.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9903/12/interracial.marriage/

http://slate.msn.com/id/30352/

http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/loving.html

If you'd like to do some more research, http://www.google.com/search?q=miscegenation&btnG=Search&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1

It's not that we need to say it enough times to make it true, it's that it is true that makes it true.

There were laws against interracial marriage in the Unites States of America as recent as six years ago.

treble_head
10th September 2005, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
Call me a softhearted romantic, but I prefer the traditional definition of marriage, which is "a union between a man and a portion of a woman's father's property with legal guarantees that the woman is probably a virgin, and can be replaced if she doesn't produce a male heir."

Aww, monkey, you sentimental old fool.

clarsct
10th September 2005, 10:06 PM
Excuse me for saying, here, but didn't we strrike down 'seperate but equal' a while back in this country? Why should there be a 'seperate but equal' way of getting married?

Doesn't make sense to me.

I'm about to get married. The only sacred bit for me is how I feel for my betrothed. God doesn't enter into it. If two men feel the same, then where does that leave sacred? Still there, really. Remember, folks, WE made up what was sacred and what wasn't. Human beings. We did.

God is a pansy arse, and I defy him to strike at me any way he so chooses. RIGHT NOW!

Huh.

Well, it seems I live another day. And my vows will be just as sacred. Screw god and screw your 'sanctity'. You all can keep it.

Wait!..I felt something....nope..sorry...just gas.

I have yet to se an rational reason of why homosexuals shouldn't marry their partners. I'm beginning to believe it doesn't exist. Just like God.

Huh. Whouda thunk it?

Lisa Simpson
12th September 2005, 09:12 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Huh?

I will admit, I didn't phrase my question correctly. Let me try again.

The Supreme Court struck down antimiscegenation laws in 1967 as being unconstitutional. If inter-racial couples are allowed equal protection under the law, how come same-sex couples are not?

Americans are trying to make this an argument of semantics (marriage means man and woman) or religion (marriage is sacred), but it is only an argument of law. If one subset of Americans are denied the civil rights and protections that other subsets of Americans enjoy then "all Americans are equal, but some are more equal than others*" is happening again.





*Yes, I know that wasn't what George Orwell was writing about.

Darat
12th September 2005, 09:40 AM
Originally posted by Lisa Simpson
...snip...

Americans are trying to make this an argument of semantics (marriage means man and woman) or religion (marriage is sacred), but it is only an argument of law. If one subset of Americans are denied the civil rights and protections that other subsets of Americans enjoy then "all Americans are equal, but some are more equal than others*" is happening again.


*Yes, I know that wasn't what George Orwell was writing about.

I think this is at the heart of the matter. Despite appearances this is not a matter of the state discriminating on grounds of gender, after all both men and women are allowed to be married. What is happening is that certain rights that a married couple are granted e.g. inheritance and next of kin are denied to another couple because they are not married and the state will not let them marry to enjoy those rights. Therefore the state is discriminating on nothing more then which jiggly bits you have and who you want to jiggle them with. As far as the state is concerned homosexual are less equal then other human beings.

Art Vandelay
12th September 2005, 04:14 PM
Originally posted by LostAngeles
Did you miss the evidence she posted?What evidence would that be?

Have some more.That's not evidence. Those are links. Is there something specific that you think is evidence?

There were laws against interracial marriage in the Unites States of America as recent as six years ago. Do you think that that is somehow relevant?

clarsctRemember, folks, WE made up what was sacred and what wasn't. Human beings. We did.
And what we made sacred was opposite sex couples.

Lisa SimpsonThe Supreme Court struck down antimiscegenation laws in 1967 as being unconstitutional. If inter-racial couples are allowed equal protection under the law, how come same-sex couples are not?Inter-racial marriages are allowed equal protection under the law. Same-sex couples aren't married.

If one subset of Americans are denied the civil rights and protections that other subsets of Americans enjoy then "all Americans are equal, but some are more equal than others*" is happening again.But they're not. Homosexuals are allowed to marry, too. And civil unions would give same-sex couples all the rights and protections of opposite sex couples.

DaratTherefore the state is discriminating on nothing more then which jiggly bits you have and who you want to jiggle them with. As far as the state is concerned homosexual are less equal then other human beings.No, same-sex couples are "less equal". Homosexuals have all the rights of heterosexuals. It's sophistry to insist that offering an opportunity to all citizens is disrcimination against those uninclined to make use of that opportunity. If the government offered a free hamburger to each citizen, would that be discrimination against vegetarians? If a mixed doubles competition were to insist that its couples be mixed, would that be discrimination against homosexuals? If I, as a heterosexual male, were to find another man that I wanted to marry, would these laws be discriminating against me? What if a gay man were to marry a woman? Could he still continue to claim to be discriminated against?

LostAngeles
12th September 2005, 04:43 PM
:eyeroll: Fine, Art.

From my first link:
The Alabama House of Representatives is set to vote on a controversial bill that would repeal a ban on interracial marriages.

Last year, a similar measure died in a legislative committee. But on Wednesday, a House panel voted to send the proposed constitutional amendment to the full House for consideration.

Alabama is the last state in the union to have such a law on its books. Although the state stopped enforcing it decades ago, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such laws unconstitutional, the fact that it has not been officially repealed remains a sore point for many in Alabama.

"These kinds of things represent oppression and slavery and discrimination against black people," said Rep. Alvin Holmes, who introduced the bill to the legislature.

...

Second link:
...

history lesson The history behind current events.

Illustration by Robert Neubecker
White Weddings
The incredible staying power of the laws against interracial marriage.
By David Greenberg
Posted Tuesday, June 15, 1999, at 12:30 AM PT

Last week, the Alabama Senate voted to repeal the state's constitutional prohibition against interracial marriage, 32 years after the Supreme Court struck down Virginia's similar ban. Hadn't these archaic laws gone out with Bull Connor? I asked myself as I read the news account. And haven't we been hearing that America has rediscovered the melting pot, that in another generation or two we'll all be "cablinasian," like Tiger Woods?

I talked to the measure's main sponsor, state Rep. Alvin Holmes, a 24-year statehouse veteran who has been trying to overturn the ban for decades. "The last time I tried was about three years ago," said Holmes. "It didn't get out of committee." Holmes credits his success to the last election, in which a bevy of Democrats were swept into office.

Continue Article

Holmes wasn't just tidying up the legal code. In parts of rural Alabama, he said, probate judges still refuse to issue marriage licenses to interracial couples. Holmes explained that some of his Alabama colleagues opposed his measure because they willfully refused to accept that the federal government had the power to override state law--an ideology of states' rights that goes way beyond Newt Gingrich to John Calhoun.

When you think about it, it makes sense that some Alabamians found it hard to jettison overnight a 300-year-old custom. Laws against interracial marriage--and the taboos against black-white sex that they codify--have been the central weapon in the oppression of African-Americans since the dawn of slavery. President Abraham Lincoln's detractors charged him in the 1864 presidential campaign with promoting the mongrelization of the races (that's where the coinage "miscegenation," which now sounds racist, comes from). Enemies of the 20th-century civil rights movement predicted that the repeal of Jim Crow laws would, as one Alabama state senator put it, "open the bedroom doors of our white women to black men." Fears of black sexuality have been responsible for some of the most notorious incidents of anti-black violence and persecution, from the Scottsboro Boys to Emmett Till.

Intermarriage bans arose in the late 1600s, when tobacco planters in Virginia needed to shore up their new institution of slavery. In previous decades, before slavery took hold, interracial sex was more prevalent than at any other time in American history. White and black laborers lived and worked side by side and naturally became intimate. Even interracial marriage, though uncommon, was allowed. But as race slavery replaced servitude as the South's labor force, interracial sex threatened to blur the distinctions between white and black--and thus between free and slave. Virginia began categorizing a child as free or slave according to the mother's status (which was easier to determine than the father's), and so in 1691 the assembly passed a law to make sure that women didn't bear mixed-race children. The law banned "negroes, mulatto's and Indians intermarrying with English, or other white women, [and] their unlawfull accompanying with one another." Since the society was heavily male, the prohibition on unions between white women and nonwhite men also lessened the white men's competition for mates. (In contrast, sex between male slave owners and their female slaves--which often meant rape--was common. It typically met with light punishment, if any at all.)

Illustration by Robert Neubecker
If fears of interracial sex underlay bans on interracial marriage, it was marriage that became the greater threat. Men might rape black women or keep them as concubines, but to marry them would confer legal equality. Thus, over the course of the 18th century all Southern states--and many Northern ones--outlawed all marriages between blacks and whites. Up through the Civil War, only two states, Pennsylvania in 1780 and Massachusetts in 1843--hotbeds of abolitionist activity--repealed their bans.
...

Third link:
...
In June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, of the Circuit Court of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia's ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

...

The last is a google search for miscegenation. I can't exactly paste a google page here.

Ipeac said:
...Fifty years ago, marriage meant "union between a man and a woman of the same race". Guess what? We changed the definition of marriage. Happens all the time in a progressive society moving towards tolerance and equal rights for all.

No, it didn't.

Lisa then disputed that. I backed her up.

Yes, fifty years ago marriage was only allowed between men and women of the same race in many places in the United States. This is part of why the analogy is being made between interracial marriage bans and bans on same-sex marriage. It's considered a form a discrimination.

Random
12th September 2005, 04:53 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, same-sex couples are "less equal". Homosexuals have all the rights of heterosexuals. It's sophistry to insist that offering an opportunity to all citizens is disrcimination against those uninclined to make use of that opportunity. If the government offered a free hamburger to each citizen, would that be discrimination against vegetarians? If a mixed doubles competition were to insist that its couples be mixed, would that be discrimination against homosexuals? If I, as a heterosexual male, were to find another man that I wanted to marry, would these laws be discriminating against me? What if a gay man were to marry a woman? Could he still continue to claim to be discriminated against?
The assumption that you appear to be making however is that homosexuality is a “choice”. If homosexuality is not a choice, then prohibiting homosexuals from engaging in “marriage” with each other (or at the very least some sort of civil union that has all of the legal and financial responsibilities and benefits of marriage) cannot be justified.

My tax money is used to help support the lifestyles of married couples. If I was gay, and I could not marry the man of my choice and receive those tax benefits, I would be PO’ed. If we provide tax breaks, legal protections, etc, to heterosexual couples, but not to homosexual couples, I would need to see a good justification for that. The fact that some people say “marriage is between one man and one woman” really doesn’t cut it, especially since there is a vocal contingent that disagrees. It’s really just the “Because I said so” reason in a slightly different package.

Oh yeah, if the government offered everybody a free hamburger I would be upset if there was no vegetarian option. So would most vegetarians, vegans, Hindu, and people with certain food allergies. And god help us if they offered them during lent on a Friday in Boston...

Kimpatsu
12th September 2005, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
But they're not. Homosexuals are allowed to marry, too.
No, they're not. Even Arnie just vetoed it in California.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
And civil unions would give same-sex couples all the rights and protections of opposite sex couples.
No, they don't. If I marry an American, I get a green card. If I enter into a civil union with an American, I don't get a green card. So they DON'T give all the rights and protections of marriage.
No, same-sex couples are "less equal". Homosexuals have all the rights of heterosexuals. It's sophistry to insist that offering an opportunity to all citizens is disrcimination against those uninclined to make use of that opportunity. If the government offered a free hamburger to each citizen, would that be discrimination against vegetarians? If a mixed doubles competition were to insist that its couples be mixed, would that be discrimination against homosexuals? If I, as a heterosexual male, were to find another man that I wanted to marry, would these laws be discriminating against me? What if a gay man were to marry a woman? Could he still continue to claim to be discriminated against? [/B][/QUOTE]
Did you ever see that episode of "The Office" (USA), in which tyrannical boss Steve Carrell insisted on getting an ice cream cake for a woman's birthday party, even though he knew she was allergic to whey products and couldn't eat it? That's what you're doing. Saying that despite her allergy, she either eats ice cream, or nothing at all. And that's not a real choice, despite your sophistry.

thaiboxerken
12th September 2005, 07:30 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
No, they're not. Even Arnie just vetoed it in California.

His argument is that homosexuals are free to marry people of the opposite sex, just like heterosexuals are.

Now that I've cleared up his argument, feel free to pick it apart.

Roadtoad
12th September 2005, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
His argument is that homosexuals are free to marry people of the opposite sex, just like heterosexuals are.

Now that I've cleared up his argument, feel free to pick it apart.

Ummmm. Yeah.

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/forumfun/misc15.jpg

thaiboxerken
12th September 2005, 07:44 PM
He's saying that homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals. They can marry people of the opposite sex, just not the same sex. That heterosexuals can't marry people of the same sex either. Thus, equality.

Roadtoad
12th September 2005, 07:47 PM
Ummm. Yeah. Right.

God, I love this state. :rolleyes:

Kimpatsu
12th September 2005, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
He's saying that homosexuals have the same rights as heterosexuals. They can marry people of the opposite sex, just not the same sex. That heterosexuals can't marry people of the same sex either. Thus, equality.
Yeah, I get what he's saying, Ken. I've heard it before (ho hum). It's disingenuous, because what he's really saying is that the only thing on the menu is peanuts, but we're all equally entitled to eat from the menu. If you're fatally allergic to peanuts, though, is an issue he's not addressing.

thaiboxerken
12th September 2005, 09:41 PM
Yes. It's like saying that it's ok to be homosexual as long as you act heterosexual.

Kimpatsu
12th September 2005, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by thaiboxerken
Yes. It's like saying that it's ok to be homosexual as long as you act heterosexual.
Well put. I wonder if he'd like us to interfere in his private life as much as he likes interfering in other people's...?

Darat
12th September 2005, 11:59 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
...snip...


DaratNo, same-sex couples are "less equal". Homosexuals have all the rights of heterosexuals. It's sophistry to insist that offering an opportunity to all citizens is disrcimination against those uninclined to make use of that opportunity. If the government offered a free hamburger to each citizen, would that be discrimination against vegetarians?


Nope.

But your vegetarian analogy is not an apt analogy for same sex couples. A closer analogy would be if the government has a scheme where it offered hamburgers to everyone BUT vegetarians and even then it is a poor analogy.

No one is forced to be married (by the state).

Originally posted by Art Vandelay
...snip...

If a mixed doubles competition were to insist that its couples be mixed, would that be discrimination against homosexuals?



Apples and pears and probably for another thread but of course that is discrimination of a kind.

Originally posted by Art Vandelay
...snip...

If I, as a heterosexual male, were to find another man that I wanted to marry, would these laws be discriminating against me?


You mean being able to marry another man? No of course the proposed same-sex marriages do not discriminate in this way, the same way as it is no longer a legal (I think it is the case it isn't legal any longer) that a marriage has to be consummated before it is considered valid. (That would be a return to good old values don’t you think? That intercourse has to be witnessed between the man and woman and the woman has to bleed for a marriage to be valid? I do like the sacredness of it, but perhaps if the churches organised it they could make a fortune by selling the observer rights?)

Originally posted by Art Vandelay
...snip...

What if a gay man were to marry a woman? Could he still continue to claim to be discriminated against?

Of course. Homosexual men and women have been getting married for many reasons over the centuries, sometimes for protection, sometimes because they wish for children, sometimes to ensure inheritance of their property and so on. Why would they do this? Because homosexuals faced and still face discrimination and some of the things I mentioned were (and still are) only rights given to heterosexual couples.

Art Vandelay
15th September 2005, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by LostAngeles
Yes, fifty years ago marriage was only allowed between men and women of the same race in many places in the United States. This statement, and the quotes you presented, really don't support your position. In fact, they support my position. After all, why would something be illegal, if it doesn't exist?

In June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws.
The state of Virginia recognized them as being married.

RandomThe assumption that you appear to be making however is that homosexuality is a “choice”. If homosexuality is not a choice, then prohibiting homosexuals from engaging in “marriage” with each other (or at the very least some sort of civil union that has all of the legal and financial responsibilities and benefits of marriage) cannot be justified.
Regardless of whether homosexuality is a choice, same-sex relationships definitely are.

KimpatsuNo, they don't. If I marry an American, I get a green card. If I enter into a civil union with an American, I don't get a green card. So they DON'T give all the rights and protections of marriage.
Green cards are a federal issue, and there are no federal civil unions. The rights and protection argument supports only civil unions, not marriages.

Did you ever see that episode of "The Office" (USA), in which tyrannical boss Steve Carrell insisted on getting an ice cream cake for a woman's birthday party, even though he knew she was allergic to whey products and couldn't eat it? That's what you're doing. Saying that despite her allergy, she either eats ice cream, or nothing at all. And that's not a real choice, despite your sophistry.You are severely mistaken on a multitude of issues. The woman does not have a choice between cake and nothing at all, unless she failed both to bring luch and to secure means of obtaining one. I am not denying marriage to homosexuals. Homosexuals are not allergic to the opposite sex. And there is nothing in your analogy to support an allegation of sophistry.

Yeah, I get what he's saying, Ken. I've heard it before (ho hum). It's disingenuous, because what he's really saying is that the only thing on the menu is peanuts, but we're all equally entitled to eat from the menu. If you're fatally allergic to peanuts, though, is an issue he's not addressing.Once again, you employ pejoratives without justification. What is disingenuous about my position? Allergy to peanuts is not an issue when it comes to equality.

wonder if he'd like us to interfere in his private life as much as he likes interfering in other people's...?First of all, you are engaging in a very common practice among intolerant people: you are confusing support for the right to do something with support for it. Secondly, if you think that marriage is an issue of "private life", then you have no understanding what marriage is.

thaiboxerkenYes. It's like saying that it's ok to be homosexual as long as you act heterosexual.There is no requirement that they act heterosexual.

DaratBut your vegetarian analogy is not an apt analogy for same sex couples. A closer analogy would be if the government has a scheme where it offered hamburgers to everyone BUT vegetarians and even then it is a poor analogy.
What? Why is that a more apt analogy? Is the government denying marriage to homosexuals?

No one is forced to be married (by the state).

:confused:
Did I say that they are?

No of course the proposed same-sex marriages do not discriminate in this way, the same way as it is no longer a legal (I think it is the case it isn't legal any longer) that a marriage has to be consummated before it is considered valid. No, I mean under current law. If one heterosexual male wants to marry a woman, and another wants to marry a man, is the latter being discriminated against?

Of course. ... Because homosexuals faced and still face discrimination and some of the things I mentioned were (and still are) only rights given to heterosexual couples.What I meant is "Is allowing only opposite sex marriage discrimination against every homsexual, even ones that are in opposite sex marriages?"

LostAngeles
15th September 2005, 11:42 PM
What? My "position" is that interracial marriage was illegal in many parts of the United States. Where is that not being backed up? The Loving couple was eventually recognized by the State of Virginia after a long court battle. They married in D.C. and when they moved back to Virginia they were charged with violating the law.

The laws stated that people of different races could not marry. There's a parallel there between that and having a law that says people of the same sex can not marry.

thaiboxerken
15th September 2005, 11:54 PM
There is no requirement that they act heterosexual.

If they want to be married, there is.

Kimpatsu
16th September 2005, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
This statement, and the quotes you presented, really don't support your position. In fact, they support my position. After all, why would something be illegal, if it doesn't exist?
Huh? Please explain?!
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Regardless of whether homosexuality is a choice, same-sex relationships definitely are.
And peopel have the right to exercise that choice, up to and including marriage.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Green cards are a federal issue, and there are no federal civil unions. The rights and protection argument supports only civil unions, not marriages.
In other words, civil unions are inferior to marriage.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
You are severely mistaken on a multitude of issues. The woman does not have a choice between cake and nothing at all, unless she failed both to bring luch and to secure means of obtaining one. I am not denying marriage to homosexuals. Homosexuals are not allergic to the opposite sex. And there is nothing in your analogy to support an allegation of sophistry.
But that is precisely the menu option available: dairy products or nothing at all. Gays can bring their own packed lunch, but you don't allow them to eat it. The claim that gays have the same rights to heterosexual marriage is thus disingenuous sophistry.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Once again, you employ pejoratives without justification. What is disingenuous about my position? Allergy to peanuts is not an issue when it comes to equality.
The fact that you claim gays have the same rights to heterosexual marriage is disingenuous. True equality would necessarily include the right of heterosexuals to enter into gay marriages. And the peanut issue is the same as the dairy products analogy above: the menu consists of peanut-only products. If you are allergic to peanuts, therefore, the choice is stark: eat that which disagrees with you, or starve, which really is no choice at all.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
First of all, you are engaging in a very common practice among intolerant people: you are confusing support for the right to do something with support for it. Secondly, if you think that marriage is an issue of "private life", then you have no understanding what marriage is.
Marriage is a legal contract between two people, which gives them rights such as joint taxes, and the decision-making ability regarding the other in hospitals, etc. That's what marriage is.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, I mean under current law. If one heterosexual male wants to marry a woman, and another wants to marry a man, is the latter being discriminated against?
Yes.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
What I meant is "Is allowing only opposite sex marriage discrimination against every homsexual, even ones that are in opposite sex marriages?"
The denial of choice is discriminatory.

Antiquehunter
16th September 2005, 03:58 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay

Marriage has acquired a sacred quality separate from a particular religion, or indeed from religion in general. Marriage exists as a strange mixture of both a secular and religious institution.


I have no issues (personally) with calling a marriage between two people of the opposite gender 'sacred' and those marriages between two people of the same gender 'not sacred'. My issue is with practicality. My partner and I are Canadian, and are now (at least until the Liberal government falls) able to be legally married. Some examples of discrimination/prejudice that we have personally experienced in our relationship because we are not 'married':

- To grant survivor benefits, 'spousal' forms of investments (eligible under the Canadian Tax system) living will provisions etc... requires us to jump through MANY more legal hoops than if you are simply 'married'.

- I was denied receiving a 'spousal maintenance allowance' from USAID on a contract I was working as they didn't acknowledge that I am maintaining a residence for my partner. (Note - marriage isn't a requirement to receive this. A common-law partnership is acceptable. This was direct discrimination against same-sex relationships.)

- To allow my partner to pick up my mail / parcels at the post office, he has to carry a power of attorney to prove he has authority. If married - not an issue.

I could go on.

My point is simply thus - if governments stayed out of the business of marriage, then we (my partner and I) would have no need to pursue getting married. Religions are free to bless unions between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a great dane for all I care. But we're talking about trying to LIVE here. Simple practicality.



It's "my partner and I are tying the knot". Sheesh.

My sincere apologies - I usually don't butcher the English language in my posts.

Roadtoad: VERY casual wedding. All the more to torment the family with...

Roadtoad
16th September 2005, 04:34 AM
Originally posted by Antiquehunter
Roadtoad: VERY casual wedding. All the more to torment the family with...

Well, I suppose the next question is "Why?"

If you're getting married, this is supposed to be your moment of joy. Why torment anyone, and why not celebrate your union? I'd recommend at least a nice suit. Dark blue. Black shoes, not brown. (Made that mistake myself. I've never heard the end of it.)

Random
16th September 2005, 06:52 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
This No, I mean under current law. If one heterosexual male wants to marry a woman, and another wants to marry a man, is the latter being discriminated against?...

What I meant is "Is allowing only opposite sex marriage discrimination against every homsexual, even ones that are in opposite sex marriages?"
If a restaurant in Mississippi refuses to serve black customers, but there is a man in Nigeria who doesn’t want to spend the money to travel all the way to Mississippi to go to the restaurant, is the restaurant still discriminating against blacks?

Look Art, I’m not sure what you think we are complaining about, but you seem to be missing the point completely. If the state allows one couple to enter into a legally binding agreement that grants them all sort of rights, responsibilities, and financial advantages, and says that another couple cannot enter into a similar agreement, there needs to be some sort of compelling reason for it. In the case of homosexual vs. heterosexual marriage, no one seems to be able to give a good reason for the difference.

You appear to be able to use a keyboard. Does this give the government the right to prohibit you from speaking in public? Of course not, there would have to be some other compelling reason for the government to interfere with your ability to speak in public.

The fact that straight marriages are available to all does not justify prohibiting gay marriage. It’s a pointless distraction. You need to have something more.

I’m getting tired of all this smoke and mirrors about heterosexual marriage, so let’s cut right to the chase. Do you believe that two men should be allowed to marry each other if they wish, and if not, why not?

Scot C. Trypal
16th September 2005, 09:26 AM
In a way, the best way to look at this for gays may be Art’s way. The discrimination is not actually done by sexual orientation at the city and county building. It’s done by sex, and sexual discrimination has stronger legal prohibitions.

The catch is that, while it’s sexual discrimination that affects every citizen, it only noticeably restricts and harms those citizen who experience the sexual orientation typically found in their opposite sex. It’s like a law that only allows court stenographers to work for a boss of the same sex; it limits everyone by sex, but only harms those who want to be stenographer, for a particular court, and have the wrong sex.

Homosexuals are not allergic to the opposite sex.

No, most all gay man do not experience an immune response when in the vicinity of women…

But do you think gays experience the opposite sex in the same way heterosexuals do? Do you think you experience men in the same way homosexuals do? Could you create a lifelong marriage, complete with physical intimacy, and raise children with a man, with the same degree of health and joy you could find with a woman?

I also wonder Art, do you think gays should marry or be encouraged to marry the opposite sex? As a mater of public policy?

Roadtoad
Well, I suppose the next question is "Why?"

If you're getting married, this is supposed to be your moment of joy. Why torment anyone, and why not celebrate your union? I'd recommend at least a nice suit. Dark blue. Black shoes, not brown. (Made that mistake myself. I've never heard the end of it.)

I wonder the same thing. I understand getting back at those who harmed you (and not wanting to wear uncomfortable dress shoes), but I’d think that day should be about nothing but your commitments, how to keep them, and the people who will rely upon them. And I should know, I’ve been married thrice now :D (to the same person…).

nightwind
16th September 2005, 09:40 AM
Exactly what is the downside of gay marriages?

I really can't see what problems that it would cause. I guess there evidently are some big problems or there would not be such a fervent opposition.

Or is this just a "right wing nutcase" issue, which of course I know is possible.

Kimpatsu
16th September 2005, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by nightwind
Or is this just a "right wing nutcase" issue, which of course I know is possible.
It's a rightwing nutcase "moral" issue, in which homosexulaity is seen to be a priori bad.
Kinda like interracial marriage 50 years ago.

Earthborn
16th September 2005, 11:36 AM
It's sophistry to insist that offering an opportunity to all citizens is disrcimination against those uninclined to make use of that opportunity.True but irrelevant. It is discrimination to deny some citizens an opportunity that they are inclined to make use of.If the government offered a free hamburger to each citizen, would that be discrimination against vegetarians?Quite possibly.If a mixed doubles competition were to insist that its couples be mixed, would that be discrimination against homosexuals?No, it is not discrimination based on sexual preference. It is however discrimination based on gender.If I, as a heterosexual male, were to find another man that I wanted to marry, would these laws be discriminating against me?Yes, of course they would. It means that you are forbidden to do something for no other reason than the fact that you are no female.What if a gay man were to marry a woman? Could he still continue to claim to be discriminated against?No, he would not be discriminated against if he wanted to marry a woman. But just because someone is not discriminated against does not prove that there is no discrimination going on.

Any discriminatory policy works in favour of some people and against other people. A policy that forbids same sex marriage works in favour of people who want to marry someone of different sex and against people who want to marry someone of the same sex. In your example a man wants to marry a woman, and the policy would not discriminate against him. But it still discriminates against others.

Suppose interracial marriages were banned. The law would then not discriminate against same 'race' couples. Does that mean a ban on interracial marriage is non-discriminatory? Of course not: it still discriminates against different 'race' couples. You can't get out of the discriminatory nature of the policy by claiming that everybody has the equal right to marry someone of their own race.Is allowing only opposite sex marriage discrimination against every homsexual, even ones that are in opposite sex marriages?No, it isn't. It is discrimination based on gender. It of course does not discriminate against all people, but neither does a policy that bans interracial marriage. It discriminates in favour of some people and against others.

Meadmaker
16th September 2005, 02:09 PM
Originally posted by nightwind
Exactly what is the downside of gay marriages?

I really can't see what problems that it would cause. I guess there evidently are some big problems or there would not be such a fervent opposition.

Or is this just a "right wing nutcase" issue, which of course I know is possible.

If it is a "nut case" issue, then there are an awful lot of nut cases in the US, which I know is possible. It can't be a right wing nut case issue, though, because gay marriage has been defeated soundly at the polls even in states where the right wing is extremely weak. Here in Michigan, John Kerry won fairly easily in 2004, but the anti-gay marriage ammendment passed easily.

FWIW, I voted for Kerry and against the ammendment.

Art Vandelay
16th September 2005, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by LostAngeles
My "position" is that interracial marriage was illegal in many parts of the United States. No, your position is that 50 years ago, marriage meant a union between a man and a woman of the same race.

The Loving couple was eventually recognized by the State of Virginia after a long court battle.No, they were recognized as married from the beginning.

They married in D.C. and when they moved back to Virginia they were charged with violating the law. The laws stated that people of different races could not marry. There's a parallel there between that and having a law that says people of the same sex can not marry.No, they didn't.

20-58 of the Virginia Code:
Leaving State to evade law. If any white person and colored person shall go out of this State, for the purpose of being married, and with the intention of returning, and be married out of it, and afterwards return to and reside in it, cohabiting as man and wife, they shall be punished as provided in 20-59, and the marriage shall be governed by the same law as if it had been solemnized in this State. The fact of their cohabitation here as man and wife shall be evidence of their marriage." [bolding mine]

Also note that it's not "different races" but "white and colored". Can you cite a law recognizing same-sex marriages, but classifying them as felonies? If not, I find the parallel weak.

Art Vandelay
16th September 2005, 09:59 PM
KimpatsuHuh? Please explain?! If one were to pass a law against witches, it would indicate that one believes that witches exist, no? And if one were to pass a law against mixed race marriages, it would indicate that one believes that mixed race marriages exist.

In other words, civil unions are inferior to marriage.
How does that follow?

But that is precisely the menu option available: dairy products or nothing at all. Only if one subsists entirely on food given to one by one's boss, and if that is the case, then I think that food allergies are the least of your worries.

Gays can bring their own packed lunch, but you don't allow them to eat it.The proper analogy would be prohibitng a specific food. Gays can enter into opposite sex marriages. They can enter into same sex cohabitation, house ownership, dating, etc. One option is not available: same sex marriage.

The claim that gays have the same rights to heterosexual marriage is thus disingenuous sophistry.That is a complete non sequitur. What is disingenuous or sophist about it?

Marriage is a legal contract between two people, which gives them rights such as joint taxes, and the decision-making ability regarding the other in hospitals, etc. That's what marriage is.
No, it's not. Marriage is a contract between a man, a woman, and a society. That's why, in a traditional wedding, the man and the woman address their vows to the minister, not each other. How can you say that marriage is a private matter, when your whole reason for wanting to get married is to change your relationship with the government? The idea that marriage is all about getting stuff is precisely the selfish attitude that worries conservatives.

Yes. [If one heterosexual male wants to marry a woman, and another wants to marry a man, the latter is being discriminated against]So then, allowing only opposite sex marriage doesn't discriminate against homosexuals, but against people who want to marry some of the same sex? And I suppose laws against theft are discriminatary against people who want to steal.

The denial of choice is discriminatory.How? The choice is denied to everyone.

Meadmaker
16th September 2005, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
The idea that marriage is all about getting stuff is precisely the selfish attitude that worries conservatives.


Some of Art's points are a bit obtuse, but on this matter he has hit the nail on the head, except for one thing.

It doesn't just worry conservatives.


I used to be very, very, uneasy about gay marriage because I, like many opponents of gay marriage, thought it furthered this whole view that marriage is about getting something, while to me it was clear that marriage is clearly about sacrificing something in exchange for something else. I have since been persuaded that gay marriage would not further the breakdown of traditional marriage, but rather would be a recognition that traditional marriage has broken down.

In other words, it would be a symptom of the problem, not a cause.

Art Vandelay
16th September 2005, 11:10 PM
Antiquehunter
My point is simply thus - if governments stayed out of the business of marriage, then we (my partner and I) would have no need to pursue getting married. Religions are free to bless unions between a man and a woman, a man and a man, or a woman and a great dane for all I care. But we're talking about trying to LIVE here. Simple practicality.It seems to me that if the govenrment was not involved in marriage, that would mean special priviliges for no one, rather than for everyone. Your last example is rather bizarre. If you claim to have a power of attorney, they demand proof, but if you claim to be married they just take your word for it?

My sincere apologies - I usually don't butcher the English language in my posts. I hope you realize I was kidding.

Kimpatsu
16th September 2005, 11:28 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
If one were to pass a law against witches, it would indicate that one believes that witches exist, no? And if one were to pass a law against mixed race marriages, it would indicate that one believes that mixed race marriages exist.
No, passing a law against mixed marriages is to forestall the actuality of such a marriage based upon acknowledgement that it CAN happen.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
How does that follow?
If a marriage automatically bestows green cards and civil unions don't, marriage is superior to civil union.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Only if one subsists entirely on food given to one by one's boss, and if that is the case, then I think that food allergies are the least of your worries.
So we have to eat the crap dished out by the government, and cannot change the menu. And you don't see that as a problem?
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
The proper analogy would be prohibitng a specific food. Gays can enter into opposite sex marriages. They can enter into same sex cohabitation, house ownership, dating, etc. One option is not available: same sex marriage.
And that denial of the option is unacceptable. Or don't you think so?
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
That is a complete non sequitur. What is disingenuous or sophist about it?
Because gays don't want to marry straight women; they want to marry the men they love.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, it's not. Marriage is a contract between a man, a woman, and a society. That's why, in a traditional wedding, the man and the woman address their vows to the minister, not each other. How can you say that marriage is a private matter, when your whole reason for wanting to get married is to change your relationship with the government? The idea that marriage is all about getting stuff is precisely the selfish attitude that worries conservatives.
If you're going to define marriage that way, then a traditional marriage is actually between one man and many women, in front of gods such as Zeus, Odin, and Apollo. Your version is a jumped-up Johnny-come-lately version of marriage.
Oh, and BTW, I don't want to "change my relationship" with the government. I want all governments of the world to recognise my absolute right to marry whomever I choose and live wherever I choose. The only selfishness here is the conservative denial of such rights.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
So then, allowing only opposite sex marriage doesn't discriminate against homosexuals, but against people who want to marry some of the same sex? And I suppose laws against theft are discriminatary against people who want to steal.
More sophistry. It is an absolute right for consenting adults to marry whomever they want. The government has no right to interfere, and must extend all such rights equally to people reglardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
How? The choice is denied to everyone.
Which is a violation of everyone's human rights.

LostAngeles
17th September 2005, 03:42 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, your position is that 50 years ago, marriage meant a union between a man and a woman of the same race.[quote]

Actually, that was Ipeac's position. Or are you thinking that you can apply for the million?

Here's the point of that: The laws banning interracial marriage essentially said that marriage is a union between a man and a woman of the same race. Hence, making laws that state that marriage is between a man and a woman is saying that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. That is the parallel. Where are we getting confused here?

Antiquehunter
17th September 2005, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Antiquehunter
It seems to me that if the govenrment was not involved in marriage, that would mean special priviliges for no one, rather than for everyone. Your last example is rather bizarre. If you claim to have a power of attorney, they demand proof, but if you claim to be married they just take your word for it?



On the privilege front - privileges should be distributed equitably, n'est-ce pas? They don't need to be 'special'...

Personal experience - my partner attempted to retrieve a package that required a signature at the counter and was required to produce a copy of our power of attorney. Ahead of him in line was a woman picking up her husband's mail, also requiring signature, but there were no questions asked.

I wonder if people are married but keep their original last names, whether these people are subjected to higher scrutiny or not.

-Oke

Meadmaker
17th September 2005, 09:35 PM
Originally posted by LostAngeles

Here's the point of that: The laws banning interracial marriage essentially said that marriage is a union between a man and a woman of the same race. Hence, making laws that state that marriage is between a man and a woman is saying that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. That is the parallel. Where are we getting confused here? [/B]

I went back and read a lot of this thread. I must admit, coming in in the middle, I was thinking that Art sounded a little bit kooky, but actually, I must admire his tenacity at sticking to an extremely logical position

The laws banning interracial marriage said nothing of the sort. They said that interracial marriages were illegal, not that they were undefined. Let me try a different angle.

Can a telephone marry a clock? Well, there are no laws against it, so I suppose they can, right? Well...no. And it's not just that they are unable to give consent or sign contracts. Marriage just doesn't apply to telephones or clocks. Can two dogs be married? No. Again, marriage doesn't apply.

Some great apes have been taught minimal language skills using sign language. They might be able to answer yes or no if someone asked them if they wanted to be married. So maybe they could marry? It's not likely they could really understand the concept of marriage, so some would argue that would be an impediment, but there are no laws against them marrying. However, the concept simply doesn't apply to even really smart, well educated chimpanzees.

What about a man and a chimp? Again, no laws against it. If Koko could sign "I do", could she be my bride? But, laws or no laws, gorillas can't get married, any more than clocks or telephones can be married.

I think Art's point, and he has been consistent on it, is that legalizing gay marriage doesn't simply require a change in the law, it requires a change in the definition of marriage. In a traditional understanding of what "marriage" means, the idea of a man and a man being married simply doesn't exist.

On the other hand, the concept of a black man and a white woman getting married does exist. Hence, the reason it was outlawed. The people who wrote those laws knew that interracial marriage was possible, but they didn't want it happening in their state. They didn't bother to ban marriage between two men, any more than they bothered to ban marriage between two chimps, or between a telephone and a clock. The whole concept didn't apply.

Can a man marry two different women? That concept exists, so laws were passed to make it illegal.

I'll reread what he was writing, to see if that's really it, and of course Art can correct me, but I think that is his point, and I think he has remained faithful to it. You can argue about whether or not marriage ought to be redefined to include non-traditional unions, but he has a point. To do so would not just change the law, it would change the definition.

Art Vandelay
17th September 2005, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by LostAngeles
Actually, that was Ipeac's position. Or are you thinking that you can apply for the million?No, it's your position. Nothing supernatural about reading what some posts.

Here's the point of that: The laws banning interracial marriage essentially said that marriage is a union between a man and a woman of the same race.No, in fact it says the opposite. As I already showed you, Virginia recognized them as being marriage. There are laws against having sex with minors. Does that mean sex with a minor isn't really sex?

Kimpatsu
17th September 2005, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
I went back and read a lot of this thread. I must admit, coming in in the middle, I was thinking that Art sounded a little bit kooky, but actually, I must admire his tenacity at sticking to an extremely logical position
Your definition of logic must be different rfom everybody elese's.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
The laws banning interracial marriage said nothing of the sort. They said that interracial marriages were illegal, not that they were undefined. Let me try a different angle.
Who's saying they were undefined? We're saying that they were unjust.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Can a telephone marry a clock? Well, there are no laws against it, so I suppose they can, right? Well...no. And it's not just that they are unable to give consent or sign contracts. Marriage just doesn't apply to telephones or clocks. Can two dogs be married? No. Again, marriage doesn't apply.
No, a telephone can't marry a clock because neither the telephone or the clock can give consent.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Some great apes have been taught minimal language skills using sign language. They might be able to answer yes or no if someone asked them if they wanted to be married. So maybe they could marry? It's not likely they could really understand the concept of marriage, so some would argue that would be an impediment, but there are no laws against them marrying. However, the concept simply doesn't apply to even really smart, well educated chimpanzees.
Again, we extend rights, but not the right to vote, to children for the same reason we extent them to gorillas: lack of capacity to consent.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
What about a man and a chimp? Again, no laws against it. If Koko could sign "I do", could she be my bride? But, laws or no laws, gorillas can't get married, any more than clocks or telephones can be married.
Again, they can't marry because of the lack of capacity for consent.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
I think Art's point, and he has been consistent on it, is that legalizing gay marriage doesn't simply require a change in the law, it requires a change in the definition of marriage. In a traditional understanding of what "marriage" means, the idea of a man and a man being married simply doesn't exist.
How would two men marrying change the definition of marriage, which is "a legal union between two consenting adults"? Marriage is a contract between consenting adults, that's all. Everything else is smoke and mirrors.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
On the other hand, the concept of a black man and a white woman getting married does exist. Hence, the reason it was outlawed. The people who wrote those laws knew that interracial marriage was possible, but they didn't want it happening in their state. They didn't bother to ban marriage between two men, any more than they bothered to ban marriage between two chimps, or between a telephone and a clock. The whole concept didn't apply.
But gays people married quite happily in ancient Greece. You're saying that the possibility of interracial marriage, but not gay marriage, existed in 1950s America. But, like Queen Victoria, the only reason gay marriage wasn't specifically mentioned in the statute was the inability of the legislators to imagine such a thing. IOW, gays are being punished now because of intellectual dullness back then.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Can a man marry two different women? That concept exists, so laws were passed to make it illegal.
Again, all you're really describing is the lack of imagination of the legislators.
Originally posted by Meadmaker
I'll reread what he was writing, to see if that's really it, and of course Art can correct me, but I think that is his point, and I think he has remained faithful to it. You can argue about whether or not marriage ought to be redefined to include non-traditional unions, but he has a point. To do so would not just change the law, it would change the definition.
No, the definition wouldn't change (see above), as nowhere is marriage defined exclusively as between a man and a woman, except in the minds of homophobic bigots.

Kimpatsu
17th September 2005, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, in fact it says the opposite. As I already showed you, Virginia recognized them as being marriage. There are laws against having sex with minors. Does that mean sex with a minor isn't really sex? No, Virginia recognised them as being unlawfully married (i.e., the marriage was null and void by virtue of their race. The same way that marriage to a minor is automatically null and void.

Random
18th September 2005, 06:02 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
I went back and read a lot of this thread. I must admit, coming in in the middle, I was thinking that Art sounded a little bit kooky, but actually, I must admire his tenacity at sticking to an extremely logical position
I normally don’t get involved in anything that might be considered a “Flame War”, but Art Vandelay’s disingenuous posts in this thread have really irked me. While you may admire Art’s tenacity, he has really been building a house on a foundation of sand. Since he has refused to come out and say straight up whether or not gay marriage should be legalized and why, and instead hides behind a bunch of word games and general obfuscation, I will have to assume that he is both against gay marriage and secretly ashamed of his position.

Through the course of this thread, Art Vandelay has used four different anti-gay marriage arguments, none of which hold up to rational debate.

1.) The status of the past and current law
2.) The definition of “Marriage” argument
3.) The Will of the Majority Argument
4.) The Gays can marry people of the opposite sex just like anyone else argument

The first argument is that current law in California and much of the rest of the country does not recognize gay marriage. This is true. That’s why gays want the law to be changed. When a couple of million people say that they would like a particular portion of the law to be changed, you kind of need to come up with an answer for why it shouldn’t be. If someone asks “Should X be legalized?”, and someone else responds “No, because X is illegal!”, it doesn’t really advance the debate. Pointless nitpicking over whether the law “prohibits” gay marriage, or just “doesn’t recognize” gay marriage is all just smoke and mirrors as well. Gays want the laws changed to make same-sex marriage recognized and legal. That’s their goal.

His second argument is pretty much like the first. He argues the marriage is between “one man and one woman”, therefore homosexual couples cannot marry. In doing so, he completely glosses over the fact that his definition of marriage seems to be a personal opinion. There are several governments and churches today who believe that a homosexual couple can be "married", and that a marriage is between "two people", so his opinion seems to be a matter of some debate. It really is just his opinion, but he presents it as iron-clad “fact”.

Next, we come to the most solid of his arguments, the will of the majority. Even here, we see that there are problems. The first is that the majority can be wrong. Majorities have supported slavery, Jim Crow, seizing property from Jews, and belief in UFOs. The founding fathers recognized the threat of the “tyranny of the majority”, and built in safeguards in the Constitution to minimize its effects. Americans have certain rights and freedoms that cannot be taken away by a slim majority vote, try though the GOP might.

The second problem with the argument that “the people have the right to decide!” or some such variation, is that it isn’t really an argument against gay marriage. If Fred Phelps yells on a street corner today “The people have a right to decide!”, people seem to think he makes a good argument against gay marriage. But if ninety percent of the population supported gay marriage and Phelps did the same thing, people would think he has a good argument in favor of gay marriage. Same argument, completely different outcome.

Third, even the religious right doesn’t really support the will of the majority argument. One of the reasons the religious right has been all in a huff about engraving anti-gay marriage laws into stone through constitutional amendments is because they take a look at demographics and public opinion polls and realize that a whole generation of young people are growing up who really see no problem with gay marriage. The majority in the future might not share the religious right’s current opinion, so they want to try to make it as difficult as possible for the will of the majority argument to work in the future.

Now we come to Art’s fourth and silliest argument. The fact that gays can chose to marry someone of the opposite sex. Again, this argument completely misses the point. Some men want to marry other men, some women want to marry other women. The fact that some gays are willing to marry people of the opposite sex doesn’t change this. If two men ask, “Why shouldn’t we be allowed to marry each other?”, that is the question that should be answered. “You can marry other people” just doesn’t cut it as an answer.

If you want to buy a car, the fact that bicycles exist does not give a dealer the right to refuse to sell you a car. If you want pancakes, the fact that the restaurant serves scrambled eggs does not give them the right to refuse to serve you pancakes. If you want to make a telephone call, the fact that you can write a letter does not give the government the right to prevent you from making a telephone call. If you want something, the fact that an alternative exists does not in and of itself justify you not getting what you want. There needs to be another reason (can't afford a car, out of pancakes, death row inmates not allowed to use the phone, etc).

People seem to be perfectly happy debating Art on these points, but I realized several posts back that there was really no point. Either by ignorance or design, Art is not engaging in an honest debate about the merits of gay marriage, and instead prefers to blow smoke, muddy the waters, miss the forest for the trees and engage in a whole lot of other metaphors without answering the question “Should homosexual couples be allowed to marry, and if not, why not?”

Meadmaker
18th September 2005, 07:28 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu

Who's saying they were undefined? We're saying that they were unjust.

The referrent in the sentence you quoted was the marriages, not the laws. The laws against interracial marriages were defined, as were the marriages. Homosexual marriages were not outlawed, because homosexual marriages were undefined.

How would two men marrying change the definition of marriage, which is "a legal union between two consenting adults"?

Can you find a use of this definition in anything older than me? I was born in 1962.

I picked up my big, thick, Webster's, published in 1983, and looked up "marriage", and it referred to a union of a husband and wife. Likewise the synonyms referenced a husband and wife, or a man and a woman. Never "two people".

The definitions of words change over time. Under wedlock, one of the definitions was 3. A wife (obs).

Perhaps future editions will say, "Marriage 1. A legal union between two consenting adults. 2. A legal union between a man and a woman. (obs)"

Definiton 5 under marriage was, "In pinochle, the king and queen of the same suit". Since, in Pinochle, there are two copies of every card, more enlightened players will allow points for the two kings, or two queens, of the same suit.



But gays people married quite happily in ancient Greece.

Did they? I don't know the answer to this, but I did a bit of googling on the subject. None of the sites were very authoritative. They were all amateur sorts of sites, with people like us spouting their opinions, but the ones who made that claim did it briefly, with no support. The ones who said that claim was wrong tended to give longer explanations, and to say that the homosexual unions were not very frequent, controversial, and not given the same legal status as marriages. That fits with my understand of the days I was forced to read "the symposium" in high school.

I would accept any evidence to the contrary, but I haven't seen it. I also haven't looked for it very hard.

Meadmaker
18th September 2005, 07:36 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
No, Virginia recognised them as being unlawfully married (i.e., the marriage was null and void by virtue of their race. The same way that marriage to a minor is automatically null and void.

This would be an interesting subject for a legal scholar. Did Virginia, or other states, recognize the existence of interracial marriages? For example, if a white man married a black woman in Illinois, and they moved to Virginia, their marriage would automatically be voided in Virginia. However, would they treat those people legally as single, or divorced? In my brief search, I could not find the answer.

An interesting, a possible, counterexample would be to determine how a Virginia court would have ruled in the following case:


A, a white male, married B, a black female, in Illinois. They were divorced. A was ordered to pay alimony to B. A moved to Virginia. Would A be required to continue to pay alimony? If so, then Virginia would be recognizing the existence of interracial marriage. What if A and B both moved to Virginia, separately, after the divorce?

Meadmaker
18th September 2005, 07:52 AM
Originally posted by Random

Now we come to Art’s fourth and silliest argument. The fact that gays can chose to marry someone of the opposite sex. Again, this argument completely misses the point. Some men want to marry other men, some women want to marry other women. The fact that some gays are willing to marry people of the opposite sex doesn’t change this. If two men ask, “Why shouldn’t we be allowed to marry each other?”, that is the question that should be answered. “You can marry other people” just doesn’t cut it as an answer.

If you want to buy a car, the fact that bicycles exist does not give a dealer the right to refuse to sell you a car.

At first, I agreed with you. It sounded ridiculous. However, he stuck with it enough that I decided to go back and read, and realized that he was simply trying to make a point, which no one seemed to want to acknowledge.

There's a law against selling cars to 15 year olds. Suppose a dealer wanted to sell a car to a 15 year old. Could he do it if he called the car a bicycle?

Is a "marriage" between two men or two women really a "marriage"? I would say that it constitutes a change in the definition of the word. The editors of that 1983 dictionary agree with me.

Kimpatsu
18th September 2005, 08:13 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
The referrent in the sentence you quoted was the marriages, not the laws. The laws against interracial marriages were defined, as were the marriages. Homosexual marriages were not outlawed, because homosexual marriages were undefined.
The same way that lesbianism was undefined: for the lack of imagination of the lawmakers. IOW, if they had lacked just a little more imagination, gay marriage would never have been an issue--because they were simply too unimaginative to visualise it!
Justice is greater than that, because it is not contingent upon accidental lapses in the collective imagination of bigots.

Random
18th September 2005, 08:34 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
At first, I agreed with you. It sounded ridiculous. However, he stuck with it enough that I decided to go back and read, and realized that he was simply trying to make a point, which no one seemed to want to acknowledge.

There's a law against selling cars to 15 year olds. Suppose a dealer wanted to sell a car to a 15 year old. Could he do it if he called the car a bicycle?

Is a "marriage" between two men or two women really a "marriage"? I would say that it constitutes a change in the definition of the word. The editors of that 1983 dictionary agree with me.
First off, there is a rational reason for denying a fifteen year old the right to buy a car even if bicycles never existed. The average fifteen year old is a twit. I know I was when I was that age. This has nothing to do with what you call the car, it has to do with the safety of the general public.

Secondly, I believe that two men or two women can be "married". I believe that they have that right. The fact that society and government has conspired to deny them that right for centuries doesn't change that. Two women can get married, call it a marriage, and I wouldn't really care. My definiton of "marriage" allows this. And the United Church of Christ agrees with me.

The entire argument over the word "marriage" is really just a giant distraction designed to make people lose sight of the fact the gays are being denied rights and priledges available to the rest of us. If the fundies can keep us bickering about twenty year old dictionaries, and whose definitions of cetain words are the right ones, they can stir up a lot of debate and make gay marriage look far more controversial than it really is.

Earthborn
18th September 2005, 09:01 AM
Is a "marriage" between two men or two women really a "marriage"?According to some people it is. According to other people, it isn't. There are even people (like me) who argue that it purely depends on how one choses to define the word.

But it doesn't matter at all. Whether same sex civil marriages become legal or not, the people who believe a particular type of relationship between two people of the same sex is marriage can continue to believe it is marriage. Those who believe it is not 'really' marriage can continue to believe that. Some of them may continue to believe that God doesn't recognise those relationships as marriages, and they won't have to marry any such couples in their churches.

The problem with 'gay marriage' discussions is that those who oppose or question it are constantly muddying to issue. They confuse civil marriage with their own ideas of what marriage means to them. The gay marriage debate is however exclusively about civil marriage, that is: the way the government deals with people it has registered as married. You can already call it a 'civil union' or a 'registered partnership' if you like, because that's what it is.

Discussions on the legalisation of same sex civil marriages are never about the commitments people make to eachother, the sacrifices they make for eachother. It is never about the relationship. That's because same sex couples can already have all of those. Many same sex couples already feel that they are married in much the same way you experience your marriage with your wife. The only thing that is different, is that they don't 'get the stuff' from the government that you and your wife do.

Of course marriage is not 'just a piece of paper', it is just that the only thing same sex couples are missing is 'just a piece of paper'.I would say that it constitutes a change in the definition of the word.Not necessarily. The word 'marriage' has many different definitions for different people, and they can continue to believe that theirs is the best definition. All that is required is how civil marriage is defined in the law books.

If you believe that recognising same sex civil marriages means recognising "that traditional marriage has broken down" (a fact not in evidence), then go ahead and continue to believe it. But the discussion never was about 'traditional marriage'. It is about legal protections, not traditions.

Meadmaker
18th September 2005, 02:16 PM
Originally posted by Earthborn
According to some people it is. According to other people, it isn't. There are even people (like me) who argue that it purely depends on how one choses to define the word.

I agree wholeheartedly. Words mean no more and no less than what people decide they mean. Accordingly, the word "marriage" has already begun a sort of linguistic drift.

There are a couple of implications for the debate on gay marriage though. First, some arguments are of the sort that insist there is some sort of right-wing crusade to outlaw gay marriages, and they point to a lack of laws in the past that outlaw gay marriages, as if this was some sort of new thing, just created by the religious right. That argument is ridiculous.

Second, it appears that both opponents and proponents of legal gay marriages find the whole definition issue very important. Opponents might insist that since gay people cannot be married, (to each other, if they happen to be the same sex) because the definition excludes such unions, that such unions ought to be illegal. That's ridiculous. We can change definitions of words whenever we want. Proponents, on the other hand, generally object strenuously if someone tries to create some other word to describe a homosexual union, even if the privileges and responsibilities of that union are exactly identical to that union known as "marriage". It seems they are adamant that the same word be used to describe both sorts of unions, which to my way of thinking means that they are just as hung up on definitions as Art is.




Discussions on the legalisation of same sex civil marriages are never about the commitments people make to eachother, the sacrifices they make for eachother.

Indeed, you are correct, and that is a pity, because from a civil standpoint, that's all there is. You note that same sex couples can already have all of those, and indeed they can. What they lack in 48 American states is the ability to enforce those sorts of commitments on a partner who no longer desires them.

If there were more discussions about that need, I would be much more supportive of gay marriage.

Random
19th September 2005, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
I agree wholeheartedly. Words mean no more and no less than what people decide they mean. Accordingly, the word "marriage" has already begun a sort of linguistic drift.

There are a couple of implications for the debate on gay marriage though. First, some arguments are of the sort that insist there is some sort of right-wing crusade to outlaw gay marriages, and they point to a lack of laws in the past that outlaw gay marriages, as if this was some sort of new thing, just created by the religious right. That argument is ridiculous.
I’m not sure of anyone who makes this argument. Gays will be the first to tell you that the main reason that laws prohibiting gay marriage are fairly recent is because until recently they were superfluous. Historically speaking, its only fairly recently that homosexuality itself was decriminalized. If being in a homosexual relationship alone is enough to send someone to jail, then prohibiting homosexual marriage is not necessary. The religious right has always wanted to prevent gay marriage, its only recently where gay marriage has had any chance of happening.
Second, it appears that both opponents and proponents of legal gay marriages find the whole definition issue very important. Opponents might insist that since gay people cannot be married, (to each other, if they happen to be the same sex) because the definition excludes such unions, that such unions ought to be illegal. That's ridiculous. We can change definitions of words whenever we want. Proponents, on the other hand, generally object strenuously if someone tries to create some other word to describe a homosexual union, even if the privileges and responsibilities of that union are exactly identical to that union known as "marriage". It seems they are adamant that the same word be used to describe both sorts of unions, which to my way of thinking means that they are just as hung up on definitions as Art is.
Well, to be fair, I think that a lot of gays would be perfectly willing to take something called “civil unions” if it granted all the benefits and responsibilities of “marriage”. They would do this in full knowledge that in a relatively short time people would just be calling it “marriage” anyway. The main concern that they have is that the “civil unions” would not be recognized everywhere, would not grant the same rights and responsibilities, and would be markedly inferior to the form of marriage available to heterosexual couples. Kind of like segregated schools in the south, both whites and blacks had schools, but the schools available to blacks were ratholes compared to the schools available to white students.

From a practical standpoint it would be easier to simply allow gay couples to utilize currently existing marriage laws and precedents, rather than trying to create an entirely new legal concept essentially from scratch.
Indeed, you are correct, and that is a pity, because from a civil standpoint, that's all there is. You note that same sex couples can already have all of those, and indeed they can. What they lack in 48 American states is the ability to enforce those sorts of commitments on a partner who no longer desires them.

If there were more discussions about that need, I would be much more supportive of gay marriage.
There have been plenty of discussions about the government benefits and responsibilities denied to homosexual couples, but good luck finding someone on the anti-gay marriage side to debate you. They want to focus on “protecting traditional marriage”, calling homosexuality “unnatural”, and talking about the will of God. They really don’t like it when you try to pin them down on actual material benefits provided by the state, and how the 1st Amendment says that their personal religious beliefs can’t be the sole justification for government policy decisions. When you do that, they have to break out their bag of flimsy rationalizations, and they hate that.

Darat
19th September 2005, 09:58 AM
Some of the people following this may be able to answer my question.

What will happen if a homosexual couple have entered into a Civil Partnership in the UK (which grants exactly the same rights to homosexual couples as a civil marriage in the UK from the end of the year) travels to the USA, one of them suffers a terrible accident and a decision has to be made whether to turn off the life support or not? Will the USA authorities recognise the right of the partner to make such a decision or not?

Meadmaker
19th September 2005, 10:10 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Random

Well, to be fair, I think that a lot of gays would be perfectly willing to take something called “civil unions” if it granted all the benefits and responsibilities of “marriage”.

Would they? (Or would the supporters of gay marriage find this acceptable? Most supporters of gay marriage are not, themselves, gay after all.) I will let other speak on the subject.

There have been plenty of discussions about the government benefits and responsibilities denied to homosexual couples, but good luck finding someone on the anti-gay marriage side to debate you.

I have heard many discussions of benefits denied to homosexual couples, but I have rarely heard discussions of responsibilities of marriage being denied to homosexual couples, from either the pro-gay marriage side or anti-gay marriage side.

I would love to hear discussions about divorce, alimony, and adultery as they applied to gay marriages, but no one seems to want to discuss that. It's not very romantic, I guess. No "love" involved. And yet, from a legal perspective, those three topics are inseparable from the topic of marriage.

Darat
19th September 2005, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
...snip...

I would love to hear discussions about divorce, alimony, and adultery as they applied to gay marriages, but no one seems to want to discuss that. It's not very romantic, I guess. No "love" involved. And yet, from a legal perspective, those three topics are inseparable from the topic of marriage.

Well won't they just be identical? Why should they be any differnet?

Random
19th September 2005, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
I have heard many discussions of benefits denied to homosexual couples, but I have rarely heard discussions of responsibilities of marriage being denied to homosexual couples, from either the pro-gay marriage side or anti-gay marriage side.

I would love to hear discussions about divorce, alimony, and adultery as they applied to gay marriages, but no one seems to want to discuss that. It's not very romantic, I guess. No "love" involved. And yet, from a legal perspective, those three topics are inseparable from the topic of marriage.
You’re right, but the reason for the lack of discussion about it is fairly straightforward. Gays have not yet won the right to marry in the US, except in Massachusetts, and even there it is provisional. The issue of gay divorce presupposes the existence of gay marriage. You can’t get a divorce until you get married, and since gays have yet to win the fight for gay marriage, they have not yet had to fight for gay divorce.

Besides, can you imagine a heterosexual couple fighting for divorce rights before they have been married yet?

And there have been brief discussions about long-term homosexual couples that have broken up and how a couple that has been together for twenty years has no more legal obligations to each other than a pair of college roommates.

And in the great state of Massachusetts, there has already been the first gay divorce back last December. Fairly amicable divorce, with standard divorce law guiding the process. The only sticking point was who would get possession of the three cats.

Scot C. Trypal
19th September 2005, 12:06 PM
[can’t… resist… topic…]

I’ve actually written many replies to this thread and just never sent them. But you’re want for discussion on divorce, Dave, and something I wrote last week prodded me. I think this was in regards to the thread you started:


…snip…

Gays are often motivated to get married for their children or future children’s sake. Gay homemakers loose just as much luster to everyone (but their partners, if they have their priorities straight, so to speak) when they are raising their children. Sometimes their partners stop being sexually attracted to them after years of up-all-night-with-sick-kids and other parental worries have taken their toll. Often these couples find the sex is nothing compared to family and love; other times they ditch their responsibilities, like any deadbeat dad, if the law allows, and the children pay for it.

An anecdote: An acquaintance left her partner and the children they purposefully created together, after they got a civil union in another state. When her partner sued for half their assets, the woman got a Christian group to pay for her lawyers by claiming she “left the gay lifestyle”. Her partner lost, and went on welfare. What’s worse, it turns out the newly-“straight” woman went on to find another woman lover. All of society is paying for, and giving motivation for that, when the alternative could instead be people being forced to take responsibility for their family obligations.

While I’ve seen gays split in the past and it’s rarely pretty, legally or otherwise, this is the 2nd “divorce” we’ve seen in our parenting group in the last 4 years, and it’s a whole other sort of terrible when there are children and grandparents involved.

Where you certainly have a point is that same-sex couples are different. Their anatomy is plainly different and they do not become parents by adoption or fertility treatments by accident (Though, I’ve known a bunch of gay couples who have had some of their children by accident; such as when fertility drugs leave them with 4 instead of 1 expected child). But there is no reason to keep infertile parents or persons from marriage.

...snip…

Dave, some of my very first posts I made here made clear I want equal rights for my family for many reasons. We pay our taxes, and we should get the same rights, regardless of my anatomy. I want the same shot at health insurance for my homemaker, and, sure, it will save me money. I want my friend’s kids to be legally chained to the two people who agreed to take the responsibility to raise them. I don’t think a woman I never met should have a greater ability to be treated as my kin than the person I’ve spent over a decade with. And so on and on. But I’ve always been clear, from the start, I want these rights because they protect the people I care about from many threats, even if that threat is a future, despicable me.

But it will never be me, right? Never me. I know that with as much certainty as I know anything about myself. That’s why you don’t hear much talk about it in public. Still, people go mad, wires short-circuit, and, regardless of any misdoing, marriage rights would make my whole family, from our kids to their grandparents, feel much better, knowing I couldn’t just up and shirk my duties to the person taking care of our home, as I could now.

I can find the old posts if you’d like, but I don’t understand how you’ve missed them when we always seem to meet in these threads. At least they’ve always been pleasant meetings :).

Scot C. Trypal
19th September 2005, 12:19 PM
Originally posted by Darat
Some of the people following this may be able to answer my question.

What will happen if a homosexual couple have entered into a Civil Partnership in the UK (which grants exactly the same rights to homosexual couples as a civil marriage in the UK from the end of the year) travels to the USA, one of them suffers a terrible accident and a decision has to be made whether to turn off the life support or not? Will the USA authorities recognise the right of the partner to make such a decision or not?

From what I understand of the Defense of Marriage Act, the partner would have no legal standing as a spouse or next of kin, and could not make such decisions. Barring a hospital staff willing to take a legal risk and give that decision to the partner regardless, not knowing if the patient’s blood relatives would object, I think the partner would be out of luck.

Meadmaker
19th September 2005, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Scot C. Trypal
[can’t… resist… topic…]
At least they’ve always been pleasant meetings :).

Indeed. In fact, your postings, along with some of those of others, have been very influential in forming my opinion on the subject of gay marriage.

And yet, the subjects you touch upon are rarely discussed. Not never, obviously, but rarely.

I am a reluctant supporter of gay marriage. Others I know are marginal opponents, as I have been in the past. Together, we are the "swing votes" that will ultimately decide the issue.

So what influences so many of us? I think you would find that we are almost unanimously supporters of gay rights in all areas except marriage, such as employment rights. What makes marriage different?

First, I think you would find that most of us in the "swing vote" category think marriage is important, but not due to any sort of religious motivation. You would find almost no swing voters saying, "There state shouldn't be involved in marriage at all, but if it offers marriage to some, it must offer it to all." On the other hand, that's a fairly common opinion offered by staunch proponents of gay marriage.

Some people, although not me, are quite adamant that the word marriage only applies to men and women, as was true in the past. These traditionalists would frequently support the concept of an identical "civil union" that simply wasn't called marriage. But they are uneasy when they see people absolutely rejecting such a notion, as so many people do. When such a notion is rejected, they become suspicious that there is a great deal more to the agenda of the proponents of gay marriage than just gay marriage. If it were all about making sure that gays had the same opportunities and responsibilities as heteros, then the name wouldn't be important. The fact that it is important makes many people suspect that there is some other hidden agenda, and they reject the hidden agenda.

To persuade voters that gays ought to be married, you people who support that will have to convince people that

1. Marriage is important.
2. The reasons it is important apply to gay people as well.
3. It's ok to be gay.

It isn't enough to convince people that married people "get something", so gay people ought to have it too.

For all practical purposes, you have won item three. Granted, a sizeable minority disagree with it, but in the US, it's a minority. Most people don't have a problem anymore with either the existence or the expression of homosexuality.

But 1 and 2? Scot does a pretty good job of making a case for them. The rest of you could learn something from him. Pay particular attention to this sentence:

I want these rights because they protect the people I care about from many threats, even if that threat is a future, despicable me.

If you don't understand that sentence, you don't understand marriage.

Antiquehunter
19th September 2005, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Random

Well, to be fair, I think that a lot of gays would be perfectly willing to take something called “civil unions” if it granted all the benefits and responsibilities of “marriage”.

Would they? (Or would the supporters of gay marriage find this acceptable? Most supporters of gay marriage are not, themselves, gay after all.) I will let other speak on the subject.

My partner and I personally would support a 'civil union' if it granted all the benefits and responsibilities of 'marriage'. But - that's a pretty big 'if'. It seems more expedient to simply equate 'civil union' to 'marriage' for the purposes of all legal matters - or just call it 'marriage' for everything outside of a religious context. Our personal opinions are different from some gay/lesbian couples we know who are practicing a religion - for them the religious recognition is also important.


There have been plenty of discussions about the government benefits and responsibilities denied to homosexual couples, but good luck finding someone on the anti-gay marriage side to debate you.

I have heard many discussions of benefits denied to homosexual couples, but I have rarely heard discussions of responsibilities of marriage being denied to homosexual couples, from either the pro-gay marriage side or anti-gay marriage side.

I would love to hear discussions about divorce, alimony, and adultery as they applied to gay marriages, but no one seems to want to discuss that. It's not very romantic, I guess. No "love" involved. And yet, from a legal perspective, those three topics are inseparable from the topic of marriage. [/B]

For the purposes of this discussion, its important to note that while we still are not legally married in Canada, we are governed by 'common-law' rules. There was a change in Canadian law I believe 3 years ago which led the way to full 'gay marriage'. Some issues (like filing taxes as spouses) were partially addressed in 2002-3.

Thankfully, I have never had to go through a split-up with my partner (we've been together for about 10 years) but we had very open and frank discussions about finances, fidelity etc... when we moved in together. Our financial positions were very 'different' 10 years ago, so we chose to get a lawyer to draw up a cohabitation agreement in the event things didn't work out.

My lawyer advised me (in the mid 90's) that in the case of a split-up alimony wouldn't be an issue since there are no kids and neither of us is financially dependent on the other. Whatever wealth we earned together since the time we started to live together would be split 50/50 - fair enough, and with the cohab agreement, whatever one partner brought into the relationship at the start would be 'grandfathered'. I'm not sure if this is a 'Canadian' approach to divorce - but my lawyer stated these principles are the same for any common-law relationship. I'm not sure yet if there are any changes to these matters once we are actually 'married'. May need to change the 'cohabitation agreement' into more of a pre-nup - although the issues themselves have also changed, and we don't need as much 'financial protection' as one of us did 10 years ago.

I agree that these matters are not necessarily easy or pleasant to discuss in ANY relationship - but a marriage between two people of the same gender should require the same kinds of discussions that any couple needs to have when making a major committment.

(Edited to fix my quotes)

Kimpatsu
19th September 2005, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by Antiquehunter
My partner and I personally would support a 'civil union' if it granted all the benefits and responsibilities of 'marriage'.
A civil union with all the rights of a marriage would BE a marriage, wouldn't it? We're only talking about a piece of paper, after all.

Art Vandelay
19th September 2005, 07:04 PM
RandomIf a restaurant in Mississippi refuses to serve black customers, but there is a man in Nigeria who doesn’t want to spend the money to travel all the way to Mississippi to go to the restaurant, is the restaurant still discriminating against blacks?That is a poor analogy, because the government is not denying marriage to homosexuals. A better analogy would be: if a restaurant refuses to serve Chinese food, is it discriminating against Chinese people? What if a Chinese person doesn't want Chinese food?

If the state allows one couple to enter into a legally binding agreement that grants them all sort of rights, responsibilities, and financial advantages, and says that another couple cannot enter into a similar agreement, there needs to be some sort of compelling reason for it. I disagree. Do you think that this applies to incestuous relationships as well? Furthermore, that is an argument for requiring civil unions, not marriage.

In the case of homosexual vs. heterosexual marriage, no one seems to be able to give a good reason for the difference.People get married for emotional reasons. Why shouldn't the government be able to consider emotional reasons as compelling? Granting marriage licenses to same sex couples would undermine its perceived value.

You appear to be able to use a keyboard. Does this give the government the right to prohibit you from speaking in public? Of course not, there would have to be some other compelling reason for the government to interfere with your ability to speak in public.

The fact that straight marriages are available to all does not justify prohibiting gay marriage. It’s a pointless distraction. You need to have something more.This is a strawman. I never said that allowing opposite sex marriage justifies prohibiting same sex marriage. I was merely refuting the claim that homosexuals are prohibited from marrying. I find it rather annoying when someone says “X”, I say “no, not X”, and someone else says “ ‘not X’ is a pointless distraction”. Also speech falls under the “clear and present danger” standard. Marriage falls under the “public policy” standard. And protection of speech is based on the idea that it is a basic right, while the argument for requiring same sex marriage is that offering it in some instances but not others is not right.

I’m getting tired of all this smoke and mirrors about heterosexual marriage, so let’s cut right to the chase. Do you believe that two men should be allowed to marry each other if they wish, and if not, why not?Have you stopped beating your wife? Maybe you think it’s a simple question, but I don’t think it is. If I were a legislator, and a vote came up, I would vote according to what I believe to be the wishes of my constituents. If I were voting in a referendum, I would vote in favor of same-sex marriage.

I normally don’t get involved in anything that might be considered a “Flame War”, but Art Vandelay’s disingenuous posts in this thread have really irked me. While you may admire Art’s tenacity, he has really been building a house on a foundation of sand. Since he has refused to come out and say straight up whether or not gay marriage should be legalized and why, and instead hides behind a bunch of word games and general obfuscation, I will have to assume that he is both against gay marriage and secretly ashamed of his position.I find you to be disingenuous, claiming not to like flaming (at least, not the internet kind), yet engaging in it anyway. This paragraph is simply a collection of insults, without any solid basis or examples. I did not refuse to answer your question, I simply did not answer it within two days, which is apparently the time limit that you have set for responding to posts. In the future, however, an absence of a response to you may indeed be permanent, but if so it will more likely be due to me not wanting to deal with people who are unable to have a civil discussion, rather than dishonesty on my part.

Through the course of this thread, Art Vandelay has used four different anti-gay marriage arguments, none of which hold up to rational debate.

1.) The status of the past and current law
2.) The definition of “Marriage” argument
3.) The Will of the Majority Argument
4.) The Gays can marry people of the opposite sex just like anyone else argument
No, I have not. The first and last are not arguments that I presented against same-sex marriage; they are issues that other people brought up, and which I therefore discussed. I have never claimed that same-sex marriage should not be allowed because it’s illegal, nor have I said that it should not be allowed because homosexuals can enter into same-sex marriage. I can only conclude that either you are deliberately presenting a strawmen, or you really don’t under the discussion.

Pointless nitpicking over whether the law “prohibits” gay marriage, or just “doesn’t recognize” gay marriage is all just smoke and mirrors as well.Again, I call strawman.

His second argument is pretty much like the first. He argues the marriage is between “one man and one woman”, therefore homosexual couples cannot marry. In doing so, he completely glosses over the fact that his definition of marriage seems to be a personal opinion. There are several governments and churches today who believe that a homosexual couple can be "married", and that a marriage is between "two people", so his opinion seems to be a matter of some debate. It really is just his opinion, but he presents it as iron-clad “fact”.It is a fact that “marriage” is commonly understood to be between a man and a woman. That this seems to be a personal opinion- now that is an opinion. Words mean what most people think they mean, not what some people think they mean.

Merriam-Webster (”http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=marriage”): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

http://www.answers.com/marriage&r=67]answers.com (”[url) (Google’s definitions)[/url]: The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.


dictionary.com (”http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=marriage”): The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.



The first is that the majority can be wrong.

The second problem with the argument that “the people have the right to decide!” or some such variation, is that it isn’t really an argument against gay marriage. Third, even the religious right doesn’t really support the will of the majority argument. Saying that the majority can be wrong isn’t much of an argument. As for the second, I absolutely agree. If there was a widespread belief in this country that “marriage” can be between a same-sex couple, then we should allow it. And the third would simply be an ad hominem attack, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m not a member of the religious right.

If you want pancakes, the fact that the restaurant serves scrambled eggs does not give them the right to refuse to serve you pancakes. No, it’s not the scrambled eggs that gives them the right, it’s the fact that it’s their restaurant that gives them the right.

Art Vandelay
19th September 2005, 08:20 PM
Originally posted by Scot C. Trypal
But do you think gays experience the opposite sex in the same way heterosexuals do? Do you think you experience men in the same way homosexuals do? Could you create a lifelong marriage, complete with physical intimacy, and raise children with a man, with the same degree of health and joy you could find with a woman?Obviously, gays don't experience the opposite sex the way heterosexuals do. (Although- and I'm just pointing this out, not trying to advance an agenda- the current, American view of marriage is a bit of an aberration. There's now the idea that marriage is simply a matter of declaring your (romantic) love for someone. I think that if you look at other cultutes, their views on marriage are in some ways more practical, with (romantic) love not being so important. In those cultures, being gay probably wouldn't make much of a difference.)

I think that I could possibly have a satisfying relationship with a man. As for whether it would be as good as one with a woman, that depends on what man and what woman. And there's more that influences my relationships with men than my sexuality.

I also wonder Art, do you think gays should marry or be encouraged to marry the opposite sex? As a mater of public policy?Well, they shouldn't be pushed into a relationship that they don't want. Whether someone should be encouraged to marry varies on a case to case basis, and obviously with gays the answer would more often be "no".

And I should know, I’ve been married thrice now :D (to the same person…). The marriages, or three weddings?

Originally posted by Earthborn
It is discrimination to deny some citizens an opportunity that they are inclined to make use of.Except that all citizens are being denied the opportunity.

But just because someone is not discriminated against does not prove that there is no discrimination going on.My point was that it's not disrimination based on orientation. You have agreed with that, so that answers my question.

Any discriminatory policy works in favour of some people and against other people. Yes, but not all policies that work in favor of some people and against others are discriminatorty.

Suppose interracial marriages were banned. The law would then not discriminate against same 'race' couples. Does that mean a ban on interracial marriage is non-discriminatory? Of course not: it still discriminates against different 'race' couples. pBut is discriminating against a type of couple the same as discriminating against people?

Antiquehunter
19th September 2005, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
A civil union with all the rights of a marriage would BE a marriage, wouldn't it? We're only talking about a piece of paper, after all.

Well the reason I stressed that I found it unlikely that a 'civil union' would equate fully with all the rights of 'marriage' is that by making a new category the door is now open for someone to say (for example) - MARRIED people may adopt children, people who are in a 'CIVIL UNION' may not.

Much the same now as there can be discrimination against people who are simply common-law vs. married.

From an administrative point of view, I suspect that the 'civil union' option is a bit of a slippery slope. Personally, my partner and I would be open to using that option if implemented properly, and if it was the only option open to us. So - the 'civil union' option is worth investigating. But I do see it as a fallback position.

Art Vandelay
19th September 2005, 09:39 PM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
No, passing a law against mixed marriages is to forestall the actuality of such a marriage based upon acknowledgement that it CAN happen.The reason it can happen is because the term "marriage" includes mixed race couples. Also, notice that the law in question does not forestall marriages; it only applies after a mixed race couple marries.

If a marriage automatically bestows green cards and civil unions don't, marriage is superior to civil union.Perhaps you do not understand the American concept of federalism? That civil unions do not automatically bestow green cards (and BTW, marriage does not automatically bestow green cards, either) is no more relevant to a state law than if the RCC gives preferences to marriages and not civil unions.

So we have to eat the crap dished out by the government, and cannot change the menu. So there is no significance to any relationship beyond what government accords it?

Because gays don't want to marry straight women; they want to marry the men they love.So? How does that make my post disingenuous or sophist?

If you're going to define marriage that way, then a traditional marriage is actually between one man and many women, in front of gods such as Zeus, Odin, and Apollo. Your version is a jumped-up Johnny-come-lately version of marriage.The idea that marriage involves society is a "Johnny-come-lately version of marriage"?

Oh, and BTW, I don't want to "change my relationship" with the government. I want all governments of the world to recognise my absolute right to marry whomever I choose and live wherever I choose.If you get married, your relationship with the government will change.

The only selfishness here is the conservative denial of such rights.So what benefit do they derive from you not marrying?

More sophistry
...
Which is a violation of everyone's human rights.
More allegations sophistry, with no explanation for the charge. If this is a violation of everyone's human rights, how can it be discrimination?

Who's saying they were undefined? We're saying that they were unjust.
No, the claim was that interracial marriages were not considered to exist. Can you people stop trying to rewrite what happened?

No, a telephone can't marry a clock because neither the telephone or the clock can give consent.No, they can't marry because the concept of marriage doesn't include them. I find the issue of consent odd. After all, a vibrator isn't capable of giving consent; does that make it wrong to have sex with it?

Again, we extend rights, but not the right to vote, to children for the same reason we extent them to gorillas: lack of capacity to consent.You seem to have completely missed Meadmaker's point: if another primate were capable of giving consent, would marriage include them?

How would two men marrying change the definition of marriage, which is "a legal union between two consenting adults"? Except that's not the definition.

But gays people married quite happily in ancient Greece. Really? I was unaware that the ancient Greeks spoke English.

But, like Queen Victoria, the only reason gay marriage wasn't specifically mentioned in the statute was the inability of the legislators to imagine such a thing. IOW, gays are being punished now because of intellectual dullness back then.It is not lack of imagination, but conciseness, that caused its absence. What possible reason would they have for mentioning it? Your last statement is wrong on two counts: gays are not being punished, and if it had been mentioned, it surely would not have been allowed (you don't seriously think otherwise, do you?)

No, the definition wouldn't change (see above), as nowhere is marriage defined exclusively as between a man and a woman, except in the minds of homophobic bigots.So Google, dictionary.com, and Merriam-Webster are all homophobic bigots? And of course all those laws that specifically mention man and woman are bigotry, too. I guess this is a variant on the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.

Roadtoad
19th September 2005, 09:44 PM
Darat, to answer your question, I sincerely doubt that US authorities would recognize the partner's rights under British law. And, that's unfortunate, in part because if I had to guess, one's partner/lover would have the necessary knowledge of their partner's medical history.

The more I look at this, the more I realize just how little I know.

TragicMonkey
19th September 2005, 10:05 PM
For heaven's sake, the question isn't "why should gays be allowed to marry each other", the question is "why shouldn't gays be allowed to marry each other?" There simply must be a good reason why not, right? Because the dictionary says so? Because it hasn't happened before? Because they could marry people they don't want to marry instead? For heaven's gate, stop footling around and present a real reason why not.

Is there a real answer, or is everyone going to persist in playing word games and hypotheticals?

Why not gay marriage?

Kimpatsu
19th September 2005, 11:50 PM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
The reason it can happen is because the term "marriage" includes mixed race couples. Also, notice that the law in question does not forestall marriages; it only applies after a mixed race couple marries.
Not true! South African race laws specifically prohibited marriage.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Perhaps you do not understand the American concept of federalism? That civil unions do not automatically bestow green cards (and BTW, marriage does not automatically bestow green cards, either) is no more relevant to a state law than if the RCC gives preferences to marriages and not civil unions.
In other words, the laws are unjust. If marriage automatically bestows a green card, then a civil union must, too.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
So there is no significance to any relationship beyond what government accords it?
What do you mean? Marriage is a legal concept, remember. It's a piece of paper, nothing more.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
So? How does that make my post disingenuous or sophist?
Because you're arguing that gays can marry whomever they like, so long as it's a person of another sex. It's a variant of "you can have any colour you like, so long as it's black". It's not really a choice at all. Like my saying you can eat anything you like so long as it has peanuts in it, knowing full well you're allergic to peanuts. It's not a choice, and it's sophistry to pretend otherwise.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
The idea that marriage involves society is a "Johnny-come-lately version of marriage"?
Marriage has nothing to do with society at all, except for the fact that it's a legal contract is all. Society certainly doesn't have a right to tell consenting adults who they can and cannot marry.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
If you get married, your relationship with the government will change.
That's right; but it shouldn't. And the government has no right to tell consenting adults who they can and can't marry.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
So what benefit do they derive from you not marrying?
What benefits do they derive from me marrying? And what does that matter anyway?
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
More allegations sophistry, with no explanation for the charge. If this is a violation of everyone's human rights, how can it be discrimination?
When discrimination occurs, we all suffer, not just those directly discriminated against. Homophobia weakens society, because it is an attack on the concept of justice and equality for all. That everyone's human rights are violated doesn't lessen the fact that homophobia is discrimination.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, the claim was that interracial marriages were not considered to exist. Can you people stop trying to rewrite what happened?
Who's rewriting anything? Under apartheid SA law, interracial marriages were deemed impossible. (I.e., they could not occur.)
Your bellowing frustration here implies that you know your homophobic position is in deep rhetorical trouble.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
No, they can't marry because the concept of marriage doesn't include them. I find the issue of consent odd. After all, a vibrator isn't capable of giving consent; does that make it wrong to have sex with it?
A vibrator is not animate. Maybe in the far future nanotechnology will make a sentient interactive sex toy, wherupon we will have to rethink our position on what a sex toy is. But aanimals, children, and adults are all sentient and capable of feeling pain, as you well know. The current concept of marriage includes any two consenting people, period. Ergo, gays can marry, but sex toys can't.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
You seem to have completely missed Meadmaker's point: if another primate were capable of giving consent, would marriage include them?
And if lollipops could give consent, would marriage include them? Such questions are meaningless, as there is no other primate that CAN give consent.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Except that's not the definition.
Except that it is.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
Really? I was unaware that the ancient Greeks spoke English.
So only English-speaking people can get married? Tell that to all the French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, CHinese, Korean, and Arabic-only speakers in the world, for starters.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
It is not lack of imagination, but conciseness, that caused its absence. What possible reason would they have for mentioning it? Your last statement is wrong on two counts: gays are not being punished, and if it had been mentioned, it surely would not have been allowed (you don't seriously think otherwise, do you?)
If gays who wish to marry each other are denied the ability to do so, they are being punished for their sexual orientation, period. But it is characteristic of all oppression to deny that it IS oppression.
And anyway, you're wrong. Queen Victoria deliberately excluded gay women because she was incapable of imagining such an act.
Originally posted by Art Vandelay
So Google, dictionary.com, and Merriam-Webster are all homophobic bigots? And of course all those laws that specifically mention man and woman are bigotry, too. I guess this is a variant on the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.
Nice try, but it is not a "NTS" fallacy. The lexicographers are wrong because their definitions are outdated, not because they are "necessarily) homophobic. Reread my explanation of dictionary inaccuracy to see that lexicographers are not perfect.

Random
20th September 2005, 03:47 AM
An open message to Art Vanderlay:

I was going to write up a long, detailed, synopsis of why I thought you were wrong, and include links, quotes from this thread, blah, blah, blah. Then I remembered why I don’t get involved in flame wars. It’s really hard for me to see where legitimate criticism ends and personal attacks begin. Anger isn’t good for me, and a long protracted internet argument just raises my blood pressure.

I also really should try to get a better handle on my emotions on this particular issue. This topic seems to push all of my buttons. Noting else even seems to come close. Not sure why, I’m not gay, don’t have any gay friends or family members, and I don’t know why this bothers me so much. But for some reason, I just find it impossible to focus on this topic without becoming irrationally angry and upset.

When I came to this thread, I saw you using some of the same arguments that I see the fundies make. I assumed in the back of my mind that you were personally against gay marriage and, consciously or not, started looking for a reason to go after you.

I tried a post or two to explain why I thought your reasoning was flawed, and when you did not cave in completely I got upset. I wrote a post to “call you out”, and make your personal position on gay marriage known, and when you did not immediately respond, I started to stew.

Two days later, when you responded to a post that came after mine, I assumed that you were ignoring me, and somehow saw this as an excuse to go after you.

I should have dropped the whole thing there and taken a step back, but then I read a post from Meadmaker where he seemed to praise you for your stance. That set me off, and I found myself typing away for half an hour writing that rather long winded and, in retrospect, inexcusable post.

Art Vanderlay, I am sorry, and apologize for my inexcusable behavior.

I forgot that I should be rational on a forum such as this, and make arguments from the mind, not the heart. I decided to attack you, rather than your ideas. I made it personal.

I am uncertain how much I have offended you, but if you can’t find it in your heart to forgive me, simply say the word and I will place you in my ignore list, you can place me in yours, and we can both just walk away.

-Stewart Allen
“Random”

Gwyn ap Nudd
20th September 2005, 04:40 AM
Originally posted by Art Vandelay


So then, allowing only opposite sex marriage doesn't discriminate against homosexuals, but against people who want to marry some of the same sex? And I suppose laws against theft are discriminatary against people who want to steal.



It is discrimination. Whether it is gender discrimination (Steve can't marry Adam, but Eve can) or orientation discrimination (Adam can marry Eve, whom he is not attracted to, but not Steve, whom he is) is mostly a matter of perspective. It was you who insisted on the former, and the others correctly pointed out that, even so, it is still discrimination.

And, yes, laws against theft do discriminate against those who wish to persue a "theiving lifestyle." The difference is that theft causes an obvious and provable harm to society and to innocent individuals. That gives the government the right to protect its citizens by passing laws against it.

In essence, the whole debate is, and must be, based on nothing more than answering the question "What is the obvious and provable harm that a "homosexual lifestyle" poses to society and/or to individual citizens? Or what other compelling interest justifies the discrimination?" If there is no compelling interest, then there is no justification to deny the right.


But gays people married quite happily in ancient Greece.

Did they? I don't know the answer to this, but I did a bit of googling on the subject. None of the sites were very authoritative. They were all amateur sorts of sites, with people like us spouting their opinions, but the ones who made that claim did it briefly, with no support. The ones who said that claim was wrong tended to give longer explanations, and to say that the homosexual unions were not very frequent, controversial, and not given the same legal status as marriages. That fits with my understand of the days I was forced to read "the symposium" in high school.

I would accept any evidence to the contrary, but I haven't seen it. I also haven't looked for it very hard.

(Meadmaker responding to Kimpatsu)


Actually it was late Roman Republic and early Imperial Rome, not Greece. It occurred after Roman law recognized the rights of women, and marriage instead of being a contract for chattel between a man and his father-in-law, became a contract between equal partners. Because the new laws protected both partners, members of same-sex unions sought the same rights. It was legal, but distateful, since there were still rituals involved from when the women were chattel, and one of the partners had to take the part of the woman during the ceremony. Later, this marriage was replaced with a ceremony of adopting another adult as a "brother" with rights and priveleges (such as inheretence) beyond those of natural siblings and subject to the same restrictions as marriage.

My source is Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0679751645/ref=pd_ir_imp86/002-8667296-5457603?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance) by John Boswell. He includes quotes from many documents from the time.

He also notes that marriage did not become a "sacred institution" until the late middle ages (Before that, it was merely a contract.), and that the marriage ceremonies performed in those medieval churches were based on "brotherhood" ceremonies for same-sex couples. (While this "brotherhood" may have been a saintly concern for one another's spiritual welfare -- most of the couples thus joined were monks, Boswell says the documents suggest that it was a continuation of the Roman "adoption."

edited for clarity

Kimpatsu
20th September 2005, 05:16 AM
Originally posted by Gwyn ap Nudd
And, yes, laws against theft do discriminate against those who wish to persue a "theiving lifestyle." The difference is that theft causes an obvious and provable harm to society and to innocent individuals. That gives the government the right to protect its citizens by passing laws against it.
That's true; I'd forgotten, but of course, the law does discriminate against a junkie who steals from his employer's petty cash to fund his habit, and an unemployed man who steals a can of beans to feed his children.
Originally posted by Gwyn ap Nudd
Actually it was late Roman Republic and early Imperial Rome, not Greece.
I stand corrected, but I thought that the Spartands encouraged gay unions in the belief that it would lead to gay couples fightign to the death to defend each other on the battlefield, rather than retreating.

TragicMonkey
20th September 2005, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
I stand corrected, but I thought that the Spartands encouraged gay unions in the belief that it would lead to gay couples fightign to the death to defend each other on the battlefield, rather than retreating.

That was the Thebans, and the Sacred Band. I never read that they had any sort of ceremony, though.

Kimpatsu
20th September 2005, 08:46 AM
Originally posted by TragicMonkey
That was the Thebans, and the Sacred Band. I never read that they had any sort of ceremony, though.
I did, somewhere and a long time ago.
Doesn't really change the point though, because in ancient Greece and Rome, marriage could be accomplished very informally, but it was still marriage.

Meadmaker
20th September 2005, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Kimpatsu
A civil union with all the rights of a marriage would BE a marriage, wouldn't it? We're only talking about a piece of paper, after all.

Not according to the Supreme Court for the Commwealth of Massachusetts.

Scot C. Trypal
20th September 2005, 08:57 AM
Thank you Dave.

Some people, although not me, are quite adamant that the word marriage only applies to men and women, as was true in the past. These traditionalists would frequently support the concept of an identical "civil union" that simply wasn't called marriage. But they are uneasy when they see people absolutely rejecting such a notion, as so many people do. When such a notion is rejected, they become suspicious that there is a great deal more to the agenda of the proponents of gay marriage than just gay marriage. If it were all about making sure that gays had the same opportunities and responsibilities as heteros, then the name wouldn't be important. The fact that it is important makes many people suspect that there is some other hidden agenda, and they reject the hidden agenda.

Let me let out a secret :). Speaking in broad unfair generalizations about the gay community here, it’s a mess and getting worse.

Up until a couple years ago, the head of the community was the wilder, antisocial, I’m-nothing-if-not-gay segment. I know I, a monogamous “straight acting” science geek who can’t stand Babs :), was not welcome. Most the same-sex couples we knew were politically inactive, going on with their lives, getting married (by their perspective) and having kids, seeing little need for our activists and having little in common with them. Neither side even liked each other much, but now they need each other.

The families need the rights/responsibilities most urgently and are terrified about our opponent’s expressed desire to use their momentum to take children from their homes, and the old guard has the experience and political know-how to fight them, if not the tact.

On the other hand, the old guard now needs the monogamous life-long couples with kids up front (you, Dave, clearly understand why), to do what all activists are paid to do, fight. Not that I don't respect many of them, but when you are paid to fight, you tend to pick fights, no matter your interest group and often myopically.

Both sides need and are using each other, but it’s not a happy marriage. One side can be too sanctimonious, and the other can be too impetuous. Just recently I made enemies by trying to put our local caucus into the hands of “my side”; unfortunately, we only got the vice chair position, but next year... The fight over the word is a great example of how this struggle is manifesting. One side sees it as a symbolic battle against long standing injustice, while the other is by far most interested in the effect.

Personally, I consider myself married and so does everyone in my circle of family and friends. I do so from the understanding of marriage handed down to me from my parents, and it’d be silly for me to pretend I don’t, or to change my vocabulary regarding marriage for PC concerns. I don’t expect the law to change that for anyone on either side of this argument.

But, as I’ve expressed many times here, keep the word in the law as is, if it causes so much distress and distrust. Please, just give the effect of marriage. Don’t listen to my “leaders” on this one. There are people, not just gays, harmed everyday without these protections, and insisting on this word is just pushing the relief further out. That’s why I’m not too happy about the California thing. They had most all the rights there, and now they just gave the public a reason to vote yes on a Constitutional Amendment, taking it all away.

This whole thing is just sad. To me it seems the anti-gay marriage people are fighting to keep from gays what gays already have, the sanctity, the family, and so on. One side thinks giving the word is part of a gay conspiracy, and the other thinks keeping it separate is part of a conspiracy from the man to keep us down. I admit, I don’t trust keeping it separate either, but I’m more than willing to give it a try and see.

Scot C. Trypal
20th September 2005, 09:00 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Not according to the Supreme Court for the Commwealth of Massachusetts.

With DOMA, the word “Marriage” is the only one that gives full rights (and yes, responsibilities :), of course).

Meadmaker
20th September 2005, 10:14 AM
Originally posted by Gwyn ap Nudd

Actually it was late Roman Republic and early Imperial Rome, not Greece. It occurred after Roman law recognized the rights of women, and marriage instead of being a contract for chattel between a man and his father-in-law, became a contract between equal partners. Because the new laws protected both partners, members of same-sex unions sought the same rights. It was legal, but distateful, since there were still rituals involved from when the women were chattel, and one of the partners had to take the part of the woman during the ceremony. Later, this marriage was replaced with a ceremony of adopting another adult as a "brother" with rights and priveleges (such as inheretence) beyond those of natural siblings and subject to the same restrictions as marriage.


Thanks for the info. Assuming this is correct, let's see what this means and its implications for the definition of marriage.

Remember, what the discussion was about was whether the term "marriage" has traditionally included any union other than a man and a woman.


During imperial times, two men could be joined in a "brotherhood" ceremony, but they could not be married.

In the late republic, if this source is correct, two men could be married, as long as one of them pretended to be a woman.

This, to me, seems to lend support to the notion that "marriage" has always been restricted to a man and a woman. In Greece where certain types of homosexual unions were allowed or encouraged, they weren't considered "marriage". In Imperial Rome, two men could be enjoined in a sort of union which had most of the characteristics of marriage, but that wasn't "marriage". For a brief period in the Republic, it appears that two men could be "married", but only if one of them agreed to play the part of a woman. That's the closest it ever came.

If this standard were applied today, you could at least keep the traditional marriage license forms, which have spaces for "husband" and "wife", instead of "person A" and "person b".

I might actually go to the effort of reading the book, if I can get it through a library. I'm curious.



Someone objected that telephones, clocks, and chimpanzees cannot get married because they cannot consent. This explains one of many reasons a telephone or clock cannot get married, but from a linquistic standpoint, it misses by a long, long, way.

The idea of consent in a marriage is something that some, but not all, legal or religious traditions have insisted upon, but it is hardly inherent in the definition of the word. In history, forced marriages were common. In ancient times, they were normal. When you look at a dictionary, you won't find any entry that says,

Marriage 1. A consensual union of a man and a woman.

The act of consent comes from a legal requirement in many cultures, including those who derived from European Christianity, but it is not part of the word. Therefore, their inability to give consent is not what prohibits chimpanzees from being married. Chimpanzees can't be married because, chimpanzees can't be married, anymore than clocks can be married. Marriage doesn't exist for chimpanzees.



By contrast to consent, the idea of a marriage being between a man and a woman seems to be part of a linguistic tradtion that is only recently changing.


Art's point remains valid, even if his stubborn refusal to move from it annoys people.

However, I would also agree that if I were publishing a dictionary today, I would not specifically exclude same sex unions from the word "marriage", because obviously that notion exists today, and should be recognized by someone writing a dictionary. Words do change with the times, and this particular word seems to be changing. But let's acknowledge that it is a change.



(Edited to remove a distracting example.)

Scot C. Trypal
20th September 2005, 11:54 AM
My Gay Marriage in History Post for what it’s worth (info from Homosexuality and Civilization):

Evidence of gay marriage from Portugal + Spain. This event occurred in a Portuguese immigrant region of Rome, a community big enough to necessitate a church:

Venetian Ambassador Antonio Tiepolo (Rome 1578):
“Eleven Portuguese and Spaniards have been captured. They had assembled into Church near St. John Lateran where they had performed some ceremonies of horrible wickedness which sullied the sacred name of matrimony, marrying each other and being joined together as husband and wife. 27 or more, it is said, were discovered altogether on other occasions, but this time they were not able to capture more than this eleven, who were given to the fire as they deserved.”

I have a separate account of this as well if there is interest.

It’s important to note, following Art’s reasoning on interracial couples, this clearly hostile ambassador says gay men were “marrying” each other, in 1578. Of course he didn’t like it, and related it to what he’s used to, in “husband and wife”, but he recognized it as marrying.

In China they created a separate institution, nanfeng, meaning the “Southern Custom” (The term is a pun, as “nan” means man as well). Homosexual men would still marry women, so that Confucian duties would be accomplished, but their partners had the benefits of a married wife (if not better).

Consider this account by Shen Defu (1578-1642):

”The Fujianese men are extremely fond of male beauty. No matter how rich or poor, handsome or ugly, they all find a companion of their own status. Between the two the older is called the "bond [adoptive] elder brother" (qixiong), the youngest "bond younger brother" (qidi). When the elder brother goes to the house of the younger brother, the parents of the latter take care of him and love him like a son-in-law. And the younger brother’s expenses, including those of his marriage are all covered by the elder brother. They love each other and at the age of 30 are still sleeping in the same bed together like husband and wife”….”

So you gay men are pressured to marry women here but they’re also given access to another marriage-like institution. Still, Shen recognizes it as very much like marriage, around the 1600’s.

In pre-Christian Rome, Gwyn addressed it better than I was going to.

Let me add the evidence given by a Christian critic. During the reign of Constantine's sons, Firmicus Maternus (342) writes in praise of new anti-homosexual legislation:

When a man marries as a woman who offers yourself to man, what does he wish, when sex has lost its significance; when the crime is one which is not profitable to know; when Venus is changed into another form; when love is sought and not found? We order the statutes to arise, a lot of the armed with an avenging sword, but those infamous persons who are now, or who hereafter may be, guilty may be subjected to exquisite punishment.

Again, Firmicus does not dispute that gay men do marry each other; he just has a big problem with it, as soon will his whole society when the Church takes the reigns and changes the definition to be more exclusionary.

I’m probably missing something but I don’t have my books here and am going off old posts. Suffice it to say, official gay marriage seems unnecessary in many cultures that accepted homosexuality, as they could get everything set contractually. A homosexual could simply marry in their own way, live in the same home, which made them family, and work the technicalities out, like the rest of the population.

-----

Dave, it is certainly correct to think most people think, and thought throughout history marriage to be a man and a woman thing; most people aren’t gay. I don’t think it should be surprising either that most heterosexuals look at gay unions and think “That dude married that other dude, like a man and a girl usually do.” That's what most are used to.

Still, words in practical use don’t truly mean what the majority or a dictionary says; they mean the ideas they represent in the speaker’s mind. If, for example, I heard the word “fag”, no matter the majority opinion, the word means only what the speaker meant: a homosexual, a cigarette, some kindling, or an old woman maybe. Or maybe, it’s like my kids and they really mean a rectangular piece of cloth on a pole, as in “Papa, look! A Fag!”.

The reason many gays use the word marriage is that it’s the best word in English to convey the ideas. If I tell you I’m dating or have a friend, that conveys ideas that mislead; they don’t tell you about the commitment, the living/economic situation, the longevity, the family and so on. This just came up as we just moved. I wanted to be PC and so went with “partner” in introducing ourselves. Come to find the neighbor is telling everyone a business has purchased the home and we are business partners, cliché as it is. Unfortunately, the word marriage misleads too, but less so in my mind, only in the realm of anatomy. So, I generally won’t use the word without making the rest clear.

One might consider Star Trek's "Data" as a hypothetical example. Here's a sentient being perfectly capable of giving consent, if one assumed he existed. Could he be married? Not according to the tradtional definition.

Dave, by that reasoning, do you think hermaphrodites are simply born unable to marry by the traditional definition, just like Data? I’m guessing but do not know, the part of the definition not in most dictionaries, the one that captures most all human’s instinctual need and tendency to couple up and make family, has led many people in the past to conclude a hermaphrodite can marry. I'll have to look into it.

Also, Art, aren’t hermaphrodites, at the very least, the citizens experiencing discrimination here in your mind? Some of them truly have no “opposite sex”. Come to think of it, would marriage law that only allowed same-sex marriages not discriminate against heterosexuals?

Except that all citizens are being denied the opportunity.

Also, I don’t see how you are claiming everyone has the same denied opportunity when woman have the right to marry, say, a willing Bill Gates, but men do not. How does that not make the opportunity different?

edited for missing s and more

Gwyn ap Nudd
20th September 2005, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Thanks for the info. Assuming this is correct, let's see what this means and its implications for the definition of marriage.

Remember, what the discussion was about was whether the term "marriage" has traditionally included any union other than a man and a woman.


During imperial times, two men could be joined in a "brotherhood" ceremony, but they could not be married.

In the late republic, if this source is correct, two men could be married, as long as one of them pretended to be a woman.

Not "pretend to be a woman" but "accept the woman's role for the purpose of the ceremony." We are talking about (to take an example from our own relatively modern "traditional" ceremony) one of the the participants waits with the "best man" while the other marches down the aisle, to be "given away."

Originally posted by Meadmaker
This, to me, seems to lend support to the notion that "marriage" has always been restricted to a man and a woman. In Greece where certain types of homosexual unions were allowed or encouraged, they weren't considered "marriage".

It wasn't considered marriage because it was a union of equals, while marriage was a chattel contract. Why would a citizen want to become someone else's property just to consummate a loving relationship?


Originally posted by Meadmaker
In Imperial Rome, two men could be enjoined in a sort of union which had most of the characteristics of marriage, but that wasn't "marriage". For a brief period in the Republic, it appears that two men could be "married", but only if one of them agreed to play the part of a woman. That's the closest it ever came.

No, it was a legal marriage. All of the same rules applied. There was no attempt during the ceremony to pretend that (to use the modern word) the "femme" partner was a woman, and afterward, both were clearly men and acted like men. It was just a question of whether or not to re-invent the ceremony, and eventually they did, basing it on an adoption ceremony rather than a chattel marriage ceremony. The fact that our traditional marriage ceremony is also based on this adoption ceremony (by way of the early medieval "brotherhood" unions) actually argues that there should be no difference between a same-sex union and an opposite-sex marriage.


Originally posted by Meadmaker
If this standard were applied today, you could at least keep the traditional marriage license forms, which have spaces for "husband" and "wife", instead of "person A" and "person b".


On the other hand, the history has shown a change from "Brother A and Brother B" to "Brother A and Sister B" to "Husband A and Wife B." Another change to "Partner A and Partner B" would not be that radical.

Gwyn ap Nudd
20th September 2005, 04:15 PM
Someone earlier in the thread posted:
Well, to be fair, I think that a lot of gays would be perfectly willing to take something called “civil unions” if it granted all the benefits and responsibilities of “marriage”.

Early in the history of dismantling the "Jim Crow" laws, there was a social experiment of maintaining "separate but equal" institutions for the separate races. It didn't work; in fact it resulted in worse disparity (and thus de facto discrimination). The Supreme Court rightfully declared the concept unconstitutional.

That is why the concept of civil unions, as proposed is not acceptable as a final solution. (Some are willing to accept them in order to gain access to at least some of the rights and priveleges while the full acceptance continues to be rejected. Just as even in the sub-standard "separate but equal" schools, the blacks at least learned some of the three "R"s).

If the government is willing to get out of the "marriage" business altogether, and offer civil unions to all couples, separate from any religious marriage ceremonies they may also choose to perform, then civil unions would be fine. But as long as there are separate "civil marriage" and "civil union," the law is perverse.

Many European countries already separate civil marriage and religious marriage. One is legally married only by the civil ceremony. The religious ceremony is separate and optional.

Meadmaker
20th September 2005, 08:30 PM
So when the Venetian ambassador ecountered some Spaniards who were doing ....something... and calling it "marriage", the Venetian said it "sullied the name of matrimony". In his mind, obviously, "marriage" meant a man and a woman, and anyone who said it meant something else was "given to the fire as they deserved." Note that it appears the crime in this case was not homosexual activity, but rather blaspheming the name of marriage by saying it could include two men. Had sodomy been the crime, some other method of execution would have been performed. Burning was reserved for heretics, witches, and other religious criminals.

However, the account does establish that in the eyes of the Portuguese and Spaniards, the word "marriage" could include two men.

Clearly, today, marriage has lost some of its old meaning and morphed into a new meaning, at least in the minds of many, which, after all, is where words receive their definitions. Nevertheless, I admire Art for sticking with his definition. He has been accused of all sorts of things, from sophistry to homophobia, for it. But I don't think those accusations are fair.


In fact, his argument is very simple, and very consistent. There is this thing. It has a name. That name carries with it a definition. Things that don't meet that definition aren't it.


Also, some people want to have something like it, but they want to call it by the name of the other thing. Whether or not they ought to get that other thing is one issue. What to call that other thing is a separate issue. But even if we give them that other thing and call it the same thing, that doesn't make it the same thing.

Meanwhile, the actual thing is available to everyone, although some people don't want it. It isn't discrimination to offer something to someone who doesn't want it.

When it comes to marriage, I fully agree with the points about the definition. We can create gay marriages and call them marriages and give them all the rights of marriages and I, for one, will not get upset about it. Indeed, Scot and others have convinced me that we ought to create gay marriages as a civil institution, and I'm not going to get worked up if we call them marriages or not.

But I understand the objection because, for all their similarity, a marriage between a man and a woman is not the same thing as a marriage between a man and a man. If we don't have separate words to cover them, then we'll have to make do with combinations of words, because they aren't the same thing. And I understand why a man and a woman would feel that their relationship is cheapened by calling it the same thing you call a relationship between a man and a man. For what it's worth, I could also see why two men would feel the same way. I don't think that a heterosexual marriage is "better" than a homosexual one, but I do think it's different.

As for whether or not something is discrimination, Art and I might disagree. Is it discrimination to cater to the desires of the majority while ignoring the desires of the minority? It can be. I don't think there is a strict yes or no answer.



Gwyn lays out the case, a common one, why some people feel that there can't be two different words describing "marriages" and "civil unions". An awful lot of people feel as he does. There cannot be two "separate but equal" institutions.

I agree. As I have said, the two are not equal. You can have one institution, or two, and they still wouldn't be equal.

But I find it more interesting to observe who thinks this is important. Among people who are strong supporters of gay marriages or gay civil unions that would have identical or very nearly identical rights, I can see four broad categories.

There are gay people who, like Scot, have families, want to make lifelong commitments, and need the legal protections commonly associated with those commitments. Then, there are gay people who have relationships, medium to long term, and they want to have similar rights as married straights, but they aren't really all that intersted in the legal protections that marriage offers against each other. They want hospital visitation rights, but they also want hassle-free divorces if things don't work out. The third class is gay people who have no intention of ever marrying, but find it offensive that gay people are treated differently than straights. Finally, there are heteros who are staunchly supportive of gay rights, and want to end discrimination against gays.

Of the four groups, they go in order from highest to lowest in terms of their need for the legal obligations and privileges associated with marriages.

I suspect that they go from lowest to highest in terms of how important the word "marriage" is to them.

Gwyn ap Nudd
20th September 2005, 10:19 PM
I admire Art for sticking with his definition. He has been accused of all sorts of things, from sophistry to homophobia, for it. But I don't think those accusations are fair.


In fact, his argument is very simple, and very consistent. There is this thing. It has a name. That name carries with it a definition. Things that don't meet that definition aren't it.


If you accept that sticking to one definition is admirable, you are correct. But the point of the debate is not to clarify a definition. (As you note in the imediately preceeding sentence, "marriage has lost some of its old meaning and morphed into a new meaning, at least in the minds of many, which, after all, is where words receive their definitions."

The point of the debate is to arrive at a mutually agreeable plan to ensure the "right to the pursuit of happiness" for all citizens. To insist on a definition of marriage that unilaterally restricts the benefits of one perfectly legal (at least since Lawrence v Texas) avenue of pursuit of happiness while conferring them to another similar avenue of pursuit is to champion a form of discrimination that flies in the face of our ideal of fairness.

But I find it more interesting to observe who thinks this is important. Among people who are strong supporters of gay marriages or gay civil unions that would have identical or very nearly identical rights, I can see four broad categories.

(snip)

Of the four groups, they go in order from highest to lowest in terms of their need for the legal obligations and privileges associated with marriages.

I suspect that they go from lowest to highest in terms of how important the word "marriage" is to them

You could probably have made similar distinctions of those fighting for "civil rights" in the early sixties. And yes, those who were most personally in need of the increased protection of their rights were also the ones most willing to settle for crumbs. Any little bit offered was still a chance for a better life. And, they were the ones who would be lynched* if the "Anti's" were pushed too far.


*I hesitated before mentioning lynching because "of course, gays are not in that kind of danger," but then I thought about the Shepard and Araujo murders.

Consternatio
21st September 2005, 01:35 AM
I don't understand the objections to gay marriage. I have yet to see one logical argument as to why allowing same sex marriage would make the slightest bit of difference to man/woman marriages. How does it debase marriage? Why would it make my marriage any less valid?

There's a lot of discussion here about the definition of the word 'marriage'. Why? It's a word. The only relevance it has is the meaning that we assign to it, and as we all know, the meaning of words can change dramatically over time, both through natural language shift and through deliberate usage.

How could changing the normal usage/definition of 'marriage' to include the union of same sex couples impact on different sex couples? Show me where there would be harm caused by allowing men to marry men and women to marry women. One, concrete, robust way that same sex unions would somehow cause harm to society at large.

The fact that there are same sex couples living together as though they were married, with everything that brings, bar the legal document and the rights that go with it (they already have most of the responsibilities) makes absolutely no difference to me in my every day life (nor indeed, I suspect to most people). Why is that going to change if you allow them that legal document and everything that goes with it?

Why should they not be treated the same as everyone else, and be allowed to make a public and legal declaration of their love/relationship? Beyond prejudice, that is.

Gwyn ap Nudd
21st September 2005, 04:41 AM
Gwyn lays out the case, a common one, why some people feel that there can't be two different words describing "marriages" and "civil unions". An awful lot of people feel as he does. There cannot be two "separate but equal" institutions.

I agree. As I have said, the two are not equal. You can have one institution, or two, and they still wouldn't be equal.


You are correct. Scot's marriage is not the same as his parents' marriage. His family is different from theirs, and from mine and from yours. All families are different. "Equal" in this debate, however, does not mean "the same." It means "treated equally under the law."

That is the sense Thomas Jefferson invoked in the Declaration of Independence when he said that "All men are created equal" (under God's law or under "natural law). A Black American is not the same as a Japanese American, and neither is the same as an Italian American. And they never will be the same. But they are, and must be, equal under the law, as must be an Hispanic American, a Vietnamese American, an Irish American, etc.

Likewise, Scot's family should be equal under the law to the other families mentioned. If the other families can access certain benefits and obligations by entering into a marriage contract, Scot's family should also be able to enter into a marriage contract to secure those rights and obligations

Meadmaker
21st September 2005, 08:25 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Consternatio

How could changing the normal usage/definition of 'marriage' to include the union of same sex couples impact on different sex couples?[/QUUOTE]

And yet, you could ask the opposite question. How would keeping the normal usage, but extending the substance of that word to gays, affect gay couples? It's only a word, isn't it?

But to Gwyn, if you give gay people all the rights, but not the word "marriage" then they are "settling for crumbs".

Apparently, that word is important to an awful lot of people, on both sides of the debate.

Scot C. Trypal
21st September 2005, 08:42 AM
There are gay people who, like Scot, have families, want to make lifelong commitments, and need the legal protections commonly associated with those commitments. Then, there are gay people who have relationships, medium to long term, and they want to have similar rights as married straights, but they aren't really all that intersted in the legal protections that marriage offers against each other. They want hospital visitation rights, but they also want hassle-free divorces if things don't work out. The third class is gay people who have no intention of ever marrying, but find it offensive that gay people are treated differently than straights. Finally, there are heteros who are staunchly supportive of gay rights, and want to end discrimination against gays.

I don’t know if I’ve ever said this but I think offering your “marriage light” idea to various couple types, gay and straight, is a good one. If only we had a “nanfeng” sort of thing that could have matured along with “marriage” over the decades, and then added a “civil union” for everyone who does not want the more strict obligations of marriage or the hypothetical nanfeng.

I’m going to try to bow out here; this topic keeps me up at night too much to be healthy. But I want to be clear that I’ve very much appreciated these threads and those who’ve participated in them on all ends. Three years ago I thought opposition was greatly about being hostile to gay people, but I’ve learned a lot to the contrary here.

Consternatio
21st September 2005, 08:51 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Originally posted by Consternatio

How could changing the normal usage/definition of 'marriage' to include the union of same sex couples impact on different sex couples?

And yet, you could ask the opposite question. How would keeping the normal usage, but extending the substance of that word to gays, affect gay couples? It's only a word, isn't it?


I'm not sure how you could keep the normal usage, but extend the 'substance'. If you extend the substance, then you *are* changing the meaning (and yes, it is just a word - words only have meaning because *we* assign a meaning to them). Are you saying that it is ok to extend the rights, etc of marriage (I'm presuming this is what you mean by 'substance'), providing we don't actually call same sex union 'marriage'?

It seems a rather pointless distinction to make, and also implies that somehow a same sex union isn't as important, or doesn't matter as much as a man/woman marriage, which is just discrimation in a different form.

Random
21st September 2005, 09:13 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
And yet, you could ask the opposite question. How would keeping the normal usage, but extending the substance of that word to gays, affect gay couples? It's only a word, isn't it?

But to Gwyn, if you give gay people all the rights, but not the word "marriage" then they are "settling for crumbs".

Apparently, that word is important to an awful lot of people, on both sides of the debate.
I’m not sure about that. Like I said before, if it granted all the rights, benefits, and responsibilities, of heterosexual marriage, I’m sure that many gays would be happy to take it. The problem is that as it stands now, it would mean writing up and duplicating all the rules and regulations for straight “marriage” in a gay “civil union” format. There is no guarantee that what come out of that process would be the same, especially as there would be many who would be going out of their way to insure it wasn’t.

Even if the end result was two separate legal forms of marriage/union that were identical in every respect, it would still leave open the door for one-sided changes at a later date, either enhancing marriage or weakening civil unions without doing the same for the other.

If we simply change the wording of currently existing marriage laws to allow for same-sex unions, then gays would be guaranteed to have all the rights and responsibilities of straights, and making future one sided changes would be much more difficult. By locking homosexual unions into the legal definition of marriage, gay activists can insure that their rights are protected, which is exactly what the fundies don’t want.

hammegk
21st September 2005, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by Gwyn ap Nudd
In essence, the whole debate is, and must be, based on nothing more than answering the question "What is the obvious and provable harm that a "homosexual lifestyle" poses to society and/or to individual citizens? Or what other compelling interest justifies the discrimination?" If there is no compelling interest, then there is no justification to deny the right.

That, and the corollary: "What is the obvious and provable benefit that a "homosexual lifestyle" offers to society as opposed to the individuals themselves?" And what compelling societal interest justifies no discrimination in this case?"

One group is certain to come out ahead; lawyers. Ed only knows how many specific laws at every gov't level will require revision after the marriage provisions are amended to provide equal protection and benefits for same-sex unions.

thaiboxerken
1st October 2005, 11:23 PM
That, and the corollary: "What is the obvious and provable benefit that a "homosexual lifestyle" offers to society as opposed to the individuals themselves?" And what compelling societal interest justifies no discrimination in this case?"

There doesn't need to be one. In a free society, people should be allowed to do whatever it is that they want as long as it's not detrimental to other people or society.

Mark
2nd October 2005, 05:48 PM
There doesn't need to be one. In a free society, people should be allowed to do whatever it is that they want as long as it's not detrimental to other people or society.

The operative question to me is what HARM would be done by granting gays the same rights as anyone else? I should think that denying those rights is what needs to be justified.

Hammegk, I ask you yet again: since you claim it is a choice, what age were you when you made the choice to be heterosexual?

thaiboxerken
2nd October 2005, 08:56 PM
Good luck on trying to get a coherent answer from Hammy.

Roboramma
2nd October 2005, 10:07 PM
That, and the corollary: "What is the obvious and provable benefit that a "homosexual lifestyle" offers to society as opposed to the individuals themselves?" And what compelling societal interest justifies no discrimination in this case?"
Two points here. One, what Thaiboxerken said.

Two, how do you separate the individual and society? If it is doing good to the individuals involved, without harming anyone else, it is necessarily doing good to society. Increase one individual's happiness and the average happiness of the society increases ever so slightly.

Meadmaker
3rd October 2005, 09:03 AM
With the demise of a week's data it looks like some of our great thoughts are lost to history. Alas.

The general theme of my recent comments is that you can't equate a homosexual relationship with a heterosexual relationship. Neither one is better, but they aren't the same. They aren't the same because men aren't women, so relationships between different combinations are necessarily different.

Should those differences result in legal distinctions between those relationships? I'm not sure. I can't see a good reason why they should, but I can't see a good reason why they shouldn't, either. The fact that those who are activists for gay marriage usually insist that they shouldn't be kept distinct, even if only in name, makes me suspicious that there is more than just an equal rights movement going on here.

That being said, there is another element to the gay marriage debate that advocates of gay marriage will have a very difficult time getting past. That element is babies. There they are again. Babies, babies, babies. Everyone just keeps talking about babies.

Of course, the usual response is to insist that marriage and babies don't have anything to do with each other. The argument is usually, "Not all married couples have babies. Therefore, marriage has nothing to do with babies." Some variations include, "Not all married couples want babies." "Not all married couples are capable of having babies." "Some unmarried couples have babies" "Some people who are not couples have babies" "Some gay people have babies via adoption or assisted reproductive technology." But it's all basically the same.

I don't accept that idea, and let me make the following case. Those of us who are engaged in creating the next generation and making sure they survive to adulthood think we are doing something pretty special. In this case, I do mean "special", as opposed to "unique" or "different". My existence as a heterosexual may not be significant, but I think my work as a parent is pretty darned important, and not just to me. My kid will grow up to be your doctor, or to be your burden on society. Either way, you have to deal with him. And if he and his ilk didn't exist, society would cease to exist. That makes it pretty darned important, if you ask me. Indeed, I will go one step further. It is the single most important thing that human beings do.

So, if it is the most important thing that we do, how does society recognize the act of creating a union with a purpose that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the creation and rearing of kids?

Maybe some of you are right. That isn't marriage. But if it isn't marriage, what is it? Surely a thing so important hasn't been overlooked by societies for millenia. Is that possible? I don't think it is possible. I think there must be something. And that something is marriage.

ETA: I was persuaded to extend the rights of marriage to gay couples because it was clear that some gay people are in fact engaged in the raising, and in some cases, procreation of children. Therefore, they needed the same protections that marriage offered. Nevertheless, I think reasonable people would agree that, for the most part, the debate about gay marriage is not primarily about same sex couples that want to raise children together.

thaiboxerken
3rd October 2005, 09:40 AM
Should those differences result in legal distinctions between those relationships? I'm not sure. I can't see a good reason why they should, but I can't see a good reason why they shouldn't, either. The fact that those who are activists for gay marriage usually insist that they shouldn't be kept distinct, even if only in name, makes me suspicious that there is more than just an equal rights movement going on here.

Are marriages between couples of different races the same as couples of the same race? No, they are different because a person with black skin isn't the same as a person with white skin. Should mixed-race marriages be treated the same? Yes. Why should same-sex marriages be treated differently? Also, what "more" could be going on than just an equal rights movement? Do you think the homos are trying to take over the world? Do you think they are really just crab people?


Of course, the usual response is to insist that marriage and babies don't have anything to do with each other.

They are correct.

The argument is usually, "... But it's all basically the same.

And they are all valid points.


So, if it is the most important thing that we do, how does society recognize the act of creating a union with a purpose that includes, but is not necessarily limited to, the creation and rearing of kids?

Is it the most important thing that we do? That's your opinion. Does society need to recognize the act of creating a union with a purpose of creating kids? People will have sex regardless of marriage laws, they will have kids regardless.

Maybe some of you are right. That isn't marriage. But if it isn't marriage, what is it? Surely a thing so important hasn't been overlooked by societies for millenia. Is that possible? I don't think it is possible. I think there must be something. And that something is marriage.

It's not all that important, in fact, I think humans would reproduce without the concept of marriage.


I was persuaded to extend the rights of marriage to gay couples because it was clear that some gay people are in fact engaged in the raising, and in some cases, procreation of children. Therefore, they needed the same protections that marriage offered. Nevertheless, I think reasonable people would agree that, for the most part, the debate about gay marriage is not primarily about same sex couples that want to raise children together.

You are correct, the debate about gay marriage is primarily about fighting the discrimination of religion and bigotry.

TragicMonkey
3rd October 2005, 09:42 AM
Ah, yes, now I remember some of the lost discussion. Meadmaker has special feelings about certain things, therefore a portion of society is not entitled to equal rights.

Can we have a rational (repeat, rational, rational, rational) reason why gay marriage shouldn't be allowed? The key is in the word rational, by which I mean, not appealing to ick factors, special feelings, or paragraphs of prose about gods and the unique sacredness of the heterosexual screw.

pgwenthold
3rd October 2005, 10:09 AM
With the demise of a week's data it looks like some of our great thoughts are lost to history. Alas.

The general theme of my recent comments is that you can't equate a homosexual relationship with a heterosexual relationship. Neither one is better, but they aren't the same. They aren't the same because men aren't women, so relationships between different combinations are necessarily different.


I guarantee you that my marriage is also different from all other marriages. So what?

hammegk
3rd October 2005, 10:20 AM
Two points here. One, what Thaiboxerken said.

Two, how do you separate the individual and society? If it is doing good to the individuals involved, without harming anyone else, it is necessarily doing good to society. Increase one individual's happiness and the average happiness of the society increases ever so slightly.
I see. What makes you certain gay marriage "does good" even for the individuals involved?

Can societies be harmed even though no specific individual is harmed? Are anime snuff-films ok? Involving children? If not why not?

Would you be pleased to see a pair of gay males adopt infant females? Or infant males? If so, why? Would gay marriage change your opinion?

What is the responsibility if any of a sperm donor used to conceive for a pair of gay females? Any? None? Why? How would gay marriage change that?

thaiboxerken
3rd October 2005, 10:26 AM
I see. What makes you certain gay marriage "does good" even for the individuals involved?

Doesn't matter, as long as they aren't "doing bad" for people other than themselves.


Can societies be harmed even though no specific individual is harmed? Are anime snuff-films ok? Involving children? If not why not?

Feel free to show that gay marriage does harm society. The burden is on your shoulders to prove this.


Would you be pleased to see a pair of gay males adopt infant females? Or infant males? If so, why? Would gay marriage change your opinion?

It would be nice if same-sex couples could adopt children, as there is no evidence to suggest that it would be detrimental to that child and there are plenty of children that need a home.

What is the responsibility if any of a sperm donor used to conceive for a pair of gay females? Any? None? Why? How would gay marriage change that?

Depends on the situation. Why would gay marriage change that? Does it matter?


Hammy, you've failed to make a case built on any sense of rational thought.

hammegk
3rd October 2005, 10:31 AM
Anyone out there capable of employing thought & logic?

thaiboxerken
3rd October 2005, 10:35 AM
Anyone out there capable of employing thought & logic?

Plenty of us can. Someday you might learn how as well.

hammegk
3rd October 2005, 12:20 PM
Are you Jack Handy in real life?

Upchurch
3rd October 2005, 12:57 PM
I see. What makes you certain gay marriage "does good" even for the individuals involved? Gay marriage would not necessarily "do good" for all individuals just as straight marriage would not necessarily "do good" for all individuals. However, since the only fundamental difference between straight couples and gay couples is the choice of partner, what reason is there to think that this difference would have any effect whatsoever on the amount of good done for the indiciduals involved?
Can societies be harmed even though no specific individual is harmed? Are anime snuff-films ok? Involving children? If not why not?Do you believe that society is more than the sum of the individuals who comprise it? If not, then how can society be harmed if none of its individuals are? If so, what is it that is extra about a society that is not constituted of individuals and how can it be harmed?
Would you be pleased to see a pair of gay males adopt infant females? Or infant males? If so, why? Would gay marriage change your opinion?It would please me to see any child who did not have a home get one. Frankly, I would be more happy to see that child adopted into a married household rather than an unmarried household for the simple reason that a couple who has gone to the trouble of getting married has put more committment into the relationship (and therefore, one would assume, into their family in general) than a non-married couple has.

How does the sexual orientation of the parents play into it?
What is the responsibility if any of a sperm donor used to conceive for a pair of gay females? Any? None? Why? How would gay marriage change that?What is the responsibility a sperm donor used to coneive for a straight couple? None. The donor usually reliquishes all parental rights upon donating. Why would it change if the receiving couple were gay rather than straight?

Meadmaker
3rd October 2005, 02:38 PM
Ah, yes, now I remember some of the lost discussion. Meadmaker has special feelings about certain things, therefore a portion of society is not entitled to equal rights.

Can we have a rational (repeat, rational, rational, rational) reason why gay marriage shouldn't be allowed? The key is in the word rational, by which I mean, not appealing to ick factors, special feelings, or paragraphs of prose about gods and the unique sacredness of the heterosexual screw.

Actually, I've said, repeatedly, that I support gay marriage, although I admit I am not enthusiastic about it. I also admit that I would prefer a "civil union equivalent to marriage".

Can we have a rational I repeat rational, rational, rational, reason why having one name for a heterosexual marriage but a different name for a homosexual marriage-like thing?

I'll answer that for you. No, we can't. Because if the two are legally equivalent, then what we call them doesn't matter. The name itself is an emotional issue.

"But," one might say, "if we call them by different names, at some point in the future someone might be tempted to change the laws so that they are no longer legally equivalent."

Certainly that is true. However, if we call them by the same name, the laws might be changed in the future. Any future legislature can change any law. So, again, the choice of name makes no difference.

Why would anyone think otherwise? Since there is no legal difference, there must be a symbolic difference. It seems to me that those who insist on using the same word for the two sorts of union are demanding that the government make a symbolic statement about the moral equivalence of the two unions.

To reiterate, if the two unions are already legally equivalent, then the only possible reason for worrying about the name is that the advocates of gay marriage want to make a moral statement.

But, surely, those on the left aren't asking the government to impose their version of morality on everyone else, are they?

C.J.
3rd October 2005, 02:38 PM
Should those differences result in legal distinctions between those relationships? I'm not sure. I can't see a good reason why they should, but I can't see a good reason why they shouldn't, either. The fact that those who are activists for gay marriage usually insist that they shouldn't be kept distinct, even if only in name, makes me suspicious that there is more than just an equal rights movement going on here.(emphasis added)

This has been an interesting discussion. From what I recall of the thread, Meadmaker, you've brought up the emphasized part above before. Perhaps you've mentioned it and I simply don't remember, but what are you suspisious of? What other motive do you percieve or suspect?

(edited for emphasis)

thaiboxerken
3rd October 2005, 03:17 PM
Actually, I've said, repeatedly,

To reiterate, if the two unions are already legally equivalent, then the only possible reason for worrying about the name is that the advocates of gay marriage want to make a moral statement.

Do they really?


But, surely, those on the left aren't asking the government to impose their version of morality on everyone else, are they?

Yes. Just like equal rights for women is a version of morality equal rights for homosexuals is also a moral view.

Gwyn ap Nudd
3rd October 2005, 07:21 PM
Actually, I've said, repeatedly, that I support gay marriage, although I admit I am not enthusiastic about it. I also admit that I would prefer a "civil union equivalent to marriage".

Can we have a rational I repeat rational, rational, rational, reason why having one name for a heterosexual marriage but a different name for a homosexual marriage-like thing?

I'll answer that for you. No, we can't. Because if the two are legally equivalent, then what we call them doesn't matter. The name itself is an emotional issue.

Yes, the name itself is an emotional issue -- for you. If they are legally identical they should have the same name. It makes things easier, since there is only one law definining it and only one definition for the 3000+ laws that regulate it.

"But," one might say, "if we call them by different names, at some point in the future someone might be tempted to change the laws so that they are no longer legally equivalent."

And history is on "one's" side. Every time "Separate but Equal" has been enacted, the purpose and result has been to perpetuate inequalities.


Why would anyone think otherwise? Since there is no legal difference, there must be a symbolic difference. It seems to me that those who insist on using the same word for the two sorts of union are demanding that the government make a symbolic statement about the moral equivalence of the two unions.

No, it is those who insist on keeping them separate who are demanding that the government make a symbolic statement about the moral difference of the two unions. In this issue, we are asking the government to recognize two identical legal contracts equally regardless of what some religions claim about the moral differences.

Roboramma
3rd October 2005, 08:30 PM
Can we have a rational I repeat rational, rational, rational, reason why having one name for a heterosexual marriage but a different name for a homosexual marriage-like thing?
Here's one. There's no reason to give it a different name. If the two are legally equivilent, there's no need for more than one law. It only becomes more complicated. So, given that, we need a good reason to keep them separate. What is that reason?

A religious person might say, "Those damn atheists, they want to get married, but they don't understand that marriage is a contract with god. How can they claim to have a right to marriage, when they are incapable of making that contract? I don't want to deny them any of the rights accorded by marriage, but they should call it something else. After all, my marriage is completely different from their union."

To me it's a weak argument. Not because the religious person isn't right - his marriage is different from an atheist's, at least in theory. But so is his marriage from that of someone practicing another religion. Each holds different beliefs about what marriage means.
Regardless, marriage under the law means the same thing for all of those people. If it's going to mean the same thing for same sex couples, why should it be called something different?

Roboramma
3rd October 2005, 08:37 PM
I see. What makes you certain gay marriage "does good" even for the individuals involved?
I'm not sure in any particular case. Rather I think that for same-sex couples the opportunity to marry is a good. What makes you think you are a better judge of what is a good for them than they are?

Can societies be harmed even though no specific individual is harmed? Are anime snuff-films ok? Involving children? If not why not?
See upchurch's response to this. Please explain how society can be harmed without any individuals being harmed.
Would you be pleased to see a pair of gay males adopt infant females? Or infant males? If so, why? Would gay marriage change your opinion?
I doubt I'd have any emotion on the subject at all. I certainly wouldn't be offended. But as upchurch said, yes, I do think gay marriage would give me more confidence in same-sex couples raising children. Marriage is a comittment. And I think parents should be comitted, both to each other and to their family.

What is the responsibility if any of a sperm donor used to conceive for a pair of gay females? Any? None? Why? How would gay marriage change that?
None. Because he's given up that responsibility. Why would gay marriage have anything to do with it?

Meadmaker
3rd October 2005, 09:14 PM
This has been an interesting discussion. From what I recall of the thread, Meadmaker, you've brought up the emphasized part above before. Perhaps you've mentioned it and I simply don't remember, but what are you suspisious of? What other motive do you percieve or suspect?

(edited for emphasis)

There are a few things. First, there is a strong undercurrent of eliminating the distinction between man and woman.

Second, there's a deemphasis on the relationship between men, women, and their children.

There's a great deal to be said on the subject, but, for once, I won't say it. A book I'll recommend that doesn't mention gay marriage at all, but which I think is nevertheless relevant is "Home Alone America".

Meadmaker
3rd October 2005, 10:10 PM
I found an article I had read once, and with which I agreed almost completely.

http://www.nationalreview.com/issue/frum200503170753.asp

Edited to add: The above link shows an abbreviated article. This link can get the full thing:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_5_57/ai_n13490954

Gwyn ap Nudd
3rd October 2005, 10:15 PM
There are a few things. First, there is a strong undercurrent of eliminating the distinction between man and woman.

Did interracial marriage eliminate the distinction between Whites and Blacks? Or interfaith marriages eliminate the distinctions between Christians and Jews? or between Catholics and Protestants? Did giving them the vote turn Blacks into Whites, or women into men?

Eliminating unnecessary and unfair legal distinctions does not destroy society nor does it eliminate enriching cultural distinctions.

Second, there's a de-emphasis on the relationship between men, women, and their children.


No there isn't. Most of the 3000+ laws concerning marriage are there to strengthen its role in the nurturing of families and the rearing of children. The general purpose of marriage remains the same. You mentioned concern about those same-sex couples who choose to marry to take advantage of some of the benefits (such as tax breaks) with no intention of raising children. How are they different from the many opposite-sex DINK (Double Income, No Kids) couples that do exactly that now?

The fact that some of the same-sex couples will not reverence marriage the way you do should not be a reason to deny it to those who will, when there are opposite-sex couples who do not reverence it but who get married.

On a different note, there is a difference between society's purpose in promoting marriage as a basis for supporting responsible child-rearing, and the government's purpose in registering marriages as contracts.

The purposes overlap, as evidenced by the intent of the 3000+ laws, but they can't be identical, for practical reasons. In order for the two purposes to be identical, the town clerk who issues the marriage license must be both telepathic (to determine that the couple are marrying specifically because they intend to raise a family) and prophetic (to be certain that they will raise a family).

A hidden assumption in your comment seems to be that more same-sex marriages will be DINKs than opposite-sex ones. There is no basis for this assumption.

There is one difference between an opposite-sex DINK marriage and a same-sex DINK marriage that, arguably falls on your side of the ledger: it is more likely that an opposite-sex DINK marriage will result in unplanned children than that a same-sex DINK marriage will. Unplanned children of non-marital relations also happen, and often result in "shotgun weddings." Are you prepared to say that these couples share a mystic "specialness" of what marriage is with couples like you and your wife, but dedicated, loving same-sex couples who want to build a family together and nurture their children do not?

thaiboxerken
3rd October 2005, 10:19 PM
There are a few things. First, there is a strong undercurrent of eliminating the distinction between man and woman.

Is this bad? We try to do this in regards to employment and rights. Do you really think women should be paid differently then men for the same job?


Second, there's a deemphasis on the relationship between men, women, and their children.

What?! You are stretching like salt-water taffee now. Do you actually think homosexuals are out to destroy families?

Gwyn ap Nudd
3rd October 2005, 10:53 PM
I found an article I had read once, and with which I agreed almost completely.

http://www.nationalreview.com/issue/frum200503170753.asp

Edited to add: The above link shows an abbreviated article. This link can get the full thing:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_5_57/ai_n13490954

From the linked article:Same-sex marriage does not extend marriage. It transforms marriage.

To make same-sex marriage a reality, as the Canadians are demonstrating, the law must abolish the concept of "husbands," "wives," "mothers," and "fathers." The law does not abolish these concepts just for a previously excluded few. The law must abolish these concepts for everybody.

It does not "abolish" these terms, but on the contract forms it does use more inclusive terms for practical reasons

Andrew Sullivan, that endlessly ingenious advocate of same-sex marriage, tells us that he and those who think like him aspire only to alter something they call "civil marriage," implying that there exists some distinction between marriage as it is recognized by the state and marriage as it is recognized by the church. But of course, while North America has long had civil ceremonies, it has never till now witnessed attempts by governments to substitute a new and antagonistic definition of civil marriage for marriage as it has been defined by Western religious traditions.

The civil contract has always been the primary point of legal marriage. The religious ceremony conferring God's and society's blessing only dates to the late middle ages, and was based on ceremonies blessing same-sex unions within the church.

One of the most important lessons to be learned from the Canadian experience is that, despite all the passion they bring to the issue of marriage in the abstract, very few homosexuals wish for marriage for themselves. There are about 24 million Canadians between the ages of 18 and 65. It's a reasonable guess that some 750,000 of them are gay. In June and July 2003, the two largest English-speaking provinces, Ontario and British Columbia, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Within the first six months, some 300 Canadian same-sex couples had been married in B.C. Within the first year, about 4,000 Canadian couples had been married in Ontario.

Since then, the number of same-sex marriages seems to have dropped off. Current statistics are hard to come by, but it's a good guess that nearly two years after same-sex marriage arrived in Canada some 98 percent of adult Canadian gays have chosen not to avail themselves of their new legal right.

Which raises the question: Why bother? Why make a revolution for a prize for which so few of the revolutionaries feel any personal enthusiasm? The question takes us back to that vocabulary word with which we started: "heteronormativity."

Why bother? For those who do want it. Those whose dedication, love and commitment is as deep as any opposite sex couple seeking to marry.

Granted, there are many who will choose not to enter into commited relationships, and these will not get married. It may even be that these form a majority of the LGBT community. But so what? If anything it proves that the availabilty of same-sex marriage will not cause a widespread cheapening of the ideals of marriage. And it points out the understanding of and longing for those ideals on the part of the smaller group who do want it.

The demand for same-sex marriage is not really a demand for a practical solution to practical problems. If it were, we would not hear so much talk about how the defense of marriage is like the defense of racial segregation; we would not hear so much anger and abuse; we would be talking about powers of attorney and tenancies-in-common rather than about discrimination and exclusion.

According to this writer, a more "practical" solution to the same-sex "problem" is to allow couples to endure several expensive legal procedures which together still only provide a handful of the 3000+ benefits and obligations of marriage and which in many states, even after they are in place, can be ignored.

And defense of same-sex marriage is compared to the legal fight against segregation because that is what a separate institution of civil union is a "Separate but Equal" institution, which history has shown does not work, and which has been declared unconstitutional.

The fight for same-sex marriage is compared with the fight for interracial marriage because the opposing side uses the exact same legal arguments against same-sex marriage that their forebears used against interracial marriage. I have never seen in any trial transcripts, an argument that was new. Every one is a direct echo of an argument used in Loving v Virginia or Perez v Sharp. And all of them were shot down in those cases.

Mark
4th October 2005, 06:33 AM
I see. What makes you certain gay marriage "does good" even for the individuals involved?

Can societies be harmed even though no specific individual is harmed? Are anime snuff-films ok? Involving children? If not why not?

Would you be pleased to see a pair of gay males adopt infant females? Or infant males? If so, why? Would gay marriage change your opinion?

What is the responsibility if any of a sperm donor used to conceive for a pair of gay females? Any? None? Why? How would gay marriage change that?

You are comparing gay marriage to anime snuff/child porn films?!?!?! And then complain that no one but you is using logic?!?!?!!

I ask again: since you have declared---against all evidence to the contrary---that being gay is a choice, when did you make the choice to be heterosexual?

Meadmaker
4th October 2005, 07:44 AM
The fight for same-sex marriage is compared with the fight for interracial marriage because the opposing side uses the exact same legal arguments against same-sex marriage that their forebears used against interracial marriage.

This isn't exactly true, but there is a certain similarity. However, there is one important difference. In the case of interracial marriage, the arguments are wrong. In the case of gay marriage, they are right.

What I mean by that is that the differences between black and white are superficial and even difficult to define with certainty. The differences between man and woman are neither superficial nor difficult to define.

Meadmaker
4th October 2005, 07:48 AM
What?! You are stretching like salt-water taffee now. Do you actually think homosexuals are out to destroy families?

The article I quoted cited an instance where the governor of Massachusetts said "Every child has a right to a mother and a father" and was chastised by the Boston Globe for bigotry.

You make the call.

Roboramma
4th October 2005, 08:01 AM
What I mean by that is that the differences between black and white are superficial and even difficult to define with certainty. The differences between man and woman are neither superficial nor difficult to define
I have to agree with that statement, as far as it goes.
On the other hand, how does that make extending the right to marry to homosexuals damaging to society?
How is calling it marriage, rather than making it the same thing but calling it something else, damaging?

You have vaguely said that it might cause the distinction between men and women to deteriorate. Well, somehow I doubt it. That distinction is a biological reality. It won't go away because some people are getting married. We're not all going to become gay, men won't become women, and women won't become men, just because some people are getting married.

I just can't see how hetrosexual marriage would change in any way if homosexual marriage was allowed. I mean for real people? Personally, I think I'll just keep going about my life.

Mark
4th October 2005, 08:19 AM
The article I quoted cited an instance where the governor of Massachusetts said "Every child has a right to a mother and a father" and was chastised by the Boston Globe for bigotry.

You make the call.

My children's mother died of cancer. Does this mean the government will be providing them with a replacement? It being a "right" and all...

Despite the loss, we have a rather wonderful family together. I deeply resent these self styled moralists who assume we are automatically inferior to other families with 2 parents. How about a family where the mother is a meth addict and the father is a wife beater? Are they better than us, too? Are they better than families with gay parents, who love and respect each other and their kids?

The governor should have been chastised for bigotry. It was a foolish comment at best.

Random
4th October 2005, 09:31 AM
I just can't see how hetrosexual marriage would change in any way if homosexual marriage was allowed. I mean for real people? Personally, I think I'll just keep going about my life.
Dont you see? If gay marriage is legalized, it will be the end of all marriage! Men around the world will suddenly say, Well, I love my wife, and think she is my soulmate, but now I have an irresistible urge to have sex with lawnchairs. Marriages cant take that kind of strain. How can a mere wife compete with the seductive power of a lawnchair? How can you not see this? The logic is ironclad!

Earthborn
4th October 2005, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by Meadmaker
Can we have a rational I repeat rational, rational, rational, reason why having one name for a heterosexual marriage but a different name for a homosexual marriage-like thing?Yes, we can. It makes it needlessly complicated, for the government itself and for individual couples.

Suppose a heterosexual guy has a relationship with the woman of his dreams, who has only one little flaw: she is not registered as female. She is perhaps a transsexual who cannot be operated on for medical reasons. They live as a heterosexual couple and even want to marry. With a 'seperate but equal' gay marriage registration, they could get the same legal benefits as any heterosexual couple. However, everytime they need to show their marital status they will have to explain that they are registered as a same-sex couple to people who don't have to know every private nitty gritty detail about their relationship. For them, 'seperate but equal' is anything but equal.

The 'seperate but equal' registration gets especially complex when one or both of the spouses changes his/her legal gender. A married or 'civil unionised' couple who want to continue to have the same legal rights after one of them changes gender will have to be reregistered in the opposite registration scheme. If the other decides to change gender as well, they will need to be reregistered again. Just to keep the same legal rights.

'Seperate but equal' means that same sex and opposite sex couples are equal before the law. It is not equal for couples that don't neatly fit into that dichotomy.First, there is a strong undercurrent of eliminating the distinction between man and woman.No, but there is a strong undercurrent of eliminating institutionalised gender segregation.The differences between man and woman are neither superficial nor difficult to define.Oh, is it? That's certainly news to me. Or medical science for that matter.

If you think it is so easy to define, then define it.

Scot C. Trypal
4th October 2005, 09:54 AM
The article I quoted cited an instance where the governor of Massachusetts said "Every child has a right to a mother and a father" and was chastised by the Boston Globe for bigotry.

You make the call.

To be much more dramatic than Mitt, I could say every child deserves parents who arent deaf, and allowing deaf people to become parents belittles the ideal of parents who can hear. Or how about children deserve to be born to people who dont have a family history of heart disease or cancer; such parents glorify early death?

I doubt many would think those were smart comments or want to stop people from procreating for them, though everyone would agree hearing, non-dead-at-an-early-age parents are good to have. Still, bigotry is too harsh a word for this. Id say its more of a bias that hasnt been thoroughly thought through.

--First, many of these children would not have life, any existence, without their parents being gay. Nobody chose their parents, and no one has the ideal parents. Some gay parents are better than their straight counterparts, and some are not. Still, I know many of these kids and they all love their life and family, and their families, for the added trials, are more grateful for their children on average than most. The children know what their family is worth (they compare with their friends), have a right to their family, and would not give it up for a different sex in one of their parents.

--Second, the bias harms those it claims to defend. It tells the children, even if they dont know it, theyre deficient; theyre victims and the governor is here to defend them from the most important institution in their world. Hes undermining their family and claiming hes the one protecting families from being undermined.

Hard to blame him though as youll hear these kids make the exact same mistake and opine for the poor schoolmate who only has one mom. To them these kids are seemingly missing the sort of parenting they get from their other mom, what most think of as fathering. Its not until they get older until they realize the fathering they get from their other mom is not a function of her sex.

-- Fulfilling the childs needs is the right here. Good parents parent according to each individual childs need, not by the stereotype attached to their sex. Id think most parents of twins know this keenly. Some children dont want or benefit from, say, being coddled, while others do. Some benefit from a good cop/bad cop dynamic; others are more straightforward. The parent, regardless of their sex, has to learn how to parent best for each child.

--Lastly, there is a body of evidence to the contrary. Children dont care if a female and a male are raising them; in fact there are many children with this right who live miserably. Instead, they have a right to care, nurturing, discipline, attention, education, mothering, and fathering, and so on. There is no reason to think same-sex parents dont or cant give these things, and evidence to show they can and do. Again, as with marriage, I think when one is obsessed with anatomy and not the real life actions of parenting or marriage, that is what cheapens the institution and gives the impression the important things are irrelevant as long as the anatomy is right. And many families sadly live as though this were true.

thaiboxerken
4th October 2005, 02:43 PM
The article I quoted cited an instance where the governor of Massachusetts said "Every child has a right to a mother and a father" and was chastised by the Boston Globe for bigotry.

You make the call.

It IS bigotry. Every child deserves to be brought up in a loving family.

hammegk
4th October 2005, 05:24 PM
You are comparing gay marriage to anime snuff/child porn films?!?!?! And then complain that no one but you is using logic?!?!?!!
Read it again. I did not "compare" them. I answered a question asked earlier about harm to a society even though no individual suffered harm by my postulation. I note no one has answered my question.

I ask again: since you have declared---against all evidence to the contrary---that being gay is a choice, when did you make the choice to be heterosexual?
Wrong again. I've stated that an individual may choose to engage, or not engage, in homosex. His/her thoughts and/or reasons for accepting he/she is homosexual do not interest me; only the behavior. I've also mentioned that sexual behavior responsible individuals choose to do in privacy is their business. It becomes societies business when they request that all private acts be accorded the same public acclaim.

As to claims -- but, but, no harm accrues -- I agree, with respect to the individuals involved, and measured by a time frame about as long as any form of masturbation, or the length or depth of the sex organs involved. Societies measure harm in generations and centuries.

TragicMonkey
4th October 2005, 05:26 PM
It becomes societies business when they request that all private acts be accorded the same public acclaim.

Why is it society's business to acclaim or disdain private sexual acts anyway? The legal ones, obviously.

Dr Adequate
4th October 2005, 05:50 PM
I didn't think it was possible ... but hammy just fell in my estimation.

Upchurch
4th October 2005, 06:57 PM
Read it again. I did not "compare" them. I answered a question asked earlier about harm to a society even though no individual suffered harm by my postulation. I note no one has answered my question.
uh, hi. Note again.
It becomes societies business when they request that all private acts be accorded the same public acclaim.You think it is the private acts that gay couples are seeking the same recognition as straight couples? Seriously?

Meadmaker
4th October 2005, 08:39 PM
It would be interesting to see the context of Governor Romney's remarks. It is possible the context would demonstrate clear bigotry. It's also possible that they would show that there was absolutely no connection to gay marriage as such, and would demonstrate a hostility toward the traditional family and toward the reverence that people like me have for that institution.

On the other hand, the first incident cited in the same article is less open to ambiguity. Jada Pinket Smith, speaking to a group at Harvard, told women that they could "have it all", and when talking about "it all", she included "a good husband" in the list of things that "it all" included.

The group sponsoring her talk issued an apology for her remarks, after an advocacy group for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender individuals complained about the "heteronormative" nature of her comments.

Now let's talk slowly for anyone who missed it. A woman encouraged other women to not settle for second best, but insist on a good husband. This caused the people at this formerly most prestigious school in the country to apologize.

Now, if that is not hostility toward traditional marriage, what is?



Scot,
I understand that there are good parents who are homosexuals, and lousy parents who are heterosexuals. Maybe the context of the remark would make clear that there was a hostile intent toward homosexuals inherent in the remarks. I don't know.

However, taken out of context, it appears to me he was simply making a statement about an ideal, if not always acheivable, condition. The fact that he didn't take the time to note that this was not the only possible way in which good children could be raised does not, in my opinion, make the remarks bigoted.

I live in a suburb that voted 80% for John Kerry. On the same ballot in Michigan, the anti gay marriage ammendment that passed the state easily went down to defeat by a huge margin. (I think it was also approximately 80% against.) And yet, when the PTA invited fathers to attend a school function, the context of the letter indicated that they expected only one person to show up.

Do you think the school is run by bigots? These people didn't even admit the possibility that someone might have two fathers.


I have said that acceptance of gay marriage deemphasized the relationship between men, women and their families. Ken, twisting my comments, asked if I thought homosexuals were trying to destroy families.

No, I don't think so, but I cited the article in which a man held up a mother and father as an ideal, and was called a bigot for it. I think it is fair to say that those people who called him a bigot think that the relationship between a mother, a father, and their children is less important than some other concern.

It seems to me that gay marriage advocates almost always talk about the relationship of the two adults in the marriage, and how important that relationship is. They almost never talk about how important the relationship between the mother, father, and children. In fact, when someone else brings up that relationship, he is called a bigot.

I stand by my statement that acceptance of gay marriage would deemphasize the relationship of men, women, and their children, in favor of an emphasis on the relationship of the two adults. I also think that the Boston Globe's denunciation of Governor Romney when he emphasized that relationship demonstrates that this phenomenon is a real phenomenon.

Roboramma
4th October 2005, 08:53 PM
Read it again. I did not "compare" them. I answered a question asked earlier about harm to a society even though no individual suffered harm by my postulation. I note no one has answered my question.

I think I did. Upchurch did.
So how about you answer this one: "How could society be harmed without any individual within society being harmed"?

TragicMonkey
4th October 2005, 09:17 PM
Now, if that is not hostility toward traditional marriage, what is?

Can you understand that there exist extremists on every side of every issue, some of whom are stark raving mad, and not hold it against everyone? I can find you some Christian Reconstructionists who voted for Bush, would that make you think the Republican Party is out to establish a militant theocracy?

I have said that acceptance of gay marriage deemphasized the relationship between men, women and their families.

[snip]

It seems to me that gay marriage advocates almost always talk about the relationship of the two adults in the marriage, and how important that relationship is. They almost never talk about how important the relationship between the mother, father, and children. In fact, when someone else brings up that relationship, he is called a bigot.

I stand by my statement that acceptance of gay marriage would deemphasize the relationship of men, women, and their children, in favor of an emphasis on the relationship of the two adults.

The problem is, once again, that you are mythologizing heterosexual relationships. We want equality, but you keep insisting that we don't deserve it because we cannot live up to the magical specialness inherent in your special special special special relationships. OF COURSE proponents of gay marriage are not going to fall at the feet of the mighty magical Heterosexual Specialness, because we don't believe in it. Your relationships are no better and no worse than ours, and deserve the same degree of reverence as ours. Either elevate gays to the status of having this special relationship, or get the hell off your pedestal.

You're not any better than us.

Dr Adequate
4th October 2005, 10:53 PM
It would be interesting to see the context of Governor Romney's remarks. It is possible the context would demonstrate clear bigotry. It's also possible that they would show that there was absolutely no connection to gay marriage as such, and would demonstrate a hostility toward the traditional family and toward the reverence that people like me have for that institution ... A woman encouraged other women to not settle for second best, but insist on a good husband. And if someone told you that in order to "have it all" you needed to marry a man, and that anything else was settling for second best? Well, I guess you'd just laugh at the looney. But if you lived in a society which told you year after year, night and day, that if you don't want to marry a guy, then not only are you settling for second best, but you yourself are second best? And when you say you're only attracted to women, they say that you just haven't met the right man yet? And you haven't yet dared admit to your parents that you have feelings for * gasp * the opposite sex? Well, how would you feel about this little lecture on how you don't have to "settle for second best"? You, too, Dave, can "have it all", and marry the perfect man. Why settle for less? Insist on a good husband!

Bah.

Dr Adequate
4th October 2005, 10:57 PM
It seems to me that gay marriage advocates almost always talk about the relationship of the two adults in the marriage, and how important that relationship is. They almost never talk about how important the relationship between the mother, father, and children. In fact, when someone else brings up that relationship, he is called a bigot.I love the extensive list of quotations you use to justify this sweeping generalisation.

Oh, hold on, you haven't provided even one such quotation. Not even a little one.

Here's some advice: if you wish, out of ignorance, prejudice, or spite, to tar a lot of different people with the same brush, first make sure you have: (a) some tar; (b) a brush.

Gwyn ap Nudd
5th October 2005, 01:56 AM
It seems to me that gay marriage advocates almost always talk about the relationship of the two adults in the marriage, and how important that relationship is. They almost never talk about how important the relationship between the mother, father, and children. In fact, when someone else brings up that relationship, he is called a bigot.

I stand by my statement that acceptance of gay marriage would deemphasize the relationship of men, women, and their children, in favor of an emphasis on the relationship of the two adults. I also think that the Boston Globe's denunciation of Governor Romney when he emphasized that relationship demonstrates that this phenomenon is a real phenomenon.

A year ago, in a different website's forum I posted many examples (http://64.33.77.146/discus/messages/2310/24871.html?SundayOctober1020040225pm#POST272559) of families, parents and children, whose special relationship has been "de-emphasized" by the discriminatory nature of the current laws.

"The adoption of our little girl, Janie, became legal just three months ago. But because we can't get married, only one of us could be the legal parent. We wish we could have the support system that marriage gives a couple, not only for the legal benefits, but for the respect, as well. The process overall has been positive, even though we were basically told because she is a "throw away", born with HIV, it was fine to let 2 gay guys have her. No matter, we love her so much and she has brought joy to our lives. It is frustrating, however, that our government does not recognize the needs of our family, even though we hear how much everyone wants to "help families." The clincher was that we were told by our lawyer that because we are 2 gay men, we never would have been able to adopt a boy. Well, Janie was and will always be the greatest thing that has ever happen to us."

"My partner David and I have been together for 8 years. He has been such a wonderful parent to my daughter Lisa, and she is the love of our lives. Two years ago, while swimming, Lisa had a horrible accident and was brain damaged. David had a great job at a financial institution; needless to say, his insurance was excellent. But we could not get the insurance company to help pay any of the bills, even though he helped support her all that time. We went into heavy debt and it has been extremely difficult ever since."
"A Michigan court ignored the pleas of a non biological mother when the biological mother died of ovarian cancer. The judge even ignored the wishes of the two adolescent boys, raised for as long as they could remember by their two moms, and gave them instead to their biological father-- a man who abandoned them until there were Social Security benefits to be had. If the women had been legally married, the court would have viewed her as a valid stepparent. As it was, her years of parenting didn't even merit visitation."

Meadmaker
5th October 2005, 04:35 AM
The problem is, once again, that you are mythologizing heterosexual relationships. We want equality, but you keep insisting that we don't deserve it because we cannot live up to the magical specialness inherent in your special special special special relationships. OF COURSE proponents of gay marriage are not going to fall at the feet of the mighty magical Heterosexual Specialness, because we don't believe in it. Your relationships are no better and no worse than ours, and deserve the same degree of reverence as ours. Either elevate gays to the status of having this special relationship, or get the hell off your pedestal.


Monkey has summed it up. He's absolutely got the essence of this problem right here. He gets it, sort of. He at least gets what I'm trying to do.

Indeed I think there is something magical, if I can use that word on this board, about what he referred to in an earlier post as "the Great Heterosexual Screw".

It creates new life.

I can't elevate gays to the status of having this special relationship. Talk to God about that. You don't believe in God? Neither do I. I guess that means you're stuck.

I also get that you don't believe there's anything special about that relationship that creates new life.

Dr. Adequate,
I think Monkey's post is one quote, "a little one", of the sort you said I hadn't provided. But any post that says "it's about love" would do.

About Romney's quote: I haven't found the full quote, but I did see articles that said it was in reference to a call to have the words "mother" and "father" removed from birth certificates.

Gwyn,
Good points, all. It was things like this that made me change my position on gay marriage. That's something that bears repeating. When it comes to how I vote, I'm on your side, or at least I'm really close to it. Nevertheless, I won't give up my mythologizing of heterosexual marriage. I intend to keep it up. Yes I think it is special, and I think you should, too.

Upchurch
5th October 2005, 07:41 AM
Indeed I think there is something magical, if I can use that word on this board, about what he referred to in an earlier post as "the Great Heterosexual Screw".

It creates new life.To which someone will respond (might as well be me), not all the time it doesn't nor is that the only method of creating new life. Nor, really, is that the only component of creating new people.

By that criteria, should childless heterosexual couples not be legally recognized? Should heterosexual couples who require artificial insemination not be legally recognized? If so, why shouldn't lesbian couples who are artificially inseminated be legally recognized? Should heterosexual couples who adopt be legally recognized? If so, why shouldn't homosexual couples be legally recognized.

All couples have the potential to be parents. The ability to have kids is not a legitimate argument against gay marriage, because otherwise there would be a whole lot of other groups who should also not be allowed to get married.

C.J.
5th October 2005, 08:26 AM
It creates new life.
Outside of laboratory conditions, and for most people, creating life is incredibly easy. Maintaining that life during gestation is harder, and successfully raising and nurturing the born child is the hardest of all three. Though you've said that you aren't likely to budge from your position that the creation of life is the special bit, I ask you to consider the possibility that the special bit is in the rearing, which can be accomplished perfectly well by both homosexual and heterosexual parents.

Meadmaker
5th October 2005, 08:38 AM
By that criteria, should childless heterosexual couples not be legally recognized? Should heterosexual couples who require artificial insemination not be legally recognized? If so, why shouldn't lesbian couples who are artificially inseminated be legally recognized? Should heterosexual couples who adopt be legally recognized? If so, why shouldn't homosexual couples be legally recognized.

(emphasis added.)

By coincidence, I am part of one such couple. Our only child was conceived through the old fashioned way, but we've spent a great deal of time in fertility clinics trying for number two. I think all theose couples should be legally recognized. Have I ever said otherwise?

But I am interested in what TragicMonkey called "the mythologizing of heterosexual marriage", and I'm suspicious of anything that demythologizes it.

So, why? I will elaborate later, but I will leave you with a thought that may appear unrelated.

American children are being diagnosed with mental disorders at a record rate. I'll explain later.

Upchurch
5th October 2005, 08:47 AM
I think all theose couples should be legally recognized. Have I ever said otherwise?In a way, yes.

You're basis that heterosexual couples should receive special status is their ability to produce new life. Some heterosexual couples cannot produce new life. Why, then, should these couples be allowed the same previlage?

Scot C. Trypal
5th October 2005, 08:50 AM
Do you think the school is run by bigots? These people didn't even admit the possibility that someone might have two fathers.

Yes, yes I do, bigots all.

:) Look, I think youre mistaking the activists for the minority here. The same-sex parents I know are calm and pragmatic about such things and teach their kids to do the same. I dont expect you to change your vocabulary, and I dont think of people as bigots for making assumptions unless they are assumptions they wont change when presented with contrary evidence. Further, even though our children attend a school where there are many such families, I dont expect them to, say, get rid of Mothers day for a couple kids (In fact Id vigorously fight such a move) and dont expect acclaim for any particular family. We made this clear from the start.

But, two fathers show up at a meeting for fathers, or one shows up at an important meeting for mothers (actually for the homemaker), let them; that is reasonable. I simply expect civility and fairness, and have failed to get less from the everyday people we meet. Its strangely much more simple in the real world than the political debate makes it seem.

Regarding Mitt, he is noted for his stance here and so his statements are suspicious from the start for most. Still, it is an odd statement when you compare it to all the other ways people miss this ideal of perfect parents. I mean, can any truly dedicated and absolutely loving parent honestly tell themselves their children havent deserved anything more from them at some point? Have you been a perfect parent?

Further, its a damaging, undermining thing for a governor to say to these children in his state. Imagine if he was telling children of, say, a deaf person they deserve something better than the parent they know, need, and love, because hearing is better than not hearing, and so he wanted to restrict deaf people from marriage rights and obligations.

-----

Also, as difficult to imagine as it may be, gays do sometimes have sex in order to produce children. With the failure rate of fertility treatments, it can take many sex acts before a child results from the act, even if only one set of genes makes it to an egg (sometimes they end up with multiple births including the genetic material of both). Further, some such gay couples have far more children than the average, meaning theyve had more of this special sex?

Scot C. Trypal
5th October 2005, 09:28 AM
I note no one has answered my question.

Hammegk, my wolf at the door :). Ill give it a shot:

First, to say this as about acclaiming some sex act, or even one relationship over another is an odd spin. Again, its like saying that brail books in a public library indicates the governments acclaim of blindness. Gay people are not as different in their senses as blind people, but they similarly do not experience the world the same way as most and they best live life accordingly.

Also, you seem to consistently be focusing on sex acts. But Im pretty sure you have no idea what any particular gay couple does in a bedroom, if anything besides sleep. Some gay couples wanting these rights are simply not having any sort of sex, and such things should not be assumed into peoples lives. Even if everything youre imagining was going on, what is that? 20 min out of a week, 0.2% of their life :)? Its nothing compared to family functions, and work, and that is where the real concern is here.

Anyway, what you get by allowing gays to have these rights:

--Get gays off welfare. Right now all US citizens are paying people welfare who live in great comfort. Because, in gay couples, a stay at home parent is technically a single parent with no income and next to no assets, they can and some do get welfare. We couldnt stomach this but, besides the aprox. 5K/year single mother welfare, we could even get food stamps and Medicare, and I know those who do. In many places marriage would be forced on such couples in common law marriage for the sake of the kids and the taxpayer.

--Make gays responsible for their obligations. Many homemakers can just be jettisoned from their home with nothing, and often they are their kids only legal parent. While their partner had made promises and in rare cases even signed contracts, they may be found unenforceable without marriage law and the public ends up paying for it.

--Stop gays from ruining the lives of good upstanding straights. Would you counsel your daughter to marry a gay man? Id hope not, yet gay men are encouraged to marry women every day. It used to be a running gag, when I was about 17, to note the number of minivans with car seats driving repeatedly by the local gay hang out until they picked up what they were looking for. Its not funny today, when I think of the kids and the deceived woman at home, who never really ever had the love and affection of her husband. Ive known this to lead to HIV infections, many divorces, and heartbroken children; people simply should not be encouraged to marry in ways that are unnatural to them.

In this sense gay unions are superior to traditional unions and should be held up as so, but only for gay people. Similarly, a brail book is superior to traditional book, but only for blind people.

--Protect the extended family A group that often gets overlooked in this debate are the in-laws and extended family. It does great harm to grandparents, cousins, aunt, and uncles when a child is made unvisitable (word?) or even unilaterally removed from their family, and it does the same harm to the kids. If its a homosexual male-heterosexual female union a split is much more likely (and vicious). If its a homosexual-homosexual union then one set of grandparents is in the same boat as one of the parents, just out of luck in most states.

--Get kids out of daycare--I know many dont agree, but if its possible I think children, particularly infants, are best taken care of by there parents, not a business. As most law stands now, with gays unable to get on their partners health insurance or have claim to their income, gays are encouraged to use day care for their kids.

--Get more children out of state and foster care. There are not enough homes for the children needing them, and many unadoptable children, which is why gay people cant be stopped from adopting as if they were single. Infertile couples are the most likely to adopt, and a gay couples, as opposed to a single gay person, have more time to devote. Like it or not, the qualified gay couple who adopts, particularly older, disabled, or HIV infected children (particularly multiple siblings) is doing the public a service, and its good policy to try to keep that home intact.

--Make a gay more productive. Coupling up and making a home is important to most all humans. Most who have it would put their kids and their caretaker above every other want, above even their self-preservation. They go to work and work hard for their family, even to jobs they cant stand. Keeping this basic human need and motivation from such people damages them, and decreases their productivity. It damages society to take away peoples stake in society.

Anecdote, but I think its very illustrative: When I told my parents, I didnt know any gay people and thought my options would be therapy or homelessness. I wouldve happily chosen therapy. But turns out my very Christian family was largely 1. not too surprised (the string of broken hearted beards was a sign), and 2. almost too supportive. I was particularly surprised by my 80-year-old grandfather; he loved my partner like a grandson and repeatedly told me he was proud of us. This is the man who baptized me.

About a year before he died it became clear why. Turns out his little brother was gay. The family pressured him to hide it and marry a woman, and he did. My great-uncle was, of course, as miserable as a straight man married to a man would be. His hapless wife was just as miserable (gratefully, no kids were produced; there was no intimacy between them). He went into a depression, couldnt keep a job, and started drinking. He killed two people drunk driving back when drunk driving was just an accident, stepped up his drinking for his guilt, and died of cirrhosis a couple years later.

He was less than useless to society, and my grandfather understood why. I think the best illustration Ive known as to why gays should be encouraged to couple up with gays is the difference between the lives of my uncle and me. Our professional achievements, productivity, and charitable work arent even comparable, and, oddly, people like my grandfather had a big hand in molding both lives.

--Pay less for a health care. You want to keep same-sex relationships hidden, but that is exactly what leads to anonymous sex and short-term relationships. It leads to stress, compulsiveness, and drugs; it leads to what most call the homosexual lifestyle in the pejorative sense. Eventually, we all pay for it when they get infected, in the loss of their productivity and health care costs. If you want a healthier society, hold monogamy up in acclaim for gays too; force them to consider all the friends, blood relatives, and in-laws theyd hurt if they were unfaithful. If its secret theres little to consider but yourself.

--Stop the whining, save money. You think I enjoy Pride events? Out of all life has to offer, what a silly thing to express pride about. What about all those speeches and platitudes on both sides? All the $ spent? What a waste. How much time have I spent here? But the conflict has to find a conclusion, particularly as the gay baby boom makes it way through the schools. The choice will be to make it a non-issue or the issue, the issue that trumps other values of this society. But the non-issue costs less, and is easier to implement, besides being more moral by my estimation.

--Uphold our cultures values. The Judeo-Christian values you and I were raised on and value are fuelling both sides of this fight; gays would otherwise be nowhere. Its the no gay norm vs. the freedom, justice, equality, empathy, Golden Rule norm, and one must come out above or below the other. No judge or politician can stop it, only slow it. In fact, if the Ma Constitution didnt have equal rights, regardless of a citizens sex, spelled out in it, put there by the people, there would likely be no gay marriage in the US at all. If the Ma people want to demote that ideal for another, they can and will by ballot, and there is nothing gays can do to stop it.

Society will simply go as far as it wants, even overboard. Children could be taken from their homes and reeducated by the government. Gays could be sought out and jailed, or even killed. Gays could be treated as if we had shariah law. But I think it far best for our social values for the other set of morals to win the day, and am betting they will, but could be wrong.

Upchurch
5th October 2005, 09:30 AM
But I am interested in what TragicMonkey called "the mythologizing of heterosexual marriage", and I'm suspicious of anything that demythologizes it.Why? Nothing should be above questioning, especially old social norms.
So, why? I will elaborate later, but I will leave you with a thought that may appear unrelated.

American children are being diagnosed with mental disorders at a record rate. I'll explain later.You are correct. It does appear to be unrelated. I await your explination.

TragicMonkey
5th October 2005, 09:33 AM
Monkey has summed it up. He's absolutely got the essence of this problem right here. He gets it, sort of. He at least gets what I'm trying to do.

Indeed I think there is something magical, if I can use that word on this board, about what he referred to in an earlier post as "the Great Heterosexual Screw".

[snip]

Nevertheless, I won't give up my mythologizing of heterosexual marriage. I intend to keep it up. Yes I think it is special, and I think you should, too.

I'm glad you're admitting your opposition to gay marriage, in full name, is irrational. This is why I've been asking for rational reasons why not. There aren't any. All the opposition is based on fantasy, and mythology, and rose-colored magic elf spectacles that insist on seeing marriage as something other than what it is, full of pixie dust and magic and juggling elephants. Look around at the divorce rates and broken homes and tell me how magical straight marriage is.

As for asking gays to think heterosexual marriage is special, and magical, and better than our own unions, well, you might as well ask a Hutu to believe there's something special and wonderful and magical about Tutsis. Your mythology, which tells us we're inferior, is not convincing to us. If you want to persuade us to accept hetero-superiority in the matter of marriage, you're going to have to resort to reason.

Mark
5th October 2005, 11:56 AM
If you want to persuade us to accept hetero-superiority in the matter of marriage, you're going to have to resort to reason.

Asking someone to apply reason to an argument based purely on emotion is like asking them to apply a coat of paint to the surface of water in a swimming pool.

The notion that all hetero marriages are automatically better than all gay marriages is ridiculous in the extreme. There is no logical argument for that position.

TragicMonkey
5th October 2005, 12:00 PM
Asking someone to apply reason to an argument based purely on emotion is like asking them to apply a coat of paint to the surface of water in a swimming pool.

You didn't specify the water had to be liquid; one could easily paint a frozen swimming pool.

Sorry. I thought it was a brainteaser! :mdance:

Upchurch
5th October 2005, 12:19 PM
Least it be forgotten:
I will leave you with a thought that may appear unrelated.

American children are being diagnosed with mental disorders at a record rate. I'll explain later.
I am dying to know where this is heading.

Meadmaker
5th October 2005, 03:21 PM
So why would I think mythologizing heterosexual marriage be a good thing, and what possible connection could there be to the mental health of children in America?

In “Home Alone America”, Mary Eberstadt devotes time to the phenomenon that children are being diagnosed with mental disorders in America at a very high rate. She singles out Separation Anxiety Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder for particular attention.

Let’s pause for a minute. Whether or not you agree with anything that Ms. Eberstadt wrote, you have to acknowledge the accuracy of that observation. Kids in America really are being diagnosed with mental disorders at a very high rate. That really is happening, and I hope that everyone reading this agrees with me and Ms. Eberstadt that this is cause for concern.

She offers a particularly compelling explanation, but one which just doesn’t get much attention from the community. She says that the behavior observed in these children is not a “disorder” at all. She says that children are in fact displaying more behaviors associated with elevated anxiety than previous generations showed. Her radical explanation for this is that they are more anxious. Her explanation for the elevated anxiety is lack of attention from parents, and especially lack of attention from mothers.

Uh oh. It’s bad enough that she is saying dual income families might be causing unhappiness among children, but she has the audacity to say that mothers and fathers are different. Severely non-PC.

Then she goes way over the top. It’s enough to give the average leftist the heebie-jeebies. She devotes a lot of time to demonstrating that over the few decades, we have consistently as a society put the needs of adults over the needs of children. And she picks on programs supported by the left which allegedly help children, but which she feels contribute to the problem instead of making it better. She criticizes day-care, calling it a prime “parent substitue”. She believes our personal concerns for happiness as adults have trumped the concern for the happiness of children.

Example: Anxious children are really difficult to deal with. One of the most effective ways to deal with them is to devote your full and complete attention to them for a little while. However, you have a meeting to go to. Another way to deal with them is to declare them mentally ill and give them a drug. That route has been taken with increasing frequency in the past decade or so.

I thought it was a good book, and I agreed with most of what was in it. (It didn’t discuss gay marriage.)

So, where’s the connection to our views on marriage, and especially gay marriage?

I think we are collectively doing a lousy job as parents. I think that anything we do that deemphasizes our identity as parents contributes to that.

I would love to see some modification to our laws and customs regarding adult relationships that would create an institution specifically for those people who are raising children together, or for those who might start raising them together. However, we don’t have any such institution, and I don’t hear anyone trying to make one. The closest thing we do have, is marriage. It isn’t exactly a parenthood institution, but it’s kind of like one. It’s an institution for people who are doing the thing which, under some circumstances, might cause someone to be a parent.

I think adding gay, childless, people to that mix would turn it into an institution for

1) people who are doing something which might, under some circumstances, cause them to be a parent, or
2) people who are doing something which feels very much like that other thing and uses the same bits of anatomy that are involved in that other thing but which can’t actually cause someone to be a parent, because the bits of anatomy aren’t coming together in the proper combination for parenthood to result.

To me, that’s a little bit farther removed from an institution that encourages good parenting.

Meadmaker
5th October 2005, 03:23 PM
The notion that all hetero marriages are automatically better than all gay marriages is ridiculous in the extreme. There is no logical argument for that position.

Thank goodness I've never made that argument.

Do you know anyone who has?

Mahatma Kane Jeeves
5th October 2005, 03:58 PM
2) people who are doing something which feels very much like that other thing and uses the same bits of anatomy that are involved in that other thing but which cant actually cause someone to be a parent, because the bits of anatomy arent coming together in the proper combination for parenthood to result.
So, in order to prove that gay marriage devalues and/or minimizes the "institution" of marriage, it is necessary to devalue and minimize the marriages of childless hetero couples. Wonderful.

Meadmaker
5th October 2005, 06:34 PM
Hmmm... Scot seems to have beaten me to the punch. Just when I thought I had an interesting angle about kids, day care, and gay marriage, I went and read his post, and there he is pointing out one way that allowing gay marriage would result in fewer kids in daycare.

Drat you, Scot. There you go making practical arguments again! Can't you just call anyone who disagrees with you a homophobe fundamentalist who believes in "pixie dust and juggling elephants?" It sure would make this easier.

Meadmaker
5th October 2005, 06:39 PM
Your mythology, which tells us we're inferior, is not convincing to us.

I also think there is something magical about the ability to have sex WITHOUT making babies.

Mark
5th October 2005, 07:27 PM
Thank goodness I've never made that argument.

Do you know anyone who has?

Yes. Anyone who says heterosexual marriage should be legal and gay marriage illegal. There are good and bad marriages...sexual orientation has nothing to do with it.

Mark
5th October 2005, 07:29 PM
You didn't specify the water had to be liquid; one could easily paint a frozen swimming pool.

Sorry. I thought it was a brainteaser! :mdance:

Well, technically, if it is not liquid it is either ice or vapor...

Dorian Gray
5th October 2005, 10:35 PM
You didn't specify the water had to be liquid; one could easily paint a frozen swimming pool.

Sorry. I thought it was a brainteaser! :mdance:
Or use spray paint.

TragicMonkey
5th October 2005, 10:45 PM
I also think there is something magical about the ability to have sex WITHOUT making babies.

Yes, the kind of magic Harry Potter learns in school:

Vasectomous!
Pillus hormonus femininus!
Latexia!
Tius Tubius!
Rectumsempra!
Sexum orallus!
Withdrawia!

In casting these spells, attention should be paid not only to pronunciation, but where you stick your wand.

Too bad they weren't teaching those spells in Ron's parents' days at Hogwarts.

Mark
6th October 2005, 06:39 AM
In casting these spells, attention should be paid not only to pronunciation, but where you stick your wand.



I believe that is the same argument used against gay marriage!

Meadmaker
6th October 2005, 09:14 AM
So, will gay marriage cause increased mental illness among children?

I guess that's a bit of a stretch.

On the other hand, something is causing people to diagnose more mental illness among children. That really is happening.

And the best evidence I have seen is that it is correlated with changing gender roles, a deemphasis on children as the focus of a family, and a pattern of placing the desires of parents above the desires of children. I think all of those are present in the arguments for gay marriage.

Do I think that's a reason to continue to keep the legal definition of marriage restricted to one man and one woman? No. I don't, because I can't prove the connection. Still, I think it is something to consider. I do think that there is something very important about creating and raising children, and that it is so important that it outweighs every other consideration. Therefore, I would ask people to just consider how the policy decisions you support will affect society, and specifically to the next generation. Some of you have done that, and some of you have not.


As Hammegk noted, the consequences of a policy to society may take generations to show up. When the attitudes toward working mothers changed in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, no one predicted that one of the consequences would be a huge number of children taking ritalin and anti-depressants. And yet, that appears to have been one of the consequences. When you tinker with social conventions that have existed for generations, it isn't always clear what all of the results will be.

What will be the consequence of legally recognizing gay marriage as equivalent to traditional marriage? Time will tell.

Upchurch
6th October 2005, 09:50 AM
So, will gay marriage cause increased mental illness among children?

I guess that's a bit of a stretch.

On the other hand, something is causing people to diagnose more mental illness among children. That really is happening.It's a lot of a stretch, reaching all the way into the standard "correlation does not equal causation" line. It is entirely possible that we are diagnosing more mental illness among children merely because we've learned better how to.

Does your book control for other environmental factors like the way the American diet has changed over the last few decades? Or how the American lifestyle has? Do you suppose that homosexuality is the cause of American obesity, too?

What is the state of mental illness among children in countries that are more tolerant of gays than the US? Greater or less?

This is scapegoating, pure and simple. Kids with straight parents have problems. Kids with gay parents have problems. Those problems stem from a lot of different sources.
Do I think that's a reason to continue to keep the legal definition of marriage restricted to one man and one woman? No. I don't, because I can't prove the connection. Still, I think it is something to consider. I do think that there is something very important about creating and raising children, and that it is so important that it outweighs every other consideration.Since you put so much importance upon the wellfare of children in your definition of marriage, would you be in favor of abusive parents receiving a manditory divorce and not being allowed to re-marry? What about single parents getting a state mandated co-parent?

If this one criteria is so important as to deny one set of citizens their rights, why not other sets as well? Why should only gay couples be effected?
As Hammegk noted, the consequences of a policy to society may take generations to show up. When the attitudes toward working mothers changed in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, no one predicted that one of the consequences would be a huge number of children taking ritalin and anti-depressants. And yet, that appears to have been one of the consequences. When you tinker with social conventions that have existed for generations, it isn't always clear what all of the results will be.Oil consumption was also growing during that time. And TV. And fast food. And junk food. And video games.

Yet, you believe that the rise in mental illness in children is the result of women getting jobs and gays coming out of the closet based on nothing more than correlation and a flimsy and overly simplified rationale?

Well, I'm glad you've thought this all the way through. :rolleyes:

Meadmaker
6th October 2005, 10:18 AM
It's a lot of a stretch, reaching all the way into the standard "correlation does not equal causation" line. It is entirely possible that we are diagnosing more mental illness among children merely because we've learned better how to.

I agree about correlation and causation. Perhaps there is some other factor involved. I would recommend the book, though. It makes a pretty compelling case.

Yet, you believe that the rise in mental illness in children is the result of women getting jobs and gays coming out of the closet based on nothing more than correlation and a flimsy and overly simplified rationale?

The book goes into it in detail, but it says nothing about homosexuality. I made that connection. When it comes to connecting gay marriage to children's mental illness, I plead guilty to a "flimsy and overly simplified rationale." But hey, you guys wouldn't buy common sense. I do think that the trends she observed would be exacerbated by gay marriage, but to a very small extent. Probably unmeasurable. Certainly unprovable.

For what it's worth, the author thinks that there is a very small rise in mental illness among children. She thinks the increase in diagnosis of mental illness is false diagnosis.

thaiboxerken
6th October 2005, 10:29 AM
Her explanation for the elevated anxiety is lack of attention from parents, and especially lack of attention from mothers.


This is why women should not be allowed outside of the house, if they have kids.

Upchurch
6th October 2005, 10:31 AM
The book goes into it in detail, but it says nothing about homosexuality. I made that connection. {snip} I do think that the trends she observed would be exacerbated by gay marriage, but to a very small extent. Probably unmeasurable. Certainly unprovable.

For what it's worth, the author thinks that there is a very small rise in mental illness among children. She thinks the increase in diagnosis of mental illness is false diagnosis.So, your rational response for what straight couples are more privelaged than gay couples is based on a minor, unprovable hypothesis that you drew out of context from one author?

I'm sorry. That is a grossly insufficent reason to promote inequity and discrimination. If you cannot come up with a solid rational reason for your beliefs, I recommend you examine them closely with a more objective eye.
When it comes to connecting gay marriage to children's mental illness, I plead guilty to a "flimsy and overly simplified rationale." But hey, you guys wouldn't buy common sense.There is a very important reason why no one should blindly buy into "common sense": it is often wrong.

thaiboxerken
6th October 2005, 10:35 AM
It's common sense that we use less than 10% of our brains.

Scot C. Trypal
6th October 2005, 10:37 AM
Hmmm... Scot seems to have beaten me to the punch. Just when I thought I had an interesting angle about kids, day care, and gay marriage, I went and read his post, and there he is pointing out one way that allowing gay marriage would result in fewer kids in daycare.

Drat you, Scot. There you go making practical arguments again! Can't you just call anyone who disagrees with you a homophobe fundamentalist who believes in "pixie dust and juggling elephants?" It sure would make this easier.

Hey, say what you will, but the Tragic Monkey is one of my favorite posters; Im still laughing. But we are coming at this from different angles.

The thing with me is Im sympathetic with many of your concerns. I buy into the magic in my family and in the family that raised me, and I can also see that feeling leads me to do the same thing you are. There is something special about my family, I just know it instinctually, like a faith. I mean, Id like to think of myself as a reasonable person who wouldnt buy into magical thinking, but try to get me to go an hour without the rings I put on as symbols of my obligations at my union and at becoming a father. I am absolutely superstitious about nothing but my family.

:) What I find most ironic is that it appears to me, out of the people here, we are living the most similar lifestyles with the most similar values. But many people dont live this way. Out of about 5, Ive not yet been in a real world panel debate with a gay rights opponent who hasnt been divorced, single, or leading a two income home. I understand that these things are sometimes unavoidable, but it does make my task much more simple when Im more puritan than the puritans :).

Regarding issues of child mental health:

Her explanation for the elevated anxiety is lack of attention from parents, and especially lack of attention from mothers.

Uh oh. Its bad enough that she is saying dual income families might be causing unhappiness among children, but she has the audacity to say that mothers and fathers are different. Severely non-PC.

In addition to Upchurchs comments. Does she show that it is attention from a female parent or the lack of the acts of mothering causing these things? There are some very gruff cold heterosexual mothers out there, and some very matronly men. That doesnt matter? Again, are you (or is she) saying the bodies or the actions are whats important?

I should start keeping my books in the car. The research Im aware of shows (by memory):
Common factors that correlate with emotional or scholastic harm to children:
--Divorce. But children do show these same effects before divorce is even on the table, suggesting its the discord between the parents thats the problem, not the actual physical split.
--Daycare use. Its a function of and is sometimes made negligible by the childs personality and quality of daycare.
--Abuse. Of course.
--Single parents. Can be mitigated by adjusting for income.
--Death of a parent. This is not nearly as strong an effect as divorce or single parents (single from the start). A child counterintuitively does better with a dead parent than with a divorce or deadbeat parent, almost as well as an intact two parent family (again pointing to family infighting, or maybe even heritable personality traits). Furthermore, it doesnt make a detectable difference which parent dies, a male or a female.

So, will gay marriage cause increased mental illness among children?

Among children from your sort of home, right? Gay marriage wont stop or start children from having gay parents. Consider this: From the last census, the most conservative states, with some of the most restrictive laws and cultures aimed at stopping gays from becoming parents, have the highest percentage of same-sex lead households with children in them (Mississippi, South Dakota, Utah, Texas, Idaho). Traditionalism regarding family ironically seems to go hand-in-hand with more gays becoming parents.

So what to do about children of gay parents? Do you think higher stress in homes led by same-sex couples could lead to lower stress in homes like your?

What about all the gay kids? They arent negligible. Without any societal support, I went through a good year of being physically ill with stress as a kid. At least in this generation they all can see other gays are out there, and in the next theyll be going to school with friends who have same-sex parents. How does one balance their relief, and the pure health benefit they can find in marriage with your worry?

What will lead, without guessing, to damaged children is neglect. To promote an idea that people can rest or blame their parenting on their anatomy distracts from these responsibilities. Furthermore, some children require their parents change their parenting styles according to the childs needs, even if the parents are naturally dead on leave-it-to-beaver parents. Its just not that simple as boy + girl = good; the actions of people are whats important.

Funny, you think gays should stop talking about their rights and focus on obligations and I think you should stop talking about anatomy and focus on obligations. :)

Dorian Gray
6th October 2005, 11:06 AM
I think that Muggles are discriminated against - they should be allowed to attend magic schools just like mages do, and the government should pay for it. Otherwise, William Stryker will go all nuts and start attacking mages.

I'm serious! If muggle M.C. Escher's drawings are good enough to rip off for Hogwart's design, muggles should be allowed to attend.

Random
6th October 2005, 11:12 AM
So why would I think mythologizing heterosexual marriage be a good thing, and what possible connection could there be to the mental health of children in America?

In Home Alone America, Mary Eberstadt devotes time to the phenomenon that children are being diagnosed with mental disorders in America at a very high rate. She singles out Separation Anxiety Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder for particular attention.

(SNIP)
A lot of these problems can be solved by insuring that the average working parent can make enough money to support his or her spouse and children on that single income. This allows the other spouse to stay home and take care of the kids.

I am sure that the GOP leadership in the House and Senate will get right on that

Meadmaker
6th October 2005, 03:24 PM
Hey, say what you will, but the Tragic Monkey is one of my favorite posters; Im still laughing. But we are coming at this from different angles.

Actually, Monkey is one of my favorite posters, too. But when you call your familiy magical, I will bet he doesn't say anything about pixie dust.

And when it comes to irrationality, I think both sides in this debate have some irrationality.

Does she show that it is attention from a female parent or the lack of the acts of mothering causing these things?

That's a good question. She doesn't actually address the difference. If a father, or some other figure in a child's life, shows the sort of affection that mothers usually show, how would a child react? She doesn't address the question, either to dismiss it or affirm it. It just isn't part of her book.

Again, are you (or is she) saying the bodies or the actions are whats important?

What I would say is that the actions are important. What I would also say is that there is a correlation, but only a correlation, between actions and bodies. I don't think there should be laws against stay-at-home dads. I do think that some males will make better "moms" than some females, based on their behavior. On the other hand, the stereotypes exist for a reason. They apply more often than not.

I think what she would say, and I know what I would say, is that it is not impossible for someone other than a mother to do what mothers usually do, and it is not impossible for someone other than a father to do what fathers usually do, but that if you happen to be one of those, you are the most likely to be able to fulfill those roles, and that if you can't, it's important for you to find someone who can.

And, as Earthborn will say, even the identification of male and female is not always, in 100% of all cases, possible. But I'm still going to use the terms men and women as if they are meaningful.


So what to do about children of gay parents? Do you think higher stress in homes led by same-sex couples could lead to lower stress in homes like your?

I don't understand the question.

You might know something about a question I have. This little side tour about children's mental health began in part because I had read that book, and in part because I was looking to see what research existed on children of gay parents. I figured that every year, more data would be available, and that by now, enough might have grown to college age to do a thorough study.

In the searching I did, every reference said that children of gay parents grow up normal. Absolutely normal. Absolutely no difference. That's more or less what I expected, but it was so uniform, that it made me suspicious. It seems to me inconceivable that they could be identical in every way. If for no other reason than demographic differences that are hard to control for.

For example, a lot of people asked the question of whether children of gays were more likely to be gay. Certainly I expected that most children of gays would be straight, because most people are straight. But I expected some measurable difference. Why? Well, if there is no difference, that to me would be very strong evidence that there is no genetic component to homosexuality, and that doesn't fit conventional wisdom these days. Second, one other element of conventional wisdom is that there are a lot more gays out there than people who admit to being gay, that a lot of the people are "in the closet". I would expect that the probability of being in the closet would be lower among kids raised by gay parents. If the researchers measured the same rate of homosexuality among kids raised by gays, there can only be a few explanations, none of which are what I would expect. Here are some I can think of.

1) Children of gays are just as likely to hide their homosexuality as children of straights.
2) Children of gays are less likely to be gay than the general poplulation. The measured numbers are the same because enough children of straights hide their homosexuality to make the measured numbers even.
3) Children of gays are more likely to be gay, but more likely to hide their homosexuality. If that is true, you really have to ask why.

There is a fourth possibility, which does make sense. Researchers on the subject want to find a particular answer, and they find it. That's pretty common. I really began to suspect that when I started noticing several comments that children of gay people showed no greater signs of emotional stress, such as depression, suicide, and the like, except for that caused by prejudice. Again, skeptic bells went off. Are they measuring higher rates of depression? If they are, how are they making the determination that the derpession is caused by prejudice and discrimination? It seems to me that would be a very difficult determination to make. The fact that they all came to the same conclusion again made me suspect researcher bias. I just don't know how you could measure that. If you can link to anything that had some good raw data, I would appreciate it.

Mark
6th October 2005, 04:22 PM
Researchers on the subject want to find a particular answer, and they find it...I really began to suspect that when I started noticing several comments that children of gay people showed no greater signs of emotional stress, such as depression, suicide, and the like, except for that caused by prejudice. Again, skeptic bells went off.

Oh, the irony.

hammegk
6th October 2005, 04:31 PM
Hammegk, my wolf at the door :). I’ll give it a shot:

First, to say this as about acclaiming some sex act, or even one relationship over another is an odd spin. Again, it’s like saying that brail books in a public library indicates the government’s acclaim of blindness. Gay people are not as different in their senses as blind people, but they similarly do not experience the world the same way as most and they best live life accordingly.

Also, you seem to consistently be focusing on sex acts. But I’m pretty sure you have no idea what any particular gay couple does in a bedroom, if anything besides sleep. Some gay couples wanting these rights are simply not having any sort of sex, and such things should not be assumed into people’s lives. Even if everything you’re imagining was going on, what is that? 20 min out of a week, 0.2% of their life :)? It’s nothing compared to family functions, and work, and that is where the real concern is here.

Anyway, what you get by allowing gays to have these rights:

--Get gays off welfare. Right now all US citizens are paying people welfare who live in great comfort. Because, in gay couples, a stay at home parent is technically a single parent with no income and next to no assets, they can and some do get welfare. We couldn’t stomach this but, besides the aprox. 5K/year “single mother” welfare, we could even get food stamps and Medicare, and I know those who do. In many places marriage would be forced on such couples in common law marriage for the sake of the kids and the taxpayer.

--Make gays responsible for their obligations. Many homemakers can just be jettisoned from their home with nothing, and often they are their kids only legal parent. While their partner had made promises and in rare cases even signed contracts, they may be found unenforceable without marriage law and the public ends up paying for it.

--Stop gays from ruining the lives of good upstanding straights. Would you counsel your daughter to marry a gay man? I’d hope not, yet gay men are encouraged to marry women every day. It used to be a running gag, when I was about 17, to note the number of minivans with car seats driving repeatedly by the local gay hang out until they picked up what they were looking for. It’s not funny today, when I think of the kids and the deceived woman at home, who never really ever had the love and affection of her husband. I’ve known this to lead to HIV infections, many divorces, and heartbroken children; people simply should not be encouraged to marry in ways that are unnatural to them.

In this sense gay unions are superior to traditional unions and should be held up as so, but only for gay people. Similarly, a brail book is superior to traditional book, but only for blind people.

--Protect the extended family A group that often gets overlooked in this debate are the in-laws and extended family. It does great harm to grandparents, cousins, aunt, and uncles when a child is made unvisitable (word?) or even unilaterally removed from their family, and it does the same harm to the kids. If it’s a homosexual male-heterosexual female union a split is much more likely (and vicious). If it’s a homosexual-homosexual union then one set of grandparents is in the same boat as one of the parents, just out of luck in most states.

--Get kids out of daycare--I know many don’t agree, but if it’s possible I think children, particularly infants, are best taken care of by there parents, not a business. As most law stands now, with gays unable to get on their partner’s health insurance or have claim to their income, gays are encouraged to use day care for their kids.

--Get more children out of state and foster care. There are not enough homes for the children needing them, and many “unadoptable” children, which is why gay people can’t be stopped from adopting as if they were single. Infertile couples are the most likely to adopt, and a gay couples, as opposed to a single gay person, have more time to devote. Like it or not, the qualified gay couple who adopts, particularly older, disabled, or HIV infected children (particularly multiple siblings) is doing the public a service, and it’s good policy to try to keep that home intact.

--Make a gay more productive. Coupling up and making a home is important to most all humans. Most who have it would put their kids and their caretaker above every other want, above even their self-preservation. They go to work and work hard for their family, even to jobs they can’t stand. Keeping this basic human need and motivation from such people damages them, and decreases their productivity. It damages society to take away people’s stake in society.

Anecdote, but I think it’s very illustrative: When I told my parents, I didn’t know any gay people and thought my options would be therapy or homelessness. I would’ve happily chosen therapy. But turns out my very Christian family was largely 1. not too surprised (the string of broken hearted “beards” was a sign), and 2. almost too supportive. I was particularly surprised by my 80-year-old grandfather; he loved my partner like a grandson and repeatedly told me he was proud of us. This is the man who baptized me.

About a year before he died it became clear why. Turns out his little brother was gay. The family pressured him to hide it and marry a woman, and he did. My great-uncle was, of course, as miserable as a straight man married to a man would be. His hapless wife was just as miserable (gratefully, no kids were produced; there was no intimacy between them). He went into a depression, couldn’t keep a job, and started drinking. He killed two people drunk driving back when drunk driving was just an “accident”, stepped up his drinking for his guilt, and died of cirrhosis a couple years later.

He was less than useless to society, and my grandfather understood why. I think the best illustration I’ve known as to why gays should be encouraged to couple up with gays is the difference between the lives of my uncle and me. Our professional achievements, productivity, and charitable work aren’t even comparable, and, oddly, people like my grandfather had a big hand in molding both lives.

--Pay less for a health care. You want to keep same-sex relationships hidden, but that is exactly what leads to anonymous sex and short-term relationships. It leads to stress, compulsiveness, and drugs; it leads to what most call the “homosexual lifestyle” in the pejorative sense. Eventually, we all pay for it when they get infected, in the loss of their productivity and health care costs. If you want a healthier society, hold monogamy up in acclaim for gays too; force them to consider all the friends, blood relatives, and in-laws they’d hurt if they were unfaithful. If it’s secret there’s little to consider but yourself.

--Stop the whining, save money. You think I enjoy “Pride” events? Out of all life has to offer, what a silly thing to express pride about. What about all those speeches and platitudes on both sides? All the $ spent? What a waste. How much time have I spent here? But the conflict has to find a conclusion, particularly as the gay baby boom makes it way through the schools. The choice will be to make it a non-issue or the issue, the issue that trumps other values of this society. But the non-issue costs less, and is easier to implement, besides being more moral by my estimation.

--Uphold our culture’s values. The Judeo-Christian values you and I were raised on and value are fuelling both sides of this fight; gays would otherwise be nowhere. It’s the “no gay” norm vs. the “freedom, justice, equality, empathy, Golden Rule” norm, and one must come out above or below the other. No judge or politician can stop it, only slow it. In fact, if the Ma Constitution didn’t have equal rights, regardless of a citizen’s sex, spelled out in it, put there by the people, there would likely be no gay marriage in the US at all. If the Ma people want to demote that ideal for another, they can and will by ballot, and there is nothing gays can do to stop it.

Society will simply go as far as it wants, even overboard. Children could be taken from their homes and reeducated by the government. Gays could be sought out and jailed, or even killed. Gays could be treated as if we had shariah law. But I think it far best for our social values for the other set of morals to win the day, and am betting they will, but could be wrong.
A well done attempt at justification of gay lifestyle and providing reasons to accept same sex marriage as a valid means to raise children.

Yet, as previously noted, the possibility of societal ills which may, or may not become actual are longer than the timeframe involved in your discussion.

Mark
6th October 2005, 04:37 PM
A well done attempt at justification of gay lifestyle and providing reasons to accept same sex marriage as a valid means to raise children.

Yet, as previously noted, the possibility of societal ills which may, or may not become actual are longer than the timeframe involved in your discussion.

What are you so frightened of?

That is a serious question. If you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a man. It's really no threat to you at all.

Earthborn
6th October 2005, 05:39 PM
Well, if there is no difference, that to me would be very strong evidence that there is no genetic component to homosexuality,Even if there is a genetic component, it does not have to mean that someone can inherit it from a single parent. It is much more unlikely for a child to be born from two gay parents than from one, so perhaps the genetic component is only inherited if both parents are carriers of the 'gay gene' but at least one is unaffected. Kinda like sickle cell anemia: both parents can be carriers but it only is expressed in one of their children. It would then make little difference whether the child had a gay parent or two straight ones: the chance of becoming gay would be identical.

If gayness is caused by the same gene in men and women, only a child from a gay man and a lesbian woman would have a significantly higher chance of becoming gay.

Though perhaps the whole 'gay gene' idea is a bit shaky to begin with.Second, one other element of conventional wisdom is that there are a lot more gays out there than people who admit to being gay, that a lot of the people are "in the closet". I would expect that the probability of being in the closet would be lower among kids raised by gay parents.Good thinking, but you forget about one important thing: research like this is usually done by allowing people to answer anonymously. That means that such research does not count the people who are out of the closet, but instead the people who are willing to write that they are gay on the investigator's form without revealing their identity. The children of gay parents may be more likely to be out of the closet, but need not be more likely to answer truthfully during the scientific investigation.

C.J.
7th October 2005, 06:29 AM
There is a fourth possibility, which does make sense. Researchers on the subject want to find a particular answer, and they find it. That's pretty common.

Don't have much time at the moment, but I felt impelled to comment. I'll say up front that this is small snip from a long post, and I may be putting too much emphasis on two words, so please correct me, Meadmaker, if I'm misunderstanding you.

The use of the term want and common are the ones I take issue with. As I read your statement, you say that researchers studying these phenomena are letting their political or philosophical views bias their research, intentionally or unintentionally, and that this happens a lot. That's pretty insulting.

I won't deny that there are researchers who let their agendas influence their science. But to say it's common? What is that statement based on? Also, keep in mind that (at least the psychological research I'm familiar with) is science. There's a method. If these studies are biased, you (or someone) should be able to find out how. I mean, isn't that the beauty of the scientific method? If there's a bias in excluding data from the lit review, if the argument is shoddy, if there's some kind of wierd sampling bias, if the statistical analyses are inappropriate...there are dozens of ways to make valid critiques of research. And if the critiques are valid, then you might be able to argue that the research was at least incompetent, if not agenda-driven. It seems to me, though, that you're seeing results that are contrary to your personal theories or beliefs and assuming that the studies must obviously be flawed in some way. Would it have hit your skeptic button if the all the studies you found did show some kind of harmful effect on children?

Upchurch
7th October 2005, 08:34 AM
Yet, as previously noted, the possibility of societal ills which may, or may not become actual are longer than the timeframe involved in your discussion.You are in favor of limiting personal liberties for social improvement? Further, you are advocating the federal government interfering the citizens private lives? hammegk, I had no idea you were such a leftist at heart!


Seriously though, what societal ills are we talking about here? Meadmaker's turned out to be nothing but empty conjecture. What potential social ill is so bad that it requires denying law abiding citizens of the rights allowed to others?

How does this compare to the potential (and actual) societal ills of, say, allowing people to own guns? How does the possibility of a child accidently killing itself with its parent's hand gun compare to whatever ill you imagine will result from gay marriage?

Meadmaker
7th October 2005, 10:13 AM
The use of the term want and common are the ones I take issue with. As I read your statement, you say that researchers studying these phenomena are letting their political or philosophical views bias their research, intentionally or unintentionally, and that this happens a lot. That's pretty insulting.


I was saying that psychological and sociological researchers frequently let their political and philosophical views bias their research, and that it might be the case that this has happened here, as well.

Keep in mind that my research was every bit as good as what one hour on google can get you. In other words, the best of it was newspaper articles, and then it went downhill to blogs, forums, advocacy sites, etc. In other words, I couldn't get to the raw data, or even the data as processed in academic papers that present study data.

What really stood out was one newspaper article that began with a paragraph that said children of same-sex families showed no significant difference in indicators of psychological problems than the rest of the population. The very next paragraph talked about how they suffered extreme stress due to discrimination.

The glaring contradiction struck me. The rest of the population suffers a fair amount of measurable psychological problems, and that is without prejudice to deal with. Presumably, the additional problems associated with prejudice would make the overall rate higher for these kids, if they are normal in every other way.

I expected to see that they were pretty normal, but when I couldn't find a single example of a case in which they were different in any way, I found that odd. When the same articles said that they were perfectly normal, but that all of the differences were due to prejudice, I thought something was pretty fishy.

Are there differences, or aren't there? If there are, how do you distinguish those that are caused by prejudice from those that are not?

I actually saw several references to studies that showed differences between the children of same-sex unions and the general population, but all of them were on websites that were either anti-gay or at least opposed to gay marriage, so I considered them biased from the start. Perhaps if they had had significant raw data on them, I might have taken them more seriously, but as with the newspaper articles, they were mixtures of quick, out of context factoids, along with some personal accounts.

Earthborn,
I thought about the genetic argument. Of course, it seems unlikely that there is one "gay gene", but a lot of people seem to think that there is a genetic component. Someone with more knowledge of genetics than I might correct me, but I think that if there is a genetic component, the child of one parent in which that component is expressed is still more likely in every case to also express the component than someone selected from the general population in which that component is not expressed. I was thinking about dominant and recessive genes, which is what creates the "carrier" phenomenon you alluded to, and multiple factors, and things like that that I won't go into here, but I think that if there is a genetic component, then a child of one gay parent and one straight parent would be more likely to be gay. If the studies I saw were accurate, stating that a child born to at least one gay parent was no more likely to be gay than a child born to a male and female drawn from the general population, it would be a powerful argument that being gay is not influenced by genetics.

It's also possible that their could be a "gay male gene", carried on the Y chromosome. Such a gene would only affect males and only be passed by males. Almost all of the studied same-sex couples that included a biological parent were two women, one of which was the biological parent of the child.

C.J.
7th October 2005, 12:49 PM
I was saying that psychological and sociological researchers frequently let their political and philosophical views bias their research, and that it might be the case that this has happened here, as well.
Again, I take issue, but maybe you can clarify for me. When you say "...let their political and philosophical views bias their research," how do you mean? That individuals falsify data? Choose samples they feel will give them the outcome they desire? Ignore contradictory research in establishing the premise for their studies? My post a bit earlier was aimed at saying that if these are the problems you're worried about, the scientific process will weed the stuff out.
The "frequently" bit also gets me. My first response it that it's an empirical question; if psychologists/sociologists let their politics of philisophies bias their research, how frequently is frequently? Fifty percent of all studies? Sixty percent? How evenly distributed is the bias? It is just a few "bad apples" or does every researcher let bias affect some portion of their produced research? Maybe this seems a bit silly, but if you claim that someone (or several someones) "frequently" produce biased research, either present some evidence or qualify your statement (e.g.; "It seems to me," "In my experience")
In the interest of full disclosure, let me say I am a Ph.D. social psychologist, so my reaction to your comment may be biased. Though I'm trying not to be.
Keep in mind that my research was every bit as good as what one hour on google can get you. In other words, the best of it was newspaper articles, and then it went downhill to blogs, forums, advocacy sites, etc. In other words, I couldn't get to the raw data, or even the data as processed in academic papers that present study data.
Fair enough. I don't know that you'll get much if any access to raw data, though. At least on the psychology side all you'll get is the academic papers with their interpretations. You'd have to contact the authors for the data, which is probably more of a pain than it would be worth to you.

What really stood out was one newspaper article that began with a paragraph that said children of same-sex families showed no significant difference in indicators of psychological problems than the rest of the population. The very next paragraph talked about how they suffered extreme stress due to discrimination.

The glaring contradiction struck me. The rest of the population suffers a fair amount of measurable psychological problems, and that is without prejudice to deal with. Presumably, the additional problems associated with prejudice would make the overall rate higher for these kids, if they are normal in every other way.

I expected to see that they were pretty normal, but when I couldn't find a single example of a case in which they were different in any way, I found that odd. When the same articles said that they were perfectly normal, but that all of the differences were due to prejudice, I thought something was pretty fishy.

Are there differences, or aren't there? If there are, how do you distinguish those that are caused by prejudice from those that are not?

That first paragraph of the newspaper article, where it said that children in same-sex families are not statistically significantly different from the general population in terms of psychological problems, may have been referring to results that controlled for prejudice effects.
How do you separate out cause? A proper clinical assessment could help do it. In assessing, say, the the cause of an adolescent's depression, a clinical psychologist is going to ask about a variety of factors as well as get some paper-and-pencil measures. Is there some singular physiological cause, some illness or disease? Is it a side-effect of some medication? Is it bereavement? What social factors does the client believe to have precipitated the episode? What symptoms of depression is the individual showing or not showing? If a teenaged child of same-sex parents reports being socially isolated or subjected to abuse or ridicule because of their family situation, and feels that such isolation and abuse is not likely to change in the future, you might attribute that depression to prejudice. I'll ask the wife for more specific details should you be interested....

I actually saw several references to studies that showed differences between the children of same-sex unions and the general population, but all of them were on websites that were either anti-gay or at least opposed to gay marriage, so I considered them biased from the start.
Here's a link you might find interesting: the American Psychological Association's Research Summary on Gay and Lesbian Parenting:
http://www.apa.org/pi/parent.html
It's an older summary, but the small amount of more recent research in the area that I've read suggests that the conclusions still hold.

p.s.: I've only read a small amount of research, not there's only a small amount available.

Meadmaker
7th October 2005, 02:51 PM
Again, I take issue, but maybe you can clarify for me. When you say "...let their political and philosophical views bias their research," how do you mean? That individuals falsify data? Choose samples they feel will give them the outcome they desire? Ignore contradictory research in establishing the premise for their studies?

Mostly interpret their data to make a stronger case than is warranted by the actual evidence, although certainly some people ignore contradictory research. "The Skeptical Inquirer" has occaisionally run examples.

how frequently is frequently?

Often enough that sociologists aren't given much credibility, because any controversial study is usually contradicted by another study.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. It could very easily be that the articles I read did a lousy job of presenting the research. That's pretty normal.

Mark
7th October 2005, 03:36 PM
Mostly interpret their data to make a stronger case than is warranted by the actual evidence, although certainly some people ignore contradictory research. "The Skeptical Inquirer" has occaisionally run examples.



Often enough that sociologists aren't given much credibility, because any controversial study is usually contradicted by another study.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. It could very easily be that the articles I read did a lousy job of presenting the research. That's pretty normal.

So...if the research contradicts your personal beliefs, it is biased or the reporting is bad. Got it.

TragicMonkey
7th October 2005, 04:14 PM
Perhaps the best way to analyze gay marriage is to have it for a while, and see what happens.

Meadmaker
7th October 2005, 09:18 PM
tragicmonkeyThe rest, like me, belonged firmly to the "wow. Just, wow. They're moons! And so far away! But I can see them! With my eyes!"

Oddly enough, the professor seemed to go way easier on grading the work of people who had a proper awe of the magnificence of space.

Admit it Monkey, that's pure Pixie Dust!

TragicMonkey
7th October 2005, 09:26 PM
Admit it Monkey, that's pure Pixie Dust!

And you'll notice I'm not trying to justify treating people differently under the law based on whether they appreciate the grandeur of space. While I feel strongly about such things, I also recognize that others don't.

Meadmaker
8th October 2005, 09:13 AM
Excuses, excuses.

I'll bet you support spending money on the space program. Just a guess, but you do, don't you? So you feel free to take other people's money so you can better appreciate the grandeur of space. Is there any rational reason that you should appreciate the grandeur of space?

I'm all for that sort of Pixie Dust.

When I see kids, I say, "Wow. They're human beings, but I can make them!"

So the question is whether society should somehow recognize anything solely to grant an official acknowledgement, a special recognition, that there is something grand, dare I say magical, about distant rocks in the sky, or the joining of two cells with a half ration of chromosomes each into a unique individual.

I'm not sure that recognizing a marriage between a man and a woman as a unique thing is the best way to grant societal recognition of the grandeur of human life, but it's the only way we have right now. Until something better comes along, I am loath to give it up.

And I will bet that TragicMonkey isn't the only one around here who will be caught smelling the Pixie Dust, if they would only admit it. If your life has no Pixie Dust, I feel sorry for you

TragicMonkey
8th October 2005, 09:25 AM
Excuses, excuses.

I'll bet you support spending money on the space program. Just a guess, but you do, don't you? So you feel free to take other people's money so you can better appreciate the grandeur of space. Is there any rational reason that you should appreciate the grandeur of space?

There are concrete practical reasons for the space program, as well, which is why I could justify spending money on it. How much new technology was developed because of the space program, and has found its way to other applications? Our use of satellites alone will demonstrate how handy space programs can be. Not to mention long-range goals, like settling other places. And this year we took the first steps towards being able to deflect approaching "death comets". Handy!


I'm not sure that recognizing a marriage between a man and a woman as a unique thing is the best way to grant societal recognition of the grandeur of human life, but it's the only way we have right now. Until something better comes along, I am loath to give it up.


Appreciating the grandeur on an intellectual level is not the sole reason for the space program. If it were, I wouldn't be able to justify it, at those prices.

I would make it dependent on voluntary contributions, so those who felt the same way could participate, and those who didn't are forced to. And I wouldn't cancel other people's space programs because I thought mine was better.

Meadmaker
8th October 2005, 07:02 PM
You're busted, Monkey. You have been staring at moonbeams so faint you need a telescope to see them.

I'll meet you on platform 9 3/4.

It's odd. Almost everyone I know, even conservative Republicans I know,think that gays should be allowed to live together, and they should be allowed to have their unions recognized. There are very few benefits I know of to marriage that most people would refuse to extend to same-sex couples. Of course, there are some people who would like to see homosexuality criminalized, and there are more who would refuse to recognize any unions for homosexuals, but if my experience talking to people is any indicator, most people would accept the existence of legally recognized gay unions.

And yet, your side gets walloped at the polls. Most people I know who vote against allowing gay marriage are supportive of gay rights. You guys really need to understand why that is. Or, you could just call all of them idiots.

I read the link C. J. posted. It said that there was no empirical basis to believe that there is any difference between children raised by gay parents vs. those raised by straights. They acknowledged that the findings of the studies were questioned by some researchers, and they gave references. I had some quibbles with a few things I read, but it was pretty straightforward. Thanks for the link. I'm sure that as more examples are available for study, a lot more data will be available.

TragicMonkey
8th October 2005, 07:42 PM
It's odd. Almost everyone I know, even conservative Republicans I know,think that gays should be allowed to live together, and they should be allowed to have their unions recognized. There are very few benefits I know of to marriage that most people would refuse to extend to same-sex couples. Of course, there are some people who would like to see homosexuality criminalized, and there are more who would refuse to recognize any unions for homosexuals, but if my experience talking to people is any indicator, most people would accept the existence of legally recognized gay unions.

And yet, your side gets walloped at the polls. Most people I know who vote against allowing gay marriage are supportive of gay rights. You guys really need to understand why that is. Or, you could just call all of them idiots.


I don't call them idiots. I call them jerks, for thinking they're better than the rest of us.

And don't forget that the reason some of them are willing to accept civil unions is because they see it as a lesser evil than marriage. If they ever manage to conclusively wipe marriage from the possibilities, then they'll start trying to get rid of civil unions. Which, I can remind you, exist only in a handful of states. My own state explicitly forbids recognition of them under all circumstances, which is playing merry hell with a high profile lesbian custody case right now.

thaiboxerken
9th October 2005, 02:43 AM
Republican view #1: Gay couples shouldn't have legal rights.
Republican view #2: Gays should not be legal
Republican view #3: Gays can have civil unions, as long as they don't have the same rules as marriages.

Democratic view: Gays should have the exact same rights as heterosexuals.

thaiboxerken
9th October 2005, 02:45 AM
"Most people I know who vote against allowing gay marriage are supportive of gay rights. "

That's like a KKK guy that says they don't mind black people, as long as they "know their place."

Mark
9th October 2005, 07:03 AM
"Most people I know who vote against allowing gay marriage are supportive of gay rights. "

That's like a KKK guy that says they don't mind black people, as long as they "know their place."

I have noticed that people who feel their personal bigotry and phobias should be the law of the land are not open to logic. They just want the bad people (gays, blacks, jews, whomever) to go away.

Mark
9th October 2005, 07:08 AM
Excuses, excuses.

I'll bet you support spending money on the space program. Just a guess, but you do, don't you? So you feel free to take other people's money so you can better appreciate the grandeur of space. Is there any rational reason that you should appreciate the grandeur of space?

Off topic, but that is one of the most ill informed comments I have ever seen here. The space program is one of the few government programs that has paid for itself may times over (7, by some estimates). Look it up.

Meadmaker
9th October 2005, 07:08 AM
I don't call them idiots. I call them jerks, for thinking they're better than the rest of us.


They say the same thing about you. Does that surprise you? Are you curious why they say that?

Meadmaker
9th October 2005, 07:14 AM
Off topic, but that is one of the most ill informed comments I have ever seen here. The space program is one of the few government programs that has paid for itself may times over (7, by some estimates). Look it up.

Well, it got me a job. But...to say it paid for itself, you have to assert that all those spinoff benefits would not have happened without a space program. It's a bit of a stretch. Of course, if you include communication satellites in the mix, that's a different story. But do you think noone would have built one of those without Apollo and Voyager?

Have you seen the pictures that Spirit took from the top of Husband Hill? Awesome. Just bloody awesome. That sort of Pixie Dust is well worth the money, in my opinion.