The Long History of Gay Marriage

Not at stake: the right to marry a talking rabbit.We've come a long way from the days when activists opposed to a constitutional amendment could warn in horrified tones that it would lead to legalized gay marriage. Today that amendment—the ERA—is long dead, but the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in a couple of cases that could establish a legal right to same-sex marriage based on clauses that were in the Constitution already.

A certain amount of amnesia surrounds this issue. At a time when a National Journal reporter can casually claim that in the '80s same-sex marriage was "little more than a thought experiment," it's worth remembering that for countless people, same-sex marriage in the '80s—and earlier—was a day-to-day reality, even if the families they established didn't enjoy the same legal status as the families forged by heterosexuals. The movement toward marital rights for gays and lesbians didn't begin with a bill or a thought experiment. It began with ordinary couples who decided to marry whether or not the government was going to recognize their union. As I wrote two years ago,

Go ahead and marry. The courts will catch up eventually.Members of the same gender have been coupling off for centuries, sometimes with ceremonies that look rather marital to modern eyes. Here in America, gay marriages predate the modern gay rights movement. Six years before Stonewall, the 1963 book The Homosexual and his Society described informal gay weddings where "all the formalities of [a] legally certified and religiously sanctioned ceremony are aped with the greatest of care."...As gay life became more visible, so did those permanent partnerships, and as social tolerance of homosexuality grew, more people accepted the partners' marriages as real. In 1992, long before any state recognized gay marriage as a legal right, Suzanne Sherman could fill a big chunk of a book by interviewing gays who had married and officiants who had blessed their unions. Such marriages were eventually honored by institutions outside as well as inside the gay community. By 1993, the list of companies that allowed domestic partners of the same sex to share benefits included Microsoft, Apple, HBO, Warner Bros., and Borders. By 2007, gay couples who wanted to get married at Disneyland were free to purchase the Fairy Tale Wedding package....

And so a social institution took hold: first among gays themselves, then in the larger community and marketplace. Finally the government took notice.

How did that evolution look in heterosexual America? Here's a "Dear Abby" letter from 1975, which some papers ran under the headline "Parents Disgusted by He-Man's Gay 'Marriage'":

Love is...DEAR ABBY: Our tall, handsome, athletic son served four years in the Navy, returned to civilian life and college, and "married" an undersized, effeminite male hairdresser. We have no idea how to handle this situation or our ambivalent feelings.

This "odd couple" came to visit us, and they want us to visit them. They are inseparable and act out a peculiar husband-wife relationship that is both bewildering and disturbing to us.

So far we have been polite, but what the dickens do you say to friends and relatives? We can't condone it.

We love this boy, but as his parents we feel torn and hypocritical to say the least.

Abby's brief reply: "You owe friends and relatives no explanation, so don't feel obligated to offer any. Since your son's lifestyle bewilders and disturbs you, either learn to accept it or quit seeing him."

Seven years later, Abby was more willing to push a parent toward accepting a gay son's relationship. In a 1982 letter, "Pennsylvania Mom" wrote:

"What kind of priest," you ask?DEAR ABBY: Two weeks ago I received a telephone call from my youngest son (29) who has been living in San Francisco for the last three years.

He told me that a priest had just married him to his friend, Jerry—another guy. He said he has never been happier in his life, and he asked me to tell everyone in the family about it.

So far I haven't told anybody because I'm not sure how some of our relatives will take it. For my part, I love my son, and all I want is for him to be happy.

Abby, is marriage between two men legal in California? This is a new one for me. And I would like to know what kind of "priest" would perform this kind of ceremony.

Abby replied: "Congratulations. You haven't lost a son, you've gained another son." She went on to explain that while gay marriages "are not legal anywhere," some clergy do "perform such ceremonies."

Some couples did try to get their marriages recognized by the state. Most famously, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell applied for a marriage license in Minneapolis in 1970; in the ensuing case, Baker v. Nelson, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the men did not have a constitutional right to marry each other, declaring that marriage's status as "a union of man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis." The U.S. Supreme Court refused to take on the case, though some legal scholars thought the petitioners deserved a hearing.

Not at stake: the right of heterosexuals to marry.

Baker and McConnell weren't alone. A county clerk in Boulder issued marriage licenses to six same-sex couples in 1975, though Colorado's attorney general later ruled them invalid. (One of the Boulder unions was between an American and an Australian. When the latter tried to use his marriage license to establish legal residency in the United States, a letter from the Immigration and Naturalization Service informed him, "You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.") In 1983 the Pennsylvania courts heard an early gay divorce dispute. One man, citing a 1970 ceremony, claimed that he and his ex were common-law spouses and asked for alimony. His partner denied that their relationship had been a proper marriage. The court sided with the second groom.

The topic turned up in the legislative and executive branches, too. In 1977, Florida Gov. Reubin Askew signed a bill to ban gay marriage. Generally speaking, you don't prohibit something unless you think there's a good chance it will otherwise exist.

Obligatory.And yet the couples kept marrying, and with time more and more people accepted their unions as legitimate. That tolerance eventually took hold in governing bodies more powerful than a Colorado county clerk's office, and now the U.S. Supreme Court is tackling the topic. If the justices rule in favor of marriage equality, the history books will call it a landmark decision. And those history books will be right. But let's not forget all the events that came before the Supremes were willing to entertain the issue, and before any of today's political leaders took a stand.

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  • sarcasmic||

    In the Nazy
    Yes, you can sail the seven seas
    In the Nazy
    Yes, you can put your mind at ease

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    If I was in Village People, I'd be the Indian Chief.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Our tall, handsome, athletic son served four years in the Nazy"

    Dr. Freud and Mr. Godwin, please report to the pink courtesy phone.

  • Jesse Walker||

    My typo, not Abby's. I've fixed it.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Didn't think it was Abby.

  • anon||

    I find it suspicious that nobody attacks libertarians for supporting gay marriage, yet once -one- article is published on legalizing pot shit hits the fan.

    New theory: progressives just like sodomizing us one way or the other.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressives don't attack those who support using government force to redefine a word because using government force gives progressives wood.

  • anon||

    Aren't you supposed to see a doctor if your erection lasts more than 4 hours or something though?

  • Zeb||

    This article provides good evidence that the word had been redefined already, without need for government force. Now the government should just recognize what is already reality or stop recognizing any marriages.

  • sarcasmic||

    the word had been redefined already

    Then why are people arguing about it?

  • Zeb||

    I don't know. People like to argue?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    No they don't, you dick!

  • Robert||

    I'd say the article provides good evidence that the word had not been redefined already. "Gulliver" lampooned the law of precedents as, "What has been done once may be done again", so that everyone seeks to rob the next person as quickly as possible. In reality, common law works only according to what judges decide, not what they merely acknowledge has been attempted.

  • Mensan||

    New theory: progressives just like sodomizing us one way or the other.

    You write that as if sodomy was a bad thing.

  • TheIronSheik||

    Libertarians are so easily distracted by fags and pot. No wonder we can't get any traction on issues that matter.

  • anon||

    It's hard to focus on one issue when you're subject to attack on multiple fronts; I think you might notice a common theme amongst opposition to various laws...

  • BakedPenguin||

    Different issues matter more to some people than others.

  • Randian||

    die in a fire.

  • Jordan||

    You can thank the War on Drugs for vast majority of the growth of the police state in the past 50 years. I'm sorry that I've been "distracted" by the complete evisceration of the 4th Amendment and the massive growth of Federal law enforcement.

  • sarcasmic||

    Pussy!

    /Coulter

  • anon||

    You are what you eat!

  • ||

    If you don't own yourself (and consume whatever the hell you want) and you aren't able to create and define your own relationships with willing parties, you aren't free, so to libertarians, of course these are topics to dwell on.

    And they're in the news a lot so clearly we're not the only ones talking about them.

  • ||

    Have to give this a B+ based on the number of regulars who have hooks in their mouths.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I'd be a bit more charitable, A-.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Dude, it's The Iron Sheik! A+++ at least!

  • AlmightyJB||

    Related. Good ridence to bad rubbish.

    http://m.christianpost.com/new.....ge--92583/

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    If they leave the GOP, where do they go? Do they start a new political party? Is that new party politically viable? I think it's cool.

  • ||

    I've been trying to funnel my SOCON parents into the Constitution Party for YEARS. They keep voting Republican though.

  • ||

    Awww, I love this troll. Can we keep him guys?

  • R C Dean||

    they never wonder WHY California is such a basket case.

    Something to do with Republicans taking a hard line against immigration, and becoming a powerless minority helpless to mitigate the unleashed id of the Democrats who took complete control?

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Can we keep him guys?"

    How about you just keep him in your basement for your own amusment Jesse. I'm finding him quite tiresome.

  • ||

    Meh, I thought it was entertaining that anyone would like the Constitution Party, but he's just gotten so mouthy.

    He can be ejected from the island. I won't object.

  • Virginian||

    No you'll just be catty and bitchy about it. Maybe with a tiny dog in a little bag in your hand. And....ok, I don't have any more stereotypical things.

  • ||

    Good lord man, I'm gay, not Paris Hilton.

    Besides I'm a cat person.

  • Virginian||

    Besides I'm a cat person.

    You sick bastard.

  • ||

    My depravity knows no few bounds.

  • Robert||

    Looks like it knows few hounds.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    I assume they'll join their brothers in
    Afghanistan.

  • ||

    Meh, I always dislike the American Taliban concept. It creates the impression that SOCONS can't be reasoned with (some can't, some can) and it also dilutes how horrible the actual Taliban is.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, there's an *exact* moral equivalence. No exaggeration at all.

  • ||

    For you I'll make an exception EvH: go back to Afghanistan!

    I tease. You can stay for now.

    There's an argument to be made that American SOCONS and the Taliban are responding to similar stimuli in a similar way (enforcing a historical morality through government coercion), but the difference is in the scale.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "There's an argument to be made that American SOCONS and the Taliban are responding to similar stimuli in a similar way (enforcing a historical morality through government coercion), but the difference is in the scale."

    There's an argument that radical egalitarians and Chavista Communists are responding to similar stimuli in a similar way (enforcing their version of egalitariamism though government coercion), but the difference is in the scale."

  • Virginian||

    There's an argument to be made that American SOCONS and the Taliban are responding to similar stimuli in a similar way

    Actually the history of the Taliban is quite interesting, and nothing like the socons here. The Afghan government post the Russian war was corrupt and oppressive. The Taliban movement started out very popular, because they promised to clean up the government.

    It seems to be the tragedy of Muslim nations that they veer between corrupt thugocracies and theocratic dictatorships.

  • BuSab Agent||

    The Taliban government was popular because they instituted the rule of law. The laws were religiously derived and harsh by western standards but were predictable which much better for the average Afghani than the trying to stay on the good side of the local corrupt thug with the most guns.

  • Zeb||

    And you don't even want to know what the queers are doing to the soil.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Zeb, are they soiling it?!

  • Zeb||

  • ||

    You are aware that the LP has had gay equality as part of it's social platform since it's inception, no?

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Wrong again. The idea of homosexual marriage did not exist back in 1973, when the party was first formed.

    From the article:

    Six years before Stonewall, the 1963 book The Homosexual and his Society described informal gay weddings where "all the formalities of [a] legally certified and religiously sanctioned ceremony are aped with the greatest of care."
    Some couples did try to get their marriages recognized by the state. Most famously, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell applied for a marriage license in Minneapolis in 1970

    So yes, the idea existed.

  • ||

    Umm, Furries aren't a gay thing. The majority of furries running around yiffing and furpiling are straight.

    It's possibly the single most harmless fetish ever. What could you possibly have against it.

    Full disclosure: I am NOT a furry.

  • Virginian||

    It's not normal jesse. See, normal people have sex with the lights off, and only with someone they're married too. And they have to feel a deep deep sense of shame and regret after, or else they are bad people.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    The point is that 99.99% of politically involved non-homosexuals had never heard of such an idea, the creators of he LP had probably never heard of it.

    Then sometime between 1973 and 1975, it had gained enough traction for Dear Abby to address it in a column.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Leave Louisiana to it's devices for one year and they'd be hanging gays in football stadiums.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    Tell me what I'm really thinking.

  • Capt Ace Rimmer||

    They pretty much agree on everything but the sentence for the crime. Afghani Taliban suggest public hanging. American Taliban suggest felony conviction and imprisonment. Brothers not twins.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, most modern evangelicals are more enlightened than THOMAS JEFFERSON, who would have castrated people for sodomy. That's more Talibanesque than all but a few fringe evangelicals. Instead, modern evangelicals are content to let gays call themselves what they want, so long as the government neither endorses their self-definition or forces it on bakers, wedding photogphers, tour companies, bed-and-breakfast owners, florists, etc., etc.

    The SSM crowd, in contrast, is happy to endorse the harassment of harmless florsts, B&B owners, etc. but it's all OK because it's done in the name of TOLERANZ!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Jefferson's proposed legislation of castration for sodomy was actually an attempt at reform. At the time, the penalty in Virginia for sodomy was death.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    TJ explained himself in the preamble of his proposed bill:

    "And whereas the reformation of offenders, tho' an object worthy the attention of the laws, is not effected at all by capital punishments, which exterminate instead of reforming, and should be the last melancholy resource against those whose existence is become inconsistent with the safety of their fellow citizens, which also weaken the state by cutting off so many who, if reformed, might be restored sound members to society, who, even under a course of correction, might be rendered useful in various labors for the public, and would be living and long continued spectacles to deter others from committing the like offences.

    "And forasmuch the experience of all ages and countries hath shewn that cruel and sanguinary laws defeat their own purpose by engaging the benevolence of mankind to withold prosecutions, to smother testimony, or to listen to it with bias, when, if the punishment were only proportioned to the injury, men would feel it their inclination as well as their duty to see the laws observed."

    So he thought death was excessive as punishment for many crimes, and had the effect of shielding criminals, because merciful people wouldn't want even a guilty person to be killed, so they would cover up the crime.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Whosoever shall be guilty of Rape, Polygamy, or Sodomy with man or woman shall be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting thro' the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least.

    "But no one shall be punished for Polygamy who shall have married after probable information of the death of his or her husband or wife, or after his or her husband or wife hath absented him or herself, so that no notice of his or her being alive hath reached such person for 7. years together, or hath suffered the punishments before prescribed for rape, polygamy or sodomy."

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu.....IIs10.html

  • ||

    I don't doubt that there are outliers under the SOCON umbrella that are that rabid, but I don't think everyone who is a SOCON is anywhere near that degree. If you ask the average person clinging to the talking point "no right to sodomy in the Constitution" if they believe that gays should be punished by law for consensual sex acts they'll get weirded out and say "no, of course not"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Wow, we agreed - mark the date, this is like one of those once-in-a-few centuries comets which won't recur in our lifetimes.

  • ||

    Don't ruin it EvH, we probably agree on plenty, we're just on opposite sides when it comes to the issues that really animate us.

  • Robert||

    This sort of thing I wonder about all the time, not only about that sector but also of the "left" and any other "direction" that comes to mind. Given their head, would they all push things as far as conceivable, or would they decide at a certain point that it should go no farther -- and how far is that point? There's no way to pluck somebody from one environment and put hir into another magically, akin to the Probability Broach, so no way to tell on this point; the psychology experiments purporting to do so are unconvincing. Suffice it to say that people tend to not want to go far beyond their "surroundings" in any dimension.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "Do they start a new political party? Is that new party politically viable?"

    It would not be viable on a national level. It could be at a local level though. Frankly though, the sooner the GOP can dump the socons the more viable the GOP's future will look.

  • kinnath||

    Scalia: See, I told you so!

  • Zeb||

    They never intended the first amendment to apply to the internet either, or for the second amendment to apply to guns that fire metallic cartridges, but it clearly should and does. Things change.

  • thom||

    Right. If the Constitution was meant to apply only to a very specific set of circumstances universally agreed on by "the founding fathers", they could (and would) have just written out those very specific circumstances. Instead they left us with a more generic document that could be applied to the yet unknown.

  • Zeb||

    "They did NOT want it to apply to homosexual marriage."

    How could they if the idea didn't even exist in 1973, let alone 1789? Maybe they would have allowed it if they promised not to do any sodomy.

  • Robert||

    The stakes were so much lower then that nobody would've cared. Today it's about insurance contracts, immigration permissions, income tax filing status, etc. In 1789, it was about lineage -- of which there would be none if you weren't having children.

  • Robert||

    See, if racial equality had proceeded on the same basis as same-sex marriage is now taken to be a part of equality according to sexual preference, i.e. by attempting to redefine terms in common and legal use, then instead of getting reference to races out of the relevant laws, the activists would've been trying to establish new legal criteria by which a person would be considered to be a member of a particular race as referenced in those laws. So, for instance, they'd've been trying to get Negroes and Mongoloids recognized officially as Caucasians so as not to come under anti-black or anti-Chinese restrictions. To oppose age discrimination, they'd be getting laws enacted making everyone stop counting birthdays at 64, or decreeing 18 YOs to be 21. To oppose sex discrimination, they would've tried to abolish one sex by decreeing everyone to be a member of the favored sex.

    Unfortunately we've come to an age wherein even libertarians are so bamboozled by the socio-legal environment of big, complicated gov't that libertarians have mostly fallen into a trap that would've been considered absurd in an earlier time.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Maybe the fact that marriage has traditionally been between a man and one or more women a woman is due to discrimination against homosexuals? Seems extremely likely, yes? In light of that, does it make sense to deny homosexuals an equal opportunity to marry just because they were persecuted in the past?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The reason marriage has been traditionally been between one man and one woman is because that is how HUMAN BEINGS REPRODUCE AND RAISE FAMILIES IN THEIR NATURAL, BIOLOGICAL ROLES.

    If you look at the majority of cultures of the world throughout history, you'll find that marriage, "traditionally" was between one man and as many women as he could afford to keep.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Why do you find polygamy to be disgusting at all?

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    What does your disgust level have to do with legality? Aww, are the gays hurting your feelings?

  • sarcasmic||

    Well it has still always been about reproduction.

    Why can't you marry your sister? Don't want mongoloid children.

    Why was interracial marriage banned? Eugenicists wanted to preserve racial purity.

    Why were two members of the same sex never considered to be a marriage? They can't reproduce.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    How about women past menopause? Could they marry?

  • sarcasmic||

    Some opposite sex couples cannot reproduce.

    All same sex couples cannot reproduce.

    some != all

    It's a basic logical error that people who do poorly on IQ tests often make.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    You're the one who said it was "always" about reproduction.

    most != all

    It's a basic logical error that people who do poorly on IQ tests often make.

  • sarcasmic||

    Get back to me when you find a same sex couple that can reproduce. Better yet, call your favorite media outlet. You'll be famous!

  • Robert||

    Infertility was frequently accepted as a reason to annul a marriage, yes.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    Was it ever accepted as a reason to prevent them?

  • Robert||

    And you need to pay att'n to the disinction between "marriage" as an abstract n. accepting no number, and a marriage as a substantive n. In the vast majority of cases, polygamy meant a plurality of marriages that an individual engaged in at the same time, not a single relationship of 3 or more persons by a single "marriage", each marriage remaining between 1 man and 1 woman. That's why polygamy does no damage to the concept of marriage, while same-sex "marriage" does.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Only a homosexual could make such a ridiculous statement.

    Oh shit! You're on to me! Please don't tell my wife!

    LOL!

    So if that's the case, why have women who were no longer of child bearing age traditionally been allowed to get married?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    You had a question? Where?

  • Robert||

    Because it's been considered too great an imposition on their privacy to inquire as to their fertility, and for the most part fertility could only be determined by test. However, infertility was accepted as a reason to annul a marriage if one or the other of the couple demanded it. That's annulment, not divorce; the marriage was dissolved retroactively.

  • sgs||

    "does it make sense to deny homosexuals an equal opportunity to marry"

    Oh, you're that guy.

    Well that guy, they have an equal opportunity to marry. They can marry from exactly the same group of approved candidates that straights can. There is no inequality of any kind.

    The problem, and it is legitimate, is that they can't marry from a list of unapproved candidates. But neither can straights.

    They should be allowed to marry who they like, but not because it's an equality issue because there is none.

  • Tony||

    The founders did not possess universal wisdom and foresight.

    If we had to amend the constitution to write any law or policy, we'd have to scrap the entire system as impossibly unworkable.

  • Virginian||

    You dumb shit motherfucker.

    The word marriage doesn't fucking appear in the Constitution. So a strict construction of the Constitution means that it's a state issue, under the 10th Amendment. The federal government has no authority to regulate marriage at all, because marriage is not one of the enumerated powers of the feds. DOMA is unconstitutional on its face.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Robert||

    But as to the effect of its own laws that reference married status, fedgov would have to decide under what conditions a person was considered married.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    An article in the HuffPo rejoices that private, for-profit businesses in gay-marriage states are forced against their will to recognize gay marriage:

    "Seeking financial profit, unlike inherently religious motivated activity, is not a fundamental constitutional value. The two should not be conflated. This is why every state that has enacted marriage equality rejected private business exemptions. Even the Republican dominated, Tea Party leaning, New Hampshire House of Representatives overwhelmingly killed for-profit public accommodations exemption legislation for marriage related services in 2012."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....67630.html

  • Zeb||

    That's a separate issue that already existed.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    The article was inspired by an SSM bill in Rhode Island, denouncing an exemption for private businesses which some legislators wanted to write into the law. And the article says specifically that "every state that has enacted marriage equality rejected private business exemptions."

    But, yes, it's a separate issue.

  • ||

    Yes, I'm sure most here would like to see the government out of the marriage business, but this is about equality under the law, whatever the law may be. There is also the consideration of things like hospital care decision-making rights if one member of a homosexual couple is dying, for example.

  • ||

    I wasn't responding to the original article, just to the fact that libertarians of course aren't trying to get free shit from anybody, but are focused on equal rights. The right to get equal treatment by the law has nothing to do with a business owner's decision-making process, which should be unfettered by ridiculous demands from interest groups who think everything is a right.

  • Zeb||

    Equality under the law. Or do you think that treating people differently based on arbitrary distinctions is a good way to operate? Would the welfare state be less bad if it refused benefits to all people with green eyes, for example?

  • Robert||

    AFAIC, yes, saving even a small bit of money by making some narrow sector ineligible for benefits would be an improvement, unless the sector were so tiny that it looked like political payback of a negative kind. It was, for instance, a vast improvement when slavery was limited to blacks.

  • Robert||

    However, that's as concerning statutory limitation. I wouldn't want bureaucrats arbitrarily deciding certain persons shouldn't get the benefits that a plain reading of the law would say they're entitled to. If it were to be an administrative interpret'n affecting some sector of the popul'n, then I'm not sure; I'd be warier of the political reprisal possibility in that than in the statutory case, but would allow more leeway than in the case of a decision about an individual.

  • Smack MacDougal||

    "...but this is about equality under the law, whatever the law may be." ~ Joe M.

    Yes, sort of like killing terrorists with drone strikes, equally, under they law, wherever they might be.

    No self-respecting, self-declared libertarian supports action that expands the size and scope of government, ever.

    To support gays getting survivor benefits from Soc Sec, even more so since the actuarials didn't plan for it, and not the polyamorous and the bestials screams hypocrisy.

    It ought to be all or nada.

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

    You have to keep in mind that before Reason got around to redefining the word "marriage", they first redefined the word "libertarian".

  • ||

    Dogs don't pay taxes.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "hospital care decision-making rights"

    One should be able to grant that right to whomever they choose. If it's my wish that a magic 8 ball be used to decide whether to pull the plug on me then that should be what happens.

  • R C Dean||

    There is also the consideration of things like hospital care decision-making rights if one member of a homosexual couple is dying, for example.

    When can we put this red herring to bed? Gay people are not denied the right to be surrogate health care decisionmakers. Gay people are not denied visitation rights. They have exactly the same such rights as straight people. You can take my word for it: this is what I do for a living.

  • ||

    To be fair there were a couple of high profile cases in the past two or three years, I think FL, NV, and NY where out of state marriages or medical power of attorney forms weren't respected. The FL case caused Obama to instruct hospitals receiving federal money to make it policy that gay partners receive the same deference as next of kin.

    I seriously doubt that all but the most spiteful people would play games in serious medical situations, but I've met some awful people in my time.

  • ||

    Not to mention that even in state judges will sometimes ignore it if the family appeals. Texas has a very well laid out system for designating your medical choices and who is in charge of making the decisions you don't lay out explicitly in the document. There is also a process for people to try and intercede. In an ideal world the judges would almost always stick to the document (outside of proof of duress, etc.) but they don't.

  • Smack MacDougal||

    "Positive rights"? Oh, you mean privileges.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    A Maryland business, on advice of counsel, closes down its wedding services, at a cost of $50,000 per year, after Maryland voters approve SSM.

    ""The law exempts my minister from doing same-sex weddings, and the Knights of Columbus don’t have to rent out their hall for a gay wedding reception, but somehow my religious convictions don’t count for anything," Discover Annapolis Tours owner Matt Grubbs wrote in an email."

    http://annapolis.patch.com/art.....-marriages

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Grubbs...said his attorney advised him to shut down the wedding part of his business immediately because he could be sued for refusing services to same-sex couples."

  • ||

    See, that kind of stuff is garbage. Anyone providing marriage services should be allowed to decide who they can provide them for. Or should we expect a Synagogue to marry Catholics and Muslims?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    But, but...Profits!!!?!?!?!?

  • Old Johnnie Goggabie||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "“It blew way out of proportion,” [florist] Stutzman explained. “I’ve had hate mail. I’ve had people that want to burn my building."...

    "“Washington’s anti-discrimination law would not allow the florist to discriminate against the same-sex couple,” explained the office of the state attorney general. “If they sell wedding flowers to any other opposite sex couple, they must sell flowers to a same-sex couple.”"

    http://christiannews.net/2013/.....l-wedding/

  • Zeb||

    I find it a bit odd that selling flowers to someone would violate any religious conviction, but I agree that it shouldn't be illegal to refuse.

    But what does this guy think? That if he doesn't have to sell them flowers they won't be getting married? But hey, freedom includes freedom to be stupid.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am guessing that he thinks it is some form of endorsement or enabling of something he is rather religiously opposed to?

  • AlmightyJB||

    "But what does this guy think?"

    You're presuming he has that ability.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I have no doubt that people at H&R would be able to make fun of *any* religious tradition:

    "So you drove off the Angel of Death by putting lamb's blood on your doorposts? And you celebrate by baking unleavened bread? Bizarre!"

    "So this God of yours became a human being and then got resurrected? Bizarre!"

    "So you paint your faces in honor of a bunch of people who move a ball around a field? Bizarre!"

    The question is whether people have the *right* to believe these things, which entails of course a right to act on those beliefs.

  • Zeb||

    I think I made it clear that people have the right to act on whatever stupid beliefs they have. I just find the idea of a religious objection to selling some flowers to a couple of homos a pretty silly one, even among the silly things that religious people tend to believe (as you illustrated well above).

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Did you get my sports-fan joke?

  • Robert||

    Ever hear of boycotts? Embargos? Withholding trade is a time-honored means of sending a message.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    And don't get him started on mixed marriages!

    Yes, most libertarians think he should be able to deny services to anybody he wants, for any reason. So what? This is as dumb as Ann Coulter's argument the other day, that libertarians shouldn't talk about legalizing pot as long as the welfare state is in place.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    No, dummy. Homosexual marriage doesn't "do this shit." Other laws do, and they're already on the books. Bigots generally can't legally discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin if they have a "public accommodations" business. That has nothing at all to do with gay marriage.

  • Zeb||

    OK, maybe reason should give gay marriage a break for a bit. Starting to attract some flies.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Buzzz!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Well I'm a human fly it's spelt F L Y
    I say buzz, buzz, buzz and it's just becuzz
    I'm a human fly and I don't know why
    I got ninety six tears in my ninety six eyes

    I got a garbage brain, it's drivin' me insane
    And I don't like your ride, so push that pesticide
    And baby I won't care, 'cuz baby I don't scare
    Cuz I'm a reborn maggot using germ warfare Rockin'

    I-I-I'm a human fly, i-i-it's spelt F L Y
    I say buzz, buzz, buzz and it's just becuzz
    I'm a unzipped fly and I don't know why
    And I don't know why but I say

    Buzz, ride tonight
    And I say buzz, rocket ride
    And I say buzz, I don't know why
    I just don't know why?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "sometimes with ceremonies that look rather marital to modern eyes."

    I first read that as martial and all I could think of was "Huh, some sort of Theban 'Sacred Band' ceremony?"

  • sgs||

    " it's worth remembering that for countless people, same-sex marriage in the '80s—and earlier—was a day-to-day reality"

    No actually it wasn't, and you sound like an asshole trying to pretend otherwise.

    They weren't married. It's not a minor distinction.

  • Robert||

    Is it just me, or does one of those cartoons look like 2 tiny bears, one with a picnic basket, sitting on the back of someone who's face down in a puddle?

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