LGBT

Calif. Supreme Court Upholds Gay Marriage Ban But…

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…allows existing marriages to stay legal.

The California Supreme Court upheld a voter-approved constitutional amendment Tuesday that bans same-sex marriage in the state.

The court said, however, that those couples who wed in the state under an earlier opinion from the court, will be considered married.

The ruling comes after three months of deliberation and nearly a year after the court struck down state laws that similarly banned such marriages. Then, the court ruled that the laws were unconstitutional and that the unions were a "basic civil right." This time, factoring in a successful Nov. 4 ballot measure that defines marriage as a union "between a man and a woman" in the state's constitution, which trumps state laws, the court revealed its hesitancy to override the will of the people.

More here.

Reason on gay marriage.

Note to marriage traditionalists, including Billary Clinton, the Sarah Palins, President and Mrs. Obama, etc.: Regardless of such rulings and ballot initiatives like the California one that provoked this ruling, it's over for anti-gay-marriage folks.

There will always be a sizeable number of people against, but when you consider how far gay marriage has come since, say, the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996, and when you consider that the logic behind gay marriage is totally traditionalist, it's only a matter of when, not if, it's fully legal. For those of us concerned with human happiness and voluntary action (rather than bizarre fears of man-on-dog sex), here's hoping that day comes sooner rather than later.

NEXT: Sotomayor and the New Haven Firefighters

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  1. If it’s over for the anti-gay marriage folks (which is fine with me) then we can let the legislative process fix this, right?

  2. …when you consider that the logic behind gay marriage is totally traditionalist, it’s only a matter of when, not if, it’s fully legal.

    Word. What was the time lag between the “Ellen” backlash campaign, and the premier of “Will and Grace”?

  3. For those of us concerned with human happiness and voluntary action (rather than bizarre fears of man-on-dog sex), here’s hoping that day comes sooner rather than later.

    Are you saying that it’s bizarre to fear man-on-dog sex, since some humans acquire happiness out of that voluntary action? Or that the sex is bizarre?

    Santorum’s point was fairly logical; if you rely on finding a Constitutional right through the judicial process, it does seem somewhat difficult to me to distinguish between gay marriage and polygamy, particularly if your only standard is “human happiness and voluntary action.” The legislature is free to just be unfair to polygamists if they want.

  4. There was actually a brief filed at the time after the first ballot proposal was overturned that would have put a halt on marring same-sex couples until the second ballot proposal was voted on. This would have been prudent in a time when the question was in flux.

    Also, “gay marriage” is a misnomer. Nobody asks for sexual preference when filling out a marriage license.

  5. Are these gay marriages going to be recognized by the IRS for tax purposes?

  6. Are these gay marriages going to be recognized by the IRS for tax purposes?

    I’m wondering about immigration, myself. Will a gay marriage get your foreign national spouse a green card?

  7. Santorum’s point was fairly logical; if you rely on finding a Constitutional right through the judicial process, it does seem somewhat difficult to me to distinguish between gay marriage and polygamy, particularly if your only standard is “human happiness and voluntary action.” The legislature is free to just be unfair to polygamists if they want.

    Forget polygamy, how about incest? If a person’s “happiness and voluntary action” are all that is required no one should ever mention “same-sex” marriage without mentioning same-family marriage.

    What happened to Libertarians being opposed the governmental sanctioning of personal choices?! Instead of arguing that the government has no proper role in the marriage business you now argue that only by changing a millenia old definition is “Liberty” acquired?

    Getting the government out of the marriage business is fine with me. Creating “rights” out of thin air, where none existed before, is what the Leftarded do. Penumbras and emanations anyone?

  8. Marshall Gill – what rights exist under the Ninth Amendment?

    Here’s the text, to get you started:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    Since you’re disparaging the “emanations” portion of Ninth Amendment jurisprudence, I look forward to a logical and superior analysis from you as to what should be protected under the Ninth Amendment.

  9. Isn’t man-on-dog sex only voluntary for the man? How does one know if the dog consents? Rape is voluntary for the rapist, is it not? Just because the dog licks his or her own genitalia, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to.

  10. Nick, you can do a lot of things to a dog without its consent you couldn’t do to a person. Put it on a leash, vaccinate it, put it to sleep…

  11. I understand, um, Note. It’s still only voluntary for the man, so it’s not at all like gay marriage which is voluntary for both parties. Santorum is a retard.

  12. TAO,

    emanations and penumbras decisions dont seem to cite the 9th, for some reason.

    For example, if there is a “right to privacy” then it is in the 9th, not a penumbra of the 4th or 5th or wherever.

  13. Nick,

    The dog example is stupid, but the polygamy/incest analogy still holds.

  14. and when you consider that the logic behind gay marriage is totally traditionalist,

    For everyone’s enlightenment, I would like to present the greatest OP/ED opposing gay marriage that I have ever read.

    It’s rationale has NOTHING to do with biblical/religious beliefs and also doesn’t use anti-gay bigotry as the reason to oppose gay marriage.

    This awesome OP/ED can be found in the Weekly Standard authored by the intellectual heavyweight Sam Schulman.

    I won’t except it, because you really have to read the whole thing. He really hits his stride on Page 2 of the linked OP/ED

  15. Santorum’s retardedness aside, the underlying logic is still true. I predict that, once gays get the right to marry, they are going to want to shut the door to polygamists, because new immigrants are like that.

  16. Are you saying that it’s bizarre to fear man-on-dog sex, since some humans acquire happiness out of that voluntary action

    it does seem somewhat difficult to me to distinguish between gay marriage and polygamy, particularly if your only standard is “human happiness and voluntary action.”

    Mr. Thacker,

    What exactly does distinguishing between polygamy and gay marriage have to do with man on animal sex?

    Are you implying that fearing gay marriage will lead to bestiality IS NOT a bizarre belief to have? And is your reasoning for not thinking such a belief to be bizarre because gay marriage could lead to polygamy?

    Also, why is it logical to believe that allowing gay marriage opens the door to polygamy more than heterosexual marriage? Why does the fact that one person being allowed to marry one person of the same sex rather than someone of the opposite sex somehow inherently open to door to multiple spouses?

    I keep seeing these types of arguments being treated like something other than utter nonsense (even being referred to “fairly logical”), yet I haven’t seen any justification of these arguments that aren’t utter nonsense.

  17. I predict that, once gays get the right to marry, they are going to want to shut the door to polygamists, because new immigrants are like that.

    *IF* they were to do that, maybe it would have something to do with the demonizing by the right that gay marriage will lead to polygamy?

    I predict that once gays are granted the right to marry they really aren’t gonna care any more about other groups being denied the right to marry.

  18. Nick, you can do a lot of things to a dog without its consent you couldn’t do to a person. Put it on a leash, vaccinate it, put it to sleep…

    But oddly, you can not duct tape it to a fridge

  19. Since you’re disparaging the “emanations” portion of Ninth Amendment jurisprudence, I look forward to a logical and superior analysis from you as to what should be protected under the Ninth Amendment.

    When did I mention the 9th? Even if I had, it is intended to limit the Federal government, not give it more power.

    I was referring to the “emanations and Penumbras” claimed in Roe.

    Are you suggesting that SCOTUS should be the ones who decide when there are “emanations” not specifically listed? That is to what I was referring.

    I look forward to a logical and superior analysis from you as to what SCOTUS should create from unlisted “emanations and Penumbras”.

  20. What a bummer. I feel so bad for my gay friends that they are given less rights than a convicted rapist.

  21. The moral of this story is that California’s system of government is irreparably fucked up. They need a convention. The court’s decision was probably sound, but that doesn’t mean it should be permissible for a majority to revoke established equal rights of a minority.

  22. Also, why is it logical to believe that allowing gay marriage opens the door to polygamy more than heterosexual marriage? Why does the fact that one person being allowed to marry one person of the same sex rather than someone of the opposite sex somehow inherently open to door to multiple spouses?

    How is that not logical? What purpose or justification do you envision the government denying polygamists the right to marry that is not undercut by the current debate? The reason it’s the logical conclusion is that because none of the arguments the government advances for denying gays marriage licenses have flown.

  23. Why is everyone so down on polygamists? The social arrangements of consenting adults is not the governments business.

  24. There’s no reason the gay marriage debate has to be inextricably linked to other forms of marriage. In fact it’s grossly unfair to subject this specific civil rights struggle to that slippery slope. Assuming there is a movement for polygamist rights, that’s a different fight altogether and they can wage it on their own terms.

    I happen to believe that polygamy is an inherently unequal institution and thus not comparable to gay marriage. But even if it can be justified on civil rights grounds it’s still a different fight.

  25. What purpose or justification do you envision the government denying polygamists the right to marry that is not undercut by the current debate?The reason it’s the logical conclusion is that because none of the arguments the government advances for denying gays marriage licenses have flown.

    Can someone explain WHY it’s the “logical conclusion”? Cuz from where I stand it’s more like an emotional appeal to a fallacy to attack gay marriage that isn’t tied to any logic.

    I am not even sure what the rationale against polygamy is — I have seen things like it can complicate a divorce and make the dissolution of marriage more complicated. It could complicate custody arrangements. But other than that, I don’t really see what logical justification there are against polygamy (wasn’t at least part of the rationale of polygamy because some men were taking wives who were underage — with the blessings of her parents)

    It seems to me that the same rationale that is used to limit to marriage to two people and two people only is unchanged when the gender of those two people is undefined.

    How does allowing ONE PERSON to marry only ONE OTHER person regardless of the gender change anything with regards to polygamy/polyandry ?

    or to rephrase…

    what makes the argument against polyandry fall apart when gays are allowed to marry ?

  26. Why is everyone so down on polygamists?

    Who is down on polygamists? Eliminating government marriage is a positive to straight, gay and poly marriage. And to those who oppose any or all of the above.

    Win-win-win-win. Except for the nannies (on both? all?) sides of the issue who went to tell us how to act/think.

  27. ChicagoTom,

    I think the answer is the “old” defintion of marriage is not between two people. It was between a man and a woman.

    There are multiple ways to modify that definition – polygamy is historically the most common. Thus, in a generic environoment, if you throw out that definition, it seems that polygamy would be the first thing thru the door, even before gay marriage.

    Obviously, in the current US society, gay marriage would come first, but its easy to see polygamy as just another MF prototype-breaking marriage.

  28. Just as a clarification point, I am not “down” on polygamists from a legal standpoint (I’ll reserve my personal and moral discussion of that aspect of sexuality for another day), I’m just saying that it follows that if you’re going to state that gays should be allowed to get married because they are entitled to arrange their lives as they see fit in order to maximize their own happiness, that applies equally to polygamists.

    Like I said, ChiTom, if you can come up with a list of rational bases that make sense to you that justify denying marriage licenses to polygamists, you’ll see that 99% of them have been addressed by the current gay marriage movement.

    The problem is that you’re doing a superficial analysis: you merely see gay marriage as the substitution of a man/woman with another man/woman. But the arguments from happiness and rights make just as much sense for multiple marriages.

  29. Polygamy is the most primitive form of marriage, originally just a contractual exchange of women as chattel. I think it remains to be proved that polygamy and patriarchy can be separated.

    Marriage has been radically redefined in fairly recent times and now is a contract between two equal adults. To me lifting the restriction requiring the adults to be of opposite sex is quite a bit less radical than the changes marriage has undergone up until now.

  30. I think it remains to be proved that polygamy and patriarchy can be separated.

    Is either a bad thing?

  31. Tony, if a multiple marriage is what a woman wants, who are you to say that she’s a victim of false consciousness brought on by the patriarchy?

    That’s actually a very patriarchal belief on your part.

  32. There’s no reason the gay marriage debate has to be inextricably linked to other forms of marriage.

    The reasons given in support of changing the definition of marriage do not admit of limiting principles. The real question is, once the traditional definition of marriage is abandoned, what limits are there?

  33. once the traditional definition of marriage is abandoned, what limits are there?

    As I explained above, marriage has undergone radical changes in definition throughout human history, the recent shift to deemphasizing gender a relatively minor one, in my opinion.

    I don’t know what the limits are. I think it’s more of a social ill for a minority to be denied equal rights under the law than for the definition of marriage to change. I would have said the same thing when anti-miscegenation laws were done away with.

  34. Tony, if a multiple marriage is what a woman wants, who are you to say that she’s a victim of false consciousness brought on by the patriarchy?

    No, I’m saying polygamy is inherently patriarchal. There are virtually no cases of multiple-husband marriages; the very idea of polygamy is sexist and denies women an equal voice in the contract. I have no problem with people living polyandrous lives, but I don’t think the state should officially sanction inherently sexist institutions.

  35. Answer this question, Tony:

    “What equal rights were being denied gays under the old system?”

    Once you answer that, you should see that the polygamist argument naturally follows.

  36. (By polyandrous I meant polyamorous)

  37. “What equal rights were being denied gays under the old system?”

    The right to the same legal recognition and benefits the state sanctions with respect to heterosexual monogamous relationships.

  38. but I don’t think the state should officially sanction inherently sexist institutions.

    OK, and conservatives don’t think that the state should sanction inherently homosexual institutions because homosexuality offends their sensibilities. Can you articulate the rational differences between you and them?

    There are virtually no cases of multiple-husband marriages; the very idea of polygamy is sexist and denies women an equal voice in the contract.

    Nice weasel word there: “virtually”. Because you know if there is one counterexample, your silly bullshit distinction-without-a-difference evaporates.

    The very idea of polygamy, if one takes it as sex-neutral (which the word “polygamy” is), is not inherently anything. Institutions are what we make of them.

    Scratch a liberal, find a fascist…

  39. The right to the same legal recognition and benefits the state sanctions with respect to heterosexual monogamous relationships.

    So, they’re being denied the right to have the right? lulz, Tony.

    That’s tautological question-begging. Articulate why, as a matter of justice and fairness, gays should be granted the right to marry.

  40. Articulate why, as a matter of justice and fairness, gays should be granted the right to marry.

    Because straights have the right to marry.

  41. Again, you’re being circular. Gays have the “right” to marry as well, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    I want you to tell me two things:
    1. Why that should change and
    2. How that does not apply to polygamists

  42. The very idea of polygamy, if one takes it as sex-neutral (which the word “polygamy” is), is not inherently anything. Institutions are what we make of them.

    So what happens in practice matters not at all? You are arguing against gay marriage on the premise that there is no logical distinction between that change in the definition of marriage and any other–even polygamy. But you define polygamy not as it has been historically practiced since the beginning of time (as I said before, it is the most primitive form of marriage), but as a philosophical construct, simply the idea of multiple spouses. But it’s a bad thing that should be avoided so we shouldn’t allow gays the right to marry?

    Let the polygamy proponents fight out their battles in court. More power to them. Their struggle for equal recognition (assuming such a thing exists at all) is not the same as gays’ struggle. Your entire argument amounts to a slippery slope fallacy.

  43. I’m not arguing against gay marriage. That seems to be where you’re hung up.

    But it’s a bad thing that should be avoided so we shouldn’t allow gays the right to marry?

    Where did I say it was a bad thing?

    Now, for the last time, answer the question: why should the government expand the definition of marriage to include any combination of two people (man/woman – man/man – woman/woman) but not expand that concept into more than two?

    If the reason that the government should allow gays to get married is that, as a matter of justice and fairness they should be permitted to order their lives as they see fit, so too with polygamists.

  44. Again, you’re being circular. Gays have the “right” to marry as well, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    I knew this gem of obtuseness would eventually surface. Straight people can marry for pretty much any reason they want. What you’re saying is that gays should only be allowed to marry people they have absolutely no interest in marrying!

    I want you to tell me two things:
    1. Why that should change and
    2. How that does not apply to polygamists

    It should change because a class of people is denied the same rights as the majority: the right to marry who they love.

    It doesn’t apply to polygamists because nobody has the right to marry multiple partners, hence there is no equal protection problem.

  45. It doesn’t apply to polygamists because nobody has the right to marry multiple partners, hence there is no equal protection problem.

    Look at your little gem of obtuseness!

    It should change because a class of people is denied the same rights as the majority: the right to marry who they love.

    Let’s say, hypothetically speaking, I love two women. Same principle applies.

    What you’re saying is that gays should only be allowed to marry people they have absolutely no interest in marrying!

    No, my whole point in this exercise is to get you to admit that if the standard for granting marriage licenses is “people should be able to marry who they love”, then there’s no reason to deny that right to a person who loves two or more people.

  46. No, my whole point in this exercise is to get you to admit that if the standard for granting marriage licenses is “people should be able to marry who they love”, then there’s no reason to deny that right to a person who loves two or more people.

    The standard is “people should be able to marry one person who they love.”

    I’m not an anti-polygamy crusader. If they want to articulate an argument for why they’re being denied equal rights, let them knock themselves out. It’s completely separate from gay marriage rights. You’re trying to invoke a slippery slope connection where none exists.

    I do think, however, that polygamy is inherently sexist. I think marriage for most of its history was inherently sexist–saved only by modern redefinitions of the institution to be a contract between two equal adults.

  47. Yeah, and the conservative is just going to say:

    “The standard is ‘people should be able to marry one person of the opposite sex who they love.”

    I’m finished wasting time trying to show you how you’re being arbitrary with this standard, because you know you’re being arbitrary, and yet you persist, which is a supremely dick move on your part.

  48. Like I said, ChiTom, if you can come up with a list of rational bases that make sense to you that justify denying marriage licenses to polygamists, you’ll see that 99% of them have been addressed by the current gay marriage movement.

    Maybe we are talking past each other TAO.

    Let me try again.

    I don’t believe there is a rational basis for outlawing polygamy. But even if there were I don’t know how that basis would be nullified by the arguments for gay marriage.

    The government’s argument’s against polygamy would most likely involve objections to the number of people joining the union, and the complexity of dissolving unions with multiple partners, and have nothing to do with the gender of the people joining the union.

    Unless the argument is one of tradition — which I admit, if your only argument is that traditional marriage was X — then allowing Y (gay marriage) would make it more difficult to justify forbidding Z (polygamy) or anything that isn’t X for that matter. But that argument, to me, is more of an attack on X than an avenue to justify Z. Furthermore, the “traditional” argument kind of falls apart since in the past polygamy was not only accepted but normal, and more traditional then the current one man one woman definition of marriage. Multiple wives was quite traditional. So it seems that the tradition argument isn’t even a valid one, in this case.

    Since I don’t actually oppose any of these things, maybe someone like you who does seem to oppose it could lay out the rationale against polygamy and explain why it is logical to deduce that allowing gay marriage will also allow polygamy. That way I can see the “logic” behind the belief that allowing gay marriage also would lead to polygamy.

    It just doesn’t seem like there is any real “logic” involved in that belief. Please feel free to show me some logic rather than repeating that if one accepts a rational basis for forbidding polygamy, then allowing gay marriage will logically nullify that rational basis. Merely repeating the claim without giving any examples of rationale that fall apart isn’t making it any more clear to me.

  49. I’m not an anti-homosexual crusader, but I do believe that homosexuality is inherently immoral.

  50. ChicagoTom –

    This is what I have been trying to get Tony to do (and he refuses to do it).

    Personal aside: I think that all forms of “marriage” should be allowed.

    Anyway, ChiTom, on what basis do you support expanding the definition of marriage? That is, why do you believe gays should be allowed to get married?

  51. TAO as Mirror Tony | May 26, 2009, 5:04pm | #
    I’m not an anti-homosexual crusader, but I do believe that homosexuality is inherently immoral.

    Heh. The fact that Tony can’t see how he is no different than Mirror Tony is exposing him as the buffoon he is.

    I say that as someone who supports extending marriage to gays if the state is going to be involved (as it unfortunately is), but who in an ideal world would much prefer the state to stay the hell out of any role in sanctioning the private domestic arrangements of consenting adults.

  52. Again, you’re being circular. Gays have the “right” to marry as well, they just have to marry someone of the opposite sex.

    I knew this gem of obtuseness would eventually surface. Straight people can marry for pretty much any reason they want. What you’re saying is that gays should only be allowed to marry people they have absolutely no interest in marrying!

    Gay people, like straight people, can marry for pretty much any reason they want. Look at Cole Porter and John Maynard Keynes, for instance.

  53. My argument against polygamy is not that it is immoral–I don’t care about that. It’s that it is inherently an unequal institution. I’d be just as against regular marriage if it came with the formerly accepted premise that women were the property of men. Polygamy inherently elevates one party, as polygamy has been defined since the beginning of time. If we invent a new form of polygamy where any number of parties of any combination of sexes are allowed to enter a marriage contract, that’s just patent absurdity and undermines whatever social rationale for marriage that still remains. What would such a legal arrangement even look like, or provide?

  54. But my main point has nothing to do with what forms of marriage are acceptable as I deem them. It’s about equal rights, full stop. Nobody has the right to enter polygamous marriages. But as it stands some have the right to enter monogamous marriages with their preferred partners and others do not.

  55. My argument against polygamy is not that it is immoral–I don’t care about that. It’s that it is inherently an unequal institution.

    First of all, not it is not inherently anything, Tony, and you damn well know it. Secondly, so what if it is unequal? Shouldn’t people have the right to willingly enter into “unequal” agreements?

    Is the agreement between me and my cell phone company “equal”? howsabout between me and my credit card company?

    When you get down to the nuts and bolts, inequal relationships, in terms of money or intelligence or bargaining power in general, exist all over the world. Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed to find a relationship where I couldn’t find some inequality. But it should be the right of free peoples to willingly enter into these relationships.

    The fact that you’re willing to turn on the paternalism to win the argument is pretty disgusting, Tony. I suggest you knock it off.

  56. Nobody has the right to enter polygamous marriages. But as it stands some have the right to enter monogamous marriages with their preferred partners and others do not.

    As it stands, everyone has the right to enter into a monogamous marriage with someone of the opposite sex. There’s no violation of equal protection here: nobody is allowed same-sex marriage.

  57. Uh… Polygamy keeps sort of/kind of coming up, and I’m just going to throw this out there: what’s the big deal? If all parties involved are happy, they should be allowed to enter any kind of contract they want. Maybe I’ve just read too much Heinlein, but it seems like people are throwing that word around as a kind of debate ender without actually debating it.

    I’m all set with a significant other, but if harry, sue, and bob want a group marriage, some significant others action, who am I to say no? As long as everything is mutually consented to and happily in line with the Non Aggression Principle, I don’t see the foul.

  58. Ah, nevermind. Looks like TAO is fighting the good fight…

  59. Anyway, ChiTom, on what basis do you support expanding the definition of marriage? That is, why do you believe gays should be allowed to get married?

    Well there are quite a few :

    Because they want to get married. And anyone who wants to should have the right to marry whomever they want.

    Because there is no legitimate reason to deny them that right.

    Because personally I believe people should be able to do whatever they want so long as they don’t directly harm others.

    Because it’s unfair for the state to give benefits to people who choose to get married, and then forbid a certain class of them from doing so.

    Now I suppose one could argue that those arguments could apply to polygamy, but there is also the argument that for the sake of simplicity only 2 people can be part of a “marriage”. There is an actual state interest in that restriction and isn’t completely arbitrary (even if I don’t agree with it completely). For example, if you have multiple spouses, and you are on life support which one gets to make the call to pull the plug? If I have multiple wives, what rights over the children that they did not give birth to do the women have, if any?

    Now granted, I think many of these questions could be resolved via contracts and whatnot, but for people who can’t afford lawyers or people who don’t bother, issues like these could become a nightmare for the courts. So I can see a state interest in outlawying polygamy (even if I don’t agree with it)

    In the case of same sex marriage though, I don’t see those same state interests, or any rational basis for the state deciding who the spouse can be

    TAO, why do you think so many people want to restrict the ability of homosexuals to marry the person they so desire?

  60. so what if it is unequal? Shouldn’t people have the right to willingly enter into “unequal” agreements?

    Yes, of course. I’m only talking about relationships insofar as government is involved. Marriage contracts do not and should not confer different rights/responsibilities on brides and grooms because men and women, legally, are equal citizens. All I’m saying is that gay men and women should be considered as such.

  61. I do think, however, that polygamy is inherently sexist. I think marriage for most of its history was inherently sexist–saved only by modern redefinitions of the institution to be a contract between two equal adults.

    Your logic falls apart on it’s own terms. I would argue that your view of polygamy (as inherently sexist) is due entirely to the fact that it is illegal in every western country and has been for well over a century. Thus the only examples of polygamy we have are in back water, socially conservative places like Colorado City and Jiddah. Put polygamy in a modern setting and it would likely become modern.

    Why would a modern version of polygamy not be a contract between 3 or more equal adults? It’s not hard to imagine scenarios where polygamy would at least make economic sense (for instance 2 parents working, one raising children) and who is to say people can’t be happy in a polygamist marriage they voluntarily entered? (Personally, having 2 wives is my idea of life in hell.) A marriage is what the people in it make of it.

  62. *sigh* – Tony, aren’t you gay? Does it bother you in the least that you’re taking conservative arguments against gay marriage and basically just switching out the nouns to try to “win” this argument?

    you sound just as desperate and bigoted as the SoCons, my friend.

  63. As it stands, everyone has the right to enter into a monogamous marriage with someone of the opposite sex. There’s no violation of equal protection here: nobody is allowed same-sex marriage.

    As it stands, everyone has a right to enter into a marriage with someone of their same race. There is no violation of equal protection: no inter-racial marriages are allowed.

  64. All I’m saying is that gay men and women should be considered as such.

    No one’s denying you access to a marriage, Tony. Now, you may be denied access a marriage to the one you love, but hey!, if you can do it to the polygamists, why can’t the straights do it to you?

  65. TAO, what does it matter if Tony’s gay? How does that relate in any way to the logic/worth of his argument?

    And what about polygamy? Won’t somebody please think of the polygamists/Mormons?! (It’s almost too much irony, really…)

  66. ChicagoTom – exactly.

    Look, folks, the premise here is that “people should be able to marry who they love”. Now, no one has been able (well, except you, ChiTom, and even you admit that the state interest is kind of thin) why you cannot love and marry more than one person:

    Racial bigot: “No one’s being discriminated against, because everybody is denied access to an interracial marriage.”

    Antigay bigot: “No one’s being discriminated against, because everybody is denied access to a same-sex marriage.”

    Antipolygamist bigot: “No one’s being discriminated against, because everybody is denied access to multiple marriages.”

  67. TAO, what does it matter if Tony’s gay? How does that relate in any way to the logic/worth of his argument?

    It doesn’t exactly relate, but it’s just proving my point all the more (that I made above): you give a group rights, and then all of the sudden they want to shut the door on everybody else. Some of the strongest anti-immigration people I’ve ever met are first-generation immigrants.

    It just disgusts me on a personal level, is all.

  68. First of all, not it is not inherently anything, Tony, and you damn well know it.

    One man with many wives is inherently unequal. Even if every party involved is happy with the situation, a legal recognition of such an arrangement would violate equal protection principles since there is no practical way for all parties to have an equal stake in the arrangement.

    In every conceivable way the man has more power. For example, he can theoretically divorce any of his wives, but his wives do not have the choice to both stay with the man and expel one or more of the other wives. The institution is historically–inherently–patriarchal, and this patriarchal arrangement is the only form of multiple marriage that exists in any meaningful numbers.

    If people want to enter polyamorous relationships, even patriarchal ones, there is no problem in my book as long as they are not legally recognized since the law requires equal protection within its bounds.

  69. Right, yes, all of these things should be legal (interracial marriage, same-sex marriage, multiple marriages).

  70. Wow, this issue is so dumb. Get the state out of the marriage business. Let people have civil unions and they can go buy their ‘marriage’ at drive-thrus and drive-ins.

  71. It doesn’t exactly relate, but it’s just proving my point all the more (that I made above): you give a group rights, and then all of the sudden they want to shut the door on everybody else. Some of the strongest anti-immigration people I’ve ever met are first-generation immigrants.

    It just disgusts me on a personal level, is all.

    Okay, well, in the mean time… I’m a dude who dates dudes, and I’m not trying to restrict anybody’s right to anything.

    Just throwing that out there.

  72. Tony, you’re just describing an unequal polygamous arrangement; you aren’t explaining how all polygamist relationships are inherently unequal.

    Major strawman.

  73. Solana – I don’t have anything against gay folks. I promise.

    But, as you see, Tony is a “freedom for me, but not for thee” kinda guy, and it pisses me off.

  74. For example, he can theoretically divorce any of his wives, but his wives do not have the choice to both stay with the man and expel one or more of the other wives. The institution is historically–inherently–patriarchal, and this patriarchal arrangement is the only form of multiple marriage that exists in any meaningful numbers.

    Well, in our theoretical world where both polygamy and gay marriage are legal, the wives could kick out the man no problem.

  75. The entire quandary can be avoided by the catch-all of getting government out of marriage altogether, I agree. Perhaps government should provide benefits to people with children regardless of their marital circumstances and leave it at that, since “for the sake of the children” is really the only reason government recognizes a role for itself at all.

    However, until that situation arises there is still the matter of equal protection. Marriage recognition may be arbitrary in purpose but its arbitrariness must be applied equally to all people capable of consenting to marriage.

  76. The Hef seems to be able to find multiple girlfriends. What if he wanted to marry all of them? The only thing that would change is the (now) wives ability to get tax deductions and estate matters.

    Marriage used to be a license to have sex. That’s why polygamy was banned, because the LDS was considered a freakshow. In modern times, marriage has nothing to do with sex. And yes I know I’m condensing, but bear with me. Polygamy wasn’t even banned in the US until 1862, and only because of what amounted to religious persecution. The Merrill anti-Bigamy Act should have been overturned on first amendment grounds. But the majority is always willing to throw any odd practices under the bus for the morality of America.

    I think polygamy should be legal – along with any other human marriage arrangement – but considering how hard it is to get same-sex marriage legalized, I doubt it’ll happen any time soon.

  77. Regardless of such rulings and ballot initiatives like the California one that provoked this ruling, it’s over for anti-gay-marriage folks.

    That is why every time it is put to a vote the traditional marriage side wins with an overwhelming majority. Yeah, it’s over.

  78. Tony, you’re just describing an unequal polygamous arrangement; you aren’t explaining how all polygamist relationships are inherently unequal.

    They don’t all have to be. In order for the government to get involved we have to be talking about something that applies to something that exists in reality for a meaningful number of people. In all of human history the overwhelming tendency of polygamy is the same: one man, many wives, which he for all practical purposes owns and dominates.

  79. TAO,

    As I’ve said here multiple times, I’m all for polygamist-rights people to go forth and fight the good fight, my opinions about polygamy notwithstanding. Let’s have a court battle and see if it can be justified. To me gay marriage is an entirely separate issue, and the only reason polygamy is brought into the discussion is to invoke a fallacious slippery slope. Just because I’m not ticking off a list of all oppressed peoples in the world doesn’t mean I care only about gay marriage to their exclusion. I mean, I really thought we were talking about gay marriage. I didn’t bring polygamy up, you did.

  80. Marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Anything else is NOT marriage. It may be a civil union, but it is not marriage.

    I think the argument that the government should not issue marriage licenses is a valid one. Perhaps the government should issue “civil union” licenses and then if a man and woman want to get married, they may do so in whatever ceremony they wish. Then, everyone has equal rights and we don’t redefine words.

    For me, it’s as much a logical argument as anything else. We might as well pass legislation that says day is night and night is day. That won’t change the fact that the sun is visible at about the same time every day (oops, night) – we’ll just change what that period of time is called.

  81. In all of human history the overwhelming tendency of polygamy is the same: one man, many wives, which he for all practical purposes owns and dominates.

    This also describes regular marriage.

  82. Bravo Jeff!! Bravo for that brilliant comment!

    So what were all those “marriages” where a man had multiple wives — like all the ones in the bible?
    Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. Were they not really married?

  83. To me gay marriage is an entirely separate issue, and the only reason polygamy is brought into the discussion is to invoke a fallacious slippery slope.

    A separate issue that raises the exact same issues and generates exactly the same arguments. It take intentional density not to recognize the parallels between the two.

  84. This also describes regular marriage.

    Indeed. And when someone can describe a polygamous relationship in which all parties share exactly the same rights, perhaps they can be called equivalent.

    But how can more than two people be said to share exactly the same right to decide how the relationship is comprised?

  85. But how can more than two people be said to share exactly the same right to decide how the relationship is comprised?

    By stipulating that one can only leave a multiple marriage, not kick another out. That was easy. Next question.

  86. The court’s decision was probably sound, but that doesn’t mean it should be permissible for a majority to revoke established equal rights of a minority.

    The California constitution has an equal protection clause. I find it odd that the plaintiff’s argument in this case didn’t appeal to that clause. Perhaps that’s the next suit that will be brought against Proposition 8.

  87. ? | May 26, 2009, 2:15pm,

    Nick, you can do a lot of things to a dog without its consent you couldn’t do to a person. Put it on a leash, vaccinate it, put it to sleep..

    But all sorts of people consent to those items. How do you know the dog isn’t?

  88. Because the argument that heterosexual and homosexual relationships are consequentially equivalent is absurd on its face.

  89. In order for the government to get involved we have to be talking about something that applies to something that exists in reality for a meaningful number of people.

    Wow, Tony, what a beautiful, steaming pile of bullshit.

    First, I don’t understand how “tendency” relates to the issue at all. Then, what is your “meaningful number” and on what grounds is it relevant? Why does the number have to be meaningful for the issue to demand consideration? Also, yes, and obviously, we must be talking about something that applies to something that exists in reality: congratulations, you just described pretty much everything in existence. But it sounded smart!

  90. Tony,

    The entire quandary can be avoided by the catch-all of getting government out of marriage altogether, I agree. Perhaps government should provide benefits to people with children regardless of their marital circumstances and leave it at that, since “for the sake of the children” is really the only reason government recognizes a role for itself at all.

    Ding, Ding, Ding…we have a winner!

    How many heterosexuals marry without the intention of having kids, then divorce, then remarry, and so-on? Now they are getting a benefit that is also inherently unfair to me and my single best friend. Why can we not receive the same benefits? Are they providing something positive that we cannot provide either as individuals or as partners.

  91. How many heterosexuals marry without the intention of having kids, then divorce, then remarry, and so-on? Now they are getting a benefit that is also inherently unfair to me and my single best friend.

    Would that benefit be alimony? Or the loss of 50% of ones assets? 🙂

  92. Because the argument that heterosexual and homosexual relationships are consequentially equivalent is absurd on its face.

    Wow, that was deep. Care to offer any arguments to back up your assertion? And please leave Gawd out of it.

  93. Why does the number have to be meaningful for the issue to demand consideration?

    Hypothetical polygamous arrangements that don’t exist in any consequential numbers were being thrown at me as an argument against my assertion that polygamy is inherently discriminatory towards women. Once government starts recognizing all possible combinations of human beings as potentially unions that can be called marriage, then the entire idea of a separate class of unions called marriage becomes redundant and absurd.

  94. Hypothetical polygamous arrangements that don’t exist in any consequential numbers were being thrown at me as an argument against my assertion that polygamy is inherently discriminatory towards women.

    If you really think that all relationships with more than two partners are inherently misogynist, I encourage you to google “polyamory” and educate yourself. As currently practiced outside crazy religious splinter groups, these relationships are as equal as any in modern America. They are not hypothetical, and they are not so rare as to be inconsequential, although they’re frequently hidden and obviously they’re not officially sanctioned as marriages.

    Banning multiple marriages because some people use them in ways that demean women is like banning monogamous marriages because some are arranged. In both cases, the answer is to give all parties equal legal status, not to ban it entirely.

    (There are legitimate questions about how to structure these marriages and distribute rights and privileges within them, and even within the polyamorist community there’s not much consensus on those points. So even if you agree it should be legal in principle, it’s unlikely you’d see a specific, broadly-supported policy proposal anytime soon.)

    Once government starts recognizing all possible combinations of human beings as potentially unions that can be called marriage, then the entire idea of a separate class of unions called marriage becomes redundant and absurd.

    The purpose of marriage in its modern form is to allow people who, de facto, share property and decision-making authority in all aspects of their lives-that is, who share “a life” in some sense-to have that relationship recognized de jure. Any restriction that keeps a de facto married relationship from being recognized de jure is a failure of the legal system.

  95. It doesn’t apply to polygamists because nobody has the right to marry multiple partners, hence there is no equal protection problem.

    It does not apply to homosexuals because nobody has the right to marry a same-sex partner, hence there is no equal protection problem.

  96. Wow, that was deep. Care to offer any arguments to back up your assertion? And please leave Gawd out of it.

    Male same-sex couples do not have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy interrupting their relationship. (With female same-sex couples, there is a possibility of one of them cheating or getting herself raped.)

  97. The California constitution has an equal protection clause. I find it odd that the plaintiff’s argument in this case didn’t appeal to that clause. Perhaps that’s the next suit that will be brought against Proposition 8.

    That was the suit.

    Since Proposition 8 amended the constitution, it is legal.

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