Cato's Constitutional Case for Gay Marriage

 

Our friends at the Cato Institute have produced this new video, which is particularly relevant given the goings-on in Maryland, where the state Senate has passed a gay marriage bill that will be signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Here's the Cato write-up for the vid, which features the great David Boaz, along with super-lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies:

On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans on interracial marriage in more than a dozen states in the case of Loving v. Virginia. Today, the highest court in the United States may soon take on the issue of marriage equality for gay and lesbian relationships. Attorneys David Boies and Theodore B. Olson are hoping the case of Perry v. Schwarzenegger will further establish marriage as a fundamental right of citizenship. Also featured are John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress, Cato Institute Chairman Robert A. Levy and Cato Executive Vice President David Boaz.

Video produced by Caleb O. Brown and Austin Bragg. Event footage shot by Evan Banks.

And in case you missed Reason's gay marriage vid from yesterday, here it is:

 

With Washington state recently legalizing same-sex unions and Maryland about to follow suit, gay marriage hasn't been on this big a roll since Bert and Ernie first shacked up on Sesame Street. When Maryland finalizes its bill, seven states and the District of Columbia will sanction the practice.

But before you bust out the appletinis and Indigo Girls CDs to celebrate, consider that just last year in Maryland - a deep-blue, Democratic-majority state when it comes to politics - gay marriage went down faster than George Michael in a public restroom due to resistance from socially conservative African Americans in the Democratic Party. Indeed, while 71 percent of white Democrats in the Old Line State favor gay marriage, just 41 percent of black Democrats do.

So what's different this time around? Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley and other pro-marriage legislators took a page from New York's gay playbook and reached around to sympathetic Republicans to seal the deal.

Inconceivable even a generation ago, gay marriage is well on its way to becoming mainstream as a growing majority of Americans now favor it. The only question is when, not if, folks such as Maryland residents Justin and Phillip Terry-Smith will join heterosexuals in the joys of getting married - and divorced - happily ever after.

About 2.30 minutes. Produced by Joshua Swain. Written by Nick Gillespie and Kennedy, who also hosts.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • F Hart||

    Who the fuck wants to get married?

  • F Hart||

    BTW,

    FEURST

  • I||

    I like how Reason keeps calling same-sex marriage "gay."

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  • F Hart||

    Shoot this mother fucker

  • Sevo||

    Like rather and/or WI; ignore it.

  • F Hart||

    I'm gonna have to start using "reasonable" again. Is there a Firefox version?

  • BakedPenguin||

  • F Hart||

    Thanks. I'll try it.

  • Sleeping Dog||

    Fuck, if the site's readers are being forced to this kind of extremes, you'd think that Reason would do something about it.

    Or am I just lazy for enduring the trolls and Reason is letting them fuck up things for everybody on some kind of libertarian principle?

  • ||

    Yes.

  • hazeeran||

    Kill it with fire.

  • Sevo||

    Darn conservatives at Cato!
    Why, the Kocks are always trying to keep hoi poloi under their thumb!

  • Killazontherun||

    It would be great if you didn't complicate the case for gays with the case for legalized incest. One cause at a time please. That's cousin Bert and cousin Ernie.

  • imhotep||

    What I don't get is that if every gay man has the right to marry any woman that will have him, and I have the right to marry any woman that will have me - why do we need gay marriage?

  • The Derider||

    Why is the right to marry a woman solely reserved for men, and the right to marry men solely reserved for women?

    That's clearly unequal.

  • Sevo||

    imhotep|2.23.12 @ 8:57PM|#
    "What I don't get is that if every gay man has the right to marry any woman that will have him, and I have the right to marry any woman that will have me - why do we need gay marriage?"

    Spoof?
    'Cause if you're a man and want to marry a man, why should someone tell you you can't?

  • imhotep||

    Nobody ever said "you can't" - go find somebody to marry you and PRESTO! you are married to a man.

  • Sevo||

    imhotep|2.23.12 @ 9:17PM|#
    "Nobody ever said "you can't""

    Yes, most states specifically say "you can't".

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Not true depending upon how one defines marriage.

    If marriage is a philosophical agreement, the government's acceptance or denial is irrelevant.

    If one defines marriage as a specific set of legal items, then some might say you ,can't in that situation, but you really haven't been denied anything.

    Disclaimer: before you assume, note I said nothing with regards to my belief on whether gays should have equal rights in law with respect to marriage. I only commented on the idiotic logic that states 'prevent' marriage, gay or otherwise.

  • The Derider||

    Your argument applies to any voluntary association people might make. If the libertarian party is a philosophical agreement, the government banning it is irrelevant.

  • Sevo||

    "I only commented on the idiotic logic that states 'prevent' marriage, gay or otherwise"

    Shame you chose an idiotic argument to show your ignorance.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    You don't get a lot of things do you?

  • AlmightyJB||

    I just wonder why the Libertarian case is for State recognition of Gay marraige instead of against State recognition of any marraige. Fuck the State. It's none of there business. I can go online and print off a prenup, sign it and have it notorized, have a big party with friends and family and call it a wedding.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Their

  • imhotep||

    You are correct. Fuck the state. Also about the state even operating under the pretense of recognizing "marriage" for any purpose.

  • The Derider||

    What's the point of lowering taxes? There shouldn't be taxes at all!

  • imhotep||

    Not when you can print money.

  • The Derider||

    You're missing the point... again.

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure it's intentional, in the hopes someone won't see the obvious bullshit.

  • ||

    And if we were talking about lowering the amount of state sanction of sexual relationships, that would be a valid comparison.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I think the logic is that trying to get the State out of marriage is the ideal, but it is much less likely than just fighting for equal protection.

  • L13||

    That's pretty much the whole thing right there.

  • ||

    Because there is no way in hell that getting the state out of the marriage business is going to happen, especially any time soon. So at least equal protection puts homos on an equal footing for now, and continued discussion of getting the state out of the marriage business entirely can continue apace.

  • Sevo||

    ^ this

  • AlmightyJB||

    I get that but I just don't see the second part of that conversation going on anywhere or even being mentioned other than by the occasional commenter here.

  • ||

    That's because there's a snowball's chance in hell of getting the state out of the marriage business right now. You don't see polygamy get mentioned much either, do you.

    "No, you don't! 'Cause I lost my real hand plantin' the flag when we took back Halley's Comet! Yet it was worth it, so much do I love that flag. I love it even more than I love my seven wives. That's right, I'm a polygamist."

  • AlmightyJB||

    I always prefer The Final Solution.

  • Cytotoxic||

    What Epster said.

  • ||

    And in the process you wind up getting in bed with some seriously nasty statists, as CATO has done.

  • ||

    We're not getting rid of anti-discrimination laws either, so allowing gay marriage is forcing wedding photographers and bands to offer their services to events they may disapprove of.

    The difference, of course, is that a gay couple who don't have a piece of paper from the state saying they're married aren't suffering from coercion, while a wedding photographer forced to service a gay reception is.

  • Sleeping Dog||

    Are you fucking trolling or what?

    Who the fuck is going to be able to FORCE a photographer to SERVICE a wedding they don't want to attend? Did the old adage "I reserve the right" suddenly lose all meaning? And even IF it did, what is going to stop the caterer (or what have you) from simply smiling, shrugging, and saying "So sorry, we're booked up solid but here's the number of someone you'll find more helpful"?

  • Xenocles||

    Now you're the one trolling. Just the fact that the service providers have to hide the real reason they're declining service ought to tell you enough.

  • ||

    Did the old adage "I reserve the right" suddenly lose all meaning?

    Not suddenly, but yes. In many jurisdictions you have no such right to reserve when dealing with "historically oppressed classes".

  • silver haze||

    Is allowing for straight marriage forcing gay photographers to service weddings they might not approve of?

    What about white supremacist photographers and interracial marriages???

  • veemee sashimi||

    While I think you are right on the basic problem, I think the counter-argument is an "incrementalism" one.

    That as long as we have the silly situation where the state gets to decide who can and cannot marry, at least we can try and have a process less discriminatory than the current one.

    However that argument often gets bogged down when gay marriage proponents aren't equally supportive of proponents for legalized polygamy.

  • yonemoto||

    why even bother with a prenup?

  • db||

    "Leap, Rogue, and jump, Whore/
    And married be forevermore."

    All you should need is a sword, not a State.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because some libertarians are incrementalists. Others see the writing on the wall insofar as the state is not going to simply give up its monopoly on marriage, and they want libertarianism to remain relevant in the conversation.

    Only in libertopia will we ever see a libertarian idea of marriage, and the US will never be libertopia.

  • Hugh Akston||

    That was a good video. Made some good points about marriage being a right to association, privacy, etc. And if the government is going to be involved in enforcing those rights, it must do so equally.

  • imhotep||

    What does "equally" mean? If you don't want to marry a woman then don't marry a woman. Is marriage a right conferred by state decree?

  • Hugh Akston||

    No, but the right to marry is one that is protected by the state under various amendments. The privileges and permissions that the State doles out to married partners are lame, no doubt, but they shouldn't be handing them out based on what each partner keeps in his or her pants.

  • yonemoto||

    on the other hand there is no legal requirement that the man and the woman love each other, or have regular sex, or anything else. So, what is the problem with requiring a gay man marrying a woman, if they want the beni's.

  • Ska||

    Because your fake wife is not your gay partner. Tax filings, estate planning, living wills, etc. with your fake spouse and your gay lover wouldn't actually accomplish the contractual arrangements you'd want to make.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    Equal protection under the law is though.

  • imhotep||

    Yes - the law says you can marry a woman the law says I can marry a woman, what is unequal?

  • Sevo||

    Shorter imhotep:
    "I can invent stupid comments!"

  • Sevo||

    imhotep|2.23.12 @ 9:09PM|#
    "What does "equally" mean? If you don't want to marry a woman then don't marry a woman. Is marriage a right conferred by state decree?"

    I'm beginning to think you're serious!
    WIH are you talking about?
    While the state *should* have no involvement in marriage, it *does* have involvement in awarding various privileges to those who are "married".
    Now, please explain why those privileges should be restricted.
    Or, you could stuff you bigotry; that's work too.

  • imhotep||

    A bigot I am not. I think the true legal argument in favor of gay marriage as equal protection is very weak.

  • Sevo||

    imhotep|2.23.12 @ 9:28PM|#
    "A bigot I am not. I think the true legal argument in favor of gay marriage as equal protection is very weak."

    Please explain why an argument from "equal protection" is weak.
    Or admit you're a bigot.

  • yonemoto||

    imhotep is correct, the definition of 'equality' in this case assumes that two people married by the state must love each other, which is clearly a poor assumption for many heterosexual couples even.

  • imhotep||

    If you want the tax break marry a woman is just like if you want the tax break form a C corp. There is no right to form some other corp.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    The contortions you homophobes pretzel yourselves into over this is hilarious. Come on, dude! Look more like an idiot! You can do it! I just know you have it in you!

  • Sevo||

    Epi, you're right. I'm arguing with an ignoramus willing to contort the language into silly forms.
    Shithead in reverse.

  • imotep||

    All you have is ad hominem? Weak.

  • Sevo||

    imotep|2.23.12 @ 9:47PM|#
    "All you have is ad hominem? Weak."

    If I were dealing with other than a bigot, there'd be reason to do otherwise.
    Stupid is such it deserves no other. And you are *stupid*!

  • F Hart||

    If you want the tax break marry a woman is just like if you want the tax break form a C corp. There is no right to form some other corp.

    What the hell are you talking about? C-Corps don't get a tax break. S-Corps get a tax break. They are pass-throughs. And anybody has a right to form either one. It's just a registration process, basically. Now, if you wan to form a bank holding company, or a mutual holding company, that's a different story.

  • ||

    Perhaps he was thinking about liability protection. And we all know how well your assets are protected when a marriage ends in divorce...

  • ||

    I wouldn't bother, dude. The people who make this patently ridiculous argument are just straight up bigots, and they cling to this absurd argument like Bruce Villanch clings to fame.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    Which is code for:

    I am unable to spot the difference in equal treatment under the law with heaped to criminal defendants and preferential treatment under civil law, taxes and automatic contract rights, etc al, so anyone who can spot the difference will now be labeled as bigot so I can refuse an honest discussion while still limiting their responses.

    So at least you got that going for ya....

  • ||

    And thanks for demonstrating my point.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, goody! Bigot #2 checks in!

  • ||

    Are you two taking double doses smugness pills today? Your dismissing of opponents with ad hominems and baseless accusations, while an annoying tendency of both of you all the time, has really kicked into overdrive tonight.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Please point out for me where it is limited criminal law you piece of shit. The preferential treatment under civil law, taxes and contract rights is all bullshit and unconstitutional.

  • ||

    The preferential treatment under civil law, taxes and contract rights

    There are preferences written into law for all sorts of stupid classes of people under civil law and taxes, so that dog don't hunt. Why should people with kids get preferential treatment for the EIC, for instance?

    Contract rights you're going to have to explain; I don't see how married people have better contract rights than singles.

  • Ska||

    Estate planning.

  • ||

    Why the FUCK was I talking to you earlier? You are such an intellectually cowardly shithead, Epi.

  • Oops||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 12:43AM|#

    Are you two taking double doses smugness pills today? Your dismissing of opponents with ad hominems and baseless accusations, while an annoying tendency of both of you all the time, has really kicked into overdrive tonight.

  • The Derider||

    Everything the government does must be bad. Duh!

  • ||

    "...took a page from New York's gay playbook and reached around to sympathetic Republicans to seal the deal."

    I see what you did there Gillespie.

  • R. Lee Emery||

    And here I always thought they lacked the common courtesy to give a reach around when they were done!

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  • WTF?||

    WTF is this shit?

  • Sevo||

    rectal and/or WI; ignore.

  • F Hart||

    Whoa. Porn? That's got to be a violation.

    Actually, not bad, but x-art is much better for that kind of porn.

  • WTF?||

    No problems with gay marriage. BUT that doesn't give gays the right to make anyone perform the ceremony.

  • Sevo||

    Agreed.
    Marry whomever you please, and receive the privileges.
    A-1 still applies.

  • The Derider||

    Heterosexual couples can't make anyone perform their ceremony, why would homosexual couples be able to?

  • Maco||

    Could a judge who performs marriages decline homosexual couples, and defer them to another judge?

  • Jeffersonian||

    Just wait. They've already sued photogs that have refused to take pics of their weddings.

  • Amakudari||

    And this is a great reason to oppose public accommodation laws (the defendants lost, BTW). But as is, it's the same as a photography studio being sued for refusing to photograph an interracial marriage or a Muslim marriage.

    Indeed, heterosexual couples can't sue a pastor (neither can homosexuals), but everywhere outside of that religious freedom -- much less personal freedom -- has been discarded in favor of public accommodation laws.

  • ||

    To borrow Epi's logic above: public accommodation laws aren't going away. So supporting gay marriage means you are forcing people to provide services they don't want to.

  • Amakudari||

    I'd say there's considerable pushback on those and similar laws, like with Catholic hospitals and the contraception mandate, or with Obamacare and abortion. I'd say they can go away, or at least be fleshed out regarding gay marriage.

    Moreover, the same applies to the expansion of marriage to include interracial couples. In that case, you again force people to accommodate a practice they don't believe in.

    In any case, I don't have much invested in gay marriage as-is. I'm slightly partial to a more permissive definition of marriage, but it's like picking the hottest clerk at the DMV. My position is for marriage to be defined by civil society, not government mandate.

  • ||

    I think marriage will be privatized long before anti-discrimination laws go away. The Catholic hospital issue is not pushback against anti-discrimination laws per se; how providing contraception gratis to female employees would be an anti-discrimination issue is beyond me.

    Ultimately I don't think there is anything unconstitutional about banning interracial marriage per se; however at the time those bans were in effect, unmarried couples had many, many more legal disadvantages than now, so you probably could make a good case that refusing to grant a marriage license was de facto coercion. Not anymore, though.

  • Amakudari||

    Religious liberty and government mandates on the activities of religious organizations are incompatible. Obviously, resistance is not liberty-oriented on principle (rather, the hospitals would like an exception), I'm just giving an example.

    I agree that it would be constitutional to ban interracial marriage (and I tend not to like when courts unilaterally impose a law out of wishful thinking about how the Constitution reads). My point is merely that as long as the government is involved in marriage, any expansion will impose the consequences of those positive rights on others. Even the initial inclusion of heterosexual couples made impositions. So an arbitrary decision must be made on where to draw the line. (As for religious principle, let's just say that Biblical law on marriage and American law tend to differ in some pretty important areas.)

  • Amakudari||

    <900 character limit />

    I'd slightly rather have people on equal footing, others would rather it be between a man and a woman. Some troglodytes think capital-W Whites should be forbidden to marry any of the darkies. But there's not much recourse to first principles available here.

  • Another Phil||

    So supporting gay marriage means you are forcing people to provide services they don't want to.

    So does supporting interracial marriage. You know that though and just like being the annoying contrarian.

  • ||

    This.

    What CATO and most libertarian advocates of gay marriage don't seem to understand about this is that it's not about freedom or even equality before the law for them. It's about recognition and FORCING people to approve of their relationships.

    If it was about equality or freedom they would have been happy with civil unions.

  • yonemoto||

    yes and no. A separate civil unions specification would have to really be carefully crafted to not allow for the future possibility of binning and legalized discrimination, unless the state got rid of hetero marrieds and put them in the civil union bin, too.

    If I ever found a woman (unlikely due to my libertarianism) I'd try and test that. California has a recognized civil union, which straights can't get into. I want one.

  • Old Salt||

    Even as a kid I thought Captain Planet made ZERO sense. I mean what kind of company INTENTIONALLY dumps pollution with NO profit to be gained by doing so?

    Sure, you can have your business plan read "rape the nuns in front of the orphans" but it just isn't going to make you any money in the long run.

    Not to mention the billion dollar losses incurred every time Captain Planet shows up shit all over your villains parade!

    Fucking "Super Friends" made more sense than Ted Turner's eco-circle jerk ever did...

  • WTF||

    Rectal is a seriously ill person. I think we should chip in and get her some help.

  • I||

    I think everybody needs a scapegoat.

  • Killazontherun||

    Harry Turtledove does something really nice:

    http://io9.com/5887804/scifi-a.....ly-ill-fan

  • sarcasmic||

    Don't libertarians support the right to discriminate, as long as it it not forced?

    Is that not what "freedom of association" means?

    Do people not have the right to be complete and total dicks as long as they don't initiate force on others?

  • sarcasmic||

    interracial marriage != same sex marriage

    interracial marriage is still husband and wife.

    Husband and wife.

    Marriage is a husband and wife.

    Which is the husband?

    Which is the wife?

  • Positron||

    The Diesel is the husband and the Lipstick is the wife.

    Try to keep up.

  • Sevo||

    "Which is the husband?
    Which is the wife?"

    Care to explain why your opinion on that matter is worth squat?

  • ||

    Point is, interracial marriage was outlawed because it was recognized as marriage. They even had to specify what amount of different races made it an interracial marriage. ie, could a 3/8 black person marry a 5/8 black person, etc. It was a totally arbitrary distinction.

    Defining marriage as taking place between male and female, not so much. Without artificial intervention, genuinely mixed-gender individuals are vanishingly rare, resulting only from chromosomal abnormalities.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 12:04AM|#
    "...Without artificial intervention, genuinely mixed-gender individuals are vanishingly rare, resulting only from chromosomal abnormalities."

    Which is none of your business. So?
    Who appointed you 'marriage cop?

  • ||

    I'm not marriage cop and frankly don't care if govt hands out marriage licenses to people who want to marry their bathtub and ottoman. I mainly get irritated about this because not only do libertarians get in bed with some seriously nasty statists on this issue, but they invoke all sorts of anti-liberty arguments to support their position.

    In any case, the state becomes marriage cop once you ask the state to sanction your marriage. Just like an auto mechanic becomes brake cop when you ask him to replace the pads.

  • Lysander Spoon||

    When I see my son make arguments that begin 'the state is not going to get out of the marriage business . . .', I am disappoint. Reinforcing laws with another layer only makes it more difficult to unwind that law, and becomes another justification for state intervention. In a less politically correct topic, he would never make that mistake.

  • sarcasmic||

    I could ask you the same thing.

  • Killazontherun||

    If it's not out of your system after the latest rampage, well, you are pretty much fucked.

  • ||

    Jesus, she shit all over this thread too, huh.

  • rathernot||

    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stop

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    make it stopYou have made too many comments. Please try again later.

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  • hazeeran||

    What is this-that stands before me?

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  • Riker||

  • A Serious Man||

    Okay, I think we need the Reason staff to intervene because this is absurd. The posting of deliberatly incoherent ranting for disruptive purposes is not something any forum should have to tolerate.

    And I ask that all fellow H&R commentators refrain from engaging our otherwise enabling the troll we have designated as 'rather'. This includes vindictive spoofing or imitating.

  • ||

    Next they have to impose a post rate limit. Back in the Cavanaugh dynasty you couldn't post more than once a minute.

  • Amakudari||

    LOL no.

    They didn't do anything about WI, the Stormfront thread, rather several months ago, etc. I don't even care about the damn concern trolls and Team Blue sycophants. Today's comments are nuttier than squirrel shit.

    And the commentariat contains several capable programmers, me least among them.

  • ||

    I can't think of another blog anywhere on the net whose unaffiliated commenters have had to write software to filter out trolls on.

  • PantsFan||

    Holy shit I didn't miss much.

    If the playoffs started today, the Jets would have home game in the series with the Penguins.

  • PantsFan||

  • PantsFan||

    Cannonball Run 2 is the biggest Oscar snub of all time.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "the 26-year-old allegedly slain man, who was “shot in the back” at an Etobicoke apartment complex in 2010 after a *gun seizure project* by police." [emphasis added]

  • db||

    "Allegedly slain?"

    WTF?

  • Tim||

    Gay marriage is wrong. I'm sorry if someone is offended but I do have freedom of conscience.

  • Sevo||

    Tim|2.24.12 @ 12:32AM|#
    "Gay marriage is wrong. I'm sorry if someone is offended but I do have freedom of conscience."

    Tim is an ignoramus, I'm sorry if tim is offended, but I do have freedom of conscience.
    (Whatever that means)

  • PantsFan||

    Why does it matter to you if I recognize 2 people are married or not?

  • Sevo||

    PantsFan|2.24.12 @ 12:46AM|#
    "Why does it matter to you if I recognize 2 people are married or not?"

    Doesn't matter to me whether you do or not. Matters that the government denies equal protection.
    If you're a fan of non-equal protection, have at it. But don't use the government to enforce that.

  • ||

    Problem is, you haven't shown your work on how this is even an equal protection issue.

    You just state "equal protection!!!!11!!!!!!1!!!" and then call anyone who questions you a bigot.

  • PantsFan||

    So the government tells me what's equal?

  • jacob||

    It doesn't matter in the least. What matters is that all citizens should be afforded equal treatment by the government.

    If the government decided to drop the income tax rate for all left-handed people to 0.5%, would the right-handed reason have reason to complain? Why or why wouldn't it affect them?

  • jacob||

    Darn it you beat me to it

  • ||

    The government already monkeys with different groups' tax rates all the time, so that dog don't hunt.

  • jacob||

    So.....you're saying that if the government changed the tax rate based on handedness, there wouldn't be anything wrong with that in your eyes?

    Sorry, your "logic" doesn't work

  • ||

    There would be something wrong with it in my eyes.

    There would not be anything *constitutionally* wrong with it.

  • Tim||

    Freedom of conscience means that each individual has the right to determine their own moral code that is established by their choice.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 12:08AM|#
    "...It's about recognition and FORCING people to approve of their relationships..."

    Poor, poor Tulpa. "Forced" to accept that other people can get married! Why, next Tulpa might be "forced" to accept some people are single!
    The horror!
    Stupid shit.

  • ||

    So, did you intentionally post that all the way down here because you didn't want people to see how out of context that quote is? I wonder.

    I was talking about people who are forced to take part in gay weddings by anti-discrimination laws.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 12:55AM|#
    "So, did you intentionally post that all the way down here because you didn't want people to see how out of context that quote is? I wonder.
    I was talking about people who are forced to take part in gay weddings by anti-discrimination laws."

    No, I posted it 'down here' so it didn't get lost in the earlier posts.
    Your claim of 'forced to take part in gay weddings' doesn't change the matter; a *possible* future issue in no way justifies denying current equal protection. That's a bigot's rationale.
    As evidence, here's the rest of your post:
    "If it was about equality or freedom they would have been happy with civil unions."
    Ah, yes, those icky gays can just be satisfied we tossed them a bone, right?

  • ||

    I don't accept the equal protection argument in the first place; indeed I'm not sure I've actually seen any equal protection argument in this thread, as you and Epi have just resorted to calling anyone who disagrees with you "bigot".

    And in any case, you have to consider the likely consequences of your actions. Saying that the use of anti-discrimination laws to violate people's conscience on this matter is merely possible is like saying that a law against flag burning only *possibly* violates freedom of speech because we don't know if anyone will want to burn a flag.

  • BoscoH||

    Kennedy is the hot new face of Reason. I'm surprised there are no gay marriage proposals from her from either side of the aisle in the commentariate.

  • PantsFan||

    A righteous Sax Solo

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 12:53AM|#
    "I'm not marriage cop and frankly don't care if govt hands out marriage licenses to people who want to marry their bathtub and ottoman. I mainly get irritated about this because not only do libertarians get in bed with some seriously nasty statists on this issue, but they invoke all sorts of anti-liberty arguments to support their position."
    Right, like:
    "In any case, the state becomes marriage cop once you ask the state to sanction your marriage. Just like an auto mechanic becomes brake cop when you ask him to replace the pads."
    So you're more than happy for the state to 'approve' some and deny others? And this under the claim of 'anti-statist'?
    Good to hear it.

  • ||

    As long as not having a marriage license has no significant legal consequences, of course I'm OK with the state approving what it wants to.

    It's akin to the state naming highways after politicians instead of mathematicians.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 1:10AM|#
    "As long as not having a marriage license has no significant legal consequences, of course I'm OK with the state approving what it wants to."

    Try that with fewer negatives; WIH are you saying?

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|2.24.12 @ 12:49AM|#
    "Ultimately I don't think there is anything unconstitutional about banning interracial marriage per se;"

    No kidding. Which of the enumerated powers would include banning any marriage?

  • ||

    If they were federal laws that would be a relevant question.

  • Sevo||

    Oh, how clever! Got me!
    Yes, states without constitutional protections can ban marriages.
    Satisfied?

  • ||

    It's not a question of me being satisfied, it's a question of whether it's constitutional.

    Obviously laws against interracial marriage are stupid in my opinion.

  • A Serious Man||

    It's similar to Ron Paul's critique of Lawrence v Texas. Obviously anti-sodomy laws are absurd, but where in the Constitution, given the 10th amendment, does it say that a state can't enact such a law? If we are to be a society that values limited government, then we must accept our Constitution the way it is, warts and all.

  • ||

    There are natural rights folks who say it's part of the invisible ink in the 9th amendment.

  • Sevo||

    Maco|2.23.12 @ 11:33PM|#
    "Could a judge who performs marriages decline homosexual couples, and defer them to another judge?"

    No public employee could do so.

  • A Serious Man||

    Wait, so when people get married in a church does the state certify that or does the couple have to apply for a certificate outside of the ceremony?

  • ||

    You have to apply for a marriage license separately.

  • Lance||

    Why should the government ban me from marrying my horse?

  • Amakudari||

    Probably because marriage requires informed consent.

  • Lance's Horse "Bolt"||

    Neigh

  • A Serious Man||

    A horse is a horse of course
    And no one can marry a horse of course
    Unless that horse, is of course,
    The wonderful Mister Ed

  • A Serious Man||

    So given this argument for gay marriage, wouldn't it logically follow that ALL consensual unions between groups of people be recognized?

    I'm thinking mainly of polygamists and people who want to marry their cousin or other close relative. The state must have a rational basis to deny equal protection of the laws, and I can't think of one for polygamy. Incest maybe on the grounds that products of the union may have birth defects, but that
    seems sketchy to me.

    Also note that I am not equating gay couples to this in bad faith, only asking where the government can draw the line under the standards given by gay marriage advocates.

  • Aspy||

    "Incest maybe on the grounds that products of the union may have birth defects, but that
    seems sketchy to me."

    Why does marriage have to imply sex, or even reproduction?

    If the reasoning for this case is validated, it'd take some extreme contortions of logic to prevent siblings from "marrying", either of the same sex or not.

    In California at least, same-sex marriage is _only_ about "recognition" - no other "rights" are gained by getting a marriage certificate instead of a civil union.

    And it's pretty rich to say that a "right" was taken away. The state voted to not give the right, a rogue judge (and mayor) unilaterally granted it, and then the state voted (again) to not give the right.

    But yeah, it was "taken away".

    I'm for gay marriage, but I'm completely opposed to the legal approach that's been taken here. It has seriously weakened the government in favor of judicial activism.

  • veemee sashimi||

    They draw it wherever they damned well feel like it, which is the main problem. The gay marriage debate isn't a debate between a group of people trying to deny rights and another group trying to stop them, it's a debate between two groups of people who both want to deny rights to people but can't seem to agree on which groups of people that should be.

  • Amakudari||

    Incest maybe on the grounds that products of the union may have birth defects, but that
    seems sketchy to me.

    I honestly prefer people who just think it's "nasty." There's no reason why, if we're considering only the slightly higher probability of birth defects from consanguineous couples, we shouldn't also prohibit people with known genetic risks from marrying. The same goes for people who don't plan to have children, if the ability to bear healthy offspring is an important criterion. It's a pretty plain eugenics argument.

  • ||

    Well one could argue that defective offspring impose inevitable costs on society.

    Of course, if we're going to be consistent, that would mean we should ban marriage between people with birth defects (where the probability of defective offspring is much higher than even brother-sister pairings) and also ban sex with women approaching menopause.

  • ||

    No.

    First, we have 'marriage equality'. Gay people are just as free to marry someone of the opposite sex as I am. We are both subject to the same laws and restrictions.

    Second, if you want to change a social institution, you PETITION SOCIETY. You do not make end-runs around society by lobbying the government to change the institutions on a whim. This is supposedly what libertarians are against. I honestly don't care if we end up having SSM, if the people vote for it. And they eventually will, if the proponents stop browbeating everyone. But force it on everyone? Go to hell.

    Third, it has nothing to do with homosexuality itself. We are just as 'discriminatory' towards polygamists and those who would marry people below the legal age of consent.

  • ||

    For God/Science/FlyingSpaghettiMonster's sake - PLEASE find a way to stop the griefers!!!!!!!

  • ||

    I am not strictly speaking a libertarian, tho' somewhat inclined - I enjoy the mag and its website - also enjoy the comments - interesting, eclectic,funny, often learn something but this shit is out of control and I'm getting to the point where I can't be bothered anymore - anybody a better place to hang out?

  • MNG||

    "A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland was approved by the state Senate...

    The final vote by the state Senate ended a yearlong drama in Annapolis over the legislation, and marked the first time an East Coast state south of the Mason-Dixon line has supported gay nuptials.

    the measure moves to Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who has said he will sign it."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

    It's a great day. I think the Democrats do a lot of stupid and wrong things. But it's this kind of thing that makes me lean towards them much more than the Republicans. No Red State legislature or Governor has passed on SSM. Even "moderate" ones like Chris Christie can't bring themselves to do the right thing.

  • ||

    So symbolic gestures (which is all gay marriage as opposed to civil unions is) is what makes you lean Democrat? I would have thought your undying love for unions had more to do with it.

  • MNG||

    I guess you'd say that having "whites only" and "blacks only" water fountains was just a symbolic issue, eh? I mean, they're just labels on water fountains, right?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not the same thing, MNG.

    If every "couple" had the same set of rights, that would NOT be "separate but equal"... that would be "equal".

    Like I've pointed out to Tony on many occasions, a marriage license is just a permission slip granted by a gov't official in exchange for some amount of money. Said license gives the couple permission to call themselves "married".

    If I were a liberal activist, I'd conflate marriage license costs with the voter-ID requirement and make the "poll tax" analogy... but I'm not a liberal.

    But, seriously... comparing "whites only" to gay marriage opposition? Even if I were a liberal, I'm not sure I'd go that far.

  • sarcasmic||

    A bill that would legalize same-sex marriage

    Same-sex marriage is illegal?

    Same-sex couples who claim to be married are being jailed?

  • MNG||

    Would your pedanticism be satisifed if I said "legally recognize?"

  • ||

    Well, there is a big difference between "illegal" and "not legally recognized". And not just a semantic/pedantic one.

    The difference between "civil unions" and "gay marriage" comes down to a word, as far as I can tell - "marriage".

    And the activists, as I recall, have rejected civil unions for everybody, which wouldn't be separate but equal, but just equal.

    That tells me they aren't looking for legal equality, they are looking for social (not legal) acceptance, using the levers of the state.

    So I'm not terribly sympathetic. Even though I think there's no reason why gay people shouldn't have access to the same legal status as straight people.

  • sarcasmic||

    That tells me they aren't looking for legal equality, they are looking for social (not legal) acceptance, using the levers of the state.

    Yup.

  • ||

    proxy4biz.com

  • ||

    These guys seem to make a whole lot of sense man, I mean like WOw.

    www.Going-Anon.tk

  • ||

    Remember, the government defining marriage a hundred years ago is wrong and bad, but the government defining marriage today is good and noble.

    It occurs to me that the constitutional way to handle this issue would have been to butt the government out of the issue of marriage completely, instead of turning the state into an ersatz religious authority.

  • ||

    To sum up:
    "Marriage is a right! Marriage is a right!"

    Well sure, nobody is arguing with that. But nowhere in that video do they talk about what they mean by "marriage." Words mean stuff. Loving v. Virginia said marriage was a right. What did Loving v. Virginia mean by the word "marriage"? What definition did they use? It is dishonest and irrational to imply that when Loving v. Virginia used the word "marriage" they were using a definition that included a man and a man standing up and taking a vow to be each other's husband, exchanging rings, then going off to live as husband and husband.

    Any argument that does not clarify what they mean by marriage and why what they are calling marriage is a fundamental right is woefully deficient.

  • ||

    That's been my complaint about the equal protection argument. It assumes its conclusion, namely, that marriage means "any two people", rather than "a man and a woman".

    This is a little tough, when "any two people" has never been the definition of marriage legally, socially, or culturally. At best, the argument is that we should change what marriage means to 'any two people", but equal protection is not a vehicle for changing what words mean, but for applying what they mean equally to all.

    Thus, interracial marriage was unconstitutional because marriage never meant "a man and a woman of the same race". It meant "a man and a woman", and a legislature limiting marriage to "of the same race" was an unequal application.

  • sarcasmic||

    They reverse the burden of proof.

  • Farmer||

    I wonder if there were people around at the time arguing that it was not unequal treatment because all races were equally free to marry someone of their own race(similar to the gays can get married too argument heard today)?

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    A good discussion of gay rights...

    http://www.alternativeright.co.....-question/

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Can we reserve the "bigot" label for use by people like Tony? It's much more amusing when that word gets used incorrectly, and he's a wizard at it.

  • Anyway||

    It isn't about "gay" rights. It's about individual rights. Pressure groups (the gays, the Catholics, the poor, etc.) don't have rights.

  • Hugo Longbone||

    The answer is simple really give the fags all the marriage they want and once this wedge issue is disposed, maybe they'll realize the state is not the solution, but the source of their problems.

  • ChrisO||

    The way current trends are going, gays will be the only people getting married in another 25 years, so the wedding industry is going to have to get used to its future clientele sooner or later.

  • Sam Grove||

    I'll be glad when gay marriage is legalized everywhere because it is such a BORING topic.

  • hey||

    it's the right answer finally

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