Strange Love

How I learned to stop worrying and embrace the equal protection argument for gay marriage

In August a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved ban on gay marriage, violates the 14th Amendment’s command that no state may “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker concluded that the ban’s justification was so weak that it failed even the “rational basis” test, the highly deferential standard used in equal protection cases that do not involve a fundamental right or a “suspect class” such as race (although he also argued that gay marriage bans implicate both).

In addition to social conservatives, critics of the decision included supporters of gay marriage who worry about the damage done by result-oriented jurisprudence. While I share their concerns, this objection to the equal protection argument for gay marriage no longer seems decisive to me.

For one thing, I’m not sure it’s possible to prevent a judge’s policy preferences from influencing his application of the law in a case like this. No doubt a judge who was more alarmed at the prospect of gay marriage would have reached a conclusion different from Walker’s. But wouldn’t that judge also be guilty of letting his social views shape his legal analysis?

Furthermore, there is a defensible constitutional argument that the principle of equal protection, which says “all persons similarly situated should be treated alike,” means the government may not discriminate between couples based on sexual preference. Although the people who wrote and ratified the Fifth and 14th amendments never imagined they were guaranteeing equal legal treatment for homosexual couples, 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). Is that view a much bigger leap than using the Equal Protection Clause to overturn bans on interracial marriage, which persisted for a century after the 14th Amendment was ratified?

I would much prefer that the government get out of the business of certifying marriage altogether. But as long as myriad provisions of state and federal law hinge on marital status, the government has to decide which couples qualify, and basic fairness demands that sexual orientation play no role in that determination. What legitimate government interest can possibly justify preventing a veteran’s longtime spouse from being buried alongside him, simply because both of them are men? This sort of policy, which a federal judge in Massachusetts overturned on equal protection grounds in July, really is shameful.

I realize opponents of same-sex marriage think they have good reasons for denying gay couples the rights and privileges that straight couples enjoy, and they would argue that homosexuals and heterosexuals are not “similarly situated.” But you know what? Screw them. I am tired of defending the constitutional principles that social conservatives use to restrict liberty, because they so rarely return the favor by supporting those same principles when the effect is to expand liberty. When a supposedly principled originalist like Antonin Scalia can endorse a ridiculously broad reading of the Commerce Clause because the case involves pot, why should I stick my neck out by arguing that the original understanding of equal protection precludes its use in gay marriage cases?

If there is a plausible constitutional argument for requiring the government to respect people’s rights, as I think there is here, those who value the Constitution as a means of protecting freedom should not be afraid to use it. Without abandoning intellectual honesty or the rule of law, we should prefer to err on the side of liberty. 

Senior Editor Jacob Sullum (jsullum@reason.com) is a nationally syndicated columnist.

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  • Ragnar||

    The best argument for gay marriage is also the simplest one:

    Homosexuals are human beings, with all the rights any human has. Any other argument is gilding the lily.

  • Citizen Ed||

    Correct. The Constitution addresses concepts, not objects. Concept-formation is a human attribute. The validity of the concept of "human rights" is not dependent on time or culture or technology. The Founders and Framers dealt with human rights, not heterosexual rights or white rights or Protestant rights.

  • ||

    Actually, the Founders and Framers, almost all of whom were North Sea Germanic Protestants, dealt with INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS for those living in Freedom, separate from privileges conferred upon those living under Officialdom.

    The last belief ever the Founders and Framers would have supported is the collectivist, socialist concept of "human rights".

  • ||

    Homosexism is a sexual fetish and as all fetishes it arises from mind disorder.

    True, it's a rather benign sexual fetish, except in those suffering from ephebophilia and hebephilia like those in NAMBLA [see: http://www.nambla.org/ ]

    How bizarre it is to confer privilege for having fetish.

  • slutmonkey||

    Monogamous heterosexuality is a fetish.

    And yes, it's very bizarre to confer privilege for having a fetish.

  • ||

    I don't suppose you can define "fetish" for me or show that indulging in a "fetish" is any less protected by the constitution that indulging in "non-fetish" behaviour?

  • Marshall||

    Don't be silly. We haven't finished equating homosexuals to pedophiles, despite the complete lack of correlation (does that mean that when an adult male rapes a little girl, I should make a big deal out of that being a "heterosexual" act?).

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The right to marry one person of the opposite sex is shared equally between homosexuals and heterosexuals, Mormons and Protestants.

  • Marshall||

    The right to have male genitalia, and the social status that confers, is a right shared equally between men and women.

  • Marshall||

    Actually, I should have said "the right to be BORN with male genitalia", since these days one has a good deal more choice in the appearance of his or her sexual organs than one does regarding his or her sexual preference.

    By the way, that makes the first time I found using "his or her" to be preferable to the specific ("his") or the ambiguous ("one's").

  • Pedant||

    Except "marriage," within the current context, is not the expression of an individual right, but rather is a state-administered benefit scheme. As with all such schemes, it is inherently discriminatory. The well-off cannot participate in the food stamp program, the able-bodied cannot participate in the handicapped-parking program, etc. But such discriminations are perfectly compatible with the aims of those programs. This raises the never-asked question: what exactly is the aim of the state marriage program?

  • Thomas O.||

    The aim of the state marriage program - particularly, marriage licensing - is antiquated now, actually. Back in the so-called "good old days", when the official primary objective of marriage was procreation, marriage licenses were there to put your race and familial status on record, so as to avoid incest and miscegenation. You also had to take a blood test to make sure you didn't have an STD. Nowadays marriage licenses amount to little more then revenue streams.

    Some conservative pundits ARE suggesting that we do away with all marriage licenses to solve the problem of gays wanting to get married. While I would support such a maneuver, you know the bible-beaters would get all twisted over it. "They're tryin' to take GAWWWWD out of our society's institutions!" would be the main talking point, no doubt.

  • Thomas O.||

    The aim of the state marriage program - particularly, marriage licensing - is antiquated now, actually. Back in the so-called "good old days", when the official primary objective of marriage was procreation, marriage licenses were there to put your race and familial status on record, so as to avoid incest and miscegenation. You also had to take a blood test to make sure you didn't have an STD. Nowadays marriage licenses amount to little more then revenue streams.

    Some conservative pundits ARE suggesting that we do away with all marriage licenses to solve the problem of gays wanting to get married. While I would support such a maneuver, you know the bible-beaters would get all twisted over it. "They're tryin' to take GAWWWWD out of our society's institutions!" would be the main talking point, no doubt.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Government recognition of marriage - any marriage - is not a right, it's an entitlement.

  • cynical||

    Still, if it's providing entitlements, it shouldn't improperly discriminate in doing so.

  • x,y||

    But what do you mean by "improper"? I can only surmise you mean "discrimination I don't like," which isn't a very libertarian take.

  • ||

    Wait. I thought libertarians didn't like ANY form of discrimination in the public sector. In which case... yours would be the "[not] a very libertarian take."

    Yeah?

    I'm all for some church doing whatever the shit it wants re: discrimination. If they don't want to marry me to a guy I'm in love with, I just won't go to that church. Kind of like I just don't drink Coors. But I'm forced to pay the big ol' nanny govment, and I'll be damned if those fuckers are going to screw me over with my own money.

  • x,y||

    I don't believe in any public sector, but that's not the point. "cynical" has a fairly widely-held viewpoint, not that it makes any sense. All law discriminate, as do all forms of human action. Saying you disapprove of "improper" discrimination is really just a cute way of saying "discrimination I don't like personally and shouldn't be allowed ... which is different of course from my approved list of discrimination."

  • Lisa||

    If libertarians would allow discrimination in the private sector, why not accept it as a natural occurrence in the public sector?
    I just say let the states decide, but apparently that's been too much for people on both sides of the argument.

  • Marshall Eubanks||

    I fail to understand the appeal of taking the power to regulate any aspect of my personal life, in violation of my human and civil rights, from the Federal government, and handing it to the states.

    Did you fail to notice somewhere along the way that the states have committed just as much tyranny as the Federal government?

    You have to ask yourself, is your objective maximum liberty, or maximum democracy?

    States' rights are certainly a path towards greater democracy, but as history has repeatedly shown, this is very unlikely to correspond to greater liberty.

    Personally, I've become a bit utilitarian when it becomes to the political aim of increasing liberty.

    To put it another way, I only support states' rights when the states are the ones trying to enhance my personal liberty.

    I'm perfectly happy opposing them when the Federal government is out to expand my rights, which is an infrequent but not unheard of event.

    When you consider that the net effect of both levels of government is a reduction of liberty, it seems quite logical to pick and choose whoever is going to give me one more piece of liberty, today.

    Principle be damned. Our political edifice no longer bears any principles anyway.

  • ||

    It isn't fair at all.

    For people who choose not to get married, I mean.

    The only reason single people don't consider marriage laws as being unfair is they all harbor beliefs that they will some day be married. That's like voting for special privileges for the wealthy because you hope someday to be rich. And now, according to the NY TIMES, single people OUTNUMBER married people. Do away with Government marriage altogether. If insurance wants to give them a two for one discount, so be it, but it should be a private decision, not government.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Still, if it's providing entitlements, it shouldn't improperly discriminate in doing so.

    When you are handing out benefits to a select group based on their taking state-approved actions, you are discriminating against others for not doing so. It never ends.

    I am not against gay marriage, but I just don't believe we should define government recognition of it as a constitutional right.

  • fyodor||

    Does anyone have a constitutional right to have their marriage recognized by government? If anyone does, then everyone does.

  • Sky||

    No one does. Marriage is a licences, not a Constitutional right. You have to meet certain conditions to get any state licences, and the state determines those conditions. It makes sense to me to say the state should not give out ANY marriage licenses, but not that the state MUST give marriage licenses to ansolutely any couple that applies for one.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If anyone does, then everyone does.

    Check my first post that started this thread.

  • fyodor||

    Well okay, see then nobody is being given the right to entitlements. Only the right to be treated equally by the government in its dispensation of such.

    Sky, states MUST give out its benefits to all who qualify without regard to meaningless differences, such as race. Is it begging the question to call sexual preference meaningless and to equate it to race? Well, maybe that's what this is all about.

  • IceTrey||

    But the difference in question is gender, not sexual preference. There's nothing to prevent two straight men or two straight women from marrying.

  • ||

    Absolutely. And if people in Mississippi with pica want to use their food stamps to buy laundry starch and potting soil to eat, it's discriminatory of the government to refuse to let them.

  • ||

    Entitlement isn't the correct concept either. A marriage is a contract. Government exists as an agreed upon neutral third party, by all members party to the contract and all the rest of the public, whose purpose is to enforce the contract on all parties. This is what it means to 'certify' a marriage. Marriage is just a stand-in proxy word for the word 'contract'.

    Since the government performs that function for any other contract, discriminating against same-sex marriage contracts truly violates the Equal Protection Clause. To deny same-sex couples of a service that government was invented precisely to perform for ALL members of the public is a violation.
    The only problem I have ever had is that marriage contracts require a service be performed by a government bureaucrat. How many other contracts require the parties of the contract take oaths before a government bureaucrat in order to be valid? That also seems like a violation of equal protection.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A constitutional right is something which prevents the state from acting against you, not something that forces the state to act for you. The 14th's Equal Protection Clause is meant to block the state from removing the prohibition against its infringing on the constitutional rights of certain "classes" of people.

    The marriage is a contract, but a marriage license is a contract people enter into with the state - not between two people - for those exclusive benefits (licensed entitlements?). The state has created those benefits, the state cannot create a right, therefore those benefits cannot be a right. As many have said, a contract between the people wanting to "wed" would be preferable, with the state's only role enforcing the agreed terms.

  • slutmonkey||

    Government license of marriage is not itself an entitlement, it's a tax. That said, a lot of entitlements ARE based on marital status.

    As a single man, I resent being discriminated against simply because I haven't found someone to marry yet. Any excuse about "promoting families" and the like is a bunch of social engineering BS that is outside the proper scope of government. If I had the money to take it to the supreme court, I'd sue to have my taxes administered the same as married people.

  • Lisa||

    All governance is social engineering to some extent. If government legally recognizes gay marriage, that's social engineering.

  • Marshall||

    Explain, if you can, how merely allowing people to do as they wish, as opposed to prescribing their behavior, can ever constitute "social engineering"?

    The concept of marriage licensure itself is a form of "social engineering",

    Certain folks are putting way too much emphasis on the government handouts, which we all agree are inappropriate anyway.

    The simple fact is that marriage also has contractual ramifications, which are often only easily achievable through marriage.

    This discussion needs to stay in the context of that fact: there are lots of people who wish to have same-sex marriages in order to achieve legal recognition and protection for their arrangement.

    Your argument is that, since marriage licensure itself is a form of social engineering, allowing same-sex marriages is as well a form of social engineering.

    I have to disagree with this explication. The social engineering is the obligation to obtain permission and pay a fee in order to create this contract.

    However, once this system exists, it cannot be meaningfully described as "social engineering" simply to permit homosexuals to utilize the same process. Homosexuals (some of them, at any rate) already have a pre-existing drive to form monogamous relationships, and would have done so were the already-extant "social engineering" not preventing them from doing so.

    No, you can't have your cake and it eat to. Once you have marriage licensure (which I agree is social engineering), opening it to all who wish it isn't additional social engineering by any meaningful definition: it is actually a step in the direction of individual freedom of choice, which is only "social engineering" if you think that you can somehow "engineer" a chaotic system which is defined by its very self-determination.

    Allow me to give you some advice: language ought to be a tool to communicate using shared memes, not a device by which you can manipulate context in order to support an invalid premise.

  • MJ||

    Reason's previous federalist arguments against DOMA are revealed to be nonsense on stilts. Sullum now argues that the Constsitution requires the federal government to impose homisexual marriage on the states, on the nonsense reasoning that homosexual relationships have no differences in consequences that society can recognize.

  • ||

    They're coming for you, MJ, and they're going to make you marry a dude. At the point of a gun.

    OMFGRUN!!!

  • ♥♥♥||

    Dude, just admit that you're gay, realize no one gives a shit, and move on with your life.

  • ||

    I'm sure your head is filled with all the dirty, sweaty, sexy deeds that will be forced upon you. Those dirty birdies and their hot bodies, spending all that time in the gym! They will rub you the wrong way all over, and every day you imagine it and it horrifies you to imagine devilishly good looking men rubbing their hips against you, doesn't it? I'm sure your diary is filled with pages of descriptions of the horror that will happen, and your vcr is full of research on their dirty deeds.

  • ||

    I'm sure your head is filled with all the dirty, sweaty, sexy deeds that will be forced upon you. Those dirty birdies and their hot bodies, spending all that time in the gym! They will rub you the wrong way all over, and every day you imagine it and it horrifies you to imagine devilishly good looking men rubbing their hips against you, doesn't it? I'm sure your diary is filled with pages of descriptions of the horror that will happen, and your vcr is full of research on their dirty deeds.

  • ||

    I'm sure your head is filled with all the dirty, sweaty, sexy deeds that will be forced upon you. Those dirty birdies and their hot bodies, spending all that time in the gym! They will rub you the wrong way all over, and every day you imagine it and it horrifies you to imagine devilishly good looking men rubbing their hips against you, doesn't it? I'm sure your diary is filled with pages of descriptions of the horror that will happen, and your vcr is full of research on their dirty deeds.

  • Richard||

    Not buying it. By arguing that government must treat all "marriages" the same, you're assuming the thing that you're trying to prove: that same sex couples actually are married, despite the fact the statute says they're not. To do that, you have to come up with a definition of marriage that's outside the statute or the constitution. If gay marriage, why not polygamy? Is that a constitutional right, too?

  • Attorney||

    Yes, I think this is the heart of the constitutional issue. Is an exclusive contractual coupling between two men or two women a "marriage"? If it's not, then limiting marriage to hetero couples is not a denial of a right to gay & lesbian couples.

  • MattN||

    No, but the issue isn't whether or not gay couples are being denied the right to get married -- right now any gay couple can get married if they find someone who will marry them.

    The issue is the government recognition of the marriage (or lack thereof), and, more importantly, the associated denial of access to the benefits attendant to government recognition of marriage.

    After all, the definition of marriage definitely doesn't include things like tax breaks and visitation rights. So if you don't accept the broader definition of (legal) marriage, then you still have to confront the fact that it is unconstitutionally preferential to some over others.

    If that's the case then the legal recognition of marriage itself is unconstitutional, and the whole thing has to be scrapped.

    Frankly, I think that's really how it should go, but certainly it has to go one way or the other -- as it is now it's just blatantly wrong.

  • ||

    It's certainly a right to marry whomever you wish in the original sense of marriage as a ceremony. I'm ordained and have performed same sex ceremonies. The issue is must states issue same sex marriage licenses if they issue any marriage license. The constitution doesn't address marriage, making it a right of the state, and then the people. If the state wishes to just quit issuing licenses they can do that, and if they do issue licenses they can certainly set certain limits such as age and consent (children and animals cannot legally consent) and probably restrict it to 2 people, rather than any group that feels up to it after getting their tattoos at three in the morning. However they may not issue licenses to whites but not blacks or only to same race couples, and I can't really see how they can justify not allowing same sex marriages.

    That said, what does the constitution have to do with anything that happens in Washington D.C.? Both the repubs and the dems are looking for any loophole they can come up with, buy or nigger-rig into the constitution so that their particular social ideology can be the law pertaining to marriage. I don't even know why politicians bother mentioning the constitution anymore when they talk politics, the only reason they haven't used it for toilet paper is that it's too rough for their pampered anuses (anusi?.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    To do that, you have to come up with a definition of marriage that's outside the statute or the constitution.

    Where is the definition of marriage in the Constitution?

    I must have missed that day in Con Law.

  • Abdul||

    The constitution leaves that issue up to the states. Thus, some states don't recognize marriages between persons under the age of 16, where others do; or marriages between first cousins, while others do.

    To use the rational basis test to constitutinally invalidate the line against same-sex marriage, but to uphold the equally "rational" line against first cousins, or minors, is just judicial over-reaching.

  • Mo||

    The problem is DOMA takes that power away from states.

  • Abdul||

    Only insofar as federal recognition is required. A same-sex Massachusets couple can be married for state legal reasons (such as intestancy inheritance) but not federal reasons (acquiring veterans' benfits through the spouse).

    A similar federal law against, e.g., first cousin marriage would also pass the rational basis test.

  • MNG||

    And some states used to bar interracial marriages while other states recognized them. Then that uppity SCOTUS imposed their will on all of them making them recognize interracial marriage...

  • ||

    Nobody argued that interracial marriages were a contradiction in terms, like a square circle. It was always admitted that, by banning interracial marriages, the government was putting up obstacles that did not inhere in the nature of the institution.

  • ||

    Actually they just ruled that if the state issued licenses of marriage they had to issue them for any 2 people, they couldn't just give them to whites or just to same race couples or only people who can write. It's similar to the argument that if a state allows the vote (states don't have to let the citizens vote you know) they have to allow everyone to vote, they can't exclude citizens with blonde hair or vaginas or set different standards by race or by test scores.

  • ||

    Who is this "they" you speak of? It certainly wasn't the Supreme Court that decided Loving v. Virgnia, which most emphatically did *not* rule "that if the state issued licenses of marriage they had to issue them for any 2 people."

  • Richard||

    That was my point. There's nothing about gay marriage in the constitution, so the courts should defer to the legislature or the voters.

  • ♥♥♥||

    you're assuming the thing that you're trying to prove: that same sex couples actually are married, despite the fact the statute says they're not

    LOL, the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club.

  • Barney Frank||

    Don't be a party pooper. Let's smoke some dope and fuck someone in the ass!

  • Discord||

    Why not polygamy? As long as all parties involved are consenting adults, I don't care what people do with their lives.

  • Warren Jeffs||

    That's what I'm saying!

  • ||

    He said consenting.

    And adults.

  • JD||

    Because polygamists are too busy raising a passel of kids to get involved in politics.

  • Xenocles||

    There's no reason this has to be true in a big enough marriage. They could opt to have two or three of the spouses be full-time parents, leaving the remainder to get full-time jobs if they wanted. (Can you imagine what a five-income family could bank?)

  • Jake||

    Can you imagine what said family would spend on groceries or trips to Disney World?

  • Xenocles||

    My family (4 people) spends an exorbitant amount on groceries, and it's still only about 10% of my income.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If gay marriage, why not polygamy? Is that a constitutional right, too?


    The Supreme Court upheld bans on polygamy ( Reynolds v. the United States, Davis v. Beason, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. the United States ) just as it upheld bans on same-sex marriage ( Baker v. Nelson )

  • ||

    If the parties to a polygamous marriage are regarded as otherwise qualified to enter into a contract then yes, Equal Protection Rights would apply. This is why your irrelevant argument doesn't run down the slippery slope you insist it must. Children are not regarded as qualified to enter into contracts, so no incestuous marriages are possible under this standard. If you insist that the parties to a polygamous marriage are not qualified then you must explain why; and no you don't get to claim that their desire for a polygamous marriage is what disqualifies them since this is what you are trying to prove.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If the parties to a polygamous marriage are regarded as otherwise qualified to enter into a contract then yes, Equal Protection Rights would apply.


    Not according to current U.S. Supreme Court precedent ( Davis v. Beason )

  • ||

    Not Yet.

    but we all know how the Supremes love to adhere to stare decisis.[smirk]

  • ||

    I'll add that there was a great deal wrong with the whole situation surrounding Davis v. Beason and the decision. It wouldn't hurt for the courts to revisit the notion that regulatory law can supplant rights. The whole point about rights is that they protect against bad law. My personal opinion is the decision was wrong.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I'll add that there was a great deal wrong with the whole situation surrounding Davis v. Beason and the decision. It wouldn't hurt for the courts to revisit the notion that regulatory law can supplant rights. The whole point about rights is that they protect against bad law. My personal opinion is the decision was wrong.


    If there was indeed a right being supplanted.

    The law in question prohibited polygamists, and those who advocated breaking laws against polygamy, from voting. The right that was asserted was a right to be a polygamist.

  • ||

    Children are not regarded as qualified to enter into contracts, so no incestuous marriages are possible under this standard.

    This makes as much sense as arguing that same-sex marriages need to be banned in order to prevent pedophilia. In case you haven't noticed, there are plenty of potential incestuous marriages that don't involve children. You're going to have to find a better justification for banning same-family marriages while allowing same-sex marriages.

  • Marshall||

    As distasteful as I find them, I'm not convinced that I (I don't speak for Dornier, of course) actually feel a need to justify banning same-family marriages between consenting adults, simply because I'm not convinced that it's actually necessary for government to ban them.

    I find the notion of incest abhorrent, but I think the eager-statists in our midst are, as usual, giving the state too much credit for its effect on individual behavior.

    How many of us here really think it likely that significant numbers of people will begin marrying their sister simply because the law permits it?

    First of all, there is the societal taboo. How many people are realistically going to commit this taboo in so public a way as getting married?

    The biggest problem with incest-per se is genetic. Thus, the real problem is procreative sex, which may occur outside of marriage.

    With this in mind, consider the following: How many people openly admit to engaging or having engaged in at least potentially procreative incestuous sex?

    Such an admission is discouraged solely by societal taboo, not by any nonexistent legal risk such an informal admission would entail. Therefore, I would posit that the number of people who would engage in incestuous marriage, were it legal, would likely be no greater, and likely very much less, than the number of people who currently openly admit (even informally) to having engaged in incestuous sex.

    Secondly, there is the fact that (with it still in mind that we've identified the root problem as being procreative incestuous sex) some definite (but small) number of people DO engage in potentially, and sometimes actually, procreative incestuous sex, and they seem to do so, still in small numbers, whether their government happens to permit it or not.

    To put it simply, I doubt the law has any effect in this case. Prohibiting incestuous marriages seems to be a form of entirely ineffectual and irrelevant social engineering.

    I ask: where is the victim? The act of aggression? The compelling NEED for government to proscribe the behavior?

    I see some potential (but dubious) argument to find a victim in the offspring of a procreative incestuous sexual contact, but a marriage need not lead to actually procreative sex. For example, what victim would, or could, there be in the instance of two male brothers marrying one-another?

    And once again, how many people do this in the first place? And how many of the ones who do actually give a flying fuck what the law says in the second?

  • Marshall||

    I would just like to clarify, for the record, that I am continuing to be referring only to potential instances of incestuous behavior BETWEEN CONSENTING ADULTS, and at no point is anything in the above post to be taken in the context of any incestuous behavior involving minors or otherwise occurring without mutual consent.

  • MJ||

    "Is that view a much bigger leap than using the Equal Protection Clause to overturn bans on interracial marriage, which persisted for a century after the 14th Amendment was ratified?"

    Yes. The Founder would recognize broadcast media as a form mass media, they just would not be familiar with the technological advances that made it possible. They probably would have recognized that a sexual relationship between a man and a woman of different races was the biologically equivalent to a relationship between a man and woman of the same race. They would not understand society's interest in formalizing an unnatural sexual relationship between people of the same sex.

    It's interesting that Sullum uses the Left's discredited, facile arguments for the "living constitution" to justify imposing homosexual marriage on the nation.

    "But you know what? Screw them."

    Stay classy, Sullum.

  • ||

    Gay men and women marrying will not harm the "natural" sex life of heterosexual married couples in any way, shape or form, so where is your interest in the matter, exactly?

    And don't you think you are sullying the institution of marriage by saying it is entirely defined by the ability to have "natural" sexual intercourse? Please do not bastardize the institution that is supposed to be based on love and commitment by saying you cannot participate in it if you can't have sex. It's embarrassing.

    Beyond love, commitment and sex, marriage is above all, a legal institution as far as this argument is concerned. Legal benefits come with the institution of marriage (being recognized as family for hospital visits, handling the estate of a deceased person, etc.), and that is where the Equal Protection clause applies. These benefits are being afforded to some (heterosexuals in longstanding mutually committed relationships) and not to others (homosexuals in like circumstances). It is not the availability of the institution that is constitutionally inconsistent, but the availability of nuptial benefits. However, Ralph Wedgwood makes a more fundamental argument based on recognition of the relationship among members of the community, I will leave it at that, but do read the Wedgwood article at some point if you're interested in a counterargument.

    Lastly, gay marriage is not being imposed on anyone. Homosexuals are free to marry if they choose when before they were not. Nothing is being imposed. A former restriction imposed by the government has been lifted. That is literally the functional opposite of government imposition.

  • sarcasmic||

    What is being imposed is the replacement of "husband and wife" with "spouse and spouse".

    I suspect you will respond by charging me with being motivated by fear, hatred, or bigotry, and I will be considered guilty until proven innocent.

    The only way I will be able to prove my innocence is by agreeing to redefine marriage.

    At least that's how the argument usually goes.

  • ||

    Maybe if you had an argument that didn't rely on the naturalistic fallacy, which manages to convey the idea that gays are icky in slightly more sophisticated words ("unnatural")...

    ...then people wouldn't think you were bigoted.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're the one making a moral judgment, not me.

  • ||

    You say that as if it's a bad thing.

  • sarcasmic||

    fyi - I supported gay marriage when I thought it was about equal legal rights for same sex couples.

    I withdrew my support when I saw offers for compromise that did not involve redefining marriage being rejected without debate.

    That was when I realized that I was giving support to people who were equating the opposition to redefining a word to hatred of homosexuals.

    It is a false argument, and I will not support it.

  • ||

    So you don't oppose gay couples' private commitments being recognized by the state in the same way that straight couples' are. We just have to call it something different, because we wouldn't want to imply that gay relationships have the same validity as straight ones?

  • Thomas O.||

    Just because something is "unnatural" doesn't mean it should be wrong or prohibited.

    I only believe homosexuality is unnatural from a biological, reproductive-functional standpoint, but beyond that, I have no problem with the LGBT folks. Gays and lesbians are just as human, and they're more than entitled to the same benefits as hetero married couples.

    Besides, aren't the liberals supposed to be defending the scientific viewpoint?

  • ||

    I agree to a certain extent; those heterosexual couples living together shouldn't get the benefits of being married without actually being married. As for homosexual couples, I never understood the problem with them having a civil union (or some other term) that is essentially a ceremony by the state, or a sea captain, or whoever else is capable of performing the marriage that isn't a religious entity.

    The big point of contention as I see it as sarcasmic said: heterosexual couples see marriage as "husband and wife." It's not necessarily about denying rights to gays, it's more about trying to preserve something that they believe in, as it looks like everything is always taken in this society in order to be given to someone else.

  • ||

    Yes, they're TAKING AWAY straight people's marriages and giving them to TEH GHEI PPLZ.

    That's exactly what's going on here.

  • ||

    They're not taking away the marriage itself, but the meaning of marriage as heterosexual couples see it: between a man and a woman.

    I don't think the majority of people have any problem with gay people uniting; that is why the language of all of the "anti-gay marriage" amendments talk about the definition of marriage.

    And there's no denying that when the government intervenes in civil rights, while good is being done, it inevitably results in something being taken from one group in order to elevate another group. Ever hear of Affirmative Action?

  • ||

    Except all the "anti-gay marriage" amendments also ban civil unions or anything "like marriage"

  • MattN||

    Your point is slightly off base, but then you still have a bit of a point.

    First, nothing about expanding the legal definition of marriage can take away the personal meaning of marriage to specific individuals. I'd expand on that further but there really isn't any substance to that assertion to argue against.

    Having said that, it DOES have the potential to _require_ individuals who operate a business in relation to marriage to accept the _legal_ definition of marriage, rather than their personal definition.

    For example (and this is totally contrived), if I believed in marriage as between a man and a woman and I wanted to open a B&B for newlyweds, I might prefer to accept only hetero couples, but the law might require me to accept any couple matching the legal definition of married.

    That, to me, would effectively be forcing individuals to accept the legal definition of marriage over their own. And I grant that that is in fact the goal of some of the gay marriage supporters.

    None the less, the fact is that government already recognizes marriage, and it extends benefits to those people that fit the definition of marriage, effectively denying others equal access to those benefits. I would argue that although recognition of gay marriage isn't the ideal (as would be eliminating government recognition of marriage), but it is certainly closer to constitutional (and moral) than the way it stands now.

  • Marshall||

    Excellent post, MattN.

    I might have posted something similar on many points, but you nailed it.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Gay men and women marrying will not harm the "natural" sex life of heterosexual married couples in any way, shape or form, so where is your interest in the matter, exactly?


    I disagree.
    Same-sex marriage will destroy the purity of the marriage relation, disturb the peace of the families, degrade women, and debase men.

    Lastly, gay marriage is not being imposed on anyone.


    Neither was polygamy.

  • GroundTruth||

    I've got no problem with polygamy. If it was good enough for the old testament prophets and kings, it ought to be good enough for us poor modern folks.

  • Thomas O.||

    This isn't 1890, so why reference a judgment that was a product of that time? There are thousands of same-sex couples living together as if married... and raising kids, too! And if you look around, the republic's still standing.

  • Lisa||

    Yeah you're right, all our laws should totally be based on current trends.

  • Marshall||

    So long as "current trends" don't consist of committing aggressive acts, basing laws totally on current trends actually sounds like much better idea than what I suspect is lurking behind that attempt at a smug response.

  • ||

    Destroy the purity of marriage? That's a fucking joke.

  • DLM||

    Homosexuals are free to marry if they choose when before they were not.

    Homosexuals have always been free to choose to be 'married'. It just depends on how they choose to label a relationship. If it's just about legal benefits, then they don't need to call it 'marriage'. 'Civil Unions' or some other term should be perfectly adequate.

  • ||

    Headlines today: couple in CT being split up. One of them is South American. He's being deported.

    wtf?

    WTF?!

    Seriously though. W. T. F.

  • Xenocles||

    Believe it or not, countries have the right to expel aliens sometimes. Perhaps some context or details would help the outrage flow for the rest of us.

  • ||

    The point is this wouldn't happen if their marriage was recognized federally.

  • Xenocles||

    "Couples" are not always married. It would have been great for the OP (you?) to mention the fact of the couple's marriage somewhere in that screed. Perhaps it could have replaced one of the WTFs.

  • Marshall||

    And religious types have always been free to define "married", within the context of their own religion, however they see fit.

    If the legal definition of "marriage" is so important, perhaps those religious types should have thought of that before they assigned a religious concept ("marriage") to describe a legal one (contractual partnership).

    Now, there is no choice but to differentiate legal "marriage" from religious "marriage".

    As it stands, cannot polygamists become religiously, although not legally, "married"?

    Therefore, to me it seems that the NECESSITY of conflating the legal and religious concepts of marriage is really an excuse. And if it's really an excuse, that suggests that the real underlying cause isn't the principle of the definition, it's the desire to use government to nonrecognition of legitimate behavior of others simply because they hold a prejudice against it.

  • ||

    And don't you think you are sullying the institution of marriage by saying it is entirely defined by the ability to have "natural" sexual intercourse? Please do not bastardize the institution that is supposed to be based on love and commitment by saying you cannot participate in it if you can't have sex. It's embarrassing.

    So people have been wrong for thousands of years when they thought that marriage had something to do with sex? All this talk of "consummating" a marriage--just embarrassing nonsense? Annulments of marriages on grounds of impotence -- as irrational as annulling marriages because one of the spouses was blonde? Puh-leeze.

  • ||

    You also seem to have a poor understanding of the word, "natural". Every animal species (with the exception of those who reproduce asexually, like sea urchins) engages in homosexual, bisexual, and nonreproductive sexual behavior.

    Doesn't that make it "natural"?

    Stay classy and ignorant, MJ.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Bronwyn,

    Every animal species (with the exception of those who reproduce asexually, like sea urchins) engages in homosexual, bisexual, and nonreproductive sexual behavior.

    Antropomorphising much, Browyn?

    What we call "homosexual" behavior is NOT necessarily being mirrored by animals when then engage in play or domination. Just because a male dog "mounts" another male dog does not mean they are engaging in homosexual behavior the same way as a male dog rubbing your leg is not really engaging in bestiality.

  • Mo||

    It's not only play or domination. There are multiple examples of same sex penguins pairing off, coupling and raising chicks.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mo,

    There are multiple examples of same sex penguins pairing off, coupling and raising chicks.

    Mo, that's not homosexual behavior, that's two penguins raising an egg. The difference is that humans *know* what they are doing; animals instead are NOT AWARE.

  • Mo||

    Random all caps aside, how do you know they're not aware? Animals can tell the differences between the males and the females of their species. If they're not aware, then you can say the same about the straight ones too. Also, the penguins do more than just raise the egg. They pair off, hump and exhibit behavior similar to regular penguin coupling.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Mo,

    Random all caps aside, how do you know they're not aware?

    Because if they were aware, they would be philosophers, not animals.

    Animals can tell the differences between the males and the females of their species.

    No, YOU can tell. *I* can tell. Whatever mechanism animals use, it is not the same as ours or how do you explain Lisa Marie and Michael?

    Also, the penguins do more than just raise the egg. They pair off, hump and exhibit behavior similar to regular penguin coupling.

    And you attribute this to homosexualism?

  • Mo||

    Animals can tell the differences between the males and the females of their species.

    No, YOU can tell. *I* can tell. Whatever mechanism animals use, it is not the same as ours or how do you explain Lisa Marie and Michael?

    That's the one of stupidest fucking things I've ever heard. Of course animals can tell the difference between the males and the females of their own species. They use the same mechanics humans use, their eyes, ears and noses*. Otherwise, animals would just randomly hump other animals hoping to hit the right gender. That is not the observed behavior of the vast majority of animals and that behavior would be pretty quickly evolve away.

  • Abdul||

    Old Mexican's got the better part of this argument. The idea that "Dogs hump couches, therefore it's natural and good" is exacly the same as the Natural Law defense the Catholic Church uses to justify it's teaching, only with slightly different premises and therefore slightly different conclusions.

    If you did't buy the natural law argument aganist homosexuality, why do you buy it when gay penguins are selling it?

  • ||

    Wait, so you're saying that there's an argument against gay marriage that's not totally dependent on the naturalistic fallacy ("Unnatural! Icky!")?

  • Lisa||

    This is the most logical thing I've seen in this thread so far.

  • Lisa||

    That's a problem, too. It's so hard to find rationality in this particular debate, on either side of the aisle.

    On the one hand, you have:
    Gay people really want it.

    On the other, you have:
    But conservative christians don't.

    I never hear any discussion of trade-offs or unintended consequences, or at least not enough. I'm sorry, the different emotions aren't enough to sway me either way. They only serve to make me distrust the intelligence of everyone who happens to be talking about it.

  • ||

    Good point! And lots of animals engage in inter-species mating, too, so prohibitions of bestiality (not to mention on inter-species marriages) are also based on a crabbed and bigoted idea of what's "natural."

  • ||

    "Keep your marriage laws off my cat!"

  • MNG||

    "They probably would have recognized that a sexual relationship between a man and a woman of different races was the biologically equivalent to a relationship between a man and woman of the same race. They would not understand society's interest in formalizing an unnatural sexual relationship between people of the same sex."

    They would "probably" have recognized interracial marriage was equivalent? WTF? That's what you are basing your argument on?

    Heck, we've gone beyond reading the minds of the ratifiers, now we are just guessing. This is why using the intent or expecations of the ratifiers is silly...

  • ||

    Hilarious how people think slave owners would be okay with interracial marriage.

  • Tony||

    We're part chimp, part bonobo. There's nothing "unnatural" about any sexual behavior people engage in. What's unnatural is religion.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    We're part chimp, part bonobo.

    A planet where men evolved into apes?

    No, we're not part chimp, part bonobo. I am part Homo Habilis, part Spanish.
  • Sky||

    Yes, religion supernatural. And that which is natural is not necessarily good, and therefore whehter or not something is "natural" is largely irrelevant.

  • DLM||

    What's unnatural is religion.

    Of course. That's why the vast majority of people in the world believe in some religion and have done so for thousands of years.

  • ||

    Religion is what arises in the mind from rites and ritual practice.

    Religion exists everywhere and not merely from churches on metaphysical grounds.

    There's Religion of Major League Baseball, Religion of Academia, Religion of Homosexism, Religion of St. Paddy's Day.

    Millions of religions exist.

    Homosexism is a sexual fetish and as a fetish, a mind disorder, as all fetishes are, albeit a relatively harmless one, except when the sufferer obsesses in the extreme and takes on ephebophilia and hebephilia.

    All fetishes arise from obsession over something. In the case of those living by homosexism, they are obsessed with having sex with those of the same sex.

    Of course, no logical basis exists to confer privileges from Officialdom upon those who live by a fetish of homosexism.

    More importantly, no practical basis exists to confer such privileges anymore than a basis exists to confer privileges to those into giantism, bestiality, zoosadism, agalmatophilia, coprophilia, ecrophilia and raptophilia.

  • Tony||

    Care to cite a reputable psychological source for your description of homosexuality as a fetish or disorder?

    Betcha can't.

    So why should anyone take your word on anything, ever?

  • ||

    ""Betcha can't.""

    Bet I can.

    "In 1973 homosexuality per se was removed from the DSM-II classification of mental disorders and replaced by the category Sexual Orientation Disturbance.""

    http://ajp.psychiatryonline.or...../138/2/210

  • ||

    LOL. You just cited the fact... that it isn't a disorder. It was removed from the classifications. But thanks for playing.

  • ||

    The DSM II has it as a disorder, the DSM III has it as a disturbance.

    It is true that it is no longer considered such, but that was not always the case.

  • ||

    BTW, I think the DSM IV was the first DSM not to have homosexuality as either a mental disorder, or disturbance.

  • ||

    Of course, limited thinkers like Tony cannot think for themselves and need some self-anointed authority like the APA to tell them what to believe.

    Merely because a group of men and women have decreed a fetish such as homosexism as not a fetish and hence not a mind disorder while also decreeing that idiocy, retardation, and low intellect are "Austism Spectrum Disorder", Tony is quick to follow such faux authority when it suits his convenience needs.

    The record of what mankind has known about the fetish of homosexism going to back to the ancient Greeks stands extensive.

    Rational individuals of suitable intellect driven by Reidian Common Sense, at once can see what homosexism is -- a fetish and thus mind disorder controlled by the addiction mechanism of the nucleus accumbens.

  • Ben P.||

    Except that the same authority noted homosexuality as a disorder to begin with.

    And the record of what mankind has known, as you put it, was for the most part set down by, yeah, authorities. Because, you know, near-universal literacy always existed, so it was always the common Joe Schmoe, rather than the educated few, setting down the histories. And none of those educated few, where they existed, ever had agendas of their own.

    So let's not pretend this is anything other than picking and choosing the authority with which one agrees or disagrees, eh?

  • Clarification||

    Rational individuals of suitable intellect driven by Reidian Common Sense, at once can see what homosexism is -- a fetish and thus mind disorder controlled by the addiction mechanism of the nucleus accumbens.


    "suitable" = "sufficiently meager"

  • Tony||

    Mumbo jumbo justifying prejudice? Wow I'm convinced.

  • ||

    And heterosexuals aren't into young girls?

  • Marshall||

    With in borne in mind that your favored hebephilia and ephebophilia are also quite possible "heterosexist" acts and/or desires, I hope you find it equally logical when I claim:

    A desire for blonde-haired women is a sexual fetish and as a fetish, a mind disorder, as all fetishes are, albeit a relatively harmless one, except when the sufferer obsesses in the extreme and takes on ephebophilia and hebephilia.

  • We||

    What do we want?
    Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans-gender marriage!
    When do we want it?
    Now!

  • Alan Vanneman||

    I think gay marriage ought to be the permitted everywhere. But Jacob seems to think that homosexuality is a recent invention, like television. Well, no. There were homos back in the day. And the founders, those slave-owning, women-oppressing dudes, were also totally down with oppressing homosexuals, as were the 14th amendment crowd as well, who had, at least, given up the slave-owning bit.

    Regulation of sexual morality according to the English common-law tradition, which was not big on buggery, was taken for granted as a legitimate exercise of government power in the U.S. up until about 20 years ago. In theory, any changes should come through the legislatures, not the courts.

    In theory. But of course the last thing legislators want to touch is anything sexual. Let the courts handle it! And so they will. And so we will bumble our way through to acceptance of gay rights in a thoroughly non-logical, non-constitutional manner, which is the way things get done in the real world. And maybe, sometime, we'll be able to smoke pot at a gay wedding, which sounds like a party to me, if not to Nino.

  • ||

    So where does regulation of sexual morality come into it? As far as I know, since Hardwick, anti-sodomy laws have been unconstitutional.

    Do you know any state that seeks to regulate gay sex? I thought we were talking about gay marriage here?

    Or -- tee hee -- are you suggesting gay folks only have sex within the bonds of holy matrimony, so that defining them out of being "married" means they're forced into celibacy...

  • Mo||

    Hardwick was the exact opposite of what you think it is. Hardwick upheld the constitutionality of sodomy laws. There were sodomy laws on the books and enforced until Lawrence v. Texas, which was decided in 2003, not exactly ancient history.

  • ||

    Do you know any state that seeks to regulate gay sex?"

    Texas. But I guess Lawrence V. Texas took care of that in 2003.
    Now the state GOP wants to recriminalize it.

  • Abdul||

    Alan, to be fair, there was widespread knowledge of homosexual activity but no real concept of a homosexual orientation at the time the Constitution was written. IIRC, the concept of homosexuality as an orientation gradually developed in the Victorian era.

    But I think your main point stands: marriages between men and men were at least conceivable in the 18th century, whereas something like television or wiretapping was not.

  • Eric Massa||

    But of course the last thing legislators want to touch is anything sexual.

    I beg to differ.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "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)."

    Sorry but those are invalid analogies.

    Gay marriange is not something anyone "could not have forseen". It was just as possible to contemplate it then as it is now.

    That is a social construct and changes in social constructs are altogether different from changes in technology where one cannot know whether something is physically possible before it is actually achieved and proven to be so.

  • Draco||

    Right. And people resist changes to their social constructs far more strongly than they resist technological change.

    Check my blog for a recent (10/17) essay on that very subject, in which I'd be happy to entertain the comments of the H&R commentariat.

  • MNG||

    We can stay in the realm of social constructs if you would like. There is a great deal of evidence that the ratifiers of the 14th Amendment expected it to apply to freed blacks only. It was impossible to contemplate that whites would ever need protection from racist laws. Yet the text of the 14th applies to all citizens and rightfully has been used to strike down affirmative action programs that discriminate against whites.

  • Draco||

    I was struck by Jacob Sullum's meta-argument: that even though he may have had his doubts about this issue, well, since conservatives haven't backed libertarians on other recent liberty issues he's going to make up his mind on this one in a way that will anger conservatives. Just to show 'em.

    Hey, at least it's honest. But I don't think it's convincing.

  • ||

    That's the real problem here. He doesn't say that the equal protection argument is convincing; he just contends that it's "plausible," suggesting that he doesn't think it ultimately holds water, but that places him in a position no better than Scalia, whom he derides. I think the goal should be to show greater fidelity to the Constitution, not less.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    That's the real problem here. He doesn't say that the equal protection argument is convincing; he just contends that it's "plausible," suggesting that he doesn't think it ultimately holds water, but that places him in a position no better than Scalia, whom he derides. I think the goal should be to show greater fidelity to the Constitution, not less.
    reply to this


    Jacob Sullum really jumped the shark on this one.

  • x,y||

    Your first mistake is assuming, or believing, JS wants to be convincing. He wants to poke the eyes of social conservatives, nothing more.

  • ||

    I'm all for "gay" marriage, but I think there should be a test to prove that the couples are actually gay and not just trying to game the system to score lucrative bennies. I hereby volunteer to test the hot lesbian couples, as a civil service, because I'm a patriot.

  • ||

    You'll be waiting for your first test subjects for a loooong time, my friend. There's no such thing as hot lesbians. If two girls are attractive and have sex with each other, they are still at best bisexual. It's just a fact of life.

  • DLM||

    There's no such thing as hot lesbians.

    I disagree, though they do seem to be a bit rarer.

  • ||

    Yeah, most of the ones getting married try and look like guys... Which is kinda weird because most of the ones I know are huge misandrists.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    This is yet another one of those societal, public policy arguments that the Constitution is silent on, yet many people want to find the authoritative answer in the Constitution.

    It is these types of questions for which the legislature is responsible. Where the Constitution does not set forth the rule of law, then generally it is up to the will of the people, as expressed through their elected representatives.

    Just as in Roe v. Wade - the reasoning in that opinion is disingenuous and self-serving and stretches to find the desired answer - i.e., that abortion is a right protected by the Constitution against government intervention, at least within certain bounds.

    While I fully agree that abortion should remain a legally available medical procedure, I don't agree that the reason it must remain so is because to do otherwise would contravene the Constitution. But people get impatient and don't want to undertake the effort to work the issue through the political process and instead want to short-circuit the whole thing by getting the Supreme Court to rule on Constitutional grounds.

    So it is here, too. The Constitution doesn't say a damn thing about what marriage is or whether men can marry each other. As for me, I don't have any problem with it. I think our society is at a point where there shouldn't be any big deal - let them get married. As Thomas Jefferson opined: "It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." That's my position on this public policy debate. But I don't point to the Constitution as mandating that end result.

    The Constitution is completely silent on lots of important and hotly contested issues affecting the character of American society. It's unfortunate that people think the Constitution provides every answer to every such issue. It never has; it never was intended to; and it does not.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I was going to write a lengthy rebuttal to Sullum's disappointing -and, to not small degree, alarming, piece - but I couldn't possibly do better than this reply by BSR. Well done, amigo.

    While I welcome legislatures' opening of the right of civil unions/marriages to gays and lesbians, I am not at all confortable with it being imposed by decree when it clearly misuses the Constitution. Is there really such a thing as totalitarian libertarianism?

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Is there really such a thing as totalitarian libertarianism?

    You've been here for a while. Is there any other kind?

  • ||

    Very well said! I tend to fall on the side of thinking that homosexuality is an unnatural aberration however, if two dudes or chick want to marry, it doesn't bother me in the least. Regardless of my personal opinion, the constitution says nothing about gay marriage, either for or against. Equal protection doesn't apply at all.

  • Gregory Goldmacher||

    Well said.

    As a matter of policy, I support gay marriage completely. As a matter of Constitutional interpretation, however, states have the general "police power" to decide the morals of their citizens. They can, quite constitutionally, ban gay marriage, though I think they shouldn't. They also CAN decree that the world is flat and babies are brought by storks, and teach that in their schools.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    See Justice Potter Stewart's dissent in Griswold v. Connecticut for a very good explanation of this principle:

    "Since 1879 Connecticut has had on its books a law which forbids the use of contraceptives by anyone. I think this is an uncommonly silly law. ... As a philosophical matter, I believe the use of contraceptives in the relationship of marriage should be left to personal and private choice, based upon each individual's moral, ethical, and religious beliefs. As a matter of social policy, I think professional counsel about methods of birth control should be available to all, so that each individual's choice can be meaningfully made. But we are not asked in this case to say whether we think this law is unwise, or even asinine. We are asked to hold that it violates the United States Constitution. And that I cannot do."

  • DK||

    But you see, banning contraceptives does violate the Constitution. After all, it has a significant impact upon the interstate condom trade. Commerce Clause! Not only should the Connecticut law be declared unconstitutional, Congress must declare that all Americans purchase an approved contraceptive plan.

  • ||

    I would much prefer that the government get out of the business of certifying marriage altogether. But as long as myriad provisions of state and federal law hinge on marital status, the government has to decide which couples qualify, and basic fairness demands that sexual orientation play no role in that determination.

    So since what you believe isn't going to happen you are going full Leftist? Ten years ago no one believed gay marriage would ever be passed.

    How fair is it that the Social Security spousal benefit should be expanded to include gay marriage while single people continue to have nothing to pass to an heir? Wouldn't ending that type of thing be fair? Wouldn't the gay marriage issue be a wonderful time to educate people about how those who don't marry or die before receiving benefits get totally screwed? Just imagine if Reason had been educating the public of the unfairness of Social Security for everyone for the past ten years, instead of dozens (hundreds?) of articles about how it is unfair to one single collective group?

  • Citizen Ed||

    All very good points about the unfairness of SS benefits. Interestingly, if "gay" marriage becomes law, straight men and women may marry as well and legally tap into SS benefits. It would be a lie, of course. I wonder how many gay couples would support such a scam on principle? Or would they, in turn, become marriage bigots?

  • ||

    Couldn't people do this now? What is it about same sex marriage that makes fraud look so good?

  • Citizen Ed||

    I'm sure there are hetero "couples" who get married simply to take advantage of SS benefits. There is no "love" test. With "gay" marriage, the opportunities for fraud of this sort would be expanded. But that does more to illuminate the unfairness of single, childless individuals having their SS accounts evaporate into thin air upon their deaths, than to provide a reason to ban "gay" marriage.

  • ||

    Life doesn't actually play out like Adam Sandler movies. Sorry.

    SS is not an "account", it has been decided by the courts that ss is a entitlement program. If you disagree, then maybe you should try to cash out your account or stop paying into it.

    Furthermore, when you are dead will you really give a shit what happens to your social security "account"?

  • Citizen Ed||

    You can play with semantics all you want, but the fact remains that single, childless individuals cannot assign a beneficiary for their SS benefits the way married people and/or individuals with children can.

  • Citizen Ed||

    when you are dead will you really give a shit what happens

    That's the most idiotic thing I've read here all morning, and that's saying a lot. Justice ends when you die? Wow.

  • Bill||

    Women have more sense than to get married just to get better S.S.

    It is hard enough to get a man to agree to marriage to someone he is living with to expect that a lot of men will agree to marry a friend just for the S.S. that may or may not exist 20-50 years in the future.

  • Citizen Ed||

    You're right. It doesn't exist. Neither do convenience marriages between citizens and foreigners. Because who would get married just to get American benefits? That's crazy.

  • ||

    Well played, sir.

    I'll take one Russian bride, with a side of adopted African child.

  • Six||

    People in fact do it now. I live in a city anchored by a military base and the advertisements in the newspaper and on CL are quite clear in thier intentions...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Citizen Ed,

    I wonder how many gay couples would support such a scam on principle? Or would they, in turn, become marriage bigots?

    Bingo!

  • ||

    I can think of no one who would be more enraged than gay people by the prospect of their incredibly hard-won right to marry being abused by avaricious straight people.

  • Old Mexican||

    Yeah, it would be sweet! He he he!

    http://news.premiere.com/photo....._larry.jpg

  • mr simple||

    The only fair answer seems to be to get rid of social security.

  • Six||

    Seems reasonable to me.

  • DLM||

    Wouldn't the gay marriage issue be a wonderful time to educate people about how those who don't marry or die before receiving benefits get totally screwed?

    Married people generally have children. Children grow up to pay taxes, which in turn support the retirees' SS payments. That aside, perhaps each person can designate one other person to have the same rights as a 'spouse' does today. You can designate a complete stranger to inherit the wealth you accumulate over your lifetime.

  • ||

    Although the people who wrote and ratified the Fifth and 14th amendments never imagined they were guaranteeing equal legal treatment for homosexual couples, that’s because the very notion of gay marriage would have been incomprehensible to them.

    Right. Because, just like television and wiretaps, buggery was only invented in the 20th century.

    Moron. With "friends" like this, gay marriage hardly needs enemies.

  • Daniel||

    It's amazing how bad arguments both for and against gay marriage usually are

  • Jeffersonian||

    Constitutional arguments for and against it are, agreed. But I think the best argument for it has nothing to do with the Consitution and everything to do with it being harmless to those who do not participate in it. That, I think, is the crux of the issue.

  • Daniel||

    What bugs me about the "pro" side is they only seem to care about liberty if it personally affects them. Not to say anything about the "con" side though lol.

  • Lisa||

    It is the crux of the issue, but not examined often enough. The fact is that we know that kids in adoptive families tend to fare worse than kids with their birth parents, and instinctively, I think we also know that it's better for kids to have one parent each of the opposite sex. That doesn't always happen even without a legal incentive for gay marriage, but at least it stands a better chance of happening when society is encouraged to form traditional autonomous family units.

  • mr simple||

    I'm all for adults being able to enter into whatever contractual relationship they see fit for themselves, but your argument boils down to: judges can't be expected to be nonpartial and the opposition is mean, anyway. That's a pretty weak sauce, Sullum.

    If gay marriage, why not polygamy?

    Why not indeed, sir? If you can make an argument that doesn't involve the offense of your sensibilities, then I will be surprised.

  • ||

    If gay marriage, why not polygamy?

    What do I care if a guy wants 5 women nagging him instead of one?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Seriously. If some idiot wants to deal with five women with synchronized menstrual cycles and the potential for paying alimony five times over, that's his bizarre fetish. I say let him have it.

  • Citizen Ed||

    Why do you both (as do most people) always assume that it's a man who wants five wives? Why not a woman who wants five husbands?

  • Mo||

    Slow down there, Heinlein.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Citizen Ed,

    Why not a woman who wants five husbands?

    That alredy happens - Zsa Zsa Gabor.

  • Bill||

    Why do we assume it is more likely to be one man and multiple women?

    Human hisotry? Testosterone? Biology? Social/cultural issues?

    Women are more social and one man can keep multiple women pregnant and paternity is known. With 5 husbands, until recently, you could not be sure who was really the father.

    If polygamy was legal, which I think it should be from a moral point of view, it could be one woman and several men. Of course, with all of the legal aspects of marriage, particularly health care, it would not be fair to allow someone with 5 spouses and 20 kids to pay a flat rate but this could all be worked out.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Pentuple penetration. Now, there's something John Stagliano hasn't filmed yet.

  • ||

    That would surprise me. Most people have at least six orifices. Women have seven. If libertarian hero Stagliano hasn't yet documented oral/anal/nasal/audio gang-banging, he's slacking.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I've never even come close to seeing/participating in triple-anal, but I can't wrap my mind around the logistical/physical ramifications. I consider it impossible. But if anyone could pull it off, Stagliano would be the lab tech to call.

  • ||

    "I've never even come close to seeing/participating in triple-anal, but I can't wrap my mind around the logistical/physical ramifications."

    You said ramifications. Get it?

  • Xenocles||

    Can we add the urethra to that? Maybe combine it with nasal penetration to open a new micropenis genre.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yikes. I hadn't considered those.

    Maybe Steve Smith would know?

  • ||

    If gay marriage, why not polygamy?

    What do I care if a guy wants 5 women nagging him instead of one?

    Why not gay polygamy? Why not just have everyone married to everyone in this country? Why limit the marriage age to 18, or 16, or even 14? Why do we even have age of consent laws?

    The point is, none of these things should be decided by the Supreme Court or the government in the first place. To me this is an economic argument. Married couples get tax breaks, other couples don't. Either give everyone the tax break, or no one gets it. Then gay couples, man-goat couples, whoever, can get married and there's no problem.

  • Suki Mi Dyki||

    ...."man-goat couples...." This is already allowed in Muslim society.

  • x,y||

    Or get rid of the tax break, since it's basically just a subsidy to a preferred group.

  • DLM||

    Or get rid of the tax break, since it's basically just a subsidy to a preferred group.

    No. Tax breaks for having/raising children, not merely for being married. This is really what it boils down to. Children, who grow up and become taxpayers, are needed to support future government spending, after all.

  • Mo||

    Because it's not traditional marriage. Oh, wait ...

  • sarcasmic||

    There is nothing preventing people attracted to the same sex from marrying people of the opposite sex, and people attracted to the opposite sex cannot marry people of the same sex.

    So the argument that people are prevented from entering into marriage based on sexual orientation is bunk.

    That said, I think it's a bunch of crap that same sex couples aren't afforded the same legal protections that married couples receive, however I don't agree with using the word "marriage" to describe a same sex union.

  • mr simple||

    Can I still describe my pasta sauce as a marriage of cheese and mushrooms, or do I have to use the term butt-buddies?

  • sarcasmic||

    As you increase the things that a word describes you diminish what the word means.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    I shall call the legal recognition of a binding monogamous relationship between two humans of the same gender "klaptrotsch".

    Then the big question of constitutional law will be whether heterosexuals can become klaptrotsched, or whether states legally can ban heterosexual klaptrotsch.

  • sarcasmic||

    Since individual homosexuals are not legally prevented from entering into a marriage with a member of the opposite sex, I reject the argument that they are prevented because of sexual orientation.

  • DLM||

    If someone has a sexual preference for young children, does that mean he's prevented from entering into marriage since it's illegal for him to marry young children? OTOH, the same analogy can be used for black/white couples. The main thing is the the Consitution explicitly indicates there can be no discrimination based on rase or sex, nothing about sexual orientation or age.

  • sarcasmic||

    Children cannot enter into contracts so that argument falls on its face.

    The black/white analogy fails as well.
    For that analogy to hold then blacks would be prohibited from marrying each other and permitted to marry whites.
    Even then we're still talking about opposite sex couples, so you get double fail on that one.

  • sarcasmic||

    When the proposal to give same sex couples equal rights as opposite sex couples without changing the meaning of the word marriage is rejected, then it becomes obvious that this is about redefining marriage, not equal rights.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    When the proposal to give same sex couples equal rights as opposite sex couples without changing the meaning of the word marriage is rejected, then it becomes obvious that this is about redefining marriage, not equal rights.


    So true.

    They can have equal rights under a different name.

  • sarcasmic||

    The usual response to that is "Separate but equal! You're a bigot!"

    Again proving that these people care more about changing the meaning of a word than they do about equal rights.

    They are liars who will use any means necessary to achieve their desired end.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    The usual response to that is "Separate but equal! You're a bigot!"


    Our society, as well as the federal judiciary, tolerates separate but equal on the basis of gender much more so than on the basis of race.

    In fact, the federal judiciary had upheld separate and unequal on the basis of sex ( Minor v. Happersett, Rostker v. Goldberg, Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County ).

  • Six||

    In your view, what is the current role and reason for the state contracting and regulating marriage?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    In your view, what is the current role and reason for the state contracting and regulating marriage?


    The state has an interest in imposing special responsibilities and providing special benefits to unions which are especially likely to result in unintentional reproduction.

    This is the same reason that states have an interest in punishing underage boys for having sex with underage girls, while exempting underage girls from punishment for having sex with underage boys- the threat of unintentional reproduction when boys have sex with underage girls.

  • Six||

    So according to you, the role and reason for the state to sanction marriage is regulate, "unintentional reproduction."? LOL. That's funny, how's that working out?

  • Thomas O.||

    How is the status of marriage diminished by same-sex unions?

    If there's no rational basis, then it sounds like you just want to keep the institution of marriage treated like an exclusive country club. "We can't allow THOSE kind in there!"

  • Barney Frank||

    "Cup Cake" is more polite.

  • Xenocles||

    What are the genders of those nouns? Why can't we have genders assigned to every inanimate object, like in the Romance languages?

  • Xenocles||

    What's worse, sometimes the genders flip when you change languages: "el queso" vs. "la frommage."

  • defeatedcreek||

    Leaving this issue to the legislatures is a greater violation of principle I'm afraid. As long as there is a repressive majority the rights will never be granted and I'd say the GLBT population hardly constitutes a large enough voting bloc to change that considerably. It's similar but not analogous to the DADT stand right now. The injunction is void but servicemembers are warned to not come out of the closet because their rights can be lost as quickly as they were gained with the right mix of people in Congress.

    If we're going to strip away any person's rights or outright deny them in the first place then shouldn't there be a justification for doing so? If this battle is fought state-by-state or in the US Congress then it's going to be a long battle. This leaves a group of people waiting for the next generation of voters for their rights to a civil union (or marriage), equal benefits, and other protections.

    If the legislature are not dependenable and we can't appeal to the Constitution then what's left?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Where in the Constitution do you find the answer to the issue?

    That's the problem.

    What's left is the marketplace of ideas and the will of the people. If 98% of the public (totally made up number pulled out of my ass) is in favor of non-recognition of gay "marriage," and there is no Constitutionally protected right implicated, then the legislation is valid, despite the fact that some people really don't like it.

    There is no constitutional right to smoke pot. Tens of thousands of American citizens really, really would like to be able to legally smoke pot. Thus far, the great majority of Americans are of the belief that pot smoking should be illegal. The legislation thus reflects that majority position. Can't we appeal to the Constitution?

    NO. There is no Constitutionally protected right implicated by the law - regardless of the fact that a lot of people really don't like the result.

    Again, read Potter Stewart's dissent in Griswold. Just because you don't like a law or think it's stupid or silly - and maybe you're not alone in that view - does not mean it's unconstitutional.

    The Constitution does not guarantee absolute, unfettered freedom to do whatever the fuck you think you should be able to do as long as nobody else cares about it.

    Again, my own belief is that that generally should be the rule - as long as you're not affecting anyone else's rights, you can do pretty much whatever else you damn well please. But that end result is not, in any way, guaranteed by the Constitution.

  • defeatedcreek||

    I'm tracking with your argument but how do you circumvent the fourteenth amendment in your case? I agree the Constitution does not guarantee absolute freedoms. Are you opposed to the "living document" idea? If so why?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Where in the 14th Amendment do you find the right to gay marriage set forth?

  • defeatedcreek||

    It isn't there. But in the Griswold decision I think William Douglas might (I stress "might") have made a valid point about implied rights. I think Stewart would have agreed with Douglas that the SC wasn't a "super legislature." Douglas concedes that the first and fourteenth amendments do not address many issues specifically but that they have been construed to do so. I think his statement "Without those peripheral rights the specific rights would be less secure" has some merit. Even though the concurring opinions seemed to split with Douglas on his interpretation of the fourteenth amendment.

    It's an imperfect argument to be sure. But is it fair to say that a judge is not subordinating his personal views when he interprets the Constitution this way?

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Judges should tread lightly in overruling a legislative act on the basis that it is unconstitutional. In doing so, a judge is contravening the will of the people as expressed via their elected legislature. Which is why courts tend to avoid ruling on constitutional grounds unless the statute pretty clearly (my vague term) traduces a constitutional provision.

    In a case such as Griswold, where nobody can present a solid argument that the law clearly is unconstitutional, it seems difficult to rule with such authority that it is.

    The solution should be to engage in the public process - lobby, get enough like-minded people together, and change the law. Highlight the silliness that Justice Stewart recognized. The problem with that approach, of course, is that it takes longer than bringing a constitutional suit and might be even less likely to be successful. Hence the short-circuit option.

  • defeatedcreek||

    What strikes me here is that the very notion of judicial review itself could be construed as unconstitutional. It was certainly not without criticism from Jefferson and others as an overreach of authority. I think there are several implied rights, particularly from the first amendment, that arose from judicial review that we wouldn't dare question. It can prevent a state or city from establishing its own religion, even though it isn't stated clearly that they can't. The amendment also reared its head in other decisions.

    This, to me, is irksome in civil rights and civil liberties cases. I agree the GLBT population and their supporters should use the public process. To say that in some towns, cities, and even states that this would present some challenges is an understatement. To be heard requires forming an assembly that would not be wrangled into some distant location and that wouldn't violate obscenity laws. Prior to 2003 any admission of homosexual acts could even be subject to arrest.

    Do we fight these battles one by one in the legislatures? Do we wait for a new generation of voters. That may very well be what we'd consider constitutional. However, I feel like we're discussing what type of judicial review is appropriate. Could we or should we unravel every decision handed down by the court that took Congress and our states to task for intrusive and repressive laws?

    My faith in the public process is not quite as strong. I think we'd have a much different political picture in the U.S. if public opinion was guided by other forces than what it is now.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I'm tracking with your argument but how do you circumvent the fourteenth amendment in your case? I agree the Constitution does not guarantee absolute freedoms. Are you opposed to the "living document" idea? If so why?


    Marrying whomever one pleases is not a right protected by the United States Constitution, and several Supreme Court decisions back it up- ( Reynolds v. the United States, Davis v. Beason, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints v. the United States, Baker v. Nelson )

    And all of those decisions were unanimous.

  • ||

    Is that whomever, or how many?

  • Thomas O.||

    Gee, I thought you conservatives were against judicial activism...

  • ||

    ""Where in the Constitution do you find the answer to the issue?""

    In the 14 Amendment, the term liberty. But that term really seem hollow as far as constitutional rights go.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Then we get into the question of what does "liberty" mean, and how should we interpret what it was intended to mean in that context. Do we consistently adhere to the original understanding, which many, if not most, libertarians seem to prefer, at least when it comes to things like the Second Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and the enumerated powers of Congress? Or do we change our view and go with "evolving standards", which means we can read new and different meanings into it, regardless of the undoubted fact that there is no way the Framers or anyone around at that time would ever have understood the Constitution to protect the right of two people of the same gender to be married in a union recognized by the government?

    For that matter, they likely would have been a bit taken aback by the notion that the federal government even had the power to legislate what "marriage" is in the first place. Where is the power found for Congress to legislate what "marriage" is?

    I know, I know - interstate commerce clause....

  • ||

    ""Then we get into the question of what does "liberty" mean, and how should we interpret what it was intended to mean in that context.""

    The semantics game can be played forever. You can throw in the who should be the one to define it too. Being that SCOTUS can't seem to define "infringed" in the 2nd amendment, I have little hope on a decent defintion of liberty.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Or do we change our view and go with "evolving standards", which means we can read new and different meanings into it, regardless of the undoubted fact that there is no way the Framers or anyone around at that time would ever have understood the Constitution to protect the right of two people of the same gender to be married in a union recognized by the government?


    With evolving standards, one could "interpret" the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, and especially the Thirteenth Amendments out of the Constitution

  • ||

    ---"There is no Constitutionally protected right implicated by the law"---

    Amendment IX---The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    The Constitution is NOT a grant of rights to the People. It is a grant of power to the government. Show me the Article that gives Government jurisdiction over this issue.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    You have stated a couple truism, but they pretty much are platitudes.

    Yes, the Constitution grants certain powers to the government and reserves the rest to the people of the several states.

    So where in that do we find the answer to the question of whether "gay marriage," whatever that might mean, is a RIGHT protected by the Constitution against any government infringement?

    The Ninth amendment has long been the subject of much debate and speculation, and probably is the least clear sentence in the whole damn document. At most, it's likely a truism - and in fact, that is what some argued at the time - that it was an obvious truism and therefore mere surplusage.

    Of course the Constitution does not deny or disparage "other rights" that the people still have, because it grants only certain powers to the federal government. Any power not granted obviously is retained by the people. OK, great.

    So where does it say that this means no state can forbid gay people from marrying each other? If anything, it seems to me to just as equally stand for the opposite proposition: i.e., Congress is not granted the power to define who gets to marry who; that power is retained by the people of the several states; therefore, it's up to each state to decide its own marriage laws.

  • ||

    ---"that it was an obvious truism and therefore mere surplusage."---

    Interestingly, at the time of the writing of the Constutution, there was a school of argument regarding the entire Bill of Rights as surplusage, since there was no authority granted by the Constitution to do any of the things the Bill of Rights prohibited.

    Amendment XIV---...No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States...

    Just because SCOTUS has not formally incorporated the 9th Amendment doesn't mean it doesn't apply in this case. That is making the case that you don't have any rights the Supreme Court doesn't say you have. The 14th doesn't specifically address the 1st Amendment, but the States cannot violate them none the less, due to incorporation. So we need to look at the entire document and determine if it was designed to make Government operate as smoothly as possible, or designed to control the social activities of Citizens. The non-enumerated powers left to the States are to eneble them to adjust for specific requirements to keep the individual State Governments running smoothly, not a hand-off of blanket powers to control the individual lives of State cititzens. This, to me, is the most logical conclusion.

    So, does the definition of marriage by the individual States make them run more smoothly or efficiently? Of course not. Does it serve some State interest? No. It is merely interference in the personal lives of the people, and as such enjoys no Constitutional backing.

    The argument over tax and financial benefits of marriage are not relevant to who should be allowed to marry. It is an entirely different issue, since single people of all stripes are denied these benefits. Would anybody suggest that single straight people be allowed a larger personal tax exemption than single gay people since they are more likely to produce tax paying offspring at some point in the future?

    The discussion about favorable tax treatment for married couples has no bearing on the fundamental right of people to associate (marry) the person, or persons of their choice.

  • Xenocles||

    You didn't read far enough. See the next amendment.

  • Daniel||

    I'd sure like my right to be in the military to be "stripped" from me. Are gays really that anxious to go shoot people or get shot at?

  • defeatedcreek||

    Several are and have.

  • Daniel||

    Sure, but my point is that I'd consider it a favor. Instead, I carry a stupid selective service card in my wallet. Yay freedom

  • defeatedcreek||

    I agree.

  • Six||

    Basically you are saying principal is more important than process. I agree.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Is the state arresting gay people for getting married? Or is it that the government is not handing out its goodies to certain people because they haven't jumped through the correct hoops?

    Is the latter really something anti-statists want to be arguing for the government to continue and expand?

  • ||

    It's definitely the second one, and I am for taking away all tax breaks for married couples of any kind. But of course deleting certain tax breaks goes hand-in-hand with massively reducing government spending in my mind.

  • Old Mexican||

    I would much prefer that the government get out of the business of certifying marriage altogether. But as long as myriad provisions of state and federal law hinge on marital status, the government has to decide which couples qualify, and basic fairness demands that sexual orientation play no role in that determination.

    Ultimately, that is the best argument in favor of protecting the right of homosexual couples to engage in a marital contract.

    A question lingers, though: Does this mean that ANY private organization that marries people (like a church of whatever denomination) has to grant marriage to ANYONE that asks? What if said organization does not comply on religious grounds? Would the government have grounds to COMPEL said organization to do the couple's bidding?

    And that is the key issue, how just a small government intervention in our lives just escalates and mestatasizes to inconceivable levels, to the point of violating a group's right to free assembly and property rights. It first began when government co-opted what amounted to a private agreement between adults, now becoming a "right" (or entitlement.)

  • DLM||

    It first began when government co-opted what amounted to a private agreement between adults, now becoming a "right" (or entitlement.)

    It wasn't strictly a private agreement. Marriage was (and still is) an agreement with sanction and recognition from the community. As we've become more populous, the idea of 'community' has been changing. Now it means 'the government' (at some level) usually.

  • Thomas O.||

    "Does this mean that ANY private organization that marries people (like a church of whatever denomination) has to grant marriage to ANYONE that asks? What if said organization does not comply on religious grounds? Would the government have grounds to COMPEL said organization to do the couple's bidding?"

    No, nothing happens and no.

    If one church won't marry gay people, there'll be another church or minister that will happily do so. I believe the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment will back them up on that. Probably only Justices of the Peace would be compelled to join two guys or two girls in marriage.

  • prolefeed||

    Why do you both (as do most people) always assume that it's a man who wants five wives? Why not a woman who wants five husbands?

    The overwhelming majority of women who are interesting in marriage want exclusivity and a faithful spouse. It's a rare woman who isn't repulsed by the notion of multiple husbands.

  • prolefeed||

    Above should read "interested", not "interesting".

  • Bee Tagger||

    Yeah, I also read that as not interesting.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    It's a rare woman who isn't repulsed by the notion of multiple husbands.

    If marriage is defined by having sex, your statement is contravened by the overhwelming evidence freely available on the internet.

  • DLM||

    It's a rare woman who isn't repulsed by the notion of multiple husbands.

    I think that's the main reason my wife puts up with me. I don't run around on her (not that anyone else would put up with me).

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "No, no, really. We like the queers (and the wetbacks, for that matter), but as long as the government is handing out goodies, we gotta keep those people from robbing us blind!"

    Where do these folks seep in here from?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The land of straw, perhaps.

  • MNG||

    It never takes long for paleos to show up on these threads and say "the state should not be in the marriage business at all, this expands state recognized marriage, so it is bad." Let's get these guys on record then: Loving expanded state recognition of marriage. So do you denounce it?

    Even in Libertopia there will be some government services and jobs. Now, on what grounds should discrimination regarding those be allowed, on what grounds barred? You don't get to dodge the question by thumping your libertarian chest and yelling "liberty!" The question is not about liberty.

  • Daniel||

    Liberty!!

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Right. What if benefits were restricted to those who are white?
    "But race is not a choice."
    Ok. Playing that game, what if benefits were restricted to Democrats?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    It never takes long for paleos to show up on these threads and say "the state should not be in the marriage business at all, this expands state recognized marriage, so it is bad."

    I have to say, I've seen this kind of question-begging myself. So I agree with you.

    Even in Libertopia there will be some government services and jobs. Now, on what grounds should discrimination regarding those be allowed, on what grounds barred?

    Let's assume for a moment that the only valid job a government can have is to move a pile of papers from bin A to bin B, and that the rest agree to place all shysters, con artists and mountebanks on the dole doing this, thus ridding ourselves of all politicians as they would be too busy to do any real damage. That would be proper.

    So, what was your question, again?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And what about the 10,000 years between now and that glorious day, OM?

  • Old Mexican||

    Who says it will take 10000 years?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Nearly a half-century of closely observing my fellow man allows me to say it, with a lot of confidence. But I'm willing to concede I could be off 20 percent either way.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Citizen Nothing,

    Either way, MNG is already loading his question by asserting the need for government, so I cannot take it seriously.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, knock off the "paleo" reference, MNG. Government should NOT be in the business of granting permission slips in the form of marriage licenses. Not a goddamned thing "paleo" about that.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    So, if the government, which should not be in the business of handing out benefits, were to restrict benefits to Democrats, that's a good thing, right? Because fewer people are receiving government benefits.

  • Tony||

    Government shouldn't be handing out permission slips to receive government benefits?

    You do realize you can call yourself married to a houseplant if you so desire, right? Government just won't give you government benefits for it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    You do realize you can call yourself married to a houseplant if you so desire, right? Government just won't give you government benefits for it.

    Only if the plant doesn't have a Social Security Number.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I imagine MNG weeping bitter tears ever time Tony chimes in to "support" his viewpoint.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tony, I'm talking about the permission slip of marriage, not of receiving benefits, which is a separate argument.

    But you knew that.

  • Tony||

    It's not a separate argument. You can get "married" in whatever form you desire, but it won't necessarily be recognized by government--that recognition being defined as government benefits/responsibilities.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Which is why I'm in favor of getting the state out of the marriage-recognition business.

  • Tony||

    Okay but until that day, which will never come to pass, can you agree that at least people should be treated equally with respect to the law that exists?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why wait for a day you say will never come to pass? Treat everyone equally NOW, by getting past this silly bullshit about having to get a fucking piece of paper before The Almighty Fedgov recognizes your multi-person unit as a "marriage".

  • ABC||

    No, in Libertopia there won´t be any government services.

    And we marriage licenses etc did not exist for long periods in our nation´s history.

  • ||

    It never takes long for paleos to show up on these threads and say "the state should not be in the marriage business at all, this expands state recognized marriage, so it is bad." Let's get these guys on record then: Loving expanded state recognition of marriage. So do you denounce it?

    Though I am not a paleo, I think I make the argument you claim, but am not certain I follow you.

    It is wrong to afford special privilege to people based upon their personal relationships. What is "fair" about homosexuals having to call themselves "married" to receive the same treatment as other people? What is fair about single people, regardless of their sexual preferences, not receiving this same privilege? Since it is an unfair privilege, it should be eliminated, not expanded to include certain collective groups while still excluding others.

  • x,y||

    Let's get these guys on record then: Loving expanded state recognition of marriage. So do you denounce it?

    We don't have to. It's implicit in the belief that the government shouldn't be in the marriage business. If you're too stupid to realize this, or too much of an patronizing asshole that you need to get us "on the record," then you can go fuck yourself, you stupid, disingenuous fuck.

  • kinnath||

    Alpha and Beta are two middle-aged people. Both have a single child from previous failed marriages. They meet, fall in love, hold a public ceremony of committment, and settle down.

    Alpha takes an interest in home brew which leads to an interest in distilling spirits, and before long Alpha is supplying white lightening to dozens of friends. Then one day, the TTB comes knocking on the door. The TTB then leads Alpha away in handcuffs.

    So, at this point, can the federal government force Beta to testify against Alpha?

    I can’t see how the genitalia of Alpha and Beta make any difference in the answer to this question.

  • ||

    What if Alpha and Beta are not sexually related? What if they only live together? Why must they have a public ceremony of commitment?

    The right of a spouse to not testify is a special privilege afforded based upon a personal relationship. Instead of including a few more personal relationships it should be eliminated.

  • kinnath||

    You are the first person to suggest that spousal priviledge should be eliminated.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Um, no he's not. Several states have eliminated the spousal privilege. And as it's been stated here, it misstates what the spousal privilege is.

    The spousal privilege is not a right you have not to testify against your spouse; rather, it's a right you have to not have your spouse testify against you. It empowers a person to object to having his or her spouse testify against him or or her. E.g., if one side wants to introduce evidence that A said something incriminating, and they call A's wife to the stand to testify that A said this thing, A can object and prevent his wife from testifying against him.

    It is a very old-fashioned concept and some states have eliminated it, as it clearly can be used to obstruct justice, particularly where the spouse is now an ex-spouse and WANTS to testify against A.

    That issue is one tiny one implicated in the whole "same sex marriage" debate. I think others, such as tax treatment and entitlements, are much larger issues.

  • kinnath||

    http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/study/outlines/html/evid/evid39.htm

    There are two spousal privileges. The spousal testimonial privilege provides that a spouse may not be compelled to testify against a defendant-spouse in a criminal prosecution. A second privilege involves confidential communications between spouses and applies in both civil and criminal cases. Some jurisdictions have both privileges, while others have one or the other.

    I stand by my original post.

    I bring up spousal privilege, because I see the argument "government should get out of the marriage business" over and over in these threads. Unless one is willing to dump centuries of common law, the government must be able to decide who may claim spousal privilege. So the government must at some point have a rational for determining who is or is not married.

    And I don't see how differenting between couples in similar situations but with different combinations of genitalia can pass the 14th regarding spousal privilege.

  • ||

    Unless one is willing to dump centuries of common law, the government must be able to decide who may claim spousal privilege.

    Isn't the redefinition of marriage to include homosexuals also "dumping of centuries of common law"? Why is the changing of the law defining marriage OK, but changing the law defining the benefits or privileges of marriage is wrong, wrong, wrong?

  • kinnath||

    Fair question

    We could dump spousal privilege and give up one more aspect of freedom from government intrusion into our lives.

    We could dump the 14th which requires equal protection under the law.

    We could expand the government recoginition of who can claim spousal privilege (which starts an avalanche of other privileges and benefits accorded to married couples by state and federal laws).

    Pick one.

    My intepretation is that as long as the government recognizes spousal privilege and the 14th exists in its current form, the state and federal governments cannot discrminate between man-woman, man-man, and woman-woman couplings regarding spousal privilege.

  • ||

    Alan, to be fair, there was widespread knowledge of homosexual activity but no real concept of a homosexual orientation at the time the Constitution was written.

    Oh, please. Our ancestors knew fully as much as we do today about any and all aspects of human sexuality.

    Yeah, the real problem here is that court action in this area is intellectually incoherent. The court has to posit implicitly that there is some Platonic definition of marriage, floating in the ether, that encompasses gay marriage, and that statutes inconsistent with this unwritten definition of marriage are a denial of equal protection.

    It sounds suspiciously like the court is saying that gay marriage is a matter of natural law. But, if the court were to actually make explicit is unstated assumptions here, it would get laughed out of both the court of appeals and the court of public opinion.

    I'm all for gay marriage. I think gay marriage imposed by judicial fiat is a bad idea.

  • ||

    Yet as Senior Editor Jacob Sullum writes, 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

    Sorta begs the question of what "marriage" is, doesn't it?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Is the battle to preserve the original meaning of "begging the question" now lost?
    'Cause if it is, I'll stop bringing it up. I promise.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Yeah, it kinda is. But keep bringing it up anyhow.

  • mr simple||

    Fight the good fight, man! I've been voting to get rid of the whole phrase, as no one seems to know what it means, yet everyone uses it.

  • cynical||

    As long as there people who care about the proper use of language, the battle is never lost.

  • rhea||

    Gays and lesbians have all basic rights and is a citizen of this country too. They have feelings too and they deserve our respect for who they are.

    We help Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Learn more at http://www.pathtoasia.com

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I think the bots are devolving. What does it all mean?

  • sarcasmic||

    There are two distinctly different issues here.

    1) Legal protections for same sex couples
    2) The definition of marriage

    Opposing the redefinition of marriage does not equate to opposing legal protections for same sex couples.

    Though it does make an emotionally compelling argument.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    There are two distinctly different issues here.

    1) Legal protections for same sex couples
    2) The definition of marriage

    Opposing the redefinition of marriage does not equate to opposing legal protections for same sex couples.

    Though it does make an emotionally compelling argument.


    Indeed, the invention of civil unions , for better or for worse, effectively "divorced" the definition of marriage from the issue of equal rights for same-sex couples.

  • Some dude||

    Screw you, too.

  • Wind Rider||

    Onlys if I cans gets my gub'mint check for it! /sarc

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Handing benefits and protections out to anyone short of everyone is discrimination.

    As long as we look to government recognition as validation of our individual choices (and it appears so many still want us to), I personally don't object if gays get that official stamp of approval known as a marriage certificate, and join that exclusive benefit club that the single person cannot join while he is single or the polygamists cannot join. Let's not call it a constitutional right, though. Those rights stop the state from acting against us, they aren't a mandate for government to provide for us.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But... but... Obama said "positive rights", and, and...

  • Wind Rider||

    Nail. Head. Goooooaaaaaal!

  • Wind Rider||

    That was for FoE, not FIFY. Don't F it up.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Aww, man...

  • ABC||

    Reason never met a 14th Amendment decision it didn´t like.

    Look out!! there´s a decentralist anarchist behind you!!!

    Marriage should not be a state matter. Stanhope is right on this one.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "Marriage should not be a state matter."
    And neither should Social Security, welfare and myriad other programs.
    And yet they are.
    Again I ask, what if only Democrats (or stamp collectors or fans of the N.L. East) were granted benefits? A good thing?
    Would any be arguing "No, No! We should eliminate these programs, and so in the meantime, we oppose extending those benefits equally to Dodger fans!"

  • ABC||

    Your statement is gibberish and boils down to ´Things are the way they are, we must accept it´. Nope.

    Marriage benefits are social engineering, social engineering is bad. Using social engineering in an attempt to balance out other social engineering follows the line two wrongs don´t make a right.

    The government should not be in the love business.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Haven't answered my question, ABC. I imagine you can't.

  • ABC||

    ¨
    Again I ask, what if only Democrats (or stamp collectors or fans of the N.L. East) were granted benefits? A good thing?
    Would any be arguing "No, No! We should eliminate these programs, and so in the meantime, we oppose extending those benefits equally to Dodger fans!"

    No, it wouldn´t be a good thing for anybody to be granted benefits by the government.

    Not really sure what your point is, but if you´re implying that there wouldn´t be as much bruhaha if it wasn´t an issue like gay marriage that there would be less movement behind cutting benefits for all then you probably have a point. At the end of the day I don´t care that much about motivations, the New Testament is wrong in this respect.

    And frankly your question doesn´t matter. Government benefits and social engineering are wrong, period. If you have sand in your vagina because of the motivations behind opponents of state sponsored marriage then too bad. If it takes somebody´s homophobia to push through a law that removes the government from the marriage business entirely then so be it.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Really, ABC? This is the best you can do?
    Ok, then.

  • ABC||

    If the state is to have any role it should merely be to uphold incorporation documents. This would include
    1) A brother and sister who want to incorporate for tax purposes or perhaps the sister wants to inherit something.
    2) Two male friends who don´t have sex with each other, for similar reasons.
    3) A man and a woman who are together because she wants a green card.

    The concept of marriage (i.e. you´re doing this for love, you´re going to have sex, you´re going to have and/or adopt) should be taken out of the equation.

    Eliminating the social planning that arises from tax benefits etc would be nice, but second best would be to reduce the government´s role to upholding something similar to a company merger contract between any two, or possibly more, parties that wish to merge for business purposes.

  • Wind Rider||

    This, except you incorrectly structure the actual 'which of these things is not like the others' point - which is the procreation dance. It is a truly defineable and unique arrangement, i.e. one for the purpose of having children (even though that stunt can be performed sans prior legal encumbrance, obviously). The question then becomes, for treating such an arrangement differently, the effect of such activity, and an evaluation of its benefit to society as a whole. Without procreation, a society disappears (see, the Shakers). The other end of the spectrum being the Chinese, placing limitations on the activity due to the perception that it is out of control and threatening to cause more harm than (in their perspective) the elimination of individual right to do so unchecked.

    Man, this human interaction and social shit sure is squishy.

  • Some dude||

    Furthermore, there is a defensible constitutional argument that the principle of equal protection, which says “all persons similarly situated should be treated alike,” means the government may not discriminate between couples based on sexual preference.

    I agree that government may not discriminate between couples based on sexual preference. But they can discriminate based on their sex, which is what they are doing when they ban same-sex marriage.

    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

    Because gays came into existence in the television age?

    Is that view a much bigger leap than using the Equal Protection Clause to overturn bans on interracial marriage, which persisted for a century after the 14th Amendment was ratified?

    Yes, it is a much bigger leap for the law to consider a man and a woman legally interchangeable than it is for the law to consider a white man and a black man legally interchangeable.

  • Tony||

    But is there a rational basis for treating the sexes differently in this circumstance? Do gay couples differ from straight couples in any meaningful way?

  • ABC||

    They make Jesus cry.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Do gay couples differ from straight couples in any meaningful way?

    Of course they are in a very meaningful way: In a straight couple, you have ONE whiner only.

  • sarcasmic||

    nice!

  • sarcasmic||

    Let's see... Same sex couples are made of members of the same sex, while opposite sex couples are made of members of the opposite sex. Same sex... opposite sex... I suppose that's not meaningful.
    Hmmm, same sex couples are incapable of reproduction without a third party 100% of the time... One can never reproduce, the other can under normal circumstances. There are exceptions. I suppose that is also not meaningful.

    Heck, there is no difference that you would consider to be meaningful as long as you say so, right?

  • Tony||

    Same sex... opposite sex... I suppose that's not meaningful.

    Nope, it's not. We're not talking about a football team or any other institution in which you might find a rational basis to discriminate based on sex.

    same sex couples are incapable of reproduction without a third party 100% of the time

    The ability or intention to reproduce is not considered relevant to straight people being allowed to get a marriage license. Not relevant either. Also, gay couples can and do have children. On what basis do we deny children the protection marriage entails just because their parents happen to be gay?

  • sarcasmic||

    Show me a child with same sex biological parents and I'll agree that there is no significant difference between same sex couples and opposite sex couples.

    Again you equate legal protections to marriage.
    They are not the same thing.

  • Tony||

    So what kind of marriage are you talking about? Many statutes refer to "marriage." If you or your church don't want to recognize same-sex marriage you don't have to. The state does, because people are supposed to be treated equally under the law.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here's another distinction that I doubt your feeble mind will be able to grasp:

    legislation != law

    I'd ask you what you think of that but I've figured out that you don't think. You feel. And I couldn't give a fuck about what you feel.

  • Six||

    Do married people never have children outside of their marriage? Does that invalidate their marriage? Should ONLY people who can reproduce together be allowed to get married? So in your world, the exclusive reason for marriage is reproduction?

  • ||

    Not necessarily. But it should be the reason for receiving tax breaks. For what other reason would a married couple need tax breaks than because they have kids they need to raise?

  • Six||

    I hope this is sarcasm...?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Is there a rational basis for The State requiring a piece of paper *only available from said State* as proof of marriage?

    It's an antiquated and pointless requirement. Get rid of it, and we can move along to more important shit.

  • sarcasmic||

    Opposing the redefinition of marriage does not equate to opposing legal right for same sex couples.

    The fact that proponents of redefining marriage absolutely refuse any compromise that does not involve redefining marriage tells me that equal rights are not their goal.

    The whole argument is disingenuous.

  • Draco||

    I tend to agree with you sarcasmic. The support for civil unions is much higher than the support for redefining "marriage." But some people won't be happy until they've actually changed the culture itself. On the other hand, most people oppose fundamental cultural change, especially when imposed by fiat. This is why Prop 8 passed in Cali: here many groups considered "progressive leaning" in their politics still voted their natural cultural conservatism.

    See also On Banning Gay Marriage and Other Irrationalities

  • Six||

    Are you married? If so, why did you choose your spouse? What really is the point of marriage to you? How is the state equally extending the same state-sanctioned benefits to a same-sex couple who have made a lifetime-committment to each other affecting your culture? Are you that weak in your own personal constitution that the thought of two men loving each other and the state recognizing that committement by extending the same benefits threatens you?

    Why is it that you are so protective of allowing that committment to each other being called marriage? If you are in favor (suspect) of extending every benefit via civil union, why not just go ahead and call it what it is... the same thing as marriage, hence, call it marriage.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Why is it that you are so protective of allowing that committment to each other being called marriage? If you are in favor (suspect) of extending every benefit via civil union, why not just go ahead and call it what it is... the same thing as marriage, hence, call it marriage.
    reply to this


    It is a recognition that one particular form of a civil commitment has deep historical and traditional roots.

  • ||

    This. And also the "DEY TOOK UR WORDZ!" argument. It may seem really childish, but for some people it looks as though things (money, jobs, status) are always taken from them to elevate some other group, rather than creating an equal playing ground so that all parties can pursue goals evenly.

    I agree with sarcasmic in that it seems that this fight is becoming more about redefining marriage and upsetting the cultural conservatism of the country rather than just giving gays equal protections. Gays should be seen as equal, but why do civil unions have to be seen (by the gay community) as less than equal? Let traditionalists keep the word marriage, and let anyone else have civil unions, and single people can get screwed by both groups for not having the "protections" both unions allow.

  • Tony||

    "Separate but equal" is wrong. The only type of marriage that's relevant to this discussion is the type defined by the state. The state should not treat people unequally under the law unless they have a good reason. If you want your personal definition of marriage to remain a certain thing, that's your right; you don't have a right to certain state-provided benefits that others don't simply because of your sexual orientation.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If you want your personal definition of marriage to remain a certain thing, that's your right; you don't have a right to certain state-provided benefits that others don't simply because of your sexual orientation.


    And those benefits can be provided under a different name to same-sex couples.

  • Tony||

    So more state meddling in the private affairs of people because gay people make you feel icky.

    Ah libertarians, you find nuance in such strange places.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So more state meddling in the private affairs of people because gay people make you feel icky.


    So the state should just deny these benefits from same-sex couples?

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not my personal definition.
    It's society's definition.
    This is proven every time it comes to a vote.

    The fact that civil unions have widespread support over redefining marriage is proof that those who do not want to redefine "marriage" are not motivated by a desire to treat homosexual couples differently.

    The fact that you equate opposing the redefining of marriage to opposing rights for same sex couples means you're disingenuous or stupid.

    Based upon previous exchanges with you I'm leaning towards the latter.

  • Tony||

    So you want two separate institutions for straight and gay couples, for no good reason except that it doesn't feel right to you to call them both marriage?

    The only type of marriage I'm interested in is as it is defined by statute. Regardless of what most people may or may not feel, I don't believe the state has the right to create two separate but allegedly equal institutions just because the couples are of a different sexual orientation.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I don't believe the state has the right to create two separate but allegedly equal institutions just because the couples are of a different sexual orientation.


    But they do. See Baker v. Nelson, McConnell v. Nooner, Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning .

  • sarcasmic||

    I have no idea of what you are talking about when you allege what I may or may not feel.

    Some of us use our mind when making decisions, not our feelings.

    That is what separates us from animals: our mind.

    Well, some of us anyway.

  • Tony||

    But you've yet to make a coherent argument for why gay couples should be denied the same rights as straight couples.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    But you've yet to make a coherent argument for why gay couples should be denied the same rights as straight couples.


    Having a definition for a particular word is not a right.

  • Tony||

    Having a definition for a particular word is not a right.

    So why are you people insisting that straight people should have the sole claim to it?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So why are you people insisting that straight people should have the sole claim to it?


    They do not.

    The 14th Amendment is silent either way (although many state constitutions are not).

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony - My argument is not coherent to you because you lack the cognitive ability to conceptually separate the rights from the word.

    I'm sorry but I've dumbed down my argument as much as I can.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony - In school when you were sitting in the back of the class muttering about how the subject matter you were unable to understand was stupid, it wasn't the subject matter that was stupid.
    You see, other people were able to understand it just fine.
    It's not my fault that you don't understand my argument, because other people do.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps dumbing down your argument is the problem. Hit me with the best you got. I was a pretty damn good student.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I keep tellin' ya, get rid of the whole "marriage" bullshit... problem solved.

    But noooo, Tony, you keep arguing it won't. Stubborn as always, right down to the "you idiots are only against it because it makes you feel icky" and your assorted elitist sprinklings. Very predictable.

  • Tony||

    FIFY "get government out of the marriage business" is not realistic. Are you capable of placing an argument in the context of reality?

  • Some dude||

    If your parents never taught you about the birds and the bees, it isn't my place to comment.

  • Wind Rider||

    Ability to procreate without additional assistance. While anyone can nuture or raise a child, if they choose to, the hetero solution is the only way the pieces fit together, as is, that allow the little swimmers to hit the bullseye. . .

  • Thomas O.||

    And just because something is not in the natural order of things doesn't mean it should be regarded as wrong, deviant or prohibited.

    I've been unable to conceive a child with my wife, so we're trying to adopt. If we decided to remain childless, is our marriage null and void? The argument that marriage is supposed to lead to procreation is very shallow and should be relegated to beings with straw embodiments. If a gay or lesbian couple want to marry and adopt a child, who are we to stop them?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    But is there a rational basis for treating the sexes differently in this circumstance? Do gay couples differ from straight couples in any meaningful way?


    The Supreme Court upheld gender discrimination in cases where analogous racial discrimination would be struck down ( Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County, Rostker v. Goldberg )

    Michael M. is an especially egregious case. It used the intermediate scrutiny standard. The reason justifying the discrimination is that ” the prevention of illegitimate pregnancy is at least one of the “purposes” of the statute”, “that the State has a strong interest in preventing such pregancy.” , “only women may become pregnant, and they suffer disproportionately the profound physical, emotional, and psychological consequences of sexual activity.” They also rejected the “petitioner’s argument that § 261.5 is impermissibly overbroad because it makes unlawful sexual intercourse with prepubescent females, who are, by definition, incapable of becoming pregnant. Quite apart from the fact that the statute could well be justified on the grounds that very young females are particularly susceptible to physical injury from sexual intercourse, see Rundlett v. Oliver, 607 F.2d 495 (CA1 1979), it is ludicrous to suggest that the Constitution requires the California Legislature to limit the scope of its rape statute to older teenagers and exclude young girls.” And they ruled that the “age of the man is irrelevant, since young men are as capable as older men of inflicting the harm sought to be prevented”.

  • Richard ||

  • Sky||

    Marriage is a social construct. The marriage licenses, like the physician's license, the driver's licenses, or the teacher's license, has terms. Who should define those terms? The judiciary? The legislature? The federal government? The state?

    If licences exist (and perhaps they should not, but if they do), then the terms should, constitutionally speaking, be defined by the state legislatures.

    There is no logical reason a state marriage licences should be able to exclude one man marrying two women or a brother marrying a sister or an 18 year old marrying a 15 year old and NOT be able to exclude a man marrying a man.

    That said, why not get rid of state licensing of marriage altogether and replace it with some civil conferment of benefits arrangement that is not necessarily linked to marriage but can consist of any two people?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good post, Sky.

  • Wind Rider||

    Yes, good post. Made in less time than the much longer one I made that was driving towards essentially one of the same major points.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    There is no logical reason a state marriage licences should be able to exclude one man marrying two women or a brother marrying a sister or an 18 year old marrying a 15 year old and NOT be able to exclude a man marrying a man.

    I don't fully agree with that premise.

    One man marrying two women: fine, as long as they are all consenting adults. No real issues of public health or safety implicated; nobody else's rights infringed - unless you're a firm believer in the state as an arbiter of morality.

    A brother marrying a sister: not so good. If the assumption is they are "marrying," this certainly implicates sex, and incest, although popular for porn, is not something that necessarily is good for anyone else - at the very least, you've got the risk of producing defective offspring.

    An 18 year old marrying a 15 year old: the law for centuries has drawn an age line below which a person cannot legally consent to certain things. In general, a contract with a minor is unenforceable. Sexual intercourse by an adult with a minor is rape, regardless of whether the minor consented, etc. Questionable whether a 15 year-old can fully and properly consent to marriage.

    A man marrying a man: again, as long as both are adults and consenting, who cares.

    The argument against homosexual marriage is based pretty much entirely on traditional, religion-based concepts of morality.

    By the same token, however, there has to be some degree to which "the people" can outlaw certain types of activities on the basis that they are morally objectionable - where to draw that line is the rub. But lacking such a legitimate power, what else defines what a society is?

    Again, trying to draw the line between unfettered libertarianism and anarchy, I suppose.

    BTW, I'm not offering up any objective, bright-line standard to define that line... just kinda ruminating out loud.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    A brother marrying a sister: not so good. If the assumption is they are "marrying," this certainly implicates sex, and incest, although popular for porn, is not something that necessarily is good for anyone else - at the very least, you've got the risk of producing defective offspring.


    And a pair of brothers or a trio of sisters?

  • Wind Rider||

    the law for centuries has drawn an age line below which a person cannot legally consent to certain things

    And it's only been within the last couple of hundred years that it's become a moving goalpost. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it does place an arbitrary measurement against all individuals, individuals who develop and mature at differing rates. Conversely, it could be argued that individuals older than this arbitrary line lack the maturity or judgment to do certain things. But since no one can agree on how to standardize such an evaluation equitably. . .we go with plan B.

  • ||

    A brother marrying a sister: not so good. If the assumption is they are "marrying," this certainly implicates sex, and incest, although popular for porn, is not something that necessarily is good for anyone else - at the very least, you've got the risk of producing defective offspring.

    It sort of depends on how many offspring were to be had. As disgusting as the idea of two direct relatives having sexual intercourse may be, natural selection (and a world population of almost 7 billion) has sort of eliminated the dangers of sibling breeding. I believe that same natural selection is the reason for a rise in the homosexual population; with an increasing human population, nature sorta eliminates some of the rules on breeding. It's not necessary for every man born to be attracted to every woman born, and visa versa.

    If a brother and sister had kids who had sex, it might be a problem. Deliverance wasn't bad because one or two cousins bumped uglies. The problem stemmed from generations of inbreeding.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there.

  • cynical||

    It's true that incest is likely to produced fucked up offspring, but so is getting knocked up later in life. Should we sterilize every woman at 40, do you think?

  • Johnitalia||

    A brother marrying a sister: not so good. If the assumption is they are "marrying," this certainly implicates sex, and incest, although popular for porn, is not something that necessarily is good for anyone else - at the very least, you've got the risk of producing defective offspring.

    I'm confused; it sounds pretty clearly like you are for government mandated genetic testing prior to any adults producing offspring because of the risk of "defective offspring"

  • Thomas O.||

    I can see where the validity of polygamy/polyandry and incestuous marriage between consenting adults may eventually be challenged in court.

    Beyond that, though, this slope has perfectly sound traction.

  • ||

    Gay rights and pro-gay activism are no longer causes exclusive to the Liberal wing. Over the past year several Conservative Republican candidates and officeholders have publicly reached out to the gay Conservative and Libertarian communities. GOP Rep. Pete Sessions and Sen. John Cornyn from my great home state of Texas attended the Log Cabin Republicans annual convention this year. GOProud, another gay Conservative group, had Ann Coulter of all people a guest speaker at one of their major events about a month back. I have quite a few gay friends and some of them tell me how they're tired of being taken for granted by the Liberal establishment.

  • Thomas O.||

    And that's living proof that the tide is turning towards acceptance of same-sex relationships. Not one, but TWO national gay groups in the GOP. More power to 'em.

  • Wind Rider||

    Well, being on my own round 4 of the marriage game, the third of which was a particularly rough time, I say give them what they are asking for, on the basis of 'be careful what you wish for, you just might get it'.

    Snark aside, I fall in the crowd that generally has reservations about government involvement in the private arrangements between individuals - which are basically a contract, at the end of the day. The origins of the religious aspects of marriage, in my opinion, has more to do with the historical function that organized religion played in fulfilling the role of 'government', and less with the preferences of what ever demands, decrees, or preferences of a Deity. Humans, to this day, for the most part, have a strong aversion to having to deal with the 'squishiness' inherent with external involvement in the interpersonal relationships of others on a romantic level, and appear to me to deal with it by trying to set conditions that the necessity to do so is minimized, or delegated to someone else to 'handle'. When the founders assumed the aspects of this role previously handled by the Church, Pandora's box was opened, although many people didn't notice the consequence of that act until fairly recently.

    The biggest rub with state involvement in the issue of marriage has already been touched on by a couple of folks here - and it's an extension of the 'some animals are more equal than others' aspect, with the preference falling along reproduction, and support of that activity. It's an aspect that many discussions I heard while in the military keyed upon - that single servicemembers were getting screwed, because other servicemembers were receiving additional compensation and benefits for literally getting screwed.

    This translates, to me, as the root cause of the friction here. If there were no additional government supplied benefit to the contract commonly referred to as 'marriage', it's not too far of a leap to suppose that while there might be residual moralizing against them, but far less 'concern' about what the impact on society might be - as we have quite succesfully, and it would seem inextricably, conflated the aspects and benefits of marriage not requiring governing bodies to fulfill any role beyond referee (such as hospital visitation, child custody) with those that involve aspects of wealth transfer from third parties (SS benefits, tax breaks or accountancy). This muddies the water greatly, but wouldn't have happened at all had secular government stayed on the banks of the stream and not mucked it up in the first place.

    But since that bell has been rung, then Jacob's observation that it then moves into valid 14th Amendment equal protection territory holds.

    And there isn't really a rational reason for the government to be involved in the subject at all, beyond the role of playing referee for this icky, squishy, gooey, messy human interpersonal entanglements - which in my opinion should be treated for exactly what they are - contractual agreements, with the only variant and rationale for structuring anything differently would be on the basis of true difference - i.e. the contract with the stated goal of procreation, which doesn't take a lot of explaining about to arrive at the rather obvious general interest, unless you're a deep green 'humans are bad' Malthusean luddite.

    This is the aspect by which, imho, gay marriage activists gleefully shoot themselves in the feet over. Particularly the ones that have no intention of participating in either procreation or the nurturing of a child. Those protestations to be 'just like everyone else' eventually boil down to "I want my gub'mint supplied benefit" over the considerations of recognition or respect for their interpersonal contractual arrangement with another human being (or human beings - yes, I see no problems, other than the institutional self inflicted ones, to plural marriage arrangements).

    It also seems to me that by and large the 'benefits' of the contractual marriage arrangement can be achieved via the legal structures in existence today, short of the participation in the governmental payola and preference aspects. Hospital visitation and medical decision making? Powers of Attorney, either complete or limited. Assett distribution upon circumstance of death? Anyone ever heard of a will? Joint purchase of property? Existing corporate entities do so on a daily basis.

    Being stuck on a single word - which may or may not actually mean in other people's minds what you personally want it to mean, chooses the rocky path over the smoother route to reach a desired destination. Insisting that is the ONLY path rises to the level of a tantrum. Finding a way to accomodate the pursuit of happiness of others, while adhering to the Jeffersonian observation of picking pockets and breaking legs - I'm all over that one, and wish them well in their quest.

  • ||

    I know you said "snark aside," but it raises an interesting point: When a gay couple gets divorced, how do the assets and children get divided (if not done civilly?) Typically judges find in favor of the mother, but in a same-sex marriage either party could be looked as the mother or father.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    I know a couple of gay couples who've been together for more than fifteen years (which puts them one up on the occasional serial divorcer who talks about "defending marriage"). The thing you notice if you spend time around people like that is they way the interact with each other.

    If I transcribed the conversation of S and J as puttered about their apartment getting ready for the little dinner party they were holding, you could tell from the transcript that they we're an "old married couple". Their interaction has all the usual features: they finish each other sentences; they don't have to ask who is doing which part of a shared task; they constantly allude to shared past, they rehash old arguments with a word or two, but it's just ribbing 'cause they've long since worked out a peace on the matter; and so on.

    But the only was to tell from the that transcript they're gay is to examine the pronouns.

    So that's the clincher for me: it's the same relationship therefore the state should treat it equally.

  • Wind Rider||

    My only quibble with this does come from where the equality point crosses into the equality to participate in wealth transfers from third parties. That's my rub with the entire subject, but it's completely a rub with the wealth transfer aspect, nothing more. I applaud S & J's success in the pursuit of happiness, and condemn anyone who would interfere with that success.

  • ||

    I do believe at the end of the day heterosexual couples are legally more "significant" than homosexual couples for the simple fact we are all products of heterosexual relationships, and none of us are the products of homosexual relationships - including the homos.

    The fundamental power and obligations of creating another person are exclusively hetero, and there should be a legal distinction to recognize that, which ultimately is what marriage is, why its so universal in all cultures (weddings, vows, with witnesses...the original verbal contract), and why when you clear through the misogynistic fluff inflicted on marriage over the ages is fundamentally between a guy and a girl.

    The ancients - especially the Romans - understood this. As far as sexual mores, those cultures would on a typical day make the most leather-clad denizen of Castro street blush, a NAMBLA paradise, slavery...'nuff said. Yet they understood marriage to be a legal structure about kids and not the underlying emotional relationship that produced them. Never do you see in the Classics somebody (homosexual or otherwise) advocating a similar legal arrangement for gay couples. They understood the difference.

    The reason gay marriage is an issue today is because the right-wing fundies who see marriage as both a religious inspiration and way to socially ostracize and exclude gay people from normal social intercourse (no pun intended!) have passed a bunch of tax-code and other laws that have turned marriage not into a legal-obligation between parties for its results (kids) but into a civil-rights issue. The gay-marriage debate for the fundies is what CIA guys call Al Qaeda: "Blowback" (again, no pun intended!).

    Civil rights should be equal for all - including taxes, end-of-death, immigration, etc. - but the way to that is through removing social structures that artificially reward or legally empower the married.

    But there should always be a special legal structure for heterosexual commitments where children are anticipated; the nature of reproduction and the obligations of its effects make heterosexual relationships far more powerful than homosexual ones, and that's the way it is. There should always be a legal structure as exceptional to that reality as the power of creating other people is.

    Old-school marriage is about obligations, not affirmations of emotional commitment with attendant rewards, which is what this debate is all about.

  • Wind Rider||

    This is a core point. By focusing like a laser beam on a term that actually does define a unique, identifiable circumstance, not present in any other interpersonal arrangement which may share all other aspects save the one, is the error. This is not to say that the interpersonal relationships that do not include this aspect should not be recognized and respected, for to carry it to the extreme, it would require the dissolution of the legal arrangements following the ascendency of a child to adulthood, or the passage of females into menopause. Which, obviously, we do not do as a society.

  • ||

    It is not just the result of heterosexual relationships that define the point, but the reality - even for a woman in menopause or matriculating offspring - that such relationships are exceptional in our evolution for it is the most important one in the continuation of every vertebrate's existence generation-to-generation.

    That is an unassailable fact, whether kids actually happen or even if they can happen, or did happen, in the particular situation we choose to legally scrutinize.

  • Wind Rider||

    True - my point however is that what we have now is cake batter already blended. It would be nice if we could, so to speak, remove the eggs. It would make the entire issue a lot simpler.

  • DLM||

    Politicians cater to voters. Most voters are married, therefore politicians catered to married people. Simple.

  • ||

    ""Yet they understood marriage to be a legal structure about kids and not the underlying emotional relationship that produced them. Never do you see in the Classics somebody (homosexual or otherwise) advocating a similar legal arrangement for gay couples. They understood the difference.""

    That difference doesn't exist anymore. Not long ago it was immoral to have a baby out of wedlock. Today, it's not a big deal. Marriage is not necessary, nor required to have children. Even gay couples can adopt.

    If marriage is that related to children, and gays can adopt a child, shouldn't they be obligated to marry?

  • Barney Frank||

    I am glad to see that there are 173 comments on this important subject. Also it is certainly Reasonable that this subject was picked over such silly issues as the foreclosure problems, the economy and China eating our lunch!

  • Wind Rider||

    Yes, it is another albatross to hang around your neck, fashionable or not, Mr. Frank, from the aspect of cheerleading for the creation of another special class of citizen, along with your encouragement that they be allowed to belly up to the public entitlements trough, and participate in the sorts of wealth transfer schemes you appear to adore.

    For the record, the troll is imaginary, the devil's advocacy smack is not.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hey, Barney, you missed yet another opportunity to apologize for your role in the housing-bubble fuckup... *ahem*

  • Old Mexican||

    If I could get my greencard faster, I would go for it . . .

    Same Sex Marriage, that is...

    http://news.premiere.com/photo....._larry.jpg

  • DLM||

    So, you apparently subscribe to the whole 'living document' theory of constitutional law. No more amendments required, just get a judge to agree with your interpretation.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Proposition 8 should easily pass strict scrutiny, according to current U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

    Strict scrutiny is a threefold test- the law in question must further a compelling government interest, be narrowly tailored, and be the least restrictive means in furthering the interest.

    And such an interest was identified in Davis v. Beason.

    In Davis, the Supreme Court heard an appeal challenging Section 5352 of the Revised Statutes of Idaho, which had prohibited polygamists, and advocates of breaking laws against polygamy, from voting, thus imposing adverse consequences for those acts. The appeal had alleged that the law denied the appellant equal protection of the laws (Brief for Appellant in Davis v. Beason, O. T. 1889, No. 1261, p. 41.) In upholding the law against any constitutional or legal objection, the Court quoted Murphy v. Ramsey, stating:

    Certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a
    free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement. And to this end, no means are more directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.

    It is clearly established from Davis that preserving the historical and traditional definition of marriage is a compelling government interest. Proposition 8 furthers that interest in that it legally defines marriage to how the Supreme Court defined it in Murphy and Davis. It is narrowly tailored since it only defines the word marriage. And it is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest because, by itself, it does not disturb any other benefit or right (Strauss v. Horton)

    To be sure, the Court will only use strict scrutiny if a fundamental right is implicated or there is discrimination on the basis of a suspect classification, neither of which is in play in this case. But if strict scrutiny were to be applied, Proposition 8 would pass it easily.

  • IceTrey||

    Once again Reason shows it's ignorance by calling it "gay" marriage. It's "same sex" marriage. Nothing prevents two self identified straights of the same gender from getting married. The states aren't creating a sexual preference bias they are creating a gender bias.

  • Wind Rider||

    Nothing prevents two self identified straights of the same gender from getting married.

    You mean other than the existing laws that say they can't?

    Kerfuffling over labelling is one of the really unecessary complications of the whole discussion, but thanks for playing.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You mean other than the existing laws that say they can't?


    Correct.

    Two straights of the same sex can not get married in Texas, but can do so in Vermont.

    And I doubt any court would interpret Baker v. Nelson so broadly as to permit a sexual orientation litmus test for people who choose to enter into a same-sex marriage.

  • IceTrey||

    @Wind Rider

    You're an idiot. I obviously meant in states which allow same sex marriage.

  • Wind Rider||

    Sometimes you need to put on the chartreuse tights, the flowing cape, and the rhinestone boots, and play Captain Obvious. . .by actually typing out what you mean. Unless you're a flaming bigot against the telepathically challenged. Fucking 'tude on those damned mutants, ain't it?

  • theunknown||

    I believe this article is wrong. It implies that the 14th amendment can make sure a law is enforced equally onto everyone. That is not what the law says. It says that all citizens shall enjoy the equal PROTECTION of the law. Any law that protects our life and property must be applied equally to all citizens. That was how it was meant to be applied and that is how it says.

  • GMT II||

    If it wasn't for that dang 2nd amendment, I would not have had to marry all those pregnant girls. Got to admit a twelve gauge does go well with a camo tux.

  • ||

    If butt-f**king your buddy qualifies as marriage, what about the sickos who prefer chickens or sheep. Aren't they also entitled to "equal protection"?

  • cynical||

    Can chickens and sheep consent to sex?

  • Thomas O.||

    Sorry, this slope has perfectly sound traction.

  • The Wasp||

    WAA WAA WAA WAA!

  • ||

    Homer started marrying gay couples for the money. Shouldn't government get out of the way of a small business that harms no one?

  • Pedant||

    Re. the 14th Amendment "equal protection" argument:

    From whom are gays not being protected by being denied access to the state's marriage program?

    The only examples I've seen are of the states' own making, namely the ignoring of wills, the establishment of legal definitions upon which other institutions build, etc. All these issues stem not from the state limiting who can participate in the scheme, but rather from the fact that the state is involved in any such scheme at all.

    As we have seen with medical marijuana, marginally increasing the number of people who benefit from an illiberal government scheme only results in that many fewer people who would otherwise fight for removal of that illiberal scheme.

    While one should not make the perfect the enemy of the good, it can only be "good" if the change in question is at least moving in the direction of the "perfect".

  • Tony||

    In other words, you have nothing relevant to add to the real-world policy debate on this subject, and you feel that the moment gay people are on the cusp of achieving equal rights with respect to marriage is a good time to argue for marriage rights being abolished altogether?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why not? Abolishing ALL marriage rights puts everyone - gay AND straight - on the same level playing field.

    Which IS what you want, in the long run... isn't it? Or not?

  • Tony||

    But it's hardly the most expedient means to equal rights--more like a pipe dream meant to avoid getting there at all.

  • AJ||

    What's in question is not "abolishing marriage rights". The question is government sanction and licensing of marriage -- in other words, the government must give you its seal of approval before you can be legally married. Marriage should be a contract between two people. Like any other contract, it would only be binding on those two people, and need not be recognized by anyone else who is not a party to it. The government can be involved in enforcing the contract on those who signed it, but cannot force any outside party to honor that contract.

  • ||

    " But you know what? Screw you".

  • Xenocles||

    "I am tired of defending the constitutional principles that social conservatives use to restrict liberty, because they so rarely return the favor by supporting those same principles when the effect is to expand liberty."

    Your fatigue is not relevant to the validity of those principles.

  • ||

    With respect to marriage, we have equal protection: a man may marry one woman if she will have him; a woman may marry one man if he will have her; no man may marry more than one woman at any given time, and no woman may marry more than one man at any given time. The issues tied to marriage are what matter and the solution is to change those laws; not attempt to change the meaning of marriage. Of course, I really don't care but I do care that the arguments are sound.

  • ||

    Michael Ejercito and Fist of Etiquette,
    for some reason my 'reply to this' link on the end of each comment has quit working, and not just on one computer. I don't understand why.

  • AJ||

    This is where the rubber hits the road. Are you a libertarian, or are you a "liberal" (or libertine) masquerading as a libertarian? If the legitimate libertarian position is that government should not be licensing marriage (and providing tax breaks, benefits and so on), then supporting adding gays to the equation, which merely bloats and broadens a situation you claim to oppose, cannot possibly be the solution. The argument for gay marriage is not a libertarian one, it's an egalitarian one. It's based on "fairness", "justice", "sensitivity", and so on...in other words, it's left wing.

    And there's more to the issue. Legalizing gay marriage under current law will inevitably lead to a curtailment of religious freedom. Do libertarians care about religious freedom? Supposedly. I guess. But perhaps not when it interferes with left wing social views.

    These are issues that lack reflection in libertarian circles. If homosexuality is explicitly endorsed by law, what happens to people whose moral convictions tell them it's wrong? In any scenario where a conflict arises (and they will), they will be subject to government persecution for their beliefs.

    The "correct" libertarian solution to this contentious issue must be one in which the state remains neutral, allowing every individual to live according to their conscience, regardless of whether they disagree.

    I'm going to say it one more time for emphasis: supporting broadening current marriage laws to include gays is not a libertarian position. It is not based on libertarian philosophy. Take the position if you want, but don't pretend it's based on a dedication to individual liberty.

  • ||

    The idea that the "equal protection" clause in the Constitution guarantees the right of a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a man is ridiculous! Who marries who has nothing to do with any kind of protection.

    To wish that the state would get out of the business of certifying marriage shows a gross ignorance of the needs of society and the individual. Crime and poverty is caused by broken families and single parents.

    Children need the emotional protection of a man for a father and a woman for a mother along with the knowledge that their mother and father will stay together at least until the child is a self supporting adult.

    It is obvious that men are designed to have sex with a woman and that a woman is designed to have sex with a man and to get pregnant and have children. Anyone who can't see that is seriously deranged!

    As someone who worked as a Registered Nurse for 20 years in psychiatry, I know that boys and girls go through a process of psycho sexual development. There is no room in this venue to go into details but it is suffice to say that a boy needs an adequate male role model to accept his maleness and a nurturing mother to develop sexual attraction to the opposite gender. Girls go through a similar process but in reverse.

    Same gender sexual attraction is caused by a breakdown in the psycho sexual development process.

    This movement to accept same gender sexual attraction as normal and the acceptance of same gender marriage, if successful, will cause the complete breakdown of society!

  • ||

    You honestly think that society would break down and fail because two men or two women were to be together, in love, and providing a safe and nurturing home for a child? Look at the divorce rate for heterosexual marriages, the increase in crime, and the discrimination rampant in society today, under the current idea of society norms! Failure in society comes from our collective beliefs, that as a society, we must force upon others our own view of what is right or wrong. I had no breakdown in psycho sexual development at all. I am who I am and I am proud of it. I was raised in a hetero home, with loving parents who are proud of me, support me, and understand a need for me to be happy and have the same rights as you. Was there failure there? No. I'm a successful businessman, with a healthy and loving same sex marriage. Both families support us....hell, even our insurance company supports our right to equality and sees no difference in anyone. To use the law to deny rights is illegal and unjust in a way only religous fanatics can justify. Is the law that marriage is designated to one man and one woman not religous in nature, stemming from our founding fathers? Remember, while those concepts were formed, it was also accepted that a white slave owner, such as some of the founding fathers, could have his way with "his property". How corrupt is the notion that the separation between church and state actually exists! Legally, we as individuals deserve the right. The church's imposed definition of marriage should not be imposed upon us legally!

  • ||

    The idea that the "equal protection" clause in the Constitution guarantees the right of a man to marry a man or a woman to marry a man is ridiculous! Who marries who has nothing to do with any kind of protection.

    To wish that the state would get out of the business of certifying marriage shows a gross ignorance of the needs of society and the individual. Crime and poverty is caused by broken families and single parents.

    Children need the emotional protection of a man for a father and a woman for a mother along with the knowledge that their mother and father will stay together at least until the child is a self supporting adult.

    It is obvious that men are designed to have sex with a woman and that a woman is designed to have sex with a man and to get pregnant and have children. Anyone who can't see that is seriously deranged!

    As someone who worked as a Registered Nurse for 20 years in psychiatry, I know that boys and girls go through a process of psycho sexual development. There is no room in this venue to go into details but it is suffice to say that a boy needs an adequate male role model to accept his maleness and a nurturing mother to develop sexual attraction to the opposite gender. Girls go through a similar process but in reverse.

    Same gender sexual attraction is caused by a breakdown in the psycho sexual development process.

    This movement to accept same gender sexual attraction as normal and the acceptance of same gender marriage, if successful, will cause the complete breakdown of society!

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  • MMS||

    I'm gonna take a different stance here and argue that Same Sex marriage would in fact be to the economic benefit of our nation. If we allowed same-sex marriage:

    -More couples that can raise children (i.e. adopted children) in stable homes, and therefore are able to rescue abused children from dangerous environments.

    -An increase in shared marriage benefits would alleviate some of the financial stress that americans seem to be suffering from increasingly.

    Hell, I'd even say that we should allow marriage among any two people (or even more) who declare themselves to be together. In the past, love wasn't even a part of marriage, it was more of a business alliance. Just let anyone who wants to get married do so, since the end result would be a safer and more stable society that would be equal and just with a higher standard of living.

    If you think marriage is even about love, you're kidding yourself. It's all about money and rights. Love is the LAST thing marriage is even about. If you want love, get yourself a mistress (or whatever the male equivalent is, I dunno).

    The definition of marriage is erroneous and fails to recognize it's true matter anyway, so throw it out. As for raising children, homosexuality is NOT some kind of psychosis brought on by problems in upbringing, it's spontaneous, and it's anything BUT a choice. Children will grow up the way they will, but we only make things worse by denying many others from having a family to grow up in. Homosexual parents can be just as loving and caring as heterosexual ones, and they can help raise our nation's lost and abused children.

    I guess social conservatives just want poor people and orphans to starve and die. Here we have an avenue to fix a number of social ills and we're turning it down because of wishful thinking and paranoia. Part of loving freedom means loving that other people are free as well. The only freedom we shouldn't have is the freedom to take it away from someone else.

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  • رش مبيدات||

    In Davis, the Supreme Court heard an appeal challenging Section 5352 of the Revised Statutes of Idaho, which had prohibited polygamists, and advocates of breaking laws against polygamy, from voting, thus imposing adverse consequences for those acts. The appeal had alleged that the law denied the appellant equal protection of the laws (Brief for Appellant in Davis v. Beason, O. T. 1889, No. 1261, p. 41.) In upholding the law against any constitutional or legal objection, the Court quoted Murphy v. Ramsey, stating: شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
    Certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a
    free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement. And to this end, no means are more directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.

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