LGBT

Backwards into the Future: California's Anti-Gay Marriage Proposition Apparently Passes; and Arizona's and Florida's Too

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From the Wall Street Journal:

Early poll results Tuesday night showed California voters leaning toward overturning same-sex marriage in the state in a decision that could impact how the issue plays out elsewhere in the nation.

Approval of Proposition 8 would be a stunning upset in a $70-million campaign that just weeks ago looked to be running in favor of preserving gay marriage rights.

By 12:34 a.m. in California, 53.1% of voters favored passing Prop 8, as the measure is known, and 46.9% were against it, with 60% of precincts voting, according to the Secretary of State. However, both sides cautioned the vote could be very close and that it might still be early to declare a winner.

The passage of Prop 8, as it is known, would be a major victory for religious conservatives seeking to ban gay marriage in other states, and a crippling setback for the gay rights movement nationwide.

More here.

And just to throw more a wrench into things, the LA Times reports that whites opposed the initiative, blacks supported it, and latinos were split.

So is a new post-racial America one in which gays still get left at the altar? Oy.

Update: Similar initiatives specifying marriage only as the union of a man and a woman, forerver and ever or however long it lasts, passed in Arizona and Florida. Read more here.

In Connecticut, voters rejected a prop that would have allowed the state Constitution to be rewritten to ban gay marriage, which the Nutmeg State Supreme Court ruled was legal recently.

NEXT: Congrats to Obama, and a Cheery Note to Everyone Else Too

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  1. This is the worst thing of the evening.

    Surely someone will soon post that this is somehow a victory for liberty as it involves the granting of some positive right.

    Surely these people are also raising money and speaking out to end government recognition of heterosexual marriages. Surely.

  2. I also have to love SIV’s opposition to gay marriage. Anyone can supply their own “cock” joke here.

  3. Maybe they can blame the electronic voting machines.

  4. At least we have someone to kick around now that Dick Nixon’s gone.

  5. I can’t say I’m terribly surprised by this. I think there’s a bigger “bradley effect” of sorts these days on the subject of gay rights than there is on racial topics.
    Although it is also still societally acceptable to speak out against homosexuals, a lot of people will remain silent on the issue – people who you would assume, by political affiliation or other demographic, would be in favor of expanding “rights” for this group of people.

    (note: “rights” is in quotation marks for the benefit of those who are going to argue that marriage is not a right, etc. etc.)

  6. I think the Florida amendment passed as well, disappointingly.

    Sad that black Americans, who have been the subject of much official discrimination, turn around and choose to support official discrimination of others.

  7. Sad that black Americans, who have been the subject of much official discrimination, turn around and choose to support official discrimination of others.

    That part really pisses me off. I mean, there are still people alive today who lived under anti-miscegenation laws and couldn’t marry who they wanted to. Don’t they talk with their elders about the bad old days?

    On the other hand, due to repression, the church has become the center of many African-Americans’ lives. I guess they couldn’t see past their fluffy little Jesus to see fit to extend a little humanity someone else’s way.

  8. As a California resident, this is shameful. The most disappointing result of the whole election. Bigotry wins the day. 🙁

  9. Rein and innominate –

    sad but true.

    just look at some of the dickheads on this board who try to reduce this issue to the “yuk factor”. For them, it reduces to some sort of fantasized sex scene with “yuck” for them.

    I don’t understand why it isn’t legally recognized. It should be. Love is love.

  10. Sad that black Americans, who have been the subject of much official discrimination, turn around and choose to support official discrimination of others.

    True, but it’s not without historical precedent. Just look at the Irish.
    The inclination of one group to improve their social standing is to side with those with the most power against a common chosen loser-group.
    You see this with middle school-aged kids (most vividly with girls) all the time.

  11. On the other hand, due to repression, the church has become the center of many African-Americans’ lives. I guess they couldn’t see past their fluffy little Jesus to see fit to extend a little humanity someone else’s way.

    That’s about the size of it. It’s really not at all surprising they voted the way they did.

  12. I forgot to post under my new alias for the rest of the month, which I garnered in a bet here on H&R that VA would not go Obama this year.

    Anyway, I want to add that it appears the Colorado ballot measure banning affirmative action may have gone down as well. It seems equal treatment of people under the law is a hard concept not valued by a great deal of persons.

  13. At least Prop 8 is still arguably in play. Similar measures in Arizona and Florida passed easily. And Arkansas banned umarried couples from adopting babies.

    Anon

  14. Incidentally, a more informative voter breakdown may be found here.

    Anon

  15. It truly is sad, if not outright infuriating. At least it was close though. If there is any consolation to be had, I think that this can serve as indication that though the road may be rough our country is still making progress towards this ends.

    Unfortunately, down here in Florida we had a similar proposition, if not damn near identical: no. 2. And where it sounds like California came close, we failed miserably. I don’t remember the exact numbers but it was something like a 70/30 split in favor of unconstitutionally (in my opinion) defining marriage.

    I find it amusing how often Americans forget why this country was founded… or perhaps someone could explain to me how denying people their right to love one another in whatever way they choose upholds “liberty” or the “pursuit of happiness.”

  16. “or perhaps someone could explain to me how denying people their right to love one another in whatever way they choose upholds “liberty” or the “pursuit of happiness.””

    Because the Bible tells me so.

    Oh, and “yuk”

  17. Sad that black Americans, who have been the subject of much official discrimination, turn around and choose to support official discrimination of others.

    Shocking.

    The next thing you know, we will hear that the Japanese, who suffer from discrimination in many places, sometimes engage in discriminatory acts against Koreans.

    Or even more shocking, that various ethnic minorities fail to support equal rights for women!

    What is the world coming to?

  18. Every time I sort of envy Massholes for their ability to have voter initiatives that can do things like eliminate income tax and decriminalize MJ, I turn around and see that voter initiatives can have the opposite effect and fuck over gays and other unpopular groups.

    It’s colossally disappointing that this failed in all the states it was tried. Not a single victory for liberty and equal standing.

  19. More shitty news. This sucks.

    And Epi, don’t be too envious of the Massholes. The dumb fucks voted to KEEP Income Taxes.

  20. Er, keep being taxed on their incomes that is.

  21. Dear Leader is a against gay marriage on religous grounds.

    BARACK OBAMA: “CHRISTIANIST” THEOCRAT?

    Several gay friends and wealthy gay donors to Senator Barack Obama have asked him over the years why, as a matter of logic and fairness, he opposes same-sex marriage even though he has condemned old miscegenation laws that would have barred his black father from marrying his white mother.

    The difference, Mr. Obama has told them, is religion.

    As a Christian – he is a member of the United Church of Christ – Mr. Obama believes that marriage is a sacred union, a blessing from God, and one that is intended for a man and a woman exclusively.

    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/

    Now Andrew Sullivan will tell you that he is lying when he said that. Maybe he is. I don’t know. Whatever Dear Leader beleives, I can’t see him spending much political capital on gay marriage or it being much of an issue over the next four years. There are bigger problems and if there is anything that the 92-94 Clinton Administration experience teaches it is that certain culture war topics are best left alone.

  22. Sad that black Americans, who have been the subject of much official discrimination, turn around and choose to support official discrimination of others.

    That part really pisses me off. I mean, there are still people alive today who lived under anti-miscegenation laws and couldn’t marry who they wanted to. Don’t they talk with their elders about the bad old days?

    On the other hand, due to repression, the church has become the center of many African-Americans’ lives. I guess they couldn’t see past their fluffy little Jesus to see fit to extend a little humanity someone else’s way.

    Excellent points here. An even bigger issue is if California can’t even squash this anti-gay marriage movement, what hope do we have for the rest of the country?

  23. And Epi, don’t be too envious of the Massholes. The dumb fucks voted to KEEP Income Taxes.

    Which is sort of nice, when you think of it. If they want everyone else to pay for higher federal taxes (generally speaking, by electing the people they favor), they should want the same thing locally (and as a relatively rich state, they should and do prefer have more money leaving than coming in).

    Still, I think there are other, less ideologically pure reasons it didn’t pass this time.

  24. Individual rights shouldn’t be subject to the whim of the majority. Initiatives should only be able to (arguably even) expand rights.

    Fuck democracy.

  25. herodotus – I detect sarcasm. I didn’t say it was shocking, it’s not. It is sad, however.

    John – Way to quote out of context. Obama also said he tried to keep his personal religious beliefs out of political policy. Also, it’s not like he’s any worse than Bush et al. on this position.

  26. and Arizona’s

    Great. Systematic discrimination is now enshrined in our state constitution.

    Prop 101, Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act, is too close to call. (Anti-choice bastards.)

    Prop 202, which would have undermined AZ’s “tough on immigration” laws, also lost.

    And Arpaio won again.

    Blech.

  27. Hopefully Prop 101 will pass. It’s one of the few things coming out of this election that I have hope for. And I don’t even live in Arizona!

  28. California’s Anti-Gay Marriage Proposition Apparently Passes

    …AGAIN.

  29. Quit asking for fucking permission to marry.

  30. MNG,

    Surely these people are also raising money and speaking out to end government recognition of heterosexual marriages. Surely.

    Yep. Why just last night I went on a screed against government sponsored marriage and how it should be ended entirely. Im not raising money though, thats not my thing no matter how much I care about an issue.

  31. OK legal scholars:

    So does the 14th take precedence over a state constitution?

    Can SCOTUS squash this ammendment to the CA constitution?

  32. Love is love

    Marriage is about love?

  33. Oh, and P.S., with all due respect to any Mormons who may post or lurk, but the Church of JCLDS can go fuck itself.

  34. So does the 14th take precedence over a state constitution?

    Yes. In fact, this is explicit. “No state shall…

    Can SCOTUS squash this ammendment to the CA constitution?

    Yup. Not like the current court would. But it could.

  35. at least the pro-marijuana stuff is passing in michigan and mass. Was it on the ballot anywhere else?

  36. IIRC, SCOTUS in the past has ruled to invalidate Religious Test clauses in certain state constitutions.

  37. “John – Way to quote out of context. Obama also said he tried to keep his personal religious beliefs out of political policy. Also, it’s not like he’s any worse than Bush et al. on this position.”

    I didn’t say he was worse, just the same. I don’t see this issue changing anytime soon.

  38. OK legal scholars:

    So does the 14th take precedence over a state constitution?

    Can SCOTUS squash this ammendment to the CA constitution?

    They would have to find another new right in the constitution that wasn’t there before, so yea, it’s doable.

  39. And Epi, don’t be too envious of the Massholes. The dumb fucks voted to KEEP Income Taxes.

    There’s a reason they’re called Massholes.

  40. This blows. As a native Californian, this was the issue I cared about most. I’m ashamed that my home state decided to enshrine bigorty in their constitution. hopefully, a repeal can emerge in 2010, when AA turnout will be back to normal levels so that the 70-30 block against will be lowered.

  41. Sad. But Andrew Sullivan and the Hollywood crowd kind of deserved this. They shilled for a “christianist” socialist candidate and ginned up turnout for a racial group that hates them and that they didn’t even need to win the election. Hopefully a lesson was learned.

  42. Really sick of the Dems talking out of both sides of their mouths on this issue.

    This is a great argument against democracy.

  43. …it’s not like he’s any worse than Bush et al. on this position.

    Isn’t he (and all liberals) supposed to be better on these kinds of personal rights issues?

  44. They shilled for a “christianist” socialist candidate and ginned up turnout for a racial group that hates them and that they didn’t even need to win the election.

    I question the portion in bold.

    Regardless, even Sullivan would probably take ‘Obama and no Gay Marriage in CA’ over ‘McCain and Gay Marriage in CA’. If for no other reason than he isn’t in CA but is in the USA.

  45. I used to have a shirt that raed on the back “Go Away and Stop Bothering Me!” I expect the gay population feels the same. I seriously question the motives of anyone would give a rat’s ass about the personal relationships other adults choose to engage in.

    Fuckin’ cunts.*

    * I apologize for the obviously sexist terminology I used to describe those I disagree with over moral issues. I could have used dicks instead but, well, you see the problem.

  46. If this passes, couldn’t it be taken to the Supreme Court under the same terms as Brown v. Board of Education? I mean, most of the people for it seem to say that gays already have Civil Unions which is the same thing as a marriage just without the word. Wouldn’t that come under the heading of “separate but equal”?

  47. In Florida a lot of people were angry that the judicial activist courts would legislate gay marriage from the bench. So what did they do? They voted for an amendment that bans any “union” that is “substantially equivalent” to marriage. According to the FL Supreme Court, whether private contractual arrangements fall into the definition of “substantial equivalent” will be determined by the courts.

  48. If this passes, couldn’t it be taken to the Supreme Court under the same terms as Brown v. Board of Education?

    Two reasons why that won’t happen. 1st, the current composition of the court will not see it that way. Even if Obama gets 1 or 2 supreme court picks, he probably won’t replace the court conservatives.

    Secondly, even the liberals on the court are far more gun-shy of instituting a nation-wide social change now then they were in the 70’s. They know that the general populace will hammer the Democrats in the polls if SCOTUS ever judicially imposes gay marriage.

  49. As I have posted here before, I support civil unions and allowing same-sex couples to have the same rights and privileges under the law as straight couples. Yet I do believe “marriage” should continue to only refer to one man and one woman. While I agree with Elemenope that probably one of the reasons the African-American community is so strongly opposed to changing the definition of marriage is because of that community’s commitment to the church, I suspect the larger reason is that the entire black community is suffering from a lack of a strong marital foundation, with 69% of black children being born out of wedlock. For obvious reasons, the black community has begun to really emphasize the importance of marriage and father’s responsibilities to their children. Expanding marriage to include gay people seems to undercut that emphasis, by suggesting that all family structures are equally suitable for kids – when any single mother can attest that that is simply not true.

    As for J sub D’s comment, “I seriously question the motives of anyone would give a rat’s ass about the personal relationships other adults choose to engage in,” I agree that no one has any right to judge gay people for how they live their lives. Changing the definition of marriage, though, is a radical step which affects everyone. It frustrates me that so many advocates of gay marriage can’t (don’t want to?) believe there may be arguments against gay marriage besides just homophobia and hypocrisy. I guess it’s easier to support something if you tell yourself that all arguments against that thing are based in hate.

  50. Changing the definition of marriage, though, is a radical step which affects everyone.

    How, pray tell?

    For obvious reasons, the black community has begun to really emphasize the importance of marriage and father’s responsibilities to their children. Expanding marriage to include gay people seems to undercut that emphasis, by suggesting that all family structures are equally suitable for kids…

    You credit bigots with higher thought processes regarding the object of their hate. An unwise assumption. Are you really arguing that Pro- Prop 8 voters stood in the booth and thought to themselves “geez, if a kid can have two mothers, then people will start to question whether we need fathers at all!”.

    Really?

    Come on.

  51. Even in California commonsense prevails. When the people are given a chance to decide they come down on the side of tradition. That’s why Massachusetts wouldn’t let the people vote.

  52. I had to throw this out there since Jake reminded me of it. http://grove.ufl.edu/~ggsa/gaymarriage.html

  53. I support civil unions and allowing same-sex couples to have the same rights and privileges under the law as straight couples.

    Really? A little further down, you’re implying that a child raised by gays is just as bad off as a child raised by a single parent. That makes no sense to me, but if you’re against gays raising children, clearly you DON’T want “same-sex couples to have the same rights and privileges under the law as straight couples”.

  54. I guess they couldn’t see past their fluffy little Jesus to see fit to extend a little humanity someone else’s way.

    Racist!

    So, does this mean that the road to gay marriage runs through a Supreme Court ruling that the big-C Constitution’s equal protection clause requires recognition of gay marriage? Any bets on whether Obama will make opposition to gay marriage a litmus test for his nominees, consistent with his (professed) religious beliefs?

  55. Hey Tracy and Elepomene,

    I have heard those arguments before; I think everyone has. (I used to support gay marriage, from more of a knee-jerk social-leftist standpoint, and when called to explain my perspective, I would cite reasons similar to those listed there.) The truth is, I think that list makes good points and highlights holes in the anti-gay marriage argument. But they don’t, at least for me, resolve the issue. I’d marriage is a sacred institution, which deserves a more thoughtful discussion than flippant sophomore college-kid “problem- solved” responses. There are very good arguments for gay marriage, including the importance of non-discriminatory govt. policies and the fact that many studies show children with gay parents turn out fine.

    Yet, I do worry that extending marriage to gay people opens (further opens?) the door to making marriage an infinitely flexible institution, which means nothing. Polygamy, inter-sibling, and parent-child relationships would seem logical extensions of gay marriage. And from there, why not everyone get married to each other to form large corporations for tax relief, etc.?

    I think marriage is one of the few things that make life worth living, and it’s too precious to be degraded in the way I just described. That doesn’t mean excluding gay people (or polygamous lovers, or corporate partners, etc.) isn’t problematic. It means, to me, that we live in a real world where you often have to choose between an array of imperfect choices.

  56. The hard cold truth is this. Gays are a small percentage of society and a large influential group in each party (blacks and evenagelicals) are vehimently against gay marriage. Neither party is going to push for it. The Democrats would faint if the SCOTUS judicially imposed gay marriage. Yeah, they talk a good game about it, but they would never want to see it happen and have it blamed on them.

    I can think of no other issue where there is a large an influential constituency in both parties that feel the same way. Oh and as an added bonus Hispanics hate gay marraige to. Regardless of the merits of the argument, it is politically dead as a door nail.

  57. I agree that no one has any right to judge gay people for how they live their lives. Changing the definition of marriage, though, is a radical step which affects everyone. It frustrates me that so many advocates of gay marriage can’t (don’t want to?) believe there may be arguments against gay marriage besides just homophobia and hypocrisy.

    As I see it, marriage in America is two seperate things.

    First, it is a religious thing (the Roman Catholics consider it a sacrament). I think most will agree that the government has no business interfering with religious matters.

    Second, it is a legal contract where two people agree to merge their assets and responsibilities for life. By taking this very large step they agree to court supervision in the event of the dissolution of the contract. The state having the final say on distribution of assets (homes, bank accounts etc.) and the apportioning of responsibility (e.g. debt repayments, child support).

    Yes I question the motives of those who would deny same sex couples the right to enter into these civil contracts. We can complain about the government and employment contract benefits that are prejudicial towards marriage, descriminating against those who do not enter into these lifetime contracts. We can work to end things like health insurance for spouses of government workers, immunity from testifying against ones spouse, inheritance laws etc. and remain consistent. Denying those benefits to same sex couples because you are against mandated benefits for spouses and the legal institution of marriage is simply letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    In a similar vein, I don’t support government dollars for higher education but I will support the ending of racial and legacy preferences in admission to public universtities.

  58. Polygamy, inter-sibling, and parent-child relationships would seem logical extensions of gay marriage.

    Those things aren’t “extensions” of gay marriage–they’re entirely unrelated issues that those interested parties can fight their own battles for.

  59. “Those things aren’t “extensions” of gay marriage–they’re entirely unrelated issues that those interested parties can fight their own battles for.”

    That depends. If marriage is something that is defined by the equal protection clause to mean the right of doing what you wish, then those things necessarily follow gay marriage. How can you say a gay person is entitled under the constitution to marry another man, but a Muslim is not entitled to have to wives? You can’t.

    If gay marriage comes through the legislative process as a result of the state redefining marriage, then those things aren’t related. At that point, marriage is whatever the interests of the state chose to define it as instead of a right. It is the language of “rights” that drags polygomy and such into the debate on gay marriage.

  60. Oh and as an added bonus Hispanics hate gay marraige to.

    Only about 50% of them, it seems, in California.

    The real cold hard truth is that as long as America remains an overwhelmingly god-fearin’ nation, gays won’t get marriage.

  61. jake, you never answered my question.

    For repetition’s sake:

    Changing the definition of marriage, though, is a radical step which affects everyone.

    How, pray tell?

    How does a gay marriage, for instance, affect people who do not participate in one?

    How would any semantic or legal change affect the relationship (or meaning thereof) of persons already or about to be married in the traditional way?

  62. LMNOP,

    It seems icky. Also, it may lighten gay tax burdens, which hurts everyone.

  63. That depends. If marriage is something that is defined by the equal protection clause to mean the right of doing what you wish, then those things necessarily follow gay marriage. How can you say a gay person is entitled under the constitution to marry another man, but a Muslim is not entitled to have to wives? You can’t.

    I see you’re learning 😉

    One quibble, the 14th doesn’t define marriage. The states have large bodies of law that define rights and responsibilities of persons that marry. The 14th says that the states cannon descriminate in applying those laws to different persons. The 14th could be satisfied by repealing all laws regarding marriage (ain’t gonna happen) or by applying those laws equally to all persons wishing to join in marriage.

  64. Amen, Jake!

    Ever since I’ve been sharing my public restrooms with darky, I’ve been wondering what’s next. Will people with the ebola virus and leprosy start using my restrooms too, since toilets are now supposedly for “everyone.” Or maybe the Polish will want to shit in my drinking fountain since it’s their drinking fountain too.

    America has a place for everyone. And the place for homos is in hell. Go Jake!

    (sorry, I’m a little bitter today… not too proud to be a Californian)

  65. it may lighten gay tax burdens

    I thought there was a “marriage penalty”.

  66. Well, sir, I would be for the humane treatment of humans if it didn’t mean that we had to then humanely treat the cockroaches, scorpians, and other obviously lower life forms

    Sorry, but I still maintain that I’m a principaled and good alien.

  67. *principled
    error was made in translation
    bleep bleep

  68. I thought there was a “marriage penalty”.

    There are many.

    A wife is like a girlfriend except there’s no sex 😉

  69. The real cold hard truth is that as long as America remains an overwhelmingly god-fearin’ nation, gays won’t get marriage.

    It’s happening. Just slowly. As more states allow it and the sky doesn’t fall, more will adopt. I know it sucks, but patience is the only recourse now.

  70. Elemenope,

    It’s a complicated argument, and perhaps you will see it differently than me, but here’s how, in my opinion:

    My feeling is that, historically, society has tended to regard marriage as the best family structure in which to raise children. The importance of stressing this message seems to me more important now than ever, with 69% of African-American children being born out of wedlock and 25% of white American kids being born out of wedlock. And indeed, in the black community, many people are trying to stress the importance of getting married before having children, in order to increase the pressure on men to live up to their sexual obligations. But this is a hard message to press when most people aren’t living their lives this way. E.g. how can one African-American woman insist her lover marry her, when he can just as easily date any number of other woman who aren’t so demanding? From an economists’ perspective, the plight faced by many African-American women today is the same as that faced by bottom-wage workers whose wages are undercut by those who don’t participate in the union.

    As for gay marriage, polygamy, etc., permitting them implies that all family structures are equally suitable for raising children. It basically says, “We as a society cannot judge which family structures are preferable to others.” Thus, by extension, being a single parent is also equally suitable. If society wants to suggest this, it cannot also suggest that men ought to marry women, before having children with them. That is how it affects everyone, in my opinion.

  71. It comes down to this – hetero-sexual marriage is an institution granted a privileged status in society for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who got through biology 101. Namely, no hetero-sexual relationships, no society. Marriage is a legal and institutional recognition of that unfortunate fact, which was the creation of nature, not politics.

    There is no equivalent necessity to society that people form gay relationships. If nobody every forms another gay relationship, no civilizations will end, no nations will fall, and, in fact, nobody will much miss them.

    A political philosophy that requires the frivolous be considered “equal” to the imperative, that insists that recognizing the distinction between those things is “bigoted”, that can’t recognize that the law ought to be able to treat things differently, that are, in fact, different, is brain-dead and isn’t worth the powder to shoot it. Personally, I prefer political systems that are grounded in reality, not sophistry.

    Gay marriage is the equivalent of legal tender laws: it insists we recognize value where most of us realize none exists.

  72. God Hates Fags
    California Hates Fags
    California Is God

  73. Namely, no hetero-sexual relationships, no society.

    I dare say that even in the absence of marriage, men and women would somehow find a way to keep producing children.

  74. Jake,

    You come from a very different way, and one that I will never really agree with, of looking at gay marriage.

    I have a question for you, however. Do you really think that for raising children a 2 parent family is equivalent to a 1 person family? Certainly no two marriages are alike, and gay marriages may be different from heterosexual ones because of the gender of the participants. I do not think this is a major essential difference, but I can understand that some people would.

    Do you think a child raised by two mothers (as my ex was) is worse off than one raised by a mother and a father? And if so, do you think that they are better or worse off than one raised by just a mother (or father?)

  75. My feeling is that, . . .

    Why don’t you try to make an argument based upon legal and constitutional principles, cause no one really gives a rat’s ass what you feel.

  76. BAW,

    In Denmark, for example, larger and larger amounts of monogamous couples are not getting married. They still have children, but for some reason (which I don’t personally get – I just recently got married myself) they choose not to get married.

    Do you really think marriage is essential to that sort of relationship?

  77. rhywun,

    I dare say that even in the absence of marriage, men and women would somehow find a way to keep producing children.

    Archeological evidence suggests that fucking predates marriage by millions of years. Of course, the world is only 6000 years old, so what do those stupid scientists know?

  78. Hey libertarian democrat,

    I have to run down to work for about half an hour, but when I come back, I’ll respond. 🙂

  79. My feeling is that, historically, society has tended to regard marriage as the best family structure in which to raise children. The importance of stressing this message seems to me more important now than ever, with 69% of African-American children being born out of wedlock and 25% of white American kids being born out of wedlock. And indeed, in the black community, many people are trying to stress the importance of getting married before having children, in order to increase the pressure on men to live up to their sexual obligations. But this is a hard message to press when most people aren’t living their lives this way. E.g. how can one African-American woman insist her lover marry her, when he can just as easily date any number of other woman who aren’t so demanding? From an economists’ perspective, the plight faced by many African-American women today is the same as that faced by bottom-wage workers whose wages are undercut by those who don’t participate in the union.

    This is an interesting game theory analysis of the choices that African-American women must make regarding marriage, but doesn’t speak at all to the “gay marriage” angle. After all, from an economic point of view, African-American heterosexual women are not competing with gay men for spouses, are they? There is very little, if any, demand overlap.

    As for gay marriage, polygamy, etc., permitting them implies that all family structures are equally suitable for raising children. It basically says, “We as a society cannot judge which family structures are preferable to others.” Thus, by extension, being a single parent is also equally suitable. If society wants to suggest this, it cannot also suggest that men ought to marry women, before having children with them. That is how it affects everyone, in my opinion.

    This is a humongous logical leap, and the point at which I really diverge from you and think there is an error in your logic.

    For a society to have said: We approve A, B, and C, it does not follow that these approvals automatically extend to D or E.

    So, in this example, if society has decided that both heterosexual and homosexual *couples* are sufficient to provide for children, it does not in any way follow that the society has implicitly stamped approval for any other relationship or family structure.

  80. So if the ammended CA Constitution prohibits gay marriage, does this invalidate the marriages that already exist?

    If yes, that sounds like a violation of basic legal principles.

    If not, then existing marriages are allowed but future ones are prohibited — this also sound like a violation of basic legal principles.

    One thing is certain, lots of legal fees will be charged to both sides of the argument over the coming years.

  81. jake –
    a problem I see with your argument (and I wager, one that many here will agree with me on) is that you take a collectivist result-oriented view of the matter. Your argument boils down to “the ends justify the means,” as it were.

    The gay people will have to not be permitted to be married by those of us who are part of “society” because the black people can’t get their act together – is that about it?

  82. Doesn’t the political cartoon of a Black Obama supporter and a White McCain supporter holding hands and skipping down the “No Way, Gay!” street pretty much write itself? Perhaps fawning over each other with sayings like “I love you for supporting this issue!”?

  83. So, in this example, if society has decided that both heterosexual and homosexual *couples* are sufficient to provide for children, it does not in any way follow that the society has implicitly stamped approval for any other relationship or family structure.

    Society may well decide both heterosexual and homosexual couples are sufficient to provide for children, but nature has apparently decided differently.

    And fortunately, nature is impervious to the influence of moronic political philosophies.

  84. Society may well decide both heterosexual and homosexual couples are sufficient to provide for children, but nature has apparently decided differently.

    And fortunately, nature is impervious to the influence of moronic political philosophies.

    Wrong. If nature “decided” that, then there wouldn’t have to be laws or social stigma preventing adoption and marriage. Applicable laws about child neglect and abuse would cover it. They don’t, so gays can obviously handle that well enough.

  85. Society may well decide both heterosexual and homosexual couples are sufficient to provide for children, but nature has apparently decided differently.

    Oh yes, that’s it.
    Just like how we shouldn’t allow people to get remarried if they get a divorce after having children. The new life partner in that scenerio wouldn’t be the child’s parent just like how a child to a gay or lesbian couple wouldn’t have both parents as biological. Oh yes, i’m totally feeling this logic.

    We shouldn’t allow people to adopt children, because if you’re not the biological parent, there’s no sense in you raising a child.

    Oh, and why do we expect people to have children after they get married? Mr. no-name here has correctly identified a marriage as something that’s only useful if a couple has a child, so shouldn’t having a child be a prerequisite to getting married?

    All this works out so logically

    I can’t believe all you stupidly naive libertarians who think otherwise.

    For a magazine called Reason…

  86. a name before submitting the form | November 5, 2008, 9:35am | #

    They would have to find another new right in the constitution that wasn’t there before, so yea, it’s doable.

    see: 9th amendment

    kinnath – that does sound like an ex post facto law, doesn’t it

  87. kinnath – that does sound like an ex post facto law, doesn’t it

    Gay Marriage should be a straightforward 14th ammendment issue. Either the 14th prohibits laws banning gay marriage or it doesn’t (depending on the make up of SCOTUS at any given time).

    But CA has a new wrinkle in that gay marriage is legal today (per CA’s supreme court). So banning it now throught constitutional ammendment gets into interesting territory.

  88. Okay I’m back.

    libertarian democrat:

    Here are my thoughts: Ideally, every child could be born and raised by a loving and married biological mother and father. Of course, I realize we live in a real world, where that is not possible. I certainly support (and admire) gay couples who choose to adopt children in need of families, (but am admittedly more hesitant about those who go to a sperm bank since that reducese a father to simply sperm, and am decidedly anxious about those who go the surrogate-mother route, since that involves actively planning ahead to take a baby away from her mother).

    Elemenope:

    I don’t understand why you feel like I make a “humongous logical leap.” It seems to me that the basic argument for gay marriage, polygamy, etc. is that society can’t claim to know which family structure is ideal for children. By this logic, who is to say if marriage is ideal or not? Perhaps you mean that society could still uphold a married couple as the ideal, even with gay marriage. But I guess I just can’t say in all faith that a gay couple is necessarily preferable to a single mom. As long as we’re talking ideals, every child deserves a mother, in my opinion.

  89. It seems to me that the basic argument for gay marriage, polygamy, etc. is that society can’t claim to know which family structure is ideal for children.

    Where is this coming from? I’ve supported gay marriage for a long time, and I’ve never heard this line of argumentation before. Methinks it is a straw man. Twofold, since it first assumes that the primary social purpose for marriage is the raising of children, and second because it assumes some statement is being made about the suitability of a society to determine anything with regards to efficacy or efficiency.

    While I can’t directly speak for anyone else, I know I believe in gay marriage as a simple equality issue, and I could literally care less whether it has a salutary effect on child-rearing or familial stability or anything else. The vast majority of supporters I’ve heard frame it in the same way.

  90. While I can’t directly speak for anyone else, I know I believe in gay marriage as a simple equality issue, and I could literally care less whether it has a salutary effect on child-rearing or familial stability or anything else.

    Ditto with minor edit: I could literally not care less whether it has a salutary effect on child-rearing or familial stability or anything else.

  91. And fortunately, nature is impervious to the influence of moronic political philosophies.

    This is true. Many animal species have no laws regarding monogamy, polygamy, or homosexual marriage.

    Lotta single mothers out there!

  92. Big clue stick: gay marriage and gay rights in general are largely upper middle class white issues. Look at the color and affluence of those watching and participating in Gay Pride? parades. Look the the color and affluence of those churches with gay pastors. Look at the color and affluence of those who stood in line in San Francisco and Boston to get married. And last week I didn’t see any variance in skin color among those on street corners waving No on 8 signs.

    Yeah, lots of poor and minority folk are gay, but they are outnumbered by their white up and coming [sic] brethren.

    The big Obama push got a huge turnout from poor and minority demographics, but those same demographics don’t tend to be very supportive of gay rights.

  93. Elemenope:

    I agree with you; I think most gay-marriage supporters come from the equality perspective, and only go to the “Society can’t claim to know, etc.” argument when countered with the natural argument that the whole point of marriage is to protect children.

    Of course, given what you have acknowledged, then the question becomes: what is marriage for? I’d argue that the whole point of marriage is to nurture children and family stability, but then I’d get a mouthful about how we allow infertile couples to marry, how we allow divorce, etc. So who knows? I think marriage is a very strange institution, which means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

  94. “I think marriage is a very strange institution, which means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.”

    Does that argue against using a single specific definition or meaning of marriage in order to legally enshrine inequality between two groups of people with regard to their right to marry?

  95. Simple solution to the whole mess: Some brainy libertarian lawyer come up with a boilerplate marriage contract. It needs to be simple, easy to understand, and creates a legal partnership. It needs to grant visitation rights “in sickness and in health”, inheritance and joint property rights “for better or for worse”, etc. Then have a nice signing ceremony with tuxes and gowns and organ music and throwing rice, and forget all about asking the state for permission.

    Then the task becomes much simpler: get the state to uphold valid contracts. The whole “yuck” factor never need enter into it, as once a court upholds contractual visitation rights for traditional couples, their rulings will also apply to non-traditional couples and groups.

  96. Some brainy libertarian lawyer come up with a boilerplate marriage contract.

    No private civil contract can immunize someone from testifying in court against the other parties in the contract.

    Until such time as the law is altered to allow the state to force someone to testify against his or he spouse, there can be no private replacement for the legal institution of marriage.

  97. Sparky,

    I think it means keeping the door open for further discussion. And I think it means not attacking everyone who disagrees with gay marriage as bigoted, as many have done to me in this thread.

    P.S. For the record, I live in one of the states that had a gay marriage ban this time, and I voted against it, precisely because I recognize the issue is complicated.

  98. “How can you tell 1,000s of people who have gotten married that you’re going to take it back?”

    Good question – why not ask the spouses victimized by the “no fault divorce” revolution. At the time they got married, the laws allowed divorce only for some kind of misconduct. Then no-fault got passed and your spouse could legally repudiate you for any reason which struck their fancy. They could even repudiate you to preserve their option of switching to a new model (previously picked out). So, after being offered legal guarantees for the permanence of your marriage so long as you avoided marital misconduct (adultery, abuses, crime, drunkenness), you can get cast aside anyway.

    But only now it seems, do we hear how horrible it is to dissolve marriages for reasons unheard of when the marriages were contracted.

    “On the other hand, due to repression, the church has become the center of many African-Americans’ lives. I guess they couldn’t see past their fluffy little Jesus to see fit to extend a little humanity someone else’s way.”

    Why can’t those dumb, superstitious Negroes be more tolerant?

    And again, for the miscegenation argument – those laws were *innovations,* abrogating an even earlier tradition that marriage does not depend on race. These laws started in some English-speaking Protestant colonies in the 1600s, where they rejected the sacred, sacramental character of marriage, rejecting over a thousand years of Christian tradition.

    Nor did every state have such laws, and large numbers of states which had such laws repealed their laws before the U.S. Supreme Court (with the support of the Catholic Church) declared interracial marriage to be a positive-law right under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    In the famous California Supreme Court case in 1948 which legalized interracial marriage, it was the interracial couple which invoked religious freedom. The majority of the state court ruled for the couple on religious-freedom grounds. The deciding vote was cast by a justice who said that there was no compelling government interst in overruling such a deeply-rooted religious practice. It was the dissenting judges – the ones who wanted interracial marriage banned – who called for separation of religion and state by saying that the government’s (alleged) *secular* reasons for promoting racial purity overruled the silly religious superstitions about God making of one blood all races.

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