Patterico's Pontifications

1/3/2007

L.A. Times Has Ignorant Editorial on Gay Marriage in California

The L.A. Times has a (sorry, fellas) moronic editorial this morning which begins with this false premise:

IT COULD have been different. If Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had signed a bill in 2005 legalizing same-sex marriage instead of vetoing it, the California Supreme Court would have been spared the task of deciding, as it probably will this year, whether a voter-approved ban violates the state Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law.

When Arnold vetoed the bill, I supported him. Here’s what I said at the time:

I am sympathetic to the concept of same-sex marriage, but I think Schwarzenegger has it just right. This bill clearly conflicts with Proposition 22 (which I voted against), and cannot legally become law without submission to the voters — something the bill does not contemplate. For more, see Dafydd ab Hugh’s earlier post.

Today’s editorial says:

But Schwarzenegger said he had to respect Proposition 22, approved in 2000, which states: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Whether committed same-sex couples will be relieved of second-class status now depends on the state Supreme Court. And as Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer’s ruling notes, the state Constitution trumps any ballot question and entitles same-sex couples to what he called “the last step in the equation: the right to marriage itself.”

But the editorial fails to recognize that, regardless of whether the state Constitution trumps ballot questions, it’s beyond any doubt that ballot initiatives trump legislative acts. (The legal authority for this proposition is provided in the Dafydd ab Hugh post linked above.) In other words, Arnold was exactly right: the legislature can’t repeal ballot initiatives without the voters’ approval, and signing the bill would have been an illegal act that would have led directly to a successful court challenge — or, at a minimum, a consideration of the very state equal protection arguments that the editors claim could have been avoided by signing the bill.

I guess it might be a bit much to expect the editors to understand this. But if they can’t be bothered to understand it, then they shouldn’t write about it.

I know, I know. It never stopped them before.

172 Responses to “L.A. Times Has Ignorant Editorial on Gay Marriage in California”

  1. Gay Marriage is a done deal, Breeders!

    Live with it.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  2. “I am sympathetic to the concept of same-sex marriage”

    No you’re not. You’re such a fucking liar. Fess up admit it. The thought I and the man I’ve shared my life with for over 35 years might have a contract recognized by the state terrifies you to the core of your pathetic being.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  3. David, if Pat voted against Prop. 22, what grounds do you have for your ad hominem attack?

    Mike Lief (e6260e)

  4. His current post constitutes grounds.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  5. If ballot initiatives trump legislative acts then how about a return to slavery? You KNOW it’s a winner.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  6. Ehrenstein,

    You’ve got to be the most hateful, ignorant asshole who’s every trolled this site. I am as conservative as anyone can be, a Christian, and a confident heterosexual. I am an old married man (to a woman) with a child. Yet I support same-sex marriage for one simple reason: There is nothing worse than being alone. I would not wish it on any human being and, regardless of what you think conservatives believe, I believe that gay people are human beings. Even you. But you seem to have all the worst of petty human frailties.

    nk (d5dd10)

  7. Oh a “Christian.” and a “confident heterosexual” to boot. How nice for you.

    There is nothing worse than being alone. I would not wish it on any human being and, regardless of what you think conservatives believe, I believe that gay people are human beings.

    Your condescension is duly noted.

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  8. And don’t call me a “Breeder”, [pick your favorite anti-gay epithet].

    nk (d5dd10)

  9. Ehrenstein,

    You’ve got to be the most hateful, ignorant asshole who’s every trolled this site.

    I second that proposition (but you forgot to add the adjective “perverted”)!

    Dubya (c16726)

  10. It’s a Love Feast in here!

    David Ehrenstein (7a0a1d)

  11. Condescension? If you will point to something higher than a “human being” on this world, I will apologize.

    nk (d5dd10)

  12. It’s a Love Feast in here!

    One that is about to end, assuming my spam filter works. Off to moderation and/or the spam filter with you.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  13. Sorry, Dubya. Like I said, I never learned to think that way.

    nk (d5dd10)

  14. How a guy can think that I’m threatened by gay marriage when I voted against Prop. 22 — and consistently state on this blog that I’m in favor of gay marriage — well, it’s beyond me.

    Actually, no it’s not. It’s how someone acts when their typing fingers get ahead of their brain.

    When Ehrenstein whines to Cathy Seipp’s commenters about being banned here, let’s see if he tells them why. If he gives an honest account, I’ll eat my hat.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  15. nk, THANK YOU for expressing my thoughts so succinctly. I’m so sick of Stalinists– and David is most definitely one– dropping his shit all over decent people’s blogs, such as here and at Cathy’s world, without ever getting banned or any serious consequences. Everyone here knows this oh-so-PC hypocrite would IN A NANOSECOND delete any comments similar to his–made by us against him on HIS pitiful little blog– in a nanosecond. And then this CHILDISH, BIGOTED INSECT demands respect from the rest of us! If I weren’t so square myself, I’d swear he’s on the payroll of the far right to portray a stereotypical brain-dead angry leftist.

    I think it’s only a matter of time before Deb Frisch syndrome takes hold and David actually threatens someone. But by then, I’ll personally enjoy seeing David losing his cushy little Wilshire lifestyle to a big Aryan asshole who just lives to pound him in the LA County prison yard every day, and twice on Sundays.

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  16. As you know, legislative acts, i.e., laws, cannot contravene the state constitution. Therefore, propositions (that amend the California Constitution) may not simply be overridden by a dictatorial legislature.

    While some people have an intense dislike for the initiative process, it is an example of the “democracy” that the left claims to want, the very essence of “Direct Action!”

    So long as the individual proposition doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution — as would your slavery example (which you darn well know) — the people are free to craft the laws that their elected representatives refuse to pass.

    The bigger problem for you is that there is no assurance that the U.S. Supreme Court will (ever) hold that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right, thereby invalidating California’s constitutional provision.

    It seems to me that moral suasion is the better course of action, rather than trying to force radical social change upon an unwilling populace.

    Diatribes like the one you’ve unleashed on our host are unlikely to sway those who are open to change.

    Mike Lief (e6260e)

  17. Actually, no it’s not. It’s how someone acts when their typing fingers get ahead of their brain.

    …or when their little head leads their big head…

    Dubya (c16726)

  18. When Ehrenstein whines to Cathy Seipp’s commenters about being banned here, let’s see if he tells them why. If he gives an honest account, I’ll eat my hat.

    Patterico, he doesn’t. He just whines, snivels, calls you a Nazi, and proceeds to insult everyone there even worse than he does here, as Ms. Seipp doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to personally police her comment section, due to her health concerns. He’s even insulted her daughter Maia, calling her a Nazi sympathizer and what not.

    At least you lay down a little law and order around here, but I wish you’d just ban the bastard and get it over with. The entertainment value isn’t worth the disrespect and overall drop in quality of argument that David “brings” (or drags) to the table. I’m always happy to debate reasonable and informed Democrats and liberals, but David ain’t one.

    David, the childish jackass, has no respect for anything other than his genitalia.

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  19. qdpsteve,

    It’s an odd fantasy you have, and I can’t subscribe to it. Sorry. But I will say that Ehrenstein has made threatening comments about my job before — at least to the extent of saying (in comments on another blog) that he thinks I should be fired. I probably should have banned him long ago for that. It certainly factors into the decision.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  20. David, the childish jackass, has no respect for anything other than his genitalia.

    Wrong — if he had any respect for that he wouldn’t be putting it up someone’s poop chute!

    Dubya (c16726)

  21. Patterico, thanks for your response and consideration. And if you think I blow off enough steam to power greater Long Beach as a commenter… well, let’s just say that people carbon-based lifeforms like David are, unfortunately, probably Reason #1 why I don’t have one, as my anger management skills could still use some adjustment. (Exhibits A and B above.)

    But just to note: I wouldn’t be thinking so much of David’s, er, vital organs, if he weren’t always so busy waving them in my (and others) faces at my favorite blogs so often.

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  22. Wrong — if he had any respect for that he wouldn’t be putting it up someone’s poop chute!

    All right, that’s enough. I respect people who have a homosexual lifestyle, Mr. Ehrenstein’s comments notwithstanding, and I won’t allow comments like that.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  23. Let’s forget about David E. now, and concentrate on the post and the issues it raises.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  24. Oops… clarification: “Reason #1 why I don’t have one” being my own blog.

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  25. I wish you’d just ban the bastard and get it over with

    That’s what I’ve done.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  26. To paraphrase what Charles Emerson Winchester III once said to one Corporal Klinger, Patterico, you are a gentleman and a lady. Thank you. :-)

    qdpsteve (cd214a)

  27. I suppose it depends on what you believe the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution means:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  28. How about redacting the poo-flinging monkey comments, eh? It’s a decent topic without ’em.

    Mike Lief (e6260e)

  29. But just to note: I wouldn’t be thinking so much of David’s, er, vital organs, if he weren’t always so busy waving them in my (and others) faces at my favorite blogs so often.

    Yup! What he said…

    Dubya (c16726)

  30. The problem with the Ehrensteins of the world is that they have to be so damn militant about their beliefs that they end up driving away their potential allies. Good riddance to that clown, though I am sure he will find another blog in which to showcase his petulance.

    JVW (d0677a)

  31. Sorry David E. flung his stuff around your part of the blogverse. We over in the CathyVerse are appalled. (just read the comments now piling up.) He was actually banned for a few days when Cathy was in the hospital, but had been behaving better in the last few weeks. Now he’s complaining about a lack of tolerance!

    Bradley J. Fikes (19f52f)

  32. If the topic is “Why don’t the LA Times’ editors understand that ballot initiatives trump legislation?,” I submit that they probably weren’t taught that in school (given today’s PC curriculum) nor have they seen examples of that legal concept enunciated clearly and unequivocally in court decisions (especially by the California Supreme Court).

    In my experience teaching introductory paralegal courses to college graduates – educated and motivated people who have an interest in the law but who did not attend law school – it’s interesting how little they know about the legal process. IMO this ignorance is not the students’ fault, at least not entirely. Our schools (high schools and colleges) are so busy teaching students to think creatively and critically that they never learn the basics like how and why things work.

    Of course, there is really no excuse for this lapse in editorial judgment. Unlike a small daily or weekly paper, the LA Times’ editors have access to legal resources to help them understand these concepts. At a minimum, they could call their own attorneys or interview a professor at the UCLA Law School. What editorials like this illustrate is the editors’ laziness in obtaining basic information needed to fully understand a topic. Or, alternatively, it illustrates the editors’ willingness to manipulate the readers into accepting a desired opinion. Either way, it’s disappointing.

    DRJ (51a774)

  33. Out of curiosity…what would have happened if Arnold had indeed signed the 2005 bill?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  34. i believe that patterico’s legal reasoning is erroneous.
    much depends on whether prop 22 was initiative legislation, or an initiative constitutional amendment; california voters can do either depending on how it was set up; i was (and am now) in oregon when this happened and wasn’t paying close attention, but from the language attributed to judge kramer and that of patterico himself, i’m assuming it was initiative legislation for the purpose of this argument.
    if it wasn’t an initiative constitutional amendment, then the state constitution trumps both legislative acts and initiative legislative acts. until the state supreme court rules, the question is open whether constitutional equal protection trumps christohomophobic ballot initiatives in this particular instance. the general principle that a constitution exists to protect the rights of the minority against the demagogically inflamed passions of the majority still prevails. with this in mind i conclude that the editorial, while not perfect, starts on a sound base.

    [No it doesn’t. And my reasoning isn’t erroneous. The legislature can’t override Prop. 22 without a vote of the people, which would lose. — P]

    assistant devil's advocate (beaf2f)

  35. P: you’re being much too generous when you attribute the LAT position to their being ‘ignorant’. They are fully aware of the legalities, it’s simply that they don’t care when following the law is an impediment to achieving a certain, preferred result… .in this case, advancing the cause of same-sex marriage.

    They’re doing the same thing as the incoming Massachusetts Governor, who objected to the Massachusetts legislature’s following that state’s clearly written law because that would in all likelihood result in something the Governor didn’t like.

    There are way too many liberals, and, unfortunately, an awful lot of conservatives, who are all in favor of the law… just so long as it is a law they favor.

    steve sturm (d3e296)

  36. Which shows why we dont need that stupid 9th curcut court americas most over turned appelate court in the nation

    krazy kagu (5fcc3d)

  37. Krazy Kagu: excuse me, I don’t follow. I thought this was a debate about whether or not (a) the Governor should have signed legislation which unconstitutionally attempts to override a ballot initiative; (b) whether said attempts are unconstitutional; (c) whether the ballot initiative itself was in violation of the state constitution.

    What the 9th circuit court of appeals has to do with this I’m uncertain. Could you explain?

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  38. I suppose it depends on what you believe the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution means:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Sorry to tell you, Neville, but the 10th Amendment got repealed at Appamattox.

    However, to your example, the matter of gay marriage was posed to the people in 2000 via Proposition 22, and the outcome was not subject to interpretation.

    You asked what if Arnie had signed the law – your answer is that the law would have almost immediately been subjected to referendum, and would have been summarily rejected by the voters.

    What the gay marriage activists need to understand is that since the Massachussetts Supreme Judicial Court tried to ram it down the nation’s throats by fiat, gay marriage has gone something like 0-22 in votes across the land.

    One of my favorite statements to my children is, “What part of NO do you not understand?”

    Perhaps the gay marriage advocates would do well to heed that little aphorism.

    JD (044292)

  39. ada,

    Read the Dafydd ab Hugh post linked in the above post. An initiative statute, which I think Prop. 22 was, can be overridden by the legislature only if the law is submitted to the people for approval. Now, if Arnold had signed the law, either it would have been voted down . . . or, perhaps the challengers could have tried to invalidate Prop. 22 in court by arguing that it violates equal protection — the very argument that the editors claim could have been avoided if Arnold had signed the bill.

    My legal analysis is not at all erroneous. Read the post.

    And David E. — your comment about slavery is misplaced. There was an amendment about that, remember?

    You guys should all read Dafydd’s post, which explains why the legislature can’t trump an initative in California. It’s in the state constitution, actually! Article 2, section 10(c), to be exact.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  40. 308.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

    What, exactly, is the legal definition of a “man” and a “woman” in California?

    I couldn’t find that anywhere in the code.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  41. Troll 1: Ding dong, the bitch is dead.

    Troll 2: WTF does the 10th Amendment, or any other part of the federal Constitution, have to do with anything? We’re talking about a state law passed by a state legislature, which violated a state constitution because it conflicted with another state law passed by initiative. And no, you won’t find definitions of the word “man” and “woman” in the Family Code. You also won’t find definitions for words like “and” or “the,” or even “valid.” Understanding any statute requires a certain amount of common sense you apparently lack.

    TROLL 3: HEY DUMBASS, NEXT TIME YOU FEEL LIKE TELLING SOMEONE ELSE THEIR REASONING IS ERRONEOUS, HOW ABOUT DOING YOUR OWN FRIGGIN’ HOMEWORK FIRST? YES, PROP 22 WAS AN INITIATIVE STATUTE. NO, THAT DOESN’T MEAN THE LEGISLATURE IS FREE TO IGNORE IT JUST BECAUSE THEY DISAGREE WITH IT – WHICH IS ABOUT ALL THE LEGAL ANALYSIS IT TAKES TO MAKE UP A PHONY “EQUAL PROTECTION” ARGUMENT. IT’S UP TO THE COURTS, NOT THE LEGISLATURE, AND CERTAINLY NOT TO SOME INATTENTIVE SCHMUCK IN OREGON WHO CAN’T EVEN FIND THE SHIFT KEY ON HIS COMPUTER, TO INTERPRET THE STATE CONSTITUTION. IF/WHEN A COURT RULES THAT MARRIAGE IS AN EVIL, HOMOPHOBIC INSTITUTION, AND THEREFORE UNCONSTITUTIONAL, A BILL LIKE THE ONE ARNIE VETOED WON’T BE NECESSARY. UNTIL THEY DO, THE BILL IS ITSELF UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

    Patterico:

    Now, if Arnold had signed the law, either it would have been voted down . . . or, perhaps the challengers could have tried to invalidate Prop. 22 in court by arguing that it violates equal protection — the very argument that the editors claim could have been avoided if Arnold had signed the bill.

    Not sure I follow the reasoning there. The bill didn’t provide for a popular vote, so wouldn’t it have simply been invalid, and easily struck down on that basis without the need for considering equal protection or other issues? I suppose a creative court could have “reformed” the bill and ordered a popular vote on their own, but I don’t know that there’s much precedent for that.

    Xrlq (3e8d4f)

  42. Well, I’m glad to see that Xrlq is still the same ol’ calm, cool, and collected guy he’s always been.

    Psyberian, the Infuriating (490f62)

  43. Even minus the hysteria, DE’s argument, such as it is, is pretty silly. You don’t have to be opposed to SSM to realize that there are consequences to a blatant, ham-handed attempt to overrule Constitutional requirements in order to enact it, and that one of those consequences is going to be failure.

    (Me, I’m strongly in favor of SSM, and not just on equal protection grounds — although I do think it’s horribly unfair to us “breeders” that gay men and lesbians should be spared having to have mothers-in-law.)

    The battle for marital equality is going to be long and difficult, and even the “shortcuts” (anybody else know how long the folks in MA and NJ were working on getting SSM through the courts?) are going to be long and difficult.

    Eventually, though, it will be successful; while there are some kooks in the pro-SSM movement (and what movement has been spared its share of nutcases?) in the long run, the consensus of the het majority will be that SSM actually isn’t threatening to anything; it’ll just take some decades.

    Joel Rosenberg (677e59)

  44. Mr Ehrenstein wrote:

    I am sympathetic to the concept of same-sex marriage.

    No you’re not. You’re such a fucking liar. Fess up admit it. The thought I and the man I’ve shared my life with for over 35 years might have a contract recognized by the state terrifies you to the core of your pathetic being.

    Are you stating here thyat our esteemed host not only disapproves of recognizing homosexual unions as marriages, but he is also opposed to California’s domestic partnership laws?

    I recognize that you have something of a vested interest in this, but you really let your emotions run ahead of your arguments on this one.

    Dana (3e4784)

  45. Our host wrote:

    When Ehrenstein whines to Cathy Seipp’s commenters about being banned here, let’s see if he tells them why. If he gives an honest account, I’ll eat my hat.

    Is he banned, or jusr dumped into the automatic moderation queue?

    Dana (3e4784)

  46. Oops, got further down, and see that my previous question has been answered.

    Dana (3e4784)

  47. All the attempts by homosexuals to gain “equal protection” or “recognition of homosexual unions” is simply an attempt to influence those who find their lifestyles repulsive through the concept of social proof.

    i.e., “it’s legal, recognized and protected by the government, therefore is OK, not sinful.”

    Homosexuals’ adoption of children is another front in this battle — raise children to believe that sinful behavior is “normal” and it becomes normal to the society.

    The admonition is to “love the sinner but hate the sin” — accepting homosexual “marriages” or lifestyles does not comply with that admonition.

    Even if you don’t believe in “sin” or religion, the fact is that homosexual behavior is unhealthy and pathologic.

    Dubya (c16726)

  48. “I am sympathetic to the concept of same-sex marriage”

    You know, I try to be, but shrill attitudes exhibited by the likes of Mrs. Ehrenstein are very off-putting. I used to vote against smoking bans, too, believing them to be an over-extension of gov’t nannyism. But, after seeing butt after butt carelessly tossed out of car windows, after having to push through the throng of smokers rudely blocking the front door, after dealing with their complete disregard for us non-smokers, I eventually went to the other side and voted against them, thinking “screw you bastards.”

    I voted against the gay marriage ban in Ohio, but I am re-considering for the next time it comes up. Not through any sense of fear or moral outrage. Nope, purely because I’m sick of the shrill demands from the likes of Andrew Sullivan, and now one Mrs. Ehrenstein.

    Screw you, you self-centered hostile bitch.

    Hogarth (a721ef)

  49. I know you people think your being sympathetic or sophisticated in supporting same-sex “marriage”. The Truth however could not be further from the case.

    We have much bigger problems in America then making gay people feel better about themselves. Perhaps you have heard that illegitimacy breeds a tangle of pathologies especially among the underclass?

    How do we send the message to young people that Fathers are important, children need to be born within married households & intact biological families are the optimal setting for society? We cant do this with your genderless yuppie utopia you think your building.

    Forty-five percent of all Hispanic births occur outside of marriage, Only the percentage of black out-of-wedlock births—68 percent—exceeds the Hispanic rate. And the Hispanic population is going to triple over the next few decades.

    Fitz (a95d59)

  50. After the vote on 2000, in California, the SSM activists should have realize they were premature. If it didn’t fly in CA, it won’t fly anywhere in the USA. But they had to try and shove down peoples throats anyhow. As a result, 20+ states now have constitutional amendments that exclude SSM, which passed by 59% in the lowest instance (a liberal state, naturally) to 70%+ in the highest. And public attitudes have shifted and hardened against them. Arrogance and condensation goeth before a fall, also.

    larry (336e87)

  51. It looks as if I quit too soon. There was a nominee in that envelope after all. It turns out to be the one I favored. And total success so soon after being nominated! Be still my beating heart and bon voyage to D.E.

    Only two more to go. Thanks Pat. Hat tip to X.

    BTW the LAT isn’t hiring at the moment. Something about lagging readership or some such. ;-)>

    Ms. Judged (f2e636)

  52. Here you have multiple courts, Hawaii, Alaska, Vermont, Mass., & N.J. basically acting as champions of an obscure and ridiculous “movement”. If not for their actions this would not be a National or even State issue.
    If you think of this as comparable to Jim Crow, then naturally you believe the courts have a responsibility to champion your cause. If however you realize this is an extremely dangerous yet silly idea: the courts end up looking like what they are. The sounding board for radical university types to engage in social engineering no rational person would support.

    Fitz (a95d59)

  53. Yay, 1 troll dead…

    I may have to start commenting again now.

    Neville said, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Wouldn’t a vote by the people be included herein?

    Lord Nazh (285c90)

  54. question for patterico:
    you’ve just been appointed to the california supreme court, and here’s your first case: the appeal of judge kramer’s decision. you have two options
    1. defer to the will of the people, find that constitutional equal protection does not extend to gay marriage, reverse judge kramer, or
    2, ignore the will of the people, find that “equal protection” means that gays can marry just like straights, affirm judge kramer.

    we know you voted against 22, but that was essentially a legislative decision. now they’re asking you to make a judicial decision, which is much different. what you gonna do???

    assistant devil's advocate (a76e2b)

  55. Not sure I follow the reasoning there. The bill didn’t provide for a popular vote, so wouldn’t it have simply been invalid, and easily struck down on that basis without the need for considering equal protection or other issues? I suppose a creative court could have “reformed” the bill and ordered a popular vote on their own, but I don’t know that there’s much precedent for that.

    But the litigants could have made part of their lawsuit a challenge to Prop. 22 on state equal protection grounds. If Prop. 22 is invalid, then there would be no need for a referendum on the bill Arnie vetoed. He could have signed it into law with no further action necessary.

    I realize I didn’t lay out every step in the post, because I didn’t want to make it too long, but that’s what I was driving at.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  56. ada,

    I don’t think equal protection applies here.

    But I haven’t studied state equal protection law extensively, so I could be wrong.

    Patterico (906bfc)

  57. xrlq,

    The language for Prop 22 seems to be the legal equivalent of finger painting.

    Why couldn’t a same-sex couple simply change their names to “a man” and “a woman” and apply for a marriage license?

    What could the Christianists do to stop them, pass a law that any couple who wants to certify their marriage in California must submit to a state-run doodle check?

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  58. @xrlq:
    thank you for providing my morning giggle; as a chronic amusement deficit sufferer, i need a steady stream of laughs to prop up my flagging spirit.
    here’s some of the advantages of being an inattentive schmuck in oregon:
    no sales tax or vehicle registration fees.
    no waiting in line at the dmv; when i got my oregon license, i was shocked that i could go right up to the window and be out the door in ten minutes.
    in five and a half years, i have never been in a traffic jam. i have never spent more than 15-20 seconds looking for a parking space. there are no stoplights in port orford, and only three stoplights in bandon.
    whenever i get the urge, i can put my rod and tackle box in the back of my 4×4 and be streamside to world-class salmon fishing in 7-8 minutes from my home.
    i have planted over 50 fruit trees on my land, and in the season i have my choice of several different varieties each of apples, cherries and pears, as well as peaches, peachcots, and when it matures, loquats, which don’t grow as fast. i also have about 15 mature blueberry bushes.
    i look out my window from where i’m sitting now, there is no evidence of other human habitation, just the gorgeous verdant beauty of the coast range.
    the people are much friendlier than in california, we aren’t crowded too close together and there are adequate resources for all.

    oregon: where big men with big trucks catch big fish under big trees.

    eat your jealous heart out, you small, sad, stunted, pathetic, miserable, unfulfilled, failed, hopeless, mouselike, sexless, impotent, downmarket, ugly simulacrum of a human being. i got my 2007 fishing license and tags, the ferocious hailstorm seems to have stopped, so i’m going after (another) hawg chinook. now (still giggling): go fuck yourself.

    assistant devil's advocate (a76e2b)

  59. “Breeders”. We need more of em. The Population Bomb never really happened, did it?

    PC14 (9e9f3c)

  60. Why couldn’t a same-sex couple simply change their names to “a man” and “a woman” and apply for a marriage license?

    Why don’t same sex couples simply agree that one of them has to go under the scalpel and become a so-called “transgender?”

    Man, this whole thing is a giant mess because gays simply can’t acknowledge that society does not accept their “lifestyle” or behaviors as normal or healthy? Get over it and get back into the closet!

    Dubya (c16726)

  61. Dubya (and all),

    I don’t agree that marriage is a referendum on homosexuality. Marriage means something, and that meaning is being neutered for the sake of homosexuality. But one need only see that homosexuality is different than marriage to reject the proposed change.

    Marriage is an institution devoted to the problems and responsibilities of sexual integration — namely children. They are a literal incarnation of the relationship, and society has a vested interest in encouraging that integration so as to promote responsibility in taking care of the child. No two people are better poised (all else being equal) to relate to, care for, and nurture a child.

    The proposed change, in essence, is to turn marriage into a way to integrate sexual orientations under the same banner. It is a way to say that sexual orientation is more important to our identity as adults than gender. And to some, it is.

    There is another aspect that deserves attention though. Certain benefits are only available through marriage, and those benefits might be suitable for some non-marital relationships. Now, why those should only be extended to homosexual couples, I have no idea. I personally have no idea why a homosexual couple is more deserving of these benefits and protections than, say, two widows who live together and are helping raise each other’s kids. As a lawsuit in England contends, a mother and daughter teaming up to raise their children do not have access to the same benefits that a pair of lesbians do. I do not see why that should be.

    In the end, trying to look at this through the prism of identity politics makes for conflicting results and discord. We should take a look at this dispationately, evaluating just what a marriage is and what non-marital relationships need and why.

    I fear that no one is really given enough scrutiny to the premises behind neutered marriage.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  62. Troll 4: sorry if you felt left out.

    Troll 2: There is nothing to stop a same-sex couple from applying for anything. The license would be denied, however, for a reason that is obvious to anyone with enough common sense to know better than to name himself after Britain’s worst PM in modern history, if not ever.

    Troll 3: YOU APPEAR TO HAVE MISREAD MY COMMENT. WHEN I CALLED YOU “SOME INATTENTIVE SCHMUCK IN OREGON,” I INTENDED TO MAKE THREE SEPARATE POINTS, NAMELY THAT YOU ARE INATTENTIVE, THAT YOU ARE A SCHMUCK, AND THAT YOU ARE IN OREGON. I DID NOT INTEND TO SUGGEST THAT YOU ARE INATTENTIVE BECAUSE YOU LIVE IN OREGON, THAT YOU LIVE IN OREGON BECAUSE YOU ARE A SCHMUCK, OR THAT THESE THREE ATTRIBUTES ARE CONNECTED IN ANY OTHER WAY, SAVE ONE: ALL CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR IGNORANCE OF CALIFORNIA (I.E., NOT OREGON) LAW. SPEAKING OF CALIFORNIA, THE NEXT TIME YOU WANT TO MAKE ME JEALOUS, YOU’D BE WELL ADVISED TO TRY COMPARING YOUR STATE TO ONE I ACTUALLY LIVE IN, RATHER THAN SOME FUDGED UP CESSPOOL OF A STATE I HAVEN’T SET FOOT IN FOR ALMOST A YEAR, MMMKAY?

    Xrlq (faf597)

  63. What benefits are you refering to that cannot be addressed through contracts, wills, etc?

    Dubya (c16726)

  64. ada:

    Ahhhh. Oregon. Whadda place. Where the answer to the question “How are ya?” is always “Damp.”; where the State flower is mildew; Where the residents ask each other 2, 3 times each year: “What’s that strange yellow glow and all that blue stuff up in the air?” And what’s all this nonsense about 4X4? Any other kind sinks below ground level within a week of purchase. Nothin like going out to a fine resturant and taking care to avoid the mud that’s always up to the door handles when dismounting.

    In Oregon when the shrink plays word association with the patient and says “Dope” they say “Bong”. Or in some cases “Medicine.”

    Its no wonder you can’t see any sign of human habitation, NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WANTS TO LIVE IN A PERPUTUAL RAIN STORM! Where “tan” is the color you paint walls.

    Fish? Fish? I’ll have mine poached in Corte Bullion or sauted in lemon butter with a nice Chardonnay. From a California winery, of course.

    And you have to drive 7 or 8 miles just to try to fool a fish? In a 4 wheel drive truck? When the hail storm stops? Pssst. ada. The fish is fooling you.

    And be careful about drinking from those clear mountain freshets. Remember what W.C. Fields said about drinking water: “Fish f**k in it, you know.”

    The reason there’s no stop lights in those crummy little burgs is simple. THERE’S NOTHING TO STOP FOR! And loose moose don’t pay them no mind anyhow.

    I never simulated any crums and I resent anyone who says otherwise. Keep this stuff up and the next thing you know “X” will convince Pat to put you in that bad place. You dope smokin’, gay marriage lovin’, fish foolin’, rain lovin’, California hatin’, curmudgeonly……..(sputter, puff)…lawyer, you!

    Ms. Judged (f2e636)

  65. Why don’t you lay it out for me, xrlq.

    Two people named “a man” and “a woman” apply for a California marriage license.

    Are you saying a law that reads “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” could somehow stop them?

    At the very least, one state that allows people to legally self-select their gender could send the nations Church Ladies scurrying to plug yet another legal loophole…

    [You’re either really stupid, or a troll. — P]

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  66. #57 Neville Chamberlain,

    Why couldn’t a same-sex couple simply change their names to “a man” and “a woman” and apply for a marriage license?

    Of course they could apply for a marriage license. Any couple can apply for a license.

    But of course your question is whether they would receive one. I think that any presiding court would recognize the intent of the law and interpret “man” and “woman” as referring to gender, not a person’s legal name.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  67. Becuase if they were to interpret it as referring to a person’s name, then that would invalidate all currently recognized marriages, which are between people not named “a man” and “a woman”. Which is ludicrous. No court, not even the Ninth Circus, would entertain such an interpretation.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  68. For proponents of same-sex marriage, I would ask you to explain: what is the purpose of government recognition of marriage?

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  69. Maybe aunursa, maybe not. In any case, it’s judges deciding at the county level.

    I’d say that’s a flaw in the Christianist’s plan.

    They need simple laws to attract the votes of simple people.

    A few challenges to their crayon-scribbled laws the moral police will have to start writing laws that force their own wives and daughters to lift their skirts to a government gender-checker if they want to keep their noses thrust into other people’s bedrooms…what fun.

    Neville Chamberlain (80a4fa)

  70. Dubya,

    I can’t say for sure. All I’m saying is that there are two questions here:

    1) Should the definition of marriage be neutered for the sake of homosexuality.

    2) Should non-marital households (such as gay couples) be granted a status for protection and benefits.

    The answer to the first determines whether or not you actually support “same-sex marriage” which is a radical extreme of this debate. It is a debate marked with equality as a battle-cry, and cultural nihilism.

    The answer to the second actually addresses the more conservative and pragmatic nature of the debate. Its one I feel is to often conflated with the first, and consequently does not get the scrutiny it deserves. I would propose such a shift, or at least recognition of that as a separate debate. I’m happy to have that debate even. I think it is in that debate that the answer to your question would come out. And the answer will most likely be rather blind of sexual orientation.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  71. Dubya,

    I should add that I agree we should understand what exactly is needed, and why before proceeding with any such plan. I think your question is the first that should be asked to draw out those arguments.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  72. Good freaking lord. Neville you can’t really be that stupid.

    G (722480)

  73. On Lawn: I think the problem is that no supporter of same sex marriage would agree with your characterization of the question “should marriage be neutered for homosexuality”.

    I think that ‘marriage’ is a societal recognition of the greater *social* stability which ensues when people enter into permanent supportive relationships with the people they love, and encouragement to do so. I see no reason why gay marriages are any different than straight marriages in this regard; and so the notion that this would “neuter” marriage strikes me as being incomprehensible.

    I think the fundamental reason that this debate is so bitter is that most of the people who support same-sex marriage *already* live in a world in which, for them and most of the people in their social milieu, marriage is defined the way I have defined it — and most of the people who oppose it do not. So it’s hard to find common ground to even talk about it, as we’re using the same word to mean different things.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  74. Aphrael,

    Have you read the post that the quote was summarizing?

    Just curious, because you seem to substantiate some important portions of that post while disagreeing with the conclusion I have.

    To you marriage is “permanent supportive relationships with the people they love, and encouragement to do so”. I agree that is part of it, but that is not all.

    I await your commentary on the previous post before continuing.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  75. On Lawn: I have read your comment, yes. It seems to reinforce what I’m saying.

    In my world, marriage has absolutely nothing to do with children. A large number of the married couples I know do not have children and intend never to; a significant percentage of the people I know grew up in single-parent households. The notion that marriage is related to children strikes me as an anachronism — or, if not an anachronism, something which is true in a social milieu of which I am not a part.

    What, then, is marriage about in my world? It is about the stability, emotionally and economically, which comes from two people who are in love forging a life together; it is about the state, and — more importantly than the state, to be honest — the social community recognizing, encouraging, and supporting that bond.

    The notion that this “neuters” marriage strikes me as bizarre; this is marriage as I have always known it.

    And yet I know, because I listen to people on the other side, that my understanding of marriage strikes many people as bizarre.

    Which is entirely the point. I’ve come increasingly to the conclusion that — aside from people who have the knee-jerk “gays are icky gay marriage is gross” reaction, who do exist — the debate really doesn’t have anything to do with gay marriage at all. For those of us who support gay marriage, it is entirely obvious that gay marriages are no different than straight marriages; for those who oppose, I think, the debate is about them feeling forced to accept a definition of marriage with which they disagree — but not because of homosexuality per se.

    The question in my mind is: how do we reconcile these? Absent the state getting out of the marriage business altogether, which I think is impractical, how can we structure it so that the state doesn’t have to choose between two large groups who define marriage in different terms?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  76. “other benefits” may mean social security of ones partner if he/she were to die. Can you imagine how quick social security would go bankrupt if homosexuals were able to “marry?”

    Capitalist Infidel (fffac6)

  77. Capitalist Infidel: Unless there’s some enormous population of gay couples which our statisticians haven’t found, I don’t see why social security would be bankrupted by gay marriages.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  78. … it is about the state, and — more importantly than the state, to be honest — the social community recognizing, encouraging, and supporting that bond.

    That was exactly my point earlier. The whole fight is about those who choose not to comply with the natural state of things insisting that the rest of society “recognize, encourage, and support” that unnatural union.

    The reason they insist on this recognition is to assuage their own guilt over going against the natural order through the process of “social proof.” (“Everybody says it’s OK, so that makes it OK.”)

    Marriage laws were intended to “recognize, encourage, and support” the natural union of a male human and a female human for the purpose of procreation, nurture and support of children.

    Again, what does legal recognition of gay unions offer that contracts, powers of attorney, wills or other contractural arrangements cannot provide? “Social proof,” that’s what.

    Read the book “Influence” by Robert B. Cialdini for further clarification of what social proof means.

    Dubya (c16726)

  79. The X man wrote:

    There is nothing to stop a same-sex couple from applying for anything. The license would be denied, however, for a reason that is obvious to anyone with enough common sense to know better than to name himself after Britain’s worst PM in modern history, if not ever.

    Surely, surely, you are well-versed in the law sufficiently to know that the law and common sense come into conjunction only rarely, and even then, only accidentally.

    Dana (3e4784)

  80. A few challenges to their crayon-scribbled laws the moral police will have to start writing laws that force their own wives and daughters to lift their skirts to a government gender-checker if they want to keep their noses thrust into other people’s bedrooms…what fun.

    Sorry, but lifting the skirt or going “transgender” will not prove anything. Sex is in the chromosones, not the anatomy, no matter how convincing a job the plastic surgeon can do.

    Dubya (c16726)

  81. Oh, and nobody’s sticking their nose in your bedroom… but they do object to your flaunting your bedroom antics into the public square.

    Dubya (c16726)

  82. @ms. judged:
    yeah, we have rain, snow, hail up here a lot in the winter, you gotta be tough to withstand it, i _am_ tough enough, have always managed to resist impulses to duck down to mexico in february. from mid-may to mid-october, 99% of the days are sunny here and i’ve never had to use air conditioning, and i get a pleasant warm feeling after i’ve gotten out of the 4×4 and moved big rocks off wilderness logging tracks.
    it’s “court bouillon”, not “corte bullion”, sheesh.
    hell yes they grow good dope up here, finest kind. it’s now the most valuable cash crop in america, ahead of corn, soybeans and everything else. if it were legal and taxed like tobacco, you could cut taxes again _and_ balance the budget. i wanted a marijuana leaf on our state quarter, either that or a headstone with a bottle of pills on top in commemoration of our assisted suicide law.
    first thing i do if i’m ever elected governor is sever i-5 and highway 101 at the border so the californicaters can’t get in. it would be a grand ceremony with high explosives, followed by beer kegs, mariachi bands and whole lambs roasted on spits. not really interested in becoming governor, but intrigued by the notion of becoming president of oregon after we secede from the union. this is an occasional topic up here, and there ain’t no lincoln around to keep us in. i might offer you a minor appointment in my administration, but you gotta be real nice to me.

    @xrlq (and btw, what the hell kind of name is that, it’s almost as bad as “neville chamberlain” without the negative historical connotations):
    “ignorance of california law” well, you might say that, my state bar card has been inactive for 11 years, 1 month and 29 days, it’s one thing to have solid lay knowledge, but to do it professionally, you need to know 100% of everything in your practice field, the courts and the legislature change stuff all the time, and they don’t copy me on the changes, which is quite all right with me.

    @both of you: tell me what state you’re in and i’ll dump on that. in the remote event you’re in oklahoma and follow college football, what did you think of the oregon game this year? bwahahahahaha!

    assistant devil's advocate (a76e2b)

  83. “The whole fight is about those who choose not to comply with the natural state of things …”

    If we complied with the “natural state of things”, Dubya, we would have no medicine, no dentistry, no air travel, so underwater travel, no space flight … hell, no fire or stone-tipped spears.

    What makes man the dominant species on earth is our willingness and our ability to tell “nature” to take a hike. Same sex marriage is purely a social issue just as heterosexual marriage is. Entirely dependent on the subjective acceptance of society. Although I would vote yes on a citizens’ referendum to legalize same-sex marriage, I cannot disagree with people who say that it is the way it should be done, and not by judicial fiat, for it to have the proper social “legitimacy”.

    nk (947b03)

  84. If we complied with the “natural state of things”, Dubya, we would have no medicine, no dentistry, no air travel, so underwater travel, no space flight … hell, no fire or stone-tipped spears.

    Straw man!

    Dubya (c16726)

  85. What makes man the dominant species on earth is our willingness and our ability to tell “nature” to take a hike.

    Yeah, get back to me when you figure out how to make a male produce human eggs, conceive, gestate, and deliver a human baby.

    Dubya (c16726)

  86. Aphrael,

    I agree with that explanation of perspective. I know you disliked my characterization before, but would you be open to my take on it? If this is a contest of definitions, then we can either hope that more people identify with one than the other or we can discuss the benefits of each definition and hope to reason which avenue is best. I choose the latter.

    Marriage as having nothing to do with kids, is obviously something less than it has meant through the ages. Its been a way to establish self-governance, a household under the guidance of equal gender representation. Not because people decide that is what a household should be, but because it is through that combination that children come. But it has many benefits,nonetheless.

    A person from one gender combines with the other in a way that both encourages tolerance and understanding, and still protects diversity as each gender is recognized for their part in creating the child.

    As the governance of the household expands, each child identifies not only with the common traits born from sharing DNA, but they identify with the member of their own sex while learning about the member of the other sex. Each spouse learns from the other principles of cooperation. And from the exercise of their duties they learn something crucial to democracy — principles of good governance.

    When rested on the foundation of procreation, a family encourages taking care of ones own children. The child has (as the UN has recognized as a right) a direct link to their heritage through their parents.

    It is on these principles of governance and ensuring the rights of citizens that motivates the government hand in marriage. And that is directly tied to procreation.

    To contrast I see the neutered marriage definition (as you’ve provided) as romantic regulation. The government sees romance as a place to regulate and encourage stability in. Since it removes the children from consideration, it (like no-fault divorce before it) makes marriage an expression of romantic intimacy that it must be involved in. Did you know that in Florida a university requires DP signatories to sign an affidavit affirming they are having sexual relations?

    Also, I’ve seen it argued (even by the American Pediatric Acadamy) that the purpose of this romantic regulation is not just for stability, but to play mediator where the romance dies and there is a breakup. I can’t imagine the drain on the legal system as the government is increasingly interested in romantic oversight, divorce is bad enough as it is.

    And consider the children. In one case recently in Ontario, a three parents were given legal parental status over a child. This was expedient to the lesbian couple who required a third party to have a child with. In Massachusetts and other jurisdictions with a neutered marriage definition, birth certificates are about legal parentage. Removing them from being a recording of a birth at all, because since procreation is an heterosexual endeavor any reference to the real act and product is considered the moral equivalent of white supremacy.

    Children, instead of being tied by nature of their birth become accessories to adorn a relationship with. Children are literally commissioned like objects of art, the transaction is commercial. Instead of certifying an event, it is more like a registration. “Excuse me, I’d like to register this child I purchased under the name of me and my lover”.

    I for one do not support that increase of government power and oversight. In your definition of marriage, the government assumes far too much.

    Now, honestly this isn’t an ideal world. My definition of marriage is only as good as our ability to uphold it. And honestly even if we are all saints, we don’t have the ability to. There needs to be consideration for the cases that do not turn out ideally. And the solution of which does not seem to be limited to homosexual couples, or rather the solution is not addressed by neutering marriage for the sake of homosexuality. And oddly enough, programs such as Reciprocal Beneficiaries that do address the more global issue without devolving into romantic regulation are despised for the most part by the GLBT.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  87. ADA,

    I love my state and I’m glad you love your adopted state. I thought Mrs. Judged’s comeback did a good job of humorously skewering Oregon but your response was the icing on the cake. FWIW, you might check out New Mexico sometime. They have the same attitude toward Texas that you have for California and beautiful scenery, too.

    DRJ (51a774)

  88. Dubya, re your comment # 84:

    Why is it a straw man? If we are not freezing to death in the dark why should we not huddle in shelter, before a fire, with the person we love?

    Re, your comment #84:

    “Yeah, get back to me when you figure out how to make a male produce human eggs, conceive, gestate, and deliver a human baby.”

    Now, that’s a straw man. Do we, under your view, give marriage licenses only to fertile couples who sign a pledge to have children?

    nk (35ba30)

  89. For those who support same-sex marriage, which term do you find more or less offensive?

    Same-sex marriage.
    Neutered marriage.
    Genderless marriage.
    Gender-neutral marriage.
    Other or does it matter?

    I’m not trying to derail this discussion. I’m just curious.

    DRJ (51a774)

  90. nk:

    #84 Straw man because he started talking about things other than procreation which, I suppose I should have made more clear I meant in my earlier argument.

    I frankly don’t care whether or not you huddle with someone you love or whether that someone is same gender: love doesn’t require sex. I object to the pressure to accept unnatural sexual relationships as normal.

    #85 See my earlier comment about marriage, as well as #86 by On Lawn.

    Dubya (c16726)

  91. @drj: i been to new mexico, it is gorgeous fer sure, two things you have to consider before relocating are global warming and water supply, ten years from now nm might not be so good, but the weather where i am will be like santa barbara. oh, you took ms. judged’s “miz” away, i learned a long time ago it’s not a good idea to do that with a lady lawyer, she probably gonna flame you.

    @ms. judged: r u single?

    assistant devil's advocate (a76e2b)

  92. Ms. Judged,

    I am sorry for the mistake in your title.

    ADA,

    And you say you’re tough? Global warming and no water are nothing to Texans. We love heat and someday all our water will come from the Gulf anyway. Just give us a few years.

    I’m not worried about NM either. We Texans will make sure they have enough water, otherwise where will we go for weekend vacations?

    DRJ (51a774)

  93. Since it appears that no one responded to my question in #68, I’ll try a different avenue. Same-sex marriage proponents: Would you support the legalization of polygamy (one person with multiple spouses) or polyamory (three or more people all married to each other)? If not, please explain why the government should be required to recognize same-sex marriages but not polygamous or multi-partner marriages?

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  94. aunursa, read #86 for one answer to #68

    Dubya (c16726)

  95. Dubya, with regard to #78: I think it’s perfectly reasonable for me to expect the state to recognize my marriage, which is based upon mutual love and commitment, in exactly the same way that it recognizes the marriages of my friends and family, which are also based upon those things. It should not draw a distinction between our relationships.

    I really don’t care if society at large encourages, recognizes, or supports my marriage, as long as my friends and family do, and as long as the state treats it the same way it would treat any other marriage. The conflation of “state” and “society” is not one I am prone to make; nor is the conflation of “my social milieu” and “society”. :)

    Additionally: I don’t feel any “guilt over going against the natural order”; i’m not convinced that other openly gay people do, either. I understand that to many straight people it seems as if we ought to feel such guilt, but that’s not quite the same thing.

    As for this claim:
    Marriage laws were intended to “recognize, encourage, and support” the natural union of a male human and a female human for the purpose of procreation, nurture and support of children.

    I think it’s difficult at best to sustain this proposition. Most marriage laws are old enough that the historical record behind their adoption is sketchy at best; and most such laws were adopted by societies which were very different than ours in many respects. What evidence can you provide for the claim?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  96. With respect to #86:

    I am certainly open to listening to your take; that doesn’t mean I’ll agree with it, but i’ll consider it before deciding. :)

    Marriage as having nothing to do with kids, is obviously something less than it has meant through the ages. Its been a way to establish self-governance, a household under the guidance of equal gender representation.

    It’s not clear to me that marriage has historically meant “equal gender representation”, but I also think that’s tangential to your point. :) More germane is the question of whether or not marriage as I define it is “something less than it has meant through the ages”, and I think it’s difficult to sustain a position on that either way; the historical record doesn’t clearly say that marriage is about protecting children, it simply assumes marriage as a given. What marriage was for in a given historical milieu is next to impossible to discern.

    I’m not quite sure what you mean by this:
    Since it removes the children from consideration, it (like no-fault divorce before it) makes marriage an expression of romantic intimacy that it must be involved in.

    Marriage is an expression of romantic intimacy that what must be involved in? If ‘it’ refers to ‘marriage’, then absolutely; I think a marriage without romantic intimacy is problematic, at best. If ‘it’ refers to the state, then perhaps … but under your argument, marriage is about children, yet currently the state makes no attempt to regulate whether or not couples have children; why would it be any different?

    I understand the point about DPs in Florida, a point I first heard about on “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” … but ISTM that the only reason for that is the state’s desire to make sure that DPs are not engaged in fraud. If they were allowed to marry, and had to carry the responsibilities of marriage as well as the benefits, would such fraud be more significant a problem than fraudulent marriages are today? I doubt it.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  97. DRJ: I would prefer “same-sex marriage”, although I understand that this term bothers people who disagree that there can be such a thing. I think “neutered marriage” implies a diminishment of marriage, which is why I objected to it. “Genderless” or “Gender-neutral” marriage sound awkward, but that’s probably because ‘genderless’ and ‘gender-neutral’ sound awkward in general. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  98. Aunursa: I don’t think “please explain why the government should be required [emphasis added] to recognize same-sex marriages but not polygamous or multi-partner marriages” is per se fair. I don’t think the government should be required to recognize same-sex marriages, by virtue of some external authority; I think the government should recognize same-sex marriages. There’s a subtle difference, I think.

    As for polygamy and polyamory: I don’t know. On the one hand, I don’t see a good theoretical reason for not recognizing polyamorous relationships which are entered into voluntarily by all parties; on the other hand, I think there’s a great deal of practical problem with it, in terms of (for example) how community property rules work in such a situation, how survivor benefits work, etc. I think we would be better off allowing people who want polyamorous relationships to work out norms for handling such issues on their own, allowing the state to codify existing norms rather than trying to create them from scratch.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  99. Aphrael,

    I do not believe denial is a good place to start when reasoning what definition of marriage should be used in the future.

    Lets say everything you said is true just for arguments sake. Now you can read my post (#86) on the benefits and problems that come from your version of marriage vs mine with a clearer understanding of its purpose. You did not respond to any of the points raised.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  100. Also, with respect to #68: I see the purpose of government recognition of marriage to be the following:

    (a) to encourage people to form lifelong commitments (because society as a whole is more stable if people do this);

    (b) to allow people who have formed lifelong commitments and who in practice have intermingled finances to interact with the state as s single financial unit, rather than forcing them to artificially disentangle their finances in order to interact with the state;

    (c) to provide a channel for equitably dissolving that commitment if it proves necessary to do so;

    (d) to provide legal mechanisms whereby injury inflicted on one member of the couple by third parties is recognized as also injuring the other member, and allow that member to seek redress (see, for example, the case in California a few years ago when a wrongful-death lawsuit by a lesbian partner of someone who had been killed was thrown out).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  101. Sorry, we cross posted. Strike that last post.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  102. On Lawn: I don’t think i’m engaging in denial; I’m saying that, as a historian, I see all claims about what “marriage” has meant “through the ages” to be an inappropriate projection into the past of what the person speaking thinks marriage means now, unless those claims can be backed up with documentary evidence, which is difficult, because discussion of what the term means is uncommon in the literature. This may be denial to you; I think it’s good historical analysis.

    I’m sorry you feel that I didn’t respond to your points. Let me see if I understand them properly; I have added some comments in parentheses:

    1. Marriage allows a person from one gender to combine with the other in a way that encourages tolerance and understanding, and which protects diversity because both genders are involved. (Same-sex marriage allows two people of the same gender to combine in a way that encourages tolerance and understanding. It doesn’t protect gender-diversity).

    2. Children who grow up in mixed-gender households learn to identify with members of both sexes, and each spouse learns to cooperate with the other. (Each spouse learns cooperation from the other in any marriage. The first half of this paragraph reads more like an argument for only allowing straight couples to raise children than it does for an argument that ‘marriage’ is about children: the fact that children benefit from there being parents of two different genders does not say anything about whether or not the presence of children is the reason for the marriage).

    3. Defining marriage as being about romantic involvement invites the state to be involved in our romantic lives, and this will impose too great a cost on the government. (Perhaps. It’s not clear to me that the state would be any more involved in our romantic lives under my definition of marriage than it is in our decision whether or not to have children under your definition of marriage. I see no reason to believe the state would reach out further in one case than it did in the other — something I said in my last comment.)

    4. Children are becoming acessories to adorn relationships; raising children is now about the parents, not about the children. (I agree that this is a problem in modern society, but I disagree with you about the cause; I think there is a general rise in selfishness which makes it difficult for many parents to understand the responsibility a parent has towards their children. Responsibility to other people has in great measure fallen out of favor — and yet, a commitment to another person is a great assumption of responsibility; it seems to me that legitimating lifelong commitments between people of the same sex would help bring commitment and responsibility to others back into a place of honor).

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  103. #94 Dubya,

    Thanks. I’m particularly interested in the views of same-sex marriage proponents.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  104. I think we would be better off allowing people who want polyamorous relationships to work out norms for handling such issues on their own, allowing the state to codify existing norms rather than trying to create them from scratch.

    Substitute the word “homosexual” for polyamorous and you have just re-stated my arguments.

    Do your own thing but don’t expect or require me to recognize it as “existing norms.”

    Dubya (c16726)

  105. aphrael,

    Marriage is an expression of romantic intimacy that what must be involved in?

    As written in #86, “it” refers to the government or state.

    but under your argument, marriage is about children, yet currently the state makes no attempt to regulate whether or not couples have children; why would it be any different?

    No one said the state regulates the number of children, or whether or not couples have children at all. Please re-read #86 and reply to what *was* said.

    Marriage is about children, but it is how and why that I feel you should recognize before moving further on this point.

    the only reason for that [signing an affidavit declaring sexual activity] is the state’s desire to make sure that DPs are not engaged in fraud.

    What this really underlines is just what romantic regulation can look like before we decide to alter marriage along that purpose.

    Its always stuck me as a grand contradiction, but not that you have proposed this. Some have stated that they want to neuter marriage so as to keep the government out of our bedrooms. In practice neutered marriage refocuses the government more keenly on our romantic relations, and eventually expands its oversight to practically every romantic combination.

    would such fraud be more significant a problem than fraudulent marriages are today?

    An interesting question. What interest does the body recognizing the relationship have in making sure two people really are having sex? You mention fraud prevention. Interesting.

    But lets pause and note, sex is not included explicitly or implicitly as far as I can tell in your list of purposes for neutered marriage (#100).

    Do you support the university’s choice to making sure two people are intimate to ensure that fraud isn’t taking place?

    It is scrutiny such as this that I suspect neutered marriage advocates have never applied to their own positions.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  106. The first half of this paragraph reads more like an argument for only allowing straight couples to raise children

    Exactly!

    Dubya (c16726)

  107. On Lawn:

    No one said the state regulates the number of children, or whether or not couples have children at all.

    Then why do you presume that the state would regulate people’s romantic involvement if marriage were defined as being about romantic involvement? It seems to me that you are asserting that the state would be more involved in the internal working of a marriage under that definition than it is under your preferred definition, but you aren’t making an argument to explain why that would be so.

    What interest does the body recognizing the relationship have in making sure two people really are having sex? You mention fraud prevention. Interesting.

    They’re using sex as a proxy for romantic involvement. How do you tell if someone is romantically involved? What does romantic involvement look like?

    My take on it is this: extending DP benefits costs money. Maybe not a great deal of money, but money nonetheless. The organization extending those benefits is willing to extend them to romantic relationships, but it needs some way to tell that the relationship is really a romantic one. The couple being married entails a presumption that the relationship is romantic; absent that proxy, what other proxies are there?

    My argument is that allowing gay couples to marry would eliminate the need to use sex as a proxy — just as there is no need for a proxy to see which married couples are romantically involved and which aren’t.

    sex is not included explicitly or implicitly as far as I can tell in your list of purposes for neutered marriage (#100).

    Of course not; my list was about the state’s purposes in recognizing marriage, not the couple’s purposes in entering into the marriage. :)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  108. Dubya, wrt 106: but saying “only straight couples should be allowed to raise children” is not at all the same thing as saying “only straight couples should be allowed to marry”, unless you also have an “only married couples should be allowed to raise children.”

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  109. Do your own thing but don’t expect or require me to recognize it as “existing norms.”

    Ahh, but the thing is this: among a significant — and growing — percentage of the population, marriage is normally understood to mean what I mean by it. It is an existing norm, not just among gay couples, but among many straight couples as well. That’s why most proponents of gay marriage think that, in several decades, gay marriage will be legal.

    My problem is this: I think both my definition and On Lawn’s definition are “existing norms” for different segments of the population; and I want to find a way to reconciile the two norms, so that the state doesn’t have to choose between them.

    Can it be done?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  110. aphrael,

    Thanks for your response. The various lawsuits constitute attempts by proponents to force the government to recognize same-sex marriages through judicial fiat. Granted, the judicial branch is not an external authority of the government, but it’s still an attempt to force their views onto the entire government.

    I don’t see how government can be required to recognize SSM but not polygamy. This is quickly becoming the situation in the Netherlands, and polygamists in Canada are making waves now that SSM is legal there. A concern of SSM opponents is that marriage will become so broad as to be meaningless. At some point single people will demand rights otherwise denied to them, and eventually the entire system of marriage will collapse.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  111. The various lawsuits constitute attempts by proponents to force the government to recognize same-sex marriages through judicial fiat

    Agreed; and I haven’t been out supporting those lawsuits. In part, though, that’s for practical reasons: I think the lesson of Roe is that certain battles have to be won in the public heart and mind before they are taken to the judiciary. The reason Brown was a success and Roe wasn’t, in part, is that the principle of Brown had a sort of democratic legitimacy; but Roe came too soon, and did not have the same legitimacy.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  112. aphrael,

    because discussion of what the term means is uncommon in the literature. This may be denial to you; I think it’s good historical analysis.

    An interesting debate to have at some point. I do not believe you would prevail on that point, but for now lets just take this as a discussion on what to do from this moment on forward. I’m interested in you explaining your position better without relying on denial of why I you or feel marriage is the way it is.

    Same-sex marriage allows two people of the same gender to combine in a way that encourages tolerance and understanding. It doesn’t protect gender-diversity

    A simular, but not perfect analogy can be constructed with schools. An all white school (racially segregated) opens up in the neighborhood and wishes the benefits and protections of “public school” status. While the school can open, its status is not allowed by law.

    Your argument, in the analog, appears to be “Same-race schooling allows two people of the same race to combine in a way that encourages tolerance and understanding. It doesn’t protect gender-diversity”. Without taking a too much of a tangent, please explain why that statement may or may not translate accurately with the one you said.

    the fact that children benefit from there being parents of two different genders does not say anything about whether or not the presence of children is the reason for the marriage

    Perhaps. It does say why marriage as an institution of equal gender representation addresses the state concern for children better. Though you missed the crucial benefit of how the child identifies with the parents better, and has better access to their heritage through the consanguinity link. I might have also missed how the recognition of marriage based on procreation lines protects procreation from becoming a commercial enterprise. The human trade aspect of that raising serious constitutional questions.

    It is the gender-complete nature of the marriage definition that addresses all this. I do not see anything gained worth near as much to society by removing it. I’m interested in what worth you see in the removal.

    I think there is a general rise in selfishness which makes it difficult for many parents to understand the responsibility a parent has towards their children.

    I agree, and I see neutering marriage as a way to re-enforce and encourage that problem. As the motivation to neuter marriage is to accommodate one particular choice in sexual lifestyles (ultimately more), hoping to use state enforcement and resources in homogenizing it with another.

    it seems to me that legitimating lifelong commitments between people of the same sex would help bring commitment and responsibility to others back into a place of honor

    As an accommodation to sexual whims, I see the opposite as occurring. The problem is that I see romance as a very loose and unstable foundation. The advent of no-fault divorce is one of accomodating romance

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  113. My take on it is this: extending DP benefits costs money. Maybe not a great deal of money, but money nonetheless. The organization extending those benefits is willing to extend them to romantic relationships, but it needs some way to tell that the relationship is really a romantic one.

    A very good concern to discuss a bit deeper.

    My argument is that allowing gay couples to marry would eliminate the need to use sex as a proxy — just as there is no need for a proxy to see which married couples are romantically involved and which aren’t.

    You are, in essence, simultaneously arguing that marriage should be about romantic regulation, and should not at the same time. You stated there is a reason to worry about abuse of the system by non-romantic individuals, and that the we won’t need to worry about it if it called marriage.

    I also note your lackadaisical overlooking of how marriage preserves consanguine relationships, and how that would be even more impossible to protect than romantic relationships under your proposed definition.

    Its amazing what depth there is, considering our common humanity, in reference to completion of gender androgyny in the marriage definition. I find your proposed definition impotent in even its expressed purpose in preserving romantic relationships. Especially with the advent of no-fault divorce.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  114. My problem is this: I think both my definition and On Lawn’s definition are “existing norms” for different segments of the population; and I want to find a way to reconciile the two norms, so that the state doesn’t have to choose between them.

    Can it be done?

    I believe it can, and has happened. Hawaii was the first state to engage in this debate, and they are probably the most mature in it.

    They have taken your definition and set up a program called “Reciprocal Beneficiaries”, that addresses the state purpose you propose in #100. It is not limited to romantic relationships, or even homosexual relationships (the reasons to restrict it to those combinations seem to run up against their own problems).

    They have also preserved the gender-complete definition and purpose of marriage to address the concerns only a gender-complete combination can.

    That way, and this is the important part, the state doesn’t have to choose between the two definitions, the people make the choice of which is best for their goals in life.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  115. aphrael,

    I do agree with you that proponents made a strategic mistake in forcing SSM lawsuits when they did. If they had waited ten to twenty years, then public opinion would seem to be more favorable. As it is now, a majority of states have prohibitions on SSM that would be much more difficult to enact in a future generation.

    Conversely, the chances for amending the constitution to prohibit SSM were much greater 15 years ago (bear in mind that a Democratic president signed DOMA just a decade ago), and although slim now, are kept alive by the decisions of such officials as the MA Supreme Court and the mayor of San Francisco.

    aunursa (1b5bad)

  116. @xrlq (and btw, what the hell kind of name is that, it’s almost as bad as “neville chamberlain” without the negative historical connotations)

    “Neville Chamberlain” would be a perfectly fine name without the negative historical connotations, so I’ll take your statement that my handle is “almost as bad (read: slightly better) as a backhanded compliment. Of course, “neville chamberlain,” or any other name written without caps, is just plain retarded.

    Xrlq (6a3c55)

  117. ada:

    Why you old flatterer you. A spot in your administration and a flirtatious question? Well. As our old friend Stokely Carmichael, once said “The only position for a woman in SNVCC is prone.” Although I’m quite positive he meant supine.

    Its not like that is it? Oh and BTW when you type like that; you know “r u single?”, do you use both thumbs like the kids do when text messaging?

    The answers to your questions in no particular order are: No. (But would you be surprised to learn that my spouse’s name is Norma?); and California. This last one I consider to be a declaration against interest.

    Now if you think it takes guts to live where you live, try this place on for size. Our rock star electeds can’t keep from running into trees and rocks while skiing in other states. I make specific reference to Auhnuld and Mr. Cher. The others must have been dropped a lot when they were babies. Simple math eludes them and they think San Fran is one of the world’s great cities. I mean we gave you Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer for cryin’ out loud! I tell ya it take guts to live here.

    Gimme that rain, mud and drought anytime. Problem is, when other states find out where you’re from, they tell ICE and your passport gets taken away.

    Ms. Judged (f2e636)

  118. your spouse’s name is norma? i can see only three possibilities:
    1) your screen name is misleading as to gender.
    2) you’re party to a gay marriage (best of luck to you).
    3) your spouse has a serious name problem and must have learned to fight very young.

    trivia corner: handwritten cursively, the russian word for “post office” looks just like “norma”.

    i’m not averse to flirtatious questions; faint heart never won fair lady. i think san fran is a great city too, i lived there 1977-1982 when i was going to hastings and after, but i don’t like the urban lifestyle. pelosi and boxer, well, i’ll take the laughable party over the scary party any day of the week. sf also gave us feinstein, and i’m now recalling one of the worst memories from law school. i had just exited the building and saw a group of students standing on the northeast corner of mcallister and hyde looking very somber. i approached, and then saw the examiner headline in the newsrack “mayor, milk slain”. i looked over at the big dome where it happened and was somber for several days; but for that, di fi would be just another rich matron in pacific heights.

    i’ll find a place for you in my administration; when i become president of oregon i’m gonna have a secretary of art, a secretary of music, a secretary of parties and of course, a secretary of cats.

    assistant devil's advocate (c92f6c)

  119. I’ve been hesitant to join this discussion but perhaps now would be a good time because I suspect my views will unite everyone … against me. In the spirit of Patterico’s new rules of good behavior, at least I can be a uniter, not a divider.

    As a traditional conservative, I worry that recognizing same-sex marriage will adversely impact marriage and harm an already strained institution. On the other hand, it’s a good idea to encourage all people to commit to monogamous relationships and sanction those relationships in a serious, state-sponsored manner. So …

    I want to reinstitute fault-based divorce. IMO what really hurt marriage as an institution is no-fault divorce that opened the door to rampant divorce, fatherless kids, and single-mother-based poverty. It should be a serious undertaking to get married and to get divorced. If that happens, then I think anyone who recognizes the seriousness of marriage and wants to get married should be able to.

    DRJ (51a774)

  120. @drj:
    no, no, no, no, no!
    the only people who would benefit from your proposal are private detectives. between 1980-1995 i did over 200 divorce cases. i was plenty nasty enough just litigating spousal and child support, child custody, property division, restraining orders, etc., can you imagine what i would have been like if i had to impugn the morality of the opposing party as a standard play in my playbook? i am grateful that i did this in the no-fault era and never had to offer into evidence a pic of that party shtupping a stud/chippie in a motel room.
    conciliation and settlement are core elements of the divorce litigation ethos. we pick this up early on, and i was fortunate to pick it up from a very wise judge who laid this rule down to us: the honorable rex sater (now retired); big rex, if you’re out there reading this, i salute you!

    i’m even more conservative than you are drj. a principal tenet of conservatism is maximum individual liberty, minimum government power, and its corollary is no government adjudication of morality.

    assistant devil's advocate (c92f6c)

  121. ADA,

    I think you’ve defined libertarian ideology more than traditional conservative views, although I realize there are overlaps. I also remember the days of fault-based divorce and how difficult those divorces were for the parties, their families, and sometimes even their lawyers.

    DRJ (51a774)

  122. dude, libertarian ideology _is_ traditional conservatism, you’ve got conservatism mixed up with neoconservatism. as an authentic traditional conservative, i believe in things like maximum liberty/minimum government, balanced budgets, environmental stewardship, strong defense but not imperialist adventures, effective restraints on corporate power, absolute separation of church and state and all those other quaint values expressed in our bill of rights.
    as an authentic conservative, i support the right of a woman to deal with things growing in her body as she chooses, the right to smoke dope, and the right to keep and bear arms. i also support the right of homosexuals to marry; it doesn’t bother me in the least and makes them real happy (and it’s happening in portland, or was happening there, five hours fast driving away from me, where nothing counts if i choose it not to).
    our current presidential administration isn’t conservative as i understand that word to mean, it’s what i call corporate christofascist. don’t forget that mussolini called his ideology “corporatism”, wish i could trade bush for him, at least he got the trains running on time; bush combines the worst of mussolini without the technical competence (cf: katrina). good night sir!

    assistant devil's advocate (c92f6c)

  123. Um. Libertarian ideology is traditional conservatism? I think Burke might disagree.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  124. I think most libertarians might disagree as well. A stronger case can be made that libertarianism is classical liberalism, not old-style conservatism. The closest version of conservatism to libertarianism is neoconservatism.

    Xrlq (6a3c55)

  125. Why such concern for homosexuals?

    While NO concern for the 68% illegitamacy rates amoung Blacks, or 45% amoung Hispanics

    1/3 of ALL children born out of wedlock.

    All of a sudden people want to talk about marriage?
    (but only in order to redifine it)

    I think you same-sex “marriage” proponents are inhuman monsters!
    (really)

    Fitz (a95d59)

  126. I’ve missed you Fitz, you know that.

    I know your words are harsh on many ears, but that is the pain felt when you cut straight to the core of the issue.

    There are serious issues to address — serious issues that marriage is meant to address. Completely removing our ability to address these issues by neutering the marriage definition is not liberalism (as in humanitarianism and social concern), it is not libertarianism (as in decreasing self governance for state oversight) and is not conservatism (as in good ol’ family values).

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  127. fitz, you’re a risible moron, and so are you “on lawn” for endorsing him. black and hispanic illegitimacy is a red herring in this context, and let’s not forget white illegitimacy. the ever fawned-upon angelina jolie recently bore a bastard child whose name unfortunately spoonerizes to “pile o’ shit”.

    aphrael and xrlq, the closest thing we had to a traditional conservative in the 20th century was barry goldwater, and before him, theodore roosevelt. subsequent republicans have not been traditionally conservative. i’m an edmund burke fan too, wish we could bring him back here to clear this up. imagine if he had a blog :-)

    assistant devil's advocate (6432b0)

  128. fitz, you’re a risible moron

    Risible? Or was that a Scooby Doo inflection on “visible”.

    I may be a moron, but I’ve seen Fitz on a few sites before, and he most definitely is not. And there is nothing risible about this topic.

    black and hispanic illegitimacy is a red herring in this context

    Illegitimacy, in any context, is very salient to this debate about marriage. Marriage is about responsible child procreation, and if it isn’t then what is?

    Through the current studies done on population pockets with high illegitimacy, we see the impact on society as children become the victims if a very weak marriage ideal. It shows the inability for the government to meet responsibility it assumes from marriage when the definition is neutered.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  129. ok, i’ll call you a laughable moron instead because they’re synonymous and more people understand what it means. fitz called gay marriage proponents “inhuman monsters”, for the record, i don’t think either of you is an inhuman monster, i just think you’re laughable morons. fitz added to my impression by misspelling “illegitimacy” and “redefine”, and you added to my impression with your absurd reference to “responsible child procreation”. no marriages after menopause, huh, and infertile couples can’t file joint tax returns?

    assistant devil's advocate (6432b0)

  130. Its a fun game and all, but of course you realize mockery was never a good substitute for persuasive argument. Especially for someone who seems to have either an issue with kindergarten level grammar, or the shift key on their keyboard. Just saying…

    no marriages after menopause

    Its funny you should mention that, because in some states with CU’s and DP’s, the only non-homosexual relationships allowed in them are the elderly.

    And you failed to state just what impact that has on what was said.

    I could just assume you meant that the elderly and infertile make an exception that disproves the rule. But I’m not in the habit of trying to fix up someone else’s arguments to the basic level required to reply to them. If they can’t articulate them well, its none of my bother.

    Just what impact do you feel those facts have on what has already been said?

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  131. Devil.

    fitz, you’re a risible moron,

    Well thanks for checking my spelling for me.

    Yes I think you are an inhuman monster for even contemplating this redefinition with the state of family structure at present. You have no sense of humanity so you act monstrously.

    black and hispanic illegitimacy is a red herring in this context, and let’s not forget white illegitimacy.

    Illegitimacy means having children outside of marriage. Gay “marriage” has to do with…well marriage. So you are saying marriage is a red hearing,concerning marriage?

    no marriages after menopause, huh, and infertile couples can’t file joint tax returns?

    Men and women are members of a class that can produce children. While any member of that class may not, or cannot produce a child, they remain members of a class that can produce children. Same sex pairings always and everywhere can never produce children. They are members of a class that can never produce children. Therefore same sex “marriage” necessarily severs marriage from procreation. It both androgynizes the institution and separates it from any necessary link to childbearing.

    Check my logic for me devil, This can be reduced to a formal proof….

    Fitz (a95d59)

  132. On Lawn — I do intend to get back to your earlier comments, but it’s a busy day at work today — the reason that CU and DP benefits are extended to elderly unmarried heterosexual couples is that often such couples are unwilling to get married because, if they did, one of them would lose financial benefits stemming from the death of a previous spouse. (Eg, pension benefits obtained by virtue of being a widow would disappear if the widow remarried).

    This doesn’t further the argument that marriage is about children; it suggests that people respond to economic disincentives.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  133. Fitz, it pains me to say this, but on this particular sub-issue Troll 3 is right. You are indeed a risible moron, and so is anyone else who calls people “inhuman monsters” simply for disagreeing with you on the issue of gay marriage. You’re as big an embarassment to your side of this debate as Troll 1 is (or should be, anyway) to his.

    Xrlq (609e3d)

  134. X, you have a scorecard? I forget which troll is which. 8)

    Dubya (c16726)

  135. You’re as big an embarrassment to your side of this debate

    Yes “this debate”

    Why are we having “this debate”

    Why are we not having a debate about, oh divorce, or illegitimacy, or infertility, or cohabitation…
    Or anything else a moral human being should be concerned with when it comes to the family?

    The Answer..
    Inhuman monsters
    They have no sense of humanity so you act monstrously.

    Fitz (a95d59)

  136. Aphrael,

    I make a habit of not replying to arguments that another doesn’t make. Perhaps you should too :) I did not present that as an argument that marriage is about responsible procreation.

    I am anxious to see your replies to the discussion from yesterday. I am glad you didn’t drop them, its a fun conversation so far.

    Xrlq,

    Are you really saying that Fitz makes his judgment solely on the fact that people disagree with him? Thats rather hasty, and is easily countered by what he has said already.

    I won’t comment on whether the language is excessive, that is a matter of personal expression. If that was your point, then please say so.

    But by agreement, I do not mean to say that neutered marriage advocates are evil and looking to harm others. I agree with Fitz that it is simply a lack of a sense of humanity that is their folly.

    They are playing the game I believe I told you about earlier. They are blatantly disregarding an important aspect of marriage that is in place to protect children and society alike. An aspect rooted deep on our common humanity as one race with two genders. And all to further a rather selfish grab for government goodies to pamper a particular and narrowly focused sexual lifestyle based on gender segregation.

    Add me to the list of people who find that monstrous, considering children and the handicapped are those most directly thrown under the bus here. But that doesn’t mean I think people who wish to neuter marriage aren’t humans. I believe they generally have a notion of well being and social concern that can be reasoned with.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  137. I do get a bit testy, When I refer to the monsters, I am concentrating on the academics, activists, and willing Judges who have foisted this on humanity.

    I am just rapping up a law review article on this subject, and feel confident in my aspersion.

    However, I cannot claim that anyone on this particular blog is said monster.. Just useful idiots :)

    A study that looked at the relation between divorce rates and out-of wedlock birthrates and violent crime between 1973 and 1995 found that nearly 90% of the change in violent crime rates can be accounted for by the change in percentages of out-of-wedlock births. During the years 1987 to 1993, “Levels of out-of- wedlock births were consistently and strongly related to violent crime. Rates of male unemployment were not consistently related to rates of violent crime.

    Mackey, Wade C., & Coney, Nancy S. (2000). The enigma of father presence in relationship to sons’ violence and daughters’ mating strategies: empiricism in search of a theory. Journal of Men’s Studies, 8: 349-373. p.352

    Fitz (a95d59)

  138. On Lawn, Fitz:

    Your arguments are never going to convince queers that they shouldn’t be allowed to get married.

    The whole issue is that queers want social reinforcement that they really aren’t queer at all and they won’t shut up about it until society acknowledges that by letting them get marriage licenses.

    All the to’ing and fro’ing will only get people to give them what they want so they’ll just STFU, unfortunately.

    Dubya (c16726)

  139. The whole issue is that queers want social reinforcement that they really aren’t queer at all and they won’t shut up about it until society acknowledges that by letting them get marriage licenses.

    No, I’ve dealt with many on this topic in the past. Enough that I have found they are more reasonable than that, for the most part.

    I am personally of a rather passive persuasion, just let it be. Though the gay pain that is associated with marriage affirming equal gender representation is something I’m not sure how to cure.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  140. Sorry the second link “gay pain” was to this editorial.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  141. The whole issue is that queers want social reinforcement that they really aren’t queer at all and they won’t shut up about it until society acknowledges that by letting them get marriage licenses.

    Dubya, that strikes me as pop psychology, and accordingly quite weak. IMO at some point war was declared on this issue, there were willing soldiers on both sides, and that’s all she wrote. I say that somehwta mournfully because more than with most contentious social issues there is a happy medium that is now radioactive.

    biwah (2dcf66)

  142. that strikes me as pop psychology

    From the links I provide above, there are ample quotes from neutered marriage advocates to support at least the the plea for social re-enforcement portion of Dubya’s assessment.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  143. Interesting articles, OL, but passive isn’t in my playbook.

    If they want to make a stink, I tell them they stink.

    Dubya (c16726)

  144. Your arguments are never going to convince queers that they shouldn’t be allowed to get married.

    In part, this is because that’s not the question. I *am* married; my marriage is recognized as such by my friends and family, and nothing you can do will change that. The question is: should the state recognize my marriage?

    The whole issue is that queers want social reinforcement that they really aren’t queer at all

    This is an overstatement. As I said before: as long as the members of my immediate social milieu — most of whom are, after all, selected by me — accept me for who and what I am, I couldn’t care less what society as a whole thinks.

    I might engage in an attempt to make life less unpleasant for those gay people who aren’t as well supported as I am; but, in that case, it’s about them and not about me.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  145. Aphrael,

    So, if you don’t care what society at large thinks (which I assume means the state in general), and you only care about state support, then you would be happy with a reciprocal beneficiary program?

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  146. On Lawn: i’m perfectly content with California’s system of marriage-in-all-but-name. I have no theoretical problem with civil unions which provide a similar, but not precisely equivalent, legal arrangement to marriage.

    I don’t understand the term “reciprocal beneficiary program” well enough to answer directly, however.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  147. That said, I don’t think such programs will resolve the broader social issue; it will remain true that different sectors of the population define ‘marriage’ differently, and those sectors who define it such that my marriage is considered a marriage will continue to believe that the state is wrong in choosing to exclude them.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  148. I believe then that your caveat in #147 acknowledges that while you may be satisfied, the issue Dubya brought up is more the “broader social issue”.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  149. Dubya said:
    queers want social reinforcement that they really aren’t queer at all

    I was attempting to offer myself as an existence proof of the contrary.

    Also: it’s not just “queers”; it’s everyone in the urban liberal milieu whose definition of ‘marriage’ has already changed.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  150. Marriage, a religious institution?

    I have difficulty trying to understand why allowing gays to use the term “marriage” rather than “unions” to be such a sticking point. I have heard it often said by people that are opposed to gay marriage; say that marriage is a religious institution. Or using the term marriage will somehow make a mockery of traditional marriages. If marriage were indeed a religious institution, why then are heterosexual couples afforded such a wide variety of ways of getting married that have no religious affiliation whatsoever? Heterosexual atheists are allowed to marry and they certainly don’t want any religious overtones to their marriages. Straight couples can get married by the justice of the piece; they can get married by a ship captain on a cruise ship. They can be married underwater or on a mountaintop, it seems to me it just doesn’t matter and that there are no restrictions. The list goes on and on therefore, making the argument of about marriage being a religious institution absurd.

    I have also heard many opponents of gay marriage say that same sex marriage will make a mockery of traditional marriages, meaning I suppose between a man and a woman. I think that looking closely at all of the statistics about the success of traditional marriages; they seem to be doing a damn good job of their own, making a mockery of the institution of marriage. Then when one looks at the statistics of how many straight lay men and woman who have extramarital affairs doesn’t look so good either not to mention many couples of the clergy who seem also not to have the greatest track record. So then, what do the opponents of gay marriage really mean by saying that same sex marriages would make a mockery of traditional marriage? One doesn’t have to be a sociologist or have a degree in statistics to understand that allowing gay marriages to exist would hurt no one. In fact gay marriage would likely cause gays to have longer lasting relationships. There has been a common complaint generally spouted out by the straight population, that gay relationships don’t seem last very long. Statistics do however bear out one thing in regards to marriage verses just living together as a couple, and that is that couples that are married verses couples just living together, do last longer if they are married. Perhaps this could be the answer in motivating gay couples to work harder at their relationships if they were legally bound by a legitimate contract, rather than just being able to just walk away as so often happens when they hit some rough waters as all relationships do at some point whether gay or straight. Thank you, Aaron Jason Silver Saugatuck, Mi 49408 269 561 6789 http://www.aaronjasonsilver.com

    aaron jason silver (ff9e71)

  151. fitz in #137 “i am just rapping up a law review article” made beer come out of my nose. i so want to be published in the hip-hop law review, but i can’t find its address on the internet to submit my article.

    assistant devil's advocate (b659fe)

  152. “i am just rapping up a law review article” made beer come out of my nose

    Mine too! But seeing that in writing from ada was Funny! 8)

    Dubya (c16726)

  153. aaron jason silver’s reference to “justice of the piece” in the first long paragraph of #150 is pretty good too, it’s positively freudian. this is a great thread for laughs.

    assistant devil's advocate (b659fe)

  154. … wonder if Aaron Jason’s book is a 200+ page-long paragraph as well?

    “just cuz you kan’t rite, don’t mean you kan’t get publushd”

    Dubya (c16726)

  155. Aaron Jason Silver’s comment is the first sensible one in a long while on this thread.

    nk (32c481)

  156. Aphrael,

    Stop feeding the homophobic trolls. Patterico was wrong. Rule number #1 of argument is, “Never be reasonable when dealing with unreasonable people”.

    nk (32c481)

  157. I’m sorry nk, that rule isn’t in my book. I’ll be reasonable with unreasonable people up to a point, and then i’ll ignore them. But being unreasonable with unreasonable people doesn’t help.

    Unless, that is, we’re all on hallucinogens together. Then it’s practically required. :)

    aphrael (12fba5)

  158. Aaron Jason Silver, NK, and others,

    I think one of the problems conservatives have with same-sex marriage is that it seems like the most recent in a lengthy and successful attack on marriage.

    First came the 60’s with free love. When traditionalists claimed that would imperil the family unit and values, they were scoffed at as uptight prudes. Then came the abortion debate and free choice, and those who objected were derided as anti-feminist or worse. Throughout this time period, states were abandoning fault-based divorce in favor of no-fault divorce, and that further accelerated the decline in marriage as a generally-accepted and universal institution.

    To many, including me, same-sex marriage seems like another in a long line of threats to traditional marriage. There won’t be much left to differentiate marriage from a routine civil contract, except that well-drafted contracts are harder to escape than many marriages (think Britney Spears). Perhaps, at this point, there’s nothing left to save and traditionalists should content themselves with safeguarding religious marriage while accepting same-sex civil marriage. Philosophically, that’s probably where I am now.

    Nevertheless, it troubles me when commenters brand as homophobic anyone who has concerns about same-sex marriage. I don’t believe I’m ignorant, unfeeling, or bigoted merely because I have concerns for marriage and its importance to our society.

    DRJ (51a774)

  159. I definitely was not referring to you as homophobic, DRJ. The commenters I was referring to know who they are. I hear their talking points on radio talk shows which refer to homosexuals as “sodomites” and worse.

    From my point of view, I see same sex marriage as a retreat from the promiscuous “free-love” lifestyle. My worst trolling was against a bisexual law professor who mocked same sex marriage as “aping the model of the nuclear family”. She considered same sex marriage a threat to her lifestyle of jumping from a male lover’s bed into a female lover’s bed.

    nk (d7a872)

  160. NJ.
    From my point of view, I see same sex marriage as a retreat from the promiscuous “free-love” lifestyle. My worst trolling was against a bisexual law professor who mocked same sex marriage as “aping the model of the nuclear family”.

    This is naïve, just because one half of the Left disagrees philosophically with another half of the left as to the ultimate ends of the same-sex “marriage”, doesn’t effect what its real world ends will be.

    You’ll want to read what the people who are actually in charge think first.

    AMERICAN LAW INSTITUTE PUBLISHES PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW OF FAMILY DISSOLUTION

    http://www.ali.org/ali/pr051502.htm

    LAW COMMISSION OF CANADA REPORT: BEYOND CONJUGALITY

    http://www.cga.ct.gov/2002/rpt/2002-R-0172.htm

    Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families and Relationships

    http://www.beyondmarriage.org/

    The want to De-privilege the Privileged (traditional marriage)
    And privilege the de-Privileged (any thing but traditional marriage)

    DRJ.
    Nevertheless, it troubles me when commenters brand as homophobic anyone who has concerns about same-sex marriage. I don’t believe I’m ignorant, unfeeling, or bigoted merely because I have concerns for marriage and its importance to our society.

    It troubles me also, but it is an extremely effective tactic and has been used at the highest levels.

    I suggest this excellent article (that I cite in my work)

    http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft0406/articles/smith.htm

    Fitz (a95d59)

  161. Comment by Dubya — 1/5/2007 @ 1:53 pm: “The whole issue is that queers want social reinforcement that they really aren’t queer at all and they won’t shut up about it until society acknowledges that by letting them get marriage licenses.”

    I see what you are getting at, however, I think it works in the other direction.

    The argument in favor of treating SSM like marriage is an argument for the making the limitations of the homosexual relationship the new basis for society’s preferential treatment of the social institution of marriage.

    SSM argumentation raises the specter of “heteronormativity” and attempts to remake society.

    Since marriage is both-sexed, always, the argumentation presumes that marriage is deeply flawed and must be replaced with something that is gender neutral, or as On Lawn has put it, neutered marriage. So the state authority is conscripted to do the neutering, by force of law.

    When a foundational social institution is replaced and its special status is revoked, it leaves an empty space, at least for a time, that invites occupation by some other thing.

    That’s the goal of discarding the core of marriage, which is sex integration combined with responsible procreation. When marital status is hollowed-out like that, then, its shell can serve as proxy for the sexualized relationship, or as aphrael has called it, the romantic relationship.

    So rather than social reinforcement for *their* being same-sex attracted, they’d rather that society itself be affirmed for *its* being queer. This is a monsterous vision of society, as Fitz has already said.

    Minus the social institution of marriage, how else would society promote sex integration combined with responsible procreation? It won’t happen through regulation and intrusion based on a proxy for romance.

    Regulation of romance may be wonderful for the presumptively homosexual relationship type, but that does not mean it is the basis for the preferential status of marriage in society.

    The one-sex relationship type is presumed to be sexualized because SSM argumentation presents the false claim of equivalence between the conjugal relationship and the various sexualized relationship types.

    It is clear that if there is an arrangement that lacks one or the other sex, then, the attainment of children would depend on parental relinquishment (or loss). This is true for the use of third party procreation, which is extramarital always, and it is true for adoption as well.

    In any case, the one-sex relationship, homosexual or not, romantic or not, excludes the core of marriage. It may share some secondary and tertiary features, which in context may form the core of the SSM ideal for the homosexual relationship, but this demonstrates how the goal of SSM argumentation is to relocate the center of marriage to the sidelines.

    As for using marital status as a proxy for romance, I find that ludicrous. The man-woman criterion is descriptive; it is proxy enough for the combination of 1) sex integration and 2) responsible procration. Discard that criterion and discard the core of marriage. When that is tossed aside, the preferential status of marriage no longer will have firm ground. SSM cannot expand marriage; it can only diminish it if it is treated as equivalent to marriage.

    However, if treated on its own merits, the one-sex relationship might have a claim to a special status apart from marital status. The challenge for the SSMers is to explain the basis for such a new status — minus the core of marriage — that would sustain itself either as an exclusively homosexual thing or as something meant for all of society — especially the conjugal relationship.

    Designated beneficiaries seems to answer the SSM argumentation, on its merits and demerits. But for some reason this is rejected as a nonstarter. That, too, needs better explaination than what has been provided thusfar.

    Chairm (f06880)

  162. “Why couldn’t a same-sex couple simply change their names to “a man” and “a woman” and apply for a marriage license?”

    Alternately, we could just have “don’t ask, don’t tell” marriage. I’d rather be flexible with the definitions of man and woman than neuter the definition of marriage. The issue for saving marriage is to save the idea of marriage. Not to enforce it on anyone. There are plenty of people whose marriages mock the idea of marriage; a big hairy guy in a white wedding dress isn’t any more of a mockery than Donald Trump’s serial marriages. People have mocked marriage for thousands of years. Marriage survives mockery. So long as people understand what it is that they are mocking, the next generation, or the one after, can pick up the pieces and repair the mess that their parents and grandparents made.

    The Goodridge atrocity goes beyond mocking marriage — it erases real marriage by redefining it. Does anyone seriously believe that those who run our schools will describe correctly that “marriage used to MEAN the union of man and woman, and the state recognized the institution because people believed that a child was better off with a father and a mother”? NO! This is how it will read: Nihilists will rewrite history so that “marriage used to not ALLOW gays to marry.” That’s how the nihilists already describe it now. The whole idea of a child needing a father and a mother would get buried under a pile of Newspeak. Goodridge isn’t about “letting gays marry.” It’s about cultural genocide, about rewriting culture and history. Don’t let it happen.

    Christian (2c0a7e)

  163. Regarding Aphrael’s comment #75:

    Under the status quo, you and your world can co-exist with us and our world. The courts don’t come down and call either you or I threats to society, bigots, etc.

    It’s possible that your view may eventually prevail, without coercion. If a majority of society comes to see things your way, without having your ideas rammed down their throat, penalized or fired from government service (as happened in Canada to those that would not use the new definition of “marriage”), or sued for discrimination for refusing to blaspheme their own religion by printing the word marriage on an announcement for something that their religion taught was not marriage (also in Canada), then that’s how it goes.

    But changing the definition of marriage through official channels, contrary to majority usage, results in cultural genocide. If your usage becomes official, then we get treated like bigots and lumped with the KKK and “Christian Identity.” If our usage remains official, you’re just someone with a different opinion.

    Christian (2c0a7e)

  164. Gay Marriage is a done deal, Breeders!

    IF you don’t understand the difference between breeding, and a child getting raised by a mother and a father, then you should go back to the barnyard.

    Christian (2c0a7e)

  165. Barnyard indeed! 😯

    Being opposed to homosexuality doesn’t mean one is homophobic. I’m not scared of homos, I’m disgusted by their behaviors.

    Dubya (c16726)

  166. Gay Marriage is a done deal, Breeders!

    One hears alot about “hate” from the left…

    Its not to much to say that homosexuals often feel alienated from a sort of “Ken & Barbie” world in wich they cannot even “breed”..

    Hence the obvious “hate” present in terms such as “breeders” and the desire for same-sex “marriage”, often based on nothing more than a desire to call others bigots and have the courts concur. (see first things link above)

    A sharp stick in the eye of all those “breeders” who made fun of them in High School..

    Fitz (a95d59)

  167. Aphrael,

    Just letting you know I’m still monitoring the thread awaiting your response.

    Fitz,

    Any chance Opine can get any portion of your report, or a link to where you are publishing it?

    Feel free to contact me by email, onlawn [at] onlawn [period] net

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  168. Fitz,

    Gay people can and do “breed”. And when they want to they raise children, regardless of whether they got them through “breeding” or adoption. Stop with this BS: “Shriek!!![hands held against the face] But we have to think about the children!!!!”. Even my main man, Rush Limbaugh, makes fun of that meme. It’s the heterosexual rabbits with itchy penises and itchier vaginas who are responsible for the bastards of this world. Although I suppose bastardy is a genetic trait. Only a bastard would conceive a child and abandon it. But not very likely a gay bastard. Maybe a church-going, happily married bastard who wanted a little “strange stuff”?

    nk (50d578)

  169. Its not to much to say that homosexuals often feel alienated from a sort of “Ken & Barbie” world in wich they cannot even “breed”..

    Don’t be so sure that the person who made the bigoted “breeders” comment is gay!

    The most extremist pro-ssm folks that I’ve met are promiscuous heterosexuals. Those are the ones who have most to gain from destroying the idea of marriage.

    Christian (2c0a7e)

  170. Just to underline a point in Christian’s comment, Bay windows openly called on people who were “ideologically opposed to marriage” to help them defend neutered marriage in Massachusetts.

    More on that here.

    The path that neutering takes the institution of marriage is, despite misgivings to the contrary, well understood by its most staunch advocates. And they seem to be just fine with that.

    On Lawn (5551cb)

  171. NK
    Its hard to take you seriously when suddenly you come out with terms like “heterosexual rabbits”.

    And unless I missed something in biology class, gay couples cannot produce a child together. For them to bring a child into this world means intentionally depriving them of either their Mother & Father.

    When you de-gender marriage remove any necessary connection to childrearing it makes the standard of marriage impossible to maintain.

    I can asure you the problem of out-of-wedlock childbearing is very real and of great concern….

    “Marriage is neither a conservative nor a liberal issue; it is a universal human institution, guaranteeing children fathers, and pointing men and women toward a special kind of socially as well as personally fruitful sexual relationship.
    Gay marriage is the final step down a long road America has already traveled toward deinstitutionalizing, denuding and privatizing marriage. It would set in legal stone some of the most destructive ideas of the sexual revolution: There are no differences between men and women that matter, marriage has nothing to do with procreation, children do not really need mothers and fathers, the diverse family forms adults choose are all equally good for children.”
    What happens in my heart is that I know the difference. Don’t confuse my people, who have been the victims of deliberate family destruction, by giving them another definition of marriage.”

    Walter Fauntroy
    Former DC Delegate to Congress
    Founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus
    Coordinator for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march on DC

    P.S. Did you not read the links I provided? (you may be unaware of who you are dealing with but we are not)

    Fitz (a95d59)

  172. WOW. Fitz, that’s the most powerful and concise statements on this topic that I’ve ever read.

    Christian (2c0a7e)


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