Who's Afraid of Federalism?

Gay marriage and the 10th Amendment

Last week a federal judge confounded both sides of the political spectrum by ruling that the 10th Amendment requires the federal government to recognize state-approved gay marriages. Progressives worried that U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro's reasoning cast doubt on the constitutionality of many existing federal programs, while conservatives worried that it required equal treatment of same-sex unions.

Since I am one of the few Americans who welcome both of these outcomes, perhaps you should take my opinion with a grain of salt. But it seems to me that conservatives are engaging in the sort of result-oriented constitutional analysis they so often decry when they shrink from a consistent application of federalism because it lends support to a social trend they fear.

The 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which declared that states need not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, also decreed that more than 1,000 marriage-related provisions of federal law would be based on a definition that excluded gay couples. States that legalized same-sex marriage—such as Massachusetts, which brought this case—were therefore forced to contradict their own policies by discriminating against gay couples in federally subsidized programs.

In determining Medicaid eligibility, for example, Massachusetts had to count married people of the same sex as separate individuals rather than a single household. In operating two state-owned military cemeteries, it had to turn away spouses of veterans if they happened to be of the same sex.

By requiring Massachusetts to pretend that gay marriages do not exist in cases like these, Judge Tauro concluded, the federal government was impermissibly intruding on family law, "a quintessential area of state concern." He noted that the definition of marriage has long been viewed as a power "reserved to the states" by the 10th Amendment because it is "not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States."

Tauro also relied on the principle of equal protection in overturning DOMA's exclusion of gay couples from federal benefits tied to marriage, having concluded in a related case that such discrimination fails even the highly deferential "rational basis" test. Although I've been skeptical of this argument in the past, I must admit that I am hard pressed to think of a rational reason for preventing the longtime spouse of a veteran from being buried alongside him, simply because both of them are men.

It's true that the people who wrote and ratified the Fifth and 14th amendments never imagined they were guaranteeing equal treatment for homosexual couples. But that's because the very notion of gay marriage would have been incomprehensible to them. Treating all married couples equally, without regard to sexual preference, seems like a straightforward application of equal protection to a situation the Framers could not have foreseen, just as they did not foresee television (which is nevertheless protected by the First Amendment) or wiretaps (which are nevertheless governed by the Fourth Amendment).

But even conservatives who reject the equal protection argument should not lightly dismiss the assault on federalism represented by the attempt to impose a national definition of marriage on recalcitrant states. "In effect," says an especially well-informed critic of this policy, "DOMA's language reflects one-way federalism: It protects only those states that don't want to accept a same-sex marriage granted by another state. Moreover, the heterosexual definition of marriage for purposes of federal laws—including immigration, Social Security survivor rights and veteran's benefits—has become a de facto club used to limit, if not thwart, the ability of a state to choose to recognize same-sex unions."

Writing in the Los Angeles Times last year, this critic declared: "It truly is time to get the federal government out of the marriage business. In law and policy, such decisions should be left to the people themselves."

The author of that essay, former Georgia congressman Bob Barr, knows a thing or two about DOMA. He wrote it.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2010 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • Suki||

    Good morning reason!

    The lack of alt-text is a telling lesbophobic item.

  • ||

    One of these days I'll figure out how you post so damn early.

  • Suki||

    No you won't.

    Good morning RS :)

  • ||

    No you won't.

    Sounds like a dare to me.

  • Suki||

    Go for it.

  • TheAdMan||

  • MNG||

    The early split personality gets the worm (or part of it).

  • poopy||

    do you work for Reason?

  • Bumper Sticker||

    Will work for AMMO!

  • Suki||

    +1

  • MJ||

    The homosexual marriage movement is entirely dependent upon results oriented jurisprudence, but Sullum is bothered by that when he perceives conservatives supporting it?

  • Rahm Emmanuel’s kippah||

    The entire movement? What about those states where it went through the legislature? Some of it has been based on judges creating the right where it didn’t exist before, but not all of the cases worked that way.

  • ||

    The homosexual marriage movement is entirely dependent upon results oriented jurisprudence

    Epic, epic fail, MJ. From the Wikipedia article:

    April 7, 2009: The Vermont General Assembly overrides the governor's veto of the same-sex marriage bill.
    April 23, 2009: Connecticut governor signs legislation which statutorily legalizes same-sex marriage
    April 29, 2009: HB436 supporting same-sex marriage passes the New Hampshire Senate with minor amendments.
    May 6, 2009: Maine Governor Baldacci signs Marriage Equality Bill. The New Hampshire House of Representatives concurs with the Senate's amendments to HB436, and the bill supporting same-sex marriage advances to Governor John Lynch.
    June 3, 2009: The New Hampshire General Court [which is actually a legislative body, despite the name] passes new HB73, which includes protections for religious institutions, as required by Gov. John Lynch to secure his signature on HB436, a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Gov. Lynch signs both bills the same day.
    December 1, 2009: The Council of the District of Columbia passes same-sex marriage bill 11-2 in its first vote. The bill must pass a second vote on December 15 before it can go to Mayor Adrian Fenty for signature. Barring interference by the United States Congress within thirty legislative days after Mayor Fenty signs the bill, DC will allow same-sex marriage.[61]
    December 15, 2009: District of Columbia City Council passes same-sex marriage bill 11-2 in its second vote. The bill was signed by Mayor Fenty on December 18, 2009.[63]

    So, you have several states, and the District of Columbia which have enacted marriage equality through legislation.

  • Sam||

    "Epic, epic fail"

    Already over-used, cliched phrases like this cease to have any meaning when they're used to describe a mere, poorly argued point.

  • St.V||

    The response was an Epic Win though!

  • ||

    Using the 10th to support gay marriage was diabolically clever. Nothing in life is quite so satisfying as watching the mainstreams of both parties caught in the same cleft stick simultaneously, wriggling like the little snakes they are...

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    a power "reserved to the states" by the 10th Amendment because it is "not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States."

    Well, that seems remarkably simple. But things can't be simple, right?

  • Tim||

    Lawyers have only one natural enemy: "simple".

  • DoDoGuRu||

    while conservatives worried that it required equal treatment of same-sex unions.

    Citation?

    I have literally not read a single comment to this effect.

  • St.V||

    Then you don't get out much, sir.

  • DoDoGuRu||

    Perhaps not, but it seems more to me like the kneejerk "moderation" of Reason writers: the psychological need to brandish their "both sides" cred by making vaguely plausible claims about teh krazy x-tians or whatever.

  • fed gov||

    It truly is time to get the federal government out of the marriage business.

    Commerce Clause, biotches!

  • ||

    +1

  • poopy||

    As I see it there are two distinctly different issues here: equal rights and the use of a word.

    Most conservatives I know could care less about same sex couples having equal legal rights.
    Their major objection is the use of the word "marriage" to describe two men or two woman.
    They see marriage as a husband and a wife, not two spouses.

    I think it is deliberately dishonest to equate the objection to the use of a word with a malicious refusal to extend rights.

  • Jonathan||

    Even that argument doesn't sit well with me. Why get so up in arms over just a simple definition of a word if you don't have another motive.

    Allowing same sex couples to go through the process of marriage, including all of the legal and financial arrangements, only to then tell them that they still don't have the right to be "married" sounds to me like a malicious refusal to extend rights.

  • ||

    Obsessiveness over the word marriage is equal on both sides.

  • ||

    This is true.

  • poopy||

    On the other hand many of the same sex marriage proponents would refuse equal rights if those rights did not include the use of the word marriage.

    Why are they so up in arms about the simple definition of the word if they don't have another motive?

  • ||

    "Marriage" infers a certain exclusivity. The majority of Americans are traditionalists in this regard. Many would oppose same-sex "marriage" while sanctioning same-sex "unions." It's a distinction without a difference, of course. Perhaps heterosexual couples feel that allowing "just anyone" to get married cheapens their big event. Likewise, many gay couples feel cheated if their union doesn't have the imprimatur of "marriage."

  • Mike||

    Honestly, it's the whole "separate but equal" nonsense all over again.

  • Tim||

    Excellent point.

  • poopy||

    Don't confuse equality with sameness.

    Many would agree that same sex couples deserve equal rights as opposite sex couples.
    But since they are not the same thing, then the same word should not be used to describe them.

  • Tony||

    It's just a word. I sincerely doubt the major concern of anti-gay-marriage people is the burden of having to edit an entry in Webster's.

  • ||

    The reason the 'simple' word marriage bothers so many people is that it has traditionally been a religious term. 1st Amendment separation of church and state should have any reasonable libertarian mind calling for the term to be stricken from legalese regardless of sexuality. A 'civil union' document should replace a 'marriage license'. We can still allow religious heads (priests/rabbis/etc.) to perform ceremonies and be a notary for such documents but if someone gets a JP whether it be man/woman, woman/woman, or man/man they are not 'married' but jointly share a secular union.

    I don't understand why everyone even thinks that the state taking a religious term and adopting it as its own is even remotely constitutional. If you don't like the 10 Commandments outside of court houses, prayer in school, or Christmas trees on public grounds why do you defend the state in this violation of the 1st Amendment.

    It works both ways people, the church can't force it's way into the state and the state can't co-opt a part of a religion.

  • Sarah||

    Religions "own" a word?! Which religion?

    Anyway, before there were Christians, there was marriage. Whether it developed as a purely religious convention or as a method of dealing with property ownership is an open question, as far as I've ever known.

    I'm all for getting government out of the marriage business. But that just sidesteps the issue of whether you believe that as long as it stays in it, it must do so in a non-discriminatory fashion.

  • ||

    I actually agree with you Dan and I was just getting ready to post that the only solution is for the gov't to get out of the "marriage" business.

  • ||

    Your point is nonsensical semantics. African American, Asian, Caucasion or any other Americans are not the "same", yet we treat them "equally". A distinction without a difference!

  • rho||

    No, it isn't. If marriage is a legal term that means a union between one man and one woman, then gay people have the exact same rights as straight people to marry. They just have to marry somebody of the opposite sex.

    If marriage does not mean one woman and one man, then marriage can mean any formal arrangement between any number of duly competent people.

    The question then becomes, "Is it desirous for the State to privilege one form of arrangement over another form?"

    If you think that man/woman marriage is a better environment for raising children, then the answer to the above is "yes". If you don't think it matters at all, then the answer would be "no".

    If you think the State shouldn't get involved at all in any kind of contractual agreements except as, possibly, a legal arbiter when things go pear shaped, then you're a libertarian and probably smoke a lot of dope.

  • Tony||

    If marriage does not mean one woman and one man, then marriage can mean any formal arrangement between any number of duly competent people.

    Why can't it still be restricted to two consenting adults?

  • ||

    Maybe it could be restricted to two consenting adults but why should it be? Why should the state have any right to tell me how many consenting adults I can marry? This concept of monogamy is a judeo-christian religeous value...much like opposition to gay marriage. Get the government out of marriage altogether...it is an unlawful intrusion into a religeous practice.

  • Tony||

    soggy,

    I encourage polygamists-rights activists to take their case to the legislatures and the courts, it has nothing to do with gay equal rights, though.

    Marriage as a civil issue is ancient, so it would be quite radical to remove it and all the civil benefits that come with it, but as long as everyone is treated equally under the law I'm happy.

  • poopy||

    Why should the state have any right to tell me how many consenting adults I can marry?

    Can you show me an example of a contract that involves more than two parties? I can't think of any. That is what polygamy would be: a contract between three or more parties.

  • Sarah||

    You're joking, right? Lots of contracts involve more than two parties. I'm a lawyer and I have a pile of them on my desk right now.

  • Suki||

    +1 (multi-party contract smackdown)

  • poopy||

    I'm a lawyer and I have a pile of them on my desk right now.

    I hope you're not bilking people for the time you spend here.

  • Sarah||

    "If marriage is a legal term that means . . . "

    Marriage as a legal term means whatever our law makers define it to mean. It doesn't have a preexisting legal meaning beyond that endowed to it by our lawmakers.

    People, families, churches, etc. may have pre-existing definitions that they find worth preserving. But, *legally,* there is no barrier to simply defining words to mean what we wish them to mean. It's done all the time. The word "child" means different things in different statutes. So does the word "healthcare provider." Look in any code book and you will find literally millions of words that have been legislatively defined to meet the needs of whatever is being legislated, without constraint by preexisting meaning.

    The historical meaning of a word has no constitutional or legislative implications, other than as a "gap filler" when no other method for interpretation exists.

    "The question then becomes, 'Is it desirous for the State to privilege one form of arrangement over another form?'"

    As a matter of constitutional interpretation, that is not an accurate statement of the question. The question is rather what level of protection the right is entitled to and whether the government has a sufficiently compelling reason to infringe upon it in light of that level of protection.

    One of the problems with using kids as the explanation for denying marriage to gays, and why it has failed every time it's been used as far as I know, is that "what's best for the kids" would end up allowing lots of restrictions on heterosexual marriages as well. For example, those in which one or both partners are too old, too poor, too mentally ill, too stupid, etc. to be good parents.

  • rho||

    Yes, the main point of DOMA was to define marriage as between a man and a woman for the Feds.

    It's "for the children" only so far as it's good for the State to have a healthy, prosperous citizenry.

    We've got a set of laws; ideally, the State arranges these laws for the benefit of the governed; the State carves out little rules that encourages certain behaviors. Whether all of this is moral or good is beside the point. Is it constitutional?

    The court says defining marriage strictly is not constitutional. Okay, so now what? If marriage is not this one, specific thing, why can't it be any kind of contractual union? And if that is found to be the case, what do you think will happen to whatever benefits may accrue to the traditionally understood concept of marriage? Is that better or worse for civil society?

  • ||

    +1

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Likewise, many gay couples feel cheated if their union doesn't have the imprimatur of "marriage."

    Exactly. And, with domestic-partnership parity, straight non-married couples would also benefit.

    Even Tony should be on board with that.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    "Marriage" infers a certain exclusivity. The majority of Americans are traditionalists in this regard. Many would oppose same-sex "marriage" while sanctioning same-sex "unions." It's a distinction without a difference, of course. Perhaps heterosexual couples feel that allowing "just anyone" to get married cheapens their big event. Likewise, many gay couples feel cheated if their union doesn't have the imprimatur of "marriage."


    +1

  • cynical||

    Not necessarily. If you see marriage as a religious institution (not an indefensible view considering the percentage of marriages conducted by religious officials), then the government redefinition is a state interference in a church matter. However, that stance would also suggest that government recognition of "marriages" in the first place, as opposed to civil unions, was a violation of the establishment clause.

  • ||

    The Establishment Clause - 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' - strictly interpreted, does not touch on that.

  • JoshINHB||

    Conservarive see the obssession with the word "marriage" as proof that gay marriage proponent don't care about equal rights.

    In CA civil unions give all the same legal rights that civil marriages do. The unioned(?) are free to call their ceremony a wedding and refer to themselves as married, husband and husband, what ever.

    The conservative fear at this point, is that changing the legal definition of marriage will enable and result in a flood of new lawsuits whos purpose will be to attack conservatives and their institutions.

    This idea has been entrenched by the behaviour of prop 8 opponents.

  • poopy||

    bingo

  • Edwin E.||

    "The conservative fear at this point, is that changing the legal definition of marriage will enable and result in a flood of new lawsuits whos purpose will be to attack conservatives and their institutions."

    like what?

  • JoshINHB||

    Like suing churches over their doctrines or school districts to force teaching some pov or private schools or private clubs etc.

    Lawsuits like the one that forced LA county to change its seal, are examples of left wing zealotry that our government is incapable of ignoring.

  • Tony||

    So we keep in place a system of unequal rights in order to prevent people from hypothetically exercising their rights to seek legal redress? Why don't you just say all gays should be registered and wear ankle bracelets?

  • JoshINHB||

    What rights exist in marriage that don't in a civil union?

  • Tony||

    There are plenty of federal rights that are simply denied to gay couples. So I assume you're referring to a hypothetical future in which civil unions and marriages are all conferred the same benefits. At which point, it's simply literally a separate but equal situation, which admittedly is better than separate and unequal as the situation is now.

  • JoshINHB||

    I'm not being hypothetical.

    What rights are denied to gay couples that are in a civil union?

    Can you list five?

  • Tony||

    The GAO lists 1,049 federal statutory provisions that confer rights and privileges on couples who are married (but only heterosexual couples). See here for an overview.

  • Mo||

    The right for the spouse to not be compelled to speak while on the stand; usually your spouse is considered to be the same as you for 5th Amendment purposes
    Receipt of social security benefits for the widowed
    They must share a residence
    If you're in a civil union with someone whose visa expires, there's jack all that you can do to keep them from being forced to leave.

  • ||

    Those disadvantages don't even begin to compare with the problems the application of 'separate but equal' to racial segregation did.

  • Tony||

    Tulpa, you're right. The civil rights violation here is less horrible than those of the era of racial segregation. So what's your point?

  • Suki||

    I'll bet plenty of gays are into that. Wrist bracelets too.

  • Thomas O.||

    A lawsuit directed at a church over its doctrine would be thrown out of court faster than you could say "free exercise thereof".

    As for school districts, well, the public ones SHOULD be promoting tolerance and non-discrimination. We'd have to explain who gay people are, and - here's the point - it doesn't have to be graphic. "Well, Johnny, some men are attracted to other men and want to marry them. And it may be unnatural, but they have every right to raise a family like those with both a mommy and a daddy. And their children should NEVER be picked on because of that."

    Private & parochial schools that aren't getting government funding can set their agenda all they want. And the laws of supply & demand will determine how well they fare.

  • ||

    The conservative fear at this point, is that changing the legal definition of marriage will enable and result in a flood of new lawsuits whos purpose will be to attack conservatives and their institutions.

    And that's just tragic. You fight to maintain an oppressive status-quo and then the people who you formerly oppressed do a few paybacks. Waaaah.

  • Sam||

    The other concern is that one redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples will lead to other redefinitions that include all sorts of other arrangements, which will lead to all sorts of innumerable social problems we haven't even begun to contemplate.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The other concern is that one redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples will lead to other redefinitions that include all sorts of other arrangements, which will lead to all sorts of innumerable social problems we haven't even begun to contemplate.


    It depends on how the redefinition is accomplished.

  • ||

    Oh noes, the dreaded "innumerable social problems we haven't even begun to contemplate". Talk about your meaningless, over-used phrase!

    Yes, guaranteeing rights for individuals can be messy.

  • Sarah||

    Having a state-sanctioned "marriage" has social and cultural implications and benefits. If the state wants to grant those benefits, it should do so indiscriminately.

    Civil unions are equal in the same way that separate but equal schools were equal.

  • ||

    Not really. Just the opposite. Where OP sez that in CA civil unions confer the same rights/privileges as marriages, you have equal material benefit under a different premise. As far as separate but equal, Black facilities were generally inferior to White facilities, but touted as 'equal.' So, no, not at all, actually.

  • Sarah||

    I think you're trying to have it both ways. Either gay unions are on equal footing as straight unions and ought to receive full participation in the government institution known as "marriage."

    Or, they are not allowed full participation in that institution because they are not quite good enough to qualify for it.

    Purely as a matter of Equal Protection Clause analysis, I think a non-frivolous argument can be made that being able to say that the government recognizes us as full and equal participants in the institution of marriage confers certain social benefits.

    It allows gay couples to get up from the metaphorical back of the bus, hold hands in public, heads high and proudly announce themselves as "officially married."

    I am not saying that the government has to confer that benefit on gays. I'm saying if it chooses to convey it on anyone, it has to convey it in a non-discriminatory way.

    As long as the state is using "civil unions" as an alternative to "marriage," it is by definition unequal. It means that some unions aren't pure enough to get a "real" marriage.

    I understand what you're saying: that any program of civil unions should make all benefits contingent upon the marital status of the recipients equally available to gay unions.

    What I'm saying in response is that there is a colorable argument to make that being able to say "the Government recognizes us as Married" is *itself* the benefit that must be bestowed equally.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Gays, IMO, should focus entirely on legal reforms - domestic-partnership stuff - and forget the symbolism of a piece of paper/permission slip. Same result, minus the "we were ALLOWED to be married, it says so on this piece of paper issued by the state" nonsense.

  • Tony||

    We should accept separate but equal treatment to spare conservative straights discomfort? Don't think so. They're the ones who need to change, we don't need to accommodate their prejudices.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What kind of convoluted thinking led you to the "separate but equal" conclusion from my post, Tony?

    I'm no conservative on this issue, as you know. I'm just saying you folks would have the same result without the bullshit piece of paper GRANTING YOU PERMISSION TO CALL YOURSELVES "MARRIED".

    I do wish you'd see the wisdom of the all-caps part above. You could save yourself a shitload of anguish.

  • Tony||

    TLG as you well know, it's no permission slip. You can call yourself married without anyone's permission. You can call yourself married to your favorite houseplant and nobody's gonna arrest you. What is relevant are the rights that come with the government license. If they're not exactly equal for straights and gays, they are not equally protected under the law.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That's what I was saying above, and have said earlier, Tony:

    Make the license itself irrelevant.

    Are you being purposely obtuse?

  • Tony||

    No, you are, by claiming to be against equal rights based on a fairy tale world in which government rescinds each and every one of its statutes relating to marriage and stops issuing licenses. Can't you make an argument that addresses the real world, for once?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I'm on YOUR side of this, Tony, but you're too fucking stubborn to notice.

    I'm surprised you haven't called me a homophobe or something similar... but the day is young.

  • Tony||

    If you're on my side, then just say you're for extending marriage benefits to gays in a way that satisfies equal protection of the laws, until such time that the government stops recognizing marriage altogether. Now actually I'm ambivalent on that issue. I don't believe in marriage for myself, though certain things like spousal immunity seem like prudent things to keep around. But the point is that will never happen, so it's just libertarian masturbation fodder that doesn't address the real world. Do you want to be politically relevant, or do you just want to sit in your nursery playing with imagined utopias forever?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Nice blatherings, Tony, but I did and have said "for extending marriage benefits to gays in a way that satisfies equal protection of the laws".

    On top of that, make the REQUIREMENT for a marriage license go away. If people still want the symbolism, they can print one up themselves.

    I've made this argument several times in past article responses. I really don't see why I have to keep explaining something so simple, even a statist should be able to figure it out.

  • poopy||

    even a statist should be able to figure it out.

    Statists can't get past "but the law says", because for them there are no principles greater than the law.
    Remember that in the mind of the statist the State has supernatural powers. It is God.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Oh, yeah... I forgot that part. Thankee kindly, poopy.

    It would be a lot easier to get a lobotomy, so I could just think like a statist. But is that covered by Obamacare?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I'm sure the statist lobotomy mandate will be comin down the pipe sooner or later.

  • poopy||

    I don't buy the separate but equal argument.
    If same sex couples were being discriminated against based on sexual orientation then a gay man would be barred from marrying a lesbian woman, or anyone else for that matter.

    Marriage means something, it means a husband and a wife.
    It is absurd that something so self evident needs to be defended.

  • Tony||

    Marriage used to mean between a husband and wife of the same race. Before that it was an exchange of property between a father and a husband. Before that it was the arrangement of a wealthy man and his harem. Is keeping the definition of a word stuck in place really more important than equal rights?

  • poopy||

    As I said, there are two distinctly different issues here: equal rights and the use of a word.
    The use of the word is A, not THE, method of extending those rights to same sex couples.
    Equating the two is at best ignorant and at worst dishonest.

    I'm putting you in the ignorant camp.

  • JoshINHB||

    Marriage has been defined as a voluntary contract of one man and one woman in western civilization since before roman times.

    And the ban on inter racial marriage was a radical, government imposed, redefinition of marriage, just like gay marriage. Historically there was no such prohibition until western intellectuals developed the theory of rascism in the 18th century.

  • libertytexan||

    Wow, you are fucked in the head comparing gay marriage to a BAN on interracial marriage.

  • zoltan||

    Marriage has been defined as a voluntary contract of one man and one woman

    You might want to revise that

  • JoshINHB||

    Yes I know it's an article of faith among leftists that marriage was a a form of slavery, but do you have any actual evidence that that has been a common feature of marriage in western civilization?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Marriage used to mean between a husband and wife of the same race. Before that it was an exchange of property between a father and a husband. Before that it was the arrangement of a wealthy man and his harem. Is keeping the definition of a word stuck in place really more important than equal rights?
    reply to this


    Calling different things by different names is not a violation of equal rights.

  • Tony||

    Michael, you too are begging the question. The point is that they should not be considered different things in the eyes of the law.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The point is that they should not be considered different things in the eyes of the law.


    But they are different.

    From Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County :

    Because virtually all of the significant harmful and inescapably identifiable consequences of teenage pregnancy fall on the young female, a legislature acts well within its authority when it elects to punish only the participant who, by nature, suffers few of the consequences of his conduct. It is hardly unreasonable for a legislature acting to protect minor females to exclude them from punishment. Moreover, the risk of pregnancy itself constitutes a substantial deterrence to young females. No similar natural sanctions deter males. A criminal sanction imposed solely on males thus serves to roughly "equalize" the deterrents on the sexes.
    We need not be medical doctors to discern that young men and young women are not similarly situated with respect to the problems and the risks of sexual intercourse. Only women may become pregnant, and they suffer disproportionately the profound physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of sexual activity. The statute at issue here [450 U.S. 464, 472] protects women from sexual intercourse at an age when those consequences are particularly severe. 7


    To put it bluntly, since males and females are not similarly situated, neither are same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.

  • ||

    To put it bluntly, that's retarded.

    You start by citing a quote that says men and women are different, from a reproductive standpoint, and extrapolate that to mean that same sex and opposite sex couples are legally different.

    There is a difference between two people having different characteristics from a social, economic, or biological standpoint, and two people being treated differently before the law.

    The case of two (or more)consenting adults wishing to enter into a legally binding union (religious or not) wherein they are to share property, and otherwise avail themselves to the rights and privileges guaranteed by said agreement, should be free to do so, irregardless of the sex of one or more of the interested parties.

    But then again, some guy said in some fiction book 3000 years ago that man on man sex was gross... And we have yet to be able to get over that non sense.

    What I'd really love to see, I mean, really really love to see is this whole de facto ban on same sex marriage brought down on first amendment freedom of religion grounds.

    In my mind, all it would take is for one church who performs or recognizes same sex marriages to bring suit against the state for not legally recognizing said unions, and/or not "granting" the power to perform such unions to the church.

    But that's just a fantasy really.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What I'd really love to see, I mean, really really love to see is this whole de facto ban on same sex marriage brought down on first amendment freedom of religion grounds.

    In my mind, all it would take is for one church who performs or recognizes same sex marriages to bring suit against the state for not legally recognizing said unions, and/or not "granting" the power to perform such unions to the church.

    But that's just a fantasy really.


    Of course it is fantasy. The Supreme Court ruled on this issue in Reynolds v. United States, Murphy v. Ramsey , and Davis v. Beason .

  • Sarah||

    The status of being "married" confers certain social and cultural benefits. To the extent those benefits are being conferred by state imprimatur of being "married," they must be conferred equally in any jurisdiction that has an Equal Protection Clause, IMO.

  • JoshINHB||

    Shouldn't the libertarian position be to end the government benefits that are bestowed on some people rather than increasing the number of people that get those benefits?

    Or are liberal-tarians now in favor of bigger government to address the problems of big government.

  • Tony||

    Yes, the libertarian position should be the least tenable one possible, and until the day in two thousand never when marriage is abolished, we should stick with unequal rights. For freedom.

  • JoshINHB||

    What rights?

    Please elaborate on what married couples get that would be impossible for unmarried couples to get.

  • Mike||

    This libertarian agrees. There is no "sanctity" in a legal marriage anyway, so homosexuals aren't gonna ruin that, no matter what they close to call it. Civil Unions for all, and just for the purpose of survivor rights, because you know, once we get rid of taxes and all that there goes another incentive. Sanctified marriages are inventions of religious institutions who have the perrogitive to make whatever rules they want about it, since it won't affect your civil union either way.

  • Tony||

    Yeah everyone confuses marriage, which is a legally recognized institution, with matrimony, in which Jesus is present in a sort of three-way.

  • Sarah||

    Yes, but as long as the state is conferring benefits, it should do so in an equal way.

    For example, I disagree with public education and think all education should be privatized. But, I don't think that we should exclude homosexual children (or any other minority) from education on the basis that it just gets a step closer to full privatization.

    I think Social Security should be abolished and all retirement should be private. But I'm not about to support granting Social Security benefits to only Christians, on the theory that altruism is a quintessentially Christian notion, dating back to Jesus.

  • Tony||

    +1 Sarah, been trying to get this point across but haven't been able to state it as clearly as you have.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    The "benefits" (the ones that involve tax cuts and the like) are one thing, and the state should treat everyone - married or not - the same in that regard.

    What I've been trying to get at is the legal crap - the stuff that should apply to any couple with or without a damned piece of paper saying "we got permission from The State to say 'we're married!'".

    I should have been clearer on that, Tony. But even still, it's perplexing that you and I would argue so much, given we're actually in agreement for a change.

  • josey||

    "Why get so up in arms over just a simple definition of a word if you don't have another motive."

    Here's the deal.

    The fundamentalist mind universally exhibits a nebulous fear that society must break down in the absence of an enforced set of morals.

    The only substantive question regards which morals are the right ones.

    Witness the religious variant, railing against your right to be gay, the law-and-order variant, railing against your right to smoke this or that, or the government-sycophant variant, railing against the basic exercise of human freedom. Follow their arguments, and you will find that they are always of the same breed: freedom is a slippery slope, which must lead to chaos, poverty, perversion, suffering, etc., etc.

    They do not, for the most part, hate for hate's sake -- they feel threatened by a world that they do not understand, and they act on their first instinct: to try to control it. But they stop there -- once it helps them feel better, then the impulse has fulfilled its purpose; it need not produce any concrete result.

  • ||

    Because if words do not have meaning independent of government definition, then all of our rights in practice have no protection against government action. Example - let's redefine "arms" in the 2nd amendment to mean your human arms. "Press" in the 1st amendment could mean clothes press. And so on. Words must have meaning independent of government edict for our laws and amendments to offer practical protection of individual rights.

  • ||

    -10 for logic fail.

  • ||

    It is not simply a word choice, there are specific legal rights and benefits that apply to a couple that are married that do not apply to civil unions. Chief among them is the legal recognition, across state and country boundaries, of marriage and not civil unions or domestic partnerships.

  • ||

    Interstate recognition based on the word "marriage" is not a layup. There were barriers already in place. More have been, and continue to be, erected.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    And those same rights and benefits could and should be given to committed male/female couples who don't want to BE married.

    Should've added that to my post to Jonathan, but I hit "enter" too early.

  • ||

    Sadly, I don't know of a single self-identifying conservative who has proposed full legal recognition of same-sex unions on par with mixed-gender "marriage." Hence, section 3 of DOMA restricting to mixed-gender couples the 1200+ federal code references to marriage. While surely many marriage equality supporters would reject this as separate-but-equal, who on the Right has even proposed such a marriage-in-all-but-name policy at the federal level? In fact, it was just such a law in Washington state that was attacked by opponents of same-sex marriage, although it was not "marriage" in name. I'd like to see that amendment to DOMA introduced by a Republican member of Congress who is opposed to same-sex marriage. Please. Talk about disingenuity.

  • ||

    mixed-gender couples

    Oh God, it's "hearing-enabled" all over again.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    Most conservatives I know could care less about same sex couples having equal legal rights.

    Bull. Either you are very selective about the conservatives you know or you are not paying attention to what they are actually saying.

  • ||

    Linkies?

  • ||

    Except that the conversatives you know apparently bear no relation to the conservatives found around the country, since state after state that constitutionalizes a gay marriage ban also bans civil unions. Since those initiatives are voter approved, the conservative voters voting for them don't seem to have a problem banning civil unions and locking gays out of all legal rights and protections.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Except that the conversatives you know apparently bear no relation to the conservatives found around the country, since state after state that constitutionalizes a gay marriage ban also bans civil unions. Since those initiatives are voter approved, the conservative voters voting for them don't seem to have a problem banning civil unions and locking gays out of all legal rights and protections.


    Of course, since many of those initiatives (like Florida's Amendment 2) were passed by lopsided margins, it is not just conservatives voting for them.

  • ||

    True, but that really isn't the point of what I am saying (which is actually a misplaced reply to an earlier comment). Commenters are saying the conservatives they know support civil unions, but the marriage bans, which pass with some liberal support, almost uniformly ban civil unions along with gay marriage. Those electoral results are inconsistent with large numbers of conservatives supporting civil unions.

  • Geotpf||

    Seperate is inherently unequal. Now, it would be legal to end all legal recoginition for all marriages, and then recoginize them as "civil unions" only, and then reserve the word "marriage" for the religious portion of the ceremony. But if the government gives benefits to straight couples via "marriage", they can't then call the same thing by gay couples under a different name.

  • Tim||

    All this Gay stuff scares me. They're out there right now, watching us, undressing us with their eyes...

  • Thomas O.||

    They're in for a bout of nausea if they do that to me. :P

  • PR||

    It seems like the real fight is for the benefits such as Social Security and pension survivor benefits, etc. because single people don't get these. Single people still won't get them when gay marriage comes around.

  • ||

    Next up: Single heterosexuals getting "married" in order to enjoy SS benefits.

  • ||

    I am completely for male-male marriages. As far as I am concerned, being a heterosexual (except where Warty is concerned), a male-male marriage (unless they are those selfish ass BI-sexuals) takes 2 agents of competition out of the game.

    Female-female marriages are an abomination..... unless, hopefully, the are bi-sexual and I will still get a chance to fuck them.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Along similar lines, I once joked to a gay friend that I wished every guy who was better looking than me was gay. He wistfully replied "so do I, so do I".

  • Fiscal Meth||

    LOL

  • Colin||

    Conservatives are nothing more than fair-weather federalists -- willing to dump it the moment it gets in the way of their agenda.

  • ||

    It seems to me that conservatives are perfectly happy putting the idea up to the people for a vote--in each state or nationwide. That doesn't seem like a rejection of federalism.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    Sure, in this case they hope that most states will ban gay marriage, or at least fail to pass laws to allow for it specifically.

    But where are the conservatives arguing that the Drug War is a rejection of federalism? How about the Stagliano trial?

  • ||

    "They hope"? Does it matter? They're willing to let the people of each state decide for themselves--whereas proponents want the courts to force it.

    Which shows respect for federalism?

  • Mike the Grouch||

    In this instance. Sure. In others not so much. It's very selective. That was, and is still, the point.

  • JoshINHB||

    It seems no one really believes in federalism.

    Libertarian intellectuals certainly don't.

  • ||

    There are indeed many Americans, myself included, who oppose homosexual marriage but would be open to a new legal partnership open to any two individuals...in many cases, prior to marriage.

    As for why we are so "up in arms" over the use of the word marriage...two reasons. The first is often religious: active homosexuality is condemned by the Bible (as well as other major religious texts) as sin, while marriage is elevated to a sacred union between two people in the sight of God. Gay Marriage, then, uses the state to impose a sinful deffinition on a sacred union - and most people won't be able to separate between a religious marriage and a civil one.

    But the second reason we oppose Gay Marriage is Social - Marriage implies family, and family is essential for civilization, and Gays, quite simply, can't have families of their own. Under no natural process can you cross a man with a man and get a child. Promoting marriage as between a man and a woman, then, also promotes the fmaily structure vital to our society. Recognizing gay marriage - or getting the government out of marriage all together - disrupts our ability to promote the kind of behavior so necessary to our country.

  • Rahm Emmanuel’s kippah||

    And there you have "God and country" conservatism in a nutshell.

  • Mr. Conservative||

    'There are indeed many Americans, myself included, who oppose homosexual marriage but would be open to a new legal partnership open to any two individuals...in many cases, prior to marriage.

    As for why we are so "up in arms" over the use of the word marriage...'

    You must have missed this part, RE's kippah. 1) There is a solution or compromise he's open to; 2) the dilemna seems to be over the meaning of the word 'marriage.'

    I indeed am Mr. Conservative, so rather it seems that I'd be God and country conservatism wrapped neatly in a nut. (No shell here baby!)

    The most elegant solution has two things: a state of recognition from a state, with whatever benefits it may confer ("civil union" or something, I don't care), and voluntary recognition from whatever else.

    Marriage could keep its traditional definition; various religious institutions could bless whatever "unions" they please; homos would probably still be upset (because they too quibble over the word "marriage"); all-in-all, I'd be shooting 3 for 3.

    poopy and others here have offered similar things. alittlesense also offered a little sense, though his last statement concludes has some issues as concerns grammar... oh well, here you go:
    'Or we could follow the model of some European countries. The government validates what are essentially civil unions, and couples who want to go to the church of their choice and have their union blessed.'

  • ||

    I wish I could squish out this "need families for civilization" idiocy. It just isn't true. What a "family" is today is vastly different than what it was 10,000 years ago when we where freezing our nads off.

    And secondly, fuck the Bible. If that fucking big useless cocksucker in the sky wants a say, register to vote just like everyone else. Doesn't it say in Deuteronomy 22:something that if your wife isn't a vigin when you marry her your supposed to stone her to death?

    The only thing worse than fucking Christianity is a la carte Christianity.

    But you do make a good point. ther government shouldn't have any business at all saying who should be married.

    And for fucks sake, we have what, 6 billion people on the planet. I don't think there is going to be a shortage of either peope or man-woman fucking in the near future.

  • JoshINHB||

    The caliphate appreciates your support.

    Don't worry they "take care of you" when they have the chance.

  • rho||

    What's idiotic about "need families for civilization"? Do you have a better solution than what we've evolved over the past few thousand years?

    Nuclear families are a relatively modern invention, a weird outgrowth of Protestantism. It's been suggested that the nuclear family structure is what led towards the rule of law, due to the need of disparate small family units to build a civil society that does not favor large nepotistic ruling classes.

    Just because you hate your dad doesn't mean that families are stupid.

  • ||

    The only thing worse than fucking Christianity is a la carte Christianity.

    The only thing worse than fucking ignorant anti-Christian quotes is a la carte anti-Christian quotes.

    Deuteronomy is Old Testament idiot. Jesus, aka the Messiah, in the NEW Testament is what 'Christ'ians follow. The Old Testament is more of a reference check for Christian to see where they came from in a spiritual direction. So if you are going to quote the bible against 'Christ'ians please refer to the section they are supposed to be following, ie. the New Testament.

  • zoltan||

    So where does Jesus say homosexuals can't get married? I must have missed where he said that.

  • ||

    It's covered under the sexual immoraltiy parts that Paul among others mentions.

  • ||

    Paul was a blow hard and hardly a good example of the compassion that Christ taught.

  • zoltan||

    Please link.

  • ||

    No it's not.. there's nothing that LITERALLY says "gays shall not marry" you retard.

  • St.V||

    That doesn't make it suddenly disappear. For one, this opinion of yours that only the NT "counts" now isn't set in stone amongst Christians. Furthermore, the fact that the shit that's spewed in there as "God's Law" is pretty damn telling as to how screwed up it is.

  • Thomas O.||

    "Of this much I assure you: until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of the law, not the smallest part of a letter, shall be done away with until it all comes true. That is why whoever breaks the least significant of these commands and teaches others to do so shall be called least in the kingdom of God. Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be called great in the kingdom of God." (Matthew 5:17-19)

    I'm sure some fundies will use this verse to justify keeping the Old Testament rules around.

    Just sayin'.

  • NeonCat||

    1) How about instead you just get to call whatever marriages you approve of "Christian (or whatever religion suits you) marriages" as opposed to gays or godless heathens who have whatever holy man or judge join them in marriage. Would that be enough for your sacred unions (are the marriages that fail not sacred enough?)?
    b) That's quite a chain of specious reasoning you have there. Are couples who marry and don't have kids bringing down our country? As to the inability of gays to have children, I guess you never heard or surrogate mothers or adoption? Or are you one of those good Christians who is willing to let children languish in orphanages rather than let those horrible gay people raise them?

  • ||

    I vote, 'Most Godly Marriage'

  • JoshINHB||

    "Or are you one of those good Christians who is willing to let children languish in orphanages rather than let those horrible gay people raise them?"

    I've known several couples that desperately wanted to adopt an american child, even inter-racially, and were unable to. Both wound up importing an adoptee.

    So where are all of these adoptable children that are beind scorned by hetero coupoles?

  • Sarah||

    The people you know about must have wanted a *healthy* *baby.* There are literally hundreds of thousands of older and/or less-than-perfect children who need homes.

  • Tony||

    Good, so you have no law- or rationally-based objections then?

  • ||

    What is interesting about this is that marriage has already been cheapened from the civilization stabilizing institution it was meant to be. Now, marriage is simply going really steady with someone. It's based on the fleeting idea of being 'in love' in stead of the financial, social, political and familial ideas that fueled it in the past.

    Divorce was not so common when you were tied to your spouse by something other than genitalia.

    You married a Wife, you experienced 'love' with a series of misstresses--most of which left you for marriages of their own( and left you free to pick a new one!) Obviously, this didn't work the same way for women. They didn't get freewheeling adultery. If they practiced it, it was furtive and criminal. But the idea of 'love', of being with the person one loves, spread.

    Eventually, by custom, rather than law, marriage morphed from a family decision into a spurious one based more on the feeling of being in love than any careful consideration.

    Worse, various Christian mores made marriage the only way one might actually get to touch the one you loved.

    Which resulted in marriages made in lust.

    A lifetime commitment cheapened to the equivalent of the price of a prostitute.

    Divorce was hard to get.....but we 'fixed' that.

    And now we stand, having taken 'marriage' to a point where one can marry and divorce in the space of hours, telling homosexuals that marriage cannot stretch to accept another assault on the civilizationally needed institution heterosexuals have cheapened to the point of near worthlessness.

    And that may be true. There is a part of me that says abandoning marriage to it's fate might be the best thing. Build something new, and just, out of civil unions.

  • JoshINHB||

    Which resulted in marriages made in lust.

    A lifetime commitment cheapened to the equivalent of the price of a prostitute.

    Still bitter about your divorce?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You married a Wife, you experienced 'love' with a series of misstresses--most of which left you for marriages of their own( and left you free to pick a new one!) Obviously, this didn't work the same way for women. They didn't get freewheeling adultery. If they practiced it, it was furtive and criminal. But the idea of 'love', of being with the person one loves, spread.


    Why was it different for women?

    Worse, various Christian mores made marriage the only way one might actually get to touch the one you loved.

    Which resulted in marriages made in lust.


    I wonder if that was a feature, not a bug.

  • Sarah||

    like

  • Thomas O.||

    Well, you throw your reasoning out the window with your first example. If you want your freedom of religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, you can't use your religion to discriminate against gay couples who want to get married, and thus enjoy all the benefits of marriage. And YES, families headed by same-sex couples are just as valid and competent as opposite-sex couples when it comes to raising children. If you want the government to start dictating what kind of couples are allowed to raise children, we run the risk of giving the government too much power over our lives, making it easier for them to go authoritarian.

  • JoshINHB||

    "If you want your freedom of religion, as guaranteed by the First Amendment, you can't use your religion to discriminate against gay couples who want to get married,"

    So the bill of rights protects government approved religious beliefs?

    You must be a con law scholar.

  • Mike||

    While what you're saying is a valid point, it missed the main one. The guy he replied to IS in support of government regulations based on a religious belief. Arguments like yours are what make tony's job so much easier

  • Thomas O.||

    Quite the opposite. The Bill of Rights should be protecting people FROM majority religions gaining government backing for their doctrines, i.e. banning gay marriage or mandating that creationism be taught in public schools. All these right-wing Panicky Petes bellyaching about slippery slopes and crumbling societies need to be soundly disproved, while at the same time be reassured that their faiths and churches won't be affected by any marriage-equality legislation or judgments.

  • ||

    Matthew, would you be comfortable with government at all levels getting out of "marriage" all together? IE, "marriage" reverts to its historical place as a ceremony/sacrament/ritual performed by religious instituions?

    Government recognizes (registers contracts for) civil unions, domestic partnerships, whatever?

  • Thomas O.||

    I for one would be comfortable with that, but you know what the bible-thumpers would say in reaction to that proposal... "They want to kick God out of our social institutions!"

  • ||

    The real fight is none of the aforementioned things, it's both anthropological and faith-based. The concept of marriage as the union of a man and a woman for the explicit reason of having and raising children is the cornerstone of western Judeo-Christian based civilization. To toy with it is to toy with the very foundations of society itself. No kidding. No one who doesn't support gay "marriage" from this standpoint that I know couldn't give a damn about extending benefits; they actually support same sex couples getting everything traditional couples do. They simply do not want the union recognized as a "marriage" per se. They feel it is an undermining of the Natural Law. Odd things start to occur when you undermine the Natural Law, kiddies. Eerily odd things.....oooooooo.......

  • poopy||

    Sometimes I think that Gay Marriage supporters would also support legislation aimed at amending the law of gravity or the law of supply and demand.

  • &||

    It's called having your cake and eating it. "We're different but we're the same!"

  • NeonCat||

    Natural Law: whatever I like/dislike is naturally the law, and to tamper with it will invite dire consequences. Dire!

  • kinnath||

    So all you need to do to resolve this issue is mount a campaign to repeal the 10th amendment and maybe the 14th amendment and possibly the establishment clause of the 1st amendement, and then you can pass whatever law you want to impose your faith-based notion of marriage upon the entire population of the United States. I wish you great success in your campaign.

  • Stretchy||

    "The concept of marriage as the union of a man and a woman for the explicit reason of having and raising children is the cornerstone of western Judeo-Christian based civilization."

    Really? Not faith in God. Not the 10 commandments. Not the golden rule. Not the Easter Bunny.

  • ||

    Really. Faith in Christ is the cornerstone of the Faith. The Golden Rule is from the teachings of Christ. The Easter Bunny is at the corner of Peep & Jellybean. Marriage (and family) is the cornerstone of Judeo Christian civilization. Snore.

  • ||

    The concept of marriage as the union of a man and a woman for the explicit reason of having and raising children is the cornerstone of western Judeo-Christian based civilization.

    Judeo-Christian? LOL. The ancient israelite King David had eight frickin wives. Somehow you people conveniently forget this.

  • zoltan||

    Solomon had hundreds; Jesus had 0. These biblical figures sounds like experts on marriage.

  • ||

    Who you callin' "you people"!?! Now that's racist....

  • ||

    Didn't see Matthew's comment before I posted; ditto.....

  • ||

    Colin:

    Liberals and conservatives are both fair-weather federalists.

    Matthew:

    Your social argument leaves out hetersexual couples who adopt their children. I bet you wouldn't say that heterosexual unions where procreation is impossible are unnatural, but that is what your social argument implies.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Only if you presume that exceptions -- whether through a conscious decision or otherwise -- invalidate the general proposition. The purpose of medicine, more or less, is to reduce the impact of disease or other harm and the fact that medicine sometimes cannot achieve that purpose does not invalidate that purpose.

  • Tony||

    The question is whether all adults have the same rights. That's the only question. No fertility tests or promises to have children or anything are ever required of hetero couples, so that argument simply holds no water.

  • poopy||

    Equal rights, equal rights.. the mating call of the modern liberal.

    "We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain." -Bastiat

  • Tony||

    So you don't believe people should be equal under the law?

  • poopy||

    There are two separate issues here: legal rights and the meaning of a word.

    You can accuse those who oppose changing the meaning of a word with opposing equal rights, but that doesn't make it true.

    It just makes you obtuse.

  • kinnath||

    Five Alarm stupid in this one.

  • kinnath||

    Fucking threaded comments are going to force me to say I was agreeing with Tony and dissing poopy.

    I feel unclean now.

  • poopy||

    ?

  • Tony||

    I don't want it enshrined in law that there are separate institutions for straight and gay people, even assuming they would have all the exact same legal rights. Dictionaries have already started redefining marriage to reflect the reality that many gay couples are in fact married, so if all you're really concerned about is the definition of a word take it up with them.

  • ||

    The quote you provided invalidates your argument.

    Bastiat's point is that socialists can't wrap their heads around the idea that not everything requires the involvement of the state.

    You can't wrap your head around the idea that marriage is no different, in that it's nothing more than a civil contract between consenting individuals, and the state should have no involvement in dictating who is and is not eligible.

    You are the one insisting that the state intervene, and suggesting if they don't, then society will collapse without a state-sanctioned institution of marriage.

    I'll mention that Ontario has allowed homosexuals to marry for several years, and the sky hasn't fallen.

  • poopy||

    You can't wrap your head around the idea that marriage is no different, in that it's nothing more than a civil contract between consenting individuals, and the state should have no involvement in dictating who is and is not eligible.

    Marriage is a civil contract between a man and a woman.

    What part of husband and wife do you not understand?

    I completely agree that same sex couples should be able to enter into a contract that has the same legal rights associated with it as are associated with the contract called marriage.

  • Tony||

    poopy you're begging the question. If the contract is only available to heterosexual couples, then it violates equal protection. Marriage may be as you claim now, but it should be legally redefined. In many jurisdictions it already is.

  • poopy||

    It is not only available to heterosexual couples, it is only available to opposite sex couples.
    A gay man and a lesbian woman could get married if they chose to do so. There's no law stopping them.

    It is defined by gender, not sexual orientation.

  • Tony||

    Talk about obtuse. So gay people are free to marry only those who they, by definition, have no interest in marrying? Hardly equal rights.

  • poopy||

    My only objection is to the use of the term "marriage" to describe the contract between a same sex couple.
    In fact I am 100% on board with same sex couples have every single legal right that opposite sex couples have, with the exception of the word.
    The fact that that is not good enough shows that the issue is about the word, not the rights.
    Your continuing to harp about rights shows that you are either dishonest or stupid.
    So, which is it?
    Are you a liar or are you a moron?

  • Tony||

    poopy,

    If all you're concerned about is the word used, then it would seem you're at least as obsessed with minutiae. Who does it harm to call it marriage? To me, having two separate words in the law is a clear separate-but-equal situation. I don't actually care what it's called as long as there is no legal distinction between straight couples and gay couples at all. Equal rights means equal. The only reason I want it to be called marriage specifically is because I don't think straights will be giving that up anytime soon, and in the end who really gives a fuck, it's just a word.

  • poopy||

    Because words mean things. Distinctions matter. To recognize that two things are not the same does not require passing judgment. It simply means that they are not the same thing. They can be different and equal. You use separate but equal to bring up an implication of racism. Racism was about power and subjugation. I'm not saying that gays should not have the same rights, I'm saying that the word marriage means something. Who really gives a fuck you ask? Obviously you do, or you would accept a compromise that gave all the same rights but used a different term. So tell me, why must it be called marriage?

  • Tony||

    Why not? Who does it harm? Until someone can explain that to me I'm going to default to a position of exactly the same legal rights and definition for all people.

  • Tony||

    There is also something circular about this... The more you emphasize the importance of the word “marriage” the more of an argument you’re making for extending it. If it’s meaningless, then why do you care? If it’s so important, then how do you justify denying it to a class of people?

  • poopy||

    If it’s meaningless, then why do you care?

    I never said it is meaningless. You did. You say that it is just a word, so who cares. But then you insist that the word must be used or no dice.
    As far as denying something to a class of people goes, I've repeated over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over that same sex couples should have the same legal status as opposite sex couples. Yet your response is that I want to deny rights to same sex couples.
    Yes there is something circular about this: the hole in your head.

  • Tony||

    It's a whole lot easier just changing the phrase "man and woman" to "two persons" than it is to try to create a separate institution and match all the benefits up. It's jumping through a lot of hoops in order to protect the definition of a word for no good reason.

  • poopy||

    It's a whole lot easier...

    I'll agree with that. However just because one way is easier or more expedient doesn't make it right.

    for no good reason

    That is a matter of opinion.
    Besides, if the word is so meaningless to you, why must you insist that it be used?

    For a while I thought you were a moron, now I'm starting to think you're a liar.

  • poopy||

    ...than it is to try to create a separate institution...

    Why does it have to be a new and separate institution?
    Why not eliminate the word "marriage" from the law and replace it with "civil union", which would be defined as "two persons".

    That way people can define marriage however they want without someone taking them to court.

    That's what this whole thing is about: people wanting to take other people to court because they see marriage as a man and a woman.

    Equal rights has nothing to do with it.

  • ||

    Sounds good... let's strike the words "marriage", "spouse", "husband" and "wife" from all statutes, and replace them with "civil union" or "domestic partnership" and "life partner".

    If you can't share the word "marriage", nobody gets to use it (under the law that is... in private I don't care what anyone calls it).

  • ||

    It sounds like poopy would deny me the right to use the word "marriage" as well. I'm a childless atheist in an interracial heterosexual marriage. You can just grab old arguments against interracial marriage and strike out the stuff about race and replace it with gender and have the same thing.

  • poopy||

    Why not? Who does it harm?

    Who is harmed by using a different term?
    Are you small and blue or something?
    Let's just call everything a smurf.

  • Mr. Conservative||

    I hate to interupt this Tony-poopy dialogue (I've generally fallen on poopy's side, but it's hard to take such a guy with such a name seriously as such), but:

    Tony|7.14.10 @ 12:35PM|#
    Talk about obtuse. So gay people are free to marry only those who they, by definition, have no interest in marrying? Hardly equal rights.

    In that all humans are free to marry a member of the opposite sex, then the rights of one if no greater or less than any other's.

  • ||

    I'm sorry to inform you, but you have no ownership right to the definition of a word.

    If two people voluntarily enter a contract, they can call it whatever the heck they like.

    I'd call it "perpetual servitude with time off granted for good behaviour" but that may have something to do with me being single.

  • Tim||

    What's Libertarian about marriage anyway?

  • ||

    I think people have the right to be happy. Its their lives, let them live it.

    Lou
    www.privacy-tools.es.tc

  • ratfucker||

    When was the last time anyone's been to a wedding that wasn't, like, totally gay? That's why grooms would rather elope and his friends show up only for the booze.

    So if the WEDDING is gay, why not the marriage?

  • ||

    ...his friends show up only for the booze.

    Don't forget sex with bridesmaids. My hetero buddies tell me that women are easy pickins at weddings.

  • ||

    Single bridesmaids are the only reason I go to weddings.

    They're easy because they're an emotional mix of:
    - Jealousy (that their bride friend is getting all the attention),
    - Self-consciousness (since her bride friend has managed to land a guy, but she's still single),
    - Resentment (that she had to buy a stupid dress that she'll never wear again), and
    - Ticking biological clock (especially for those in their late 20s).

    Add some alcohol and she'll jump on any available guy like he's a lifeboat for her sinking self-esteem.

  • Roscoe||

    I assume you'll also agree that Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional for the same reason, correct?

  • ||

    God damn this "need civilization" to "have and raise children" fucks are so stupid. To have children, usually, what you need is a sperm, an ovum, and a uterous. You don't need civilization for that. You just need to fuck. Some how birds, dogs, cats, chimps, whales, lions, tigers have all manages to figure out the fucking and raising part, all without civilization. Fucking has been pretty successful for the last million or so years. The little experiment called "civilization" is what, less than 4000 years old? And if the 20 century is any indication, civilization ain't that fucking impressive.

    Being weak animals what we need is cooperation, not civilization.

    If, after 2000 years since Aristotle founded some of the first rules of reason, you still follow a book that required the murder of a human being for not having a hymen, I am not impressed with your "Judeo-Christian" civilization.

  • libertytexan||

    Not to mention the fact that people were fucking and civilization was growing for thousands of years before some guy name Jesus possibly walked the earth. And yes there were dudes fucking each other back then as too.

  • Edwin E.||

    *golf clap*

  • poopy||

    Why don't we just get the government out of the marriage business entirely?
    Let's replace marriage with civil unions for all, civil unions being the union of two individuals. Marriage can remain a subset of civil unions, the subset of opposite sex couples.
    Let the same sex couples get married at Unitarian churches if they want, but strike the word "marriage" from the law books.
    The problem with this is that the anti-tradition anti-Christian people would not be able to initiate lawsuits against people who refuse to recognize same sex couples as "married", and I sometimes think that the major motivation behind same sex marriage is to initiate force against those who disagree.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Good points, but Tony will bitch and whine about your "separate but equal" screed, poopy. Prepare for his wrath!

  • Tony||

    Excuse the hell out of me for taking the libertarian position in opposition to most of you here. Again.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I warned you, poopy!

    Seriously, Tony... what part of "make domestic-partnership rules apply to all" are you missing here?

    But, hey, if you're THAT insistent on a symbolic piece of paper issued by a permission-slip factory...

  • poopy||

    The guy is obviously a moonbat in libertarian clothing.

  • Tony||

    I'm missing the part where you explain when, why, and how heterosexuals will give up their current benefits arrangement for the sake of gays having equal rights. Isn't it easier just to extend the current benefits to gay people so we can all go home? There's no rational argument why not, and you haven't presented one yet.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "Isn't it easier just to extend the current benefits to gay people so we can all go home?"

    I've been making that argument all along, but you managed to find a way to make it sound otherwise.

  • ||

    So, Libertarian policy is dictated by a fear of Tony, not by principals of self-ownership and expanding rights? That explains so much...

  • Tony||

    Apparently libertarian policy is about completely redefining our economic system but remaining squeamish about redefining marriage, which won't harm or otherwise affect anyone except those currently being denied equal rights.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    That's odd... in an earlier post, you said "anyone can call themselves 'married'", even to a houseplant. Why so obstinate about it now?

  • ||

    Or we could follow the model of some European countries. The government validates what are essentially civil unions, and couples who want to go to the church of their choice and have their union blessed.

  • ||

    I sometimes think that the major motivation behind same sex marriage is to initiate force against those who disagree.

    No, dumbshit, the major motivation for SSM is that we want to be equal and have the same rights as everyone else. I grew up in segregation times and remember the old folks telling me that "black people don't swim, they don't really want to use the pool, they just want to make things difficult for everyone else."

    You're reading from the same script.

  • DownsizeDC||

    A ruling based on the Tenth Amendment can't be a bad thing. Now if we follow the Tenth Amendment again by getting the feds to stop funding the states and end entitlements, then both sides win: gays get to be married and conservative taxpayers don't have to subsidize them.

  • ||

    I think what the conservatives are missing in the 10th amendment argument is that, by giving states exclusive jurisdiction over marriage, it blocks a future federalization of gay marriage, and I think it would block the forced "Full Faith and Credit" recognition of gay marriage in states that don't want to recognize it.

    And, of course, any revitalization of the 10th Amendment is a restoration of the Constitution and should be supported by libertarians and conservatives alike, IMO. If you're a conservative and don't like gay marriage, make sure your state doesn't recognize it, but leave other states alone.

  • ||

    Libs need to be very careful...using the "full faith and credit" argument will set up lots of useful case law precedents for other things. For example, if Texas is required to accept the validity a Mass same sex marriage, why should Mass not have to recognize the validity of a Texas Concealed handgun License? Oh, I see, that's DIFFERENT...even though I seem to recall this issue is SPECIFICALLY touched on by the bill of rights (think it was the 2nd amendment...), while it requires all manner of judicial legerdemaine to wring a same sex marriage ruling out of the 10th Amendment.

  • Mike the Grouch||

    One assumes that if MA allows permit holders to carry, they would allow a Texan with a permit to carry in MA. Just like they allow a Texan with a TX drivers license to drive in MA.

    The real problem here is that marriage is a private contract and should therefore be bound only by contract law. Marital status should confer no legal rights or privileges whatsoever.

  • zoltan||

    Marital status should confer no legal rights or privileges whatsoever.

    A thousand times yes.

  • ||

    What about immunity from subpoena?

    To my understanding, at present, someone can't be compelled to be a witness against his or her spouse (the same privilege granted to attorneys, doctors, and the clergy).

  • ||

    These paragraphs bother me:

    Tauro also relied on the principle of equal protection in overturning DOMA's exclusion of gay couples from federal benefits tied to marriage, having concluded in a related case that such discrimination fails even the highly deferential "rational basis" test. Although I've been skeptical of this argument in the past, I must admit that I am hard pressed to think of a rational reason for preventing the longtime spouse of a veteran from being buried alongside him, simply because both of them are men.

    I agree that the outcome here is harsh, and it's not what I'd prefer (burial designations especially should be individualized). However, this is a policy matter. The idea that longstanding societal morals regarding sexuality do not form a "rational basis" for legislation is downright ridiculous.

    Moral judgments can't be proven in a mathematical equation, but they are the basis of virtually all legislation. What this paragraph really says to me is that you are personally opposed the moral judgment being made, so you're prepared to empower the Supreme Court to declare it "irrational" and strike down the law on that basis.

    If that's the path being taken, don't complain about commerce clause jurisprudence or anything else -- if personal moral and policy preferences rule constitutional interpretation, then any decision is legitimate.

    It's true that the people who wrote and ratified the Fifth and 14th amendments never imagined they were guaranteeing equal treatment for homosexual couples. But that's because the very notion of gay marriage would have been incomprehensible to them. Treating all married couples equally, without regard to sexual preference, seems like a straightforward application of equal protection to a situation the Framers could not have foreseen, just as they did not foresee television (which is nevertheless protected by the First Amendment) or wiretaps (which are nevertheless governed by the Fourth Amendment).

    This is a very, very bad analogy. Homosexuality is not a technological innovation; it's nothing like television. Sexual proclivities existed in the 18th and 19th centuries, and by the time the 14th amendment was ratified, there was already talk of the notion that certain persons were geared towards homosexuality. Even if this weren't the case, it is clear that none of the ratifiers would have advocated having homosexuals as a protected class of persons under the equal protection clause. Even if they had foreseen gay marriage, the fact is that they weren't trying to create protections for homosexuals.

    This isn't to say that it might not be better to have certain legal protections for gays. Heck, it might be a good idea to amend the constitution. However, the constitution doesn't say that. This reeks of the results-oriented jurisprudence that is supposedly being decried. A very hypocritical article.

  • kinnath||

    Moral judgments can't be proven in a mathematical equation, but they are the basis of virtually all legislation.

    Bullshit.

    The vast majority of legislation is driven by profiteers and control-freaks that can't stand the things other people do.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I agree that the outcome here is harsh, and it's not what I'd prefer (burial designations especially should be individualized). However, this is a policy matter. The idea that longstanding societal morals regarding sexuality do not form a "rational basis" for legislation is downright ridiculous.


    Indeed, it was the actual rationale used by the Supreme Court to uphold the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Law against a First Amendment challenge in Reynolds v. United States .

    This is a very, very bad analogy. Homosexuality is not a technological innovation; it's nothing like television. Sexual proclivities existed in the 18th and 19th centuries, and by the time the 14th amendment was ratified, there was already talk of the notion that certain persons were geared towards homosexuality. Even if this weren't the case, it is clear that none of the ratifiers would have advocated having homosexuals as a protected class of persons under the equal protection clause. Even if they had foreseen gay marriage, the fact is that they weren't trying to create protections for homosexuals.


    Indeed.

    The closest that the 14th Amendment could apply to the issue of same-sex "marriage" is that states can not restrict access to same-sex "marriage" on the basis of race, should they choose to offer the privilege.

    But same-sex "marriage" licenses are no more mandated by the 14th than driver's licenses.

  • Mike||

    The only moral which should be used in lawmaking is "don't coerce" that covers pretty much everything, so the morality argument is out the door

  • ||

    Mike,

    Maybe, but the "harm principle" is not written into the Constitution. There's historical evidence that Thomas Jefferson (and perhaps the other anti-federalists) believed in something close to it, but it wasn't the basis for anything in the Bill of Rights or the 14th Amendment.

  • Thomas O.||

    It probably would have been, had "On Liberty" existed in the 1780's.

  • ||

    Maybe I'm missing something, but from what I can gather of Sullum's writing, it almost strikes me that the equal protection argument hinges on the federalism argument. That is, the recognition of a long-time spouse implies that the spousal relationship exists in the first place. If the states have the right to define marriage within their boundaries, the argument seems to follow pretty linearly from their.

  • ||

    Geez, gotta watch the premature submission. Anyone with a little more knowledge on the subject able to tell me if I'm reading this right?

  • Alex||

    Why doesn't the state handle out permits to issue marriage certificates to individuals and organizations, and let them decide who they allow to marry? That way, churches and religious people will be able to deny homosexual weddings, and gay and lesbian couples will go to those who allow it.

  • ||

    because that is just a means to the same end - allowing Gay Marriage. Rather than figuring out how to allow it, we should be debating its value. What purpose is their in society recognizing gay marriage as completely equal to that of traditional marriage?

    Yes, all people should have certain rights - like the right to have a designated loved one make hospital or legal decisions, or inherit property, or some such thing. But in other cases, there is good reason to question exactly why Gay couples should be entitled to the same benefits.

  • Alex||

    Well thats easy: Benefits? To the economy, and plenty of them.

    Good reason to question why gay couples chould get the same rights?

    None, they want to do it, it doesn't affect me or my lifestyle. Allow them.

  • St.V||

    In what other cases and/or benefits should we be questioning gay couples about?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Moreover, the heterosexual definition of marriage for purposes of federal laws—including immigration, Social Security survivor rights and veteran's benefits—has become a de facto club used to limit, if not thwart, the ability of a state to choose to recognize same-sex unions."


    In the short run, Social Security survivor rights can be dealt with by allowing all receipients to name one survivor, and to eliminate the provision that spouses are automatically survivors. Married people can name their spouses as survivors, and homosexuals can name their partners as survivors.

    In the long run, make everyone born after December 31, 2010 ineligible for Social Security benefits (except if they are named as survivors).

  • ||

    You know, even this I have to question - the survivor benefits, that is. What is the purpose of them? More importantly, is the situation really the same between heterosexual couples and homosexual couples?

    Here's what I mean: It seems to me that many of these benefits were designed with the traditional family in mind. When they were established, and even today, many married women did not work, but stayed home with the children and the house, without an income of their own. Even when they did work (and again, even today), they make less than their husbands...not because of discrimination, but because of different types of work. Since men were generally older, they would likely die first. Survivor benefits, therefore, were to provide the widow (and perhaps the children) with an income to help avert poverty if the father/husband died.

    Is that not the case? And if that is the case, does a similar situation really exist with homosexual couples, who usually don't have kids, often are closer in age, and are generally more equal in providing income to the family?

  • ||

    Who cares?

    Survivor benefits aren't means tested for hetero couples. What then justifies a broad-brush hypothetical means test for homo couples?

    Either survivor benefits should be awarded case-by-case using pre-defined qualification criteria, or given to everyone equally.

  • ||

    My concern for Gay addoption centers around my firm belief that there are things a mother can provide that a father can't, and vise versa, and that addopting children into the homes of Gay individuals deprives them of the opportunity ever to have a mother or a father.

    ---

    As for not being impressed with my religion, Troy, are you impressed with the results of promiscuity, adultury, and the genrally amoral nature of the Libertarian view of sex?

    I don't advocate stoning someone who isn't a virgin - but you don't need to believe in the Bible to see that our lax attitude (and simulataneously, obsession) towards sex has done far more harm than good. Teen Pregnancy, out-of-wedlock marriage, high divorce rates, sexually transmitted diseases, the emotion impact of all of those, etc. are all a result of, at least in part, the Libertarian view of sexual activity.

    Gays can't have children. Single parent homes don't seem to do all that great of a job, in general, raising them. Those two facts - both supported by science, seem to point pretty strongly towards traditional marriages being the idea family unit. And if thats true, then why the hell shouldn't we be promoting it above other things?

  • Mike||

    Holy fuck. Fundamentalists have done waaaay more damage in that department than libertarians

  • ||

    a claim without an explanation. Lets hear it. How has the view that people should wait until they get married to have sex, then stay with (and remain faithful to) their spouse, and have a family, done more damage to society than "screw all the time"?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    a claim without an explanation. Lets hear it. How has the view that people should wait until they get married to have sex, then stay with (and remain faithful to) their spouse, and have a family, done more damage to society than "screw all the time"?


    Because people then get married based upon who gets their penises hard or who gets their vaginas wet.

  • ||

    I think that view comes far more from the libertarian sexual view than from a religious one. Most of the religious people I know want a heck of a lot more out of marriage than just sex.

  • St.V||

    So do most of non-religious people. Despite popular opinion, atheists aren't generally out having crazy orgies. I mean, we get a newsletter for the nearest one, but hardly anyone ever shows up, and those who do are usually the fugly ones.

  • Thomas O.||

    "Most of the religious people I know want a heck of a lot more out of marriage than just sex."

    So why all the fuss over WHO'S having sex, if they're consenting adults?

    That's what almost ALL couples think these days. Getting married just to have sex went out of style during the 1960s sexual revolution.

  • ||

    Why not? Offhand I would have to say because I don't believe it is the role of the state to determine what the optimum outcome of any given persons life life is/should be. What you see as poor results for society may look just peachy to me.

  • ||

    I'm not quite sure how they can. Even if you want to leave morality and religion out of the debate, science tells us two things: That Gays can't have kids, and that children do best when raised by two parents. Doesn't it only make sense, then, to select the traditional model of marriage as the best, and promote it above the others?

  • ||

    "Children do best when raised by two parents" is a subjective statement, based on your definition of what's best, that's how. And of course gays can have kids. What you mean, I assume, is that two people of the same sex cannot conceive a child through sex with each other, but that is an extremely narrow definition of "having children." At any rate, I don't believe that any of us, married or single, are under any requirement to procreate for the good of the state, whatever any religion may wish to dictate.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Everybody's got science on their side these days huh?

  • ||

    Gays can't have children.

    Lesbians are incapable of getting pregnant through sperm donation? Gays and lesbians can't adopt, or have kids from a former straight relationship, or be the designated caretakers of nieces and nephews in case of the death of the parents?

    And what of all those pesky heterosexual senior citizens that get married after menopause, or people who are infertile due to injury, disease, or surgery? Should they similarly be banned from the institution of marriage?

    Regardless of how much it might upset you, there are plenty of gay families out there that are perfectly happy, mainly because neighbors and governments aren't trying to kill them or put them in prison anymore. Kids have gay parents. Parents have gay kids. An increasing number of Americans simply don't care, but I don't see any need for the government to make it more and more difficult for those parents.

  • ||

    You, once again, are trying to justify a radical change in society using the exception rather than the rule. As someone pointed out above, there are drugs that will cure 9.9997% of paitents, and kill the others. Does that mean that we should ban the drug? No. You go by the rule, not the exception.

    A man, plus a man, does not equal a child. Neither does a woman, plus a woman, equal a child. Sperm donation requires a member of the opposite sex. Ditto with a past straight relationship, or addoption, or being the designated caretaker. A homosexual relationship will NOT produce a child. Plain and simple.

    And the fact that "an increasing number of americans simply don't care" isn't justification for anything. I see a lot wrong with the world that people don't seem to care about, that doesn't make it right. I see a lot of people who don't care about divorce, that doesn't mean it isn't destroying lives and damaging children for life. I see a lot of people who don't care about drug use. That doesn't mean drugs don't destroy your body and harm society. I see a lot of people who don't care about any given political issue - but I can't say any of them are not important.

  • zoltan||

    A barren man plus a fertile woman does not make a child and vice versa. Your argument is specious.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Maybe so, but he's a pretty fuckin hardcore libertarian. Did you hear what he said?

    "there are drugs that will cure 9.9997% of paitents, and kill the others. Does that mean that we should ban the drug? No"

    This bad-ass wouldn't even consider banning a drug that kills 90.0003% of people who take it. Too punk for my blood.

  • ||

    There are far more post-menopausal women and infertile people than there are homosexuals in the country. A man who comes home from Iraq with his testicles shot off will never father children. Plenty of straight couples use sperm donation and other technologies to have children. If you're looking for a legal restriction on marriage based on fertility, then you're going to have to start excluding the right to marriage to lots of straight people as well.

    (And don't forget that in most places you can marry someone of the same sex who has had a sex change, but obviously natural conception isn't going to happen there either.)

    Actually, there's a funny proposal that legal recognition of marriage should begin at the first proof of marriage and end at the 18th birthday of the last child. Your only kid dies at the age of five? Your marriage is over until you get preggers again. Our hypothetical injured soldier above would simply never be allowed to be married.

    Of course, that's ridiculous, and is never going to happen, so like many have said, it's easier to extend marriage to gays.

  • ||

    er, that should be "first proof of pregnancy".

  • ||

    My dad leaving my mom because he was having a midlife crisis about missing out on fucking other women damaged the sanctity of marriage more than two dudes getting hitched.

  • ||

    Matthew, if you want to protect the sanctity of marriage, I strongly suggest that you form a lobbying group agitating for the prevention of Xian marriage. That would further the sanctity of marriage significantly more than fighting homosexual marriage.

  • ||

    Also supported by sociological studies, is the comparison between foster and orphaned children with no central parental control to that of with a central parenting figure. When introduced to the attentiveness of a central figure, the child's behavior improved dramatically.

    Another sociological study compared adoptive children to gay couples with those of heterosexual couples and found that there was negligible difference in development, self-esteem, etc.

    So essentially, you're talking out of your ass. You can "firmly believe" anything you want, but it doesn't make it fact. I have the studies at home, so if you would like a copy, just click on my name for the email. If I don't have the actual copy of the study anymore, I can at the very least give you the name and authors of it.

  • Thomas O.||

    You can say that the two-parent model of raising kids is better. You can set that in stone at your church. You can put out ads, run commercials, and create Facebook groups promoting it. You can advocate mom-and-dad family units to your heart's content.

    What you should NOT be doing is getting the government to pass laws denying adoption rights to anyone except opposite-sex couples. As long as there are plenty of churches with plenty of faithful members, traditional morality will survive just fine without a nanny-state government backing it up.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I like the part where he feels it necessary to point out that the fact that "Gays can't have children" is "supported by science"

  • ||

    Fundamentally, from society's standpoint, marriage ought to be thought of as a legal contract giving each party recourse if the other engages in certain behaviors. Ideally, it would exist on a perpetual basis with significant costs of exit for each party. This would create a system of incentives to induce participants to behave in socially desireable ways. The institution of marriage exists as a social recognition of relationship to incentivize people to participate in such an arrangement. But, really, then, there is no more "right" to marriage than there is a "right" to any social recognition. Now, I see little reason why the state or government has to be the instrument through which this social recognition takes place. From a strictly libertarian perspective, what is the basis for the state to be in that business? And the notion of civil marriage only dates back a few hundred years. Certainly, there's no reason the state could not provide the legal documentation of the contractual arrangement without an acknowledgement of the institution. But, that strikes me as the essence of the relationship defined by civil unions. Now, personally, I see little harm in incentivizing same-sex couples to engage in the same behaviors that the institution of marriage demands. But, ideally, that ought not to be a question of politics but of religion.

  • ||

    yet religion is largely powerless in our society to do anything more than explain to people about God, and faith, and sin, and salvation - and hope they follow it.

    The government is the one with the real power to incentivise, or prohibit, or require, etc.

    I don't think you can leave something as socially important as marriage simply to religious institutions.

    Society recognizes marriage. Why? To make people happy? For the heck of it? I don't think so. Society (government) recognizes marriage because it benefits society. Does Gay Marriage benefit society in the same way? If it doesn't, why should it be recognized in the same way?

  • ||

    But, ultimately, the government ought not to be in the business of incentivizing, prohibiting, or requiring these sorts of behaviors. We form governments to protect rights and enforce contracts, not to guide us on our moral journeys in life. I strongly disagree with you when you equate the government and society. It's not. In fact, I'd suggest that the co-option of so many roles by the government is precisely why religion, like so many other institutions, has been rendered impotant.

  • ||

    That it ought not to be involved is certainly one view of government, but is it the right one?

    After all, churches don't have the same kinds of powers to recognize, prohibit, or incentivize things like the Government does, and even when they do, there is nothing to stop the individuals in question from simply finding a new church that suits their desires, even if it doesn't follow scripture.

    The family is the most basic, fundamental unit of society. If government can't even promote this vital structure, its questionable that any of its other actions will mean every much.

  • ||

    And why, exactly is the possibility that people might align with a church that "doesn't follow scripture" (presumably as you see it) such a problem. I mean, ultimately, your concern here seems to be that people might do things other than what you want them to (maybe I'm misunderstanding you). That's called living in a free society. As I noted in my original argument, as long as religion is able to incentivize people to enter into that contract, it's done its job from society's perspective.

  • ||

    My point was that it would give us no way, as a whole, to promote those unions that are truly socially beneficial and necessary above others.

    And IS religion able to incentivize people to enter into those contracts in the same way the state is? I really doubt it - and this is coming from someone who is a full beleiver in the importance and truth of religion.

  • zoltan||

    Matthew, you are a creepy progressive who wants to use the government to control people's behavior to what you think is your benefit and everyone else's. You have more in common with Democrats than anyone on this board.

  • ||

    And the law is not, and should not be, the instrument to promote some unions above others. It's role is to protect rights and enforce contracts. I'm hard-pressed to see where not making such contractual arrangements available to same-sex couples is socially beneficial. And really, if you don't think religion is as useful a means to encourage the institution of marriage as state power, how many little girls dream of their storybook wedding at the JP's office?

  • kev||

    "My point was that it would give us no way, as a whole, to promote those unions that are truly socially beneficial and necessary above others."

    Really? It's merely ANY man, ANY woman. (Unless they're more closely related than first cousins.) Not exactly much refinement there. Has the government been seeing something "truly beneficial and necessary" that most of us here aren't seeing?

  • Thomas O.||

    "My point was that it would give us no way, as a whole, to promote those unions that are truly socially beneficial and necessary above others."

    And that's how it SHOULD be. That is NOT government's role. Government's role is to guarantee freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and equal protection under the law.

    I guess it's all in the perception. I'm not seeing the crumbling or corruption of society that the right-wing Chicken Littles are harping about. I see a lot of people being themselves, and not having to pretend to be something they're not, and not having to lie to people about where their unborn child came from or why they had to leave town for an extended period of time. I see a society that's honest and diverse. And THAT, I believe, keeps our society strong.

    If you want a community that holds to Puritanical mores about marriage and sexuality, if you want your own version of Shyamalan's "The Village", you're more than welcome to create one or seek one out.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    The atomic family was around long before organized government. It survived the efforts of someone as influential as Plato teaching against it and it will be fine without government sponsorship.

    Good lookin out though bro! We'll call you if we ever need someone to stand up for the benefits of drinking water.

  • poopy||

    I strongly disagree with you when you equate the government and society.

    I'm with you there.

    http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

  • ||

    We are a government of and by the people. The people are society. Gvoernment is an extension of society. It is not society in its entirity, but it is society nonetheless.

  • poopy||

    We are society. Government is nothing more than an organization within society with the monopoly on violence.

  • ||

    are you an anarchist?

  • poopy||

    No. Read some Bastiat.

  • ||

    From the Declaration of Independence:

    That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    So, I guess Jefferson was walking around with a big circled A on his coat?

  • ||

    One assumes that if MA allows permit holders to carry, they would allow a Texan with a permit to carry in MA. Just like they allow a Texan with a TX drivers license to drive in MA.

    One would assume wrong. Among the very large majority of states with CCW permits, there is very little reciprocity. The fact that I have a Texas CCW permit does not allow me to carry in any other state unless that state specifically allows it.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I'm about to go get my marraige license in a couple of weeks. It feels kinda twisted that you need to be issued a license by any agency federal, state or county.

  • ||

    its the price you pay for the recognition, and the government benefits that come with marriage. Sure, we could get rid of all marriage in the eyes of the state, and leave it to religious institutions, but then you would be giving up any ability to regulate not only marriage, but property, divorce, inheritence, etc.

  • zoltan||

    It's called a contract, moron.

  • Tony||

    How would a private contract confer spousal immunity?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I don't know about that. Is that where you don't have to testify against your spouse?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Marital benifits or subsidies amount to redistrubution of wealth from the single to the married. If two millionaires get married they still get these benefits. I don't know why the government needs to bribe people to get married. As far as all the other stuff, I think private contracts would work better. Also, it would take away any state or federal power to pick and choose which types of people do or don't deserve its recognition and benefits. That power should have been taken away when it was being used to discriminate against mixed race marraige.

  • Eleven words or less||

    And, "spousal immunity" should be morphed into "no one should be forced, against his or her will, to testify against anyone else, regardless of affiliation"?

  • poopy||

    Because the word "marriage" is a religious term, I say all laws relating to the word "marriage" should be struck down on First Amendment grounds and replaced with "civil union".

    A "civil union" can be defined as any two consenting adults, regardless of gender. Call it "spouse and spouse".

    Leave the religious term "marriage" to the church.

  • ||

    The first amendment prohibits the establishment of a state religion. Only judicial activism in the last century has tried to lock religion behind closed doors. Nice try.

  • poopy||

    The First Amendment prohibits the State from telling the Church what to do.
    In the case of defining marriage, I believe the State has overstepped into the role of the Church.

  • ||

    Only if the church is being forced to do something it otherwise wouldn't.

  • poopy||

    I believe that is the point of same sex marriage laws. It is a step towards using the courts to coerce the church into recognizing same sex unions as marriage. Let's say a church has a retreat for married couples, but refuses to allow same sex couples. What's to stop the same sex couples from taking the church to court and coercing it to allow them to go to the retreat if marriage is legally defined as to individuals regardless of their gender?

  • Tony||

    Pretty sure that would violate the free exercise clause. Churches can marry or decline to marry whomever they want. The only think at issue are legal rights.

    And one thing that isn't mentioned enough: most, if not all, objections to gay marriage come from a religious place. Any legally recognized discrimination based on religion is considered invidious in this country.

  • ||

    Well, in regards to homosexual marriage, you are correct...but not with traditional marriage.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I'm not a prayin man but God save the little youth group you're currently brainwashing.

  • James C Bennett||

    Whenever the government takes it upon itself to decide who can and cannot be married, it establishes those religions that comply with its rules as "official recognized religions" and disestablishes those that do not. This is a violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

  • ||

    Get bent Matthew.

  • Tony||

    Marriage is a civil term, matrimony is the religious term. The only reason marriage is tied up with religion is because in many societies religion and law aren't separated, but it's still always been a legal contract.

  • Mr. Conservative||

    Hmm... I don't believe anyone uses the term "matrimony," but, I could be wrong.

  • ||

    And it boils back down to this: what is in it for everyone else to put the seal of approval on homosexual unions, and grant them an equal standing in the eyes of the law, with all the benefits and advantages and incentives?

    Recognizing Gay Marriage as equal to Traditional Marriage is only logical if you believe there is absolutely nothing Traditional Marriage provides that Gay Marriage cannot.

  • Tony||

    As long as straight people can get married for any reason they want, it's unfair to require gay people to go above and beyond. Besides, there isn't a single social benefit to straight marriage that doesn't apply to gay marriage. There are plenty of gay couples with children who could benefit from the security and benefits a marriage contract provides. I don't see why "everyone else" has a legitimate stake. It would have been wrong to poll only white people and ask them if they would mind terribly if racial minorities got equal rights.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    "There are plenty of gay couples with children who could benefit from the security and benefits a marriage contract provides."

    Fine. Then give gay couples those same considerations, take the tax advantage out of the equation for ALL couples, and stop bickering over a symbolic piece of paper. Just have a ceremony, call yourselves married, and shut the fuck up about the symbolism of a license. Hell, print one out at home on your computer. IF YOU HAVE THE SAME LEGAL STATUS as a straight couple, you don't *need* the fucking paper - and if you gay folks pushed more for the domestic-partnership reforms, you could tell the fundies to fuck off - win-win for the gays. You'd have the legal protections married folks have, and you don't have to plunk down thirty or more dollars for a "marriage license".

    Succinct enough for you, Tony? Everyone else? Sheesh, let's move on to more important shit.

  • ||

    Recognizing Gay Marriage as equal to Traditional Marriage is only logical if you believe there is absolutely nothing Traditional Marriage provides that Gay Marriage cannot.

    Strictly speaking, this does not logically hold. One can believe that recognizing "Gay Marriage as equal to Traditional Marriage" is logical if one believes the social benefits of such recognition outweigh the costs. Or if one believes that there is a right to such marriage.

  • ||

    Or if one believes there are no "costs" of gay marriage in the first place.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Look at the states that have legalized gay marriage and try to find "costs". There are none.

  • St. V||

    Exactly.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "And it boils back down to this: what is in it for everyone else to put the seal of approval on homosexual unions, and grant them an equal standing in the eyes of the law, with all the benefits and advantages and incentives?"

    Umm, it boils down to no such thing asshole. That's called social engineering. We don't take too kindly to soial engineers round these parts.

  • ||

    Now Skeeter, we don't want no trouble.

  • Thomas O.||

    What's in it for everyone else? A more honest, more open-minded, more diverse, and healthier society. A society that sincerely promotes liberty and equality. A society where families are rooted in love and fidelity instead of some families based on forced arrangements or dishonesty. You got a problem with that?

  • zoltan||

    Where did this fucking progressive come from? Is this Woodrow Wilson back from the grave telling us all that laws should be made by their "benefit to society" and not based on liberty and the Constitution?

  • ||

    Zoltan, I don't cleanly suscribe to "big government" and "small government", and, for that matter, neither do either of the political parties.

    But where you think my position is a pro big-government, it isn't. In fact, a major part of my opposition to Gay Marriage is that there is NOT a reason for government to step in and tell gay couples "we approve of your lifestyle".

    I can justify government promotion of traditional marriage because A) it is good for the country, and B) I don't see that any other institution could provide the same management of the institution that the State does.

    If I firmly believed that the church(s) was just as capable of regulating marriage as the state, to the same end, then I would agree that the government should just get out of the biz. But I don't believe that, so I accept government involvement in the issue.

    Does that make sense?

    ---

    as for me sharing anything with anyone on this site - I don't give a damn, I picked this up through RCP. You post an opinion, you open yourself up to being challenged. Besides, I don't really see the point of a political website that doesn't contain an element of debate.

  • Tony||

    that there is NOT a reason for government to step in and tell gay couples "we approve of your lifestyle".

    Hmm, really? So government should take the explicit position that it disapproves of gay people? That, to me, seems like the only other option. And if that's your position then I wish you luck in the courts, we will be fighting for full recognition and we're not gonna stop until we have it. At which time I promise nothing will change in your life at all.

  • ||

    No, government doesn't need to say that it explicitly disapproves of Homosexuality - it is perfectly capable of saying "you can do what you want in private, but there is no reason for the public to endorse it".

    As for nothing changing in my life, you might be right - to a point. My marriage will not fall apart, my sexuality will not change, my children will not die, just because gay marriage is legal.

    But recognition of gay marriage would change the way society views the institution, it would alter the very thing the institution is founded on. And in the long run, the message that that sends could be harmful.

    Out of curiosity, since you support gay marriage, you also support polygamy, right?

  • Tony||

    Okay you're getting to a legitimate question. Does society have an interest in sanctioning same-sex marriage? IF there were evidence that same-sex marriages were any different in providing the social benefits that are claimed for 'traditional' marriage, then it's a real question. But all evidence suggests that not to be the case--that any benefits regarding the raising of children or anything else apply equally. But none of that matters really because the law doesn't restrict heterosexual marriage to only those couples who will contribute to those social benefits. Straight people can get married for pretty much any reason, therefore on equal protection grounds gay people should be allowed to as well.

    I don't support polygamy, but I support polygamists' right to make their case to the public and in the courts. I don't see why gay people should have to answer for them.

  • Tony||

    So in other words, the interest society has in sanctioning same-sex marriage is that society has an interest in promoting equal protection of the law.

  • St. V||

    I don't even think this has to go so far as to argue the social benefits, in so much that there is no social deprivation. To me, this should be the focus of the discussion. Instead of, "Why should so-and-so be allowed," the question is, "Why should so-and-so be banned."

  • Lucy||

    Thank you.

    And the answer "gay people make me feel bad. Somehow my straight marriage will suffer" is a bullshit, non-reason.

  • Thomas O.||

    Sorry, this slope has perfectly sound traction.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    And you have a protected right to have your marriage viewed a certain way by society?!? No! You don't!

    I don't have a right to protect the reputation of American speech by banning certain people from speaking and you don't have a right to protect the way marriage is viewed by banning it for certain people just because you benefit from the way it is currently viewed.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "my children will not die, just because gay marriage is legal...But"

    WTF? Has anyone called this Matthew guy an asshole yet?

    You're an asshole Matthew!

  • ||

    If your chief criteria for government intervention in anything is"for the good of the country", then you must favor governmental dietary restrictions (limiting the amount of salt in food, limiting the number of fast food restaurants in a given locale, etc.) I presume you also favor censorship of anything you think morally deleterious, banning of ecologically harmful activities, or even activities that might cause injury and hence drive up the cost of health care (skiing, mountain climbing, whitewater rafting etc.)
    By this logic, the United States will only becoming the shining city on a hill when we come to the point when everything not permitted is prohibited. Sound like a fun place to live?

  • zoltan||

    This guy is a moronic Puritan, horrified at others doing things in private without his approval.

  • Thomas O.||

    "Government involvement in the issue" = Big Government.

    But you say you don't believe in Big Government, so no, you don't make sense to me.

  • ||

    I should leave this out there too. The problem with Libertarians, over other political groups, is that they believe that laws should reflect, above all, their own political philosphy. Even the most radical, socialist liberal believes that his ideas are to the general benefit of country...I don't agree with him, but I respect him for it. But libertarians, at least the ones I know, seem to take this view that "its only wrong (or right, or good, or bad) if you say it is"...as if nothing is any better or worse than anything else.

    You have some legitimate points when you discuss what the constitution says, but the constitution can be changed...it isn't enough to say "thats the way things are" You have to defend why we should keep them that way.

  • ||

    As a libertarian, I believe that what is best for the country as a whole is for people to be left the fuck alone to make their own decisions about how to live their own lives. Is that so hard to understand?

  • ||

    It would be more appropriate for you Matthew, to provide an exceptionally good reason why things should change.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    +1

  • ||

    The problem with Libertarians, over other political groups, is that they believe that laws should reflect, above all, their own political philosphy.

    Well, of course we do, dumbshit, and it's not just us. Everyone of every political stripe believes that the law should reflect his political philosophy. That's why you choose a political affiliation.

    The difference is, that libertarians believe in personal freedom, even personal freedoms with which we might be personally uncomfortable, because we fear the power of the state.

  • ||

    How would a private contract confer spousal immunity?

    The same way your private contract with your attorney and your physician confers immunities on them?

  • Tony||

    Only because there are laws protecting that immunity.

  • ||

    Even the most radical, socialist liberal believes that his ideas are to the general benefit of country...I don't agree with him, but I respect him for it.

    Well of course everybody believes that their ideas are the best ones. The question is, do they have any real basis for that belief. I generally see little reason to respect anyone for being wrong, by the way, regardless of how sincered they are.

    I doubt you could find any libertarians who would say that "Libertarian ideas are bad for the country, but I want them implemented anyway." So your whole schtick is just a strawman from the get-go. Pfeh.

  • GimmeAbreak||

    Lots of arguments have been put forth for and against same sex marriage. But this comment that same sex marriage is like television, and therefore the framers couldn't have foreseen it is one of the dumbest I have ever seen. All states had laws against sodomy. People were even executed for it, although presumably as a function of rape. Ipso facto, Einstein, the framers would not have approved of same sex marriage.

    Please think before you write next time.

  • Tony||

    The sort of platonic argument about how the definition of marriage is unchangeable isn't very convincing. The entire question at hand is whether it should be redefined (legally). You can have arguments for and against, but to base your argument on the definition of a word is to engage in tautology. (We shouldn't redefine marriage because we shouldn't redefine marriage.)

  • poopy||

    The argument that changing the definition of marriage is the ONLY way to extend legal protections to same sex couples is not very convincing.
    Especially when the response to any disagreement is a thinly veiled accusation of racism (separate but equal).
    You engage in an intellectually dishonest argument by equating the support of a traditional definition of marriage to a malicious and hateful attempt to deny legal protections to a class of people.

  • Tony||

    I use "separate but equal" (implying inherent inequality) because I can't think of a more apt way to describe two different legal definitions of marriage for straight and gay people.

    I bristle at any implication that gay people should be legally considered different in any way to straight people.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If you had the same rights as the prototypical straight married couple... that wouldn't be "separate but equal" - it would *be* "equal".

    Then, go down to the local Unitarian hangout and get a ceremony done. Or have a Wiccan do it. Do it yourself. Fuck the process, call yourself married, and dig on the benefits of just being equal to the dreaded straights.

    Fight for that legal equality, and shove the symbolism where it belongs... in the garbage.

  • ||

    I bristle at any implication that gay people should be legally considered different in any way to straight people.

    Which would be a textbook reason to remain with the status quo. Homosexuals have the same right to marry an opposite sex partner as heterosexuals.

  • Tony||

    Bill, how's the weather in the cave you live in? Do you people actually believe that argument makes any kind of sense?

    Phrase it differently. Do gays have the same right straights to do marry the person of their choosing? Or do they only have the right to marry someone they, by definition, would never want to marry?

  • ||

    While I disagree with the author's general slant, i totally agree with the court's ruling. Conservatives should appreciate the fact that a court actually applied the 10th Amendment correctly to an issue that is obviously a state concern. The federal government should stay out of marriage issues. Which is exactly why we need a Constitutional Amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman only.

  • Tony||

    Ha, I was accidentally watching The 700 Club the other day and they were making the case for an amendment, pretty much acknowledging that there is no good argument to keep banning gay marriage that passes constitutional muster. So it's basically an admission that we should exempt gay people from civil rights, because we're just that wicked, I suppose.

  • ||

    I want to know why it should only be that way.

  • ||

    I'm sure I can't convince you, but...The traditional definition of marriage should be confirmed in our constitution for many moral, legal, and cultural reasons. "Flee from sexual immorality." Legally, we define institutions all the time for the purpose of taxes, and other civil actions (Non-profit, corporation, etc.) I see no problem with defining the institution of marriage as between a man and woman. This prevents abuse, confusion, and tax evasion. Further, a legal system with a non definition for marriage cheapens the traditional and culturally redeeming relationship that has traditionally been understood. (Yes, I'm saying that "same sex couples" have no cultaurally redeeming value.) Finally, what about all the research that says children need a strong father figure, homosexuals have shorter life spans and more health issues, and that traditional marriages last longer and are generally happier? Why shouldn't we discourage "same sex" couples and show that we value the traditional marriages?

  • Thomas O.||

    Because that's state-sponsored social engineering and coercion. Something that libertarians should oppose with every fiber of their being.

    Why shouldn't we let people just live their lives, happy with who they're with, and not have Nanny Government throw them in jail or deny them the benefits other committed couples enjoy? Just because statistics go a certain way doesn't mean it's right to have state-sponsored discrimination against certain people or couples based on it.

  • Thomas O.||

    Um... wouldn't the federal government be getting involved in marriage issues if such an amendment was ratified?

    Or did you mean to say "we DON'T need a Constitutional Amendment etc."?

  • ||

    Um... No. Any Constitutional Amendment would have to be approved by 3/4 of the states, thus confirming the states' and the citizens' voice in the issue, above and beyond the federal government. I beleive in the tenth amendment, which is why I am so concerned whenever a rouge state can approve same sex marriage. It impacts all states. The only way to legally protect traditional marriage in my state or yours is a constitutional amendment.

  • Thomas O.||

    Um... No thanks to that. Marriage doesn't need protection, if you ask me.

  • ||

    Obviously, traditional marriage does need protecting in this country, now more than ever. As the author points out, it is exactly our federal system that protects the states' right to determine legal marriages. As more (although few amd small) states allow "same sex" marriages, protection for the traditional definition of what constitututes a legal marriage is absolutely needed.

  • Thomas O.||

    Then let those states go their merry way with marrying gay couples. If you don't like their policies, DON'T LIVE IN THAT STATE. That's the beauty of America: you have 51 different options of what government you want to live under.

  • ||

    The very notion of gay marriage is still incomprehensible to most Americans.

  • zoltan||

    The very notion of marriage is incomprehensible to most Americans, who seem to think it's some kind of stuff-for-sex or fairy-tale-wonderland affair.

  • ||

    You make a compelling argument regarding the intrusion of the federal government in a state issue, although you should address the concern that without congressional restrictions on how marriage is defined, free-wheeling appointed-for-life federal judges can and have imposed their own values on what is constitutionally permissable. If we can agree on the point that the states have the constitutional authority to recognize same sex marriage via the 10th Amendment, shouldn't we also recognize the 10th Amendment right of those states that reject same sex marriage?

  • D.Brooks||

    A very good camera. But the color and the close-up pictures are sometimes not as good as sd940 cmos digital sale

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    See, this is why I only got close to being married once... until The Moment Where it All Started Going Horribly Wrong. The moment where the little woman shoved the couch in front of the door and accused me of screwing around on her... when it was the other way around - I found out SHE was screwing one of my (former) best friends.

    So... what is the big deal about marriage, again?

    None for me, thanks... I have several fuck-buddies to fill the voids. So to speak.

  • Mr. Conservative||

    It's a big deal because some faggots came along and made it a big deal.

  • gulsen||

    you still going to stay silent on this massacre.
    Slaughtering innocent killers of the Israeli state are doing will turn a blind eye to whether
    Are you comfortable your conscience?
    did not think it is time to say enough, no time to warn our government,
    How many more must die?
    What are you waiting for?
    http://www.lovepowerman.net

  • Johan||

    Obviously, traditional marriage does need protecting in this country, now more than ever. As the author points out, it is exactly our federal system that protects the states' right to determine legal marriages. As more (although few amd small) states allow "same sex" marriages, protection for the traditional definition of what constitututes a legal marriage is absolutely needed.
    David Mayer
    geo news | management

  • Scarpe Nike||

    is good

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