Rand Paul

Rand Paul: Trapped in an Unwinnable War of Gay Marriage Semantics

His efforts to get his position across don't seem to be working, but whose fault is that?

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Sen. Rand Paul had an interview on Sunday where he was asked again to walk people through his position on government recognition of same-sex marriage. This time Dana Bash of CNN challenged him over whether his catering to religious opposition to expanding the definition of marriage contradicts with his libertarian "government should leave people alone" leanings. Watch the clip below:

To summarize, he wants religion to have control over the use of the word "marriage" (somehow—no idea how that actually works) but allow for gay couples to enter into civil contracts that will allow everybody to be treated the same by the government:

I see no reason why, if the marriage contract conveys certain things, that if you want to marry another woman, that you can do that and have a contract. But the thing is, is the religious connotation of marriage that has been going on for thousands of years, I still want to preserve that.

"You probably could have both. You could have both traditional marriage, which I believe in, and then you could also have the neutrality of the law that allows people to have contracts with another."

This quote seems to have caused the Atlanta Journal Constitution to think that Rand Paul is "taking a step toward gay marriage," which isn't really true.  As Jacob Sullum noted, he made very similar comments recently on Fox (and even further in the past). What was new, and confusing, was when he told evangelicals in a meeting recently that the rise of gay marriage was part of a "moral crisis" that "allows people to think there would be some sort of other marriage." Wouldn't that be the other form of marriage Paul himself is promoting here?

Looking at the issue from a completely different side, Paul's attempt to thread the needle is being presented by Matt Wilstein at Mediaite (and others) as being connected to the bad old days of racial segregation and the "separate but equal" doctrine. It's an emotional but fundamentally illogical argument. One of the many, many issues with segregation was that the whole "equal" part was a great big lie. If all unions were treated the same under the law, it wouldn't matter if they were called something separate. That's just a semantic game. There are no separate drinking fountains or bathrooms or entrances or anything even remotely comparable. What would matter is whether everybody was entitled to the exact same rights and privileges under the law (which is the question the Supreme Court will be tackling very, very soon).

That emotional response to the very idea of the appearance of segregation carries a huge amount of weight, though. It would be easier for libertarians to push forward the concept of marriage (or civil unions, or what have you) as private contracts negotiated by adults if Paul weren't also claiming gay marriage indicated some sort of "crisis." I may fundamentally disagree with those who see a new form of segregation in the way Paul is approaching gay marriage, but it's very easy to look at just the surface of the debate and understand where that fear comes from. Should supporters of same-sex marriage recognition trust that a man who is telling the religious right that this country is in a moral crisis actually does support private contract marriages? Or unions? Or whatever semantic term we want to toss out?

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  1. ” It’s an emotional AND fundamentally illogical argument.”

    That’s generally how emotional arguments work.

    1. you beat me to the same point.

      I was going to say, “how political arguments work”, but either way

    2. It’s also probably the most radically pro-gay-marriage argument that any Republican candidate is going to make, in primary season or ever.

      It’s the most that he can possibly get away with without totally alienating the social conservative wing of the party.

      1. It’s the most that he can possibly get away with without totally alienating the social conservative wing of the party.

        Serious question: What makes you think it isn’t the other way around?

        1. no one needs the social conservative wing of any party.

          1. Certainly commenters at reason don’t need them. Different matter if you want to be elected President of the USA, especially if you’re Republican.

            1. I don’t think so. I think that’s the myth. I think they seems powerful- but it’s because they’re loud and get pandered to.

              If a strong candidate was to NOT pander to them I think he/she could survive the primaries.

              1. This. I am quite sure the SoCons will fall in line after someone tells them their place.

                1. That jackboot makes you look two inches taller so about 5 7ish.

              2. Social conservatives elect ALL the libertarian-leaning members of congress. The “socially liberal” vote goes overwhelmingly to the left.

                1. SoCons wouldn’t have to carry the load if so many ‘libertarians’ didn’t vote prog-statists come election day.

                2. That’s not written in stone. Many social liberals are getting pissed off by Democrats and progressives, and many social conservatives and Christians are coming to realize their love of the nanny state and their hatred for markets and capitalism

              3. I would love it if that were true. I think they are a shrinking share of the general electorate (thankfully). But they still are very influential in Republican primaries, and it’s never wise to alienate any sector of the base.

              4. They were needed in the past. It’s a demographic that is shrinking, so they are becoming less important. That’s one reason they are so shrill and desperate.

    3. I’ve made $64,000 so far this year working online and I’m a full time student. I’m using an online business opportunity I heard about and I’ve made such great money. It’s really user friendly and I’m just so happy that I found out about it. Heres what I’ve been doing
      http://www.work-mill.com

  2. Should supporters of same-sex marriage recognition trust that a man who is telling the religious right that this country is in a moral crisis actually does support private contract marriages? Or unions? Or whatever semantic term we want to toss out?

    Has he said anything about supporting a Constitutional amendment to “defend” traditional marriage? Does he want to bring back DADT or otherwise get the Federal government invovled in the issue?

    No?

    Then there’s no reason not to take him at this word on this.

    1. Has he said anything about supporting a Constitutional amendment to “defend” traditional marriage?

      The question was baited, any answer on topic is no answer.

      Dana: “Rand as a libertarian when did you stop beating your wife?”
      Rand: “I’ve always been a leave me alone kind of guy…”

      Look, the question isn’t about Gay Marriage, the question is about Iran/Drones/Russia/Budget???/NSA/Corporate Flight/Obamacare…

      Libertarian Rob Lowe: “Look Dana, the only reason we’re even talking about Gay Marriage right now is because of the ACA and it’s implications on social issues, state to state, via the commerce clause. Clearly, it was sold as a way to save money, which was a questionable premise from the get-go, but now it appears that it’s corroding and reforming our fundamental freedoms in ways that even it’s fundamental proponents didn’t intended and don’t support.”

  3. I don’t really care who has ultimate ownership of the word marriage. But this debate was never about marriage. It was about homosexual intercourse. “Marriage” is just a convenient label the objectors hide behind.

    1. Re: “I don’t really care who has ultimate ownership of the word marriage.”

      How about citizens owning the institution? (That would, of course, mean ALL citizens, not ‘We, the str8 people …’.)

      Re: “But this debate was never about marriage.

      It has ONLY been about that.

      Re: “It was about homosexual intercourse. “Marriage” is just a convenient label the objectors hide behind.”

      Nonsense. The 1,138 “effects that flow from marriage to not “flow” from intercourse.

      1. I read MP as stating that the objection to gay marriage is really that the opposition finds the idea of two dudes kissing icky…

        1. Correct. George’s typical “effects that flow from marriage” BS doesn’t address the vast numbers of straight marriages that fail. How ’bout the effects of those, George?

          It’s all about the icky.

          1. MP,

            What, exactly, is “BS” about those “effects that flow from marriage”? Heterosexuals DO get them when they marry.

            And, many of those “effects” DO cover marriage breakups. The thousands of laws that ‘govern’ those effects cover such things as alimony, custody, child-support, visitation – ALL of which kick in when a marriage (straight OR gay) “fails”.

            Just like the law, I care not about your own particular ‘ick-factor’. It’s a moot argument in the eyes of the law. The SC(R)OTUS has already said that animus is not a sufficient legal argument for not rendering the Constitutionally-promised equal protections of the laws to SOME citizens.

        2. Perhaps.

          But “It’s icky” is hardly a winning argument at court.

    2. What business do politicians have to “discuss homosexual intercourse”, any more than they have to discuss which openings heterosexual couples stick various body parts into?

  4. This is why we can’t have nice things

  5. Wouldn’t that be the other form of marriage Paul himself is promoting here?

    Vice versus crime. It doesn’t seem completely unreasonable to me that Dr. Paul might understand the difference.

  6. He should have just stuck with “Everybody should be able to join in civil unions, recognized as equal under the law. If your church wants to go further than that and attach religious meaning to your union, so be it.”

    His “moral crisis” speech was confusing and is what is making him seem, at best, like a slippery politician on the issue.

    1. If your church wants to go further than that and attach religious meaning to your union, so be it.

      Won’t work. Paul wants “religion” to “control” marriage, but he means “only marriage between a man and a woman.” We’re not talking about “a” religion though; there are lots of denominations and even more independent churches, and many of them will perform same-sex marriages.

      If the government either limits control of marriage to traditional marriage denominations, or limits denominations to traditional marriages, it’s establishing a religion.

  7. I don’t know if he’s “pandering” to SoCons or giving his true views. By the same token, I don’t know if he’s “pandering” to libertarians or giving his true views.

    I do know that Dana Bash’s comment about gay marriage was retarded.

    This is the same Dana Bash who got pwned by Ted Cruz when she tried to claim he has as little experience as President Obama before 2008.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/t…..experience

    This is the same Dana Bash who denounced one of the Congressional conservatives for failing to vote for a full-year authorization for the Homeland Security agency – “Why can’t you govern? And why can’t you fund a government agency that keeps us safe?”

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/m…..-political

  8. So he appears to be saying that you can allow same-sex marriage without religious marriage somehow disappearing. To which I would respond…no shit?

    “You could probably have both”… Really? You think?

    1. Well, not *you* and *both at the same time*. People would be “free” to choose from whatever options they can conceive, or even a myriad of options with varying legal support two options, one (or none) at a time.

  9. Ok, so HOW AMAZING would it be for him to hold a press conference next week, or the one after, and say ” I would like to apologize to the American people. My previous stance on gay marriage was wrong. In an IDEAL world, I would like the government to not be involved in marriage contracts. We do not, of course, live in an ideal world. As it stands, I have wracked my conscience and talked with people of all opinions and I have come to one conclusion- there is NO REASON for a government to treat its citizens differently based on sexual preference. It follows, then, that my official stance on “Gay Marriage” is that, in the current system, I support equality. Thank you.”

  10. How about following the “guitar” example? Originally there were just guitars, then along came the electric guitar, and suddenly acoustic was a useful adjective with respect to guitar. The generic is still useful and often understood to be one or the other depending on context.

    So use the generic “marriage”, adding the adjectives “secular” or “religious” as necessary.

    Not a big fucking deal.

    1. I think by generic you mean acoustic. I’ll have one acoustic marriage please… wait, no, I meant electric! How much is that amp? Nevermind.

      1. No, I meant the generic “guitar” as opposed to the adorned “acoustic” or “electric”.

        1. My Breedlove acoustic-electric rejects your cis-normative guitar oppression…

          1. TIWTANMormonL

    2. And if you don’t sell electric guitars in your store, your store should be shut down.

      Don’t leave out that part.

      1. but you can set up shop in rural nevada.

        1. I’m afraid someone will have to explain that joke to me.

          1. you can do anything in rural Nevada- including refusing service.

            1. OK, thank you.

              1. What is Sen. Paul’s position on people’s rights in the rest of the country?

                1. Dunno. I assume he thinks you should be able to pay a hooker for services from money saved by your 3 sister-wives… but that would be wishful thinking.

      2. And if you don’t sell electric guitars in your store, your store should be shut down.

        And the state will only recognize one amp, one guitar or two guitars and no amps.

        One guitar and many amps, many guitars with one amp, or many guitars with many amps must be illegal, otherwise anarchy.

        1. Which side, exactly, wants to make things “illegal”?

          The prior regime, where the government recognized opposite-sex marriage only, included the right of private companies to define marriage as including same-sex, and to give benefits accordingly to employees and customers.

          Private companies will have no such freedom of choice under the new, same-sex regime. Private companies will be *forced* to recognize SSM.

          1. The statist side. The side that wants government to do things. The side thatw whines and moans when government doesn’t do things even more than they whine and moan when the government does things they don’t want.

            1. Could you be more specific?

              Which side permits private businesses to *decide for themselves* what relationships they want to recognize?

              1. Apparently the non-Notorious G.K.C. side.

                1. I don’t want to hog the credit – Rick Santorum would also allow private businesses to make their own choices in this matter.

                  http://www.bloomberg.com/polit…..dom-debate

                  1. Can you find a social liberal outside the libertarian movement who shares Santorum’s tolerant views?

          2. Yes, you’re right, private companies may be compelled to do things they don’t want to. That’s wrong. But they are already compelled to do things they may not want to for heterosexual married couples anyway.

            But right now, government gives special rights when it comes to immigration, inheritance, health care, child rearing, and others to straight couples. There is no way to substitute private arrangements for those legal rights and subsidies. That is also wrong. And it violates the equal protection clause.

            By all mean, fix government compulsion in marriage. But whatever the rules are, they need to be the same for everybody. And as long as government provides special privileges and compels private parties for pairs of adults called “married”, the sex of those adults should not matter. That’s what “equal protection” means.

          3. Your “prior regime” fantasy was most entertaining, but has nothing to do with reality.

            There is no such thing as a “private company”. It may be privately owned, but its doors are open to the pubic, and that means ALL of the public. NO company had “the right” you claim they do.

            1. Prior to the CRA private businesses certainly could discriminate all they wanted.

        2. And, God forbid, you can’t have a guitar and amp from the same company…

      3. Re: “And if you don’t sell electric guitars in your store, your store should be shut down.”

        Totally inapt comparison. If you sell electric guitars, you have to sell them to ALL members of the public who enter the doors of your store with the asking price for the merchandise. Just like cakes. If you don’t sell electric guitars, then you don’t sell them – equally, to ALL of your customers. Just like cakes.

        No one is forcing bakers to sell cakes. It’s what they’ve willingly chosen to do for a living. Bakeries sell cakes.

    3. But both types of guitars produce music. Gay marriage doesn’t produce the thing marriage exists to facilitate- children. So this is more like coming along and saying I want to call this new thing I bought a guitar. It’s curved, made of wood, and sometimes people smash them to get attention. You know just like a guitar. It’s a table guitar.

      1. Who cares? Why should my tax dollars go to “facilitating” other people’s children? What job of government is it to “facilitate” who does or does not have children?

        Besides, gay couples do have and raise children. From surrogacy to artificial insemination and adoption, there are many ways of producing children besides penis-in-vagina. If “facilitating children” is the point of marriage, then government could facilitate gay marriage and subsidize those reproductive technologies, right?

      2. Re: “marriage exists to facilitate- children”

        Ah! So THAT’S why we don’t let infertile or elderly heterosexual couples to marry.

        I was wondering about that for a long time, so I’m glad you ‘cleared it up’ for us.

    4. In reality, there is no such thing (legally-speaking) as a “religious marriage”. Even the marriages performed in religious settings and performed by clergypersons are civil marriages.

      The State cares so little if a couple has had a religious ritual performed that it doesn’t even ASK if one took place.

      The State, rightly, concerns itself with civil marriage – a civil right governed by civil laws. And NO ‘God-talk’ is required, nor does any ‘God-talk’ – by itself – make for a legal, civil marriage, anywhere in America.

      When same-gender couples marry, the State issues a Marriage License – just as it does when a heterosexual couple marry. No “adjectives” required – not “secular”, not “religious”, not “gay” and not “straight”. It just says Marriage Certificate at the top of my State-issued marriage certificate.

  11. “Yes, Dana, I believe people should be left alone, which is why I am against the current campaign to have the government redefine marriage and fine people in to bankruptcy for resisting the new definition.”

    Wait, he didn’t say that.

    Well, then, I imagine he just hopes the issue will go away without him having to take a serious stand.

    1. “any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities”

      I don’t think the government is redefining. They refined with DOMA. The second part of that statement should have been said- I amend my wishful thinking above withe the addition of another sentence about the right to refuse service and not making bigotry and ignorance against the law.

      1. “established in various parts of the world”

        Oh, recognize other cultures’ definitions?

        1 man + four wives? The 10-minute “marriages” some Shia clerics allow johns to contract with prostitutes? Child brides?

        1. “Fixed-Term/Temporary/Pleasure Marriage are different names for the Arabic word of “Mut’a”which is a contract between a man and woman, much in the same way the Long-Term/Permanent/Conventional Marriage is. The main difference is that the temporary marriage longs only for a specified period of time, and man and woman will become stranger to each other after the expiration date without divorce.

          “One misconception regarding temporary marriage is that some people think that the woman engaged in temporary marriage can have contract every other hour. This is completely misrepresentation of temporary marriage. After such contract has been expired, the woman has to wait for two months (Iddah) before which she can not marry any one else. This issue, among others, will be discussed later in detail.”

          Two months? Well, that’s all right, then!

          http://www.al-islam.org/shiite…..lam-part-1

          1. The main difference is that the temporary marriage longs only for a specified period of time, and man and woman will become stranger to each other after the expiration date without divorce.

            Is that affirmative consent I smell?

        2. I don’t think one can provide a rational argument against polygamy or polyandrous relationships between willing participants. child brides? No. Children and animals cannot enter into contracts or such unions.

          However, I was simply giving you the definition of marriage to show that they government isn’t trying to redefine it at all. I’m ok with 10 minute marriages. I think it’s hilarious how people can figure out ways to lie to themselves about what they’re doing. However, is that done to form a familial bond? no. So it doesn’t actually meet the definition of marriage.

          1. “I don’t think one can provide a rational argument against polygamy or polyandrous relationships between willing participants.”

            Should the government recognize these marriages and let all the spouses collect Social Security?

            1. No, but that’s a problem of social security- not marriage. You can’t disallow something due to a problem you’ve created that otherwise wouldn’t have been a problem at all.

              So, I guess it’s not a no. It’s more a “sure, but only insofar as it’s either equally distributed of the same amount as 1 widow, or as otherwise outlined in his will.”

              1. So because someone is in a plural marriage, they get fewer government benefits? How is this not “discrimination,” under the fairly broad definition the SSM advocates urge on us?

              2. “No, but that’s a problem of social security- not marriage.”

                Then by all means extend government recognition to variant forms of marriage on Planet Libertopia, while here on Earth we grapple with the practical issues.

            2. Should the government recognize these marriages and let all the spouses collect Social Security?

              Yup. One check divided n-spouse ways.

              If a State wants to prioritize by age, duration of time in marriage, duration of cohabitation, height, gender, etc. So be it.

              Obviously, that’s not going to happen overnight (OK, really never), so until that time, courts can settle the matter ad hoc, pretty much the way marriages are dissolved now.

              1. “If a State wants to prioritize by age, duration of time in marriage, duration of cohabitation, height, gender, etc. So be it.”

                OK, now here’s another way the state can prioritize: By giving recognition to marriages which are uniquely ordered for the production of children! That is, to say, marriage between 1 man + 1 woman.

                Why would that distinction be any more arbitrary than “prioritizing” a 20-year marriage where the parties were always quarreling over a 2-year marriage between a new bride and a soldier who dies defending his country. If the government can discriminate against the soldier and his bride, then why not discriminate against a “marriage” which is *not* naturally ordered to producing children?

                1. Why would that distinction be any more arbitrary than “prioritizing” a 20-year marriage where the parties were always quarreling over a 2-year marriage between a new bride and a soldier who dies defending his country. If the government can discriminate against the soldier and his bride, then why not discriminate against a “marriage” which is *not* naturally ordered to producing children?

                  Ah, I meant prioritizing within the marriage rather than across marriages (if it’s even necessary). However, the point/argument still stands; including homosexuals in the existing schema does little to change and/or free up individuals wrt the existing marriage (+1,138 riders) schema.

                  And is the very ground Rand is trying to walk on without coming off as a completely batshit crazy libertarian.

                2. What business of the state is it to “prioritize” one kind of relationship over another? What business of the state is it to tell people to produce kids in a “naturally ordered” way, as opposed to the many other arrangements people have used since biblical times for producing children? You’re reasoning like a progressive or statist.

                  1. Re: “What business of the state is it to tell people to produce kids in a “naturally ordered” way”

                    None at all, of course.

                    And, I hear that TWO of Mitt Romney’s (very heterosexual) sons and their wives had to resort to very UN-natural methods (IVF) to make their babies!!!

                    “Not fitting”, as the Church Lady used to say.

                3. Re: “here’s another way the state can prioritize: By giving recognition to marriages which are uniquely ordered for the production of children”

                  So, we shouldn’t let infertile heterosexual couples marry then?

                  Got it. It’s asinine, but I “got” your “point”.

        3. Re: “10-minute marriages some Shia clerics allow”

          Um, secular American law also ‘allows’ them. (See Britney Spears, for starters.)

    2. Re: definition The government hasn’t ‘redefined’ marriage anymore than it did when it ended miscegenation laws. It’s just recognizing that the definition has in fact changed, like it or not.

      1. The miscegenation laws redefined marriage. Your side owns it.

        1. The miscegenation laws were struck down, essentially, because the courts rejected the idea that the definition of marriage had “really” changed to “one man and one woman of the same race.”

          1. Yes, the courts went back to the standard definition of a union of a man and a woman. The only genetic bar to marriage, traditionally, is if the parties are *too closely* related.

      2. The big, unanswered question remains, of course:

        Who gets to say, officially, that the definition of marriage has changed (or not)? The courts? Legislatures? God forbid, the people via referendum.

        Because the courts way out in front of the people and the legislatures on this. Maybe they were right, that the definition had already changed. Or maybe they changed the definition.

        Its not an easy question. But its one nobody seems interested in addressing, even though it is THE fundamental question.

        1. The courts channeling “society’s evolving views” are like a low-rent spiritualist rapping the table with her knee in hopes gullible customers will think it’s the ghost of Cleopatra.

        2. Re: “God forbid, the people via referendum.”

          Last time I checked, the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness were “unalienable”.

          Voting on other people’s rights and freedoms is like 4 lions and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner?

  12. Suggested answer:

    Marriage is a word that has deep religious roots. Government shouldn’t license “marriage” for that reason alone – it looks like an entanglement of church and state. Let churches decide what marriages they will perform and sanctify, and keep government out of churches, as well as religious terminology out of government.

    Governments should license civil unions, not marriages, for the same reason governments should register births but not baptisms. Each state should be allowed to decide what civil unions it will license. Personally, I think they should license civil unions between same-sex and opposite-sex partners.

    1. that would be nice- but still very pie in the sky.

      1. It is only pie in the sky because too many people persist in forcing their religion onto others.

        On both sides of the pendulum now.

    2. RC Dean.
      Civil unions have always been called marriages. Rand has boxed himself in. We’re gonna change marriage in all 50 states? I don’t think so.

      1. Civil unions have always been called marriages. That’s why they’re called “civil unions” – because they’re “marriages”.

        Duh

        No wonder RC doesn’t get it…

        1. I’ve corrected the lie about what I said.

          Civil unions have always been called marriages.

          Duh No wonder RC doesn’t get it.

          Umm, I’ve had two civil ceremonies, which both provided a Marriage Certificate.
          Umm, It’s the ceremony, which is called civil, so we already differentiate,

      2. Civil unions have always been called marriages.

        And, Michael misses the point. Again.

    3. What RC said.

    4. I agree with you, however most gays would rather give up the rights they deserve, and are entitled to, if they are not able to use the word “marriage.”

      I find it silly as hell and just don’t understand it. They seem to be “cutting their noses off to spite their faces.”

      1. The fuckers think they have equal rights and a constitution defending those rights.
        Civil MARRIAGES have existed since before our founding. I had two of them myself.
        It’s amazing that so many on this page have never heard of a civil marriage.
        This will explain it:

        http://www.thefreedictionary.com/civil+marriage

        Do you know what a Common Law Marriage is?

    5. Churches perform religious rites – like holy matrimony. But, NO religious ceremony, by itself, makes a couple legally married in America.

      The discussion is about civil marriage – a civil right (per the SCOTUS) which is governed by civil laws. The State cares not if a couple has had a religious ritual performed in addition to getting civilly married.

      These “civil unions” were tried and found wanting. They were never equal, and were designed not to be.

  13. Rand will eventually get nailed on this. He can’t hide his extreme social conservatism forever. He’s not threading any needles, the civil union is bullshit, and will get nailed by any well-informed interviewer.

    We’ve always had civil ceremonies. They result in marriage. That’s what it’s called. I had two of them. Each one produced a Marriage Certificate, signed by the official who performed the weddings, a Justice of the Peace and a Mayor.

    Moral crisis of our time? Tent revivals? That’s the day he killed his own campaign.
    Wait until he gets nailed on abortion! Most of those young “libertarian-ish” voters he’s been courting will disappear in a flash. And he ain’t gonna attract the millions who abandoned the GOP for social issues.

    But Reason keeps making excuses for him. Libertarian Moment, right?

    1. HIHNFECETD

      1. Do you actually expect people to know what your cryptic anagram is supposed to mean?

    2. I’ve never practiced law in a state that uses the terminology of “civil union”. Could you point me to one?

      The point you are missing is that we have used a religious term (“marriage”) for a legal relationship (“civil union”). For a long time, that was kind of a non-issue for a variety of reasons.

      But its causing trouble now. Much of which could be made to disappear, I believe, by changing the terminology.

      1. We’ve always had civil ceremonies.

        But they don’t result in “civil unions”. They are civil weddings that result in “marriages”. For example, in AZ:

        http://www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00124.htm

        http://www.azleg.gov/ars/25/00125.htm

        1. You’ve just been had!

          We’ve always had civil ceremonies.

          But they don’t result in “civil unions”. They are civil weddings that result in “marriages”

          Right marriage. No church. Since before religious marriages began in the 1500s. Now learn about Common Law Marriages, which were well before any civil AND religious marriages. You’re getting close to home on this.

          1. Since before religious marriages began in the 1500s

            You already got called out on this. But you do know that there are other religions besides Christianity, right? Since you are an idiot, probably not.

            1. You already got called out on this.

              Somebody in your tribe, right? Well I already called you out, by posting a link to the proof.

              But you do know that there are other religions besides Christianity, right?

              Umm, not as part of this issue.

              Since you are an idiot, probably not.

              Here’s the proof. I have sources, you have a potty mouth.

              https://reason.com/blog/2015/04…..nt_5227582

          2. I “married” my half-sister in a civil ceremony 2 months before her death in 2006… why is the Gov’t denying me her Social(ist) (In)Security widower’s benefits?

            1. Why would you even WANT “Social(ist) … anything???

              Taker!

      2. I’ve never practiced law in a state that uses the terminology of “civil union”. Could you point me to one?

        I’ve never been a nuclear physicist and a chemist in any state I can think of.

        Legally, it’s called a civil MARRIAGE

        The point you are missing is that we have used a religious term (“marriage”) for a legal relationship (“civil union”).

        What you don’t seem to know is that the term “marriage” came before it was a religious union.

        Have you practiced law in any of the nine states that still recognize Common Law Marriage?
        Do you have any idea why they were called “common law?” Do you know what English Common Law is? That marriages were not a religious sacrament until the 1500?

        For a long time, that was kind of a non-issue for a variety of reasons.

        But its causing trouble now. Much of which could be made to disappear, I believe, by changing the terminology.

        1. Thanks for proving my point, Michael, with your experience, namely, that civil ceremonies result in marriages. Not “civil” marriages. Not “civil unions”. Marriages.

          I’ve practiced in jurisdictions that had common law marriages. That just proves, again, my point that we use a religious term for non-religious relationships.

          I know you’re wrong that marriage wasn’t a Christian sacrament until 1500.

          Finally, I still think that much of the current anger over this, from both sides, centers on the use of a religious term for a legal relationship.

          1. Did she earn more than you?
            (Not that I believe it)

          2. Thanks for proving my point, Michael, with your experience, namely, that civil ceremonies result in marriages.

            Ummm, that was my point. You seem to have forgotten your own point and how you just admitted you were wrong.

            Here’s what I said at the beginning. Emphasis added for the integrity challenged.

            We’ve always had civil ceremonies. They result in marriage. That’s what it’s called. I had two of them. Each one produced a Marriage certificate

            Then you started all that babbling about civil UNIONS. Immediately:

            I’ve never practiced law in a state that uses the terminology of “civil union”. Could you point me to one?

            (laughing) I said civil CEREMONY.

            I know you’re wrong that marriage wasn’t a Christian sacrament until 1500.

            It was 1547, and I already gave you the link. See it again here.

            https://reason.com/blog/2015/04…..nt_5227582

            .

      3. The “religious term” is not marriage; it’s “holy matrimony”.

        The legal term for what we are discussing is civil marriage, not “civil union”. These “civil unions” are not equal in law (they were designed not to be). And, of course, many States, when they changed their Constitutions to forbid equal civil marriage for same-sex couples also changed them to forbid even “civil unions” – or any other institution ‘resembling’ or offering “the effects that flow from marriage”.

        And THAT is what has caused the ‘trouble”.

        The only terminology needed is marriage, and applying it equally to ALL citizens, as the US Constitution promises.

    3. We’ve always had civil ceremonies. They result in marriage.

      Yes, and people are saying that maybe “civil ceremonies” should consistently result in “civil unions” for everybody, leaving the contentious, religiously rooted definition of “marriage” properly in the hands of individuals and their conscience.

      1. leaving the contentious, religiously rooted definition of “marriage” properly in the hands of individuals and their conscience.

        After we also ignore 9000 or so laws regarding marriages, spouses, and all their legal consequences. Marriage is too deeply ingrained in our culture. The bigots are just inventing excuses for typical self-righteous bigotry. After watching Rand Paul bully two newswomen, it’s the same self-righteousness those people have.

      2. Marriage is NOT a religious thing. We let ATHEISTS marry, not a WORD of ‘God-talk’ required.

        Stop confusing/conflating the religious ceremony of holy matrimony – which does NOT, by itself, make a couple legally married.

        Sheesh!

        No people I know “are saying that maybe “civil ceremonies” should consistently result in “civil unions” . They result in marriages. Civil marriages. These “civil unions” were tried and found wanting because … They. Are. NOT. Equal. They were designed not to be.

  14. “Well, then, I imagine he just hopes the issue will go away without him having to take a serious stand.”
    He took a serious stand when the Dreamers got near him. Why can’t he stand up 4 the gehs?
    http://www.politico.com/multim…..-king.html

  15. Can 3 gay males marry?

    Can a mother marry her daughter?

    Can 3 straight males marry?

    Can 2 females marry 1 male?

    If not, why not?

      1. The Pelosi defense will not fly.

        1. R U…..experienced serious?

    1. Can 3 gay males marry? Yes, there is no rational argument for preventing or outlawing this.

      Can a mother marry her daughter? Yes, if both are consenting adults. While it might be taboo and icky- the government should be blind to taboo.

      Can 3 straight males marry? Yes, but then they would probably be gay…

      Can 2 females marry 1 male? Yes, there is no rational argument for preventing or outlawing this.

      If not, why not? As it stands, the argument is one of benefits. The government has protected certain rights and benefits to married couples. This is, of course, silly.

    2. AlgerHiss
      Can 3 gay males marry?

      That’s not an issue unless three heteros can marry. It’s about equal rights. And nowhere, at no time, has any level of government ever been delegated any power to control and regulate marriage.

      Rand is also wrong about “thousands of years.” Marriage was not a sacrament until the 1500s. He’s committing suicide. (I’m agreeing with the title that this is an “unwinnable war”) The gal nailed him on limited government. She knows what libertarianism is.

      1. This is completely false. Augustine considered marriage a sacremental and that view was accepted church wide soon after. Council of Lyon included marriage as a one of the seven sacrements in 1274 so the absolute latest you can claim marriage became a sacrement is 1274. And that’s only off the top of my head.

        1. Just to round it out on the timeline:

          Augustine died in 430 AD, so its probably fair to say that marriage has been considered a Christian Sacrament for at least 1500 years.

          Not “thousands”, technically, but I can’t fault Rand too much for saying that something that has been a sacrament for over 1500 years is “thousands” of years old.

          1. Augustine died in 430 AD, so its probably fair to say that marriage has been considered a Christian Sacrament for at least 1500 years.

            A sacrament, without canon law? Huh-uh. I’ve already documented that marriage did not come under canon law until 1574 ( one or a few comments down.

            http://www.canonlaw.info/a_preparingchildren.htm

            “But it does mean that the fundamental rules on sacramental participation are determined by universal canon law and not by local diocesan or parish policy-makers, however well-intentioned they might be.

            Any more questions?

            1. Yea. Does Reynolds tin foil keep the mind control rays out best? Or is there a brand you prefer.

              1. Yea. Does Reynolds tin foil keep the mind control rays out best? Or is there a brand you prefer.

                Hmm, if you don’t like being humiliated, get the chip off your shoulder.

            2. A sacrament, without canon law?

              Take it up with Augustine. I’m not a canon law expert, but I could easily see this statement:

              “the fundamental rules on sacramental participation are determined by universal canon law”

              being accurate after the adoption of universal canon law, without negating the existence of sacraments recognized before universal canon law.

              Besides, I don’t know that Catholic canon law governs what non-Catholic regard as sacraments. So a Protestant is perfectly free to go with Augustine, even if Catholics don’t.

        2. This is completely false

          Fifteen hundred years after Cana, during the seventh session of the Council of Trent in 1547, sacramental marriage became part of canon law – See more at: http://www.uscatholic.org/chur…..TxQKe.dpuf

          1. Stop digging . The council of Lyon recognized marriage as a sacrament this isn’t like contestable. Don’t be weasel just admit that your accordion file of crank research let you down.

            1. A sacrament, without canon law?

              I’m not a canon law expert,

              You sure screw it up here!

              but I could easily see this statement:

              Which you lie about.

              being accurate after the adoption of universal canon law, without negating the existence of sacraments recognized before universal canon law.

              Marriage was not added until 1574.
              1) Same source you cited.
              2) And shame on you for distorting the quote.

              “the fundamental rules on sacramental participation are determined by universal canon law”

              (snicker) That’s why I gave it to you.

              So a Protestant is perfectly free to go with Augustine, even if Catholics don’t.

              Oh ……. my ……. God ….. Augustine.died a thousand years before there were any Protestants!

              My work here is done. Bloviating exposed

            2. Stop digging .

              You really screwed up this time!

              The council of Lyon recognized marriage as a sacrament this isn’t like contestable.

              I’d already contested it and proved it

              Brirtannica says you’re wrong, on top of my original source

              http://www.britannica.com/EBch…..il-of-Lyon

              Don’t be weasel just admit that your accordion file of crank research let you down

              .

              What you call “crank research” is … wait for it … US Catholic magazine. Their name is visible in the link! .

              Here are the priests and brothers you insulted.

              Who publishes U.S. Catholic ?
              U.S. Catholic magazine is published by the Claretians. Following in the footsteps of St. Anthony Claret?a prolific writer and publisher whom Pope Pius XI called the “Modern Apostle of the Good Press”?the Claretians in the United States began their publishing ministry in 1935 with the first edition of the magazine The Voice of St. Jude. In 1963, during the Second Vatican Council, The Voice of St. Jude transformed into U.S. Catholic magazine.

              Who are The Claretians?
              They are dedicated to the mission of living and spreading the Gospel of Jesus. For more information, visit http://www.claretiansusa.org.

              You people are so sad to watch, with all your rage and hatred.
              I hope you find peace in your life.

    3. After all is said and done, advanced societies on this planet seem to have come to the conclusion that nonincestuous human pair-bonding is a natural trait of our species, and have found it useful to provide standardized contracts and benefits packages to recognize and reinforce these bonds. Alas, though there is a genetic diversity component in maintaining the taboo against incest, since the law doesn’t take that into account otherwise, it has no rational reason to deny the same contracts and benefits to gay people.

      1. From what I understand, the taboo against incest, at least between immediate family, is strong and universal against all cultures. There seems to be a genetic predisposition against it so making it legal isn’t likely to give way to torrent of brother/sister hookups.

        Marriage and procreation are two different issues. I see zero reason for a legal prohibition on incestuous relationships. Incestuous procreation is a little bit trickier. Is there a substantial risk of birth defects (I don’t know how likely they actually are)? Can the risk be high enough that the something akin to gross negligence is occurring with regards to the well being of a child? Does it even make sense to talk about that when no child exists yet? I’m not sure but I have serious reservations about removing the legal prohibition on incestuous procreation.

        And from a pure ick factor, yes, it is icky.

        1. Both “icky” AND off-topic.

      2. it has no rational reason to deny the same contracts and benefits to gay people.

        True.

        advanced societes on this planet seem to have come to the conclusion that nonincestuous human pair-bonding is a natural trait of our species, and have found it useful to provide standardized contracts and benefits packages to recognize and reinforce these bonds

        I don’t want to live in an “advanced society”, thank you very much. And I don’t want government to “reinforce pairbonds” at all; it’s not government’s business to meddle in people’s private lives like that.

        As long as it does the meddling, it should do it in a gender neutral way. But that doesn’t make the meddling itself right.

    4. I see no reason why they shouldn’t be. The only that seems a little odd to me is mother/daughter, but whatever.

    5. Why not? Because legal marriage is a law relating to the relationship between two adults. The argument for gay marriage is that laws shouldn’t make distinctions based on the gender of the people involved; that’s equal protection. There is no legal principle that laws pertaining to parties of two should be available to parties of three or more as well.

      None of these are libertarian arguments, they are constitutional and legal arguments. From a libertarian point of view, the government should get out of the marriage business altogether. But as long as the government is in the business of defining “marriage”, it should comply with constitutional and legal principles in doing so and that means not making distinctions by gender.

      Restrictions of marriage based on incest are also rooted in utilitarian arguments. You have to ask the progressives and social conservatives who make such arguments to justify them. To a libertarian, these arguments are meaningless.

      1. From a libertarian point of view, the government should get out of the marriage business altogether

        Why? There’s no aggression involved. It’s voluntary. Between consenting adults.
        We are often too easily carried away with the anti-gummint meme.

        1. From a libertarian point of view, the government should get out of the marriage business altogether

          Why? There’s no aggression involved. It’s voluntary. Between consenting adults.

          While marriage as an arrangement between people is, ideally, between consenting adults, marriage as a social construct is not. Especially with government in the mix, it extends beyond the mated pair to include everyone else that they interact with, conferring an expectation that the relationship will be recognized and treated as a marriage and the partners recognized and treated accordingly.

          Government compels others, who might not otherwise be consenting, to recognize the relationship status and provide due consideration whether they agree with it or not. That is aggression.

    6. 1. Not if 3 heterosexual males can’t.

      2. The purpose of marriage is to establish legal kinship where no kinship existed previously. Your mother and daughter already have kinship established in law.

      3. See #1.

      4. See #1.

      Your obsession with incest and polygamy, while ‘endearing’ (not), is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

  16. His personal views may not align well with most libertarians, who I don’t think have a moral qualm about gay marriage. But the idea of having a legal contract open to all couples while leaving “marriage” as a separate religious institution that can be sanctioned or not sanctioned based on the views of a particular church seems to be almost exactly in line with the libertarian position. It certainly moves in the ideal libertarian direction of getting government out of marriage entirely.

    Paul is not a libertarian but he’s close to libertarians on a lot of issues in terms of how wants to govern, and almost identical to libertarians on what can be realistically achieved. And yet he is catching a lot of flack for how he wants to live his life personally because…why exactly? He isn’t trusted? Or because people just love the culture war too damn much to vote for someone who is personally socially conservative?

    1. he wants to live his life personally because…why exactly?

      Libertarians have known that answer for almost 50 years now. It has nothing to do with living his life personally. It’s using government force to impose one’s values on everyone.

      1. Except that his proposed policies don’t really seem to do that.

        1. Except that his proposed policies don’t really seem to do that.

          Well, yes they do. He refuses to allow gay marriage, which means imposing his values on others — when government ALREADY has no such power. Not to mention Tent Revivals all across America!

          1. It is admittedly hard to keep track of exactly where he stands on this issue, but it seems to me like he wants

            1) All couples, regardless of the gender of the people involved, to have access to the same and equal legal recognition of their relationship.
            2) To leave the decision to sanction/not sanction “marriage”, i.e. the religious institution that is important to a lot of people, up to individual religious institutions.

            You could say that he wants to impose his values on others by allowing people to take care of the issue on their own. You could say that, but then you would sound like Tony.

            when government ALREADY has no such power

            You seem to be confusing the just use of power with the ability to wield power.

            1. when government ALREADY has no such power

              You seem to be confusing the just use of power with the ability to wield power.

              You seem to be confusing the faux federalism of Ron/Rand Paul with something I like to call the Constitution.

              2) To leave the decision to sanction/not sanction “marriage”, i.e. the religious institution that is important to a lot of people, up to individual religious institutions.

              The law already says ,…. and has for probably a century or so … that the name of a civil union is “civil marriage,” complete with Marriage Certificates, the whole nine yards. So do you agree with Rand on forcing changes in all those state laws?

              When Ran says churches have been defining marriage for thousands of years, it’s only about 600. And civil marriage came first. Until 18th century in England, two people simply agreed to be married. No ceremony at all. It was called marriage as a civil ceremony long before it became a religious event. Didn’t even need witnesses.

              That would be nice, but “leave it to the states” is bullshit in the near term. Unless and until we get the state out of it, then constitutional guarantees must be defended.

              When has any government ever been delegated any power over marriage?

              1. Re: Michael Hindered,

                When Ran says churches have been defining marriage for thousands of years, it’s only about 600

                The Christian Church was not created 600 years ago. Ephesians 5:31-32 establishes the definition of Marriage in the New Testament.:31 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

                Besides being a lousy liar, you’re a lousy historian and a lousy theologian.

                Until 18th century in England, two people simply agreed to be married. No ceremony at all.

                Sure. Unless, of course, the wife wanted to inherit.

                You have NO idea of what you talk about. It is ONE thing to join a woman in concubinage and another to make her your wife, and for that you needed to have two things: a priest and a witness. Before 1753, any Anglican priest could marry two lovers. After 1753 with the Marriage Act, a formal ceremony had to be conducted or a licence obtained but still a marriage was regarded as a religious ceremony that required the sanction of a man of the cloth.

                1. The Christian Church was not created 600 years ago.

                  That was brilliant.

                  You have NO idea of what you talk about.

                  (laugh)

                  Ephesians 5:31-32 establishes the definition of Marriage in the New Testament.:31

                  Bad bluff.

                  Before 1753, any Anglican priest could marry two lovers. After 1753 with the Marriage Act, a formal ceremony had to be conducted or a licence obtained but still a marriage was regarded as a religious ceremony that required the sanction of a man of the cloth

                  It was already called marriage before the Marriage Act!
                  You seem to have missed the entire point here.
                  And that Ephesians quote was hysterical. The two just did it, on their own. Read it again, That’s REALLY how “marriage” was for thousands of years.

                  2015 – 1753 = 262 years! And it was not canon law until the 1500s — which I documented elsewhere on the page:

                  https://reason.com/blog/2015/04…..nt_5227573

                  1. Michael has a gift for proving the opposite of what he is trying to prove.

                    After 1753 with the Marriage Act, a formal ceremony had to be conducted or a licence obtained but still a marriage was regarded as a religious ceremony that required the sanction of a man of the cloth

                    Once again, we see a religious term being used in statute. Exactly what I say is the problem with the semantics today.

                    1. Michael has a gift for proving the opposite of what he is trying to prove.

                      Umm, you quoted the wrong person.

                      Once again, we see a religious term being used in statute. Exactly what I say is the problem with the semantics today.

                      You’ve already been humiliated on that. It’s not a religious term and I even baited you into saying so.

                      You’re far too dishonest for any more of my time

                2. I fail to see how Ephesians 5:31-32 translates into a “definition of marriage” that excludes other possibilities; it’s merely a description of what many men do and the kind of relationship they enjoy with their wives. That particular verse doesn’t even mention the word “marriage”.

  17. To summarize, he wants religion to have control over the use of the word “marriage” (somehow?no idea how that actually works)

    Let’s stop beating around the bush, Scott. What Rand means is using the power of the State to compel churches to marry people. For instance, there are anti-Catholic gay groups that have used violence in an attempt to coerce the Church. Next step is to turn the ceremony into a right, not just the State’s acceptance of gay marriage. That is what this is about.

    1. A CNS scoop from 2009. Now we know where you get all your well-reasoned opinions about everything.

      1. Yeah, it must be. Not that the destruction wasn’t reported on the evening news a few days before and what not. But if I link to CNS, then I must get all my opinions from there. Good call, Tony.

    2. To summarize, he wants religion to have control over the use of the word “marriage” (somehow?no idea how that actually works)

      Much better to have the state control the use of the word “marriage”, I suppose.

      1. Indeed, Shackford wonders how religion is to have control over the word “marriage”. What Paul is saying is not that Religion will have exclusive control of a word but that the State should not be in the business of defining marriage and certainly not in the business of marrying people. In that way, any church that wants to marry gays will be able to call their ceremony a “marriage” just like Catholics call theirs a “marriage.” That is what Paul is saying.

    3. Re: “What Rand means is using the power of the State to compel churches to marry people.”

      What a load of alarmist horse manure.

  18. Guess he’s not the Republican to elevate and educate on this issue. What a tough bind, not being able to voice the obviously correct, moral, and constitutionally required opinion on this subject because you require the votes of bigoted morons to win office.

    1. But enough about teachers unions and vouchers.

    2. Not to win office, but to get the nomination.

      And yes, it sucks.

      On the other hand, if a libertarian wanted to get the nomination as a Democrat, they’d have to go full retard on all of economics, which is worse.

  19. What he should have done is pull a bait-and-switch on the Republican Party. Use the primaries to give a full-throated defense of libertarianism, and then, when he fails to secure the nomination, run Independent. I believe about 25% of the Republicans and maybe 10% of the Democrats, along with about 40% of the independents would then vote for him, resulting in the first independent President since Washington.

    Not sure this would work, but boy is he fucking himself in the Republican primary.

    1. I’m pretty sure it won’t work.

      Really? 40% of independents? You realize that most people who call themselves “independents” are really just as partisan as Democrats and Republicans, they just feel good about calling themselves independent.

      And most registered Democrats and Republicans will stick with their guy if they fear the alternatives is a Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton (whichever is not their guy/gal) presidency.

      1. I get your point, and agree 40% of independents might be high, but remember that independent affiliation is the highest it’s been since they started tracking, currently sitting at 42%.

        That’s nearly half of all Americans who don’t ostensibly affiliate. No way of knowing how many are just of the “feel-good” variety.

        But I think we can both agree that he’s royally fucking himself in this primary, not really gaining a foothold with the SoCons, yet almost assuredly alienating young libertarians.

        1. This is pretty much exactly the same position his father (who those same young libertarians seem to still have boners for) has taken. Both consider marriage to be a particular type of relationship between a man and a women, neither wants the government to be involved in marriage, and both wants gay couples to be eligible for any contractual agreements the state does recognize. If anything, his position is more liberal than Ron’s as he is more critical of DOMA.

    2. Um yeah, that’s a recipe for failure. Pretty much what umpteen other libertarian Republicans have tried.

    3. Not sure this would work, but boy is he fucking himself in the Republican primary.

      He has no choice. Including his dad they’ve been sucking up to the extreme socons for decades. Hence his religious was against gay marriage with Tent Revivals and a reincarnation of William Jennings Bryan.

      1. Re: Michael Hindered,

        He has no choice. Including his dad they’ve been sucking up to the extreme socons for decades.

        Especially since the Socons are very into this “let’s make drugs and prostitution legal” business which Paul The Elder has been advocating for decades.

        You’re not even a good liar, M. You make a lousy propagandist.

        1. Especially since the Socons are very into this “let’s make drugs and prostitution legal” business which Paul The Elder has been advocating for decades.

          (laughing) Abortion and gay marriage are MUCH stronger issues to those people. And on the very biggest issue of all — Separation – , Ron is way out in the lunatic fringe. Like the garden variety puppets he says the words are not in the Constitution — as if they had to be (duh). Then wacko-land saying it never appears in the writings of any founders.,

          DAMN. I thought Jefferson, Washington. John Adams, and the entire 3rd US Senate were founders. Oh well.

  20. “It would be easier for libertarians to push forward the concept of marriage (or civil unions, or what have you) as private contracts negotiated by adults if Paul weren’t also claiming gay marriage indicated some sort of “crisis.””
    Maybe he just doesn’t think a moral crisis is necessarily something that needs a government power to step in and regulate how we treat each other in the bedroom. You know, like most (real) libertarians believe.

    1. Where have you been? He DEFINITELY wants government to violate the constitution.
      That “moral crisis” and “tent revivals” are like red meat to those people.

  21. Better question – why the fuck does Rand Paul’s position on gay marriage matter? Why is Reason harping on this when there’s next to nothing Rand or any other federal politician is going to be able to do on the matter.

    Odds are this whole mess WILL die very shortly as a legitimate political issue because the courts are going to decide it definitively. This is nothing more than an attempt by the media to drag Rand Paul through the mud. Has Hillary even come out for gay marriage? Oh, right. No Democrat actually has to support it publicly. They just get painted as the supposed good guys on the issue.

    They know Hillary doesn’t appeal to younger voters, and they know full well younger voters support gay marriage. So let’s keep beating the drum on the matter so they see he’s really just like all those other evil Republicans.

    Gay marriage is now becoming another social signalling exercise in the culture war just like abortion.

    1. Echoing my sentiments exactly. Gay marriage 2015 = Abortion 1975

    2. Democrats also need as much culture war BS as they can to distract from Obamacare and unemployment.

      1. Um, the ACA has been – and continues to be – beneficial to the country.

        Unemployment is now at 5.5%, while the Repubs’ ‘goal’ was to have it down to

    3. Hillary has publicly supported gay marriage since 2013.

    4. This is nothing more than an attempt by the media to drag Rand Paul through the mud

      Rand dove into the mud, head first, long before the media gave a shit about him.

  22. Honestly, the issue is moot because we’re going to have gay marriage. The courts are going to legalize it anyway.

    Paul should just acknowledge that and say “the issue has been decided by the courts”. End of story. The classic Republican approach to abortion for the last 30 years. Nobody has to personally endorse anything. All they have to do is mouth some stuff about how they are personally opposed to it and then make no serious moves to overturn it.

    1. If Republicans are ignoring abortion, then why all these efforts to pass an unconstitutional 20-week limit? And why does Rand Paul brag so much of sponsoring a federal law to ban all abortions at conception?

      1. You answered your own question. If it’s “unconstitutional” then obviously it will be struck down by the courts.

        Supporting token bills that everyone knows will get struck down is how you pretend to the so-cons that your actually doing something about abortion – without actually doing anything about abortion.

        If the R’s were serious about overturning Roe V. Wade they would make that a litmus test for any SCOTUS nominee, or they would gun for a constitutional amendment. Note that neither one has happened. Indeed, R’s are fond of saying there will be “no litmus tests” for SCOTUS nominees. Most likely the so-cons havn’t figured it out because they don’t know what the word ‘litmus’ means.

        1. HazelMeade|4.13.15 @ 6:50PM|#
          If it’s “unconstitutional” then obviously it will be struck down by the courts.

          The question was rhetorical. But the failed effort will be used to whip up a frenzy and raise lots of cash.

          Without actually doing anything about abortion. …. they would gun for a constitutional amendment.

          It would never be ratified. Rand Paul couldn’t pass a “mere” law on personhood.

          1. Um, yeah. Exactly. And they all know it.
            Hence, as I said, it’s a way of pretending to be doing something about abortion, to pander to the so-cons, without killing themselves in the general election, by actually trying to do something to ban abortion.

            (Meanwhile, the D’s pander to their own side, by pretending that the R’s are actually serious. Which of course they know they aren’t. Thus are the culture war games played.)

            1. In the Cato/Zogby survey, 59% of Americans self-define as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We’ve ignored our own majority for 40 years and are now grasping at straws in desperation.. The same Cato survey found the libertarian brand rejected by 91% of libertarians. And a staggering 5.3 self-identify as libertarian.

              So in 40 years we’ve gone nowhere.

      2. Re: Michael Hindered,

        If Republicans are ignoring abortion, then why all these efforts to pass an unconstitutional 20-week limit?

        How is a 20-week limit unconstitutional, by the way?

        1. How is a 20-week limit unconstitutional, by the way?

          You are WAY out of your league. Viability is the current constitutional standard. I thought that was common knowledge. IIRC, viability most often falls between 22-24 months,

          Re: Michael Hindered,

          (laughing)

          1. you mean weeks not months. Viability is about 7 months, realistically.

            I mean, you can try to deliver a 5 month fetus, and of course that should be legal, but it will only have about a 50-50 chance of living.

            1. HazelMeade

              AKKKK Thanks.

              I mean, you can try to deliver a 5 month fetus, and of course that should be legal, but it will only have about a 50-50 chance of living.

              I once spent two entire Libertarian Party national conventions on the Platform Committee trying to get an amendment to the abortion plank. Whenever the fetus is viable, abortion should be banned entirely — except for possible medical reasons. The woman can still expel (wish I had a better word) whenever she wants. But once the fetus is viable, no abortionist in the room. Must be an attempted live birth.

              If the Christian Taliban cared about babies instead of political power, they could have had a solid rights-based ban on late-term abortions ….the day after Roe V Wade.

      3. Why all the efforts? For the same reason politicians do everything: for the votes. The people pushing those laws are supported by a collection of voters that either really wants limits on abortion or doesn’t care much.

        Personally, I’m in the “I don’t care much” camp. I think limits on abortion are wrong in principle, but they don’t matter much. Ditto for marriage: I think government should get out of the marriage business, but failing that, at least it should be gender neutral, but in the end, it simply isn’t going to influence my votes. Foaming at the mouth Catholics and social conservatives, of course, are going to vote based on just these issues.

  23. Religions own the concept of marriage? So what are straight atheists like me supposed to do? Oh yeah, FYTW.

  24. This isn’t rocket science people. Let’s leave marriage to be defined by religious institutions, not governments. Everyone should be entitled to civil union rights; straight, gay, whatever…. but no on is entitled to be married. If you want to get married, ask a priest or officiant or rabbi or someone… apply to get married by their organization, and be done with it. Keep the government out of it. Civil unions for everyone… marriage for no one (from government).

    1. Re: ” Let’s leave marriage to be defined by religious institutions, not governments.”

      Um, let’s not and say we did. You do realize that many religious institutions already DO perform same-sex marriages. So your ‘solution’ would result in the same thing – there will be same-sex marriages.

      But, since we let atheists marry in America, your ‘proposal’ would place an undue infringement on THEIR right to believe as THEY wish, and would force them to conform to someone else’s religious tenets to which the atheists do not subscribe.

      Nope. Civil marriage, besides being a civil right (per the Supreme Court), is also a purely secular institution, no ‘God-talk’ required. The State has no “legitimate interest” in whether or not a couple has had a religious ceremony performed. The State only cares about the civil law that the State establishes and administers.

      Re: “Everyone should be entitled to civil union rights”

      You’ve posted no argument as to why gay citizens should NOT be entitled to civil marriage rights. Why the need for this change to “civil unions”? Especially considering that these “civil unions” are demonstrably UN-equal (they were designed to be that way on purpose, and some States specifically forbid them).

      Re: “but no on is entitled to be married.”

      The US Supreme Court disagrees with you on that. As do I.

      To be continued …

      1. Continued ..

        Re: “If you want to get married, ask a priest or officiant or rabbi or someone… apply to get married by their organization”

        Again, this ‘suggestion’ ignores the rights of non-believers to sincerely hold their own beliefs. And of course, it is only by the good graces of the State that clergypersons are “vested by the State with the authority to perform civil marriages”. Better ‘solution’: get “the church” out of marriage. Let “the church” stick to performing religious rituals that have no legal standing in the eyes of the secular law.

        Re: “Keep the government out of it.”

        You’ve not made a case for this ‘suggestion’.

        Re: “Civil unions for everyone… marriage for no one (from government).”

        Again, support your suggestion with some legal arguments for the change. Mere opinion does not suffice as one.

  25. As far as government is concerned all marriages should be civil contracts and people can call them whatever they wish.

    1. As far as government is concerned all marriages should be civil contracts and people can call them whatever they wish.

      You may not realize how deeply marriage is embedded in our laws, I saw one estimate that there’s need to by 9,000 legislative actions — at all levels of government.

      1. And ALL of those emanate from the civil contract we call marriage.

    2. Um, ALL civil marriages already ARE civil contracts as far as the government is concerned.

  26. Part I: First I acknowledge the culture war on same sex marriage (SSM) is almost over and the social justice oppressors are likely to get their way on expanding marriage to include homosexuals. Make no mistake; libertarians who support an expanded definition of marriage are using government force to make private individuals and businesses accept homosexual partnerships as legitimate. Like all libertarians, I wish the government was not in the marriage game. But I will not use government force, the courts, or our legal system to impose my views on others. I just wish the SSM warriors would have done the same.

    Only individuals have rights. Married couples do not have (negative) rights.

    Understand what marriage is: it is a social contract that is the basis of the family unit. When it was co-opted by government, it became a beneficial positive right for everyone who would follow the law. That means any one man could marry any one woman as long as they would consent and were not already married.

    1. Maybe I’m thinking too superficially, but the coercion seems to be a result of anti-discrimination laws rather than marriage. Without same-sex marriage, a business could still be (and, indeed, they have been) penalized for denying services to a non-binding same-sex commitment ceremony. Without anti-discrimination laws on the other hand, same-sex marriages would be contracted by consenting parties just like other marriages.

    2. You’re absolutely right that I support the idea of using government force to make private individuals and businesses accept homosexual partnerships. And I’m a libertarian.

      How can I reconcile that? Because government force currently is being used to make private individuals and businesses accept religious ideas, and apparently religious nuts won’t join us in getting government out of our personal lives until they feel the pain of what they have been dishing out to the rest of society.

      Understand what marriage is: it is a social contract that is the basis of the family unit

      Marriage has nothing to do with the “social contract”, which refers to something entirely different. And marriage isn’t just a standardized contract between two people, it’s a huge bundle of legal rights, privileges, and obligations granted by government, something that private individuals simply cannot replicate on their own. Those special rights, privileges, and obligations should be abolished, but until they are, we have to haggle over how to dole them out. And I strongly oppose letting conservative Christians make these definitions for all of society.

  27. Part II: Allowing SSM is expanding the definition of the social construct. IOW, SSM expands an already abused institution that is a positive right to a collective, to now make it cost more for everyone. One case in point is that all government employees get benefits, so now it will cost more to employ SSM employees, because now more people will presumably get married.

    Note this is NOT a 14th amendment issue because individual homosexuals can (and frequently do) marry anyone of the opposite sex they choose. That is the rule for this specific form of collective. Fact is that the 14th Amendment argument could also be misused to attempt to argue for voting rights for minors or felons or illegal aliens, but that is specifically disallowed by the voting laws of each individual state.
    So you may think it is unfair to not expand marriage to include same sex pairings. Fine, pass a law to expand the positive right in your state. But accept that doing so is using government force and expanding government power. And that is not very libertarian, now is it?

  28. Part II: Allowing SSM is expanding the definition of the social construct. IOW, SSM expands an already abused institution that is a positive right to a collective, to now make it cost more for everyone. One case in point is that all government employees get benefits, so now it will cost more to employ SSM employees, because now more people will presumably get married.

    Note this is NOT a 14th amendment issue because individual homosexuals can (and frequently do) marry anyone of the opposite sex they choose. That is the rule for this specific form of collective. Fact is that the 14th Amendment argument could also be misused to attempt to argue for voting rights for minors or felons or illegal aliens, but that is specifically disallowed by the voting laws of each individual state.
    So you may think it is unfair to not expand marriage to include same sex pairings. Fine, pass a law to expand the positive right in your state. But accept that doing so is using government force and expanding government power. And that is not very libertarian, now is it?

    1. IOW, SSM expands an already abused institution that is a positive right to a collective, to now make it cost more for everyone

      I does.

      But accept that doing so is using government force and expanding government power. And that is not very libertarian, now is it?

      It is neither libertarian nor not libertarian, since the legal situation isn’t even close to libertarian either with or without SSM.

      So, there are other considerations here. First, if I pay for other people’s marriages, I don’t want to pay for a form of marriage that has been defined by Christian churches. That’s not just a question of fairness, it’s a question of principle.

      Second, despite their whining and complaining, Christian and social conservatives are enjoying a lot of legal support and protection for their views; they are not actually experiencing a lot of government force, yet they want to dish out more to others. The way to change that is not to oppose imposing more government force on them. Rather, if we want them to join us in changing towards a more libertarian society, they should be experiencing what they have been imposing on others for a long time. So, I support SSM also as a political strategy.

  29. He’s proposing a separate contract that would have equal rights and privileges as marriage, but not be called a marriage, while maintaining a separate system of marriage that would automatically grant an equal set of rights and privileges.

    Yeah, seems totally illogical to compare that to “separate but equal” racial segregation.

    1. The whole point of “separate but equal” was that it wasn’t equal.
      But it’s not like there would be separate hotels for gay married couples, separate restaurants, or separate rental car companies. I have a hard time trying to figure out what could be unequal about it since marriage is just a legal institution anyway. If the law treats both the same, they are equal. People can call it marriage if they want to. it’s impossible to stop them.

    2. He’s proposing a separate contract that would have equal rights and privileges as marriage,

      Is he? Or is he saying we should give them all (gay and straight) the same contract going by the same name (civil union) for legal purposes, and leave the “marriage” word to civil society, not the state.

    3. What, then, is the POINT of having a “separate contract” (or institution) that renders the exact same “rights and privileges” of marriage?

      Apart from the “separate but equal” nonsense, it’s also a huge waste of taxpayers’ money to have 2 separate, parallel institutions that do the exact same thing. Talk about your bloated government!

  30. An obvious factor here is that undeniably marriage is a coveted status. It’s a lot worse without the rights and benefits, but gays would prefer not, as a small percentage of the population, to have their relationships corralled into the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Marriage! pen. So there’s symbolism here, for both sides. And marriage, unlike a cumbrous new nomenclature, is part of our common culture and places you in society.

    For me, if this union was the same as marriage bar the name, why insist on giving it a different name? Legal SSM doesn’t require churches marry same-sex couples. The religious and civil institution would run in parallel, as always.

    1. THIS is a good point. And personally, I don’t see why we should care if the so-cons win the symbolic victory. It’s not like they deserve it.

  31. It is difficult for moral relativists to recognize a moral crisis. Perhaps Paul should have said there is a moral crisis for 80% of the population to avoid nonsensical rants like this article. What is it with you guys… when Paul suggests the privatization of marriage… Libertarianish atheists freak out. Isn’t that what he is fundamentally supposed to do?

    1. Of course, the “moral crisis” for conservative Christian churches is not related to morality, it’s related to their realization that they are losing power.

      In objective, absolute moral terms, the US and the world are a much better place now than they have ever been.

  32. When religion and reason meet, religion wins.

    Rand Paul’s views on gays and abortion render him unelectable.

    1. Re: “When religion and reason meet, religion wins.”

      Not under the secular civil laws of America it doesn’t always. Thanks be to the FSM, blessings be upon Him.

      1. I should’ve been more clear; when reason and religion meet in a religious person’s mind, religion wins. They will twist themselves into a pretzel trying to reconcile the two, but even if they cannot…religion wins.

        I have five identical emails from Rand Paul since 2013 dedicated to rescinding Roe v. Wade. The man is unelectable and we should stop wasting time on him.

  33. Is there anyone who doesn’t know yet that Reason is shilling for LGBT extremists? If you’re familiar with the issue, it’s obvious that the twisted bias matches the propaganda.

    1. Not really.

  34. Paul could clearly purpose as a policy that government recognition of “marriage” always be called a civil union, for all purposes.

    He also could stop pandering to the Christian conservatives and act like a libertarian by staying clearly that he doesn’t care who gets married to who and that it makes no difference to society.

    1. Why (and HOW, legally) would/could Paul change the government’s recognition of perfectly legal civil marriages into some new thing – “civil unions”???

      (No “civil unions” from either of the 3 States that have them are legally recognized by the Federal government now, either.)

      And then, in your final sentence, you yourself revert back to calling them marriages.

      A little consistency, please.

  35. Perhaps he is anticipating lawsuits that would force the catholic church to perform gay weddings. Hence the important distinction.

    1. Re: the ‘anticipation’ of “lawsuits that would force the catholic church to perform gay weddings”.

      Well, THAT’s not happening anywhere in America. Nor can it because of the 1st Amendment.

      Scare-monger much?

  36. Paul needs to just do what is teh only logical option, insist the government not define marriage and in fact the government get out of the entire argument. The government can issue certificates of civil union to every couple and deal with legal issues and leave the moral definition to the Church. Simple truth is Progressives and Conservatives claim they want the government to stay out of our lives right up to the point they want the government to impose their values on everyone by law or force when necessary.

    1. TxJack,

      There’s not a syllable of “logic” in your ‘proposal’.

      Civil marriage is, like it or not, ‘governed’ by the civil law. And, it is the very job of government to establish and administer the (secular) civil law.

      You cannot, logically, in one place suggest, “the government [should] get out of the entire argument” and then in the next sentence suggest, “The government can issue certificates of civil ” … anything and still expect to be believed. That IS government involvement. As is “deal[ing] with legal issues”. Again, this is the very role OF government.

      We cannot leave this “to the Church” since civil marriage is a secular, civil institution. And, we do let atheists marry in America.

      The government ISN’T imposing anything on “the Church”. It never has and cannot.

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