Gay Marriage

All in the Gay Family

Same-sex marriage existed long before it was legalized.

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"I can't go that far; that's the year 2000! Negroes [and whites], okay. But that's too far!"
—President Richard Nixon on gay marriage, speaking in August 1970; quoted in John Ehrlichman, Witness to Power

No one knows the names of the first gay couple to exchange wedding vows. You should keep that in mind as same-sex marriage becomes law in New York: The earliest milestones on the road to marital equality were made quietly, privately, and far from any civil authority. The public recognition of gay unions emerged gradually, reaching wider and wider circles until finally even governments started climbing aboard. Contrary to the rhetoric you still hear from some of the idea's opponents, gay marriage was not cooked up in some D.C. laboratory and imposed on America by social engineers. It was built from the bottom up, and it was alive at a time when the typical social engineer thought homosexuality was a disease.

Members of the same gender have been coupling off for centuries, sometimes with ceremonies that look rather marital to modern eyes. Here in America, gay marriages predate the modern gay rights movement. Six years before Stonewall, the 1963 book The Homosexual and his Society described informal gay weddings where "all the formalities of [a] legally certified and religiously sanctioned ceremony are aped with the greatest of care." Those unions didn't always last (the authors noted that it "sometimes takes no more than a week or two" before the lovers "recall that their marriage has no legal, religious, or moral sanctions" and take off), but as the resilience of the euphemism longtime companion suggests, a match between two men or two women could be as lasting and loving as any heterosexual coupling. As gay life became more visible, so did those permanent partnerships, and as social tolerance of homosexuality grew, more people accepted the partners' marriages as real. In 1992, long before any state recognized gay marriage as a legal right, Suzanne Sherman could fill a big chunk of a book by interviewing gays who had married and officiants who had blessed their unions. Such marriages were eventually honored by institutions outside as well as inside the gay community. By 1993, the list of companies that allowed domestic partners of the same sex to share benefits included Microsoft, Apple, HBO, Warner Bros., and Borders. By 2007, gay couples who wanted to get married at Disneyland were free to purchase the Fairy Tale Wedding package.

The numbers on public support for gay wedlock show a slow but steady surge of support for the idea. A decade and a half ago, according to Gallup, just 27 percent of Americans thought gay marriage should be legally recognized. This year the figure was 53 percent. It is often suggested that this sea change reflects the fact that more Americans know people who are openly gay. While I don't doubt that that's a major factor, I think another change is important too: More Americans know people who are openly gay and married. If you mentioned gay marriage to the average American three decades ago, he would have thought you were making a joke or spouting a science-fiction scenario. (Indeed, three decades ago the science-fiction comedy Airplane! 2 included an apparently married gay couple as a throwaway gag.) Today gays living as married are a part of everyday life, whether or not those unions have been licensed by the state. If you're an American, there's a reasonable chance that you've met a committed, cohabiting gay couple, and whether you like the duo or not it should be hard to see them as a threat to the sanctity of marriage. After all, they want to get married. That isn't necessarily true of the cohabiting straights who live next door. The gay couple may even want to have kids—and with restrictions on gay adoption falling away, that option is ever more possible.

And so a social institution took hold: first among gays themselves, then in the larger community and marketplace. Finally the government took notice. Judges started upholding gays' right to wed each other, then legislatures began to come around. In many places the foes of gay marriage have pushed back through ballot initiatives, a path that isn't open to them in New York. But even where a public referendum is possible, it's probably just a matter of time in most states before the votes against same-sex marriage just won't be there. As Jeffrey Lax and Justin Phillips recently pointed out in the American Political Science Review, it's the youngest American adults who show the strongest support for gay marriage. The strongest opposition is in the demographic that will be next to die off.

So I give credit to the legislature of New York, which just made life easier for gay couples who want to adopt a standard marriage contract. But even more than that, I give credit to the couples themselves, and to all the couples who came before them. They're the ones who started this revolution rolling.

Jesse Walker is managing editor of Reason magazine.

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121 responses to “All in the Gay Family

  1. [Gay marriage] was built from the bottom up

    If I were even more immature than I am, I would snicker at that. Heh heh…

    1. It was built from the bottom up… by Top. Men.

  2. But even more than that, I give credit to the couples themselves, and to all the couples who came before them. They’re the ones who started this revolution rolling.

    And, on a serious note, well captured, Mr. Walker. This is it, stated concisely.

    1. couples who came…

  3. That photo depicts interracial same-sex marriage.

    Cue weeping baby Jesus!

      1. I slap my knee upon clicking that link, SugarFree. Chuckles and guffaws ensued shortly thereafter.

  4. And now begins the reason that Gays insist on “Marriage” instead of “Civil Union”; a minimum of ten years of tiresome lawsuits to make assorted bureaucratic sphincters treat Gay married couples like other married couples. Not because the sphincters in question are very anti-Gay but simply because nothing gives a sphincter more pleasure than clenching up and saying “no” to somebody the sphincter imagines he has power over.

    If it was “Civil Unions” instead of “Marriages”, that would be twenty years minimum.

  5. Gays don’t need to be formally married as unions meet their needs and anyway they don’t procreate.

    1. Thank goodness heterosexual coupling only ever produces children when the partners are married.

    2. Blacks don’t need to drink at the same fountains as whites as they already have their own fountains.

      ? hey, just applying your own logic.

      1. Applying that logic would mean that black couples need to get into a different marriage line than white couples.
        Since black couples were permitted to marry same as white couples, the logical comparison fails.
        For the comparison to be valid mixed race couples would have to get into a different line than same race couples, which was not the case.
        Furthermore, the motivation behind prohibiting mixed race marriage was to discourage mixed race children.
        Since same sex couples cannot have children without the aid of a third party of the opposite sex, the comparison fails even further.

        But I know none of that matters since your comment is intended to be an ad hominem argument that the person who opposes redefining marriage is motivated by hatred of homosexuals, and the only possible way to prove that they are not motivated by hatred is to support the redefining of marriage.

        1. Dunno about hatred but it takes a lot of convoluted bullshit to argue against an obvious, inevitable advancement in equal civil rights that most Americans now favor and that will do no harm to anyone.

          1. Are you aware that shifting the burden of proof is a logical fallacy?

              1. Hey are you the Michael Ejercito that called gays “shit stabbers” over at NOM, think I screen saved that one. Gotta see if I can find it.

                Poor Maggie and Brian, epic, epic fail on Friday, I guess they’ll just have to take same sex marriage and like it. LOL

            1. I’m aware that you don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. Formal logic is for grown ups. Why don’t you argue your point instead of distracting from its obvious flaws by throwing out terms for things you don’t understand?

              I will help you get started. Finish this sentence: Gay people aren’t entitled to the same legal rights as straight people because…

              1. Which is to say, IMO the 14th amendment puts the burden of proof on you. The reason people may think you’re a bigot is because there simply does not exist an argument against equal marriage rights that is not based in bigotry or religion (bigotry with the stamp of approval from an invisible man in the sky).

                1. Which is to say, IMO the 14th amendment puts the burden of proof on you. The reason people may think you’re a bigot is because there simply does not exist an argument against equal marriage rights that is not based in bigotry or religion (bigotry with the stamp of approval from an invisible man in the sky).

                  That burden was met. See Baker v. Nelson , 409 U.S. 810, 34 L.E.2d 65, 93 S. Ct. 37 (1972)

                  Of course, there is more than that.

                  For starters, there is the Minnesota Supreme Court case which the U.S. Supreme Court summarily affirmed. Baker v. Nelson , 191 N.W.2d 185 at 187, (Minn. Sup. Ct. 1971)

                  The institution of marriage as a union man and woman, uniquely involving the procreation and rearing of children within a family, is as old as the book of Genesis. Skinner V. Oklahoma ex rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535, 541, 62 S.Ct. 1110, 1113, 86 L.Ed. 1655, 1660 (1942), which invalidated Oklahoma’s Habitual Criminal Sterilization Act on equal protection grounds, stated in part: “Marriage and procreation are fundamental to the very existence and survival of the race.” This historic institution manifestly is more deeply founded than the asserted contemporary concept of marriage and societal interests for which petitioners contend. The due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is not a charter for restructuring it by judicial legislation.

                  Singer v. Hara , 11 Wn.App. 247 at 262?264, 522 P.2d 1187 at 1197 (Wash. Ct. of Appeal 1974)

                  Appellants were not denied a marriage license because of their sex; they were denied a marriage license because of the nature of marriage itself
                  Although, as appellants hasten to
                  point out, married persons are not required to have children or even to
                  engage in sexual relations, marriage is so clearly related to the public
                  interest in affording a favorable environment for the growth of children

                  that we are unable to say that there is not a rational basis upon which the
                  state may limit the protection of its marriage laws to the legal union of
                  one man and one woman. Under such circumstances, although the legislature
                  may change the definition of marriage within constitutional limits, the
                  constitution does not require the change sought by appellants.

                  Adams v. Howerton, 673 F.2d 1036 at 1042 (9th Cir. Ct. of Appeal 1982)

                  We need not, however, delineate the exact outer boundaries of this limited judicial review. We hold that Congress’s decision to confer spouse status under section 201(b) only upon the parties to
                  heterosexual marriages has a rational basis and therefore comports
                  with the due process clause and its equal protection requirements. There is no occasion to consider in this case whether some lesser standard of review should apply.

                  Congress manifested its concern for family integrity when it
                  passed laws facilitating the immigration of the spouses of some valid heterosexual marriages. This distinction is one of many drawn by
                  Congress pursuant to its determination to provide some-but not
                  all-close relationships with relief from immigration restrictions that might otherwise hinder reunification in this country. See Fiallo v. Bell, supra, 430 U.S. at 787, 97 S. Ct. at 1473, 52 L. Ed. 2d 50. In effect, Congress has determined that preferential status is not warranted for the spouses of homosexual marriages. Perhaps
                  this is because homosexual marriages never produce
                  offspring
                  , because they are not recognized in most, if in any, of the states, or because they violate traditional and often prevailing so
                  cietal mores. In any event, having found that Congress rationally
                  intended to deny preferential status to the spouses of such marriages, we need not further “probe and test the justifications for the legislative decision.” Id. at 799, 97 S. Ct. at 1481.

                  Dean v. District of Columbia , A.2d 301 (D.C. Court of Appeals 1995)

                  Thus, in recognizing the fundamental right to marry, the [Supreme] Court has only contemplated marriages between persons of opposite sexes- persons who had the possibility of having children with each other.

                  Standhardt v. Superior Court 206 Ariz. 276 at 278,
                  77 P.3d 451 at 453. (Ariz. Ct. of Appeal 2004)

                  In contrast, recognizing a right to marry someone of the same sex would not expand the established right to marry, but would redefine the legal meaning of “marriage.”
                  Petitioners lastly argue that the State’s limitation of marriage to opposite-sex unions is not reasonably related to its interests in procreation, because excluding same-sex couples from the marriage relationship does not impact procreation. ? We agree with Petitioners that allowing same-sex couples to marry would not inhibit opposite-sex couples from procreating. ? But the reasonableness of the State’s position is not dependent on the contrary conclusion. ? Rather, as previously explained, supra ??38, the State does not have the same interest in sanctioning marriages between couples who are incapable of procreating as it does with opposite-sex couples. ? We therefore reject Petitioners’ argument.

                  Citizens for Equal Protection v. Bruning , 455 F.3d 859 (8th Cir. Ct. of Appeal)

                  By affording legal recognition and a basket of rights and benefits to married heterosexual couples, such laws “encourage procreation to take place within the socially recognized unit that is best situated for raising children.” The State and its supporting amici cite a host of judicial decisions and secondary authorities recognizing and upholding this rationale. The argument is based in part on the traditional notion that two committed heterosexuals are the optimal partnership for raising children, which modern-day homosexual parents understandably decry. But it is also based on a “responsible procreation” theory that justifies conferring the inducements of marital recognition and benefits on opposite-sex couples, who can otherwise produce children by accident, but not on same-sex couples, who cannot….
                  But the argument [that “prohibiting protection for gay people’s relationships” does not steer procreation into marriage] disregards the expressed intent of traditional marriage laws — to encourage heterosexual couples to bear and raise children in committed marriage relationships.

                  In Re Marriage of J.B. and H.B., 326 S.W.3d 654 at 675?677
                  (Tx. 5th Cir. Ct. of Appeal 2010) petition for review pending

                  We agree with those courts that have found no equal-protection violation. ? The state has a legitimate interest in promoting the raising of children in the optimal familial setting. ? It is reasonable for the state to conclude that the optimal familial setting for the raising of children is the household headed by an opposite-sex couple. ?

                  The real kicker is a line of cases from the 19th century. There, people had challenged anti-polygamy laws on the basis that, among other things, it violated their right to marry. This decision pretty much says it all. Davis v. Beason , 133 U.S. 333 at 344, 345, quoting Murphy v. Ramsey , 114 U.S. 15 at 45

                  “For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and
                  necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit
                  to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the Union, than that
                  which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as
                  consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that
                  is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that
                  reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in
                  social and political improvement. “

                  1. Nice copy/paste skills you got there. I guess you are equally intolerant of elderly and infertile couples being married as well? Maybe we all should undergo a fertility and parental fitness test before qualifying for a marriage license? I mean, if we’re using fecundity as a litmus test for marriage, the same test should be extended to all citizens, correct? Or is it just the homosexual that needs to be singled out?

                    Maybe the State should have the right to remove the children of widows and widowers because they’re no longer being raised by a traditional family? After all, if we’re all about protecting the children, those poor motherless and fatherless children would be in far better social, financial and moral circumstances with a XX Mommy and an XY Daddy, right?

                    As I said, nice cut and paste job but the semantic and moral value to the argument is precisely null and your point is absolutely pointless.

                    1. As I said, nice cut and paste job but the semantic and moral value to the argument is precisely null and your point is absolutely pointless.

                      Tony claimed that under the 14th Amendment, the burden of proof is on those who want to maintain the definition of marriage. Those court decisions demonstrate that the burden of proof was met.

        2. His point is that separate but equal is inherently unequal.

          Therefore civil unions will never be equal to marriages.

          1. Marriage is the subset of civil unions including those civil unions between members of the opposite sex.

            Homosexuals are not excluded from entering into the civil union called marriage.
            They just can’t enter into it with a member of the same sex.

            All apples are fruit, but not all fruit are apples. Wouldn’t it be absurd to call all fruit “apples” in the name of equality to oranges?
            All sedans are cars, but not all cars are sedans. Should we call hatchbacks “sedans”, so people without trunks don’t feel slighted?

            All marriages are civil unions, but not all civil unions are marriages. It seems to me patently ignorant to use the name of a subset to describe the superset because otherwise someone’s feewings might get huwt.

            1. Marriage is not a subset of civil unions including those between members of the opposite sex.

              Marriage is a legal contract that is distinct from a civil union, another legal contract. They share many elements in common but are not equal. More specifically, the legal contract of marriage grants more rights than a civil union does.

              The state has absolutely no reason to place restrictions on the identity of those who consent to the contract.

              And as autistic as you might be, “hurting people’s feelings” is negative and something the state shouldn’t actively try to do. Particularly if it’s “hurting the feelings” of a group by denying them equal rights.

              1. Marriage is a legal contract that is distinct from a civil union, another legal contract. They share many elements in common but are not equal. More specifically, the legal contract of marriage grants more rights than a civil union does.

                There is one big reason for that, and it is because marriage (to someone of the opposite sex) is a fundamental right under federal judicial precedent, any infringement is subject to strict scrutiny. By contrast, entering into a civil union that is not a marriage is not a fundamental right under federal judicial precedent, and as such any infringements would, at best, be subject to rational basis review against a due process challenge.

                1. So heterosexuals have a fundamental right to enter into a contract with a partner they wish to have sex with, but gays do not.

                  Thank you for succinctly highlighting the discriminatory elements of the law.

                  1. So heterosexuals have a fundamental right to enter into a contract with a partner they wish to have sex with, but gays do not.

                    This is due to Supreme Court jurisprudence that an asserted right must be deeply rooted in our nation’s history and tradition to be fundamental.

              2. And as autistic as you might be, “hurting people’s feelings” is negative and something the state shouldn’t actively try to do. Particularly if it’s “hurting the feelings” of a group by denying them equal rights.

                And their feelings are hurt, not because of anything objective, but solely because of the construction they choose to put upon the definition.

                1. A married couple has many more rights than a couple in a civil union. It’s not just hurt feelings.

            2. All marriages are civil unions, but not all civil unions are marriages. It seems to me patently ignorant to use the name of a subset to describe the superset because otherwise someone’s feewings might get huwt.

              Very, very good point.

    3. Equivalent legal protections are not sufficient if they do not come with the power to take people to court for disagreement over the meaning of the word “marriage”.

      That is why civil unions are not good enough, and the legal definition of the word must be changed.

      1. They ARE good enough, and gays could save themselves a lot of hassle and just get a non-marriage-licensey ceremony instead.

        Fuck that piece of paper, anyway. It’s just a permission slip.

        1. I’m sure all the unmarried gay couples thank you for deciding what’s “good enough” for them.

        2. It’s just a permission slip.

          Indeed it is. And the whole point of this exercise is who gets to sign that permission slip and who has to beg for one.

  6. In the same vein, polygamy (polyandry, polygyny) existed long before the (eventual) legalization in the US.

    Same can be said about human interspecies relations.

    Same can be said about cannibalism (Soylent Green coming sooner than you think).

    1. So, what? Same can be said of human compassion, except that the more it becomes widespread, the more old-timers are screeching because it threatens their place at the top of the theocratic patriarchy.

    2. Only one of those involves two consenting adults…meaning only one of those is comparable to heterosexual marriage. The rest is slippery slope fallacy nonsense.

    3. In the same vein, polygamy (polyandry, polygyny) existed long before the (eventual) legalization in the US.

      So nwhy is it taking longer for polygamy to be legal?

      Why was it, during the campaign to stamp out polygamy in the territories, the media elites did not scream, “bigot”!

      1. Because that’s not a word they levied at anyone in the 19th and (early) 20th centuries.

      2. Of course, polygamy should absolutely be legal everywhere. But since polygamists are usually Mormon, and Mormons usually oppose gay marriage, it’s at least a fitting injustice.

        1. But since polygamists are usually Mormon, and Mormons usually oppose gay marriage, it’s at least a fitting injustice.

          It was not as if they had won the right to marry whomever they please only to deny it to others. The Supreme Court upheld laws that prevented them from marrying whomever they pleased. They simply want those Supreme Court precedents to apply equally to all. See e.g. Davis v. Beason , 133 U.S. 333 at 344, 345 (describing marriage as a “union for life of one man and one woman” and using that to justify upholding the Edmunds Act against any constitutional or legal objection)

  7. What a fine reasoned take on the issue. Gay couples have indeed existed forever — and without a shred of societal support we do quite fine (there are no fairy tales for fairies, after all) while the strong support for hetero marriages seems to not have taken hold among the divorced and shacked up. Yes, we have no biological children — we do adopt many abandoned children however (apparently many heteros are incapable or unwilling to take care of their own progeny) which seems to be one of our evolutionary purposes for our gay existence, and taking care of the elderly too I suppose, since we have the time. And we do have inheritance issues, for we have wealth, homes, businesses — so we leave them to our nieces and nephews if we don’t adopt.

    But still, for some reason known to God and Nature there is the same percentage of gay folks all over this world — this is not an American issue — it’s human. Apparently, with 105 boys born for every 100 girls, when the 95 hetero guys marry the 95 hetero girls, there’s 10 boys left over and 5 girls — um, us gay folks. Ah, but joy today like not in a long time.

    1. You are right in asserting that a very small percentage of human beings are exclusively homosexual. Kinsey, whose research techniques have been challenged by reasonable critics, put the number at 10%. More recent surveys have put it closer to 3%. That’s about 330,000 in the US and about 210 million worldwide. Interestingly, the number of gays seeking marriage or civil unions is currently a subset of less than 10%.

      Debating whether or not same sex couples should be able to marry is about as valuable as debating whether married couples ought to divorce. Makes for much heat but no light. Live and let live is the principal I try to live by.

  8. Can’t anybody understand. When Bob fucks Ted in the ass, it’s different than when I fuck my wife in the ass.

    1. But, is it different than when your wife straps on a dildo and fucks you in the ass?

  9. Good luck getting that cake past the NYC nannies.

  10. A union in law is for tax and other benefits such as inheritence. A marriage is a religous concept. So until Christians change gays will never marry.

    1. “Marriage” is also the term used by the state to bestow the legal benefits of a union, which is all this was ever about. If the state insists on being the gatekeeper for Civil Marriage, it must be marriage for all couples who wish it. In an ideal world of course, the state would not be a gatekeeper.

      As for the christians, many denominations do solemnize same-sex marriages. And many that don’t are reconsidering their stance. In the end it will be only the fundamentalists and the papists clinging to ancient, man-made dogmas.

      So which christians exactly will have to change before christians can be considered “changed”?

  11. I keep hearing “social engineering” lately, I’m kind of disappointed my college didn’t offer it. It sounds way more interesting than electrical or mechanical.

    1. Probably still harder than civil.

  12. Those unions didn’t always last (the authors noted that it “sometimes takes no more than a week or two” before the lovers “recall that their marriage has no legal, religious, or moral sanctions” and take off), but as the resilience of the euphemism longtime companion suggests, a match between two men or two women could be as lasting and loving as any heterosexual coupling

    Even so, why would calling such unions “marriages” be better than calling such unions by a different name?

  13. You state in your article that “[a]s Jeffrey Lax and Justin Phillips recently pointed out in the American Political Science Review, it’s the youngest American adults who show the strongest support for gay marriage. The strongest opposition is in the demographic that will be next to die off.” Two things come to mind: 1) the “youngest” are usually the ones lacking in wisdom, and 2) I will gladly “die off” rather than live in the relativistic insanity that now masquerades as civil rights.

    1. Oregon and Washington have assisted suicide statutes. Just so ya know.

    2. Yes, because “consenting adults should be able to form contracts” is such a morally relativistic view.

      Hell, we’re practically sanctioning Sharia law here!

      1. Yes, because “consenting adults should be able to form contracts” is such a morally relativistic view.

        And they need to have the law and society call the contract a particular name?

        1. Ah, that red herring again. Listen, I would much prefer if the state wasn’t involved in “blessing” marriage contracts at all. But since it is, and that blessing carries legal weight, the least it can do is not deny it to people.

          Would you defend anti-miscegenation laws with similar gusto?

          1. But since it is, and that blessing carries legal weight, the least it can do is not deny it to people.

            But how can a contract between two persons of the same sex be a marriage contract?

            1. I have no intention of following you down whatever socon rabbit hole you’re trying to lead me. So why not make whatever argument you’re hinting at now.

    3. I will gladly “die off” rather than live in the relativistic insanity that now masquerades as civil rights.

      Don’t let the actuarial door hit you in the ass on your way out!

    4. Yay! So die already you piece of shit.

  14. Two things come to mind: 1) the “youngest” are usually the ones lacking in wisdom, and 2) I will gladly “die off” rather than live in the relativistic insanity that now masquerades as civil rights.

    The “youngest” were the ones who most heavily supported National Socialism, Communism, Fascism, etc….

    1. So Michael, supporting marriage equality is the moral equivalent of support for mass killing and genocide. Why dont you go back to posting in bigots corner aka NOM where as I recall in one of your posts you referred to gays as “shit stabbers”. Please correct me if I’m wrong here.

      1. So Michael, supporting marriage equality is the moral equivalent of support for mass killing and genocide. Why dont you go back to posting in bigots corner aka NOM where as I recall in one of your posts you referred to gays as “shit stabbers”. Please correct me if I’m wrong here.

        I merely pointed out that just because the youngest people support something, does not make it right.

        By the way, there you go again with the bigot card. The following persons must be bigots.

        Moses

        The Buddha

        Jesus Christ

        Mohammed

        Voltaire

        Sir William Blackstone

        John Locke

        Thomas Paine

        Noah Webster

        John Bouvier

        George F. Edmunds

        Thomas Stanley Matthews

        Stephen Field

        Robert Byrd

        Don Nickles

        Jeff Jacoby

        Thomas Sowell

        1. Your intent was transparently clear, associate one group with two completely unrelated issues one of which has highly negative connotations. Its a very familiar and disonhourable rhetorical tactic. I have no idea whether those others have uttered vicious and bigoted statements, maybe they have, maybe they haven’t.
          You on the other hand have, and that is why you are a bigot.
          Thanks for the confirmation by the way.

        2. OK so all those people were bigots then.
          Hey wasn’t Byrd even a member of the KKK?

        3. 60 years ago it would have been brave an very progressive to support interracial marriage. Today it is a requirement of anyone considered remotely civilized. That’s why your “old people are wiser” excuse is flawed. Not about the proper way society should treat gay people they’re not.

          1. 60 years ago it would have been brave an very progressive to support interracial marriage.

            Since interracial marriages were recognized under English common law, the 18th century English must have been progressive.

    2. Ah, reducio ad hitlerum. How, . . . typical, and expected.

  15. Argument from authority is also falacy of induction when used in argument. Listening to people argue against gay marriage is a good text book of what not to do in argument.

    1. Indeed, and Michael “gays are shit stabbers” Ejercito’s posts over at NOM represent an excellent primer here.

    2. Argument from authority is also falacy of induction when used in argument. Listening to people argue against gay marriage is a good text book of what not to do in argument.

      Which specific argument are you addressing?

  16. Michael “gays are shit stabbers” Ejercito are you as subliterate as the NOMies. No argument was referenced, rather a logical fallacy. One you just comitted.

  17. And Michael “gays are shit stabbers” Ejercito please remember where you are, this is the “Reason” site, got that? Not crank-biogot-homophobe NOM land.

    1. And Michael “gays are shit stabbers” Ejercito please remember where you are, this is the “Reason” site, got that? Not crank-biogot-homophobe NOM land.

      Demagogues and the Marriage Debate

      IN A STATEMENT opposing the Marriage Protection Amendment debated in Congress this week, Senator Edward Kennedy said that “gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights as married couples under state law” and dismissed the amendment as “a wholly inappropriate effort to override state courts and to intrude into individuals’ private lives.”

      How should those who disagree with Kennedy’s position react to it? By explaining on the merits why they believe he’s wrong? Or by calling him names — a “gay-loving fanatic,” say, or an “immoral pervert”?

      It’s a no-brainer. Only a demagogue believes that the controversy over same-sex marriage can be improved by hurling insults at those who radically want to change the meaning of matrimony. Even if you think they are wrong, there is no reason to doubt that most Americans who favor legalizing gay and lesbian marriages consider it an issue of fairness and tolerance. Their arguments should be challenged with facts and logic, not vitriol. Anyone who slandered Kennedy with slurs like those above would be considered contemptible, and rightly so.

      It is just as contemptible when the slurs and slander are hurled in the other direction.

      1. More evasion from Michael “gays are shit stabbers” Ejercito.

        Mikey boy if you dont want to be labelled a bigot stop making bigoted statements, e.g. calling gays “shit stabbers”, simple really.

        1. Mikey boy if you dont want to be labelled a bigot stop making bigoted statements, e.g. calling gays “shit stabbers”, simple really.

          I have not called everyone who supports redefining marriage a “shit stabber”.

          1. In one of your many posts at NOM-land you termed gays “shit stabbers”.

            I screensaved the web page, will find it.

            That classifies you as a bigot.

  18. I invite all here to check out the NOM blog over at NOM-land.

    Warning, be prepared to take a long hot shower after.

    The bigotry, hysteria and homophobia you will find there is off the scale and remember, this blog is moderated, this is the stuff they let through.

    Revolting, vicious, ignorant stuff.

    1. On the other hand, purely in the interest of accuracy mind you, gay men do in fact, stab shit, at least on occasion.

      Just say’in.

      1. and in the interests of yet a finer degree of accuracy so do some heterosexual men…

  19. So, why does it matter what we call it? I’m more concerned with equality in substance rather than name. Let the churches and religious institutions keep marriage and let everyone else get their civil unions. It’s not like a gay couple is going to be forced, at gunpoint, to introduce his/her partner as his/her “domestic partner” at the cocktail party rather than “husband/wife”.

  20. I’m more concerned with equality in substance rather than name

    Sadly, obsession with equality in name has often got in the way of equality of substance.

    1. Sadly, the fight for equality, fairness, and just plain decency under the law often brings out the ugly and vicious in some people

      1. Sadly, the fight for equality, fairness, and just plain decency under the law often brings out the ugly and vicious in some people

        Funny how none of our secular legal, moral, or philosophical traditions, dating from the Americn Civil War, American Revolution, or the Enlightenment, ever called for marriage to be redefined in this manner as a matter of plain decency.

        1. Funny how there is absolutely no secular argument against equal marriage rights, and you’ve done nothing to change that on this thread.

          1. Funnier yet that it took you so long to join the debate on a subject you know so much about.

            1. I was away this weekend. At a gay pride festival.

          2. Funny how there is absolutely no secular argument against equal marriage rights, and you’ve done nothing to change that on this thread.

            Sure there are.

            It starts with Reynolds v. the United States and ends with Benson v. Alverson .

            1. Reynolds deals with bigamy–it is irrelevant–and I really don’t think gay marriage case law will be ultimately decided by Benson v. Alverson. Why not try making your own argument? If you want to play “cherry picked case law says so” then I bet you have a lot more sacred cows that don’t pass muster.

              1. Reynolds deals with bigamy–it is irrelevant–and I really don’t think gay marriage case law will be ultimately decided by Benson v. Alverson.

                Bigamy was highly relevant. The Mormons had argued for the right to marry, and they were basically told that they had the same right to marry one person of the opposite sex just like everyone else.

                1. And now we’re working to correct the oversight that excluded gay couples from that formulation. Let’s not go down the road of making gay couples defend polygamy, which is an entirely separate issue and, if polygamy is a right, let polygamists do the work in courts for themselves.

                  1. And now we’re working to correct the oversight that excluded gay couples from that formulation.

                    It is not an oversight.

        2. Of all the arguments that can be deployed in debate the weakest and laziest is the “argument from tradition” which simply amounts to “things should remain the way they are because that’s the way they’ve always been”

  21. The NOMies truly lost a big one Friday and made possible by a Republican controlled legislative body to boot!

    Now they are in full spite/revenge mode trying to raise funds from their gay-hating ignorant base by claiming they intend to reverse the new SSM law and punish the “traitors” who were courageous enough to put petty politics aside and act as true statesman.

    They will fail.

    The probablity of their being able to overturn the new law is zero and promises of politcal assistance have been made to those “traitors” by Cuomo and Bloomberg.

    By all acounts Cuomo played this one much as von Karajan conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, any attempt to nix his victory and he’ll swat the NOMies down fast and hard much as the irritating little gnats they are.

    1. The probablity of their being able to overturn the new law is zero and promises of politcal assistance have been made to those “traitors” by Cuomo and Bloomberg.

      Do not underestimate them.

      They won in Maine, after all. Maine, state that did not have a huge voter base consisting of social conservatives or Roman Catholic anchor babies.

      And also, their predecessors prevailed in the Utah territory

      1. What kind of paranoid disconnected dickless moron would need to worry about whether a different type of person has access to rights you already have? You’re obviously a person who just dislikes gay people because they don’t fit into the provincial stupidity you call a life. So get educated instead of making increasingly ridiculous excuses for a position that can only come from bigotry but that you want to pretend, despite the desperate bullshit distractions that don’t pass a laugh test, is somehow compatible with an outlook meant to be radical for liberty.

        1. What kind of paranoid disconnected dickless moron would need to worry about whether a different type of person has access to rights you already have?

          They already have the same right, as the rest of us, to marry one person of the opposite sex. That is what the right to marry means under the due process clause of the Constitution.

          You see, in order to understand the nature of a civil right, one must look into the nation’s history and tradition for a careful description of that right. Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 at 703 (1997).

          What was the careful description of that right?

          The relationship of “husband and wife” is “founded in nature, but modified by civil society: the one directing man to continue and multiply his species, the other prescribing the manner in which that natural impulse must be confined and regulated.”

          1 William Blackstone, Commentaries *410.

          “the establishment of marriage in all civilized states is built on this natural obligation of the father to provide for his children”

          id. at *35.

          Marriage is “is made by a voluntary compact between man and woman.”

          John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government ? 78 (1690)

          Marriage “was instituted ? for the purpose of preventing the
          promiscuous intercourse of the sexes, for promoting domestic felicity,
          and for securing the maintenance and education of children”

          Noah Webster, An American Dictionary of the English Language (1st ed. ) (1828)

          Marriage is a ” contract, made in due form of law, by which a man
          and woman reciprocally engage to live with each other during their
          joint lives, and to discharge towards each other the duties imposed by
          law on the relation of husband and wife.”

          John Bouvier, A Law
          Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States
          105 (1868)

          “For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and
          necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit
          to take rank as one of the coordinate states of the Union, than that
          which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as
          consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one
          woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that
          is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guarantee of that
          reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in
          social and political improvement. “

          Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15 at 45 (1885), quoted in Davis v. Beason, 133 U.S. 333 at 344, 345 (1890) and United States v. Bitty , 208 U.S. 393 at 401 (1908)

          1. Michael “gays are shit stabbers” Ejercito.

            I accurately estimate the NOMies to be the repulsive/bigoted/cranks any fair minded individual would assess them as.

            And please that old “they have the same rights to marry as anyone” is as tired as it is pathetic. It may get you credits in NOMland but not here.

            Once CA gets SSM, and it will, all that remains is mopping-up the remaining bigots, homophobes and various assorted cranks.

            PS The “cut and pasting” is quite hilarious though, more attempts to argue from authority and hide your bigotry behind ancient and irrelevant case law.

            1. PS The “cut and pasting” is quite hilarious though, more attempts to argue from authority and hide your bigotry behind ancient and irrelevant case law.

              All legal argument argue from authority.

              1. And all arguments are ultimately derived from reasoned speech rather than the “cut and paste” function which, in your case, has obviously displaced genuine critical thinking.

                But by all means “cut and paste” yourself to complete failure and utter irrelevance.

          2. No one is under the illusion that centuries-old legal traditions will establish something that is currently being sought for the first time. That’s still quite slim pickings and none of those quotations addresses the relevant question: why should gay couples have fewer rights than straight couples? Because a 400 year old quotation happens to reference the opposite sexes?

            Of course, the mere act of trotting out the lamest bigotry excuse in the world “they can just marry to the opposite sex!” firmly establishes your inability to deal with this issue, because this sentiment indicates that you don’t seem to appreciate that gay people actually exist.

            1. No one is under the illusion that centuries-old legal traditions will establish something that is currently being sought for the first time. That’s still quite slim pickings and none of those quotations addresses the relevant question: why should gay couples have fewer rights than straight couples? Because a 400 year old quotation happens to reference the opposite sexes?

              Those quotations carefully described the right to marriage. Under federal due process jurisprudence, a right must be carefully described. Glucksberg , 521 U.S. 702 at 703 (1997)

              Because a 400 year old quotation happens to reference the opposite sexes?

              It describes the nature of marriage.

              Of course, the mere act of trotting out the lamest bigotry excuse in the world “they can just marry to the opposite sex!”

              Indeed, they can do that.

              1. I’m sure you apply the same level of deference to case law surrounding the commerce clause. Which is, incidentally, much more firmly established.

                The courts are just now getting to this issue in its most relevant aspects. If all you’ve got are “gays can marry people they by definition have no interest in marrying, therefore they are equal,” then I’m confident in the outcome.

                1. Lawyers tried this line of argumement attempting to defend anti-miscegenation laws in front of SCOTUS.
                  They got shredded.

                  1. Lawyers tried this line of argumement attempting to defend anti-miscegenation laws in front of SCOTUS.
                    They got shredded.

                    And yet, that same SCOTUS accepted that line of reasoning with respect to same-sex “marriage” just five years later.

                    Imagine that.

                    1. And once “heightened scrutiny” is applied you’re toast. The previous arguments will again prevail and its game over for the bigots.

                    2. And once “heightened scrutiny” is applied you’re toast.

                      Heightened scrutiny is not so high. See Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County , 450 U.S. 464 (1981) (plurality) holding that prevention of teen pregnancy is sufficient to justify exempting underage girls, but not underage boys, from prosecution for “consensual” sex with minors) Michael M. 450 U.S. at 482?483 (same) (J. Blackmun, concurring) Michael M., 25 Cal 3d 608 at 611 (Cal Sup Ct. 1979) (same). See also Michael M., 450 U.S. at 495?496 (J. Brennan, dissenting) (noting that the “law [in question] law was initially designed to further … outmoded sexual stereotypes, rather than to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancies”) Michael M., 25 Cal 3d at 617 to 620 (Cal Sup Ct.) (J. Mosk, dissenting) (same)

        2. You don’t have to dislike gays to argue for maintaining an understanding of marriage that is held by billions of people across every race, culture, and religious tradition. Even some of us who are gay don’t think that the loving relationships of all couples need to be called marriages. In case youhavent noticed, the trend among heterosexual couples is cohabitation not marriage. The topic is actually very complex and, in my view, is not helped along by being reduced to a matter of civil right or bigotry.

  22. I am sorry to I can’t inmage the life

  23. The government shouldn’t be in the marriage business to begin with…

  24. “Built from the bottom up.”

    Something often said of me.

  25. “the resilience of the euphemism longtime companion suggests, a match between two men or two women could be as lasting and loving as any heterosexual coupling. As gay life became more visible, so did those permanent partnerships, and as social tolerance of homosexuality grew, more people accepted the partners’ marriages as real.”

    Thus demonstrating that what gays have won is not the “legalization” of gay marriages, but the right to the same government regulation of their intimate and household relations as straights, together with the same entitlements that government has given to married straights.

    As I have said before, it may be equality, but is it liberty?

    1. Why don’t we start with equality and let individuals decide for themselves whether it’s liberty or not? Nobody is forcing anyone to marry.

  26. I thought this was a libertarian site. Why do we hear applause for another government licensing scheme?

    1. Would that be your point if governments started to allow homosexuals on public highways after previously prohibiting them from using the highways?

  27. I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for
    $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by fed3x. I will never again pay expensive r3tailprices at stores.I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to
    my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website
    we using to get all thisstuff,b?zzsave. c0m…..

  28. But…But…But it sez raht thahr in th’ Bahble that queerin’ up is all wrong! It’s a SIN!!!

    (Damn lib’ruls.)

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