Kmiec: Time to get government out of the marriage business

posted at 10:12 am on May 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

I don’t agree with Douglas Kmiec often, but this may be the exceptionmaybe.  With all of the various legal and legislative challenges to the definition of marriage in states across the nation, Kmiec tells Catholic News Agency that government should restrict itself to enforcing contract law and leave the question of marriage to the churches.  Robert George, a highly respected Constitutional scholar and fellow Catholic, vehemently disagrees (via The Corner):

Doug Kmiec, a prominent Catholic who backed Barack Obama’s presidential bid, has endorsed replacing marriage with a neutral “civil license,” a proposal law professor Robert P. George called a “terrible idea” that would make the government neglect a vital social institution.

Speaking to CNSNews.com, Pepperdine University law professor Doug Kmiec said that although his solution to disputes over the definition of marriage might be “awkward,” it would “untie the state from this problem” by creating a new terminology that would apply to everyone, homosexual or not. “Call it a ‘civil license’,” he said.

“The net effect of that, would be to turn over–quite appropriately, it seems to me, the concept of marriage to churches and a church understanding,” he said.

George counters:

“It’s a pre-political institution,” he said. “It exists even apart from religion, even apart from polities. It’s the coming together of a husband and wife, creating the institution of family in which children are nurtured.”

“The family is the original and best Department of Health, Education and Welfare,” he continued, saying that governments, economies and legal systems all rely on the family to produce “basically honest, decent law abiding people of goodwill – citizens – who can take their rightful place in society.”

“Family is built on marriage, and government–the state–has a profound interest in the integrity and well-being of marriage, and to write it off as if it were a purely a religiously significant action and not an institution and action that has a profound public significance, would be a terrible mistake,” George told CNSNews.com.

“I don’t know where Professor Kmiec is getting his idea, but it’s a very, very bad one.”

Normally in any debate between Kmiec and George, I’d rely on the latter, especially on matters of faith.  However, in this case, Kmiec has the better argument, mostly because the “state” gave up protecting marriage and children decades ago.  The advent of no-fault divorce, in which one party can abrogate the marriage contract without penalty or consideration of the other party, has completely destroyed the notion that the government plays a role in protecting “integrity and well-being of the family.”  In fact, I’d argue that serial marriers of the kind seen in Hollywood (or in Washington DC) do more to undermine marriage than single-gender unions would ever do.

The state could get out of the marriage business entirely, and have its citizens enter into partnership contracts instead.  That might have the salutary effect of putting mechanisms into place for dissolutions that would keep divorces from dragging on through the courts, but also give the state more ability to enforce the terms of the contract than government is willing to do with marriages that lack pre-nuptial agreements, especially on penalties for abrogation.  That would also give the courts an opening to finally get rid of “palimony”, that noxious avenue where the courts have to make determinations whether contractual relations exist between people who neither execute a contract or take wedding vows.

Churches could then recognize marriage along their own precepts.  Catholics who want to get married in a Catholic church would still have to be a heterosexual couple above the age of consent, at least one of whom is Catholic, without issues of consanguinuity, but would have to also sign a partnership contract for the civil recognition of the relationship.  It would be little different than the current requirement of getting a marriage license now, except that the agreement would have more detail on the partnership than the current marriage license provides, although even that could be more or less boilerplate for many couples.

Would the public accept the withdrawal of government from the blessing of marriages?  Not at first, certainly, but the public also won’t back a revocation of no-fault divorce, either, which strongly implies that a government imposed “integrity of marriages” solution won’t be popular at all.  I’d expect this to be the eventual solution to the definition-of-marriage argument.

Update: Green Room contributor Pundette disagrees with me.  Be sure to read why.


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…think of the damage and legal ball of snakes that one could do with a lawyer and a contract.

Depends entirely on how the contract is written. You could have it stated that any desputes would be handled by some kind of mediator thus removing the whole “lawyers/courts are expensive” arguement.

There is no way in which this can’t improve things. Sure, it can make them worse but only if people write bad contracts. See, everyone’s contracts are going to be different and no one will be able to claim they didn’t know what they were signing… not without undermining the whole legal system.

These people are binding us with legal chains. To get at you after this they’d have to cut their own throats. You’re safer with this then anything else.

And I repeat again, the choice is not between this and banning it. The choice is between keeping it banned for a few years and then having it over turned OR using this moment of power to fortify your position against future attack.

You literally cannot persist in this struggle. It’s futile. You will lose. I’m merely suggesting that you use this moment of power to accomplish something instead of wasting it. Do nothing and they’ll take it all away again and you won’t even have a position to bargain from. Be smart or lose. It’s that simple.

As I said above, I don’t really care about this issue… ti’s not a core issue for me. But if I were you, that’s what I’d do. It’s the smart move. If you want to lose though, it’s no skin off my back.

One question…WHY?..why go through all those mind games and Pandoras box of unintended consequences? Why bother..its not there aren’t other issues to deal with.

Because if you don’t do something you’ll lose. You have to do something that is defensible. Which do you prefer… gay marriage or privatized marriage? Because those are your choices. Your moment of power here in respect to gay marriage is transitory.

What is the problem with Civil Unions?
Why the focus on dismantling traditional marriage…whats the point, and more importantly, whats the motivation?

Itchee Dryback on May 29, 2009 at 6:30 PM

First, marriage isn’t being dismantled. It’s being taken out of the government’s hands.

It’s the difference between flying on a government airline and a private airline. No one is tearing the airplane apart. We’re just getting the government out of the game.

Second, civil unions reek of separate but equal. I know you disagree but it doesn’t matter. That’s how that battle is going to play and eventually you’ll lose. Sorry… I don’t make the rules, I just know what they are…

I’m not suggesting you change any of your views. Simply recognize the political realities and adapt to them. If you try and brute force the situation you’ll just waste your strength.
==================================================

I have two problem with your otherwise thoughtful response.

1) When I point out that marriage is not a contract, you simply spend more time detailing how a contract could deal with traditional marriage issues. I’m willing to concede that a contract is an almost infinitely malleable concept, and could be structured to look like a marriage in many ways. But just because a contract can be drawn up to imitate marriage doesn’t mean that marriage is just a contract, any more than constructing an artificial diamond from glass makes it the real thing. A contract, broadly speaking, formalizes an agreement to exchange something for a consideration of something else. You can add any number of provisions to it, but at its heart, it is a transaction of sorts. Failure to keep your end of the contract releases the other party from his.

Marriage is not that. Marriage is not a man agreeing to accept certain responsibilities (duties) in exchange for the duties his wife will be responsible for. A marriage is far more than that. The husband is supposed to love his wife when she is not especially lovable, for example. It is madness to discuss the government trying to enforce a marriage contract. (Talk about asking for bigger government!) All divorce does is to formalize what has already happened between husband and wife. It does not dissolve a contract. In fact, a divorced man still has responsibilities to his ex-wife, generally if not exclusively expressed in some sort of alimony obligation.

First, no one said anything about legislating love. Your whole argument is an endless non sequitur. You’re complaining about my suggestion because it doesn’t do things that the current contract doesn’t either. That’s completely unfair.
Second, you’re saying the government is going to get “more” involved when this suggestion does the exact opposite. It gets the government OUT of marriage. You aren’t out of marriage… you are still in marriage. The government however will no longer specific legislation that concerns your bonds. It will be privately organized and managed.

I’m sorry if I’m missing your point here, but I really don’t see how complaining about this not doing things that the current contract doesn’t do has any relevance?

Third, contracts don’t have to be mutual. You can simply agree to do X without condition and the contract is still entirely valid. I don’t know where you got the idea that they have to be exchanges. They often are exchanges but that’s by no means required. A contract is simply a public legal agreement between two or more parties that is legally binding. The nature of that agreement is up to you.

And this is totally wrong, and completely twists the question into the opposite of what it should be. To have homosexual “marriage,” the government will have to take an active role in defining marriage.

Well, in banning gay marriage you’ve done the same thing. You’ve defined what a marriage is and made it the law of the land. No one is allowed to ignore you will and do it anyway. So, it’s not totally wrong. You are enforcing your will on other people. Now, granted they want to do the same thing to you.

Your idea is to just push harder then them and then flex your muscles and growl. That’s great for as long as it lasts… but it won’t last forever. You’re going to lose eventually. I’m suggesting you take a smarter route and just cut the government off entirely. When they come for you they’re going to come through the government. IF you want to protect your religion and values you’re going to have to do it through limited government. The government is trapped in a cycle of multiculturalism… it can’t help it. It has to be everything to everyone. Thus they’re going to homogenize everything… ie make everything the same. If you want to be different you’re going to have to private. If you want to go private then they have to protect your ability to go private which means getting the government out of hte game.

This is the whole basis of the alliance between the FisCons and the SoCons. In the 50s we were political foes. By the 70s we were allies. The nature of our alliance is very simple. The SoCons will be dominated by the statists unless free space can be created that allows them to exist. The FisCons will be dominated by populist statists that use income redistribution to buy votes unless we can get a little support from the SoCons.

We are allies of necessity and we serve each other’s needs. You need freedom and we need an edge against the populists. It is our job in this relationship to point out ways to save your bacon and help you get there to the best of our ability. That’s what I’m doing right now. If you don’t want it, fine. Consider this service rendered. Again, it isn’t my issue. I’m seriously just trying to help.

Never before in our history has the government taken such an active role in a private relationship, or considered so fundamentally altering the basic unit of society.

There isn’t a big difference between the two of you frankly. They’re trying to say that marriage includes gay couples and you’re trying to say it doesn’t. Objectively it’s the same.

Sorry… but that just isn’t sustainable.

You want smaller government? Tell the government to leave marriage alone. What business does the government have to decide for everybody that marriage now includes homosexual relationships?

This doesn’t even make sense. Government IS involved. If you want them out then you have to get government out. But they are involved and have been for a long time.

Because the question is not, and never has been, whether homosexuals are prevented from marrying. The question is whether a homosexual relationship is itself a marriage.

I think you’ve confused the concept of marriage with the legal status. Whether someone is married or not in the sense of “before god” is not relevant here. No one is legislating that. However, legally these people could marry a brick to a parakeet.

In the end you’re not making a compelling legal argument. And without that all you’re running on is political will. Which is fickle and will give out on you when you least expect it. All it will take is a moment where they don’t fear you… which could happen at any time.

We’re not talking about establishing rights for homosexual individuals, but about establishing that homosexual relationships are marriage. It’s something the government has absolutely no business intruding itself into.

Again, contradiction. If they can declare a man and women as married then they have been given authority. The only way to stop them is to take that authority away or control the government.

You can’t control the government so you have to take the authority away.

Again, just to be absolutely clear, no one is advocating that the government go out and prevent homosexuals from having a “marriage ceremony” in any venue, civil or religious, that they would like. People can do what they like, as they always have. But we are under no obligation to recognize a homosexual ceremony as constituting a marriage.

I really don’t even know what you’re talking about anymore. We’re talking about the law here.

If they get a marriage license… which is a LEGAL document. Then they’re married in the eyes of the government. Which is what we’re talking about here.

what are you talking about?

Just in case there’s any real doubt, try proposing a “gay marriage” law that includes a right of conscience for anyone to refuse to acknowledge the legal marriage if they object to it, on religious grounds or not. See how many activists calling for “gay marriage” will be happy with the law. Oh, wait! They already tried that in New Hampshire. Just how far did it get, again?

I don’t understand what you mean by ‘recognize’… lay out a scenario where someone asks you to recognize they’re married and you refuse it?… and then legal action is taken against you for doing so? I really don’t even see where you’re going with this.

What is the LEGAL distinction for you between a civil union and a marriage.

The only way they want to have “gay marriages” allowed is if that law has actual teeth in it. Nothing else will do.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on May 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Well of course they want it to have teeth. They want it in law. But you want teeth in your legislation as well. I mean, don’t you want gay people to recognize your marriage?

Please clarify what you’re talking about. I’ve asked some very specific questions in this post that I think will clear the issue up for me.

Karmashock on May 29, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Do you think the only reason someone could hold a position against gay marriage is because someone is “anti-gay”..or something?

Have you actually read the posts with an open mind?

Itchee Dryback

I don’t believe that’s possible, Itchee. That’s not a slam against Dagnar, but the entire argument for “gay” marriage is based totally on emotionalism instead of anything rational. (as evidenced in part by such things as the total reliance on euphamisms such as “gay”)

For example. Dagnar asked, of “gay” marriage:
“How does that personally affect you?”

It’s total red herring intended to fog the issue. But when you’re not thinking clearly, it’s what passes for reasoning. Pose that question with other issues and see how it flies, e.g. -

How did the Manson killings hurt you personally?
(If they didn’t, then let’s legalize and celebrate murder as another lifestyle choice)

Unfortunately, there are some “liberal conservatives” (should be an oxymoron, I know), like AP and Ed at here at HotAir, who are easily spun by the emotionally-based argument and thus reject the reasoned, logical one.

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 10:05 PM

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 10:05 PM

So, performing a moral equivalency test between serial killings and gay marriage passes for reasoning as far as you’re concerned?!? Sharon Tate would probably disagree with you.

Dagnar on May 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM

Dagnar on May 29, 2009 at 9:43 PM

What position is it you think I’m holding?

Itchee Dryback on May 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM

So, performing a moral equivalency test between serial killings and gay marriage passes for reasoning as far as you’re concerned?!? Sharon Tate would probably disagree with you.

Dagnar

I think you’ve underscored the observation that Itchee made re: not getting the point, Dagnar. Also, you’ve illustrated my observation re:emotional-based reasoning v. rational thought.

But I will explain the point you missed – the question “how will x affect y?” on anything is meaningless, foggy rhetoric.

“Did the Tate murders affect your ability to live?” is as stupid a query as was yours. Again, that’s not a personal attack, I’m dissecting the bad argument.

Let’s ask it another way and I’d be interested in your answer:

There are more than a few people who are involved in brother-sister incest and who would like to get married. The question then is – to use your own exact reasoning: “How does that personally affect you?”.

Are you for “incest marriage”? (boy, does that needs a euphemism to make it sound nice) If not, does that mean you have reached such a conclusion because you hate “incest” people who have done nothing to hurt you?

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 10:40 PM

For example. Dagnar asked, of “gay” marriage:
“How does that personally affect you?”

It’s total red herring intended to fog the issue. But when you’re not thinking clearly, it’s what passes for reasoning. Pose that question with other issues and see how it flies, e.g. -

How did the Manson killings hurt you personally?
(If they didn’t, then let’s legalize and celebrate murder as another lifestyle choice)

Unfortunately, there are some “liberal conservatives” (should be an oxymoron, I know), like AP and Ed at here at HotAir, who are easily spun by the emotionally-based argument and thus reject the reasoned, logical one.

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 10:05 PM

This is a good point that some seem to complicate imo.

The “reasoning” that something must be O.K. if it doesn’t directly effect your life is obviously a red herring…or a straw herring or what ever. It is an attempt to handwave away the opposing view with simplistic logic that doesn’t address the issue.

To say “The guy across the street who beats his wife and screws his daughter doesn’t affect you, so why do you care”…is not comparing the behaviors as somehow being equal….its pointing out the fallacy of the line of reasoning……don’t know if thats clear..drinking some friday night wine and posting on the fly.

Itchee Dryback on May 29, 2009 at 10:49 PM

straw herring

I think you’ve coined a new term there, hahaha!

It is an attempt to handwave away the opposing view with simplistic logic that doesn’t address the issue.

To say “The guy across the street who beats his wife and screws his daughter doesn’t affect you, so why do you care”…is not comparing the behaviors as somehow being equal….its pointing out the fallacy of the line of reasoning……don’t know if thats clear..drinking some friday night wine and posting on the fly.

Itchee Dryback

I hope the wine has aged longer than just Friday, lol. I had to wait 2 weeks back in my wine-making days from bottling to drinking – and that was some pretty awful stuff!

But, buzzed or no, you got my point. Using the “how does x hurt y?” argument is just a bad choice as a debate tactic. Someone mowing their lawn in the next town doesn’t affect me, but that conclusion does not come from a value judgment on lawn mowing. (besides, other people mow my lawn, heh)

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 11:01 PM

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 10:40 PM

Serial killing could potentially affect me if I’m an unfortunate victim of the serial killer. However, if two gay people decide to marry, I don’t see how that could negatively affect my life. Serial killing produces innocent victims. Who are the innocent victims of gay marriage?

For the record, I’m not in the “Pro Gay Marriage” camp. I’m just in the “I don’t care” camp. As I’ve read your meme about “emotionalism vs. rationalism”, let me ask you a question:

What is your rational/logical argument against gay marriage?

Dagnar on May 29, 2009 at 11:22 PM

What position is it you think I’m holding?

Itchee Dryback on May 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM

From reading your other posts, you seem to be against gay marriage (correct me if I’m wrong). If that is the case, my question is “Why”? To use Whatcat’s terms, what is your rational/logical basis for opposing gay marriage?

Dagnar on May 29, 2009 at 11:33 PM

As I’ve read your meme about “emotionalism vs. rationalism”, let me ask you a question:
Dagnar

I didn’t yet get answers to the queries I posed you, Dagnar. I’d appreciate your first tackling them, as it would enlighten me on your reasoning. By way of review, they are:

“Let’s ask it another way and I’d be interested in your answer:

There are more than a few people who are involved in brother-sister incest and who would like to get married. The question then is – to use your own exact reasoning: “How does that personally affect you?”.

Are you for “incest marriage”? (boy, does that needs a euphemism to make it sound nice) If not, does that mean you have reached such a conclusion because you hate “incest” people who have done nothing to hurt you?”

Thanks.

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 11:35 PM

whatcat on May 29, 2009 at 11:35 PM

Okay, I’m against “incest marriage”. I’m against it because there are serious medical implications if the “couple” decided to have children. However, if there was a group of people who wanted to make it legal and were protesting for it, I wouldn’t join a counter protest because (again) I don’t care.

Now that I’ve answered your question, answer mine so I can see your reasoning. And while we’re at it, allow me to turn your question back to you: Assuming you are against “incest marriage”, what is rational/logical argument against it?

Dagnar on May 29, 2009 at 11:48 PM

Dagnar, you haven’t answered the questions, in fact you’re arguing against yourelf.

I’m against “incest marriage”. I’m against it because there are serious medical implications if the “couple” decided to have children.

Okay, good enuf as far as it goes. But then you say

However, if there was a group of people who wanted to make it legal and were protesting for it, I wouldn’t join a counter protest because (again) I don’t care.

If you “don’t care” either way about brother-sister marriage, how could you be against it?

The very best I can extrapolate from such self-contradicting statements are:

1) You base the one part (where you’re against) solely on your belief they cannot (or may not) be able to produce healthy children, so they should not be allowed to marry.

2) The second part where I believe you’re doing a “have it both ways waffle” (i.e. where you are for) is based on some vague “group of people” (unspecified number/percent)demanding something. If such a vague group wants something you have to give it to them.

Is that correct?

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 12:14 AM

What about a father marrying both his sons?
A mother marrying both her daughters?
A Muslim man marrying 4 women?
A Muslim man marrying 4 men?
A Mormon cult member marrying 40 women?

When you step one inch out of the “one man/one woman” circle there’s no stopping a total breakdown of the family.

Mojave Mark on May 30, 2009 at 12:38 AM

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 12:14 AM

Playing semantics is a weak debating ploy. My straightforward answer in regards to both gay marriage and incest marriage is “I Don’t Care”. While I wouldn’t personally engage in either one, if someone else wants to lobby for them, that’s their right – it’s a free country (currently).

So far in all of your postings, all you’ve done is thrown around lofty concepts like “emotionalism vs. rationalism” and the weak moral relativism of serial killing (and from Itchee, wife-beating and incest) – all crimes with victims, to gay marriage. If you’re done tap-dancing around, how about answering my question:

What is your rational/logical argument against gay marriage?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 12:42 AM

So far in all of your postings, all you’ve done is thrown around lofty concepts like “emotionalism vs. rationalism”

No, Dagnar, I’ve been asking honest questions to clarify your position to me – I don’t do debate. That doesn’t “earn points” and it doesn’t change anyone’s mind. I wouldn’t expect it to anyway. All I’m looking for is the root premises so I can understand better. I think people who are looking to “win a debate” are just involving themelves in mental masturbation – might give a momentary satisfaction, but is otherwise a waste of time.

So far in all of your postings, all you’ve done is thrown around lofty concepts like “emotionalism vs. rationalism”

Again, no. I’m just asking questions to make sure I understand your points and to see where I might agree. Although I do maintain the pro-”gay marriage” argument is irrational, that’s not a put down of you or anyone else making the argument. It’s my observation on the argument itself, if you agree or disagree with that observation is unimportant.

I’ll ask again, in an attempt to make sure we are as much on the same page as possible, I noted that I found your argument against brother-sister marriage to be contradictory. By way of helping along mutual understanding, I’ll run my observations by you again:

“1) You base the one part (where you’re against) solely on your belief they cannot (or may not) be able to produce healthy children, so they should not be allowed to marry.

2) The second part where I believe you’re doing a “have it both ways waffle” (i.e. where you are for) is based on some vague “group of people” (unspecified number/percent)demanding something. If such a vague group wants something you have to give it to them.

Is that correct?”

Again, thanks.

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Mojave Mark on May 30, 2009 at 12:38 AM

I didn’t know if this was directed at me, but I’ll offer my 2 cents anyways. First, I don’t think anyone on here is going to be “pro incest marriage”. And I don’t quite get the significance of using religion references in your examples. I can tell you that there are a number of cultures that allow polygamy and apparently it works for them. In regards to the breakdown of the family, the heterosexual community (which I belong to) has already done a stellar job of hastening that all on their own. Divorce rates are around 50% and a lot of married couples are opting to not have children, stunting the propagation of the species – what most religions see as the primary output of a marriage.

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 1:08 AM

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Part of the issue here is that you keep wanting me to put things in your terms and answer your leading questions. I’m not doing that. I think I’ve made my position pretty clear several times now, but I’ll state it again here:

1.) I am not “pro gay marriage”. I’m “I don’t care”.
2.) Just because I wouldn’t engage in something and might even find it personally repulsive (like your example of “incest marriage”) doesn’t mean that I feel a need to prevent other people from pursuing the right to do it. Back in the day, there were people (and still are today) who thought that interracial marriage was an abomination.

I think my position is pretty clear here. However, all I know about your position is that your are against gay marriage and I’m guessing here (because you’re not sharing any additional information) that you would also be against civil unions too. You claim that you have a very rational/logical argument against gay marriage, but I’m still waiting to hear it……..

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 1:30 AM

Part of the issue here is that you keep wanting me to put things in your terms and answer your leading questions

What specific issues do you have with my question, Dagnar?

Here’s what you said and here’s what I observed:

1) – I’m against “incest marriage”. I’m against it because there are serious medical implications if the “couple” decided to have children.
2) -
However, if there was a group of people who wanted to make it legal and were protesting for it, I wouldn’t join a counter protest because (again) I don’t care.

Now, my observation and question -

“1) You base the one part (where you’re against) solely on your belief they cannot (or may not) be able to produce healthy children, so they should not be allowed to marry.

2) The second part where I believe you’re doing a “have it both ways waffle” (i.e. where you are for) is based on some vague “group of people” (unspecified number/percent)demanding something. If such a vague group wants something you have to give it to them.

I simply asked:

“Is that correct?”

And you haven’t yet answered that question.

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 2:06 AM

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 2:06 AM

Again, I’ve already made my position clear several times now. And again, I’m not obligated to step through your leading questions just so you can try to make your point (you are debating here whether you want to admit it or not, otherwise it wouldn’t be so important to you that I answer your specific questions). You’re argument against gay marriage shouldn’t be dependent on my replies to these questions. You claim that you have a rational argument against gay marriage, yet you’re reluctant to share it. I can only surmise that you must know that you don’t have a strong argument and are just playing for time here.

I’m going to bed.

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 2:34 AM

I’ve already made my position clear several times now.

No, Dagnar, at best you’ve offered hazy self-contradicting statements.

answer your specific questions

There’s only one question, Dagnar – count ‘em – I’ve asked, at least three times now:

“Is that correct?”

It’s not a difficult question, the answer is either “Yes” or “No – you got “A”,”Y”, “Z” wrong”. Either answer is fine.

I can only surmise

I suspect “surmising” is a much easier out than answering one incredibly easy question, but it’s not a substitute for an answer.

Think about it overnight. Although such a very basic question like that shouldn’t be really all that difficult, I can understand if you need more time to think.

However, if that one simple question keeps evoking a contant hesitancy to answer, I suggest you may need to re-think your viewpoint. Because if you are unable to answer it, then your entire viewpoint may not be worth keeping.
Just sayin’.

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 3:38 AM

First, no one said anything about legislating love. Your whole argument is an endless non sequitur.

As for non sequitur, “I don’t think it means what you seem to think it means.”

A non sequitur is when I point out that a marriage is not a contract, and you tell me how we could make a marriage look like a contract. That’s just a non sequitur. You want it to be just a contract, so you keep calling it a contract.

You’re complaining about my suggestion because it doesn’t do things that the current contract doesn’t either. That’s completely unfair.

As I said, non sequitur. There is no “current contract.” There is marriage, and then there is how you would redefine marriage as a contract.

Second, you’re saying the government is going to get “more” involved when this suggestion does the exact opposite. It gets the government OUT of marriage. You aren’t out of marriage… you are still in marriage. The government however will no longer specific legislation that concerns your bonds. It will be privately organized and managed.

Do we have gay marriage now? No. To have gay marriage, will the government have to take actions that it is not currently taking? Yes. Does gay marriage require government intervention? Obviously.

Third, contracts don’t have to be mutual. You can simply agree to do X without condition and the contract is still entirely valid. I don’t know where you got the idea that they have to be exchanges. They often are exchanges but that’s by no means required. A contract is simply a public legal agreement between two or more parties that is legally binding. The nature of that agreement is up to you.

I believe contract law requires there be some “consideration” exchanged in order to have an enforceable contract. The consideration doesn’t have to be monetary, but there must be something. This is why open source software licenses, for instance, are not enforceable by contract law. Instead, the GPL software license used in Linux relies on copyright law.

Bear with me a moment here. A business can download GPL software such as Linux for use within their business, modify the source code, recompile, and use that software any way they want. Google does this. Google has made modifications to the Linux source code that they have never shared with anybody. And yet, when you download Linux, you agree to certain limitations that require you to share your modifications with others.

However, if Google puts any GPL software from Linux into a product and makes that product available for download, then their modifications must be shared, or they are violating the GPL.

Why is Google bound by the GPL license when they distribute GPL software, but not when they acquire it? Because they7 don’t pay for the software, and therefore there is no contract to enforce the license provisions. But the GPL is based on copyright law, which controls the ability to distribute software. And the only way they can legally distribute GPL software is to make the source code available

Bottom line: There must be some form of “consideration” exchanged, or you don’t have a contract.

And this is totally wrong, and completely twists the question into the opposite of what it should be. To have homosexual “marriage,” the government will have to take an active role in defining marriage.

Well, in banning gay marriage you’ve done the same thing. You’ve defined what a marriage is and made it the law of the land. No one is allowed to ignore you will and do it anyway. So, it’s not totally wrong. You are enforcing your will on other people. Now, granted they want to do the same thing to you.

Your argument would certainly have merit in a hypothetical world that no one actually lives in. In the real world, gay marriage has never been banned. It simply never existed.

In simple terms, there is no equivalence. I’ve done nothing. You want to do something. The two are not equivalent.

Never before in our history has the government taken such an active role in a private relationship, or considered so fundamentally altering the basic unit of society.

There isn’t a big difference between the two of you frankly. They’re trying to say that marriage includes gay couples and you’re trying to say it doesn’t. Objectively it’s the same.

They’re trying to change the definition of marriage. I’m not. Objectively, it is not the same at all.

Because the question is not, and never has been, whether homosexuals are prevented from marrying. The question is whether a homosexual relationship is itself a marriage.

I think you’ve confused the concept of marriage with the legal status. Whether someone is married or not in the sense of “before god” is not relevant here. No one is legislating that. However, legally these people could marry a brick to a parakeet.

A little more slowly, then: homosexuals are not and never have been prevented from marrying, as Judy Garland could tell you.

But since marriage involved the union of a man and a wife, few homosexuals were interested. Still, some did it for the sake of having a family and children.

What is new is the idea that that the relationship between two homosexuals must be treated as a marriage. It was not the government’s fault that marriage as it has always been, between a husband and wife, was not appealing to gay men or lesbians. But now we expect the government to fix it for them, by making everyone else accept that their relationship is also a marriage.

That’s government intervention on 3 levels at once: 1) as remakred, that the government changes the definition of marriage, 2) that the government is supposed to guarantee gay couples not just the right to marry, but to have the kind of marriage, a homosexual marriage, that they want, and 3) to force others to accept homosexual marriage as the real thing.

As for being married “in the eyes of God,” that’s irrelevant. It’s not required to bring religion into it at all. Married couples in Buddhist nations, Hindu nations, and Shinto nations are no less married than a Christian couple. Atheist couples are every bit as married as Christian couples.

We’re not talking about establishing rights for homosexual individuals, but about establishing that homosexual relationships are marriage. It’s something the government has absolutely no business intruding itself into.

Again, contradiction. If they can declare a man and women as married then they have been given authority. The only way to stop them is to take that authority away or control the government.

That’s the problem with using sloppy language. It’s been called a “marriage license” for so long that people assume the government grants the marriage, and that it isn’t a marriage until the government says so.

But common law marriage gives the game away. In a common law marriage, the government never granted a license, and neither did any church. But when they’ve been obviously married for some time even though there’s never been a formal ceremony of marriage license, then the government is practical enough to admit that marriage apparently does not actually require the approval of the state.

Just in case there’s any real doubt, try proposing a “gay marriage” law that includes a right of conscience for anyone to refuse to acknowledge the legal marriage if they object to it, on religious grounds or not. See how many activists calling for “gay marriage” will be happy with the law. Oh, wait! They already tried that in New Hampshire. Just how far did it get, again?

I don’t understand what you mean by ‘recognize’… lay out a scenario where someone asks you to recognize they’re married and you refuse it?… and then legal action is taken against you for doing so? I really don’t even see where you’re going with this.

The most obvious question is, will a church that teaches homosexuality is a sin be required to recognize homosexual marriages? If the law is that homosexual marriages are marriages, then any ministry that supports married people will now have to support homosexual marriages. If a church is involved in adoption, but requires the adopting couple be married, then that church will have to allow adoption by homosexual couples. This is already biting the Catholic church in some states, so it’s not just a hypothetical.

The only way they want to have “gay marriages” allowed is if that law has actual teeth in it. Nothing else will do.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on May 29, 2009 at 7:45 PM

Well of course they want it to have teeth. They want it in law. But you want teeth in your legislation as well. I mean, don’t you want gay people to recognize your marriage?

Please clarify what you’re talking about. I’ve asked some very specific questions in this post that I think will clear the issue up for me.

Karmashock on May 29, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Yes, of course they want those laws to have teeth. That should be obvious at a glance, but it’s amazing how many people will argue that creating homosexual marriage can’t possible have any impact on anyone else.

No, if the government makes new laws, then those laws bind all of us. How long before lawsuits are filed against people for discriminating against what is newly considered a valid legal marriage.

Honestly, it’s refreshing to hear someone admit that laws creating homosexual marriages will have actual teeth in them, and not just be some symbolic fluff like declaring “Administrative Assistant Week.”

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on May 30, 2009 at 4:20 AM

As I said, non sequitur. There is no “current contract.” There is marriage, and then there is how you would redefine marriage as a contract.

False. Legally it is a contract or there is no legal distinction.

Both sides agree to predetermined conditions and unite acquiring special rights and privileges over each other’s possessions, bodies, and progeny.

Do we have gay marriage now? No. To have gay marriage, will the government have to take actions that it is not currently taking? Yes. Does gay marriage require government intervention? Obviously.

You’re being obtuse. I’m not going to discuss this in good faith with you if you’re not.

I’m actually trying to talk to you here… and in return you’re making cheap arguments, playing dumb, and generally screwing around.

I believe contract law requires there be some “consideration” exchanged in order to have an enforceable contract. The consideration doesn’t have to be monetary, but there must be something. This is why open source software licenses, for instance, are not enforceable by contract law. Instead, the GPL software license used in Linux relies on copyright law.

Well, you may be right about that and that sounds like a problem with contract law that we would fix for this instance. That said, it’s a moot point because all the exchanges are mutual. What’s more failure to comply with the terms have been cause for divorce for THOUSANDS of years. So if you want to talk about tradition… tradition is with mutual exchanges. Hell, back in the day marriages were void if the woman wasn’t a virgin… and the family had to provide a dowry just to be considered for marriage in many cases.

Bear with me a moment here. A business can download GPL software such as Linux for use within their business, modify the source code, recompile, and use that software any way they want. Google does this. Google has made modifications to the Linux source code that they have never shared with anybody. And yet, when you download Linux, you agree to certain limitations that require you to share your modifications with others.

All software is secured with copyright law to begin with… so I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why would someone try to use contract law when copyright law is there to protect copyrights?

Again, a moot point.

Bottom line: There must be some form of “consideration” exchanged, or you don’t have a contract.

There’s more then enough consideration in to make it stick.

Come up with a scenario please that consideration wouldn’t cover.

Your argument would certainly have merit in a hypothetical world that no one actually lives in. In the real world, gay marriage has never been banned. It simply never existed.

False. There are people walking around right now all over the country that are in gay marriages. That’s a legal fact.

You can cover your eyes, ears, and mouth all you like but it’s there. There were gay marriages in California. They happened. And guess what… they’re still official in the eyes of law.

What you’ve done is banned the practice. That’s the fact of the matter. your word games on the point are irrelevant and only cloud the issue.

I am not talking about your moral view of things. That isn’t relevant. The law is relevant here. The ability to compel people via law.

Beyond that no one really cares.

In simple terms, there is no equivalence. I’ve done nothing. You want to do something. The two are not equivalent.

False. gay marriages happened and prop 8 stopped them.

They did something… you did something. IF you did nothing then gay marriages would still be happening.

QED.

Stop being obtuse.

They’re trying to change the definition of marriage. I’m not. Objectively, it is not the same at all.

No they changed the definition and you changed it back.

And both are the same in that you’re trying to define marriage through the government in the first place.

A little more slowly, then: homosexuals are not and never have been prevented from marrying, as Judy Garland could tell you.

Why would I ask Judy Garland? Allow this rock I found on the lawn to respond: “they got married, they have marriage licenses, if you asked a judge if they were married, he’d say “yes”

That’s the legal fact. I’m sorry if that baffles you or offends you but it happened and denying it occurred is pointless and frankly just weird.

But since marriage involved the union of a man and a wife, few homosexuals were interested. Still, some did it for the sake of having a family and children.

Well, marriage only means that if the law says that. See, we’re dealing with legal concepts here. You seem to be confused as to the context of this discussion. We are not having a theological discussion here. It’s a legal discussion. And legally you can define the word “is” to equal “turnip” if you get the legislation passed. Regardless of how you define marriage, many have defined it to mean something different. And they’ve been given marriage licenses. And that means they’re legally married regardless of what you think.

I’m trying to give you an out here by voiding the government’s ability to declare people married. But you’re failing to understand that this is quite literally the only way you’re going to win this. I’m trying to put out a fire… and you’re closing your eyes and saying “there is no fire”…

Well, that’s not helpful. But if that’s where you are then I’m losing the will to help you. I’m quickly coming to the conclusion that you want to lose with your eyes shut. Well, fine. Then we’ll remember not to waste resources trying to defend positions you won’t be clever enough to defend properly.

You can’t expect better from any ally then that. We’re trying here, but you’re making it very hard to help you.

That’s government intervention on 3 levels at once: 1) as remakred, that the government changes the definition of marriage,

False, the government defined what a marriage was in the first place. sure they might have been using an older template but that doesn’t change the fact that they put that definition into law.

2) that the government is supposed to guarantee gay couples not just the right to marry, but to have the kind of marriage, a homosexual marriage, that they want,

I don’t know what this means? Either it’s redundant with point one or I’m lost as to your point.

and 3) to force others to accept homosexual marriage as the real thing.

Force who? And what does that even mean? give me a scenario where someone is forcing you to recognize a gay marriage. I just don’t see what you’re complaining about.

As for being married “in the eyes of God,” that’s irrelevant.

Well, since that’s all that seems to matter to you, it clearly isn’t. you’re working on some internal definition of what marriage means and completely ignoring that the government is redefining it. I agree with you that they shouldn’t have that right. But the only way to stop them is to take that ability away from them.

Only way. I’m offering you cake or death and you’re wondering what flavor of cake. It’s bizarre.

It’s not required to bring religion into it at all. Married couples in Buddhist nations, Hindu nations, and Shinto nations are no less married than a Christian couple. Atheist couples are every bit as married as Christian couples.

What about societies that have one guy married to 15 women… are they married?

That’s the problem with using sloppy language. It’s been called a “marriage license” for so long that people assume the government grants the marriage, and that it isn’t a marriage until the government says so.

I think you’re confused… that’s exactly how it works IN THE LAW!!!!

LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW LAW

Get it? LAW.

The law can say anything. And what it is says is the law. If I legislate that Pi equals 3 that doesn’t make Pi equal three in actuality. But it does make Pi equal 3 in the LAW.

Which in case you weren’t paying attention is what we were talking about. The law.

But common law marriage gives the game away. In a common law marriage, the government never granted a license, and neither did any church.

No, the government declared people married by fiat indifferent to their wishes, intentions, or feelings for each other. You think that’s a good idea?

But when they’ve been obviously married for some time even though there’s never been a formal ceremony of marriage license, then the government is practical enough to admit that marriage apparently does not actually require the approval of the state.

Approval of the state? Dude… they are DECLARING people married in law. Their state between each other is not what we’re discussing here. We are discussing the law. And at that moment they effectively marry those people.

I don’t know whether you’re joking and giggling on the other end of the internet as you throw out one obtuse argument after or another… or if you’re just vastly confused as to the topic.

The most obvious question is, will a church that teaches homosexuality is a sin be required to recognize homosexual marriages?

Well, no. I don’t see how that’s constitutional. A church technically could refuse to recognize ANY marriage. So I don’t see why they’d have to recognize gay marriages but not anyone else’s.

If the law is that homosexual marriages are marriages, then any ministry that supports married people will now have to support homosexual marriages.

That’s silly, you can’t believe that. I don’t doubt that some one might try that game, but it wouldn’t hold up in court. Churches can pretty much do what they like.

If a church is involved in adoption, but requires the adopting couple be married, then that church will have to allow adoption by homosexual couples. This is already biting the Catholic church in some states, so it’s not just a hypothetical.

Again, if marriage no longer exists as a legal concept then this saves them as well.

So… why you’re failing to see the road out is a mystery to me here.

Yes, of course they want those laws to have teeth. That should be obvious at a glance, but it’s amazing how many people will argue that creating homosexual marriage can’t possible have any impact on anyone else.

Well… by “teeth” I assumed you meant legally binding. You’ve so far only given one credible example of gay marriage possibly causing a problem. The adoption angle is a real issue you’ll have to deal with. But there are other ways of dealing with it.

No, if the government makes new laws, then those laws bind all of us. How long before lawsuits are filed against people for discriminating against what is newly considered a valid legal marriage.

How/why would you discriminate against a gay couple?

I just don’t see where you’d deny them something that would give them grounds to make that accusation?

What do you want the right to do to these people? Throw rocks at them? You haven’t defined your preferred response so I can only guess… I really have no idea what you think this will prevent?

Honestly, it’s refreshing to hear someone admit that laws creating homosexual marriages will have actual teeth in them, and not just be some symbolic fluff like declaring “Administrative Assistant Week.”

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on May 30, 2009 at 4:20 AM

Well, all meaningful laws must have “teeth” or they’re pointless. So you can assume they’ll make the law binding and actionable. That said, current marriage law is binding and actionable so they’ve a good argument for equality.

In any event, I’m asking for scenarios from you. Give me examples. Tell me your fears, your aspirations… I want to know what you think will actually happen and how it will effect you or things you care about?

Look, for me the bottom line is freedom. I need to see quite a bit of harm to other people before I vote to restrict freedom. Take freedom of speech… it hurts people all the time. But we protect it because it’s worth the harm.

Freedom of religion causes all sorts of problems… but again… it’s worth it. You have to show me that gay marriage is more damaging then hate speech, religious strife, the annual gun homicide rate. Inconveniencing a church here or there isn’t enough.

Karmashock on May 30, 2009 at 5:25 AM

What is your rational/logical argument against gay marriage?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 12:42 AM

Not worth the trouble and disruption when all issues can be accomplished via civil unions. Cost/benefit ratio.

What your logical/rationalargument for it?

So far, it seem like your hole argument revolves around I don’t care what they do.

Thats not really a logical or rational argument. Thats apathy imo.
How do you feel about waterboarding?..how does that affect your marriage or relationship?

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

. I need to see quite a bit of harm to other people before I vote to restrict freedom. Take freedom of speech… it hurts people all the time. But we protect it because it’s worth the harm.

…you just made the case against gay marriage, imo.

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM

whatcat on May 30, 2009 at 3:38 AM

Okay, I’ll play along. “No”, your understanding is not correct. By point:

1.) Just because I’m “against” something (which is probably a bad choice of words on my part; “not a proponent for” is probably better) doesn’t mean that I feel a need to prevent other people from seeking the right to do it. I don’t smoke; I think it’s an unhealthy habit. However, I’m not out trying to make it illegal and prevent other people who might want to smoke from doing it. Is this really that hard a concept for you to grasp?

2.) People have a right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” (see the First Amendment). Further, it doesn’t give a “specified number/percent” of people needed to exercise this right. Just because a majority of people are for or against something doesn’t necessarily make it right. There was a time in this country when the majority thought slavery was okay. The majority also thought banning interracial marriage was okay too. If we’re going to use the “majority rules” concept and apply to other areas/activities where there isn’t at least a 51% majority for/against something, then smoking would be illegal because the vast majority of people don’t smoke. And as only 3 out of 10 people own guns, gun ownership would be made illegal as well. A majority doesn’t guarantee a wise decision. How are you liking your new president, elected by a majority of your fellow countrymen?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 10:32 AM

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 8:56 AM

I appreciate your response – at least you’re able to “man up” and express your opinion. It sounds like you’re closer to Ed’s original point (and that of this article) then you might think. Legally-recognized civil unions for everyone and then let the churches keep their own definition of what “religious marriage” is. I can live with that too.

I don’t have a rational/logical argument for gay marriage because I don’t care that much about the issue. If you’re watching a football game between two teams that you’re not really into and don’t normally follow, do you have to pick one to root for? I’m not gay, so I don’t have a horse in the race here. This goes back to my central point in one of my first posting which was, let’s pick our battles. If you’re talking government fiscal responsibility, I definitely have opinions on that and I’ll see you at the next Tea Party because I feel that strongly about it.

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 10:57 AM

I appreciate your response – at least you’re able to “man up” and express your opinion. It sounds like you’re closer to Ed’s original point (and that of this article) then you might think. Legally-recognized civil unions for everyone and then let the churches keep their own definition of what “religious marriage” is. I can live with that too.

Thanks.

Whats the point of bothering with that? (the bolded part)
How would that be done?..again, cost/benefit.

The problem with civil unions for those that want that, is….?

The point in changing the definition of marriage, is….?

You’ve claimed that you’re against inhibiting freedoms unless someone can show a high level of harm that is being done to them unless that freedom is inhibited. You feel the bar should be set fairly high, if I’m understanding you correctly,…soooo
Whats the great harm thats being done by leaving marriage alone?

I can’t quite understand the hang up some have on words.

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 11:42 AM


Legally-recognized civil unions for everyone

Anybody who wants to have their relationship legally recognized (whether they’re straight or gay) gets a civil union. Then if they choose to go the extra step and have it recognized in a church (a marriage), they seek out a church that will perform the marriage for them.

The cost is minimal. Instead of people going to the courthouse to get a “marriage license”, we re-brand it and call it a “civil union license”. The benefit is we’re treating everyone equally, whether they’re straight or gay.

I don’t quite understand the nature of the other questions you are posing, and in regards to your comment “You’ve claimed that you’re against inhibiting freedoms unless someone can show a high level of harm that is being done to them unless that freedom is inhibited.”, that quote is not mine – you have me confused with someone else you must of have been talking with. However, I’ll tackled the last question you posed: There is no harm in leaving religion-based marriage alone as long as we allow gays to have the same rights afforded by legally-recognized civil unions.

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

As I said, non sequitur. There is no “current contract.” There is marriage, and then there is how you would redefine marriage as a contract.

False. Legally it is a contract or there is no legal distinction.

Both sides agree to predetermined conditions and unite acquiring special rights and privileges over each other’s possessions, bodies, and progeny.

Repeatedly saying marriage is a contract does not constitute proof that it is one. I said pretty clearly a couple of obvious differences between marriage and a contract.

Do we have gay marriage now? No. To have gay marriage, will the government have to take actions that it is not currently taking? Yes. Does gay marriage require government intervention? Obviously.

You’re being obtuse. I’m not going to discuss this in good faith with you if you’re not.

I’m actually trying to talk to you here… and in return you’re making cheap arguments, playing dumb, and generally screwing around.

Don’t call me obtuse and accuse me of bad faith when I make an obvious point and you pretend it’s a cheap argument.

You’re the one insisting that no reasonable person can believe marriage is something other than a contract. I believe we have some projection going on here.

I believe contract law requires there be some “consideration” exchanged in order to have an enforceable contract. The consideration doesn’t have to be monetary, but there must be something. This is why open source software licenses, for instance, are not enforceable by contract law. Instead, the GPL software license used in Linux relies on copyright law.

Well, you may be right about that and that sounds like a problem with contract law that we would fix for this instance. That said, it’s a moot point because all the exchanges are mutual. What’s more failure to comply with the terms have been cause for divorce for THOUSANDS of years. So if you want to talk about tradition… tradition is with mutual exchanges. Hell, back in the day marriages were void if the woman wasn’t a virgin… and the family had to provide a dowry just to be considered for marriage in many cases.

So if contract law doesn’t in fact cover marriage, then we just need to change contract law to cover it? Because marriage has always been just a contract?

Bear with me a moment here. A business can download GPL software such as Linux for use within their business, modify the source code, recompile, and use that software any way they want. Google does this. Google has made modifications to the Linux source code that they have never shared with anybody. And yet, when you download Linux, you agree to certain limitations that require you to share your modifications with others.

All software is secured with copyright law to begin with… so I don’t know what you’re talking about. Why would someone try to use contract law when copyright law is there to protect copyrights?

Again, a moot point.

Copyright law merely establishes that the creator of software has the exclusive rights to distribute it. If you’re not distributing the software, then copyright law does not apply. If you buy software, then contract law applies as well, and the seller of software can add any conditions they want to the sale. This puts the GPL in a gray area, since if there is no sale, there is no contract, and the only restrictions that can be imposed are on distributing software to others. That is why contract law does not apply to the GPL, because it is not sold, and there is therefore no contract.

Marriage is not a sale, so there is that same difficulty applying contract law to it.

Your argument would certainly have merit in a hypothetical world that no one actually lives in. In the real world, gay marriage has never been banned. It simply never existed.

False. There are people walking around right now all over the country that are in gay marriages. That’s a legal fact.

You can cover your eyes, ears, and mouth all you like but it’s there. There were gay marriages in California. They happened. And guess what… they’re still official in the eyes of law.

What you’ve done is banned the practice. That’s the fact of the matter. your word games on the point are irrelevant and only cloud the issue.

I am not talking about your moral view of things. That isn’t relevant. The law is relevant here. The ability to compel people via law.

Beyond that no one really cares.

So the government tries to force something, the people reject it, and amend the constitution to stop any further efforts, but it’s the gay marriage opponents who are the activists?

In simple terms, there is no equivalence. I’ve done nothing. You want to do something. The two are not equivalent.

False. gay marriages happened and prop 8 stopped them.

They did something… you did something. IF you did nothing then gay marriages would still be happening.

QED.

Stop being obtuse.

Again. The government tries to force the redefinition of marriage, the people reject it, and amend the constitution to stop any further efforts, but it’s the gay marriage opponents who are the activists?

And I’m the one being obtuse?

They’re trying to change the definition of marriage. I’m not. Objectively, it is not the same at all.

No they changed the definition and you changed it back.

And both are the same in that you’re trying to define marriage through the government in the first place.

No, they didn’t change the definition. They weren’t that honest. They tried to declare that the Constitution of California meant something different that it had never meant before, and the people put a stop to it.

And because the people did that through a legal means of referendum which took a certain amount of time, you want to claim that they changed the definition of marriage back.

Not buying it for a second.

A little more slowly, then: homosexuals are not and never have been prevented from marrying, as Judy Garland could tell you.

Why would I ask Judy Garland? Allow this rock I found on the lawn to respond: “they got married, they have marriage licenses, if you asked a judge if they were married, he’d say “yes”

Judy Garland was known for marrying a couple of homosexual men. I guess that’s an obscure cultural reference, so I shouldn’t have assume you were aware of it. But it’s somewhat pertinent.

But since marriage involved the union of a man and a wife, few homosexuals were interested. Still, some did it for the sake of having a family and children.

Well, marriage only means that if the law says that. See, we’re dealing with legal concepts here. You seem to be confused as to the context of this discussion. We are not having a theological discussion here. It’s a legal discussion. And legally you can define the word “is” to equal “turnip” if you get the legislation passed. Regardless of how you define marriage, many have defined it to mean something different. And they’ve been given marriage licenses. And that means they’re legally married regardless of what you think.

So marriage only means what the government says it means? And the government has the right to redefine the meaning of marriage at will?

Your inner statist is showing. Hey, here’s a better idea! Let’s just declare that a homosexual man is now defined as a woman, and therefore can marry another man. Problem solved!

Once you start redefining words…

That’s government intervention on 3 levels at once: 1) as remakred, that the government changes the definition of marriage,

False, the government defined what a marriage was in the first place. sure they might have been using an older template but that doesn’t change the fact that they put that definition into law.

Marriage predates government. It was not created by the government. The government recognized marriages in the same sense that they recognize other nations. Does government recognition of Mexico constitute the ability to define Mexico as we please?

2) that the government is supposed to guarantee gay couples not just the right to marry, but to have the kind of marriage, a homosexual marriage, that they want,

I don’t know what this means? Either it’s redundant with point one or I’m lost as to your point.

There’s no restriction against a homosexual man marrying a woman, but since he’s not interested in that, we’ll redefine marriage to also apply to two men.

Is that really so hard to follow?

and 3) to force others to accept homosexual marriage as the real thing.

Force who? And what does that even mean? give me a scenario where someone is forcing you to recognize a gay marriage. I just don’t see what you’re complaining about.

Force is the whole point: to be able to require that others treat a homosexual married couple the same as married couples. Anti-discrimination lawsuits is only one scenario.

As for being married “in the eyes of God,” that’s irrelevant.

Well, since that’s all that seems to matter to you, it clearly isn’t. you’re working on some internal definition of what marriage means and completely ignoring that the government is redefining it. I agree with you that they shouldn’t have that right. But the only way to stop them is to take that ability away from them.

1) straw man. You’re the one claiming it’s all about bein married “in the eyes of God.” Not me.
2) some internal definition of what marriage means? A majority of voters in California, one of our most liberal states, rejected defining marriage as other than a man and a woman. It’s obviously not just my internal definition.

It’s not required to bring religion into it at all. Married couples in Buddhist nations, Hindu nations, and Shinto nations are no less married than a Christian couple. Atheist couples are every bit as married as Christian couples.

What about societies that have one guy married to 15 women… are they married?

In such a case, that man has 15 marriages, each with one wife. This is not a single marriage with 15 wives.

If such a man were to move to this country, he would have to divorce all but one of the women. That would require 14 divorces, not one.

Even your extreme example doesn’t back you up at all.

But when they’ve been obviously married for some time even though there’s never been a formal ceremony of marriage license, then the government is practical enough to admit that marriage apparently does not actually require the approval of the state.

Approval of the state? Dude… they are DECLARING people married in law. Their state between each other is not what we’re discussing here. We are discussing the law. And at that moment they effectively marry those people.

A common law marriage is just an after-the-fact recognition that a couple is married, even though they never took the formal steps. It’s an admission by the government that marriage exists even in cases where the government didn’t perform or license it.

I don’t know whether you’re joking and giggling on the other end of the internet as you throw out one obtuse argument after or another… or if you’re just vastly confused as to the topic.
….
Freedom of religion causes all sorts of problems… but again… it’s worth it. You have to show me that gay marriage is more damaging then hate speech, religious strife, the annual gun homicide rate. Inconveniencing a church here or there isn’t enough.

Karmashock on May 30, 2009 at 5:25 AM

You insist that marriage is only a contract, even when given reasons why it isn’t. When I point out that government intervention is required to give us gay marriage, and not required to NOT give us gay marriage, you refuse to acknowledge the obvious. You accuse the people opposing the redefinition of marriage to be the ones trying to redefine marriage.

And this is at least the third time you’ve called me obtuse, not to mention confused, arguing in bad faith, and throwing out cheap arguments.

All of which applies more to you than to me. Your central argument, that marriage is a contract, fails. Your accusation that gay marriage opponents are changing the definition of marriage is counter-factual. When I point that out, you accuse me of obtuseness and cheap arguments and bad faith.

You lose the argument with these cheap tactics, and I’m done discussing it with you.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on May 30, 2009 at 1:09 PM

Legally-recognized civil unions for everyone

Anybody who wants to have their relationship legally recognized (whether they’re straight or gay) gets a civil union. Then if they choose to go the extra step and have it recognized in a church (a marriage), they seek out a church that will perform the marriage for them.

The cost is minimal. Instead of people going to the courthouse to get a “marriage license”, we re-brand it and call it a “civil union license”. The benefit is we’re treating everyone equally, whether they’re straight or gay.

Why bother with all that? How would that be enforced…or maybe I should say forced, because thats what it would amount to. It seems like a solution in search of a problem.

I don’t quite understand the nature of the other questions you are posing, and in regards to your comment “You’ve claimed that you’re against inhibiting freedoms unless someone can show a high level of harm that is being done to them unless that freedom is inhibited.”, that quote is not mine – you have me confused with someone else you must of have been talking with. However, I’ll tackled the last question you posed: There is no harm in leaving religion-based marriage alone as long as we allow gays to have the same rights afforded by legally-recognized civil unions.

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

The quote was not meant to be an exact quote, but more of a paraphrasing…see the types of problems that could be latched upon by someone, and legally hammered away on until everyone jumps thru those hoops..and then someone finds a bone to pick about some other interpretation ad infinitum?

Again…why bother with all that? Cost/benefit.

There is no harm in leaving religion-based marriage alone as long as we allow gays to have the same rights afforded by legally-recognized civil unions.

What rights would be denied with civil unions?

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 2:55 PM

I have to say, you’re a hard person to pin down as to what your opinions really are. I already get that you’re opposed to gay marriage. Are you for or against civil unions? It’s interesting that you put a lot of stock in the concept of “cost/benefit”. Proposition 8 in California was put forth by the anti gay marriage folks to change the California Constitution to add a new section (7.5) to Article I, which reads: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. This took effort and cost money (about $40M per the link I provided you) to enact. What was the perceived benefit of doing this?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM

I have to say, you’re a hard person to pin down as to what your opinions really are. I already get that you’re opposed to gay marriage. Are you for or against civil unions? It’s interesting that you put a lot of stock in the concept of “cost/benefit”. Proposition 8 in California was put forth by the anti gay marriage folks to change the California Constitution to add a new section (7.5) to Article I, which reads: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. This took effort and cost money (about $40M per the link I provided you) to enact. What was the perceived benefit of doing this?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 3:31 PM

I’m for civil unions. I don’t really know anyone who is against gay marriage who is against civil unions, though the militant factions of the gay “rights” movement seem to get a lot of bang for the buck by smearing with stereotypes..kind of ironic if you think about it.

I think that Prop 8 and its monetary cost would be pretty much of a moot point if the valid Cali. civil unions would have been enough for the gay movement. Costs were incurred because the need for legal resistance was forced on people who believe in traditional marriage. That being said, my comment on taking into account a cost/benefit factor was more to do the social effects and unintended consequences more than the monetary cost. Why bother when the claimed grievances can easily be addressed by working toward civil unions.

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Kmiec is spot-on. Marriage definitely needs to move on from government control…and it should take abortion with it.

n0doz on May 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

n0doz on May 30, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Do you mean fed gov..state gov..county gov..local gov.?

How do you take “government” of of these things?

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 3:52 PM

California has never had civil unions; only “domestic partnerships”. Initially, domestic partnerships enjoyed very few privileges—principally just hospital-visitation rights. The gay rights movement has had to fight to get anything near full and equal rights – they still don’t have this, hence their continued fight.

You refined your “cost/benefit” argument to say it has “more to do the social effects and unintended consequences more than the monetary cost”. What are these social effects and unintended consequences that you are so afraid of?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 4:16 PM

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 4:16 PM

I guess I have the terminology wrong.
Whats the difference between the rights of domestic partners and married people. Could they be addressed by civil law contracts?

I ‘m not afraid of them, regardless of how beneficial you may find the negative stereotyping.
The negative effects on society might be similar to what you see in these kind of threads..division, negative stereotyping on a personal level..on a social level, the waste of time and money indoctrinating children in schools instead of teaching valuable courses . Having that type of social engineering work against the values of an individual family creating possible rifts in that family..possible forced marriages ceremonies in religions that traditionally refuse…(somehow the concern of separation of church and state wouldn’t matter in that) …..and the legal, social costs of people who believe in traditional marriage having organize and pay for its defense. To name a few.

Again…why bother?

You never stated your views on civil unions..or domestic partnerships, or whatever you want to call them..a rose by any other name..
If a legal arrangement..cv’s or dp’s would grant the same protections as marriage, would that be cased closed…move on to the gay activists as far as you’re concerned?

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Repeatedly saying marriage is a contract does not constitute proof that it is one. I said pretty clearly a couple of obvious differences between marriage and a contract.

Nor does the converse. Legally marriage is a contract and has been for thousands of years. This isn’t new… it’s stone old. As to the differences, you’ve only found one. And that difference isn’t relevant as it relied upon there being no mutualism in a marriage. As there is, it’s irrelevant.

Don’t call me obtuse and accuse me of bad faith when I make an obvious point and you pretend it’s a cheap argument.

I can’t force you to take this seriously. I can only ask. I’ve done that. If you’re refusing to be rational on the point then that’s your prerogative.

So if contract law doesn’t in fact cover marriage, then we just need to change contract law to cover it? Because marriage has always been just a contract?

So you’re going to punish me for admitting faults in my argument instead of shamelessly ignoring them like you’ve been doing? Do you want me to get into slimy lawyer mode and be as obtuse as you’re being?

You wouldn’t like it. Look, we both know what you’re doing. The problem here is that you seem to not realize that we do BOTH know exactly what you’re doing. Nothing you’re doing here is half as sneaky as you think it is… Just take it seriously or I can’t take you seriously.

Marriage is not a sale, so there is that same difficulty applying contract law to it.

Sure it is, man sells parts of himself for parts of woman. Aspects not coverable in contract are omitted and always have been. You skipped over the bit were marriages were invalid if the woman wasn’t a virgin or money had to be paid to the man to make the marriage happen.

I’m addressing all of your points but you seem to consistently skip over the fatal parts of my argument and then delve directly into the most obscure and pointless portions for no other reason then to cloud the issue.

So the government tries to force something, the people reject it, and amend the constitution to stop any further efforts, but it’s the gay marriage opponents who are the activists?

No, gay activists petition the government to get the laws changed. They succeed. Anti gay activists petition the government to get the laws changed back. They succeed.

Both sides changed the law.

That’s a fact. The law was changed one way and then changed the other. Two changes. Fact.

Deal with it.

Again. The government tries to force the redefinition of marriage, the people reject it, and amend the constitution to stop any further efforts, but it’s the gay marriage opponents who are the activists?

It’s not a question of who the activists are… BOTH sides are activists… but that’s not relevant. What’s relevant is that both sides changed the law. As to government forcing a definition of marriage, you’ve given them that power.

What you really don’t get is that you’ve given government the power to destroy your position. You seem to think that they can’t change the definition of marriage again. They can make it mean anything for as long as you let them define it at all. We’re trying to give a way out that will let you win. But you’d rather lose. So fine. Enjoy defeat… we’ll remember never to let you help us with strategic planning as you’re apparently terrible at it.

And I’m the one being obtuse?

Yes, you’re clearly and demonstrably the one being obtuse. There is absolutely no ambiguity on this point.

No, they didn’t change the definition. They weren’t that honest. They tried to declare that the Constitution of California meant something different that it had never meant before, and the people put a stop to it.

And because the people did that through a legal means of referendum which took a certain amount of time, you want to claim that they changed the definition of marriage back.

Not buying it for a second.

I don’t care what you’ll buy as you’re going out of your way to be silly.

Here are the facts for you because it’s pointless to try and talk about the other issues with you.

1. They’re going to try again.
2. They’re going to succeed eventually.
3. When that happens you’ll have no bargaining position and you’ll be screwed.
4. An alternative strategy has been proposed that can only be enacted when you have the upper hand to ensure long term survival.
5. Tick Tock.

Those are the facts. Your moral high horse is irrelevant. No one cares. You’d just as soon argue with a forest fire.

So marriage only means what the government says it means? And the government has the right to redefine the meaning of marriage at will?

Yes it does. THAT IS WHY I WANT TO TAKE IT AWAY!

Your inner statist is showing.

No no no no no no no no no no no. I’m trying to take this right away from them! Don’t you get it? They have this power RIGHT NOW. I didn’t give it to them. They had it before I was born. I want to take it away.

If I were a statist I’d be comfortable with them having it. I’m not. Your denial of that right is irrelevant. It means literally nothing. Like denying that the meter maid has a right to give you a ticket. Meaningless. She just gave you a ticket. You have a ticket. Pay the ticket or you’ll get a fines etc.

“”… have fun with the courts then.

Hey, here’s a better idea! Let’s just declare that a homosexual man is now defined as a woman, and therefore can marry another man. Problem solved!

Exactly… you don’t think they could do that? They’re already defining transexual people as whatever their “assigned” gender is… you’ve legal “men” giving birth to children.

Welcome to the 21st century.

This is happening RIGHT NOW.

Marriage predates government. It was not created by the government.

Irrelevant. The word “is” predates the webster dictonary. Yet Webster still defines what the word “is” means. Furthermore, marriage only predates “this” government. Humans naturally create simple governments in groups. So it’s likely that some kind of government predates human speech.

That’s some anthropology for you… if you start talking about the world only being 6000 years old I’m just going to put my head in my hands and cry for you.

You’ve invested the government with more power then you comprehend and it will exploit that power until you take it away or balance it. As it’s practically impossible to add additional balances of power as no branch of government is apt to give up power… all you can do is take a specific power away entirely.

Does government recognition of Mexico constitute the ability to define Mexico as we please?

Are you joking?… of course. Why do you think the mexicans reinterpret our court judgments on a case by case basis? Why do you think the borders of countries all over the world are in depute? It’s because there is a difference between what one country says and how other countries treat it. So a given country could claim territory and another country could say “actually you don’t extend that far, I’ve defined you as stopping 20 miles back”… Or consider weird concepts like the chinese economic zone (I think that’s the term)… it’s quasi chinese waters but not actually as it extends hundreds of miles from their coast. They claim all sorts of special rights in that zone. And other countries can choose to recognize those rights or deal with chinese displeasure.

Etc.

Countries redefine each other all the time. What we have now is the product of negotiation and intimidation.

There’s no restriction against a homosexual man marrying a woman, but since he’s not interested in that, we’ll redefine marriage to also apply to two men.

You’re playing word games. If we’re talking about a gay couple we’re not talking about a gay man and lesbian woman that want to marry each other. Thus gay marriage presupposes homosexual marriage.

I mean that’s what gay means. HOMOsexual. Man man… woman woman…. if there were more sexes then that then you’d have those in pairs as well.

This is what I mean by being obtuse… You know what homosexual means. Yet you get selectively stupid on the issue every time it’s convenient to your argument.

Yes, a guy that likes guys can marry a gal that likes gals and you have no problem with that. However, these people want to live with their sex of choice in families.

That is their goal. They’re going to win eventually unless something big changes. Just FYI… being obtuse and shouting is a stalling tactic. It won’t hold through the generations.

I’m trying to give you a solution that will survive to protect marriage for your grand children. Your system is unlikely to survive so much as the Obama administration.

Force is the whole point: to be able to require that others treat a homosexual married couple the same as married couples. Anti-discrimination lawsuits is only one scenario.

I asked for a scenario. Give me an example of an anti discrimination lawsuit… besides adoption. Because if that’s all you’ve got then we should just talk about adoption and ignore everything else about gay marriage.

1) straw man. You’re the one claiming it’s all about bein married “in the eyes of God.” Not me.

Well, you’re working on an internal definition of what it means indifferent to anything else. So call that whatever you want. But the distinction from where I’m sitting between what you’re calling it and “the eyes of god” remark are too similar to bother distinqishing.

2) some internal definition of what marriage means? A majority of voters in California, one of our most liberal states, rejected defining marriage as other than a man and a woman. It’s obviously not just my internal definition.

You really think that that’s going to hold? Don’t you get it? It’s going to shift again. Lets say the voters were against you that time as they will be at some point in the future. What then? What’s your master plan for that?

You’re so short sighted it’s pathetic. You won ONE battle. You did NOT win the war. An unsecuried victory is no victory at all. Look throughout history at what happens when armies win battles but then don’t secure the land? They lose eventually… every single time.

I’m trying to help you out here… I really am. But like some barbarian war lord you’re going to sit in the middle of the field and just assume that you’re master of the land forever because you defeated your foes in open combat. It isn’t over.

You need to go to the cities and transform the bureaucracy.

In such a case, that man has 15 marriages, each with one wife. This is not a single marriage with 15 wives.

Whatever, I assume you think the latter 14 are invalid because you can only be married to one person? Using cultural references from over the world was a mistake. I can dig up all sorts of weird mariages that you wouldn’t accept but have been the law of the land for time out of mind.

If such a man were to move to this country, he would have to divorce all but one of the women. That would require 14 divorces, not one.

Why? He married women and it’s culturally consistent with his homeland.

What gives you the right to impose your definition of marriage on him? Unless the government has defined that definition? Because if the government has defined the definition of marriage then you can stop him from having multiple wives. Either/or…

Even your extreme example doesn’t back you up at all.

It obliterates your point… there isn’t even greasy residue left.

You lose the argument with these cheap tactics, and I’m done discussing it with you.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on May 30, 2009 at 1:09 PM

No sir, you lose by default. First because you’re effectively forfieting. Second because you lost pretty much every single point in the discussion. Now since I didn’t join this discussion to win… unlike you apparently… My objective has always been to propose an alternative strategy. The really sad thing is that I just came to try and help and you treated me like the enemy. That’s the sort of psychology I expect from abused animals… not rational human beings.

What you fail to recognize is that your victories are transitory. They will not hold. I have given you solutions that will last for generations but you’d rather stick with plans that won’t last a decade.

Right now, the gay groups are about as weak as they’re going to get. Every year that passes from here is going to see them get stronger and stronger and stronger. You in that same time will get weaker and weaker and weaker. If you don’t do something to make it impossible for them to advance, then you’ll just lose.

I’ve tried to explain that to you and you’ve responded by playing word games and discouraging the very attempt to communicate with you.

So be it.

Karmashock on May 30, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Whats the difference between the rights of domestic partners and married people. Could they be addressed by civil law contracts?

Sure, you could use civil law contracts. My point is, why bother? If you’re going to afford the same exact rights and privileges to gay couples, why not use the same existing process that’s used for straight couples? I think you put it right near the end of your post – “a rose by any other name….”. What’s the point of approaching this from a Jim Crow “separate but equal” perspective?

As far as the negative effects you perceive:

“Indoctrinating children in schools instead of teaching valuable courses”.

I have two school-age kids and I haven’t heard of any classes that have discussed heterosexual marriage/behavior, so why would I think a school would all of the sudden begin having classes on homosexual marriage/behavior?

“Having that type of social engineering work against the values of an individual family creating possible rifts in that family”.

Again, gay marriage/civil unions is not likely to spawn “Homosexuality 101″ classes at your kid’s school. Homosexuality is not a “nurture” thing; it’s “nature”.

“Possible forced marriages ceremonies in religions that traditionally refuse”

I don’t even know where this is coming from. I think we have truly crossed over into “Chicken Little – the sky is falling” territory here.

“the legal, social costs of people who believe in traditional marriage having organize and pay for its defense.”

Nobody’s forcing these people to spend the time/money/effort to defend traditional marriage. If gays were given the ability to marry or given civil unions which they found acceptable, then the case would be closed.

As far as your last question:

“If a legal arrangement..cv’s or dp’s would grant the same protections as marriage, would that be cased closed…move on to the gay activists as far as you’re concerned?”

Again, if you are essentially going to give gay couples all of the rights and benefits of marriage, how does it make you feel better just because it’s called something else?!? As far as gay couples, they don’t want to be treated as second-class citizens.

Here’s a neat test for you to try that will illustrate my point: Go talk to some black people and ask them why they couldn’t have been happy with the “colored-only” water fountains and rest rooms, and why they had a problem with having to sit in the back of the bus. I mean gee, we were giving them the same amenities as white folks, right?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 5:32 PM

“If a legal arrangement..cv’s or dp’s would grant the same protections as marriage, would that be cased closed…move on to the gay activists as far as you’re concerned?”

Again, if you are essentially going to give gay couples all of the rights and benefits of marriage, how does it make you feel better just because it’s called something else?!? As far as gay couples, they don’t want to be treated as second-class citizens.

I missed the answer to my question, what was it again?

How are gays treated as second class citizens?…you mean just the ones who desire to be married?

Your analogy is absurd imo. Theres “gay only” water fountains? Gays have sit at the back of the bus?? Come on. There is no such discrimination happening with gays.

I know that was a short answer, but I’m leaving soon.

Itchee Dryback on May 30, 2009 at 5:46 PM

“If a legal arrangement..cv’s or dp’s would grant the same protections as marriage, would that be cased closed…move on to the gay activists as far as you’re concerned?”

I’m not a lawyer nor am I a gay activist, so I can’t answer that. One of the ongoing problems here is that I keep getting put into the “pro gay marriage” camp, and then I need to remind you that I don’t care.

How are gays treated as second class citizens?…you mean just the ones who desire to be married?

Gays are not allowed to have their relationships legally recognized, so they are being treated as second-class citizens in that respect.

Your analogy is absurd imo. Theres “gay only” water fountains? Gays have sit at the back of the bus?? Come on. There is no such discrimination happening with gays.

It wasn’t intended to be a literal analogy and I would have thought you would have been smart enough to figure that out yourself. The point was that as much as you might like to think you are providing people with the same accommodations, in their eyes you’re still treating them as second-class citizens.

You (and folks like “Whatcat”) are really good at dodging questions by continually asking people to answer yours. One simple question that shouldn’t be too hard for you answer:

If you are essentially going to give gay couples all of the rights and benefits of marriage, how does it make you feel better just because it’s called something else?!?

Dagnar on May 30, 2009 at 7:32 PM

I like it. I personally think the State could save billions of dollars, too, by taking this route. If we’re down to contract law, then marriage would be accompanied by pre-nuptual agreements, which would make divorce so much less time-consuming.

AnninCA on May 31, 2009 at 10:35 AM

You never stated your views on civil unions..or domestic partnerships, or whatever you want to call them..a rose by any other name..
If a legal arrangement..cv’s or dp’s would grant….

I think you’re being intentionally evasive.

In your response to my question, you left out that the context was in fact a question….to you. I was asking your position and view on hypothetical scenerio of the existence of cu’s or dp’s providing the same protections as marriage, not your opinion about specifics of written law…its not written law, so there can be no legal opinion and you don’t have to be a lawyer. It was a question of your stance. It was also obvious that it was a question seeking to clarify your position. Why the confusion? What in my wording of the question led you to interpret it otherwise?

Sure, you could use civil law contracts. My point is, why bother? If you’re going to afford the same exact rights and privileges to gay couples, why not use the same existing process that’s used for straight couples? I think you put it right near the end of your post – “a rose by any other name….”. What’s the point of approaching this from a Jim Crow “separate but equal” perspective?

As far as the negative effects you perceive:

Why bother? Its less “bother” because it would be easier to get into legislation and passed, imo. If there were legislation up that stated “Look..this issue is not going away. You can go with this bill, that provides the same protects as marriage…whichis the point of it all, isn’t it?…or we have this bill, which would cancel all marriages and transform them into cu’s and then all you married folks can get into that line and have a religious ceremony done and call it what you like”

Which is less bother…in YOUR opinion, not an nonexistant lawyers legal opinion on something that doesn’t exist?

To complicate things even more…what would be solved…You still wouldn’t be “married”? Why the hangup on the word…if its just a word?

I have two school-age kids and I haven’t heard of any classes that have discussed heterosexual marriage/behavior, so why would I think a school would all of the sudden begin having classes on homosexual marriage/behavior?

Are you being intentionally vague?..simply because you don’t see anything like that, that doesn’t mean its not being introduced into the curriculum even though there is no reason for it to be part of a childs education. If, in fact, gay marriage became the law of the land, then there would be a basis for it to part of the learning process because the fundamental social fabric would be changed……….why bother with all that?

Again, gay marriage/civil unions is not likely to spawn “Homosexuality 101″ classes at your kid’s school. Homosexuality is not a “nurture” thing; it’s “nature”.

That is an incredibly naive belief imo….but not as naive as this one:
“Possible forced marriages ceremonies in religions that traditionally refuse”

I don’t even know where this is coming from. I think we have truly crossed over into “Chicken Little – the sky is falling” territory here.

Nobody’s forcing these people to spend the time/money/effort to defend traditional marriage. If gays were given the ability to marry or given civil unions which they found acceptable, then the case would be closed.

You don’t see anything wrong with that logic???

You know if the gays would just sit down and STFU, none of this would be a problem.

Itchee Dryback on May 31, 2009 at 10:53 AM

by taking this route. If we’re down to contract law, then marriage would be accompanied by pre-nuptual agreements, which would make divorce so much less time-consuming.

AnninCA on May 31, 2009 at 10:35 AM

….and the entire country should bother with all that,why?

Itchee Dryback on May 31, 2009 at 10:54 AM

It wasn’t intended to be a literal analogy and I would have thought you would have been smart enough to figure that out yourself. The point was that as much as you might like to think you are providing people with the same accommodations, in their eyes you’re still treating them as second-class citizens.

The bolded part reinforces the position I stated in eariler posts….the “discrimination” exists in their head…are those feeling understandable considering some of the history?…yes. Should legal decisions be based on “empathy”, or “feelings”..not in my opinion. If psychological help is needed in order to deal with the insecurities and guilt that some gays have, then some help with getting those into therapy may have a place in the scheme of the greater good, and I’m sure many would support those efforts.

Itchee Dryback on May 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Itchee Dryback on May 31, 2009 at 11:05 AM

You know, I was going to take the time to respond to all of the meandering points you put in your two responses back to me, but then I decided it wasn’t worth it. I think this comment from you clearly sums up your position:

You know if the gays would just sit down and STFU, none of this would be a problem.

You’re obviously homophobic and no amount of reasoning and debating with you is going to change that.

You keep asking me how I feel about civil unions and DP’s and my point is and continues to be, I don’t care enough about the issue to have an opinion one way or the other. You, on the other hand, obviously do. And you still can’t answer this basic question:

If you are essentially going to give gay couples all of the rights and benefits of marriage, how does calling it something else than “marriage” (CU or DP) make you feel better? Isn’t that kind of a Pyrrhic victory?!?

Dagnar on May 31, 2009 at 12:28 PM

You know if the gays would just sit down and STFU, none of this would be a problem.

You’re obviously homophobic and no amount of reasoning and debating with you is going to change that.

Sorry pal..there is no way you’re that stupid and still have the ability to type.

You’re a troll.

You keep asking me how I feel about civil unions and DP’s and my point is and continues to be, I don’t care enough about the issue to have an opinion one way or the other. You, on the other hand, obviously do. And you still can’t answer this basic question:

If you are essentially going to give gay couples all of the rights and benefits of marriage, how does calling it something else than “marriage” (CU or DP) make you feel better? Isn’t that kind of a Pyrrhic victory?!?

Dagnar on May 31, 2009 at 12:28 PM

…you “don’t care” about the issue?

Bullshiit. You’re either a troll for entertainment purposes..a brainwashed dishonest ideologue, or some other type of apparatchik … but what you are not, is someone wishing to be involved in an honest dialog. You’ve showed this time and again with your “I don’t comprehend what you’re getting at” shtick.
Let me guess…when you’re shown to be a disingenuous phony, you get more transparent to make the logic and argument more lame and when anyone with a brain chooses to stop playing your troll games and blows you off…you claim some lame victory. I’ve had online “discussions” with many like you. You remind me of a Troofer.

Thanks… no thanks.

Itchee Dryback on May 31, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Amen brother. Time to shut the trouble makers up while your at it and take our country back.

johnnyU on May 31, 2009 at 6:07 PM

This is really the only good exit from the dilemma of legal marriage.

AbaddonsReign on May 31, 2009 at 8:16 PM

Itchee Dryback on May 31, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Wow, are you ever an incredibly angry person. Did I strike a nerve with the homophobe comment?

I’m not trying to “win” a debate with you nor am I trying to belittle your point of view. I just don’t understand the logic behind your reasoning because I don’t think it exists. I could understand the guy who says he doesn’t like gays and doesn’t think they should be given any “relationship” rights because he doesn’t think it’s a valid lifestyle. While I wouldn’t agree with this point of view, I’d at least respect that guy’s opinion and his right to hold it. What I don’t understand is someone who is apparently willing to give gays all of the rights of a marriage, but insists that it not be called “marriage”. I don’t understand the logic in that at all and (to use one of your favorite terms) what the benefit would be in doing this.

As far as your childish name-calling, I’ve been commenting on HA for quite some time now and I’m not a “troll”. I’m a red-meat eating Republican (albeit, a Libertarian). My point in commenting on this article at all was that I’m tired of watching my party get hijacked by social conservatives who want to fight to “close the barn door on a cow that’s long since bolted” when we should be getting back to our roots as the party of small government and fiscal responsibility.

Dagnar on June 1, 2009 at 1:18 AM

“The net effect of that, would be to turn over–quite appropriately, it seems to me, the concept of marriage to churches and a church understanding,” he said.

What this doofus doesn’t understand is that the homosexual marriage proponents want churches FORCED to marry, in other words, forced to condone the behavior.

TTheoLogan on June 1, 2009 at 1:59 AM

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