Gay Marriage

Will 2016 Be the Last Hurrah for the GOP's Gay Marriage Foes?

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credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter / CC BY-SA

In the space of about a decade, public opinion has flipped on gay marriage. 

About 60 percent of Americans opposed legalizing same-sex marriages in 2004, while just 35 percent supported it. By September of 2014, a majority—52 percent—favored the legalization of gay marriage, according to a Pew Research poll.

During that time, support for gay marriage has increased amongst every demographic category that Pew polled; it's up amongst the young and the old, conservatives and moderates, men and women, Hispanics and blacks, the religious and the non-observant. It's one of the most dramatic public opinion shifts in recent memory. 

However, as Greg Sargent notes over at The Washington Post, the shift hasn't been equally dramatic in every category. Republicans, he notes "are all alone in opposing legal gay marriage, by 54-40." And white evangelical Protestants, a large and influential GOP voting block, make up the core of the nation's continued resistance.

With a major Supreme Court decision that could legalize gay marriage in every state due later this year, the issue is likely to come up in the GOP primary race. As Sargent writes: 

The GOP hopefuls are already engaged in a delicate dance on marriage equality, as they seek to position themselves in advance to navigate the fallout from a potential Supreme Court decision this spring that could declare a Constitutionally protected right to gay marriage across the county.

CNN has a good overview of the jockeying underway among the GOP candidates in advance of this decision. Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and Jeb Bush are calling for respect for the courts' decisions on this matter and/or respect and understanding for people on both sides of the issue.

But Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are suggesting continued resistance; both have talked about a Constitutional marriage amendment. Mike Huckabee has said states should not be bound by such a decision, and on Meet the Press yesterday, he seemed to stick by that position.

I suspect Sargent is right that the issue will find its way into the primary race. Huckabee is virtually certain to talk about it, even if he doesn't run, and he's influential enough with evangelical voters that other candidates will need to respond. The issue will divide largely along the lines that Sargent lays out, with a moderate block that takes a relatively non-confrontational (although probably not enthusiastic) approach, and a more outspoken faction that prioritizes continued opposition.

Depending on who wins the Republican primary, that debate will probably bleed into the general election campaign to some degree, although I wouldn't expect it to be a major issue, unless the GOP candidate really fumbles the response or decides to make it a major issue—which, given the way the polls are running, is probably not a great idea. 

After that, however, I suspect that it will be over. Not over in the sense that no one in America ever speaks a word in opposition to gay marriage again, but over in the sense of it being a meaningful political issue. As Ross Douthat has suggested (and as Sargent notes), evangelicals may simply view the fight as lost and decide to let the issue rest.

But more than that, Republican candidates are likely to have a harder time generating support by opposing gay marriage, because there are likely to be fewer and fewer Republican voters who oppose it.

Yes, the evangelical base of the GOP remains the most opposed to gay marriage of any cohort in the country, but the trend is still toward increased support. Since 2001, Republican support for gay marriage has risen by 9 points, according to Pew, and by 11 points amongst those who identify as conservative. White evangelical Protestants have been the slowest to show more support, but even there, support has risen by 8 points since 2001. 

The trend is likely to continue. Younger evangelicals, in particular, are much more likely than their older counterparts to support gay marriage: One 2010 survey found that 44 percent of evangelicals under 35 oppose gay marriage, compared to 63 percent of evangelicals older than 35. As today's young evangelicals grow up, opposition to gay marriage will erode further still. 

The alternative, of course, is that, for whatever reason, the trendlines stop or reverse, and public opinion shifts back against gay marriage just as it as has shifted in favor of it. Perhaps a dedicated core of opponents continue, and their continued activism makes it difficult for the GOP to completely leave the issue behind. 

This is not impossible, but I don't think it's very likely. The most obvious inciting incident for such a reversal, this year's Supreme Court decision, isn't likely to spark significant pushback, because it's widely expected that the High Court will give its blessing to gay marriage everywhere, because the issue has already been extensively litigated in state courts, and because it would be following public opinion rather than leading it. For the last decade, the arguments on both sides have been aired over and over again, and, in the court of public, it seems pretty clear that opponents of gay marriage lost. 

Most Republicans know this, even if they won't always acknowledge it. And that's why my guess is that 2016 will be the last hurrah for significant national political opposition to gay marriage—a final opportunity for some of the candidates to give voice to those who still reject it and still want their rejection to be part of the nation's political identity.

You can already see the ground being prepared for this shift. In the GOP's less socially conservative circles, it's already a non-issue. And even amongst the evangelicals, it's not the lightning rod it once was: At this year's Values Voter Summit, Michele Bachmann, who once implicitly compared gay marriage to incest and backed a state amendment prohibiting it, declared gay marriage "boring," saying that it's "not an issue." 

The Supreme Court and lingering social conservative opposition are likely to ensure that it will be an issue in the next presidential campaign. But after that, no matter who takes the White House in 2016, I suspect it won't be. Most of the public has already shifted, and it won't be long before the GOP follows. 


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  1. OT: did anyone watch the first episode of Sons of Liberty on History Channel? It’s pretty bad, and it has some hilarious quasi-socialist dialogue. I think I’ll stick with it for the next episode and see how it pans out. So far, all the heroes of the Revolution, except Samuel Adams, are portrayed as wimpy pantywaists, especially John Hancock.

    1. Oh, and now they’re showing the beginnings of the Revolution as some tax shelter scheme by Hancock, using Sam Adams and his socialist Robin Hood ideals. Good gawd.

      1. Not surprised, I avoided it just based on the advertising trailers. Glad to see I made the right decision.

        1. A great documentary, if you can find it, is PBS’s Liberty! The American Revolution. It’s very liberty-focused and has some of the great stories from the war, such as Burgoyne’s ill-fated Hudson campaign. It also has great actors like Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Victor Garber, and Campbell Scott. It’s narrated by Edward Hermann and introduced by Forest Sawyer.

          1. That sounds really interesting, thanks!

      2. Lovely. Let’s recast the revolution as a socialist one. When, of course, it was not even slightly anything of the kind.

        1. They weren’t the first to try that…

          http://www.marxists.org/archiv…..aug/20.htm

          The history of modern, civilised America opened with one of those great, really liberating, really revolutionary wars of which there have been so few compared to the vast number of wars of conquest which, like the present imperialist war, were caused by squabbles among kings, landowners or capitalists over the division of usurped lands or ill-gotten gains. That was the war the American people waged against the British robbers who oppressed America and held her in colonial slavery, in the same way as these “civilised” bloodsuckers are still oppressing and holding in colonial slavery hundreds of millions of people in India, Egypt, and all parts of the world.

          1. What is it about Marxism that rots the part of the brain that lets you write well?

            That first sentence is an abortion.

            1. Proofreading in an initiation of force against innocent words.

        2. John Adams wanted a strong federal government to control peoples’ baser instincts. Jefferson and Franklin both advocated some quasi-socialist positions.

          1. Not in any modern sense they didn’t, certainly not seriously. That’s a huge stretch to label the American Revolution as socialist.

            1. Anyone who tries to slap the American Revolution with any monolithic label is doomed to failure.

              1. True enough. But “socialist” is a bigger stretch than most.

          2. please cite sources of Jefferson advocating quasi-socialist positions.

              1. “…direct land redistribution to the poor.”

                Which may make sense when the land had previously been distributed quite arbitrarily in a manner similar to the Norman division of England.

            1. IIRC, didn’t Jefferson back some scheme where land ownership was eliminated and it would all be rented from the government on 10 year leases?

              1. land ownership was eliminated and it would all be rented from the government on 10 year leases?

                Sort of like what actually happened, then. See what happens if you don’t pay property taxes.

      3. why?! what about Patrick Henry?

        1. The beginnings of the Revolution took place in Massachusetts (we’re talking the 1760’s, here), and Henry was from Virginia.

          1. no cable, so I don’t know what it covers.

            Everyone knows all real bad asses of the revolution came from Virginia anyway.

            1. It was the Mass. militia who attacked the British regulars and chased them all the way from Concord to Boston, killing as many as they could along the way. That’s pretty badass, considering the asymmetrical aspect.

    2. I watched it. For something appearing on the History Channel, the history was just godawful. I mean just plain wrong.

      On the other hand, I guess I really didn’t catch much in the way of socialism in it.

      And, honestly, you can’t really rule out the role of tax avoidance in the beginnings of the American Revolution.

      1. I understand the motivations of all the disparate parties, but this shit was just ridiculous. There was dialogue about people needing to eat, etc. and Sam Adams redistributing tax collections to the poor.

        But there was so much more behind the firestorm than shady business dealings and unemployment. There were actual principles at work, none of which has been covered so far.

        1. Point taken. It makes very little sense to talk about poverty and starvation in the American colonies. They were some of the richest (on average) locations in the world, even then. But, I don’t think any of it was explicitly socialist, per se. British policy at the time was much more clearly mercantilist /cronyist.

          Like I said, the history in the series was just absolutely terrible.

      2. For something appearing on the History Channel, the history was just godawful.

        Obviously you haven’t watched The History Channel in a long time. We should be glad they didn’t portray the revolution as the work of the ghosts of biblical aliens.

    3. And the dude playing Hancock apparently watched Tom Hulce in Amadeus on an endless loop.

      1. Yep, this.

        I didn’t see “Socialist” so much as just, “nope, that’s not even what was going on.”

        I thought it horrid. We’ll watch again tonight, just to see if it gets any better.

        I liked the “Revolution” series narrated by Charles Kuralt from some years back. It was six or seven episodes on one of the cables – History or Discovery or whatever. We watch it EVERY time it comes on. I think it’s pretty good actual…history.

        This one…not so much.

        And I don’t need to see Sam Adams channeling his inner Jason Statham as some kind of Ninja badass….Jesus trellis-climbing Christ…

        1. Exactly, Almanian.

          The series had Hutchinson as Governor in 1765, even though he didn’t assume office until 1770. Samuel Adams is portrayed as a charming rogue, even though he was a strict Puritan (and proud of it). His failure to collect taxes never got him afoul of the law. Adams himself filed suit to collect taxes when the Town Meeting was on the verge of bankruptcy. Adams was also a fairly prominent local politician by the time the series starts, having served on the Town Meeting and sitting in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Similarly, John Hancock, in addition to being a prominent merchant was one of the city’s five selectmen by 1765. He also became a member of the House of Representatives in 1766. By that time, he was already regarded as one of Adams’ proteges.

          So, yeah, the entire story, so far, is a mess.

      1. Ancient Aliens at the American Revolution will be later this year. Probably around the 4th.

        All joking aside, I believe there was an episode of Ancient Aliens dealing with “Aliens and the Founding Fathers” or something like that. I didn’t watch it for obvious reasons.

      2. That comes in episode 3.

        1. With the treasure map.

  2. What I really hate is when gay marriage proponents get self-righteous and claim their opponents are hateful bigots, but won’t acknowledge that many if not most of them agreed with us at some point in the past twenty years. I’m still (not really) waiting for their apologies.

    1. I’ll be glad when we can put this behind us.

      First, I’ll be happy when gay folks can get married anywhere. I’ll be even happier when its not a subject of moral preening., but whatev. Someone who likes to get all self-righteous over gay marriage is sending me valuable signals, which I appreciate.

      It has further cemented the federal courts as a source of policy and de facto legislation, which probably isn’t good. We’ll see what how the current precedents play out.

      1. And also seems to be used as justification in further eroding the right to free association.

    2. Thing is, they are bigots. Bigotry is the only possible explanation for opposing the redefining marriage from husband and wife to genderless spouse and genderless spouse. There is no other explanation other than raw hatred towards all homosexuals.
      Fortunately there is a cure for bigotry, and that is supporting same sex marriage!

      1. I still don’t get why people are asking for a genderless (or any other) definition of marriage from the government. If the government has the ability to define what is marriage it also has the ability to define what is not marriage. We shouldn’t advocate for that kind of power.

        1. because it’s the way it is. there are legal protections for married couples, etc.

          You can argue if those are right or wrong, but there is no good argument for, given the current state of affairs, limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.

          1. I mean, I’m just saying that from a purely ideological point of view, libertarians shouldn’t be politically pro gay marriage, but rather anti government-defined marriage.

            I would suggest that it is just as bigoted to say we should force a Christian to recognize two men as married as it is for a person to say two men have no right to get married in the first place.

            1. no one forces a christian to recognize it- but in the eyes of the secular law it should be equal.

              1. That’s not the point I’m making. I’m saying that if it is made “legal” by the government, as opposed to the government simply staying out of it, we just get one more class of people who cannot be discriminated against without violating a civil right or committing a hate crime or some other such nonsense.

                I don’t want the government strong-arming anyone into performing gay marriages against their will. Or interracial marriages, or heterosexual marriages, or any other goddamn type of marriage.

                1. I don’t want the government strong-arming anyone into performing gay marriages against their will. Or interracial marriages, or heterosexual marriages, or any other goddamn type of marriage.

                  And you won’t find many people here who disagree.

              2. no one forces a christian to recognize it- but in the eyes of the secular law it should be equal.

                No, it shouldn’t. I’m not exactly opposed to gay marriage. I’m opposed to the willingful blindedness we would impose on the law for arbitrary trivialities. We torture low-level criminals and drug users, practically throw smokers under the bus, and are beginning to jail children in their own homes and heap excessive amounts of conditioning on them, but denying homosexuals the ability to file taxes jointly, visit one another in the emergency room, or collect social security that their partner’s earned is an evil socialist sin of paramount importance.

                It, to me, is and has been one of the hallmarks that equality has gone too far and/or that people who otherwise be motivated to make major changes can be placated with baubels.

                1. We torture low-level criminals and drug users, practically throw smokers under the bus, and are beginning to jail children in their own homes and heap excessive amounts of conditioning on them, but denying homosexuals the ability to file taxes jointly, visit one another in the emergency room, or collect social security that their partner’s earned is an evil socialist sin of paramount importance.

                  What the hell do any of these thing have to do with one another? This just sounds like a variant of the “while there are children starving in Africa…” argument. People can care about and work towards solutions for multiple societal problems at the same time, and most of the people who are pro-gay marriage recognition also care about the police state and other important issues.

                  1. People can care about and work towards solutions for multiple societal problems at the same time, and most of the people who are pro-gay marriage recognition also care about the police state and other important issues.

                    True enough, evidence would suggest that they do a decent job of advancing gay marriage and the police state at the same time.

            2. To be fair, from a purely ideological point of view, I think almost everyone that posts here thinks that the government should get out of marriage.

              That being said, most of us understand that that is never going to happen, hence the debating back and forth.

              1. DesigNate. I’m not so sure. For some reason, this is one of the few issues on which the average libertarian refuses to shrink the size of government. It’s like they suddenly want to force everyone to think like them, but only in this one way.

                1. For some reason, this is one of the few issues on which the average libertarian refuses to shrink the size of government.

                  Don’t think that is true. Saying that the government ought not to discriminate under law for gay versus straight couples is not necessarily growing government, especially if socons react to this development by saying, “Hey, wait a minute, maybe we shouldn’t give the government power to decide who can or not get married if they’ll use it against us.”

                  The net outcome of this might be fewer government employees.

                  1. especially if socons react to this development by saying, “Hey, wait a minute, maybe we shouldn’t give the government power to decide who can or not get married if they’ll use it against us.”

                    Similarly, if we raise income taxes across the board, maybe the progressives will think twice about taxing income. Oh wait, they’d just double down on the deep, just like the SoCons.

                    1. Derp*

                  2. I find myself supporting gay marriage but opposing the ‘Gay Marriage Movement’, because of whole ‘make me a protected class because of my behavior’ piece of it.

                    Also, I’m all for getting the government out of marriage completely, because it is it’s own form of contract slavery that most men don’t realize what they’re signing up for.

                2. It’s a misplaced sense of pragmatism from very unpragmatic people. Most libertarian positions will never be implemented. We could turn the train around and go full steam in the direction of liberty, and we wouldn’t see libertopia in my lifetime. Yet, for some reason, gay marriage is one of those issues where a bunch of people advocate for compromise. Perhaps because there are two issues (an equal protection issue and a public services issue) they see the compromise as resolving one of the issues.

                  I’m not sure,tbh. The libertarian position on gay marriage was one of the big issues that made me question my politics and become a libertarian. I really don’t see anything beyond complete separation of marriage and state as acceptable.

                3. I’m not so sure. For some reason, this is one of the few issues on which the average libertarian refuses to shrink the size of government. It’s like they suddenly want to force everyone to think like them, but only in this one way.

                  This is very, very wrong as far as I can see. I think I am fairly representative of libertarians who favor gay marriage. And what it comes down to for me is that if the government is going to recognize any marriages, they should recognize the marriages that exist. And legal recognition or not, gay people are getting married.
                  There is no absolute right to legal marriage. Legal marriage could be abolished and there would be no problem from a rights perspective. It is an equal protection issue and all I want to see is for people similarly situate to be treated the same by the law. Any law that forces anyone to participate in gay marriages is terrible.

                  I’d like to convince everyone to be more accepting of gays, but certainly not to force anyone.

              2. It wont happen without some support for it. There are already elected officials moving in that direction even if they cant get themselves all the way there and may make it worse in the process.

                Once gay marriage is in place everywhere, the chances of ending state marriage goes even closer to nil.

                1. Once gay marriage is in place everywhere, the chances of ending state marriage goes even closer to nil.

                  They were so close to nil to start with that I don’t know if you could even measure that, though. Every straight marriage probably reduces the chances of state marriage ending too. Didn’t you get married recently? Did you get a marriage license?

        2. If the government has the ability to define what is marriage it also has the ability to define what is not marriage. We shouldn’t advocate for that kind of power.

          Which is why a lot of us don’t want the government to have that power. Just recognize the marriages that exist. I don’t care if that involves 7 people or brothers and sisters or farm animals.

      2. If there is some other motivation you’ve never articulated it.

        1. I just articulate one. It’s not bigoted at all to oppose the government (re)defining marriage. What right do they have to define marriage?

          1. Who does have the right to define it?

            1. People can think what they want. I don’t want the thought police telling me or anyone else what marriage is.

              1. What bb said.

              2. I don’t want the thought police telling me or anyone else what marriage is.

                But that is exactly what the status quo is. The thought police telling you that marriage is between a man and a woman. People advocating to keep the laws that define marriage along the traditional lines are the ones who want to force their definition on other people. Now, there are certainly plenty of proponents of gay marriage who do want to force their beliefs on other people. But those are not the people you are arguing with here. Well, except Tony.

                1. Hmmmm…I’ve seen several individuals argue that exact point. I’ve seen numerous writers for Reason and commentors show support for the government changing the definition of marriage rather than simply bowing out.

                  1. I’ve seen numerous writers for Reason and commentors show support for the government changing the definition of marriage rather than simply bowing out.

                    I’m interested in what you mean by “support for the government changing the definition of marriage”. If you mean “recognizing gay marriages”, I think you are way off. The definition of marriage has changed to include same sex unions. You don’t have to consider those marriages valid. But marriages don’t mean the same thing to everyone even if they are just man/woman deals. For Catholics, for example, the second marriage of a divorced person is not a real marriage. But Catholics are “forced” to accept them in the sense that the law says that for legal purposes they are married.

                    I guess you could say that I am in favor of changing the legal definition of marriage. But only to reduce the governments role in defining what marriage actually is. The actual, real world definition of marriage can change however it changes and that is none of my business.

          2. Tony is a functional retard, and a dishonest one at that. Don’t waste the effort. All he deserves is ridicule and contempt.

          3. sarcasmic is making the old “we can’t challenge the sanctity of dictionaries!” argument, but presumably governments have the right to meddle in marriage because they are the entities that enforce contracts. The only thing we’re talking about is equality under current law. Whether you like the existence of standardized marriage contracts or not, you are still free to enter into a relationship with anyone you choose, or any number of people, and call that relationship any name you want. I’m not so sure this sudden awakening to the idea of abolishing legal marriage that many libertarians have had isn’t just slightly tinged with bigotry, but you’re welcome to it, just so long as you endorse the idea of equality under current law until such a movement gains steam.

            1. You want to force Libertarians to be pragmatists?

              1. Is it unlibertarian to support equal protection?

                1. It is unlibertarian (whatever that means) support the current practice of giving the government the power to define marriage rather than opposing that power.

                  1. Then you should be happy that marriage is expanding to include gay people. The stranglehold government has on the definition of “marriage” has loosened a bit. No?

                    Or do you have some argument for why government should continue treating gay people as inferior citizens until total utopia is achieved? (Not that abolishing government-recognized marriage even makes sense as a libertarian agenda item. Nobody is forced to get married.)

            2. “Free association for me, but not for thee.”

              That pretty much sum’s up all you have to say Tony.

            3. you are still free to enter into a relationship with anyone you choose, or any number of people, and call that relationship any name you want.

              and even people who oppose SSM would agree with that argument. But you insist on the word marriage, one that has defined rather specifically for a long time. As it is, few here have an issue with state marriage beyond asking the very question you did about why govts have any right to meddle in this contract. Even when a group is largely in agreement with you, you refuse to take yes for an answer.

              1. But you insist on the word marriage, one that has defined rather specifically for a long time.

                I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. I supported SSM until I saw there was absolutely no compromise on the word marriage. That’s when I realized it wasn’t about equality under the law, but about redefining a word. So they lost my support.

                1. Semantic change is a real thing.

                  1. Semantic change is a real thing.

                    I understand that. I just don’t agree with it being done by force.
                    The insistence on keeping the word revealed to me the true motivation, and it wasn’t equality under the law.

                    1. Yes it is. And it’s bizarre, and you haven’t explained your thinking here, that you feel that a word has a right not to change definitions, or that this should be a concern for anyone.

                2. So they lost my support.

                  Why do you see it as a matter of who you support and not what?
                  The noisy gay marriage activists never had my support. Why should they have anything to do with what I think “equal protection” means?

                  FWIW, I would prefer that the word “marriage” be dropped from law entirely and any two people (or more, what do I care?) can have a civil union.

                  1. Why do you see it as a matter of who you support and not what?
                    The noisy gay marriage activists never had my support. Why should they have anything to do with what I think “equal protection” means?

                    FWIW, I would prefer that the word “marriage” be dropped from law entirely and any two people (or more, what do I care?) can have a civil union.

                    Zeb, you are consistently one of the most thoughtful and awesome posters around these parts. You’ve said it better than I ever could on this one.

                    1. Well, it’s kind of you to say so.

              2. Im fine with gays using the word marriage as long as no one gets a state license for it. Ditto for straights.

              3. Your right to have a word be defined a certain way does not trump my right to marry. Jesus Christ, are you actually convinced by this?

        2. I articulated it just fine. You’re just too stupid to comprehend it.

          1. Yes I’m so sure that you have managed to do what nearly every lawyer on your side has failed to do in the various court cases on this issue. If only the defendants had access to the five or so cliches that encompass your entire worldview.

        3. Does this mean Obama will apologize for being a hating gay people in 2008?

          1. The arguments have been presented, and the debate has been won. All that’s left is for Chief Justice Roberts to write the opinion. Yes, things moved quickly, and no not everyone who opposed equality in the past was a bigot. It’s just that as time goes on, the company equality opponents share will increasingly be populated by bigots, and you shouldn’t be surprised if certain assumptions are therefore made.

            1. actually, in virtually every state that has put the question to public referendum, your side has lost. Again, most here have no issue with SSM but like most progs, you insist on court mandates to get you what the ballot box cannot.

              1. Just as you insist that your civil rights not be violated by majority vote.

      3. I’m opposed to gay marriage for the same reason I’m opposed to straight marriage. The government has no business being involved in it at all.

        1. You’re opposed to straight marriage but you still have a right to get straight married if you choose. This argument is a sideshow.

          1. It’s completely consistent with any other Libertarian view.

            1. Abolishing marriage may have been an idea lurking in the dark corners of libertarianism for a long time, but it only really started popping up with any frequency as soon as gay people started getting treated equally under the law. Surely you can see how that might seem suspicious.

              1. I don’t have any concept of the history of libertarian thought. All I know is that it is perfectly consistent to be a libertarian (as I understand it) and oppose government defined marriage.

                1. Then your beef is with laws like DOMA. Legally and philosophically, this doesn’t need to be about marriage really, just equal protection.

                  1. Of course I’m against DOMA. Which is no longer on the books. Soooo….

                  2. Legally and philosophically, this doesn’t need to be about marriage really, just equal protection.

                    “Equal Protection” just begs the question. Before we get to EP, we need to understand that it is about marriage. Gay marriage isn’t an EP issue if marriage (still) means “man and woman”.

                    If marriage still means man and woman, then gay marriage isn’t an EP issue, because by definition it can’t be a marriage, any more than you can argue that its an EP issue that a vet isn’t allowed to dispense drugs to people.

                    1. Unless of course you turn LGBTQ into something equivalent to race. Then the argument is that denying an interracial marriage and denying a gay marriage are equivalent.

                      Of course, I’m fine with someone denying either of these so…

                    2. Marriage has been defined numerous times as a basic human right. Not opposite-sex marriage, marriage. So far with few exceptions courts have found no reason to deny this basic right to gay people.

              2. Fuck that, anyone whose ever faced divorce has quickly realized the libertarian position.

      4. There is no other explanation other than raw hatred towards all homosexuals.

        I beg to differ, sarcasmic. Some (many) people are just wedded to their existing view and slow to accept a different one. They are not necessarily evil–just slow to change. Even in science we find (ala Thomas Kuhn) that people are slow to accept a new paradigm and often need to die off for the new view to become mainstream. I think we are seeing that with respect to marriage. Millennials and X-gen folk will replace boomers, silent, and GI generations bringing a new paradigm into the majority.

  3. What you really rarely hear from anyone on either side of this issue is the argument that I’d expect, but only very rarely hear, at Reason: the government shouldn’t have the ability to make any type of marriage legal or illegal.

    1. +1.

    2. Sunderman supports obamacare and opposed the government shutdown. He’s “libertarian” for the same reason Weigel was–Reason hires less competively than Slate, the Atlantic et al.

    3. Its in every thread on gay marriage here. How is it rare here?

      1. Sorry, I didn’t mean the threads, I meant the articles themselves.

  4. Will this interminable circle jerk over “gay marriage” ever end?

    That’s what I want to know.

  5. It’s a dead issue. It’s been for a while now.

    The Mike Huckabees and Rick Santorums are just trying to beat the skeleton of this horse because they need something to make them seem borderline relevant.

    1. Yea what’s relevant about finishing second in the GOP primary? Again polling data and arguments about relevancy probally shouldn’t be used by libertarians.

      1. Nothing.

        Finishing second in the Republican primary because you were the ONLY Social Conservative candidate left in the race and therefore had the 8 – 10% of the population that are hardcore social conservatives all to yourself does not actually make you relevant on a national scale

        1. Nah, but it keeps your pundit career going.

        2. No but I bet you can raise a few bucks fundraising for whatever “advocacy group” you are going to set up to pay you a six figure salary for the next few years.

  6. Oh, and now they’re showing the beginnings of the Revolution as some tax shelter scheme by Hancock, using Sam Adams and his socialist Robin Hood ideals. Good gawd.

    Maybe that’s why I couldn’t make heads nor tails of what was happening. I wasn’t paying very close attention, but that whole “speakeasy” thing really threw me off. I kept waiting for Capone to show up with the chopper mob.

    1. Well, that and the fact that the history was pretty terrible. Don’t worry, though, they’ll get to the part where they put the treasure map on the back of the Declaration of Independence.

      /I really wouldn’t be surprised if they did

  7. Is there any libertarian issue that polls at even 48 percent? What do you think Reasons immigration policy would poll at? 7 percent? If the cosmotards are going to shill for open borders they probally need to be careful using polling data as an argument for anything.

    1. Argumentum ad populum FTW!

      1. I agree it was really stupid of Sunderman to make that argument.

        1. I contend that 100% of people believe that what they think is right is right at the time that they believe it.

        2. Um, no. But thank you for playing.

          1. “Wah it’s no fair that you argue back. No one argues back when I start ranting on the subway.”

            1. Suderman didn’t make that argument. You did. No point in my attempting an honest debate with a dishonest person. Thank you for playing.

        3. Haysom’s right, as annoying as that is. I always hate how Reason suddenly gives a shit about poll results when those polls support Reason’s position, but conveniently ignore the existence of polling when Reason’s position is unpopular.

          The best is when Nick Gillespie decides to concern troll Republicans by telling them how to be more ‘electable’ as if Gillespie knows what the fuck makes someone electable.

          1. if Reason was that interested in polls and that honest about their results, numerous states have conducted them. Those polls were called public referenda. In every case (unless i missed one), people against SSM won. That might count more than some painstakingly worded question asked by a pollster.

            For the record, I have no quarrel with SSM and agree with the sentiment of who gave govt that authority anyway.

            1. There’s been a massive swing in favor of gay marriage just in the last 5 years. I think at this point it’s obvious that gay marriage would pass public referendums in a number of states and would pass nationally within the next decade or so.

              That doesn’t change the fact that it’s awfully hypocritical for reason to puff up this poll while ignoring inconvenient polls regarding, say, support for open borders.

              1. and you may be right that future referenda would have opposite results. I simply found the past outcomes an alternate way of agreeing with your contention about Reason and its affinity for confirmation bias in polling results.

      2. More like argumentum ad retardum.

    2. 3% for immigration.

    3. Of course not. The average person is way to scared to give anyone else freedom. I have no numbers to back it up, but I would say 95% of people are Libertarians when it comes to how the government treats them.

      1. sad but true.

      2. But I never thought it would happen to me…

      3. “…95% of people are Libertarians when it comes to how the government treats them.”

        Except when the government gives them free stuff, that is.

        1. Well of course there’s that…

    4. Is there any libertarian issue that polls at even 48 percent?

      Gun control, maybe?

      http://www.gallup.com/poll/179…..-laws.aspx

      1. Hardly a libertarian issue. That’s a red meat conservative issue. Believe me you don’t want to know what your average NRA member thinks of open borders and gay marriage.

        1. It can be both, you know.

          And we were talking about issues, here. If someone opposes gun control, they oppose gun control (a libertarian position), regardless of their support for other libertarian positions.

          Principles, not principals, Sam.

    5. Legalizing weed.

      It’s after the fact but most Americans now realize invading Iraq was a mistake.

  8. “In the space of about a decade, public opinion has flipped on gay marriage.”

    Certainly among that part of the public appointed to the judiciary.

  9. Look! Even more good news:

    New information from the federal government suggests workers’ interest in unions continues to fall, with union membership reaching its lowest rate in 100 years.

    According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, the union membership rate fell to 11.1 percent, with just 14.6 million wage and salaried workers maintaining membership.

    In 2013, the union membership rate was 0.2 percentage points higher, at 11.3 percent.

    The rate of union membership has been on a steady decline over the past three decades. It grew slightly from 12.1 percent in 2007 to 12.4 percent in 2008. During President Obama’s first year in office, however, it fell once more.

    http://dailysignal.com/2015/01…..-year-low/

    1. Unions have never done a goddamn thing to hurt you. What they have done is kept wages up–notice a correlation between the decline in unions and the decline in wages?

      1. Unions have done a ton to hurt me. For example, I had a public education. Q.E.D.

      2. Public unions have done plenty to hurt me. Idiot.

      3. Unions have hurt plenty of people who wish to get a job under terms the union disagrees with.

        1. Forgot to mention: Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

          Cool fallacy, bro.

          1. Tony is so stupid he thinks fallacies are phalluses, and he can’t help but to suck them dry.

        2. Do you feel you are entitled to get any job you wish under only your terms?

          1. Nope. I’m entitled to negotiate the terms with any party to my contract. Unions use force to become a party to that contract, regardless of whether or not I or my employer wish them to be.

            1. How do they use force?

              1. Have you not heard of something called state government? Do you know the difference between open-shop states and closed-shop states?

      4. Unions keep costs high. It’s why Detroit collapsed and why American cars are generally shit and we had to bailout GM.

        1. I think the more proximate cause might be the near-collapse of the global economy, and perhaps bad business decisions. But according to your hypothesis the places that make the best cars would have low union participation. Where do you think the best cars are made?

          1. Georgetown, Kentucky? Goo Old Fashioned Toyota non-union work!

          2. That’s funny cause the near-collapse didn’t seem to hurt other manufacturer’s like it did GM. Hell, even Ford weathered that storm better.

            1. This is quite possibly the easiest to refute argument of all time. Tony, have you ever done an honest day’s work?

            2. Would that be the company whose CEO, Bill Ford, who credited the UAW for helping save his company and the industry?

          3. that explains why Kia opened a plant in GA a few years back, why Hyundai did likewise in Alabama, ad infinitum.

            By the way, THE flagship Mercedes SUV is made at the company plant near Birmingham. Alabama, that is. So, the best cars are not made in Detroit, not unless the Japanese automakers took over the Big Three plants recently.

          4. But according to your hypothesis the places that make the best cars would have low union participation. Where do you think the best cars are made?

            That might be the most retarded argument you’ve ever made here. Perhaps you should stick to things you actually know about, like fingering your asshole while masterbating all over your cum soaked Shepard Fairey poster, you fucking retard.

            1. Whenever I make a killer of an argument you idiots go all vulgar and incoherent.

              Do Germany and Japan have less union participation than the US?

              1. Japan has company unions. It’s different. They are dedicated to company success, do not hold the company for ransom,and have a better work ethic than American unionists.

          5. No, Tony. I worked for several years as an engineer in the automotive industry in the 1990s when Ford and Chrysler were upgrading. GM alone could not change to meet the Japanese challenge because of their union. It was most definitely the union that kept GM down even as early as 1989. I realize that it sounds bad to your socialistic sensitivities, but the UAW has been bad for American competitiveness, especially for GM.

      5. Unions have never done a goddamn thing to hurt you.

        And you know this, how?

        Unions, hurting people:

        But a Department of Justice news release described how Ironworkers Local 401 would scout out construction sites in Philadelphia that had hired non-union workers. Union business agents would then “imply or explicitly threaten violence, destruction of property, or other criminal acts unless union members were hired,” the news release says. “The defendants created ‘goon’ squads, composed of union members and associates, to commit assaults, arsons, and destruction of property. One such squad referred to itself as ‘The Helpful Union Guys,’ [or] ‘T.H.U.G’s.'”

        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..y-melchior

      6. What they have done is kept wages up–notice a correlation between the decline in unions and the decline in wages?

        That’s odd, because hourly wages went up a little, while union membership went down a little, over the last few years:

        http://www.bls.gov/news.release/realer.t02.htm

      7. Actually Unions HAVE done something to hurt me as I have actually worked in a Union shop and my refusal to follow their idiotic work rules (The horror when I ran out of work I hunted down my supervisor and asked him what he wanted me to do next) cost me a job.

      8. Hey, Tony. You know what country has incredibly powerful unions? Greece.

        What are their wages looking like recently?

        1. Yes let’s cherry pick the poster country for failed austerity policy.

          1. Austerity resulted from decades of abuse by constituencies that put themselves before other citizens. That’s what unions do. They demand higher wages which ensures that non-union workers in the same industry get lower wages to make possible a competitive product. I was raised by a Teamster, BTW. I know the attitude well.

          2. You seriously think Greece is a poster child for austerity?

            Holy shit, you’re even dumber than shriek.

      9. 1) Correlation does not equal causation.

        2) Public sector unions whose member’s defined benifit pension fund shortfalls are made up with tax dollars are certainly hurting me and anyone else who actually pays taxes.

        3) Cops have unions that prevent polics forces from firing bad cops, even after they’ve murdered someone, which potentially harms anyone who has the misfortune of running into one of those assholes.

        4) If I was GM or Chryslet bond holder ~2009 I would have gotten fucked over pretty hard when the government gave the company to the unions to protect their contracts instead of allowing the companies to go through a normal bancrupcy.

        5) Fuck off, retard.

        1. 5) Fuck off, retard

          This should have been #1.

    2. This is one of the reasons I don’t think RTW is necessary (it’s also a violation of freedom of association). PSUs and environmentalists are a much bigger threat to our freedoms and quality of life than private sector unions. We can even utilize the latter against the former two.

      1. As far as I know, RTW does nothing to outlaw unions, it simply outlaws forced unionization. Or am I mistaken?

        1. It outlaws closed shops negotiated by the owners of said shop.

          RTW is a free association violation.

          1. Gotcha. I was unaware. I thought it simply eliminated forced unionization.

          2. It outlaws closed shops negotiated by the owners of said shop.

            Those negotiations are already a violation of free association.

            Imposing limits on a relationship that is itself imposed on a business owner does not strike me as much of a violation of freedom of association.

            1. I feel like that’s the business owner’s right. He does, after all, own the business…

  10. I think this has the potential to cause a lot of embarrassment in the Republican primary and general campaigns. It’s no longer acceptable, even to a majority of Americans (those cretins) to be wishy-washy on this issue. The safest retreat is probably states-rights bullshit, but a good debate moderator would ask candidates to be clearer than that.

    1. I am delighted by your complete overestimation of the strength of your politcal position. Guarantees your tribe screws up, overreaches and gets to feel the bitter taste of political backlash.

      1. There’s nowhere to overreach to. It’s a simple issue, it will have been settled forever long before the presidential election, and all that will remain is a bunch of Republican yahoos trying not to sound like bigots while pandering for the votes of bigots.

  11. Man, it’s like a perfect storm of asshole trolling in here.

    1. You forgot to mention how much your aunt’s former boyfriend makes working on top of laps or something.

  12. After that, however, I suspect that it will be over. Not over in the sense that no one in America ever speaks a word in opposition to gay marriage again, but over in the sense of it being a meaningful political issue.

    Yeah, just like abortion/ WAR ON WYMINZ became a political non-issue after Roe v. Wade.

    1. Yeah, just like abortion/ WAR ON WYMINZ became a political non-issue after Roe v. Wade.

      It’s undeniably a political issue, but I’d say it’s debatable whether it’s a meaningful one.

      1. I’d say it’ll be much less meaningful than abortion. There is a lot more vitriol and high emotion involved in that issue, probably more money, and more people on either side that have very rigid views.

  13. Unions have never done a goddamn thing to hurt you. What they have done is kept wages up

    In the greater scheme of things, actual wage rates are probably the least terrible thing about unions.

    Work rules, rigid job classifications, enforced over-staffing, strict seniority based promotions; those are killers.

    Fuck you, stupid.

    1. Not to mention public unions fiercely fighting to keep horribly incompetent people in important jobs like policing and education.

    2. Of course any bad labor policies and practices coming from management are their god-given right to impose and we dare not question them, let alone nitpick them.

      1. I don’t think you’ll find many people who are against the right to unionize; it’s being forced to unionize (or pay penalties if you refuse) that the average person is against.

        1. I have no issue with private sector unions. If employees want to cause the price of their employer’s goods and services to go up to a point where customers are no longer willing to purchase them, causing the company to go belly-up, that’s their problem.

          My issue is with public sector unions. Their customers have no choice in the matter, so their demands amount to extorting the tax payers, while their protection of incompetents results in sub-standard services at a higher cost.

          1. I’m not sure if I have a problem with them per se, but in the way you describe of course. I don’t, on the other hand, have a problem with public unions if they are entered into by private citizens who happen to be employed by the government…

            of course this is an absurd pipe dream.

          2. I have no issue with private sector unions.

            In theory, I don’t either.

            In practice? Hell yeah.

            Let’s just start with the fact that a union can force the company to negotiate with it.

      2. “Of course any bad labor policies and practices coming from management are their god-given right to impose and we dare not question them, let alone nitpick them.”

        The difference being, of course, that there are no laws forcing you to work for a particular company, whereas union have implemented laws requiring any worker in certain industries to unionize.

        If people could join unions voluntarily, that would be one thing. Unfortunately, try becoming a police officer without being forced into the union, even if it’s against your will.

        1. In such businesses, that is simply another term of your employment. You just don’t like it when unions make the terms and think management should get to do it all. Which is the very imbalance of power unions are meant to rectify.

          Libertarians should have no problem with unions at all. Isn’t it better when workplace conditions are improved via collective bargaining than imposed by socialist fiat?

  14. The issue is so over and done I’m not even convinced the reactionaries can have a 2016 hurrah. Canada’s SC legalized gay marriage across the land eons ago and there hasn’t been a hint of a shade of a serious effort to undo it since. America will be much the same.

    1. I’m not sure Canada is a good bellweather. You can go to jail for saying “fuck Mohammed” in Canada.

      1. That’s not remotely related.

        1. Of course it is…what are you talking about? I’m pointing out that Canada is not a good bellweather for the United States and then giving an example in which it is not a good bellweather.

          1. I’m using a specific example of gay marriage legalization by the courts. You are generalizing way beyond that.

            1. Again, I said Canada is not a good bellweather. Then gave an example of where it is not a good bellweather…But I keep forgetting that you literally have no ability to understand analogies.

              1. America has hate speech laws too if I recall correctly. Again, it was specific to gay marriage and I just don’t see why it would go very differently for America.

                1. America has hate crime laws, which is a bit different. Pesky first amendment.

  15. public unions fiercely fighting to keep horribly incompetent people in important jobs like policing and education.

    That, too. In spades.

  16. Tony had better not complain the next time a cop shoots someone to death and doesn’t get punished at all because of how absurdly powerful the police union is.

    1. You just gave me a great idea. I’m going to become a police officer, and indiscriminately kill people named Tony, because they fit the description of a mob boss.

    2. Tony hardly ever shows up on those threads because he secretly loves that the police kill people.

  17. May 3 gay guys marry? Or, can they be hetero?

    May a mother marry her 2 daughters?

    Can 2 guys and 3 gals marry, as long as they’re not blood related?

    If not, why not?

    1. And again, the reason real reason the government has no business defining things like this. There are way to many carve-outs, exceptions, etc. to cover them all.

    2. most of recent history defined marriage as consisting of three things: it involved two people of opposite sex who were unrelated. If the middle part, opposite sex, is now a dead letter, someone is going to challenge the other components. Ironically, more than one SSM champion has insisted to me that polygamy in any scenario is beyond the pale.

      1. I keep asking, which argument in favor of two-party same sex marriage does not apply to polygamous or polyandrous marriage?

    3. “May 3 gay guys marry? Or, can they be hetero?”

      Last I checked sex was not actually a legal requirement of marriage. In states which allow gay marriage there would be nothing preventing Jay and Silent Bob from marrying each other as Hetero life partners and then banging chicks as the opportunity presented itself.

      That said legalizing plural marriage is a far far different thing than legalizing gay marriage.All existing marriage and family laws assume exactly 2 members of the marriage varying the gender makeup of the pair doesn’t actually change anything except who worked up religious nutjobs get about the relationship.

      Adding a 3rd (or more) party to the marriage however poses a LOT of legal problems that simply make the bulk of the current laws regarding marriage unworkable.

      As a practical matter the only way to legalize plural marriage is to eliminate the concept (and all of the benefits of) legal marriage.

      1. Adding a 3rd (or more) party to the marriage however poses a LOT of legal problems that simply make the bulk of the current laws regarding marriage unworkable.

        I don’t think so, really. Yeah, it will require some rework, but not all that much.

        Divvying up property among 3 people is not really any different than divvying it up between 2 people.

        Assigning custody among 3 people is not really any different than divvying it up between 2 people. Here, I suppose, we’ll need to look at whether we care to limit custody to the actual biological parents, but other than that, I don’t see any new issues.

        1. There are definitely contracts among more than 2 parties. Have you ever seen NBA trades?

    4. Can AlgerHiss and Andrew Napolitano ask each other an endless series of rhetorical questions and call that a gay marriage?

      Would using a declarative sentence be grounds for divorce?

    5. Are there any arguments in favor of same sex marriage that don’t apply to polygamy or “2 guys and three gals” who are blood relatives getting married?

      1. Are there any arguments in favor of same sex marriage that don’t apply to polygamy or “2 guys and three gals” who are blood relatives getting married?

      2. Of course. And it’s the most common argument used by the pro gay marriage group: That the government should arbitrarily decide who can and can’t enter into a contract.

      3. There certainly are. But I don’t think they are very good. I don’t see any good reason to forbid or discourage group marriage or legal unions between blood relatives (reproduction involving close relatives is another issue, but I don’t think that is any of my business either). Why shouldn’t any group of people have access to the same sort of legal arrangement that married people have?

        Worrying about polygamy is silly. Outside of some fringe religious movements, it’s just not something that is going to happen much in the US. People like to pair off for the most part and that’s just how it is. Very few people can handle a plural relationship for long.

  18. Salon Movie Reviews =

    American Sniper Reveals That Republicans Just Want to Murder Everyone

    “the fact that the film has no nuance, no context, and no subtlety should not surprise us. If anything it is a terrifying glimpse into a GOP mindset that couples delusion with violence. We watch Kyle zero in on a pinpointed target and we are reminded of the ways that such a narrow, aggressive vision is itself a metaphor for GOP beliefs. This is a movie that’s not just about a sniper, but also about an attitude that threatens to destroy any chance in our nation for political compromise and productive debate. And that’s what makes this movie really disturbing.”

    Seriously = i need to find new terms other than “pearl-clutching” & “Pants Wetting” to describe leftist writing. They seem to engage in an endless, breathless, hyperbolic sense of persecution and ‘aghastness’; everything is “terrifying”, “stunning”, “vile”, “a nightmare”….

    They manage to apply this POV to *everything*.

    Look = what happens if you watch re-runs of 1990s Friends episodes?

    OMG = Chandler’s Treatment of his Gay Father is Appalling

    1. I agree. There is no word effective enough to describe prog-terror.

      They are frightened all the time of everything.

    2. That’s some pretty good parody I though Salon.com wasn’t running anymore.

      This isn’t very different from how many people here react to views other than dogmatic non-interventionism btw.

    3. Poopsterbating: the act of shitting their pants in fear while simultaneously masterbating over the prospect of writing idiotic tripe that fellow travelers will read and nod along to, and then repeat on their facebook page as if it was their own original thoughts.

  19. “legalizing same-sex marriages”

    Oh, Reason, you were doing so well by using the correct term, “gay-marriage recognition.” Now you’re back to suggesting that the government, if it doesn’t recognize SSM, is banning it.

    Under the prior regime, not only did same-sex couples have the right to do as they pleased in the bedroom and characterize their relationship however they wished, private businesses actually had the right to decide for themselves whether to recognize SSM. Now, private businesses are rapidly losing this right. But we’re told this development is unrelated to the “same-sex recognition” campaign!

    1. Oh, Reason, you were doing so well by using the correct term, “gay-marriage recognition.”

      A brief tour of the legislation, pardon me, cases, now being considered by the judiciary leads me to conclude that this probably is the best term to use. Even though its technically not the same as “licensing” (which is also part of the legislative, excuse me, judicial, calendar).

      1. I prefer “redefining marriage.”

        1. That’s really what it is. Shame nobody wants to own up to it.

          1. Nobody who matters at least…

          2. Dictionaries are not written by the government. Very odd that you would suggest they should.

            1. Then why have the courts been engaged in a decade plus effort to redefine this word?

    2. Actually, there are states with laws that forbade officiation of gay marriages.

      private businesses actually had the right to decide for themselves whether to recognize SSM. Now, private businesses are rapidly losing this right.

      I’ve never actually seen any data to support a correlation let alone a causative relation. NM’s ADA laws have nothing to do with SSM.

      1. “there are states with laws that forbade officiation of gay marriages.”

        I would like to see some examples, if you don’t mind.

        1. Usually there are laws against solemnize an unlicensed “marriage,” but that really begs the question of what a marriage is. If a same-sex union isn’t a marriage, the solemnizing it couldn’t be an unlicensed marriage.

          1. Your last sentence is really unclear.

            1. If a same-sex union isn’t a marriage, then you can’t accuse someone who solemnizes such a union of performing an unlicensed marriage.

      2. I’ve never actually seen any data to support a correlation let alone a causative relation.

        Its definitional (to a point). If there is no such thing as SSM, then nobody can be forced to recognize it at all.

  20. Re: “Will 2016 Be the Last Hurrah for the GOP’s Gay Marriage Foes?”

    Not if Parson Chucklebee has a breath left in his prejudiced body.

  21. Re: “Will 2016 Be the Last Hurrah for the GOP’s Gay Marriage Foes?”

    No. Sadly.

    They still refuse to go gentle into that good night.

  22. Evangelicals and the Religious Right are the best promoters for the Libertarian cause we have going. With their Wars on Gays, Women and Drugs they are destroying the Republican Party. The only problem is that Socialism will probably win out before Libertarianism can defeat it. Our children will be living the lifestyle of the 1950s Russians because of these wackos and their religious/cult belief system.

    IT’S ALL OVER FOLKS!

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