March 30, 2006

Massachusetts is not exporting gay marriage.

If gay marriage isn't legal in their home state, a gay couple can't get married in Massachusetts, says the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court:
In an opinion written by Justice Francis X. Spina, the court upheld a 1913 statute that says that no out-of-state resident can get married in Massachusetts if the marriage would be void in the person's home state, unless the person intends to live in Massachusetts....

The original lawsuit was filed by eight out-of-state couples and 12 cities and towns, claiming the 1913 statute was discriminatory and had been invalidated by the legalization of gay marriage in the state....

[Governor Mitt] Romney said in an interview: "This is an important victory for traditional marriage and for the right to each state to be sovereign as it defines marriage. It would have been wrong for this court to impose it's same sex ruling on the other 49 states of America."

Only one justice, Roderick L. Ireland, dissented, writing that "the commonwealth's resurrection of a moribund statute to deny nonresident same-sex couples access to marriage is not only troubling," but "also is fundamentally unfair."

108 comments:

Pragmatic Liberal said...

Well, that makes pretty good sense, particularly in terms of states rights. If one is to believe that it is up to each state to decide who can marry whom, at what age etc. than I suppose a state can say that their marraige laws apply only to those in their state.
Was that clear?
The basic story is we are the United States of America; not some monolithic block of people. Each state has the right and responsibility to make laws appropriate to those in the state. It's really not more complicated than that.

Balfegor said...

Well, that makes pretty good sense, particularly in terms of states rights. If one is to believe that it is up to each state to decide who can marry whom, at what age etc. than I suppose a state can say that their marraige laws apply only to those in their state.

That makes sense . . . but it still seems wrong. Obviously other states shouldn't be obliged to find an MA married gay couple "married" within their own state law. And practically speaking, you won't enjoy -- in your home state -- any of the benefits of marriage. But a) people want to anyway obviously, and b) there are probably some benefits you can obtain under MA law, by having particular relationships governed by MA law. I don't know -- a corporation is based in MA and subject to certain marital-status-related provisions or something. And that doesn't seem quite right. Isn't there also federal caselaw about denying benefits to out-of-staters?

Anyhow, can't say anything properly without reading the opinion, but just looking at the outcome there, it seems a little dodgy. On the other hand, I thought Goodridge was extremely dodgy, so I suppose there's no helping it: I am not cut out to be a Massachusetts lawyer.

Balfegor said...

In an opinion written by Justice Francis X. Spina, the court upheld a 1913 statute that says that no out-of-state resident can get married in Massachusetts if the marriage would be void in the person's home state, unless the person intends to live in Massachusetts

Oh wait, don't I feel a fool! There's a statute on point. Nevermind.

Dave said...

What happens when a couple wants to get married, and one party lives in MA and the other lives in, say, Rhode Island?

They have to tell the government that they plan to make their marital home in Taxacusetts? I'd sooner root for the Red Sox than affirm that I will live in a certain place upon being married by the state.

jeff said...

Dave,

I suppose it could be applied the way that many members of the military say that their home state is Texas, regardless of where they actually are from.

You see, Texas doesn't tax military income, and all you have to do to get that privilege is state that you _intend_ to live in Texas when you get out. Only intend...

Dave said...

Texas doesn't have a state income tax.

I don't understand the point about military income???

Brendan said...

About as shocking as the Solomon decision. Using the courts as an endrun around their fellow citizens ain't gonna win them many fans/sympathizers.

downtownlad said...

I can't wait to see the first inter-racial couple from Alabama who are banned from getting married in Massachusetts.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

That makes sense . . . but it still seems wrong.

Just because it seems wrong doesn't make it wrong. You did not address the notion that states have a right to make laws they see as appropriate to their citizens.
States are not required to decide if laws they pass will somehow impact citizens in another negatively - which by the way is an entirely personal view.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

can't wait to see the first inter-racial couple from Alabama who are banned from getting married in Massachusetts.
You'll have to wait for a very long time. Massachusetts does NOT ban inter-racial marraiges.
This sounds like a straw man beign thrown up to avoid discussing the legality of the decision.
Do you agree or disagree with the decision of the Mass Supreme Court re: allowing couples from out of the state to obtain Mass marraige licences?

Pragmatic Liberal said...

can't wait to see the first inter-racial couple from Alabama who are banned from getting married in Massachusetts.
You'll have to wait for a very long time. Massachusetts does NOT ban inter-racial marraiges.
This sounds like a straw man beign thrown up to avoid discussing the legality of the decision.
Do you agree or disagree with the decision of the Mass Supreme Court re: allowing couples from out of the state to obtain Mass marraige licences?

Balfegor said...

Re:
Just because it seems wrong doesn't make it wrong. You did not address the notion that states have a right to make laws they see as appropriate to their citizens.
States are not required to decide if laws they pass will somehow impact citizens in another negatively - which by the way is an entirely personal view.


Yes, hence my:

"Oh wait, don't I feel a fool! There's a statute on point. Nevermind."

a minute later.

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

Pragmatic L-word: the question is not whether Massachusetts bans interracial marriage, but whether Alabama does. Massachusetts bans out-of-staters from marrying when such marriages are not legal in their own states.

Interestingly, the MA Supreme Court recognizes a loophole here: couples from states (like Rhode Island) that haven't enacted a Defense of Marriage law, and that are presumably neutral on the gay marriage issue, can get married.

downtownlad said...

Last time I checked Alabama law banned inter-racial marriages.

Sure - the Supreme Court has declared that law to be unconstitutional, but the Massachusetts law doesn't say that. It simply defers to other state's laws.

And the intent of this law when it was enacted in 1913 I believe WAS to stop inter-racial marriages. Time to start enforcing the original intent of the law.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

the question is not whether Massachusetts bans interracial marriage, but whether Alabama does.
The questin is NOT about Alabama's state laws; it's about Mass law. And, Mass law seems comptlely consistent with the notion of the states ability to pass laws that seem appropriate for the citizens of their state.
BTW, Alabama state law does NOT ban interracial maarraiges so why do you even bring it up?

chsw10605 said...

The dissenting judge showed why he should not be a judge. The issue was whether the law in question is constitutional under Massachusetts' constitution. The issue was NOT whether the law was fair or discriminatory.

downtownlad said...

Pragmatic Liberal - You're just wrong on this issue. The Massachusetts law is ONLY about what the laws are in other states.

BTW, Alabama state law does NOT ban interracial maarraiges so why do you even bring it up?

You sure about that? If it has changed, it's recent.

http://www.cnn.com/US/9903/12/interracial.marriage/

Pragmatic Liberal said...

Last time I checked Alabama law banned inter-racial marriages.

You are SO WRONG. Look at current Alabama law and you will see that there are NO prohibitions on inter-racial marraigae.
And, I CANNOT believe you would actually beileve that it is true. Do you need to pass along obvious falsehoods to make your case.
That is pretty sad...

esk said...

I’ve often wondered why gay couples would go to MA to get married if their own state doesn’t recognize it. When they return home they’re not considered legally married, are they?

Balfegor said...

For anyone interested in looking at current Alabama law, see here. I think Downtownlad is all wet here, but maybe the interracial marriage prohibition isn't contained in the marriage chapter (Title 30, Chapter 1).

drdanfee said...

well, the whole business strikes me as highly unethical, because I have no ethical qualms about letting gay couples get married (or parent for that matter).

Having sorted out the ethics involved, I have the luxury of wishing that the laws could simply follow what is fair and what is ethical.

Assuming a citizen holds the opposite negative view, then of course the original state court decision was bonkers. Those views let us all know just how unclean anything associated with LGBTQ people is, especially their making commitments to one another.

I remember back in college, every time we had a workshop about LGBTQ folks - the complaint would always come up, regular as acid rain in the Pacific Northwest, that it was just so sad or so unclean that the queers were such party animals. (I worked in student peer services out of the undergraduate deans' office.) Then somebody would wonder out loud why gays were innately impaired in committed relations. Now, the complaint has flip-flopped. It is committed relationships that are supposedly the epitome of filth, and danger, too, on top of filth. Whew. Then we are solemnly instructed about how each straight couple's marriage in USA is being devalued because these unclean lepers - faggots or dykes - can get married in Massachusetts.

In that case, the least Massachusetts should do to respect the offended feelings of some folks is to put some kind of warning sticker on the state gay marriage certificate, something perhaps that says the marriage is legally equal but still filthy and unclean in the eyes of some other citizens whose objections block gay marriage in other states.

Then of course the residents of Massachusetts would sue because the whole point of the original suit was to stop institutionalizing the legal and civil inferiorities of gay families with or without children.

Yes, the legal dance will continue, no doubt. But that little touches upon the impoverished deep sense of privilege, based on LGBTQ inferiorities in law, policy, and civil institutions. The ins and outs of the legal dancing cannot obscure the deeply impoverished empathy that prevents straight people from imagining what is it like to try to live your life - pretty much with the same expectations a straight person might typically have - only to bump into one of the jerky little barriers that still exist in law, policy, and institutional practices.

Many LGBTQ citizens don't even know such barriers and inferiorities exist these days - until suddenly a nurse is self-righteously questioning your status as a long-term partner of your beloved or as a co-parent of a sick child. Then all of a sudden, your inferior legal status is getting in the way of something really, really important in human and in ethical terms.

Common sense suggests that no straight couple would put up with any of this nonsense for even a minute, it is otherwise so self-evident to us and among us.

Using legal jargon or religious jargon or any other sort of discourse (which connotes both the uncleanness and/or the danger of not keeping LGBTQ folks inferior) only temporarily serves to disguise a frank lack of ethics and a remarkable failure of human empathy. So that is just the ticket. then.

It isn't all that long ago, remember, that the USA Supreme Court had to decide that married couples had a legal right to use any contraception they wished; or that unmarried couples or single people had a legal right to buy contraceptives.

All of this suggests two things to me. One is that we have lots and lots and lots of very sexually unhappy citizens - probably connected with their enduringly troubled sense of how unclean sex and the human body is, basically. Another is that such citizens must be even more deeply unhappy than that; because they not only seem to be having unhappy with themselves, but they also seem extremely interested in controlling their neighbor's sex lives.

How odd it is that such true believers need - positively need and require - some legal control over another citizen's body, mainly to enforce that citizen's inferior status. This would be sheer sadism if it were being acted out in a basement dungeon by institutional leaders dressed in leather from head to toe. Come to think of it, that is how I do view it - as if unhappy straight citizens wished to be sex masters, controlling the sex lives of their LGBTQ slaves who simply may not have an orgasm until the master says so.

Couples in Massachusetts: Try to be happy and kind to one another, despite all the accusations that are going to be laid at your feet for doing in civil terms what a straight couple takes entirely for granted.

Couples outside of Massachusetts: Sorry, we have no free lunch today. Please seek nourishment elsewhere - particularly difficult if you happen to live in one of those Inferiority States.

That means that of course all the lawyers will have lots of business, working out the terms of various institutions of inferiority, depending on the state.

To those who say gays are innately unethical - and their families should be forced to maintain the sorts of legal invisibility - or even the overt criminal status that used to go with individual gay life before Lawrence v. Texas was decided; I say, be careful. You will sometime have to walk a mile in the shoes you require the filthy faggots to wear, and believe me the toes pinch, and the nails wear through all to quickly.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

Alabama repeals century-old ban on interracial marriages

November 8, 2000
Web posted at: 2:55 p.m. EST (1955 GMT)

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- Alabama voters on Tuesday repealed the state's century-old ban against interracial marriage, an unenforceable but embarrassing throwback to the state's segregationist past.

The vote was running 59 percent to 41 percent, with 58 percent of the voted counted.

The vote removed the dubious distinction of Alabama being the only state in the country with such a relic from the segregated South remaining in its constitution.


Need I say more?
Why are we even arguing about Alabama state law re: marriage?

The question is; is the recent decision by the Mass Supreme Court consistent with Mass state law?
I say YES.

Who disagrees and why?

Pragmatic Liberal said...

I remember back in college, every time we had a workshop about LGBTQ folks - the complaint would always come up, regular as acid rain in the Pacific Northwest, that it was just so sad or so unclean that the queers were such party animals. (I worked in student peer services out of the undergraduate deans' office.) Then somebody would wonder out loud why gays were innately impaired in committed relations. Now, the complaint has flip-flopped. It is committed relationships that are supposedly the epitome of filth, and danger, too, on top of filth. Whew.

Well, there you have it. The history of gay/lesbian trials to become equal citizens as described by a straight person. It's pretty accurate, but lacks the first hand understanding of just how incredibily unfair it is.

Elizabeth said...

As a Southerner, when I hear "states' rights," someone's singing Dixie in the background. Too often, the cause of states' rights is used to restrict the freedoms of some part of the U.S. population.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

States rights are just that - states rights.

No one said they had to make sense to the other 49 states. That's the whole idea of a United States. It allows each to state to enact laws that seems appropriate and reasonable for their citizens. If it appears that that the currently elected representatives do not reflect the citizens of the state, they are replaced by someone who more closely reflects the beliefs of their constituency.

SteveR said...

Dave said:
"Texas doesn't have a state income tax.

I don't understand the point about military income???"


If you are stationed in Germany and your residence is Colorado for voting, etc you'll have to pay state income tax. If its in Texas, no state tax.

I worked overseas as a contractor and paid no taxes but the federal government employees were taxed as if they lived in their home state.

OK back to your normal programming

MadisonMan said...

And the intent of this law when it was enacted in 1913 I believe WAS to stop inter-racial marriages. Time to start enforcing the original intent of the law.

I thought it was to appease southern states that took umbrage at MA allowing interrace marriage. I vaguely recall reading that sometime, somewhere.

But I could be wrong (again!)

downtownlad said...

Oh wow - they repealed the law against interracial marriage a whopping "five" years ago.

How silly of me not to realize how enlightened 59% of Alabamans are.

The other 41% still favor those bigot laws.

Pragmatic liberal thinks that is just soooooooo progressive. Taking until the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY to finally repeal this laws against inter-racial marriage.

Nevermind that there was a county in Alabama that still favors banning interracial marriage.

downtownlad said...

I've decided to protest straight people's weddings from now on.

I'll attend them and eat all their food.

But for a wedding present they'll get a nice I.O.U. that says "gift will be paid when I get equality".

I'm tired of subsidizing straight people. Which is exactly what wedding presents are. A form of extortion.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

Pragmatic liberal thinks that is just soooooooo progressive.

You're wrong there. It's not prgressive; it's just the fact of the matter.

The question here, though, is "Massachesttes is ot exporting gay marriage". I think it is a states rights issue. What do you think?

Abraham said...

I'm tired of subsidizing straight people. Which is exactly what wedding presents are. A form of extortion.

Give me a break. Extortion? Nobody is forcing you to go, pal, and if that's going to be your attitude, they'd probably much rather you didn't. Seriously. You aren't going to change peoples' minds by being a narcissistic jerk.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Pragmatic Liberal,

You seem very pragmatic, which is good. Your view on states rights is correct. You are also correct when you say gay marriage is inevitible.

Here's what I want to know: You compared interracial marriage to gay marriage. Do you think either interracial marriage or gay marriage is wrong? If you think interracial marriage and gay marriage are both right(s), do you see any moral difference between legal restrictions on either? If not, being a pragmatist, would you tolerate a society that placed restrictions on interracial marriage? If so, how long? Forever?

Pragmatic Liberal said...

Do you think either interracial marriage or gay marriage is wrong? If you think interracial marriage and gay marriage are both right(s), do you see any moral difference between legal restrictions on either? If not, being a pragmatist, would you tolerate a society that placed restrictions on interracial marriage? If so, how long? Forever?

I do think both inter-racial marriage and gay marriage are morally and legally right.

No, I wouldn't tolerate a society that placed restrictions on inter-racial marriage any more than I tolerate the current society that places restrictions on same-sex marrige. For that reason I vote at every opportunity to put people in office that will further my goal of a society that does not restrict marriage based upon a religous belief - it doesn't matter to me what the religion is - this country is based upon seperation of church and state - so I want religous beliefs kept out of the laws in my state.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Pragmatic Liberal said: "I do think both inter-racial marriage and gay marriage are morally and legally right.

No, I wouldn't tolerate a society that placed restrictions on inter-racial marriage any more than I tolerate the current society that places restrictions on same-sex marrige."

So you're really more of a Moralistic Liberal.

You spoke of gay marriage as a question of states' rights. Am I wrong then to assume that you think the question of interracial marriage is also a question of states' rights?

37383938393839383938383 said...

No, I wouldn't tolerate a society that placed restrictions on inter-racial marriage any more than I tolerate the current society that places restrictions on same-sex marrige.

Boy, there's a lot of whipping going on in here!

37383938393839383938383 said...

Taking until the TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY to finally repeal this laws against inter-racial marriage.

There are also laws in some counties against dancing or being upright after 8 p.m. on Sunday. No one enforces these laws and they are dead letters. Who cares?

Michael Farris said...

esk said: "I’ve often wondered why gay couples would go to MA to get married if their own state doesn’t recognize it. When they return home they’re not considered legally married, are they?"

Well, it could be because they love and are committed to each other and want a symbol of that.

In addition to all the legal goodies, marriage is after all about a couple's commitment and has a large emotional component. I think that's getting lost in the debate and needs to be kept in the foreground.

Opponents of SSM may like to think they're 'defending' marriage or standards or something. They're also hurting lots of people in very direct ways.

Balfegor said...

I think it's all that, uh, "IWAN" stuff there. I understand (and sympathise) with the argument and the frustration behind it, but that has to be just about the crudest choice of words possible.

Re: taking until the 21st century to repeal a law that has no legal force (being in conflict with the Constitution) -- it's in conflict with the Constitution. It has no legal force. So it's just a symbolic gesture, that's all, repealing it.

And even if not -- Re: Downtownlad's bogeyman of Massachussetts courts enforcing Alabama law -- common sense should tell us that if a law is unconstitutional when enforced by Alabama courts, it's not going to become Constitutional suddenly because it's being enforced by Massachussetts courts.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't accept the use of the N-word here, for whatever reason, even assuming you meant well and were being satirical. I'm deleting every post that used it. Sorry. Try again.

Ann Althouse said...

I was going to allow the first use, because it was part of a serious comment, and then everyone kept repeating it! That was not good.

tjl said...

Downtown Lad:

Re your comments about attending straight weddings, eating the food, and then dramatically withholding the expected gift: this is not a strategy calculated to warm the hearts of the undecided and make them flock to support gay marriage.

Prior to the Goodridge case, there was actually a lot of debate within the gay community as to the desirability of adopting a legal concept tailored for hetero couples. After Goodridge, of course, everybody jumped on the marriage bandwagon, but perhaps there was something to the idea that a new legal form needed to be devised for gay couples. Crafting such a new legal form could be done most appropriately through the legislative process, which would defuse some of the opposition to changes perceived as imposed by judicial overreaching.
Finally, as we have seen from previous threads on this topic, the word "marriage" evokes deeply-held feelings in many people which are simply not amenable to rational argument.

I have had a single partner for over 10 years, visit Provincetown each summer, and could (somewhat tenuously) claim Massachusetts residence through my family, but have never felt inclined to marry there. Somehow it would not feel entirely comfortable, like trying on clothes that were tailored for someone else.

downtownlad said...

I do believe in States rights. Massachusetts has every right to have this law.

But I also think it is an obscenely bigoted law, one with DIRECT origins in racist thoughts (to stop the "exporting" of inter-racial marriage).

And let's face it. EVERY single person on this board who is against gay marriage would have been against inter-racial marriage as well, as little as 50 years ago. Every single one of them. And before you object, please explain to me why you think you would have been one of the progressive 4% of white people who favored inter-racial marriage in the 1950's.

You were on the wrong side of the civil rights battle then, and you're on the wrong side today.

And 40 years ago - I won't let these people forget it. I'll have zero qualms telling my sister's grandkids in 40 years hence, what a bigot their grandma was.

downtownlad said...

Re your comments about attending straight weddings, eating the food, and then dramatically withholding the expected gift: this is not a strategy calculated to warm the hearts of the undecided and make them flock to support gay marriage.

I couldn't give a crap about winning hearts. Most of my family members treated me like crap when I came out, and they now realize that I hold a grudge for life. My parents now realize that they have destroyed what was a great relationship with me, and I'm pretty confident that they will now go to their graves much more unhappy than they would have been had they treated me with respect. Very sad, but oh well, life goes on. As much as they try to make amends, it just aint gonna happen. I treat them with respect, but the love, the relationship - it's gone. Over. Done with. They've shown me how shallow they really are, and no pleading on their part is going to convince me otherwise.

But the strategy I've recommended, while not winning hearts and minds, might very well win us equality. It's about time straight people had a financial incentive in gay equality. If every straight person had $2000 locked up in an account, that they couldn't access until gays could marry, I can guarantee you that many of them would quickly get over their reservations.

Maybe I'll put the same restrictions on my will. Nobody inherits a dime until gays can marry. There's nothing selfish about this. I myself have no prospects of getting married anytime soon. I just want to see some wrongs righted. And the sooner the better.

Pogo said...

Well, downtownlad has my vote for the boy most likely to self-destruct.

Let's see: wrote off his folks and family, writes off all straight weddings, writes off everyone posting here as racists-who-would've-voted-to-ban-interracial-marriages, and writes off those who exposed his false "fact" about Alabama (and then he had the gall to complain that he was still right ..due to some unexplained umbrage).

Oh, the uber-outrage of downtownlad; it's almost palpable. His keyboard is missing m and s from pounding the letters so hard, while the remainder are gummed up from all the angry spittle. Beware, he will attend your wedding but not leave a gift. Beware his wrath!

Exhibit #1 in my reasons against gay marriage: downtownlad. He doesn't need to convince you with reasoned arguments, because "you're wrong and you're evil and I hate you! Waaaaaaaah!"

tjl said...

Downtown Lad:

"I couldn't give a crap about winning hearts."

And this is why we have gay marriage in one state, civil unions in another, and nothing in the other 48, not to mention the eleven or so states that enacted constitutional amendments barring not only gay marriage but civil unions as well.

Ann Althouse said...

Wedding gift idea for downtownlad: Just send a nicely wrapped box, inside of which there is a slip of paper saying "Redeemable for [name of gift] when gay marriage is legal in the United States." They'll love it. I think anyone getting married ought to spend some of their wedding time feeling guilty and bad that gay couples can't marry. Maybe you can write that into the vows.

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

Pragmatic said: Alabama state law does NOT ban interracial marriages so why do you even bring it up? Downtownlad asked how long it would take before an interracial couple from AL was banned from marrying in MA. You responded "a very long time," because there is no ban on interracial marriage in MA. My only point is that it is irrelevant whether MA bans interracial marriage. If AL bans it, then AL residents cannot legally be married here in MA. (Whether AL currently bans interracial marriage is irrelevant to the point I'm clarifying.)

And BTW: I think the 1913 law has been shown (not sure by whom, but probably the AG Tom Reilly) to have been enacted due to differing standards on marriages between cousins and such, not based on race, but I could be wrong on that.

Balfegor said...

My only point is that it is irrelevant whether MA bans interracial marriage. If AL bans it, then AL residents cannot legally be married here in MA. (Whether AL currently bans interracial marriage is irrelevant to the point I'm clarifying.)

I don't see why it's constitutional for an MA court to enforce a law, when it would be unconstitutional for an AL court to enforce that law. Is MA special somehow? Does the Constitution not apply to them?

downtownlad said...

Ann - Yup - that's the idea - to make them feel guilty. If marriage is now clearly recognized as a bigoted institution, why shouldn't we make straight people think about that. I was more thinking of setting up an actual account, so that they'd have the gift - but wouldn't be able to access it until marriage is legal for gays.

It could accrue interest and everything.

You're a lawyer - I'm sure it's doable, right?

Yeah - they might be pissed off the day of the wedding - but five years later, they're going to be like "Dammit, I want that damn money".

Sounds like Pogo is self-destructing over this. He's already pissed off that some of his wedding gifts are going to come with strings attached and he's going absolutely ballistic over this. So greedy.

Balfegor said...

Sounds like Pogo is self-destructing over this. He's already pissed off that some of his wedding gifts are going to come with strings attached and he's going absolutely ballistic over this. So greedy.

Uh, no . . . I'm pretty sure he's mocking you, actually.

downtownlad said...

Whatever Balefegor.

It's rather presumptious of you to think that gay people should give you gifts, when you know very well you'll never have to give them a gift in return.

Oh I forgot - You choose not associate with gay people.

downtownlad said...

I should clarify my position. This only applies to gay friends and relatives who OPPOSE gay marriage.

Supporters of gay marriage don't need to have these restrictions.

And opponents of gay marriage. Well since they've already deemed that gay people are second class citizens, I for one, feel zero need to start sucking up to them. And if I make them feel bad on their wedding day - good.

Balfegor said...

Oh I forgot - You choose not associate with gay people.

What on earth would give you that idea? Cor. Talk about "presumptuous." And besides, all I'm doing there is pointing out that he's clearly making fun of your threat to go to peoples weddings and not leave gifts!!! "ZOMG!"-as they say.

downtownlad said...

I am leaving gifts.

Please don't accuse me of being cheap.

The gift is just not redeemable until Freedom Day. As I said, I'm happy for it to earn interest in the interim.

But I do get annoyed every time I have to go to another wedding, and write out a gift check for $1000, knowing full well I'm never going to be getting a gift in return.

These things should more or less equal out over a lifetime. But gay people (and ugly people who will never get married) get screwed over big time.

Of course the big winners are those who get married multiple times. Why should they be rewarded for failure?

Balfegor said...

There is no need for you to blow your top just because people find your proposed protest gift funny. I understand your point and your reasoning. The idea just makes me chuckle.

downtownlad said...

And please don't use the arguments that when it comes to wedding gifts it is the thought that counts.

People who get married come up with elaborate wedding registries. They know exactly what they want. And when someone leave a cheap gift, they remember that and hold a grudge.

I think my gift would be very memorable. I'm liking this idea more and more!!!

It's kind of like a big middle finger to the bigoted married couple. I wonder if Scalia would approve?

downtownlad said...

I'm not blowing my top Balfegor?

I would really be genuinely surprised if you had gay friends.

But then again - I'm having trouble dropping all my friends who oppose gay marriage. They are like leeches. They just won't go away no matter how many subtle clues you give them.

Relatives never go away unfortuantely.

Balfegor said...

I would really be genuinely surprised if you had gay friends.

Geez. Uh, then go ahead and be surprised. Not everyone strives to create a political monoculture within their circle of friendship.

downtownlad said...

Political monoculture?

No - it's called being friends with people who respect you.

We wouldn't expect a black person to tolerate a friendship with a KKK member. Why should gay people be friends with those who wish to make them second class citizens?

And there is a difference between acquaintance and friendship. I tolerate lots of straight, anti-gay bigots. Perhaps they even think they are friends with me. They are not.

downtownlad said...

Mary,

Ann was being sarcastic. I don't think she approves of the idea. At all.
But I don't want to give it to the HRC. It's their money and they can do whatever they want with it.

My gay friend's father died last year. And he inherited $500,000. However, he can't receive it until he marries a woman. If you ask me, that is hundred times more obnoxious that what I'm proposing.

And I'm sure Pogo and Balfegor think that is just hunky dory, what the bigot father did.

They think it's ok for straight people to treat gay people like crap. But god forbid a gay person dares and gets uppity themself.

$1000 is a lot?

Balfegor said...

$1000 is a lot?

Clearly you've got money. For most people, yes, $1000 is rather a lot (the median income in this country is what -- $37,000, I think?).

And I'm sure Pogo and Balfegor think that is just hunky dory, what the bigot father did.

Well, I think it's rather unkind, not because of the "bigotry," but because your friend is his son, and denying one's own son his inheritance is not a proper fatherly act. If a son owes his father filial piety, the father in his turn should strive to be generous in his treatment of his children.

On the other hand, these kinds of provisions were not unheard of in the past, I understand. Out of a worry that if you gave a single man a large quantity of money all at once, he'd blow it all on drink, gambling, and loose women.

But god forbid a gay person dares and gets uppity themself.

It's fine for you to do that. Go ahead! It's rude, at a wedding, but you obviously feel they've already cast the first insult, and insulted you deeply. I just think it's awfully funny -- is that so hard to understand?

37383938393839383938383 said...

I used the word seriously and matter-of-factly, as I thought was obvious. And I have the 'street cred' to use it, unlike the white liberals who repeated its usage for no reason.

tjl said...

Downtown Lad:

After experiencing your nonstop shrill diatribes, it's amazing that anyone, straight OR gay, would invite you to their wedding.

Please consider that securing the rights of gay people requires some participation in the political process, which in turn requires some ability to persuade. Shrieking at everyone does little to support our cause.

37383938393839383938383 said...

And before you object, please explain to me why you think you would have been one of the progressive 4% of white people who favored inter-racial marriage in the 1950's.

I am black. [Insert Scalia-like gesture here]

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

$1000 is a lot? Hell, yes! I don't recall well gifts from my own wedding (or at least not well enough to hold a grudge), but we're talking waffle irons and pizza stones.

AlaskaJack said...

Amazing! In a discussion of SSM, downtownlad has discovered the secret of time travel. Who woulda ever guessed?

downtownlad said...

After experiencing your nonstop shrill diatribes, it's amazing that anyone, straight OR gay, would invite you to their wedding.

Diatribes? No - it's called financial incentives. I believe in the free market. And if I have to bribe people to give me equality - so be it.

And I really do wish they would stop inviting me to their weddings. I'm sick and tired of wasting five weekends a year on these boring affairs. Having to eat farmed salmon one more time .... Oh geez.

Balfegor - I find humor in the proposal as well. I have no qualms if you think it's funny.

$37K a year translates into about $600K a year in New York to maintain the same lifestyle. $1000 gifts are quite normal around here, at least amongst my friends.

As for my gay friend - I'm encouraging him to marry an illegal immigrant, the further to piss off the xenophobes in this country.

Balfegor said...

Balfegor - I find humor in the proposal as well. I have no qualms if you think it's funny.

Oh -- so you have got a sense of humour after all. That's a great relief.

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

balfegor: I don't see why it's constitutional for an MA court to enforce a law, when it would be unconstitutional for an AL court to enforce that law. I agree, actually, and was just using the example on the table. Change it to something that passes muster: AL bans 1st cousins from marrying, MA allows it: AL 1st cousins can't marry in MA. That's all.

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

downtownlad, I still can't shake the thought of these $1000 wedding gifts you routinely hand out, but in my head I'm wondering what kind of gift would make it worth it for me to invite to my wedding someone who's so willing to politicize it.

Glenn Howes said...

The year I was married in Massachusetts they were sort of enforcing a rule that only residents of MA could marry, gay or straight. It asked right on the form if you "intended" to live in MA. Luckily, my wife still had a valid MA mailing address, or I don't know what we would have done. I lived in New Hampshire, and we really wanted to get married at Harvard Memorial Church. I guess it would all depend on the meaning of "intend" or "live in."

It's convenient at least, that future (straight) marriages will be allowed without question, and also good for us that New Hampshire allows interracial marriages.

downtownlad said...

I've changed my mind. I'm going to royally screw them over next time.

I'm getting them Tupperware as gifts.

downtownlad said...

Yeah - I don't put up with the charade that I should be "so happy" for my friends and relatives on their wedding day.

It is such a fraud. Nobody feels that way.

A wedding is either going to be good or bad, depending on how good a bash they throw. Everyone knows that. People look forward to the good weddings (at a Chateau in Burgundy for example) and dread the bad ones (Holiday Inn).

The service itself is always (yawn) a drag and everyone is just counting the minutes until the bar is open.

And if you don't feel that way, you're lying. And you know it! :)

Joan said...

I'm thinking that "downtownlad" is just someone's idea of a great Internet persona. I mean, c'mon, really: A wedding is either going to be good or bad, depending on how good a bash they throw. Everyone knows that. People look forward to the good weddings (at a Chateau in Burgundy for example) and dread the bad ones (Holiday Inn).

The service itself is always (yawn) a drag and everyone is just counting the minutes until the bar is open.


First, I've stayed in a few chateaus in Burgundy, and while they sound good on paper, the reality is that they are drafty and have bad plumbing. We won't even get into the uncomfortable furniture.

Second, if the service is always such a yawn, why are you agitating for gay marriage rights? The party may be fun, but the point of the celebration is what happens during the service.

Last:it's polite to decline invitations you to events you do not wish to attend. If you hate weddings so much, don't go.

downtownlad said...

Second, if the service is always such a yawn, why are you agitating for gay marriage rights? The party may be fun, but the point of the celebration is what happens during the service.

Wrong. The service is purely religious. Absolutely zero rights are granted to you at that time. Zero. None. Zip.

I'm not agitating for marriage rights so I can throw a big party. I doubt I'd have one. I'm agitating for marriage rights in the name of freedom and liberty.

The real stuff happens when when I actually sign the government documents. The right to not testify against my spouse in court, Social Security benefits, the right to make medical decisions for my spouse, and over 1100 other rights. Rights you can't get otherwise.

I can already get married by a religious institution. Many churches and temples will marry gay people. The problem is that the government won't recognize those marriages.

And sorry - but weddings at chateaus in Burgundy are amazing. At least the one I went to.

Weddings in Holiday Inns suck big time.

tjl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tjl said...

Downtown Lad:

You should be content, now that your bitter comments about weddings have been as putty in the hands of Joan (whose attacks on gay marriage you may recall from the other threads on this subject).
Joan does score a logical point, though. If you view weddings and marriage so darkly, why inflict them on the unsuspecting gay community?

downtownlad said...

tjl - I can almost guarantee you that if gay marriages become a reality, that they will quickly be setting the trends in terms of how to throw a good wedding party.

All weddings do not suck. As I said, weddings in Burgundy are tres bon.

As are weddings in New York lofts, outside affairs on a country estate, on the beach in the Caribbean, etc.

If you're going to throw a wedding - throw a good one! Or don't bother.

downtownlad said...

And nobody is fighting for gay wedding parties. Gays can throw wedding parties now if they so choose. Gays are fighting for LEGAL marriage rights.

And if I had to attend a gay wedding service, I'd be yawning just as much, and counting the time until the open bar.

37383938393839383938383 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
37383938393839383938383 said...

I'm fighting for the legal right to be at lesbian bachelorette parties. Both of 'em! [rimshot]

Walter said...

ReL downtownlad's idea of an account with $2000 for every sraight people once gay people get the right to marry. Sounds like a great idea that I fully support, but I have just one little question:

Where is the ~$400 billion to fund this coming from?

Figure 200 million straight Americans times $2,000 gives $400 billion.

For $400 Billion, I'm sure the right for gay people could be brought from the American public.

Michael Farris said...

Despite his drama-queenish overkill that serious propoents of SSM dread, Downtown lad has brought up an important point. By now, it's easier for GoL (gay or lesbian) couples to get religious ceremonies and recognition than civil ceremonies and state recognition.

As I've said, the toothpaste is out of the tube. Same sex couples can (and do) set up common households and even adopt children (in free, more civilized, states at least). Not recognizing this fact does the institution of marriage more harm than legal recognition of same-sex pairing does. If marriage really goes down the tubes, then Maggie Gallagher has a _lot_ more to answer for than does Dan Savage.

True (rather than politically opportunisitic) opponents of SSM need to be figuring out ways of stopping same sex cohabitation and stopping religious observance of same sex marriage. Anything less is _deeply_ hypocritical (or jsut palin hypocritical) the one thing downtown lad and I agree on is not making discrimination _comfortable_ for the discriminators/privileged (there are plenty of Althouses around ready to bow and scrape after all).

downtownlad said...

Actually Michael - It's not drama queenish to come up with creative ideas for getting our rights. I'm just your typical arrogant, opinionated New Yorker. And proudly so.

But your point is right. We have no problem shaming guys who join all white male country-clubs. They might ignore us, but at least we make them uncomfortable (or try to).

This is just the same type of approach.

Balfegor said...

Re: Michael Farris
Not recognizing this fact does the institution of marriage more harm than legal recognition of same-sex pairing does.

I think the harm actually has nothing to do with same-sex couples doing it -- old men and their catamites used to do it in previous generations anyhow, to no ill-effect, because no one expected (or, expects, really) gays to marry each other. The quasi-marital-cohabitation-harm to the "institution of marriage" is that heterosexual young men and women cohabit together in conditions that would have demanded marriage and (comparatively) irrevocable commitment, but face no consequences -- not even social consequences -- in much of the country. There's no longer a clear line between "married" and "unmarried," and that blurring is a significant element of the underlying problem with marriage in American society today. "Gay marriage" is just a distraction.

I don't see any mechanism by which reiterating that "no, gay marriage isn't marriage" could have any effect on, let alone reverse the decline of the institution.

Joan said...

Michael Farris, that last dig at Ann was really bizarre, given that Ann has said on more than one occasion that she is in favor of legalizing same sex marriage.

I find religious "recognition" of same sex marriage bizarre in the extreme. As a Catholic, in a sacramental marriage, I know there is no way that two members of the same sex can be joined in the sacrament of marriage. Religions that choose to bless same sex unions have strayed far from their roots. I realize many people think that's a good thing. I don't.

knoxgirl said...

What a depressing thread. Jeez

downtownlad said...

I find religious "recognition" of same sex marriage bizarre in the extreme. As a Catholic, in a sacramental marriage, I know there is no way that two members of the same sex can be joined in the sacrament of marriage.

I find Catholics bizarre...

Balfegor said...

Michael Farris, that last dig at Ann was really bizarre, given that Ann has said on more than one occasion that she is in favor of legalizing same sex marriage.

Well, so am I, and downtownlad has sputtered in rage at me anyway. Although that's probably because I'm in favour of legalising gay marriage, but not in favour of gay marriage, and find all the arguments I have yet heard in its favour tendentious and unpersuasive.

Michael Farris said...

Joan: "that last dig at Ann was really bizarre, given that Ann has said on more than one occasion that she is in favor of legalizing same sex marriage."

Yes, but she wants so much to be _nice_, even to those who cannot be reached by reason or compassion (like you!). I'm willing to be civil to those who can be convinced, I have no interest in those who are beyond the pale. You are dinosaurs and deserve to be treated as such.

Again, I repeat, more and more gay and lesbian people are creating more and more marriage-like bonds. If you're against same-sex civil marriage then you should be against same sex cohabitation (= common law marriage). And you should be in favor of taking children from sex-sex couples who are raising them.

Do you (I'm talking to you! Joan!) want to take children away from the people who are raising them to put them in institutions until more fitting (heterosexual) couples may choose to raise them?

Michael Farris said...

"I'm in favour of legalising gay marriage, but not in favour of gay marriage"

That's very fuzzy, but you're on the side of the angels, even if you don't understand all the why's and wherefore's (but love can conquer ranks and therefore...) God bless you. As for downtown lad, drama queens will be drama queens, just try to enjoy them for the color they bring into the lives of the more stable*.


*I usually cry bullshit when people try to pain the extreme left and right together but I bow in the dust to the person that pointed out that both the extreme right and extreme left want to see gay (more accurately transgered males) in the same way - as a freak show in life's rich pageant.

Balfegor said...

God bless you.

Ironically, I don't believe in God either.

Balfegor said...

Leaving the whole substance of the discussion aside, for a moment --

We passed about 700 replies over the past few threads on this topic, and all in a reasonably civil tone. But this one (to judge from the tone of the posts left and from the way posts have been getting deleted) I think our luck and self-control ran out. A pity.

Michael Farris said...

"Ironically, I don't believe in God either."

Neither do I, see? Dialogue _is_ possible! Now, what about a nice chorus of "I'd like to teach the world to sing"???

Ann Althouse said...

Balfegor: "We passed about 700 replies over the past few threads on this topic, and all in a reasonably civil tone. But this one (to judge from the tone of the posts left and from the way posts have been getting deleted) I think our luck and self-control ran out."

Yeah, I think this is the thread that proves that longer isn't better. This has turned into a lot of petulant footstomping. So downtownlad is really, really mad. We get it. But he's also apparently quite rich, so he's far from the big victim he wants to be seen as.

And Michael Farris is keen on trying to persuade people to agree with him, but ONLY people who do in the end agree with him. The others can go to hell, or be treated like dinosaurs... however one treats dinosaurs.

So, we get it. Why does the conversation go on and on then? Just got to get one more stomp of the foot in?

Michael Farris said...

"Michael Farris is keen on trying to persuade people to agree with him, but ONLY people who do in the end agree with him. The others can go to hell, or be treated like dinosaurs... however one treats dinosaurs."

Not quite, I'm keen on reaching the reachable and intent on disregarding the rest. I'm reminded of the very wise words of Lech Walesa before he became a sad parody of himself. (paraphrasing) "Don't burn down communist headquarters, ignore them."

One doesn't try to train dinosaurs or appease them or treat their lifestyle as reasonable afte the comet has struck, one ignores them until they either decide to evolve or stay in the muck and face extinction on their own (very impressive no doubt) terms.

downtownlad said...

So downtownlad is really, really mad. We get it. But he's also apparently quite rich, so he's far from the big victim he wants to be seen as.

Wrong Ann. I'm not really, really mad. So you obviously don't get it.

I'm just really, really opinionated on this issue. I totally get that some straight people don't like gay marriage and don't like gay people. Like half my family, who I still have to deal with on a regular basis, even if I don't like them that much. So please tell me why I have to like them back?

But I don't see any reason why I should have moral relativism when it comes to their opinion. I think they're wrong and I don't mind telling them so. Just like I've told my family that I think they're wrong. I still talk to them. I still treat them with civility.

And in no way am I acting like a "victim". To be vocal about your rights does not make one a victim. In fact - it's the opposite.

And yes - I guess I can be considered rich. I work hard for my money and intend to keep it. Do I face obstacles because I'm gay? Not in the workplace. Only in the eyes of the law. Does that bother me? Yes. Does it stop me from living my life? Of course not.

downtownlad said...

And on that note, it's Friday night, so I am going to go out and have a gay old time.

I enjoyed this thread even if Ann did not. I thought it was quite humerous.

Joan said...

Michael Farris asked: Do you (I'm talking to you! Joan!) want to take children away from the people who are raising them to put them in institutions until more fitting (heterosexual) couples may choose to raise them?

No. But I've been through all that on the other thread, and see no reason to rehash it here. Why do you care what I think, anyway? You've already said you don't, and I'm wondering why I even bothered to answer. I guess it seems rude not to... not that it would matter to you.

downtownlad said...

Heading out now, but one last post. Can't we get back to the topic at hand.

Tupperware.

;)

Michael Farris said...

Joan, you don't think they deserve to be married but they should be able to live together and raise children? What's missing here? What am I too stupid to understand?

Johnny Nucleo said...

This is one wacky thread! I had no idea Downtownlad was gay! And Michael Farris! You are scary smart! Are you, like, an alien or something?

downtownlad said...

Me gay? Where the hell did you get that idea!!!!!

Joan said...

Michael, go over and read the amazing comment thread if you want to know what I think. After 415 comments, Marghlar and I have reached the end of a productive discussion. Some other people emoted a lot, too. It really is an amazing thread; no need to get into it here, again.

Michael Farris said...

Joan, once more I miss the cool kids' party and have to make do with dancing by myself and dreaming what might have been.

Michael Farris said...

Althouse fan, you flatter. I am, alas, but a mere laborer, humbly toiling in the vineyards of snark and rancor while those favored by fortune try to elevate the tone.

Knemon said...

"$1000 gifts are quite normal around here, at least amongst my friends."

O the oppression!