Balkinization  

Friday, May 16, 2008

California's Gift

Ian Ayres

The California Supreme Court decision striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages does more than change the marriage rights of the 10% of U.S. citizens living in the Sunshine state. The decision changes the legal rights of all Americans. Same-sex couples from Kansas and Connecticut for the first time have the option to go to California and to legally marry.

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage, but California is the first state to let out of state couples to visit the state to get hitched. San Francisco may well become the Las Vegas of gay marriage. By staying just a few days to establish residency, a couple can visit, legally marry and return to their state.

For supporters of marriage equality, the decision truly is California’s gift to America. But new freedoms create new choices. The option to marry presents new choices not only for same-sex couples, but it also raises a new ethical choice for heterosexual couples as well.

Most directly, same-sex couples suddenly will have to choose whether they will legally marry. For some, hypothetical plans will now be put to the test.

Being legally married in California does not mean that your marriage will be recognized when you return home. But there are still strong reasons for same-sex couples to come to California to marry. Some will come to California for symbolic reasons. The right to marry is essential to basic human dignity, and some couples will seek the validation of a government’s imprimatur. Thousands of same-sex couples have entered into civil unions in Vermont. More than two thirds traveled from out of state. A sovereign state’s willingness to formal legal recognition of marriages should draw still greater numbers.

But more than symbolism is at stake here. Some same-sex couples will marry in California with the hope of assuming tangible marriage rights and responsibilities back in their home state. Whether they will obtain those tangible benefits is by no means clear. This question will take years to resolve, and it will be complicated by choice of law rules, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and anti-recognition statutes and state constitutional amendments enacted in more than 35 states.

Some states may extend blanket recognition to same-sex couples married abroad; others may deny it. Still others may give recognition for some purposes (such as distribution of property upon termination of the relationship or death of one of the spouses) but not for others (tax advantages or other state benefits that turn on marriage status).

But gay couples need not be the only ones to flock to California. Environmental tourism has drawn travelers for years. California could enjoy a new wave of what we might call human rights tourism. Supporters of gay rights, regardless of sexual orientation, may want to reward the state for granting equal marriage rights. Instead of the negativism of boycotts, a supporter of equality might spontaneously organize a tourism "buycott" of California.

California’s new policy also creates a new ethical choice for different-sexed couples. Now that it is possible to marry in a jurisdiction that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, is it moral for heterosexuals to marry in a discriminating state?

Suppose you were living in Virginia when the state still prohibited interracial marriage. Even if you wanted to marry someone of the same race, wouldn’t you consider traveling to a neighboring state that did not discriminate? From now on, every heterosexual couple that wants to marry must face the same question:
Do I want to marry in a state that discriminates or one that does not?

After all, heterosexuals can now marry in a nondiscriminating jurisdiction without risking nonrecognition back in the U.S.

Proponents of marriage equality have long analogized the ban on gay marriage to a “whites only” water fountain from which only heterosexual couples could drink. Most white Americans would walk across the street to avoid drinking from a white’s only water fountain. Now heterosexuals must choose whether they will travel across a state line to marry in a jurisdiction that has taken down the “heterosexuals only” sign.

With a single stroke, the California Supreme Court has offered all Americans the right to marry without regard to sexual orientation or citizenship. The rest us of us are now challenged to construct an appropriate response.

Comments:

Interesting post and comparison. I'm a strong supporter of the gay marriage rights, but I don't know if a lot of heterosexuals would boycott states that don't permit it for their own weddings.

Where one's wedding takes place is usually determined by (1) where you already live; (2) where the extended family of at least one of the couple lives; or (3) some place with special significance in the lives of the couple. I would expect that to continue, even among fairly politically committed folks.

But hey, as a tie-breaker, equality rights would be as good as any other factor.
 

with all due respect, i believe the notion of the california decision thrusting a moral imperative upon all who wish to marry is taking things a bit too far. i agree with jslater that there are considerations above and beyond the political that couples take into account quite naturally when making the decision to get hitched.... and i would note that i fully support the right of same sex marriage without any restrictions that are not placed upon heterosexual marriage.

for instance, my wife and i spent many years in new orleans. we have very fond memories of our time there. our oldest child was born there. i would not object if he decided to marry and live there if he chose to do so. same sex marriage is not recognized at this time in louisiana. i would happily attend my son's wedding, if that was where he and his bride to be chose to marry without giving it a second thought.

taking prof. ayres' thoughts to the next level, and staying within the confines of new orleans, i would note that there is a large and thriving gay population in new orleans. if louisiana does not recognize the rights of gays to marry each other, does this mean that prof. ayres is going to advocate that all gays living in lousiana have a moral obligation to leave the state? i'm sorry, but i do not believe there is any such moral imperative.

i would note, however, for the benefit of prof. ayres, if it makes him feel any better, i was on an airplane last week, and the fellow sitting in the seat next to me was reading "super crunchers"
 

Canada has been a marriage equality jurisdiction for several years, and for many non-Californian Americans Canada is an easier trip than California. My wife and I drove to Vancouver, got legally married, and returned to Seattle the same day so we could legally marry in an equality jurisdiction (we had a religious ceremony a month later in Seattle). I would certainly encourage opposite-sex who don't live in equality jurisdictions to legally marry in equality jurisdictions, but I'd note that California is not the only option for that (and British Columbia, at least, sells same-day marriage licenses on Sundays and does not require any residency for a marriage license).
 

California could enjoy a new wave of what we might call human rights tourism.

We only have one question for you: "when can you staht?"
 

I predict Massachusetts will revoke that 1913 law to compete for some of that SSM tourism, now that CA will be doing it. If we don't, we're damn stupid.

Either way, it won't lead to any states having to recognize SSMs that don't already. Only Massachusetts will recognize CA SSM's. Other states will say they are null and void.
 

just a bit puzzled -- Florida is the "Sunshine State" ... California is paradise ...
 

Prof. Ayres:

The option to marry presents new choices not only for same-sex couples, but it also raises a new ethical choice for heterosexual couples as well.

[...]

But gay couples need not be the only ones to flock to California. Environmental tourism has drawn travelers for years. California could enjoy a new wave of what we might call human rights tourism. Supporters of gay rights, regardless of sexual orientation, may want to reward the state for granting equal marriage rights. Instead of the negativism of boycotts, a supporter of equality might spontaneously organize a tourism "buycott" of California.

California’s new policy also creates a new ethical choice for different-sexed couples. Now that it is possible to marry in a jurisdiction that does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, is it moral for heterosexuals to marry in a discriminating state?


Well, that option is foreclosed to us; we live here in CA. But certainly we can choose to not get married elsewhere (and to the extent that not making such a statement is a "statement" in and of itself, so be it).

And we'll get married on the beach near our house, and celebrate near the oceans from whence we all came long ago (oceans that are under assault by the RWers; a bumper sticker down the street has the pithy slogan "At least the war on the environment is going well").

I'd note that California's decision has in no way curtailed my rights one way or another; our wedding will go on just as we were planning it prior to yesterday.

Those that scream about their rights being violated by this decision simply haven't the first clue as to the nature of either "rights" or "injury"....

Cheers,
 

Homosexual couples may want to also consider the results of getting "married" by judicial fiat only to have that fiat reversed when (not if) an initiative is passed by the People reversing this judicial legislation.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Homosexual couples may want to also consider the results of getting "married" by judicial fiat only to have that fiat reversed when (not if) an initiative is passed by the People reversing this judicial legislation.

Oh, but I would be injured too. My upcoming marriage, done under the auspices of California law as of June, would be a solemnization of our vows under a non-discriminatory law, and if it is subsequently changed to some homophobic institution, how would I live with myself, knowing I've implicitly supported this Great Evil (even through no overt act of own)? My marriage would be demeaned and sullied by the subsequent tie to human prejudice and bigotry.... What to do, what to do? Maybe we should refuse to get married with such a Sword of Damocles hanging over my head, even as much as I am looking forward to the life of married bliss....

Yes, indeed, I have been injured by this foul ruling....

Maybe "Bart" here can help me out.

</SNARk>

Cheers,
 

i have asked this question before on this blog, and am now compelled to ask this again. i am a happily married heterosexual. as noted above, i am entire in favor of the right to same sex marriages without any restrictions not otherwise placed upon heterosexual marriages. i fail to see how allowing same sex marriages effects the institution of marriage in general and mine in particular. i would ask mr. depalma and any other opposed to same sex marriage (1) how his marriage is effected if arne is allowed to marry in california, and (2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

i would note, as i have stated before that if any of us have marriages that are going to be adversely effected by the legalization of same sex marriages anywhere, then there is a lot more wrong with our marriages that we should be concentrating on in the first place without worrying about who arne and his friend are marrying.

by the way arne, good luck and all the happiness you deserve.
 

the gauntlet has been lowered (or raised ...) asking for a defense of the definition of mariage under the laws of western civilization for 1000+ years, to wit: "the union of one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others."

Now 4 politically connected lawyers in California have said there is a constitutional right to same sex marriage even though the legislature and people of California have each resoundingly said no. Now they will amend their constitution to reverse the court, unless some Court says amending the constitution is unconstitutional, I guess.

I am against gay marriage for the same reason I am against group marriage or cousin marriage. Because it changes the definition of marriage. Why can't a man and two women marry? It is discriminatory against polygimists. Why can't cousins marry? It is discriminatory against other cultures where it is common for even first cousins to marry, e.g. in Egypt. We tolerate these "discriminations" because they are just outside of the definition of marriage, again: the union of one woman and one man for life to the exclusion of all others.

I never saw a straights only water fountain, so please stop comparing the civil rights movement with boys who want to hug and kiss each other. Blacks rose from slavery, suffered jim crow, were denied the franchise basically until 1965, etc. there is just no comparison at all between blacks and the gay rights agenda. Please don't tear your meniscus typing "Matthew Shepard" because the crimnal defendants got the death penalty in that case okay?
 

arne:

Oh, but I would be injured too. My upcoming marriage, done under the auspices of California law as of June, would be a solemnization of our vows under a non-discriminatory law, and if it is subsequently changed to some homophobic institution, how would I live with myself, knowing I've implicitly supported this Great Evil...

:::chuckle:::

Congrats on your upcoming marriage.

Sorry, I can't help you with your dilemma except perhaps to recommend moving to the Netherlands.
 

phg:

i would ask mr. depalma and any other opposed to same sex marriage (1) how his marriage is effected if arne is allowed to marry in california, and (2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

A good question, and I'm sure the answer will be illuminating.

What say you, "Bart"?

Cheers,
 

I’m sympathetic to the argument that gay-marriage prohibitions are as morally problematic as anti-miscegenation laws, but I’m not entirely convinced by it. The equation overlooks important historical and contextual considerations that should inform our perception of the gravity of these moral wrongs. What made anti-miscegenation statutes like the one at issue in Loving reprehensible was not simply that they denied a tangible benefit on the basis of race, but that they, like Jim Crow laws in general, were the institutional vestiges of the single greatest and most shameful moral wrong our country has perpetrated. There is no question that homosexuals have been grievously mistreated in our country, at times brutally and systematically, but they have never been kidnapped en masse, shipped in chains and filth from their homes to a new continent, bound into servitude, forced to perform manual labor, and bought and sold as chattel. They have they ever been systematically oppressed by a comprehensive system of laws explicitly designed to force them into second-class citizenship. Finally, no one has ever attempted to physically dissolve the Union, or engaged in mass combat and slaughter, or subjugated and occupied an entire section of the country, over the question of homosexual rights. Race and the legacies of slavery and the Civil War occupy a central place in our history, in our politics, and in our national self-identity that sexual orientation and the legacies of homophobia never will. At several points our country has almost foundered on the issue of racial difference, and these questions call up some of our deepest, most passionate, and most destructive impulses.

The same sort of historical understandings inform other moral instincts: for example, that anti-Semitism is more odious than anti-Catholicism, or that German neo-Nazis are somehow more problematic than Italian neo-Fascists. They are also reflected in our jurisprudence, particularly in the fact that laws that discriminate on the basis of gender receive intermediate scrutiny, rather than the strict scrutiny that applies to racially discriminatory laws. That distinction, of course, can be defended solely by looking at the purpose and history of the Fourteenth Amendment rather than by comparing the histories of racial discrimination and gender discrimination in America, but even that sort of analysis results in the same conclusion: there is something uniquely problematic about discrimination on the basis of race, so much so that our forebears saw fit to amend the Constitution to explicitly prohibit it.

This is not to say that there is any important objective or a priori moral distinction between racism and homophobia; both are, in my view, equally repugnant. In time, I hope, gay-marriage prohibitions will come to be seen as instantiations of a moral attitude that is as equally perverse and wrong-headed as racism. But in this country at least, racist sentiment has a pedigree that makes it uniquely corrosive, and laws that discriminate on the basis of race convey a degree of opprobrium and inflict a measure of damage that is unique precisely because of our long, sordid history of institutionalized racial subordination.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Sorry, I can't help you with your dilemma except perhaps to recommend moving to the Netherlands.

But <*wauuuggghhh*> what about my innnnnnjuuuuuurrrryyyyyyyyyy? Why should I be forced to move there, "Bart"? Why impose such a burden on me, or tell me I have to "like it or lump it"? Have you no respect for the way I feel?

Cheers,
 

(1) how his marriage is effected if arne is allowed to marry in california, and (2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

If we allow same-sex couples to use modified gametes to conceive together, then other marriages are not affected. And currently, we do allow people to use modified gametes to conceive with someone of their same sex, so we should certainly allow SSM. But if we prohibit the use of modified gametes, which we should do, then SSM would mean that marriage did not protect a couple's right to conceive together, even a hetero marriage, since it would supposedly have the same rights as a same-sex marriage which would be prohibited from conceiving together. I care because people should not lose their right to conceive with their natural gametes, and that right is threatened if we say that people have the same right to conceive with natural gametes that they do with modified gametes.
 

I said:

[phg]:i would ask mr. depalma and any other opposed to same sex marriage (1) how his marriage is effected if arne is allowed to marry in california, and (2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

A good question, and I'm sure the answer will be illuminating.

What say you, "Bart"?


I'm asking "Bart". Our resident "gametophobe" nutcase isn't even on the same planet, much less the same page. Please ignore him.

Cheers,
 

Arne just knows that he win this argument. But this argument would actually help Arne, because if he just accepted that people should not have the right to conceive with someone of the same sex, he'd be able to trade that chip for federal recognition of CU's that didn't protect conception rights and therefore were not equal to marriage. By having a distinction in rights, CU's could be enacted in all fifty states and given federal recognition as if they were marriages. Unfortunately Arne is too addled to grasp that this is an opportunity. He just sees it as losing the equality argument.
 

oops, he knows he can't win this argument. So does Jack Balkin, et al.

Jack, you could help get equal protections for same-sex couples by agreeing that use of modified gametes might not be the most important thing to be insisting on. We could get Congress to enact the Egg and Sperm Civil Union Compromise before the election and 1) get equal protections to same-sex CU's, 2) preserve marriage's right to use the couple's own genes, 3) stop the Brave New World of eugenic enhancement. Literally, with you endorsing it, it could make it to Congress and get passed in a few weeks.

Which of those things do you not want to do, and how do you justify that when so many same-sex couples need equal protections right now?
 

We tolerate these "discriminations" because they are just outside of the definition of marriage,

No, "we" allow such discrimination because "our" legal definition is different, not that they aren't valid forms or definitions of marriage.

The definition of marriage varies across space, culture, and--whether you like it or not--time. Obviously you are familiar with that, or you wouldn't have mentioned the preference for parallel cousin marriage in Egypt. Marriage is not about love, although it may be there; marriage is all about rights and property.

That's why all this discussion about "the true meaning of marriage" is a red herring. There is no one true meaning of marriage absent a state religion. Either the ban of same-sex marriage is meant to have us behave in a certain way that is condoned by a given religious group, or it is an attempt to prevent the economic disasters that would happen if gay and lesbian couples suddenly had the ability to get a tax break. Since the latter is laughable, the issue is not-so-subtly all about the former.

The California legislature has approved same-sex marriage on two occasions, the governor has vetoed it both times, stating it was a matter for the courts to take up. Now they have. Quit whinging about politically connected judges--they're predominantly Republican anyways--overriding public opinion. Courts overturned Prop 14 on the basis of constitutionality before; I don't see you rushing to correct that imposition of "judicial activism." Clearly the process is not the problem for you, it's the result.
 

phg said...

i would ask mr. depalma and any other opposed to same sex marriage (1) how his marriage is effected if arne is allowed to marry in california...

No, I do not intend to recognize the burden shifting.

Society recognizes and subsidizes marriage above all other human relationships because it the cornerstone of civilization.

Marriage civilizes men, allows them to live longer and be more productive.

Marriage allows child bearing women far greater economic resources to take care of the family.

Marriage creates and raises the most adjusted children to establish the next generation.

The proponents of redefining marriage to include homosexual unions have the burden of proving that homosexual unions offer the same benefits to society as marriage. Indeed, prove that homosexual unions provide any benefits at all to society no matter what benefits they may provide to the members of the union. In short, why should society recognize and subsidize homosexual unions?

Please do not argue because its fair. The human condition has a rainbow of different relationships and only marriage is held above all others for very good reasons.

(2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

It can only improve arne.
 

It can only improve arne.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:23 PM


It hasn't done a fucking thing to improve you.
 

why should society recognize and subsidize homosexual unions?

I'd love to know why I have to subsidize the procreation of fascist scum like you? Good luck getting past that "burden of proof".
 

Bart says:

"No, I do not intend to recognize the burden shifting."

Stated otherwise, "I can't offer anything in the way of argument that same sex marriage impacts me in any way."

The subsidization argument is flat stupid. How many budget outlays do tax payers subsidize that they disagree with or do not benefit society? Ethanol anyone?

And since when do constitutional rights such as equal protection get doled out based on what a group can offer society?

Why should I subsidize marriages between infertile people? Why should I subsidize marriages between the elderly? What do they offer society?
 

[phg]: (2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

["Bart"]: It can only improve arne.


"Bart" won't like that. I kick "Bart"'s a$$ too often as it is....

But what an evasive and dishonest answer, if we want to get to the meat of the matter.

If it "can only improve [me}", it really is hard to see why the "Bartster" would want to deny such an opportunity to others....

Let me do some "burden-shifting" here:

["Bart"]:
Marriage civilizes men, allows them to live longer and be more productive.

Marriage allows child bearing women far greater economic resources to take care of the family.

Marriage creates and raises the most adjusted children to establish the next generation.


Wow. Sounds like quite the deal for both men and society. Win-win all around, no?

["Bart"]: The proponents of redefining marriage to include homosexual unions have the burden of proving that homosexual unions offer the same benefits to society as marriage.

No. The opponents of gay marriages have to explain why the same benefits don't pertain to those that happen to be gay. In fact, that was pretty much the thrust of the original question to "Bart" here. One he avoided like ... well ... the same way he is afraid of homosexuality.....

Bet his wife is sick and tired of washing the sh*te out of his panties, what with Terraists and homos scaring him into browing his pants all the time.....

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Indeed, prove that homosexual unions provide any benefits at all to society no matter what benefits they may provide to the members of the union.

Did you have to do that to pass your marriage exam to get your wedding license, "Bart"? Out here in the more rational California, we don't insist that people do so. Tell me how you did it. Just in case I ever want to get amrried in Colorado or Florida....

But I am impressed that some states have the good sense to impose the requirement that marriages be for the benefit of the state and not of the principals involved. Why, next thing, they may even tell you who to marry ... or at least, what proper genetic complement ... and race.

Cheers,
 

Society recognizes and subsidizes marriage above all other human relationships because it the cornerstone of civilization.

This is news to me! I might point out though that historically the majority of civilizations have had a different definition of marriage than we do.
 

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I normally don’t bite when Mr. DePalma baits, but this one is too good, so here goes.

First of all, I am not attempting to shift any burden. I simply asked, Mr. DePalma, to explain to me how Arne getting married would effect his marriage. That was posing a question, not shifting any burden. The fact that you refuse to answer this question says to me that there is no effect on your marriage, which makes me wonder why you object, unless you simply like to poke your nose in other people’s very private business. The fact that you believe that marriage would improve Arne is ample proof in and of itself that he should be allowed to marry, because as you say, society has great incentive to see individuals improve themselves.

Using your standards as the guideline:

“Marriage civilizes men, allows them to live longer and be more productive”.

Using this as your guide, I would note that society would definitely have a stake in seeing Arne live longer and be more productive. Assuming Arne is charitable in the community, active and kind with friends and neighbors, pays his taxes and obeys the law, if he is married and lives longer as a result, society can only benefit. I would note that I am unaware of any study that shows that hetero couples necessarily live longer than same sex couples, but that is another issue. Maybe someone can point out such a study to me.

“Marriage allows child bearing women far greater economic resources to take care of the family”.

If Arne and his spouse decided to have children via adoption, presumably their combined incomes would provide greater resources available to take care of the family, and if they didn’t, there would be greater resources available to take care of each other, and via inheritance greater resources to allow the surviving spouse to care for himself upon the death of the other, and not potentially be a burden on society, which should be a great incentive to society as a whole.

Based upon the first two cited factors, it appears, Mr. DePalma, that you take the position that in a marriage, the man works and the wife takes care of the home. I guess this means that you would disqualify those incapable of having children, those who don’t want children, families in which the wife is the primary wage earner, couples that marry after the wife has passed child bearing age, etc. I would also note that society, as represented by the government, values marriage so much that it imposes extra income taxes upon a married couples, the so called “marriage tax”.

“Marriage creates and raises the most adjusted children to establish the next generation”.

Assuming Arne and his spouse did have children, the loving environment would presumably foster well adjusted children to establish the next generation. There are plenty of same sex couples out there that already have adopted and raised children successfully. I am completely unaware of any study, not published or funded by neo-cons, that shows that children raised in a loving heterosexual family are any better adjusted than children raised in a loving same sex family. The key is that the family is a loving, caring, giving family that teaches the values of love and respect to others to their children. I would note that for every same sex family you point out that had a child go wrong, I can point out one from a heterosexual family. There are always variants within any group.

Which brings us to “Please don’t argue because it is fair”.

I assume you don’t want anyone to argue “because it is fair” because, in fact, that is the case, and there is no legitimate response to deliberately being unfair to a group that you are singling out simply because they are not like you. If you don’t like using the word “fair”, then substitute “equal protection”.

I note, Mr. DePalma, that you have not listed a single reason why a same sex marriage affects anyone else’s marriage, or why you or anyone else should object to Arne marrying his significant other. So I ask again, what’s the problem?
 

Mention was made of cousins getting married, which apparently means first cousins in particular. This is legal in many states, including my own NE state, and there is no pressing movement made to stop it.

It interests me, gets me a bit cynical actually, that many now claim that domestic partnerships are fine (some conservatives actually don't and rather have same sex marriage if that is the alternative, and at least one wrote a book on it) but "marriage" is the problem.

[Andy Sullivan, e.g., would tell you that marriage IS very important as a socializing process for young men, which includes young gay men. You can go down the line and show how all of the other main purposes of marriages benefit society here too.]

A few years ago these same people would call DPs an abomination. Also, though there are a few differences that the CA Supremes belittled as minor (they are fairly so, though I think one or two at least fairly important*), CA already had in place a domestic partnership regime that supplied many of the core rights of marriage already.

Some other states like CT also do. They clearly think it is worth the effort. In fact, though it is easier to do so in politics, it helps explain why a court might find the line drawn rather arbitrary.

Anyway, I agree with those who don't think going to another state to marry is necessary. In fact, I think a better alternative might be to take part in one of those "marriage lite" institutions in place in many states now and underline the arbitrary line being drawn.

---

* CA could not do anything about the discriminatory DOMA policy of depriving same sex couples, even if a state legislature wants to do otherwise, federal marriage benefits. I'm unclear how such depriving is necessary to stop the assumed threat of the courts forcing states to recognize out of state marriages.
 

mclamb6 said...

Bart says: "No, I do not intend to recognize the burden shifting."

Stated otherwise, "I can't offer anything in the way of argument that same sex marriage impacts me in any way."


That was your argument. not mine, and it is not relevant to the issue.

My argument is that marriage provides society with enormous benefits, while homosexual unions provide society (as opposed to the individual partners) with none.

I challenged you (and anyone else up for the challenge) to prove that marriage should be redefined to include homosexual unions because such unions provide benefits to society equal to marriage, or indeed any benefit to society at all.

I knew that the post would generate a flurry of outrage and also produce absolutely none of the proof I challenged you to provide.

Frankly, I could care less whether a homosexual couple exchanges rings and vows in a ceremony presided over by a minister from the United Church of Christ and then declares to the world that they are "married." Unlike under the anti-miscegenation laws, no one is going to arrest them and the vast majority of people will not care.

What these cases are all about are asking the courts to compel the People to recognize homosexual unions as the equivalent of marriage as a matter of law when they cannot convince the People in the democratic process of the worth of such unions to society.

This is a copout.

If you truly believe that homosexual unions are the equivalent to marriage, your time would be better spent developing actual evidence for your position rather than celebrating outlaw court decisions which will be reversed by the People in short order.
 

On Prof. Ayres' theory, it is immoral to claim marriage benefits in a non-equality state, including tax, health care, and education issues.
 

This blog’s resident survival from the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, Bart de Palma, asserts:-

1. Marriage civilizes men, allows them to live longer and be more productive.
2. Marriage allows child bearing women far greater economic resources to take care of the family.
3. Marriage creates and raises the most adjusted children to establish the next generation.

These are the kind of arguments one finds in the writings of Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy who argues that:

Court created same sex marriage…will disconnect marriage from any further relationship with its great historic task of making the next generation..” [University of St Thomas Law Journal 2004 Vol 2 No 1 – at p 69].

As to 1, if opposite sex marriage civilises men, allows them to live longer and be more productive (which may be true in some cases and wholly untrue in others), presumably that effect is also true of women. Therefore why should the benefits of a union of same sex partners not produce the same effect ?

As to 2, would not a woman of child bearing age also have the same possibility of greater financial resources if she were in a same sex relationship as she would in an opposite sex one?

As to 3, there have been lots of studies on the adjustment of children brought up by same-sex couples and none have shown that children thus brought up are any less well adjusted – which is why in the UK adoption agencies may not discriminate against such couples.

As to the general thesis that procreation of the next generation will be put at risk by recognition of same sex marriage – that is surely a non sequitur: If there are that many gays and lesbians in the USA, then the viability of the next generation will be at risk – with or without same sex unions.

In short Bart is spouting the same sort of claptrap that was used in the UK to exclude homosexuals from the Armed Forces. The policy was reversed some years ago – with no ill-effects on morale or discipline.

I doubt that Bart can point to any defective reasoning in the Judgment of the Supreme Court of California – it’s just that he is outraged by the fact that the reasoning leads to a conclusion he does not like - yet he is unable to say why it is wrong.

But then if one has one’s brain in the membrum virile it is probably not that well adapted to forensic analysis.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

My argument is that marriage provides society with enormous benefits, while homosexual unions provide society (as opposed to the individual partners) with none.

We understand this is your (rather illogical) assertion. It is hardly an argument, even being charitable in this era of Yoo, etc. as to what constitutes such.

I recall a while back that some wise solon here said: "No matter how learned my correspondent, I do not accept bare assertions as undisputed fact." My memory is playijng tricks on me this Saturday, now who was that? Anyone have a clue as to who said that?

Cheers,
 

mourad said...

This blog’s resident survival from the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, Bart de Palma, asserts:-

1. Marriage civilizes men, allows them to live longer and be more productive.
2. Marriage allows child bearing women far greater economic resources to take care of the family.
3. Marriage creates and raises the most adjusted children to establish the next generation.

These are the kind of arguments one finds in the writings of Maggie Gallagher of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy who argues that:

Court created same sex marriage…will disconnect marriage from any further relationship with its great historic task of making the next generation..” [University of St Thomas Law Journal 2004 Vol 2 No 1 – at p 69].


You are changing the subject - again.

Ms. Gallagher and I both believe that homosexual unions do not offer the same benefits as marriage to society and thus do not merit societal recognition of such unions as marriage.

My argument stops there because I believe that point is dispositive.

However, Ms. Gallagher goes further and argues that, because adding homosexual unions to marriage would not add any value to society, that such an addition would dilute the very concept of marriage.

I do not agree with this argument. Homosexuals only make up around 2-5% of the total population depending upon the surveys one uses and only a tiny fraction of the population of homosexuals have any demonstrated interest in actually being married. This tiny number is hardly likely to dilute the meaning of marriage.

As to 1, if opposite sex marriage civilises men, allows them to live longer and be more productive (which may be true in some cases and wholly untrue in others) presumably that effect is also true of women. Therefore why should the benefits of a union of same sex partners not produce the same effect ?

Men gain a greater longevity benefit than women because women civilize men and cause them to engage in less risky behaviors. Thus you need the combination of a man and a women for this affect to apply. There is no evidence that men can do this for men or women for women.

As to 2, would not a woman of child bearing age also have the same possibility of greater financial resources if she were in a same sex relationship as she would in an opposite sex one?

No, because the union of two women cannot create children.

As to 3, there have been lots of studies on the adjustment of children brought up by same-sex couples and none have shown that children thus brought up are any less well adjusted – which is why in the UK adoption agencies may not discriminate against such couples.

Once again, homosexual unions do not produce children, thus the point is moot. Moreover, there is no evidence that allowing a homosexual couple to "marry" would allow them to raise the children of a heterosexual couple any better. However, there is solid science that married couples do a better job raising children than other combinations of heterosexual unions.

I doubt that Bart can point to any defective reasoning in the Judgment of the Supreme Court of California

Refer to my first post in response to the earlier Lederman thread on this case. The task was simple.
 

Thank you for the very nice post.

Having read the decision, I am proud that a "strict construction" interpretation using (1) nominalism, (2) Leibniz's Law of Identity, and (3) antidiscrimination statutues were the rather simple, yet elegant, way to achieve equality.

Governor Schwarzenegger, also, has been consistent in principle, despite mayoral unilateral lawlessness and legislative gestures pretending to overturn a plebiscite. Gestures, lawlessness, and being a "law unto oneself" distinguishes Schwarzenegger from many of the other actors in their illiberal and anti-democratic efforts. His support of the Court's decision and opposition to the repeal initiative in November seems to be the only major politician to do so. The others have scattered, lest they be tar-and-feathered a "liberal equalitarian."

Politics works best when it works on principles, and when decisions are reached in impeccable logic by three simple facts. And frankly, the ONLY honorable political actor in this wonderful outcome is the Governor.
 

Interesting, Bart, that the argument ends because your "belief" is "dispositive". Excellent legal analysis counselor.

Answer a very simple, direct question(s): Based on your arguments, why should we grant state sanction to marriages of the elderly or infertile?

Why would you grant an exception, since, apparently, the only purpose of state sanction of marriage is to foster families that can procreate versus adopt?

When did we start doling out equal protection based on what a group can offer society?
 

In response to my observation: “I doubt that Bart can point to any defective reasoning in the Judgment of the Supreme Court of California” Bart de Palma observed:

“Refer to my first post in response to the earlier Lederman thread on this case. The task was simple.”

Dear Netherandal Bart, I did notice your post on the earlier thread. It certainly did not point to any defect in the reasoning, but was merely your usual melange of unsupported assertions and vulgar abuse.

As I read the Judgment of the Supreme Court, the California position prior to the judgment was analogous to that which appertains in the UK, namely that male/female unions were legislated for as “marriages” while same sex unions of substantially equal effect were legislated for as “domestic partnerships” (we call them “civil partnerships”).

The California Attorney-General submitted that the “separate but equal” regimes were compatible with the California constitution.

I noted that the Supreme Court expressly refused to decide the nomenclature issue – i.e. whether it was necessary for California legislation to use the word “marriage” for the civil union of two couples at all.

The majority then went on to hold that the nine identified legislative differences between the two forms of union and the “second class” status resulting from two different names for the two forms of union violated the equal protection provisions of the California Constitution. The ratio of the Court’s majority decision seemed to me to be compelling and elegantly expressed.

In the earlier thread I mooted whether it might not be better for legislatures to adopt non gender specific language for both kinds of union so as to separate the religious accretions out from the civil consequences.

Turning to the rest of your latest post

As to 1, I love your assertion that “women civilize men” – it’s a hoot. Why not come down to earth and accept that some women may be able to change the behaviour of some men and in other cases not - then explain why that there should not be the same interaction between a same sex couple.

As to 3, another non-sequitur.

As to 2, apart from the fact that many same sex couples bring up children, what on earth makes you think that having children brings financial benefits? Most partners today (whether same sex or opposite sex) find that bringing up children imposes a financial burden which they accept with love.

Perhaps you send your children out to work and pocket their earnings? I note that the restrictions on child labour in Colorado are rather less onerous than in the UK , but how much does a 14 year old get for a 40 hour week during the school holidays and does it really impact on your family budget ?
 

I can’t understand why gays are not satisfied with civil unions and domestic partnerships. Gays are risking a big backlash by pushing this gay marriage thing.

The California Supreme Court’s decision is based on the California Constitution, not the US Constitution, and so is not reviewable by the US Supreme Court. So all that has been accomplished is that the benefits of California domestic partnerships are now available under the name “marriage.”

I don’t see why gays are so jubilant about this ruling. They could just be in the eye of a hurricane — an impending ballot proposition could overturn the ruling.

Also, I really get ticked off when a spouse in a gay marriage is called “his husband.” Why not just “spouse” or “partner”?
 

As to 2, would not a woman of child bearing age also have the same possibility of greater financial resources if she were in a same sex relationship as she would in an opposite sex one?

No, obviously not, because women make less money than men. :)

As for someone else's "girls can't make babies with other girls" response tot he same question, I kindly offer up the sperm bank as an obvious workaround.

Marriage in our country may define rights to sexual access, but it certainly doesn't entail the creation of children by physical means.
 

Bart, your head is in the sand regarding what is going on with stem cell derived gametes and other techniques to produce children for same-sex couples. I have no idea if it will ever work or not (though it worked once in mice), or when it might be tried, but I know that people are working on it and that some of them think it will happen very soon, so statements like "No, because the union of two women cannot create children" are just false: two women might be able to produce children.

That doesn't mean we have to stand aside and watch them though. I am trying to convince people that we need to prohibit use of modified gametes and restrict creation of children to combining a man and a woman's actual gametes. And i'm trying to explain that all marriages should protect the couple's right to combine their own gametes, no marriage should be prohibited by a law that publicly keeps them from attempting to have offspring together, as a same-sex couple would be if we prohibited use of modified gametes.

Please use this argument from time to time, not just because it works to win your argument, but because we really need to raise awareness about same-sex conception and how gay rights advocates are pushing for such an unethical technology and that we need to prohibit it to preserve human freedom (yeah, I know that seems like a contradiction, but sometimes we need to prohibit things to preserve freedom).
 

Larry says:

"I can’t understand why gays are not satisfied with civil unions and domestic partnerships. Gays are risking a big backlash by pushing this gay marriage thing."

Let's turn back the clock:

"I can't understand why blacks are not satisfied with segregated schools and accommodations. Blacks are risking a big backlash by pushing this integration thing."
 

mclamb6 said...
>>>>>> "I can't understand why blacks are not satisfied with segregated schools and accommodations. Blacks are risking a big backlash by pushing this integration thing." <<<<<<

The two situations are simply not comparable. Racial segregation and discrimination impacted every aspect of blacks' daily lives and often subjected them to great inconvenience. They were constantly told, "you can't go to school here, you can't eat here, you can't work here, you can't play here, you can't spend the night here, you can't live here, you can't be here," etc.. IMO the terms "civil union" and "domestic partnership" are actually reasonable accommodations -- at a minor cost to gays -- to the sensibilities of people who are offended by the idea of calling gay unions "marriages." Some people find the term "gay marriage" as offensive as others find the term "nigger."
 

mike said...

Interesting, Bart, that the argument ends because your "belief" is "dispositive". Excellent legal analysis counselor.

No, the proof supporting my argument is dispositive because the proponents of homosexual marriage cannot offer contrary proof that homosexual unions offer societal benefits comparable to marriage or indeed any societal benefits at all.

Based on your arguments, why should we grant state sanction to marriages of the elderly or infertile?

Under EPC analysis, it is not necessary that all married couples will produce ordered families, only that marriage can produce ordered families and homosexual unions cannot.

When did we start doling out equal protection based on what a group can offer society?

All the time. This is the purpose of the last prong of the EPC test measuring the government interest in favoring one group above another.
 

The two situations are simply not comparable.

Actually, they are. The difference is one of scale, not kind. Gays may be discriminated against in fewer aspects of their lives (this conclusion runs against my experience, though), but the failure of their suffering to match that felt daily by blacks doesn't remove the fact that same-sex marriage bans are discriminatory.

It's the waterboarding argument all over again: since the new-fangled way of waterboarding isn't as bad as what we used in the Philippines (or the Spanish used in the Inquisition), then it doesn't count as torture. Sure, we're inflicting pain and fear of death for the purposes of extracting information just like before, but since we've done worse, it's AOK.

It's a crap argument.
 

john howard said...

Bart, your head is in the sand regarding what is going on with stem cell derived gametes and other techniques to produce children for same-sex couples.

You provide an interesting brave new world argument, but I would prefer to restrict myself to the natural world as it exists now. There are enough issues to address in that world without adding hypos.

Thanks.
 

No, the proof supporting my argument is dispositive because the proponents of homosexual marriage cannot offer contrary proof that homosexual unions offer societal benefits comparable to marriage or indeed any societal benefits at all.

That is complete and utter claptrap, and you should enroll in an introductory anthropology class before you begin to pontificate on the functions of marriage. Countless studies within the fields of sociology and psychology have detailed the various benefits gained by both individuals and society from the institution of marriage.

Note the basic functions of marriage:

-regulating sexual access in society
-preventing the spread of disease through sexual fidelity
-legitimizing children
-providing means of caring for children
-additional labor to achieve household goals
-exchange and alliance between families of the partners

None of these are gender-dependent. And before John starts on with gametes, adoption is an option for having children used by married couples of all sorts. All of these benefits are present in same-sex marriages.

Additionally, the term "marriage" conveys a cultural approval that a separate second-class category does not. Psychologically, it's an "also ran" or "second place" ribbon. A recent study by Porche and Purvin (2008) mentions that the validation that comes with the term "marriage" is not only important to the emotion well-being of same-sex couples, but critical to the social adjustment of their children:

The DOMA and similar legislative initiatives claiming to protect families actually foster insecurity among children of same-sex parents. In a commissioned article for the American Academy of Pediatrics, representatives of key committees (Pawelski et al., 2006) detail the numerous legal protections and privileges that provide security to children in opposite-sex families; argue that the security generated by these conventions is critical to children’s physical and mental health, development, and well-being; and review the growing body of research indicating that children raised by parents in same-sex relationships are at no particular risks and have the same needs as all other children. They conclude that changing policies to provide legal protection and security for children of gay and lesbian parents should be a public health priority.

Again, the onus is not on supporters of same-sex marriage to prove it's worth having. The onus is on opponents to show how society benefits from affirming the second-class status of a subset of the citizenry and damaging their children in the process.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

["Bart", once upon a time]: "No matter how learned my correspondent, I do not accept bare assertions as undisputed fact."

["Bart", today]: Ms. Gallagher and I both believe that homosexual unions do not offer the same benefits as marriage to society and thus do not merit societal recognition of such unions as marriage.

My argument stops there because I believe that point is dispositive.


Translated from Rethuglican foamer-speak™ [or is it 5th grade playground talk?] into English: "Because I said so! Nya-nya-nyah!"

"Bart", that's so patently dishonest, you have to be absolutely shameless to advance that in a forum that will immortalise this crap for all time. Oh. Wait..... Nevermind.

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma:

{Mourad]: I doubt that Bart can point to any defective reasoning in the Judgment of the Supreme Court of California

Refer to my first post in response to the earlier Lederman thread on this case. The task was simple.


The one where you said that the California Supreme Court "redefined" marriage? When they explicitly didn't do this? What they said was that if California wanted to define marriage, they had to do it in a non-discriminatory fashion. They left it open to the state to simply get out of the game of "defining" marriage entirely. What they couldn't do was define it (newly, as did the 2000 law) in a discriminatory fashion.

Cheers,
 

PMS_Chicago said ( 11:22 AM ) --
>>>>>> Gays may be discriminated against in fewer aspects of their lives (this conclusion runs against my experience, though), but the failure of their suffering to match that felt daily by blacks doesn't remove the fact that same-sex marriage bans are discriminatory. <<<<<<<

My heart bleeds for those poor gays who have to suffer the terrible indignity of having their unions called "civil unions" and "domestic partnerships" instead of "marriages." Meanwhile, our society continues to severely persecute polygamists, hookers, johns, etc..

Arne Langsetmo said ( 1:54 PM ) --
>>>>>>> What they said was that if California wanted to define marriage, they had to do it in a non-discriminatory fashion. <<<<<<

That's ridiculous -- states are always making discriminatory marriage restrictions that are based on age, blood relationships, number of spouses, etc..

I doubt that our society will ever be rid of widespread homophobia. Other kinds of intolerance widely existed at a time when intolerance was widely considered to be generally OK, but widespread homophobia has persisted into a time when intolerance is widely considered to be generally wrong.

Also, gays are oblivious to the problems that they are causing by pushing gay marriage. For example, the issue of gay marriage has split churches, creating severe problems about the ownership of church properties.
 

pms_chicago said...

No, the proof supporting my argument is dispositive because the proponents of homosexual marriage cannot offer contrary proof that homosexual unions offer societal benefits comparable to marriage or indeed any societal benefits at all.

That is complete and utter claptrap, and you should enroll in an introductory anthropology class before you begin to pontificate on the functions of marriage. Countless studies within the fields of sociology and psychology have detailed the various benefits gained by both individuals and society from the institution of marriage.

Note the basic functions of marriage:

-regulating sexual access in society
-preventing the spread of disease through sexual fidelity
-legitimizing children
-providing means of caring for children
-additional labor to achieve household goals
-exchange and alliance between families of the partners

None of these are gender-dependent. And before John starts on with gametes, adoption is an option for having children used by married couples of all sorts. All of these benefits are present in same-sex marriages.


To start, thank you for at least attempting to offer evidence to support the contention that homosexual unions offer benefits to society, nevertheless those comparable to marriage. To date, the responses have all been name calling and changing the subject.

First, I notice that your list of functions of marriage leaves out all of the items which I listed that do not apply to homosexual unions.

Second, modern civil marriage does not compel almost any of the functions which you listed including regulation of sex, sexual disease, providing household labor or child care, or creating alliances between families. Hell, modern social marriage does not enforce many of these anymore.

The one item which does still apply somewhat to civil marriage is the automatic legitimization of children born in the union. However, once again, that pesky fact that homosexual unions do not create children rears its head again. Therefore, there is no need for legitimization under those circumstances since any child born to one member of a lesbian couple would be per se illegitimate.

Additionally, the term "marriage" conveys a cultural approval that a separate second-class category does not.

I do not support civil unions, so the hypocrisy argument does not apply to my position. Homosexual unions do not provide any societal benefits that merit the provision of the benefits of marriage to them.

Furthermore, Marriage IS far more important to society than any other human relationship. I hate to burst your bubble with a highly non PC fact, but homosexual unions and other human relationships are second class compared to marriage.

A recent study by Porche and Purvin (2008) mentions that the validation that comes with the term "marriage" is not only important to the emotion well-being of same-sex couples, but critical to the social adjustment of their children

This is not a reason to redefine marriage to include homosexual unions. No one compelled homosexuals to care for the children produced by heterosexual unions.

Again, the onus is not on supporters of same-sex marriage to prove it's worth having. The onus is on opponents to show how society benefits from affirming the second-class status of a subset of the citizenry and damaging their children in the process.

Sorry, you are taking the affirmative position that the millennial old definitions of marriage as a monogamous or polygamous heterosexual union should be changed to include homosexual unions. The burden of proof is completely yours.
 

Sorry, you are taking the affirmative position that the millennial old definitions of marriage as a monogamous or polygamous heterosexual union should be changed to include homosexual unions. The burden of proof is completely yours.

Nonsense. If you state that same-sex marriage is of a category completely different than heterosexual marriage (so much as to warrant the "second-class" label), you have to give reasons for that belief if you want to argue the point publicly.

So far, the only thing you can come up with is that children don't result from the sexual congress of two homosexual people. Congratulations on learning about the birds and the bees.

However, adoption is very much an option in some parts of the country. Also, we shouldn't neglect to mention John Howard's nightmare, if only to acknowledge that science and society have a way of redefining and subverting categories--even those that were seemingly set in stone only a generation before. It's a little thing called culture change. You can fight it if you like, but the reason Mr. Howard is so emphatic about his cause is that historically, resisting the adoption of technological advances is a losing battle.
 

Bart says:

"Under EPC analysis, it is not necessary that all married couples will produce ordered families, only that marriage can produce ordered families and homosexual unions cannot.

[Me:] When did we start doling out equal protection based on what a group can offer society?

All the time. This is the purpose of the last prong of the EPC test measuring the government interest in favoring one group above another."

Of course, you are now completely changing your argument, which previously related to society subsidizing certain unions based on the purported return on such investment. Moreover, given that we can unequivocally know through testing whether a couple can conceive, what is the basis for continued subsidization of marriages that cannot conceive?

If a legislaute passed a law requiring testing for the ability to conceive and anyone failing said test was not granted a marriage license, would it pass constitutional muster? If not, how is that not a tacit admission that civil marriage isn't just about the ability to conceive children? If you are going to undertake an EPC analysis, why aren't same sex marriages and infertile marriages situated EXACTLY the same?

And finally, the last prong of an EPC analysis is not a measure of what a group can offer society. It does analyze the gov't's interest in certain discrimination, but the gov't interest that is allegedly being protected is independent from whether a group can offer society a benefit.
 

How, exactly, is the right to marry "essential to basic human dignity?"
 

Larry Fafarman:

I hesitate to write this because you're almost as much a one-trick-pony as "John Howard", but here goes:

[Arne Langsetmo]: What they said was that if California wanted to define marriage, they had to do it in a non-discriminatory fashion.

That's ridiculous -- states are always making discriminatory marriage restrictions that are based on age, blood relationships, number of spouses, etc..


Are you saying their holding was "ridiculous" or are you saying that I mischaracterised it?

Also, gays are oblivious to the problems that they are causing by pushing gay marriage. For example, the issue of gay marriage has split churches, creating severe problems about the ownership of church properties.

Oh, really? What is your evidence that gays are "oblivious" to this?

But if we assume arguendo that gay rights is "split[ing] churches", what business is it of ours?

Then there was that little brouhaha about the Protestant reformation (along with the myriad wars this split engendered). Or the civil war because of the problems people had with such firebrands as Wrig... -- umm, sorry, wrong orator, Frederick Douglass....

So, my question to you is: FTW cares if churches have some dissention in their midst? And if you care, what would be your solution?

Cheers,
 

Arne Langsetmo said,

>>>>> Are you saying their holding was "ridiculous" or are you saying that I mischaracterised it? <<<<<

The answer is obvious -- I did not say that I think that you mischaracterized the decision.

>>>>>> What is your evidence that gays are "oblivious" to this? <<<<<<

I have never heard any gay advise that gays should forget about gay marriage and push for civil unions (or domestic partnerships) instead because the push for gay marriage is causing a backlash. I used to be very tolerant of gays, but now I am less tolerant because they are so pushy. Gays and their supporters seem to get a thrill out of offending people, e.g., calling a partner in a gay marriage "his husband."

>>>>>> But if we assume arguendo that gay rights is "split[ing] churches", what business is it of ours? <<<<<<

How do you know that I am not a member of one of those churches? And why must we be personally affected by everything that we comment about?
 

Larry says:

"Gays and their supporters seem to get a thrill out of offending people, e.g., calling a partner in a gay marriage 'his husband.'"

Re-write:

"Heteros and their supporters seem to get a thrill out of offending people, e.g., calling a partner in a hetero marriage 'snookums'."

If this is all it took to undermine your "tolerance", I'm afraid I have to throw the BS flag with regards to your open-mindedness.
 

mike said,
>>>>>> If this is all it took to undermine your "tolerance", I'm afraid I have to throw the BS flag with regards to your open-mindedness. <<<<<<

That's not all. I first became pissed off at gays when they tried to have Cobb County eliminated from consideration as an Atlanta Olympics host because the county commission passed an anti-gay resolution. IMO politics should be kept out of the Olympics.
 

To date, the responses have all been name calling and changing the subject.

I think you misspelled: "... ignoring the valid (and deadly) objection that the California Supreme Court didn't "redefine" marriage (and expressly declined to do so), and also the objection that we don't decide basichuman rights based on what benefit these provide to 'society'...."

FWIW, I heard El Rushbo's stand-in today (some numbnutz named Jason Lewis) reiterate the same claim that Virginia made, that the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously dismissed forty years ago: That no one is banned from marriage (and all are treated 'equal'); they just can't marry the people the state says they can't.... Lewis also said "if we could appoint a benevolent dictator, that would be just great...."

Cheers,
 

[mclamb6]: When did we start doling out equal protection based on what a group can offer society?

["Bart"]: All the time. This is the purpose of the last prong of the EPC test measuring the government interest in favoring one group above another.


Total BS. Completely bass-ackwards.

In cases of abridgement of rights, the state is allowed to do certain things that infringe civil liberties if certain conditions are met, namely no LRM, narrowly tailored, and the state has a compelling interest in their actions.

That is hardly the justification, nor a prerequisite, to the granting (or recognition) of rights.

I simply can't imagine how the "Bartster" ever got past the bar; did he hire a stand-in to take the test for him?

Cheers,
 

Larry Fafarman:

Against my better judgement:

[Arne]: What is your evidence that gays are "oblivious" to this?

I have never heard any gay advise that gays should forget about gay marriage and push for civil unions (or domestic partnerships) instead because the push for gay marriage is causing a backlash....


Ahhh. IC. The argument from personal incredulity. That's a winner.

But you really need to get out more, Larry (and do wash the Cheetoh stains from your fingers beforehand, thanks). There's plenty of people (both gay and straight) that have made just such a claim. There's others that reject it for a number of reasons.

... I used to be very tolerant of gays, but now I am less tolerant because they are so pushy....

... and wear better clothes.

... Gays and their supporters seem to get a thrill out of offending people, e.g., calling a partner in a gay marriage "his husband."

Some yes, some no. But if you're that averse to "offence", you ought not come here, because I will humiliate you if you start spouting this kind of crapola....

[Arne]: But if we assume arguendo that gay rights is "split[ing] churches", what business is it of ours?

How do you know that I am not a member of one of those churches?


I don't. And I don't care. I thought I made that clear.

If your church has problems (or if you have problems), that's between you, your Father, your mother and your psychotherapist. It's not my problem, and it's not the law's problem. I wish you'd go and discuss it with someone that gives a damn.

As for this: [LF]: "For example, the issue of gay marriage has split churches, creating severe problems about the ownership of church properties."

So glad to see that they have their priorities in order.... ;-)

Cheers,
 

>>>>> The argument from personal incredulity. <<<<<<

No, it's an argument from personal experience. I have never heard a gay speak out against gay marriage.

>>>>> ... and wear better clothes. <<<<<

Yeah -- black leather outfits with tight pants.

>>>>> you ought not come here, because I will humiliate you if you start spouting this kind of crapola....<<<<<<

You're the one who is spouting crapola, dunghill.

>>>>>> So glad to see that they have their priorities in order <<<<<<

What about the screwed-up priorities of gays and their supporters?
 

While I suspect that "Bart" has 'moved on', getting back to an early question:

[phg]: i would ask mr. depalma and any other opposed to same sex marriage (1) how his marriage is effected if arne is allowed to marry in california...

["Bart"]: No, I do not intend to recognize the burden shifting.


It wasn't "burden shifting". It was a question. Perhaps "Bart" didn't like the question, but the response was certainly not an answer. "Bart" can (and does) maintain that marriages are for the benefit of society (an avenue worth exploration), but fails to answer the question as to how my upcoming wedding would affect his marriage (or anyone else's). If "Bart" doesn't know, he should be honest enough to say so. If he does, he should explain himself. If he thinks it doesn't, but that nonetheless, if my marriage doesn't properly benefit society, I should not be allowed to marry, he should explain his reasoning.

[phg]: (2) why he cares if arne gets married at all.

["Bart"]: It can only improve arne.


A rather flip answer, but I'm not quite sure what "Bart"'s point was. Does he really think that this is to my benefit? If so, then what objection does he have to me getting married? Or does he have such an objection?

Cheers,
 

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