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The Conservative Gay Marriage Debate

By Anatta in MLP
Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:08:38 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

In case you only bother to read the Liberal news outlets, you've been missing quite an interesting debate among the conservatives, about Gay Marriage and its place in the US Government.

I think they should have just debated it over Kuro5hin.


It all started with this article in the Wall St. Journal's Opinion section by Jonathan Rauch, the vice president of the Independent Gay Forum. It outlines the basic concepts behind a Federalist government (everything not explicitly written in the constitution is left for the states to decide) and explains why a federal block on gay marriage is disastrous.

After that, all hell broke loose. At the National Review, columnist Stanley Kurtz explained why a federal block on gay marriage would strengthen heterosexual marriage. Then we had another comment by Stanley Kurtz in the National Review. Then good ol' Jonathan Rauch wrote a reply to Mr. Kurtz. Somewhere in here, conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan, editor of the New Republic and noted gay activist, threw his own viewpoint into the fray in this article (he agreed with Mr. Rauch.)

Next, we have yet another Stanley Kurtz article, also in the National Review, rebutting Mr. Rauch. I'm sure you can all guess what happened next...

Mr. Rauch wrote yet another anti-federal intervention article in the National Review. Then a new face jumped into the fray, Hadley Arkes, yet another NR columnist, arguing against Mr. Rauch. Then, we had yet another Stanley Kurtz article on the subject.

Today, I just read in the Boston Globe, conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby jumped into the fray, taking the anti-gay marriage opinion, in this article.

I unquestionably agree with Jonathan Rouch that the states should resist a constitutional amendment or any federal moves to overrule the states on this issue. The states that feel they are "ready" to take the plunge into gay marriage, like Vermont, will be able to do so while those that do not will not be forced to recognize the unions. This seems to be the most sensible position, and will allow gay marriage to spread throughout from state to state as the country gets comfortable with it. To me, this is the best solution for all involved and it ensures the right of each individual state to choose how it wants to handle the issue.

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Poll
Gay Marriage should be....
o Allowed by federal law. 50%
o Blocked by federal law. 6%
o Allowed in the states that want it. 32%
o They're all going to Hell anyway. 10%

Votes: 174
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The Conservative Gay Marriage Debate | 143 comments (142 topical, 1 editorial, 1 hidden)
States rights (3.33 / 9) (#1)
by strlen on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 02:59:27 PM EST

It seems pretty sad that states rights - a principled designed to protect minorities from tyranny of majority - is again being used to justify abusing a minority. Personally, even though I'm all for gay marriage, I don't want to see another ammendment, as it will set a principle of passing ammendments after ammendments for any contemprorary issue, which will be abused by people like Ashcroft . Also, I'm no lawyer, but isn't marriage simply the act of personal liberty, simply signing of a contract? And doesn't the 14th ammendment already deal with this issue -- requiring due process before any liberty may be witheld?

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Due Process... (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by Elkor on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:21:51 PM EST

However, the anti-gay activists are proposing an ammendment that will remove the liberty of marrying whom you wish to.

So, by your argument, the ammendment they are proposing is in conflict with a previously passed ammendment.

Amusing in a sick, twisted way.

Regards,
Elkor
"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
Hmm (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by strlen on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:41:37 PM EST

Well, there was an ammendment passed that removed the prohibition ammendment. Anti-gay activists fully sicken me regardless. Their amazing resolve to get into private lives of people for the purpose of their sick, twisted, agenda, while at the mean time their claim to be "fighting for freedom" especially.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Marriage (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by Merk00 on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:26:41 AM EST

Marriage is a bit different than simply signing a contract. In fact, it's more of a licensing by the state than it is a contract. In respect to the due process clause ("nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"), that does not work because the normal legislative process is considered to be due process of law. And there is no part to the Constitution or federal law forbidding discrimination based on sexual-orientation. Hence, it is not a protected class at the moment (although it is possible that a federal court could declare it such, but this would be an unprecedented move).

------
"At FIRST we see a world where science and technology are celebrated, where kids think science is cool and dream of becoming science and technology heroes."
- FIRST Mission
[ Parent ]

Probably best... (3.12 / 8) (#2)
by codepoet on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 02:59:50 PM EST

... since they'll all be ignored in Texas irregardless of federal law. For right or wrong, that's the truth. (We're talking about the Republican president factory here: grow 'em, raise 'em, vote 'em in.)

And while there's a lot about Federalism I like (since this would allow states to be different models of government and have laws suited to their inhabitants more than what Washington thinks should be right for everyone) there is a problem with this. Leaving this to state law means exactly what you say: some states will recognize it, some will not. What about the country? What about income tax? Are they married or not? Some federal law will have to pass, one way or another, concerning this. It might be as simple as stating that marriages are whatever the person's home state says it is, or it could go 100% one way or the other.

These marriages in America will eventually require federal acknowledgement, so the federalist ideal would seem to fail at this point. This really is a national issue, as much as I don't want it to be.

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?

Or... (3.50 / 2) (#18)
by Elkor on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:25:29 PM EST

They could get rid of income tax altogether....

Or, base income tax on each individuals income. In the case of one (or more) partners/children having no income, they are claimed as dependants by someone (a dependant being defined as an individual with an income below a certain threshold).

Since we can keep track of who is being a dependant of who (yeah databases!) the gov can keep track of everyone to make sure they file (or are filed) appropriately.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
fuck the 16th amendment (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by Luyseyal on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:09:47 AM EST

How about just a nationwide sales tax?

Oh no the poor would suffer!

  • Not really. You could simply not charge sales tax on groceries and most of the poor would do just fine. Here in Texas we have a sales tax holiday for school clothing. Retailers have sales the same day so the poor, but acute can save lots of money but still send their kids to school in clothes they won't get picked on for. It only applies to articles of clothing under $100.
  • Furthermore, half the point of being rich is being able to show off. Taxing consumption seems a fairly liberal (i.e., equitable) thing to do since the rich are gonna spend the 40k on a new beamer and the poor are still gonna drive dad's beat up old pick-up.
  • Taxing consumption is perfectly libertarian because the government is charging for the service of enforcing contract law (among other things). It's a usage fee.

The income tax system is just far more costly, difficult, corrupt, etc. It's simply a failed experiment in extortion and corruption.

Counter arguments?

-l

[ Parent ]

Personally.... (4.00 / 1) (#67)
by Elkor on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 01:21:06 PM EST

I would rather the government go back to operating on Tariffs.

Failing that, a flat tax on items over a certain amount (say, $500) would be my next choice.

I gave my idea because I see it as an easy and relatively logical change in the existing tax codes that wouldn't require a complete overhaul.

You would eliminate two tax ranges (Married joint and Married seperate) and modify the amount taken as a deduction for dependants.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
tariffs (4.00 / 1) (#69)
by Luyseyal on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:02:27 PM EST

my main complaint about tariffs is their tendency to inhibit the free exchange of international goods. if the tariffs really were incidental usage fees, that wouldn't make as much a difference in trade, but then, one wonders what exactly the Federales could do with just incidental tariffs.

So, assuming we keep any existing, non-protectionist tariffs, I think the sales tax would be an adequate replacement for the peace-time income tax.

cheers,
-l

[ Parent ]
Vermont (3.61 / 13) (#3)
by ritlane on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:00:29 PM EST

Just a couple of points from a Vermonter:

In Vermont we have "Civil Unions" between homosexual couples. It is essentially marriage, but does not have that title. A title is important in politics, and recognition, so people continue to fight for (and against it) Recently, I have heard that the conservative elements have passed a law that places homosexuality in the same category as incest, and as marriage is illegal for intestinal couples, bars gay marriages (but not civil unions).

I also must say.... this debate has brought out the worst in the state. I now see on many cars the bumper sticker that reads "Straight from Vermont" and has a joined male and female symbol. The people who have these never seem to understand the irony when they worry about gays "promoting their sexuality" and "trying to convert others"

I tend to agree with the argument that the Federal Government should stay out of as much as possible. The only problem with many Republicans is that they say this, but then don't want to apply it when the state or individual does something they disagree with. This is a perfect example, so is putting limits on State's abilities to make tough laws on HMOs, and also the abortion debate.

Please note, I am not trying to start a flame war. I am just pointing out some inconsistencies that should be fairly obvious. When one says "State's rights" it should mean that, even when they do something you disagree with. That is the price (IMHO beauty) of freedom, opinions that differ from yours being given equal say.



---Lane
I like fighting robots
abortion example not completely consistent (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by vlnc on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 11:55:09 AM EST

This is a perfect example, so is putting limits on State's abilities to make tough laws on HMOs, and also the abortion debate.

Today Roe v. Wade limits state's rights to make laws against abortion. Some republicans would be happy for abortion to be a state's rights issue.

[ Parent ]

True, I was unclear (4.00 / 1) (#79)
by ritlane on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:07:36 PM EST

Yes, you are correct.

I was (in no clear way) trying to use the abortion debate as an example of an individual doing something the Republican in the Federal government don't agree with.

My basic premise being this: Republicanism (in its true sense) should be about moving the center of power down as far as possible and not keeping it in the Federal government. When possible, move it down to the state. When possible, move it from the state to the individual. In the case of abortion, move the choice from the Federal government to the individual.

I realize this is a bit of stretch, but it is my opinion.



---Lane
I like fighting robots
[ Parent ]
opinions of a bleeding (but realistic) liberal (2.45 / 11) (#4)
by starbreeze on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:10:19 PM EST

thats what they call me at work... the bleeding liberal.

anywayz, there will *never* be gay marriages, because of the seperation of state and church. marriages, by definition, are in the eyes of the lord and government. being gay is a sin. (don't flame me, because i'll get off topic and tell you that while it is a sin, it not by an individual's choice, and we should not judge them). so to marry a gay couple in the eyes of the lord... well government just wouldn't go for it. civil-union is a nice name for it. i've seen gay couples who have been together for longer than many straight married couples i know, who just couldn't get beenfits for their partner. it's sad. they deserve the same basic rights that everyone else gets.

this was the subject of a recent meeting of our campus GLBT (gay lesbian bi trans) - Straight group called Allies. and surprisingly, several of the christian gay men agreed with the idea of no gay marriages. for the same reason i stated above.

this is a very touchy subject...

...and will allow gay marriage to spread throughout from state to state as the country gets comfortable with it.

civil-union is *not* marriage. in fact, there are less benefits with civil-union than marriage, but better than no recognition of the relationship at all. many companies are beginning to recognize the same-sex benefits, regardless of marital status.

~~~~~~~~~
"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor

Same sex benefits (3.20 / 5) (#8)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:50:34 PM EST

many companies are beginning to recognize the same-sex benefits, regardless of marital status.

I really think this is key. Companies, searching for profits, know that gay people are overwhelmingly well educated and intelligent, and have much lower probabilities of leaving employment over child issues (lowering costs to businesses.) The smart businesses are already giving benefits and actively recruiting gay people because they know that the advantages to having an open atmosphere where gays are interested in working is more than worth the extra cost of a few benefits.

They also get the benefit of being a hell of a lot more forward looking than the much of the government...
My Music
[ Parent ]

Small correction (3.50 / 2) (#33)
by Pseudonym on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:42:05 PM EST

I know you didn't quite mean to word it this way, so in the interests of clarity...

Companies, searching for profits, know that gay people are overwhelmingly well educated and intelligent [...]
I don't think you meant to imply that homosexual people are more educated and intelligent than heterosexual people (presumably having the appropriate sexual orientation makes one smarter).

I think what you meant to imply was the converse. Educated and intelligent people who happen to be homosexual are more likely to recognise that they are, are more likely to be comfortable with it and thus are more likely to publically "come out". A homosexual person who is not educated or intelligent is correspondingly less likely to "come out".

The corollory is that if someone says they're gay, they are very likely to be educated, intelligent or possibly even both.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Demographics (3.00 / 2) (#40)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:32:26 PM EST

I don't think you meant to imply that homosexual people are more educated and intelligent than heterosexual people (presumably having the appropriate sexual orientation makes one smarter).

It depends on the feedback you want to use... maybe the smarter gay people are more likely to be more comfortable with themselves, maybe the whole persecution thing tends to push people to learn more than they otherwise would. I dunno. I'm just going by demographic information like this which clearly shows more education and arguably more intelligence.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Over-achieving (3.00 / 2) (#48)
by foofish on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:35:20 AM EST

It's hard to explain, but many gay people become over-achievers upon coming out. I'm not really sure why this is, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone.

In my case, a lot of people will point to anything that I've failed at and somehow link it to being gay. This causes quite a bit of pressure to do better. Also, some of it can probably be explained by gay people simply wanting to show that they are just as good as straight people.

I wouldn't say that gay people are more intelligent than straight people, but due to societal pressure, merely more likely to push themselves to do better.



[ Parent ]
On what do you base this? (3.50 / 2) (#50)
by eWulf on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:07:40 AM EST

I wouldn't say that gay people are more intelligent than straight people, but due to societal pressure, merely more likely to push themselves to do better.

I'd say it was very difficult to tell the difference.

[ Parent ]
separation = no single church upheld by the state (4.00 / 1) (#27)
by netmouse on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:52:14 PM EST

anywayz, there will *never* be gay marriages, because of the seperation of state and church. marriages, by definition, are in the eyes of the lord and government. being gay is a sin.

If the Christian churches that believe as you do (and there are other Christian churches) were the only institutions that married people, this would be true. But it's not. Marriages, by legal definition, are in the eyes of the government, the participants, and the witnesses. I got married in June and your lord was not invoked for the occassion. (Though he was for grace before dinner).

The government decided long ago that holy matrimony should be extended and in many cases replaced by legal matrimony. There are thousands of civil ceremonies every year. For the basis of this debate, I believe they should be considered marriages.

[ Parent ]

More than one religion (4.50 / 2) (#43)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:19:27 AM EST

Marriage is not defined as being "in the eyes of the lord and government", at least not legally. Some people get married by a priest in a Catholic church. Some people get married by a rabbi in a synnagogue. Some people get married by religious figures from Islam, or Buddhism, or Hinduism. Some people get married in their backyards by their best friend. Some people just get married at a civic building - a city hall or courthouse.

Atheists can get married, and have the US government recognize it. So can Agnostics, Unitarians, Scientologists, members of Heavens's Gate, Muslims, Zoorastians, Rastafarians, and all manner of other people.

So whether or not certain sects of Christianity think gay sex is a sin really ought to be moot when it comes to the legality of marriage. A marriage doesn't have to be recognized by _any_ religion to be legally binding, let alone be recognized by a small handful of Christian sects.
Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Yes, but (3.00 / 4) (#49)
by wallinbl on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 07:31:49 AM EST

Yes, but legal marriage is only a manifestation of religious marriage. It is a recognition, by the government, of this religious sacrament. Don't forget that. It was not created by our government, or any previous government.

It is for this reason that our government should not take it upon themselves to 'embrace and extend'. There are no religions that recognize homosexual marriages (the Christian churches that claim they do are just making it up as they go along - and they are quite wrong).

[ Parent ]
Wrong? (4.00 / 1) (#51)
by eWulf on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:16:17 AM EST

The Christian churches that claim they do are just making it up as they go along - and they are quite wrong.

Incredible arrogance from a person who believes in fairies at the bottom of the garden (or whatever?). I thought Jesus disliked the self-righteous? In fact, as I remember he disliked the self-righteous (Pharisees) most of all!! Go back to your temple and study the words of the man you purport to follow before laying down the law among non-believers (something The Man - whom I have a lot of respect for, never did).

[ Parent ]
Huh? (3.33 / 3) (#60)
by wallinbl on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:27:49 AM EST

Arrogance? The Bible is not at all inconclusive on the matter of homosexuality. It is very clearly a despicable behavior in the eyes of God. In fact, it is the reason that He destroyed Sodom. But, I guess I would be arrogant if I attempted to infer from the Bible that homosexuality was wrong. Remember, the Bible teaches to love the man, hate the sin. I'm only pointing out that it is a sin. I'm not saying I'm not without sin, nor am I condemning homosexuals. I'm not sure where you feel I am being arrogant - I'm stating a fact.

[ Parent ]
The bible is subject to interpretation (none / 0) (#63)
by eWulf on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:50:12 AM EST

Many have come to different conclusions to yours.  You are being arrogant by presenting as fact that which is your personal revelation.  Peters revelation was that the old law had been surpassed and that "What God has made clean you must not call unclean". Getting hung up about the minutia of a law which, at most, only applied to Jews is not what Christians are called to do. What exactly did Jesus have to say about homosexuality?

[ Parent ]
re: Huh? (none / 0) (#75)
by /dev/niall on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:26:09 PM EST

No matter how hard you squeeze your eyes shut and hope... the bible is not fact. It's not even accepted as religous text by the majority of people on this planet.

Please do not try to pass off your beliefs or opinions as facts. Beliefs and opinions I disagree with are what makes my life interesting. Beliefs and opinions spouted as universal truths just make my ass twitch*.

I have no problem with people who have found, or never lost, a god or gods. I have a big problem with people like you who continually display a lack of respect for other people's beliefs (or lack thereof) while expecting us to accept yours as fact.

I don't think I've ever given a single person so many "1" comment ratings before.

* Perhaps my rectum is inhabited by a demon?

[ Parent ]

Correct... sort of (4.00 / 3) (#96)
by Loundry on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:15:27 PM EST

Yes, the Bible is quite clear that homosexual sex a sin. That is a fact.

The Bible is also clear that one should drink alcohol to forget one's problems.

The Bible is also clear that God commanded the israelites to murder the infants of their enemies. Yes, infants. So much for the "pro-life" God.

The Bible is also clear that the earth was at one time flooded with water that does not exist.

The Bible is not clear on how one can be saved.

The Bible is not clear on whether or not Jesus is a man or a God or both.

The Bible is not clear on how the earth was created (Gen 1, or Gen 2?).

So yes, you can state the facts about scripture, but since scripture is crap, what difference does it make? Your arrogance comes not from your quoting of scripture. Your arrogance comes from your insistence that scripture comes from a divine being.

(Yes, I can provide chapter and verse for you if you're interested.)
-- Dare not to be in agony, but in truffles!
[ Parent ]

No buts! (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by anewc2 on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:29:52 AM EST

legal marriage is only a manifestation of religious marriage
No! No! A thousand times no!

I don't object your right to organize your life according to any religion you want. Why do you object to my right to live and marry, without any organized religion at all?


Someone did once tell me to get a life, but due to a typo, I got a file instead.
[ Parent ]

Well what is it then? (none / 0) (#61)
by Luyseyal on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:34:29 AM EST

What is a secular marriage? Seriously, what does secular marriage entail if two do not become one under a goddess?

I'm not interested in discursions on economic benefits, I think those are all bunk anyway because I don't think two become one in any measurable quality.

Why should I be penalized because I don't want to marry anybody? Marriage penalty... Marriage penalty?! How about the freakin Single penalty?!

$0.02USD
-l

[ Parent ]

Civil marriage does not depend on religion (3.00 / 1) (#62)
by Three Pi Mesons on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:41:38 AM EST

Even in the UK, where there is an established church, a couple is not considered "married" until they have signed the marriage licence. Even if the Archbishop of Canterbury conducts a wedding ceremony, if the licence is not signed, there is no marriage. A few years ago I read about a couple who had been together for 40 years or so, believing themselves to be married - but because after the ceremony they forgot to sign the licence, they were not *legally* married.

:: "Every problem in the world can be fixed with either flowers, or duct tape, or both." - illuzion
[ Parent ]
Know your facts (none / 0) (#103)
by Loundry on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 04:20:42 PM EST

Yes, but legal marriage is only a manifestation of religious marriage.

This is not correct. I'll never forget what I read in my anthropology book back in my early college days. It said (and this is a paraphrase), "All cultures in the world have had marriage, and in all cases its sole purpose was to regulate sexual functions." In the case of every culture on the planet, religion followed the society's norms of marriage, not the other way around. Your idea of marriage did no more come from God than a Muslim's idea of marriage come from Allah.

Whereas marriage traditionally has been about who-can-pork-whom, it has in recent times evolved into a set of legal protections which allow families some safety and security with their loved ones. These are legal rights that heterosexuals enjoy, but homosexuals are denied access to.

It is for this reason that our government should not take it upon themselves to 'embrace and extend'. There are no religions that recognize homosexual marriages (the Christian churches that claim they do are just making it up as they go along - and they are quite wrong).

Quite frankly, why should anyone give a flying fig what religion says? Remember that some religions have allowed marriage to be polygamous (including Judiasm and Mormonism), and some religions have allowed the (single) man in the marriage to have concubines (including Judiasm). Are these types of marriages suddenly acceptable to your narrow and backward view or morality simply because they have religous support? Homosexual marriage is about legal rights, not about someone's subjective interpretation of gods, spirits, or other mythical beings.
-- Dare not to be in agony, but in truffles!
[ Parent ]

How about in the eyes of friends and family (none / 0) (#113)
by byoon on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 05:18:06 AM EST

I got married 12 days ago and it wasn't in the eyes of the lord, but in the eyes of the people I love, my friends and family. And it was presided over by a very nice federal judge who happens to be my wife's aunt. There was no "Lord" involved.

You can throw out Biblical arguments all you want but marriage is one thing that spans all religions and cultures and your Christian God can't do a thing about it.
"I'm a going to break you down into the little cubes." -Picasso
[ Parent ]
Government-made problem (2.57 / 7) (#5)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:24:36 PM EST

Why does it matter? Taxes and benefits, that's why. No reason other than that. Since the government made the current system, with all its problems, why not simply deal with the root and remove the government from the system? There shouldn't be any reason for the government to care if you're married or not.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
benefits (4.33 / 3) (#14)
by starbreeze on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:56:26 PM EST

It matters for a lot more reasons than that. Health benefits do not just include insurance, but medical *decisions*. There was an episode of ER (no, i do not get my education from televisions, but hear me out) that presented a very realistic situation in which a gay woman was in a situation where someone had to make a medical decision that would affect her life. Although she had been living with her life partner for like 30 years, they had to locate her next of kin, her brother, across the country, whom she had not even spoken to in quite some time, to make a legal decision. Meanwhile, her life partner knew her wishes and was better suited for the decision. But legally, she could not intervene.

I'm not sure i understand your point. How could you plausibly remove the government from this system?

~~~~~~~~~
"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]

Well, there's another example (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by weirdling on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:26:55 PM EST

The easiest way is to simply leave 'living instructions' in which the person delegated to make such decisions is clearly enunciated, and then make hospitals et. al. follow it.

Simply put, the government recognizes a different tax status and benefit status for married people, and the current benefits system that employers give out is a function of governmental regulation. Remove governmental regulation of this, ie, make there no difference in tax status, eligibility for state-run adoption programs, and so on, and remove barriers to entry for the benefits system, and the system will naturally allow gays and lesbians to have the same level of services.

This is borne out right now, with many companies, deciding, at their own expense and of their own free will, to extend benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

The very idea that the government could consider a 'ban' on any kind of marriage with a straight face *should* be laughable. That's clearly none of the government's business, whether straight, bi, swinging, or gay. In other words, if I and fifty of my best friends form a polyamorous commune, that's also none of the government's business. The problem is in the 'by the power vested in me by the state of <insert state here>, I now pronounce you man and wife'. The state should not care.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Benefits in the UK (4.00 / 1) (#94)
by Kat Goodwin on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 08:13:58 AM EST

Although I am not sure what the situation is with the benefits system itself (social security etc) having never been in a position to need to learn about it (!), in the UK, there are no longer any tax benefits to marriage. - so in this country that argument is really removed, so it comes down to two people wanting to be legally recognised as a partnership, and I can't see why, with civil weddings, it should matter what gender the parties are.

I got married on saturday, with a short, civil ceremony, and one of the things I remember was that in the register office in about 3 places there were signs on the wall, all framed etc, reading something along the lines of "marriage is the union of one man and one woman...." it said something else but I can't remember exactly. Anyway, I think that's just not an accurate reflection of today's society!

[ Parent ]

These people aren't conservatives (3.50 / 6) (#7)
by John Miles on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:35:19 PM EST

A conservative, in the classical sense, would not consider marriage an issue for the Federal government to involve itself with.

This is the kind of thing that keeps reasonable Americans, including myself, out of the Republican party. A great many Americans, if you bothered to ask them, would say that this kind of crap is none of Uncle Sam's business. We're the ones who don't have much of a voice among the so-called "conservatives" today.

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.

Actually, that's liberal (4.00 / 2) (#9)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 03:52:56 PM EST

A conservative, in the classical sense, would not consider marriage an issue for the Federal government to involve itself with.

That's a "classic liberal", or libertarian, viewpoint.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Right, which just goes to show... (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by John Miles on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:46:16 PM EST

... how the terms have corrupted themselves.

A conservative point of view is one that respects tradition, perhaps to a fault. The idea of enshrining Christian traditions with legislation at the Federal level is actually fairly new.

The idea of addressing homosexual marriage in a Federal context would have seemed the height of absurdity to most of our country's forefathers, regardless of their political affiliation. (Maybe that's why they left this and a million other moral issues out of the Constitution.)

For so long as men do as they are told, there will be war.
[ Parent ]

actually, that's wrong, so very, very wrong (4.88 / 9) (#32)
by eLuddite on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:26:21 PM EST

That's a "classic liberal", or libertarian, viewpoint.

No, this kind of barely supportable statement really needs to be put to rest. Classical Liberalism is the view that human beings have value (rights) and that government (regarded as a *necessary* evil by Classical Liberals) must preserve this value or be replaced. Libertarians confuse the ends with the means in this fundamental expression of Classical Liberalism. In particular, the means of small government (conflated with Capitalism) has become the end all and be all for libertarians, despite such clear statements as found in your Classically Liberal Declaration:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Classical Liberalism does not stipulate what size a government should be, nor the absence of taxation because it is "force", nor utterly free Capitalism. Classical Liberalism asks that government promote individual happiness. Happiness amounts to liberty because if one lacks freedom to pursue happiness, one isnt likely to find any. It's a fundamental tenet of liberalism that the legitimacy of institutions which tend to restrict freedom is entirely dependant on the existence of a rationale for allowing those institutions to do so. In practice, the classical liberals often disagreed on how freedom would be best protected -- which freedoms were more important, what represented a strong enough rationale for acquiesing to a restriction, etc.-- but they believed it essential that it be done. If a small government without taxation cannot do this, individuals are morally obligated to change it.

Please read genuine classical liberal works such as Agrarian Justice by Paine or anything by John Stuart Mill and find within them libertarian deductions. You will not. For libertarians to claim classical liberalism is to bury its testament and tradition.

For the most part, American Libertarianism is Capitalist ideologies that developed in the Industrial Revolution, read backwards into the mouths of The Forefathers in an attempt to give them the authority of American Religion. For example, Libertarians often claim Jefferson's concept of rights but Jefferson wouldn't recognize anything they say in this regard, particularly when they start babbling about inviolable property rights. Rights, Jefferson held, should be inalienable because they were "natural," which is to say granted by God. The conception of rights as simply another function of the market is a product of the 19th century, when Social Darwinism -- which lends a lot of "reason" and rhetoric to libertarian argument -- replaced "natural rights," removing from consideration the idea that people have any intrinsic value beyond what they can defend on their own by standing on their property with their Second Solecism gun in hand. According to this perspective, there really is only market value in humanity. According to this perspective, a government may allow the hungry to starve rather than coerce monies from the wealthy in the form of taxation.

If you are thinking how the heck this promotes happiness and liberty and for who, you are a liberal in the tradition of Jefferson, not a libertarian.

Befitting their intellectual brigandry, portraits of Jefferson will be found scattered throughout Libertarian websites above such words as "The intellectual voice of capitalism."

Blah.

(This is also the reason why ground zero, voting Libertarians (Republicans who dont want to feel guilty about using drugs) think the Constitution is writ in stone. The concept of Constitutionalism eludes them according to the same method by which they confound the means with the ends of classical liberalism.)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

How is it wrong? (5.00 / 5) (#36)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 08:26:15 PM EST

From the first quote: [I referred to Classic Liberals] would not consider marriage an issue for the Federal government to involve itself with.

Using your definition, Classical Liberalism is the view that human beings have value (rights) and that government (regarded as a *necessary* evil by Classical Liberals) must preserve this value or be replaced, my argument is correct. Human beings have value (rights, including the right to marry whom they want) and government must perserve this value or be replaced. Government does not grant the right to marry. It does not grant rights at all.

You're arguing yourself in circles, and in essence making my point. Classic liberals tend to think humans get their rights from either a higher power or by the fact that they are humans... rights are not created by government. If you look at the bill of rights, it says congress shall not do this, and congress shall not do that. Over the last 200 years, we've moved from innate rights to government granted rights (you have the right to remain silent, etc.) These are not classic liberal rights.

Classical Liberalism does not stipulate what size a government should be, nor the absence of taxation because it is "force", nor utterly free Capitalism. Classical Liberalism asks that government promote individual happiness. Happiness amounts to liberty because if one lacks freedom to pursue happiness, one isnt likely to find any.

Yet classic liberals also recognize that the government is the only entity that actually has real power over humans; the government can legally kill, the government can legally remove children from parents, the government can legally deport, legally jail, etc. For this reason, classic liberals generally prefer a small government without a whole lot of power to do such things. I myself would argue for a strong government that (among other things) protects the populace, protects the borders, collects taxes, enforces contracts, enforces the laws, and handles monetary policy. I would argue that classic liberals tend to prefer lower taxes because they recognize that the more money government has, the more it will do with that money, the more liberties will be taken away.

In practice, the classical liberals often disagreed on how freedom would be best protected -- which freedoms were more important, what represented a strong enough rationale for acquiesing to a restriction, etc.-- but they believed it essential that it be done. If a small government without taxation cannot do this, individuals are morally obligated to change it.

I agree 100%. I would argue, however, that small government with low taxation would succeed at protecting freedom much more than big government with big taxation. The freedom to do what one wishes with one's earnings is arguably a fairly significant one, and removing that in order to fix others (which often fails) may not be the best course of action.

Please read genuine classical liberal works such as Agrarian Justice by Paine or anything by John Stuart Mill and find within them libertarian deductions. You will not. For libertarians to claim classical liberalism is to bury its testament and tradition.

I have read both Mill and Paine, though I must admit I haven't read Agrarian Justice, and in general I liked Mill much better, though even Utilitarianism has its problems.

For the most part, American Libertarianism is Capitalist ideologies that developed in the Industrial Revolution, read backwards into the mouths of The Forefathers in an attempt to give them the authority of American Religion. For example, Libertarians often claim Jefferson's concept of rights but Jefferson wouldn't recognize anything they say in this regard, particularly when they start babbling about inviolable property rights.

And yet, here we have a few quotes from Jefferson:

"A right to property is founded in our natural wants, in the means with which we are endowed to satisfy these wants, and the right to what we acquire by those means without violating the similar rights of other sensible beings." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Dupont de Nemours, 1816. ME 14:490
"[The] rights [of the people] to the exercise and fruits of their own industry can never be protected against the selfishness of rulers not subject to their control at short periods." --Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1816.
And there's also this interesting quote...
"That, on the principle of a communion of property, small societies may exist in habits of virtue, order, industry, and peace, and consequently in a state of as much happiness as Heaven has been pleased to deal out to imperfect humanity, I can readily conceive, and indeed, have seen its proofs in various small societies which have been constituted on that principle. But I do not feel authorized to conclude from these that an extended society, like that of the United States or of an individual State, could be governed happily on the same principle." --Thomas Jefferson to Cornelius Camden Blatchly, 1822. ME 15:399
Maybe I'm missing something, but that doesn't sound so different than most libertarian literature...

Rights, Jefferson held, should be inalienable because they were "natural," which is to say granted by God. The conception of rights as simply another function of the market is a product of the 19th century, when Social Darwinism -- which lends a lot of "reason" and rhetoric to libertarian argument -- replaced "natural rights," removing from consideration the idea that people have any intrinsic value beyond what they can defend on their own by standing on their property with their Second Solecism gun in hand.

Exactly, and I agree with Jefferson, or Mill, in saying that rights are granted by god, if one chooses, or by the virtue of humanity of one chooses not to believe in god. I reject the social darwinist ideas of rights. Truthfully, I've never come across a "libertarian" argument that included rights as being a part of the market. I would argue against such a position.

If you are thinking how the heck this promotes happiness and liberty and for who, you are a liberal in the tradition of Jefferson, not a libertarian.

If you want to make yet another distinction, that's fine. I'm a liberal in the tradition of Jefferson. But again, I would argue that most "libertarians" would feel the same way.

(This is also the reason why ground zero, voting Libertarians (Republicans who dont want to feel guilty about using drugs) think the Constitution is writ in stone. The concept of Constitutionalism eludes them according to the same method by which they confound the means with the ends of classical liberalism.)

Yet it was the Democrats who really escalated the War on Drugs. I'm not sure it's quite as simple as you suggest. Most classic liberals or libertarians would argue that the constitution is a "living, breathing document" as the Democrats are fond of saying, however it should breathe through the amendment process rather than the penumbras and emanations. The great thing about the document is that its founders recognized that they wouldn't be right all the time, and they left a clear amendment process.

All in all, I fail to see where my sentence about classic liberals seeing marriage as something the government would probably say out of is incorrect. I compliment you on this last post, and found it much more interesting than the pervious one...
My Music
[ Parent ]

i plead ignorance of anattaism (5.00 / 6) (#47)
by eLuddite on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:15:08 AM EST

I was talking about libertarianism.

You're arguing yourself in circles, and in essence making my point. [...] Government does not grant the right to marry. It does not grant rights at all.

I replied to the following misidentification of libertarianism with classical liberalism:

That's a "classic liberal", or libertarian, viewpoint.
I didnt address the political and constitutional arguments Republicans must spin in order to legitimize gay marriage because it is a forgone conclusion for a secular democratic state to eventually -- through attriturion of its current conservative codgers if need be -- recognize gay marriage. The conversative "debate" on this matter interests me less than a neighborhood gang debating whether they should make exceptions to the "No Girls Allowed!" sign in front of their treehouse. So I'll be eliding your points about marriage; I dont contest what you say in that regard.

Classic liberals tend to think humans get their rights from either a higher power or by the fact that they are humans... rights are not created by government.

Libertarians have a different concept of rights than classical liberals. When the classically liberal Declaration says

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men
it is running afoul of the libertarian notion of signed rights. In particular, a right to life is a positive right; libertarians only recognize negative rights -- freedoms from. If you had such an inalienable right as a right to life, then two things would follow: (1) no legitimate government would be able to usurp that right because it isnt theirs to give or take away; (2) a legitimate government might find itself required to make entitlements out of such things as food, clothing and shelter in order to guarantee the right to life. Unfortunately, libertarianism entitles you to exactly nothing that isnt written in your contract with someone else. The only positive rights under libertarianism are contractual obligations. If you cannot secure your health and happiness contractually, that's the way the fine print crumbles.

One further point. Inalienable rights are non-transferable. A classical liberal state would not recognize your slavery because your right to liberty is not negotiable. A libertarian state would have no problem with you voluntarily selling yourself into slavery.

Yet classic liberals also recognize that the government is the only entity that actually has real power over humans; the government can legally kill, the government can legally remove children from parents, the government can legally deport, legally jail, etc.

For this reason, classic liberals generally prefer a small government without a whole lot of power to do such things.

"For this reason" implies a chain of reasoning and a logical conclusion following a premise. Absent an argument, your conclusion for small government doesnt follow from your (correct) premise that classical liberals recognize government authority derived from a legitimate (democratic, for various degrees of democracy) legislature. Be that as it may, libertarians do *not* recognize that government can legally remove children from their parents. Not even the Libertarian Party recognizes such a right. Likely, libertarians will not agree with your "etc", either.

In practice, the classical liberals often disagreed on how freedom would be best protected -- which freedoms were more important, what represented a strong enough rationale for acquiesing to a restriction, etc.-- but they believed it essential that it be done. If a small government without taxation cannot do this, individuals are morally obligated to change it.

I agree 100%.

Libertarians disagree 100% with your agreement. Like I said in my original post, libertarians confuse the ends of classical liberalism with one of its specified means -- small government and no taxation. They confound one set of mechanics by which classical liberalism principles are affected for the principles themselves.

I would argue, however, that small government with low taxation would succeed at protecting freedom much more than big government with big taxation.

As would many classical liberals, necessarily without also committing their philosophy to a possibly unsuccessful outcome of such an argument once it was tested in practice. Libertarians, on the other hand, dont care about the outcome and consider anything other than a small (or no) government without taxation illegitimate and therefore immoral.

I myself would argue for a strong government that (among other things) protects the populace, protects the borders, collects taxes, enforces contracts, enforces the laws, and handles monetary policy.

Taxes are out; and unless by "monetary policy" you mean "the gold standard", that is out too. The role of libertarian government is to protect property and enforce voluntary contracts. Strangely enough, people enter into *voluntary* contracts because they sometimes *have* to in order to avoid inferior consequence. Yes, enforcing voluntary contracts makes no sense but that's because you are thinking as a classical liberal and not as a libertarian. If you want to make the jump from classical liberal to libertarian, think "contract" wherever you see "happiness."

I would argue that classic liberals tend to prefer lower taxes because they recognize that the more money government has, the more it will do with that money, the more liberties will be taken away.

Maybe you would argue that but you didnt argue that and if you had argued that, you would have lost the argument just as it was lost everywhere it was actually tried -- New Zealand, Chile and, currently, Singapore. Western nations *practice* welfare economics because unrestrained capitalism does not work. In the real world, this postgraduate textbook rules. But that isnt the point. The point is that classical liberals dont have a problem with the aforementioned textbook, libertarians do. Not because welfare economics does or does not work, but because welfare economics is initiation of force and therefore immoral.

The freedom to do what one wishes with one's earnings is arguably a fairly significant one, and removing that in order to fix others (which often fails) may not be the best course of action.

If you are arguing against wealth redistribution and distributive justice, "may not be" waffles on the libertarian principle "*must* not be, is not an option".

I must admit I haven't read Agrarian Justice

It's on the net. Here's a relevant passage:

There could be no such thing as landed property originally. Man did not make the earth, and, though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title-deeds should issue.
So at least one important classical liberal disagrees with the libertarian notion of inviolable property rights. But it gets better:
Cultivation is at least one of the greatest natural improvements ever made by human invention. It has given to created earth a tenfold value. But the landed monopoly that began with it has produced the greatest evil. It has dispossessed more than half the inhabitants of every nation of their natural inheritance, without providing for them, as ought to have been done, an indemnification for that loss, and has thereby created a species of poverty and wretchedness that did not exist before.

In advocating the case of the persons thus dispossessed, it is a right, and not a charity, that I am pleading for. But it is that kind of right which, being neglected at first, could not be brought forward afterwards till heaven had opened the way by a revolution in the system of government. Let us then do honor to revolutions by justice, and give currency to their principles by blessings.

[...]

Taking it then for granted that no person ought to be in a worse condition when born under what is called a state of civilization, than he would have been had he been born in a state of nature, and that civilization ought to have made, and ought still to make, provision for that purpose, it can only be done by subtracting from property a portion equal in value to the natural inheritance it has absorbed.

Before quoting further, it merits mention that Paine was the most popular American author and classical liberal of his time.
Having now gone through all the necessary calculations, and stated the particulars of the plan, I shall conclude with some observations. It is not charity but a right, not bounty but justice, that I am pleading for. The present state of civilization is as odious as it is unjust. It is absolutely the opposite of what it should be, and it is necessary that a revolution should be made in it. The contrast of affluence and wretchedness continually meeting and offending the eye, is like dead and living bodies chained together. Though I care as little about riches as any man, I am a friend to riches because they are capable of good.

I care not how affluent some may be, provided that none be miserable in consequence of it. But it is impossible to enjoy affluence with the felicity it is capable of being enjoyed, while so much misery is mingled in the scene. The sight of the misery, and the unpleasant sensations it suggests, which, though they may be suffocated cannot be extinguished, are a greater drawback upon the felicity of affluence than the proposed ten per cent upon property is worth. He that would not give the one to get rid of the other has no charity, even for himself.

There are, in every country, some magnificent charities established by individuals. It is, however, but little that any individual can do, when the whole extent of the misery to be relieved is considered. He may satisfy his conscience, but not his heart. He may give all that he has, and that all will relieve but little. It is only by organizing civilization upon such principles as to act like a system of pulleys, that the whole weight of misery can be removed.

The plan here proposed will reach the whole. It will immediately relieve and take out of view three classes of wretchedness-the blind, the lame, and the aged poor; and it will furnish the rising generation with means to prevent their becoming poor; and it will do this without deranging or interfering with any national measures.

To show that this will be the case, it is sufficient to observe that the operation and effect of the plan will, in all cases, be the same as if every individual were voluntarily to make his will and dispose of his property in the manner here proposed.

But it is justice, and not charity, that is the principle of the plan. In all great cases it is necessary to have a principle more universally active than charity; and, with respect to justice, it ought not to be left to the choice of detached individuals whether they will do justice or not. Considering, then, the plan on the ground of justice, it ought to be the act of the whole growing spontaneously out of the principles of the revolution, and the reputation of it ought to be national and not individual.

Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man's own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.

And so on. The point is that despite being a libertarian evil, distributive justice is classical liberalism.

And yet, here we have a few quotes from Jefferson

Those quotes do not argue for inviolable property rights. That Jefferson thought property useful for the benefit of mankind is not in dispute. Even communists are allowed property, you know.

"That, on the principle of a communion of property, small societies may exist in habits of virtue, order, industry, and peace, and consequently in a state of as much happiness as Heaven has been pleased to deal out to imperfect humanity, I can readily conceive, and indeed, have seen its proofs in various small societies which have been constituted on that principle. But I do not feel authorized to conclude from these that an extended society, like that of the United States or of an individual State, could be governed happily on the same principle." --Thomas Jefferson to Cornelius Camden Blatchly, 1822. ME 15:399
Maybe I'm missing something,

I dont know what you are missing but you've quoted Jefferson's rejection of property as an inviolable right. How can he consider property rights to be absolute if he can readily conceive the benefits of communal ownership, rejecting it on practical grounds -- not rightful or principled grounds -- for the size and complexity of his Union? He may not "feel authorized to conclude", but that doesnt mean he would not conclude given evidence of its implementation.

but that doesn't sound so different than most libertarian literature...

Then you havent read very much libertarian literature and understood even less. Property rights are absolute under libertarianism. In fact, the absolute nature of such rights is why some people prefer to call libertarians propertarians. The following was written by Jefferson, as if by design to give libertarians apoplectic fits:

"...I set out yesterday morning to take a view of the place.... As soon as I had got clear of the town I fell in with a poor woman walking at the same rate as myself and going the same course. Wishing to know the condition of the laboring poor I entered into conversation with her... She told me she was a day labourer, at 8 sous or 4 d. sterling the day; that she had two children to maintain, and to pay a rent of 30 livres for her house (which would consume the hire of 75 days), that often she could get no employment, and of course was without bread. As we had walked together near a mile and she had so far served me as a guide, I gave her, on parting, 24 sous. She burst into tears of a gratitude which I could percieve was unfeigned, because she was unable to utter a word. She had probably never before recieved so great an aid. This little attendrissement, with the solitude of my walk led me into a train of reflections on that unequal division of property which occaisions the numberless instances of wretchedness which I have observed in this country and is to be observed all over Europe. The property of this country is absolutely concentrated in a very few hands, having revenues of from half a million of guineas a year downwards. These employ the flower of the country as servants, some of them having as many as 200 domestics, not labouring. They employ also a great number of manufacturers, and tradesmen, and lastly the class of labouring husbandmen. But after these comes them most numerous of all the classes, that is, the poor who cannot find work. I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are kept idle mostly for the sake of game. It should seem then that it must be because of the enormous wealth of the proprietors which places them above attention to the increase of their revenues by permitting these lands to be laboured

I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind. The descent of property of every kind therefore to all the children, or to all the brothers and sisters, or other relations in equal degree is a politic measure, and a practicable one. Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed.

[my italicized emphasis, above]

It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state."

Under libertarianism, a single individual can morally and legitimately own the entire USA. Furthermore, libertarian justice would demand nothing of him in return.

Most classic liberals or libertarians would argue that the constitution is a "living, breathing document" as the Democrats are fond of saying,

Your literal Constitution is a mostly worthless rhetorical document whose only saving grace is the Supreme Court it institutes for its interpretation. However, for what it's worth, libertarians would argue and *will* argue in favor of its original, literal, 18th century meaning one thousand years from now. Of course, their interpretation is consistently more incorrect than it is literal but that's yet another uninteresting story.

however it should breathe through the amendment process rather than the penumbras and emanations.

Is penumbras and emanations the same thing as a Supreme Court? If so, then your disagreement with the Court is your disagreement with Constitutionalism.

You incorrectly (putting it mildly) imputed a lot of your own politics onto libertarianism in your reply. When I said libertarianism != classical liberalism, I did not mean anattaism != classical liberalism.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Yeah (4.25 / 4) (#24)
by strlen on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:28:54 PM EST

Actually, modern conservativism sounds pretty disgusting to the more traditional conservatives like Barry Goldwater. Though I disagree with his views on social safetynet and 1965 civil rights act, as well as his aggressive stance for the cold war, there's a lot of things about him which are to be admired. He was a member of NAACP, even though he was ejected due to his disaproval of 1964 Civil rights act. He campaigned for gay rights, and advocated them in conservative magazines. He was so disgusted with Reagan's new left and their prolongation George Bush Sr., he even advised to vote for Clinton. Goldwater also strongly dissaproved of the new right. Unfortunately, Goldwater is no longer alive.

On another notes, social conservatives have once been a feature of the left as well. Most "hard-left" regimes (Cuba, China, North Korea, Former USSR) were or are staunchingly anti-homosexual, stanchingly anti-human rights, and have perfected their own wars on drugs. Also, William J. Bryan, pretty much the Ralph Nader of late 19th early 20th century (his third party, influenced the democrats to adopt first regulatory and pro-labor reforms), was the prosecutor in Scopes "Monkey" Trial, against Clarrence Darrow, who you defended a lot of left-wing view points as well.

Basically the above examples are to show that the left-right scale is outdated, and a 2-dimensional scale comparing authoritarian vs. civil-libertarian on the Y axis and socialist vs. capitalist on the X axis is a way better model.There was a British site, named political compass which had a scale that did exactly, after you answered a survey of political views. I forgot the url, however. Very accurate too, from my experiences.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
s/Reagen's new left/Reagan's new right/ (none / 0) (#25)
by strlen on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:29:59 PM EST

Gar, I hate these types of mistakes.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
The "conservative debate", a summary for (2.75 / 20) (#10)
by eLuddite on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:04:49 PM EST

In case you only bother to read the Liberal news outlets, you've been missing quite an interesting debate among the conservatives

Actually, it's the same old quandry: are conservatives simply stupid or plainly evil?

Oh, catch a sense humor, will ya? If you dont think persecution by a liberal media almost wholly owned by conservative elements is not funny, come a little closer and watch me blow smoke out of my ears.

*ouch*

No, that was too close. Oh well -- y'all hurry back to the comic book store where you can dispense the insults rather than absorb them. Maybe you can talk about your wholly imaginary "state rights" or whatever other inchoherent Holy Writ du jour you need to politicize or put an end to rational discourse.

State rights? There are no so called state rights, there is only an air of compromise in your Constitution which makes it vulnerable to the reversal of Federalist and Anti-Federalist values, and to deep emotional engagements of national mythologies surrounding that contentious lot you venerate as The Forefathers, as if their unstated opinion of every modern social issue is some kind of unanimous revelation.

What's next? Will I be accused of being a troll for saying no one actually gives a damn what your Forefathers said? When I think of your Forefathers, I think of drag queens on stage dressed in the flag, vainly poring over the Constitution in search of the phrase "state rights". (Music by Tom Lehr.)

Surely I'm not the only one who drank too much in college?

---
God hates human rights.

You showed me! (4.00 / 8) (#13)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:50:55 PM EST

If you dont think persecution by a liberal media almost wholly owned by conservative elements is not funny, come a little closer and watch me blow smoke out of my ears.

Hmmmm... I don't recall mentioning persecution; all I said was that those people who don't regularly read conservative texts like the national review and opinionjournal are missing an interesting debate. Of course, I must just be stupid, or evil, and in reality I really meant it as persecution.

No, that was too close. Oh well -- y'all hurry back to the comic book store where you can dispense the insults rather than absorb them. Maybe you can talk about your wholly imaginary "state rights" or whatever other inchoherent Holy Writ du jour you need to politicize or put an end to rational discourse.

Did you actually bother to read the article before you trashed it? I don't suppose you did. Perhaps, if you did, you'd realize that those evil conservative cranks at the comic book store were actually coming out against a gay marriage ban, and actively supporting the rights of those who wish to live in a state with gay marriage rights to do so. But this viewpoint must intrinsically be evil because it came from (gasp) the Wall St. Journal's Opinion section! Those Big Business Shills, cleverly redirecting our thoughts towards gay marriage while they bustle all the polluting, racist, demonic corporations into the clear. Yes, yes! I can see the faint traces of an upside-down pentagram on their logo! And look, the numbers 666 everywhere. Praise the Dark One, praise the Black Goat with 1,000 young!

State rights? There are no so called state rights, there is only an air of compromise in your Constitution which makes it vulnerable to the reversal of Federalist and Anti-Federalist values, and to deep emotional engagements of national mythologies surrounding that contentious lot you venerate as The Forefathers, as if their unstated opinion of every modern social issue is some kind of unanimous revelation.

No, there are no states rights... and there's no 10th Amendment, either. It's just a sham, designed the idiot forefathers, among whom discovered lightning was electricity and basically ushered in much of the modern era. If, as you suggest, there are no states rights, it is because the judicial bench is ignoring the constitution. As to the unstated opinions of the forefathers... it seems to me that their opinions are not necessarily focused upon, but rather their logic, and their intent. And the big news is they were smart enough to make the constitutional amendment process where, if you disagreed with them, you could override their viewpoints. Our Forefathers could beat up your forefathers!

What's next? Will I be accused of being a troll for saying no one actually gives a damn what your Forefathers said? When I think of your Forefathers, I think of drag queens on stage dressed in the flag, vainly poring over the Constitution in search of the phrase "state rights". (Music by Tom Lehr.)

Ooh! Drag queens on stage dressed in the flag! How... witty, daring, and creative of you! That is about as much of a powerful political statement as Marilyn Manson saying "I am the antichrist" is a powerful religious statement. Perhaps, if we're really lucky, you'll draw an A with a circle around it for us. A classic liberal can only hope......

Now grow up, read the articles I linked, and judge the logical quality in the articles, or judge the logical quality of my arguments. Blathering on about drag queens and the US' idiot forefathers doesn't accomplish very much other than allowing you to avoid actually discussing the issues.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Heh (3.00 / 2) (#77)
by trhurler on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:36:39 PM EST

Yeah, conservatives are either stupid or evil. (Actually, many of them are.) Of course, the same is true of liberals, libertarians, socialists, nazi bastards, authoritarian pricks, "centrists and moderates," and just about everyone else. Why? Because almost everyone is stupid and ignorant, and quite a few work in some evil via the wonderful emotions of jealousy and contempt. In fact, probably less than 1% of the population, regardless of beliefs, is neither stupid nor evil, and not all of that tiny fraction are actually reasonably well educated or happen to give a damn about any particular issue. Clearly, the resulting "public discourse" is not going to be entertaining reading for that tiny fraction, except maybe as a sort of dark comedy.

In your case, I don't think there's enough guile present for any real evil. I can't decide whether you're merely smitten with some unrealistic utopian vision or really stupid - or both.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Conservatives confuse me so. (4.00 / 11) (#11)
by elenchos on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 04:19:46 PM EST

First, since when did social engineering for the purpose of strengthing heterosexual marriage become a conservative goal?

And second, wouldn't a conservative more than anyone be well-attuned to the historical difference between the sacntity of a religoulsly-sponsored marriage and the profane legal contract that is a governmet marriage? What is so odious about that distinction? If anything, wouldn't allowing gay civil unions bring into even higher relief the wholly unrelated purposes and meanings of being married in the eyes of your god and merely getting a different tax status and a package of other legal benefits? That would make having the approval of your church all the more unique and valuable, wouldn't it? Or maybe it is at this point when conservatives remember that they disapprove of social engineering.

Maybe someone else can explain better how they think.

Hey! Read this. That is all.

Most "conservatives" aren't conservative (3.75 / 4) (#15)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:00:59 PM EST

Just like most "liberals" aren't liberal.

But that just goes to show the inadequacy of the labels; I could be called conservative, liberal, libertarian, classic liberal, market liberal, etc. It's all pretty vague, and the labels have to be used in context. There are authoritarians and libertarians of various persuasions, and it can be a bitch to sort it all out.

In this case, the true liberal (or conservative) view probably should be to get the state the hell out of marriage. Sadly, that's not a very viable option in the current political climate.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Oh, NOW you don't like labels. (3.33 / 3) (#20)
by elenchos on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:44:23 PM EST

"In case you only bother to read the Liberal news outlets, you've been missing..."

Whose categories are these? Whose labels are these? Who is the one who pigeon-holes these media and their readers? Oh, wait I get it. All the rest of us are just partisan idealogues being led by the nose by our opinion makers and propaganda engines, but you represent the few, or even the only one, who rises above all that. Yes, indeed, how admirable.

And in case you are wondering how the current political climate got this way, it is by people who blow smoke about ideals like freedom, justice, and rights, and then forget all that go and vote pro-corporate every time.

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

How could I? (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:28:13 PM EST

Who is the one who pigeon-holes these media and their readers? Oh, wait I get it. All the rest of us are just partisan idealogues being led by the nose by our opinion makers and propaganda engines, but you represent the few, or even the only one, who rises above all that. Yes, indeed, how admirable.

Or, for the sake of expediency, I use the standard labels that the mass media currently use. You'll note that I used the word "Conservative" in the title, even though that may be techically inaccurate as well. Sadly, there's only so much room on the title bar, and I preferred to focus on gay marriage rather than the multifaceted meanings of conservative vs. liberal, so I used the standard colloquialisms. No label, not even male or female, is perfectly accurate, yet we use them for expediency.

And in case you are wondering how the current political climate got this way, it is by people who blow smoke about ideals like freedom, justice, and rights, and then forget all that go and vote pro-corporate every time.

The same could be said for those who talk about freedom then vote pro-government. But that never happens, I suppose.
My Music
[ Parent ]

You mean the Democrats? (4.33 / 3) (#29)
by elenchos on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:01:40 PM EST

They're pro-corporate too. Shrinking or growing the government doesn't change corporate power much, since the government spending ends up benefitting corporations anyway.

I think the conservative-liberal labels are just a means of entertaining and distracting people. The ones who pay to have their people elected don't really care about flag burning or the NEA or gay marriage. But they love to see everyone entangled in those enless and unproductive debates because it allows them to go about their business of enriching themselves.

So just becasue the corporate-owned media offer both conservative and liberal versions of their message, that doesn't mean you have to use the same terms. Instead ask which outlets actually ask hard questions and raise the issues that have been marginalized. How many "conservative" rags give serious attention to Roman Catholics who favor debt relief or closing the School of the Americas, for example?

Hey! Read this. That is all.
[ Parent ]

And yet... (4.00 / 2) (#39)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:25:38 PM EST

[The Democracts are] pro-corporate too. Shrinking or growing the government doesn't change corporate power much, since the government spending ends up benefitting corporations anyway.

Actually, I was referring to the Greens, but no matter. As to the big government benefitting corporations... any state-run industry (usually monopoly) hurts corporations. See economists like Milton Friedman for why Government spending isn't as powerful in an economy as Investment.

I think the conservative-liberal labels are just a means of entertaining and distracting people. The ones who pay to have their people elected don't really care about flag burning or the NEA or gay marriage.

Do you also believe in Black Ops Helicopters invading at night? You can talk all you want about people paying to have their people elected, but corellation doesn't equal causation. Oil gives money to the republicans because republicans generally have a pro-energy agenda. Entertainment gives money to the democrats because the democrats generally have a pro-entertainment agenda. Environmentalists give money to the Greens because the Greens generally have a pro-environment agenda (well they think they do.) This does not suggest massive monetary conspiracies, but rather that these groups know where the most bang for their buck exists. If you can prove to me that money is corrupting politics, I would like to see it.

As it is, I really don't think it's unreasonable to have the cost of all the elections to determine the fate of the US be less than a Fritos marketing campaign...

So just becasue the corporate-owned media offer both conservative and liberal versions of their message, that doesn't mean you have to use the same terms.

Well, what does the non-corporate owned media use? NPR and PBS use words like conservative and liberal... indymedia and the nation would probably be somewhat likely to use a less-than-complementary word to refer to those right of Stalin, so I'm not going to use them. Maybe if I used Purple Peanut Butter in the Sky to refer to those who like individual liberties and small government, and Spacemen Getting their Nails Done in Graceland to refer to those who like big government and a reduction in liberty, I would be more accurate?

Instead ask which outlets actually ask hard questions and raise the issues that have been marginalized.

I dunno, I thought some of the points brought up in the National Review and the OpinionJournal articles I posted were pretty interesting, as were the questions. I'll also point to Reason Magazine articles, The New Republic articles, and the Economist (no good non-premium content at the moment) as three relatively Purple Peanut Butter in the Sky magazines that suggest debt relief would be wise.
My Music
[ Parent ]

Black helicopters... oh so black (none / 0) (#55)
by Luyseyal on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 09:34:10 AM EST

I've never been one for paranoia, but I watched on the news where a black helicopter had landed in this woman's front yard. This was in Austin, TX. The pilot didn't say anything of course and the army came and removed the vehicle.

The weird thing was, around the same time frame, people in this area kept waking up in the morning and going to their cars to find them covered in a white, thin powder. For all you out-of-towners, there are no volcanos near Austin, TX. Black helicopters and various jets had been flying at relatively low altitude visibly dropping dust of some sort (no, not high altitude condensation, it looks different).

At this point, I suspect they were on DEA missions dropping herbicides designed to hurt the local marijuana crops, but that's just a hunch based on the recent news of them doing that in Colombia.

really not paranoid,
-l

[ Parent ]

If you think that's interesting... (slightly OT) (3.90 / 10) (#16)
by WombatControl on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:04:30 PM EST

Read the articles over at National Review on the issue of stem-cell research. (List of Articles). It's another thorny issue for conservatives, perhaps even more so than the issue of gay marriage.

This just goes to show that conservatives are not a monolithic group of superstitious Bible-thumping hicks, as the liberal media would have one believe. (Just read the Vanity Fair article on Fox News from a while back. They accuse Fox News of spreading conservative elitism while simultaneously insulting anyone who disagrees with their liberal viewpoints.) We do get into some heated arguments, but we don't rely strictly on pseudoscience or emotionalism to make choices, as many (but not all) liberal groups tend to. Certainly there's no more interesting intellectual stimulation than listening in on a debate between a group of highly intelligent and well-briefed people on a tough moral and ethical issue such as this. Even if you consider yourself a bleeding-heart liberal, the views of NR are still compelling and well thought out. I have to congratulate NR editor Rich Lowry on making the magazine, as well as the online edition, real sources of cutting-edge conservative thought.



Uh? (3.50 / 2) (#31)
by SIGFPE on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:18:01 PM EST

This just goes to show that conservatives are not a monolithic group of superstitious Bible-thumping hicks
Well there seem to be two broad camps of conservatives in the US - Bible thumping hicks and libertarians. However I have to say that I don't find these articles in any way special. The very same arguments have appeared on K5 with exactly the same outcome - neither side finding any value in the other side's arguments.
SIGFPE
[ Parent ]
YES! (none / 0) (#140)
by Rizen on Wed Aug 15, 2001 at 05:47:34 AM EST

Score one for intelligence.

Gentlemen, if you think that all conservatives are bible-bashers, you never met me. I am a bisexual man whose religious beliefs tend to side with the Church of Satan (although their practice just seems stupid to me). If you find a man in modern America who hates christianity as much as I do, I will be amazed. Yet I am ultra-conservative.

Everytime someone talks shit about conservatives in front of me, I just want to slap them. The mostly liberal media (and hollywood, too) has perverted America's idea of conservative and liberal. Allow me to explain.

A conservative is *not* one who is "conservative" about morality. True conservatives do not believe in legislating morality. In fact, they don't believe in legislating anything that is not required to keep the country from dying. (And no, drugs or homosexuality will *not* kill this country. It might just kill the culture, but the country will live on. (Which is a good thing, BTW)). A conservative is one who thinks that the government should be limited or "conserved". (Granted, the idea of the word 'conserve' has changed a bit since the political idea was first formed.)

A liberal is *not* one who thinks thinks that drugs should be legal and that gay people should be able to do what they want or that people in general should be able to do what they want without government interference, as many believe. Look at California. Everyone who's never been here thinks we're all wild and crazy. California is a liberal state. We can't smoke in bars. (Not that I want to, but it's a liberty thing) We can't see certain kinds of porn. We have laws against prostitution and gambling. Is that "freedom"? Is that "liberty"? Is this allowing people to do what they want as long as they don't bug anyone else? Hell no. The definition of politically liberal is the idea of "Let's be liberal with the powers we give the government!". Screw that. That's not what our fore-fathers envisioned.

In summary, I just have to say that I agree that the government shouldn't be in marriage in the first place. I wholly supposed group marriage, for any combination of sexes. Regulation of marriage is a violation of the first amendment.

[ Parent ]
Conservative arguments -circular but interesting (4.60 / 33) (#21)
by netmouse on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 05:49:19 PM EST

While I enjoy the procession through these articles, I cannot read them without wanting to comment on some of their statements.

First of all, I think Rauch did a fine piece on states rights. If anything, it would have been stronger with less discussion of the social aspects of homosexual marriage, as we see by the fact that this is the material on which Kurtz responds.

In Stanley Kurtz' first article, he quotes William Raspberry regarding the contribution of women to conservative courtship and marriage: "I don't doubt for a minute that women's control of sex helped to tame men, to focus their attention and make them suitable for, and amenable to, marriage."

This is an amazing statement to me, in that women do not have control over sex in a male-dominated society, and yet these men who are arguing that the free sex we see as a result of female control over their bodies is bad are at the same time arguing that female control is the very foundation of the conservative marriage. Fascinating.

Noticable also in Kurtz' article is an avoidance of any discussion of lesbian partnerships. He argues:

It is the unique sexual dynamic between men and women that domesticates men. Marriage ratifies and reinforces the basic effect, but cannot create it out of whole cloth. The ethos of marriage builds upon a series of shared and pre-existing expectations about the way a man ought to treat a woman -- because of her sexual vulnerability, and because of her need for support as a mother.
The representation here is that women are by nature domesticated while men need to be domesticated. This is of course wrong. In the cases where it appears true, this is a result of socialization, but all the same, it's laughable. Following Kurtz' suppositions we can only conclude that lesbian marriages are the most stable of matrimonies. And we must ignore all evidence of bachelor males living clean, civil and domesticated lives.

Finally, as one of a group of people who had sexually free lives in college and went on to enter very traditional marriages with mates we found that way, I can feel positive that the opinions of Kurtz and Raspberry are wrong. A history of casual sexual relations on the basis of equality is not inimical to entering a traditional marriage.

It's interesting that Kurtz begins his second article with "the storm that will break over America after but a single state legalizes gay marriage will surely be a moment of decisive cultural reckoning." The future tense makes me wonder if this man lives in the same country as I do; he's still refering to legalization of marriage in the future tense, whereas I'm sure it's already happened in Vermont. [he seems to view their civil union case as dramatically different from marriage -to me this is a semantic difference. And as Andrew Sullivan says in his reply to Kurtz, "It's been almost exactly a year since civil unions debuted, and social collapse doesn't seem imminent. "]

Kurts points out in his second article that the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment does "not deny states the power to confer benefits upon homosexual couples." By which he obliquely touches on an important point to me. That is, that Rauch's position is insufficiently complete.

The federal government has to have an official stance on marriage, because the federal government offers different legal treatment, in immigration and taxation policies among others, based on recognition of married status

Of course, that official stance need not be written into the constitution -and need not be imposed on the states rights, but it should exist.

While some of Kurtz' arguments sound strong regarding the rarity of one state refusing to recognize a marriage from another state, I'm sure it's not all that uncommon in the one area that states currently differ a lot, namely the age at which a person can enter into such a union.

In his reply to Kurtz, Rauch agrees that women domesticate men (sigh) but argues again that marriage is a caring contract that domesticates everyone. Then he suggests a somewhat ass-backwards amendment to the constitution: "An amendment saying, "Nothing in this Constitution shall require any state to recognize as a marriage any union but that of one man and one woman". I sigh again.

I approve of how Sullivan, in his New Republic article, brings up statistics from Denmark that suggest that homosexual unions actually accompany an increased marriage rate and a decreased divorce rate. For those who might think possible polygamy and divorce are arguments against homosexual marriage, Sullivan has some strong points.

I personally don't have anything against polygamy, but I find it interesting how this argument works even from a conservative context.

In his reply to Rauch, Kurtz says

the public will not condemn a man who sleeps around on another man, or who fails to support his male partner financially. A wedding embodies and reinforces already existing public sentiments about a man's responsibilities to a woman; it cannot create such sentiments out of thin air.
adding in the conservative view that men support women and (in corrolary) women need not be supported by society in gaining financial independence -why should they? Society will step up and demand a man support his woman. Sadly, this is not true, as the rates of poverty among women in broken homes and a corresponding lack of outrage in conservative circles attest.

After arguing from the first that gay marriage will lead to high rates of divorce and instability, Kurtz now quietly caves to Rauch and Sullivan's point that this instability preceded the public dicussion of gay marriage, but goes on to assert that gay marriage would now be the last straw in preventing our culture from getting back on the road to social stability. He also brings up marriage's "intimate connection to the rearing of children" even though his opponents have already pointed out that the not insignificant occurrence of heterosexual marriages that do not bear children nullify this argument.

Still, he has a point here:

As the ultimate symbol of the detachment of sexuality from reproduction, homosexuality embodies the sixties ethos of sexual self-fulfillment.
As far as I can tell, this is true, and my moral sense says, "so what"? I guess this identifies my liberalism; I think sexual self-fulfillment is good. I don't think sex should be linked inexorably to reproduction (slavery). The very separation of sex from reproduction is one of the basic tenants of modern feminism as well.

Let's see... now that he has been reminded of Vermont, Kurtz asserts that a "national culture war over the issue of gay marriage" has already begun. You know, the one he was predicting two days earlier?

In his response to Kurtz, Rauch gives a delightful 4-point summary of Kurtz' arguments, and rebuts thusly:

Kurtzism, as I'll take the liberty of calling this approach, gets four things wrong. It misanalyzes marriage. It misunderstands homosexuality. It sits crosswise with liberalism. And it traduces federalism. Other than that, no problem.
He gives a lovely definition of marriage, closing it with "A golden anniversary is not a great event because both spouses have held up their end of a "dynamic of male-female sexuality" but because 50 years of devotion is just about the noblest thing that human beings can achieve." -Contradicting Kurtz' point that marriage is all about the aforementioned dynamic.

Rauch quotes Kurtz about sexual self-fulfillment, as I do above, but Rauch has taken it as an affront. He interprets the statement about "homosexuality" to blanketly cover the relationships included in its practice, and I guess I can see where he's coming from. Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality are all about sexual self-fulfillment. They are also about the partner's fulfillment, and, as expressed in long-term relationships, they are also about much more than sex.

Mostly strongly in this bit, Rauch argues that predicted moral or immoral behaivor (as re: polygamy, divorce, abuse, etc) is not a qualification for marriage in heterosexual life and therefore it's not a fair argument against homosexual marriage. "Last time I checked," says Rauch, "heterosexual men were allowed to take a fifth wife, no questions asked, even if they beat their first, abandoned their second, cheated on their third, and attended orgies with their fourth."

Finally, Ruach returns to his argument that a consitutional amendment on this topic is intended to eliminate the potential for a state-level democratic process for introducing or barring same-sex marriages.

Although [Kurtz] fears that same-sex marriage will come to pass over the public's objections, he fears even more that it will come to pass with the public's assent.
Hadley Arkes brings up a good case for the Supreme Court's previous meddling with state's rights on family affairs (re: mixed race marriages and apportionment of children following divorce) in his support of Kurtz' fears that the gay activists will push their rights through the courts. Both of them ignoring the fact that any such push will happen whether or not we have an amendment denying states the right to give out same-sex marriage licenses. Still, Arkes is obviously more intelligent than Mr. Kurtz, and has a more coherent argument.Arkes is a member of the Alliance for Marriage and speaks as such.

Arkes cleverly brings up the amendments that did away with slavery, secured citizenship for the former slaves, and confered upon them the right to vote. There is a crucial point here. In that case, as he said, "Republican leaders sought to place those rights beyond the play of majorities shifting with the political seasons." But he is misleading the reader when he claims that "In the current crisis, we have been compelled to take the same route". The amendments regarding slavery and citizenship protect equal rights among people who are in some way different. The amendment proposed by the Alliance for Marriage would do the exact opposite.

I applaud the Alliance's stated intention to support having an argument in the public sphere instead of having a small group of judges decide this issue. I encourage such debate and am, here writing, participating in such.

I find it interesting that Arkes says

once we admit gay marriage, we would not stand on any principled ground for confining marriage to two people
This is a powerful statement, and begs the question again, of what the real principle is behind barring same-sex marriage. I see none.

To finish up my review of this debate, I'll go on to Kurtz' final article, in which he continues on the threat of polygamy theme and exposes his own lower intelligence in a truly laughable manner by defining "'polyamory' -- a form of group marriage". As we all know, polyamory is the belief that you can sincerely love more than one person in an atmosphere of respect and devotion, while 'polygamy" continues to mean group marriage. While some polyamorists do gather in groups and others pair with a single mate for parenting or economic reasons while continuing to share their love with others in more changeable relationships, still others (just like monamorists) do not seek long-term relationships at all.

Kurtz continues to propound his faith in "sexual complementarity" and goes on to twist and abuse many of Sullivan's points beyond recognition. That may make them easier to argue against, but, well, at this point Kurtz is arguing against things he made up, not his opponents. His dreamlike view of heterosexual marriage is reflected in his continuing assertions about how society keeps it an honorable institution

Marriage also operates according to a code of honor -- a code, as it happen, that forbids cheating. And that code of honor is enforced...
Yeah, right. Kurtz fears homosexuals who will marry "hope to use their marital status to actively subvert conventional cultural notions of marital honor." I really hope my marital status helps to subvert conventional cultural notions of Kurtz such as my sexual vulnerability and need to have a man take care of me, not to mention a few others.

His continued equation of marriages lacking honor with modern times and open values ignores a very real history of centuries of such activities. Rather like the history of centuries of open homosexuality that preceded our current prudishness.

And Jeff Jacoby joins the fray with further beliefs in "men's naturally unruly sexuality". It makes me sigh to think how women have for the last century been considered whores and strumpets if they even seemed to pursue the same status these conservatives think is natural for men.

Jacoby fondly remembers when unmarried cohabitation was denigrated as "shacking up" and generally goes into much hoo-ha about the decline of the institution of marriage that actually makes no attempt to be relevant to the question of same-sex involvement but appears intended to shock his conservative audience.

I'm left agreeing with Representative Barney Frank, whom Jacoby quotes,

"[the argument that legitimizing gay unions ''threatens the institution of marriage,''] ought to be made by someone in an institution because it has no logical basis whatsoever."

Thanks for the article, Anatta.

Excellent Commentary (3.33 / 3) (#37)
by SPrintF on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:03:11 PM EST

Sometimes, like now, I wish it were possible to vote a comment to Front Page status.

Thanks for writing, 'mouse.

[ Parent ]

Way to show me up! (4.00 / 2) (#41)
by Anatta on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:37:17 PM EST

Clearly your name deserves to be on the front page, not mine. I was too lazy to write that much commentary, and just getting all those links right was enough to make me disgusted.

Excellent writeup!
My Music
[ Parent ]

Circular Argument: See Argument, Circular (none / 0) (#54)
by Steve B on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 09:01:14 AM EST

The federal government has to have an official stance on marriage, because the federal government offers different legal treatment, in immigration and taxation policies among others, based on recognition of married status

That is, the federal government has to have an official stance because at some point in the past it decided to take an official stance. This is hardly a complelling argument.

[ Parent ]

Yes...but... (4.00 / 2) (#57)
by TheCaptain on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 09:46:09 AM EST

They almost HAVE to have some stance on it for immigration purposes. Immigration DOES actually need to be controlled...and the U.S. is actually ALOT easier to get citizenship in as it is, compared to most countries. If I am not mistaken alot of countries make it ALOT harder to become a citizen, and marriage to one of their current citizens is often one of the ways to attain that.

Hey...if you want to flame the U.S. government or conservatives over that part...you might as well be flaming half the planet. Any country that I can think of has a legal and governmental stance on it. Guess every country is run by idiots. Only the posters here seem to be suited for governmental policy decisions. *cough*


[ Parent ]
Next Installment In The Debate: Robert H. Bork (4.50 / 2) (#56)
by David Hume on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 09:38:43 AM EST

It appears the next installment in the conservative debate regarding gay marriage is an editorial by Robert H. Bork (see also here, here, and here) in the Wall Street Journal entitled Stop Courts From Imposing Gay Marriage: Why we need a constitutional amendment.

It appears Bork has a concern that has not been previously articulated:
Many court watchers believe that within five to 10 years the U.S. Supreme Court will hold that there is a constitutional right to homosexual marriage, just as that court invented a right to abortion. The chosen instrument will be the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. After all, if state law forbids Fred to marry Henry, aren't they denied equal protection when the law permits Tom and Jane to marry? The argument is simplistic, but then the argument for the result in Roe v. Wade was nonexistent.
Bork argues in favor of the proposed Constitutional Amendment in order to foreclose liberal judicial activism:
To head off the seemingly inexorable march of the courts toward the radical redefinition of marriage, the Alliance for Marriage has put forward the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
Perhaps interestingly, Bork views the proposed Amendment as a moderate, intermediate position:
To try to prevent legislatures from enacting permission for civil unions by constitutional amendment would be to reach too far. It would give opponents the opening to say we do not trust the people when, in fact, we are trying to prevent courts from thwarting the will of the people. The history of the effort to obtain a constitutional amendment relating to abortion is instructive. There was a chance to get an amendment overturning Roe v. Wade and returning the issue to the state legislatures. Purists opposed to abortion would not settle for that. They demanded an amendment prohibiting abortion altogether. The result was that they got nothing. An amendment against judicial validation of same-sex marriages would similarly be doomed by pressing for too much.

The is-ought problem.
[ Parent ]
The biggest problem I have (3.50 / 2) (#86)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:28:07 PM EST

with the amendment and its spin is this:

The amendment claims to be taking the decision making power away from the courts and restoring it to the legislature. Ok, I can sympathize with that goal --- but the same amendment *explicitly* denies legislatures the ability to call same-sex unions 'marriage', which is foreclosing legislatures from exercising the very power the proponents of the amendment claim to be restoring to them!

Bork tries to address this issue by saying that banning civil unions is not done by the amendment so as to avoid this problem --- but it doesn't avoid the problem, as the amendment establishes a binding definition of marriage upon the states.

[ Parent ]

Marriage vs Benefits (none / 0) (#131)
by PresJPolk on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 06:24:36 AM EST

The amendment defined Marriage. It does not define what Marriage has to do with anything.

If every state in the Union passed a law saying that all benefits granted to married couples are granted to civil unions (or whatever term is to be used for non-Marriage marriages), then the result sought by gay marriage advocates would be achieved.

At the same time, the concept of Marriage would be kept with what it has been - an institution centered on procreation.

[ Parent ]
True, but (none / 0) (#143)
by aphrael on Wed Aug 15, 2001 at 03:52:30 PM EST

at the same time, the amendment explicitly removes from the states the power to define what Marriage is. How that can be reconciled with a state's-rights rhetoric is beyond me.

[ Parent ]
I was disappointed in Jeff Jacoby's editorial (4.50 / 2) (#95)
by fullcity on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 10:51:49 AM EST

I was excited to see Jacoby's editorial in the Globe the other day, because it claimed to explain, once and for all, exactly how it is that homosexual marriage threatens heterosexual marriage. I've heard this assertion many times. The usual supporting argument goes something like this: "It just does."

Jacoby's argument is, as far as I can tell, the following.

  • The pill, premarital cohabitation, legalized abortion, and AFDC (the US welfare program giving benefits proportional to the number of children in the household) have already damaged the institution of marriage.
  • These things damaged marriage by making marriage less appealing to heterosexual couples. That is, by decoupling sex from marriage, we have discouraged marriage.
  • "If we now redefine marriage so it includes the union of two men or two women, we will be taking this bad situation and making it even worse."
Again, Barney Frank and I must ask, how exactly does it make it worse?

Surely he is not saying that there will be fewer marriages if we allow gay marriage. I'm guessing there would be more.

Could he mean that gay marriages will amplify the moral problems he associates with the pill, abortion, "shacking up," and AFDC? Well, we can safely rule out the pill and abortion as being irrelevant to gay marriage. "Shacking up" between gay couples would actually decrease! So he must be talking about some new form of damage to marriage, not an increase in the existing damage.

Unfortunately, Jacoby doesn't explain. He concludes: "For all the assaults marriage has taken, its fundamental purpose endures: to uphold and encourage the union of a man and a woman, the framework that is the healthiest and safest for the rearing of children. If marriage stops meaning even that, it will stop meaning anything at all."

So how does gay marriage damage hetero marriage? Jeff Jacoby: "It just does."
There's one fly in the ointment that we've swept under the rug.
[ Parent ]

back when marriage was strong (none / 0) (#119)
by netmouse on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 11:02:15 AM EST

Yeah, I forget if it was Jacoby or Kurtz who said something about there being a time when the socialization for marriage was so strong gay men normally got married to women anyway. I was amused to see they favor (or at least remember fondly) a lifelong formality based on secrets and lies over an open and loving relationship.

[ Parent ]
Full Faith and Credit (3.36 / 11) (#26)
by Osiris on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:31:25 PM EST

I unquestionably agree with Jonathan Rouch that the states should resist a constitutional amendment or any federal moves to overrule the states on this issue. The states that feel they are "ready" to take the plunge into gay marriage, like Vermont, will be able to do so while those that do not will not be forced to recognize the unions.

This is an unworkable proposition. It's amendment or nothing- if one state recognizes gay marriage, all the rest will have to. The US Constitution includes a clause stating:

Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.

If you are married in one state, you are married in all states. This is why you do not have to get married again when you move across state lines. A simple law cannot stop this, it would be unconstitutional. So, for the fuckwits who wish to block gay marriages (denying a legal right like that to anyone of consenting age is ludicrous), it's Amendment or Bust.



consenting age- already states rights (3.00 / 3) (#28)
by netmouse on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 06:54:54 PM EST

denying a legal right like that to anyone of consenting age is ludicrous

Whereby you refute your own point - states have and do exercise the right to define the age of consent.

Full Faith and Credit is limited in a lot of ways.

[ Parent ]

Age of Consent? (3.00 / 2) (#30)
by Osiris on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 07:02:56 PM EST

So what are they going to do, say the age of consent for straight people is 18, but for gays it's 85? If you're old enough to sign a contract, which is 18 all accross America AFAIK, you're old enough to be married. It's just another contract, in the eyes of the law, and any attempt to shimmy and dance around that is utter bullshit.



[ Parent ]
Unfortunately... (4.00 / 3) (#35)
by fluffy grue on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 08:20:52 PM EST

Quite a few states have an age of consent which states that no age is old enough for homosexual relations. Many states still have sodomy laws, and quite a few also have "dormitory" laws where you can't have more than X number of unrelated people of the same sex living together and such, which are often used to mess with polyamories and such.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

laws (3.50 / 2) (#38)
by starbreeze on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 09:22:27 PM EST

Pennsylvania most certainly still has those laws. In fact, in college, the college sponsored "frat houses" but not "sorority houses" because so many girls under one roof is legally considered a brothel.

anywayz, back on track, i love the sodomy laws... they won't chase you down for it unless they can use it in their favor, such as not allowing gay "marriages".

~~~~~~~~~
"There's something strangely musical about noise." ~Trent Reznor
[ Parent ]

The facts aren't in your favor (4.00 / 3) (#42)
by cp on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 10:47:50 PM EST

The "full faith and credit" clause has not been historically applied to marriage contracts in such a way as to override a state's standing policy on the type of marriage in question. Some states permit first cousins to marry, whereas other states to not. Such marriages are not considered valid when presented in the latter states for recognition unless the two states have reciprocity agreements. That's just how it's always been.

If the "full faith and credit" clause required gay marriages to be recognized across state jurisdictions, then DOMA would be unconstitutional as Congress wouldn't have the power to override such a fact. This simply isn't the case, however.

The matter may be different for divorces, as the "full faith and credit" clause has been more liberally applied with respect to divorces than to marriages. If so, then DOMA would be unconstitutional in this regard.

If you want a good read on the subject, then I recommend Legally wed : same-sex marriage and the Constitution (ISBN: 0801434068) by Mark Strasser.

[ Parent ]

A foreward-looking nitpick (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:25:01 PM EST

then DOMA would be unconstitutional as Congress wouldn't have the power to override such a fact. This simply isn't the case, however.

Note that this theory has not yet been tested in a federal court.

[ Parent ]

How 'bout those un-American folk? (4.00 / 4) (#46)
by NoBeardPete on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:18:22 AM EST

So how does all of this apply to people from other countries?

All of the arguments about how having different definitions of marriage from state to state will cause havoc when people travel is ignoring the existence of other countries. What if Canada legalizes gay marriage (for all I know they already have) and a couple from Montreal takes a road trip to Boston? Most US authorities will acknowledge their marriage without question. Do we really want to deny their marriage, and leave them and their children in a questionable legal position when they travel here?

In fact, would refusing to acknowledge their marriage violate any internation treaties? I could well imagine it might cause a big incident. Say gay couple Chris and Andy have a child Jackie, who is biologically Chris's. As they are traveling through the US, Chris is almost killed in a horrible accident, and put into a coma. If Andy was denied the ability to make medical decisions for Chris, and was furthermore denied access and stewardship of Jackie, I could imagine Chris and Andy's native country being rather irritated at the whole business.

Even if the conservitives try to prevent married gay couples from circulating through the country from one or two states, they'll eventually have to deal with gay couples from other countries. It always amuses me how US politicians can forget that there exists parts of the universe outside of their jurisdiction.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

What does that mean? (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:24:14 PM EST

What if Canada legalizes gay marriage (for all I know they already have) and a couple from Montreal takes a road trip to Boston? Most US authorities will acknowledge their marriage without question

Acknowledge in what sense? Most states have laws that prohibit the states from acknowledging such marriages or extending legal benefits to protect them, and certainly the federal government would not do so.

[ Parent ]

Laws regarding sexual conduct between 2 adults (4.00 / 1) (#97)
by hammock on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:38:17 PM EST

Furthermore, most states have laws <b>against</b> gay and lesbian activity. No such laws exist in Canada, in fact the Canadian Criminal code section 159(2) explicitly allows for homosexual acts between 2 persons of an age older than 18.

Homosexual acts are currently illegal in the following states in the United States of America:

Alabama
Florida
Idaho
Kansas
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
North Carolina
South Carolina
Texas (confirmed as recently as March of this year)
Utah
Virginia

www.ageofconsent.com has produced a chart of nations and summaries of thier laws regarding sexual relations.

[ Parent ]
Most states (3.00 / 1) (#98)
by aphrael on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:55:01 PM EST

don't have such laws, at least not any more. You list laws in 15 states out of 50, which is definitely a minority. :)

[ Parent ]
a minority but still too many (none / 0) (#118)
by netmouse on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 10:58:02 AM EST

You list laws in 15 states out of 50, which is definitely a minority. :)

I'm delighted to see this, but those of us who live in those states obviously have some work to do.

--netmouse

[ Parent ]

IMHO (4.00 / 19) (#34)
by Ender Ryan on Mon Aug 06, 2001 at 08:06:10 PM EST

Marriage should not mean a damn thing, legally. It's a ridiculous legal concept. Everything that NEEDS recognition can be put in your will. As for taxes, it should be no different if you're married. As for everything else, it should be up to whatever institution you're dealing with to decide whether they recognize marriages or not...

Am I missing something, is there a real point to having a legal concept of marriage?

IMHO, laws about marriage trivialize marriage itself. It's supposed to be something between two people(or more, depding...) that's personal and sacred, not something we need laws for...

Stupid, simply stupid.


-
Exposing vast conspiracies! Experts at everything even outside our expertise! Liberators of the world from the oppression of the evil USian Empire!

We are Kuro5hin!


acknowledgment of intimate economic arrangements (4.33 / 6) (#44)
by ritlane on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:47:50 AM EST

I'll make this short, since it is late, but I think it will show my point.

The legal status of marriage is given as a way to acknowledge the intimate economic involvement of two people that happens when they get married. Picture this scenario. A man works very hard to advance his career. Late nights at the office, etc.. His wife stays home to prepare his food, do the dishes, shop, care for kids, and do his laundry. In short, her actions allow him to succeed by not having to deal with all those errands we all know eat up the day Now later the man leaves the woman. Can he say "I made all this money at my job, you get nothing!"

No, and that is what marriage should protect. The fact that both partners were intimately involved and contributed to the success of each other.

Yes, I am well aware I probably just used the worlds most un-PC example possible. No, I don't care.... marriage existed in law before Political correctness, and this is one reason why.



---Lane
I like fighting robots
[ Parent ]
not really -- common law relationships (3.50 / 2) (#70)
by theantix on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:39:02 PM EST

No, and that is what marriage should protect. The fact that both partners were intimately involved and contributed to the success of each other

I don't know about the 'States, but up here in Canada we have a term known as "common law" partners who are not married but have lived together for a certain period of time (I think it's between 6 months and a year) are considered one financial entity for many circumstances. Whilst it's not the same as marriage (some spousal benefits are limited, etc) it certainly covers the example that you listed above.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Canadian common law marriage, US laws (4.66 / 3) (#91)
by netmouse on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:38:27 PM EST

up here in Canada we have a term known as "common law" partners who are not married but have lived together for a certain period of time (I think it's between 6 months and a year) are considered one financial entity

Interestingly enough, Canada recognizes common law marriage for purposes of taxation and inheritance, etc, but not for purposes of Immigration. If a U.S. or other foreign citizen in a common law relationship tries to enter Canada for an extended period of time on the basis of that relationship (say, if their mate has a working visa in Canada) they can be denied. Customs and Immigration in Canada does not recognize common law relationships. If this seems inconsistent to you I encourage you to speak up about it.

Common law definitions and law in the U.S. vary from state to state. In Iowa I believe it involves joint custody of a domesticated animal. Our amusement in Iowa is that there is also a law on the books banning the cohabitation of unmarried people of different sexes of a certain age. So you're breaking the law if you live together, but if you live together long enough we'll give you privileged status. Now that makes sense. ;)

There are a lot of outdated laws in the states. unfortunately some of them still get applied when the whim strikes someone.



[ Parent ]

Just get a contract (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by LordNimon on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:25:18 PM EST

In your example, all that's needed is for the husband and wife to sign a contract that legally binds them in this way. The contract would be a private agreement between the two of them. The U.S. and state governments would not be involved unless they decided to "break the contract" (get a divorce).

If marriage was privatized, then these contracts would become ubiquitous. In the end, the legal aspects would not change, but the government would not be involved.

--
Lord Nimon
Yes, I use OS/2 Warp.

[ Parent ]

An example of where this doesn't work (4.50 / 2) (#83)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:22:50 PM EST

is the issue of hospitalization. All states require hospitals to allow the spouse of a hospitalized person reasonable access to that person while they are under private care. One of the things that the gay rights movement would like to see is similar provisions for partners in gay marriages.

The get-a-contract response doesn't work here, because the hospital isn't a party to the contract; it is acting under a requirement from the state that it honor particular emotional relationships, and gay people (quite reasonably) feel discriminated against by that law.

[ Parent ]

"Privatize Marriage" thought by a conser (none / 0) (#72)
by theantix on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:47:26 PM EST

I read a great article in Slate awhile back which elaborates on your ideas, written by David Boaz, a libertarian writer.

The question I like: would your marriage mean any less if the government said that you weren't married? Of course not -- it should not be anyone's damn business but your own. Of course, the financial and legal aspects of the marriage could be handled by a simple contract, as the Boaz article suggests.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

I agree 100% (none / 0) (#73)
by LordNimon on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:20:54 PM EST

I think I need to write my Congresscritters. Of course, they'll just laugh, but maybe one day they won't.

--
Lord Nimon
Yes, I use OS/2 Warp.

[ Parent ]

In case you want some more context (2.50 / 2) (#45)
by cp on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:53:27 AM EST

Hadley Arkes is a professor here at Amherst College. I'll just use a euphemism and say he's "unique" as a member of the faculty (which is unsurprisingly quite liberal). How unique is unique? Well, you can get a general lay of the land from this portion of a couple-year-old back issue of The Amherst Spectator, the defacto conservative paper on campus until it fell apart owing to lack of interest this past year. In it, you can find a table of the general self-reported political ideologies of Amherst professors. There were unreported ones, but of all the ones reported, Arkes is, well, unique in his conservativism.

He's a nice fellow and all. But while we've got our share of wackos on the left end of the political spectrum here, and while ideological homogeneity is a dangerous thing in any form, I'm personally not all that sorry to have just one Hadley Arkes.

Amherst (none / 0) (#78)
by FnordLord on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:00:15 PM EST

Hey, I'm starting at Hampshire this fall! Cool...

[ Parent ]
Sweet! (none / 0) (#92)
by eann on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 12:05:16 AM EST

Welcome to the People's Republic of Amherst. We hope you enjoy your stay here inside the Tofu Curtain.

See ya 'round town.


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


[ Parent ]
oops (1.16 / 6) (#128)
by sfault on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 09:20:25 PM EST

hi david

[ Parent ]
Privileged Status (4.25 / 4) (#53)
by Steve B on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:56:23 AM EST

Jacoby writes: "Marriage is harmed by anything that diminishes its privileged status."

To which the only possible reply is: Boo Frickin' Hoo. Kings were harmed by the loss of the "privileged staus" which made their word law without further ado. The old samurai class was harmed by the loss of the "privileged status" which gave them the right to kill lessers who failed to defer to them. Priviledged status (as opposed to individually earned special respect) ought to be "harmed" whenever and wherever encountered.

'Privileged' not always bad. (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by netmouse on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:18:26 PM EST

Priviledged status (as opposed to individually earned special respect) ought to be "harmed" whenever and wherever encountered.

While I am tempted to just join in the chorus of your "Boo Frickin' Hoo," I have some reservations. Keep in mind there are two definitions of this term (from m-w.com):

privileged
1. having or enjoying one or more privileges (a right or immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor)
2. not subject to the usual rules or penalties because of some special circumstance; especially : not subject to disclosure in a court of law
The second of these definitions being the more recent one, I just wanted to step in and speak in favor of the priviledges society grants to children and others who are too young or mentally/morally handicapped to be held fully responsible for the results of their actions.

I think those who enter into marriage should be granted the priviledge of respect for their intentions and declaired relationship (including, for instance, the right not to speak against one's spouse in a court of law, as relates to one's right to stay silent on one's own account). Jacoby is really confusing the subject here when he refers to the privileged status of marriage. While there may be some privileges of marriage that should be under debate, Jacoby is mainly arguing for the privilege of a particular group of people to enter into marriage. Probably his statement should be better translated into:

"marriage is harmed by anything that diminishes its status as a privilege"
Which brings us back to his idea of what class of people that privilege should be granted unto.



[ Parent ]

Well, Yes, That's What I Meant (none / 0) (#66)
by Steve B on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 12:45:24 PM EST

Jacoby is mainly arguing for the privilege of a particular group of people

Precisely -- I thought my choice of analogies made that clear.

[ Parent ]

What I don't get... (2.66 / 6) (#68)
by Wicket on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 01:40:09 PM EST

...is when people that are opposed to ga6y "marriage" use the argument that it shouldn't be allowed since marriage is for producing a family and children. Should infertile people be forbidden from marrying too then?
intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
Marriage and infertile couples (4.75 / 4) (#71)
by hawkestein on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 02:45:21 PM EST

This is an interesting point, and one that I have thought about myself. One could argue that the couple could always adopt children.

Of course, somebody could just come along and say, "Well, gay couples could adopt also". However, the prevalent view (at least among conservatives), is that a married hetereosexual couple provide the "best" environment for raising a child, as opposed to a single parent or a homosexual couple.

Also, while it may be theoretically consistent to prevent couples who can't have children from marrying, I can't see it being practical. You'd have to subject every potential bride and groom to a fertility test. This is rather invasive, and there's no way anybody would want this policy implemented.

Another interesting question is, why do we allow heterosexual couples to marry if they have no intention of having children? Once again, good question in theory, impossible to enforce in practice. What would you do, revoke someone's marriage license if they didn't have children within X number of years?

It's relatively easy to deny homosexual couples the right to marry (as opposed to infertile or unwilling couples).

However, the above arguments are just the philosophical ones. I suspect the truth is that the anti-gay marriage people are generally the same as the anti-gay people. Discriminate first, justify later.

[ Parent ]
re: Marriage and infertile couples (3.00 / 1) (#76)
by Wicket on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 03:30:12 PM EST

Good points :)

However, the prevalent view (at least among conservatives), is that a married hetereosexual couple provide the "best" environment for raising a child, as opposed to a single parent or a homosexual couple.

But then the rebuttal is: well look where heterosexual marriage is on this, 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce!


intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]

re: Marriage and infertile couples (3.00 / 1) (#80)
by spiff on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:20:18 PM EST

But then the rebuttal is: well look where heterosexual marriage is on this, 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce!

That's not a very good reason. Notice that that our point is that a MARRIED heterosexual couple NOT a DIVORCED couple provide the best environment for raising children.

The 50% (or whatever it currently is) divorce rate is a big problem that should be addressed but I hardly see how it makes homosexual marriage more attractive.

[ Parent ]

Because... (none / 0) (#99)
by Wicket on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 01:35:04 PM EST

The 50% (or whatever it currently is) divorce rate is a big problem that should be addressed but I hardly see how it makes homosexual marriage more attractive.

Because committed gay couples have a much higher rate of staying together than heterosexual couples. Why deny them this if they have a truly loving, committed relationship?
intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]

How do you know... (none / 0) (#102)
by codepoet on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 04:13:20 PM EST

... if there are no divorce statistics? What, you trust people to openly admit everything in a poll? Where are the hard, definitive, complete statistics on homosexual couples? None? Just polls? Then you cannot make that claim, no matter how much you feel it is correct.

I'm not saying it mat not be true, but there is no possible way to get evidence as concrete as divorce records for such a claim, so don't bother making it.

I'm not even going to start on the addition of the word "committed" to that sentance other than any person that is committed to something will have a higher percentage of success than an average person in any other group. It's not saying much.

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#106)
by Wicket on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 07:23:44 PM EST

Can you prove that it's not true?

[ Parent ]
Give me a break. (none / 0) (#109)
by codepoet on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 08:33:54 PM EST

I can't prove that forcing an earthquake to drop California off the place of the planet will promote world peace, but that's doesn't mean I make it a main assumption of an argument just because it can't be proven; that's just a bullshit copout.

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]
Whoa... (none / 0) (#115)
by Wicket on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 09:17:39 AM EST

What bug flew up your ass? Oh well, I'm not arguing with you, it's your type of holier than thou attitude that made me get away from K5 in the first place.
intune.org - music discussion for the soul...
[ Parent ]
A bit pointed, yes. (none / 0) (#122)
by codepoet on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 11:34:20 AM EST

I get very frustrated when crap arguments are used. Remember that on the Net there are no faces, so if you're messing with someone, show it, k? =) That and yesterday just sucked...

Know drunk you are when Yoda you sound like, hmm?
[ Parent ]
I still do not agree (none / 0) (#104)
by spiff on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 04:35:34 PM EST

Because committed gay couples have a much higher rate of staying together than heterosexual couples. Why deny them this if they have a truly loving, committed relationship?

And how do we differentiate between the committed gay couples and the non-committed gay couples? Committed heterosexual couples also have a lower divorce rate than average.

There's also the question of how can you tell that committed gay couples are more faithful than their straight counterparts? Where do those numbers come from?

And you suppose that a "truly loving, committed relationship" is the sole basis for justifying marriage. What if someone has a truly loving, committed relationship with a five year old child?

[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (none / 0) (#105)
by Wicket on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 07:21:48 PM EST

So why *shouldn't* a gay couple be allowed to join in a union?

[ Parent ]
because... (5.00 / 1) (#126)
by spiff on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 06:19:58 PM EST

It's part of a bigger picture, so bear with me for a bit...

Humans are inherently social and find the most "happiness" in a stable society. A stable society will allow for progress, culture, and be more prone to care for the needy. To achieve a stable society you need a basic moral framework, a set of rules everyone agrees on as being the "good way" and tries to stick to. A moral code that is more attuned to the way man should live will produce a better society.

The liberal world view (it's a bit simplistic to say there is only one liberal world view, but I believe the following will encompass most) states that the moral code depends on the individual and that everyone should adopt what works best for them while the government tries to make sure that no-one gets hurt and is protected from the consequences of their choices. That will not work. It's like a baseball game where the first baseman is playing by baseball rules, the batter is playing using cricket rules, the shortstop tennis, and the outfielders are playing marbles. And all this time the umpire is trying to make sure the game flows smoothly and everyone can make sense of it.

I subscribe to the Christian world view (which is conservative in nature) which states that we where created, and our Creator has given us a set of laws that are universal for all humans but give room for individual cultural expression within them. And that the closer a society's moral code follows those laws and people stick to it, the happier and more fulfilled that society's individuals will be. I also believe that man has a sinful nature and tends to rebel against those laws. So the laws are enforced by the government and encouraged by the society.

Jesus was the only man to live and teach a perfect moral code (as even the most rabid atheist will concede). Christians try to imitate this moral code and try to convince others to do the same because we honestly believe it will prove the best for everyone. It's also worth mentioning that the success of a world view testifies to it's truth and I'd like to point out the spectacular success imperfect implementations of my world view had in western Europe and North America. You could point out failures elsewhere but I question if those where failures of the world view or where a consequence of either trying to to transplant a implementation complete with culture, economy, etc to a bewildered people or a failure to live up to the moral code.

So to return to your question :-) The family is the basic building block of society and the success or failure of a society depends on the moral code of its families and their adherence to that code. Men and women where created to complement each other. And so, a man and woman committed to a moral code and bound by a loving and respectful commitment provide the best environment for personal fulfillment, mutual care and support, for relating to the rest of society, and caring and educating vulnerable children to carry on the moral code of society and thus assuring their well-being.

Single parent families are weaker than two parent families, but they are inevitable (one of the partners may die). So they should be discouraged but when they occur helped by the rest of the community as much as possible (notice the Bibles constant call to care for widows and orphans).

Divorce is a major tragedy, it reflects a lack of commitment of one or both parties to their moral code and has been shown to have disastrous consequences on children and the couple. Instead of looking at it as normal, society should discourage it and go out of its way to strengthen young marriages. As a example from an implementation of my world view: Levitical law (Old testament law) granted newlywed men of military age leave from military duty to care for their families.

Childless marriages if nothing else provide for both partners and serve as examples both for younger marriages and for children.

As for same sex marriages; Though they may provide more of some elements than a traditional marriage (this is why Mr Kurtz's argument made lesbian marriages sound attractive, it was based solely on a element that women provide in marriage) they totally lack the elements the other sex brings to the table. Thus they provide an incomplete and unbalanced environment both for the partners and any children they might have. And since they are not inevitable and affect not only the couple but also their children and society as a whole, I strongly oppose same-sex marriages.

[ Parent ]

Call it anything you want... (1.80 / 10) (#81)
by sombragris on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 04:33:53 PM EST

... but the cohabitation of two homosexual people of the same sex is anything but a marriage because (1) Marriage is by definition a life-long union between a woman and a man, and (2) because marriage is good, serving as an institution for which we human beings were hardwired.

Homosexual cohabitation does not meet such two criteria. And anyway, homosexual people can cohabitate right now and show it publicly without fear of being punished, so why bother? What would do to them a federal government that lie to them telling that their cohabitation is a marriage? I think that homosexuals just want to force upon the throats of the rest of us their rather unusual lifestyle.

Why gays want to marry (4.87 / 8) (#82)
by aphrael on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 05:19:20 PM EST

most states have laws that provide special benefits to people that are married that should really be extended to *any* couple in a lifelong committed relationship. Examples include:
  • the right to automatically inherit when your partner dies
  • the right to demand access to partners who have been hospitalized and are in intensive care
  • the right to sue for wrongful death when someone kills your partner
  • the ability to own property in common without entering a limited partnership
  • the ability to adopt your partner's children

For the most part, the gay marriage movement is about those things --- the ability to have the same rights vis-a-vis my partnerships that a straight couple has via *their* partnerships. How does it demean marriage to grant me that?

[ Parent ]

What crap! (4.28 / 7) (#87)
by Loundry on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 06:00:10 PM EST

Your arguments are the lame arguments that conservative bigots typically spew. For instance, "Marriage is by definition a life-long union between a woman and a man" By whose definition? Don't say "by God's" without qualifying how exactly you know the will of God (and how exactly you know that there *is* a God). And don't say "by society's" without specifying which society you're referring to and why social norms and mores should determine ultimate truth and morality. You also write, "because marriage is good, serving as an institution for which we human beings were hardwired" The vast majority of men are hardwired for multiple, anonymous sex partners. This is a fact supported by gobs and gobs of evidence. Your statement is false and bordering on ludicrous. Then you have the audacity to write, "And anyway, homosexual people can cohabitate right now and show it publicly without fear of being punished, so why bother? What would do to them a federal government that lie to them telling that their cohabitation is a marriage?" I can make the same argument for heterosexuals. They can already cohabitate right now and show it publicly without fear of being punished, so why bother getting married? What is it to them that the federal government tells them that their cohabitation is marraige? As a gay man who is partnered with a 17-month old son whom we adopted together, the answer to you should be clear, but perhaps it is not. Until we (Steve and I) have legal recognition, I or my partner can have all sorts of legal roadblocks thrown in our faces at every step of our lives. What if Steve is sick an in the hospital? I'm apparently not "family" enough to be allowed to go visit him. What if Steve wants to add me to his health insurance? Apparently I'm not "family" enough to be considered. It's insulting and disparaging. All I want is to have a life free of senseless legal roadblocks with my husband and my son. There are some legal protections we can enact (such as durable power of attorney) which help protect our family, but why should we be forced to go through the trouble while heterosexuals seem to get it effortlessly? Are we an inferior couple with inferior love and inferior devotion and an inferior family who therefore shouldn't be granted the services that the superior heterosexual couples have access to? That's the way it sure sounds to me. You then go on, writing, "I think that homosexuals just want to force upon the throats of the rest of us their rather unusual lifestyle." Unadulterated bullshit and fearmongering. It should be clear from my previous paragraph what I want: a life free of senseless legal roadblocks with my husband and my son. I think, instead, what you desire is to use the law to persecute those who you don't like.
-- Dare not to be in agony, but in truffles!
[ Parent ]
Calm down a little bit... (1.33 / 3) (#101)
by sombragris on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 03:36:10 PM EST

Well, it seems that you are pissed. What a pity!

Your arguments are the lame arguments that conservative bigots typically spew.

Would you care to specify why is lame? With name calling and yelling you will not get too far. With ideas and reasoning, maybe.

For instance, "Marriage is by definition a life-long union between a woman and a man" By whose definition? Don't say "by God's" without qualifying how exactly you know the will of God (and how exactly you know that there *is* a God). And don't say "by society's" without specifying which society you're referring to and why social norms and mores should determine ultimate truth and morality.

I say: it is, by the definition of the law, not only in America but in most parts of the world; is by the vast majority of civilized societies, either past or present; and by almost all religions, of almost any kind. Perhaps I should say "for almost all people in earth but homosexuals and people who support them". That would be my answer to that. Elementary enough, isn't it?

You also write, "because marriage is good, serving as an institution for which we human beings were hardwired" The vast majority of men are hardwired for multiple, anonymous sex partners. This is a fact supported by gobs and gobs of evidence. Your statement is false and bordering on ludicrous.

The "gobs and gobs of evidence" being what? I thought that the whole antropological, biological, legal, historical and social evidence supports the idea of monogamous, heterosexual love between a woman and a man. What would you allege to defy this? Your name-calling? It will take much more than that, and your rant only shows that there is a bigot here, and he's not myself, btw...

As a gay man who is partnered with a 17-month old son whom we adopted together, the answer to you should be clear, but perhaps it is not. Until we (Steve and I) have legal recognition, I or my partner can have all sorts of legal roadblocks thrown in our faces at every step of our lives.

I'm so sorry. This breaks my heart. Not only you want to live your unusual lifestyle with your associate; not happy with that, you adopted a son, which is the more unusual --and I would add to that, that it is not apropriate and even dangerous for the child. And even not happy with that, you want to be the 'same' as heterosexual marriages. Are you denying that you are adopting a rather bizarre lifestyle, and then trying to force our approval on it? Get real. Want to miss the roadblocks? Avoid adopting a child. That's all.

Apparently I'm not "family" enough to be considered. It's insulting and disparaging. All I want is to have a life free of senseless legal roadblocks with my husband and my son. There are some legal protections we can enact (such as durable power of attorney) which help protect our family, but why should we be forced to go through the trouble while heterosexuals seem to get it effortlessly?

It is only fair that an unusual and bizarre lifestyle would need additional, extraordinary measures. Want to have all those privileges you mentioned? Secure, as you said before, a durable power of attorney. What would not be fair is that the startling escapades of a bizarre minority shoud receive the full legal protection of our society, who would do much better favoring the monogamous homosexual behavior.

Are we an inferior couple with inferior love and inferior devotion and an inferior family who therefore shouldn't be granted the services that the superior heterosexual couples have access to? That's the way it sure sounds to me.

Inferior no. Wrong, yes.

You then go on, writing, "I think that homosexuals just want to force upon the throats of the rest of us their rather unusual lifestyle." Unadulterated bullshit and fearmongering. It should be clear from my previous paragraph what I want: a life free of senseless legal roadblocks with my husband and my son. I think, instead, what you desire is to use the law to persecute those who you don't like.

Now tell me: Why? It will take much more than name-calling to establish the truth of your claim. You can have a life free of roadblocks with your associates now. And btw, your implication that I favor persecution of "those who[m I] don't like" is gratuitous. The only evidence of bigotry and insults here is not in my writings...

If you are a person engaged in homosexual behavior, that is fine for me. You can do whatever you want and have your own way. I do dissent, though, in the proposition that two people who are associated because of their homosexual lifestyle should enjoy the legal privileges of marriage, and instead, I think that the law should affirm once more its leaning toward favoring the real and true marriage, that is, the life-long, monogamous, loving commitment between a woman and a man.

[ Parent ]

On the contrary ... (5.00 / 3) (#107)
by aphrael on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 07:31:11 PM EST

real and true marriage, that is, the life-long, monogamous, loving commitment between a woman and a man.

What is more important, the life-long, monogamous loving commitment, or the gender of the participants?

Those who support gay marriage believe that life-long monogamous loving commitment is a good thing, and that two men, or two women, who want to enter into a life-long monogamous loving commitment should recieve recognition of that fact and some support from society.

that it is not apropriate and even dangerous for the child

What is your basis for this? There was a study released about six weeks ago, that was discussed on the front page of the NYT as well as my local newspaper, that demonstrated that children of gay couples are every bit as well-adjusted as children of straight couples, and show no psychological harm. I am not aware of any academic studies which contradict this finding.

Want to miss the roadblocks? Avoid adopting a child. That's all.

I think this gets to the crux of the problem. Gay couples feel like they are actively discriminated against, and your statement here demonstrates an example of this --- there is no evidence that being raised by a gay couple harms children *in any way*, but you seem to think that it should be more difficult for a gay couple to adopt a child than a straight one. Why? What justifies this distinction *on the part of the state*, and how is that reconciled with the notion that the state should treat all of its citizens equally?

[ Parent ]

be not calm in the face of bigotry (5.00 / 2) (#117)
by netmouse on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 10:51:15 AM EST

Are you denying that you are adopting a rather bizarre lifestyle, and then trying to force our approval on it?

Well, I'll step in and deny it. I see nothing bizarre about his lifestyle. It seems very normal to me. Loving, homey even. And he is not so much trying to force your approval as to argue that your personal disapproval is an insufficient basis for an unfair law.

But even if it is a bizarre lifestyle, no, it is not fair that an unusual lifestyle "would need additional, extraordinary measures" in order to enjoy legal freedoms others enjoy. This is not a "brave new world" -we all still have the right to be every bit as strange as we want to be. Stop being a cultural bigot. And you are a bigot, sir. Look it up:

bigot:a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

You are prejudiced against homosexuals. You think they are somehow dangerous to children, though all evidence is to the contrary. You are intollerant of their desire to wed, though you haven't given any reason that marriage for homosexuals would harm or damage anyone else. As you say, they can get many of the legal benefits with a durable power of attorney (not the inheritance and tax benefits mind you), but you would deny them the social benefits with every ounce of your strength.

You scream your bigotry with actions like calling loving relationships "escapades of a bizarre minority" and arguing that this minority does not deserve "the full legal protection of our society." I argue that you are wrong. Minorities especially need the full legal protection of our society. And they are not asking for special protection here, just equal protection, as you say.

I thought that the whole antropological, biological, legal, historical and social evidence supports the idea of monogamous, heterosexual love between a woman and a man.

Nope. Lots of biological and anthropological studies show that our ancestors (and many modern primates) show homosexual behavior, and most animals in the world are not monogamous. Even many animals that were once thought to loyally "mate for life" actually turn out to have sexual flings with other partners.

As for the "whole legal, historical and social evidence" supporting any idea at all, well, I'm not sure what you mean. Are you arguing that because homosexuality is or has been illegal or disapproved of in many states this idea is somehow proven better? That may be a normative argument but it is not a logical one. One might answer that with the typical response to children: "and if all the other kids wanted to go jump off a bridge, would you do that too?"

I mean, you refer to your arguments being supported by "almost all people in earth but homosexuals and people who support them". So if we're looking at 5 billion people on Earth, you're talking about some half a billion people, at least, who would argue against you on this. That's a lot of people.

the law should affirm once more its leaning toward favoring the real and true marriage, that is, the life-long, monogamous, loving commitment between a woman and a man.

So I take it we should go back to prohibiting divorce? You're arguing for a "preservation" (by law) of a standard of marriage that doesn't even exist. You (with Stanley Kurtz) are living in a dream world. As Rauch pointed out, lots of depraved and abusive people enjoy the right to marry as many times as they like - because they want to marry someone with a different set of plumbing from their own. The moral beauty of a lifelong monogamous relationship or whatever is really a side issue here, a distraction, because the majority of marriages in this country are not that way. That doesn't mean the people who practice serial monogamy shouldn't be able to, but it does throw into further doubt your argument that the majority of people believe in your pie in the sky definition of marriage.

Marriage is a loving partnership, and much more, a family unit. Some last, some don't, but any two adults should be legally able to join together in one.



[ Parent ]

Bigots (4.00 / 1) (#138)
by VivianC on Mon Aug 13, 2001 at 04:54:54 PM EST

bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

Whoa! Watch that definition of 'bigot'. You might want to even go back and ask that your post be deleted.

Loundry here seem to fit the definition better then those who debate him. Think on these statements he makes:
  • I don't care about your religion or any religion in the world, they are all myths
  • I don't care that marriage has been defined by law and practice for thousands of years as between a man and a woman (or multiple women)
  • I don't care that my kid will grow up ridiculed by small minded people who can't accept MY CHOICE OF LIFESTYLE. He or she will just have to be tough. Not my problem.
  • I don't care about anything you say, YOU ARE WRONG AND I AM RIGHT!


Sounds like a pig headed bigot if I ever heard one.

I do not know Loundry aside from what he writes here nor do I care that he is gay. What he does in his own home is no business of mine. Just don't expect the vast majority of the world (95% Hetero at last count not done by homosexuals) to roll over on our values just to make you feel better in your choice of lifestyle.

Maybe I'll rant a little more:
What is the major problem with homosexuals that makes them think that everything should be changed to benefit them? The Catholic church is 2000 years old and has been against homosexuality since day one. That is THEIR belief. Why should they change it to fit you? Got problems with the church? Take the high road. I am a Protestant. In the late 1500's Martin Luther had 95 changes he felt should be made in the church. One even had to do with SEX: he wanted to marry. He raised these concerns and the Catholic church told him to get lost. Guess what? People who agreed with him started their own church and named it after him. Lutherans and other Protestants outnumber Catholic in America. Neat idea, huh?

So one would really have to look at what the Homosexual community wants. Do you really want to be free to worship in your own way or do you want to force others to worship your way? Do you want to live committed lives together and raise children, or do you really need everyone else in the world to smile, pat you on the back and welcome you to the married club?

So start your own traditions and institutions. Start a St. Judas Homosexual Church (he kissed Jesus, you know). Start your own partnership ceremonies. Call it Pairage or something (there will be only two, right? Don't want to be Gay and Mormon?). Do you own thing your own way without needing the approval of peole who don't agree. And after a rocky start, if you are serious and steadfast, you will have your own culture. It won't be easy, (we had to face the Spanish Inqusition, but what's a little burning-at-the-stake between Christians, right?) but it can be done.

Best of Luck, Viv

[ Parent ]
sorry, but it *is* the definition of bigot (none / 0) (#142)
by netmouse on Wed Aug 15, 2001 at 11:05:42 AM EST

Hi Viv. I appreciate your rant. It is a complicated issue. Cultural situations and legal situations are intermixed here. I appreciate your comments re: Catholic and Protestant beliefs, but last I heard, less than 50% of Americans even defined themselves as some kind of Christian. Knowing that many kinds of Christians are in support of homosexuality, I find that Christian homophobes have no particular right to force their minority views on the rest of our country. The Catholic church may be 2000 years old but there are other belief systems just as old and older that do not agree with it.

You're certainly right that many people might ought to consider starting a branch religion. here in the states, for example, I find that the majority of Catholics I know are not actually opposed to contraception. Since the vatican is very clear on this, I would argue that these people should no longer support the pope, since he does not represent their beliefs, and should start a splinter religion like Martin Luther. But I'm not catholic, so it's not really my place to start any such thing.

You paraphrase Loundry so badly when you claim he has made several bigoted statements that I'm not even going to respond to any of them. Regarding my definition of bigotry, it is from the dictionary. And even if you could prove to me that Loundry, or anyone else whose opinion I agree with, is being bigoted, that would not change my conviction that the author I was responding to was representing himself in a bigoted manner.

If Loundry believes all religion is myth, that is an opinion. It would be obstinate if there were some proof it is wrong, but religion is a matter of faith not proof, so you'd be stuck on that one. He does not seem intolerant to me, just unwilling to accept your religious beliefs as a justification for this particular legal injustice. Since your religion is not the official religion of the U.S. (we have no such religion), then the mere fact that your religion supports an argument is insufficient logic for legal purposes in this country. There's a religion that's opposed to medical interference in illness. Does that mean Congress will outlaw doctors? No.

There is already a strong gay culture in this country. There is also a strong heterosexual bondage culture. Participants in one are denied the legal rights associated with starting a family. Participants in the second are not. This imballance in the law is inexcusable.

Since you prefaced many of your arguments with "you" as though you were assuming I'm gay, I just want to clarify. I'm personally bisexual and was just married into a monogamous relationship with a man. I think it's possible you were using "you" in a generic sense, but I wanted to clarify that anyway.

As an interesting aside, I think it's too bad that so many high-profile bisexual women get married to men and then become effectively invisible in this marriage debate. I mean, it's good that we've found mates we love and get married, but you have people like Madona and such and the conservatives seem to ignore the fact that we are "perverted" people by their standards since we did "the right thing" and got married to a guy.

Anyway, I don't want to get too deeply into labelling and segregating culture and individuals. A friend of mine did his master's on how identity politics actually hurt us and I can see where that's true sometimes. I don't believe homosexuals are asking for special treatment. They are asking for the same individual freedoms and rights as everyone else. That's equality.



[ Parent ]

your 'approval' is not needed (3.00 / 1) (#130)
by jchristopher on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 10:45:02 PM EST

and then trying to force our approval on it?

Hmm... no one is trying to force anything on you. If you don't like gay marriage, feel free not to get married to a gay person.

I can assure you that my gay friends love one another just the same as I love my girlfriend.

[ Parent ]

Pathetic (4.00 / 3) (#132)
by Loundry on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 02:14:57 PM EST

Your argument went from bad to worse. You allege that I am "name calling" (i.e., ad hominem) but don't show me where I am. My statement, "Your arguments are the lame arguments that conservative bigots typically spew." is in no way an ad hominem argument. I did not call you lame, nor did I call you a bigot. I said your arguments were lame, and they still are. The fact that you don't see it yet doesn't change that, and I will explain it to you a little more clearly this time.

Furthermore, yes, I am pissed. It's kind of hard not to be when people try and damage my family and my child. I will try and keep that from tainting my argument.

I say: it is, by the definition of the law, not only in America but in most parts of the world; is by the vast majority of civilized societies, either past or present; and by almost all religions, of almost any kind. Perhaps I should say "for almost all people in earth but homosexuals and people who support them". That would be my answer to that. Elementary enough, isn't it?

This is an ad numeram argument. So what if lots of laws protect your bigoted ideas about marraige? Futhermore, you conveniently ignore the fact that many of these laws differ from each other in many ways. Is it legal to get a divorce in all countries? Is it legal to commit adultery in all countries? It's not quite as elementary as you wish it to be.

The "gobs and gobs of evidence" being what? I thought that the whole antropological, biological, legal, historical and social evidence supports the idea of monogamous, heterosexual love between a woman and a man. What would you allege to defy this? Your name-calling? It will take much more than that, and your rant only shows that there is a bigot here, and he's not myself, btw...

First, what in there did I write that was "name-calling"? Second, how much more evidence do you need? Do you realize that there has been a booming, multi-billion dollar porn industry based around the male idea of sexual bliss, and that is multiple, anonymous sex partners? If "the whole antropological, biological, legal, historical and social evidence" really did support this ideal of monogamous, heterosexual love, then how do you explain the existence of the porn industry? How do you explain the 50%+ divorce rate in the United States? How do you explain the existence of things like adultery, wife-swapping, swinging, and prostitution? Why would King Solomon, the wisest person in the world (according to the book of myths called the Bible), need several hundred wives and concubines? If humans were truly pre-programmed to favor the monogamous, heterosexual ideal that you revere, then how do you explain the existence of everything above which not definately not part of that ideal? Your argument is crap. Furthermore, what have I said that is bigoted?

I'm so sorry. This breaks my heart. Not only you want to live your unusual lifestyle with your associate; not happy with that, you adopted a son, which is the more unusual --and I would add to that, that it is not apropriate and even dangerous for the child.

Now it's your turn to justify your position. I invite you to show me some evidence that it's dangerous for the child that they have gay parents. In opposition to your evidence, I'll submit to you that if we had not adopted him, he would still be living in an orphange in Ukraine, not getting enough attention, being malnourished, and having his chances of being adopted decrease on a daily basis. There are not enough adoptive parents to adopt all of the children who need loving homes. Perhaps in your world it's better that children grow up unadopted and get turned out on the streets of Kyiv as drug addicts and prostitutes than be adopted by gay parents. Also, from the wonderful changes I've seen in my son (and that you have not seen), your suggesting that it is somehow "harmful" is stupid. When he was in the orphanage, he was detached, non-playful, non-smiling, and underweight. Now he is a happy, playful, charming, delightful, and well-fed little boy. Does this seem like we've done harm to him from your point of view? If not, then what exactly is the harm that is going to befall him? I'd love to know the evidence that you've collected on this subject. Merely calling it "bizarre" and "unusual" is hardly convincing. Furthermore, what's so "unusual" about any of it? Perhaps you should respond with some evidence, considering that "unusual" is highly subjective. Also, what's wrong with "unusual"? People in wheelchairs could be labeled as "unusual." Should they also be denied the opportunity to adopt?

And even not happy with that, you want to be the 'same' as heterosexual marriages. Are you denying that you are adopting a rather bizarre lifestyle, and then trying to force our approval on it? Get real. Want to miss the roadblocks? Avoid adopting a child. That's all.

You're beating up a strawman. I don't want to be the 'same' as heterosexual marriages. I just want the same protections to my family that heterosexuals get my default. I don't even care what it's called -- I'd even prefer that it not be called "marriage" as to not piss off the bigots. And yes, I am denying everything that you state about me. My lifestyle is not "bizarre" to me, nor is it "bizarre" to lots of people. Simply because you feel it to be so does not make it true -- that's what psychologists call "projection" ("if it's true for me, it must be true for everybody"). Furthermore, my lifestyle is not something I "adopted." I can't help what I like and what I don't like. I didn't "decide" to be gay any more than you "decided" to not be. And thanks for showing your true colors: you like those roadblocks becuase they discriminate against gay people who want to adopt.

It is only fair that an unusual and bizarre lifestyle would need additional, extraordinary measures. Want to have all those privileges you mentioned? Secure, as you said before, a durable power of attorney. What would not be fair is that the startling escapades of a bizarre minority shoud receive the full legal protection of our society, who would do much better favoring the monogamous homosexual behavior.

It seems to me that your whole argument here hinges on the subjective labels of "bizarre" and "unusual." Now who's name calling? Do you think that your subjective opinions are compelling in the least? What about the droves of people who think that homosexuality is neither bizarre nor unusual? Take, for instance, my entire family? Do their subjective feelings about it determine truth for everybody? You are projecting again, and, unfortunately for you, it is the basis of your argument. Also, you state that homosexuals "who would do much better favoring the monogamous homosexual behavior." What is your evidence to support this claim?

Inferior no. Wrong, yes.

The truth comes out. Homosexual behavior is wrong? Says who? The Bible? (Aside: feel free to engage me in a scripture fight; I bet you will lose!) Thousands of mutually-exclusive religions? I'm really interested to know why you think this is morally wrong (which is also a subjective idea, so you are projecting once again), because I doubt you would think it to be "unusual" or "bizarre" if you didn't also think it was wrong.

Now tell me: Why? It will take much more than name-calling to establish the truth of your claim. You can have a life free of roadblocks with your associates now. And btw, your implication that I favor persecution of "those who[m I] don't like" is gratuitous. The only evidence of bigotry and insults here is not in my writings...

First of all, what did I do that was "name-calling" here? Second, what do you mean "why"? Why do I think you want to persecute homosexuals? Well, precisely from what you've written! You think homosexuality is "wrong," "unusual," and "bizarre" but offered absolutely no evidence to support any of these claims, nor have you affirmed the truth that these are truly subjective concepts. Yet you still think that these unproven, unsupported, and subjective arguments give you the right to enact laws that discriminate against homosexuals and fight attempts to overturn or change those discriminatory laws. Futhermore, it is obvious that you are gaining some kind of pleasure ("Well, it seems that you are pissed. What a pity!") out of the fact that I would feel annoyed or angry about what you've written. It seems to me that this is not a factual or rational debate for you. It is personal. You have something against homosexuals. Once again I call you task: please state what I have written that you think is bigoted. Name-calling will do you no good, either. You need to provide evidence, something which you have done very little of thus far.

If you are a person engaged in homosexual behavior, that is fine for me.

Hard to believe, considering that you think it's "wrong."

I do dissent, though, in the proposition that two people who are associated because of their homosexual lifestyle should enjoy the legal privileges of marriage, and instead, I think that the law should affirm once more its leaning toward favoring the real and true marriage, that is, the life-long, monogamous, loving commitment between a woman and a man.

What about the people who believe that marriage can include multiple wives, such as mormons? Are they wrong? How do you know? I notice this was an important point in my last message that you have conveniently ignored. Not everyone defines "marriage" the same way you do. I notice that you also ignored the point that kings in the Old Testament had multiple wives and also had concubines. From where did you get your "real and true" definition for marriage?

In conclusion, your argument relies completely on projection, ad numeram, strawmen, and ad hominem (how many times did you say I was "name-calling" when I wasn't?) attacks. Therefore, it sucks. I'm willing to receive any evidence you have to show me, and I want you to respond to my points about differing definitions of marriage among different religions, your false claims that I was "name-calling", the existence of polygamy in the Old Testament, and the existence of the porn industry as a refutation of your claim that people are programmed for monogamous and heterosexual relationships.
-- Dare not to be in agony, but in truffles!
[ Parent ]

Bizarre and unusual? (4.00 / 1) (#134)
by Verement on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 05:46:53 PM EST

What is bizarre or unusual about two people loving each other? If two people love each other, what is bizarre or unusual about them providing emotional and financial support for each other? If two people support each other, what is bizarre or unusual about them desiring the support of their community, and by extension, their government, in their lives?

What seems bizarre and unusual to me is that anyone can rationalize denying community benefits to couples on any basis other than the level of commitment evidenced by that couple.


[ Parent ]
marriage is hardwired? (4.50 / 2) (#90)
by mmcc on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 10:08:02 PM EST

because marriage is good, serving as an institution for which we human beings were hardwired.

i think that is a little strong. Perhaps love is hardwired, perhaps even commitment to one's partner, but i find it very difficult to believe that "life long commitment" is hardwired.

In fact, natural selection would probably favour those (men) who started a new family with a different woman after their first family had grown up, or who have several families at once. If this were the case, women would tend to favour commitment more than men...

In old times, marriage was considered to be a contract between a man and a woman, where the man gets exclusive access to the woman for purposes of child bearing, and the woman gets the financial support of the man. In this context, homosexual marriage doesn't make much sense. Times have changed though.

These days, marriage is more of "a commitment between two people", or a partnership. It is not necessarily lifelong, since divorce is legalized, and does not necessarily involve children. Why exclude homosexuals?



[ Parent ]

I think you're right... (none / 0) (#100)
by sombragris on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 02:11:33 PM EST

and I am grateful for your observation. What I meant is that the monogamic and heterosexual love between a man and a woman is hardwired. Of course, that might receive the shape of a life-long contract or not.

[ Parent ]
Yes and no (none / 0) (#108)
by aphrael on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 07:35:01 PM EST

this is a subject of some debate. Most gay people will tell you that, for them, their attraction to members of the same sex is hardwired in just the same way that for you attraction to members of the opposite sex is hardwired. There doesn't seem to be a good deal of scientific evidence one way or the other for this (which is understandable, as it would be extremely difficult to prove one way or the other), but the existence of homosexuality among various mammals seems to imply that it is a valid concept.

[ Parent ]
Yes... (1.75 / 4) (#111)
by sombragris on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 10:46:02 PM EST

It is not debated at all but for homosexuals, who actively need find some justification for their escapades and would try to find *anything* that would appear to give even remote support for their bizarre lifestyle. There *is* glaring evidence of heterosexuality among mammals and not the other case. Where is the evidence about mammalian homosexuality? And if there's any, were it not "researched" by homosexual scientists?

[ Parent ]
Try this, for example (none / 0) (#112)
by aphrael on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 01:23:45 AM EST

an example. Unfortunately I don't keep my scientific journals indexed, and this isn't my specialty, so I can't come up with a better one.

Here's a question for you, though: why do you not believe it when someone tells you that same sex attraction is hard-wired *for them*? I mean, presumably you can't imagine being attracted to another guy; why do you think that a guy for whom such attraction isn't hard-wired could?

[ Parent ]

Homosexuality in Animals (none / 0) (#116)
by catseye on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 10:47:26 AM EST

Actually, it's quite common in rats. When there is overcrowding and/or not enough food, the alpha males will not only eat lesser males, they'll have sex with them. I used to raise rats, and when this happened in my enclosures, the alpha males typically chewed off the lesser males' testicles first. Also, when female rats go into heat, they'll attract other female rats sometimes.



[ Parent ]
Actually... (none / 0) (#121)
by sombragris on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 11:23:17 AM EST

.. it is pretty common for *any* species to do all kinds of weird things under stress. Obviously the human homosexuals have more than enough food, and *obviously* the alpha human males usually do avoid homosexual behavior like the plague. All in all, this would only prove that homosexuality is a deviant behavior, if we are to think of human homosexuality in the terms of your example.

[ Parent ]
More research (none / 0) (#125)
by catseye on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 03:33:33 PM EST

Ok... I'll dig a little deeper. I used the rat example because that was what I'm familiar with first-hand. Second-hand information requires backup, which I didn't have time to do earlier.

I found an article referencing Biological Exhuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity in which the author describes common homosexual behaviours in marine mammal species.

On the University of Massachusettes web site, there is an outline of a study done by Ford and Beach (1951) that looked at sexual behaviour in 191 human and non-human primate societies, which found homosexual behavior in primates. This is apparently a part of a psych class lecture.

There were many, many more references, but most of the ones with supporting evidence were on gay or lesbian oriented sites, and you've already shown bias in that area.



[ Parent ]
A better example (none / 0) (#133)
by Loundry on Fri Aug 10, 2001 at 02:26:23 PM EST

The bonobo ape, a primate on the same level as the chimpanzee, has male-to-male and female-to-female sex very frequently. The females dominate the social groups, and they frequently have sex as a means of resolving conflict (as opposed to chimps, who use violence to resolve conflict). They also do it recreationally. The female-to-female sex is called "G-G rubbing" (for genital-to-genital rubbing) where one female bonobo gets on top of the other, and they rub their genitals together until they orgasm. I've seen T.V. programs about bonobos, and the researchers talk matter-of-factly about it, knowing that it's a common phenomenon in bonobos.

Care to explain? How is this "deviant" behavior? Is it "wrong" that these primates do this? Is it "wrong" that other primates (humans) do this?

The fact that bonobos are like this is one reason why almost all Americans are familiar with the violent and murderous chimpanzee while very few Americans are familiar with the peaceful bonobo.
-- Dare not to be in agony, but in truffles!
[ Parent ]

Um.... actually, No (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by MrMikey on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 12:40:39 PM EST

It is not debated at all but for homosexuals, who actively need find some justification for their escapades and would try to find *anything* that would appear to give even remote support for their bizarre lifestyle.
"escapades"... "bizarre lifestyle".... well, good to see you are keeping an open mind. There is quite a bit of debate within the medical and psychological community... are you suggesting the are all gay?
There *is* glaring evidence of heterosexuality among mammals and not the other case. Where is the evidence about mammalian homosexuality?
Perkins concluded her study with this cautionary note: "human sexuality is far more complicated than sex in nonhuman species. Yet, we hold much in common with other mammals. We must not dismiss the notion that genes initiating physiological processes may greatly influence our choice of mates as well."[95] However, it is clear from Perkins' study that some rams are attracted only to other males, and that this orientation is rooted in the biology of the animal. There are gay sheep and they remain that way, despite all attempts at cures.
(quoted from "Is There a Biological Basis for Sexual Orientation")

Besides, air conditioning isn't 'natural', yet no one is up in arms because we haven't justified it, nor is air conditioning use an "escapade" or a "bizarre lifestyle."

[ Parent ]

a little insecurity? (none / 0) (#129)
by jchristopher on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 10:41:41 PM EST

It is not debated at all but for homosexuals, who actively need find some justification for their escapades and would try to find *anything* that would appear to give even remote support for their bizarre lifestyle.

I can't see how the possible "escapades" of two gay men harm you in any possible way, other than to somehow make you feel insecure.

Two men, or two women are just as capable of loving one another as you are capable of loving your hetero significant other.

Why do you even care?

[ Parent ]

is too debated (none / 0) (#135)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 02:23:13 AM EST

> > > heterosexual love between a man and a woman is hardwired...
> > this is a subject of some debate...
> It is not debated at all but for homosexuals, who actively need find some justification for their escapades...

Don't know where you're at, but cryin out loud out here in the real world, I work with a bunch of heterosexual football-fan contruction workers and we are all conversant wiith that notion about how gays feel that same instinctual sexual pull towards them cabana boys that us regular guys get yanked on by toward them good-lookin babes in their short dresses and high heels, hoo dja see that one! Not only are we acquainted with the idea, that is to say the idea is too "debated" among us, but the general consensus is, yeah, guess that's how it works, weird, huh?

> Where is the evidence about mammalian homosexuality? And if there's any, were it not "researched" by homosexual scientists?

Hah! you're caught! Your literary bent has exposed you. Only a troll would employ the subjunctive here. You understand that wasn't meant as an insult; I admire you creative-writing type of guys. "Escapades" was cute too. Hope they get adequacy fixed sometime soon.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

The one thing that really disturbs me about America is that people don't like to read. - Keith Richards
[ Parent ]

I think you are missing a few details... (none / 0) (#123)
by MrMikey on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 12:15:08 PM EST

You say "... the cohabitation of two homosexual people of the same sex is anything but a marriage..." and then say "marriage is by definition a life-long union between a woman and a man." This is rather circular... not to mention that your definition of marriage is hardly a univeral given. Second, you say "marriage is good, serving as an institution for which we human beings were hardwired." Last I checked, humans weren't "hardwired" for lifelong pair bonding. Certainly, humans didn't, by any stretch of the imagination, evolve to live in the "nuclear family" that many see as some sort of default arrangement.

Look at it this way:

  1. The only difference between a same-sex and a mixed-sex couple is that the mixed-sex couple is, theoretically at least, capable of reproduction.
  2. Not all mixed-sex couples can or choose to reproduce or raise children, yet they can marry.
  3. A same-sex couple can raise a child. Such couples are doing so now, and there is no sign (yes, this has been studied) of any harm whatsoever. In addition, a lesbian couple can bear and raise children with the addition of outside genetic material.
  4. So, what credible difference is left between a mixed-sex couple and a same-sex couple?


[ Parent ]
States rights vs Human rights (4.00 / 7) (#88)
by Jonathan Walther on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 08:23:42 PM EST

No government has the right to legislate marriage, gay or straight.

I would support legislation to the effect that the states may not legislate the acceptance of gay marriage.. But may not legislate its non-existance either.

Traditionally marriage was acknowledged by the community surrounding the spouses. The system worked well. Everyone knew who was married, and who was not. If you act like a married couple, and people accept you as such, then you are married. In some communities, there may be religious ceremonies involved before the community acknowledges the marriage. That is fine. That is a "community standard".

It is a grievious intrusion into peoples lives that modern states demand people to register their marriages, and only recognize ceremonies performed by people they have approved.

In some countries, such as Gibraltar, this "power over marriage" has been used in the past to declare all members of certain religions bastards and whores by reason of their not being lawfully married by state approved registrars. The same thing happened in South Africa to people of East Indian ethnicity at the turn of the century.

Marriage is a matter for the community, not the government. If two gay people choose to have a ceremony and act as if they are married, let the couple, and the community around them decide whether their marriage is real. As it always has.

Reclaim sanity. Kick the government out of our private lives, where it doesn't belong.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")


The State in our Private Lives (none / 0) (#141)
by Scott Robinson on Wed Aug 15, 2001 at 10:29:21 AM EST

We are only to blame for having the State in our private lives.

People seem to want it both ways. Keep the State from our private lives so that we may be "married"; however, we would like the State to recognize us as "married".

... and there is the rub. Any two people, hetero- or homo-sexual can come together and decide that they are joined for life, with all the other vows and commitments which come with mainstream marriage. However, the fight for recognition of marriage is not so that two people may say they're married - they can no matter what the government does.

The fight for recognition of marriage is a fight for the legal benefits which marriage confers upon those two people. Those benefits are definately within the realm of government.

Scott.



[ Parent ]
All State-Recognised Marriage Must Be Abolished (3.80 / 5) (#89)
by Robert Uhl on Tue Aug 07, 2001 at 09:30:29 PM EST

The question should not be whether or not the state should recognise homosexual `marriages': it is whether the state should recognise marriage at all. Marriage is an emotional state--a spiritual state--but it is not a matter for the State. It is a religious matter. As such, men should be able to marry as their religions please.

Why does the state recognise marriage? For inheritance and taxation. Regarding the former, I believe that modern techniques can determine paternity much better than any social distinction. Simply have the father sign the child's birth certificate. Regarding the latter, why should couples be taxed differently that two singles?

Of course, there is the fact that insurance benefits and the like may extend to spouses. I posit that perhaps they should extend to dependents. If a spouse is dependant, sure thing.

Alternatively, here is a far, far better idea than the current situation: households. A household has a single head; the members all live in property belonging to or rented by said owner. His (or her, of course) insurance plan covers all members of the household. Only he can vote (one vote per household is excellent). All members of the household receive the same benefits that modern dependents do. Now for the catches: a head of a household pays higher taxes than his dependents (ideally, they would pay no taxes, or at a half-rate); he is the only one eligible for the draft; the dependents may sue him for not providing in a suitable manner; he is the only one who may be called for jury duty; he is legally responsible for the actions of his dependents (e.g. could receive the same (or a half-penalty) for any crimes or civil misdoings). Dependents, too, would have certain obligations: the head of the household would effectively control them as a parent does a child, in that they could not act in certain regards (e.g. buy property, sign contracts &c.) without approval. A single person would be the equivalent of a one-man household. Children would automatically be members of the same household as their mother until emancipated.

If people wished to give up certain rights (the vote being a biggie) in return for certain advantages (no taxes being a biggie), they would be free to. OTOH, if they do wish to do so, they could as well. If college students wished to get the tax break, many of them could join a single household. Leaving a household would be roughly equivalent to getting a divorce (one could only be in one at a time), so there would be some deterrent against acting foolishly.

Why, when I marry a girl, does the state care about it? It is a matter between her, me and God. Why should my father--a priest--be an agent of the state when he marries two folks?

It makes no sense. It is an intrusion into our private lives. The State should not worry itself over the matter.

Households... (3.66 / 3) (#93)
by Kat Goodwin on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 08:05:30 AM EST

First of all I have to say - One vote per household? how ridiculous can you get! One person cannot represent the views of every adult in their household - for example, my husband and I are a household, and yet we have quite different political views, and would never be able to agree on a vote! Secondly, I can see any enforcement of the household idea being a disastor for many reasons:

  1. How do you decide who gets to be the head of a household? Again using myself as an example, neither my husband nor myself would want to legally obligated to each other - in getting married we agreed to an equal partnership
  2. Why would a person want to take legal responsibility for the actions of others? As much as I love my husband, and trust him, unfortunately people change, or make mistakes - If I were the head of the household why would I want to take responsibility for something he had done? And what about taking responsibility for your own actions?
  3. What would be the point of giving up the right to sign contract etc?What about my job contract? Would the head of my household have to sign that for me? Why shouldn't any property be owned jointly?

I could go on but I'm not going to... I just really don't see the point of the whole households idea, as you have described it. Some of these things would work well in respect of children, but not with spouses and other adults who should have equal status with the household rather than being asked to voluntarily forfeit some of their rights, whatever the advantages might be...

Anyway, I think that there should be two options for partnerships, where people can take one or both options Firstly there should be the option of a civil registration of partners scheme where any sort of couple can register for the purposes of getting pensions passed on, inheritance and all that legal stuff. The second option should be the traditional religious weddings - With no legal signifiacance unless taken in conjunction with the civil registration. I think that would work well certainly in the UK, where the issue is not only concerning homosexuals but also heterosexuals who do not wish to marry (not to say that this is not the case elsewhere too!)

[ Parent ]

Equality is Impossible (none / 0) (#110)
by Robert Uhl on Wed Aug 08, 2001 at 08:41:10 PM EST

You make good points. However, the undeniable fact is that one cannot have a democracy of two. Since this is true, it stands to reason that someone must be the tiebreaker. And if that person is the tiebreaker, then he (or she) is the decision-maker (since the only non-unanimous decisions are ties).

The reason for the single vote is that the household is essentially a corporation--a legal citizen, in a sense. Also, the vote is far too dilute nowadays. It'd be a good thing to tighten it up somewhat.

As for the selection of the head of the household, that is up to the household itself. It might even rotate on some basis--the important matter be that there is a head of the household.

The reason for the obligations is to prevent frivolous households. To be legally responsible for the acts of others is a heavy burden--to give up legal autonomy is a heavy burden. There are benefits to this setup, though, not least of which are the tax and insurance benefits. The whole point is to have a well-balanced device.

State marriage makes no sense. To simply abolish it would be enough for me. OTOH, there are some aspects of it which would be useful (albeit not necessary) to preserve; hence my proposal. Also, I believe that a household system would encourage more responsibility, foster a sense of community and in no way impinge upon anyone's rights.

[ Parent ]

ok perhaps for larger households... (none / 0) (#114)
by Kat Goodwin on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 09:00:14 AM EST

if you have large groups of people, then perhaps it might work in some ways, but with two people, with a partnership, I do not see the need to designate one as the "head" Certainly in my relationship there is no obvious head - I am seen by family as the bossy one who makes the decisions - which is true in normal day to day things, but ultimately and generally, my husband tends to have the final say in longer term issues - having heard my side of the argument I have to say. Things can work well, and often better I think in a partnership where there is flexibility.

[ Parent ]
The Romans tried this... (none / 0) (#120)
by msackton on Thu Aug 09, 2001 at 11:20:37 AM EST

The term (pretty much) for what you are looking for is pater familias and was the system in place in ancient Rome. Although it may have had some efficiency advantages, in effect what it does is create a ruling patriarchy (which tends to be fairly old, as it is difficult to start a new household with the old head of household alive) which denies rights to women and children. Now, a similar system implemented today wouldn't necessarily lead to drastic loss of status among children and women, but it would take an awfully well regulated system with a lot of checks and balances to prevent that. So what's the point? Plus, you already don't pay taxes unless you work (at least, not income taxes), so not paying taxes doesn't seem like such a large benefit to me. And if you are working, its extra money to the household. So the net tax burden of the vast majority of households sounds like it would be pretty similar under your scheme than under current law. And I just don't see large numbers of college students giving up all their rights to some friend just to save a little money.

[ Parent ]
On the Nose (none / 0) (#139)
by Robert Uhl on Mon Aug 13, 2001 at 11:45:28 PM EST

The term (pretty much) for what you are looking for is pater familias and was the system in place in ancient Rome.

Exactly--that's part of my inspiration. There would not be the denying of the rights of women, because they would be just as free to head households as men. If women or men choose to give up their rights, who are we to judge?

And I just don't see large numbers of college students giving up all their rights to some friend just to save a little money.

Never been a college student? I know that I and every one of my friends would have given up such useless things as the vote in order to not pay over 1/3 of our incomes into a bottomless pit. Hell, I'd quite gladly refuse my right to vote now, if it meant I'd never have to pay taxes again. Those extra thousands a year are dearer to me than any 1/250 millionth of control over the State.

[ Parent ]

this is a debate that shouldn't be (1.25 / 4) (#136)
by nodsmasher on Sat Aug 11, 2001 at 01:26:36 PM EST

this entire debate stems from the fact that the conservatives think this is amoral becouse it says so in the bible. thus they think that they should ban it. the problem with this is that not every one is religius so the conservatives are imposing there religion on others. how does gay marege weaken regular marage any way nobodys really explaned that ethere. just use it as an exuce to make their discrimanation agains homosexuals sound grounded
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
I am missing something here - same sex divorce (2.00 / 1) (#137)
by mami on Sun Aug 12, 2001 at 10:21:41 PM EST

It's the first time I read through this thread and I didn't bother to read the linked stories, as I haven' t that much direct interest in the subject area. But it occurred to me that I miss three points not really mentioned much here.

Everybody speaks about same sex marriage, nobody speaks about same sex divorce.

I remember times where millions of women were actually releaved to get legal protection through the government for the support of their children in case of a divorce.

The government recognized that the bulk of work to raise the children and run the household was done by women, who for that reason were seldom able to build carreers and earn incomes to raise the children in the same socially secured environment by themselves as they were able to do within a heterosexual marriage.

Fact is that many women felt that this protection from the third outside party was an important progress, as they were not dependent exclusively on just their "suddenly not so loving husband and run-away father" anymore.

So, my nagging question is, why would men or women be magically, all of the sudden, different creatures in same sex marriagen from those they happen to be in heterosexual marriages ?

Why would their usual reactions in case of a split up and divorce be any different ? Why would they not fight to "get rid" of the responsibility to raise "their" children ?

There is though something different in a same sex divorce. No biologically compelling reason to protect one partner over the other for child raising purposes.

In a same sex divorce there is no clear reason why one partner is more prone or adept to raise the children than the other? Why should one be chosen in favour of the other ? None of them actually had to make the decision to "become pregnant". None of them is different with regards what they put in to the relationship, because they don't represent different gender models.

Well, may be that's very old fashioned stuff for your ears. But, may I ask, why homosexual or lesbian couples are so wildly interested in getting the same protection then as heterosexual couples ?

I would value the committment of a same sex marriage with children on one basic question: " Would each of the partner have adopted the child they adopted as a couple, by themselves, i.e. is your committment to raise a child that strong that you would have chosen to raise a child alone without your partner ? If not, why not ? If not, why do you think you would be a good "single parent" in case of a divorce ?

There is another question I would have to same sex couples.

Right now it seems we are at the very beginning of a social experiment here. I am convinced that a man or a woman develop their gender identity not only through their genetic set-up, but also through pure imitation of gender specific behaviour through their heterosexual parents. I think we learn almost exclusively through imitation.

Think then of the third and forth generation of kids raised in same sex marriages. Why would you believe that those children would NOT have confusions about their gender identy and gender behavioural roles ?

Or in other words, if the children are well adjusted, why should they want to enter in heterosexual relationship at all ? They might have no idea how handle their supposed gender roles, because they couldn't experience them in their "parents". Why would you put your teenage kids through more agony than they already have to find their own gender and sexual identity ?

Lastly, the navel gazing of how female and male rats, bonobos and other apes react in more or less stressful situations to find sexual release is nice, if not amusing. I guess there is no doubt that we humans can do all sorts of things in that regard as well as mammals can.

So, for the one who mentioned the starving rat eating some testicles from another rats, yeah, men can and have been cannibals and resorted to such things under extreme conditions of hunger too, So, no surprise here.

But I somehow don't quite get the logic why we well educated, civilized and compassionate humans, able to discover life on mars and venus, should model our relationships according to what some bonobos do from time to time in their lush green trees. Is it possible we could do a bit better may be ?

Then some other comment. There was an argument made that the female controls her sexual availability vis a vis the male as a means to domesticate him. Really ?

As you are always looking for ancient and tribal models to support your arguments, I would like to mention that most of those marital arrangements were necessary, because the male on his own was NOT capable of surviving (in contrast to the apes).

The darn mystery of males accepting domestication was because they wanted to eat whatever kind of food they brought home, and then they wanted to sleep. That simple. Human males were too tired to do both, getting the food and preparing them. And somehow life didn't seem to make much sense without reproducing. Why go through life, if you accept in theory that your generation could be the last one, because we all could decide to live in same sex relationships ? Kinda doesn't make much sense to me. But whatever goes, goes.

There is another reason why women MUST be allowed to choose over her bodies availability for sex and pregnancy exclusively. If she would not have full choice, she will not have enough emotional compassion to raise her off-spring adaequately. Of course, society has always put her under pressure to produce children, and women have accepted that pressure trading specific rights for her specific exclusive productive role. And that's folks, is a woman's damn right.

And the question is whose "exclusive" right would that be in a same sex marriage ? Nobody gets pregnant over there, as far as I understand... :-)




The Conservative Gay Marriage Debate | 143 comments (142 topical, 1 editorial, 1 hidden)
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