So This Is the New Year, and I Don't Feel Any Different

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Massachussetts should be seeing its first married gay couples right about now. Someone let me know when civilization comes a-tumblin' down. In the meantime, congratulations to the newlyweds!

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  1. “Someone let me know when civilization comes a-tumblin’ down.”

    This same sort of straw-man rhetoric can be used to mock just about any position, including cherished libertarian positions.

    “Oh, my God, they’ve locked up Jose Padilla, a convicted felon, in a military brig! It’s the end of the Constitution! We might as well be living under Josef Stalin!”

    “Oh, my God, you can’t even inject yourself with heroin. It’s the end of all liberty!”

    See how stupid the Libertarian position sounds, once it’s been creatively rephrased?

    Of course, this sort of rhetoric is highly simplistic and misleading and, more importantly, it’s not being used on behalf of the cause of “gay marriage.” Therefore, it’s wrong.

  2. Torquemada-

    The problem is that many gay marriage opponents have come close to predicting the downfall of civilization. OK, they haven’t used those precise words. But they’ve talked a lot about how this is supposedly a direct assault on the institution of marriage, how this will destroy the institution of marriage, etc. So the language used on the other side is pretty apocalyptic.

    If the other side insists on using apocalyptic language then I don’t see anything wrong with mocking their apocalyptic language. People who use apocalyptic language for anything other than, well, apocalypse, have made themselves fair game.

  3. Torquemada-

    The problem is that many gay marriage opponents have come close to predicting the downfall of civilization. OK, they haven’t used those precise words. But they’ve talked a lot about how this is supposedly a direct assault on the institution of marriage, how this will destroy the institution of marriage, etc. So the language used on the other side is pretty apocalyptic.

    If the other side insists on using apocalyptic language then I don’t see anything wrong with mocking their apocalyptic language. People who use apocalyptic language for anything other than, well, apocalypse, have made themselves fair game.

  4. Sorry about the double post.

  5. Sorry about the double post

  6. Sorry about the double post.

  7. So wait a minute. Does this mean I have to be gay? And I have to marry someone of my own sex, ’cause I have real problems with that.

    Oh, I don’t? It’s voluntary?

    Then what’s the big deal?

    [thanks to Jon Stewart]

  8. I’d just like to point out that the second and third apologies were by somebody other than me. If you don’t believe me, check the email addresses. I always use “myob@myob.net”.

  9. just curious about the time – were people working (in the office/court) at mid night to issue licenses?

    was there any particular reason for the timing?

    does anyone know?

  10. I heard reports that some offices in some counties had stayed open late to begin accepting license applications at midnight.

  11. I’d just like to point out that the second and third apologies were by somebody other than me. If you don’t believe me, check the email addresses. I always use “myob@myob.net”.

  12. In case anyone is interested in the status of civilization from someone who lives in Massachusetts, I can report dogs and cats living together but, as yet, no mass hysteria.

  13. joe, it’s keyboarding now. And I chew adequately the first time. And better an old bean than a fresh fart, eh?

  14. “. . . right about now.”

    Not before morning, and maybe not until Wednesday. Did you read the article?

  15. Walter Wallis:

    “An expression of disapproval has been classified as hate speach”

    In Canada maybe, but not here. There are no criminal penalties for an expression of disapproval of Gay marriage, thankfully. Not that the liberals wouldn’t love to impose them, given half a chance.

    Walter, will you at least join me in wishing congratulations to these Gay couples? Love between two individuals is a groovy thing in any circumstance. I can’t relate to homosexuality but I do understand romantic love, and I bet you do too.

    “eliminate the tax exemption of fringe benefits and let anyone marry anything.”

    Good idea! Let’s get the government out of the business of granting financial privilege to marriage and much of the impetus for the conflict disappears.

    See everyone; “truth is (indeed) where you find it”!

  16. You don’t need criminal penalties when you can have your business ruined or your house taken away by civil penalty. Right here in California. For one lousy proscribed word.

  17. Walter-

    Could you provide a link to a case like the ones you describe?

  18. this is kind of interesting – for a change someone apparently from the Rightwing (Walter?) is complaining about “free speech” or the lack there of in the US; and the usual complainers like thoreau (who are normally concerned about Govt. restrictions) are implying that free speech is alive and well 🙂

  19. Walter,

    The same “enthusiastic” enforcement of hate speech and harassment rules could also get you in trouble for criticizing, say, an employee’s straight marriage, if you did it in the wrong tone of voice, in the wrong situation, etc. So are you against straight marriage as well?

    Chris

  20. So you must have catastrophic failure immediately (the world ends today) or it proves that no failure will occur ever or that you are not weakening something important for little reason? Of course, such rashly juvenile arguments are something one expects from Mr. Sanchez. I am just glad he makes his living as a writer and not a structural engineer.

  21. Since I have received no fee I am not obliged to provide links to cases I recall from the daily news. Trust me, because I do not lie. Your link was my recollection. No position I hold is so tenuous as to require lies to uphold it. Ask one of your law sluts how to search and what terms to search on.

  22. Thoreau, a lot of people have, indeed, used language to the effect that The End Is Surely Nigh. If you read many of the Christian conservative blogs — Dawn Eden, Mark Shea, Susannah Cornett, Paul Cella, et al.— they make no bones about the fact that they believe 1) This is the beginning of the end for American democracy and culture, and 2) God is going to punish us, or let us suffer, because of it.

    I once wrote a nasty letter to Focus on the Family, and as a result got put on their mailing list. (They really know how to market, huh?) I got something in the mail from them on Friday; when I get a chance, I’ll post the appropriate language.

  23. No one mentioned that Julian Sanchez was quoting a Death Cab for Cutie song in his title.

    Julian, I appreciated it. Oh, and gay marriage won’t bring civilization down… in fact, Jonathan Rauch got his book demonstrating as much excerpted in the latest Reason!

  24. Republican Governor Mitt Romney has threatened to prosecute Town Clerks (!) if they fail to enforce a 1913 law, written to prevent race-mixing, that denies marriage licenses to out of state gay couples.

    It’s not clear what the law requires or what the clerks can be held liable for, but the response from even conservative communities has been close to unanimous: “No one picks on our Town Clerk but US!”

  25. In a real marriage, I can express my open displeasure at little risk. Open disapproval of a gay marriage can cost me a job, a house and sometimes even my freedom.

  26. “So the language used on the other side is pretty apocalyptic.”

    As opposed to the language used on the “gay marriage” side of the debate?

    Let’s see-

    -Comparing “gay marriage” opponents to Nazis (“their ‘Eternal Jew’-inspired ads”)

    -The constant comparisons between the marriage laws in 49 states and the Jim Crow laws of the segregated South

    -and so on

    -and so on

  27. Joe, isn’t it interesting that out-of-state straight couples can still come to Massachusetts and be married with no trouble whatsoever? Why, it’s almost as if the governor is asking municipalities to enforce this law in a discriminatory manner. Which, funnily enough, is exactly what the Mass. Supreme Court took issue with in the first place.

    But it’s not like the civil rights movement. At all. Um . . . look over there! A big distracting thingie!

  28. Walter Willis-

    Post examples or shut up.

  29. i’d rather he post examples from westley willis.

  30. And I do wish all marriages, gay, straight or slightly bent as in the Kennedys, the very best of luck and happiness.
    Except for democrats, of course.

  31. Post examples or shut up

    I’ve learned to tune him out.

  32. Torquemada writes: “The constant comparisons between the marriage laws in 49 states and the Jim Crow laws of the segregated South”

    The antimiscegenation laws were wrong when they were passed, they were wrong when they were struck down. The number of states that had them had no bearing on whether it was right to have such laws.

    It doesn’t matter how many states have written bigotry into their laws. It’s still wrong. And losing support by the year.

  33. Walter Wallis writes: “You don’t need criminal penalties when you can have your business ruined or your house taken away by civil penalty. Right here in California. For one lousy proscribed word.”

    Well, if you just can’t help being an asshole, then your parents didn’t raise you right. If you’re religious, you’ve wasted your time because you don’t seem to have learned anything. I suggest you ask for your money back or take some Remedial Jesus classes.

    What business is it of yours, anyway? Why would you feel obligated to render your opinion on something that’s none of your business?

  34. POST EXAMPLES OR SHUT UP?
    I’VE LEARNED TO SHUT HIM OUT?

    You really have to love the level of rhetoric here sometimes. An expression of disapproval has been classified as hate speach and so my right to my opinion about gay marriage is expressed only at the risk of punishment and, were I a landlord or employer, heavy, confiscatory penalties. I have said publicly since this same sex marriage idea first came up – eliminate the tax exemption of fringe benefits and let anyone marry anything.
    Demonstrate tha falsity of the above or fuck off, asshats.

  35. You would do well to ruminate for a little while before you begin typing, old bean.

  36. congratulations to the newlyweds!

    Good point, Julian. Two individuals are celebrating their love for each other and that’s nice in any circumstance.

    Kudos to the newlyweds!

  37. MJ,

    What is restricting marraige based on race wrong? Indeed, why is racism wrong?

  38. Zorel-

    Normally I’m all up in arms over real but apparently minor infringements of free speech, on the grounds that even apparently minor infringements are unacceptable. However, I don’t get up in arms over unsubstantiated but allegedly serious infringements. Especially when the unsubstantiated source is Walter, who tends not to document his more inflammatory claims.

  39. OK, let’s discuss the miscegenation laws and their relationship to “gay marriage.” If everyone else gets to use such inflammatory comparisons, I might as well try my hand at it, too.

    The miscegenation laws were adopted by reformers who didn’t think the definition of marriage in the common law, the civil law, and in church law was adequate. These ancient laws didn’t invalidate marriages because of the race of the parties. However, racial intermarriage seemed to the reformers to be obviously wrong, tradition be damned. So some American states, starting around the eighteenth century, began imposing penalties on people who married interracially. As time went on, the reformers grew bolder and actually passed laws to deny the validity of interracial marriages. The new-fangled ideas of eugenics provided an extra “scientific” rationale for these laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. To the anti-miscegenationists, anyone who adhered to the old, non-racial definition of marriage was an anti-scientific religious bigot. “Science” proved the superiority of the white race, and this scientific wisdom was the wave of the future.

    By 1967, all American states outside the Jim Crow South had realized that the reformers had been full of it, and they got rid of the miscegenation laws. Thus these states restored the definition of marriage that had existed for centuries before the reformers got hold of it. Early in 1967, a Governor Spiro Agnew signed a law in Maryland to repeal that state’s miscegenation statute. A few months later, the U. S. Supreme Court eliminated these laws in the South as well. Thus was the traditional definition of marriage restored, at least for the moment.

    Then another group of reformers came forward to redefine marriage again. This was the Divorce Revolution, and we all know what wonderful results that’s had.

    Today, a new group of reformers is trying to redefine marriage. Like the anti-miscegenation crusaders, the new reformers disdain the traditional definition of marriage. Like the anti-miscegenationists, the new group of reformers think they are more enlightened and scientific than the benighted generations that preceded them. These new reformers, of course, are the “gay rights” activists who want to put “gay marriage” into the law.

    But, wait! The anti-miscegenationists were exclusive and wanted to limit marriage, whereas the gay-rights crowd is inclusive and wants to broaden marriage! That’s as may be, but both groups are trying to redefine a centuries-old institution for the sake of a half-baked ideology.

  40. “-Comparing “gay marriage” opponents to Nazis (“their ?Eternal Jew?-inspired ads”)”

    Given the fact that the Nazi’s threw gays into the gas chambers as readily as they did jews, I find the simile to be quite apt.

  41. “Given the fact that the Nazi’s threw gays into the gas chambers as readily as they did jews, I find the simile to be quite apt.”

    Does what’s-his-name’s law of Internet discussions apply here? Well, anyway, let’s look at a key difference between Jews and gays in the Nazi movement. There was never a “honeymoon period” in which Nazis and Jews got along. In contrast, prior to the internal power struggle of 1934, the Nazis had quite a gay contingent.

    Incidentally, the Nazis also sought to exterminate Red Army commissars, and Communist leaders in general. There were plenty of Reds in the concentration camps. Therefore, I suppose that anticommunists are just a bunch of Nazis, too!

  42. The inevitable result of gay marriage is gay divorce. (Family law attorneys must be all for it.) It will be interesting to see how the stats compare with heteros.

  43. “MJ, anti-miscengenation laws were not a reform. There were laws against interracial marriage in the pre-American south, the first created by the original settlers of the Virginia colony. They were not reforming traditional practices, by codifying those that already existed (much as the anti-gay side is attempting to do with DOMA, FMA, and the upcoming amendment to the Massachsuetts constitution).”

    Yes, the first American laws against racial intermarriage began getting passed in the seventeenth century, about three and a half centuries ago. This may seem like a really long time ago, until we realize that the non-racial, Christian definition of marriage had already been around for over *sixteen* centuries prior to that. Thus, it’s the anti-miscegenation folks who were the innovators. It was the folks who acknowledged the validity of interracial marriage who were the traditionalists.

    The folks who legislated against interracial marriage were adopting what they regarded as a reform to protect the white race.

    The state of Massachusetts, before American independence, was one of the states to legally forbid interracial marriage. In the nineteenth century, the solons of the Bay State decided they had been wrong, and they re-legalized interracial marriage, thereby restoring the traditional view of the institution.

    Now Massachusetts is undertaking yet another experiment in redefining marriage. How long will it take them this time to realize their mistake?

  44. “Torq, have you seen any of the propaganda Pat Robertson put together from the 1003 Gay Rights March in Washington. If you have a chance to come across them, you’ll see that my comparison is quite apt.”

    Do you have a link? My friend Rick S. really wants to look at that propaganda for “educational” purposes.

  45. dhex: “i wanna know who the pt barnum stylin’ motherfucker is who convinced all you poor souls that marriage has always been static. or that it didn’t need changing.

    “i mean, jimny christmas, even if the definition of marriage changes every 30 seconds… if you actually know what loving someone else is how the meaning of the word can mean a damn thing to you or anyone else is absolutely fucking nuts. or it means one doesn’t know what love means.”

    I love a lot of people, but I don’t hold with the taunt, “if you love them so much, why don’t you marry them?” I’m sure I could even love dhex if I got to know him (her?), but I wouldn’t necessarily want to marry him (her?).

  46. Thoreau – I don’t think I said that anyone making an anti-gay comment would be arrested, I carefully explained how a certain class of people could be punished severely for an expressed opinion. You might add to the list civil servants and many other public contact jobs where just the perception of an afront can be disasterous to your personal career. Just look at what happens to lots of Denny’s when the leaches found another handle on the jackpot machine.

    When you drive down the street, it is an assumption, refutable, that people will stop on red and allow you to pass. That some people run red lights does not change the fact that without the assumption, driving would be well nigh impossible. Life is kinda like that. My assumption about the political affiliation of the guards is, like lots of working assumptions, refutable eiher by direct evidence to the contrary of by a working hypothesis that would suggest it more likely that the guards were Mormons or vegitarians. Or you can jump up and down and hold your breath until you turn blue just to SHOW ME! Then I’ll be sorry.

  47. not contrary of, contrary or

  48. actually, it wasn’t a “honeymoon” persay, but the nazis and the zionists did cooperate on having jews leave germany and head to the holy land.

  49. Torq, have you seen any of the propaganda Pat Robertson put together from the 1003 Gay Rights March in Washington. If you have a chance to come across them, you’ll see that my comparison is quite apt.

    MJ, anti-miscengenation laws were not a reform. There were laws against interracial marriage in the pre-American south, the first created by the original settlers of the Virginia colony. They were not reforming traditional practices, by codifying those that already existed (much as the anti-gay side is attempting to do with DOMA, FMA, and the upcoming amendment to the Massachsuetts constitution).

  50. “That’s as may be, but both groups are trying to redefine a centuries-old institution for the sake of a half-baked ideology.”

    i wanna know who the pt barnum stylin’ motherfucker is who convinced all you poor souls that marriage has always been static. or that it didn’t need changing.

    i mean, jimny christmas, even if the definition of marriage changes every 30 seconds… if you actually know what loving someone else is how the meaning of the word can mean a damn thing to you or anyone else is absolutely fucking nuts. or it means one doesn’t know what love means.

    it’s a crime against reality, pure and simple. hence its effectiveness at hijacking conversations. 🙂

  51. “What is restricting marraige based on race wrong?” – Gary Gunnels

    Well, gee, Gary, since you ask, interracial heterosexual marriages are functionally equivalent to intraracial marriages. The racial differences between the partners are trivial to their structure and consequences of their relationship. Unlike the difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships, which do not have the same structure or consequences. The differences between the two types of relationships are nontrivial. Therefore homosexual relationships are not equal to heterosexual relationships (though the individuals involved are equal) and can be treated differently.

    Your turn.

  52. What business is it of yours, anyway? Why would you feel obligated to render your opinion on something that’s none of your business?

    Posted by Jon H at May 17, 2004 11:44 PM
    I don’t get up in arms over unsubstantiated but allegedly serious infringements. Especially when the unsubstantiated source is Walter, who tends not to document his more inflammatory claims.

    It is my business when my franchise is being misused to heap severe punishment on someone just because they made an open expression of feeling, however obnoxious that expression may be. Freedom of speech is illusory when it applies only to agreeable speech.
    A demand that I document my observation that people frequently are assessed heavy financial penalties for politically incorrect statements is close to demanding that I document an assertion that the sun will rise tomorrow. I seldom see lists of footnotes on the comments of those arguing with me.

  53. “The antimiscegenation laws were wrong when they were passed, they were wrong when they were struck down.”- Jon H

    Agreed. Now, how is restricting the definition of marriage to heterosexual relationships in any way similiar to restricting marriage to intraracial relationships? Or, more concisely,why do you think race is the same as sex? The pro-gay marriage this notion as a given, with no logical explanation. I do not buy it.

  54. Walter-

    OK, let’s say for the sake of argument that the PC cops are constantly busting anybody who makes anti-gay comments, and that anybody who doesn’t know it has his/her head up his/her respective ass.

    What about your claim that all of the prison guards at Abu Ghraib are Democrats? Surely that wouldn’t be such a matter of common knowledge. Could you provide a link?

    I didn’t think so.

  55. “torquey – point being, that your love for people doesn’t change based on what other people do in private partnerships that don’t affect you.

    “obviously.”

    I guess it won’t affect me, unless, of course, I’m a taxpayer and I’m forced to pay benefits to the same-sex “spouses” of government employees. Or unless I’m an owner of rental property and I get sued for refusing to rent to a same-sex couple. Or unless I’m an employer and I refuse to extend marriage benefits to an employee’s same-sex lover, even after the employee waves a government-issued “marriage license” in my face and threatens to sue me for discrimination.

    Of course, libertarians would deplore such outcomes, but whether libertarians like it or not, the next step after government-recognized “gay marriage” is to force the private sector to treat the holders of same-sex “marriage” licenses the same as opposite-sex married couples.

  56. torquey – point being, that your love for people doesn’t change based on what other people do in private partnerships that don’t affect you.

    obviously.

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