Civil Liberties

Gay Marriage One Vote Away From Legality in New York

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A bill that would legalize gay marriage in New York, backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and already approved by the Democrat-controlled state Assembly, is one vote shy of the 32 needed for passage in the Republican-controlled Senate. The latest convert, Sen. Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga), recently told reporters:

You get to the point where you evolve in your life where everything isn't black and white, good and bad, and you try to do the right thing. You might not like that. You might be very cynical about that. Well, fuck it, I don't care what you think. I'm trying to do the right thing.

I'm tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background. I'm trying to do the right thing, and that's where I'm going with this.

Meanwhile, Archbishop Tomothy Dolan condemned the bill as the sort of social engineering you'd expect in China or North Korea, where "government presumes daily to 'redefine' rights, relationships, values and natural law." Dolan explained that Americans, by contrast, "cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought."

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  1. Dolan explained that Americans, by contrast, “cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  2. Archbishop Tomothy Dolan condemned the bill as the sort of social engineering you’d expect in China or North Korea

    Hey Tim, quick there is a little boy all alone in the park.

      1. shouldn’t it be “Hey Tim! Quick, there’s a little boy all alone in the park!”

    1. Can there be a DPRK equivalent of Godwinning invented already? I’m leaning towards Kimwinning or Dearleading.

      1. I’m trying to find out where all these gay weddings are happening in North Korea.

        1. Its actually the only marriage allowed for men there since all the women are property of the dear leader.

          Dearleading of Kimwinning? You decide.

          1. Kim#WINNING

        2. north korea? nah…somalia!

      2. well, Troy Aqualunged the thread, so I don’t see why not.

        1. I Jethro Tulled the thread?

    2. What is with people using “social engineering” in novel and stupid ways recently? Seems to me that letting people do what they want to should not really be considered social engineering.

      1. I know. I flipped when Newt called Ryan’s medicare plan “social engineering.”

  3. The “liberty” to do what we ought? That’s a new one.

    1. No it’s not. Just ask Guiliani.

      1. Or Bloomberg. Or…

    2. Ordered liberty vs. license is a common theme in conservative circles

      1. “Ordered liberty”

        Adding that to my go-to list for oxymorons.

        1. In fairness it means liberty doesn’t work unless people are virtuous and we need to bolster the virtue of the people via some restrictions on their freedom. Or something.

          1. See: The Drug War

            1. See: Bork.

          2. Here’s the problem with that theory
            People are absolutely NOT virtuous. They are not all evil bastards, but it’s difficult to say from any viewpoint, especially a Christian one, that virtue is the norm, or is inherent in people. So when you say liberty doesn’t work unless people are virtuous, then what you are saying is that liberty doesn’t work. But lets see how far anyone who comes out and says that liberty is bad gets in politics. Americans may frequently vote against liberty, but they at least believe that they like it.

            1. I would disagree. Most people are virtuous most of the time. And if they weren’t that would hardly be an argument for a police state. If government wields a lot of power, who is going to be in charge of it if not other people?

      2. And in liberal circles when it comes to economic activity.

  4. That’s actually a quote from a politician? Although I’m wary of the ‘do the right thing’ language, cause that can also be used for “killing people who ‘need’ killing”

    1. actually it was a bishop

      1. Bishop, politician….yeah, same thing.

      2. Actually, Mr. (or Mrs.) Highway was clearly referring to the block-quote in the OP, which just as clearly was said by Sen. Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga).

        The more you know.

  5. In fairness to the bishop the bill does have coercive implications in that people who object to gay marriage would not be allowed to discriminate against them in the provision of property or services for the marriages. But that’s like objecting to interracial marriage on the grounds that people who oppose it would not be able to discriminate against them in the same areas. It’s the discrimination laws that would be the problem there, not the marriage laws.

    1. Fuck the Bishop. These misogynistic pedophiles have lost any moral authority since, oh, I dunno, 1096 or so.

      1. “Fuck the Bishop.”

        Again?

        1. If we let priestsTEH GHEYZ marry, they will stop touching the little boys!

      2. “Archbishop Dolan? How many divisions does he have?”

      3. You’re off by at least 600 years, if not 1000.

  6. Oh noes!

    Now there won’t be anything left to stop gay people from having sex with each other!

    That should be hilarious. Unfortunately, there are tons of people who subconsciously believe that. Deep in their hearts, that’s what they think.

  7. Not to be too pedantic (i.e., an asshole) but gay marriage is not illegal.

    Same sex people can get married anywhere in America. Nothing prevents them from doing so.

    The question is whether that “informal marriage” should be formally or legally recognized by the state and the benefits givens opposite sex married couples be extended to same sex married couples.

    Not recognizing a marriage for legal purposes does not mean that that marriage is banned. Or not allowed.

    If all of the states got out of the marriage business, people would be still allowed to marry.

    Yes, this will be on the final exam.

    1. Yes, that is the worst form of pedantism, the kind where you know what the other person is talking about but feel some need to correct it.

      1. It may be pedantic but it’s also accurate.

        Care to correct my errors?

        1. “It may be pedantic but it’s also accurate.”

          Only in the most irrelevant, literalistic sense. When you realize that by marriage everyone is talking about state recognized marriage and not two people deciding to call themselves married then it’s not accurate at all.

          1. When you realize that by marriage everyone is talking about state recognized marriage and not two people deciding to call themselves married then it’s not accurate at all.

            No, people are claiming that gay marriage is banned in America.

            My point is that it’s not.

            My other point is that I find it strange that libertarians feel a need to have the state approve of a behavior.

            I care not a whit about whether the state approves or disapproves of my behavior that is, in the words of Mill, “self-regarding”.

            As long as the state doesn’t try to forbid my “self-regarding” behavior, they may get lost.

            If I wish to marry another man, the state can’t stop me. Nor should it.

            And I don’t care whether the state gives its approval to my marriage either.

            1. “No, people are claiming that gay marriage is banned in America.”

              The marriage of gay persons to other gay persons of the same sex is not recognized, that’s what we are talking about and everyone here, including you, knows it.

              “My other point is that I find it strange that libertarians feel a need to have the state approve of a behavior.”

              When that approval carries benefits and it is denied to a group based on something like skin color or sex then I think a libertarian who cares about governments treating all citizens and groups equally can be properly upset without turning in their membership cards.

              1. MNG, as a single person, is it okay for these benefits to be denied to me? Benefits for all or benefits for none. (I favor the latter.)

                1. This depends on whether you think the government can legitimately foster marriage or family stability. But this debate is about this: IF the government decides to foster marriage, can it deny those favors to same sex couples that (for RC Dean) otherwise meet all the other conditions for marriage?

            2. There is at least one other commenter here you agrees with your take.

              1. and one commenter that agrees but eschews the pedantry (in this instance, anyway).

    2. Like it or not, there exists a whole host of privileges and rights that come with government-sanction marriage. Your pedantry is misplaced, because a “married person” is a legal position vis-a-vis the government.

      1. Incorrect. I don’t need the sanction or approval of the government to be married. If the states got out of the marriage business, that wouldn’t mean that everyone’s marriage is voided.

        Now, if I wish to have the privileges that the state extends to marriage I may only marry a person of the opposite sex.

        But those are two different matters.

        The question is one of equality and not the right to marry.

        1. “If the states got out of the marriage business, that wouldn’t mean that everyone’s marriage is voided.”

          This where your pedantry leads you astray. In the sense that voided means “lacking in legal recognition” then yes your marriage would be voided if the state refused to recognize it.

          1. Who cares about that sense of voided?

            No, seriously, who cares? Name someone. I know I dont give a fuck what the state thinks.

            The answer is: a bunch of statists. Well fuck them.

            1. “No, seriously, who cares?”

              People who think government shouldn’t irrationally discriminate in the providing of rights and benefits? Those wackos.

              1. providing of rights and benefits

                You fucking statist.

                1. Oh go fuck yourself, to hold that government should not discriminate in providing benefits and services does not imply any stance on what benefits and services government should provide, just that whatever it does it should do so equally.

                  Is someone a statist because they hold that if the government enforces contracts they should enforce contracts for gay people too?

                  1. relax dude, I was mostly making fun of people who apply the statist label to everything. But also at your obvious lack of introspection at what you wrote.

          2. People have been marrying long before the state or government’s recognized them or gave out marriage licenses.

            If the government of the US disappeared today, would that mean that tomorrow everyone’s marriage is null?

            It would be so in the eyes of the (non) state but not in the eyes of the people who got married.

            There’s a big difference – I think – between a legal, formal marriage and a informal marriage.

            1. “If the government of the US disappeared today, would that mean that tomorrow everyone’s marriage is null?”

              It would mean that every government recognized marriage is no longer so, and that is what…we…are…talking…about.

            2. OK. I’m going to get pedantic here. Originally, marriage – in the Judeo-christian sense (and since I’m using originally, I really mean in the Judeo-sense) was a state contract. In the eyes of God, you were married when the penis entered the vagina, which usually happened before the marriage anyway, and the marriage was actually a legal contract enjoining the male to not fuck over his wife while keeping her in sexual slavery. That’s why in a jewish wedding there’s a contract-signing under the chuppah.

              so, in the traditional sense, marriage WAS an instrument of the state.

              1. Well, well, well. Look who suddenly found pedantry isn’t something to be eschewed after all.

                J’accuse!!!

                1. You’re confusing clarification with pedantry. As I’ve shown this guy’s attempted clarification is totally irrelevant and therefore pedantry at best.

                2. hey asshole, I did disclaim “in this instance anyway” up above. But mostly I wanted an excuse to use the phrase “when the penis entered the vagina”.

                  1. j’accuse you back!

              2. Did the state of Israel exist before King Saul?

                Tricky question. But Im pretty sure it didnt exist until leaving Egypt at least, and marriage existed amongst jews before that.

                1. But Pharoah didn’t have to recognize those marriages.

                  Slaves in the South had informal marriages all the time, I’m sure that kept them warm at night when the masters refused to recognize them and sold one of the betrothed.

            3. There’s a big difference – I think – between a legal, formal marriage and a informal marriage.

              If we acknowledge that you are correct, will you finally recognize that we are talking about the “legal, formal” kind here, and not the “informal” kind?

              I appreciate your natural rights standpoint–and share it–but we happen to be talking about the government interference with it, here. I have a natural right to smoke marijuana (assuming it’s mine), but that doesn’t do me a bit of good when I get thrown in jail. What you seem to be suggesting is that we should be happy for our natural right to smoke pot, and shouldn’t be agitating not to be thrown in jail for it.

      2. States are primarily in the marriage business from past efforts to (a) prohibit bigamy, since it’s culturally offensive to us, (b) in the Jim Crow states, prohibit interracial marriage, and (c) provide all kinds of tax privileges or disadvantages.

        1. I believe it goes back to Venice, where the civil government was in a power struggle with the catholic church. But I could be misremembering.

          1. In English law, it goes back to problems with bigamy when a man could have a family in one two, move to a town a hundred miles away, and get remarried with his new wife having no knowledge of the first.

            This led to requirements to publish marriage “banns”.

            Obviously the problem is the government trying to prevent what basically amounts to adultery/cheating. I don’t think it’s a legitimate function of government in this day and age, especially when it’s so easy to track your intimate partner’s whereabouts and research a potential spouse.

      3. But you don’t want to be like those savages from the North do you?

    3. The issue is equal treatment under the law. I’m not personally hung up on the word; civil unions with full matching rights would be fine. But to make the claim that they can get married, it just isn’t recognized, is essentially stating that it’s perfectly OK to completely discriminate against a group of people as a matter of public policy.

      This is a crack in the wall. If the issue of unequal treatment in marriage becomes moot through full legalization, then the conversation can finally move past this hanging-point, and we can talk about really getting the state out of here.

      I assume the “don’t support gay marriage because it’s just another extension of the state” crowd would also be fine with anti-miscegenation laws; after all, allowing whites and blacks to have recognized marriages just expands the number of being receiving state largesse.

      1. Marriages are a religious ceremony and a violation of the 1st amendment (via the 14th) for the states to license them at all.

        1. I agree with you completely robc, I’m just trying to deal with the reality that the state is not getting out of the marriage business anytime soon, so the default should be equal treatment (legally, if not in using that particular word).

          1. Fuck reality. Demand the state out of marriage.

        2. Marriages might or might not be a religious ceremony. Unfortunately, most states require having some kind of religious minister bless the marriage or they won’t recognise it.

          The state needs to get out of marriage.

          1. What state will not recognize a marriage performed by a judge or justice of the peace?

        3. Married atheists everywhere are shocked by the revelation.

          1. No, we aren’t.

            1. No, we aren’t.

              That, of course, was the point.

      2. But to make the claim that they can get married, it just isn’t recognized, is essentially stating that it’s perfectly OK to completely discriminate against a group of people as a matter of public policy.

        No, it’s stating that the sanction or the approval of the state isn’t necessary.

        I would think libertarians, above all, would be dimissive of the need to have the state sanction your behavior in order for it to be legitimate.

        Anti-miscegenation laws forbid people of different races from being married. And they forbid people of different races from living together. And they forbid ministers from marrying people of different races.

        These is nothing in not legally recognizing gay marriage that is even remotely comparable to those restrictions. Same sex people may get married. Ministers may marry them. And they may live together as a married couple.

        The state distinguishes between all sorts of behavior. It gives tax credits for this or that activitiy or tax penalties for this or that activity.

        The fact that it may not give tax benefits to a behavior doesn’t mean that behavior is not allowed or that that behavior is inferior to other behavior.

        1. So you’d be perfectly fine with a law stating that black and white couples can be married, but the state will refuse to recognize it? You’re really down with that?

          1. Laws prohibiting interracial marriage were motivated by eugenics. There was a scientific consensus that mixing races polluted the gene pool.
            Nothing prohibited blacks from marrying blacks.

            The comparison fails.

            1. “Nothing prohibited blacks from marrying blacks.”

              And nothing today prohibits men from marrying women. But the point is it was irrational discrimination to bar blacks from marrying whites and men from marrying men.

            2. The motivations for the law aren’t under discussion; merely the rightness or wrongness of the state deciding that some contracts will not be recognized due to social preferences.

              1. I have no problem with two men or two women entering into a contractual living arrangement.

                I have a problem with making it a crime to not recognize that contract as “marriage”.

                1. As long as there is any “special rules” for marriage enforced by the state (which there shouldn’t be), allowing the state (for example, in rights of inheritance) to arbitrarily disregard the contract because they choose not to recognize it, makes the contract utterly worthless.

                  If there’s a dispute on the terms, but the state courts don’t recognize the contract, then again, it’s useless. We’re not talking about private actors, we’re talking about right of contract being recognized by the state.

          2. Im perfectly fine with the state recognizing a grand total of zero marriages.

          3. No, that would be a violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution decided in Loving.

            But even under your scenario that mixed race couple would still be married. And could still live together.

            Loving ruled that there’s a fundamental right to marry. Not that there’s a fundamental right to have your marriage recognized by the state.

            Race tells us nothing about an individual.

            Sex tells us a great deal about an individual.

            The question is whether the state has a legitimate state interest in distinguishing between recognizing a same sex married couple from an opposite sex married couple.

            It’s not whether gay people can marry.

            1. Race tells us nothing about an individual.

              Sex tells us a great deal about an individual.

              Fucking bullshit. The only thing sex tells you about someone is who they like to have sex with, period. I’d say race, in fact, tells you more about a person, since those of certain ancestries are more prone to certain genetic ailments.

              1. Race tells you nothing about a person because no one can fucking define it scientifically. Completely artificial construct.

                Sex is hard too, but XX v XY works most of the time.

                1. “Completely artificial construct.”

                  This is too simplistic. There are certain actual physical differences (like, duh, phenotype differences) between races that (albeit roughly) correspond to what people consider races.

                  But of course the question is, what differences should matter in state recognition?

                2. Sorry robc, you’re just wrong on this. Race, as an indicator of the geographical origination point of ones ancestors, can provide a wealth of medical information, such as those of African ancestry being more prone to sickle-cell anemia, those of East Asian ancestry being more prone to osteoporosis, etc.

                  1. Race, as an indicator of the geographical origination point of ones ancestors

                    Everyone is Kenyan!!!!

                    1. Yes, we’re all Kenyans now.

                  2. There are no way to define race with bright lines genetically like there is with sex.

                    Everyone is mixed racially to some extent.

                    1. Agreed, but it’s obvious and medically and scientifically accepted that those with a majority of their racial makeup coming from certain groups are thus prone to different illnesses. We’re really just getting semantic here; what it boils down to is that one cannot refute the fact that blacks are more prone to some diseases, whites to others, etc., unless one wants to attack the validity of the research itself.

                3. Words, too, are meaningless artificial conventions. Sometimes it’s a wonder humans get by at all, what with their fantasies, and constructs, and words.

              2. I would wager there are more white people with sickle cell anemia and black people with PKU than there are men with cervical cancer…. just sayin.

                1. A distinct possibility. But that doesn’t mean that race is a meaningless construct which tells us nothing. Obviously, in relation to the prevelance of certain illnesses, it does.

                  1. How many races are there?

                    I mean, I can answer this question for sex.

                    Even if for a small handful of people I have to say “WTF, I have no idea what an XXY is”. I mean, if wanting to get pedanatic, I could define female as “zero Y” and male as “at least one Y”.

                    But I have no clue how to define a race or how many there are. Are Indians (either one) the same race as Chinese? What about Arabs and Persians? Are they asian, black, white, or something separate?

                    I dont think there is any legitimate definition of race that works.

              3. “The only thing sex tells you about someone is who they like to have sex with, period. ”

                Hell, it doesn’t even tell you that as gay people demonstrate.

                1. It doesn’t even tell you that it is ‘people’ that they like to have sex with. Reference: the internet.

        2. “These is nothing in not legally recognizing gay marriage that is even remotely comparable to those restrictions. Same sex people may get married.”

          But not in legally recognized unions and that is what we are talking about. Are you dense?

          1. Sorry, I can’t dumb down my comments any further for you.

            You’ll have to let the adults talk awhile, okay?

            1. You’re confusing foolish literalistic pedanticism for intelligence there.

              This entire time everyone here but you has been talking about state recognized marriage and yet you continue to jump up and down yelling “but gay people can have non-state recognized marriage!”

      3. “civil unions with full matching rights would be fine.”

        I’m not too happy with using the force of government to redefine marriage, so I would support equivalent civil unions.

        But the response is “Separate but equal! You hate gays! You’re racist as well! Hater! Hater! Aaaaugghh!”

        Just get the government out of the business of defining marriage, and let society decide what they find acceptable.

        1. “I’m not too happy with using the force of government to redefine marriage”

          Since what we are talking about is government recognized marriage it’s all about government defining marriage, either way. It’s just, will it do so in a discrimantory way or not?

          1. If the definition is not backed up with threat of organized violence, then what is there to fight about?

            Get the government out of marriage.

            1. The government exists and it treats married people differently from unmarried people. It has done so for hundreds of years. If you want to see the government stop doing that, that is one thing, but to oppose extending that recognition to a group on the grounds that it should not be involved altogether is to betray another motive, wanting to see the discrimination continue. It’s equivalent to being against repealing Jim Crow because the result would be more government.

              1. Jim Crow forced discrimination.
                It was a crime to not discriminate.

                Nobody is forced to discriminate against same sex couples.
                It is not a crime to recognize a gay couple as married after they go through a ceremony at the local Unitarian church.

                Your comparison fails.

                1. Depending on the state, if the gay person dies without a will, the state discriminates against his surviving partner. If the state does it to you, it’s force, because that’s the only thing the state can possibly use.

                  1. Same thing can happen to unmarried straight couples.
                    The lesson from that is to get a will.

                    1. But we’re not talking about single people. We’re talking about government discrimination against the right of contract. A marriage contract grants some automatic consideration in inheritance, which is supposed to negate some of the need for a will. If the gov’t decides that for straights it does, but for gays it does not, then that is unequal recognition of contracts based on social discrimination.

                    2. The contract is defined as a man and a woman.

                      It is defined by sex, not sexuality.

                    3. Which is meaningless because you’re talking about telling gays that the contract they enter with someone of the same sex is worthless. It should have the same level of recognition in courts that any other contract does.

                    4. Same thing can happen to unmarried straight couples.
                      The lesson from that is to get a will.

                      Not really – although probate can be a bitch. Most places have “common law” marriages – where if you simply hold yourself out as married in public once, or cohabitate for a specified period (like 6 months), you are married under common law.

                      From what I can tell by reading news reports, this normally occurs when living in a trailer park and being accused of some crime. The phrase “with his common-law wife” usually pops up in these sorts of news stories.

                2. So you have a problem with governments forcing people to discriminate but not with the governments themselves actually discriminating. Gotcha.

                  1. “Gotcha.”

                    Holy shit you’re dense.

                    1. I have it on good authority that MNG, in fact, floats in water.

                    2. Then….a WITCH!!!

                    3. Well, you seem to argue that you are OK with the government recognizing and treating differently different sex marriages than same sex.

          2. Are you incapable of following this?

            The state has been limiting legal recognition of marriage forever.

            Really, you’re embarassing yourself.

            1. Because the government has done something for a long time, that is in and of itself justification for the government to keep doing it.

              1. You miss me. Admit it. That’s why I’m coming back in a big way.

            2. “The state has been limiting legal recognition of marriage forever.”

              That’s right, they used to refuse to recognize interracial marriages for example.

      4. Taking pedantry to a different level, there is no ban on homosexual marriage, insofar as a gay/straight man may marry a gay/straight woman in any of these 50 states.

        The technical ban is on same sex marriage, and that ban applies to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals, ergo, no group is subject to differing restrictions per law.

        Same sex marriage should not be an equal protection issue, it should be a right to contract issue:

        REINSTATE LOCHNER V NY

        1. Taking pedantry to a different level, there is no ban on interracial marriage, insofar as a white/black man may marry another white/black woman in any of these 50 states.

          1. And again, the right to contract should not be violated in such a case.

            Although, there is an equal protection issue there because a white man is permitted to marry a white woman while a black man is not. Which brings me to the only equal protection ground which would apply to same sex marriage: A man is permitted to marry a woman, therefore a woman should have the same rights as a man. In either case, sexual orientation per se doesn’t enter as the discriminatory variable, only sex itself. But therein lies the problem that many homosexuals would have with such a rationale (and I can empathize with it to some degree). But if two homosexual men are free to marry eachother (as they should be) so ought to be two heterosexual men.

            1. “there is an equal protection issue there because a straight man is permitted to marry a straight woman while a gay woman is not”

              1. “there is an equal protection issue there because a straight man is permitted to marry a straight woman while a gay woman is not”

                As yoyu can see above, the modifying adjective are unnecessary in the example. It is ultimately about sex, not sexual orientation.

                If you were to completely invert the sexual orientations you would get:

                “there is an equal protection issue there because a gay man is permitted to marry a gay woman while a straight woman is not”

                In that example, it shows that homosexual marriage is, in a very real and admittedly pedantic sense, completely permitted. It is same sex marriage that is unjustly banned, therefore, the equal protection issue at hand is a sex-equality issue, albeit one with a disproportiately profound impact on homosexual partners.

                1. “It is same sex marriage that is unjustly banned, therefore, the equal protection issue at hand is a sex-equality issue”

                  Yes, I thought that was clear. It gets muddied because for most part it is gay same sex couples that want to marry and the animus that is directed at banning these marriages tends to be focused on sexual orientation.

                  1. Don’t be disingenious Ming. I caught you there. You had placed unnecessary sexual orientation modifiers on the raw gender nouns in order to make it an equal rights for teh gheyz because you think they’re fabulous (so do I for the record). But what I demonstrated is that the only equality interest is sex equality. Now, that narrative is complicated insofar as a men and a woman are both forbidden by current laws from entering into a marriage with a partner of the same sex, so there is in some way an equal treatment in that regard. But I would nonetheless find the sex-equality argument reasonably compelling, although I personally find freedom of contract far more compelling.

            2. If the state allowed me to marry my sweet dog Heather, I would do so. This is not a slippery slope thing, I just really love my dog.

              1. Which is precisely why I think contract rights are the way to view things. Contracts entail certain things: lack of duress, and informed consent being primary.

                Obviously, a dog simply cannot give informed consent, nor a child. However, a woman could give informed consent to marry a man who already has another wife and do so on her own free volition.

                I strongly support extending contractual marriage rights to polygamist arrangements as well, and I think anyone who considers same sex marriage a significant issue should feel the same, and if they don’t, they are simply grevience mongering for their own identity group (which I personally despise).

                1. I disagree. One can find the number of people involved critical but the sex of the people involved not. Dyads work differently than triads.

                  1. How is that not a comparable violation of equality? If you are permitted to marry whom you want, why should I be denied the same right?

                  2. “Dyads work differently than triads.”

                    Opposite sex relationships work differently than same sex ones, therefore standing on equal protection is a dishonest exercise.

                2. Some privileges of marriage cannot be contracted for, by law.

                  Sexual favors themselves cannot be contracted for at all (except in Las Vegas, and until recently, Rhode Island), and spousal privilege from adverse testimony cannot be conferred by contract for really obvious reasons.

                  1. If you have entered into a contract that effectively merges your financial life with a partner, then you have a legitimate 5th Amendment claim not to testify as it has a self-incrimination presumed.

                    As for sex, marriage itself is not a contract for sex and rape can be prosecuted even within the bounds of marriage.

                  2. Sexual favors themselves cannot be contracted for at all

                    Unless you say there is no such thing as rape inside a marriage, each sexual favor is voluntary given at the time of the act, no different than outside marriage. Dont see how marriage changes anything here at all.

                    Want to keep the adverse testimony law? Make it based on sexual relationship. Privilege from adverse testimony extends to sexual partners for X years or something. Details would have to be worked out.

                    Or, we could do away with the privilege.

                    1. We can’t and shouldn’t do away with the privilege. Its a basic 5th amendment situation as it is self-incriminating against one’s direct financial interests within the context of a marriage. Ergo, it should be retained, but any contract which conveys the equal bundle of rights as marriage would qualify for a comparable spousal privilege.

                    2. Unless you say there is no such thing as rape inside a marriage, each sexual favor is voluntary given at the time of the act, no different than outside marriage. Dont see how marriage changes anything here at all.

                      The mingling of assets changes everything. A contract that states “I get to have sex with you whenever you consent, and in return you get access to half of my money and all of my stuff” would be void in every state in the country…except if it’s called “marriage”.

                      Consummation and sexual deprivation (frigidity?) play roles in divorce actions all the time, as does the expectation of sexual availability and exclusivity (consent issues notwithstanding). So, I’d argue, the sexual favors component is not severable from the wider implications of the status of being married.

    4. The “get the state out of Marriage” argument tires me. The legal framework of “Marriage”/Civil Unions/whatever is extremely useful and is non-volitive of anyone’s rights. This issue is who can enter the contract, not if such a contract should exist in the first place.

      Are there serious arguments that a legal framework for companionship shouldn’t exist?

      1. Marriages are a religious ceremony and a violation of the 1st amendment (via the 14th) for the states to license them at all.

        1. Not true. Atheists marry daily. One’s marriage need not be sanctioned by a church to be considered legally binding, and a church could choose to recognize a marriage (i.e. episcopalians recognizing same sex marriage) and the state would not consider it legally binding.

          1. My point is valid if any one (or I guess two) people consider marriage to be a religious ceremony.

            Really minor religious beliefs are still 1st amendment protected.

            The government has clearly historically interferred in religious beliefs with its marriage licensing, see Utah for example. Some christians see marriage licensing as a violation of Mark 10:9 (Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate).

            And if you think entirely dodge it by just staying outside the system, I refer you once again to Utah.

            1. By that logic the government cannot regulate the stoning of children if the parties involved consider the stoning to be a religious thing.

              1. Christ you’re stupid.

                  1. I’m not sure what’s more indicative of your intelligence, that you would take the time to post something with no substance in the debate, or that you felt the need to post again to make sure everyone knew it was directed at me.

            2. What if marriage is sometimes religious and sometimes not?

              1. What if marriage rested in an eigenstate described by an uncollapsed wavefunction, destroyed only by the observation of in-laws (who are not, consequently, in-laws until the moment that they observe)? What if one member of a marriage wavefunction only became real if its virtual partner falls across the event horizon of a black hole?

                Marriage doesn’t obey causality and the locality principle?! Oh noes, the humanity! Hawking radiate that shit to death!

        2. Yeah, all marriages are religious. WTF?

        3. Who give’s a crap about the ceremony. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a legal framework. You can either register with the state as a couple, and thus enjoy the rights and conditions that apply, or not. What’s the big deal?

          1. See Utah.

            1. What about Utah? How is that relevant to my point?

              I think you remain stuck on the work Marriage. That was not the point of my original post at all. The point was that the legal convenience of a couples framework is hard to argue against.

              1. Utah == bigamists point. Shorthand.

                1. I just saw a young woman today with a T-shirt that read SLUT. T thought she was one of those folks who was attempting to reclaim the word. But as she got closer I saw it said SL,UT. It was for Salt Lake in Utah.

                  1. I like to wander around. I see things and tell people about it.

                    1. Like me

                      Hello I’m Bill Curtis. Many believe that the U.S. Government covered it up. I’m Bill Curtis

          2. Plenty of bigamists ONLY register one wife, and yet, they get charged with bigamy.

            1. There is no rational basis for laws against bigamists. So I’m not sure what your point it.

              My point is that a legal framework for companions, particularly couples, is extremely convenient and useful. The existence of such a framework does not mandate the illegality of bigamy.

              1. Fuck utilitarianism!

                1. robc’s intellectual tourettes is still going strong I see.

                  1. Christ what an asshole.

              2. I think there is a rational basis for bigamy laws. Society can claim a basis in protecting the stability of families.

                1. They could make that claim. And then they’d be making a moral claim. And THEN we’d be back again talking about getting the state out of “Marriage”. When that actually means getting the state out of enforcing social norms.

                  But that again completely misses my point. Legal frameworks such as Civil Unions have a rational basis that exist completely apart from a moral code. And it’s because of that that those frameworks won’t, and shouldn’t, go away.

              3. So the fuck what. Lots of things are convenient and useful, that doesnt make them the government’s job.

                Let lawyers get their big payday putting together companionship contracts.

                1. Well until this occurs, should we deny it to one group?

                  Under robc’s logic since he thinks the government should not be in the business of trash pick ups he would be fine with a locality that picked up only the trash of white people.

                  1. Or rather, he would oppose a city with such a policy extending trash service to blacks.

          3. By “ceremony”, I mean from moment of pronouncement until death. Not just the thing in church. That probably was poor wording on my part.

      2. A legal framework for companionship is absurd. Should I register with the state that I have a cat?

        1. In my city its required. Seriously.

          And just as stupid as you think it is.

          1. Actually, it is in mine too. I forgot since I don’t actually have a cat.

            Strangely enough, I am not required to register if I have a live-in girlfriend, nor if I have a child. I’m just required to register with the state if I want to gain various perks offered to married couples like a certain tax classification.

        2. Are you assuming that it’s mandatory? It seems pretty clear what the advantages are to having a pre-constructed legal framework for companionship. What’s so absurd about it?

          1. The government has no more business in providing a pre-constructed legal framework for companionship than it does providing me a pre-constructed menu for me to order food from at a restaurant.

            1. You could stay the same thing about Partnerships and Corporations.

              Legal frameworks don’t exist because of the government. They exist because societal members find them useful.

              1. You could stay the same thing about Partnerships and Corporations.

                Yes.

                And?

                1. Fine. If you want to make an Anarchists argument, then go ahead. But that’s a separate debate from the moral one that’s typically behind the “Get the state out of Marriage” argument.

                  I’m not an Anarchist. And I don’t see how Corporate/Partnership/Companionship legal frameworks violate basic Minarchist principles.

                  And I see nothing wrong with voluntary legal frameworks that exist because of their convenience and utility.

                  1. There is no utility nor convenience in government sanctioned marriage.

                    Haven’t we just gotten finished seeing how it’s been used as an abusive to tool to deny biracial couples or same-sex couples behaviour enjoyed by the majority?

                    1. FFS, I never said “government sanctioned marriage”. It’s not “government sanctioned” when it’s voluntary. It’s “government recognized”.

                      And I don’t care if you call it Marriage or Fuckbuddies.

                  2. Im not an anarchist, Im a minarchist. I see neither marriage nor corporate licensing as necessary for a minarchy.

                    1. It doesn’t have to be necessary. Something that’s Utilitarian and voluntary which does not interfere with fundamental rights doesn’t violate the principles of Minarchy.

                      At least not to the point where I’m going to kvetch about it in order to feel entitled to my Minarchist decoder ring.

                    2. At least not to the point where I’m going to kvetch about it in order to feel entitled to my Minarchist decoder ring.

                      Thats fine, but dont call me an anarchist for being a smaller minarchist than you.

                    3. I personally dont see the reason for the state, legalforms.com will put together a standard companionship contract package.

                    4. Standardized legal arrangements are very cost effective.

                      Imagine if you went to the hospital to be with your partner and they said “oh wait, we haven’t certified this contract before. We have to send it up to legal.”


                    5. Standardized legal arrangements are very cost effective

                      Yes they are, that is why legalforms.com is so cheap.

    5. Pedantic, yes, and lame. It’s just another way to make the bigoted “separate but equal” argument.

      1. You have no idea what my view is on the legal recognition of same sex marriage.

        You do understand that it’s possible to support a law while disagreeing with those who think the law does something that it doesn’t?

    6. You are being too pedantic. Everyone knows what is meant by “legal gay marriage” (it means state recognition of same sex married couples, in case you missed the past 10 years). And everyone knows that gay people can marry people of the opposite sex in any state in the US. So the fuck what?

  8. There should be no legislative vote on this . . . EVER! The very idea of the legislature imposing gay “marriage” on the state is reprehensible under ANY circumstances! In every state where the voters have been allowed to vote on this issue, the voters have said a resounding “NO”! Every time!!!! What part of “NO” do these so-called legislators NOT understand? Let the voters make this decision, if you think you can convince them, but DO NOT impose it on them!

    1. Republics, how do they work?

      1. Kinda like magnets, I guess

      2. Kinda like magnets, I guess

    2. Guess what, babe? Representative republics make these decisions all the time. Unless you want to live in a direct democracy (and hey, guess what, most of us do not, so you can stuff it there, too), legislatures will make decisions and you will have to abide. If you do not like it, your recourse is at the ballot.

      1. Or the pitchfork and torch…

    3. Voters do not get to vote to deny equal treatment to people based on group identity.

      1. But she put it in CAPITAL LETTERS, Jim, MORE than ONCE! That means she MEANS it!

      2. Eh, apparently they do. (Hurray for democracy!)

      3. Voters do not get to vote to deny equal treatment right to contract to people based on group identity.

        1. Correction accepted, provided we’re talking about the state recognizing the gay contract as being equal to the straight one.

    4. A few more exclamation points and I’ll be convinced.

    5. Yeah, Karen, and black people got voting and marriage rights in this country because they were “imposed” by the courts.

      Now run along back to Freep or whatever fundie cesspit you came from.

      1. Black people were free to marry each other.
        The laws prohibited them from marrying whites because people were afraid of mixed race children.

        For the comparison to hold gays would be free to marry each other, but banned from marrying straights for fear of passing along the “gay gene”.

        1. We’re using it in the general sense to convey that the gov’t shouldn’t have a right to tell certain people their unions are not as favored as the unions of others.

          1. I thought it was used to put the accused on defense for implied racism.

            1. I think it is when it gets shouted at anyone who thinks the states should have rights. “But but but states rights = Jim Crow!”

              In this case, it’s merely illustrative because that happens to be a marriage freedom issue in recent history. Making it analogous to the current debate removes the racial component (for me), because obviously not all gay people are of any certain race (though the Thai ones seem to look the best…)

              1. I actually supported ssm when I thought it was about non-interference.

                When the whole Civil Rights argument came along I saw that it was about using the government to force something on other people.

                I oppose civil rights because it amounts to thoughtcrime. It criminalizes choice.
                That’s not to say I support Jim Crow. That criminalizes choice as well.

                I think people should be free to be assholes and discriminate if they so choose.

                The state should either mandate nor prohibit discrimination.

                Redefining marriage allows same sex couples to take people to court for not recognizing them as married, and I think that is wrong.

                1. *neither*, not either

                  1. I laregly agree with you, but as I replied to robc further downthread, until the state is out of this completely, the default position should be for state recognition of contractual equality (regardless of the word used).

                    1. “(regardless of the word used).”

                      Tell that to those who will accept nothing less than the redefining of marriage.

                      They will accuse you of being a racist and a host of other things because you would accept “separate but equal”.

                    2. They will accuse you of being a racist and a host of other things because you would accept “separate but equal”.

                      Well then they’re stupid, because we’re not talking about the availability of gov’t products, such as schools, which can vary in quality. We’re strictly talking about right to contract.

                2. “That’s not to say I support Jim Crow.”

                  Just other laws that have the government deny benefits and impose restrictions on some groups while favoring others. Gotcha.

                  “Redefining marriage allows same sex couples to take people to court for not recognizing them as married, and I think that is wrong.”

                  Then as I said above your problem is with anti-discrimination laws, not recognition of same sex marriage.

                  1. What you said above is that I support forced discrimination laws.

                    I oppose both forced discrimination and anti discrimination.

                    The government has no business in forcing people to be assholes or in punishing them for being assholes.

                    1. “I oppose both forced discrimination and anti discrimination.”

                      I made a comment sypathetic to this above in my defense of the Bishop. But are you OK with the government itself discriminating?

                    2. “But are you OK with the government itself discriminating?”

                      If by this you mean government treating committed same sex couples differently than committed opposite sex couples with regards to legal protections, then yes.

                      If by this you mean government using threat of violent force to define the word “marriage” to mean “spouse and spouse” instead of “husband and wife”, then no.

                    3. backasswards the yes and no

                    4. Aw fuck, you know what I mean, though I doubt you are honest enough to admit it.

              2. I wasn’t implying that she was racist. To their credit, SoCons have pretty much abandoned overt racism.

                But the Jim Crow South is the most relevant historical example of a civil rights struggle. Every argument she used against gay civil rights was used against black civil rights.

        2. The laws prohibited them from marrying whites because people were afraid of mixed race children.

          Years later, those that remained who had supported those laws pointed at Barack Obama and said “Now you see what I was talking about?”

          1. LOL *zing!*

          2. Yes, but the people making that argument believe Barack Obama was conceived outside of U.S. jurisdiction.

            1. Lol, by no means was I endorsing that line of thinking. I myself am set to hitch and ultimately breed with a woman of differing racial composition myself. I just wanted to make the joke that came to me. I thought it rather too good an opportunity to pass up.

              1. You’re right, Sudden, and we’re all better off for it.

                It was LOL-worthy

    6. They – and you – just don’t want to allow the voters to make this choice for their state because you know they would say NO, as they always have and always will. The only way gay “marriage” ever gets imposed on a state is by legislative or judicial fiat. That is simply unacceptable. A few people don’t get to redefine marriage for the rest of us.

      1. The state does not “define” marriage. Stop being a fascist.

      2. “A few people don’t get to redefine marriage for the rest of us.”

        When the few people are a majority of the democratically elected representatives of the people, then yes, in a republic they do…

      3. Just as voters always said “no” to civil rights in the Jim Crow south.

        This in no way interferes with your marriage rights.

        And legislation is somehow undemocratic in a representative democracy?

      4. See my reply above. Every voter in the world voting for something does not make that something right or correct. Alabama did not have the right to impose Jim Crow, even though a majority of their voters supported it.

    7. Interestingly, the NY state senate passed a constitutional amendment that would establish an initiative/referendum process, which the state currently does not have. If the amendment is approved again by the next NY state senate (after the 2012 elections) and then by voters (2014 ballot), New Yorkers could have a popular vote on gay marriage in 2016.

      1. God help us all once NYC engaged in direct democracy ? la California.

        1. Well the state as a whole is less liberal than California, but yeah… it will suck. And I live here.

          I hated voting on all that stupid shit the one year I lived in CA. That was before I learned the trick was to just vote “No” on everything. Also, before I quit voting entirely.

    8. Well, Karen Grube, I think that only gay couples should be allowed to be married. How dare the state impose straight marriage on me! The horror!

  9. To use Isaiah Berlin’s distinction: is the state recognition of gay marriage a “negative freedom” or a “positive freedom”?

    I say “positive” because with this change the power and reach of the state expands and not contracts.

    1. Same goes for hetero marriage. It’s an establishment of positive rights. I think the problem at issue is the fact that those rights aren’t equal for everybody.

      1. Which is why positive “rights” are stupid.

        The government cannot guarantee an undesirable person the right to get married; they have to find someone willing to marry them on their own.

        1. But what the government can do is guarantee that if the undesirable person brushes their teeth, learns to dance, and hides their porn, and is then successful at finding a mate, that at that point the option will be available to them and their partner to get benefits similar to the benefits enjoyed by everyone else in the same circumstance.

          Duh.

          Positive rights don’t have to be about guaranteeing success, just about guaranteeing access to options for those that meet objective prerequisites.

        2. Meh, the police are a positive right. What’s relevant is that an undesirable heterosexual person has a right that even a desirable homosexual person does not.

          1. Meh, the police are a positive right.

            Tony has said it, so it is so! No need to justify assertions; this is Tony we’re talking about. He went to a top-20 university or something.

            What’s relevant is that an undesirable heterosexual person has a right that even a desirable homosexual person does not.

            A heterosexual couple has government privileges that a homosexual couple does not, and you should know by now that libertarians think said privileges shouldn’t exist.

    2. As Minge points out below, your case can be made with inter-racial marriage, as well. In your world, is it acceptable to ban all types of marriage except for straight whites? If not, why is nonrecognition by race unfair, but unrecognition by sexual orientation acceptable?

      Libertarians, IMHO, get egg on their face (and some show their true paleo colors) when they contort rights arguments into supporting certain social beliefs like this.

      SLD: gov’t should have no say in any marriage.

      1. SLD: gov’t should have no say in any marriage.

        And that should be 100% of the effort.

        1. I just think that’s too easy a fallback position to justify allowing continued discrimination against gays. Yes, that should be the main effort…but the default position should be recognition of equal right to contract (regardless of what word is used).

          1. As I said below: When in a hole, stop digging. I think getting more people married makes it harder to get rid of marriage.

            1. insert “licensed” where needed above, if read wrong it makes it sound like I oppose marriage and not just marriage licensing.

              1. I think we may be talking past eachother somewhat. I’m not as concerned with “marriage” per se, as with what I view to be a completely arbitrary discrimination against right to contract, regardless of what that contract is about. In this case, since it does affect some state items, such as inheritance in absence of a will, the random exclusion of a class of people from the availability of what is a recognized contract for others is simply blatant discrimination, which should be opposed.

                It’s a liberty issue to me; gays are being denied the right to engage in freedom of contract, because even in a minarchy, state recognition of contract rights are vital.

                1. Laws related to marriage violate more contract rights than the other way around.

                  The state refuses to acknowledge the church (as representative of God) as a part of the contract (in those marriages done in a church with it as a part), for example.

                  You said “til death do us part”? Sucker. Thats an oral contract!

                  But, no, the state ignores that.

  10. To use Isaiah Berlin’s distinction: is the state recognition of interracial marriage a “negative freedom” or a “positive freedom”?

    I say “positive” because with this change the power and reach of the state expands and not contracts.

  11. ‘redefine’ rights, relationships, values and natural law.

    I love how the government merely deciding to end discrimination against homosexuals is “social engineering” and a violation of natural law. That’s like saying repealing the Jim Crow laws is social engineering.

  12. Will someone please inform the Archbishop that his tax-exempt status exists at our (dis)pleasure and that if he cannot render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s that maybe he needs to start contributing to the public coffers?

  13. Marriage *should* be gay; it’s a happy thing, filled with optimism and hope.

    1. That would be an aspirational statement, yes?

      1. Considering I am due to wed in October, I have to continue believing this. Please repeat it PB.

  14. I’m personally apathetic/agnostic about gay marriage. I am, however, opposed to having it imposed by courts; saying that denial of gay marriage is an equal protection problem assumes the conclusion (its only an equal protection problem if marriage is defined as being between two people rather than between a man and a woman).

    If a legislature wants to pass it into law, whatever.

    I don’t really see it as a positive/negative rights thing. As between the individuals, its a default contract set forth in state law. As between the couple and others, requiring the recognition of homosexual marriage is no more offensive than requiring the recognition of heterosexual marriage. Saying the state should only require others to recognize my preferred type of marriage and not others is just special pleading.

    1. saying that denial of interracial marriage is an equal protection problem assumes the conclusion (its only an equal protection problem if marriage is defined as being between two people of differing races rather than between two people of the same race).

      1. We’ve been down this road before, MNG.

        The anti-miscegenation laws were pretty much a prohibition on an identified set of marriages that otherwise met the legal definition, not a definition of marriage itself that did not include interracial marriages.

        And, for equal protection purposes, it matters. Its not a great analogy, but I don’t think it would be a violation of equal protection if, say, Medicaid did not cover OB/GYN services for men. Men cannot, by definition, use OB/GYN services, so what’s the problem?

        1. The anti-miscegenation laws were pretty much a prohibition on an identified set of marriages that otherwise met the legal definition, not a definition of marriage itself that did not include interracial marriages.

          It was not a definition of marriage that did not include interracial marriages, it just forbade interracial marriages and allowed same race ones. Gotcha, yeah, two totally different things!

          1. Yeah, it actually is, MNG.

            If marriage is defined as “between two people”, but then we tack on exclusions (unless they are the same sex, or unless they are different races), that is a violation of equal protection.

            If marriage is defined as “between a man and a woman”, then there is no exclusion, and no equal protection violation. Gay marriage isn’t prohibited, so much as it doesn’t exist, its a category error, that sort of thing.

            Marriage has never been defined as “between a man and a woman of the same race.” It just hasn’t. Sorry. The anti-miscegenation laws weren’t an expression of the nature of marriage. They just weren’t about that, they were about something else entirely. The definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman at least arguably is about the nature of marriage.

            The equal protection argument boils down to giving judges the authority to decide what marriage means. I don’t think that’s a judicial function.

  15. Well, fuck it, I don’t care what you think. I’m trying to do the right thing. I’m tired of Republican-Democrat politics. They can take the job and shove it. I come from a blue-collar background.

    Beautiful. “I don’t even give a fuck. Also, I’m the son of a mill worker.”

    1. I come from meat packers.

      1. There’s a butt-sex joke in there somewhere…

        1. Which is why we’d make a great ticket.

    2. I think in NY it differentiates the upstate reps from the downstate/LI/NYC reps.

      And I doubt the upstate reps are helped by voting yes to gay marriage.

  16. I still don’t understand why the state has any legitimate interest in regulating marriage at all.

    1. They would say to 1. promote family stability and 2. order family relations. Legal rights tied to marriage go back pretty far (think estate law).

      1. Yeah, and the state has an excellent track record of promoting family stability and orderly family relations.

        That’s why they cut off welfare benefits to single mothers who choose to get married.

    2. Is there anything left that they don’t regulate?

      1. Unfortunately for those of us who don’t eat enough fiber, our bowel movements.

    3. They don’t, really, but since they are balls-deep in it it’s better to extend the franchise to all rather than try to tear down the whole thing.

      That’s a practical judgement, of course, and libertarian attainment of any goals are often impeded by their insistence on doctrinal purity attainable goals.

      1. When will the right to marry more than one wife be extended to Muslims?

        (It’s a serious question.)

      2. Don’t forget that some Mormons and some jews, generally the more fundamentalist ones, also practice polygyny (one husband, multiple wives).

        Personally, I have no trouble with polygamy even though I’m pretty anti-religion. Rights are rights, after all.

        1. The state certainly doesn’t regulate males from having companionship or fathering children with more than one female. They just refuse to register it in the county recorder’s book.

    4. I agree that the government should have no say in marriage. But as long as it does, gays should be able to enter into an equal contract to share responsibilities, share assets, maintain sexual exclusivity, etc. The removal of that disparity, I think, brings us closer to a libertarian world than one where slightly fewer can take advantage of a government-granted benefit because of bureaucrats’ arbitrary preferences toward a certain social ordering.

      Unless we’re providing the counterargument — that all marriage recognition should be separate from the state — with equal passion as the gay rights movement, I don’t understand where any libertarian opposition comes from.

      SLD and all that.

    5. It doesn’t. But as long as it does, shouldn’t the ability to enter into an equal contract to share responsibilities, share assets, maintain sexual exclusivity, etc. be available without respect to the social preferences of bureaucrats?

      I don’t really understand where libertarian ambivalence on this — rather than at least half-hearted support — comes from. It’s not a great system being advocated, but it’s at least better. To deny more a government-sanctioned benefit we’re further enabling government’s role in social engineering.

      Plus, this is coming from a state legislature, not the courts or the federal government.

      SLD and all that.

      1. When in a hole, STOP DIGGING!

        In fact, I think, strategy-wise, the best way to get to where we want is to not allow gay marriage, so that maybe the gays+supporters will support us in ending marriage altogether. But really, I just oppose digging the hole deeper.

        1. It seems like this is part of stopping digging. It further removes government from saying who can and cannot enter a particular contract.

          We disallowed interracial marriage, and by allowing it introduced more couples to government-granted benefits. No, we should not have held up those civil rights on the off-chance we get majority support among our political leaders for government extricating itself from marriage.

          1. depth of hole == # of licenses.

          2. Everything robc has said here applies to refusing to recognize interracial marriage, or for that matter to any government discrimination against blacks. Because by not discriminating against blacks this means more blacks are going to use government services and according to him that is just digging deeper. He would want us to draw the line at exending government services to blacks while we worked on getting rid of the services provided to whites.

            I’ve always known robc has allowed his bizzarre brand of libertarianism to warp him, but this is further proof.

            1. Whats a black?

              Define it please. I cant and no government can either.

  17. Sadly the most interest parts of this story for me are:

    1)the rep getting quoted as saying “well, fuck it”

    2)which of my gay clients will marry their partners, and what the impact will be on their taxes

    1. The impending tide of gay divorces will certainly be interesting. There’s a lot of pent-up demand for same-sex marriages, which will probably result in a lot of poor decision making (like opposite-sex couples have been doing for millenia).

      1. I don’t doubt that at all. I’m sure divorce attorneys will wet themselves with glee if this passes.

      2. The vast majority of same-sex couples who rush to the registrar once marriage becomes legal are the couples who have already been together in stable relationships for years, and have just been waiting for the same rights and privileges accorded to everyone else.

  18. That would be an aspirational statement, yes?

    I speak from a strictly theoretical perspective; what little I know about marriage is based entirely on hearsay.

    1. I read that as “entirely based on heresy,.”

      I kind of like it that way…

  19. “If all of the states got out of the marriage business, people would be still allowed to marry.”

    The Feds are in the marriage business too – and dole out rather significant privileges for it. Such as the ability to marry a non-American and actually live with them.

    1. Which is why (honest) libertarians are opposed to the federal government’s irrational restrictions on immigration.

  20. I also don’t like the term “legalize” in reference to same-sex marriage. In order for something to be “legalized,” it must first be “banned” (in the sense that violations get you fines/jail/SWAT).

    What this is REALLY about is statist dupes further legitimizing leviathan government by demanding its blessing.

    I think there’s a youtube where Penn Jillette has the wonderful suggestion that it would be better to try and eliminate government sanctification of marriage altogether. Great idea! Tell Bachman to shove that one up her twat!

  21. But what about the Ground Zero Mosque?

    Or the San Francisco penile-trimming ban?

    Or whatever Ron or Rand Paul said today?

    Or the latest movie?

    HUH?! What about all that stuff? Stupid teh GAIZ, fuckin’ it up for EVERYONE with their long threads about…them.

  22. 200+ comments and nothing so far from Michael Ejercito? Has this news given him the vapors or something?

  23. So, is this post filled with commenters who favor the pragmatic approach to the association of the state and an individual’s interpersonal relations, or have we all found an area so personal that we desire the state’s sanction of our choices?

    (Those are your only two choices; no making up a third!)

    Anyone who pays attention to my various comments on this issue knows that my sole bias is against any personal union requiring licensing by the state, and that I believe the benefits club, no matter how its membership is expanding, is unfair as long as it remains exclusive. We have got to get out of the mindset that any of these entitlements are necessary.

    1. My big issue is with the word “entitlement”. I’ve adopted Will Munny’s quote as my own, in this regard: “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.” And there are no “entitlements”.

      And completely agree that any personal “union” (I would reinforce “association” as well – thinking of certain professional licensing orgs)should be beyond state interference based on “right of association”, as well as recognized common-law rights pre-dating the US Const, etc. etc.

      This debate does give me a headache, so off to read lighter fare!

    2. Why? Doesn’t it depend on the benefits? How does the benefit of having the right to visit my unconscious partner in the hospital offend your sense of fairness?

      1. is unfair as long as it remains exclusive

        I don’t think there is disagreement if I’m reading your question and understanding Fist’s position correctly – think there’s maybe a different interpretation of “benefit”. Visiting your partner isn’t a “benefit” in my mind – that’s a right. You can visit anyone.

        The question of benefits, as I understand Fist’s position (and mine as well) is that they should not be contingent upon discriminatory or limiting criteria (e.g. eye color, hair lenght, neighborhood lived in, etc. etc.).

        The state isn’t/shouldn’t be in that business. Which then obviates the question/potential issue you raise…doesn’t matter if Fist or I are “offended” by your visiting your pal. We got nothing to say about it – neither does the old, cranky SoCon across the street.

        1. I don’t think that’s it. Single people get pissed about things like tax code issues.

          1. I get offended being denied something someone else gets automatically through state action. That charge should sound familiar. It’s one of the complaints of those currently being denied marriage licenses.

            If I was voting, I would vote for same-sex marriage to be recognized. Just remember when it happens that there will still be those left on the outside looking in, feeling just as jilted, and will always be thus until all are included or the club is done away with.

            1. I’ll ask again. Denied what?

              1. How about your example, automatic visitation rights? And not just hospital, prison as well. Or decision making power over another person’s care absent a living will. Or parenting and custody. Or property and inheritance. Or insurance trusts? Or annuity, pension, Medicare and Social Security benefits. Or, yes, tax benefits.

                Individuals are gifted these entitlements – and responsibilities – with that marriage license, a license that is issued to an exclusive group comprised of those whose behavior conforms to whatever the state deems acceptable at that time.

                I believe we agree that this is unfair. We disagree on the remedy.

                1. I just don’t see how a vast majority of those things are of any use to a single person, so that the “denial” of those things is at all unfair.

                  1. If I want to enjoy them, I should get married? That seems reminiscent of the argument that if a gay person wants marriage benefits, all he or she has to do is marry someone of the opposite sex, like the rest of us.

                    Single people can have loved ones, too. If you prick us, do we not bleed, and then pass out, and then need someone to make medical decisions for us?

                    1. If you want to enjoy them, then you need to have your relationship be officially recognized by the state.

                      I have no idea what Marriage has to do with it. You say “I should get married”, and that’s the first time you brought up Marriage on this particular set of threaded comments.

                    2. I have no idea what Marriage has to do with it.

                      That makes two of us. Contracts. Nothing but contracts.

  24. Someone made an excellent point upthread: partnerships are government recognized relationships with unique benefits and duties. If the government did not recognize partnerships between same sex partners, would the paleo’s here who don’t want same sex marriage to be recognized be fine with that? What if the denial of recognition of partnerships was for blacks? Or interracial partnerships?

    1. How about we cut out the state establishing “unique benefits and duties” part. Not a legitimate nor legal function of the state.

      Now let’s start the conversation again – much easier to have now, isn’t it?

      1. What about enforcement of contractual obligations with regards to property and children? Human pair bonding is a pretty well established tradition, not to say a natural order, so there has to be some government enforcement involved just as with any other contract. The relevant question is whether the benefits and duties are applied to people equally under the law. Fantasies about government getting out of enforcing legitimate contracts are a childish distraction.

        1. The enforcement of legitimate contracts between individuals I got no beef with.

        2. What about enforcement of contractual obligations with regards to property and children?

          Private courts? I feel like I’ve had this conversation with you before…

          Human pair bonding is a pretty well established tradition, not to say a natural order, so there has to be some government enforcement involved just as with any other contract.

          Can marriage honestly be called a contract, implicit or explicit? Isn’t it just a casual relationship between two people? Am I breaking a contract when I stop being friends with someone?

          The relevant question is whether the benefits and duties are applied to people equally under the law.

          What I’m really concerned with is the fact that rapists and those who have been raped aren’t treated equally under the law. The former goes to prison for decades and the latter gets damage payments. Talk about inequality; so much for the American legal system.

          Fantasies about government getting out of enforcing legitimate contracts are a childish distraction.

          Almost as much a fantasy as the unvalidated belief in the AD/AS model as an analytical tool for markets.

  25. Sorry, Boycotting CNN after the Gary Johnson debacle — surprised Reason would even link to them.

  26. Someone made an excellent point upthread: partnerships are government recognized relationships with unique benefits and duties.

    Partnership law is basically the establishment of default contract terms for the relationship between the partners, many of which can be modified by the partners. There are a few line items in a typical partnership statute that deal with the partnership’s relationship with third parties, but those are mostly the codification of various agency law principles.

    So I don’t think this is really a very accurate description of partnership law.

    1. I believe MNG was referring to boing-boing Partnerships and not handshake Partnerships.

  27. Dolan explained that Americans, by contrast, “cherish true freedom, not as the license to do whatever we want, but the liberty to do what we ought.”

    OBEY!

  28. You tryin’ to gayinate me or something?

  29. Mr. Dolan (I refuse to recognize the authority of any religious cleric) needs to get his own house in order before he can talk about other people’s morality. The day pedophile priests are being burned alive in Vatican Square is the day I’ll at least think about listening to anything Mr. Dolan has to say.

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