New York: Pro-Marriage Rally a Success! 20,000-30,000 gather outside Governor Paterson’s Office

traditional marraige rally

Senator Ruben Diaz and others Condemn Marriage-Neutering Politicians

Just a review: NY Governor Paterson introduced a same-gender “marriage” bill into the NY state legislature April 16.

Gov. Paterson also participated in a rally today. For his bill. Not very many people came. The media describes it as “hundreds.” One blog said they “numbered few”.

In the meantime, tens of thousands showed up to protest Gov. Paterson’s bill.

The anti-gay marriage rally lingered for hours and worshippers listened as speakers reiterated over and over that marriage should strictly apply to men and women. And while these are words heard in churches – organizers estimated over 3,000 congregations arrived – Leslie Diaz, the state senator’s wife, warned parents to monitor what is being taught in the city’s public schools.

"These kids are being taught that two mommies are okay; that two daddies are okay; that they could choose whatever sex they want to have a relationship with is okay," she said. "You must be vigilant and you must be aware. Do not trust the Board of Education." [source]

Leslie Diaz makes a great point. We all need to be proactive in our communities and our schools. There is a real agenda, which we have witnessed and are witnessing in CA. Pay attention. Do what you can to influence your community for good.

Notice that the key speaker for this rally was Senator Ruben Diaz. A democrat. This issue is not defined by liberal or conservative parameters. Gay activists want to make it into a party issue. But it isn’t one.

My favorite part about this rally is that religion was unabashedly a part of the argument. There is no reason why religion should be shut out of the public square. Religion is a belief system, and don’t we all vote our beliefs? Why is one set of beliefs more valuable than another?

Go New York!

If you are a New Yorker you’ll want to know about these sites:

Facebook fan page

New Yorkers Family Research Foundation

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms

 

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104 Comments

  1. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Wow, how cool is it that both “New Yorkers Family Research Foundation” and “New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms” are hosted on Provo, Utah based servers? Bluehost.com rocks!

  2. May 18, 2009 at 6:12 am

    […] her report on the New York “pro-marriage” rally, Mormon blogger (and Digital Network Army […]

  3. Yours Sincerely said,

    May 18, 2009 at 6:20 am

    Looks like folks are waking up! Woot woot!

  4. Agnes said,

    May 18, 2009 at 8:05 am

    “These kids are being taught that two mommies are okay; that two daddies are okay; that they could choose whatever sex they want to have a relationship with is okay,” she said. “You must be vigilant and you must be aware. Do not trust the Board of Education.”

    Heavens. I’m honestly bewildered. You really think your kids should be taught in school that little Sally’s parents (who are two women) are bad bad people, and so little Sally should be what? Bullied, teased, etc.? You can teach your kids to hate whomever they want, but it’s the schools business to minimize bullying and treat children with respect, no matter what type of family they come from. How can you be against that? Well, obviously, you can. Congrats.

  5. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 8:58 am

    As a courtesy to bb, here’s a heads up from this NYU grad:

    NY Marriage Equality: Astroturfing – Courtesy of the Same Ten (Mormon) People

    http://www.chinoblanco.com/2009/05/new-york-marriage-equality-astroturfing.html

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=11035

    http://latterdaymainstreet.com/?p=545

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/5/18/732758/-NY-Marriage-Equality:-Astroturfing,-Courtesy-of-the-Same-Ten-(Mormon)-People

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/5/18/103515/685

    And, yeah, I fixed the graphic. Dude in the bottom-right corner was looking way too sullen for such a joyous occasion.

  6. beetlebabee said,

    May 18, 2009 at 9:17 am

    Chino, I’m flattered really I am. However, your “breaking news” was actually “broken” here last week. Jason McGuire’s organizations are two arms of the same organization. Sorry. No secret. No scandal….

    https://beetlebabee.wordpress.com/2009/05/13/3661/

  7. Chairm said,

    May 18, 2009 at 9:28 am

    Indeed no secret and no scandal.

    On the other hand, more than half of SSMs performed in Provincetown Massachusetts (and probably throughout the state) were for nonresidents who came from outside of Massachusetts. SSM campaign has encouraged people to cross state lines to do what they could not do in their homestates. This has been going on across the Canadian border as well. Political astroturfing of another kind, no doubt. And in both places the local participation rates in SSM have been declining but the volume of nonresident SSMs has inflated the reported participation rates.

    So that’s just political astroturfing of another kind.

  8. Mae said,

    May 18, 2009 at 9:34 am

    So glad to see! What a great rally! Go New York!

  9. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Who said anything about a “scandal” (or “breaking news” for that matter)?

    Not me.

  10. palerobber said,

    May 18, 2009 at 10:06 am

    beetlebabee, that post you linked doesn’t say what you say it says.

    btw, why do you think McGuire made himself Legislative Director of one of his fake grassroots organizations and Chief Operating Officer of the other? i think it would have been better to have the same title in both but use a pseudonym for one of them like Mack Jayson.

  11. Lahona said,

    May 18, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Charim, it’s just one more form of misrepresentation that the SSMs are willing to sink to in order for them to appear to have more supporters than they really do. Misrepresentation is all they have. They misrepresent our views as small minded, hatefull and ignorant by labeling us as homophobes and bigots in an attempt to silence us and influence others away from our way of thinking. They misrepresent homosexuality, its origins, peoples choice in thier sexual orientation and wether or not that orientation can be changed, all of that in the face of people who have come out and said that they have changed from their homosexual ways….it can be done but they refuse to accept it. So SSMs encouragment of its supporters to cross country and state boundaries comes as no suprise to me at all. This latest outpouring of support in New York is a sign that people are waking up and wising up to the backhanded tactics of the SSMs

  12. beetlebabee said,

    May 18, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Pale one, the rest was talked about during the show. The link is there.

  13. Emissary said,

    May 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Agnes,

    You’ve missed the point entirely. Your conclusion seems to be that teaching standards of behavior will teach hate. But it’s not true.

    For example, let’s do a similar example to yours but based on divorce. Most people will acknowledge that widespread divorce is not a good thing for society. And it hurts children dreadfully. But can we not teach children that marriage is a good thing? Should we not teach children that an intact, married home with a mother and father is a good thing? Must we teach that divorce is a good thing to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings? No.

    Here’s another extreme example. Let’s say there’s a child in class whose parent is in prison for armed robbery. To avoid hurting feelings or make sure there’s no teasing, should we then teach that armed robbery is a good thing? No.

    I believe that if schools teach that lifelong marriage between man and woman is stable and good for children, that would be sufficient. You need to be sensitive to children with the less-than-ideal situations, but that doesn’t mean you need to promote them.

  14. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Folks gettin’ married = just more political astroturfing of another kind in Chairm’s world.

    Awesome. Anybody here ever watch that Ben Stiller flick “Mystery Men” ??

    Chairm’s the Sphinx. Am I right? Memorable Sphinx quotes:

    “We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.”

    “To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn.”

    “You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums.”

    “He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions.”

    “You must be like wolf pack, not six-pack.”

    “When you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack.”

    “When you care what is outside, what is inside cares for you.”

    Which is all a bunch of Sphinxy wisdom that leads to this exchange:

    The Sphinx: Your temper is very quick, my friend. But until you learn to master your rage…

    Mr. Furious: …your rage will become your master? That’s what you were going to say. Right? Right?

    The Sphinx: Not necessarily.

    LOL.

  15. beetlebabee said,

    May 18, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    CB, what are you talking about???? At this point, some would look you in the eye and claim that they were laughing with you, not at you, but I’m too sincere to go there.

  16. Mae said,

    May 18, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    snicker.

  17. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Hardee har har. Why don’t you join us over at Pam’s House Blend?

    You’re a front page item at the moment.

    Sure beats the echo chamber, don’t it?

    Or do marriage defenders only preach to the choir?

    We’ll see, I guess.

    In any case, Mystery Men was PG-13 in the US, wasn’t it?

    I should’ve considered that before launching into my bit about Chairm-as-Sphinx. My bad.

  18. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    Well, so much for playing nice.

    I invite y’all over to weigh in at my usual haunts, and the best you can do is play high school games.

    Whatever. It’s your sandbox. Enjoy.

  19. Raytmimer said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    The real joke is that 30,000 people show up to a rally for marriage in New York, and the best the opposition comes up with is an article grousing about how the two arms of NYFRF are the same group. Woopeedoo.

  20. Chino Blanco said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    No, the real joke is that y’all are supposed to be an army, but all you do is comment on each others blogs and never venture into enemy territory, even when you’re invited (and why else would I post a bunch of links here unless I was inviting you to join the fray?).

    Smells like self-marginalization to me.

    Snicker away.

    No wonder you’re losing.

  21. Carol said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Its pretty hilarious that your quote on the left is a Unitarian minister.

    I don’t think crossing state lines to be married is like people crossing state lines to control another state’s laws. If an interacial couple in 1963 crossed state lines to get married, that is something positive for them, not an attempt to change the laws there. (Since the laws already allowed that.)

  22. Lukas said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    There is no reason why religion should be shut out of the public square. Religion is a belief system, and don’t we all vote our beliefs? Why is one set of beliefs more valuable than another?

    Yet wasn’t it the 1st Amendment of United States constitution, stating freedom of religion? What most people don’t realize is, that freedom of religion INCLUDES FREEDOM FROM RELIGION. So why should your freedom to practice your religion, trump my FREEDOM FROM YOUR RELIGION?

  23. Agnes said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I shouldn’t really comment, but against my better judgment here goes: Lovely how you compare gay marriage to armed robbery. Yep. Just the same. Pointing a gun at someone and stealing their stuff is just the same as two loving people getting married. Yeah. Your bigotry is showing. Perhaps a longer skirt?

    Oh and divorce? If you’re so against it, then why not a big rally against it at the state capitol?

    “Should we not teach children that an intact, married home with a mother and father is a good thing?” This is not your point nor the point of your entire website. You wish to teach that “an intact, married home with [two parents] is a [very bad thing indeed”] if the genitalia of the two parents in question (which is, really, none of your business) are not to your liking. Gah.

  24. Jay said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    “You’ve missed the point entirely. Your conclusion seems to be that teaching standards of behavior will teach hate. But it’s not true.”

    Actually, Emissary, YOU’VE completely missed the point. Teaching standards of behavior to MY child, based on YOUR belief that the only valid marriage is between one man and one woman. You’re setting children up to treat others differently if their family varies from your “standard”.

    “For example, let’s do a similar example to yours but based on divorce. Most people will acknowledge that widespread divorce is not a good thing for society. And it hurts children dreadfully. But can we not teach children that marriage is a good thing? Should we not teach children that an intact, married home with a mother and father is a good thing? Must we teach that divorce is a good thing to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings? No.”

    Comparing same sex marriage to divorce is self-serving – again, you imply that the only “good” home is one with a mother and father. However, there are MANY single parent homes out there – are you going to tell those children that their family is less “good” because they only have one parent?

    “Here’s another extreme example. Let’s say there’s a child in class whose parent is in prison for armed robbery. To avoid hurting feelings or make sure there’s no teasing, should we then teach that armed robbery is a good thing? No.”

    Now you’re comparing same sex marriage to criminal activity. Yet more self-serving behavior and not even worth responding to.

    “I believe that if schools teach that lifelong marriage between man and woman is stable and good for children, that would be sufficient. You need to be sensitive to children with the less-than-ideal situations, but that doesn’t mean you need to promote them.”

    You have your right to believe what you like. I believe that teaching the “goodness” of ANY familial characteristics in public schools should be avoided. What’s wrong with a single mother or father? What about a child who lives with an aunt, uncle, or grandparents? This argument goes well beyond same sex marriage, but the “marriage protectors” don’t want to have that conversation.

  25. Emissary said,

    May 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Agnes,

    *sigh* Let me try to be as plain as I can, because I’m afraid that you missed the whole point of my comment.

    First, I was talking about children being innocent of the behavior of their parents. I firmly believe that no child should be bullied, teased, or hurt in any way because of the family situation they find themselves in. They have no control over it. However, that does not mean that everything their parents do may be in the best interest of themselves or society.

    Also, if you will read carefully, you will note that I never compared homosexual marriage to armed robbery. I just said it was an “extreme example” where teaching certain behaviors as okay (so as not to hurt feelings or avoid teasing or bullying) was a bad idea.

    So what should schools teach? If they teach about families/marriage at all, they should teach that which they desire the children to do when they reach adulthood. A person’s childhood situation and adult situation can, after all, be vastly different.

    I firmly believe that lifelong marriage between a man and a woman needs to be the basis of a strong, stable society. It provides three important things for children that no other relationship does. 1. A role model of the same sex to emulate. 2. A role model of the opposite sex to learn from. 3. An example of the committed relationship between sexes.

    This is my opinion. If you don’t agree, that’s fine. We can agree to disagree. But I believe that calling me names because you don’t agree is beneath you.

  26. Pearl said,

    May 18, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Agnes,

    You’re deflecting. You’re using indignation, purposeful misinterpretation, and redirection (“Over here! Over here! Look this way, quick!”) in an attempt to keep people from taking an honest and thoughtful look at the valid parallels brought up by Euripides.

    I would gather that you are also against divorce, since anyone in their right mind would be loath to support such terrible familial rending, so let’s just toss this right back into your court, “If you’re so against it, then why not a big rally against it at the state capitol?” Ah, wait. I see. You are allowed absolution from such activity since you defend all unions, gay or straight. Only those who defend traditional marriage have the responsibility to defend it from ALL attacks. Well now, that’s quite telling.

    Stop avoiding the questions, Agnes.

  27. Pearl said,

    May 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    Original author: Emissary, not Euripides. Please forgive.

  28. Lahona said,

    May 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Lukas, my first reaction to your statement is that if you are looking for complete freedom from religion, move out of the country. Our constitution is based on a religious set of beliefs and values. If you want practice no religion at all thats fine by me, I will not try to stop you. However dont trample on our right to practice our religions and belief systems. If you remove the foundation of a house or building, it will fall, if you remove the religious values and principals that our country was founded on, it too will fall.

  29. Euripides said,

    May 18, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    The news still reports this as an “anti-gay marriage” rally instead of a pro-marriage rally. The media needs to pay more attention to the ideals expressed. Perhaps it could have even been noted as an anti-Governor Paterson rally since the intent was to express displeasure with the governor’s decision to neuter marriage.

  30. Euripides said,

    May 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    CB:

    This just proves what I’ve been saying all along about certain same sex marriage advocates as they take on the Mormon church, that they are also led by a bunch of anti-Mormon activists. It looks like you fall into the same camp, CB.

    A lot of the “Anti-8” blogs and websites that grew up after the vote in California, point to a core group of anti-Mormons. This leads me to believe that these folks weren’t at all interested in promoting same sex marriage as they were in trying to defame the Mormon church.

    My blogs on these appeared last year, after the California vote.

    The question remains, why are certain same sex marriage advocates trying so desperately to defame the Mormons, the Mormon church, and religion in general? Why does the 1st Amendment have to come under attack in order to promote same sex marriage?

    No CB, don’t bother to answer those. We already know your answer.

  31. Emissary said,

    May 18, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Jay,

    I hope you read my follow-up comment to Agnes, and that it answers some of your concerns as well.

    I believe that schools should teach from social science if they choose to discuss the family. And, statistically speaking, the married, intact family scores best on every measure ever measured. That is one of the main reasons why I believe it should be promoted by society.

    There are a lot of drawbacks to many different family structures. The children involved know it already; you don’t have to teach them that. Being raised by a single parent, divorced parents, a grandparent, etc. are not the ideal. We should teach children the ideal so those are the homes they seek to create when they grow up.

  32. rubyeliot said,

    May 18, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Isn’t the married in-tact family the control group for which any other familial situation is measured?

  33. Lukas said,

    May 19, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Our constitution is based on a religious set of beliefs and values. If you want practice no religion at all thats fine by me, I will not try to stop you. However dont trample on our right to practice our religions and belief systems.

    I’m sorry, where in the constitution does it mention any particular set of religious values? I did NOT write that I want to practice no religion at all, but rather, whether I choose to practice a religion, or no religion at all, you do NOT have the right to trample MY RIGHT to be free of YOUR religion.

    By advocating discrimination against a group of people based on arguments of your religious values tramples on my religious right to practice my religion and my belief systems and to be free from your religion and your religious values.

    I may also suggest the same thing: move out of the country if you want to have complete freedom to practice and impose your religion on everyone else.

  34. May 19, 2009 at 2:31 am

    The thing I don’t understand is how the 6 or 7,000 Hispanics at the NYC rally against marriage can possibly claim to be Christian. Doesn’t their version of the Bible have 1 Samuel 18 in it?

    There is a gay marriage in the Bible, right in 1 Samuel 18:3 – David and King Saul’s son Jonathan enter into a marriage covenant:

    3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.

    Then, later in the chapter, at 1 Samuel 18:20-21: David also marries Saul’s daughter Michal (did I mention there’s polygamy all over the Bible? and in this case it’s not just the one man-many-women kind):

    20 And Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. 21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law a second time.

    Let’s see if we can get this. Saul’s son Jonathan marries David, that’s the first time. Then Saul’s daughter Michal marries David – making David Saul’s son-in-law a second time.

    That’s pretty clear. Of course, not all Bible translations get verse 21 correct – in fact, in the Latin Vulgate, it’s mistranslated from the original sources, which means that King James (Protestant) and Douay-Rheims (Catholic) versions, both based on the Vulgate, garble the verse. But go to the Darby or American Standard Version, which go back to older “original language” scripture to avoid the cumulative error of double-translation, and it comes out right.

    The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is not about people in loving gay relationships. The Men of Sodom (Gen. 19:1-10)are shown to be macho misogynists who hate and fear “strangers” (people who are different). Ths sin of Sodom is not homosexuality, it is demeaning disrespect – to use other men in such a way as to debase them to be “less than women” (remember, the Men of Sodom, like most of these people who get the story wrong, believed that macho men were superior to women).

    The “Reverend” State Senator Ruben Diaz and his followers with their message of heterosexist supremacy, are much more like the Men of Sodom than anyone in a loving gay relationship.

    I could go on with all the other verses these people misuse and misinterpret. Their claim to be “Christian” is a sham – they only use the “Christian” label to disguise their intolerance and their firm belief in heterosexist supremacy. So let’s just call them “Christianists” to distinguish them from real Christians who don’t use their religion as an excuse for bigotry.

    While I would hope that they repent their wicked ways and avoid their eternal damnation (assuming a Christian sort of afterlife with a “Day of Judgment” as outlined in Matthew 25), the Christianists with hardness of heart are not really the people I would want to reach – it is those Christians, even evangelicals and Catholics, who are beginning to see that the destructive message of these people is antithetical to Christian faith). It is also those who, despite their particular religious belief, see the conflict between that belief and the bedrock founding principals on which the United States was founded.

    Freedom of religion means that Christianists can absolutely believe that I am headed to my eternal damnation, much in the same way I am sure they are headed for theirs – it may well be that for different reasons, I myself may be “numbered among the goats” (assuming, again, a Christian afterlife). I may not be able to fairly judge myself, so I will leave that up to God.

    I can’t expect to impose my religious beliefs on others, the same way they should not expect to impose their beliefs on me. But once we get to the “public square,” that freedom of religion, because it doesn’t allow for either “side” (or any other believer or non-believer) to impose their religion, can’t be allowed to get in the way of equal opportunity and equal protection under the law, for majority people and for minorities as well.

    The Christianists see the “values” of their particular interpretation of the Bible as it applies to their religious culture, as being universally valid. They feel justified in taking coercive action to impose their “values” on people who are committed to other values.

    The Founding Fathers, trying to forge a nation out of separate states having different predominant religious cultures, many of whose ancestors came to the colonies to escape persecution and the religious wars that were tearing Europe apart, decided to craft a First Amendment that forbids the government establishment of religion, and guarantees the freedom of all to practice their religions. But there are limits.

    Let’s say one takes the admonition to “put to death” people caught in the act, whether it be adultery or gay sex (and let’s assume a Christianist interpretation of the latter), In countries like Iran and Iraq, where there is no religious freedom and a brutal form of Islamist law holds sway, mullahs preach this, and lead their true believers in public stonings. There are “Dominionist” Christianists out there whose goal is to transform America into a Christianist country where preachers are proected while their congregations go out and kill gay people or “infidels” (people who believe the same sorts of things, but just a little differently). That is certainly not the vision of the Founding Fathers, whose ancestors came to the colonies to get away from the religious wars and intolerance in Europe.

    Still, the interaction of religious freedom in the “public square” has had an interesting history. It was not until 1962 that the Supreme Court outlawed a state-composed non-denomination prayer for use in public schools in Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421.

    We have justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court (Scalia and Thomas – and I am not sure about Roberts and Alito) who believe that the Engel case should be overturned – that the First Aendment prohibits Congress from establishing religion, so that each of the *states could have its own “established religion,” if it so chose, ignoring the application of the 14th Amendment to enlarge the idea of “due process and equal protection under the law” extends the first amendment to the states.

    It seems to me that Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito would like nothing better than to roll back the Supreme Court to the Court of the 1870’s – and that cases like Engel, Brown v. Board of Education, Loving v. Virginia, and Lawrence v. Texas should all be reversed. (Yes, marriage equality is only the “wedge” issue – these people would just love to bring back racial segregation as well.)

    The Christianists are looking for just one more SCOTUS justice to see their vision come true on the national scene. At that point, they would welcome the idea of an “activist court” as long as it holds their way, much as they largely abandoned “states rights” during the Bush Administration to try to dimantle the Bill of Rights in the name of NAtional Security.

    If, however, we take a more sensible view of the establishment clause and free exercise clause, we see that the freedom of religion must be limited when it impacts the “public square.” People are expected to treat each other respectfully even if each thinks the other’s beliefs will be sending them to eternal damnation.

    Christianists prefer to establish their religious interpretation of marriage as the law in order to force their beiefs on everyone – they feel justified in this, just as they feel justified in pushing prayer in the public schools, the traching of Creationism, and the establishment of the United States as a “Christian(ist) Nation.”

    I’d rather stick with the vision of the Founding Fathers.

    And by the way, a “one man, one woman” marriage is a good thing – for people who are heterosexually oriented. People who advocate for marriage equality are not against what Carrie Prejean calls “opposite marriage” (I think she meant ‘opposite-sex marriage’ but didn’t want to say the word ‘sex’ with reference to heterosexuals). In fact, “opposite marriage” is still going on in places like Canada, the Netherlands, and Massachusetts, and that is great.

    Anyway, in America, it is a bedrock principle that everyone is supposed to be guaranteed the same freedom of religion. Ruben Diaz and his followers, Archbishop Dolan and his followers, Maggie Gallagher and all her ilk, should not be allowed to force their warped and immoral religion on those who believe differently, whatever sacred scripture they have, or belief they share.

    In New York, African-American slaves could not get legally married to each other until 1809. Many states forbade mixed-race couples from marrying until 1967.

    Until 1848 as to inheritances, and 1860 as to wages, married women and their assets in New York were under the complete control of their husbands. Marriage, for women, was the equivalent of civil death – all of her rights went to her husband because under the English common law, “the two become one, and that one is the husband.”

    Between 1836 and 1860, Christian preachers of the day railed against the Married Women’s Property Acts because they would destroy the sanctity of marriage – the same argument used today by heterosexist supremacists to impose their peculiar religious culture on everyone.

    These people are not only un-Christian, they are un-American. We should all have equal rights, equal protection and equal opportunity under the law, regardless of our sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, race, ethnic background, etc.

  35. The Greatest of These Is Love said,

    May 19, 2009 at 4:03 am

    Religion was “part of the argument” at the Marriage Equality rally, too. No one will ever force Rev. Diaz to perform a same-sex wedding, but the ministers who prayed and spoke at the Equality rally are not allowed to perform same-sex weddings, despite the fact that they find no greater religious conflict in them than most Bible-believers find in playing football, shaving their beards, or eating cheeseburgers.

    This IS a freedom of religion issue — accepting churches are being denied freedom by the state.

  36. Chairm said,

    May 19, 2009 at 7:16 am

    Carol said: “I don’t think crossing state lines to be married is like people crossing state lines to control another state’s laws.”

    Actually, residency was required for SSM in Massachusetts. People who could not SSM in their homestate crossed the border as a political act.

    The astroturfing worked two directions. The nonresident SSMs inflated the reported participation rates in Massachusetts. The nonresident SSMs were a way for the SSM campaign in Massachusetts to export their political contribution to “controlling” the laws of another state.

    And, no, these SSMs did not make a man the husband of another man, nor a woman the wife of another woman, but licensed Party A and Party B.

    And, no, these SSMs were not done according to the statutory law of Massachusetts — not in terms of the residency requirement and not in terms of the man-woman criterion that remains on the books.

    And, no, the high court in Massachusetts did not change the statute lawfully. And, no, the state legislature has not changed the statute. And, no, the Governor is not empowered to legislate on behalf of the court nor on behalf of the legislature.

    About half of the SSMs performed in Massachusetts included nonresidents. And since the repeal of the residency requirement, about 2/3rds have been nonresidents. The participation rate of residents continues to decline. The export of SSM is something that the SSM campaign lauded and continues to laude, as I think you just did.

    SSM is not marriage, in fact, but it is a legal fiction created by a judiciary’s 1-vote majority. And the reasoning of that judiciary is an example of abuse of judicial review. But if all means are justified for the sake of the end (i.e. merging SSM with marriage), then, I guess you can pretend that “astroturfing” excludes the HRC and other national organizations that have been coordinating the courtcentric approach of the SSM campaign; and the recently launched attempt to push New England in an SSM region.

    Sure, you can complain about people from other states being concerned about the exporting of SSM across the country; you can complain that your campaign’s national efforts are being challenged with interstate defense of marriage; but so what?

    Really, so what?

  37. Lahona said,

    May 19, 2009 at 7:18 am

    “Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.” – United States Supreme Court, 1892.

    While making certain not to endorse any denomination of religion over another, the founders of this nation made it emphatically clear that the principles upon which this Nation was built are based squarely upon the Bible.

    Virtually every one of the 55 writers and signers of the United States Constitution were members of various Christian denominations: 29 were Anglicans, 16 to 18 were Calvinists, 2 were Methodists, 2 were Lutherans, 2 were Roman Catholic, 1 lapsed Quaker and sometimes Anglican, and 1 open deist–Dr. Franklin who attended every kind of Christian worship, called for public prayer, and contributed to all denominations.

    George Mason is called the father of the Bill of Rights, for he insisted that the first ten amendments be added to the Constitution. The purpose for such an addition? “The laws of nature are the laws of God, whose authority can be superseded by no power on earth,” Mason said.

    Thomas Jefferson even suggested that the national seal be a portrayal of “the children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.”
    And, for those who fear this sort of Law breeds intolerance or disrespect for others, Patrick Henry boldly declared:

    It cannot be emphasized too strongly that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded assylum, prosperity and freedom of worship here.

    Nobody is trying to force you into practicing any religion, your right to practice any religion or no religion at all is not being threatned at all. You do have freedom from my religion. However based on the statements made by the supreme court and those who designed and signed the constitution, used basic christian values and beliefs as an outline for our laws and constitution.

    The only “imposing” that is going on right now is the SSMs imposing thier will and thier beliefs on our children in our schools. They seek to impose their will by overturning prop 8 and the will of the people in California. They seek to impose thier will on those who stand up for thier beliefs by bullying them through law suits. They have sunk so low as to deface and threaten to burn down religious buildings. So before you accuse others of imposing their will and religions on you, take a good long look at yourself and the tactics of the SSMs.

  38. Emissary said,

    May 19, 2009 at 8:19 am

    Jay,

    Let’s have the conversation about family relationships, then. If marriage is not going to be held up as the standard; if it’s going to become “just another relationship for raising children”, then which would you hold up as the standard? Which relationship would you have society promote as the best, the one that we encourage children to enter into to promote stability and happiness?

  39. Emissary said,

    May 19, 2009 at 8:27 am

    The Greatest of These Is Love,

    Can’t ministers perform same-sex weddings in their churches? I thought they could, but they just weren’t recognized by the state as valid. Am I incorrect in this? Is performing a religious same-sex marriage in a church against the law, as long as they don’t claim authority from the state?

  40. Pearl said,

    May 19, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Lukas,

    Religion alone is not what defends traditional marriage, though many RELIGIOUS PEOPLE and religious beliefs do. Common sense and experience also defend traditional marriage along with many logical and experienced people. An atheist, understanding social science and familial relationships, could defend traditional marriage without once bringing up religion. Just because some people do, doesn’t mean that that is the sole basis for its protection.

    Do not attempt to make this all about religion in order to malign those “vicious religious people” who are “forcing everyone to practice their beliefs.” Just because I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman does not mean that I believe homosexuals should be forced to marry someone of the opposite sex. Does Prop 8 FORCE homosexuals to marry someone of the opposite sex? No. Absolutely not. It merely protects marriage from redefinition. It DEFINES marriage as being between one man and one woman. It does not exclude or include through force. People are still free to choose, they just have to accept the limitations of their choices; limitations born of experience and logic.

    Joann,

    I find it interesting that you base your entire argument for some supposed homosexual “marriage” in the Bible on the word covenant. Covenant merely means promise. Suggesting it means “marriage” is taking a HUGE leap. Jonathan and David were such good friends (indeed they grew up as brothers) that they made a pact to protect each other from Jonathan’s father, Saul. How you get “marriage” out of that is beyond me.

    And yes, polygamy is all throughout the Bible. No one denies that. However, that marriage relationship is still between a man and a woman. The Lord’s principles never change, though rituals and practices might according to the needs of the people at the time of implementation. Take Mormons, for example, polygamy was introduced before the trek West. Countless men had been slaughtered for their religious beliefs and many women and children were left widowed and bereft. The Lord told his prophet, Joseph Smith, to have the remaining brethren of the Church marry the widows in order to better be able to provide comfort and protection for them and their children throughout the rugged pilgrimage across the central states and into the West. When the Lord said to stop practicing polygamy, they stopped. And, despite any rumors otherwise, they still don’t practice polygamy today.

    There is no incidence of homosexual “marriage” anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, the Lord makes it quite clear that marriage is to be between man and woman.

  41. Op Ed. said,

    May 19, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Agnes: Lovely how you compare gay marriage to armed robbery.

    Jay: Now you’re comparing same sex marriage to criminal activity.

    Emissary, of course, made no such comparison. Nowhere does Emissary say “Same sex marriage is like armed robbery,” or anything even remotely close. Agnes and Jay both know their retelling is, to put it mildly, completely incompetent. I give them both enough credit to believe they realize their lies had no hope of being believed. Being believed was clearly not their goal. I suspect they simply wanted to justify the seething hatred they have for anyone who sees the value in marriage as fundamentally procreative in nature, as child centric and not merely as an adult affectation.

    Jay and Agnes are not unique in their hate. Just look at the aftermath of Prop 8 in California, all the intolerance and hatred that were on display by the supporters of neutering marriage. Neutering marriage requires this hatred. It requires anyone who thinks society needs an institution that safeguards the responsibility of parents to their children to be the equivalent of slave holders and white supremacists. Imagine what will happen once that message is taught in our schools.

  42. Rebecca said,

    May 19, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Hmm, I’m disappointed. I saw your headline and clicked in the hopes of seeing photos from the pro-marriage rally I attended, but instead I got this report about the anti-marriage hate rally! Misleading. Tsk tsk.

  43. Lahona said,

    May 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Pearl, thankyou for your comment. Your comment is 100% on the money.

  44. rubyeliot said,

    May 19, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    I’m so sorry there were no photos from the marriage “equality” rally. There were more people at the protect marriage rally. Can you explain in specifics how this post or anything at the rally was “hateful”?

    can you explain specifically how the rally was “anti-marriage”?

  45. agnes said,

    May 19, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    Ahh, if all of you are so concerned that children should be raised with only one family; that is homes with a man and a woman, I suggest you only allow marriage between fertile women and fertile men. Childlessness should be grounds for annulment, as should be menopause in a woman. Plus, single families should lose their kids, as their is plenty of empirical evidence that one parent is worse than two parents of whatever sex. Plus why aren’t you fighting against divorce? As you are doing none of the above, I can only assume that all your arguments are simply posturing.

  46. Op Ed. said,

    May 20, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Agnes: I suggest you only allow marriage between fertile women and fertile men.

    This is just another example of the scorched earth policy of marriage neutering activists. If they are not allowed to neuter marriage then they want marriage made so onerous and unwieldy that it becomes unusable. Either way, marriage becomes meaningless to society. This approach, while typical of the movement to neuter marriage, is not the approach of someone who truly values the role of marriage in our society.

  47. May 20, 2009 at 6:13 am

    In response to #37; Lahona,

    Dominionists who wish to impose a sort of Christianist version of Shariah on the nation often cite to the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers.

    The American form of government may have been constructed by people who had at least a nominal Christian belief, but the basis for the system of government they put together was an idealized version of the ancient Roman Republic, tweaked to provide a bicameral legislature. In addition to Christian trappings, the national mythos incorporates other images derived from ancient pagan sources.

    If you put things into their cultural milieu, it is not unusual to find references to God in written material from Western cultures in the 18th and 19th centuries. After all, Creationism was seen as a more-or-less accepted fact, and Evolutionary theory, developed in the mid 19th century, remained controversial until the early 20th century.

    I do disagree with your notion that “the principles upon which this Nation was built are based squarely upon the Bible.” They’re actually largely based on the philosophical principles of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, distilled through the mind of Thomas Jefferson, a Unitarian who wrote a biography of Jesus Christ that removes the supernatural hoodoo and still leaves a great religious teacher.

    Quoting from dicta in a SCOTUS case from 1892 isn’t very convincing – this is pretty much the same court (Fuller, Chief Justice) that decided Plessy v. Ferguson 163 U.S. 537 (1896) – the decision that anshrined the scourge of “separate but equal” segregation on the interpretation of the 14th Amendment.

    When a majority “imposes its will” on a minority by inflicting laws that discriminate against the minority, that is what Alexis de Tocqueville, author of the classic “Democracy in America” called “the tyranny of the majority.”

    When majority vote establishes such a tyrannical thing, it is incumbent upon the courts, at least when they’re populated with judges who understand their duties, to striks down such legislation. In the case of Prop 8, I am hoping that the California Supreme Court realizes that Prop 8 fatally conflicts with other provisions of the California Constitution, and that the wrong procedure was used in the adoption of the proposition. We will see within the next few days whether the California court has the courage to do the right thing.

    Recognizing marriage as gender neutral does not subtract a single right from “opposite marriage.” Indeed, those marriages are strengthened – the idea is that society wants to promote the formation of stable families as the bedrock of the society. There are way too many heterosexual people who are having babies without the benefit of marriage, or whose marriages are torn apart after children are on the scene. If we really value marriage, we should not bar the way from those who are not heterosexual from entering into the same contract of family formation. Many non-heterosexual people have children and not all of these are adopted – and studies have shown that chidren raised by same-sex couples are actually better adjusted than those raised by “opposite” couples.

    Moving to item 40; Pearl,

    The fact that I raise 1 Samuel 18 does not mean that it is the only biblical argument for gender-neutral marriage. I provide the connection between verses 3 and 21 in the chapter to show that the marriage to Michal is the secons one for David to a child of Saul – that means the first one, with Jonathan, was seen by Saul as a marriage. There is other context in 1 Samuel and early 2 Samuel that makes it clear that there was a sexual relationship between the two – with “kissing” and “exceeding” being among the references.

    You are free to interpret scripture in a different way, but the interpretation I am providing is quite valid. The reason more people haven’t noticed it is that they are relying on biblical translations derived from Jerome’s Vulgate, itself a translation into Latin from original scripture texts. Darby went to the original texts, and so did the translators opf American Standard Version (ASV).

    It is interesting that you use changed cultural needs and practices as a rationale for permitting polygamy sometimes and not at other times. The main reason the LDS Church abolished the practice is that the federal government was otherwise holding up the incorporation of Deseret as a State. While the practice among many of the splinter LDS groups might not pass muster as marriage (marriage should require the uncoerced consent of all parties to be valid – and too many of these sects rely on “assignment” by their Prophets), the situation portrayed by the main characters in the fictional HBO series Big Love seems to show a multiple-party marriage (though limited to a single husband and multiple wives) that could qualify as being among fully-informed and consenting adults (though I am troubled a bit about Nicolette, since she was Assigned to Bill by splinter-sect propget Roman as part of a business deal).

    You say “the Lord makes it quite clear that marriage is to be between man and woman” – but the Lord is not reported as speaking for or against marriage between same-sex spouses.

    The biblical verses used to condemn homosexuality do not actually do so. At the very worst, the Leviticus texts may prohibit a single kind of act between two men. I can address any others you care to raise and quote.

    While I make a Bible-based argument, I do so not because I think the Bible should be determinative of the secular law, but because I challenge the right of those who claim that Christianity is opposed to same-sex marriage. Indeed, there is much in the way of disagreement among Christian denominations over this issue – in one recent case, this issue has led to a split in the Episcopal Church, with the formation of an Anglican Church of North America, which has been encouraged and supported by African Anglican bishops.

  48. Op Ed. said,

    May 20, 2009 at 7:49 am

    Joann: that is what Alexis de Tocqueville, author of the classic “Democracy in America” called “the tyranny of the majority.”

    This statement exhibits a profound misunderstanding of our form of government. It implies that forms of government are all just different forms of tyranny. Democracy gives the citizens the right to self determination. That is the opposite of tyranny. That does not mean when one’s vote does not agree with the majority one is being oppressed. Joann calls Democracy “tyranny of the majority” in an effort to make her choice, judicial tyranny seem less awful than it really is.

    Even if one is to grant Joann her notion that governments are just choices between tyrannies, the question is, which “tyranny” is more likely to understand and protect our rights, the citizens who must live with the laws they make, or a group kept separate from the effects of their decisions? Every member of the majority is the member of some minority. Who better to entrust the care of the minority?

    This is not to say that the majority will not make mistakes, but they are far less likely to do so than a small body of unelected officials. The colonists under a similar oligarchy understood well the propensity of a separate ruling class to make mistakes in how it protected the rights of its citizens. When the majority makes a mistake, education, rather than tyranny, is typically the best antidote.

    Recognizing marriage as gender neutral does not subtract a single right from “opposite marriage.

    It does on several counts. As already discussed, it undermines our right as a society of self determination. You make no bones about turning to judicial tyranny to accomplish what you want. That is a trampling of the most fundamental of all rights.

    Second, it eliminates our right to consider procreation itself important to society. Making marriage “gender neutral” takes an institution that has been focused on the needs and responsibilities of the procreative couple and turns it into a meaningless adult affectation. Those arguing in favor of neutering marriage constantly try to define marriage down as “any two loving adults” or “a private contract between parties,” etc., without ever explaining why society would take an interest in any such relationship.

    The claim raised by neutered marriage activists themselves that how a same-sex couple lives their life is of no consequence to anyone else is exactly the reason the government should stay out of such relationships. The same is not true of procreative couples. Couples with the potential to create life have a profound impact on society at large, just compare communities with a strong marriage ethic to communities where fewer than 1 in five children are born in wedlock.

    …studies have shown that chidren raised by same-sex couples are actually better adjusted than those raised by “opposite” couples.

    That is simply false. The most that can be said is that studies show same-sex parenting to be no worse than the gold standard of marriage, but even that is an overstatement of the studies done to date. In any case, no study finds same-sex parenting superior as Joann purports.

    And finally, if we were to grant, for the sake of argument, Joann’s claim that these studies prove the superiority of same-sex parenting, that actually argues against neutering marriage. These studies were all conducted on unmarried same-sex couples since they were conducted before any government neutered its recognition of marriage. Finding that those unmarried couples already outperformed married couples would argue that marriage is actually harmful or at best irrelevant to children. That, of course, contradicts the large body of parenting studies on the topic, and the experiences of societies around the world.

  49. May 20, 2009 at 8:27 am

    Referencing message #48; Oped,

    You misunderstand de Tocqueville’s cogent analysis. The “tyranny of the majority” is not a reference to all democratic decisions, only to those that create special rights for the majority that are denied to the minority. Slavery and segregation are examples of this; the denial of rights to women, though, considering that women are actually numerically superior, seems to be an exception, though it really isn’t, since despite their numerical “superiority” women have historically been denied political power.

    The analysis doesn’t apply to situations where the majority, realizing injustice being done to a minority, establishes what seem to be special rights *for* the minority in order to create a level playing field – so laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which provide protections for minorities (and women) against majority oppression, while they are the product of a majority vote and establish what might be seen by some as “special rights” don;t quallify as tyrannical because it’s the majority that is trying to make up for past discrimination.

    A different example of where “majority rule” does not work properly is the case where the majority votes against scientific facts – an example would be the legislature of one of the states attempting to repeal the “law of gravity.” This would not result in the citizens of that state floating up into space. Robert Heinlein gives an example in oneofhis novels, of an elementary school class adopting a cat and voting to name it “Tom.” The cat soon had a litter of kittens, prompting a re-evaluation of the name.

    On the issue of the studies showing same-sex parenting to result in better-adjusted children, the most cogent counterargument would be that these studies do not compare – one would do better to compare same-sex parents where the children are natural children of one, with opposite sex parents whose children are natural children, and separately study situations where there are adoptions. The study result, I think, is skewed by the number of adoption cases in the same-sex families versus the number of natural chidren in the opposite-sex families. Being an opposite-sex natural-parent couple doesn’t automatically make them good parents – while being a same-sex (or opposite-sex) adopting couple requires a great deal of scruting before the child is placed. However, what is clear to me is that there is no *negative* impact on the parenting of children in same-sex-parented families, though there are negative legal consequences resulting from the parents’ inability to obtain the legal benefits of the marriage contract.

  50. Euripides said,

    May 20, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Joann:

    In citing de Tocqueville, you neglec to address the fact that the US government was set up as a republic, precisely to negate de Tocqueville’s criticism of the liberal democracy of his day. His conclusions of the tyranny of the majority is based on observations of the French Revolution, where tyranny prevailed to overthrow the French monarch and then to turn around and step on the people’s rights.

    Madison, one of the Constitutional framers, predicted the tyranny of the majority in his Federalist #10: “By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.”

    Here, Madison includes factions of the majority as well as the minority. Both were to be mitigated by the Republic. De Tocqueville’s analysis about the majority simply did not take into account Madison’s ideals as expressed in the Constitution.

    In this light, we can see same sex marriage advocates as a faction, trying to subvert the will of the people’s government through court mandates (an oligarchical system) or through factional pressure against key government officials (another oligarchical system). Neither method of achieving same sex marriage included the government by the people.

  51. Pearl said,

    May 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Joann, you said:

    “While I make a Bible-based argument, I do so not because I think the Bible should be determinative of the secular law, but because I challenge the right of those who claim that Christianity is opposed to same-sex marriage.”

    Please forgive me if I get this wrong, but what I understand you to be saying here is that it is okay for you to make a Bible-based argument in favor of homosexual “marriage” (citing scripture that “supposedly” exposes homosexual behavior in ancient relationships), but that it is not okay for Christians to use that same Bible to formulate an argument against homosexual “marriage.” You might, perhaps, deny this by drawing attention to your claim that, “I do so not because I think the Bible should be determinative of the secular law, but because I challenge the right of those who claim that Christianity is opposed to same-sex marriage.” There is a bit of a conundrum in this scenario, however, in that one cannot actually argue AGAINST one thing without, in essence, arguing FOR its opposite.

    Take abortion, for instance. In arguing against life, you are, in fact, arguing for death. In using the Bible to argue against traditional marriage; you are indirectly using it to argue for homosexual “marriage.”

    Black and white, wrong and right, truth and error – absolutes, all – still exist for many people, Joann. You are entitled to your opinion and your interpretation, but somewhere, someone has to draw the line and say that one interpretation is wrong and one is right; one opinion is wrong and one is right. Thank goodness for a living prophet to guide the Lord’s people on earth and make clear His will for us throughout our mortal sojourn!

    I’d be very interested to hear these other “biblical arguments for gender-neutral marriage” that you allude to. You invite me to introduce scripture to defend myself, but since you initially introduced the topic in relation to the Bible, I will leave the burden of proof to you.

    Cheers,
    Pearl

  52. Pearl said,

    May 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Incidentally, Joann, there are many men in other countries who still, to this day, kiss each other upon greeting. That doesn’t make them homosexual. It’s cultural, not sexual. And David and Jonathan had an added depth of relationship due to the fact that they were raised practically as brothers.

    And prophets throughout the scriptures used the word “exceeding” to describe various feelings (i.e. exceeding joy, exceeding sorrow), not to denote a crossed (exceeded) boundary. References, please!

  53. Pearl said,

    May 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    You also might find this interesting, Joann. When Christ came to the earth as a divine mortal, he fulfilled the lower law, or Law of Moses. He then taught His followers the two most important commandments of all. To love no other God before Him, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Let’s read your scripture reference again, with those commandments in mind and with a little background.

    Prior to 1 Samuel 18:3, Saul had whisked David away from his home and wouldn’t let him return to his family anymore. Can you imagine being taken away from your family and how lonely you might feel for family? That said, let’s proceed.

    1 Samuel 18: 1-3

    “And it came to pass, when [David] had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

    2 And Saul took him that day, and would let him go no more home to his father’s house.

    3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”

    So, Jonathan loved his brother as he loved himself. Sounds like he was keeping the Lord’s higher law as He Himself commanded.

    But let’s keep going as a similar, but more complete, account of the relationship between Jonathan and David comes later.

    1 Samuel 20: 16-17

    “16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Let the Lord even require it at the hand of David’s enemies.

    17 And Jonathan cause David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul” (bold emphasis added).

    Interpret that as you will, Joann, it does not change the fact that it doesn’t in any way suggest what you are claiming it suggests. They loved each other as brothers.

  54. May 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Re comment 53; Pearl,

    I’ll stick with ASV for 1 Sam 18:16-17:

    16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, And Jehovah will require it at the hand of David’s enemies.

    17 And Jonathan caused David to swear again, for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.

    This covenant with the House of David in v. 16 is clearly different from the covenant in v. 3, which is clearly a marriage covenant – we’ll even use the version you cite for verses 1-3, at 1:

    “. . . the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul”

    This is *strikingly” similar to the positive remarks by Jesus about heterosexual marriage in Matthew 19:5-6:
    5 and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?

    6 So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

    Where I Samuel gives us “one soul” in a gay context, Jesus gives us “one flesh” in a straight one. In either case, the two become one, and that’s a marriage. Jesus was silent about homosexuality, at least as far as reported in Biblical texts. A favorable reference to “opposite marriage” does not imply opposition to gender-neutral marriage – perhaps one might characterize “opposite marriage” as becoming “one flesh” and same-sex marriage as becoming “one soul.”

    Look, it’s fairly clear that we differ in interpretation – you are viewing the passages with your preconceived notions about what is meant (and in your own mind, the comparison to “love thy neighbor as yourself” seems most apt), and perhaps I am doing the same (I see “becoming one soul” as meaning a much as “becoming one flesh” does in the quote from the Lord). I know the interpretation I am sharing is not unique to me.

    The Bible was used for almost 1900 years to justify slavery (the Roman Catholic Church did not get around to finally condemning slavery until 1891 (though Aquinas held it against natural law, and there is a sporadic history of condemnation of the practice by Popes and others). In the American South, the fundamentalist preachers of the early 1800’s justified the enslavement of African-Americans by referring to them as the “Children of Ham,” a reference to the immediate post-Flood story involving Noah’s drunken nakedness. (Genesis 9:20-27).

    Slavery was long justified by some Christians, and condemned by others. One really can’t say that “Christianity opposes slavery” universally, much as one can’t say “Christianity opposes marriage equality” universally.

    You can argue that your Christian faith precludes same sex marriage – that is just fine; Even if marriage equality was the law for civil marriage, in your denomination or church it will still be perfectly fine to bless only “opposite marriages.” In my church, the sacrament would be available on a gender-neutral basis – in this way each of us retains our religious freedom.

    The civil law regarding marriage should be gender neutral so as to accommodate both your beliefs and mine.

    Where we come to an impasse, is with what happens in the “public square.” There are certain aspects of my religious freedom that you find repugnant, as I am sure you know I feel likewise right back. However, I would have to respect the fact that you do not recognize the validity of my religious marriage.

    On the other hand, you would have to respect my civil marriage rights in the public square, regardless of your religious beliefs. This is fair, because I would have to treat your marriages equally under the law as well – I wouldn’t be able to run a lesbian bookstore in the public square, hire a straight married stock clerk or cashier, and deny her the same benefits package I would provide to a gay or lesbian married couple, just because I (hypothetically) have a Malthusian religion (I am making this up!) which promotes same sex marriages as a way to curb population growth. (Incidentally, such a religion would never work – people don’t choose their sexual orientation, so a Malthusian religionist would have a great deal of difficulty proselytizing among heterosexuals. On the other hand, the Shakers enjoyed a great popularity for taking 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 seriously, until their religious movement literally died out, so who knows, a revival of the Shakers might have some attraction, particularly for presently unmarried Millenialist Christians awaiting the Rapture. The idea of getting straight people into gay marriages is definitely a non-starter.

  55. Chairm said,

    May 20, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Oye. One soul is not equivalent to one flesh.

    Anyway, the over-reaching must leave stretch marks under your armpits and behind your elbows.

  56. May 20, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Re an item in post #51, where Pearl said:
    “Take abortion, for instance. In arguing against life, you are, in fact, arguing for death”

    Hmmm. I don’t recall bringing up abortion, but I am aware that the Bible supports the idea that the soul is quite literally the “breath of God,” being infused at the time a first breath is taken after birth, and leaving the body at the last exhalation.

    This beautiful imagery is used in the symbolism in the Sacrament of Baptism (not the Roman Catholic pouring-of-water option, but the good old traditional immersion). The immersion in the water symbolizes being in the womb, and the first breath upon being brought back to the surface is symbolic of a New Life in Christ – it is as if the soul has been infused anew.

    Put into that context, the writings of Aquinas on the subject (souls infusing at a particular statge of fetal development, earlier for boys and later for girls) and the doctrine proclaimed by Innocent III allowing abortion in early term pregnancies until “quickening” (the feeling of movement within), seem like quaint medievalist imagination. And the more recent Catholic view that conception is “the moment” – and one must realize that American fundamentalists did not get hopped up on the subject until after the Catholics put a buzz in their ear – is merely a more modernist bit of imagination.

    The Roe v. Wade decision from 1976 is actually a remarkable restatement of an extension of the English common law principle that takes a proper historical Christian “birth and breath” viewpoint and applies it to alllow the state to protect the interests of a potential child in the third trimester when the possibility of a live birth makes the fetus a realistically potential human being.

    It isn’t as if the Christian teaching is the basis for the court’s interpretation, it’s the fact that the Ennglish common law itself evolved in a Europe that had a strong Christian influence from 325 C.E., when Christianity was the official state religion of the Roman Empire.

    So abortion doesn’t involve killing a human being – the idea that a baby is not a human being until “birth and breath” is so ingrained in our culture – we celebrate birthdays, not conception days (and it’s rare that we even have an idea about the approximate date of conception). We don’t have funerals for miscarriages or stillbirths. The laws of descent and distribution all require “birth and breath” as a prerequisite for inheritance.

    So in addition to being opposed to civil marriage equality, you’re probably going to indicate that you are totally opposed to abortion.

    Maybe we can agree on *something.” I am opposed to the death penalty – are you?

    I favor minimal government interference in private lives (as opposed to regulating activity in the public square), so that means I oppose laws against recreational drug use (though I don’t approve of recreational drug use myself). Historically, drug laws were aimed at racial minority groups, and most enforcement is aimed at minority populations, which is clearlya form of oppression. I oppose mandatory seat belt, motorcycle and bicycle helmet laws (but I support laws that penalize the making of the “wrong” choice – denying the availability of insurance to cover injuries beyond those that would have been caused had a seat belt been worn, for example) – anmajor exception has to do with protecting children – children should not have access to drugs, and purveyors of drugs to children should be tried and convicted. And seat belt, child car seat, child restraint and bicycle helmet laws are essential protections – even if parents are neglectful, the children sould have some protection by the government.

    Is there *anything* there we might have in common?

  57. May 20, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Regarding Post #55, Chairm,

    If two become one soul, that may not be exactly the same as becoming one flesh, but in either case, “the two become one.” Perhaps one might see the example of the homosexual “becoming one soul” in the story of David and Jonathan as an even deeper love commitment than a heterosexual “becoming one flesh” as described by Jesus – though perhaps heterosexual couples might also be deeply committed enough to become a single soul as well.

    When it comes to making a direct comparison, after all, we do have David, who we might presume had intimate relations with both his husband Jonathan and his wife Michal, mourning for his slain husband in 2 Samuel 1:26 – ” I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: Very pleasant hast thou been unto me: Thy love to me was wonderful, Passing the love of women.”

  58. May 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Revisiting 51 again, to Pearl:

    I addressed your abortion comment on a standalone basis, rather than taking it in context.

    Your thought in that area, more complete, is:
    –beginquote–
    “There is a bit of a conundrum in this scenario, however, in that one cannot actually argue AGAINST one thing without, in essence, arguing FOR its opposite.

    Take abortion, for instance. In arguing against life, you are, in fact, arguing for death. In using the Bible to argue against traditional marriage; you are indirectly using it to argue for homosexual “marriage.””
    –endquote–

    As I indicated while addressing the abortion issue as a sidebar, it is possible to view a woman’s right to control her reproductive choices not as arguing “for death” because one does not have to acknowledge that the fetus has been ensouled until taking a first breath (though many may believe otherwise, with bright lines at various other places such as conception, implantation, “brain activity,” quickening, lung capacity, brain myelinization, where either rights are accorded to the fetus, or the state is permitted to assert rights on behalf of the *potential* life.

    Moving to the broader context, arguing in favor of gender-neutral marriage, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, however it’s put, does not mean arguing *against* traditional marriage. I fully support and endorse traditional marriage for people naturally endowed with a heterosexual orintation. For the heterosexuals in society, while celibacy is the highest calling (1 Corinthians 7:8-9), marriage is certainly an acceptable alternative for those who can’t remain continent. (St. Paul doesn’t seem to have been thinking very highly of procreation as a reason for Christians to get married, or maybe he just did not get around to stating it,)

    Arguing *for* gender-neutral marriage means making marriage a more equal larger pie available – allowing same-sex couples and couples where one of the parties is a transsexual woman or man (and the other party is either a man or a woman, transsexual or cissexual) to form a legally-recognized family unit in the same way that a heterosexual couple can (and in the case of the transsexual, in some cases the law in some states and parts of states is denying the heterosexual marriages while permitting the gay ones).

    Supporters of marriage equality are not opposed to traditional marriage, they’re oposed to limiting the definition of marriage to being a special right available only to the heterosexual supremacist majority.

    Opponents of marriage equality *are* opposed to same sex marriage, that is, they want to deny equal rights to a minority.

    The minority does not want to take rights away from the majority.

    One of Maggie Gallagher’s arguments is to say exactly that, though, that marriage equality “takes away” rights from the majority.

    But the rights in every example from her “The Gathering Storm” advertisement aren’t rights based on marriage – they’re rights based on the enforcement of already-existing human rights laws that guarantee equal access to public accommodations, or employment, or medical care, etc.

    So when you characterize the disagreement on marriage equality as “eother/or” that is also untrue. It’s more “equal rights for all” v. “special rights for a majority.” The majority does not lose any rights by the exxtension of the same rights to the minority.

  59. May 20, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Addressing #50; Euripides,

    Think long and hard about “the majority stepping on the People’s rights” inexample yoi give, involving the French revolutionary democracy.

    That is *exactly* the sort of thing as the misuse of the Initiative in California to pass Prop 8. Prop 8 trampled on the equal rights and protections afforded to all Californians.

    It may well be that the California Supreme Court, in interpreting Prop 8 in the only way it can be interpreted in view of the Equal Protection clause in the CA constitution, might end up invalidating “all” California marriages (straight and gay) and directing the legislature to enact a comprehensive “civil union” statute that would provide the same equal protection to all Californians, recognizing existing “marriages” as civil unions, and perhaps recognizing out-of-state “marriages” as CA “civil unions.”

    That is one way to resolve the conflict. the other would be to invalidate prop 8 ont he basis that the wrong amendment process was used, and that the Proposition did not also abolish equal protection and religious freedom guaranteed under the CA constitution – both of which would have to be abolished for Prop 8 to be consistent with the rest fo the CA constitution.

    But let’s look at the use of direct votes by the electorate that insure special rights for a majority to the detriment of the minority.

    That is the essence of mob rule and the tyranny of the majority – the majority imposing its “democratic” will on a hapless minority that is dependent on the members of the majority having sufficient compassion and decency to respect the idea of religious freedom and equal protection.

    If California was a nation unto itself, what would stop the majority whites from imposing racial segregation, or again outlawing miscegenation (after all, California was the first state, in 1948, to have a court overturn its ant-mixed-racial-marriage laws), or even taking away the freedom of a racial minority, or a sexual orientation minority, and re-institute slavery.

    The people of California have already misused the Initiative to control 90% or more of the state budget, leaving only 10% of the budget in the hands of the eleted legislature and Governor.

    But you don’t actually see the point, do you?

  60. Chairm said,

    May 20, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    Well, I dearly love my brothers and sisters; I had enormous love for my mom and dad; my children, and their children, are all souls very much intertwined with mine; but I do distinguish my love for my wife and her love for me. It is of a different kind.

    As I said, soul and flesh, not what you hope to insist they mean.

  61. May 21, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Re: Chairm, #60,

    If we look to the Greek (Greek has more than one word translated as “love”) versions, we find that the word for “love” used in 1 Samuel 18:1 is “ηγαπησεν” (and another form of the same word in verse 3, “ηγαπα”) – the word used is usually rendered in English as “agape” (ah-gah-pay).

    As used in the Septuagint Koine Greek, unlike “eros” which is more “lust” than “love,” “agape” could mean the love of a spouse, or the love of one’s children.

    So we’re not going to get too much from analyzing the Koine Greek (which for the Old Testament is itself a translation from the Hebrew and Aramaic texts).

    I do understand that the love one has for a spouse differs in some manners of expression from the love one has for parents and children. Whatever the love was between David and Jonathan, it was a natural kind of love (and I am sure we differ on the interpretation of the term “natural” – which would probably still lead us to differ on the proper interpretation of Romans 1).

    I think we’re still going to disagree.

  62. Op Ed. said,

    May 21, 2009 at 7:01 am

    Joann: You misunderstand de Tocqueville’s cogent analysis.

    No, you do. You attempt to use de Tocqueville’s phrase “tyranny of the majority” in a way he never does, as an entree to judicial tyranny. In fact, de Tocqueville points to social mores as the means to prevent “tyrany of the majority,” mores which he looks to religion to instill. You dismiss this aspect of de Tocqueville’s work with the same disdain you dismissed the quote from the United States Supreme Court about religion brought up earlier in this thread.

    Another point you ignore from de Tocqueville is that there is more than one “tyranny” into which democracy can devolve. The tyranny of “all over all,” where society holds back the excellent in its quest for the lowest common denominator. This is precisely what activists for neutering marriage seek when they strive to remove marriage from its ties to procreation that make it unique and instead drive it towards its lowest common denominator with all other adult associations.

    The vast majority of adult associations, incidentally, need no government involvement. You have not yet explained why once you have reduced marriage to simply another among these it would still warrant government involvement. Was your neglect on that matter accidental?

    many may believe otherwise, with bright lines at various other places such as conception, implantation, “brain activity,” quickening, lung capacity, brain myelinization, where either rights are accorded to the fetus

    Sounds suspiciously like defining slaves as less than human to justify withholding their rights. Myelination, incidentally, continues in earnest for the first two years after birth, and continues on into early adulthood. So in your post hoc search for justification for withholding the right to life from some, you have succeeded in justifying infanticide at the very least, and also the killing of all children. Further there are developmental disorders that prevent myelination from ever completing and also diseases which strip away the myelin sheath after it has formed. So you have also justified euthenasia of the enfeebled and infirmed. Such is the problem with post hoc justifying one’s activities.

    Prop 8 trampled on the equal rights and protections afforded to all Californians.

    This is not a rational or reasonable argument, but rather a cynical reliance on the Leninist “lie told often enough becomes truth.” The right in question, freedom of association, which is guaranteed by both the U.S. and California constitutions is in no way infringed no matter how often that claim is made.

    “Equal protection” does not require that all ways in which adults freely associate be treated as if they were identical. If it did, corporations, a form of adult association, would have to be treated as if they were marriages, another form of adult association. This may provide e.g. tax benefits to the minority on corporate boards, but it clearly opposes the foundations of a well ordered society. Labeling such a change as merely an enlarging of marriage or referring to board members as an oppressed minority in no way justifies it or mitigates the damage it would do to society.

    the California Supreme Court… might end up invalidating “all” California marriages (straight and gay) and directing the legislature to enact a comprehensive “civil union” statute

    You misunderstand our system of government. The court is not vested with the power to legislate.

    I pointed out earlier how neutering marriage repeatedly invokes such oppression because it is, by its nature, oppressive. It tells a group, procreative couples, that they have no right to have their unique needs addressed and administered to. In fact, the very rhetoric of the neutered marriage campaign oppresses by characterizing anyone who recognizes the unique challenges and responsibilities brought on by the potential of procreation as equivalent to white supremacists and slaveholders, as being at heart intolerant and oppressive.

    what would stop the majority whites from imposing racial segregation, or again outlawing miscegenation

    Clearly you do not understand de Tocqueville… or our society.

  63. Chairm said,

    May 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Joann, as I said earlier, you are over-reaching by a very long stretch. But we can agree that you are speculating rather than discerning.

    Yours is an implausible speculation.

  64. Pearl said,

    May 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    I suppose we’ll just have to agree to disagree, Joann. What’s interesting is that Chairm and I do not share the same religion. Not by a long shot. But we both agree that you are over-reaching in your speculations. There will always be those who will attempt to use holy writ for their own purposes rather than as God intended. And there will always be the battle between good and evil, each claiming his interpretation of God’s laws is sound. No wonder it is increasingly imperative that children develop a personal relationship with their Maker so that they may discern between truth and error. So that they can look at your opinion and my opinion, ponder them, pray about them, and know for themselves which truly represents God’s will.

    I wish you peace, Joann.

  65. James R. said,

    May 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    no matter what your religion, we can agree to live and let live. It’s when one side begins forcing their views on another that I have a problem. No one cares what happens behind closed bedroom doors, it’s behind courthouse doors and schoolroom doors that I care about.

  66. Rita Danning said,

    May 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Pearl and James, good points. What is religion anyway but just a system of belief? What do you believe? If you are not free to be what you believe you should be, and act the way that you should act, then how can you be considered free? It doesn’t matter if you’re Baptist, Muslim, Buddist, Christian or even Secularist, everyone ought to be free, without coercion. You know, do unto others applies in many different systems of belief.

    I am concerned about the coersion and lack of respect for the ideals of others that shows up in the same sex marriage debate. Somehow neutering marriage makes people deaf dumb and blind when it comes to the rights of others, especially children and families.

  67. May 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Op Ed, re #62,

    It seems interesting that your “all over all” concept is very similar to concepts found in the writings of Ayn Rand. Making marriage gender neutral is not that sort of proposition – it does not hold back “opposite marriage” spouses from procreating or obtaining the legal rights, benefitsm obligations and responsibilities of marriage and oprotecting the children in these relationships. It does not posit that “because “same spouses” cannot naturally procreate, that “opposite spouses” must refrain from natural procreation. That would be a logical follower to your Randian idea.

    Government involvement in marriage pertains to the 1168 federal and (in New York, something over 1300 rights, responsibilities, privileges and duties(each state has different bundles of rights associated with marriage) that come with the making of the legal marriage contract. If there were no public policy considerations auch as encouraging societal stability and providing a stable environment for raising children (gays and lesbians do have or adopt children), and no legal rights associated with marriage, the religious blessing or sacrament alone would not provide enough protection to spouses or children.

    There are many formal “adult associations” ranging from business entities such as corporations, partnerships, limited liability companues , business trusts, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, etc., each with different government rules pertaining to their creation, formation, operation, taxation etc. Sure, one does not have to enter into a contract to establish a lifelong friendship – but once one throws money and property into the mix, the establishment of contractual relationships enforceable in the courts (government involvment) and following legal principles, either based on the common law or established by statute, becomes a more attractive idea. Certainly, the parties would like toprotect their investments and interests in the relationship. A marriage is essentially a very special kind of partnership (while the tenancy by the entireties, a form of real property ownership, is one of the last vestiges of marriage as a sort of entity, where “the two” become a single person under the law, at least as to the property ownership).

    Aside from the religious considerations, marriage is very much a special sort of *legal* contract, and certainly government invoilvement, from the standpoint of public policy and establishing the nature, enforceability, etc. of this contract often takes up a whole volume of statutory law, and is referred to in many other statutes as well. (And without government involvement, we wouldn’t have divorce laws. Perhaps one might consider a return to the more informal Shariah legal provision, which was also the Hebrew methodology, where the husband merely utters “I divorce you” three times, and the marriage is ended. Of course, this is what Jesus was addressing in Matthew 19 where he sais, “What God has put together, let no man (i.e. the husband alone) set aside. (The Catholic Church would disagree with this, but annulments under the current canon law interpretation is effectively merely a divorce equivalent.)

    Moving on to myelinization and other brain development, yes, I know, the human brain does not fully develop, particularly in males, until some point in the 20’s.

    Before six months’ gestation, the electrical activity in the brain is one large short circuit. At about that point, the brain cells develop myelinization sufficient to actually begin to work. We could sidetrack on this issue – however, this is not an attempt on my part to move the idea of when one becomes a human being from conception to myelinization, it is, as the SCOTUS did in Roe v. Wade, an attempt to find a rationalization to provide some sort of a state interest on behalf of the potential human being who is not a human being until taking that first breath. That is, it’s not an equivalent of an attempt to justify slavery – that’s the position taken by those who do not acknowledge the rights a woman should have over her own body. If the state wants to assert an interest in preserving all potential life, it could conceivably do something about preserving all those uncountable sperm cells that go to waste each day, and all those egg cells that pass through a woman’s body about once a month or so between menarche and menopause that don’t manage to get fertilized. There is a point where this becomes a reductio ad absurdem, and perhaps that is it.

    No, the slavery argument comes from those who would insist that a woman is not so sufficiently a human that her rights must be subordinated to a mere potential human. Sorry, as they say in the countryside, “that dog don’t hunt.”

    Moving to the next point, corporations are not an entity formed for the purpose of forming a family – though I could conceive of two-party or multi-party family contracts that take the form of a corporation. For a fictional exploration of such an entity marriage, I would recommend the late Robert Heinlein’s science fiction work, “Friday.” Your analogy is weak.

    I understand enough about the working of California government to understand that there are rare situations where the California Supreme Court has the power to direct the legislature to enact legislation. This is a similar power to that used by the Massachusetts Supreme Court in its marriage decision. This is a power rarely used.

    In the Prop- 8 case currently befor the Court, that body has the problem of ehat to do with a purported amendmment to the CA Constitution that conflicts with established provisions in the Constitution – there are essentially two alternatives here – find an interpretation under which the conflicting provisions do not conflict, or, because the wring procedure was used in adopting Prop 8, to invalidate Prop 8. We should see soon what the COurt decides.

    In any event, have a nice day.

  68. Op Ed. said,

    May 21, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    Joann: It seems interesting that your “all over all” concept

    Mine? No, Alexis de Tocqueville’s. Try to keep up. I wouldn’t think I had to explain that to you again, seeing you brought him up and all.

    [neutering marriage] does not hold back “opposite marriage” spouses from procreating or obtaining the legal rights, benefitsm obligations and responsibilities of marriage

    Wrong. By defining marriage down to the lowest common denominators it shares with same-sex partnerships, any “legal right, benefitsm [sic] obligations and responsibilities” derived from the unique needs of the procreative couple will be shed. What institution do you propose will replace society’s interests in responsible procreation once you have defined that out of marriage?

    There are many formal “adult associations” ranging from business entities such as corporations, partnerships,

    And only one marriage. Why squander it turning it into one of these other readily available institutions?

    A marriage is essentially a very special kind of partnership

    No, a partnership is “a very special kind of partnership.” We already have partnerships. Why should we make marriage just another one of those?

    …marriage is very much a special sort of *legal* contract,

    No, a legal contract “is very much a special sort of *legal* contract.” We already have legal contracts. Why should we make marriage just another one of those?

    …(And without government …(i.e. the husband alone) … (The Catholic Church…)

    When one is nesting one’s parentheticals two and three deep, one’s thoughts are clearly wandering far afield of the discussion at hand. If you have a cogent point to make in any of the above, take the time to organize and edit it and try presenting it again.

    Moving on to myelinization and other brain development, yes, I know, the human brain does not fully develop, particularly in males, until some point in the 20’s.

    I clearly gave you too much credit. I assumed you were inadvertently advocating for child murder. It is chilling both that you knew exactly what you were advocating, and that you felt you were unequally targeting males.

    it is, as the SCOTUS did in Roe v. Wade, an attempt to find a rationalization … That is, it’s not an equivalent of an attempt to justify slavery

    Oh, I see. It’s a post hoc rationalization. Totally different than a post hoc justification.

    No, the slavery argument comes from those who would insist that a woman is not so sufficiently a human that her rights must be subordinated to a mere potential human.

    Oh, puhleeze. One is not a slave merely because one can’t take the life of someone who has become inconvenient to you. You’re clearly trying to ratchet the rhetoric up to an eleven. One is not a slave or subhuman just because one’s right to convenience doesn’t surpass another’s right to life itself. Ever pull over for an ambulance? Did it matter to you whether the patient aboard was actually alive or only potentially alive, i.e., awaiting resuscitation?

    [The state] could conceivably do something about preserving all those uncountable sperm cells

    Really? It could? Conceivably?? I think you need to look up what that word means.

    There is a point where this becomes a reductio ad absurdem, and perhaps that is it.

    Perhaps?? Only perhaps? You’re not impressing with your ability to reason here. Your appeal to the fallacy of the beard isn’t helping you out in that regard, either.

    Moving to the next point, corporations are not an entity formed for the purpose of forming a family

    Got it. “Equal protection” does not require that all associations between adults be treated identically. So marriage does not violate equal protection. It does not limit the right of free association. What constitutional right does it trample that it must be neutered?

    I understand enough about the working of California government to understand that there are rare situations where the California Supreme Court has the power to direct the legislature to enact legislation.

    I’m afraid you’re going to have to provide a citation there. Here’s mine:

    CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
    ARTICLE 4 LEGISLATIVE

    SEC. 1. The legislative power of this State is vested in the
    California Legislature which consists of the Senate and Assembly, but
    the people reserve to themselves the powers of initiative and
    referendum.

    Legislature, people’s initiative, and referendum. No mention of the court anywhere in there.

    there are essentially two alternatives here – find an interpretation under which the conflicting provisions do not conflict,

    You already did. See the part above where you reject your own “equal protection” claim.

    In any event, have a nice day.

    Thank you! You, too.

  69. May 21, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Re #68; Oped,
    Let’s start with de Tocqueville again – first, I am not necessarily going to appeal to him as the source of all that is good. He was a rather astute observer – and he does get credit for coining the term “tyranny of the majority.”
    In Part I Chapter 15 De Tocqueville recognized the possibility of insurrection when a minority is suppressed:
    “If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the omnipotence of the majority, which may at some future time urge the minorities to desperation and oblige them to have recourse to physical force. Anarchy will then be the result, but it will have been brought about by despotism.”
    He then cites to Madison:
    “Mr. Madison expresses the same opinion in The Federalist, No. 51. “It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Justice is the end of government. It is the end of civil society. It ever has been, and ever will be, pursued until it be obtained, or until liberty be lost in the pursuit. In a society, under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature, where the weaker individual is not secured against the violence of the stronger: and as, in the latter state, even the stronger individuals are prompted by the uncertainty of their condition to submit to a government which may protect the weak as well as themselves, so, in the former state, will the more powerful factions be gradually induced by a like motive to wish for a government which will protect all parties, the weaker as well as the more powerful.”
    So here we have the basis for the federal bill of rights, the idea that “Justice is the end of government (not an “end” as a time for the final curtain call, but the goal) – the first ten amendments, and later, the 14th, 15th, 16th and 19th) as a bulwark against the “tyranny of the majority” – and who interprets the Constitution but the highest Court?
    Always the astute observer, earlier in the chapter, de Tocqueville recognizes that the judiciary is not always or necessarily independent enough to use the bill of rights as protection of individual rights against the encroachment of the majority power:
    “In my opinion, the main evil of the present democratic institutions of the United States does not arise, as is often asserted in Europe, from their weakness, but from their irresistible strength. I am not so much alarmed at the excessive liberty which reigns in that country as at the inadequate securities which one finds there against tyranny. If an individual or a party is wronged in the United States, to whom can he apply for redress? If to public opinion, public opinion constitutes the majority; if to the legislature, it represents the majority and implicitly obeys it; if to the executive power, it is appointed by the majority and serves as a passive tool in its hands. The public force consists of the majority under arms; the jury is the majority invested with the right of hearing judicial cases; and in certain states even the judges are elected by the majority. However iniquitous or absurd the measure of which you complain, you must submit to it as well as you can.”
    While an independent judiciary does not always rise to the occasion to protect civil rights and civil liberties there are times when it manages to do so – and then the tyrannical majority prattles senselessly about “activist judges.”

    Moving along to your next “point” – I’m not wrong, you are. (And you will note that the “m” key is right next to the comma.) Marriage is about forming a family – and that includes but does not require procreation. The fact that all marriages, not even all heterosexual marriages, are not procreative, does not support the idea of limiting marriage to those who are actively procreating. Noting is taken away, except heterosexist supremacy and special rights.
    I am fairly amazed that you don’t seem to understand marriage as a very special form of a partnership, (and the ceremony itself is a formal acceptance of the contract) not merely a business arrangement type of partnership, though, but one designed for the formation of the basic societal family unit. You’re obviously intelligent enough to understand that. Perhaps you might like to define marriage in some way that denies its partnership aspects? I do hope you’re not one of those who believes that it’s not a partnership but rather a matter of property ownership, with the “wife” being property of the “husband.” Perhaps the last vestige of that concept of marriage (originally an aspect of at least one of the forms of the ancient Roman marriage contract, where the husband held the power of life and death over wife and children) is the traditional ritual of the father (the party with whom the husband has made the contract) hands over the appropriately-gowned “property” into the hands of her new lord and master. These days the old symbolism has been lost, and it’s merely a custom.
    As to the idea of corporate or other entity marriages, I still recommend you read Heinlein’s “Friday,” assuming you haven’t already.

    When I am writing in stream of consciousness, you get what you get.

    Oh my, I am certainly not advocating child murder. You’d apparently prefer to allow women to die in childbirth. The child is not a human being until it is born. I’m not suggesting that late term abortion be permitted “on demand” but certainly I am willing to leave the decision to the woman involved in consultation with her licensed and trained physician.

    I am happy you got the pun about “conceivably” preserving all sperm cells. And you’re right about the “perhaps” – given the physiological differences between testes, which manufacture billions of sperm cells, and ovaries, which make all the egg cells they are ever going to release prior to birth (one might look at the circle of life and see that while one half of one’s future genome and all of one’s mitochondria have been stored in mom’s ovaries since before she was born herself, and the other half of the genome was produced in the week or two before conception, exactly how old should we be? We do count and celebrate *birth* days, after all. Despite the wonderful mystery of the circle of life, the map, even half (or slightly more if we are counting those mitochondria) the blueprint map, is not the territory, and neither should the point at which the entire genome is combined and starts construction based on the blueprint be considered the territory either. The plans filed at the building department are not the house.

    I disagree with your point about the government availability of the marriage contract being limited to heterosexual couples should not be subject to the equal protection clause.

    Regarding the power of the courts to direct the legislature (or other public officer or body) to act, perhaps you’ve heard of a writ of mandamus?

    In the meantime. let’s look at the argument about the validity of Prop 8.
    Prop 8 is listed as Art. I Section 7.5 of the California constitution:
    “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

    There are at least three sections of Article I that should be repealed or changed in order for the new Section 7.5 to be consistent:

    SECTION 1. All people are by nature free and independent and have
    inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and
    liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing
    and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

    SEC. 4. Free exercise and enjoyment of religion without
    discrimination or preference are guaranteed. This liberty of
    conscience does not excuse acts that are licentious or inconsistent
    with the peace or safety of the State. The Legislature shall make no
    law respecting an establishment of religion.
    A person is not incompetent to be a witness or juror because of
    his or her opinions on religious beliefs.

    SECTION 7
    SEC. 7. (a) A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or
    property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the
    laws; [followed by a long section about school busing exception]
    (b) A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges
    or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens.
    Privileges or immunities granted by the Legislature may be altered or
    revoked.

    That Section 7 (b) is pretty critical: Marriage involves privileges and immunities that under 7.5’s restriction are denied to some citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    The other issue we need to take a closer look at, though this may be mooted by the Court publishing its decision, is the idea that prop 8, because it can’t have done more than a single thing, was the wrong vehicle – an *amendment* is improper, since a change that affects more than one constitutional provision is a *revision.* An amendment can only deal with a single issue.

    Look carefully at California Constitution Article XVIII – there are amendments, and there are revisions, and these are two separate things.

    See McFadden v. Jordan (1948) 32 Cal.2d 330, 333: “The initiative power reserved by the people by amendment to the Constitution in 1911 (art. IV, s 1) applies only to the proposing and the adopting or rejecting of ‘laws and amendments to the Constitution’ and does not purport to extend to a constitutional revision.”

    Although the voters can amend the Constitution by initiative (art. XVIII, § 3), a revision of the Constitution may be accomplished only by a constitutional convention and popular ratification (art. XVIII, § 2) or by legislative submission of the measure to the electorate (art. XVIII, § 1).

    Here is some case law for you to consider: Raven v. Deukmejian, 52 Cal.3d at p. 349, 276 Cal.Rptr. 326, 801 P.2d 1077; Amador Valley Joint Union High Sch. Dist. v. State Bd. of Equalization (1978) 22 Cal.3d 208, 221, 149 Cal.Rptr. 239, 583 P.2d 1281.)

    In Application for Stay and Petition for Extraordinary Relief in the case of Bennett v. Bowen, No. S164520, on the question, before the Prop 8 vote, the CA Supreme Court declined to rule in advance whether Prop 8 was an amendment or a revision – apparently deeming the question as premature before the vote was taken.

    The issue of whether Prop 8 should have been a revision and is thus not properly made a part of the constitution, is before the Court now. The Court may rule either way.

    If Prop 8 is upheld as a valid amendment, the Court can then look to see how the amendment must be construed in order that it not be in conflict with those other constitutional provisions. Again, it’s up to the Court – and we can argue either way on it.

    Let’s see, even if we limit it to Section 7(b) that might be enough. If marriage is under Section 7.5 only to be between a man and a woman, then allowing marriage at all under the law of the State of California creates “provileges and immunities not geanted on the same terms to all citizens.”

    The next sentence in the pre-existing Section 7(b) says, “Privileges or immunities granted by the Legislature may be altered or revoked.

    This would be the constitutional basis for that Writ of Mandamus – the court could require the legislature to enact a law eliminating all marriages in the state of California and converting all existing mariages into “civil unions.” In this way, if there are no marriages in California, then there cannot be a conflict between Article I Section 7(b) and Article I Section 7.5. If there are no marriages in California, then there can’t be special legal rights, privileges and immunities based on “marriage” under the law that are denied to a class of citizens based on their sexual orientation.

    It remains to be seen whether the California Supreme Court will be courageous enough to either invalidate Prop 8 as an amendment that should have been a revision changing 7(b) as well as adding 7.5 (i.e., doing “more than one thing”); or to eliminate the conflict between the provisions by abolishing marriage altogether and possibly issuing a writ of mandamus directing the legislature to adopt a gender-neutral civil union statute and converting existing “marriages” to “civil unions” in order to create the least disruption in the lives of the people of the State.

  70. May 22, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Re #65; James R,

    You wrote, succinctly:

    “no matter what your religion, we can agree to live and let live. It’s when one side begins forcing their views on another that I have a problem. No one cares what happens behind closed bedroom doors, it’s behind courthouse doors and schoolroom doors that I care about.”

    You must realize that people on both sides of the marriage equality issue can agree with your statement – but both sides will interpret it differently.

    Opponents of marriage equality see the idea of marriage equality and the elimination of “special rights” reserved solely for the heterosexual majority to be the “forcing of views” on their beliefs.

    Proponents of marriage equality see that as bunk – no one is forced to enter into a same-sex marriage, and all the legal rights of marriage will still be available to heterosexual couples. Children will still be able to be raised in stable families with loving parents – and that would also include the children of people in a same sex marriage as well as children with married heterosexual parents.

    There are many children being raised by unmarried straight people who choose to be unmarried, or have been through a divorce. Heterosexuals are currently free to get married so their children can enjoy the benefits of the additional stability that marriage brings to a family.

    Homosexuals are currently denied the freedom to marry in 45 of the 50 states. Not all gay people will want to get married, just as not all straight people do, even though they have the right.

    Yes, under the law, gay relationships will be valued on an equal basis with straight relationships – but sexual orientation is not a matter of choice, except for people who have a bisexual orientation. Most people are “hardwired” in their attractions.

    I know there are still people out there who take a dim view of straight couples in an interracial marriage, and wouldn’t want their children exposed to mixed-race families.

    I know there are still people who long for the days when they had a “white-only” drinking fountain and didn’t have to sit next to African-Americans in restaurants, on buses or in movie theaters. And people who don’t believe their children should be in school with African Americans, or the children of immigrants, or people with a different ethnic background or national origin.

    The opponents of marriage equality are doing the same thing as segregationists, anti-miscegenationists, and the like.

    Some of them see the idea of two men holding hands on the street as offending their sensibilities, but don’t object if a man and woman are doing the same thing. That two men being together is something that should be closeted and “just in the bedroom” but a straight couple being together should be open and shared with everyone (well, maybe certain things should be “in the bedroom” there, too – there should be some uniform limit to acceptable public displays of affection – but gay PDAs shouldn’t be seen as more lewd than straight PDAs of the same sort.

    So, if in school, kindergarten kids learn about mommies and daddies and the fact that people have relatives like uncles, aunts and grandparents, why can;t they learn that some other children, perhaps in their own class, have different “family constellations.” Learning about the fact that people are diverse is a good lesson. Some children have mommies and daddies, some have only a mommy, some only a daddy, some live with grandma, another relative, are adopted or fostered out, or live in an institution. Some have two daddies, and, of course, “Heather has Two Mommies.”

    Learning that it’s okay for gay people to be gay and straight people to be straight is probably for a higher grade. And learning about the mechanics should be reserved for those who are experiencing puberty already.

    (The opponents campaign with the idea that schoolchildren would learn that “it’s okay” for grandma to be married to a woman. Of *course* it’s okay, as long as Grandma is a gay woman.)

    So I must ask, what do you see as the “one side forcing its views?”

    Is it the people who want the same rights as other people?

    Is it the people who want to deny some people the same rights as other people?

    In a society that defines itself as being dedicated to individual liberty and equal opportunity under the law, I know which side I am on.

  71. Chairm said,

    May 22, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Joann said: “The opponents of marriage equality are doing the same thing as segregationists, anti-miscegenationists, and the like.”

    Nope. It is actually the SSM advocates who are the true inheritors of the “anti-miscegenationists”. You are asserting supremacy of your group identity; you claim your identity politics must trump all other considerations — including the core meaning of marriage itself.

    Marriage unites the sexes and provides for responsible procreation; it is a coherent whole — a foundational social institution of civilization.

    SSM is sex-segregative and is not procreative, much less capable of providing responsible procreation, and is not a foundational social institution.

    On that score it is closely analogous with the assertion of the supremacy of race identity politics in the anti-miscegenation system.

  72. Op Ed. said,

    May 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Joann: and then the tyrannical majority prattles senselessly about “activist judges.”

    You misunderstand the term. An “activist judge” is one that oversteps their constitutional boundaries, not one that makes an unpopular decision. That judicial activism exists is without question. You are simply not believable if you want to claim that the majority is capable of stepping beyond its constitutional bounds but the judiciary isn’t.

    “Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps.” – Thomas Jefferson

    I disagree with your point about the government availability of the marriage contract being limited to heterosexual couples should not be subject to the equal protection clause.

    Two lies. First, marriage is not limited to heterosexuals. Anywhere.

    Second, any restrictions on who may marry are “subject to the equal protection clause,” and I never say any different. What I did say was “marriage does not violate equal protection.” [emphasis added] This in response to your admission that “equal protection” does not require different adult associations to be treated identically, particularly when doing so would violate purpose.

    Regarding the power of the courts to direct the legislature (or other public officer or body) to act, perhaps you’ve heard of a writ of mandamus?

    The question is, have you? A writ of mandamus is not a short circuit around the law. Any writ of mandamus contrary to the law is invalid. Therefore, merely saying “writ of mandamus” doesn’t justify your position. To do that, you will need to provide a quote from the constitution giving the courts the legislative authority exercised by any writ of mandamus. The court can no more force legislation through a writ of mandamus than it can force the executive to sign or veto a given bill. Either is such an obvious violation of the separation of powers at the heart of our government as to render it entirely meaningless. By your theory a court could, for example, require the legislature to raise judicial salaries to $1B and then require the executive to sign the bill.

    There are at least three sections of Article I that should be repealed or changed in order for the new Section 7.5 to be consistent:

    No, there aren’t.

    SECTION 1. All people are by nature free

    You already admitted marriage does not infringe on freedom of association. There are many associations not recognized by the government. That is not the same thing as prohibiting those associations.

    SEC. 4. Free exercise and enjoyment of religion

    Religions in California perform wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples today. Nobody is talking about changing that.

    SEC. 7. (a) A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or
    property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the
    laws
    ;

    We’ve already covered this ground. There is no “equal protection” violation.

    (b) A citizen or class of citizens may not be granted privileges
    or immunities not granted on the same terms to all citizens
    .

    Did you miss the “on the same terms” clause?

    Marriage involves privileges and immunities that under 7.5’s restriction are denied to some citizens on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    Lie. Already covered.

    Any “privileges and immunities” granted are granted to all married couples. Marriage is the “same terms” under which those “privileges and immunities” are granted. There are many adult associations that are not marriage. 7(b) doesn’t require any of them be treated like marriage just because someone may have chosen that association as an alternative to marriage.

    Having a definition for marriage no more violates the “privileges and immunities” clause than having a definition of “judge” does. Judges clearly have “privileges and immunities” the rest of us do not have, but not doing what is necessary to become judges means we are not “under the same conditions.” Whether we were “hard wired” to do something else or chose to, it was our liberty not to be judges, not a violation of our rights.

    an *amendment* is improper, since a change that affects more than one constitutional provision is a *revision.*

    The California Constitution does not define what constitutes the difference between a “revision” and an amendment, however the history of the California Constitution makes the meaning plain. The California Constitution has been rewritten several times in the past when it has become unwieldy due to frequent amendment. Ostensibly these revisions were merely simplifications and didn’t change the meaning of the underlying document. The ratification process merely insured that fact. The revision vs. amendment dichotomy was never intended to allow the courts a veto over the people on amendments with which they disagree. That would clearly invalidate an important check on judicial authority.

    An amendment can only deal with a single issue.

    All initiatives, not just amendment initiatives, “can only deal with a single issue.” Prop 8 was a single issue when it was Prop 22. It deals only with a single issue now, the definition of marriage.

    no one is forced to enter into a same-sex marriage

    False. Where marriage has been replaced by neutered marriage, nobody is allowed to marry, only neutered marry.

    Some children have mommies and daddies, some have only a mommy, some only a daddy,

    Adults organize themselves in different ways, but those different ways are not all equally good for children, just like a school organized to be segregated is not equally good for children as an integrated one.

    Is it the people who want the same rights as other people?

    Ask the administrator trying to get public funding for his segregated school.

    In a society that defines itself as being dedicated to individual liberty and equal opportunity under the law, I know which side I am on.

    You don’t seem to.

  73. Chairm said,

    May 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Let’s highlight a link that Op Ed has provided:

    Frequent Assinine Quips
    http://opine-editorials.blogspot.com/2006/01/flagrantly-asinine-quips.html#ban

    It covers a lot of ground; as does the exchange in the comment section over at Opine Editorials.

    Now, back to this comment section.

  74. May 22, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Re Chairm, #71,

    It doesn’t cease to amaze me how the oppressors try to portray themselves as the victims.

    Put simply, it’s a heterosexist supremacist majority that denies the rights, privileges and immunities of marriage, the legal institution of family formation, to same sex parties.

    Allowing the minority the legal rights and privileges cannot adversely affect the rights of the majority to their marriages. I respect your marriages, you respect mine. It is that simple. Twisting it around for the heterosexist majority to claim victimhood is like blaming a rape victim because she was “asking for it.”

  75. May 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Re Op Ed, #72,

    If your definition of activist judges are those who exceed their constitutional boundaries, it must follow that you agree with the California Supreme Court decision that was putatively overturned by Prop 8.

    But it doesn’t follow, because you will find a way to twist the proposition around to mean the opposite of what it does mean. I have to admire your Orwellian ability to create more Newspeak, where the Truth is Lies and Lies are Truth.

    When you indicate that “marriage is not limited to heterosexuals” anywhere, how do you explain Prop 8 (adding Article I Section 7.5 to the California Constitution.) In what way does limiting marriage to a man and a woman include gays?

    If you think it does – and claim that a homosexual man can still marry a woman, and a lesbian can still marry a man – that is contextually the equivalent of the argument used by anti-miscegationists in cases on the issue, including Loving v. Virginia, that since whites can marry whites and blacks can marry blacks, neither race is being denied the right to marriage – only the mixing of races was to be prohibited.

    Everything of mine that you characterize as a Lie is only a Lie in your version of Newspeak.

    Prop 8 seems to you (and many others) to involve a “single issue” but because the resulting Article I Section 7.5 conflicts with Article I Section 7(b), it can’t involve a single issue – because a change in the equal protection clause is arguably also required. (And yes, I know we disagree about this – but I am not lying.)

    Your analogizing to other forms of entity or business relationship fo not take into account the legal rights, responsibilities, privileges and obligations that come with a simple marriage contract, due to the way that the laws of each state deal with this special kind of legal partnership relationship. As of right now, other contracts or entity arrangements that aren’t for the purpose of forming a family aren’t marriages and aren’t intended to be marriages. But when a couple wants to form a family for mutual protection and support, which may include raising children together, that should be a marriage and it should carry the same bundle of legal rights, regardless of the gender of the participants. We disagree on this, but I am not lying.

    Ballot initiatives for “revisions” actually can cover more than one issue – which is why either a constitutional convention or a 2/3 vote in the legislature is a prerequisite to the ballot question.

    I saw the part about “on the same terms.” Limiting the legal rights of family formation being limited to the heterosexist majority and denying it to the gay minority is not offering the legal rights of family formation to all on the same terms. Sure, a court can hold that it means what you think, and that would be the law – but it would still be wrong. A court can also hold that it means what I think, and that would be the law – and you would think it was still wrong. Regardless of how the court decides in the decision expected this coming Tuesday, it is highly likely that one of us will be disappointed with the result, but the result will be the law of the State of California, at least until the next time things are changed.

    I think we’ll see how the court decides on Tuesday. All we know is that the court declined to rule on the amendment/revision issue prior to the vote – at that time the court thought the issue premature, and rather than deny the right to the vote, it allowed the vote to proceed. There was a chance the initiative would have been defeated, making the question moot. But it wasn’t defeated, in part because of a massive campaign of lies and deccsit by the opponents of marriage equality, which confused many members of the electorate in California about what marriage equality would entail.

    At this point, I will wait until Tuesday and perhaps opine about the actual decision, rather than further speculating about the possible outcomes.

  76. Chairm said,

    May 22, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Joann, there is no “heterosexist” criterion in the marriage law.

    I realize that in your imagination the phrase “same-sex” is the equivalent of “homosexual” but these are not one and the same thing.

    Likewise, not all consenting adults, and certainly not all “heterosexual” arrangements or relationships, are eligible for marriage. So the union of husband and wife is not one and the same as some “heterosexual” class of people that you wish to use as a bookend for “homosexual”.

    There is the marriage category. It is two-sexed. Note: there is no legal requirement based on sexual orientation. Now, there is also the nonmarriage category which includes heterosexual people — some in one-sexed arrangements and some in both-sexed arrangements.

    It is not “heterosexist” to have eligibility for some consenting adults and not for others.

    It is only through your narrow-minded view of society — a view through the filter of gay identity politics — that you could pose as if bewildered by the core meaning of marriage. You need to get over your bigotry on this issue.

  77. Chairm said,

    May 22, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Joann, can you distinguish, in the law, between the one-sexed relationship type you have in mind and the rest of the nonmarital category of relationship types and kinds of living arrangements? What are the legal requirements that are definitive of what you would have society treat as a special sort of one-sexed arrangement?

    I doubt that you can. You might surprise.

  78. Op Ed. said,

    May 22, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Joann: it must follow that you agree with the California Supreme Court decision that was putatively overturned by Prop 8.

    Must? Clearly your logic needs some work. “I believe, the majority violates the separation of powers, and thereby commits profound error.” [emphasis added] – J. Baxter, Concurring and Dissenting

    I have to admire your Orwellian ability to create more Newspeak, where the Truth is Lies and Lies are Truth.

    Coming from you, that is a high compliment.

    In what way does limiting marriage to a man and a woman include gays?

    In the way that there are multiple examples of “gays” that have married. Ex-Governor McGreevey, for example. Whatever one thinks of such a marriage is irrelevant, the question is whether it is permitted. Since all it takes is one example to prove your statement false, and since Gov. McGreevey constitutes that example, your statement is false.

    If you think it does – and claim that a homosexual man can still marry a woman, and a lesbian can still marry a man – that is contextually the equivalent of the argument used by anti-miscegationists in cases on the issue,

    Not even close. Nobody, and certainly not any “anti-miscegationist [sic],” in Loving argued that “mixed race” marriages actually were legal by showing examples of “mixed race” marriages that were legally entered into in Virginia.

    …including Loving v. Virginia, that since whites can marry whites and blacks can marry blacks, neither race is being denied the right to marriage – only the mixing of races was to be prohibited.

    Really? And tell me, what did the court rule on that argument?

    …because a change in the equal protection clause is arguably also required.

    Really? That’s arguable? Well then go ahead. I’d like to see that argument. So far I’ve only seen you assert an equal protection violation, not argue one. In fact, the only arguing I’ve seen you do is the opposite.

    As of right now, other contracts or entity arrangements that aren’t for the purpose of forming a family aren’t marriages and aren’t intended to be marriages.

    Right there, for example. You again point out that “equal protection” allows different forms of association to be treated differently.

    But when a couple wants to form a family for mutual protection and support, which may include raising children together, that should be a marriage

    What if the “couple” includes a minor? Or what if the “couple” is actually a “triad?” Or what if the “couple” is a brother and a sister who want to raise a child together?

    …it should carry the same bundle of legal rights, regardless of the gender of the participants.

    Why, when its capabilities and impact on society are not the same “regardless of the gender of the participants?” And why should gender be ignored and not number? And not intention? According to you, corporations shouldn’t enjoy “equality” because their intentions aren’t what you think they ought to be. Why are their intentions more significant than the very real and significant impact procreation itself has on society?

    We disagree on this, but I am not lying.

    Do we really disagree in general, or only on the one non-marital arrangement for which you want an exception based on your identity politics?

    Ballot initiatives for “revisions” actually can cover more than one issue – which is why either a constitutional convention or a 2/3 vote in the legislature is a prerequisite to the ballot question.

    Ummmm, maybe in NewSpeak land, but in California an initiative is a measure proposed by petition, not by a constitutional convention or any vote of the legislature. Besides, check your constitution. “2.8(d) An initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not be submitted to the electors or have any effect.” As I said before, Prop 8 was not “embracing more than one subject” back when it was Prop 22. It certainly doesn’t do so now that it is Prop 8.

    Limiting the legal rights of family formation being limited [sic] to the heterosexist majority

    “Heterosexist majority?” Back to NewSpeak, I see.

    In any case, government recognition, let alone marriage, is not what makes a family. There are many families that don’t involve marriage. In fact, every time a child is brought into this world a family is formed whether the government likes it or not… or the parents or even the child.

    …and denying it to the gay minority

    Already been covered. Since nobody is denying “the gay minority” any such thing, any conclusion reached from this premise is moot.

    But it wasn’t defeated, in part because of a massive campaign of lies and deccsit by the opponents of marriage equality, which confused many members of the electorate in California about what marriage equality would entail.

    Lies and “deccsit?” Name them.

    Massive campaign? Who outspent whom?

    Marriage equality? What is more equal than both genders represented equally?

    Confused electorate? What evidence do you have that anyone was confused? Just because they didn’t agree with your position? Given the inconsistencies and internal conflicts in said position I’m not sure how rejecting it qualifies anyone as “confused.”

    Look, we can go back and forth on this issue for some time, but like it or not, it all boils down to procreation, a topic you have worked tirelessly to ignore. Is society profoundly impacted by how its members exercise the power of procreation? Does procreation profoundly impact its participants? If so, then society is perfectly justified in recognizing an institution that brings order to and provides for that ability. It is also perfectly justified in treating associations lacking even the potential to procreate according to this very profound difference.

    That does not mean that non-marital relationships can’t be recognized, only that they cannot be recognized as marriage. Corporations, for example, can be recognized even though they are non-marital relationships, they just can’t be recognized as marriage.

    Same-sex couples are not corporations, but they are not marriages, either. You need to define what purpose society has in recognizing whatever institution you want to include same-sex couples and then use that purpose to define what other relationships need to be included as well. That purpose will also define what legal incidents are needed to achieve it. Such an approach gives same-sex couples all the protections they need without replacing or even impacting the important role that marriage plays in our society.

    Sadly, I think it is this last point, that it wreaks no violence on marriage, that keeps so many on your side of the debate from supporting this very fair and collaborative solution. Activists in California pressed to have marriage neutered there even though doing so could not gain a single protection for same-sex couples due to California’s already extremely generous Domestic Partnership law. Clearly some are more interested in redefining and replacing marriage than they are with legitimately providing protections to same-sex couples. The question is, Joann, are you one of them?

  79. May 23, 2009 at 5:29 am

    Re Chairm #76 and #77;

    I agree, the criterion doesn’t require a heterosexual couple to have heterosexist beliefs in order to get married in California with Art. I Sec. 7.5 in place – but they have to be a heterosexual couple (i.e., one man and one woman). This excludes a particular class if individuals, those with a homosexual orientation, from the one allowable method of legal contractual family formation, the special partnership of “marriage” which carries with it a host of rights and responsibilities under the law.

    You point out correctly that not all heterosexual arrangements are covered under marriage – but most of these are by choice – where a heterosexual couple chooses to not get married, or because one (or both) of them is under a legal disability, such as being below the age of consent, not mentally capable of entering into a legal contract, already being married, or being too closely related by blood (incest). (Each state has different incest prohibition, some allow first cousin marriages, others deem that to be incestuous, and some religions maintain a broader concept as well, Roman Catholics are barred from marrying third cousins.)

    Those with a homosexual orientation and in a homosexual realtionship who could get married if Article I Section 7.5 is stricken as being improperly adopted, would also be subject to the same list of disabilities – they would not get a free pass.

    Your recital of marriage being two-sexed not being a bar based on sexual orientation hearkens back to the argument that racial restrictions do not prohibit African Americans from getting married, they only prohibited African Amercians from marrying Caucasians. The limitation to the marriage contract being available only to a “two-sexed” couple may not legally prohibit a gay man from marrying a straight woman (or even a lesbian), but I would frown on a public policy that would encourage such marriages.

    The legal requirement that the parties be of opposite sex to each other is a de facto exclusion based on sexual orientation, just as anti-miscegentation laws did not prohibit African Americans from getting married, just not to white people.

    In the case of “one man, one woman” marriage, it does exclude an entire class of people, many of whom have children, from the only legally recognized relationship that provides all the rights and benefits of marriage (and calling it something else, unless it *truly* enables all the legal rights and protections, smells like “separate but equal” – which when tried on the basis of race did not turn out that way at all.)

    When a heterosexual majority votes to deny the right of legal family formation with all the rights and responsibilities that come with it, to the homosexual minority, that is “heterosexist.” Not all heterosexual people are heterosexist.

    My view of society isn’t narrow-minded, it’s based on the conservative principle of minimizing government interference in personal relationships. The late William F. Buckley, “Mr. Conservative” himself, favored the legitimization of marriage for same-sex couples under the law.

    If my view of society was narrow-minded, I’d be advocating for (a) the abolition of marriage as an outdated patriarchal institution that oppresses women, or (b) the abolition of marriage for heterosexuals, but allowing it for homosexuals (turnabout is fair play – but I couldn’t do either of those).

    Moving to #77 – the “one-sexed” relationship is exactly the same as the “two-sexed” relationship allowed as marriage under CA Art I Sec 7.5. One can distinguish from other non-marriage relationships in exactly the same way that one would distinguish the relationship of opposite-sexed couples from these other relationships.

    Let’s see if I can define what marriage (both same-sex and opposite sex) could be:

    An exclusive contractual relationship between two fully-consenting, competent adult human beings who are not acting under duress, have been fully informed of the nature of the relationship, and who are not under the disability of an existing contractual relationship of this nature, enteresd into for mutual protection, support, and the creation of a family, with all the legal rights, duties and responsibilites toward each other and any other members of the family that come with entering into the contract.

    If one were to also want to include ploygamy (in the form of multiparty marriage), it would take a simple change to this definition – to make the “two” possibly be “two or more.” This would embrace the idea of some forms of polygamy – however, under this definition, the standard splinter-LDS or Islamic form would not qualify – the choice of multiple spouses is not solely the husband’s (or a Prophet’s) to make.

    However, if there is no coercion and all parties wish to freely enter into a multiparty marriage, I would think the state should have no reason to object.

    The definition above does not expressly exclude ancestor-descendant or brother-sister marriages, a public policy consideration, but that could be accomplished in the exclusion section of “who are not.”

    An argument in favor of making all marriage laws gender-neutral does not equate to an argument in favor of polygamy or incest. Those limitations on the capacity to enter into a marriage contract would be unaffected by making marriage gender-neutral.

    The bundles of rights that are includid in marriage change every time there is a change in the law relating to marriage – In New York, in 1809, slaves could get married. Before that all they had was an informal “jump the broom” sort of thing. In New York, in 1848, married women won the right to control their own inheritances, and in 1860, they won the right to control their own wages.

    In the 1950’s, the first blow against marriage was struck – previously, there had been a strong social bias toward the production of children within marriage, so much so that women who had babies out of wedlock could not require the man who provided part of the baby’s genome to pay for child support. The man had the choice to acknowledge the child. Of course, this meant that unmarried women with children were becoming an increasing burden on the public – so legislatures started to allow paternity suits. This meant that women could eschew marriage for a different sort of relationship, in which there would be a guaranteed legal right to support outside the marriage relationship.

    The second blow was the liberalization of divorce laws.

    These two developments have done more harm to the institution of marriage than any gender-neutralizing law could ever do. (In fact, marriage equality actually strengthens the idea of marriage! it encourages societal stability and encourages family formation among a minority currently denied the legal rights.)

    I know you asked me to show a difference between “the one sexed relationship type” and “the rest of the non-marital category” – but the differences are the same ones, except for the “opposite-sex” requirement, that make these relationships different from “opposite-sex” marriage.

  80. May 23, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Re: #78, Op Ed,

    My logic works fine, I did say you would disagree with the conclusion.

    The admiration is genuine, and the compliment was intended as just that – you would, in a Stalinist environment, do Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov proud.

    The McGreevey example is exactly the point. A gay man marrying a woman, or a lesbian marrying a man, are things that sometimes happen when marriage is limited to opposite-sex couples. These relationships almost never last, and it is unfair to the spouse and children (if any) when the husband “on the down low” finally gives up the sham.

    Regarding anti-miscegenationists (typed slowly to avoid yet another typo), “passing” blacks were able to marry whites, just as a straight-acting guy like McGreevey could marry a woman.

    In Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967) Chief Justice Warren quotes the lower court decision in which the Virginia circuit court judge:

    “. . . 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.’ ”

    Further in the decision, we see the statutory prohibitions quoted:

    “The two statutes under which appellants were convicted and sentenced are part of a comprehensive statutory scheme aimed at prohibiting and punishing interracial marriages. The Lovings were convicted of violating 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.”

    Section 20-59, which defines the penalty for miscegenation, provides:

    “Punishment for marriage. � If any white person intermarry with a colored person, or any colored person intermarry with a white person, he shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by confinement in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.”

    Other central provisions in the Virginia statutory scheme are 20-57, which automatically voids all marriages between “a white person and a colored person” without any judicial proceeding, 3 and 20-54 and 1-14 which, [388 U.S. 1, 5] respectively, define “white persons” and “colored persons and Indians” for purposes of the statutory prohibitions.”

    The State of Virginia’s arguments were summarized as follows:

    “While the state court is no doubt correct in asserting that marriage is a social relation subject to the State’s police power, Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888), the State does not contend in its argument before this Court that its powers to regulate marriage are unlimited notwithstanding the commands of the Fourteenth Amendment. Nor could it do so in light of Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), and Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (1942). Instead, the State argues that the meaning of the Equal Protection Clause, as illuminated by the statements of the Framers, is only that state penal laws containing an interracial element [388 U.S. 1, 8] as part of the definition of the offense must apply equally to whites and Negroes in the sense that members of each race are punished to the same degree. Thus, the State contends that, because its miscegenation statutes punish equally both the white and the Negro participants in an interracial marriage, these statutes, despite their reliance on racial classifications, do not constitute an invidious discrimination based upon race. The second argument advanced by the State assumes the validity of its equal application theory. The argument is that, if the Equal Protection Clause does not outlaw miscegenation statutes because of their reliance on racial classifications, the question of constitutionality would thus become whether there was any rational basis for a State to treat interracial marriages differently from other marriages. On this question, the State argues, the scientific evidence is substantially in doubt and, consequently, this Court should defer to the wisdom of the state legislature in adopting its policy of discouraging interracial marriages.”

    Now that we see what the Lovings were up against (religious bigotry from the lower court judge, and a clearly-stated statute prohibiting miscegenation.), let’s see how the Supreme Court ruled:

    The first part states these statutes were based on the idea of “White Supremacy,”

    “The fact that Virginia prohibits only interracial marriages involving white persons demonstrates that the racial classifications must stand on their own justification, as measures designed to maintain White Supremacy.”

    This is very much similar to the “heterosexist supremacy” (and the source for the term, in fact) I refer to as the reason for Prop 8.

    The Equal Protection rationale follows:

    “These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.”

    If we substitute “gender” for “race” we could lift this last bit in the matter we’re discussing – her’s a hypothetical reworking:

    –hypothetical, not a real quote–
    These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
    Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the gender classifications embodied in Proposition 8, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment (and Article I Section 7(b) of the California Constitution), is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious gender discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of the same or another gender resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.
    –hypothetical, not a real quote–

    There, I managed to do that without using the terms “sexual orientation,” “homosexuality” or “heterosexuality.”

    As to the arguable need to change the equal protection clause to permit Prop 8 to stand, that should be obvious, but you don’t seem to get it – actually, you probably do “get it,” you just disagree. But if it isn’t changed, the only way to harmonize 7(b) with 7.5 would be for the Court to invalidate every marriage in California. I doubt that will happen, but it is certainly one way to eliminate the problem.

    I never said that different forms of associations that have nothing to do with creating a basic family unit, are for creating a basic family unit. But entity arrangements for the purpose of forming a family (outside the already-family-by-blood-or-adoption) should qualify as marriage. Let’s look at the definition I just used in post #79:

    An exclusive contractual relationship between two fully-consenting, competent adult human beings who are not acting under duress, have been fully informed of the nature of the relationship, and who are not under the disability of an existing contractual relationship of this nature, entered into for mutual protection, support, and the creation of a family, with all the legal rights, duties and responsibilites toward each other and any other members of the family that come with entering into the contract.

    All those ought to be marriages.

    I think the above definition is robust enough to endure your example of the couple including a minor (not legally capable of consent).

    To include a “triad” or other multiparty marriage, the “two” could be changed to “two or more” as I just mentioned in Post #79. The issue of brother and sister is one you should consider if you wish – I am not going to take a position either way on the incest taboo’s place in marriage laws. While in history some incestuous brother-sister and father-daughter marriages existed, these seem to be for dynastic purposes, particularly among the Ancient Egyptians.

    Gender, number and duration (most marriages are initially intended to be “until death do us part,” but only about half of them actually make it that far) are all open questions. We’re dealing with gender now. I could facilitate a discussion on number – I realy believe that the LDS Church got a bad deal from the government of the United States, interfering with its religious freedom. As to duration, there is a curious situation in Iran in which divorced women who are not taken back by their families will hather in the vicinity of the local mosque, and if a traveling salesman who does not already have four wives is interested in companionship, he can go to the mullah and they can get married o the condition that at the end of his stay he utters the :I divorce you” three times to end the marriage. This allows the woman to earn a living by what we might see as prostitution, without the mullah (who gets some of the money) ordering the local Muslims to stone her to death. I am not advocating for this, but it’s one sort of “marriage for a limited time” from another culture. Liberalized divorce laws make this sort of serial monagamy possible, as divorced people seem in some cases to go through three or four or more marriages in their lifetimes.

    I am not sure if we disagree in general – we might get along very well in other areas, or we might be in disagreement in one or more of those areas.

    Look at Article XVIII of the constitution for the provisions for revision. I erroneously used “initiative” in that context – the thing is that to do a revision, there is a prerequisite (Constitutiopnal convention or 2/3 vote of the legislature) to the vote of the people – there is a ballot for the revision, but it isn’t the product of an 8% petition drive.

    Prop 8 may seem to have involved only one subject, but i have been asserting that to adopt it by the initiative process, the pre-requisite of amending at least Article I Section 7(b) should have been accomplished, and each other needed pre-requisite amendment” by separate ballot initiatives adopted seriatim in subsequent elections. Alternatively, the revision process could be used to get it all done at once.

    The term “Heterosexist Supremacist” or “Heterosexist majority” isn’t a form of Newspeak. Heterosexist Supremacist is derived from and analagous to the term “White Supremacy” used by Chief Jusrice Warren in Loving v. Virginia.

    “Family” is formed only to the extent that there is a legal relationship. The relationship formed by a paternity suit is strictly financial; the relationship between mother and child doesn’t create family if the child is put up for adoption.

    One can look at the Gathering Storm ad to see many of the lies and deceit used by the opponents of marriage equality. These were all used in the Prop 8 campaign. Each one has been thoroughly refuted and debunked.

    I don’t know who outspent whom, but both campaigns were massive.

    There is nothing “more equal” than both genders involved in one marriage. But a single gender marriage should be *as* equal as a double gender marriage.

    One example of the confusion in the electorate was preachers telling their flock that marriage equality would mean homosexual marriages in their churches. There was enouh of that misrepresentation going on.

    You go on about other entities. I could conceive of a marriage law that allows the parties more latitude than the single “one size fits all” marriage contract. Have you read Heinlein’s “Friday” yet?

    The Romans had several different forms of marriage. The LDS Church has two (one involving eternal life together). Some states recognize “common law” marriage as well as the statutory form. You keep turning to business entities as if they should be considered marriages if marriage is gender neutral – I really don’t follow your reasoning. That is why I provided a working definition in this post and #79 – perhaps that might be a better starting point.

    Same-sex couples can have children. Some have children obtained naturally from prior marriages or other relationships of a heterosexual type. Some adopt. Some lesbians use AI methodologies for one or both of them to have babies. There are a few gay men who employ surrogate mothers. Not all heterosexual marriages involve the capacity for procreation, and proof of such capacity is not a prerequisite for marriage, nor is the lack of procreartive ability a bar.

    I put forth a reasonable definition of marriage – feel free to hack away!

  81. Op Ed. said,

    May 23, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Joann: but they have to be a heterosexual couple (i.e., one man and one woman). This excludes a particular class if individuals, those with a homosexual orientation

    Amphibology. You slide from a definition of “heterosexual” that can only apply to couples (one man and one woman) to a definition that can only apply to an individual (“orientation”). Because in your mind the individual definitions of “homosexual orientation” and “heterosexual orientation” contradict you mistakenly assume that the individual definition must contradict the couple definition, which is clearly not the case. There is nothing in your couple definition (one man and one woman) that precludes either the man or the woman having any particular individual “orientation.”

    but most of these are by choice – where a heterosexual couple chooses to not get married

    You’re sure it’s due to choice and not “orientation?” What if someone “cannot” marry because their “orientation” makes them interested in more than just a single partner, for example?

    An exclusive contractual relationship between two fully-consenting, competent adult human beings

    We already have “exclusive contractual relationships.” Why do we need to dissemble marriage to be just another one?

    …hearkens back to the argument that racial restrictions do not prohibit African Americans from getting married

    Which hearkens back to the fact that you were going to tell how the Loving court handled that claim.

    The man-woman criterion of marriage does not “hearken back” to anti-miscegenation laws because the purpose of anti-miscegenation laws was explicitly racist which violated the 14th Amendment. The purpose of the man-woman criterion, supporting the important purpose marriage serves vis-a-vis procreation, has no orientation goal any more than disallowing airplane pilots with poor eyesight has some kind of “sightist” supremacy goal.

    These two developments have done more harm to the institution of marriage than any gender-neutralizing law could ever do.

    Even if neutering marriage would do less damage than something else, that certainly doesn’t justify the damage it would do.

    In fact, marriage equality actually strengthens the idea of marriage!

    There certainly is no evidence of that in, for example, Massachusetts.

    it encourages societal stability and encourages family formation among a minority currently denied the legal rights.

    In much the same way removing the sight restriction on airline pilots would improve aviation by granting rights “among a minority currently denied the legal rights.”

    If one’s goals are encouraging “societal stability” and “family formation,” you can certainly go about that without destroying marriage’s important role with regard to procreation in our society. I covered that previously. One wonders why, if you are engaged in a good faith pursuit of your stated goals, why you have opted to do so in the manner of all those available which has the greatest destructive potential.

  82. May 23, 2009 at 7:35 am

    Heterosexual marriage = opposite-sex marriage = two-sex marriage
    Homosexual marriage = same-sex marriage = one-sex marriage

    “Marriage” standing alone can apply to both. It can apply to polygamy (legally) in countries under Shariah.

    Sexual orientation comes in four types: attracted to men, attracted to women, attracted to both, attracted to neither, or heterosexua;, homosexual, bisexual and asexual.

    People who are bisexual and are not hardwired heterosexual or homosexual are people who can choose a marriage partner of either sex (assuming we’re limiting marriage to two parties). The fact that someone may be interested in members of both sexes does not preclude them from being willing and able to commit to a marriage relationship with a single person of either sex.

    Heterosexual people and homosexual people can also be “interested” in more than one other person. It still takes a willingness to make a commitment to one other person that makes people interested in marriage. I am aware that there are some people who “cheat” on a spouse, and that sometimes this leads to divorce. That doesn;t make for an argumant against marriage. Even if 50% of marriages end in divorce, there are still the others in the other 50% where things work out fine.

    Marriage as an exclusive contractual relationship for the purpose of family formation differs from other contractual relationships beause theya re not for famiy formation. Perhaps the only other relationship-formation that bears any similarity at all is that of adoption – but the contract there is made with the adoption agency and not with the child.

    I did address decision in Loving – the racial restrictions did not prohibit African Americans from marrying each other. For that matter African Americans couls marry Asians and NAtive Americans, too – it was only the white population that was being protected from (to use the term used by the bigots in Virginia and elsewhere) “mongrelization.”

    Racist laws violate the 14th Amendment. I am glad we agree on that. Heterosexist laws should also be held to violate the 14th Amendment. Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 539 U.S. 558 (2003), there was a reason the 14th Amendment couldn’t be used in this way – it’s because the Supreme Court had previously allowed the states to criminalize sexual activity between persons of the same sex, as well as sexual activity between persons of the opposite sex involving genital penetration of anything other than the opposite-sex genital. When these laws were stricken, it opened the door to marriage, even though Sandra Day O’Connor in the majority opinion weakly claimed it wouldn’t.

    As much as I often do not agree with Justice Scalia, he actually gives a strong argument that the striking down of sodomy laws would inevitably lead to the recognition of same-sex marriage.

    In the middle of a rather horrific dissent, Scalia comes up with this gem – though it is in opposition to marriage equality, it actually states the case for it:

    ” One of the benefits of leaving regulation of this matter to the people rather than to the courts is that the people, unlike judges, need not carry things to their logical conclusion. The people may feel that their disapprobation of homosexual conduct is strong enough to disallow homosexual marriage, but not strong enough to criminalize private homosexual acts–and may legislate accordingly. The Court today pretends that it possesses a similar freedom of action, so that that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage, as has recently occurred in Canada (in a decision that the Canadian Government has chosen not to appeal). See Halpern v. Toronto, 2003 WL 34950 (Ontario Ct. App.); Cohen, Dozens in Canada Follow Gay Couple’s Lead, Washington Post, June 12, 2003, p. A25. At the end of its opinion–after having laid waste the foundations of our rational-basis jurisprudence–the Court says that the present case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.” Ante, at 17. Do not believe it. More illuminating than this bald, unreasoned disclaimer is the progression of thought displayed by an earlier passage in the Court’s opinion, which notes the constitutional protections afforded to “personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education,” and then declares that “[p]ersons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do.” Ante, at 13 (emphasis added). Today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned. If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is “no legitimate state interest” for purposes of proscribing that conduct, ante, at 18; and if, as the Court coos (casting aside all pretense of neutrality), “[w]hen sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring,” ante, at 6; what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution,” ibid.? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry. This case “does not involve” the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court. Many will hope that, as the Court comfortingly assures us, this is so.”

    Indeed, the Massachusetts court that first found a state constitutional right to gender-neutral marriage used the reasoning that Justice Scalia predicted would be used.

    We have had marriage equality in Massachusetts for over five years now, and there has been no damage to opposite sex marriages in that time in that state. There are currently four other states that have followed that lead, and others are following. California was the first state to judicially overturn its anti-miscegenation law in 1948 – it took until 1967 for the SCOTUS to catch up, and that occured only after most states had already eliminated their anti-miscegenation laws. Similarly, Lawrence caught up with the fact that most states had already decriminalized “sodomy.” Marriage rights will inevitably follow. It is argued that only a rational basis standard should apply on issues involving gender – the New York Court of Appeals in 2006 held that way and threw the hot potato over to the legislature.

    Making marriage gender-neutral would do no damage at all to opposite-sex marriage. It would cease to be exclusively available to opposite-sex couples, is all; or are you arguing that more McGreevey-like sham marriages should be encouraged by public policy?

    “Separate but equal” always ends up as “separate and unequal.” The destructive and damaging thing is to stand in the way of gender-neutral marriage.

  83. May 23, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Op Ed, one added thought, you’ve been referring to “neutering” marriage. That seems a lot like “castrating.” I am sure you mean “neutralizing” but if you mean the negative baggage, I just wanted to acknowledge that I understand your intent even if I don’t agree.

  84. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Joann, you have repeated a falsehood when you said: “they have to be a heterosexual couple” to be eligible to marry.

    Two men, both heterosexual, are not capable of forming a marriage. Likewise two women, both heterosexual. It takes a man and a woman.

    The marital presumption of paternity makes this a public and a sexual type of relationship; it is public because of the sexual aspect; it is a sexual aspect that gives the presumption its basis. The integration of fatherhood and motherhood is not sex-neutral; nor is marriage.

    Two people, one heterosexual and the other homosexual, are not capable of forming a marriage if they are the same sex.

    There is no sexual aspect of a one-sexed arrangement that merits the public status of marriage. Indeed, there is no legal requirement for same-sex sexual attraction/ behavior for SSM in anyplace it has been enacted or imposed (under whatever name). The one-sexed arrangement is not a public sexual relationship.

    But a man and a woman — regardless of sexual orientation — may marry provided their combination does not raise societal concerns about responsible procreation and sex integration. And those are the concerns that arise from the core meaning of marriage itself.

    You keep emphasizing sexual orientation but there is no such requirement in the marriage law: not for eligiblity and not for ineligibility.

    You have avoided explaining how the type of relationship you have in mind is distinguishable for the vast range of nonmarital relationship types and nonmarital living arrangements.

    Apparently you seek to assert the supremacy of gay identity politics, not just over marriage itself, but also over the entire nonmarital category. You are pressing for special treatment based on a “homosexual class” of people.

    As I said, the SSM argumentation you display is closely analogous with the anti-miscegenation system.

    By the way, I did not claim victimhood for people based on “class” status. I pointed out that your remarks are based on identity politics. I’ll add that identity politics, when asserted for supremacy, is one of the most reliable sources of bigotry, intolerance, injustice, and even violence.

  85. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 10:16 am

    The racial analogy is profoundly flawed. There is one human race and its nature is two-sexed.

    Your emphasis on sexual orientation means that you see that sex differentation is significant. But you brush it aside anyway. Your emphasis on race suggests that you recognize it would be unjust to classify people based on racist criteria.

    Yet here you are classifying people based on sexual orientation, which neither marriage nor the law does. You want to denounce marriage as heterosexist and remake it in the image of a gaycentric identity — not just for your private belief but for all of society. You seek a legal change to force a cultural change.

    Your classification by sexual orientation even disparages the “mixed orientation” marriages. You’d rely on a social taboo to stigmatize unions of husband and wife — based on sexual orientation. Your remarks are again closely analogous with the racist system you tried to equate with the marriage law’s man-woman criterion.

    You want to equate sex-segregation with sex-integration. And you say you do this in the name of sexual orientation even as you equate integration of orientations with racism.

    Shake your head. Clear your mind of the gay identity filter. Marriage is not what you imagine it to be. But your arguments are what you’d accuse others to be.

  86. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Since there is no legal requirement for same-sex sexual behavior when people show up for a license for an all-male or an all-female arrangement, on what basis woud the lines be drawn for some consenting adults but not all consenting adults?

    Or for some related people (but not all related people), or for some previously married people (but not all previously married people), or for some underaged people (but not all underaged people)?

    Remember Joann, you cannot now return to societal concerns about sex integration and responsible procreation. You rejected those to reach your conclusion about SSM.

    Your remarks align with SSM argumentation on other points, as well. Do you say that tradition, alone, is insufficient to sustain a law? Well, then, you cannot now rely on the tradition of romance. Nor on social taboo, for that matter. You can’t even base your arguments on plublic morality.

    So, no sex, no tradition, no morality, nothing. What would sustain the lines you pretend would just stay the same after SSM would be merged with marriage in the law?

    I think your remarks show you do not espect marriage qua marriage. You see it as something for gaycentric politics to piggyback on.

    You should just make the independant claim for a special status (marital status is a special status) based on whatever it is an all-male or an all-female arrangement would do sexually. That is your emphasis, not mine. So make the claim that does not depend, like a parasite, on the status of marriage.

    You reject its core meaning and yet crave its influence on society to normalize gay identity politics — to innoculate your ideology against opposition and dissent. Every word you have written in an attempt to hurl a racist bomb at those with whom you disagree serves to highlight your antagonism toward society and toward the foundational social institution of civilization.

    There is nothing at the core of your dogma except gaycentrism.

  87. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Typo correction: I think your remarks show you do not respect marriage qua marriage.

  88. On Lawn said,

    May 23, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Joan said,

    Op Ed, one added thought, you’ve been referring to “neutering” marriage. That seems a lot like “castrating.” I am sure you mean “neutralizing” but if you mean the negative baggage, I just wanted to acknowledge that I understand your intent even if I don’t agree.

    Please re-read the title of this post :) Its much more than Op-Ed.

    But here’s the deal with calling it neutered marriage in my book, if you can find something that expresses this better please let me know. I’m aware of the baggage…

    1) Evan Wolfson himself notes that we should not use the term “same-sex” or “gay” marriage. He’s even right about why, its not a separate form of marriage they want. They want to remake the whole government institution in the model of their own relationships.

    2) The term “same-sex” or “gay” denotes people, not an institution. It focuses on a group of people, rather than the institution itself. We need to describe the change itself, and we need to describe it accurately for people to make an informed decision, the change to the institution itself. I express that change as the following…

    Marriage: The legal institution of one man and one woman two people in a committed relationship.

    Removing the reference to gender is itself “neutering” marriage.

    But in removing the reference to the procreation relationship (which biologically and scientifically is identified as the combination of a man and a woman) it makes marriage impotent, unrealized in its purpose to help encourage our appropriate responsibility in procreation.

    Hence, in two different ways removing the expectation of equal gender representation in marriage is to render it impotent or “neutered”.

  89. May 23, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Re Chairm #84

    An “opposite-sex” marriage carries with it the (rebuttable) presumption that the parties are either heterosexual, or are bisexual with a n opposite-sex partner – effectively for the purpose of the marriage, a heterosexual marriage.

    Still, once I read your twistings and turnings, I come to the conclusion that you’ve run out of ideas.

    I have explained how a “same-sex” marriage is the same thing as an “oppostite-sex” marriage – in neither case is there a guarantee of procreative capacity.

    People with an attraction to the opposite sex (whether they are straight or bi in prientation) are much more likely to enter into a genuine opposite-sex marriage. The gay man who seeks a “beard” (a woman willing to marry him for “show”) can take advantage of the current CA law, but while legal, such a marriage wouldn;t be genuine. There are cases where gay people try to be straight, but they are acting against their natures when they enter into an opposite-sex marriage – and such marriages usually end up badly.

    My emphasis is on the fact that people with a purely same-sex sexual orientation who desire to enter into a genuine marriage can only do so with a person of the same sex.

    The distinguishment between marriage and other relationships, entities and agreements is the same, whether the marriage is same-sex or opposite-sex.

    The main difference is in the numerous rights and responstibilities that flow with a marriage contract, that are not available in any other context.

  90. May 23, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Re Chairm #85

    You’re definitely run out of steam here – race is still often a dividing issue in the United States, even if according to studies of mitochondrial DNA we are all descended from a single female who lived abiout 75,000 years ago somewhere in Africa.

    Your argument denying the similarity of the civil rights movements involved speaks for itself. There was a point when legislatures and courts created and upheld white supremacy. That time is gone. The civil rights movement for people whose sexual orientation is homosexual by their nature is progressing. Five states already recognize marriage equality. It is only a matter of time before the arc of history continues to bend toward justice, regardless of how the California court decides on Tuesday, or the way the New York State Senate votes.

    You keep thinking I have an “identity filter” – but in New York and California I can marry a woman under the existing law. I am advocating for marriage equality even I don’t need it for myself, personally.

  91. May 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Re Chairm #86 (with the #87 typo correction acknowledged – I think I would have understood anyway, but thanks for the clarification)

    I refer you to the definition I provided in two earlier posts to this thread. That should address your issues.

    I am not suggesting that people who are against marriage equality are *racist.* I am analogizing their heterosexism to white supremacy, substituting sexual orientation for race.

  92. On Lawn said,

    May 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Joann,

    I think it is you who are twisted and out of ideas. Your points don’t even pass the slightest of scrutiny.

    I have explained how a “same-sex” marriage is the same thing as an “oppostite-sex” marriage

    Fallacy of conflation, no amount of similarity overcomes a very real distinction.

    A bicycle is very similar to a car, and a squirt gun is very similar to a gun. Yet the distinction made between them is real, due to the power over life that one expects (but does not guarantee) in their use.

    As I mentioned above,

    But in removing the reference to the procreation relationship (which biologically and scientifically is identified as the combination of a man and a woman) it makes marriage impotent, unrealized in its purpose to help encourage our appropriate responsibility in procreation.

    If there is a more important, often referenced importance in noting “man and woman” other than how they combine to create life, you tell me.

    You keep mentioning sexual orientation as if it is anything in marriage, but to be honest it only matters in bars and other institutions of carousing — not marriage.

    – in neither case is there a guarantee of procreative capacity.

    A guarantee is a much higher standard than a reasonable expectation. Far too high for the government, which enforces none of its own laws with any guarantee.

    Nor does any law guarantee the purpose by which it was created.

    After “zero tolerance” drug laws which don’t guarantee a world without drugs, speed limits which are broken with impunity on the roads, and very strict laws against drinking and driving while many are killed each year, it is odd that people even try to expect mathematical purity and total enforcement to prove a purpose behind a law.

    But you try, emphatically, and that shows just how desperately strained your conclusion is.

    but while legal, such a marriage wouldn;t be genuine

    How would you like someone to tell you your marriage isn’t genuine?

    And that is the perfect example of the harm neutering marriage. A couple can have kids together, love each other, and want to spend their whole life together. But because one (or both) suffer from attractions to the same gender, their marriage is a sham.

    Hence the overt stalking of such marriages by sites like “ex-gay watch”.

  93. On Lawn said,

    May 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Joann,

    I am analogizing their heterosexism to white supremacy, substituting sexual orientation for race.

    How you state that with a straight face, I don’t know.

    Hetero – combined and integrated.

    Homo – segregated and the same

    If you really want to “analogizing [… hetero or homo …] to white supremacy, substituting sexual orientation for race”, I’ll let you think a moment on just what fits in that blank :)

  94. May 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    On Lawn, Re #88,

    I had been using the term “gender-neutral” marriage to describe both same-sex and opposite-sex marriages. If the law is gender-neutral, then the sex of the spouses becomes immaterial, mush as marriage today is currently race-neutral, where at one time “mixed-race” marruiages were legally prohibited.

    The term “marriage” all by itself is perfectly okay – the same laws would apply to all marriages.

    I think the term “neutering” might bear some unwanted baggage – removing the gender reference makes the law “gender-neutral, not neuter gender (that might presume that only eunuchs might be entitled to get married).

    Forming family does not have to include procreation – children are found in many situations, but a marriage creates a better and more stable environment for the children. Those who are married but not opposite-sex could have natural children from a previous marriage or relationship, adopted children, or could have children with the help of artificual insemination, IVF, or surrogacy, much as opposite-sex couples who are married but have fertility issues can also avail themselves of the modern technlogy, or can adopt.

    Marriage would retain its attraction for heterosexual couples -it has in Massachusetts in the past five years. MAssachusetts even has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country (compare that with Bible belt states like Tennessee – where marriage ends more often in divorce.)

  95. On Lawn said,

    May 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    I had been using the term “gender-neutral” marriage to describe both same-sex and opposite-sex marriages.

    Though neither are, both are very gender specific in how they are integrated or segregated.

    So if the result is “gender neutral” then you would agree the change in marriage is to have it neutered.

    Baggage aside, it is an accurate description.

  96. May 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Re 95 On Lawn –

    Okay, since 1967 marriage has been melanin-neutral. If I follow your reasoning, at that time, marriage was “neutered” in a different way, right?

  97. On Lawn said,

    May 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    If I follow your reasoning,

    I’ll let you be the judge of that. Here is the reasoning again, for your convenience :)

    But here’s the deal with calling it neutered marriage in my book, if you can find something that expresses this better please let me know. I’m aware of the baggage…

    1) Evan Wolfson himself notes that we should not use the term “same-sex” or “gay” marriage. He’s even right about why, its not a separate form of marriage they want. They want to remake the whole government institution in the model of their own relationships.

    2) The term “same-sex” or “gay” denotes people, not an institution. It focuses on a group of people, rather than the institution itself. We need to describe the change itself, and we need to describe it accurately for people to make an informed decision, the change to the institution itself. I express that change as the following…

    Marriage: The legal institution of one man and one woman two people in a committed relationship.

    Removing the reference to gender is itself “neutering” marriage.

    But in removing the reference to the procreation relationship (which biologically and scientifically is identified as the combination of a man and a woman) it makes marriage impotent, unrealized in its purpose to help encourage our appropriate responsibility in procreation.

    Hence, in two different ways removing the expectation of equal gender representation in marriage is to render it impotent or “neutered”.

  98. On Lawn said,

    May 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    The term “marriage” all by itself is perfectly okay – the same laws would apply to all marriages.

    The same laws do apply to all marriages :)

    Forming family does not have to include procreation

    Nor does it have to include marriage :)

    Think about that introspectively for a moment…

    Marriage is about equality — equally recognizing everyone’s rights. It is focused on encouraging all parties involved to observe the rights of everyone else involved in the human mating practice.

    Men, women, and children.

    They all have rights and responsibilities to each other. If marriage can’t recognize that explicitly and directly for the sake of everyone in humanity, then what can?

    Are you really against marriage equality that you wish it stamped out, and replaced with gender-segregation equality?

    Neutered marriage is equality if calling an all-white and all-black school the same as an integrated school in the eyes of the state is equality.

    As Virginia Woolf said, “Men and women are different. What needs to be made equal is the value placed on those differences.”

  99. May 23, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Well, I have to say this has been an interesting discussion, though I think we have gotten to the point of diminishing returns. I find it interesting that each side lays claim to the support of sacred scripture, the founding principles of American society as expressed in the Constitution and the extended Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10, 14 and 19), morality, justice, etc. There seem to be profound differences in how we look at our justifications.

    I don’t think I have made any converts here, not that I expected to.

    I have two thoughts to leave you with, since it really is time for me to move on to other things.

    1. Matthew 7:6 (though one might see some relation to Orwell’s Animal Farm – after all, the opponents of marriage equality believe that all people are created equal, but that some are more equal than others.

    and

    2. a fully synoptic Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11and Luke 9:5 (it has been nice visiting, but I have stayed too long).

    Let’s see how the California Court decides – I am sure we will still disagree on the issue, no matter how the decision turns out.

  100. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Joan claimed: “The late William F. Buckley, “Mr. Conservative” himself, favored the legitimization of marriage for same-sex couples under the law.”

    Nope.

    The New York Times asked him in an interview: “Why do you oppose gay marriage?”

    Buckley said: “It is extraconstitutional, marriage being a union between opposite sexes usually intending procreation.”

    * * *

    I’ll leave to Op Ed and others who have the patience I could not expend on illuminating the multitude of flaws in the remaks you have dished up here.

  101. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Oh well.

    Joan said: “An “opposite-sex” marriage carries with it the (rebuttable) presumption that the parties are either heterosexual, or are bisexual with an opposite-sex partner – effectively for the purpose of the marriage, a heterosexual marriage.”

    1. There is no legal presumption of sexual orientation in the marriage law — not for eligibility and not for ineligibility.

    While the law is blind on this point, you would impose an identity filter to overlay what is not actually there.

    * * *

    Joann said: “neither case is there a guarantee of procreative capacity.”

    That’s been addressed in On Lawn’s remarks above.

    But I’ll add that when people say, I do, the consent to all that marriage entails, including the legal presumption of paternity. This is explicit in the marriage law — both in statutes and in case law.

    So…

    2. There is a legal presumption, vigorously enforced, that the husband is the father of children born to his wife during their marriage. They are both the parents because it is lawfully presumed that the conjugal relationship is a sexual relationship of man and woman. Even the criteria for rebuttal — ie. for challenging the presumption of paternity — is based on the opposite-sexed essentials of human procreation.

    This is combined with the man-woman criterion, also vigorously enforced, and shows the societal concern for, and preference for, the integration of fatherhood and motherhood. This is the relatively non-coercive way in which society, through government and the law, encourages responsible procreation and aims to protect the birthright of children.

    This makes marriage the preferred means of family formation in civilizations around the world and across human history and anthropology.

    * * *

    3. So while point #1 does NOT make marriage a sexual type of relationship, and does NOT classifying based on “sexual orientation”, point #2 does make marriage a public type of relationship due to its sexual aspect. Marriage is both a public and a sexual type of relationship in the marriage law.

    4. None of that applies to the one-sexed arrangment — sexualized or not, straight, gay, lesbian or whatever. There is NO legal requirement, and NO government guarantee that the one-sexed arrangement, for which someone might show up and ask to be registred with the government at a licensing office, is a) sexualized, b) homosexualized, or c) of any special significance to the societal interest in the social institution of marriage. SSM is extrinsic to marriage and is anti-thetical to marriage.

    * * *

    Joann said: “My emphasis is on the fact that people with a purely same-sex sexual orientation who desire to enter into a genuine marriage can only do so with a person of the same sex.”

    Once again, your over-interest in purity and on what a purely this or that “can only do” actually places your remarks in close analogy with the racist system you hoped would shed light on your notion of equality.

    You would bring selective sex-segregation into the marriage law; you would encourage a taboo on integration of orientations; and you would do this while demoting the the core meaning of the social institution of marriage for the political purpse of elevating your brand of identity politics above marriage law and press it into constitutional jurisprudence.

    And, again, that places your remarks in close analogy with the anti-miscegenation system and its superficial rationalizations.

    Your anti-social remark that society’s foundational social institution is “heterosexist” and must be remade in the image of your brand of identity politics, well, ithat remark reinforces that you are asserting supremacy of your peculair sectarianism. You are trying to trump the core meaning of marriage, the definitive legal requirements in marriage law, and even constitutional protections and the framework of governance designed to mitigate the soft despotism of unrestrained factionalism.

    Your wrong about de T, as Op Ed has illustrated, and wrong about just about everything you’ve said here, starting with your ill-informed “reinterpretation” of Scripture. You won’t win many converts by attacking religion and attacking marriage.

    But if you want to make the independant claim for a special status based on same-sex sexual behavior or same-sex sexual attraction or same-sex sexual romance — or whatever it is you have in mind — then just plainly state it.

    SSMers tend to run away from the actual disagreement. And run away from the opportunity to make a case for something “gay” rather than against marriage.

  102. Op Ed. said,

    May 23, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Joann: Sexual orientation comes in four types

    Racists also want us to believe the number of races are finite. People, however, are much more complex than your identity politics allows. What of the high rates of homosexual conduct in prison? What of “gays” who are happily married? What of “gays” who no longer behave or self-identify as such? You have the same problem as racists of old. In order to promote your brand of identity politics you have to lie about the amount of diversity in the world.

    I did address decision in Loving

    Wrong. What you did is quote wide swaths of the Loving opinion without providing a single sentence where the court responded to the “blacks can marry blacks” claim you said was raised. Had you found such a sentence I give you enough credit to believe you’d have quoted it rather than all the unrelated, obscuring text.

    Now, can you tell me why you couldn’t find the court’s response to that claim? (Here’s a hint: It could be because you’ve been confused by the “lies and deccsit” [sic] of the advocates of neutering marriage.)

    Racist laws violate the 14th Amendment. I am glad we agree on that.

    I’m not so sure we do. The Loving court rejected anti-miscegenation laws because their only purpose was to impress identity politics onto marriage. The Loving court found marriage was far too important (“fundamental to our very existence and survival”) to be converted into a vehicle of identity politics. Now here you are doing the exact same thing, trying to sweep away the part of marriage that makes it “fundamental to our very existence and survival” all in the name of identity politics. If you disapprove of racism, you sure spend a lot of time emulating it.

    Making marriage gender-neutral would do no damage at all to opposite-sex marriage.

    This is identical to the argument in favor of no-fault divorce. “Nobody will be forced to get a divorce.” “How does it affect your marriage if someone else gets a divorce?” That reasoning was false then and it is false now.

    Then, like now, all marriage change proponents did was repeat their lie over and over. They, like you, never once substantiated it. They, like you, only repeated it. I give you enough credit that if you could substantiate such a claim you would have by now.

    “Separate but equal” always ends up as “separate and unequal.”

    Same-sex couples are only “equal” to man-woman couples if one ignores the basic facts of human reproduction, which you work assiduously to do in all your responses. Are you unaware of these facts or do you avoid them because you must if your fiction is to be believed?

    The destructive and damaging thing is to stand in the way of gender-neutral marriage.

    I’ll take that as your way of saying you are interested in the violence you can wreak on marriage rather than the needs of same-sex couples. Disappointing, but not surprising.

  103. Chairm said,

    May 23, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    The factionalism of the SSM campaign promotes soft despotism whereby the Government has a people rather than the other way around.

    SSMers insist that society endorse so as to instill self-esteem. This is an odd thing for a liberty-loving society to entertain. Since when does Government need to be so intrusive as to regulate “romance” and to do so by gutting marriage of its core meaning?

    Well, to place ourselves at the mercy of an all-powerful Government is to invite despotism — call it soft or not. I think this invitation is strongly hinted when SSMers talk of the lack of a legal rquirement that all marraiges procreate, but then run scared from the same test being applied to their anemic definitions of SSM. SSMers will pose as if the Government should have Fertility Squads roaming the countryside, peering into the windows of marital bedrooms, and forcing people to procreate or unilaterall revoking marital licenses based on a nonfertility requirement. They say, if this is not happening, then, responsible procreation is not central to marriage.

    The totalitarian impulse is strongly suggested when SSMers say that if something can occur outside of marriage, then, that “something” is not essential to marriage.

    Joann invoked both tests, or rules, of SSM argumentation. But she has refused to use the same tests on her own assertions. She can’t, because then she’d have to admit failure — her rhetoric is utlimately self-defeating. It destroys the claims for SSM.

    So, the real challenge is for SSMers, like Joann, to stop attacking marriage and to start making the case for the type of relationship — whatever its merits and demerits — independantly. Just what is so special about this type of relationship — or its definitive features — that society should give it more protections than already provided to the vast range of nonmarital relationship types and nonmarital kinds of arrangements?

    Their silence on this score speaks very loudly about the lack of a favorable argument for imposing, or enacting, SSM in the laws of the land.

  104. May 26, 2009 at 5:37 am

    While I am waiting for the marriage decision, I do want to note that I have discovered that Chairm is correct (in #100) about the late William Buckley’s position on marriage. I had heard differently from another source, or misremembered the facts. The late William Buckley was opposed to marriage equality. I guess I can;t be right about everything here.


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