Sadly, the Predictably Lame Arguments Against Gay Marriage Seem to be Working Quite Well...

Down below, Matt Welch points to a recent Weekly Standard car wreck of an article attacking gay marriage as only a thrice-married conservative can muster with a straight face (bonus points for the fantastic world we live in: One of the ads in the automated Google ad feed at the Standard's site is for Connexion.org, "the gay-friendly place to socialize, network, and make your voice heard!").

Matt challenges you to read the thing to the finish, which is sort of like eating a 72-ounce steak after scarfing a couple dozen donuts: Tough to do, but well worth it for the sense of achievement. The basic argument is that gay marriage will somehow destroy "kinship" and related familial obligations more than, say, three straight marriages, and the big finish is this odd Newtonian threat (spoiler alert!) that if the gays don't recognize the heroic restraint of straight men who keep it in their pants, then, well, civilization itself is going to give them such a pinch!:

If gay men and women could see the price that humanity—particularly the women and children among us—will pay, simply in order that a gay person can say of someone she already loves with perfect competence, "Hey, meet the missus!"—no doubt they will think again. If not, we're about to see how well humanity will do without something as basic to our existence as gravity.

The whole Weekly Standard story, by Sam Schulman, is here. Interestingly, Schulman tacitly acknowledges that he's fighting a lost cause. Peering through the misty glory hole of history, he gasps that "the embrace of homosexuality in Western culture has come about with unbelievable speed.... Less than 50 years ago same-sex sexual intercourse was criminal. Now we are arguing about the term used to describe a committed relationship." For a second, I thought was about to start reading an old Onion article on a related theme.

Recent polling data from Gallup suggests that gay marriage is still some time away from acceptance.

Support (or more precisely, tolerance) of homosexuality is way up. Back in 1977, Gallup started asking whether relationships between gay and lesbian adults should be legal. Only 43 percent of Americans thought so, a figure that has climbed to 56 percent since.

However, when it comes to recognizing gay marriage (which the polling compnay asking about in the mid-'90s), Gallup finds support slipping from a high of 46 percent in 2007 to 40 percent this year.

As with many rotten things in life, I'd like to blame Rosie O'Donnell somehow for the decline in support for gay marriage, but I don't think that gets us very far towards an answer. And, like Matt, I continue to believe that what we're witnessing here is the last gasp of a losing argument against truly equal rights for gays and lesbians. Gallup finds that 18-29 year-olds favor recognition by 59 percent over 37 percent, suggesting that as younger Americans age there will be less and less resistance to the idea of gay marriage. Given that, and the increasing tolerance for gays and lesbians in general (where have you gone, Mr. Roper, with all the Tinkerbell jokes?), it remains firmly a question of when gay marriage is legalized, not if.

I hope we get to gay marriage sooner rather than later; I don't find the fear that it will destroy or even significantly disrupt society very convincing. And as Martin Luther King, Jr. could tell you, telling people to just wait a while because change can be difficult to handle gets old fast. It is no small thing to be able to say "Meet the missus!," as Marrying Man Sam Schulman must certainly know. 

And I trust he will agree with this simple reality: The longer it takes for gays and lesbians to enjoy the benefits and experience of marriage, the longer it will take them to enjoy the benefits and experience of divorce. And that's just not fair, gravity be damned.

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  • ||

    Nick,

    It would be nice if you included the error bars on the plot (or at least told us what they were for the last few points). Extrapolating three points to generate a trend is bad enough, but come on.

    Ron

  • Cal Lipigian||

    Support (or more precisely, tolerance) of homosexuality is way up. Back in 1977, Gallup started asking whether relationships between gay and lesbian adults should be legal. Only 43 percent of Americans thought so, a figure that has climbed to 56 percent since.

    44 percent of Americans think homosexual relationships should be illegal? Yo, fuck us.

  • Hugh Akston||

    If we're going to cite the Onion to support arguments, my view is pretty much summed up from this man-on-the-street bit.

    "First, the military, now marriage. Why do these gays want in on our worst institutions?"



    I will say what I always say, that marriage is a matter for churches and their members. Civil marriage is nothing but an entitlement program.

  • Mister DNA||

    In the name of all that is Good and Holy, could someone at Reason replace that picture of Rosie O'Donnell? I had to watch 2 Girls 1 Cup to get her image off my retinas.

    Here's a photo of Arrested Development-era Portia De Rossi that could be a suitable replacement.

  • ed||

    that picture of Rosie O'Donnell

    I feel your pain, Mister DNA, but that's what lesbians look like in real life.
    At least the ones I see on MSNBC do. Maybe I should get out more.

  • the innominate one||

    I thought you were going to link this Onion article, Nick:

    Area Homosexual Thinks He's Still In The Closet

  • robc||

    Nick,

    I continue to believe that what we're witnessing here is the last gasp of a losing argument against truly equal rights for gays and lesbians

    Equal rights for gays dont include a marriage license issued by a government agency unless you are pushing a "positive rights" agenda now.

    Gays have most (if not all) their negative rights now. There is still more to be done on that front, but its come a long way. Selling out to the positive rights bullshit crowd doesnt help anything.

    Especially those of us trying to fight the concept everywhere else.

    What next for Reason: The right to health insurance?

    Okay, Im sure I just set off the drinking game, enjoy your beverage everyone.

  • ||

    I'm kind of astonished by the datum that only 56% of all Americans think that gay/lesbian relationships should be legal. Anyone have any more background or depth on that figure?

  • ||

    Everyone, married anyway, knows gay marriage is impossible. Well certainly not after the first few months anyway as that's when reality starts to kick in. More often than not, it kicks in the balls at that.

  • robc||

    Happily Marred

    Intentional

    or

    Great example of RC's Law

    ???

  • ||

    OK, I confess. I wrote the Weekly Standard article as a performance piece. You guys sure fell for it hook, line, and sinker!

    I was also the second gunman on the grassy knoll.

  • ||

    Go ahead and let the gays marry.

    I look forward to whatever comedy gold insanity the left wing crazy try next.

    Where is the call for all hetros to stop whatever they are doing and applaud whenever a gay is near? They are so brave and all, and goodness knows it would be the fair thing to do.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Civil marriage is nothing but an entitlement program.

    When government grants benefits to certain individuals based on their choices, then it is, in effect, denying those benefits to others. If Reason writers would at least acknowledge this point of view in their articles then so many of us would not have to keep saying...

    GOVERNMENT SHOULD GET OUT OF THE MARRIAGE BUSINESS

    ...in the comments section.

  • ed||

    whatever comedy gold insanity the left wing crazy try next

    Polygamy would be my guess. It's a very small step, and lots of cultures do it.

  • Bruce Majors||

    I am holding out for the right to marry aliens from other solar systems, who probably have something other than two genders, and those not commensurate with ours.

    After all, you people smell funny.

  • IceTrey||

    Unless there is some requirement for the parties to attest under criminal perjury that they are gay, then it's not "gay marriage" it's "same sex marriage". Does anyone know if this is the case in the states that allow it?

  • Bruce Majors||

    Celestina is my leader!

  • ||

    I will repeat 'til I'm blue in the face that this is largely about redefining 'marriage' as part of a political power play -- does anyone here in their right mind *not* think that this would only further empower the PC thought police in public schools, creating even more entrenched thought crimes wrt to questioning the PC CW?

    The objective historical *function* of marriage is about formalizing rights & responsibilities of men and women wrt raising their offspring (who do not come naturally to same sex couples if you haven't noticed): a presumption of paternity & child support in exchange for fidelity, plus inheritance and a more stable environment for the kiddies. Not to mention a likely reduction in crimes of passion by males.
    This is not to be confused with "two people who love each other..." bit - that is a red herring as how/why we choose spouses (romantic love versus other arranged by parents, etc) is not at all the same thing as what the social purpose of the institution is.
    And every organized society has always had its 'government' taking an interest because it *is* a community issue in many ways.

    To be somewhat flip, one may as well redefine the meaning of "driver's license" so blind people can qualify in the name of 'equality.'

  • ||

    Another telling point -- although there are isolated cases of cultures treating homosexuality different before the modern era, any 'gay marriage' they may have had has never existed as a thing in and of itself, but always *only* in the context of aping the real thing.

  • IceTrey||

    @newscaper

    Actually the historical purpose of marriage was so the male could be reasonably sure the females children were also his. It was about standing in front of the tribe and announcing to all the other males that "this one is mine so hands off". After all, you always know who the mother is but you can never be sure of the father. At least that's the way it was until today when we have DNA testing.

  • BeesInTheBrain||

    Last I checked it wasn't against the law for gays in California to have "marriage" ceremonies.

  • B||

    "Recent polling data from Gallup suggests that gay marriage is still some time away from acceptance."

    And the person whose picture is associated with this article is one good reason for that. As long as hateful demagogues like Rosie O'Donnell are the most vocals members of the "Gay Rights" movement, you better fucking believe the majority of Americans are going to reject what she is advocating. Bottom feeders like Perez Hilton and hateful, intolerant bigots like Rosie do grave damage to any cause with which they are associated. Your claims that Rosie and like-"minded" people are to thank for the decline in support for gay marriage are right on the money

  • B||

    "I had to watch 2 Girls 1 Cup to get her image off my retinas."

    Awesome.

  • ||

    OK, I confess. I wrote the Weekly Standard article as a performance piece. You guys sure fell for it hook, line, and sinker!

    I was wondering how the author wasn't hooked up with Maggie Gallagher - he can bravely protect [the rest of the men in the world from] access to her sexuality.

    Epi, that is truly falling on your sword, so to speak.

  • ||

    Peering through the misty glory hole of history...

    Nick Gillespie is at it again! Heh!

  • Mike||

    The only good arguement against gay marriage is the fact that Rosie O'Donnell should never, ever marry anyone.

  • ||

    Gallup finds that 18-29 year-olds favor recognition by 59 percent over 37 percent, suggesting that as younger Americans age there will be less and less resistance to the idea of gay marriage.

    How so? since when are people monolithic in their views through the ages? With their first son at the latest the new parents will start seeing homo=pedo behind every tree!

  • </a||

    Sadly, the Predictably Lame Arguments Against Gay Marriage Seem to be Working Quite Well...

    Maybe the problem is that the arguments for it are even lamer still.

  • Solanum||

    I'd like to blame Rosie O'Donnell somehow

    Best rant ever. I can't listen to this often enough.

  • ||

    The irreversiblity of some of the world's "issues" sends a signal to mankind. That every aspect of life has a pattern it follows meaning that things that come and go, goes forever. Be very careful of the kind of decisions you make and the kind of concepts you believe in. What really matters is not how you live before you die but what happpens to you when you have died. Just relax and sit down to think about the gay lesbian issue. Why are you gay? why do you want to be gay? Is it ok? what really is going on with you? Just think.. Are you being influenced in any way?
    What is the essence of life? please spare some time to think about yourself..

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Equal rights for gays dont include a marriage license issued by a government agency unless you are pushing a "positive rights" agenda now."

    Indeed not. A marriage license is no more of a "right" than a driver's license.

    I'd also say that the slipping support for gay marriage has a lot to do with the tactics of it's boosters - trying to do end runs around the proper venue for deciding such things - state legislatures - and using the courts to try and invent a "right" that is nowhere ennumerated in the federal or any state Constitution and that everyone knows full well was never understood to mean it did by those who ratified those documents.

    Instead of doing the hard work of trying to change society by convinving people of the morality of their positions, they attempt to jam it down everyone's throat by judicial fiat.

  • ||

    Matt challenges you to read the thing to the finish, which is sort of like eating a 72-ounce steak after scarfing a couple dozen donuts: Tough to do, but well worth it for the sense of achievement.

    No kidding.

    Reading that article and some comments, I am starting to think that every article or post defending equal legal rights for same-sex marriage should start with the sentence:

    "There is a distinction between 1) government policy and 2) the traditional/cultural attitudes of family members and the public at large regarding the institution(s) historically referred to as marriage."

    The government has certain policies regarding things like naturalization, income taxes (of course many libertarians want to repeal the income tax but that's a thread jack and a half), visitation rights to hospital patients, etc. Currently a man and a woman can enter into a legal partnership such that government policy on these things gives us certain benefits, but neither two men nor two women can enter into a partnership that has the same benefits. This partnership happens to be called "marriage", and it often coincides with religious/cultural marriage and all the baggage that entails. However, the government policy advantages can in principle (and sometimes in practice) exist without ceremonial/cultural stuff and vice versa - and we should keep this distinction clear in our minds.

    So, for example, suppose I meet a foreign woman who wants to become a US citizen. The option of entering into this partnership is available to us if we both consent, and if we do it is easier for her to become a citizen than it otherwise would be. No comparable option exists for two men or two women.

    A similar situation exists in the case of joint income tax filing. If I enter into this legal partnership with a woman, we have the option of filing income taxes jointly and (if there is a significant disparity in our incomes) possibly saving money compared to what we would pay as two single filers. No comparable option exists for two men or two women.

    And there are other examples in areas like property law, gift taxes, employee/employer contracts (I think), etc. Some libertarians will argue (rightly perhaps, in some cases) that the government should get out of many of those areas and eliminate joint filing (or income taxes all together) - thus making the point moot. There are two points I'd make about that:

    1 - While "getting the government out of that" might be the best approach in some cases, as long as the government does have policies on something, it should be even-handed between same-sex couples and opposite sex couples.

    2 - There are some things that the government will still have to be involved in. For example, I don't see how you would get the government out of the business of determining who is and who isn't a citizen

  • ||

    IceTrey,

    I now -- that's why I specifically mentioned paternity ;)

  • ||

    BG said
    "However, the government policy advantages can in principle (and sometimes in practice) exist without ceremonial/cultural stuff and vice versa - and we should keep this distinction clear in our minds."

    Yes, but government policy w/o regard to basic biology or essential human nature as illustrated thru history and anthropology is unmoored form reality.

    May as well legislate the value of pi.

  • hmm||

    Rosie is to gay marriage that protecting hate speech is to the 1st.

    You gotta protect it, or try, but for the love of god you want a shower and mouth wash after you are done.

  • ||

    I will repeat 'til I'm blue in the face that this is largely about redefining 'marriage' as part of a political power play -- does anyone here in their right mind *not* think that this would only further empower the PC thought police in public schools, creating even more entrenched thought crimes wrt to questioning the PC CW?

    I don't see what any of this has to do with public schools.

    And I can't speak for others, but I don't even care about what the definition of the word "marriage" is. For all I care, they could change the official legal term of all these legally recognized partnerships (same sex and opposite sex, or only same sex - either way) from "marriage" to "civil union". Religious institutions and other private parties could refer to anything they want as a "marriage"; and grant recognition, or not, as they see fit.

    The objective historical *function* of marriage is about formalizing rights & responsibilities of men and women wrt raising their offspring (who do not come naturally to same sex couples if you haven't noticed): a presumption of paternity & child support in exchange for fidelity, plus inheritance and a more stable environment for the kiddies.

    Some of the government-policy-related benefits I mentioned in my 11:32 post (think naturalization and joint tax filing) are available to heterosexual couples even if they don't have kids (and even if there is a biological problem with the reproductive system of one or both partners so that they can't conceive offspring). Should that be changed? And if not, what is the rational basis for denying that same benefit to same sex couples?

    Also, straight couples who adopt get the same tax advantages and other legal benefits as those who raise their biological children. So what is the rational basis for not extending the option of adopting - with all the same legal benefits - to same sex couples?

  • ||

    Yes, but government policy w/o regard to basic biology or essential human nature as illustrated thru history and anthropology is unmoored form reality.

    May as well legislate the value of pi.


    Allowing same sex couples an option where they can legally file income taxes jointly as straight couples do, or where a foreign citizen who enters into a legal union with a member of the same sex can have an easier time getting a green card (as currently the case with straight couples), or where the other legal benefits are made equally accessible does not run afoul of basic biology or essential human nature.

    If you disagree, I'd like to hear why you think it does. But you have your work cut out for you in that case.

  • ||

    I had a nice long reply but my antivirus s/w kicking in on Vista caused one of those damned freezes and I lost it. Sorry.

    The final gist -- I believe the actual meaning of the object of proposed policy is vitally relevant to the discussion of that policy.

    I guess I'm quaint that way.

  • ||

    In a few decades when there is brutal civil war in Europe as secular humanist EUtopians in the cities with majority Muslim populations put up their last stand against Sharia-imposing Muslims, if we havent been nuked by then, will come to see the folly of all things which contributed to a negative fertitily rate and the purported neccessity of open immigration.

    You will see abortion made illegal. May even see birth control banned, and the people will have no tolerance for trivial and obviously decadedent same sex marriage... surely a sign that a society has solved all of its important problems.. or so it thinks.

  • Ray Gardner||

    Serious editorial faux pas.

    You're arguing for gay marriage with a picture of that beast at the top.

    Definitely not helping the cause.

  • ||

    newscaper

    I don't know if the post that you lost was a reply to my post, but if so I think the meaning of terms like "equal legal treatment", "joint income tax filing", "easier naturalization" and so forth are fairly straightforward.

    The word "marriage" has more than one meaning. Generally, its meanings refer to recognition by some group or institution of a couple (or a polygamous situation in which one person is partnered with multiple others); and usually indicates (among other things) that the group approves of sex between the partners in the recognized couple.

    However, when the government recognizes a "legal marriage", we have a different type of situation than when a religious institution or other organization recognizes a couple as a "marriage". These situations often occur at the same time, but they aren't identical.

    What is relevant here is that the government is granting certain legal benefits to some couples under certain circumstances (and being "legally married" is merely the official term used to refer to the fact that the couple has registered as having the legal right to receive those benefits). Being legally married is also not really a matter of whether the government approves of the couple having sex -it is legal for unmarried consenting adults to have sex also. A far as the government is concerned, sex within versus outside of marriage is only relevant insofar as it can affect the terms of a divorce ruling if one party cheats on the other (barring a pre-nub explicitly repudiating this).

    So, to get to my point, I don't think it matters whether the government uses the word "marriage" to describe this legal status or some other term like "civil union" - as long as we know what the benefits and legal effects are that we are talking about and distinguish it from other uses of the term "marriage".

    VinceP1974

    You don't seem to have much confidence in the ability of freedom's defenders to win over the hearts and minds of Muslims in Europe.

    At any rate, whatever may be said about your depressing scenario, it seems unlikely that the absence of legal recognition for same sex couples is making gay people want to have straight, reproductive sex.

  • ||

    BG wrote:"VinceP1974

    You don't seem to have much confidence in the ability of freedom's defenders to win over the hearts and minds of Muslims in Europe."

    You're right, I don't have much confidence. It has nothing to do with my preference, I wish it was not going to be as bleak as I think it will.

    It's just the future that I see. I see the Sharia-backing Muslims as being more self-confident , assertive, and bold in defending and expanding their exclusive and intolerant culture.

    And I see the dwindling EUtopians as being too impotent, too few in number, or too depressed to counter it. If they reverse the sharia trend now while they still can, they're not going to do it when they are far fewer in number.

    "At any rate, whatever may be said about your depressing scenario, it seems unlikely that the absence of legal recognition for same sex couples is making gay people want to have straight, reproductive sex."

    But I never made the claim that they will. I merely suggested that the people in this country will come to regret the disruption in traditional social structure and will move to return to the pre 1960s ways as a matter of National Security.

    But that's just one possibility. Obviously anyone can make a case for any number of outcomes.

    I wanted to be a little provocative (not to be a troll) but to remind people that the future , at least in Europe, will be radicaly different than what many of us grew up expecting it to be. And not in a good way.

  • ||

    The legal nature of marriage as defined by the State is currently a travesty of social manipulation. However, I have to admit, to me seeing gay people trying to get married in a traditional format is like watching little kids dress up and play grown-up.

    Fact is, "marriage" as an institution seems to be the original contract. And the primary driver of the social behavior is the kids. That's essentially what a wedding is for. Everyone gets to see the commitments made, no he-said/she-said. No ambiguity about who is RESPONSIBLE for who's burdensome kids, especially in keeping the male honest.

    It really did take two people to raise a kid in a hand-to-mouth agrarian society. With a wedding you don't have to be literate to "sign" the contract...if you have enough witnesses. That's what marriage is for and why in that most basic guy/gal format, its universal in human social evolution. No kids - or potential for kids - equals no "real" marriage in my social book.

    Look at the ancient Greeks or Romans...especially the Romans. Their societies would make Larry Flynt blush. Those civilizations were a NAMBLA paradise, with equal-opportunity slavery to boot so you could literally buy your sex-toys at Roman Mart or whatever. The very term "pedophile" is derived from the Greek institution of "Pederasty." I am not equating homosexuals with pederasses mind you, merely trying to illustrate the social mores of these places. Being a married guy with some homotoys on the side was no big deal.

    Not once in those societies do you see any group or movement seriously consider trying to equate gay relationships to straight relationships through the institution of marriage. People back then, for all their faults, understood that such relationships were and are different. Maybe not from an emotional perspective, maybe not from a moral perspective, but most definitely in the consequences resulting from such relationships, namely brand-new sparkling mouths to feed and the responsibility to feed said mouths.

    That's what marriage is for and why its between a guy and a gal, that relationship alone has such power. Sorry rainbows.

  • ||

    . I'm gay and I oppose gay marriage. I dont think the life-long monogamous relationship model is one that works with gay people.

    You see, one of the things that marriage does is create a social expectation that married men won't go sleeping around on their wives, impreganating multiple women and create babies everywhere. This destroys every family this man involves himself.. all the wives, mistresses , and their children. Thus the man has to restrained and have to go so far as to obligate him to make an oath to God that he won't do that.

    What is the consequence if a gay guy cheats on his whatever... nothing other than perhaps STD. Other than disease, sex has no consequence for gay guys.

    You dont need State recognition of marriage in order to have a monogamous gay releationship so those up for that challenege could have always lived this way.

    The vast number of gay relationships that i know that span more than a decade almost all involve non-monogamy.

    If disease-control is being cited as a motivation FOR gay marriage, I will disagree. I believe it's nearly impossible for gay guy to never cheat on his bf. Sure many are able to remain faithful but just as many if not more are not able.

    Gay men look to the man-woman relationship model and say "Hmm. if he sleeps around on me that means he doesnt want me"

    But that's not neccesarily true because homo-sex has far far far fewer risks of destroying relationships / creating children then straight-sex.

    So the calculation to cheat is different.

    But if one is under the strict rules of Marriage, cheating means the end of the relationship.. this forces people to lie. Instead of being honest with one another about the temptations to sleep around, this unrealistic Marriage model forces them to lie about it. And with lies come wrong assumptions and those wrong assumptions can lead to disease.

  • ||

    I do not oppose same-sex marriage. In fact, given the opportunity, I would vote in favor of it. I DO oppose gay marriage imposed by the courts as some sort of right, just as I oppose abortion being imposed by the courts.

    Fight it out in the legislatures and ballot boxes and I will support you. Take it to the courts and I oppose you. I suspect, given the drop in support, I am not alone.

  • ||

    hmmm.... I wonder what else we'll find when "Peering through the misty glory hole of history...

  • Reformed Trombonist||

    Nick, you pronounced the arguments against gay marriage as "predictably lame." Is your responsibility done? Is that your idea of a proper refutation? Stick a couple of epithets together, and phew! Arguing for a living sure is tough.

  • ||

    BG, I'd agree with this with adding the key point where you and I apparently diverge:

    "...and usually indicates (among other things) that the group approves of sex between the partners in the recognized couple.... "
    [ADDED] in light of the tremendously important stakes surrounding the siring and rearing of children.

    The 'normal' (sorry but biology is a bitch) way this happens -- which is hard to have *not* happen, by our very two-sex nature -- is thru heterosexual reproduction. Children are the only way our genes and memes(culture) propagate into the future -- the only sort of immortality available to us if one is not religious (as I am not). So yes, they're important to society as a whole -- or on a more pragmatic level, they're the future producers, defenders, taxpayers.

    Given this universally ascribed import, a preference for this publically recognized relationship has to be expressed *somehow*. So one can argue about the rightness of the existence of the preference, or the details of policies, but you can't try to ignore the B-follows-A nature of the whole and conveniently try to divorce the two parts.

    Expanding on the paternity issue -- recognized 'marriages' in particular seem to be the way human societies evolved in settling men down (by spreading the women around?) as well as best providing for children. The reverse example is what is all too often seen in the 'hood, if you want a real-life lab experiment. Het marriages w/o children, either by choice or misfortune, at least support the institution by following the same form in a way that SSM does not. And infertility has always been grounds for anullment/divorce, which strengthens my point, not yours.

    FWIW I actually do see gay couples with children of their own (but not necessarily the kids with an opposite sex ex who are the legacy of 'finding one's self') as the opening for same sex marriage, but as others here, such major social tinkering should be by an evolving consensus and not judicial fiat, not by completely ignoring inconvenient long term human experience (sometimes known as 'tradition')

    You probably think I'm some sort of troglodyte, but, believe it or not, I went thru my hardcore idealistic libertarian phase in high school and college back in the 80s -- Rand and Rothbard, mags Reason and the more radical Liberty. Since then I've found that the major failing of ordinary 'pure' libertarian thought is that it has not much more than a bumper sticker level of understanding of its various 'principles', an inadequate understanding of how (when achieved only partially) they interact and have side effects and feedback on each other.

    It's like a multidimensional modeling problem where trying to find or approach the global optimum of some desired overall state of the system. Blindly picking just one axis and forcing the coordinate all the way over to its maximum 'good' extent may worsen the overall state.
    If you picture this as a 3d surface with hills and valleys, X and Y are two input variables and Z is the measure of the overall state -- we could call that here 'overall liberty and the prosperity it should engender'. Simplistically shoving 'x' all the way over while ignoring 'y' could easily put one down in the next valley rather than up a higher hill. Hypothetical examples -- one axis is 'extent of cross-cultural immigration' and the other is 'economic freedom in terms of a taxing welfare state that insists on citizenship-blindness' (or political freedom in terms of 'limited govt republic sliding toward majoritarian democracy enabled by judicial diktat'). Much as I hate the term, a holistic approach must be taken. Cato Institute seriously tries, and some of the Objectivist groups, but your garden variety purist libertarian does not.

    its not a matter of not being 'principled', but rather having a more sophisticated model of how those principles actually interact in a real world short of perfect liberty. The 'how the hell do we approach that, actually get there from *here*' problem is glossed over or poorly addressed in most libertarian thought. Until that changes libertarians will remain on the fringes in spite the large number of dissatisfied latent or proto- libertarian leaning people are out there in the electorate.

  • ||

    I agree with the commenters that say that the homosexual community are their own worst enemy.

    If they would downplay and hide the street fairs, have people in long term relationships be the spokespeople, I think they would be a lot farther than they are.

    Instead they come across as angry, juvenile, out of control animals unable to contain their sexual appatite and demand that every one "approve". Want to shorten your life, become an active homosexual, want desease? become an active homosexual. and on and on. Smoking was banned becuause of the "common good". A close look at homosexuality could result in the same thing for the same reasons.

  • ||

    Nick, I think you meant:

    bonus points for the fantastic

  • ||

    bonus points for the fantastic fabulous world we live in: One of the ads in the automated Google ad feed at the Standard's site is for Connexion.org, "the gay-friendly place to socialize, network, and make your voice heard!"

    Stupid HTML. This joint needs a preview function. I've given up on user-friendly formatting buttons for comments.

  • ||

    The arguments against SSM are "lame," Nick? Please. The arguments in favor of it go way, way beyond lame into just plain delusional. For a group that argues so strongly for biological evolution, many libertarians/libertines conveniently blow off evolution and become strictly faith-based when it comes to human culture, which itself has evolved over millennia.

    Megan McArdle makes a pretty convincing argument along those lines here:

    http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.html

    Stanley Kurtz' work on the issue SSM's effects on civilization has also been excellent.

    You can throw around snide epithets all you want, but please don't fool yourself into thinking you are actually making a cogent argument when you do that.

  • ||

    VinceP1974's point has soundness to it... I believe studies confirm that gay men are more promiscuous because of the simple fact that they're men and men given the opportunity are more promiscuous than women. But as an equal rights issue there is no alternative to full gay marriage rights.

  • Richard||

    Dear Nick, Have you considered the 'expanding government argument' against state recognition, promotion and endorsement of same-sex marriage?

    Personally, I find Freud's theory of polymorphous perverse to be the most compelling argument against SSM. It is the reason males in ancient societies who were not homosexual often had sex partners of the same sex (often young boys). I don't see emulating ancient societies in this matter as "progressive". Of course polygamy was common and same sex marriage non-existent in human history. If love, fairness or happiness is your criteria, then why not polygamy?

  • ||

    Google is now serving the ad for

    Connexion.org, "the gay-friendly place to socialize, network, and make your voice heard!"

    on the main Hit & Run page.

  • ||

    As Mr. Akston noted, civil marriage is but an entitlement program.

    HECK YEA! As a married guy with 5 kids and the sole breadwinner in the most expensive part of the country (Silicon Valley), I need all the support I can get. Tax-benefited health care for my wife and kids subsidized my employer and dependent tax exemptions for the wife and kids are just two.

    The problem with gay marriage is that it will DILUTE these benefits for us breeders. Adding 5 or 6% of the population to these benefit programs just increases their social and business costs and so increasess the pressure to reduce or eliminate these marriage benefits.

    Plus, my children are my greatest investment in life. For valid biological reasons I hope and expect them to have grandchildren. Making homosexuality a comfortable life option may will REDUCE the number of grandkids I can expect (on a statistical basis). Hence, gay marriage could represent a threat to my patrimony.

    Gays can do what they will. My interests in their behavior is that they don't spread disease, don't seduce my kin and descendents, and don't make supporting my family more expensive.

    They would be better off politically to enjoy their just gains and go back to their closets and get out of my face.

  • ||

    I don't want to get married

    I only want to get divorced.

  • ||

    Can someone please explain why two men or two women should have the legal right to file jointly on their tax return, easier naturalization as citizens, etc. but three men, or two women and one man do not?
    I know several staunch advocates for gay marriage who are adamant that polygamy is out of the question- marriage is between two people- but they don't provide any logical or legal reason why marriage can't be limited to male/female unions but can be limited to 2 person unions.
    If entering into a state recognized marriage with any consenting adult is in fact a basic right that cannot be denied, then why should we discriminate against those who are in loving, committed relationships with more than one person?
    I think it is foolish to avoid this issue and its implications for society. Marriage laws, family laws, inheritance laws, etc have a profound affect on society, and while I have friends in same sex relationships, I"m not going to support same sex marriage until I see good arguments that 1) people have a right to SSM but not polygamy and/or 2) legalizing polygamy would either have no effect or a positive effect on our society.

  • ||

    Oh, don't worry JeanE -- Polyamory is in the batter's box:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/938xpsxy.asp

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/494pqobc.asp

    Pretty soon, Nick will be on here arguing that if a man wants to marry his goat, who are we to stop him?

  • Sinner||

    I would dearly love to see same sex marriage come to the US for no other reason than to see some Family Curt judge's head spin completely of his/her neck trying to decide who to punish.

    Judge: Wait..what? they BOTH have penises! [head explodes]

    Gays have no idea just how good they have it now.

  • ||

    Freedom of association is a natural and constitutionally protected right.

    There is no such thing as a "right" to marriage.

    (legally recognized) marriage is a societal institution. Society deciding that a particular relationship, which society defines at its discretion, is worthy of recognition and approval.

    If marriage is an individual right, it is a right for brothers and sisters who wish to marry, for men who wish to have 4 or 5 wives as well as men who wish to marry other men.

    The demand for legal gay marriage is an infantile demand that society provide official documents of approval and recognition for a relationship of which society doesn't approve and prefers not to recognize.

    When someone insists that gays have a "right" to marry, I've learned two things about that person;

    They don't understand what marriage is.

    They don't know what rights actually are.

  • ||

    Raoul,

    "Marriage is one of the basic civil rights of man."

    --from the majority opinion in Loving v. Virginia.

    Now you can argue that Loving doesn't apply to the gay marriage issue, and courts have. But Loving didn't establish a right to marry, it affirmed the right to due process and equal protection. If straight people can be married but gay people cannot then there is a similar violation in my opinion.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But as an equal rights issue there is no alternative to full gay marriage rights.

    WRONG! There is another fair option. It's just that the current crop of married couples don't want to give up their government sanctioned "rights".

  • ||

    Fist,

    But that's just another in a neverending line of libertarian "if only I had a pet unicorn that shit rainbows" arguments. I agree the problem could be done away with by removing the thousands of ways government has entangled itself with marriage. Until then how about we focus on the real world?

  • Ben||

    A reminder, Tony: It is currently perfectly legal for a gay man to marry any woman who will have him. What we are talking about with SSM is not an expansion of rights, but a radical redefinition of the foundational relationship of society. It is akin to the animal rights nuts who want to redefine pet ownership as "slavery."

  • ||

    Ben,

    That argument is stupid and you know it. Gay people have a right to marry... but only people they can have no interest in marrying. That argument, if that's what it can be called, is inextricably tied to the notion that being gay is a choice, and I don't know why you want to associate yourself with the cretins who still believe that.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Tony, you will have to drag my unicorn and me kicking and screaming into the real world.

    (Ironically, my unicorn's name is Princess Pragmatica.)

  • ||

    Yeah Tony. Once society has defined legal, state rocognized marriage it becomes a civil right for those who satisfy that definition.

    14th Amendment forbade discrimination based on race. SCOTUS struck down laws against Black/White marriage on that basis.

    A short time later the same SCOTUS (same individuals) ruled there is no such civil right to gay marriage. The ruling was unanimous.

  • ||

    I expect on a libertarian site that people would be in favor of demonstrating grave societal harm before denying equal rights. Nobody has ever presented a compelling case why redefining marriage to be gender neutral will harm anything.

  • Greg Q||

    I hope we get to gay marriage sooner rather than later; I don't find the fear that it will destroy or even significantly disrupt society very convincing.

    Gosh, how stupid of everyone. Why shouldn't we overturn 5,000 - 10,000 years of experience because Nick doesn't find the arguments against SSM "very convincing"? That seems like a no-brainer to me.

    As in, did you exercise even a single brain cell before writing that?

    You want society to change? Great. Make an affirmative case that your change will make society better off.

    Have you made that case? Where? If not, support for SSM is a "no brainer" in the sense that no one with any brains has any business supporting it.

  • ||

    Greg Q,

    First of all it's a flat out lie to imply that marriage hasn't changed in millenia, and will be unprecedentedly upended by extending its benefits to gay couples. Marriage as it exists now, as a union between two equal partners, is the radical redefinition. Extending that conception of marriage to gay couples is a minor change in comparison to all the other changes it's undergone in the last century.

    I don't believe an assertion of equal rights has to prove a benefit to society; rather you've got a great burden to prove harm to a society by denying equal rights.

    At any rate, society benefits by having more people enjoying the rights and privileges of marriage (assuming as the government does that marriage is positive for society), and by more people being equal under the law. I really think the burden is on you to demonstrate how equal marriage rights will harm anyone in any way.

  • </a||

    I expect on a libertarian site that people would be in favor of demonstrating grave societal harm before denying equal rights.

    I'd expect on a libertarian site that people would want a demonstration of a salient public interest before demanding public regulation of a private interest. And I have yet to see any such evidence presented.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'd expect on a libertarian site that people would want a demonstration of a salient public interest before demanding public regulation of a private interest.

    We're not allowed to bring that up here at HuffPo.

  • ||

    I'd expect on a libertarian site that people would want a demonstration of a salient public interest before demanding public regulation of a private interest.

    Avoiding the issue by hoping for that pet unicorn is a given here.

  • ||

    Tony;

    On a so-called libertarian site I would expect people to respect the Constitution, Bill Of Rights and intent of the framers.

    I would expect people to be absolutely and ruthlessly clear about the difference between an "endowed by their Creator" and "unalienable right" protected by the Constitution on the one hand-

    And a fascistic infantile attemted extortion of society to recognize and issue official certificates of approval for so called "rights" that don't actually exist!

    When we're speaking about natural, Constitutional rights, we're talking in every case about the right to be left alone.

    There is no such thing as a "right" to be licensed by the state for something you are free to do-be-have without such a license!

    It's an absurd concept.

  • Ben||

    Tony -- Using your logic (such as it is) I should have a constitutional right to marry my golden retriever. Your position dictates a conclusion that marriage means nothing and that the state has no compelling interest in its success. Experience mandates that we treat such a radical view with extreme caution. Again, as Megan McArdle argued, it takes massive hubris to think you can make such a radical change and not face unforeseeable consequences.

  • ||

    Raoul,

    All of that may be the case, but as long as straight couples have that right, gay couples should enjoy the exact same right. Lots of things would be different in libertopia, but that's not where we live so your argument is irrelevant.

    Ben,

    Nothing you're saying wasn't said during the interracial marriage fight. Gay people aren't dogs, they're people, and you're saying it's better for society to deny all gay people the same right to a legal marriage that straight people have that for them to have equal rights in this regard. Why is it better for society to have two classes of people with respect to marriage?

  • ||

    Let's be clear about one more thing. Nick Gillespie and Reason Mag are not American Libertarians.

    American Libertarians respect and defend America as a nation, a people, a culture with secure borders, enforced immigration laws protecting America's libertarian founding principles.

    Nick Gillespie doesn't believe in any of that.

    Gillespie thinks American is just a "place" populated by "consumers".

    Gillespie believes in open borders to third world welfare parasites, "free" trade with the world's totalitarian plantation owners and "outsoursing" to the 25 cent per hour third world shitholes.

    Gillespie is not an American Libertarian, he is a Libertopian corperatist bought and paid for ass whore.

  • Ben||

    Tony -- Please. Interracial marriage did not change the fundamental nature of the union. After all, if the gender of the spouses is irrellevant to a marriage, why on earth should the number of participants be its only immutable feature? And if it becomes a union between any number of persons of any gender, what do you have left? Nothing worth having.

  • ||

    Ben,

    You still haven't articulated how gay marriage harms anyone other than to predict the marriage apocalypse, otherwise known as a fallacious slippery slope argument. Marriage has continued to evolve, in my opinion only to the benefit of mankind. Gay marriage is much less radical a notion in its historical context than the idea that women should no longer be chattel, which was the primary purpose of marriage when it came into existence.

    All of the hundreds of specific benefits married couples receive from the government are denied to me not because I choose to be single but because I am not allowed to enter into the arrangement that confers those rights. Not for any rational reason but because it makes some people feel weird.

  • ||

    And anyway who gives a fuck if traditional society is upended in some way. I would argue that the integration of blacks upended society--in a good way.

    And for the record I'm actually anti-marriage. I have no expectation ever to marry because I prefer living alone, I like sleeping around, and I hate children. I just would like for gay people to be recognized as equal citizens.

  • ||

    One last try Tony. Freedom of association is a right. Marriage isn't.

    Gays have exactly the same right straights have. The civil right to marry a person of the opposite gender.

    I'm not permitted to marry my kid sister. I'm not permitted to marry her four best female friends. Are my "rights" being violated? Are "gay" couples "rights" being violated? Boo Fucking Hoo! You have a right to be with who you want. You have no right to extort from the larger society Official Recognition and Approval for your choices. Man up and live with it.

  • ||

    Committed, Bible believing Christians repeatedly allow gay marriage proponents to frame the debate for their point of view. That is a serious tactical mistake. It allows the proponents to make the argument one of personal preference or prejudice. In truth, gay marriage proponents' arguments are with God and His revealed will. Committed, Bible believing Christians should return the debate to that point as often and as soon as the debate strays from God's word, His revealed will. Criticism of Christians for taking God at His word may be made, but that, too, becomes a personal attack on God who calls His children to obedience to His word. And it's about time that God's word is once again promoted as the final arbiter in the moral debates and personal decisions that affect us all. After all, that is what Christians believe, isn't it?

  • ||

    Saying I have the right to marry a woman is like saying I have the right to poke my eyes out with shards of glass.

    Straight people can marry for whatever lunatic reason they want. Gay people can't even marry for the sake of the security of their children. Being gay isn't a choice, it's a natural state of a certain proportion of the population, something society hasn't recognized until very recently. That gay people haven't been allowed to marry in the past is not an argument for why they shouldn't be allowed to now.

  • </a||

    All of that may be the case, but as long as straight couples have that right, gay couples should enjoy the exact same right.

    Why? The salient public interest in heterosexual couplings is that they produce children. That is, they potentially affect other parties other than the principals. No such interest is operative in gay couples. They're of no concern to anyone other than the principals. The two types of relationship have nothing to do with each other.

    By that kind of logic, you might as well declare biker gangs equal to churches by fiat and demand "equal rights".

  • ||

    Tony;

    You are free to live your life as you wish.

    What in the world do you imagine you could do-be-have now with another man if the larger society agreed to license your relationship?

    I don't give a shit who you are or how you live. It's none of my business.

    But your infantile desire/demand that I and the rest of society issue you a license and certificate of Official Approval for your choices is totalitarian, fascistic and psycologically sick.

  • Ben||

    Tony,

    The slippery slope is very real, and groups such as the Unitarians are already poised to start pushing polyamory on the heels of SSM. Furthermore, the arguments made by those such as yourself are exactly the ones the polyamory folks base their position on. These are facts, and you can't make them go away just because it is inconvenient to your side.

    As for your argument that marriage has already been changed to a much greater degree than SSM would do, that is silliness in a prom dress (but a fabulous one!). To be sure, the norms of mate selection have been altered over the years as women have gained equal legal footing with men, but none of that changed the basics of the marriage institution. Its purpose and role in society have remained the same.

    As for how SSM will harm marriage, Stanley Kurtz has done excellent work documenting the damage it has done in Scandinavia, and it is damning.

  • ||

    The first thing I do every morning is walk to the bathroom and take a piss. I don't have a state issued pissing license.

    Being free to piss whenever you wish, what kind of moron would demand the government issue them a pissing license?

  • ||

    The salient public interest in heterosexual couplings is that they produce children.

    No, actually, that's wrong. The public interest is that marriage supports and protects children. Anyone with functioning reproductive organs can produce children. You don't have to be married for that. Marriage discourages the abandonment of children by parents. Hence, society benefits from gay marriage insofar as marriage supports and protects children, because gay people often have children too.

    At any rate infertile straight couples are allowed to marry. So are drunken morons with no business having children--as long as they're straight.

  • ||

    the instinct to have sex is universal, everything beyond that is learned behavior.

    in other words, no matter what you are, gay straight, bi you made a choice, you may not have made the choice consciously but the choice was made and made by you

  • ||

    Can an unconscious choice really be called a choice?

    I'm gonna go out on a twig and argue that Stacy just dumped the biggest pile of bullshit on a thread thoroughly covered in it. I don't merely have an instinct to stick my penis places. I have an instinct to stick it in hard-bodied males.

  • Ben||

    Tony,

    Last comment, and then I have to go. Your comment that homosexuality is "a natural state of a certain proportion of the population" is simply not true. After you peel back the political correctness and look at what the competent research actually shows, a different picture emerges.

    Yes, a certain portion of the population has a innate level of propensity toward homosexuality, but an "orientation" in that direction is largely a combination of the innate factors compounded by environmental ones. The two predominant environmental factors are the parental relationship(s) (or lack thereof), and the existence of childhood or adolescent sexual abuse ("initiation" in gay parlance). A confused boy who "discovers" he's gay after being sodomized by a man is no different than a girl who is forced into prostitution a the age of thirteen and comes to see this as her calling in life.

    There is nothing "natural" or good about homosexuality, but it is instead an unhealthy result of psychological trauma. No one is doing gays any service by promoting lies to the contrary.

  • ||

    i chose my wording badly, replace unconsciously with "may not remember"

  • ||

    and of course you would call it bullshit, because it takes aim at your most cherished delusion

  • </a||

    Can an unconscious choice really be called a choice?

    If it's not a choice, perhaps you'd like to explain how gay people wind up with the children you claim they need to take care of? Those children sure ain't the product of a gay relationship, of that we can be sure.

  • ||

    Tony;

    Really last point.

    Freedom of association is a right, marriage isn't.

    If you wish to argue for legal gay marriage as a benefit to society while respecting society's absolute right to reject the argument, I respect you. If and when you convince 50% +1, you'll have it.

    If your position is that you have a "right" to legally marry another man, or your sister, or your grandmother or any five people of your choice, you are confused and full of it.

  • ||

    Ben,

    What research? "Why Homosexuality is a Sin" by the Reverend Fred Phelps? Homosexuality exists in stable proportions in thousands of species including humans. And... oh god nevermind.

  • ||

    If it's not a choice, perhaps you'd like to explain how gay people wind up with the children you claim they need to take care of? Those children sure ain't the product of a gay relationship, of that we can be sure.

    I really thought this was a libertarian board and not freakin foxnation but I'll give this a try.

    Some gay people don't come out until later in life, after producing children in a heterosexual relationship. Some gay people have children via modern science and surrogates. Some adopt. If marriage is supported by the state for the purpose of protecting children, then you must conclude that it should extend to gay couples, many of whom have children.

  • ||

    If you wish to argue for legal gay marriage as a benefit to society while respecting society's absolute right to reject the argument, I respect you. If and when you convince 50% +1, you'll have it.

    I'm not arguing that marriage is a fundamental right, I'm arguing that equal protection is. I just want for gays the same rights straights have. Nothing more or less.

    Public opinion will eventually get to supporting full gay marriage rights. I'm certain of that because, as this article's title rightly states, all of the arguments against it are lame.

  • </a||

    Some gay people don't come out until later in life, after producing children in a heterosexual relationship.

    Then, obviously enough, they can choose what kind of relationships they form.

  • ||

    marriage has been traditionally protected by the State for the propose of protecting children from conditions not helpful to their upbringing, it's in the State's interest to produce the next generation of stable, productive citizens, and the State always plays the law of averages, the chance of producing stable, productive offspring is higher for traditional marriages, and lower for what you would call "gay" marriages.
    statics prove it.

    it is the Governments job to "promote the general welfare"

    therefor, it's the State's job to promote traditional marriage and discourage so-called "gay" marriage.

    (your rage only fills me with peaceful calmness)

  • ||

    Tony:

    Equal protection? What do you imagine you need to be protected from?

    Are the police sicking dogs on you and knocking you down with fire hoses? Refusing you service at the "straight only" lunch counter or water fountain?

    What if I want to marry my 18 year old sister or 70 year old granmother? What if I want to take four different 18 year old wives. Don't I deserve the same "equal protection" as you and your gay lover? That's question. You can answer yes or no.

  • ||

    I would like someone to explain to me why so many seemingly intelligent gay people are trying so hard to force the state into their bedrooms. I do not understand what interest the state has in a same-sex relationship, and it puzzles me that anybody would want the state involved if the state does not have a definable interest.

    If there are specific inequalities to discuss, let's work those out, but please, do not invite (even force) the state to become even more powerful over our lives.

  • Fluffy||

    marriage has been traditionally protected by the State for the propose of protecting children from conditions not helpful to their upbringing, it's in the State's interest to produce the next generation of stable, productive citizens, and the State always plays the law of averages, the chance of producing stable, productive offspring is higher for traditional marriages, and lower for what you would call "gay" marriages.

    All of this is nonsense.

    I don't really give one shit if ANY of my rights is in the public interest.

    I would assert the absolute right to freedom of speech and freedom of religion even if it FUCKING KILLED YOU and the rest of your "public".

    Therefore, I am completely unimpressed by arguments against marriage for gay people that plead some "public interest" in promoting a certain type of marriage.

    There is no such thing as a "public". The imaginary collective noun you choose to label the "public" has no mechanism for experiencing benefit or harm, and therefore nothing can be "good" for it and nothing can be in its "interest". Benefit, harm, interest, and good are things that can only be experienced by individuals. So if you are asking me to balance the real, actual right of individuals to enter into a category of contract vs. some imaginary interest you've dreamed up for some imaginary collective noun called "the public", well - fuck the public.*

    *I prefer variants on the Rearden speech that contain lots of cursing.

  • ||

    1

    This is not about sex per se.

    It is about whether gay couple have rights in inheritance, joint property, hospital visitation, child custody to mention but a few things in which the state has for better or worse already taken an interest and combined under the umbrella of the marriage contract.

    This is my last comment in this thread.

  • ||

    Fluffy;

    You are truly a case for the books.

    You don't give a "fuck" about the public interest, but demand gays be issued public marriage licenses.

    A PUBLIC certificate of approval and recognition for the PUBLIC value, aka "greater good value" of their PUBLICALLY AND OFFICIALLY STATE LICENSED AND APPROVED RELATIONSHIP.

    If you really didn't give a "fuck" about public interest, you'd be opposed to ALL officially state approved and licensed relationships, ANOT ARGUING FOR MORE OF THEM!

  • ||

    In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

    This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.

  • ||

    Gillespie claims that the arguments against gay marriage are lame.

    The only "argument" that matters is the fact that most people don't want the state to issue, in their name, gay marriage licenses. That's it. That's all of it.

    Question for Nick;

    Vermont and Alaska are the two states where citizens' right to carry a concealed firearm is respected without needing a permit, background check, finger printing etc.

    If Nick lived in Vermont, would he be furiously writing his representitives, marching on the state capitol demanding a state license to do what he's free to do without a license?

    Or would he simply load his pistol and put it in his pocket.

    Nothing more ridiculous than a "libertarian" demanding a state license for what he's already free to do without one.

  • ||

    Nick's comments about how reading the article is "sort of like eating a 72-ounce steak after scarfing a couple dozen donuts: Tough to do, but well worth it for the sense of achievement." can be equally applied to this thread.

    Can someone please explain why two men or two women should have the legal right to file jointly on their tax return, easier naturalization as citizens, etc. but three men, or two women and one man do not?

    Well, maybe polygamous groups should have the rights associated with legal recognition. I don't really have a position on legal recognition of polygamy at the moment, so I'm open to arguments.

    But I can think of reasons why there might be a difference that would constitute a rational basis for not granting those benefits to multiple partners.

    For example, if a single person could grant easier naturalization to an unlimited number of foreign nationals, we could end up with a situation where - in effect - any adult in the world could become a US citizen easily (whether or not that would be desirable is another matter, but this is clearly not the intention of current policy). Some people would be willing engage in quid pro quo marriages (whether for money or sex or whatever) with partners they barely know. Of course some people do this now with monogamous legal marriages, but the flood gates are not quite as open while this is limited to one-at-a-time spouses.

  • ||

    I want to address the argument that the government has a rational basis for extending benefits to heterosexual couples that are not available to same sex couples on grounds that only heterosexual couples produce children.

    First of all, why is encouraging reproduction a desirable goal of public policy? We live in a country, and on a planet, where the threat of overpopulation looms as a potential long-term threat to our prosperity. So given that people are already inclined to reproduce somewhat (which is obviously desirable), why should we have government policies aimed at getting to have more offspring than they otherwise would?

    Second, if we accept that this is a desirable goal, why should the benefits of legal marriage be granted to opposite sex couples where one or both partners have a biological problem which renders reproduction impossible for them? And what about those who simply chose not to reproduce?

    Third, there are three different things that the government could be the goal of having the government encourage reproduction: 1 - having more people on the planet, 2 - having more people in the country, and 3 - having more people in the country and not as burdens to taxpayers. Same sex couples can't do the first one. However a same sex couple could accomplish the second by - say - adopting a child from a third world country. A same sex couple could also help with the third if they adopt a child from an overburdened state foster case system. So why not allow legally recognized same sex marriages and encourage those sorts of adoptions?

  • ||

    Edit:

    The first sentence of my last paragraph in my 8:58 post should read:

    "Third, there are three different things that could be the goal of having the government encourage reproduction: 1 - having more people on the planet, 2 - having more people in the country, and 3 - having more people in the country and not as burdens to taxpayers."

  • ||

    Again, I think the reproduction argument is bogus on a couple levels. For one, there is no requirement for heterosexual couples to produce children in order to be allowed to be married. Second, reproduction happens with or without marriage; the real point of marriage with regard to children is so that they live in a stable two-parent household.

  • ||

    If the goal were having either more or fewer people in the country but "not a burden to taxpayers" job one would be to secure the southern border. Job 2 would be to deport every third world illegal alien here already.

    Pretty hard to find a supporter of gay marriage who goes for either one of those.

    BTW, here in California, a "civil union" state, gays have every legal right that married straights have, they just don't get to call it "marriage".

    The bottom line is this;

    Most straight couples who marry will have children in any case. Society has decided to support that relationship with an institution called legal "marriage".

    Most "gays" will not have children and society, like it or not has, at its descretion, decided not to extend the same recognition and official approval to gay couples.

    People who wish society to recognize gay marriage should get about the business of respectfully convincing the majority of its value and stop shooting themselves in the foot by demand their so called "rights". There is no such right.

  • ||

    It is about whether gay couple have rights in inheritance, joint property, hospital visitation, child custody to mention but a few things in which the state has for better or worse already taken an interest and combined under the umbrella of the marriage contract.

    Isaac put it well here... All talk of tradition or children is irrelevant to the main point of inequality. Gay couples don't have access to the same rights and privileges as straight couples.

    Furthermore, children of gay parents don't have the same access to the benefits that children of straight parents do.

  • ||

    If the goal were having either more or fewer people in the country but "not a burden to taxpayers" job one would be to secure the southern border. Job 2 would be to deport every third world illegal alien here already.

    Although this is a bit off topic, I will note that we could also simply deny non-citizens access to tax-funded social services to avoid burdering taxpayers - we wouldn't need to deport them.

  • Abner MacGillicuddy||

    In any gay marriage thread there is a point where all the latent morons who are afraid of catching the gay show up to demand that every one who lives differently than they do stop living their own lives and start acceding to their demands to conform. What the fuck, does Fred Phelps' website get linked to here every time there's a gay marriage thread?

    So here it is Rauol, Stacy, #, Ben, Greg Q and Fin. Why don't you latent homos go off and have your circle jerk in private? If you keep doing it in public like you are here some one might start to question your sexuality.

    Or maybe you should go get some counseling so that you can come to grips with your conflicted sexual desires.

  • ||

    BTW, here in California, a "civil union" state, gays have every legal right that married straights have, they just don't get to call it "marriage".

    If that is true for state level rights, then I'd say part of the mission has been accomplished. However, the federal government doesn't treat those unions as equal, even if the state of California does. So California gays still have something to complain about there.

  • ||

    To Tony;

    Civil union laws (which CA. already has and gay activists aren't satisfied with)recognize all the points Isaac made.

    What is truly irrelevent is your "inequality" argument.

    If marriage is an individual right to be defined by the individual and not the larger society, can I marry my kid sister or my grandmother? Can I take four wives? Yes or no. Why do you refuse to answer the question?

    Am I less "equal" than you and your chosen partner? It's a simple question.

    If you should be free to define marriage against the wishes of the larger society, why can't I and my sister do the same?

  • ||

    BG

    If I were willing to discount tradition, culture and the consent of the governed, I'd say you make a better case for the elimination of state licensed marriage than for the inclusion of gay couples into that institution.

  • ||

    It is about whether gay couple have rights in inheritance, joint property, hospital visitation, child custody to mention but a few things in which the state has for better or worse already taken an interest and combined under the umbrella of the marriage contract.

    I hope I understand this point; if I do, the complaint is that, with regard to certain matters, the state (government/authority) exercises its power over individuals in an inequitable fashion. It does not seem to me that the solution for inequitable application of state power over the lives of individuals is to provide the state with even more power over the lives of individuals. It seems to me that we should be trying to further limit the power of the state, so people are free to live their lives as they see fit.

    Not only would we end up debating (and hopefully resolving) the real inequalities, we would be doing so with an eye to limiting the power of the state.

  • ||

    If marriage is an individual right to be defined by the individual and not the larger society, can I marry my kid sister or my grandmother? Can I take four wives? Yes or no. Why do you refuse to answer the question?

    Because it's too stupid to address. I'll do it anyway. It's a classic slippery slope fallacy for one.

    We have not only societal taboos against incest but a genetic revulsion against it. Sure there are outliers, but modern biology recognizes homosexuality as a normal variation on human sexuality. Definitely not so with incestuous feelings.

    But if incest proponents want to make their case, let them. Same with bestiality activists. I just have no dog in that fight.

  • ||

    to 1;

    The whole inheritance, who can visit you in the hospital thing is red hering bullshit.

    California gays have had all that for years.

    They still foam at the mouth and try to destroy the careers and lives of people who refuse to bestow upon them the the official government seal of approval (aka marriage license) proclaiming them normal and wonderfull.

  • ||

    The whole inheritance, who can visit you in the hospital thing is red hering bullshit.

    California gays have had all that for years.


    Okay what about gays in other states? What about all of the federal rights and benefits that even California gays are denied?

    They still foam at the mouth and try to destroy the careers and lives of people who refuse to bestow upon them the the official government seal of approval (aka marriage license) proclaiming them normal and wonderfull.

    What can we say? We're organized.

  • ||

    Tony;

    Hate to tell you but 90%+ of the population feels about the same way about homosexual sex as they do about incestuous sex.

    That is beside the point. We aren't discussing permissable sex, we're discussing state licensed and approved marriage.

    Again, if you are arguing that society would be served by recognize gay marriage while respecting its option not to, that's one thing.

    If your position is an individual right to marry anyone you chose, society be damned, then polygamy and incestuous marriage get the same "protection" as gay marriage. It's either sociey's call or it isn't. It's either an individual right for consenting adults or it isn't.

  • </a||

    Look, I think everyone understands that there's no libertarian issue involved here. There is mostly about the interests of two groups.

    a.) Gays themselves, who are seeking official sanction from society, and
    b.) Liberals and cosmotarians, who are basically suspended adolescents seeking to yank the beard of The Man by forcing the legitimization of something that was previously considered outrageous.

  • ||

    BG

    If I were willing to discount tradition, culture and the consent of the governed, I'd say you make a better case for the elimination of state licensed marriage than for the inclusion of gay couples into that institution.


    Maybe. I still think there is something to be said for allowing people to give their spouse easier access to residence and citizenship, but I suppose that could be accomplished with a law saying something like "You may grant easier nationalization rights to foreign adults - up to one person each six month period - and we won't ask why you picked that person; as long as you pay the processing fee."

    People who want to work out joint property arrangements or specify who can visit them in the hospital or whatever could draw up contracts or other legal documents for that - with the state as merely a neutral enforcer of those arrangements. The state would still have to be involved in child custody issues, but there is little doubt they could find a way to do that without most of the legal nuances that accompany marriage.

    If some people wanted to get together to form private organizations that gave "sanction" to, or bestowed benefits on, some types of sexual or romantic relationships; that would be purely private matter.

    It might take some getting used to, but something like that could be a satisfactory outcome.

  • Abner MacGillicuddy||

    Wow, I see the latent homos are still HARD at it, trying to not catch the gay.

    Come on guys, give up, get some counseling. Learn to live with your true sexual orientation.

    Don't fight it Rauol, Stacy, #, Ben, Greg Q and Fin.

  • ||

    "I hope we get to gay marriage sooner rather than later; I don't find the fear that it will destroy or even significantly disrupt society very convincing."

    Same could be said of your attitude towards Obama during the last election cycle, so we all know what your judgement's worth.

    So kindly drop dead before you do anymore damage.

  • ||

    Tony said,
    "Saying I have the right to marry a woman is like saying I have the right to poke my eyes out with shards of glass."

    HILARIOUS!

    And anyone who simply says "Hey, wait a minute!" about the standard G/L agenda items is smeared as 'homophobic', mentally ill.

    A-freakin'-mazing.

  • ||

    Abner, that kinda trolling is worthy of the double-digit IQ land of YouTube comments.

  • ||

    "And anyone who simply says "Hey, wait a minute!" about the standard G/L agenda items is smeared as 'homophobic', mentally ill."

    I guess the standard response to that should be, "I don't fear homosexuals, they disgust me." Completely separate emotions. Watch "Lie To Me" sometime.

  • ||

    People who want to work out joint property arrangements or specify who can visit them in the hospital or whatever could draw up contracts or other legal documents for that - with the state as merely a neutral enforcer of those arrangements.



    But why should gay couples in committed relationships not be given the same shortcut, and the same insurance of the instant acceptance of that shortcut*, that heterosexual couples have.

    *After all, legal agreements frequently have to be litigated to determine their validity, marriage contracts rarely do. In the time it takes to litigate your visitation rights the lover whose obnoxious relatives have been trying you away from may very well have died.

    The state would still have to be involved in child custody issues, but there is little doubt they could find a way to do that without most of the legal nuances that accompany marriage.



    Again, this is true. But, again, state one single reason why gay couples in committed relationships should not be given the same shortcuts that heterosexual couples have.

    I, and others, have repeatedly offered the compromise. Completely separate civil marriage and the legal sanctions it confers from religious marriage and the spiritual rewards it confers.

    Yes, there will be outliers at both extremes of this debate who will find this unacceptable. But then that is true of almost any contention there is.

  • ||

    Tony said
    "We have not only societal taboos against incest but a genetic revulsion against it. Sure there are outliers, but modern biology recognizes homosexuality as a normal variation on human sexuality."

    A short aside on the first sentence -- one mistake libertarians make in allying themselves with liberals, is that the stereotypical liberal sees legalizing some activity as totally de-legitimizing any criticism or social pressure against it. It seems the typical path is that all restraint or moderation should be chucked aside -- 'that which is not forbidden is compulsory' (in spirit.)
    One related example that I think is the proper role model is the approach to alcohol -- just because prohibition was repealed doesn't mean laws against DUI or getting 5 year olds drunk aren't needed, or that general social stigma against drunkenness or untreated alcoholism isn't useful. But the typical liberal take, abetted by libertarians not taking a closer look, is to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Another is that welfare states in Scandinavian countries seemed to really work for several decades, but that was only because the popular culture discouraged idleness and mooching -- but the socialist mindset corrodes these bourgeois attitudes, the very ones which were the only thing keeping their system fairly stable as long as it has (of course they now have problems of excessive immigration upsetting that too.)

    Back to the 'biology' bit -- 'homosexual' people/animals who fully act on that preference, even when interfertile opposote sex mates are available -- are evolutionary dead ends. Evolution doesn't take place at the species level, but rather at the level of genes propagated by individuals. 'Naturally occurring' does not mean successful or 'normal'. I don't remember his name , but there actually is a gay evolutionary biologist who came to the reluctant conclusion that his orientation *is* clearly a glitch, as effectively behavioral sterility.

    What is the evolutionary advantage in being gay? What possible advantage to the tribe/pride/herd does it give that would outweigh passing on one's own genes? If one *can't* reproduce, then the next best thing is to help your nieces and nephews so the genes that you do share are propagated (see Dawkins' Selfish Gene) but that is just minimizing the loss, not a net gain. Superficially similar, the 'grandmother' theory about human female's longer lifespans speculates that in primitive times grandmothers were more useful than grandfathers -- but the women were helping their own direct descendants be successful, not bypassing having her own to help. It's not the same thing at all.

    Perhaps [an exclusively] homosexuality is just an inevitable byproduct of how sexual differentiation works, a sort of Gouldian 'spandrel'. Or perhaps, it is some flawed vestige in mammals of the ability of some female fish and reptiles to apparently influence the sex of their offspring (which BTW would be genes in the *mother*, not the affected child! nothing truly 'innate' in him/her, who is a casualty). Or perhaps the elusive 'gay gene' is in the child, but is like the gene that causes Sickle Cell Anemia, a deadly disease in Africans. Inheriting one SC gene actually boosts immunity to malaria, whereas the poor souls how inherit two (1 from each parent) get the painful anemia. Just because the gene survives because it conveys a net benefit to the population does not mean we deny the Sickle Cell kids have an illness. Perhaps there's an overkill in the arousal mechanism -- signs of arousal in your own sex would be a perfectly good proxy indicator that the other sex is in mating season. *None* of those theories suggest that, for the individual affected, homosexuality is an evolutionary 'feature' rather than a 'bug'.

    Another datapoint: supposedly there are multiple studies confirming a positive correlation between the chances of a given male being homosexual and how many older brothers he has. If true, that would suggest two obvious candidate mechanisms: 1)the mother's body trying to somehow balance the ratio of sexes in her offspring (failing of course) or 2)early sexual experiences with the older brothers had a lasting formative effect. Neither of those modes has anything whatsoever to do with anything 'innate' in the individual.

    #2 brings me to another point -- to suggest a single 'cause' for the widely varying phenomenon of homosexuality is absurd. At the very least, it seems there are two axes to it: on the one hand, what sex *you* are (or feel like or emulate) and OTOH, which sex arouses you. I can't see how a single variable could account for the different manifestations: male vs female, butches and femmes, bears, twinks and queens, tops and bottoms.

    It is also apparent there are varying depths or degrees of homosexuality in a continuum -- some is clearly deeply embedded, even down to body types (not just mannerisms), and might be said to be more at the 'biological' end of the spectrum, while other forms are more 'psychological'. My older sister with 25 years of experience in social work (with mutliple degrees in psychology and social work) says that in her personal experience the proportion of lesbian women who have suffered prior sexual abuse is quite striking.
    So hiding behind the 'its not a choice' is a distraction, and worse, given likely advances in biomedicine in the next decades paints G/Ls in a corner on some ethical issues.

    Two final observations:
    The APA punting on the issue of the [dys]functionality of homosexuality is to great degree about guilt over *their* past barbaric treatment of homosexuals, as well as a backhanded admission of the sorry state of psychology as a real 'science'. Just as one can argue about how much 'choice' an alcoholic does or doesn't have, that has no real bearing on recognizing it as a dysfunction, not 'normal' however 'natural'.
    Finally, if someone suffers congenital blindness, we can call *that* a dysfunction without making a moral judgment. But like I said before, we could only grant them drivers' licenses in the name of equality by redefining what one is :)

  • ||

    With the ineffectual and incompetent (but anti-same-sex marriage) Obama in the White House, controlled by a cabal of black racists (who give new -- and frightening -- meaning to "homophobia"), machine politicians (whose hatred of gays is as threatening as in any rednecks), and hard-core Marxists (who may throw their mantles over gays that they find particularly useful, but otherwise don't have a dog in this fight), 3 Nov 2008 will prove to have been the high-water mark in the gay rights movement.

  • ||

    What is the evolutionary advantage in being gay?

    The real question is why homosexuality persists--not just in humans but thousands of other species--given that at first glance it seems a genetic dead end.

    Because it's not. Sexuality and genetics, we are finding, are more complicated than the simple formulations we relied on in the past.

    The speculation that gay relatives increase the survival rate of, say, siblings' offspring by being free to care for them makes some sense but is rather post-hoc. More convincing is the evidence that genes associated with homosexuality (in males) are also associated with higher female fecundity.

    It is not a defect or abnormality but a normal variation on human sexuality, which is a much more complex biological and genetic dance than most people assume.

  • ||

    Hate to tell you but 90%+ of the population feels about the same way about homosexual sex as they do about incestuous sex.

    You live in a cave, don't you?

  • TallDave||

    This is Perez Hilton's fault. That fucktarded celebrity-stalker made everyone supporting gay marriage look bad by association.

    And ffs, why do you pick a fight on this with a beautiful 19-year-old? You couldn't find someone who wasn't a walking advertisement for heterosexuality?

  • ||

    Issac Bartram

    I, and others, have repeatedly offered the compromise. Completely separate civil marriage and the legal sanctions it confers from religious marriage and the spiritual rewards it confers.

    Read through my full post, as well as the post by Raoul I was responding to. I was referring to precisely that compromise.

    But why should gay couples in committed relationships not be given the same shortcut, and the same insurance of the instant acceptance of that shortcut*, that heterosexual couples have.

    They should. Read my first post on this thread (May 27 at 11:32pm), and some of my other posts. We are in agreement.

  • ||

    Tony said "More convincing is the evidence that genes associated with homosexuality (in males) are also associated with higher female fecundity."

    Ah, so you choose the Sickle Cell Anemia model of homosexuality. That's a great argument winner for the 'normal' claim.

  • ||

    Evolutionary collateral damage != 'normal' in my book. And that's not a moral judgment BTW.

    As to the female fertility angle, that seems to have a bit of a catch-22 at first glance: does the woman with these genes have enough extra children to make up for those who don't reproduce due to their homosexuality?


    FWIW, I don't consider what might be called a 'broader' or 'wider' sexuality (which women may lean more toward than men) in the same boat, dysfunction-wise as, as the phenomenon of can't-help-it-same-sex-only.

    And

  • ||

    {crap, interrupted}

    My last remark was supposed to be that there is plenty of evidence that --at the margin-- a certain amount of homosexuality is 'psychological'.

  • ||

    Same-sex marriage is not going to be the real issue once it's sanctioned by The State. The actual problem will be with it's becoming a "civil right", that criminalizes everyone and every institution who refuses to provide support. I.e., churches, businesses, social organizations, etc. who will be subjected to civil rights, as well as plain civil litigation, if they do not wish to offer services or access to their facilities. It will, in essence, make it a crime to refuse services of any kind. Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, and others who have a moral objection, will be forced by law to participate against their beliefs as though same-sex marriage was a legal equivalent to race or ethnicity. Does anyone in their right mind believe same-sex marriage is the same as inter-racial marriage or racial/ethnic discrimination? And, does anyone think this won't happen if it's granted as a civil right? The legal profession is, I'm sure, salivating over the prospects.
    mr

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