Rand Paul: Let’s get marriage out of the tax code

posted at 1:21 pm on March 13, 2013 by Allahpundit

This isn’t news because it’s novel for a Paul to be saying such things — his dad once called for getting the government out of marriage on a GOP presidential primary debate stage — but because of Paul’s growing prominence in the GOP. If he could rally a hawkish party to oppose the president’s power to use drones against terrorists in certain circumstances, can he rally a socially conservative party to find an accommodation on gay marriage?

Paul says foreign policy is an instrumental way to expand the GOP, but it’s not the only way. Social issues are another area where he thinks Republicans can make a better argument to independents and centrists without departing from their principles. Gay marriage, for instance, is one issue on which Paul would like to shake up the Republican position. “I’m an old-fashioned traditionalist. I believe in the historic and religious definition of marriage,” he says. “That being said, I’m not for eliminating contracts between adults. I think there are ways to make the tax code more neutral, so it doesn’t mention marriage. Then we don’t have to redefine what marriage is; we just don’t have marriage in the tax code.”

I assume that’s part of a broader ambition to make marriage a wholly private function, which is vintage Paul insofar as it’s a clever attempt to sell libertarian wine in conservative bottles. He does the same thing vis-a-vis foreign aid to Israel: Cutting aid will actually lead to more robust Israeli self-defense because Israel will no longer feel obliged to seek American approval when responding to Hamas. I’ve seen other libertarians and paleocons argue for cutting aid to Tel Aviv and, needless to say, the idea that it might make Israel more aggressive towards its enemies was … not a key factor in their reasoning, to put it mildly. Likewise here, most libertarians support making marriage a matter of private contract not because they feel angst about “redefining marriage” — the ones I know are all perfectly fine with, if not enthusiastic about, states legalizing SSM — but because it’s a move towards smaller government, especially on moral issues. Paul, however, is pitching this as a sort of escape hatch for social conservatives who don’t want to see blue states or the Supreme Court lend the imprimatur of American government to gays marrying. He supports traditional marriage; he doesn’t want to see marriage redefined. So … why not eliminate state sanction from marriage entirely? Indeed, why not, says Jen Rubin:

If we were starting a system from scratch, I suspect that would be an easier sell. But getting the federal government out of the marriage business, deferring to the states and allowing individuals to, as he says, enter into contracts with one another, can be the way out of the gay marriage thicket for the GOP, I would argue.

The Supreme Court, depending on its ruling in the same-sex marriage cases, may assist this process by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the biggest aggrandizement of federal power on marriage in my lifetime (maybe ever).

Conservatives understand that there is a realm of conduct left to churches, synagogues, families, localities and individuals. The essence of Burkean conservatism is a healthy regard for and respect for those realms and for the customs, habits and beliefs that flow from those free associations. Whatever the methodology, conservatives at the national level need to extract themselves from a losing battle that should not be within the purview of the federal government.

That bit at the end is another reason this is newsworthy: The timing is propitious. Ten years ago, social cons laughed at libertarians for suggesting that marriage go completely private. Ten years later, with several states having legalized gay marriage, poll trends among young voters promising more legalization, and the Supreme Court poised to extend marriage rights to gays as a matter of equal protection, maybe they’ll consider it the lesser of two evils. See, e.g., Frank Fleming’s piece at PJM arguing that marriage is, after all, a religious custom and the state has no business trying to reconfigure religious customs. Better to leave marriage entirely within the private realm so that churches can protect their traditions. The timing’s propitious too in that the GOP’s desperate for ways to build goodwill with younger voters and Paul’s ploy is one likely way of doing it. It’s similar to what Mitch Daniels said about pot a few months ago: The GOP doesn’t need to endorse legalization, all it needs to do is let the power to decide devolve to a more local level of government. In the case of marijuana, Daniels pushed federalism as a solution. In the case of marriage, Paul’s pushing private contract, i.e. self-government at the individual level, as the answer. In both cases, the GOP gets to punt on a hot-button issue in a way that, maybe hopefully, won’t alienate social conservatives. They’re not backing weed and SSM; they’re merely striking a blow for limited government by letting people decide for themselves.

All that said, and as someone who supports legalizing gay marriage, I’ve never understood why social cons would go for this. At the core of the anti-SSM argument, as I understand it, is the belief that man/woman marriage is qualitatively different from gay unions; barring gays from marrying under state law is a way to recognize that difference. It’s not that state sanction operates as some sort of “benediction” for straights, it’s that it a mechanism of differentiation with all other types of unions. If you move to Paul’s paradigm where everything’s a matter of contract, there’s no longer any such mechanism. Every couple with a private agreement is effectively equal; the state will enforce an agreement between gays just as it will an agreement between straights. How does that satisfy the social-con objection to SSM? Likewise, some conservatives support state sanction of marriage because they believe the state has a role in promoting marriage as a social good and domesticating force. I’ve always thought that was a good argument for gay marriage too, but we needn’t argue about that; the point is, if the state gets out the marriage business it’s no longer officially promoting anything. And finally, if you’re worried about gay marriage for fear that it’s another step down the cultural slippery slope towards polygamy, why on earth would you favor a paradigm of private contract? A multi-party contract would place polygamous groups on the same legal footing as couples. If polygamy’s your chief concern, you’re probably much better off sticking with state-sanctioned marriage and taking your chances with the Supreme Court. Exit question: What am I missing here? Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?


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I’m not terribly liberal at all. And you are not very clear, no.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:40 PM

You know precisely what irritated me, you’re just pretending to be stupid and not know. Only the resident trolls would ACTUALLY be that stupid.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Marriage is not about love. Never has been, never will be.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Get bent, Mr.Perpetual Grimdark.

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:35 PM

If marriage was about love, then it would not be what it is. People who are in love do not need contracts, the government or even God’s blessing to live with one another.
Marriage is about the children that two heterosexuals living together create which require many years of nurturing and effort to raise and even more to make into mature responsible adult citizens.

WHile you are attacking the other person for being too liberal to figure it out. Turning marriage into something other than about the children is the GOAL of the progressives and Marxists such that they destroy the family and have more power due to it.

astonerii on March 13, 2013 at 9:42 PM

MelonCollie on March 13, 2013 at 9:41 PM

I said marriage is not about love. It isn’t, that is not its purpose. What is your problem?

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:43 PM

You are conflating the “get it out of the Tax Code” assertion with an overarching paradigm.

The Federal Tax Code is currently an attempted manipulation actions and potentially rewarding for certain actors. That goes well beyond any Marriage debate. However, since this debate is happening nationally, to diffuse it in a federalist paradigm, this is the best course for present, and futures issues. If it were to be successful, there is a potential for a cascade effect for other coded rewards; the result of which would be a clean(er) Federal Tax Code.

To your dismay, if successful, the “debate” would become more acrimonious and wide-ranging as States and the Peoples stake their claims. There will also be many other consequences of “marriage out of government” such as the points to which connect individuals to each level of governance would need to be sorted out for labels and/or recognition (think databases, benefits, claims in equity).

I consider myself Libertarian-Conservative, in terms of your exit questions I would be a social con-lite. I see value in it, but I don’t wish it to be in a manner of overlord. I see marriage as 1-man/1-woman (born as such). I do not recognize sex changes/hormones as changing a person’s sex-as-born. I would like less government overlording the further the object(s) is from that level. I reject the current Tax Code paradigm in which 100% may be extracted, but reduced if done what the aristocrats want.

I would welcome all levels of government to have no involvement with marriage. Repeal all Laws attempting to regulate entering, being, and ending marriage. Currently it is just something socially “to do”. Return personal responsibility. Bonus – Lawyers and Judges hardest hit.

John Kettlewell on March 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Marriage is not about love. Never has been, never will be.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:33 PM

Interesting. What is it about, in your opinion?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 9:45 PM

. Return personal responsibility. Bonus – Lawyers and Judges hardest hit.

John Kettlewell on March 13, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Without the force of law, how do you enforce this behavior?
Who gets what?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM

And I still fail to see where you state what “marriage” IS to you

“depending on what the definition of is is” – no a defense.

John Kettlewell on March 13, 2013 at 9:49 PM

how the heck is that going affect someone’s “traditional” marriage?

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I have never seen anyone make an argument that allowing gays to be granted state benefits, recognition, and affirmation for/of their marriage and lifestyle will “affect” his own “traditional” marriage. But I see supporters of involving the state in gay marriages (evidently marriage is not a covenant between two people, but between two people and the state) pretending that is the argument against which they are arguing? Why is that? Easier to argue against a make believe strawman than actually debate the different positions?

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Sociologically, marriage is and has always about determining who was responsible when a child was born. Somebody has to take care of that kid. Who is it? Clearly, the mom, that’s easy to tell, and that also gives the kid the mom’s whole family. Marriage is about making the guy who contributed to creating that child take care of it.

If you want to create a relationship where more than one guy or gal is responsible for that kid, I’m all for it, AS LONG AS the bio mom/dad is also still held responsible. That child has a right to that relationship that should not be able to be terminated by agreement of the parents. They sure didn’t consent to having no mom or dad. It’s about making sure someone is looking out for that kid. There should always be at least two, three or more are acceptable imo. This business of changing a birth certificate to show two men or two women as the “parents” is lunacy. This is why I don’t support using the same terms, because then you get into gender-neutral ridiculousness like denying that a child is created from a female human being and a male human being.

That said, the Constitution doesn’t require gay marriage and the equal protection argument is frankly bunk. If people want SSM then they will get SSM. That’s democracy.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 9:51 PM

That’s pretty absurd considering the fact that Natural Law is specifically referred to in the text of the Declaration. – TXJenny on March 13, 2013 at 9:32 PM

It is, but just what did they mean by Natural Law …………… The Rights of Man!!!

http://www.crf-usa.org/foundations-of-our-constitution/natural-rights.html#.UUEtD1t36A0

Natural Rights

The members of the Continental Congress made only two minor changes in the opening paragraphs of Jefferson’s draft declaration. In these two paragraphs, Jefferson developed some key ideas: “all men are created equal,” “inalienable rights,” “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Where did Jefferson get these ideas?

Jefferson was a man of the Enlightenment. This was the period during the 17th and 18th centuries when thinkers turned to reason and science to explain both the physical universe and human behavior. Those like Jefferson thought that by discovering the “laws of nature” humanity could be improved.

Jefferson did not invent the ideas that he used to justify the American Revolution. He himself said that he had adopted the “harmonizing sentiments of the day.” These ideas were, so to speak, “in the air” at the time.

As a man of the Enlightenment, Jefferson was well acquainted with British history and political philosophy. He also had read the statements of independence drafted by Virginia and other colonies as well as the writings of fellow revolutionaries like Tom Paine and George Mason. In composing the declaration, Jefferson followed the format of the English Declaration of Rights, written after the Glorious Revolution of 1689.

Most scholars today believe that Jefferson derived the most famous ideas in the Declaration of Independence from the writings of English philosopher John Locke. Locke wrote his Second Treatise of Government in 1689 at the time of England’s Glorious Revolution, which overthrew the rule of James II.

Locke wrote that all individuals are equal in the sense that they are born with certain “inalienable” natural rights. That is, rights that are God-given and can never be taken or even given away. Among these fundamental natural rights, Locke said, are “life, liberty, and property.”

Locke believed that the most basic human law of nature is the preservation of mankind. To serve that purpose, he reasoned, individuals have both a right and a duty to preserve their own lives. Murderers, however, forfeit their right to life since they act outside the law of reason.

Locke also argued that individuals should be free to make choices about how to conduct their own lives as long as they do not interfere with the liberty of others. Locke therefore believed liberty should be far-reaching.

By “property,” Locke meant more than land and goods that could be sold, given away, or even confiscated by the government under certain circumstances. Property also referred to ownership of one’s self, which included a right to personal well being. Jefferson, however, substituted the phrase, “pursuit of happiness,” which Locke and others had used to describe freedom of opportunity as well as the duty to help those in want.

The purpose of government, Locke wrote, is to secure and protect the God-given inalienable natural rights of the people. For their part, the people must obey the laws of their rulers. Thus, a sort of contract exists between the rulers and the ruled. But, Locke concluded, if a government persecutes its people with “a long train of abuses” over an extended period, the people have the right to resist that government, alter or abolish it, and create a new political system.

Jefferson adopted John Locke’s theory of natural rights to provide a reason for revolution. He then went on to offer proof that revolution was necessary in 1776 to end King George’s tyranny over the colonists.

SC.Charlie on March 13, 2013 at 9:54 PM

Without the force of law, how do you enforce this behavior?
Who gets what?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Probably whatever was the Legal Zoom default would be.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Hmmmmmmmmmmm………

Cylor on March 13, 2013 at 9:59 PM

And I still fail to see where you state what “marriage” IS to you

“depending on what the definition of is is” – no a defense.

John Kettlewell on March 13, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Don’t know if that was directed at me or not. I don’t think so, because marriage definition was not part of my question to you. It was about how marriage responsibilities would be enforced without the requirements of law, if the marriage were to fail.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Actually, I think the constitution will require gay marriage at about the time that technology has advanced sufficiently for lesbians to create biological daughters. My rationale will have become completely obsolete. We’re not there yet.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Probably whatever was the Legal Zoom default would be.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 9:56 PM

What would that be, I wonder?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 10:06 PM

This is stunning. Truly stunning. You make an appeal that the state should think about what marriage is in a democratic way (peer into society) and then in the same breath say that the system for determining a majority on this issue should have a different standard than every. other. one. And be at 75% The hypocrisy, the logical inconsistency is staggering.

libfreeordie on March 13, 2013 at 8:48 PM

The only thing stunning is your lack of comprehension. You apparently have a simpleton’s concept of what “majority” means – there are concepts such as a “simple majority” (more than 1/2 of votes cast) and “qualified majority” (2/3rds of votes cast) and I suggest you review them.

Govt. didn’t CREATE marriage, people did, and defined it (as a majority belief) as one man and one woman for the purpose of creating a family. Govt. was asked to determine outcomes of marital strife and thus had to first acknowledge/determine the relation it was addressing. Which was, gasp, one man and one woman. For thousands of years.

This went further with govt. looking on this dynamic and finding it “beneficial” for the stability of a society (i.e. children raised by two parents to be stable, successful citizens, because, naturally, it takes a male and female to create a child).

The idea is that govt. CODIFIES what already exists in society as a SOCIAL NORM by significant majority. It’s why my personal religion of Saltyron-ology which preaches non-payment of taxes above all else, is not recognized by the US govt. as a religion, cause I am the only practicing member of the Church.

This means that the vast majority of society holds that certain belief. 51/49 is not good enough to determine the validity of an enduring, perpetuating social institution in a country, because that number can shift too easily from one side to the other. Thus, say, in 2013 same sex marriage is OK, but WHOOPS, in 2014 the 51% is now against it! So we’d have to ban it again. Oops, now in 2015 it’s back to 51% in favor! And to and fro, and back again. I’m surprised I have to explain this – a social norm is not an political election between two candidates that is decided by one vote.

That’s why a “simple majority” of 51% is not enough to force a govt. recognition of that social belief for codification in law. That belief is NOT SOCIALLY SETTLED. None of this prevents a person or persons from holding that minority belief amongst each other, but it does not permit that belief to be widely, socially accepted to the point of social endorsement. Thus, two gays can consider themselves “married” and act accordingly, but society is under no obligation to recognize it on the grand scale. Not until qualified majority agrees, generally. I oppose same sex marriage, but if the qualified majority of society redefines it, I’m in the minority, ain’t I? And I’m OK with that. I’m not OK with a legislature or a judge making that decision for us, when it should be by voter referendum with a 75% threshold, state by state.

Thus, you have a “right to marriage”, but what is marriage? It has always been defined as meaning to the opposite sex. You want that to change, POOF, overnight, just because a small vocal minority wants that to happen. Not just so they can formally marry (because they can have that relation now without the govt. license), but because they are oh, so desperate for everyone else to hold that belief, too, and to get the $ benefits for themselves that are intended for a wholly different family relation.

That’s why a larger margin of proof, akin to the difference between preponderance of the evidence (51/49) and clear and convincing evidence (75%-80% certainty) is required before a govt. recognizes a significant social shift. This can be done on state levels (preferably state levels) and the more certain the majority, the more likely a federal recognition occurs.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM

I didn’t say it changed sexual privacy. It was decided on privacy rights.

And alchy.. I like ya I really do, but gays cannot procreate as married coupling in SSM mmkay, so that doesn’t even make sense.

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 8:56 PM

Scalia himself admits the procreation argument is dead. In his dissent in Lawrence he says that if moral disapproval of homosexual conduct is not a compelling state interest (and according to the court it is not) then you can’t trod out procreation as a reason to deny marriage rights to homosexuals because we allow sterile and infertile couples to marry. And there are plenty of ways for homosexuals to produce their own biological children. Their spouse might not be the other parent but that’s not anything really new.

The fundamental question in Lawrence was whether a majority of the population can enforce their moral beliefs using the criminal code and the court said no. Here it’s can a majority enforce their moral beliefs via the regulation of marriage licenses. I just don’t see how you can, especially if you can’t even pass the rational basis test.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM

I’d personally prefer to skip the whole “tyranny of the majority” thing and go with what’s in the Constitution regardless of how popular it is.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Here it’s can a majority enforce their moral beliefs via the regulation of marriage licenses.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM

I don’t think that you know what “enforce” means.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 10:29 PM

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM

Dissent is dicta and Scalia was engaging in argumentam ad absurdam. He will not rule that way, I assure you.

Roberts is your best bet. You can roll him like you rolled him on O-care. F-ing “Harvard elite means best candidate” BS. The next supreme court justice better have gone to a state school.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM

More power to Paul on this. Even as a conservative I’ve long harbored libertarian feelings on the issue of gay marriage. Why is the government involved in this one AT ALL? I say everyone gets a damned civil union license and let the individual CHURCHES deal with this one. Don’t like gay marriage? Be Roman Catholic. Fine with it? Be Episcopalian. It’s that simple guys. You take the teeth out of the whole gay rights issue in one fell swoop. Do you really feel that your “marriage” is threatened because two guys go to Las Vegas and get “married” by an ordained Elvis impersonator? If so, I suggest that you have issues.

eyesights on March 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM

I’d personally prefer to skip the whole “tyranny of the majority” thing and go with what’s in the Constitution regardless of how popular it is.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:23 PM

I agree, but the right to marriage is not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. It’s inferred as a fundamental right by court decisions, via the 14th Amendment. And the term “marriage” is also not defined in it. Thus, the details are SUPPOSED to be worked out amongst the people at the local/state level. See 9th and 10th Amendments.

The tyranny of the majority is where 51% outweighs the other 49%, and on issues such as this, we’re actually being subjected to a tyranny of a vocal minority.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:37 PM

Dissent is dicta and Scalia was engaging in argumentam ad absurdam. He will not rule that way, I assure you.

Roberts is your best bet. You can roll him like you rolled him on O-care. F-ing “Harvard elite means best candidate” BS. The next supreme court justice better have gone to a state school.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM

I have no doubt that you’re right on how Scalia will be voting.

And FYI, Scalia also went to Harvard. :-)

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM

I see no problem with allowing States to decide the definition of marriage. If the people want their States to acknowledge gay marriage in the law, I say let them.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Do you really feel that your “marriage” is threatened because two guys go to Las Vegas and get “married” by an ordained Elvis impersonator? If so, I suggest that you have issues.

eyesights on March 13, 2013 at 10:31 PM

That depends – are the two guys brothers? Or are we supposed to approve of that now, too?

Or is that form of discrimination still ok? I’m just trying to get a sense of the new rules handed down by our betters.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM

And FYI, Scalia also went to Harvard. :-)

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:40 PM

I never said I liked Scalia. I just said how he’d vote.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM

That depends – are the two guys brothers? Or are we supposed to approve of that now, too?

Or is that form of discrimination still ok? I’m just trying to get a sense of the new rules handed down by our betters.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Hmmm, the issue of whether your marriage is threatened “depends” on whether two men who want to marry are brothers? I’ve never heard of anyone’s marriage being affected by this.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I never said I liked Scalia. I just said how he’d vote.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 10:48 PM

Touche.

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 10:52 PM

Hmmm, the issue of whether your marriage is threatened “depends” on whether two men who want to marry are brothers? I’ve never heard of anyone’s marriage being affected by this.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM

I think thats called a strawman.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Any social conservatives want to make the case for why Paul’s right?

I’ll bite. And I’ve been saying this for years — the government has little business being involved in marriage. As a Christian, I married in the church because my vows were to my wife and our families before the eyes of God. If it was only the State that I was beholden to, there would be no commitment at all. Change how you feel this year … get a divorce.

Not so easy with “til death us do part”.

Give marriage over to the church, and let the heathen savages do what they will … they do anyway.

Jaibones on March 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Hmmm, the issue of whether your marriage is threatened “depends” on whether two men who want to marry are brothers? I’ve never heard of anyone’s marriage being affected by this.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Give it time – you will.

It makes a mockery of what a marriage is. Especially if they did it just to gain some $ benefit provided by marriage.

So, then, you’re OK with siblings marrying? Good. Got that settled.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM

I think thats called a strawman.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 10:53 PM

I’m not certain that Saltyron was making a strawman argument. I just don’t believe that it’s a very good one.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM

Give it time – you will.

It makes a mockery of what a marriage is. Especially if they did it just to gain some $ benefit provided by marriage.

So, then, you’re OK with siblings marrying? Good. Got that settled.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 10:56 PM

I’d respond, but first you have to show me where I said that I’m OK with siblings marrying.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:00 PM

I’m not certain that Saltyron was making a strawman argument. I just don’t believe that it’s a very good one.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM

I may have made a mistake in my response..I was responding to your post. Might have misunderstood you. I’m in and out of the thread.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:07 PM

The only reason the state should be involved in marriage is its need to act as an arbiter of the dissolution of the shared assets in the event of a divorce. That said, I wonder if divorces would be much more contentious with respect to this issue if there were no Courts to argue in.

In my opinion, the solution is simple, and its one that any fiscal or small government conservative should be able to get behind.

#1 The government gets totally out of “marriage”. It is a religious institution.

#2 State governments focus on the legal issues of personal partnerships. These would be structured as only for 2 individuals with seniority in claims to assets. This would mean that if you “married” someone without being “divorced” in the eyes of the state, the second partner would be, in essence, ineligible to any share of assets. (I am not against polygamy per se, assuming all parties are consenting adults, but most states would not allow it so this plan is meant to reflect that)

#3 All contracts between these two parties would include pre-nups in the event of th dissolution of the partnership. You could include huge fees or annoyance in the dissolution proceedings to simply keep people from partnering up with roommates for insurance purposes or whatever.

Social conservatives which are against this concept are fundamentally not small government conservatives. They want the government to impose their beliefs on others. They are welcome to agree to disagree with conservatives, or switch teams and try to find friends on the liberal side of the aisle. One of the core principles of conservatism, in my mind, is federalism and limited government. Those are the fundamentals of a party that has been around for well over 100 years.

oconp88 on March 13, 2013 at 11:08 PM

I may have made a mistake in my response..I was responding to your post. Might have misunderstood you. I’m in and out of the thread.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:07 PM

No biggie. Basically, eyesights asked Saltyron if he/she thought that his/her marriage was threatened by an Elvis impersonator marrying two men. Saltyron responded that it depends on whether the two men are brothers. I commented that I’ve never heard of someone’s marriage depending on whether two other men being brothers.

I’m sure Saltyron was trying to make a different point, but it doesn’t strike me as very well made.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:11 PM

I think that’s called a strawman.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 10:53 PM

No, it’s called a legal eventuality.

Example – “gay marriage” is not the same thing as “same-sex marriage”. One requires homosexuality as a prerequisite, the other doesn’t. Surely you can see the difference. Law is all about terminology, and trying to expand law to include other positions and viewpoints.

The more you redefine marriage, the more subjective it becomes. It no longer has an accepted, shared meaning – it only has the meaning a person puts on it.

If it really is a fundamental right, and I can marry whoever I want, and it’s not okay to prevent me from doing so, that doesn’t just apply to gender, that applies to all the old forbidden relations, such as incest, multiple spouses, marriage without sex/love but only for benefits/convenience, etc. Good luck trying to discriminate against them when you’ve spent 15 years arguing against discrimination.

Once it becomes more and more subjective, will monogamy even be a part of it? Co-habitation, etc.? If anyone can call themselves an engineer and be treated as such, then that degree in engineering (and all you went through to get it) ain’t as special anymore, is it?

And before you wail and arm-flail, my old liberal family law professor is the one that illustrated this to my family law class. Because he was legitimately concerned about this legal consequence because he knew it would act as a barrier to the legalization of same sex marriage, which he personally supported. Little did he know that gay rights supporters would just power through logic and force it into law anyway, to hell with the legal consequences. And in the years to come, we’ll all get to see the legal fruit these seeds bear.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:11 PM

The only reason the state should be involved in marriage is its need to act as an arbiter of the dissolution of the shared assets in the event of a divorce.

Then why is most family law about child support? The children matter much more than the “shared assets”.

alwaysfiredup on March 13, 2013 at 11:13 PM

I’d respond, but first you have to show me where I said that I’m OK with siblings marrying.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Oh, so you DO believe you can prevent them from marrying the person of their choice? Even if they are both consensual adults and there is no chance of pregnancy? You’re OK with that form of discrimination. And how do you justify that? Morality?

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:14 PM

They want the government to impose their beliefs on others.

oconp88 on March 13, 2013 at 11:08 PM

How so? How is operating under a social order and mechanism..an order that has existed long enough that people accept it as normal..imposing their beliefs on others? The same “others” that want THEM to adopt adopt THEIR system. Take into account that this is being attempted to by a single digit percentage of the population on the rest of the people. Your claim really doesn’t make much sense imo.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:19 PM

Oh, so you DO believe you can prevent them from marrying the person of their choice? Even if they are both consensual adults and there is no chance of pregnancy? You’re OK with that form of discrimination. And how do you justify that? Morality?

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:14 PM

What a fascinating hobby you have, making arguments on behalf of people you don’t even know based on beliefs you choose to attribute to them. How about you ask me what my opinion is on the matter instead of engaging in this kind of foolishness?

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:11 PM

There’s a misunderstanding going on. I was responding to NC. My fault.
I pretty much agree with your position.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:24 PM

No biggie. Basically, eyesights asked Saltyron if he/she thought that his/her marriage was threatened by an Elvis impersonator marrying two men. Saltyron responded that it depends on whether the two men are brothers. I commented that I’ve never heard of someone’s marriage depending on whether two other men being brothers.

I’m sure Saltyron was trying to make a different point, but it doesn’t strike me as very well made.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:11 PM

Again, the more you redefine marriage, the more subjective it becomes. It no longer has a general, accepted, shared meaning – it only has the meaning a person gives it.

If it really is a fundamental right, and I can marry whoever I want, and it’s not okay to prevent me from doing so, that doesn’t just apply to gender, that applies to all the old forbidden relations, such as incest, multiple spouses, marriage without sex/love but only for benefits/convenience, etc. Good luck trying to discriminate against those when you’ve spent 15 years arguing against discrimination.

Once it becomes more and more subjective, will monogamy even be a part of it? Co-habitation, etc.? The example I gave is that if anyone can call themselves an engineer and be treated as such, then that degree in engineering (and all you went through to get it) ain’t as special anymore, is it?

It isn’t the fact that marriage is expanded to gays alone that is the “threat” to “my” marriage – it’s the unfortunate legal reality that the expansion and re-definition will not stop there. It’s called the “institution of marriage” for a reason, it’s a social concept that exists, defined, outside of “my” wife’s and “my” head, one that we work toward based on common definition. But if we both have subjective definitions of what the other thinks a marriage is, the marriage falls apart. Welcome to the rising divorce rates. So let’s make that already bad situation worse by having society at large make it subjective, and if society has 1,000′s of subjective definitions, then the social institution itself falls apart. When you can redefine it based upon gender-relation, why not number of participants? Why not inter-family relation? Why not change expected behavior in marriage, like monogamy? Etc. etc.

There isn’t the solid barrier, legally, to prevent the continued re-definition. You may call it “progressive” evolution, but it’s really entropy. That’s the point.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:27 PM

Interesting argument. Can you cite any empirical data establishing that redefining marriage will inevitably destroy marriage as an institution? Also, what do you say about the fact that there is nothing in the law preventing individuals and couples from redefining marriage privately?

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM

What a fascinating hobby you have, making arguments on behalf of people you don’t even know based on beliefs you choose to attribute to them. How about you ask me what my opinion is on the matter instead of engaging in this kind of foolishness?

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:23 PM

I answered your question in the preceding posts. You may disagree with it, but I answered it. Why can’t you answer my simple question? Does Rand Paul have to filibuster to get a memo from ya?

Do you oppose such a sibling-sibling marriage, or not? If you support it, you are at least legally consistent. If you oppose it, how do you propose to limit their choice of spouse, given your “let ‘em marry” attitude? Do you honestly think that these types of relations won’t happen, even once, even if its for benefits, in our modern, permissive culture? How should a court react? This is an inevitable consequence of the legal position you hold, so how do you suggest we handle it?

I’m illustrating to you that your “laissez faire” attitude can’t stop at the “gay” marriage branch. It’s not a hobby, it’s a thought experiment based on the likely effect of legislation. It’s what they used to teach in law school a decade ago. When you pass law, you have to consider the consequences of your law, intended and unintended. That’s why well-drafted law takes years to “perfect”. I know,that’s old and busted these days, we just crap laws out without reading them.

It bothers you because you haven’t accounted for it, so you will deny it will ever, ever happen and consider it foolish. I heard similar when I said civil unions will lead to “gay” marriage, and I was told it would never happen, that was just silly. I’m sure the same was said of the topic of “gay” marriage in the 1970′s, too.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Can you cite any empirical data establishing that redefining marriage will inevitably destroy marriage as an institution? Also, what do you say about the fact that there is nothing in the law preventing individuals and couples from redefining marriage privately?

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM

That seems like a disingenuous argument. It doesn’t work that way. The burden of proof is always on the claimant. You seem to be claiming that changing a fundamental basis of a culture would not negatively effect the life system of the “organism” if you will, It would be like someone coming into your house and saying..”You don’t need this weigh bearing beam here…it’ll be fine without it”
The burden of proof would be on the contractor to show why it will have no effect on your home.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Even if we accept the slippery slope argument you’re presenting and say that we’re inevitably headed towards the legality of incestuous marriages then NorthernCross’ point about how that would affect your (or anyone else’s) marriage still stands. Is the only thing keeping you out of bed with your sister the fact that it’s illegal for you to marry her? Are there so many people out there eyeing their cousins that it will do tangible harm?

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

That seems like a disingenuous argument. It doesn’t work that way. The burden of proof is always on the claimant. You seem to be claiming that changing a fundamental basis of a culture would not negatively effect the life system of the “organism” if you will, It would be like someone coming into your house and saying..”You don’t need this weigh bearing beam here…it’ll be fine without it”
The burden of proof would be on the contractor to show why it will have no effect on your home.

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:46 PM

You got it backwards. The “claimant” is Saltyron (and apparently you as well), not me. Anyways, this isn’t exactly a court of law, so you can dispense with your “burden of proof” line of rationalization.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:52 PM

Even if we accept the slippery slope argument you’re presenting and say that we’re inevitably headed towards the legality of incestuous marriages then NorthernCross’ point about how that would affect your (or anyone else’s) marriage still stands. Is the only thing keeping you out of bed with your sister the fact that it’s illegal for you to marry her? Are there so many people out there eyeing their cousins that it will do tangible harm?

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

Why does that reasoning seem so muddled?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM

Interesting argument. Can you cite any empirical data establishing that redefining marriage will inevitably destroy marriage as an institution?

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Seems likely if the “right” is expanded judicially given the ease with which the arguments could be used for other unions. Seems less likely if done by plebiscite or legislation.

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 11:54 PM

simple answer–He is NOT right Keep his libertarian idea out of my party!!

Bullhead on March 13, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Again, I say you have an interesti8ng point. Now please cite me some empirical evidence that redefining marriage will inevitably lead to the destruction of marriage as an institution. If you like, you can even start with McLaughlin v. Florida, in which the Supremes redefined marriage in the state of Florida.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Interesting argument. Can you cite any empirical data establishing that redefining marriage will inevitably destroy marriage as an institution? Also, what do you say about the fact that there is nothing in the law preventing individuals and couples from redefining marriage privately?

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:32 PM

Why do you require “empirical data”? Wouldn’t divorce rates suffice? Common sense AND logic dictate that continued redefinition of a term/concept leads to lack of definition, nearing meaninglessness. And law is all about pushing, pushing, and pushing to re-define to allow or prohibit. It’s ongoing, never-ending. As a lawyer, I see it daily, trying to wiggle out of a confining law or definition.

The best lesson I was taught was from a professor in college – “two people cannot effectively communicate unless they agree upon definition”. Each failed marriage I’ve seen was based on each person not sharing the same idea of marriage. One felt cheating was ok, the other would never do that, etc. The lasting marriages are those who agreed on the definition and toughed it out by sacrificing for each other mutually – they were there for each other, had kids, lived together, didn’t cheat, etc.

I’m sure that two people could say they were married, but not live together, sleep together, have kids, wear rings, exchange vows, have sex with other people, vacation separately and not get together with each other’s family. Because all that’s too “demanding” of them. They may call that a “marriage”, but would “you”? Kind of a lame idea of marriage, huh? Why even bother with it, why not just stay single? But it’s up to them, isn’t it? And if their marriage isn’t any better or worse than mine, why should I do all of that myself, or expect my spouse to and hold her to it?

Again, “gay” marriage isn’t the “death” of marriage on it;s own, but it is a symptom of the greater ill – unrestrained redefinition.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

You got it backwards. The “claimant” is Saltyron (and apparently you as well), not me. Anyways, this isn’t exactly a court of law, so you can dispense with your “burden of proof” line of rationalization.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:52 PM

You may think it is, but it’s not.
The gay marriage advocates are suggesting changing a cultural foundation that already exists. It’s not like advocating on neutral grounds.
I’m not claiming anything..I’m simply pointing out what already exists.
You seem to be claiming that your preference will have no effect on the existing system…and maybe even enhance it.
What are you basing that on?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

besser tot als rot on March 13, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Interestingly, it’s been done at the judicial level before. Of course, it occurred in the context of a court redefining it in furtherance of a constitutional right.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM

simple answer–He is NOT right Keep his libertarian idea out of my party!!

Bullhead on March 13, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Because when you’re as good at building coalitions of voters and winning national elections as the Republican Party is then Job #1 is to make the party smaller!

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Why does that reasoning seem so muddled?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM

It should be really easy for you to pick apart and refute then.

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Are there so many people out there eyeing their cousins that it will do tangible harm?

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

The government should have a minimal involvement in the private lives of its citizens. And should only step in to promote behaviors that empirical evidence strongly suggests an overwhelming good. Such as seen with opposite sex marriage. It should allow people the freedom to contract in other situations (yes, I like Lochner). And should definitely avoid getting involved in situations where the argument for involvement involves something along the lines of, “this probably won’t cause a tangible harm.”

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:01 AM

You may think it is, but it’s not.
The gay marriage advocates are suggesting changing a cultural foundation that already exists. It’s not like advocating on neutral grounds.
I’m not claiming anything..I’m simply pointing out what already exists.
You seem to be claiming that your preference will have no effect on the existing system…and maybe even enhance it.
What are you basing that on?

Mimzey on March 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

I’ve never argued that my “preference” will have no effect on the existing system. I do question, however, the social conservative position (which seems like a supposition to me) that redefining marriage at law to include same-sex marriage necessarily damages the institution of marriage. If you can show me facts demonstrating that this has happened, by all means do so.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM

Interestingly, it’s been done at the judicial level before. Of course, it occurred in the context of a court redefining it in furtherance of a constitutional right.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:59 PM

Do you have a point? Or am I supposed to infer it and then have you go crazy claiming that you didn’t say what I inferred?

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:04 AM

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:01 AM

For the most part I’m with you on this, and I’m also a huge fan of Lochner, but I do have one minor criticism. When you say the government “should only step in to promote behaviors that empirical evidence strongly suggests an overwhelming good” the problem there is we’re assuming the past is a complete guide for what’s good. If we’ve been doing something sub-optimally for decades or even centuries then we might not have a mountain of empirical evidence that the best way to do things is really the best way.

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 12:08 AM

It should be really easy for you to pick apart and refute then.

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 12:00 AM

O.K.
It seems muddled to me because it doesn’t address the issue imo.
Neither I not Salty are making the case of having gay marriage affect someone else’s marriage. You are making that case. I addressed the fallacy of the “if it doesn’t affect you, why do you care” reasoning in a post up the thread.
The closest my position would be to that, is that it would most likely affect peoples lives in a needless way…not by the people who would be gay and married but by disruption, and cost to the social structure in general at a time when energy and money should be spent on something more important the making a single digit percentage of a single digit percentage of the population, feel better..

My evidence?..observable reality, and past witnessing of similar “mission creep” on this and other victim rights causes, for one.

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:12 AM

Why do you require “empirical data”? Wouldn’t divorce rates suffice? Common sense AND logic dictate that continued redefinition of a term/concept leads to lack of definition, nearing meaninglessness. And law is all about pushing, pushing, and pushing to re-define to allow or prohibit. It’s ongoing, never-ending. As a lawyer, I see it daily, trying to wiggle out of a confining law or definition.

If “common sense” dictates your conclusion, then you should have no problem citing empirical data. Show me something solid demonstrating a causal link between divorce rates and same sex marriage.

The best lesson I was taught was from a professor in college – “two people cannot effectively communicate unless they agree upon definition”. Each failed marriage I’ve seen was based on each person not sharing the same idea of marriage. One felt cheating was ok, the other would never do that, etc. The lasting marriages are those who agreed on the definition and toughed it out by sacrificing for each other mutually – they were there for each other, had kids, lived together, didn’t cheat, etc.

This isn’t an issue between two individuals of the same gender forging a “meeting of the minds” about what they expect in marriage. Good communication, of course, is key to any enduring marriage. Yours is not a good argument against same-sex marriage.

I’m sure that two people could say they were married, but not live together, sleep together, have kids, wear rings, exchange vows, have sex with other people, vacation separately and not get together with each other’s family. Because all that’s too “demanding” of them. They may call that a “marriage”, but would “you”? Kind of a lame idea of marriage, huh? Why even bother with it, why not just stay single? But it’s up to them, isn’t it? And if their marriage isn’t any better or worse than mine, why should I do all of that myself, or expect my spouse to and hold her to it?

Again, “gay” marriage isn’t the “death” of marriage on it;s own, but it is a symptom of the greater ill – unrestrained redefinition.

Saltyron on March 13, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Seems to me that the solution to this is better/stronger church communities, not government action. Again, not a good argument against same-sex marriage.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:12 AM

Do you have a point? Or am I supposed to infer it and then have you go crazy claiming that you didn’t say what I inferred?

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:04 AM

I do have a point, yes. And no, you probably shouldn’t make inferences that make me “go crazy”. If you like, you’re free to read my other posts.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Even if we accept the slippery slope argument you’re presenting and say that we’re inevitably headed towards the legality of incestuous marriages then NorthernCross’ point about how that would affect your (or anyone else’s) marriage still stands. Is the only thing keeping you out of bed with your sister the fact that it’s illegal for you to marry her? Are there so many people out there eyeing their cousins that it will do tangible harm?

alchemist19 on March 13, 2013 at 11:51 PM

The harm would be the kids born from it (hetero relations, anyway), though we have coat hangers for that little situation, don’t we?

So you see no harm in it, thus you it appears you would consider permitting it. Fine, good to have that on the table. No social stigma, no criminalization.

I see the harm, I have no such attraction, and I would ingrain the same aversion in my kids. But wouldn’t that make me a bigot, though? Just as bad as telling them homosexuality is bad? Even if I don;t share that attraction? I mean, what HARM is there, so what if your kids decide to keep it all in the family, are you gonna steer them away from that? Based on what, morality? The same morality we can no longer use as a basis for legislation?

As for the effect on “my” marriage, I explained that above.

And it’s not a slippery slope argument (if A, then for sure Z), it’s called precedent , a legal decision or form of proceeding serving as an authoritative rule or pattern in future similar or analogous cases. (If A, then B, then possibly C). A gets a ruling, B wants similar treatment, B analogizes itself to A. D tries to restrict the ruling to A alone. This ain’t Ricky Santorum’s “you can marry you dog” boogieman (A, then Z), this is one, thin degree of difference (A, then B).

You think this is some fantastical fairy tale that will never happen, when I was taught this situation by a lib law professor 10 years ago. At least your not denying it, you just see no harm. Thus, why not permit it?

Besides, given the fact that incest is now prohibited, the burden of permitting it lies on those seeking it’s freedom from criminalization. So “you” would have to show the lack of harm.

Saltyron on March 14, 2013 at 12:17 AM

For the most part I’m with you on this, and I’m also a huge fan of Lochner, but I do have one minor criticism. When you say the government “should only step in to promote behaviors that empirical evidence strongly suggests an overwhelming good” the problem there is we’re assuming the past is a complete guide for what’s good. If we’ve been doing something sub-optimally for decades or even centuries then we might not have a mountain of empirical evidence that the best way to do things is really the best way.

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 12:08 AM

I think the day I read Lochner was one of my most exciting days in law school. And for a brief moment, I had a sliver of hope that maybe, just maybe, my lay understanding of constitutional rights had been mistaken. Until I found out that it was overruled.

Anyway. You’re right about where the data comes from – but I think there is a very high probability that it is right and the benefits are HUGE. Gay marriage data seems to be all over the place. The problem is the politicization of just about all “science.” Hard to trust anything anymore without digging into the parameters (and, more especially, the controls) myself.

And not sure if it was you who said this or not, but someone said if government is “promoting” marriage, they’re doing a piss poor job of it. Which I agree with. I often tell my wife we should get divorced so our taxes will go down. And if she worked, I’d definitely get divorced (civilly – I’d keep the private marriage).

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:18 AM

I’ve never argued that my “preference” will have no effect on the existing system. I do question, however, the social conservative position (which seems like a supposition to me) that redefining marriage at law to include same-sex marriage necessarily damages the institution of marriage. If you can show me facts demonstrating that this has happened, by all means do so.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM

You left out the “…or enhance it” part of my point.
What affect do you think gay marriage would have on the culture, and what evidence do you have to believe it’s accurate?
That is my position..not that it would damage marriage, but needlessly effect the social structure in general.
My evidence?..look around at how polarizing the issue is. Businesses boycotted or damaged..people harassed and singled out etc.
For what?

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:19 AM

Anyways, this isn’t exactly a court of law, so you can dispense with your “burden of proof” line of rationalization.

NorthernCross on March 13, 2013 at 11:52 PM

Another strawman.
Who claimed that honest debate must take place in a court?
If you are claiming that you can provide no reason to believe what you believe..I agree.

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM

You left out the “…or enhance it” part of my point.

Only because I’m not certain what you mean by “enhance”, which is why I don’t necessarily disagree with this characterization of my position.

What affect do you think gay marriage would have on the culture, and what evidence do you have to believe it’s accurate?

Can’t say with 100% certainty, since it’s happening in Vermont and other States as we speak. That said, if people support the idea, then their States should carry it out.

“That is my position..not that it would damage marriage, but needlessly effect the social structure in general.
My evidence?..look around at how polarizing the issue is. Businesses boycotted or damaged..people harassed and singled out etc.
For what?

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:19 AM”

Not certain that its effect on social structure is needless, at least not any more than the effect of prohibiting, at the constitutional level, state actions to prevent interracial couples from marrying in the 60′s. Yeah, businesses get boycotted, but that’s life. *shrug*

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM

I do have a point, yes. And no, you probably shouldn’t make inferences that make me “go crazy”. If you like, you’re free to read my other posts.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:15 AM

Don’t see how they relate. Fact of the matter is that the arguments for judicial recognition of gay marriage can easily be made for other unions.

If the courts are consistent (possibly a big “if” – at least in the short term) they should expand the “right” to other unions. May take time, but people often cite Loving in support of government sanctioned (with government benefits) gay marriage. The similarities of Loving (criminalized) and state sanctioned gay marriage (legal, but state benefits don’t attach) are further apart than between what would be between the gay marriage cases and other unions. And, how long ago was Loving? 50 years?

And if I inferred your argument incorrectly, you can f* off. You should have made it yourself instead of playing coy so that you can keep whining – “boo hoo. That’s not what I said.”

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM

Another strawman.
Who claimed that honest debate must take place in a court?
If you are claiming that you can provide no reason to believe what you believe..I agree.

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM

Actually, my belief is that the social conservative position, that same sex marriage should not be allowed because it damages something important in society, is without factual basis. The reason I believe this is because I have yet to see any empirical data supporting this position. That said, I welcome solid data that proves me wrong.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:30 AM

Perhaps we can just get the government out of deciding who can consent to what. I know that a lot of people believe that a child cannot consent–or an animal–as if we were anything different from an animal–but you shouldn’t try to ram that value down other people’s throats!

I mean that whole idea of “consent” goes back to people who held slaves and stuff.

Axeman on March 14, 2013 at 12:34 AM

Actually, my belief is that the social conservative position, that same sex marriage should not be allowed because it damages something important in society, is without factual basis. The reason I believe this is because I have yet to see any empirical data supporting this position. That said, I welcome solid data that proves me wrong.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:30 AM

The government should have the burden to show with empirical evidence that it is promoting a strong societal good, rather than saying – “if you can’t show with empirical evidence that this is bad, we’re going to do it.” That is an overwhelmingly statist argument. But, I’m sure you’re going to claim that’s not your argument at all. Somehow.

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:36 AM

Only because I’m not certain what you mean by “enhance”, which is why I don’t necessarily disagree with this characterization of my position.

I just threw that in for your benefit.
Do you think that gay marriage would better..or “enhance” society?

What affect do you think gay marriage would have on the culture, and what evidence do you have to believe it’s accurate?

I think it would needlessly clutter the legal and legislative parts of government..something we all pay for. For what? Whats to be gained.

Can’t say with 100% certainty, since it’s happening in Vermont and other States as we speak. That said, if people support the idea, then their States should carry it out.

Unless the will of the people is overturned by a court?

“That is my position..not that it would damage marriage, but needlessly effect the social structure in general.
My evidence?..look around at how polarizing the issue is. Businesses boycotted or damaged..people harassed and singled out etc.
For what?

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:19 AM”

Not certain that its effect on social structure is needless, at least not any more than the effect of prohibiting, at the constitutional level, state actions to prevent interracial couples from marrying in the 60′s. Yeah, businesses get boycotted, but that’s life. *shrug*

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM

What does interracial heterosexual marriages have to do with your position..to remind you, this is not a court of law.

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Don’t see how they relate. Fact of the matter is that the arguments for judicial recognition of gay marriage can easily be made for other unions.

Yes, such as interracial unions. Although in the case of legal interracial unions, the Constitution acts as both a sword and shield.

That said, I’m not persuaded that same sex marriage would be any more damaging to society than interracial marriage was in the 60s up until today.

If the courts are consistent (possibly a big “if” – at least in the short term) they should expand the “right” to other unions. May take time, but people often cite Loving in support of government sanctioned (with government benefits) gay marriage. The similarities of Loving (criminalized) and state sanctioned gay marriage (legal, but state benefits don’t attach) are further apart than between what would be between the gay marriage cases and other unions. And, how long ago was Loving? 50 years?

In the end, I agree that the issue is better resolved at the legislative level rather than judicially. While I believe that same sex marriage should be legally recognized, I don’t want the Supremes to force that position nationally.

And if I inferred your argument incorrectly, you can f* off. You should have made it yourself instead of playing coy so that you can keep whining – “boo hoo. That’s not what I said.”

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:28 AM

I suppose you’d have a point, if I ever whined “boo hoo. That’s not what I said.” I can assure you that I don’t lose any sleep with people like you making assumptions about me. Hope that sets your mind at ease, sweetie. :)

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Another strawman.
Who claimed that honest debate must take place in a court?
If you are claiming that you can provide no reason to believe what you believe..I agree.

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:27 AM

That’s not a straw man, it’s arguably a non-sequitur, but a straw man is when somebody constructs a simpler argument from yours so that they can defeat it, thus they are “fighting a straw man”. He simply states that casual discussions do not need to be so rigorous with burdens of proof as opposed to court arguments.

Then, you actually construct a straw man here: “If you are claiming that you can provide no reason to believe what you believe..I agree.”

Axeman on March 14, 2013 at 12:41 AM

I can assure you that I don’t lose any sleep with people like you making assumptions about me. Hope that sets your mind at ease, sweetie. :)

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:39 AM

Uh. Good thing. I was really worried …

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:41 AM

The government should have the burden to show with empirical evidence that it is promoting a strong societal good, rather than saying – “if you can’t show with empirical evidence that this is bad, we’re going to do it.” That is an overwhelmingly statist argument. But, I’m sure you’re going to claim that’s not your argument at all. Somehow.

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:36 AM

LOL, defensive much? :)

In any event, this *may* be where you and I differ. I don’t believe the government should prohibit something just because it does not see any societal good in its allowance. Rather, the prohibition of something should accompany a showing, at the very least, that its allowance hurts people. But I emphasize that this isn’t necessarily enough on its own.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Yes, such as interracial unions.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:39 AM

No. Such as consensual multi-party and familial relation unions. I.e., the entire point of your “argument,” to the extent that I can tell that you have one that is.

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:49 AM

I just threw that in for your benefit.
Do you think that gay marriage would better..or “enhance” society?

Again, I’m not sure what you mean by “enhance.” So I guess my response to that is….maybe?

I think it would needlessly clutter the legal and legislative parts of government..something we all pay for. For what? Whats to be gained.

How?

Unless the will of the people is overturned by a court?

In that situation, I suppose I would be more federalist than libertarian. As much as I think it should be allowed, I believe that federal courts need to stay out of the issue.

What does interracial heterosexual marriages have to do with your position..to remind you, this is not a court of law.

Mimzey on March 14, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Several States used to define marriage as unirracial (if that’s a word). Meaning, it can only exist legally between people of the same race. When the definition was expanded as a result of constitutional case law, it didn’t really harm society much, and in my opinion not at all. For this reason, I’m skeptical that the legalization of same sex marriage will do much damage either.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:53 AM

In any event, this *may* be where you and I differ. I don’t believe the government should prohibit something just because it does not see any societal good in its allowance. Rather, the prohibition of something should accompany a showing, at the very least, that its allowance hurts people. But I emphasize that this isn’t necessarily enough on its own.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:44 AM

What does it prohibit? Government benefits?

And honestly, I don’t really care about gay marriage one way or another. I just want people to have an honest debate about the stakes. If the people vote to allow government benefits to attach to gay marriage, I don’t really care. They aren’t that great anyway. Other than maybe survivorship without taxes. But, I want a 0% death tax, which would make that a moot point anyway.

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:55 AM

No. Such as consensual multi-party and familial relation unions. I.e., the entire point of your “argument,” to the extent that I can tell that you have one that is.

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:49 AM

No, I haven’t fully formulated a position on those kinds of unions yet. So I can’t agree that this is the point of my argument.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:55 AM

What does it prohibit? Government benefits?

Prohibiting same sex marriage legally precludes same sex couples from jointly adopting, for one.

And honestly, I don’t really care about gay marriage one way or another. I just want people to have an honest debate about the stakes. If the people vote to allow government benefits to attach to gay marriage, I don’t really care. They aren’t that great anyway. Other than maybe survivorship without taxes. But, I want a 0% death tax, which would make that a moot point anyway.

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 12:55 AM

Fair enough.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 12:57 AM

What I hate about the gay marriage “debate?” Conservatives and libertarians using the same fallacious word games that the left constantly uses to support their positions. It’s all about invoking a knee-jerk, emotional response. No better than your left-wing, statist overlords. *spit*

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM

After a fine victory on a matter of real substance, Paul has descended back into the mire of libertarian futility over marriage and the tax code. Just great! Way to get distracted!

They’re not going to alter the tax code!

They will push gay marriage, not for tax revenue, but to undermine the churches.

virgo on March 14, 2013 at 1:07 AM

left-wing, statist overlords. *spit*

besser tot als rot on March 14, 2013 at 1:00 AM

*joins in the spitting*

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 1:08 AM

After a fine victory on a matter of real substance, Paul has descended back into the mire of libertarian futility over marriage and the tax code. Just great! Way to get distracted!

They’re not going to alter the tax code!

Probably right.

They will push gay marriage, not for tax revenue, but to undermine the churches.

virgo on March 14, 2013 at 1:07 AM

Does your church care what the government says?

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Does your church care what the government says?

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Mine kinda does, especially when it backs up what it says with stuff like Obamacare mandates. But that’s another story.

NorthernCross on March 14, 2013 at 1:13 AM

says Jen Rubin:

If we were starting a system from scratch, I suspect that would be an easier sell. But getting the federal government out of the marriage business, deferring to the states and allowing individuals to, as he says, enter into contracts with one another, can be the way out of the gay marriage thicket for the GOP, I would argue.

But, there’s nothing to stop homosexual-involved people from doing that now: engaging in contractual relationships to address all their alleged wants and needs.

I agree with Paul about not redefining marriage.

If the homosexual-activists were sincere in this issue about their relationships with others, and these “Libertarians” also that are cited in the post, they’d be pushing themselves and their peers to enter into contracts with the person of their ‘choice’. And, in fact, those contracts would be more iron-clad than any marriage license and ceremony, if, in fact, what they’re after is a secure, long-term relationship.

However, what they’re really after is redefining marriage in the as-it-is-now religious context. They’ve proven already, abundantly, that that’s their goal simply by continuing to avoid the actual remedy for their demands that has existed all along: contractual relationships with whoever it is they want a life-long relationship with.

And all those “libertarians” supporting the redefinition of marriage are lemmings. There are so many among them who follow along with just about all Leftwing socio-political causes due to trendiness, peer pressure, the need to be socially popular while they lack and even despise the religious beliefs of others.

Lourdes on March 14, 2013 at 1:34 AM

This single sex marriage debate makes people stupider by the year.

Government is large and increasingly pervasive, if it can’t be scaled back then it is only natural for Social Conservatives to want a large government which promotes their values – every group does this.

Daemonocracy on March 13, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Here, I don’t mean to ignore what you said about social conservatives, but to show that even somebody like you can forget what “Big Government” is. Name for me one department that has been created to enact DOMA? If any money has been spent on DOMA from the beginning, it was to stave off legal challenges for the everybody-has-to-like-my-marriage crowd.

It’s so easy to forget who are the aggressors here. The apparatus to grant licenses only to traditional couples was already in place, and in many places was already upheld.

See if we start calling strong government measures “Big Government”, then as I’ve argued before Libertarians are just as satisfied with dicta from the Supreme Court who have gutted federalism. There is no part of the constitution that reserves direct rights to the people, because it was assumed that the people would agree or disagree and define these rights at the state level. But, the Warren court found Constitutional protections at the federal level that prohibits the state from deciding those matters. Yet, libertarians generally love these libertine rulings. So, I often say that they are just as much a party to “Big Judiciary” and they LOVE seeing referendum of the people that is “Not supposed to be” according to some academic theory of law slapped down by an oligarchy.

The trick is not to cede ground that controversial strong-arm laws are “Big Government”, when you can show that where the water parts between actual conservatives and libertarians libertarians are absolutely fine with Big Judiciary which is a type of fiat from an increasingly imperial oligarchy of social matters.

In fact, the effort to make the traditional stance clean by current Constitutional standards will only result in the Incorporation doctrine leveling it at local levels as well. Incorporation means that if “Government stays out of marriage” that this federal principle becomes a ruling principle of ALL subordinate government and no locality can even nod that there is such a thing as marriage.

In fact, once it is a “religious institution”, I would bet that with time, any mention of “spouses” will be received as a unnecessary injection of religion into the public square. And you can bet both cheeks of your heinie that there will be libertarians nodding along with this nonsense as long as Mother Court says so.

Axeman on March 14, 2013 at 1:40 AM

EricW on March 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Gay marriage is an expansion of the government. Therefore, proponents of gay marriage are actually big government supporters..

melle1228 on March 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Bravo, melle gets it right and does so succinctly.

The Libertarians I know (of and read from) are mostly all people who are essentially quite Liberal in their views but who claim to be something else based upon their views on money, fiduciary matters, taxes == but they support just about all the Left’s socio ideas and goals and are the loudest at ridiculing those on the Right who don’t, especially who speak out about anything “traditional” or especially, Christian.

So it’s an error to claim that Libertarians are by definition Conservative: very few of them are, they just like to condescend about being Liberal and try to avoid the label.

Lourdes on March 14, 2013 at 1:43 AM

Axeman on March 14, 2013 at 1:40 AM

Excellent comments and informative, thanks.

Lourdes on March 14, 2013 at 1:46 AM

Does your church care what the government says?

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 1:09 AM

Yes, unfortunately. Paul’s solution is a retreat, but it perhaps leaves us in a more defensible legal position. Changing the laws are just a byproduct for gays in their quest for demanding societal legitimacy through legal channels. I will never recognize gay marriage as legitimate any more than I can walk into home depot’s hardware section and connect 2 bolts or nuts together.

Paul’s solution basically detonates everything govt-related to marriage in order to deny gays their legitimacy, which I’m OK with. I still think this is an argument over scraps: how do you salvage a society that equates gay “marriage” to the natural union of 1-man & 1-woman by which every human has ever come to exist?

crrr6 on March 14, 2013 at 1:52 AM

Homosexual activism wants some sort of official stamp of dominance in our society.

Marriage and redefining it is their chosen pathway to try and seal that into happening.

“Gay but equal” and “gay equality” are two of the most oxymoronic expressions ever but they’re popularly accepted as if they actually make sense, while they don’t — they’re specifically irrational claims being touted as truth-mantras without thinking the statements through.

By the word, “equal” or “equality,” what’s being expressed there is a demand for some sort of removal of the values and beliefs of others. Which will never happen — you can’t be “equal” and even “normal” and want, if not demand, the eradication if even punishment of the beliefs of others, not in a civilization that isn’t communist, at least, or a monarchy wherein free thought and individual beliefs are judged by penalty to death or imprisonment or both.

What the point is of this is that the concept of “marriage” is being attempted to be redefined in order to flailingly “prove” that anyone can marry anyone by simply doing it, which abandons if not condemns the theological and religious definitions of marriage maintained by others.

If homosexuals (and the appeasing “libertarians” referred to in this post) want to be integrated as “normal” or thereabouts in and by the greater society, they’d just behave that way but they don’t.

Lourdes on March 14, 2013 at 1:54 AM

But, there’s nothing to stop homosexual-involved people from doing that now: engaging in contractual relationships to address all their alleged wants and needs.

There is actually quite a bit involved here. Without a marriage certificate there is no legal standing for a homosexual’s partner to have any legal rights regarding their partner or their estate. Even if they are declared a legal guardian by the partner, the family can and often times do fight for guardianship in the event of sickness or death. The family wins in almost every case. That means the loving contracted partner can not have hospital visitation, no say in any estate processing, funeral plans, insurance claims, health benefits (though this is much more of a private issue), etc. Additionally, due to the lack of a marriage certificate, the question of children upon death or breakup has many legal ramifications. For example, the guy that got arrested for delinquent child support payments after donating sperm to a lesbian couple. The couple split, the one lesbian wanted child support for “their” child and the state went after the father, not the partner. Why, because law dictated the man responsible, not any private legally binding contract.

Furthermore, while health benefits are private contracts between companies and insurers, most companies only give benefit packages to an employee, an employee and children or an employee and their legally certified family (ie. spouse and children). A homosexual can not even offer to pay more to cover their partner and insurers don’t care because the same companies that do business in Ohio also do business in Boston where some companies offer benefits to life partners. The insurer doesn’t care, often times the companies don’t really care, it’s usually the state regulations that prevent this from happening.

For this to truly be the case, contract law must be strengthened for individuals and laws regarding family matters must be rewritten.

Another area where married couples vs partnered homosexuals differ is in financial matters. A married couple can go into a bank and get a mortgage no issue (granted that their credit is fine). A homosexual couple (and let’s just say for arguments sake, that it is a stable, long lasting relationship) walks into a bank, they are highly unlikely to get a loan without a marriage certificate. Are there banks that will make that loan? Sure. Have fun searching. Now, let’s say the actually do get a mortgage or just a loan for whatever. One of them dies. The family cuts the partner out of the estate and now that person is completely stuck with the loan and no access to assets they both built together. But, they had contracts you say!

The easiest route for all of this is to just legalize and codify gay marriage. That is why they are persistent in this.

The claim that private contracts between two adults is king in all matters is patently false.

Now, I am ALL for lessening this regulatory burden and rewriting much of our contract law and regulations that support the foundation of “marriage” in our society and shifting the true power of consenting adults to contract law rather than regulatory law.

Are you?

bds1976 on March 14, 2013 at 2:10 AM

Yes, unfortunately. Paul’s solution is a retreat, but it perhaps leaves us in a more defensible legal position. Changing the laws are just a byproduct for gays in their quest for demanding societal legitimacy through legal channels. I will never recognize gay marriage as legitimate any more than I can walk into home depot’s hardware section and connect 2 bolts or nuts together.

I totally agree it’s a strategic retreat to set up a better legal defense. It’s been many years since it happened so I could be 100% wrong on this so please check this before you quote me, and correct me if you know I’m wrong, but I think that’s an out the Massachusetts legislature was offered or considered or something after the state Supreme Court first rules on gay marriage there ten years ago. They opted not to take it but I think it was at least brought up there at that time.

It’s your right to not personally recognize or like anything you want. As I’ve said before when I’ve occasionally waded into the swamp on this issue, it’s about tolerance. I don’t plan on ever getting gay married but I’ll tolerate people who want to do it in much the same way I tolerate people who smoke at the bar or little kids who cry and throw tantrums on airplanes.

Paul’s solution basically detonates everything govt-related to marriage in order to deny gays their legitimacy, which I’m OK with. I still think this is an argument over scraps: how do you salvage a society that equates gay “marriage” to the natural union of 1-man & 1-woman by which every human has ever come to exist?

crrr6 on March 14, 2013 at 1:52 AM

Here I disagree. It’s about 5% of the population that’s gay, maybe even less than that, and only a subset of that population wants to get married. I don’t think anything they do has the power to undermine society. A 50+% divorce rate and an I-don’t-even-want-to-know illegitimacy rate might do it, but not a cottage industry like gay marriage.

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 2:18 AM

Axeman on March 14, 2013 at 1:40 AM

My mention of Social Conservatives who support big government wasn’t meant to be a direct reference to DOMA or state recognition of real marriage. I can see how my wording and context was misleading, but I was trying to make a general point that since government keeps growing in every area, it makes sense why social conservatives would want to at least have it support their beliefs. The tide unfortunately is turning against us because the secular left control the media and our education system, while churches are sidelined in public policy making and expression of faith is shunned into the confines of church walls (a perverse interpretation of the establishment clause).

To me the gay marriage push is government activism; redefining the biblical definition of marriage is big government changing precedent to disqualify the religious beliefs of Americans. The reason why I have sympathy for Ran Paul’s proposal is because by removing government from marriage, it will protect churches from being targeted as discriminatory institutions.

I personally think the Catholic church needs to make a bold move against phony Catholics pushing secular humanist values from positions of power, and publicly rebuking Joe Biden when he visits Rome for his unconditional support for abortion would draw the line in the sand. Perhaps excommunication is in order. Protestants have many voices so the effect of their public rebukes don’t hold as much weight, but the Pope is the voice of Catholicism personified.

Daemonocracy on March 14, 2013 at 2:37 AM

Here I disagree. It’s about 5% of the population that’s gay, maybe even less than that, and only a subset of that population wants to get married. I don’t think anything they do has the power to undermine society. A 50+% divorce rate and an I-don’t-even-want-to-know illegitimacy rate might do it, but not a cottage industry like gay marriage.

alchemist19 on March 14, 2013 at 2:18 AM

The left has been targeting marriage and traditional family values for decades now, gay “marriage” is further muddling what marriage is supposed to be about. Exclusivity is what makes it unique, which makes it desirable, it is this desire to get married which the left is trying to target because the traditional family is what stands in the way of people turning to the state for comfort and security. The institution of marriage is routinely mocked in the media and emphasizing getting married and having children is no longer promoted in our schools – this is intentional.

50% of first time marriages do in end in divorce, but the statistics for those who remarry are actually much more promising. Marriage can be preserved.

Daemonocracy on March 14, 2013 at 2:47 AM

Social conservatives which are against this concept are fundamentally not small government conservatives. They want the government to impose their beliefs on others. They are welcome to agree to disagree with conservatives, or switch teams and try to find friends on the liberal side of the aisle. One of the core principles of conservatism, in my mind, is federalism and limited government. Those are the fundamentals of a party that has been around for well over 100 years.

oconp88 on March 13, 2013 at 11:08 PM

I’m a little late on this discussion here but I wanted to jump in because the comment above bothers me.

What you just stated is not the conservative position but the libertarian one. The thing that libertarians and conservatives agree on is smaller government. What libertarians and liberals have in common is that morality has no business in public policy or decision making.

Conservatives believe that morality matters, that you can’t divorce morality from lawmaking. All laws are inherently moral whether libertarians or liberals like it or not They are either malum in se or malum prohibitum.

That’s why I am a conservative. I support small government who reflects the people’s moral will via elected representative. If people want to have SSM in their states, that fine. If other’s don’t, that’s ok too. Each state has a right to make that determination.

However, to believe that SSM will not have any consequences, including moral ones, is an illusion. That’s why social conservatives are worried because the laws can not only reflect public morality but change it so that behaviors that are once forbidden became ok because its legal. Legalizing Marijuana is a great example of that.

Conservative Samizdat on March 14, 2013 at 2:49 AM

There is actually quite a bit involved here. Without a marriage certificate there is no legal standing for a homosexual’s partner to have any legal rights regarding their partner or their estate.

That’s not at all true.

Contracts — wills included — take care of “legal rights regarding their partner or their estate.” It’s what trusts are for, it’s what’s included in wills properly prepared.

Lourdes on March 14, 2013 at 4:07 AM

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