Gay Marriage

What Do You Call it When 14 Fla. Counties Stop Having Courthouse Weddings Entirely? Perhaps a Good Start.

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Government bureaucrats should not be the gatekeeper to happiness.
Credit: Searagen | Dreamstime.com

Gay marriage recognition comes to Florida this week, and the state is handling it the way it handles pretty much everything else by making a big mess out of it. The ruling that brought gay marriage recognition to Florida started off like those in other states. A federal judge ruled in 2014 that Florida's ban on gay marriage recognition was unconstitutional. The state resisted, and there had been a lot of debate over the extent of the judge's ruling. The ruling had been stayed, but the stay will be lifted tomorrow and the celebrations will begin (As I wrote this, the Associated Press tweeted that gay marriage recognition may begin today in the Miami area).

On past occasions, county clerks who do not approve of gay marriage have attempted to refuse to comply with the law and refuse to hand out licenses. This tends to not end well for the clerks because they can't just refuse to do their jobs and get away with it. It's not like they're police officers.

But it doesn't—and shouldn't—mean the clerks have to tell gay couples how awesome and wonderful it is that they're getting married. So in response, some 14 Florida counties are going to end the practice of performing wedding ceremonies at the courthouses for all couples. They will still hand out marriage licenses; they just won't perform the weddings. The Tampa Bay Times spoke to Pasco County Clerk Paula O'Neil. She's opting out:

Most of her staff who handle marriage licenses were "uncomfortable" officiating same-sex weddings, she said.

"The problem is we can't discriminate," she said. "So there are some people who would have wanted to transfer to another area, and we can't transfer everybody."

Pasco's new policy began on Oct. 1, months after a federal judge struck down Florida's same-sex marriage ban but before his ruling took effect. Gay couples who wish to be married can get licenses, O'Neil said, but they have to find their own officiants.

The clerks may have made these changes for petty or political (clerks are elected positions) reasons, but it's a good—if symbolic—development for anybody leery about the role government plays in marriage. It should be considered deeply unsettling to be turning to government bureaucrats to bless your relationships, regardless of one's faith (or lack of faith).

I've argued previously that embracing gay marriage recognition will help dismantle this mistaken belief that the government has any sort of stake in determining the nature of relationships among consenting adults. Florida has even managed to add some extra rent-seeking in its process of acknowledging marriages. Their marriage licenses come with a three-day delay before taking effect, unless couples are willing to take a four-hour premarital course from an approved counselor. Those folks can get married the same day. One county clerk told the Tampa Bay Times she would be waiving the course for the first round of ceremonies tomorrow. Maybe she should just waive it forever and recognize the government has no place ordering people to seek training in how to be a married couple.

Obviously this decision does nothing about the actual problem of so many government policies and benefit structures inappropriately tied to marital status. But getting government functionaries out of the business of literally performing wedding ceremonies is a right move for the wrong reasons. I acknowledge that gay people getting married inside of (or in front of) courthouses makes for lovely, photogenic moments in a movement where the government has long served as a barrier or a threat. I'd much rather see us move to the place where we're the ones telling the government about our relationships (should we choose to do so) and away from a place where we're begging the government to allow it.

NEXT: In Joyless Nanny State Called America, Government Prohibits Sledding

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  1. Obviously this decision does nothing about the actual problem of so many government policies and benefit structures inappropriately tied to marital status.

    No shit. So all it will do is fuck people who don’t go to church and have ready access to a minister and want to get married. You are not dismantling government support of marriage at all. You are just making it harder for people who have nothing to do with the culture war to get married.

    1. You do realize you don’t have to have a wedding ceremony at all to be married, right?

        1. You need a state license to be married before the eyes of the IRS or USCIS or before a lot of insurance companies.

          Mostly being married is a tax and something the state frowns upon. The state only rewards deviant behaviors these days. But there are a few exceptions to that. And for those needing the exception, this sucks.

      1. You do realize that USCIS or the IRS or an insurance company won’t take your word for it and demand a license don’t you?

        1. Do you realize they’re still handing out valid licenses? They’re just not doing wedding ceremonies.

          1. You still have to have a ceremony. You have to have a witness and someone with the power to do the ceremony. Handing out licensees is just giving you the form. You still have to have someone fill it out by performing the ceremony, i.e. minister or JOP. If you didn’t need the ceremony, they wouldn’t have needed to bother with having them at the courthouse in the first place. They don’t do those because the couples like them.

            1. We were married by a coworker of mine who is a notary.

              1. Depending on the state, a notary can do it. But it has to be someone empowered to do it. You don’t just fill out the form.

            2. John – the *ceremony* is not required. And they do do them because the couples like them. The ceremonial aspect of marriage is important to people.

              Only someone to sign the certificate saying that he’s witnessed you two agreeing to be married.

              A notary public can do it.

              1. Agammanon,

                A notary can do it in some states. And if you have to go to a person who is empowered to sign the form, with a witness, and tell that person “yes we are getting married of our free will”, how the hell is that not a ceremony? It is just a short one. But it is still a ceremony.

                1. Its not a ceremony when I go to the DMV to transfer a title to a new vehicle, is it?

                  1. Wasn’t a ceremony when I had to go to get a notary to sign off on a title search for a sand rail I built.

                    Wasn’t a ceremony when I signed the lease.

                    1. I guess my parent’s holographic will signing was a ceremony too.

              2. We were married by a lawyer who asked us if we wanted a ceremony or just a signature. We opted for the ceremony since it was a special occasion having had to deal with USCIS for so long. I’d rather give my money to a lawyer than some government tool.

            3. You do not have to have a ceremony. You can have a JOP or notary or internet-ordained friend sign off on the paperwork. Done. No ceremony needed.

            4. You have to have someone who is qualified sign the license and file it with the county. I’m not sure most people would call that a ceremony. And it’s not exactly hard to find someone qualified.

              For example, anyone can go here: http://www.themonastery.org/ordination and in a few minutes be a real, no-fooling ordained minister able to perform weddings. A lot of states also offer temporary certification so that a friend or someone from out of state can do the ceremony.

        2. Not necessarily.
          You are considered married for the whole year if, on the last day of your tax year, you and your spouse meet any one of the following tests.

          1.You are married and living together.

          2.You are living together in a common law marriage recognized in the state where you now live or in the state where the common law marriage began.

          Common law marriages are unlicensed, but recognized by the state. You can’t produce a license, but the IRS will take your word for it.

          And, note yet again that there is a real difference between “recognized” and “licensed”.

          1. But common law marriages take longer than a year to be recognized. In every state I am aware of you have to live as married for several years before it attains the status of a common law marriage. It is not an immediate thing.

            1. Sure, but it does prove that you can be married, even have a marriage recognized by the state, without getting a state license.

              Which was my only point.

          2. Only 12 states and the District of Columbia recognize common-law marriage. Florida is not one of them.

        3. Uh, what?

          No. I have been married some 24 years (to someone who was not even a US citizen at the time of our wedding); no government agency, employer, or insurance company has ever asked to see our marriage certificate.

          1. your wife got a VISA from the INS without you showing a marriage license? Doubtful And if it did happen that way, that is now how the law reads.

            Either you don’t live in the US, your wife already had a VISA at the time you were married, or you are pulling this out of your ass.

            1. Let’s say it’s the second option, what then?

    2. Uh, John – there are plenty of people who do marriage ceremonies and aren’t affiliated with a particular church.

      Keep in mind the JoP marriage ceremony is *secular* – there’s no priest there officiating, just a government official.

      Its not that hard to get the license to do it – and some states don’t even require a license.

      1. It is not hard, but it is still a pain in the ass and not as easy to do as just going to the court house. Why should these people have to do anything so the rest of the circus animals fight out the culture war?

        1. Why should I *pay* for their easy access to notary services?

        2. Why should people even have to go to the court house?

        3. Why should these people have to do anything so the rest of the circus animals fight out the culture war?

          Good question. Maybe the people running the court house should do their job or quit. If you want to work for the government, you follow the rules, which include what the courts say you have to do.

    3. So it is a vital government function to provide secular wedding ceremonies?

      1. John’s being a fool. He demands the Public Option for marriage ceremonies because it’s too inconvenient for idiot citizens to google up a wedding officiator who operates in the private market.

  2. I’ve argued previously that embracing state licensing of gay marriage recognition will help dismantle this mistaken belief that the government has any sort of stake in determining the nature of relationships among consenting adults.

    Seems counterintuitive to think that making state licensing of marriage a Constitutional right is going to lead to less state licensing of marriage.

    Doubly so if you are counting on a widespread outbreak of anti-gay bigotry to somehow advance the cause of gay rights (by getting government out of the marriage business altogether).

    Although I personally would find it hugely amusing to see SoCons arguing that government shouldn’t license marriages, and gays fighting tooth and nail for marriage licensing.

    1. It will be interesting to see what the fallout of all of this will be. I wouldn’t bet my life on an outbreak of gay bigotry over this, but it is certainly possible. Gays have allowed their cause to be co-opted by leftists and made gay rights synonymous with oppression to a fair number of people. I honestly don’t think many people are actually mean spirited enough to take out their anger over this shit on some random gay person. But betting on people being nasty to each other is never that bad of a bet.

      1. I wouldn’t bet my life on an outbreak of gay bigotry over this, but it is certainly possible.

        What I find amusing is that the “gay marriage will undermine state licensing” argument depends entirely on a widespread outbreak of anti-gay bigotry to dismantle state licensing solely to prevent gays from getting licenses.

      2. It will be interesting to see what the fallout of all of this will be.

        Federally ordered state licensing of gay marriage.

        Federally ordered mandates that everyone associate with gay marriage, regardless.

      3. John, what are gay marriage activists asking for that straight married couples don’t already have?

        1. Nothing, except that recognizing straight marriages doesn’t violate anyone’s religious beliefs.

          We have had this debate a thousand times and you are apparently never going to get it through your thick skull that government sanctioned marriage is nothing but the right to use the power of the state to force society to recognize your marriage. That is all it is. The left jumped onto gay marriage as an issue because they see it as a way to use government force to make ideas they don’t like illegal to express in public. You being a leftist think that is great. I being a classical liberal find it appalling. It is really that simple.

          1. “I being a classical liberal find it appalling.”

            This is the funniest part!

            Though “except that recognizing straight marriages doesn’t violate anyone’s religious beliefs” is pretty good too.

            1. It is only funny Bo because you don’t understand what the words mean. If you did, you would understand using the government to force acceptance of a controversial lifestyle is anything but classically liberals. But since you don’t and you being a prog rape the English language at every opportunity, I am sure it is funny to you.

              1. It is funny. You don’t see what you’re arguing. For one thing, imagine someone post-Loving saying “you know, these interracial couples want to be treated like married people just like different race couples! Of course there’s nothing wrong with interracial couples, but a lot of people think there is and no one thinks same race marriages are problematic, so it’s terrible to think the interracial couples should get the same protections!’

                1. Banning interracial marriages in an effort to force interracial children into being bastards is totally equivalent to not recognizing same sex couples (who are unable to reproduce) as married! Totally equivalent!

                  If you’re a retard like Bo.

                  1. You and analogies do not get along. Well, them and other people I guess.

                    1. You and analogies do not get along.

                      LMAO! Says the retard who feels that not recognizing marriages between opposite sex couples in an effort to prevent interracial children is analogous to not recognizing marriages between opposite sex couples who can’t reproduce!

                      I see stupid people!

                    2. Goodness, your combination of denseness and quickness to insult are really something ironic.

                      Let me help you see the way here by slightly changing my analogy (though, in the wonderful way analogies work, not changing the argument): it’s like saying ‘religious anti-discrimination law is not really problematic until jews or muslims ask to be included under it, but not so much when it just covers Christians, because who wants to discriminate against Christians anyway?”

                    3. Calling you a retard is not intended as an insult, but rather an observation.

                      What do you call someone who graduates at the bottom of their class in law school?

                      Judge Bo.

                    4. Hulk not care about fact he exposed as not knowing what you talk about, Hulk still smash!

                2. Being black is not a lifestyle you fucking half wit. Being gay is. The analogy fails. But hey, don’t let that stop you from using it.

                  1. Being gay is not a lifestyle.

                    Being ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS is a lifestyle.

                    Living in a tiny, expensive, immaculately cleaned condo in the art district is a lifestyle.

                    Frequenting bathhouses is a lifestyle

                    Being gay is a sexual orientation.

                  2. It’s interesting how I addressed your misunderstanding of my point right there before you could post it.

                  3. Being black is not a lifestyle you fucking half wit. Being gay is.

                    I’m not so sure about that. I know I certainly couldn’t make a choice to go start sucking dick because it was cool. Doubt you could either. I think it would more accurately be described as an untreatable mental illness.

                    1. “an untreatable mental illness.”

                      Awesome, and there you have it.

                    2. Homosexuality was removed from the DSM not because of any professional or scientific debate, but because of politics.

                    3. Keep working that shovel!

                    4. Out of curiosity, why should homosexuality even be included in the DSM?

                      Why should being gay cause anyone distress or difficulty or impair them in any way?

                    5. Why should being gay cause anyone distress or difficulty or impair them in any way?

                      You don’t know many gay people, do you?

                    6. Actually, I do know a bunch of gay people. I even had one acquaintance (who took time off of a big project to show the snot nosed 18-yo intern I was how to debug C++ code) who died of AIDS.

                      This should be an easy answer for you Sarcasmic? What qualities of homosexual desires make it meet the criteria of causing distress to those who have it or impair them socially or functionally in any way?

                    7. You don’t think flamers are socially impaired?

                    8. TIWTANLGBTL

                    9. Homosexuality was removed from the DSM not because of any professional or scientific debate, but because of politics.

                      Tired socon talking point is tired. Studies had shown that emotionally healthy homosexuals were indistinguishable from emotionally healthy heterosexuals decades earlier. The political pressure was because the American Psychiatric Association was ignoring science, not because they were trying to overturn it.

                      Feel free to look up on Evelyn Hooker next time you’re not busy furiously masturbating to your own ridiculous idiocy.

                    10. I think it would more accurately be described as an untreatable mental illness.

                      Why? I am really curious as to why you think it is a mental illness.

                    11. Why? I am really curious as to why you think it is a mental illness.

                      It doesn’t further the species. Therefore it is not normal.
                      That’s not to be mean or condescending towards gays. I don’t have anything against them. But it simply is not normal.
                      Besides, all the gay people I’ve been friends with over the years were mentally ill in other ways.

                      Another thing, and this will probably blow your mind, is that most of the gay people I know do not support redifining marriage. Well, with exception of this militant lesbian midget. But other than that, they see marriage as between a man and a woman. They told me this in confidence since they didn’t want to be ostracized by the inclusive gay community for having intolerant beliefs.

                    12. It doesn’t further the species. Therefore it is not normal.
                      That’s not to be mean or condescending towards gays. I don’t have anything against them. But it simply is not normal.
                      Besides, all the gay people I’ve been friends with over the years were mentally ill in other ways.

                      Would you say men who get vasectomies are suffering from mental illness? Or couples who simply make the choice to stop or never start having children? On what do you hang this ludicrously question-begging connection between “normal” and “what furthers the species”? And why must anything that doesn’t fit into that silly definition of “normal” must be considered mental illness?

                      Another thing, and this will probably blow your mind, is that most of the gay people I know do not support redifining marriage. Well, with exception of this militant lesbian midget. But other than that, they see marriage as between a man and a woman. They told me this in confidence since they didn’t want to be ostracized by the inclusive gay community for having intolerant beliefs.

                      Cool story. Next tell us the one about your super hot girlfriend who lives in Canada and is totally real, you guys.

                    13. Wow pa, lots of emotion there in your post. Get back to me after you take a sedative or two.

                    14. Wow pa, lots of emotion there in your post. Get back to me after you take a sedative or two.

                      I don’t see what about my post would make you say that, but if it makes you feel better to pretend that way so you don’t have to engage another argument, go ahead.

                    15. I don’t see what about my post would make you say that

                      Because it looks like an angry rant.
                      OK, you want a response.
                      Cutting the tubes is a choice, whereas I don’t believe homosexuality is.
                      As far as the marriage thing goes, looks like Johnny Bravo also has a gf in Canada.

                    16. As far as the marriage thing goes, looks like Johnny Bravo also has a gf in Canada.

                      She actually lives in Mexico. With me.

                    17. Cutting the tubes is a choice, whereas I don’t believe homosexuality is.

                      But what does that have to to do with whether something is a mental illness? Drug addiction is widely viewed as a mental illness. Do heroin addicts not choose to take drugs?

                      (merely asking questions to clarify your argument, not “ranting”, since you seem to have trouble discerning the difference)

                    18. Thanks for the reply sarcasmic. Most gays I know also don’t want marriage redefined.

                      It doesn’t further the species. Therefore it is not normal.
                      That’s not to be mean or condescending towards gays. I don’t have anything against them. But it simply is not normal.

                      I agree that it doesn’t further the species, but neither does sterility. I think it has more to do with the way genes express themselves during development, similar to say, albinism. Simply because it doesn’t perpetuate the species, doesn’t make it a mental illness.

                      Besides, all the gay people I’ve been friends with over the years were mentally ill in other ways.

                      I know lots of gays, and very few have any mental issues. But most studies I have read indicate a higher risk for mental issues among gays. The reasons could be many, including the negative effects of social marginalization, stigma, and discrimination, we simply don’t know.

                    19. You’ve also never heard of the ‘uncle effect’ in evolutionary theory either.

                      http://www.livescience.com/610…..genes.html

                      A details-lite overview of how homosexuality ‘furthers the species’.

                    20. You’ve also never heard of the ‘uncle effect’ in evolutionary theory either.

                      I would guess you would agree that in times of a low-population growth that threatens the continued stability of society, groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church are a net benefit. By discouraging homosexuality you are theoretically increasing the number of chances for impregnation. With an increased population the strength of the society will increase and yours or your brothers/sisters offspring will have a higher chance of survival.

                    21. Uhm, no.

                      Because *number of offspring* is not an indicator of the competitiveness of a species.

                      Rather, the number of offspring who survive to reproduce is.

                      10 couple have 10 children, 5 die vs 6 couples having 6 children with 8 extra uncles leading to 6 children surviving.

                    22. Because *number of offspring* is not an indicator of the competitiveness of a species.

                      10 couple have 10 children, 5 die vs 6 couples having 6 children with 8 extra uncles leading to 6 children surviving.

                      Okay, from your example:

                      6 couples = 12 breeders

                      total population = 12 breeders plus 8 gay uncles = 20 people

                      % gay = 8/20= 40%

                      number of offspring= 6

                      number of non-reproducing offspring= 6 * 40%= 2.4

                      number of reproducing offspring = 3.6

                      3.6 < 5

                    23. You’ve also never heard of the ‘uncle effect’ in evolutionary theory either.

                      The Uncle Effect: asserting/assuming straight does not equal gay according to science, since it’s inception.

                      Nothing say equality like the notion that; “If you’re not a breeder, you’re an uncle.”

                    24. Being celibate doesn’t further the species, either. Why don’t you & the other religious bigot go argue about how depraved that lifestyle is?

                    25. Why don’t you & the other religious bigot go argue about how depraved that lifestyle is?

                      Who are the religious bigots that you are chastising for hypocrisy? I did not see any attempt to justify an argument with scripture. Nor any call for deference to Christian morality. Could this just be a standard tactic you utilize when someone disagrees with you? I bet you’re pretty quick with recognizing racism and misogyny. I have no doubt that you have refuted many arguments by helping to show how your opponent was wrong because his argument was one which rested on foundation built from a privileged perspective.

                    26. I think it would more accurately be described as an untreatable mental illness.

                      From now on I’m ignoring sarcasmic. His replies downthread are equally retarded. I don’t have time to read juvenile screeds.

                    27. From now on I’m ignoring sarcasmic.

                      Remind me as to why I should care.

                3. You are so victim-oriented you can’t understand a “classical” liberal perspective. You sound like a leftist with your example of interracial couples. If, instead, you understood human nature you’d understand that policies that require a police state to manifest are not at all liberal.

                  1. Classical liberalism also doesn’t have the rule of law depend on popularity.

                    If you want to say that telling businesspersons they can’t discriminate against a couple based on their marital status is a good example of classical liberalism, I’d agree. But what John is saying is that he has a problem not with that, but with including same sex couples under that logic because more people dislike same sex couples. That’s a crazy logic, whether applied to the sexual orientation, race, religion or any other basis of anti-discrimination law.

                  2. People need to lay off on calling Bo a leftist. He’s not. He’s a libertarian — an incredibly tedious and obnoxious bore IMO, and one who treats his personal politics the way leftists tend to, but nothing he’s said here is particularly anathema to libertarianism. It pollutes the debate to throw around Not One Of Us simply because you don’t like what he’s saying.

                    1. Well, I did say “sound like a leftist” but your point is well taken. My complaint is the seeming victim-worship that makes state intervention OK to protect those officially marked as victims. State protection is corruption in my book.

                      Nonetheless, I will avoid stereotyping in the future.

                    2. I’m not arguing for some type of victim worship and subsequent call for state protection. I don’t think there should be any anti-discrimination laws covering whatever. I just don’t think the reason to oppose including any particular group is that they are more or less likely than other groups to be disliked than others covered.

                    3. If you read what the guy said, he was arguing against two morons who were using religious & social preferences as excuses to deny others’ rights. They’re pretty much as non-libertarian as you can get, IMO.

                      If you want to call sticking up for rights, “victim worship”, maybe you’d enjoy the company more over at The Blaze.

          2. ….government sanctioned marriage is nothing but the right to use the power of the state to force society to recognize your marriage.

            Well, that doesn’t seem right. Sounds like we ought to do whatever we can to curb that. Like, maybe stop having government employees officiate wedding ceremonies.

            1. Ideally what would happen is we’d have something like a contract signing. Maybe we’d have to require witnesses, like with a will…

              1. Ideally what would happen is we’d have something like a contract signing.

                Now this we can agree on.

            2. Sure Bill. And wouldn’t you also want to stop other types of couples from having access to that power? Given that assumption, wouldn’t expanding the definition of marriage be a bad idea that would lead to more oppression?

              1. Sorry to go this way, but wouldn’t the exact same argument apply if we were discussing whether laws forbidding black people and white people from marrying should be repealed?

          3. recognizing straight marriages doesn’t violate anyone’s religious beliefs.

            You don’t know that. What about Catholics who don’t recognize second marriages of divorced people? They are forced to recognize those marriages in exactly the same way they are forced to recognize gay marriages.
            And it doesn’t matter anyway. It’s still forcing people to recognize your marriage. Either that is bad or it isn’t.

            Baking cakes for sodomites doesn’t violate anyone’s beliefs either, as far as I know, but I still support the rights of bakers to do business (or not) with whoever they want.

        2. Compelled service of others.

          1. Wouldn’t the compelled service be just as bad if it were two heterosexual people asking for it?

            These discrimination laws are general, you know.

            1. Wouldn’t the compelled service be just as bad if it were two heterosexual people asking for it?

              If it went against their religious beliefs sure. Except that isn’t what is happening here. But don’t let facts and the meanings of words stop you Bo. It never does in any other case.

              1. So because there is more bigotry towards gay couples including them under the same laws as heterosexual couples is especially wrong?

                1. I have my problems with anti-discrimination law in general, but this has got to be one of the worst objections I’ve seen!

                  It’s like saying that the problem with anti-discrimination laws based on race only come up when they’re extended to black people because, you know, no one wants to discriminate against white people anyway!

                  1. Bo,

                    Being gay is a lifestyle and a choice. Being black or a woman isn’t. You just assume it is because you like gays and you are too stupid and mendacious to think otherwise.

                    Ken should send you thank you note every day because you keep him from being the dumbest person who posts on here.

                    1. Your religion is a choice, and they’re protected under anti-discrimination law too John. But of course, you missed the point altogether that that was what I was talking about, didn’t you? Of course that didn’t stop you from being insulting.

                      Never change John, stay golden.

                    2. That’s a good point. However, now you’re equating homosexuality with religion, and then, inelegantly, equating sexuality with religion. Not sure that’s valid.

                      Ultimately homosexuality has to be equated with heterosexuality to make your point valid.

                    3. I’m actually equating one category of a class protected by anti-discrimination law with another.

                      Anti-discrimination law applies to things like marital status (making it so you can’t discriminate based on whether someone is married or not married), religion (so you can’t discriminate based on whether someone is Christian or Jewish or whatever), race, and, in some places, sexual orientation.

                      All I’m saying is, it’s one thing to say ‘for liberty’s sake people should be able to discriminate against any and all of those groups.’ It’s quite another to say ‘protecting more unpopular categories in whatever class is what’s problematic.’ So we wouldn’t say ‘well, the real problem with religious anti-discrimination law is when we apply it to Jews, not Christians, because not many people will discriminate against Christians.’ Likewise with gay couples.

                    4. Yeah, religion is a whole fuck-lot more of a choice than being gay.

                    5. Being gay is a lifestyle and a choice.

                      How many gay people do you know? Seriously.

                      I have a difficult time with the idea of it being a choice. And when I’ve had conversations with my gay friends about it, they all said they knew they were gay at an early age.

                    6. People who play up the “lifestyle choice” angle are technically correct, in a way. No one’s decisions are predetermined by their genetics or imprinting.

                      But they ignore the difference between feasible and unfeasible choices. They allow themselves to believe that the alternative to being gay or trans or whatever is being a cishet Republican, but feeling vaguely bummed out about it.

                      The only feasible alternative may be to stew in antipsychotics for decades in deep depression, unemployable and alone, until you slide into suicide effortlessly, as the inevitable culmination of your “lifestyle choice.”

                      Almost everyone who’s a GSM has tried being normal and found it unfeasible.

                      Leelah Alcorn’s parents did not understand this. She took the only feasible route still open to her.

                      That’s what “lifestyle choice” means.

                    7. Being gay is a lifestyle and a choice.

                      Not buying that, John. No matter how hard I tried, I don’t think I could look at a man’s hairy ass and say “boy, I want me some of that” and get an erection.

                    8. Not buying that, John. No matter how hard I tried, I don’t think I could look at a man’s hairy ass and say “boy, I want me some of that” and get an erection.

                      I take it you have never been to prison. How would you explain spartan culture There certainly appears to be an element of conditioning here.

                    9. Is being gay more of a choice than religion?

        3. If this issue were about equal rights, the push would be to change the law to give things like immigration benefits and such to all couples, not just married ones. But doing that wouldn’t allow the state to put a boot on someone’s face. And who wants that?

          1. Why just couples? Why not polygamous families?

          2. But doing that wouldn’t allow the state to put a boot on someone’s face. And who wants that?

            Um, every single person you are arguing with right now wants that.

      4. “It will be interesting” etc.

        John, it’s not as if people go back to the courthouse again and again for their convenient marriage services. So it’s not as if satisfied consumers will revolt over the deprivation of their favored source for weddings.

        Why you think the Public Option for wedding services is necessary is beyond me. Are people who are determined to get married unable to google up a private-market officiator — even though they manage to find florists, planners, bakers, dressmakers, halls, etc etc etc?

  3. The SoCons just need to accept that the democratic process can only work if you’re on the right side of history.

  4. “This tends to not end well for the clerks because they can’t just refuse to do their jobs and get away with it. It’s not like they’re police officers.”

    Bazinga!

    1. Or the President.

    2. I’ve skipped gay marriage posts because they’ve become tiresome. I decided to read this one, and after reading this line, I am happy I made that decision.

      Bravo Scott!

    1. That article is simultaneously funny and pathetic.

      Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails. From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas to even some U.S. cities like Philadelphia’s experiment with community courts, spaces are created where accountability is understood as a community issue and the entire community, along with the so-called perpetrator and the victim of a given offense, try to restore and even transform everyone in the process.

      In the author’s defense having one’s knees broken by IRA thugs is very transformative.

      1. Or “necklaced” by “soccer club followers”.

      2. “From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas”

        I heard a South African (black) guy who joined the ANC claim that the ANC put him in prison in one of its base camps (when the ANC still operated outside SA). I will allow, say, a 15% possibility that he made that up, though he was in a progressive community with little incentive to go against the liberal narrative as he did. He didn’t like joining up to fight one form of oppression (apartheid) only to get “transformatively” imprisoned by the would-be liberators.

  5. And you all thought that gay marriage would have no effect on traditional marriage.

  6. I’ve argued previously that embracing gay marriage recognition will help dismantle this mistaken belief that the government has any sort of stake in determining the nature of relationships among consenting adults.

    And I’ve always said that the vast majority of pro-gay marriage people couldn’t care less about abstract concepts like “liberty” and “limited government.” What they want is a government stamp of approval on their deviant lifestyle, and now their getting it. The other goal had been to use anti-discrimination law to force private businesses to do the same thing, something that’s occurring now but that libertarians have long assured us was just strawman scaremongering.

    1. Gay marriage activists aren’t asking for anything that straight married couples don’t already have from the government. Why focus such vitriol on them?

      1. “Vitrol” = disagreeing with me

        1. Why be upset for gay couples asking for what straight couples already have? Shouldn’t you be upset about the entire edifice?

          Of course, I see by your ‘deviant lifestyles’ comment what’s probably going on there.

          1. Because gay couples already have the same right that straight couples have: they can marry any person of the opposite sex that is willing.

            Straight couples do not have the right to marry someone of the same sex, so they do not have a right that is denied to gay couples.

            This is an old argument, but it is still valid, because it’s true.

            1. “Because gay couples already have the same right that straight couples have: they can marry any person of the opposite sex that is willing.”

              What’s more awesome, that this misses my point or the sheer soconnery of it?

              1. You asked what’s wrong with gay couples asking for what straight couples already have. I was pointing out that gay couples already have what straight couples have: a right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

                Soconnery != untrue.

                1. This is a silly argument against marriage recognition of gay couples because of what marriage is about (a union with someone you’re attracted to).

                  But, once again, I’m not talking about marriage recognition itself but including once recognized couples under existing anti-discrimination law.

                  1. This is a silly argument against marriage recognition of gay couples because of what marriage is about (a union with someone you’re attracted to).

                    And here we see that, yes, indeed, this entire argument is founded on a redefinition of “marriage”.

                    Which, for most of Western history, has universally meant “man and woman”.

                    And, in order to apply to gay couples, must be redefined. A redefinition, by the way, that I support.

                    What I don’t support is pretending that marriage has always meant “any two people”, or that changing that definition isn’t a significant change, or that (and this is perhaps the most controversial) that its not up to the federal judiciary to make this change.

              2. He’s right. It’s the difference of equality of process vs equality of outcome.

                1. (by “he” I mean cavalier)

                2. I’d actually like to see you elaborate on this a bit.

                  1. An analogy would be someone who wants a Class A license even though they’ve never driven or plan on driving anything bigger than a sedan.
                    They could claim that they are being discriminated against because of their “vehicle preference” or whatever, but really they’re subject to the same process of getting the license as anyone. They want the same outcome as someone who is qualified to drive a semi through a process that is altered to fit their needs.

                    And I’m not making any statement about the rightness or wrongness of licenses or anything like that. Just that the definition of equality when it comes to gay marriage is not the traditional legal one.

                    1. But the whole argument is that it’s equivalent, though of course not exactly the same. I think saying ‘well, it’s not equivalent because it’s not’ is question begging. Don’t get me wrong, maybe it’s not equivalent for some reason, but you need a little work more than saying ‘hey, that’s just a sedan you’re driving.’

                    2. The point is that equivalence in outcomes is impossible. It may come from good intentions, but it amounts to certain politically connected groups getting special treatment. Equal process is the closest thing to equal treatment you can get in an imperfect world.

                    3. and btw, personally I don’t care one way or another about gay marriage. But I don’t buy that it’s about equality.

                    4. I think they think they’re arguing for an equal process in this sense: the government should treat equivalently situated cases equivalently.

                      For example, if gay people were denied corporate licenses or drivers licenses, would that be a problem with outcomes or process? (I get that people see marriage as different by definition, but again, that’s the whole debate there).

              3. Gay marriage activists aren’t asking for anything that straight married couples don’t already have from the government.

                Yes they are: straight couples do not have the right from the government to marry someone of the same sex. Gay couples are asking for the right to marry someone of the same sex.

                1. Don’t confuse bo with logic cavilier.

            2. Straight couples do not have the right to marry someone of the same sex, so they do not have a right that is denied to gay couples.

              This is an old argument, but it is still valid, because it’s true.

              So why aren’t we on the side of increasing freedom by allowing heterosexuals the ‘right’ to marry someone of the same sex?

              1. No one is going to jail for hosting a ceremony and putting it out that they are “married”.

                Marriage has a certain definition, however, in which childbearing and child rearing is an intergral part. It’s not just that “two people love each other, and so they get married”. Marriage is how we manage child-bearing and child-rearing. It seems to work, for the most part. “Marriage for love” seems to be a more modern idea; I’d bet that most marriages over the centuries did not consider love to be a relevant factor (although married couples I’m sure did develop warm feelings for each other, at least). One’s family once had much more influence on whom one could even court, as I recall.

                1. I’m unconcerned if same-sex couples say that they are married. I’m also unconcerned if the FedGov also says that they are legally married.

                  What I’m concerned about is the threat of violence against one who disagrees with the assertion that they are married.

                2. “Marriage has a certain definition”

                  And that’s what’s being debated.

                  1. And that’s what’s being debated.

                    Federal judges declaring ex cathedra that same-sex marriages are legal can hardly be classified as a “debate”.

                    The debate was conducted during the state elections that passed laws and amendments declaring that same-sex marriage would not be recognized by law. That debate was circumvented by the People on the Right Side of History.

                    1. Courts sometimes decide the definitions of things. For example, for a long time our courts defined the RKBA as a ‘collective’ right. Then they decided it was an individual right, and one to individual, armed self defense to boot. Did you find that to be illegitimate because it was decided by a court and not a legislature?

                    2. Courts sometimes decide the definitions of things.

                      Perhaps. Although I doubt even the most committed judicial activist would say that courts should be adopting new definitions of words in common usage.

                      For example, for a long time our courts defined the RKBA as a ‘collective’ right.

                      Umm, not really, on two counts. First, that’s not really “defining” the Second Amendment, its more interpreting it. You define a word (like “marriage”). You apply phrases, sentences, etc.

                      Second, at most some courts adopted the collectivist interpretation. Its a bit of an overreach to say (or imply) that this was universal.

                    3. Did you find that to be illegitimate because it was decided by a court and not a legislature?

                      The courts were wrong in the first instance (in considering that the RKBA was a “collective” right). They just corrected their mistake.

                      It didn’t change the fact that RKBA has been, all along, an individual right that existed prior to the Constitution and that was put into the Bill of Rights in an attempt to protect said right from the FedGov.

                    4. Did you find that to be illegitimate because it was decided by a court and not a legislature?

                      No, because its the Court’s job to interpret and apply the Constitution.

                      I don’t think its their job to change the definitions of words in common usage, or to force those definitions on the state legislatures who have the Constitutional authority over this issue.

                3. So the fact that my fiancee doesn’t have a uterus means we shouldn’t be able to get a marriage license?

                  1. MARRIAGE = 1 UTERUS + 2 TESTES

                  2. So the fact that my fiancee doesn’t have a uterus means we shouldn’t be able to get a marriage license?

                    You don’t need to get a license from the government to validate your relationship.

                    Child-bearing and rearing isn’t the only component of marriage, of course, but it is the reason we have marriage laws, I think–it’s an easy way to determine legal guardianship (people generally are more interested in their own children’s well-being than disinterested third parties) and inheritance rights, and so forth.

                    I suppose we could just make all children wards of the state as soon as the umbilical cord is cut, and allow people to form and dismantle interpersonal relationships as they wish without having to worry what happens to their progeny.

                    1. Gay couples can adopt. So why should they not also have those easy ways to determine legal guardianship, inheritance, etc? If that is why marriage is something the government should be involved in, then it should certainly be applied to gay couples if it applies to infertile straight couples.

                4. marriage has precious little with Child-rearing.

                  Marriage is, at its heart, an *economic compact*.

                  In the past its been used to set up a basic economic unit – the household.

                  Its been used to control the distribution of property.
                  Its been used to forge political and economic ties.

                  Child-bearing and child-rearing are important in the context of marriage solely for the control of the distribution of property and power through inheritance.

            3. No, that’s a load of shit.

              Straight couples have the right to marry, gay ones didn’t (but it seems like they will soon). That’s just as valid a way to put it.

              The way I put it is that straight marriages are recognized and gay ones are not. Gay people are getting married with or without legal recognition.

            4. Well, that’s a dyslexic argument! Straight couples are able to marry the person of their choice, same sex couples are not.

              The easy solution is to eliminate all government recognition of marriage as a legal status. Churches can marry whoever they want, but everyone is the same in legal terms. Good luck with that one.

        2. YOU WILL BE MADE TO CARE

          1. Yeah, thanks – you said that already.

            1. but why don’t you care? You must be a bigot or something!

              sarcasm evades you my friend.

    2. The “deviant lifestyle” of promised monogamy?

      1. It will make it too hard for him to get blowjobs at the park if too many gays get married and become monogamous.

  7. Reading John and Scott’s debate I decided to google the solemnization laws for the various states. Some of them are pretty interesting.

    Here’s Alabama: “30-1-7 Persons Authorized to Solemnize Marriages

    (a) Generally. Marriages may be solemnized by any licensed minister of the gospel in regular communion with the Christian church or society of which the minister is a member; by an active or retired judge of the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, Court of Civil Appeals, any circuit court, or any district court within this state; by a judge of any federal court; or by an active or retired judge of probate.”

    California: “A judge or retired judge of a bankruptcy court or a tax court.”

    https://theamm.org/marriage-laws/

  8. Most of her staff who handle marriage licenses were “uncomfortable” officiating same-sex weddings, she said.

    Or scared enough of their boss’s issues to be unwilling to admit being fine with it.

    1. Given the culture of Pasco county, my guess is that the feeling is wide-spread among county employees.

  9. my friend’s sister makes $68 an hour on the laptop . She has been without work for 10 months but last month her check was $21549 just working on the laptop for a few hours. browse this site……….
    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  10. YOU WILL BE MADE TO CARE

  11. Marriages can be performed in Florida by a notary…so complaining about “other states” is beside the point.

  12. On past occasions, county clerks who do not approve of gay marriage have attempted to refuse to comply with the law and refuse to hand out licenses

    Fire the fuckers. They are *employees*, not decision-makers — if they can’t comply with what is required by their profession of choice, they don’t have to be there. If they cannot do this they should not be taking from the commonweal. It really is that simple.

    OTOH, this is exactly why most decisions should be left to state reps rather than unelected judges — the more decisions which lack public legitimacy, the less likely civil service will be to implement it (assuming they are drawn from the general populace) and the more lawless a country. *However*, in any state which has chosen to recognize gay marriage the right way (through state reps or the ballot box), there is no excuse for civil servants not to do their damn jobs and they should be disciplined appropriately.

    1. Clerks in FL — for some bizarre reason — are elected officials.

  13. Their marriage licenses come with a three-day delay before taking effect, unless couples are willing to take a four-hour premarital course from an approved counselor.

    What? The? Fuck?

  14. “OTOH, this is exactly why most decisions should be left to state reps rather than unelected judges — the more decisions which lack public legitimacy, the less likely civil service will be to implement it (assuming they are drawn from the general populace) and the more lawless a country.”

    I see what you’re saying, but imagine a Blue city or state and not handing out concealed carry licenses as a hypothetical, that’s usually by some judicial order rather than the democratic process.

    1. You are as usual begging the question. The entire question is whether being gay is a special class such that the government can’t discriminate against it. You constantly made the same tired point about “they are just asking for what straight couples have”, like that means anything. If I go to the unemployment office tomorrow and ask for unemployment benefits, I am just asking for what unemployed people are getting. I am not getting them because the state can consistent with the constitution discriminate against me based on the fact that I have a job. The entire issue relates to the question of is a gay relationship special and benefiting of protection under the Constitution in a way that polygamous relationships or familial marriages are not.

      So any analogy about already recognized constitutional rights, be that gun ownership or interracial marriage or whatever, is just nonsense question begging. That is all it is.

      1. Is this the fourth or fifth time I have to say this?

        John, my point is not so much about same sex marriage as it is the anti-discrimination laws. All of these horror stories you’re pointing to are just gay couples and persons invoking the same protections against discrimination that their straight counterparts have. The problem is with the protections in general, not with gay persons now asking to be treated the same.

        1. First, if the protections are bad, extending them to more people is just making them worse. If some segment of the population had the legal right to demand the servitude of some other segment at will, extending that right to more people would not be a good thing. But hey, the new group just wants what the other people have, right?

          And beyond that, these protections are not bad, when they are actually extended in a rational way to characteristics people cannot control and are mere physical ones and not behaviors. There is nothing moral about being black or being a woman or being from another country. It says nothing about your moral worth or your behavior. The problem is that unless you want to believe that gays are some kind of genetic defectives and have no control over themselves, being gay and choosing to live as a gay person is not that. It is a choice. It is not a choice I have a problem with. But I am not willing to deprive other people of the freedom to make up their own mind about that in the name of fairness.

          1. The problem is that unless you want to believe that gays are some kind of genetic defectives and have no control over themselves, being gay and choosing to live as a gay person is not that. It is a choice.

            Gays don’t have a choice to be gay any more than straights have a choice to be straight. It doesn’t make either a “genetic defective” or anything else. I would have thought by 2015 the argument would have progressed a little past this point.

            1. They can’t choose their preferences. They can however choose how they act. My preferences is to sleep around. Since I am married, however, I choose not to. There is nothing to say someone who prefers the same sex has to act on that. They certainly should be free to do so. But them choosing to act on a preference, even one that is inborn, is not the same as someone being born black or a woman.

            2. “Genetic defective” is a term that’s most usefully defined 750,000 years after the fact.

            3. I would have thought by 2015 the argument would have progressed a little past this point.

              We’re probably talking to people who think Evolution is, “just a theory”.

          2. Sexual orientation can be inborn to a large degree without them being ‘defective’ John. Nice try.

            But of course, you are still dodging my example of religious anti-discrimination protections (or, for that matter, marital ones). They’re certainly choices. Given a religious anti-discrimination law, would you be against its extension to Jews on the grounds that lots of people are anti-Semitic and that would just violate too many people’s liberty?

            1. Sexual orientation can be inborn to a large degree without them being ‘defective’ John. Nice try.

              No it can’t. There is not a single bit of science that supports that. In fact, as little as 20 years ago, gays vehemently objected to the idea because they rightly saw it as branding them as some kind of genetic freaks. And they were right about that.

              1. Science can’t determine ‘defective’ in the sense you’re talking about John.

                1. Yes Bo, it can determine if there is some kind of genetic or physical makeup that compels people to be gay. No such thing has yet been found.

              2. And again “you are still dodging my example of religious anti-discrimination protections (or, for that matter, marital ones). They’re certainly choices. Given a religious anti-discrimination law, would you be against its extension to Jews on the grounds that lots of people are anti-Semitic and that would just violate too many people’s liberty?”

                1. Given a religious anti-discrimination law, would you be against its extension to Jews on the grounds that lots of people are anti-Semitic and that would just violate too many people’s liberty?”

                  Bad analogy. Nobody needs to redefine religion to include Judaism.

                  The entire argument is about whether (and how) we should redefine marriage to include same-sex marriages. (Since I think the answer to this is “yes”, I am mostly interested in who and how this redefinition happens.)

        2. The problem is with the protections in general, not with gay persons now asking to be treated the same.

          This argument assumes its conclusion, namely, that gay persons are not treated the same because they have the same choices that straight people do: get a license for marrying someone of the opposite sex.

          It assumes that, at some point, and according to some unidentified person or agency, “marriage” stopped meaning “man and woman” and started meaning “any two people”.

          1. Poly marriage used to be part of the definition, but it was excluded over time due to social and legal changes. It’s historically consistent to define marriage based on the benefits conveyed rather than the genders and numbers involved in the contract.

            1. Poly marriage used to be part of the definition, but it was excluded over time due to social and legal changes.

              Not in the Western legal tradition.

              1. So much for your ‘universal’ claim though.

                And good luck arguing, for example, that King Solomon is not part of the Western tradition.

                1. So much for your ‘universal’ claim though.

                  In the American legal system, dating back to the 1700s, I’m pretty safe saying “man and woman” was universal.

                  For the Western legal tradition, I can easily go back another 1000 years or so.

                  I’m comfortable with that, especially since the only exceptions date way, way back and allowed only plural marriages.

                  Not even the Greeks, who were chill with same-sex, err, sex, recognized gay marriage (as far as I know, anyway). I don’t think you can claim that, before the current kerfuffle, gay marriage has ever been accepted in any Western society, ever.

                  But go ahead. Point out to me any church or government in the Western World since, say, the fall of Rome that has defined “marriage” as “any two people”.

                  1. My point was that the definition of marriage, even legally, is not immutable. I agree that (unless you count intersex or transgender partners in some societies) same sex marriage is novel.

                    I looked into it, and you are correct: legal monogamy has been standard in Western countries with a developed legal system since Diocletian. However, that was a decision made by imperial edict, and doesn’t prove the point you’re trying to make, I think.

                    1. My point was that the definition of marriage, even legally, is not immutable.

                      I agree.

                      The question is, who has the authority to change the legal definition? And, if done by the courts, on what basis?

                      Do the courts have the authority to declare that marriage means “one person, one farmyard animal”? Certainly, the legislature does (political backlash aside). But the courts?

              2. Only because our legal system is slightly predated by western Christianity. Roman law, ancient Greek law, anything older than 400 AD will make allowances.

  15. People always analogize gay marriage to interracial marriage. And the two cases are analogous but not in the way gay marriage advocates will admit. There were two sets of laws that the courts invalidated relating to interracial marriage. The first set were the laws that made it illegal for two people of different races to cohabitate. The second were the laws that said two people of different races could not have their marriages recognized in the state. The courts could have just invalidated the first set of laws. They could have said, it is beyond the state’s police power to dictate whom they can live with or have sex with and therefore these laws are invalid. They could have done that and left the marriage laws in place and just said “the state can’t make your relationship a crime but it doesn’t have to recognize it either.” Instead, the courts also invalidated the marriage laws. The courts did so because the courts and a large chunk of the country decided that it was just no longer going to be acceptable to object to interracial marriages and states who refuse to use the force of law to make people accept them are going to have to start doing so. The reason they did this was to force societal acceptance of interracial marriage.

    1. The same thing is happening here. The courts are saying states are going to have to use the force of law to force acceptance of gay relationships. And indeed, perhaps it is time America did do that and everyone be forced to accept gay relationships. There is a reasonable argument to be made for that. Even though the argument is reasonable, it is not Libertarian. And any Libertarian arguing for court mandated state sanction of gay marriage needs be honest with himself and admit as much. There is no libertarian case for a constitutional right to gay marriage. There is only a case for court mandated acceptance of gay relationships.

      1. I agree it’s not a libertarian thing per se. Just as libertarianism per se can’t tell you whether or not blacks should be admitted to white public schools once schools are in place, it can’t tell you whether government recognition of gay marriages should be extended just as it is for straight marriages. A libertarian could, entirely consistent with libertarianism, say to the former scenario ‘public schools are not a libertarian thing, extending it to more people should not be done.’ Likewise a libertarian could say ‘government recognition of marriage is not a libertarian thing, extending it to gay couples should not be done.’

        But I don’t think libertarianism answers every moral or political quandry.

        1. Again, you are begging the question and just assuming that being gay is the same as being black. Those analogies only work with that assumption. You are just question begging. Why is being gay different than any other preference such that it should be illegal for someone to object to it?

          1. Well, first of all I think the onus is on you to argue why you think race is worthy of protection but sexual preference is not.

            Second, of course, for like the tenth time, the analogy is built to work with any of the many classes protected by anti-discrimination law. Just plug in a different one if you’re so convinced race is not apt.

            1. Well, first of all I think the onus is on you to argue why you think race is worthy of protection but sexual preference is not.

              Okay, one is a behavior and the other is the color of your skin. The onus is on you to explain why the behavior is compulsive such that it should be above any moral judgement by anyone and treated as an innate unchangeable quality in a person.

              And the analogy only works if the group is a group that is subject to constitutional protection, which is the entire issue. You are just begging the question.

              1. “one is a behavior and the other is the color of your skin”

                Nope, you yourself has said “They can’t choose their preferences.” There preferences, which are part of their sexual orientation, are as, according to this view, something which, like skin color, they’re born with.

                1. No Bo, you can’t. But that doesn’t mean people can’t judge you on those preferences. That is what makes them preferences and not innate qualities.

                  1. Why can someone judge you on inborn preferences and not inborn skin color, hair color, eye color, and the other things that constitute racial groups?

                    1. Because you judge people on their behavior. I can’t help it that I am attracted to women. My wife, however, is free to judge me on my choice to act on that preference. If you can’t understand that distinction, I don’t know what to do for you.

                    2. Behavior is not preference.

                    3. Behavior is not preference.

                      Which I guess means that traditional marriage laws, which limit licensing depending on which spouse you choose, are a regulation of behavior, not preference.

                      Not sure what that does to your argument, but there it is.

                    4. Voting GOP is a behavior.

                  2. Sexual attraction is not a choice, as in I choose to go for Thai food tonight, and not go for a cheeseburger.

                    It is arguably inborn and unchangeable. And, being sexually satisfied is a part of being a happy and healthy human being.

              2. Sexual preference is more than just a chosen behavior. You’re being disingenuous if you are arguing that.

                Sexual preference is a fundamental part of being a human animal. It is such a part of life that it isn’t the same as choosing to be a surfer, or a golfer. As such, it needs a little more than ‘hey, you can want to surf here, but we aren’t letting you because this is a swimming area’.

                We have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or do we not? It is an unreasonable restriction to give certain rights to certain relationships and not to others.

                However, I like the attitude of the bureaucrat quoted in the article. She wasn’t going to force people in her department to go against their religion, and said they would give out the license but not expect anyone to perform marriages against their religion, and in order to be fair, they would perform no marriages. Her department would restrict itself to the bare minimum. Which works for me.

                1. “It is an unreasonable restriction to give certain rights to certain relationships and not to others.”

                  Jeebus…now relationships have rights too.

                  1. Well, just the positive kind.

                2. Sexual preference is a fundamental part of being a human animal. It is such a part of life that it isn’t the same as choosing to be a surfer, or a golfer. As such, it needs a little more than ‘hey, you can want to surf here, but we aren’t letting you because this is a swimming area’.

                  So I guess NABLA is right and we should legalize sex with children? They can’t help it that they prefer sex with young boys. How can we discriminate or worse criminalize their behavior.

                  If your position is that we are ruled by our sexual tastes in a way that we are not by are other tastes such that we don’t have free will, then you can never object to any sort of sexual behavior.

                  You don’t believe that. You just fucking like gays and will say or do anything to justify sticking it to those you don’t.

  16. The reference to miscegenation laws does not provide support for the argument for same-sex marriage.

    Under miscegenation laws, a white man could marry a white woman, but a black man could not marry a white woman. The white man had a right that was denied to the black man.

    With regard to laws concerning same-sex marriage, it is not the case that a heterosexual man can legally marry another man, while at the same time a homosexual man is legally denied that ability/right/whatever.

    The heterosexual man has not been granted a right that is denied to a homosexual man.

    The situations are not equivalent.

    1. The white and the black man had an equal right to marry any woman of their own color.

      1. The white and the black man had an equal right to marry any woman of their own color.

        Cute, but invalid.

        1. Cute, and valid.

          1. Cute, but invalid

            Infinity

            1. Infinity +1!

              1. BLAST YOU BO!!!

                *folds arms, pouts*

              2. Ooh.

                He’s good.

                1. [sticks tongue to frozen flagpole]

        2. No, the white person who fell in love with a black person was equally discriminated against.

          1. That’s the funny thing about the miscegenation laws:

            By definition, they burdened blacks and whites exactly equally.

    2. Yes. Actual discrimination against gays in marriage laws would be a law banning someone who was a known homosexual or could be proven such from having a valid marriage at all. All the marriage laws are doing is saying “marriage is one man and one woman”. That is not facially discriminating against gays. Just because it would be nice to give gays a marriage license does not mean the states have to consistent with the constitution.

      1. If gay persons wanting to form a marriage are equivalent to straight persons wanting the same then yes, yes it is discriminating. Equal treatment and protection means treating like cases alike. Now, you might think the genders make the gay couple not ‘like’, but that’s what the entire debate is about, whether it does or not.

        1. No because no one gay or straight can marry a person of the same sex. All people are subject to the laws equally. It is just some are effected by it more.

          1. And no one black or white could marry a person of a different race pre-Loving. This is pretty well tread ground.

            1. Yes. And the only reason those laws were invalidated is because the courts wanted the states to force the acceptance of interracial marriage. That is my point.

              1. Wait… are you seriously arguing that maintaining rule of law requires supporting insanely illiberal laws? Would you like to set any kind of a Godwin boundary on that?

                1. There are two sides to any law Robbers. State’s recognizing interracial marriage necessarily meant forcing people to do the same. The question is, do you want the states to perform the same act of force for gays or don’t you. That is really all there is to it.

                  1. There are two sides to any law Robbers. State’s recognizing interracial marriage necessarily meant forcing people to do the same.

                    This does not follow. If I were to point at any (legally married and licensed) straight couple and declare to all and sundry that I personally do not recognize their marriage–in what way will the state “force” me to recognize them?

                    1. Yes it does. Once people had state marriage licenses, their places of employment and such had to recognize them as being married. That is the whole point of getting a license, to force people to recognize your relationship. Otherwise, why bother?

                    2. Yes it does. Once people had state marriage licenses, their places of employment and such had to recognize them as being married. That is the whole point of getting a license, to force people to recognize your relationship. Otherwise, why bother?

                      But you’re talking about two separate laws: one law that says the state will recognize people’s marriages, and a different law that says that anyone the state recognizes as being married must be conferred benefits X, Y, and Z by their employers or whatever. It’s the latter of the two that’s objectionable; the former in and of itself involves no force against individuals (all of which avoids the question of whether the state has any business licensing/recognizing/caring about people’s marriage arrangements *at all*).

                    3. If I were to point at any (legally married and licensed) straight couple and declare to all and sundry that I personally do not recognize their marriage–in what way will the state “force” me to recognize them?

                      Well, (and this is admittedly a fairly abstruse example), for purposes of Medicare fraud and abuse law, we are required to “recognize” any physician’s marriage, because any contract with the spouse has to qualify for the same safe harbors as a contract with the physician.

                      I’m sure an employment and benefits attorney could give you many more examples.

                  2. Act of force?

                    1. Yes. Robbers. If I don’t recognize the marriage, they can sue me and get a judgement. And if I don’t pay the judgement, the sheriff comes out and takes my shit and shoots me if I try to stop it.

                      All law is backed with the threat of force and ultimately death for those who resist it enough.

                    2. You could just as easily say that there’s an act of force involved in declaring a whole class of contracts invalid without asking any of the parties who consented.

                      Because of the WWI level of entangled legal problems, it’s not possible for gay parents to live their lives without being someone’s Gavrilo Princip. That’s a problem, I agree, but keeping gay couples excluded from a basic contract is not a great solution.

                      How about you first go fix family law so that it doesn’t require government recognition to keep the state from stealing your kids on a whim?

                    3. But Robbers, the contracts are not invalid. No one says gays can’t get married and live as such. They just can’t go to court and make people recognize their relationships. They can sure as hell contract and enforce contracts between each other. In fact, it is straight couples who will see their contracts invalidated as being contrary to family law.

                    4. Are you making the argument that there are no additional legal benefits conveyed by legal marriage?

                      Presumably, federal benefits, adoption, and family law don’t count.

            2. And no one black or white could marry a person of a different race pre-Loving. This is pretty well tread ground.

              This argument is invalid. A white person could get married to a white person; a black person couldn’t.

              No heterosexual person can get legally married to someone of the same sex.

              A homosexual also cannot get legally married to someone of the same sex. The situation for both heterosexual and homosexual is equal.

              1. “A white person could get married to a white person; a black person couldn’t.”

                Yes, because this was a racial classification. And now we are talking about a gender one. The white person was barred from marrying one of a different race, the same sex union seeker is barred from marrying one of the same gender.

            3. And no one black or white could marry a person of a different race pre-Loving. This is pretty well tread ground.

              It was overturned because the racial restrictions were artificially imposed limitations on “marriage”, understood universally to be “man and woman”.

              If marriage means “man and woman”, then not recognizing or licensing gay marriage is not a restriction on marriage at all.

              The only question is: who has the authority to define “marriage” for legal purposes? The state legislatures or the federal courts?

              1. For equal protection purposes the courts should look to see if things are equivalent.

                1. You realize, Bo, that “equal” and “equivalent” are not the same thing, yes?

                  Otherwise “separate but equal” would still be allowed.

                  http://www.differencebetween.c…..quivalent/

                  1. They’re not the same, but things can be equivalent to the point where treating them differently would be like treating like cases unlike.

                    So, for example, one could argue that atheists should not be protected under religious anti-discrimination provisions, because they have no religion and that’s not the same as a religion. But, you could argue that atheism is, for atheists, the equivalent of their religion and treat it as such under the law.

                    1. And arguing that a belief system that comprehensively negates religion is equivalent to religion would be an excellent example of court’s redefining religion in a way that is beyond their authority.

              2. It’s nice to see all of these “Libertarians” come out of the closet in favor of Judicial Activism. I guess it’s OK to legislate from the bench if it fits your preconceived notion of “freedom.”

                One Court had the guts to say no to this stupidity:
                http://www.scotusblog.com/2014…..-marriage/

    3. These threads never answer the basic question of what is so special about a gay relationship that is not special about someone wanting to marry their sibling or wanting to have a polygamous relationship. The answer of course is nothing except that judges like gays and don’t like polygamists. How anyone can think that is a great way to run a legal system is beyond me.

      1. Nothing is special about them. Those are next.

        1. I don’t think so. Those groups will never be as fashionable as gays. Logically, you are right. But these decisions are not about logic or consistency. They are completely about the tastes and preferences of our current elites.

          1. Sibling unions are a long waay off, but I expect polyamorous relationships to have legal protection or recognition within a decade.

            Think about it. They are quite common, reproductive, and actually need legal rights that are much more significant than, say, hospital visitation rights. If you’re a parent in a multiple marriage, at this point, you can get your kids put in foster homes for it.

            I expect that there are more people wanting to have stable polyamorous marriages than gay marriages. The problem is that gay marriage is essentially conservative and poly marriage isn’t, so gay marriage had to come first.

            1. None of that matters. People hate polygamists. Our elites hate polygamists. Polygamists are never going to get any sympathy from judges. Further, judges are never going to risk society getting really pissed off and taking the power to define marriage away from the bench giving polygamists the right to marry.

              You are ruled by judges now. You don’t get a say in what is marriage and what isn’t. Their opinion is all that matters and polygamists are very unlikely to ever find favor with them.

              1. Polygamy is not identical with polyamory.

        2. I would hope so. Eventually, after enough ‘special groups’ get their recognition, the government will give up on regulating relationships and leave it to contract law.

          1. That will never happen. Why would it? We are not getting court mandated gay marriage out of any rational commitment to freedom or equal protection. We are getting because elite and judicial opinion has decided it likes gays and doesn’t like those who don’t. Gays are a small but very influential group in this society. Polygamists and people who want to marry their siblings are not. Elite opinion will never go in their favor.

            That is the price of giving up the rule of law to get what you want. You get that and nothing else. And in fact, there is nothing to say that at some time in the future, opinion might turn against gays and you will lose this too.

          2. the government will give up

            This happens so rarely that we can still name any withdrawal of state control decades after it happens.

            Home brewing. Airline dereg.

            And notice how long ago those are.

            If that’s your plan, you need a better plan.

            1. Exactly RC. What will happen is gays will use marriage to become a protected class and use the government to fuck with their enemies and polygamists and such will be told FUTW.

            2. Counting the number of people the police kill every year. They gave up on that.

      2. I’ll answer.

        Polygamous, polyandrous, group or whatever kind of marriages anyone can think of should all be recognized as long as all parties are consenting adults. Hell, if you want to marry your sister for the tax benefits (or penalties or whatever it works out to be), why not?

        I think that if governments are going to recognize marriages, they should just recognize those that exist, not define what is or isn’t a marriage.

  17. I actually like her attitude. Kind of refreshing for a government official. She is acknowledging they don’t have to be very involved, other than registering the marriage.

    And, if someone is uncomfortable marrying two gay people, then why force them to? Why would you want someone to marry you who disapproves?

    Her attitude is: 1. Some people don’t want to be involved, so we won’t force them. 2. We will still do what is necessary legally. 3. Let people get married in whatever way they want, but they won’t get involved.

    Sounds good to me.

    1. And, if someone is uncomfortable marrying two gay people, then why force them to? Why would you want someone to marry you who disapproves?

      Thank Darwin we still have the right to have gay wedding cakes force-baked by Christians, though.

      1. Not the facts on the ground. The U.S. Courts tried to order this but were not able. The aging “American” oligarchs thought this might work? Poor dying oligarchs.

        The “Christian” owned bakery no longer does “wedding cakes” but just bakes cakes that look terribly similar for parties. C’ mon (guys/guys) & (girls/girls) lets all just agree to disagree forever without all the hate?

        Who is Darwin? Why would anyone thank Darwin? Is Darwin a prophet, civil rights activist, politician, singer, . My spell-check thinks it knows Darwin but really? Was she famous or well known in the past? Ha.

    2. Same reason I expect DMV employees to issue licenses to women even if they oppose doing so.

      1. Libertarianism101:

        DMV Clerks should be forced to do something that has not been voted upon by the FL Legislature or signed into law by the FL Governor, BUT a Police Officer should be allowed to enforce what laws he finds to be “moral.”

  18. “the clerks…can’t just refuse to do their jobs and get away with it”

    So a stroke of a pen from some federal judge(s) suddenly adds to the job descriptions of these clerks? Or make clerks who took the job with certain specific instructions as to their duties must now accept an arbitrary redefinition of these duties at peril of their livelihoods?

    Maybe they would never have gone into the clerking business to begin with if they’d known they’d be expected to marry Adam and Steve. Now they face getting fired unless, like the Vicar of Bray, they disavow everything they were taught about their duties and start doing somethine pretty much opposite.

    So I can understand getting these people out of the dilemma by simply removing the solemnization of marriage from their job duties.

  19. Oh joy, another gay marriage thread.

    1. Not to worry. Nothing new, so no need to read it.

      OTOH, we have pro-state-licensing folks telling us the “ends justify the means”.

      OTOH, we have either “gays icky” or “don’t you guys have any good arguments? Because these all suck.”

  20. I see that sarcasmic is a real manly man with real manly man desires. Just ask him how much he doesn’t like to think about sweaty men’s bodies.

    1. I love big sweaty men. I just no idea why they want to ruin themselves by getting married.

    2. As I have noted before, I am sarcasmic’s ideal woman.

  21. I disappear for a while and John thinks he can get away with saying “being gay is a lifestyle and a choice”? I knew he was a moron, but I’m accustomed to him censoring such ignorant banalities, even if I knew he believed them. God, what a moron.

    Anyway, it’s now 2015, and these people are ignorant bigots and that’s all there is to it. Being uncomfortable marrying gay people is something you should be ashamed of and should work to get over. And “government shouldn’t be in the marriage business” window dressing is exactly nothing more than “I think gays are icky but I can’t be as openly idiotic as John so I’m going to pretend to support an absurd fantasy so I don’t seem like an ignorant Christian tool in front of the cool kids” (like John).

    1. It’s okay, Tony, there are enough queers here that we can bludgeon him sufficiently. You can go away again.

    2. This just shows that Libertarians are not the principled people that they claim to be.

      Either you support strict interpretation of the Constitution or you do not. Either you think a Judge has the right to make up the law from the bench or you do not.

      Where oh where is the “slippery slope” arguments? Where are the Libertarians claiming 10th Amendment? State Rights anybody? (All I hear is the sound of crickets broken by the occasional murmur of “free market.”)

      If you are OK with the Federal Courts telling Florida to ignore the views of the people who put this Amendment to the Florida State Constitution, then any other “Living Document” argument, Executive Order rewriting Obamacare for the umteenth time must be accepted as well.

  22. Not really what I would have chosen for an honorable start but explains the certainty of the coming change. This hints at the beginning a nationwide pursuit of the fundamental human right to Free Speech and maybe a fundamental judicial branch review by “the LAST” amendment.

    This is how the dishonorable judicial dogma trampling the First Amendment that is happening now will end. The coming answer will make same-sex “rights” advocates upset (in principle) and at the same time anger those who are opposed to same-sex unions being allowed, regardless of the name these civil rituals are given by the couple joining.

    These “conflicts” in human desires has ONLY one logical result. Whether the aging oligarchs of America realize this clear fact after explained tactfully or not; This one result is how this change will remain forever. I do not have a horse in this race but understand the coming end and will not be impacted either way.

    I will not enter an amicus in this battle to any court but will carefully explain how this fight should amicably end to counselors on this issue further than I already have.

    1. Hi crazy guy!

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