Obama's 'Cynicism' on Gay Marriage

There is something to be said for a president who takes even a mild stand and nudges the nation toward greater freedom and equality.

President Barack Obama's critics have a point in criticizing his handling of the gay marriage issue as evasive, politically devious and lacking in principle. I hate to say it, but it's bad enough to qualify as Lincolnesque.

Abraham Lincoln is remembered today for freeing the slaves. But he didn't start out with that policy, and he didn't get there quickly. He reached his ultimate position only by slowly and painfully "evolving" -- while blacks waited and suffered in bondage.

When he came out for same-sex marriage, Obama won praise from gays, liberals and libertarians who have supported same-sex marriage all along. But he has also gotten sharp criticism from both left and right.

The Log Cabin Republicans, representing gays and lesbians, called the president "callous" for not speaking up sooner. One blogger jeered that if Obama "were on the Supreme Court, he would vote against us. Obama supports same-sex marriage, but he sees no constitutional mandate."

The conservative New York Post accused him of "a carefully calculated political ploy, designed for maximum political effect to shore up an increasingly unenthusiastic voter base" -- the "epitome of cynicism."

It's not hard to make the case that Obama is a cold-blooded operator keenly interested in his own political fortunes. If he were principled, he would have stuck to the pro-gay marriage position he took in 1996. If he were fully committed to equal rights, he wouldn't agree to let states ban same-sex unions.

And what has he actually done to legalize gay marriage? Nothing. In his ABC News interview Wednesday, Obama merely said that "personally," he's for it. He took no concrete action.

Nor does he plan to. The next day, he stressed, "I'm not going to be spending most of my time talking about this." His shift could be taken as empty symbolism.

But if you think Obama has been slow, ineffectual and averse to political risks, you should have seen Lincoln's handling of slavery. Through the haze of history and myth, it's hard to remember that on this matter, Lincoln was often anything but inspiring.

"I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists," he declared in 1858, and he reiterated that position in his first inaugural address.

Lincoln was anti-slavery in the sense that he opposed allowing it in new states and territories and thought halting its spread would eventually cause it to die. But he was in no hurry. Slavery, he said, "might be let alone for a hundred years, if it should live so long, in the States where it exists."

Once in office, Lincoln was endlessly faulted by abolitionists. He held off issuing the Emancipation Proclamation until the Civil War was nearly two years old -- and his directive had little effect, since it liberated slaves only in Confederate states, which did not recognize his authority.

The slave states that remained in the Union were exempt. As for letting blacks vote, he didn't get around to a tentative endorsement until after the Confederate surrender.

Yet in the end, we know, it took Lincoln to abolish slavery and set the nation on the path toward racial equality. He is not remembered as the Great Emancipator for nothing.

Like him, Obama has to deal with hard political realities. Had he endorsed same-sex marriage four years ago, the White House would be occupied by John McCain, who supported the military's ban on gays. Were Obama to launch an all-out campaign for a federal law, he would pave the way for GOP victory that would set back the cause of gay rights.

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  • Nyarlathotep||

    Tu Quoque argument, Chapman. It was cowardly when Lincoln waffled; it's cowardly when Barry does it now. Besides, comparing Barry favorably to the Great Emancipator only feeds O's delusion that he's in the top four presidents.

  • Barack||

    Thank you, Nyarlathotep.
    What's wrong with you, Chapman? Don't carve the man's face in Mt. Rushmore yet. Lincoln was a huge fan of civil rights. Barry... not so much.

  • ||

    Civil rights like habeas corpus?

  • Barack||

    How dare you, Alack! Lincoln EVOLVED on that issue!

  • Azathoth!!||

    It's nice to see someone from our plenum here

  • ||

    Lincoln being slow on slavery is understandable (I'm not saying excusable) given bleeding Kansas in the 1850s. The fact that the slavery question and its relationship with states' rights led to 600,000+ dead suggests he wasn't wholly irrational. What, pray, is the equivalent of bleeding Kansas that justifies Obama's general moral cowardice here? Losing in November doesn't count

  • wareagle||

    What, pray, is the equivalent of bleeding Kansas that justifies Obama's general moral cowardice here?

    there is no equivalent, not in the dictionary definition. There is only an extension in Obama's own cowardice and cravenness from those who supported him in '08 and wish to pretend that the gay marriage pronouncement was something other than what it is.

  • Bucky||

    maybe we should ask the media that supports him about cowardice and cravenness?

  • Sam Grove||

    It wasn't the slavery question that led to 600,000+ dead, it was Lincoln's reaction to succession that did that.

    Granted that the south succeeded, in part, on the question of slavery

  • ||

    And what has he actually done to legalize gay marriage MJ/MMJ/So-called "illicit" drugs? Nothing. In his ABC News interview Wednesday, Obama merely said that "personally," he's for it. He took no concrete action.

    *Makes shocked face*

    That's what you liberaltarians get for applying a Rorschach test on this charlatan WRT social issues, and that Sword of Damocles swings both ways.

    This is nothing more than pandering for campaign contributions and a distraction from his abysmal economic record. May I also add this particular issue was hinted at and foreshadowed by a one Van Jones, not the VEEP, who claimed boldly that Black America would [paraphrased] "never shun PrezBo even if he was revealed as gay?" It should noted this segment of the population tends to skew social conservative even though the segment also skews economically progressive.

  • Rich||

    It should noted this segment of the population tends to skew social conservative even though the segment also skews economically progressive.

    So, what does it take for this segment to make the leap to libertarianism? I suppose they must first make the leap to billcosbyism.

  • ||

    I suppose they must first make the leap to billcosbyism.

    This requires a closet full of asymmetrical sweaters and lots of Jello(tm) Brand Pudding Pops.

    Incidentally, the unmitigated failure of Teh WARZ ON DRUGZ!!!one!1!! disproportionately affects Black America legally, medically, and economically way more than this particular social issue. It would be much more "Lincolnesque", as Chapman puts it, for PrezBo to immediately reschedule MMJ (and MJ in general) as a Schedule II (IMMO, if it *has" to be scheduled at all, it should be a Schedule V. SLD applies here.) since the Executive Branch has direct control over the FDA and HHS. This issue, from a Constitutional POV, not so much. All he can do is employ the bully pulpit, and not have to do anything leaving Joe Biden to take any flak and leaving PrezBo relatively unscathed. I believe Uncle Joe's earnestness and sincerity on this particular issue. His boss? Not so much.

    Chapman, you have nothing on Syrup of Ipecac.

  • Rich||

    You know, if you vote for Obama it reflects on your parents.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And if you don't vote for Obama, it's because your parents were RAAAAAACIIISTS.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If a generation raised on Fat Albert couldn't do it, nothing will.

  • ||

    Or The Cosby Show, FTM. A show with an intact nuclear family, two successful, professional upper middle class parents, and a supportive extended family derided as "unrealistic" and "white". Nevermind that both it and its spinoff, A Different World, sparked a renewed interest and increased enrollment in historically Black colleges.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Where's barfman when you need him? I am hardly a fan of Lincoln, but at least his expansion of govt power had the excuse of a fratricidal war which he wanted to win.

    I think many of the people who support Obama's "historic" support for gay marriage do so under the assumption that he is basically lying about his deep-seated support for federalism. The assumption, I think, is that once he's won the key swing states this year, he will evolve into endorsing a constitutional right to gay marriage.

    According to gay-rights thinking, leaving gay marriage to the states is the same as leaving Jim Crow to the states. To forgive Obama for this position, you have to either have a strong prior commitment to supporting him, or a conviction that he is a liar.

  • Rich||

    Where's barfman when you need him?

    Indeed.

  • ¿Ex Nihilo?||

    And for the next few weeks this will be at the top of everyone's mind. Not the things that matter, like the economy.

  • Ken Shultz||

    According to gay-rights thinking, leaving gay marriage to the states is the same as leaving Jim Crow to the states.

    I think it's more accurately that they think leaving gay marriage to the states is like leaving abortion to the states.

  • Bucky||

    doesn't just sicken you that time and time again 'high-minded' betters say that somehow gays are being treated like slaves were?
    like Mark Levin says "What 'rights' is Owebama going to give the LGBTs?

  • Daniel||

    "Today, the critics get their say. Years from now, it's what Obama did that will be remembered."

    Great, we get to look forward to a revisionist historians turning a scrupless Obama into the great liberator of gay marriage?

    And to think, it took Biden to force Obama into this statement. Perhaps the LGBT population should rally behind Biden as their emancipator.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Another article by the "libertarian" Chapman where he felates the Statist President for expanding government. Color me shocked.

  • ||

    This

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Today, the critics get their say. Years from now, it's what Obama did that will be remembered.

    What the hell has he done concerning same-sex marriage, except bloviate? The bully pulpit is nothing more than typical Progressive (in every sense of the word) delusion about the efficacy of social engineering.

  • Jerry||

    If Obama is to be applauded, why won't he sign an executive order banning discrimination with regards to federal marriage benefits?

  • Barack||

    Because he doesn't give a rats ass about gay marriage. Anymore than he gives a rats ass about legal marijuana. All he cares about is getting reelected and furthering his big brother massive government agenda.

  • Barack||

    What a bunch of crap.
    Obummer says/does whatever is politically advantageous. A liar's word is worthless.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This idea that Obama's position on gay marriage agonizing evolved along the way as he grappled with his conscience completely misses an important point: Obama pretended to be against gay marriage even though he never really was.

    If you want to torture what Obama did on the gay marriage issue into something like what Lincoln did on slavery, then Lincoln would have necessarily needed to pretend he was pro-slavery, until four years into presidency--even though Lincoln never was pro-slavery.

    Rather, for Obama to be on gay marriage like Lincoln was on slavery, Lincoln would had to have campaigned on being pro-slavery.

    Sorry. But just because you see the gay marriage issue as a civil rights issue like slavery--doesn't mean Obama is like Lincoln. The analogy is inaccurate in fundamental ways.

    P.S. I'm against the government discriminating against LGBT on marriage, by the way. But just because I happen to agree with the president on one issue, doesn't mean he isn't still a complete jackass.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm thinking that what Lincoln and Obama have in common is indifference.

    I'm not sure Lincoln gave a shit either way about slavery, and I doubt Obama gives a shit either way about redefining marriage.

    All they care about is power.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think Lincoln cared. I'm not about to say I agree with everything Lincoln did or every way he went about it. But I think you'd have a hard time saying he didn't act in accordance with his moral convictions. I think he did so--even to the detriment of his own popularity.

    Lincoln's position on slavery didn't evolve per se, once he was in office. He was accused of being an abolitionist before he got into the White House, and when he was elected, the Southern states started seceding becasue he was an abolitionist.

    You can say Lincoln's strategy evolved--after he no longer had to take the South's congressional politicians into account. But strategy is always a pragmatic concern rather than a moral one.

    Obama's didn't do anything like that at all. Obama pretended to be something he wasn't for more than three years. ...because he was ashamed of being in favor of gay marriage. Nothing like Lincoln at all.

  • The Derider||

    I think before Lincoln was elected he was for black rights but not a believer in racial equality. That is, he thought blacks were inferior, but that they were still human beings with fundamental rights.

    I think this view evolved in Lincoln during his presidency-- Particularly because of his friendship with Frederick Douglass. But we'll never really know.

  • sarcasmic||

    I think before Obama was elected he was for gay rights but not a believer in gay/straight equality. That is, he thought gays were inferior, but that they were still human beings with fundamental rights.

    I think this view evolved in Obama during his presidency-- Particularly because of his friendship with Hillary Clinton. But we'll probably never know.

  • Bucky||

    the idea that Owebama's discussions with his daughters and wife is somehow relevant with this issue but Mrs. Romney is 'out of touch' and 'just a housewife'...

  • The Derider||

    Unless Obama meets an unexpected end in Ford's theater, we probably will know.

  • sarcasmic||

    Only if you believe the ghost writers.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think before Lincoln was elected he was for black rights but not a believer in racial equality.

    A simple wikipedia search would have saved you from that.

    However, he did say Douglas ignored the basic humanity of blacks, and that slaves did have an equal right to liberty. As Lincoln said,

    "I agree with Judge Douglas he is not my equal in many respects--certainly not in color, perhaps not in moral or intellectual endowment. But in the right to eat the bread, without the leave of anybody else, which his own hand earns, he is my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....he_debates

    Whatever else Lincoln thought about race, he thought that black people were entitled to the same rights as white people--as early as the Lincoln Douglas debates. ...long before he was in the White House.

    Lincoln published the debates himself--he was not ashamed of his conviction.

    Obama was ashamed of his convictions. He didn't want anyone to think he might support gay marriage rights--even though he always did.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Obama lied about himself, what he thinks, and what his convictions are--because he was ashamed. He didn't want anyone to know what he was really all about.

    That's a fact about his position on gay marriage. As someone who's supported gay marriage around here at Hit & Run--in my own name--for about eight years now?

    I can say firmly that even as a straight libertarian? I'm superior to Obama on gay rights.

    Obama's emblematic of the central problem LGBT have had to contend with--that so many people are too ashamed to support gay rights in public.

    That's what the pride parades are all about. That's what it's always been about since the Stonewall riots.

    Obama was ashamed of his moral convictions. But he shouldn't have been ashamed of his moral convictions--he should have been ashamed of being embarrassed for standing up for what's right.

    Abraham Lincoln wasn't ashamed of his convictions. Comparing to Obama's behavior on gay marriage to Lincoln on slavery is absurd. Obama was ashamed of himself.

    He should have been--but he was ashamed for the wrong reason.

  • Ken Shultz||

    If you want to torture what Obama did on the gay marriage issue into something like what Lincoln did on slavery, then Lincoln would have necessarily needed to pretend he was pro-slavery, until four years into presidency--even though Lincoln never was pro-slavery.

    Before being elected president, Lincoln was famous for having debated Douglas on the issue of slavery. Lincoln was accused of thinking that black people should be equally entitled to liberty--and Lincoln plead guilty as charged!

    And that was before he became president.

    Obama, on the other hand, claimed to be against gay marriage, not just before he became president, but three years into his presidency, as well. Not that anybody really believed him!

    Lincoln stood on his convictions from the very beginning. He didn't try to hide what he thought; Lincoln published the text of the Lincoln-Douglas debates himself.

    Obama--at best--was always ashamed of his convictions--even after he got into the White House. I've read Lincoln--Obama, you're no Abraham Lincoln.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    I agree, Lincoln was widely perceived as an abolitionist, and his election really did tick off the south. But the emancipation proclamation was largely a military and politically calculated move, not the act of altruism that it is often portrayed as. And that is where this tortured analogy looses steam, Lincoln was very interested in winning the war and almost everything he did in office was directed at achieving victory in that war, whereas the only unifying theme in Barry O's administration is reelection.

  • Pi Guy||

    There shouldn't even be an Obama opinion here that differs from the protection of equal rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

    The Prez was a Constitutional scholar at U of C. He knows that it's patently unconstitutional to deny those rights to gays. Anything other than overtly making this statement clearly prominent indicates that being trained in the law has nothing to do with obeying or enforcing it.

    It's his only fucking job: to defend the Constitution. Dereliction of duty, anyone?

  • wareagle||

    The Prez was a Constitutional scholar at U of C.

    that's what we're told anyway. Any evidence to his being an actual scholar, or does he give increasing credence that his entry into Columbia and, later, Harvard owes more to his skin color than to any great intelligence. And not to put too fine a point on it, but his admission actually screwed the black students for whom AA was created, the ones who did not grow up in relative affluence or attend private schools.

  • mgd||

    He was not a constitutional scholar. Scholars publish. He has published only about himself. He was also not a professor of constitutional law--he was a lecturer.

  • ||

    Could you please point me to the enumerated right to marry in the United States constitution? There isn't one you say? And the 10th Amendment delegates the unenumerated rights to the people and to the states respectively? Well how about that. Maybe this is the first constitutional issue since he took office that Obama has actually gotten right!

  • MarkC||

    Uh, no. Sadly, the equality argument is a ruse. The real libertarian stance should be fighting to get the government out of marriage entirely. Why give government credit for allowing us this "privilege"? Whether Obama is for or against it is fluff. He shouldn't (nor should anyone else) be given kudos for his opinion.

  • sarcasmic||

    The real libertarian stance should be fighting to get the government out of marriage entirely.

    I do find it mildly amusing when "principled libertarians" use the language of the left when it comes to using government to impose a "faaaaiiiir" definition of marriage in the name of "equaaaaaaality".

  • Proprietist||

    Again, if enforced, the 14th Amendment, Section 1 is absolutely the most libertarian section of the Constitution, essentially codifying the non-aggression principle as law of the land.

    The principle that all citizens and legal residents are guaranteed equal and full protection for life, liberty and property at all levels of American government. This overrides the 10th Amendment, which technically grants states ability to violate these things as well.

    Legal fairness, justice for victims and equal protections and treatment by government are core and vital aspects of libertarianism. If you think otherwise, you've radically oversimplified libertarianism into a 1-D philosophy that deserves mockery. You're in essence no different than Tony.

  • sarcasmic||

    Legal fairness, justice for victims and equal protections and treatment by government are core and vital aspects of libertarianism.

    Redefining marriage is not about those things.

  • Proprietist||

    So our advocacy for marriage equality (either all marriages are equally recognized or no marriage is recognized) is not about equal legal treatment by government? If taxation is theft (as many libertarians argue), why should one category of contractual familial relationship permit more theft than another?

    And again, we've already redefined legal marriage multiple times in American history: it used to be illegal to marry across races, legal for adults to marry teenagers, and in some cases legal to marry multiple people. All of those "evolved", for better or worse. With our improved understanding of homosexuality may come revisions in the way society classifies them and permits access to legal institutions. While derecognition of all marriage is our desired end goal, legal equality should be the second-best option in the interim. The status quo is simply unacceptable.

  • sarcasmic||

    There are two distinct issues.
    The contract's name, and the legal stuff that goes with it.
    The fact that any compromise with regards to the latter is not acceptable if it doesn't include the former leads me to conclude that the former is more important than the latter.
    Everything else is emotive bullshit.

  • Proprietist||

    If you insist that legal contracts that do the same exact thing for legal purposes (determine spousal benefits and tax brackets) should have two different contract names depending entirely upon the gender of the parties involved, how is that any different than "separate but equal laws", where the benefits are supposedly equal, except that they aren't really? It is easy to grant one kind of contract preferential legal treatment when they are classified separately.

    It also indicates that for YOU the contract's name is more important than the legal stuff if you'd oppose it on the basis of reclassifying the contract's name. I'd still take civil unions any day over the status quo.

  • sarcasmic||

    Beautiful straw man. I like the red handkerchief. Nice touch.

  • Proprietist||

    Please, honestly, point out what part of that comment was a straw man? I wasn't attempting to distort your position. (In fact, I would argue you have been the one building the straw man by inaccurately claiming that advocates would rather have the status quo than gay civil unions if we can't win gay marriage.)

    If two of essentially the same contracts are classified differently, it is not hard for politicians to treat the different contracts differently if it becomes politically popular to do so.

    And, if you oppose recognizing gay marriage simply on the basis of redefining the word "marriage" and not out of opposition to the equal protections part, aren't you implying the value of the contract name as more important than the benefits?

  • sarcasmic||

    point out what part of that comment was a straw man?

    Every sentence that contains the word "you".

    advocates would rather have the status quo than gay civil unions if we can't win gay marriage

    I just call 'em as I see 'em.

    Believe it or not I supported same sex marriage when I though it was about equality under the law.
    I jumped ship when I realized it was about social engineering.

    I have gay friends who privately agree with me. They believe marriage to be between a husband and a wife, not two genderless spouses (i.e. SnL's Pat).

  • Proprietist||

    The current status quo legal institution of marriage is the essence of social engineering.

    But the argument that recognition of gay marriage is social engineering is strange. If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married.

  • sarcasmic||

    Marriage as a husband and wife is government reflecting society, not social engineering.
    The fact that redefining marriage has failed every time it has been put to a vote proves this.
    The only way it can happen is to be imposed through social engineering.

  • Proprietist||

    Well, society is about equally divided on the issue - and more support than oppose to exceed the margin of error. There are currently just enough intensity gaps when it comes to voting (as the pro-gay-marriage side hues young, and the anti-gay-marriage side hues old.) So even by your own definition, gay marriage will eventually be government reflecting society if the trends continue, and following traditionalist definitions of marriage will be social engineering.

    And it's not really social engineering to update an institution structured on dated scientific understandings (if we were to give benefit of the doubt that it's not just based on theology/theocracy).

  • sarcasmic||

    And it's not really social engineering to update an institution structured on dated scientific understandings

    I sometimes wonder if gay marriage would be taken seriously if not for modern birth control, abortion, and in vitro fertilization.

    Marriage has been structured around reproduction.
    Now that opposite sex couples can choose not to reproduce, and same sex couples (with the help of a third party donor) can have children, marriage is not so much about natural procreation.
    Add in the state becoming the de facto father for children of single parents.

    What's the point of marriage anymore? It's practically meaningless.

  • Proprietist||

    It was made meaningless by all those evil barren women and infertile men who got married. They should have instantly nullification for all marriages not able to or intended for pro-creation, since that's obviously the defining characteristic? Also, no post-menopausal women should be allowed to re-marry.

  • sarcasmic||

    since that's obviously the defining characteristic

    You and your straw men. You must put on a heck of a Halloween display.

    Next you're going to tell me that some equals all, right?

    Some opposite sex couples being unable to reproduce is the same as all same sex couples being unable to reproduce, right?

    Some equal all?

    Let's see. You've used straw man, false equivocation...

    Got anymore logical fallacies up your sleeve?

  • ||

    There's protection of the law and then there's the handing out of benefits. Most government benefit programs are inherently discriminatory. It naturally involves the taking from one group to give to another group (e.g. people with a certain level of income, or people above or below a certain age). The true push for freedom is to argue that the government should not be in the business of handing out marriage licenses or giving out marriage benefits. Marriage should be a private contract between people, with every such contract afforded equal protection of the law.

  • Proprietist||

    I think we're all in agreement that removing all these discriminatory government programs, institutions and interferences or preferences regarding private contracts is the ideal solution.

    But everything is relative to what exists today. No recognition of any marriage is better than is better than equal access to marriage for all, which is better than separately classified gay civil unions and straight marriages, which is better than the status quo.

    I can understand the counterarguments. One analogy I just though of: Karl Marx hated Henry George's economic philosophy because he knew it would help the poor, embed capitalism and seriously weaken the case for Marxism. Thus Marx preferenced ideological advancement over the advancement of actual equality. Similarly, granting gays marriage removes incentive to help us declassify it. Some here are placing their ideal political outcomes over necessary improvements to the status quo.

  • ||

    How is expanding an illegitimate state function just enough so that it discriminates against 1 less of the multitudes of people against whom it inherently discriminates "equality under the law"? It's not. This is sophistry. It's bullshit. And it is the further possible thing from libertarian.

    If you don't think the government should be dangling carrots in front of people for agreeing to have sex with the same person for the rest of their lives and putting up half their shit to prove it, expanding the existing system while still shutting out un-married couples, polygamous relationships, other non-traditional arrangements, and single people from enjoying any of the free candy is absolutely no different, going back to the slavery analogy, than emancipating blacks, but allowing them to enslave Asians and Hispanics alongside their white brethren. The only people who should be making this argument are gay couples who are rent-seeking. And they should at least have the decency to be honest about what they are doing.

  • sarcasmic||

    The only people who should be making this argument are gay couples who are rent-seeking. And they should at least have the decency to be honest about what they are doing.

    Since when were rent seekers honest?

  • T o n y||

    "The only people who should be making this argument are gay couples who are rent-seeking"

    Like all libertarians, you need to graduate from rigid abstract principles that necessitate treating people as agents of moral good and evil for doing basic everyday things. Ayn Rand is neither a respected authority on the philosophy of morality nor did she practice what she preached.

    Marriage is perhaps the most fundamental and ubiquitous social habit, and thus is facilitated by the state. Maybe that's just awful, but it's not going away... can those of you holding this sort of position just argue as if we were living in reality, just to give it a shot?

  • ||

    You don't have to be Randroid to recognize a self-interested rent-seeker when you see one. Marriage has been a ubiquitous social habit since long before the existence of the state. Taking away the ability to suck on the tit of Other People's Money is hardly an affront to it. And last I checked, The Divine Tony is not a respected authority on the philosophy of morality either. When you learn how not to argue as if what's good for Tony is a sacramental human right, I'll learn how not to argue that the state should stop doing immoral things because they are immoral.

  • Barack||

    Exactly. Why even have the conversation. Why not say "This is pointless. It doesn't matter what I think, because it's a personal issue not a political one." Government can't define marriage.

  • wareagle||

    the conversation is being had because the way you think things ought to be is not how they really are. Despite your protestations, it appear that govt has defined marriage. Debates over whether it can are academic.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    I certainly can't speak for anyone else but I am an incrementalist libertarian, little steps, so long as they are in the right direction, are acceptable. Ensuring that the laws that are on the books are equally applied is a step in the right direction. I have no expectations that lawmakers are going to throw away 500+ years of legal tradition overnight. In the interim I'll take what I can get.

  • ||

    Which part of expanding an illegitimate state function so that it discriminates against 1 less group of people than it did before while still ignoring all others is a "little step in the right direction" in your mind?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Oh, and by they way, before we start attributing Obama changing his political positions on sheer moral conviction, shouldn't we have at least one more example?

    Why didn't he oppose warrantless wiretapping on moral grounds? Why didn't he oppose handing billions in taxpayer money to Wall Street institutions on moral grounds?

    I've seen him do the immoral thing, once in office, for pragmatic reasons, but if he really was against gay marriage to begin with, then this is the first time it's ever gone the other way.

    Is there any other example of Obama changing his position on moral grounds, or is gay marriage the only one?

  • Rich||

    >any other example of Obama changing his position on moral grounds

    Smoking dope?

  • Barack||

    Rich, he Flip Flopped on the Hooch. You are correct, Sir! Barry will Flip Flop, errrr... I mean "Evolve" on ANY issue that will get him votes. But in the end, to be clear, gay or straight, stoned or sober, he is not a fan of civil rights.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I see that as another breech of his moral convictions for pragmatic reasons--not evidence of him going the other way.

    If he believed people had a right to alleviate their suffering with medical marijuana, and then reneged on that once he got in office because he thought marijuana was too unpopular, then he betrayed his moral convictions on pragmatic grounds.

  • ||

    breach

  • jason||

    This matter just become in the media attention but obama is backing himself in this case.

  • Trespassers W||

    The same analogy occurred to me, but I took it to mean that Lincoln was a scumbag too.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Seems to me that Lincoln was a rat b@stard and he sort of bungled the issues of his day.(*) How many died in that little skirmish between the states? Tens of dozens at least!

    * And no, my disdain for Lincoln and Obama does not make me a Confederate sympathizer.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Just remembered.... if Obama is anything like Lincoln, he's probably lobbying support to round up all the gays and send them all back to San Francisco.

  • Apple||

    I need to pay more attention to the news. I wasn't aware Obama signed legislation freeing the gays last week. So they can vote now and own property?

  • Almanian...still||

    Not sure about that, but they're bussing teh gaiz into Alabama schools to integrate them.

    They called out the National Guard to ensure everyone's safety. Scary stuff...

  • ||

    Because government does define marriage.

    I'm totally with y'all saying the government should get out of marriage entirely. Great, couldn't agree more. But until it does get out of it, it has to apply marriage rules equally.

    (To me that also means it has to recognize polygamists as well)

    Oh, and Obama is a craven political person Chapman and he did this for political gain only. The fact that you refuse to see that tells me he will probably count on your vote in November.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    That is my thinking as well. The ideal situation is to get the government out of the marriage business altogether. Until that happens, if the government is going to delineate legal rights based on marital status then it must treat people equally. On a positive note, when presented with the choice between "government recognizes gay marriage" and "government does not recognize marriage at all," a lot of social conservatives will probably choose the latter.

  • The Derider||

    Re: The emancipation proclamation had little effect on Confederate states.

    Remember that the large majority of the war was fought in the South. The emancipation proclamation freed slaves in any Southern territory controlled by union forces. It also empowered union armies to free slaves as they advanced on the South.

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    There is one place where the Lincoln-Obama analogy works, both dramatically expanded the powers of the executive branch, and I fear that like most of Lincoln's, Obama's expansions will not be rolled back.

  • The Derider||

    Y'all are just mad that Obama just dumped all the religious nutcases in team Red's lap.

    Call me cynical, but I wasn't sure his views on marriage could get any gayer.
    --Rand Ronson

  • Almanian...still||

    Well, they've driven me to absolutely not wanting to hear any more about this already. Fuck all of 'em.

    Govt shouldn't be in the marrigage bidness, but, as DesigNate notes, while it continues to insert itself into that bidness (didja see what I did there, kinda?), all types and sorts of marriage should be O-Tay.

    Now how about all you politicos enjoy a nice, hearty cup of SHUT THE FUCK UP about this topic and talk about something a POTUS should actually be concerned with, like...I dunno... neverending war, the War on DrugszzZOMG, apppointing justices to the SC. Something like that.

  • Almanian...still||

    Also, I was a big shocked that The King Dude, Mike Church (SIRIUS 125 M-F something-9:00 AM) was kind of...heavily against teh GAI marriage, polygamy, etc. Cause of SOCIETY KULTUR WARZZZ and [not quite understanding his reasoning]!!!1

    Odd for him. He's usually very "enumerated powers" and libertarian-ish...he kind of intimated it was his Roman Catholic leaking out.

    Whatever - just surprised, and I thought his arguments were weak. Wondered if anyone else heard him and had any thoughts on it.

  • hgsmells||

    It's really sad that Reason doesn't advocate for free love, but to not even mention it?

    Instead of looking for parallels between today's marriage arguments and slavery in the 1800's, why not look at the marriage arguments of the 1800's?

    Back then there were these people called "liberals," who have since died out, that believed that the state had no business getting involved in people's intimate relationships. They had some sort of religious belief based on some pagan god called "the right to privacy," and there was also a cult that worshiped "making decisions free of coercion." It was kind of a big deal, there was even an obscenity trial and a presidential pardon and everything!

    The people arguing that marriage is between only a man and a woman and the people arguing that it can be between two men or two women are usually all wrong, because what they really want is for marriage to be between two people and the state.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "what they really want is for marriage to be between two people and the state"

    See Tony's post below.

  • hgsmells||

    "If you want there to be no government recognition of marriage, fine, but convince the straights to go first. Until that day comes, isn't the correct and blindingly obvious position that the law should apply equally?"

    We seem to have opposite views of it. I think the government violating people's most basic rights is a BAD thing. I don't think expanding the pool of people eligible to be violated by the state to be a step in the right direction. If there was some crazy law that said only Christians could voluntarily give up their rights, like by selling themselves into slavery, I would not support changing the law to allow other people to do the same in the name of fairness.

  • T o n y||

    Which might make some sense if the right to voluntary marriage were comparable to slavery.

  • hgsmells||

    Marriage as a form of bondage (obviously lesser than slavery) has been the liberal view in America for over a century.

    Tony here is a nice example of conservatives who are fine with the government doing anything as long they incentivise it. They oppose the government getting involved in people's lives - unless the government creates a "good" reason for it by using its monopoly powers. They take a brave stand against judges just barging into people's houses in the middle of the night to watch them have sex, which we all know has become such a problem recently.

    They fight for the rights of every citizen, regardless of sexual orientation, to live a conservative, traditional lifestyle that pleases God.

    This is what passes for liberalism in America these sad days - fighting for everyone to become a conservative.

  • T o n y||

    If you want there to be no government recognition of marriage, fine, but convince the straights to go first. Until that day comes, isn't the correct and blindingly obvious position that the law should apply equally?

    Unlike many liberals I didn't vote for Obama so that he would stand on principle at every opportunity, damn the political consequences. Every gay friend I've talked to has said they appreciate this move but worry that it could cost him reelection.

  • Proprietist||

    I agree that those of us who feel there should be no legal status for any marriage need to get more organized as a movement and develop a path to transition away from legal marriage that can be turned into acceptable ballot initiatives. Such a movement could appeal to both homosexuals/their advocates and the SoCons. Homosexuals already have to overcome constitutional amendments in many states. SoCons are (correctly, for just this once) worried about governments forcing churches to recognize homosexual marriages in the event it becomes a protected legal status. Both might agree to this as a compromise that returns marriage to private parties and grants legal equality.

  • T o n y||

    It's my understanding that churches aren't forced to marry anyone and can even turn away interracial couples if they want. Why gay couples would seek to marry in churches that shun them escapes me.

    Getting a deity's blessing for your marriage is entirely optional--the only thing anyone is talking about are legal rights. So the SoCons should stop worrying about that. They've got politicians in office advocating allowing employment discrimination against gay people because, supposedly, unlike skin color it's a "choice."

    For political reasons perhaps appeasing religious conservatives is a consideration, but constitutionally equal rights trumps religious concerns.

    I don't know what you mean by returning marriage to private parties. There will obviously be contracts involved--what's to stop the religious conservatives from legislating away gays' rights to contract "private party" marriage anyway?

  • sarcasmic||

    Why gay couples would seek to marry in churches that shun them escapes me.

    Simple spite.

  • T o n y||

    Spite's better than "I think you're an inferior form of human because my invisible friend in the sky says so."

  • Proprietist||

    Why do lawyers seek out companies that stupidly limit their own customer base? $$$. If a restaurant can't discriminate against serving a black couple, why should a church be able to discriminate against serving a gay couple? Why should a gay softball team be forced to accept straights, or a raped women's support group be forced to accept men, or a black record label be forced to consider releasing white artists? Lawsuits will happen, damages will often be rewarded (mostly to the lawyers) and private property rights and freedom of association (and religion in this case) will continue to be abused.

    I frankly couldn't care less about appeasing social conservatives. I'm merely pointing out that government should not base policies or grant benefits discriminatorily on the basis of private relationships and contracts. I believe that holds true whether it's a family, a business, a church, a school, a commune or a cult.

    If social conservatives are truly concerned about government preferencing values over their own, they should know that putting power in the government to interpret and distribute traditionally religous sacraments is a bad idea as society changes.

  • ||

    If a restaurant can't discriminate against serving a black couple, why should a church be able to discriminate against serving a gay couple?

    A better question would be: why should a private restaurant not be able to discriminate against serving a black couple? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a huge overstep in that regard, as Goldwater correctly pointed out (the famous "You can't legislate morality" quote). The public accommodation clause shreds any semblance of a right to free association or conscience. When you're operating a business with your own capital, you should be free to be an ignorant bigot. Same goes for a church. That "separation of church and state" works both ways - you can't abandon it when it's convenient because you don't like what the church teaches.

    ...they should know that putting power in the government to interpret and distribute traditionally religous sacraments is a bad idea as society changes.

    It's a bad idea period - doesn't matter if society today was indistinguishable from the 1780's. It was always a bad idea, and will always be a bad idea.

  • T o n y||

    I don't consider "lawsuits happening" to be a threat to property rights and freedom. Let them sue (we do have that freedom), and let our wise and deliberative court system sort it out. All this is is slippery slope.

    Your other excuse is you deny the legitimacy of marriage itself. That's fine for a bong session, and like the results of many bong sessions possibly a brilliant insight, but what about the lives of people living in the real world?

  • ||

    Forgive me if I mistrust our Judicial Overlords to adequately protect property rights and freedom. For people living in the real world, it only takes one shitty ruling to permanently affect such rights.

    Also for people living in the real world, being subject to a legal scheme that sucks is a pretty shitty deal. Getting your piece of the pie won't make it any less shitty for everybody else.

  • T o n y||

    Look on the bright side, brides could still be chattel. Maybe we'll get to your marriage-free utopia, but don't you think both gays and straights ought to decide for themselves when that day will come? At it rate it would be a bit unseemly to yank marriage away from everyone the moment gays are on the cusp of having the right.

  • ||

    Churches in some places have already been sued for turning away gay couples on public accommodation grounds, as have caterers and wedding planners. If we created yet another protected class in that regard, there would be no precedent for NOT forcing religious institutions to marry homosexual couples. Remember, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made us equal, and some more so than others.

    And here again, there is no one in the gay marriage camp arguing for applying the law equally. They are arguing for applying the current law to both gays and straights. The current system could be every bit as legitimately said to apply the law equally, in that everyone is equally free to enter into a marriage contract with another person of the opposite gender. This is about a loud minority group clamoring for the opportunity to seek rent. This is yet another line of disingenuous horseshit.

  • T o n y||

    Even if there were the possibility of churches facing liability, I would say that's no excuse to violate the 14th amendment. Churches get plenty of freebies from the government in the US, and the rest of us are supposed to be free from churches mucking around in policy.

    Your second point has been often made and has never gotten any less absurd. Gay people have equal marriage rights because they have a right to marry people they by definition have no interest in marrying? The judge who buys that argument is overdue for the nursing home.

  • ||

    In other words, the 14th Amendment would distribute a non-existent, non-enumerated federal constitutional right to get married to the states, but not the actual, enumerated 1st Amendment protection of religious practice. Gotcha.

    The 2nd point wasn't mine - I was saying that it was equally as legitimate to say that the current law is "equally applied" as it would be to say that the same law would be "equally applied" if it were expanded to include monogamous homosexual couples (but no one else). Since that is the position you wish to see advanced, I guess you had better hope the judge who hears your case is as senile as you suggest.

  • T o n y||

    Again, as far as I know no church is forced to marry any couple it doesn't want to. If they are, I would be against that. I mean, if this were actually a threat, then it would have been realized long ago as people would have sought to get married in churches whose faiths they didn't belong to, etc. The slippery slope bogeymonster is no reason to deny equal rights. Church weddings are supplementary to legal marriage and don't bear on this issue.

    That being said, if conservative churches are pressured socially into liberalizing their wedding policies, that's only a good thing.

    Just so long as we agree that the First Amendment does not give churches veto power over the Fourteenth.

  • ||

    as far as I know no church is forced to marry any couple it doesn't want to

    Yet.

    The slippery slope bogeymonster is no reason to deny equal rights

    I remember roughly two decades ago when gay activists were agitating for civil unions, swearing up--down that that's what they want, not marriage. By now the cultural Marxist/Alinsky playbook mandates to complete the bait-n-switch.

  • T o n y||

    Civil unions is a pragmatic middle ground but anyone who supports it and is somewhat intelligent quickly realizes that it's an untenable "separate but equal" arrangement, and that it's both simpler and more logical to just get to marriage.

    But I don't see why it's your or government's job to punish gay people for being dishonest in their intentions, if there is a legitimate grievance, by denying redress of it.

  • ||

    Civil unions is a pragmatic middle ground but anyone who supports it and is somewhat intelligent quickly realizes that it's an untenable "separate but equal" arrangement, and that it's both simpler and more logical to just get to marriage.

    Yeah, right. They realized that after baiting with the civil union/no marriage line.

    It is called "salami tactics": wearing down the opposition over time by first assuring everyone that their ultimate goal is just the first step on the slope and a solemn promise no greasing.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If EVERY couple had the SAME protections, "separate but equal" would be retired as a catchphrase... as there would *be* no "separate".

    Face it... you suck at this argument.

  • ||

    Currently that's true, to the best of my knowledge, but as I mentioned, I have read of recent legal actions that challenge that. Whether or not they go anywhere (or went anywhere).

    In the absence of a federal constitutional amendment enumerating a right to be married (for heterosexual or homosexual people, since currently there isn't one for either), there's no reason the 14th Amendment and 1st Amendment would be in conflict. If you're asking whether or not I think churches should be forced to accommodate homosexual couples, the answer is no. I don't think the "public accommodation" clause in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a legitimate excuse for stripping people of their right to free association and conscience. Yes, that means I also think private restaurants and hotels should not have been forced to serve black patrons. Or anyone else they don't feel like serving. Put me in the Goldwater camp on that one. The state is a different story. I don't think any private entity should ever be forced to make accommodation to anyone against its will.

  • T o n y||

    And as far as this goes, it's only the state from which people are seeking equal accommodation. Nondiscrimination laws applying to private parties is a separate matter, and my argument against your position would rely on separate principles.

  • ||

    True enough, but we were side-tracking on the issue of forcing churches to accommodate homosexual couples. I don't think there's any circumstance under which that would be acceptable, but a federal amendment or additional protected class could conceivably make that happen. You started out saying socons were overreacting about their religious stance since churches weren't being forced to marry gay couples. I was just pointing out that it's not really implausible that could happen once you pass a federal amendment, create a protected class, or otherwise invent a federal right to marriage.

  • T o n y||

    There is a federal right to marriage, and a basic civil right at that, as has been affirmed by the supreme court multiple times. That's the world we're living in. A slippery slope into damnation is the excuse always given for denying minorities equal rights.

  • ||

    A slippery slope into damnation

    Nope; a slippery slope into forcing churches into accommodating same-sex marriage was the issue. You deny such possibility; I brought up the bait-n-switch tactic of gay activists re civil union/marriage as a historical example that it is indeed a strong possibility. You had nothing to refute that argument.

  • ||

    There's no enumerated right to marry in the constitution, the states have always had ultimate authority in the matter, as reflected in their widely varying requirements for a marriage license (yes, Virginia, we still have a 10th Amendment), the only federal law even addressing marriage outside of the tax code is DOMA, which has not been ruled unconstitutional and in fact survived several lower court challenges in the 16 years since it was signed into law, and the only rulings that I'm aware of where SCOTUS weighed in on a "right to marriage" were civil rights cases where the issue at question was whether states could discriminate against protected-class racial minorities who otherwise met all of the preexisting requirements set by the states. If the right existed in reality as clearly as it does in your mind we wouldn't be having this conversation.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The best way to solve this is to grant ALL couples civil-union protections.

    But you're not in favor of that, because you want that piece of paper.

    BTW, are you saying some liberals are bigoted? Isn't that impossible?

  • T o n y||

    It's not the "best" way to solve it because it's extremely impractical. Government recognition of marriage is far more a traditional aspect of it than any particulars of who's allowed to get the recognition. And I don't get how you would have civil unions for all without a "piece of paper" that amounts to the same government involvement as before.

    Where did you get liberals are bigoted from my comment?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Yes, it is. If EVERY couple - gay or straight - had civil-union guarantees, there would be no *need* for marriage.

    As for the last sentence... it was something you said the other day, but probably didn't see or care to answer the same question I posed then. Technically, any liberal who isn't for gay marriage would have to be - by your Team's definition - just as hateful and spiteful as any non-liberal who has any objection to gay marriage, be it for or in spite of religious beliefs.

    But back to the first point... "any particulars of who's allowed to get the recognition". Think about that. Sure, using your belief system, government would *have* to be involved - but what you're not getting is, even if paperwork IS involved, at least it would be handed out *without regard to* the gender makeup of the parties involved.

    IOW, two men, two women, or a male/female couple... wouldn't matter. The paper would, admittedly, still be a permission slip, but it would take MARRIAGE out of the equation, as marriage would no longer be necessary.

    Shit, Tony... are you just being obtuse for the fuck of it?

  • T o n y||

    You are the one bending over backward to defend the more byzantine legal pathway for no good reason. Only for the sake of denying gays the chance ever to be called "married" as far as I can tell. So you win the obtuseness contest. Isn't it far simpler just to apply the existing marriage framework equally? Because you have never explained how you're gonna get straights to give it up.

    I don't attribute all anti-equality attitudes to hate or spite. Polling is shifting so radically it's probably mostly just a matter of people not having considered the issue thoughtfully until it entered mainstream discourse.

    All fervent opposition, however, is religious in nature, and luckily our precious constitution forbids religious dicta from being civil laws.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'm not religious in nature, so try something else.

    How odd, we actually agree that "religious dicta" should be forbidden from being civil laws. If you'd bothered to ask that a long time ago, I would have said as much.

    Why is it "more byzantine" to just let ALL adult couples have civil-union legal protections? That would bypass the religious sector entirely, which we both agree would be a good thing.

    But the marriage license is a symbol, and symbols are for the symbol-minded.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "All fervent opposition, however, is religious in nature"

    So, there's not one atheist or agnostic person on the entire planet, who objects to gay marriage. Got it.

  • T o n y||

    There is no rational, secular reason to oppose marriage equality that I can discern. Okay so there's the libertarian cop-out of saying marriage should be decoupled from government, but that's really a distraction. To answer your question above, it's a more complicated pathway because you'd have to convince heterosexuals to give up benefits they already enjoy--and good luck with that. It's so absurd a proposition that it seems like an excuse to be against marriage equality indefinitely without having to say you're antigay.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I give half a shit if people are gay, Tony. I really don't care. So knock the fuck off with the "you're antigay" fuckbucketry.

  • ||

    Worth noting here again that extending the current marriage framework to monogamous gay couples consisting only of 2 people of opposite gender is NOT in any way, shape, or form "applying the existing marriage framework equally". You want society to pat you on the ass and tell you your relationship is good and proper, but more than that, you want your shot at the free candy. You could at least be honest.

  • T o n y||

    If straight couples have the option of getting free candy, then gay couples should have it too. You know, so people are treated equally under the law.

    There will be gay couples with or without state recognition of gay marriage. You are never, ever going to convince gay people to stop being gay, anymore than I can convince you to stop being straight. Being gay is every bit as natural and "proper" as being straight. So you might as well learn to live with it.

  • ||

    No, see, Tony, that's not equality. Equality is when there either isn't any free candy to be had, or when the free candy is available to everyone. If 2 women and 1 man can't have any free candy, or if a man and a woman who live together without asking for government endorsement can't have any free candy, or if a man who isn't in a long-term relationship can't have any free candy, you're not treating everyone equally. You don't actually give a shit about equality. You give a shit about having the government tell you what a good boy you are and hand you your free candy. I just wish you could conjure up a shred of honesty and say so.

    I don't know to whom you were directing your 2nd paragraph. I never asked anyone to stop being gay or suggested there were no gay couples, or would be no gay couples under some alternate set of circumstances. I couldn't care less about the types of relationships anyone chooses to have. That's why I don't think anybody's relationship should be sanctioned, endorsed, and subsidized by the state. It's an inherent value judgment that elevates some people above others in the eyes of the state for no other reason than their private personal choices. Elevating a slightly expanded group of people above others in the eyes of the state is not "equality under the law".

  • T o n y||

    I could accept that, but all I ask is the heteros go first. Start a movement to abolish civil marriage and I won't protest. Marriage doesn't actually matter to me all that much--I'm personally against it. But legal equality does matter to me, and it could just as well be another issue altogether.

    Nonetheless the Supreme Court has recognized marriage as a basic civil right. You can disagree with that, but it's the world we live in, and the only plausible pathway to real equality is to allow gays the same rights that already exist for straights.

  • ||

    The first rule of holes is that when you're in one, you should stop digging. If you think marriage is an illegitimate state function (which it is), it makes more sense to freeze it in place and then begin reversing it than it does to expand it so that it becomes even further entrenched and impossible to change.

    And here again, expanding the current structure to include homosexual couples is not "equality under the law", unless you disregard every group besides homosexuals against whom the current marriage structure discriminates.

  • T o n y||

    Now this is where you go off the rails. It's better to suffer inequality on the hope that marriage will be abolished? Is the plausibility of that outcome relevant to the decision of whether we deliberately keep gay couples unequal in the eyes of the law?

    Your second point may well be right, but I don't understand why gays should have to suffer an obvious inequality because other groups may have the same grievance. Polygamists and single people are as welcome to take their case to court as gays are.

  • ||

    It depends on your definition of "better". If "better" means "I finally got my piece of the pie, and fuck you", then yeah, it'd be a lot "better" expanding an illegitimate state function so that it benefits you. That's the same sense in which it would be "better" if we, say, expanded import tariffs on all goods to make all products "equal before the law" rather than eliminating them, or raised everyone's income tax rate to 75% to make "all taxpayers equal before the law", for example. But on the whole though, in terms of the legal ramifications, no, I don't think it would be "better", for the same reasons. I'm not a utilitarian. And even if I were, I have no utility at stake either way - I'm not gay.

  • Proprietist||

    http://www.latimes.com/news/na.....5076.story

    Rand Paul putting on his best Rick Santorum impression. :(

  • Devil's Advocate||

    Yeah, what the fuck has gotten into Rand? I thought he had a lot of promise, but I see that it hasn't taken DC long to corrupt him.

  • ||

    Most liberaltarians like to conveniently forget that the Pauls are both religious people. They're both pro-life as well. Hate to piss on your parade.

  • Becky||

    Just because popular history has mythologized Lincoln into a god, is not a good reason for an organization presumably having a high regard for "reason" to make the current chief executive officer of the United States into a living god.

  • The Derider||

    If Reason deifies any politician, it's Ron Paul.

  • Proprietist||

    But...Justin Raimondo and all the Lew Rockwellites told me that Reason hates Ron Paul. I'm so confused.

  • The Derider||

    I said they deify him, not that they like him, heh.

  • Trespassers W||

    an organization presumably having a high regard for "reason"

    It's Monday morning and I haven't even had lunch yet. I have work to do. What kind of sadist are you?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    If Barry really gave a shit about this, he wouldn't have wanted to wait to make his Big Announcement until Just The Right Time... he would've made it, say, about for years ago.

    "Enlightened moment", my ass.

    Either that, or up until a few days ago, Barry was bigoted against gay people. Can't have it both ways.

  • T o n y||

    But in your mind it's not even logically possible for Obama to do something right, is that not so?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Got those bonafide telepath credentials, Tony? Let's see 'em.

    Look, the man is a politician. And one that wouldn't be where he is, unless he weaseled sealed divorce records for no good reason - divorce records should NEVER be used for political purposes, by the way. So, he's a cutthroat SOB, like most politicians.

    Therefore, like most politicians... he is not to be trusted, nor should he be fawned over.

    So, tell me why I should respect the man?

  • T o n y||

    I would ask only that you assess him on a factual and contextual basis. Of course everything he does is political, and as a good politician he considers everything in a political context.

    Most people think he has favored gay marriage equality probably his entire career. But as I said above, even gay people I know are nervous about his announcement. In the sense that it is politically risky, it was brave, and it's noteworthy that he is the first sitting president to endorse marriage equality. Beyond that I don't think there's much call to get your panties in a twist.

  • ||

    it was brave

    Just the same way as a wind-wane is brave.

  • T o n y||

    Alternatively, if you prefer having your panties twisted, and are constitutionally incapable of assessing Barack Obama objectively but are programmed to hate everything he does and is, you could argue that it would indeed be braver for him to try to continue "evolving," as the increasing untenability of that would present greater political risk. So, brave in a stupid way. I'm an advocate of the opinion and an eternal optimist, and I hesitate to say it was a good political move.

  • ||

    assessing Barack Obama objectively

    I think it's a fairly objective assessment that the man is a power monger and will do anything to hang onto it. Some see that as "leadership".

  • T o n y||

    What evidence is there that he will do "anything"? Coming to the correct position on gay marriage? I don't think he'd assassinate congress and declare himself god-king. But you never know about them muslins.

  • ||

    But you never know about them muslins.

    Why do you hate textiles?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    It would've been braver if he had let the cat out of the bag earlier in "probably his entire career".

    BTW, I would neither vote against - or for - gay marriage. I detest the notion that two people must supplicate themselves before an agent of government... pay money for the privilege... just to get a piece of paper that says "this document gives you the 'right' to call yourselves married, but ONLY if you jump through the hoops we provide".

    Fuck that. It would be much simpler - and much, much more fair - to ensure that any couple has the same benefits as a couple who goes through the silly ceremony - or even just in front of a magistrate, which is only slightly less stupid - and BAM. Everyone has the legal goodies, without the bullshit. Have the ceremony if you must, if it makes you feel better, but it would not be necessary. Throw a keg party instead, or whatever floats yer boat.

    Never been married, never will be, but if someday I find a special lady that thinks the way I do... it would be nice if we had the same protections as those who went through the bullshit motions listed above.

    It's just a piece of paper, after all.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    For the record... I have despised virtually every president in my lifetime, though I admit I loathe Gerald Ford the least.

    That, Tony, is "objective".

  • ||

    ...he is the first sitting president to endorse marriage equality privileges for monogamous gay couples and no one else.

    Fixed that for you.

  • T o n y||

    No one else? You mean, except monogamous straight couples who've enjoyed the privileges for a long, long time?

    Why are you trying to paint this as special treatment for gays? Sure, it's special treatment for monogamous couples who seek a marriage license, but that's not a tradition I see going away any time soon, and pretending that it could is to pretty much admit you're just making excuses.

  • ||

    Of course, as you should probably realize from the other comments I posted to which you replied, I meant that in addition to currently-benefited heterosexual monogamous couples.

    If I am painting gay marriage as special treatment for gays, it's because that's what it is - the same way as heterosexual marriage is special treatment for heterosexual couples. I think the entire institution is absurd as a state function and should be abolished. You think it should be expanded just enough so that you can take advantage of it. That's well and good, but it sure as fuck isn't "equality".

  • T o n y||

    It's equality in the sense that monogamous couples who seek to marry are treated equally. Marriage itself as being a violation of equality because single people don't get its benefits is an interesting, but distracting and rather obscure, argument.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Straight couples who don't want to get married, face the same things gays do.

    But fuck 'em, right? They're not gay, after all.

  • ||

    ... or people who want to marry more than one person. Or want to marry a person to whom they're related. Or want to have any other type of non-monogamous or non-traditional relationship recognized by the state. But Tony doesn't stand to benefit from making those animals as equal as the rest. Equality is nice, but MY equality is nicer.

  • T o n y||

    Let people in nontraditional relationships take their case to court. I won't begrudge them for it. But the subject is gay equality and gays don't have to answer for every other group before they deserve equal rights.

  • ||

    Equality for me, but none for thee. Gotcha.

    Or, stated a different way: "I finally got my piece of the pie, and fuck you". As I've said about a hundred times now, you have no interest whatsoever in "equality before the law". As long as Uncle Sam remembers you when it's time to hand out the candy everybody else can go fuck themselves. It's nice to see you finally admit it, albeit in a roundabout way. I don't understand why you have to fight that characterization - it fits your utilitarian mindset perfectly. "Equality" makes for a better publicity campaign than "I finally got my piece of the pie, and fuck you", but you can let your hair down here - we all know you anyway.

  • T o n y||

    How do they face the same thing? They have the option to get married whenever they wish.

  • ||

    Shorter Chapman:

    Rah Rah Rah Team Blue!

    It's hard to decide what the most idiotic part of this article would be: comparing gay people in 2012 with black slaves in 1861, making Lincoln into a heroic president, or comparing Obama's statement on TV that he personally thinks gay couples should be allowed to marry to Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation during the midpoint of a war in which 600,000 people were slaughtered.

  • triclops||

    I think the biggest take away from this whole thing is that Democratic voters want their pols to lie to everyone else about their true beliefs about society for as long as it is politically convenient.

    I am not sure what the Team Red equivalent is, but it is pretty funny watching all the Team Blue cheerleaders explain that it is okay for Obama to have lied about his position on gay marriage, as well as to lie about how he had his "evolution".
    At what point will cheerleaders like Tony admit that Obama is just as dishonest, to his very core, as every other politician seeking high office?

  • Pi||

    Ah, but the dishonesty of Team Blue becomes acceptable for as long as it is politically expedient.

  • triclops||

    Also,
    Because I think the whole gay marriage argument is mostly silly, I encourage all of my gay friends and relatives to have whatever ceremony they want, and call themselves "married" at every opportunity. That way, when someone challenges them by saying, "No, your'e not". They can reply, "Yes, we are", and a hilarious argument will ensue where one side claims that some marriages are more "real' than others.

    I really do think getting state permission and recognition of a marriage is a bit too much like the beginning of that historically accurate documentary, "Braveheart".

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