Campaigns/Elections

McCain: Straight-Talkin' Bullshit Artist on Civil Unions

|

Ryan Sager chatted with prez hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) via conference call and got his reaction to the New Hampshire civil union law that so bothered formerly gay-friendly Rudy Giuliani. McNasty's take on the legislation?:

Today Mr. McCain held another blogger conference call, and I was able to put the question to him directly…

In the past, Mr. McCain has been very hard to pin down on civil unions.

But today, he was clear: "I am opposed to that legislation."

More here.

You go, guy. Here's a relevant passage from Matt Welch's April Reason cover story about John McCain:

McCain voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment to the Constitution, has repeatedly chastised his fellow Republicans for trying to win votes by marginalizing gay Americans, and gave a stirring eulogy in San Francisco for the United Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham, who was gay. But in the 2006 elections he made a fool of himself campaigning for an Arizona ballot initiative banning gay marriage. Perhaps because of the libertarian strain in Arizona's political tradition, the proposition lost. McCain has been a pretty consistent opponent of abortion, but he went from saying he wouldn't seek to reverse Roe v. Wade in 1999 to saying he would in 2006.

More here.

Memo to McCain, Giuliani (and even Mitt Romney): Last-minute tacks to social con positions on gay marriage and abortion are not going to win you those votes. But they just might lose you whatever libertarian cred you could muster on a couple of social issues.

NEXT: Parents Adrift on an Angry Sea

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.

  1. Since the RR pwns the GOP during primary season, what choice does he have than to kowtow and wave a “God hates fags” placard?

  2. What McCain says and what McCain says are two different things.

  3. Unfortunately, McCain is actually consistent on this issue and just considers it a state issue, not a federal one.

  4. “Last-minute tacks to social con positions on gay marriage and abortion are not going to win you those votes.”

    Right. The people you’re trying to pander to are more interested in these issues as indicators that you are “one of them” than in the actual policies themselves.

  5. Anything that impinges or impacts the sanctity of the marriage between men and women, I’m opposed to it.

    I guess that whole “anything that impacts the sanctity of a marriage” thing didn’t worry him too much when he was leaving his first wife.

  6. Anything that impinges or impacts the sanctity of the marriage between men and women, I’m opposed to it.

    I guess that whole “anything that impacts the sanctity of a marriage” thing didn’t worry him too much when he was leaving his first wife.

  7. Isn’t there a Beach Boy song that he could ryme with “Burn Burn Burn faggots?” and then tell people to lighten up and get a life afterward?

    It’s astonishing to watch him politically implode like this.

  8. I would like to see any presidential candidate explain, exactly, how their own individual marriage is affected by giving gays the right to marry. Do you suddenly love your wife less? Are you suddenly worried you will stray? Explain, please. Reporters, please follow-up and ask.

  9. We see people on this blog change their opinions all the time when presented with facts. Politicians aren’t deep thinkers, so it isn’t impossible for them to have changed their mind over time when confronted with information they hadn’t considered before. In fact, isn’t that the whole purpose of libertarian education….to change minds?
    That said, I wish each politiican who changes his or her mind on a issue would say, “I admit I used to think so and so, but after considering such and such, I now believe it is moral, ethical, better for America, etc. to advocate this….”

  10. If you throw in a couple more “burns” it fits nicely to “Good Vibrations”.

  11. Yes, but would it be too much for politicians to change their minds towards more tolerance, rather than less?

  12. We sure spend a lot of time and energy on this gay marriage thing. Reminds me of the byzantines arguing for 500 years over Monophysitism vs. Monothelitism vs. Chalcedonian creed.

  13. This ties into another recent thread, and my answer is the same:

    I would argue that the Republican party and everything for which it stands are geared towards one goal: having more non-bastard children.

    Gays don’t do that. Therefore, the GOP is anti-gay.

  14. I wish each politiican who changes his or her mind on a issue would say, “I admit I used to think so and so, but after considering such and such, I now believe it is moral, ethical, better for America, etc. to advocate this….”

    And I wish we could be choose to be indifferent to politicans’ minds. But then they wouldn’t be politicians.

  15. Even Ron Paul’s pro-life and opposed to gay marriage… so who can we libertarians vote for?

  16. But they just might lose you whatever libertarian cred you could muster on a couple of social issues.

    I’m sure they really give a damn, too.

  17. Neither Gay marriage nor Abortion are Libertarian issues.

    What is libertarian or not is how those issues are approached.

  18. We sure spend a lot of time and energy on this gay marriage thing.

    That’s because it is important to gay people. And it’s hard to fathom why denying them marriage is important to anybody else.

  19. I mean that if those are your two main issues, then you are not necessarily a libertarian.

    I am not trying to make a point for the drinking game here but,

    The huge issues are the Income tax, the 1st and 2nd Amendment, all kinds of other stuff.

    Your opinion on gay marriage, or abortion, whether pro or con, on either, though valid to you, is not a libertarian issue.

    Not necessarily a libertarian issue. There are valid libertarian arguments for both sides of those issues.

  20. “We sure spend a lot of time and energy on this gay marriage thing.”

    yes. It is important for some who are in a committed, loving relationship to have the same rights and privileges that the government extends to other types of couples that wish to do the same thing.

    Stewie – yup he fails muster on two of my big four issues. Voting is difficult 🙂

  21. “We see people on this blog change their opinions all the time when presented with facts.”

    No blog commenter has ever changed his/her mind on an issue.

  22. There are valid libertarian arguments for both sides of those issues.

    What is the libertarian argument for banning gay marriage? enlighten us Mr. kuwais.

  23. “There are valid libertarian arguments for both sides of those issues.”

    no there are not – even starting with the “gov’t shouldn’t be involved”, advocating doing nothing (or having no time horizon in which the gov’t would be out) maintains the current system.

    Since it’s a contractual agreement with legal rights and responsibilities and privileges, the libertarian argument should be in favor of it.

  24. If Mr. kuwais [sic] is busy, perhaps I can offer an answer.
    The gov’t should be completely out of the marriage biz.

    (Not my POV exactly, but, just like the “no open borders while we have a welfare state” argument, I have heard very sincere libertarians argue this.)

  25. Has the story about how the govt. is going to take our guns by making us all terrorists made the scene yet?

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/1153AP_Terror_Suspects_Guns.html

  26. As I recall, during the South Carolina primaries McCain was one of the candidates asked their opinion on the confederate flag issue, and responded that it was up to the people of South Carolina. It wasn’t his call to second guess a local issue. Now the people of NH, through their representatives, have enacted a piece of legislation and suddenly he has no compunction about voicing an opinion – he’s opposed to it.

    (He did later express regret over his dodging the question of the confederate flag).

    I’m waiting for the social conservatives who complain about the “activist judges” usurping the role of the legislatures to voice their approval of this non-judicial, properly debated and passed by majority vote law.

  27. When Mo Rocca asked him if the General Lee should sport the Confederate flag, McCain, without missing a beat, replied, “That’s under the jurisdiction of Roscoe P. Coltrane.”

  28. Anon — “What is the libertarian argument for banning gay marriage? Enlighten us Mr. Kuwais.”

    The libertarian argument is a subset of a larger argument — banning all government recognition or non-recognition of marriage, period. No marriage licenses, no laws recognizing whether you are or aren’t married, nada. Each person and/or church decides for themselves, and doesn’t impose that choice on anyone else.

  29. When did lower tax rates, extra Social(ist) (In)Security /MediScare benefits, and “preferential” probate laws for some arbitrarily chosen sub-group suddenly become ‘libertarian’?

    Almost 20% of Americans will never marry during their entire lives… Are they all merely ‘second-class’ citizens?

    If the “political power” of the majority (hetero- couples) can maintain their ‘special status’ with the Gov’t– more power to them…

    …but, that’s just another reason why Gov’t sucks!

    VM almost got it in his comment– “…who are in a committed, loving relationship to have the same rights and privileges that the government extends…”— Because the “gay marriage” debate is not about “Rights”– it’s about the Privileges!

    The Constitution does not protect anyone’s “privileges”…

  30. Jim Hensshaw and highnumber:

    I specifically asked kwais about his choice of words banning gay marriage. The argument you offer is not an argument for banning gay marriage. It is an argument against government involvement in the marriage business (whether homo or hetro sexual couples are involved), which I totally support. So singling out gay marriage for a ban is not libertarian, IMHO. It is bigotry pure and simple.

  31. “Since the RR pwns the GOP during primary season, what choice does he have than to kowtow and wave a “God hates fags” placard?”

    Well, he always has the choice to be a decent human being, but most politicians don’t have such a disposition.

  32. Whoops, I almost sic’ed Urkobold on you. Thanks to preview I saw your latest comment.

    You can still use the name “wanksplash,” if you like.

    You are correct. Banning gay marriage cannot be a libertarian POV. So, I agree with you 100%. I took kwais’ comment to mean that gov’t sanctioning of gay marriage could be seen as not libertarian. If kwais was defending a gay marriage ban, or implying that a gay marriage ban is defensible from a libertarian POV, I disagree with him 100%.

  33. anon — If you believe, as I do, that government should not be in the business of recognizing ANY marriages, gay or straight or polygamous etc., then is it wrong to oppose the expansion of government recognition of hetero marriage to include gay marriage, even if on the surface it has the same practical effect as the “hate-all-gays” crowd?

    If you think that such principled opposition to goverment recognition of gay marriage is wrong, then would you think it was wrong if someone who, like me, wants to end the welfare state in its entirety opposes a specific expansion of the welfare state that would level the playing field so everyone had equal (tax-payer funded) access to a particular goody?

  34. Wait – are there 2 anons?
    8:06 and 8:10 don’t seem like the same person wrote them. Urkobold is champing at the bit. He needs to know.

  35. I would love it if government had no role in mariage. This is an ideal solution because I wouldn’t have to give a shit at all. It would be like whether certain people get to go to Heaven.

    Jim Henshaw, while waiting for a truely libertarian society would you be willing to deny welfare benefits to just 1st and 2nd generation immigrants? Perhaps there is a lot of potential to roll back the state, so long as you are willing to target unpopular groups.

  36. Just once, ONCE, I’d like to hear an interviewer ask one of this flip floppers two questions:

    1. Why have you changed your position?
    2. Why do you have Vice-President Cheney’s daughter.

    The libertarian ideal of course would be no government role in marriage, but until such time I can’t abide marginalizing 10% of our populus for no rational reason.

  37. Proof read, jerkwad:

    replace “this” with “these” and “have” with “hate” and “.” with “?” at end of #2.

  38. Proof, read jerkwad, take two:

    and make that “up to 10%”.

  39. arbitrary designation — Good question, though it is a bit off point, since the issue here is whether to expand a pernicious practice of the government that harms the alleged beneficiaries. For example, because I’m married, and my wife earns way more money than I do, I’m taxed at a much higher rate than if the government had to treat me as an individual. So, if I were to “lose” the “benefits” of being taxed heavily by having the government quit recognizing me as married, I wouldn’t be exactly bereaved at the loss.

    But, to address your actual question, I think most libertarians, while favoring wide-open immigration, would view it as a disaster if welfare benefits were offered to first-immigration immigrants, since then we would be flooded with people seeking handouts instead of work. As to second-generation immigrants, dunno — I hate both discrimination and the welfare state. If that would be the permanent state of affairs, no, I’d be opposed, but if to get to a permanent ban on the welfare state we had to suffer a brief term of inequity, then maybe so … again, interesting question.

  40. arbitrary designation — Some further thoughts on your question. The modern welfare state has grown by increments, by first creating discrimination, then seeking to “end” that initial discrimination by further growth of government. For example, first we got Medicare, then Medicaid, and now the push is to have government cover children. The obvious goal of the statists is to achieve “equality” by having government run health care for everyone. Is seeking that a libertarian goal?

    Same deal with marriage. Are you willing to grant government-sanctioned marriage to monogamous gays, but not to fundamentalist Mormons who want polygamous marriages? Are you for discriminating against people who want to marry outside their species, such as the woman in India who married a snake? I say, to hell with any government decision-making on this issue. If you can find a preacher who’ll marry you, fine, and if you can persuade others to recognize that, fine, but don’t use the government to coerce me into recognizing it.

  41. Proofread is one word.

    Just sayin’.

  42. once again Gillespie’s take on gay marriage as some sort of libertarian layup issue like free speech or airline deregulation is beyond annoying…there are arguments on both sides…I tend not to agree with recognizing it as most of the meat and potatoes of a marriage contract can be done through private contract, I can’t really see “rights” being denied, and most of all the issue for the majority of gay marriage proponents is really getting health care out of employers with the gun of unilibertarian anti-discrimination laws pointed at employers…..but again the incessant need of Reason writers to prop this up as a libertarian fait d’accompli issue is nuts…it seems they are more worried about being banned from the Adams Morgan area

  43. Memo to Nick:the somewhat AZ libertarian political tradition had nothing to do with that ballot initiative losing..it might be nice for you to research things(in this case the local political debate around this) before using them as props to personal arguments

  44. These three are scum.

    Next issue.

  45. JH,
    I guess my concern is that if you use the RR as a tool in rolling back the state, they get to use you to persecute people.

  46. arbitrary designation — I agree with you that using the Republican Right to try to roll back the state is fraught with hazards, as witnessed by the sorry job they did in running up the deficit and trammeling on civil liberties. Same deal with the Democratic Left. But, since there’s not a single member of Congress who’s a member of the Libertarian Party, all that’s left is trying to slow down the descent into statism by playing the two off against each other. We’re trying to slow the rate of increase of state power right now, instead of trying to reverse this rubbish.

    au standard — whether gay marriage sppears to be a slam dunk, libertarianwise, depends on how the question is phrased. “Should gays have the same right to marry as heteros?” isn’t a slam dunk, while “Should gays be able to use the coercive power of the state to extract free health care and other entitlements from employers and taxpayers?” seems a lot less debateable. Depends on what aspect of the debate you’re talking about, and your underlying assumptions about what other statist institutions would be left in place, yeah?

  47. JH-

    But they do have the “right to marry”, through private contract, common law…all the guts of a marriage contract is right there to be privately determined….spliting of common property, medical decision making power, end of life stuff …why does anyone care otherwise if all this can be contracted for? (well, ’cause its about healthcare,) …then, ok we agree on the welfare benefit aspect of this issue..so what is left…tax filing status!?…

  48. I disagree with anyone who believes that gay marriage is not an important libertarian issue. It is extremely important, as it is a perfect example of where politics of liberty and reason will lead us. That is why Ron Paul cannot be considered a libertarian.

    If you are against gay marriage, you are a bigot. That is the truth. Any rational individual would have no problem with any two, or three, or however many consenting adults getting married. Is marriage something the government should be involved in? Probably not. But since the government is involved in marriage, it should be available to all adults. And civil unions are not good enough. We had separate but equal in this country for many years, and it is never equal.

  49. Eric, re: your comment “But since the government is involved in marriage, it should be available to all adults.”

    OK, let’s extend that logic to a few other iterations:

    “But since the government is involved in Medicare and Medicaid, government run health care should be available to all adults.”

    “But since the government is involved in tariffs protecting dying industries, it should impose tariffs protecting all industries.”

    “But since the government is involved in farm subsidies for corn and wheat, it should extend subsidies for all farms and ranches.”

    If a gay couple has a marriage ceremony, the government ignores you and pretends nothing happened. I’m Mormon. If I married a second wife, it would be a felony and I’d be thrown in jail (and excommunicated to boot.) Who is being discriminated against more here?

    I’m all for treating gays the same as heterosexuals. But, based on the nasty discrimination that Mormons suffered in the late 1800s before they backed off on the polygamy thing, I’m really leery about giving the government more power to decide who to recognize as married. I want those buggers — politicians — to stay out of that business entirely.

  50. Whenever so called Gay rights are put to the test, voters always reject them. Voters across all demographics.

    Get some new material Nick.

    http://www.taemag.com/issues/articleid.17160/article_detail.asp

  51. Anon- true it does not. However, it does allow for consenting adults to have a contract. That contract has rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

    You’ve missed the source of those rights, responsibilities, and privileges – it’s the contract, not the gov’t. The govt is the legal body that provides the enforcement.

    Not the constitution, not the government. The contract. called “marriage” here.

    (didn’t phrase it that way in first post. tried a little more in 6:28 post.)

    also – there are privileges (tax breaks) for married couples. There are rights (hospital, making decisions, adopting, etc) that hetero married couples have.

    So there is a different status – created by the government recognizing one type of contract and forbidding another.

    @high# from 8:22 – that’s how I took it, too. Apologies if that was an incorrect reading!

  52. William R Whenever so called Gay rights are put to the test, voters always reject them. Voters across all demographics.

    Ever heard of a place called Massachusetts?

  53. “If a gay couple has a marriage ceremony, the government ignores you and pretends nothing happened. I’m Mormon. If I married a second wife, it would be a felony and I’d be thrown in jail (and excommunicated to boot.) Who is being discriminated against more here?”

    Oh, you have a first wife that the government legally recognizes, but you think you’re being discriminated against since you can’t have a second? Gays can’t get married at all. I think you lose.

    Do a lot of Mormons think like this? You just complained about the discrimination that Mormon’s used to face, but you extend the same sort of discrimination against gays currently is okay.

    Some of you people have a very bizarre rationale.

  54. at least one of those “rights” can be taken care of thru private contract…again down to tax filing status!……(unspoken truth….all about employer provided health care)

  55. “all about” healthcare?

    bah humbug.

    it does seem as though history will favor us with a view of bans on gay marriage similar to anti-miscegenation laws.

  56. Get the gov’t out of contracts?

    Basically, most times the “reject gay marriage based on getting gov’t out of marriage” has a bigoted feel to it.

  57. “Get the gov’t out of contracts?

    Basically, most times the “reject gay marriage based on getting gov’t out of marriage” has a bigoted feel to it.”

    It’s completely a bullshit argument. Everyone who holds that argument knows that the government is never going to get out of contractual marriage – it’s nothing more than a convenient diversion to the real reason most of these jerks oppose gay marriage (innate homophobia). I’ve been there before – I used to believe the same thing – but it’s unrealistic and more importantly, it’s unfair.

  58. Gays already have equal rights to marriage. Everyone is equally free to marry any person who is not already married, closely related to them, below the age of consent, or of the same gender.

    And don’t give me that BS about how that’s not fair because they can’t marry someone they’re attracted to. What if I wanted to marry someone who is already married to someone else, or marry my sister? Could I cry “discrimination!” because I’m not allowed to marry the person I want? I don’t see how the criterion that those who marry must have opposite genders is any more arbitrary than that they cannot already be married or can’t be related.

  59. Also I might add that polygamy and incestuous marriage have much historical precedent in Western civilization, while same-sex marriage has none.

  60. “Gays already have equal rights to marriage. Everyone is equally free to marry any person who is not already married, closely related to them, below the age of consent, or of the same gender.

    And don’t give me that BS about how that’s not fair because they can’t marry someone they’re attracted to. What if I wanted to marry someone who is already married to someone else, or marry my sister? Could I cry “discrimination!” because I’m not allowed to marry the person I want? I don’t see how the criterion that those who marry must have opposite genders is any more arbitrary than that they cannot already be married or can’t be related.”

    That’s an air-tight analogy you just made. Why don’t you present it to the public so this whole gay marriage debate can be over?

  61. Thing is, if religious righters want to reduce the frequency of gay sex, they would SUPPORT gay marriage. The other married men of the forum will back me up on this.

  62. bourgeoiscowboy,

    I don’t think that would work. I don’t think Big Sodomy is really after equal rights here, they want an official endorsement of their sexual predilections.

  63. Bourgeois –

    I’m lost with where you’re going – I was trying to state that I have the opinion that the argument “keep gov’t out of marriage”(in being against gay marriage), in many cases, is a convenient disguise for bigotry. In others, it seems like a not-well-thought-out position.

    we agree?

    And, BTW, I don’t think it’s a good argument, because there are, despite what some above maintain, rights, responsibilities, and privileges are granted to married couples – by law.

    If it were a matter of simple contract, the gov’t would have to be involved anyways (to enforce the contracts).

    But many of the aspects of the contract of marriage (rights, responsibilities, privileges) are not available for a gay couple that would want to enter freely in such a contract.

    For those who are against gay marriage, how do you feel about states banning it?

  64. @VM

    You’ve missed the source of those rights, responsibilities, and privileges – it’s the contract, not the gov’t. The govt is the legal body that provides the enforcement.

    …snip!…

    also – there are privileges (tax breaks) for married couples. There are rights (hospital, making decisions, adopting, etc) that hetero married couples have.

    You’ve just illustrated why a marriage is not just a legal agreement between two people. There’s nothing preventing any two, or three, or any number of consenting adults from concluding such a contract between themselves now (this may no longer be true in Virginia, where a recent ballot initiative might also have outlawed such agreements. I’m not entirely clear on the actual details). Legal marriage is, specifically, a legal agreement between two people, and the state, with certain prerogatives guaranteed by the state.

    I will illustrate: Let’s take your example of hospitals being required to admit partners in gay marriages visitation rights in the same manner they’re required to grant visitation rights in straight marriages.

    Now think about that. The hospital isn’t a signatory to the marriage contract, but it’s bound by conditions of a contract between two other people. How many other contracts are required to be honored by outside parties? When you buy a Ford under warranty, is an auto shop that isn’t part of the Ford franchise bound to honor the terms of that warranty? Of course it isn’t. A marriage is one of the few, if not only, contracts that creates obligations on the part of non-signatories. That is distinctly different from any other forms of contract.

    @bourgeoiscowboy

    It’s completely a bullshit argument. Everyone who holds that argument knows that the government is never going to get out of contractual marriage – it’s nothing more than a convenient diversion to the real reason most of these jerks oppose gay marriage (innate homophobia). I’ve been there before – I used to believe the same thing – but it’s unrealistic and more importantly, it’s unfair.

    Actually, the law protects very, very few forms of relationships. Usually only the ones that have a potential for impacting other parties. People form all kinds of relationships that don’t enjoy special protections by the state. There’s no protections for people who form bowling teams or garage bands. Why not? Because those relationships, like gay relationships, are of no consequence to anyone else besides the participants in them. So, why are straight relationships of interest to society at large, but not gay ones? Isn’t that treating them “unequally”?

    It sure does treat them unequally, which is entirely justifiable, because they are not equal situations! Any honest examination of equality would have to consider equality of consequences. We can do that easily enough by isolating the variables. Consider – what would be the consequences if people, from this day forth, failed to form gay relationships? What would the world look like 20 years from now?

    Now, what would happen if people failed to form straight relationships? What would the population look like 20 years from now? Smoked dope with any Shakers lately? I didn’t think so. If you’ll allow me the presumption of assuming most people have an interest in seeing their species and civilization continued, then there’s an obvious public interest in encouraging and facilitating hetero relationships that isn’t operative in regard to gay relationships.

    And no, don’t even start with the argument that not every straight marriage produces off-spring, either. That’s a frivolous argument. The object of requiring people to stop at red lights is to prevent collisions with oncoming cross-traffic. The fact that I’m occasionally stopped at a red light and there’s no cross-traffic in sight does not negate the utility of the law requiring me to stop. Laws are made to accommodate usual and expected circumstances, nobody even pretends that a body of law can be created to accommodate every outlier circumstance. That’s merely an attempt to hold marriage laws to a standard that no other laws are held to. Nobody with any sense is going to pretend that any particular law produces a desirable outcome every time it’s applied. The measure of a law is whether it produces a desirable outcome more often than not. I’m sure that it wouldn’t be hard to find cases where even a first-degree murder is justified. But that doesn’t make a case that repealing laws against first-degree murder is justified. There’s an old saying, “Hard cases make bad law”. It applies here.

    If you want to make the case that gay marriage should be permitted simply because it would be a convenience to a substantial number of citizens, and imposes no cost to anyone else, fine, I’m all sympathy. I don’t have a problem with the law recognizing gay marriage, but, sorry, if it never happens, I can’t say that I’d find it a great injustice either. Obviously, gay unions and straight unions are different beasts entirely. The inputs are different, and the outputs are different. It would be difficult to make a case for “equal” here without a lot of fancy rhetorical footwork. All you’re accomplishing by pulling an “equal” out of your ass by fiat, when obviously the situations are not equal, is irritating people like me who are otherwise sympathetic.

  65. bourgeois —

    What are you after?

    1) Formal government recognition that gays are “married”? OR

    2) All the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a marriage contract, without the government weighing in on whether you are “married”?

    I think most religious right folks would go along with door #2, if door #1 wasn’t foisted upon them. They don’t have a problem with equal treatment under the law (though there are a substantial minority that would like unequal treatment.) But, if you go after door #1, then they would consider that a violation of their First Amendment right to not have the government forcing something upon them that’s against their religious beliefs.

    My experience on the campaign trail is that most gays want the equal treatment, and that only a hardcore minority want to rub it in by making the government force religious folks to officially call something “marriage” that they consider blasphemy.

    The bottom line? There’s a compromise that most gays and religious righters would grudgingly accept, but a hardcore minority in both camps is inflaming public opinion and preventing those equal rights without the inflammatory phrase “marriage” attached.

  66. It’s completely a bullshit argument. Everyone who holds that argument knows that the government is never going to get out of contractual marriage – it’s nothing more than a convenient diversion to the real reason most of these jerks oppose gay marriage

    Ahhh…I see now. Anyone opposed to the expansion of inherent discrimination of singles (that is, adding a new priviliged class of folks eligible for tax breaks on my back) must be a bigot.

    Thanks for that broad-brush paintjob there, Sherwin-Williams.

  67. PigM:

    good thoughts about contract. Also – showing why the “gov’t out of marriage” doesn’t work as an argument, for me.

    And the basic issue is that heteros may form this type of contract, gays may not. It’s not an option for them, and I feel that’s wrong.

    coupla other thoughts, tho:

    Your answer to me seems to support a gay marriage – certain couples that wish, for many of the same reasons a hetero couple would, to form a legally-recognized (with all of those third party aspects) couple.

    And I’d exactly argue that there is no cost to others’ marriages, so, yes – it’s a no cost way of ensuring that all adults who wish to engage in the contract of marriage may do so. including all of those contractual features that are unique (?) to marriage.

    But for it to be no cost, we’d have to reject your premise of offspring – cuz that’d be a cost.

    And I do happen to feel it is an injustice, just as I feel that states that banned interracial marriages also were engaged in unjust actions.

    And since there is no cost to having gay marriage, it wouldn’t make others worse off, but it would make those who wish to enter that kind of relationship better off. (that asymmetry is where I’d recognize the injustice)

    I do understand that for you, this doesn’t rank highly on the scale of issues, and that’s fine – we all rank order our political preferences!

    cheers

  68. I have to disagree with you, my moosey friend…the tax breaks the government gives to married couples have to be paid somewhere. Now, that’s an argument for lowering taxes, but right now, the loss in government revenue is going to get made up by the government on the backs of those of us who choose to stay single.

  69. …we all rank order our political preferences!

    For some people:

    1. Me
    2. Myself
    3. I

    Really, I put the potholes in my lawn at #1.

  70. Just to let you all know that many libertarians here in NH are opposed to the civil unions, including myself. The reason is that it specifically targets gays and does not allow cohabitation. A bill that would have allowed cohabitation was rejected by our new radically liberal legislature.

  71. Your answer to me seems to support a gay marriage – certain couples that wish, for many of the same reasons a hetero couple would, to form a legally-recognized (with all of those third party aspects) couple.

    Well, I sympathize. But again, the object of public law is to promote public interests, not to ensure everyone gets a pony for Christmas. What public interest is being advanced here? That is, how do these relationships impact the public at large such that the public should have an interest in offering them legal protection?

    Not saying there isn’t a case, but I’ve yet to hear it made.

    And I’d exactly argue that there is no cost to others’ marriages,

    I agree. There’s no cost, or at least no substantial cost. I’m not making a case against it, I’m just looking to hear the case for it. As I’ve pointed out, I find the “equal rights” argument to be on pretty shaky ground.

    But for it to be no cost, we’d have to reject your premise of offspring – cuz that’d be a cost.

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying here.

    And I do happen to feel it is an injustice, just as I feel that states that banned interracial marriages also were engaged in unjust actions.

    Well, color me skeptical about drawing parallels between gay marriage and miscegenation laws. Bi-racial relationships have the same outputs (children) as same race relationships. As the children are affected third parties to the relationship, it would seem to me the same public interest issues would be operative. Those outputs don’t occur as a result of gay relationships, so I don’t think that’s a valid parallel.

  72. Doesn’t allow cohabitation? Please explain further.

  73. Nick Gillespie, ease up on the interstate commerce. McCain and Giuliani have never had “libertarian cred” outside of Eric Dondero’s fantasies. They’re both straightforward authoritarians.

  74. I find it hard to believe that the people who advocate getting the government out of the marriage business have thought about the issue very hard. Or are particularly serious, for that matter. What are you going to do, throw the legal relationships of millions of people into chaos? Effectively require everyone who wants some kind of legal arrangement with their cohabitant to hire lawyers? It’s crazy.

    You could make a bunch of changes to the current marriage laws that would make them more libertarian. My guess is that more libertarian marriage laws would look more like a standard-form contract, probably with various check-boxes for options people could pick or not. And presumably there’d be no compelled recognition of marriage by employers, no special tax breaks for the married, etc.

    And I think libertarians have to recognize equality before the law as an important libertarian value, at least within limits. Would the people who oppose gay marriage on the grounds that the government shouldn’t have marriage at all also have opposed abolishing the anti-miscegenation laws of the Jim Crow South? Those kept people from getting married too.

  75. Eliot — getting government out of marriage would be pretty simple, except for the tax code. Basically, everyone who is currently legally married would be grandfathered in with a standard contract outlining their current rights, just like the one you mentioned. Anyone else who wanted some or all of those rights could check the boxes and sign a contract, too. Why would anyone need lawyers? Does anyone (except for the ultra-rich) hire a lawyer now before getting married?

    You can oppose government-sanctioned marriage and be OK with private gay marriages/contracts/whatever. Not the same thing.

  76. *walks across field of vision. in distance. temperature drops. then THUNDERCHICKEN disappears*

  77. Calling a marriage “marriage” is not “rubbing it into” the faces of religious folks. Stop being a bunch of pansies and accept the fact that you don’t control the definition of the word marriage, and it’s not a religious word at all anymore. It’s entirely secular – people get married absent of religion all the time. Stop being fascists about it – you have no right to declare that gay people can’t get married, and why is it that not a single straight person who claims gay marriage is bad for the United States can give a good explanation as to how it effects the marriage of anyone else?

    You want to marginalize homosexuals – that’s really all there is to it.

    And crimethink – did you say Big Sodomy? Hahahah…

    There’s nothing wrong with sodomy, as long as it’s consensual. In fact, I find it pretty exhilarating.

    And for whoever asked what I’m in support of, I’ll take civil unions where offered, but I’d prefer marriage. Separate but equal treatment is not equal treatment, as someone else in this thread said. The allowance of gay marriage by the government eliminates all government-imposed stigmas on an already marginalized group of innocent people.

  78. And I didn’t bother to read your post after the “rubbing it in” hilarity, but I can’t believe you think this is a good argument:

    “I think most religious right folks would go along with door #2, if door #1 wasn’t foisted upon them. They don’t have a problem with equal treatment under the law (though there are a substantial minority that would like unequal treatment.) But, if you go after door #1, then they would consider that a violation of their First Amendment right to not have the government forcing something upon them that’s against their religious beliefs.”

    It is not forcing anything on anyone! Gay marriage being recognized by the government does NOT effect your life, or your religion in any way! What the hell is wrong with some of you people?! Is this really the mindset of most of the people who support this idea?

    You don’t want your first amendment rights squelched by gay marriage – which has NOTHING to do with your first amendment right, by the way – so in order to prevent something that you just don’t like the idea of, you would stigmatize over 10% of the population?

    That is disgusting – I can’t help but think that anyone who would use such a disgusting, thoughtless argument might be a little less human than the rest of us.

  79. Not to keep harping on here, but I guess I can let my completely righteous anger at the homophobic fascists on this board go, since gay marriage will be entirely legal in the not-too-distant future. Progress is inevitable. Idiotic belief systems and fascists always disappear or get destroyed.

    Always.

  80. hey Randian!

    Are you home, safe, sound, and successful?

    woo hoo!

    And I understand your POV on this issue, thanks to you and PigM for some fodder for thought!

    But according to High#, it’s three feet high and rising, so gotta run!

    *raises glass to your safe return!

    cheers

  81. *shudders*

    *orders buffalo chicken sandwich from Connie’s, leaves tag open*

  82. Stop being a bunch of pansies and accept the fact that you don’t control the definition of the word marriage, and it’s not a religious word at all anymore.

    No single person, or organization, truly controls the definition of the word “marriage”, or any other word. It means what people understand it to mean, and that can only be changed by the slow process of linguistic evolution.

    If the militant gay community thinks that they can change how people feel about their relationships by govt decree, they’re sadly friggin mistaken. If anything, they can expect an increase in anti-gay sentiment as a natural reaction to shoving their lifestyle down the throats of those who were previously prepared to live and let live.

  83. I wouldn’t be so confident if I were you. But we shall see.

    Progress is inevitable. Idiotic belief systems and fascists always disappear or get destroyed.

    Heh. Ideologues of every stripe have been predicting the downfall of religion for centuries. But Voltaire, Marx, Lenin, and all the others found themselves, not the religions they so despised, consigned to the dustbin of history, and you seem intent on following them.

  84. *reads a chapter from Al Gore’s next work, 1001 Uses for Used Colostomy Bags: Saving the Environment, One Used Colostomy Bag at a Time

    ah. much more interesting.

  85. On a state level I will not vote for any candidate that does not support legislation providing for civil assignment of responsibility. For marraige recognition, a citizens needs to have a talk with their respective pope.

    On a national level I believe congress should recognize that an adult has the right to assign civil responsibility to a willing reciprocant (sic). Any reference to marraige should be removed from any government practice, law or regulation.

  86. “If anything, they can expect an increase in anti-gay sentiment as a natural reaction to shoving their lifestyle down the throats of those who were previously prepared to live and let live.”

    i’ve never understood the whole “shoving down throats” thing myself.

    (it’s a bit gay, frankly)

  87. bourgeois —

    Don’t you find it ironic that, on an allegedly libertarian website, you’re flaming (pun intended) someone advocating stopping government from interfering in something that could be handled entirely by private contracts?

    As for calling me a fascist, there’s a theory that as the length of a thread grows, the chance approaches 100% that someone who is losing an debate will invoke the Nazis to buttress (pun intended) their argument.

    FYI — If you reread Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom”, you’ll realize that the fascists were socialists (the National Socialist Worker’s Party, yeah?), and that socialists advocate more government intrusion (like you did), not eliminating government (as I did.) But, hey, who cares about pesky things like facts?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.