Gay Marriage

2014 Was a Pretty Gay Year

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Eh, maybe I'm just not a romantic, but I think I prefer watching the butt slapping on the field.
ESPN

At the end of 2013 I observed that last year was "America's Gayest Year." As 2014 comes to an end, this year turned out to be pretty gay, too, all things considered. Much of what happened in 2014 built off of what was developing in 2013, so let's take those same points and discuss what's happened over the past 365 days.

Gay marriage spreads like wildfire, but the Supreme Court could snuff it out. This was a huge year for gay marriage recognition. Judicial decisions have resulted in state after state after state being told they have to recognize the marriages of same-sex couples. There are now 36 states recognizing same-sex marriage. Just over half of those states joined the list only this year. The number of states where gay couples can legally get married doubled this year.

You'd think then that would make 2014 an even bigger year for gays than 2013. But there's a big hitch: Almost all of these rulings are of federal judges interpreting precedents set in the wording of the 2013 Supreme Court decision United States v. Windsor. That Supreme Court decision struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, but not the whole thing. The decision requires that the federal government recognize same-sex marriages from states that have made them legal. The ruling itself did not order that states must recognize same-sex marriages.

But even though the decision itself did not strike down state-level bans on gay marriages, the actual wording of the majority opinion strongly suggested that the five justices were also arguing that bans on gay marriage recognition themselves create inequality and deprive gay couples of equal protection under the law. Federal judges have since begun striking down gay marriage bans from Pennsylvania to Oregon, using this language.

The Supreme Court, though, still has not ruled definitively whether gay couples have a right to demand marriage recognition. Attorneys general in several states are asking the court to weigh in. The court rejected some appeals in October but will be conferencing in January to consider five new appeals. A decision in 2015 has the potential to undo most if not all of the gay marriage gains from 2014. Or it could go the other way and require all states to recognize same-sex marriages.

Should we be looking forward to an end in coming out stories? In 2013, all sorts of folks came out of the closet. Now take a look at this list of allegedly famous folks who came out in 2014 and see how many you actually recognize.

Probably the biggest name of the year was Michael Sam, who became famous because he came out of the closet in a publicity blitz prior to his pursuit of a National Football League career. He got drafted by the St. Louis Rams, saw pre-season play, but ultimately failed to find a permanent home on any team.

But the coverage of Sam's coming out primarily revolved around people tripping over each other to declare how ready the NFL was for an openly gay player. There were a handful of naysayers, sure, but any actually controversy was confined to backseat coaching about whether Sam was good enough for the pros and whether his sexual orientation secretly hurt his chances despite everybody insisting otherwise.

Just as with 2013, eyes are on the top professional sports as the last holdout for a big coming out story for a current player. Country music got gayer this year as well with Ty Herndon's coming out, but as Jesse Walker has noted, country music has a history of "queer" themes. Past this new crop, maybe we'll see much less emphasis on celebrity "coming out of the closet" narratives in the United States. "Coming out" is still, obviously, going to be something every gay, lesbian, and bisexual person will have to deal with. But culturally, hopefully it will end up somewhere around the category of celebrity pregnancies in terms of attention.

Transgender activism continues finding its own way. On Sunday a 17-year-old transgender teen who rechristened herself Leelah Alcorn committed suicide in Ohio by walking out in front of a truck barreling down an interstate. She left a suicide note behind on Tumblr. Alcorn isn't the first transgender teen to end her struggle with suicide, and she won't be the last, but her holiday death became national news.

I noted a year ago that while the transgender contingent had been part of the whole LGBT acronym for some time now, it doesn't mean the priorities of transgender people match those of gays. The elimination of the military's ban on gays and lesbians openly serving didn't deal with how the military treats transgender members. In May, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the military's ban on transgender troops should be "reviewed," and that he's open to reconsidering it.

In other federal transgender news, this year President Barack Obama and his administration expanded the antidiscrimination policy demands for any company doing business with the government. Both sexual orientation and gender identity have been added, covering the whole LGBT spectrum.  

More controversially, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder has sent out a memo to the Department of Justice interpreting Title VII workplace laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender at government workplaces also covers transgender employees. It does not affect private company employee policies, but still seems likely to bring about a legal challenge.

Wedding cakes are still a thing. There's still legal fighting over whether businesses are obligated to provide their services or goods, like cakes, flowers and photography, to gay couples getting married, and with the fight comes a complete loss of perspective. At the Huffington Post, an Oregon baker who shut down her business rather than make a wedding cake for a gay couple makes their list of "Anti-LGBT Villains of 2014," alongside the likes of Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, who wants to throw gay people into prison forever.

I've spent part of the past two years defending the right of bakers and photographers to not have to serve anybody they don't want to serve for whatever reason. Nobody has a right to a wedding cake, gay or anti-gay. Read more of me and cake here.

The Supreme Court earlier in the year declined to take up a case about whether a photographer could be forced to shoot gay weddings, leaving intact a ruling against the photographer. Some states are therefore considering their own versions of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, to allow private people a little more leeway to run their businesses in accordance with their own beliefs.

NEXT: Mentally Ill Man Posts Police Threats on YouTube, Shot to Death by Cops From Three Jurisdictions Trying to Arrest Him

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  1. “The number of states where gay couples can legally get married doubled this year.”

    From 50 to 100?

    1. I think Eddie has finally become unhinged. Sad, that.

      1. Last night he was arguing that the only way to talk about legalizing prostitution is by recognizing how bad it is to begin with. On a libertarian website. Before that, we had that long, stupid conversation about how sex work is dishonest because husbands might use it to cheat. This is just par for Eddie’s course.

        1. Holy cow, everyone knows it isn’t cheating if you get paid for it.

        2. “On a libertarian website.”

          I would imagine it would be more libertarian to say “prostitution, like nazi propaganda, is bad, but legalizing it is part of the price we must pay for freedom.”

          A *socialist* could argue for legalizing prostitution based on it being harmless or good.

          1. What the hell is it with you and comparing prostitutes to Nazis?

            1. For crying out loud, I was talking about how legalizing both things could be defended as part of the price of freedom.

              I would think my audience on H&R was sophisticated enough to get what I’m saying.

              1. I compared the two in the sense that they are both “bad.”

                1. But why? WHY?

                  1. See below.

                  2. If a particular action almost, or very often causes unhappiness and disease, I think it is reasonable to say that action is bad. Nazism is bad. Car accidents are bad. To give two examples. So, if prostitution often or usually causes negative results, then we can say it is bad.

                    That’s why.

                    NotoGKC obviously thinks this is the case with prostitution.

                    It wouldn’t surprise me, but I don’t know enough about it to make such a case.

                    And, I think it is equally reasonable to say there are obviously situations in which it could lead to a healthy outcome. These might be in the minority, but I would be surprised if they don’t happen with some frequency.

                    Neither situation demands a legal response, IMO.

                2. Well, I was also referring to your comment from yesterday:

                  Notorious G.K.C.|12.30.14 @ 9:16PM|#|?|filternamelinkcustom

                  Discussion about legalizing* prostitution should begin by acknowledging how bad it is.

                  When some libertarian defends the free speech rights of nazis, he generally starts by saying, “these nazis are horrible people but we must protect” etc.

                  So why, when it comes to legalizing prostitution, you have to pretend it’s just a morally neutral business transaction.

                  If you think it’s evident of some hypocrisy or moral failing that one would go out of his way to heap opprobrium on Nazis but not prostitutes, you are drawing a moral equivalency between Nazis and prostitutes. Otherwise, why bring it up? But if I’ve misunderstood you, please correct me.

                  The larger point is that you keep repeating that prostitution is bad and that prostitutes are presumably also bad people without articulating any reasoning for why people should see that as self-evident. I don’t “pretend” prostitution is a morally-neutral business transaction. It IS a morally-neutral business transaction.

                  1. *If* I phrased it awkwardly, I’ll rephrase: Why do cosmos feel it necessary, not simply to defend legalized prostitution as part of the price we [allegedly] have to pay for freedom, but to act like prostitution should be legal because it’s either an indifferent thing or a good thing?

                    You don’t have to *like* something to want to legalize it, see nazi propaganda as an example.

                    Is that better?

                    1. I don’t get why prostitution is necessarily bad.

                    2. duh, “because”. /sarc

                    3. It isn’t necessarily bad. It doesn’t have to be for a reasonable non-libertarian minded person to wish it to be illegal. If it is typically bad, then it is reasonable for a person who thinks legal intervention is often or sometimes good to make it illegal.

              2. Oh, I see. It’s not bad bad, it’s you don’t like it bad.

                1. It’s like parading my views through a carnival funhouse and seeing how they appear in the mirror of others’ interpretations.

            2. What the hell is it with you and comparing prostitutes to Nazis?

              I have trouble differentiating prostitutes from Nazis, but that’s because all my prostitutes are dressed up as Nazis. Naughty, naughty Nazis. It does cost extra, but it’s damn well worth it.

              1. I can only imagine your “gas chamber” treatment.

          2. Wait, why is prostitution bad?

            1. Apart from violating the sanctity of marriage, breaking down trust, risking disease, teaching wrong lessons about sexuality, etc., gosh, there’s nothing bad about it.

              1. Stop saying bad when you mean icky.

                1. There are objective standards outside of the NAP by which to measure good and evil.

                  1. And those standards are what, exactly?

                  2. objective standards…by which to measure good and evil

                    No, there really aren’t. The concepts of good and evil are completely subjective.

                    1. Well, my subjectivity says there’s objective good and evil – and it’s obviously not evil for me to say that (evil being subjective), so what’s upsetting you?

                    2. Who’s upset? You can claim that good and evil are objective truths all you like, that doesn’t make you correct. You being a Christian, I can see how you would believe that.

                    3. Just for fun, let me ask whether [Godwin edit] was good or evil, or neither?

                    4. From whose point of view?

                      I think they were wrong for killing and enslaving people. They thought they were right for bringing purity to the world.

                      You see how that is not objective? Do you know what objective means?

                    5. I know that you had the courage to ride that slippery slope all the way to the end!

                    6. In other words, you don’t know what objective means. Fair enough.

                    7. From Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary:

                      “1ob?jec?tive adjective \?b-?jek-tiv, ?b-\
                      : based on facts rather than feelings or opinions : not influenced by feelings

                      “philosophy : existing outside of the mind : existing in the real world

                      “grammar : relating to nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns that are the objects of verbs or prepositions”

                      It’s the philosophical definition I was using.

                    8. Here are examples:

                      Objective: Earth’s moon does not have an atmosphere capable of supporting human life.

                      Subjective: Prostitution is inherently harmful to all parties involved.

                      If you were using the philosophical definition, you were using it wrong as your concepts of what is good and evil do not exist outside of your mind. Your definitions of good and evil are not provable facts.

                    9. So there was no objective evil existing in the extermination camps, outside of the minds of people who subjectively found the Holocaust to be icky?

                    10. There was no objective evil existing in the extermination camps. Most people subjectively viewed the wholesale extermination of people as subjectively evil.

                      Evil is not a thing, it is an idea. Reifying evil does not make it a thing. Evil is a general sense that something is wrong that is not necessarily shared by all people of all things.

                    11. Sparky…just read your extermination camp argument.

                      Basically, you’ve now tossed out the English language as a communication tool.

                    12. Sparky….No, they’re not. That is ridiculous.

                      I can say unequivocally lying is almost always wrong. In the vast majority of cases wrong. So, is murdering children. Crystal meth is bad. Torturing innocent people for fun is objectively bad.

                      If you want to argue all these are neutral morally then you are quite possibly a sociopath. But, more likely you’re so lost in your philsophy you’re a bit out of touch with reality.

                  3. There are objective standards outside of the NAP by which to measure good and evil.

                    Nothing is evil that doesn’t infringe upon the rights of another. No matter what your book says. No victim, no problem.

              2. Apart from violating the sanctity of marriage…

                Nope. There is nothing about prostitution which requires that either party to the transaction be married.

                …gosh, there’s nothing bad about it.

                That’s why I like you, Eddie. You’re your own worst enemy. I’m sure you think you’re being all libertarian and stuff, but you can’t help betraying your anti-freedom biases, and therefore discrediting yourself.

                1. I’m not libertarian, I’m a fellow traveller. Except on this issue. Maybe prostitution should be legal in certain circumstances on pragmatic grounds, but not because it’s a glorious exercise of liberated blah blah.

                  1. Except on this issue.

                    Keep ’em coming (SWIDT?), Eddie, you’re a regular laugh riot.

                    1. Sure thing, Mr. I’m-not-a-stalker. 🙂

              3. “Violating the sanctity of marriage” -Not a product of prostitution, product of the actions of married individuals using sexual services. Blame is squarely on the individual who purchases services. Might as well blame the knife company for a stabbing.

                “Breaking down trust” Again, not a product of the actual act of selling sexual services for money.

                “Risking disease” As is dozens of other behaviours in a general social setting. And market forces help to correct that if you’re selling a faulty product or service.

                “Teaching wrong lessons about sexuality.” That is entirely based on your own religious attitudes on how sexuality should be practiced, not any kind of objective notion of sexual practices in regards to reproduction or general sexual enjoyment.

                Like I said, par for the course.

                1. There was a time when, if I said my Church had a monopoly on defending sexual morality, I would have been rightly denounced for my arrogance, and I would have been reminded that plenty of people outside of my religion – or even people of no religion – will stand up for sexual morality.

                  So if anyone’s changed in the past 100 years, it’s not us.

                  1. And the relevance of the traditionalist argument is…?

                    Also, if we’re bringing up Catholic history, medieval Catholic priests employing special prostitutes in Rome and mistresses is a hell of a lot better than molesting young boys. Yeah, the church certainly hasn’t changed it stance on sexual morality over the centuries.

                    1. The funhouse mirror held up to my views again.

                      If I’d told Thomas Jefferson in 1800 (as many said at the time) that because he didn’t embrace orthodox Christianity, therefore he was against morality, he would have said, “up yours, sir, good day, sir.”

                    2. And the only possible notion of sexual morality is one where prostitution is ‘bad’, right? And yet you continue to provide no actual reason as to why prostitution is bad. Just arguments about marriage that are irrelevant to the actual business of purchasing sex.

                      ‘Sexual morality’ is something that constantly shifted and changed historically and culturally, it’s certainly not some objective notion of good and evil.

                  2. NGKC, I think I agree with you, if you saying what I think you’re trying to say.

                    The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.
                    – G.K. Chesterton

                    Prostitution is very similar. While it may be viewed as immoral by some, those people should still support its legalization because a free person has a right to choose to be immoral.

                    Whether it’s immoral is a separate issue from whether it should be legal. It’s the old libertarian does not imply libertine debate.

                  3. stand up for sexual morality

                    OK, I’ll toss my hat in to the ring. I am not (now) a member of your Church, but:

                    My sexual morality tells me that sex between two single folks whether free or paid is A-OK.

                    It also tells me that the same is not the case when either party is married.

                    So – no, the Church still does not have a monopoly in this area.

              4. Sin is cruelty and injustice, all else is peccadillo.

                You can believe what you want, but don’t pretend it’s objective.

              5. staying out of consenting adults bedroom is a libertarian belief i thought?

            2. Wait, why is prostitution bad?

              Because…

              …god.

              /Eddie

          3. Prostitution certainly can be ugly, but I don’t see how it is necessarily or inherently bad unless you condemn all sex outside of marriage (which you may well do).

            1. Outside of Clint Eastwood movies, bad and ugly aren’t necessarily separate concepts.

              1. No. But you are making a claim far beyond the clear fact that prostitution can be bad for some people and saying that it is inherently an evil, undesirable thing without much to back up your assertion.

        3. “Before that, we had that long, stupid conversation about how sex work is dishonest because husbands might use it to cheat.”

          IIRC, I said it was hard to defend prostitution under the “consenting adult” paradigm if one of the adults concerned – the wronged spouse – did not consent.

          Isn’t it more interesting to address what I actually said than to reply to the SoCon in your head?

          1. IIRC, I said it was hard to defend prostitution under the “consenting adult” paradigm if one of the adults concerned – the wronged spouse – did not consent.

            Since this isn’t the 19th century and spouses aren’t property, how is going to a prostitute a violation of the rights of a spouse?

            Even if it IS the violation of the rights of a spouse, what does that prove, besides that a prostitute’s services could potentially be used in an immoral way? I don’t see you arguing that we should ban guns just because some minority of people use them to violate the rights of others.

            1. I suppose there were some places in the 19th century where spouses were considered property, but the West wasn’t one of those places.

              1. No offense, but to me, that smacks of abruptly trying to change the subject because you have no argument.

                1. You said that spouses were considered property in the 19th century. That was part of your argument.

                  1. No, that was an obviously irrelevant bon mot to highlight the absurdity of the way you talk about spouses as if they have property rights over one other, e.g. by claiming that prostitution cannot be viewed as an act between to consenting adults because another, third party (the spouse) does not consent. Remove everything from that post before the first comma, and the point remains entirely the same.

                    And again, this is all just more evasiveness to avoid addressing my actual point.

                    1. I was discussing whether prostitution was a bad thing or not, before even getting to the issue of legality.

                      In considering whether prostitution is bad, it’s relevant that many men betray their wives with prostitutes.

                    2. Many men betray their wives with non-prostitutes. I don’t see how prostitution is a specific problem there in the age of casual sex.

                    3. We’re discussing whether it’s bad, independent of legality, so even if viewed as a subset of adultery I’d still think it’s bad to cheat with a prostitute.

                    4. It may be bad to cheat, period. I think I’d agree with that. With whom seems pretty irrelevant.

                    5. Notorious…..in some respects a spouse ‘owns’ the sexuality of his or her spouse. Not in a legal title sense, but in a personal contractual sense.

                      Included in that is some sort of reciprocal obligation.

                      If you accept that, and one spouse fails in his or her duty to be at least somewhat helpful sexually to the other then he or she has ‘broken’ the contract. If the other spouse is uncomfortable and unhappy then it isn’t unreasonable for that spouse to take some sort of steps to alleviate the unhappiness.

                      I know a guy who is married to a lively energetic and hot wife. He has let himself become a raging alcoholic who is asleep most nights at about 9:00 pm. He has not been able to function sexually for years. She has a lover. I don’t think this is an ideal situation, but I’m certainly not going to judge her for doing this.

                      If the reverse were true and her husband was using a prostitute I might seriously judge his taste, considering there are tons of willing and available women, but I wouldn’t judge him. And, I don’t think one can objectively say he is being bad.

          2. You’re right Eddie, I forgot that you seem to think that marriage makes you own your spouse. It’s almost like people in a marriage have a sense of agency.
            If someone violates your marriage contract? There’s a response to that, it’s called divorce. The member of the contract violated it, not the person who had no part in that contract.

    2. “Gay couples”, Eddie.

      Even the stupid “gay people can get married. To people of the opposite sex” bullshit doesn’t work here.

      1. The interesting thing, Zeb, is that ten years ago (perhaps a bit longer) that was the predominate, or at least a plurality view here.

      2. You missed my point. You can’t go to prison for taking part in a same-sex union ceremony or for living together as husband and husband.

        The question is about state *recognition,* not legalization.

        1. Legalization can mean removing criminal penalties. It can also mean making something in some sense official under the law. Perhaps it would be better to phrase it as “get legally married” rather than “legally get married.

          But you damn well know what he meant by it in any case.

          If you don’t want homos messing with your sacrament, fine. I don’t want to compel the Church to marry gay people (to each other, in case I’m not being clear and precise enough). But this playing dumb crap gets really old.

          1. I’m not going to let your side control the language, sorry.

            And the Church recognizes non-sacramental marriages by people outside the Church. Marriage doesn’t in itself have to be sacramental.

            1. No “side” gets to control the language. It evolves organically. And at this point “marriage” includes gay unions. Sorry, but it just does. That ship has sailed. Gay people were getting married long before anyone considered legal recognition for it. No one is forcing changes on the language. The law is just catching up with reality.

              If you don’t want to use the word that way, that’s up to you. But your “side” doesn’t get to control the language any more than anyone else does.

              1. By all means let’s use the terms we prefer, acknowledging that not everyone will agree with the meaning we attach to those terms.

                1. That’s reasonable. But not really where you started out.

                  If I were king of the world, I’d leave the word “marriage” out of the civil contract and leave it completely up to individuals and private organizations to decide what it means.

  2. This was a huge year for gay marriage recognition.

    I suspect you meant to say “state licensing of gay marriage”, not “gay marriage recognition”.

    Precision matters, you know. Even when it takes some of the libertarian shine off.

    And, as always, I say this as someone who thinks, if the state simply must license marriages, gay (and plural) marriages should be licensed.

    1. So what is this totally distinct concept of “gay marriage recognition” that Shackford is in such danger of confusing with state licensing?

      And who are the people that support gay marriage recognition but balk when they realize you’re talking about state licensing?

      1. He’s using “recognition” as a euphemism for “state licensing.”

        Recognition is actually a distinct concept from licensing, you know.

        Ex. A: Arizona recognizes my right to carry concealed, but does not require a license.

        Ex. B: I recognize any marriage between gay people, as in a I accept and acknowledge it, regardless of whether they have a state license for it.

        Its not that hard, Hugh. A “license” is a specific legal document. “Recognition” is much broader and more amorphous. The gay marriage debate is mainly about licensing, although it is certainly spilling over into forced recognition of gay marriage as part of our institutionalized denial of freedom of association.

        1. Um, in every context of talking about gay marriage, recognition = licensing, or at least recognizing the license of one State in another State.

          1. I think RC’s point is that the wording should be more precise. More precise language clarifies what is actually being fought for.

            1. Yeah, but it’s really too picky, I think. “State recognition” would be sufficiently precise. But I think most people are smart enough to realize that any individual was already free to recognize a marriage between me and a tree if they want to.

              “Licensing” would be less precise as it excludes common law marriages and doesn’t deal with the issue of states recognizing marriages licensed in other states.

              I think “recognition” is the right word to use, with clarifications as necessary.

              1. For us “recognition” may be the right( or at least acceptable term. When Scott uses the word here I’m confident he means state recognition. Unfortunately ours is a minority viewpoint. The line for most people between “state recognition” and “forced individual recognition” is thin or non-existent in the population at large.

                1. This is true. In my view, if the state is to recognize/license marriage I think that it should simply recognize marriages that exist, not define what they are. And I don’t give a shit if people marry their sisters or 7 people and a bear.

                  I realize that I differ from the majority here.

                  I still say that while in some senses “recognition” might not be a complete description of what has been happening around gay marriage, it is not a deceptive or misleading way to describe it either.

        2. “Euphemism” implies that Shackford is purposely using a friendlier word in order to obfuscate or soft-peddle his actual intent.

          But it’s equally likely that he’s using the term “recognition” as most people do: as a colloquial reference to state-licensed gay marriage.

          The fact that you and I (and presumably other readers) understood what he was referring to in context kind of undermines your assertion that precision matters.

          1. as a colloquial reference to state-licensed gay marriage.

            A euphemism. Like I said.

            And even at a hypertechnical legal level, there is a distinction between a state “licensing” gay marriage and a state “recognizing” the license issued by other states.

            1. Just so we’re clear: you’re going to ignore the intentionality aspect that distinguishes a euphemism from a colloquialism?after I specifically pointed it out?and still maintain that lingual precision matters and that Shackford is some kind of asshole for not being precise?

              1. Shouldn’t journalists be held to a standard? Does he get a pass just because this is home field? Just because regular readers probably know what he meant?

                1. Crikey, Sparks, it’s not like he has a Masters in Journalism from Columbia.

                  1. So?

                2. I’m willing to bet the vast majority of readers will understand the phrase “gay marriage recognition” to refer to state-issued marriage licenses for same-sex couples. So why use the more complex phrasing when the plainer colloquial phrase does the same job?

                  The burden of precision is on the people who want to crawl into the weeds on the distinctions between civil, legal, religious, and commonlaw marriages.

                  1. How is “state licensing” more complex than “recognition”?

                    If I’m bearing the burden of precision, rather than the author, have I failed to do so in some way? Have the distinctions I have posited not been real distinctions, supported with examples?

                    Really, Hugh, why is this such a bug up your ass?

                    1. Really, Hugh, why is this such a bug up your ass?

                      Beams and motes, dude.

              2. you’re going to ignore the intentionality aspect that distinguishes a euphemism from a colloquialism

                They aren’t necessarily distinct at all, Hugh. A colloquialism can be, and often is, just a euphemism that is widely and uncritically used.

                But, like I already said, this is just my personal thing about euphemisms and precision. YMMV. And, apparently, does.

                1. Oh, and BTW, Hugh, if there’s an asshole in this conversation, it might be the guy claiming that I am maintaining that Shackford is some kind of an asshole.

                  Totally unjustified and uncalled for. Really. What’s your basis for that? I make a rather mild point about the language being used around this issue, and that means I think someone is an asshole?

    2. State licensing *is* recognition, by the state, and that’s exactly what he meant.

      Only a troll would consider it otherwise.

      1. You say that even though I give a specific example of a state recognizing something without licensing it? And, in fact, issuing and recognizing a marriage license are two very distinct legal/Constitutional concepts?

        I think that “recognition” as a euphemism for licensing is nice piece of PR pulled off by the gay marriage supporters.

        I just have a thing about euphemisms and imprecision. That’s all. Your mileage may vary.

        1. Furthermore, I think that using the term recognition instead of licensing helps open the door to the aforementioned baker and florist debate.

        2. But state recognition and licensing of marriage go together for the most part. Are there any states with laws recognizing gay marriages from other states, but not licensing them? Or who recognize common law gay marriages, but don’t license them?

          I think you are making too fine of a distinction here. Recognition is part of licensing. But there has been progress in areas beyond licensing, particularly with federal action on DOMA (was that this year?). Which is all about recognition and not at all about licensing.

        3. I also said

          Only a troll would consider it otherwise.

          but just to make it clear:

          Only trolls, grammar nazis, bored trolls, bored grammar nazis, and pedantic bored trollish grammar nazis care about the distinction. Everybody else understands English perfectly well.

          1. Maybe bored lawyers too.

  3. Oh you mean gay gay. I was thinking you meant “That’s so gay” gay.

    1. I probably could have done that post, too.

      1. Perhaps about a certain brunch cocktail?

  4. You know who else might have been gay?

    1. Tinky Winky?

      1. Dude, you’re totally gay. Don’t be so wishywashy!

    2. James Buchanan?

      1. Yogi Berra? C’mon, he took as many balls to the chin as Rock did!

    3. Jesus?

      1. Yeah, what kinda 30 something man is unmarried and walks the earth with 12 guys?

        1. A pack of dirty hippie beardos no less.

        2. If this turns into a DA Vinci Code thread I may never forgive you.

          1. The real reason Judas betrayed Jesus is because he didn’t get to ride Prophet’s Knob.

            1. “The Prophets Knob”

              I did laugh.

          2. Eddie’s here. I couldn’t help myself.

        3. Here’s a question that needs answering.

          If you were Jesus, and you were gay, would you let the Apostles fuck the holes in your hands?

          1. If you include the holes in his hands and feet, Jesus could service six dudes at a time.

          2. Just… wow. Even for this site.

            1. I keep that one in store for special occasions. Happy New Year!

              Maybe I’m dead inside or something, but I just don’t find anything like that shocking.

              1. I’m really impressed by the thought process involved in coming up with that question. Yours is a rare and beautifully twisted brain – I salute you. (too early to hit the booze?)

          3. If I was an Apostle, I sure wouldn’t take him up on the offer.

            With my luck, his hand would miraculously heal up as I was stigmata fucking him and then I’d be trapped with my dick in his hand for eternity.

            And it would probably be his right hand, so any time he went to shake someone’s hand, I’d be right there with my cock through his hand. Talk about awkward. Or even worse, think of the rumors that would start when Jesus started petting the sheep at his right side…

            1. Well, this has to be the winning answer.

              1. Thanks. I like to think I give good blasphemy.

            2. Can you imagine what all the crosses would be like with that little nub on the right beam?

              1. “Little nub”? You’re not going to just sit there and take that, are you Jimbo?

                1. “Mommy, why is this little bump on this end of the cross?”
                  “Well dear, that signifies the cock that got healed into Jesus’ hand. It represents the ultimate healing power of the Lord.”

                2. Take it? Fuck I’m going to print it!

                  Those pills I bought off the internet are working!!!!

                  Micro Nub would have been an accurate description of me just last week.

                  Or maybe it isn’t the pills, but some side effect of Jesus’ patented Miracle Fu Grip.

          4. I think this is apropos…

            NSFW

            http://images.didioffendyou.co…..d1d4d7.jpg

            Jesus Fucking Christ

    4. Mr. T? Ricky Ricardo? Ralph Kramden?

      1. Hey Nawton, I been watchin you.

    5. Lord Alfred Douglas?

  5. OT: Watching “Outnumbered” on Fox News. Jedediah Bila…mmm.

    1. She looks vaguely Tina Fey-ish.

      1. I actually think Tina Fey is attractive.

        1. Same here!

        2. She turned me on to Sarah Palin!

    2. I didn’t know Jedediah could be a female name. I was picturing you fantasizing about someone who looked like this

      1. Substituting the letter “d” for the “b” in “Jebidiah” apparently makes the name feminine.

        I don’t get it, either.

        1. That must be recent. The only Jedidiahs I’ve known were male. Wikipedia has a list of famous people with the name and I think they’re all male too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedediah

      2. Neither did I. Is he claiming Jedidiah embiggened him?

  6. I’ve heard of “no homo,” but “yes homo”??

  7. Sorry gays, you’re time in the sun of shining Social Justice has passed.

    2015 will be the Year where Mayonnaise becomes a Gender.

      1. I’m changing my gender to Spicy Mustard With A Hint Of Tarragon.

    1. Cut my dick off and call me Sriracha Mayo

  8. You go girls.

  9. *Scott throws grenade into crowded room*

    Happy New Year! /SS

    1. It’s a very targeted grenade. Eddie got wounded, for instance.

  10. I wasn’t paying attention to the Sam thing, but did he get any flack for choosing a white twink as his partner?

    I know black women are always urinated off when a successful black guy chooses a white gal for a wife. Do black twinks think the same way?

    1. I don’t know.

    2. The whole interracial taboo thing I think has it’s basis in our pysche as a threat to the tribe, so to speak. Since gay butt sex has no reproductive function, I suspect that the interracial gay couple taboo within the “gay community” is probably non-existent.

      1. I don’t know. But it seems like for the most part the sexual hangups and worries of breeders are shared by gays, even if there is no reproductive function. I mean, sexual desire itself evolved for reproductive reasons.
        But I think you might still be right and the genders involved have a lot to do with it. You don’t see the same objections (or at least not to the same degree) to black women marrying white men.

  11. I wonder if the whole “wedding cake” ordeal could have been avoided if SCOTUS found the right to samesex marriage as a liberty interest rather than equal protection.

    1. Probably, but liberty doesn’t give people an opportunity to use the state to crush anyone they don’t like.

      1. Sure, which is why it should be framed as a liberty interest, rather than one of EP.

        The way the Equal Protection Clause has been interpreted is to compel non-state actors to associate with certain classes if those non-state actors are entities open to the public, or “common carriers.” We can blame the original Justice Harlan for laying the grounds for PA laws.

        We can also blame Justice Brennan for denying that there is a freedom of association which can be “unduly burdened” if the state compels a group to associate with designated classes.

        1. Trouble is, I don’t think it is a liberty issue. There isn’t a positive right to government recognition of marriage at all in the constitution or any sensible notion of natural rights. I think it has to be an equal protection issue. The problem is with how the equal protection clause has been interpreted and the idea of protected classes of people. And lack of protection of freedom of association in commerce.

          1. Yeah, you’re probably right in that we’d have to bastardize the meaning of “liberty interest” to get around EPC jurisprudence.

            The real fight is for economic liberty. Those New Deal justices destroyed it by reviewing economic legislation with the rational basis test. It’s just laughable that the Court won’t even question the motives or purpose of the state if it can come up with some not-totally-illogical reason for restricting economic freedom.

            I do wonder if maybe, just maybe, Lochner can be rehabilitated, or at least some higher level of judicial scrutiny will come about, in my lifetime.

            1. The 14th amendment has really been abused, between pretty much ignoring “privileges and immunities” and this crap.

              Compelling interest (or whatever you call it) should be the only justification for interfering in economic activity.

              1. I like the idea of applying strict scrutiny (the law is narrowly tailored to a compelling state interest) to economic legislation. SCOTUS would never do it. The best we could hope for is intermediate scrutiny, or at least redoing the way it applies rational basis.

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  13. A terrible year for homophobic cake makers though. Never forget.

    1. I’m uncertain as to your sarcasm here: are you implying it’s no big deal that homophobic cake makers are being compelled to associate with gays?

      If you believe in a free society based on negative liberty, then you cannot be for compelled association absent some prior contractual arrangement. Now this may mean that people will refuse to associate with others out of bigotry, but that is a necessary consequence of true liberty.

      1. Yes, yes, spare me to lecture. I not only agree with you, but am actively mocking those who rely around bigoted bakers so as to deprive people of their civil rights, all in the name of liberty.

      2. The people who worry that bigoted cake makers can refuse to make cakes for gay weddings are fucking morons. There is no shortage of gay-friendly cake makers and flower arrangers. The only point is to force people to think “properly” and that just doesn’t work ever.

        On the other hand, I think that people who worry a lot about people being forced to bake cakes for homos are pretty ridiculous as well. No, it isn’t right to make them do business with people they don’t want to do business with. But by the same token, it is wrong that people can’t put up a “no blacks” sign on their restaurant. But that is definitely not going to change. And people survived that.

        I think people just need to stop making such a big deal out of it (on both sides). Gay marriage is a thing now. And public accommodation laws are too. They are bad laws, but pretty low on my list of horrible things the government does.

        1. As an individualist, I see it as a denial of individual autonomy, one that is sanctioned by a strong majority of the country. Although it is not as bad as the police executing uncooperative “civilians” or people being locked up for non-violent crimes, the latter two are widely vilified by the public, while the former is not. So I don’t believe there is anything wrong or overreaching about condemning compelled cake making whenever the subject appears.

          1. +1

          2. I’m pretty radically individualist myself. But I’m also trying to be a bit more realist. For my health.

          3. Agreed – the baker should be free to be an asshole, and everyone else is free to spend their money elsewhere.

            1. Even more than that, people should be able to know that they’re supporting an asshole and take their business elsewhere if they don’t want to support assholes.

            2. If you’re not free to be an asshole, then you’re not free at all.

        2. If progs don’t force people to make cakes for gay couples, then they are opening the door for free market people to argue that restaurant(and other business) owners can deny service to people based on race.

          If you view the market as a collection of voluntary exchanges, the idea that you can’t refuse to enter into an exchange with someone, on any grounds, is pretty repulsive.

          It fits in nicely with their social contract, government intervention in markets, quotas, etc.

          If prostitution were legal, these same people would have to argue that a prostitute wouldn’t be allowed to discriminate in regards to who he/she contracted with. Under their logic, prostitutes would actually be sex slaves because they wouldn’t be allowed to deny their services.

          1. So you’re saying libertarians really do want to legalize rape?

            1. Only for the homeless orphans we acquire.

            2. Only if you pay your victim.

            3. Ha, I would say that progressive economic ideology, when applied to prostitution, would institutionalize rape.

              But of course, that’s the whole idea of the social contract anyway. When viewed in economic terms, if you’re a prostitute then your sex appeal becomes part of your human capital. And under the social contract, society lays claim to your human capital under the ruse of getting something in return. Because you use the street corner for business, then society can choose how you use your body.

      3. u have a public business, u serve all human beings equally. public meaning, u are not on your own planet. when u can deny Christians service of any and all kinds, i will step aside and allow people to believe we can pick and choose who we do business with in the public sector. yes, i am saying there is no “real” private sector because the taxes used for the street a business is on, is paid for by the public, not a private entity from another planet. in other words, we are all connected economically, so if someone decides to offer a business, they should have to treat all people equally. as it stands now, christians have special rights abd priveledges under the law, while gays just want to be treated equally. its ironic that those with special rights claim a minortiy wants special rights. that is how all conservative christian majorities have ruled in the USA. they always lose in the end. woman, blacks, immigrants, Catholics, Italians, Jews, Muslims, etc…..all minorities will eventually achieve equlity and the most anti-american people, the conservative christians, will be fighting against this the whole way, like they always havem while claiming persecution. They are the evilist group in the usa, never doing anything good for any0ne but themselves. i hate them!

        1. public meaning, u are not on your own planet.

          You must not believe in any kind of privacy since we all share the same planet.

  14. u have a public business, u serve all human beings equally. public meaning, u are not on your own planet. when u can deny Christians service of any and all kinds, i will step aside and allow people to believe we can pick and choose who we do business with in the public sector. yes, i am saying there is no “real” private sector because the taxes used for the street a business is on, is paid for by the public, not a private entity from another planet. in other words, we are all connected economically, so if someone decides to offer a business, they should have to treat all people equally. as it stands now, christians have special rights abd priveledges under the law, while gays just want to be treated equally. its ironic that those with special rights claim a minortiy wants special rights. that is how all conservative christian majorities have ruled in the USA. they always lose in the end. woman, blacks, immigrants, Catholics, Italians, Jews, Muslims, etc…..all minorities will eventually achieve equlity and the most anti-american people, the conservative christians, will be fighting against this the whole way, like they always havem while claiming persecution. They are the evilist group in the usa, never doing anything good for any0ne but themselves. i hate them!

    A) You mad, bro?
    B) LOL WUT
    C) Cool story, bro

  15. I’m glad you see that the “gayer” a year is, the less freedom those who disagree with homosexual marriage have. Perhaps, too, there are good reasons why arrogant black-robed autocrats shouldn’t redefine the word “marriage” by fiat.

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