June 5, 2006

"A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple."

Says Senator Kennedy. I'd say it's a vote for political gain -- whichever side you're voting on -- and it's not the least bit pure, though it is rather simple. You call them bigots. They emit sentences like: "Ages of experience have taught us that the commitment of a husband and wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society... Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all." I'm not going to listen to the details of this shameless talk. We've been through it all before, and there isn't a chance in hell that the damned thing is going to pass (given the required supermajorities).

117 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Does the branch of the Republican Party for which this amendment is important recognize that this is just a bone thrown to them every 2 years and that nothing will come of it? Surely they must.

Thank goodness the economy is humming along, deficits are under control, Osama bin Laden is rotting away in a jail somewhere, Iraq and Iran are both moderate democracies, America is respected everywhere, and North Korea is an fully integrated member of the International Community, and Washington DC government is as uncorrupt as any in the world!! Otherwise I'd think this vote is silly.

I fully expect elevated terror warnings to start up again before November as well.

Joe said...

Are the Democrats for whom Ted Kennedy speaks incapable of tolerating disagreement without smearing their opponents as bigots on any and every issue?

SteveR said...

Well I don't think either side has a monopoly on political bone throwing. The question is which side manages to do it more effectively.

And just being negative, tends not to be effective. Articulate what you stand for and run on it.

Seven Machos said...

Yeah, Madison Man. I remember the good old days when Bill Clinton was president.

The economy was humming along (true then and true now, deficits were under control (post-1994).

Osama bin Laden was rotting away in a jail somewhere.

Iraq and Iran were both moderate democracies (Clinton, ever the statesman).

America was respected everywhere, and North Korea was a fully integrated member of the International Community (and to think the people there have been starving and the country has been pursuing nuclear weapons just because of Bush).

Washington DC was uncorrupt (because, certainly, when I think of Bill Clinton, sleaze is far, far from my mind).

I expect better from you. I expect substantive and frank policy discussions, not dumb hyperbole. I guess I have set the bar too high today. I guess you would prefer to revel in silliness.

Too Many Jims said...

What ever happened to passing a constitutional amendment banning abortion? It seems, to me, that issue should be much more pressing. There the courts have already intervened and made abortion legal.

In the case of "gay marriage" we have (1) the DOMA, (2) federalism working itself out by having the issue decided in those states which care about it and (3) a Supreme Court which is highly unlikely to approve the imposition of gay marriage on the states.

foxlets14 said...

"I expect better from you. I expect substantive and frank policy discussions, not dumb hyperbole. I guess I have set the bar too high today. I guess you would prefer to revel in silliness."

Cut him some slack....afterall, he IS from Madison. Nice town; silly discourse!

MadisonMan said...

Sometimes my cynicism does get the better of me.

7m (and others, apparently) -- are you saying it's a good thing for the Senate to debate this amendment? That this is a good way to spend time?

PatCA said...

"Are the Democrats for whom Ted Kennedy speaks incapable of tolerating disagreement without smearing their opponents as bigots on any and every issue?"

Not as long as it keeps working!

Note: when a politician says something is "pure and simple," you can be sure it's not.

David said...

Kennedy has no credibility regarding any issue. He lost his gravitas many years ago.

Keeping the issue of same sex marriage simmering on the front burner serves an important purpose. Inevitably, the discourse will point to the high number of incarcerated males who use the penal system to fill the void of fatherless homes.

The fallacy to the logic that lesbians and gays can be normal parents to replace dysfunctional hetero marriages is that gays/lesbians would be less susceptible to the pressures of marriage and children.

The very fact that democrats cannot carry on the conversation in a reasonable manner without resorting to invective is telling. They plan on stepping right over gay marriage issue in a future power play that promotes the gay/liberal lifestyle as the norm.

If it feels good do it and if it feels bad ignore it is not a political platform to win on.

Seven Machos said...

No, of course it' a huge waste of time -- time that could be spent hashing out an immigration bill or doing anything but grandstanding. My point is simply that Democrats are just as guilty of this kind of uselessness. School uniforms. Gays in the military. Etc.

MadisonMan said...

Don't kid yourself -- there are people for whom support of this amendment is nothing less than bigotry. I think it's counterproductive, however, to single out the most radical element of the opposition and attempt to tar the entire opposition with that brush. Of course, everyone does do that occasionally.

My complaint is the time-wastiness of this amendment. If enacted, this amendment will almost certainly be repealed in due course. I am certain, for example, that an anti-miscegenation amendments could have been put into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers -- who would have opposed it back in the 1700s? Ask yourself why they didn't -- and then contemplate why a same-sex marriage prohibition should be there now.

The last time the morality police succeeded in getting an amendment into the constitution, it was an abject failure that was then repealed.

Seven Machos said...

Madison -- Come on. This isn't a Constitutional issue. That's why it's not in the Constitution. Local, state, and federal law are perfectly capable of handling these issues.

Again, I will harp: none of this would be an issue if gay activists hadn't forced it. The push against gay marraige isn't forward, it's reactionary. It's a reaction to unthinking activists and judges who have for some reason decided to push the idea of gay marriage in communities where it will not be accepted.

As an aside, where does gayness fall in Constitutional law? It's not like race, and strict scrutiny does not apply. I would argue that it's not even like gender, so intermediate scrutiny does not apply. Gay marriage is simply governed by the rational relations test. And EVERYTHING passes that test.

PatCA said...

"Time-wastiness" -- cool word, like "truthiness." :)

Elizabeth said...

Wow. Amazing how fast this thread went from Anne's comment to conservatives squealing about Clinton and nasty liberal name calling.

That's how it works; when you're convinced other people are less worthy than yourself, and need to be put in their place under the law, that's bigotry. It's not a polite disagreement, it's an attack on your fellow citizens.

A vote for the amendment is pandering; the pandering is to the bigots who think we need the amendment. It's a spade; call it one.

Ann Althouse said...

"Don't kid yourself -- there are people for whom support of this amendment is nothing less than bigotry."

What evidence is there that anyone is kidding themselves about that? The self-kidding is by people who say that support for the amendment is always and only based on bigotry!

Seven Machos said...

Elizabeth -- It's good to see that you are a rational person, and you don't think that people who disagree with you over policy issues are stupid bigots. It's good to see that.

Also, I think (though I'm not certain) that Madison Man got my point, which was that the world wasn't coming up roses before Bush was inaugurated. I'm sorry you didn't.

So, anyway, Elizabeth. Do you read your own posts? Who is really doing the name-calling here?

Elizabeth said...

7M, enshrining prejudice against me into the fundamental document of our country isn't a "policy difference." It's an act of bigotry. Your euphamisms are nothing more than rationalizations. If can, or Anne, can come up with a better term, one that doesn't sugarcoat the belief that gay citizens are less than equal, then go ahead. But "policy difference" doesn't cut it. You believe that some Americans should be treated differently than the majority, and go so far as to say that it's our own fault, that this is just a reaction to our working for our rights. Sorry, I can't find a better word than bigotry. It fits.

MadisonMan said...

I think (though I'm not certain) that Madison Man got my point, which was that the world wasn't coming up roses before Bush was inaugurated.

Let's say a pollster asked me if I was satisfied with the direction the country was headed. The likelihood of my saying NO is far greater now than it was during the Clinton administration.

The self-kidding is by people who say that support for the amendment is always and only based on bigotry!

I was curious to see where the Kennedy quote originated, and I think I found it here. In the context, the bigotry is linked to the Republican Right Wing, and I do think that's where those who support this amendment for only bigoted reasons sit.

I wonder how the debate would have evolved here had the nominally more nuanced (IMO) meaning of Kennedy's quote been clearer. He (or his lackey) is guilty of writing something that can be lifted as a soundbite to make him look silly (as if he needs help in that department!) -- I wonder why he didn't insert a 'For some people...' which I think he meant.

SteveR said...

"A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own."

That knife cuts both ways.

Seven Machos said...

Well, Elizabeth, it's good to see that you have stopped calling people names.

It's amazing to me how full of invective leftists are for people who disagree with them. I personally am against this amendment and I think it has no chance of passing, which makes the debate silly. However, if a community wants to prevent homosexual marriage, I have no problem with that. If a community wants to encourage homosexual marriage, I have no problem with that. That's democracy. It's not bigotry. It's people deciding how they want to arrange their society.

It's true that there are rights and persons which deserve protection under virtually every circumstance. The writ of habeas corpus is such a right. People of all skin colors are such persons.

But there is nothing in any Constitution about gay marriage. By being overly vocal, gays in America are frittering away the opportunity to have meaningful marriage ceremonies and, thereafter, to live completely wonderful gay lives without State interference in any number of big and medium-sized cities and college and university enclaves throughout the country. Gay activists have pushed this issue to the fore of politics, and created the risk (however small) of ELIMINATING a substantial number of rights and a glorious situation for gay people, and of ending up with an amendment AGAINST exactly what they wanted.

Wake up, people. This isn't the civil rights movement. ACT UP! is not Martin Luther King. Marx was right about so little, but it is true that history so often repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce.

Jeremy said...

I've often heard that libertarian types vote strategically to split the congress or congress and the white house so that nothing gets done. The idea being that given the chance, the government is screw up than help. So in that perspective, isn't this a good thing?

Plenty of time spent talking without a chance of anything being accomplished. Huzzah for the Marriage Amendment!

Dawn said...

My beef is with every special interest group jumping up and down yelling 'look at me! look at me! I'm repressed/not represented/owed something/etc, and trying to get it into the Constitution. Doesn't matter what side of the aisle they're on, when it comes down to it, it's a massive waste of our tax dollars.


As for Teddy K, he ceased being relevant ages ago.

SteveR said...

"A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own."

That knife cuts both ways.

No sense getting riled in any case, as Ann says its not going anywhere.

Joseph Hovsep said...

There is a difference between (1) debating the merits of extending marriage rights to same sex couples and (2) supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the effect of which would be to deny same sex couples the opportunity to achieve such rights, even through the legislative process, where the issue is a deliberately timed political stunt with no chance of passing done at the expense of gay and lesbian couples.

The former is a policy discussion where reasonable minds may differ. The latter is a fear-induced over-reaction to and exploitation of the issue. I think a Senator's support for this amendment is deserving of the kind of contempt Kennedy expressed.

Seven Machos said...

Joseph: So arguing to extend something you agree with is contemptible. Arguing to restrict something you wish to see extended is "a fear-induced over-reaction to and exploitation of the issue." And also "deserving of...contempt."

But clearly, "reasonable minds may differ." Just so long as they agree with you, right?

I mean, you seem to fancy yourself as intelligent. Do you see the utter tyranny of your argument? "You can only argue if you agree with me, Joseph, who is smarter than you bigots and little people who don't want I know to be right."

Seven Machos said...

"So arguing to extend something you agree with is acceptable."

Joseph Hovsep said...

Seven: I don't think I get your point. Mine is that amending the Constitution so that gays and lesbians cannot achieve marriage rights by any means other than their own constitutional amendment is not the logical extension of opposition to same sex marriage any more than amending the Constitution to ban flag burning is the logical extension of thinking that burning flags is a bad idea.

One can oppose same sex marriage without wanting to take the extreme measure of amending the Constitution. The FMA denies gays and lesbians the right to try to achieve marriage rights through the legislative process. I think that is very different and much worse than merely opposing same sex marriage and, yes, I think it is deserving of contempt.

Seven Machos said...

Joseph, I agree with you in substance, but you sound like a ridiculous elitist. Of course it's logical to try to obtain a constitutional ban if you wish to ban something. People out there, particularly religious people, are as fervently against gayh marriage as you are for it. But the zeitgeist was againt them and they live in places where gays don't marry, anyway. Gays were winning. But, then, look-at-me activists had to go and get judges to say that we MUST accept gay marriage.

And that's how this whole goofy thing got started.

Also, Mary: Some 70 percent of Americans appear to be against State-endorsed gay marriage. You lose 19 percent of those people for whatever reason (a guy like me, for instance, who finds the idea of an amendment absurd but the arguments by leftist fascists even more repulsively asinine), you are still looking good at the polls.

Elizabeth said...

7M, I'm not a leftist intolerant of people who disagree with me. I understand disagreement on a great many issues, and participate in rich discussions about those disagreements.

I am a lesbian, absolutely intolerant of bigotry against me based on my sexuality. That is quite specific. There are comments here that rest on ridiculous generalizations, accusing Democrats of "smearing their opponents..on any and every issue, for example, when we're talking about one issue, this issue.

The notion that democracy means we can simply decide some people have rights and others don't is ludicrous. We're not a direct democracy; we have courts, and other safeguards against the tyranny of the majority. Would you overturn Loving v. Virginia? Is it fine with you if some communities decide that miscegenation should be illegal because that's just democracy at work? No, but to rationalize the difference in your position you'll have to pull out some faux-indignance at comparing gay rights to racial rights. The pattern's old and predictable: how dare the people I don't want to tolerate be so intolerant as to call out my intolerance? And, how dare those gays compare themselves to slaves? Exaggeration, generalizations, strawmen, and spin.

When communities attempt to make laws and policies that are prejudicial against another group of citizens, there's no shame in calling those acts for what they are, acts of bigotry.

This amendment won't pass, but it's important to reject the politics of pandering to fear and bigotry. This president is pandering, as are those who vote for the amendment. I'm glad the amendment is doomed, but I'm also tired of this seasonal, ritual scapegoating of gay people. Sitting silently while it happens isn't the right course to take. And getting sidetracked by Kennedy's comment misses the point.

sonicfrog said...

I have become very bitter toward the Republican party in the last few years, especially since Terry Schievo (sp); so much so that I'm changing the letter on my voter registration from an "R" to an "I". The small government / big tent structure is looking more and more like a largess government / church steeple. I prefer my party and church to be in two different buildings, thank you very much, though the current arrangement does save on drive time and gas :-)

PS. The D's are no better since they are more and more influenced by the whims of ANSWER and Move On.org, whos followers are as devout as any serving a religious cause.

Seven Machos said...

Elizabeth: "I'm not a leftist intolerant of people who disagree with me."

Elizabeth: "I am a lesbian, absolutely intolerant of bigotry against me based on my sexuality."

Face it, Elizabeth. You are an intolerant leftist.

Why do you get to define which rignts are valid and which rights are not? I mean, besides the fact that you are so much smarter than the little people? Besides that.

The crazy thing is, I am trying to help you get what you want, which is gay marriage. But you refuse to do it in a politically acceptable way, or use the political space available to you. No, you want to force your views upon others using the force of law. Why are you surprised when they try to force their views on you using the force of law?

I would be very sad for a lot of gay people if this amendment ever passed. But I really couldn't muster much pity for you, Elizabeth, because you are just as much of a tyrant and a fascist as even the most fundamentalistically ferevent religious person.

Seven Machos said...

Actually, Mary, it's really the big cities that count. If you can get married in Boston of New York City, who cares what you can do in some podunk town? Big cities and college towns are where all gay people can go and live the life they want. Smaller towns and rural areas and conservative suburbs are where people who oppose gay marriage can live and govern themselves according to their principles, which don't include gay marriage.

Everybody wins. And that's the situation on the ground now. But a lot of people don't know when to walk away with the best they are going to get.

monkeyboy said...

To be honest I've been reminded of the Onion article "Gay rights parade sets back gay rights."

The main push for the amendment seems to be worry that there is a movement to first have Same Sex marriage in one state, say MA, saying that DOMA would cover full faith and credit, and then move to overturn DOMA.

When the NRA pushed for concealed carry laws, they didn't attempt to have a judge declare that a Texas CCW permit had to be recognized in San Francisco, but they went state by state, getting the legislatures to pass approving carry, using logical argument, and are now moving to reciprocity.

Had the SSM advocates done that, I don't think you would have seen the Amendment movement, or all the additions to state amendments passed on 2004.

Seven Machos said...

monkeyboy -- I agree 100 percent. And the key is the legislature. Very rarely will people not accept what a legislature has done because the people know they voted for the bums (and so they often agree with them) or that they can kick the bums out.

This same-sex marriage stuff has been forced by two state supreme courts. And that doesn't work nearly as effectively, or even most of the time.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Seven, Speaking as a member of a same sex couple living and working in a 'podunk' rural area controlled by Republicans, I am not willing to get up and move to the big city because my community is somewhat less receptive to gay rights. I think the idea is ridiculous. Should black people be encouraged to move to Africa (or the big city for that matter) if they don't like racial discrimination?

You may disagree but gay couples have legitimate constitutional and policy arguments in their quest for same sex marriage. And as much as you repeat it, the public backlash against the efforts of gays and lesbians to achieve various rights, from military service to adoption to marriage, is waning. In fact, public opinion has shifted in favor of gay rights over the last decade and more, even in the podunk towns, even among religious people. Check out Pew's recent review of polls of gay rights issues.

Seven Machos said...

Well, Joseph, all I know is, if I agree with you, it's acceptable and we can have a conversation. If I disagree with you, I'm a bigot. That's what you said earlier.

All those mentions of homosexuality in the Constitution and all the Supreme Court case law on the issue -- where is all that stuff exactly? Perhaps you can point me in the right direction.

One of the ways the Left today is repugnant is that it thinks whatever policy it wants has Constitutional force, and whatever policy it is against rises to the level of unconstitutionality.

The truth is, Joseph, that gay marriage doesn't rate much above ordinances about where your dog can poop in terms of constitutionality. And that's how it should be.

One more thing, I really wish gay people would stop comparing themselves to black people. It's sickening. African-Americans knew and know true discrimination, based on a fixed physcal characteristic that is in no way a choice, like, say, GETTING MARRIED. There IS a constitutional basis for non-discrimiation based on ethnicity. Perhaps one day you will read the document.

Elizabeth said...

Ok, I've had quite a learning session today in vocabulary and logic. I hope I have it right:

Gays should go live in the cities and stop trying to force our rights (screw that inalienable crap, that's for normal people) down the throats of good people who'd really just rather leave us alone, but as long as we're forcing the issue, then it's okay for them to use the constitution to keep us in our place. And when we disagree with this, we're fascists and totalitarians.

Seven Machos said...

Elizabeth -- You are just as surely a tyrant as the most fervent religious person. You both refuse to see it.

No one would ever have tried to pass this amendment if gay activists and leftist judges had not moved first in Vermont and Massachusetts. Would you not say that this is a reactionary amendment? Reactionary to what?

When gay-marriage advocacy groups and like-minded judges mandate gay marriage throughout a state, that's forcing a belief system upon people via law. When whoever is behind this anti-gay marriage amendment tries to make gay marriage unconstitutional nationally, that's forcing a belief system upon people via law.

You are a fascist tyrant. They are fascist tyrants. You both are would-be dictators who want to make people and communities conform to your narrow standards because you know better than they do. Got it?

Kev said...

Elizabeth wrote:
"7M, enshrining prejudice against me into the fundamental document of our country isn't a "policy difference." It's an act of bigotry."

Whoa--hang on a second. Nobody's legislating prejudice against you specifically. Why would you let your sexuality--a single aspect of your existence--define the entirety of your being? From what we've read over the years, there's plenty more to you (college professor, New Orleanian, etc.) than that one trait. Unless you're planning on marrying soon, this amendment doesn't even apply to you. What's causing you to take this so personally?

Bunker wrote:
"My beef is with every special interest group jumping up and down yelling 'look at me! look at me! I'm repressed/not represented/owed something/etc, and trying to get it into the Constitution. Doesn't matter what side of the aisle they're on, when it comes down to it, it's a massive waste of our tax dollars."

Amen to that! We'd all be in much better shape if we concentrated more on the things that unite us (i.e. our humanity) rather than the small differences between us (ethnicity, religion, etc.) that never should have been an issue in the first place.

Alan said...

It seems over the last few years the GOP has accelerated its slide away from me philosophically. Though it's probably my own fault for believing in an illusion.

I believe in the idea of limited government. That it's not the government's role to make my economic or spiritual decisions. But the idea of limited government has been replaced with the notion of smaller government. Which actually translates to smaller liberal government; it's alright to have an all knowing and all seeing government as my moral guide. Especially when it's there to protect the "institutions" that have made this country great. Even if that means to trample over those "non-institutions" declared in our Declaration of Independence as unalienable rights. And, gosh darn it, it's done best by the individual states which have the Constitutional right to trample them.

So here we are. The GOP is controlled by a bunch of zealots who believe they know best when it comes to personal matters (this includes most of the big name pundits). And they therefore expect to use the almighty government to keep everyone in line. And they tell me that this is conservatism. (eyeroll)

Al Maviva said...

Elizabeth, thanks. I'm agnostic on the gay marriage issue and kind of unhappy about cynical Republican efforts to use it as a wedge issue, but thanks to your comments, I'm starting to come around. If you like something, I probably ought to be against it. Again, thanks for helping me gain some bearings on the issue.

And Madison Man, don't look in any British or Canadian papers today. I'm sure all you'll find there is more unjustified scaremongering about a totally non-existent terrorist threat. That way, you'll be happy, and nobody who thinks that there actually is a threat will have to waste time trying to engage you in a substantive argument, in which you'll express an implacable opinion. Your viewpoint on the issue does all of us a favor, and I think we don't thank you enough for that.

Pogo said...

Kennedy's comment is, not surprisingly, all wet.

Pogo said...

I know, I know. Just terrible. But if Kennedy's going to talk like he bears the Mantle Of Meaning, well I'll have to point out few opposing facts.

Face it Ted, we're both washed up.

alkali said...

So it's settled: people who accuse the sponsors of a constitutional amendment that is explicitly designed to prevent gay relationships from getting any kind of legal protection, ever of bigotry are just intolerant smear artists.

Next on the agenda: closed-minded Jews stubbornly refuse to discuss whether arbeit really does macht frei. What's up with that? Excluding the possibility entirely just seems kind of fascist.

alkali said...

(To make a somewhat less snarky comment:)

The charge of bigotry, in this context, means the dual contention that (i) the Federal Marriage Amendment is motivated by irrational and wrong beliefs about gay people, and (ii) that the arguments advanced in favor of the FMA are essentially window-dressing aimed at disguising that fact. Whether you like hearing that contention or not, that is one of the central arguments (if not the central argument) against the FMA. Asserting ex ante that it is out of bounds to make that argument is ridiculous.

There are roughly speaking two categories of "on point" responses to that argument (i.e., the charge of bigotry): one could contend that (i) the arguments against the FMA purported to be window dressing are in fact substantial, or (ii) animus against gays is rationally justified. But the fact that people don't like being called bigots is logically speaking neither here nor there.

Elizabeth said...

7M,

This amendment came up in public discourse at the same time the DOM act was being proposed. It's not just a recent reaction to court cases. But I ask again, would you have overturned Loving v. Virginia? That's not just about racial prejudice but about, as you put it, a decision to marry. After all, black people and white people don't have to choose to marry one another.

Allowing people to exercise the same rights as their neighbors is not enforcing a belief system, any more than the exercise of any civil rights counts as thought control. There's nothing tyrannical in asserting that one group of citizens cannot keep another group from full and equal participation in marriage.

Kevin, I can see where you come from with your question, and my response is that it is personal. I am many things other than gay, true, but in the eyes of my government, that identity is what matters, and in the eyes of craven politicians, attacks on me, and all gay people, are great traction during election years. That's reprehensible, on their part, and on the part of people who feel satisfied by those attacks.

Al, that's a very wise course. I aspire to your maturity.

Dr. Filthy McNasty said...

All of this started with gay rights groups implementing an efffective end-run around the Constitution. What's so disingenuous is how after implementing a strategy to thwart the state legislative process, the left is now up in arms that the right is fighting back.

The pro-gay marriage camp implemented an effective strategy of challenging marriage in the courts in states where they felt liberal courts would thwart the legislatures ability to defend traditional marriage. Mass was an obvious pick.

Sandra OConnor helped a great deal with Lawrence v. Texas where the majority lambasted Scalia's suggestion that the ruling would be used by liberal courts to find in favor of gay marriage. The liberal wing of the court regarded that suggestion as ridiculous and yet in a handful of months it was the basis of the Mass Court decision. Big surprise.

Now the debate has come full circle. Rather than engage Stanley Kurtz or Gallagher in debate, Althouse merely calls anyone who defends traditional marriage a bigot and refuses to discuss it beyond that.

If conservatives manage to benefit from this politically because of this type of demoniszation, then power to them.

Dr. Filthy McNasty said...

Oh, I didn't have time to read all these, but i assume all the pro-gay marriage folks find it bigoted, reprehensible and a wild intrusion into private lives when we outlawed polygomy in this country?

Paul Zrimsek said...

The amendment is looking less and less like a dumb attemot to pander to a base that doesn't have anywhere else to go anyway.... and more and more like a cunning attempt to goad prominent Democrats into alienating the majority of voters yet again.

Joe Baby said...

Haven't many Catholic leaders made statements against redefining marriage? Someone should ask Ted if he also thinks they are 'bigots, pure and simple.'

Maybe he could ask the priest who married him, or the one who baptised his kids, or the one who married him (again) after someone granted him an annulment.

downtownlad said...

Let's pass an amendment that forbids Seven Machos from marrying.

Hey - it's just democracy at work. And then when he wines about it, we can call him a "fascist leftist".

And he better not accuse me of being bigoted against him, just because I deem him to be a second-class citizen. Because if he complains, it's really his own damn fault that people want to deny him his rights.

Brendan said...

Ted, please check into rehab with your son. You're an ambarrassment.

downtownlad said...

As I understand it, what people are saying is that it's gay people's fault for this amendment being proposed.

Well what are gay people supposed to do? Sit there and be quiet? Yup - that worked wonders for civil rights and women's rights. Being silent and not speaking up for your rights - will lead to the granting of your civil rights???

What planet are these people living on?

Gay marriage is not legal in this country. Gays cannot serve in the military. Gays in this country were imprisoned until a few years ago for having sex. Gays are still imprisoned for having sex if they serve in the military.

Gay activists (the opposite being "gay doormats" as Dav Savage points out) have been quite vocal in demanding equality. It has been an extremely successful approach. Marriage is now legal in Massachusetts and civil unions are legal in Connecticut and Vermont. Support for gay marriage is increasing. Gays now have the freedom to have sex in the privacy of their own home - without the government hauling them off to prison, the majority of this country favors gays serving in the military.

Seven Machos thinks gay people should become doormats and remain silent.

Never. Not for me. If you don't like it - tough. But exercising my free speech rights and voicing my OPINION that I think people who want to oppress me are bigots, does NOT make me a "liberal fascist".

As I've said before. When people stop passing bigoted constitutional amendmendments, I'll stop calling them bigots.

But I'm fine with that. Whenever I meet people who support these amendments, I then know that I should avoid these people whenever possible. And when I have to deal with them, I just treat them with contempt. They are not worthy of my respect.

Craig Ranapia said...

Blah, blah, blah. I really hope the Democrats in both houses who voted for DOMA, applauded "don't ask, don't tell", went back home to states with so-called sodomy laws only enforced against homosexuals etc. had the decency to blush on hearing Senator Kennedy flatulate.

Meanwhile, it would be nice to see so-called conservatives (who used to believe in federalism) would try walking the talk, or just admit their "principles" are little more than a whore's chastity. And for someone who rails against "judicial activists", am I the only person who thinks President Bush is promoting a constitutional amendment with *ahem* a great deal of strategic ambiguity in the language? Or am I the only person who thinks this is also a coded effort to ban states from allowing same-sex civil unions, spousal benefits etc. - because it's certainly being sold to the base as such.

President Bush and Senator Kennedy have their mid-term wedge issue, and let's admit this is exactly what they both want and need. But I have to agree with Professor Althouse - let's not pretend there anything resembling principles at play anywhere on the Hill.

Jacques Cuze said...

Senator Kennedy: A vote for this amendment is a vote for bigotry pure and simple."

Ann Althouse denies it's bigotry: I'd say it's a vote for political gain -- whichever side you're voting on

According to Ann, always eager to bash a Democrat, opponents of the gay marriage ban are in the wrong and voting for political gain and not to prevent bigotry.

History of the United States says:

In December of 1912, an amendment to the Constitution was introduced to abolish racial intermarriage: "Intermarriage between negros or persons of color and Caucasians . . . within the United States . . . is forever prohibited.

But here is how the Supreme Court put it in 1967 in Loving v. Virgina. (This is the case the Constitutional Law Professor does not wish to discuss.)

The trial judge in the case, Leon Bazile, ... Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

The Supreme Court overturned the convictions in a unanimous decision, dismissing the Commonwealth of Virginia's argument that a law forbidding both white and black persons from marrying persons of another race, and providing identical penalties to white and black violators, could not be construed as racially discriminatory. In its decision, the court wrote

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.


In further bashing of the Democrats, Ann Althouse goes on to say
The self-kidding is by people who say that support for the amendment is always and only based on bigotry!

According to Ann, opponents of the gay marriage amendment are self-deluding liars.

And here is how Jack Cafferty put it in 2006:

Guess what Monday is? Monday is the day President Bush will speak about an issue near and dear to his heart and the hearts of many conservatives. It's also the day before the Senate votes on the very same thing. Is it the war? Deficits? Health insurance? Immigration? Iran? North Korea?

Not even close. No, the president is going to talk about amending the Constitution in order to ban gay marriage. This is something that absolutely, positively has no chance of happening, nada, zippo, none. But that doesn't matter. Mr. Bush will take time to make a speech. The Senate will take time to talk and vote on it, because it's something that matters to the Republican base.

This is pure politics. If has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in gay marriage. It's blatant posturing by Republicans, who are increasingly desperate as the midterm elections approach. There's not a lot else to get people interested in voting on them, based on their record of the last five years.

But if you can appeal to the hatred, bigotry, or discrimination in some people, you might move them to the polls to vote against that big, bad gay married couple that one day might in down the street.


Doesn't America deserve better Constitutional Law Professors?

Dawn said...

"Gays can't serve in the military"? Wow, I'll have to inform my lesbian friends who are vets about that one!

DNR Mom said...

To all you apparent bigots out there: What ever happened to live and let live? To loving the *least* of these thy brethren? Or for that matter, to states' rights, even equal rights?

No go? So let me snark with my pet bumper sticker: "Somebody PLEASE give Bush a b!*~ j*# so we can impeach him."

downtownlad said...

I actually have little problem with the bigots who support this amendment, as long as they were honest about their reasoning.

They almost all support this amendment, because they don't like gay people. They think gays are sinners, or they think gay sex is disgusting (unless they're a straight male - and then lesbian sex is cool - explain that one), or they want to show how straight they are.

Fine. But like I said - admit that's your reasoning. This crap about "protecting" marriage insults my intelligence. People don't have to like gay people. It's a free country. And if you want to pass amendments based on who you don't like - you're allowed to do that too.

It just wouldn't be a very good country anymore. Just like States that have this amendment are not very good states and gays would be wise to move out of them. Why live where you are not wanted.

Craig Ranapia said...

Downtownlad:

Indeed. In fact those who really fret about "protecting marriage" should be pushing for a constitutional amendment along the lines Teddy Roosevelt proposed in his sixth 'annual message' a century back (text at http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=29547 ):

QUOTE
I am well aware of how difficult it is to pass a constitutional amendment. Nevertheless in my judgment the whole question of marriage and divorce should be relegated to the authority of the National Congress. At present the wide differences in the laws of the different States on this subject result in scandals and abuses; and surely there is nothing so vitally essential to the welfare of the nation, nothing around which the nation should so bend itself to throw every safeguard, as the home life of the average citizen. The change would be good from every standpoint. In particular it would be good because it would confer on the Congress the power at once to deal radically and efficiently with polygamy; and this should be done whether or not marriage and divorce are dealt with. It is neither safe nor proper to leave the question of polygamy to be dealt with by the several States. Power to deal with it should be conferred on the National Government.

When home ties are loosened; when men and women cease to regard a worthy family life, with all its duties fully performed, and all its responsibilities lived up to, as the life best worth living; then evil days for the commonwealth are at hand. There are regions in our land, and classes of our population, where the birth rate has sunk below the death rate. Surely it should need no demonstration to show that wilful sterility is, from the standpoint of the nation, from the standpoint of the human race, the one sin for which the penalty is national death, race death; a sin for which there is no atonement; a sin which is the more dreadful exactly in proportion as the men and women guilty thereof are in other respects, in character, and bodily and mental powers, those whom for the sake of the state it would be well to see the fathers and mothers of many healthy children, well brought up in homes made happy by their presence. No man, no woman, can shirk the primary duties of life, whether for love of ease and pleasure, or for any other cause, and retain his or her self-respect.
END QUOTE

Well, folks - Teddy seemed to understand the “threat” of you straight people getting divorced and failing to breed. How about you, President Bush - or could it be that more divorcees and childless couples vote Republican than than sodomites and sapphists?

Seven Machos said...

Does it occur to anyone here that the miscegenation issue is about race, not marriage? That strict scrutiny applied because it was about race?

Seven Machos said...

downtown lad: "They almost all support this amendment, because [1]they don't like gay people. [2] They think gays are sinners, or [3] they think gay sex is disgusting...or [4] they want to show how straight they are."

-- You win the prize, hands down, for setting up strawmen and knocking them down. What's so wonderful is that you do this all the time. You are the king dude. You set up your opponent. You give them a bunch of silly motivations. And then you knock those motivations down.

And you beat the strawman every time! It must feel good, like stealing candy from little kids feels good.

Seven Machos said...

Let's try an analogy. Let's consider making toast. Is making toast:

1. Illegal in the sense that to do it a crime?

2. Legal in the sense that you can do it if you want, or not?

3. Super-legal, in the sense that the State requires you to report toastmaking in order to legitimize it?

Now, let's consider gay marriage. Is it:

1. Illegal in the sense that to do it a crime?

2. Legal in the sense that you can do it if you want, or not?

3. Super-legal, in the sense that the State requires you to report toastmaking in order to legitimize it?

I don't think it can be argued that both making toast and gay marriage fall under Category #2. Miscegenation was in Catogory #1. That's a huge difference. For some reason, gay activists have decided to push gay marriage from Category #2 to Category #2, thereby limiting their own choices and risking, as we see by the proposed amendment, getting gay marriage banished to Category #1.

This is really bad and dumb politics.

Seven Machos said...

Sorry about the typos up there. I got to proof-read.

Al Maviva said...

I would support an amendment removing the ability of courts to decide the question. I could care less which way voters go, and in a referendum could probably be bothered enough to get off the sofa and go pull the lever for civil unions, but not for gay marriage. My main concern is the way the courts in the most liberal states are being co-opted in a full faith & credit strategy, to inflict gay marriage on states where voters are nearly unanimously opposed to it. That's judicial tyranny at best. I suppose for many here that makes me a screaming homophobe who's probably suffering terribly from repressing all my gay urges to screw Andy Sullivan, but there you have it.

Joe said...

I also resent being called a bigot if I oppose gay marriage, just as I resent being called a racist for opposing racial preferences. I do not hate gays, I have gay friends and relatives. I believe a gay couple should have all the legal rights in a legally recognized civil union that a married couple has. I do not call that union a marriage because it is not a marriage. Marriage has been defined forever as between a man and a woman. That is not mere semantics and it is entitled to recognition by the state if the state is going to legally recognize marriage. I also oppose the amendment because I think it should be up to the states. Asking the courts to redefine an ancient institution is the height of arrogance and tyranny, and is a thumb in the eye of every religious person who considers marriage to be sacred.

Brando said...

althouse, you're hilarious. it seems that you would admit that the bush and the republicans are doing something stupid here. And you reaction is: Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy! Bugaboo Democrats! Crazy lefties do it too!

too funny. sorry things aren't swinging your way these days. but you have been an unwaivering apologist for these republican wonderkins including Bush for how long now? And now you're retort is: the Democrats are scum too? Well, i guess that's a bit of progress.

Philip said...

The government does not recognize people as being gay or straight. Therefore, the question of same-sex marriage is not about the desires of individuals, but the concern society has for those given relationships. Those who support it ought to make an argument that shows if there is any benefit to society that needs to recognized. There is no procreation. We know that much. What concern is it of society that two people love each other and want to live together?

There is no discrimination against individuals simply because same-sex marriage is not recognized under law. All unmarried adults are free to marry an unmarried adult of the opposite sex as long as they both choose it. The government does not outlaw this institution to those who have engaged or have a desire to engage in homosexual activity. This would apply to same-sex marriage in the same way: the two men or women would not have to be gay, under law, to get married. Alternatively, being single does not make you a second-class citizen.

The marriage laws are not about the persons, but the relationship itself. In this, it is discriminatory: it says there is a benefit to society that extends from one generation to another, and it does so according to nature, not appetite.

Billiam said...

This Amendment push is pandering. Yet, at the same time, you could see it coming had you but opened your eyes. Should marriage be a state issue? Yes. As we've seen, Federal Judges won't allow it to be. They've thrown out amendments added to state constitutions. They've in fact, made it a Federal issue. This should be clear. It should have been from the time of Roe to now. What starts as a state issue stays so, until the losing party finds a sympathetic Federal Judge.

Craig Ranapia said...

Vuljean wrote:
There is no procreation. We know that much. What concern is it of society that two people love each other and want to live together?

Ah, but you seem to be very concerned about whether two people can - let alone choose to - have children. Sorry, Vuljean, perhaps you'd like to tell my foster brother he should dump his infertile wife and get himself a 'real' marriage? Or perhaps the state shouldn't recognise his marriage at all, because it doesn't fit your eugenic conception of what marriage is. How arrogant and presumptous!

Seven Machos said...

Craig -- Is everyone who disagrees with you arrogant and pompous? But you are modest snd humble guy? Your humility -- to say nothing of an immense tolerance -- certainly comes through in your posts.

But, Craig, honestly, is it ILLEGAL for gays to get married where you live? What would happen if you held a big party, and invited all your friends, and had an openly gay person conduct your wedding? Would the sexuality Nazis burst in and send everyone to prison?

What part of marriage are gays missing out on? -- except that coveted partners' health insurance, which some bigoted homophobes make available only to heterosexuals. Of course, John down at the mill where they make the floors for 18-wheeler beds, he doesn't have any insurance for HIS wife.

Or does it simply come down to the fact, Craig, that you want people who don't want to accept gayness to be told by a fiery, righteous, liberal judge that they must accept gayness, so that gay people can then pay a fee and get a certificate, suitable for framing? We know from experience that people love being told by unelected officials what they muts accept in their communities. We've never had any problems with that throughout human history.

Craig Ranapia said...

Seven:

First, I find getting an ettiquite lecture from you as credible as childcare tips or marriage counselling from Britney Spears.

Where I come from, I was raised to keep vulgar and impertinent comments on the fertility of others to myself - where they belong. But I can understand why people who trot out the line about the 'sterility' of homosexual partnerships, get very defensive (and, yes, a little pompous and arrogant) when a very simple fact is pointed out - there are plenty of heterosexual marriages out there are childless, either by circumstance or choice. Or is contraception illegal where YOU live? Strangely enough, I can't recall a jurdisdiction where you have to pass a fertility test to get a marriage licence.

And, seven, please feel free to set up any kind of strawman you like. Just don't put my name around it's neck. What I find most amusing about the FMA is folks like you who rail about "unelected officials" and "judicial activists", but are pimping for a constitutional amendment whose language is, to put it mildly, strategically ambiguous to an extent that will be litigated for decades to come if it every gets raitfied. Then again, I guess some pseudo-conservatives have no problem with "judicial activism" as long as the activists are ideologically congenial; who believe in federalism as long as elected legislatures don't make the 'wrong' choices; and who don't have the guts to come right out and say they don't actually want homosexuals to have any degree of equality before the law, because they just don't deserve it.

Oh, and this statement was particularly amusing: We know from experience that people love being told by unelected officials what they muts accept in their communities. Well, duh... but, once more, you certainly seem rather keen on using the federal constitution to try and ram your values down other people's throats. More pseudo-conservative hypocrisy - do what I say, don't say what I do.

Philip said...

Craig,

You are worng on two counts: on the one hand it is "arrogant and presumptuous" of you to assume from what I wrote that I would call any marriage between a man and woman not a real marriage, let alone particularize it for two complete strangers.

Furthermore, one must be an arrant knave to claim that not taking an interest in a certain relationship is in fact "arrogant and presumtuous."

But thank you for responding. I know the real difference. I learn from nature, and you learn from appetite. Pity the world.

Marghlar said...

They've thrown out amendments added to state constitutions. They've in fact, made it a Federal issue.

Citation?

Marghlar said...

vuljean: the point I think you miss is that nature creates people who naturally love and wish to express their love with people of the same gender. If that's just appetite, well, the same could be said of my marriage to my wife. I didn't marry her in order to have children; I married her to make a permanent committment of my love and affection. We may or may not end up having children, but it is irrational to say that most of the virtues of my marriage couldn't exist in a gay marriage.

Marghlar said...

Seven: I stayed away from this, because I think you know where I stand, and it just seemed to be reiteration, but now I see you are going on random threads and talking about how there is no legitimate constitutional argument for gay marriage.

Bollocks.

What is the objective criteria by which you find race/national origin/ethnicity/gender in the equal protection clause, but not sexual orientation? Historical oppression? Check. Immutable characteristic? Check. Democratic deficit (in the Ely sense)? Double check -- gays are more disabled from protecting their interests in the political process than are women and many minorities.

So what's the standard -- a blind adherence, not just to precedent, but to a robotic decision never to extend precedent in logically appropriate ways?

Furthermore, you throw around the fact that rational basis can never strike down a law early on this thread. You, as a lawyer, surely know that this statement is a bit misleading, after Lawrence struck down sodomy statutes using a rational basis inquiry.

I very rarely would encourage the SCOTUS to get into social politics with its decisions. For instance, although I support abortion rights, I think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. But here we aren't dealing with unenumerated rights, we are dealing with an explicit textual guarantee. It doesn't say "race, gender, etc..." it says "equal protection." And gay people are just as entitled to it as any other disfavored minority group who can't truly change their status.

Palladian said...

"I learn from nature, and you learn from appetite. Pity the world."

Really? You learn from "nature"? Is that Nature with a capital "N"? So marriage was invented by Nature? That's a rather bold claim. Leaving aside that appeals to "Nature" are very poor debating form, I'd suggest that following "Nature" is not necessarily a commendable social strategy in most areas of endeavor. Our "Nature" doesn't seem to include exclusive monogamy (nor does our past, if you believe the Old Testament) so appeals to "Nature" when advocating "traditional" marriage seem particularly ineffective. But it seems that no rhetorical dart is too cheap to hurl in this ridiculous debate, so hurl on, saintly Nature-driven being!

As to "appetite", it seems rather strange that you pit it against "nature". Appetite seems to be a prime motivator in nature. It keeps us from starving, it motivates us to excel over our rivals, it encourages us to have sex (terrifying to think of your pure, natural sex, devoid of appetite!) It seems that "appetite" is more natural (if we're going to use such vague, dubious constructs in a debate about rational social structures) than whatever hypothetically "pure" state you seem to be advocating.

Reducing marriage to a government eugenic entitlement program surely doesn't seem to be a great argument for its "sanctity".

And it's quite an appetite suppressant to boot!

Craig Ranapia said...

vuljean wrote:
You are worng on two counts: on the one hand it is "arrogant and presumptuous" of you to assume from what I wrote that I would call any marriage between a man and woman not a real marriage, let alone particularize it for two complete strangers.

Oh, I see - so you'll bring up 'procreation', but the courage of your convictions comes to a screaming halt when it comes to real people. At least, real heterosexual people. I guess it's very easy to moralise in grand abstractions and collective nouns and smug, condescending little assumptions about the lives of people who don't look like you.

But thank you for responding - the whole FMA debate has really brought home to me the intellectual dishonesty and moral decadence of theocratic pseudo-conservatism in America.

Marghlar said...

Palladian: well said. Better than I could have said it.

downtownlad said...

All unmarried adults are free to marry an unmarried adult of the opposite sex as long as they both choose it.

OK. I've just placed an ad on a Christian web site. I am going to pick the ugliest girl on there and try to convince her that I love her and want to marry her.

Yup - I'm gay and it's a complete fraud. Just like any gay person who marries someone of the opposite sex would be a fraud.

But the bigots are practically BEGGING me to do this. So I am.

I bet if I try really hard I could really mess her up mentally. Who knows - if I'm lucky - maybe she'll be so distraught by marrying a gay man that she'll commit suicide. Woo hoo!

But hey - it's the "Christian" thing to do.

And yes - I'm being sarcastic. But the Christian bigots are not. They really DO want me to marry someone of the opposite sex. That's what's freaky.

downtownlad said...

Funny - the people that insist that marriage is solely about procreation. And then they flip out when we call them "breeders". But they are saying that the ONLY reason that marriage exists is for the kids. If that's true - then they really are just breeders.

I said I wouldn't use that term anymore - but it sounds like that's how "some" straight people view their role in the world. Not that there's anything wrong with it.

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

But, Craig, honestly, is it ILLEGAL for gays to get married where you live? What would happen if you held a big party, and invited all your friends, and had an openly gay person conduct your wedding? Would the sexuality Nazis burst in and send everyone to prison?

7M keeps offering this same silly example for his contention that that gay marriage isn't illegal, and that this somehow changes the whole discourse.

Marriage requires a license. Those licenses are not issued to two women or two men. Weddings and marriages are not the same thing, yet 7M keeps using the terms interchangeably. Gay people are not able to marry, because they cannot get marriage licenses. It doesn't matter if we all showed up, Moonie style, in white dresses and tuxes, and said our vows. That is merely a ceremony, and we would not be married unless we were issued marriage licenses. The lack of arrests at this event is irrelevant.

Marghlar said...

downtownlad: yeah. And these arguments also fail to grasp the fact that they are asking you to reverse a pretty deeply entrenched course of behavior. Can a heterosexual in good faith make this argument if he or she would not be willing to forsake the opposite sex and solely have gay sexual relations for the rest of their lives, solely to satisfy someone else's asserted moral or natural principles?

That's in essence what they are demanding that ya'll do. I find that absurd.

Craig Ranapia said...

Elizabeth:

Thank you for putting the point concisely, eloquently and without the toxic levels of snark I'd probably have used. :)

After all, I could throw a garden party and annoint myself the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Doesn't mean that it has any legal validity, either spiritual (in terms of Cannon Law) or to the nations that also recognise the Pontiff as the temporal head of state of The Vatican. Though I think that may be a wee bit subtle for Seven Machoes.

Philip said...

marghlar:

the point you say I missed is obviously a key dispute. You go on:

"If that's just appetite, well, the same could be said of my marriage to my wife."

But you go on to speak not of the natural capabilities of you and your wife to have children, but of your intentions. Your thoughts and feelings are not the reason for the institution of marriage. The couple's reasons for marriage are not the state's reason for recognizing marriage.

Philip said...

Palladin:

you are fun, aren't you?

"That's a rather bold claim."

Thank you; none but the brave and all that.

"Leaving aside that appeals to "Nature" are very poor debating form,"
I had never heard that before. It seems necessary in a debate about sexual relations and the value we place on them.

I did not really pit nature against appetite. Appetites need to be controlled if we want to lead happy lives. This control should not destroy them; in fact, destruction occurs more commonly through satiation, when folk get burned out and become cynical.

Also, pointing out that marriage laws have differed over time and place seems to strengthen the argument against same-sex marriage, as the overwhelming majority of rules do not recognize it. The male-female construct seems constant.

Philip said...

craig,

"but the courage of your convictions comes to a screaming halt when it comes to real people."

That's not very nice of you, love. Your red herrings don't scare me. The existence of marriages between a man and woman where one of them is infertile does not mean it's just the same as if it were two mean or two women.

But the point of learning from nature is not that only those people who are fertile should be engaged in sexual activity or be recognized as married.

It is that, since by nature the sexual relations between a man and woman are the only means by which procreation occurs, a thing of paramount wonder, goodness, and necessity (for society), it seems that this form of sexual relation shares in that same goodness. This is at least one way in which the companionship of male and female seems to have more fullness than that which exists between members of the same sex. In comparison all other sexual practices seem misdirected.

Seven Machos said...

If a tree falls in a forest, in Smith County let's say, but the county has not created a certificate for the falling of the tree and made the tree pay a tax, did the tree fall?

Palladian said...

"This is at least one way in which the companionship of male and female seems to have more fullness than that which exists between members of the same sex. In comparison all other sexual practices seem misdirected."

Did you ever get fellated? Or if you're a female (Hard to tell, since you're "anonymous") did you ever receive cunnilingus? If so, you're putting things in the wrong holes! Talk about fullness!

Actually, if we're to follow "nature", we'd be sodomizing each other in the streets more often, just like animals do. Did your dog ever hump your leg? He's going to hell! Or maybe, he knows more about "nature" than you do.

In you, dear animals, we see ourselves.

Craig Ranapia said...

Vuljean:

Well, that's a eloquent weapon of mass distraction but still evasive. Again, could you please point out any jurisdiction in the United States where proof of fertility has to be supplied before a marriage licence is issued? Or where the state refuses to issue marriage licences to the infertile or people who use contraception?

Under all the prentious verbiage, riddled with internal contradictions, it all boils down to you don't like gay people. Well, fine. There were plenty of racists and religious bigots on both side of the family who didn't approve of my black, Protestant father marrying a white Catholic woman twenty-two years his junior. Thankfully, they didn't get much of a say in the decision of two legally competent adults.

Seven Machos said...

Well, for the people here who favor gay marriage, it is definitely true that they all think that people who disagree with their goals or their methods simply hate gay people.

I hope such doltish thinking makes you feel good. Because politically, such thinking is dumber than a box of hair

downtownlad said...

The purpose of the amendment is vindictiveness. It is to place gay people in "their place", to let gay people know that the vast majority of Americans think they are unworthy of the equal protection of the law, and to let gay people know that they will forever be second-class citizens in this country.

It's not just driven by hate. It's driven by many reasons (religious orthodoxy, being uncomfortable with gay people, sheer stupidity).

But whatever the reasons - it's still bigotry. And just like those who argued against inter-racial marriage, history will prove them to be bigots.

Seven Machos said...

The purpose of the amendment is to prevent gay marriage.

downtown lad: Have you ever talked to the people you insult?

downtownlad said...

The people "I" insult????

Have you ever thought that this amendment and the entire process around it, might be considered a personal insult and affront to the entire gay community?

If people want to support this amendment - they are free to do so. But that these people will then turn around and expect to treated with RESPECT by gay people is simiply astounding to me.

Why are they worthy of my respect? You try and pass an amendment that makes me a second class citizen and you want my respect????? I think not.

Marghlar said...

Vuljean: as others have amply pointed out, procreation is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for marriage:

We allow the aged, the infertile and those who wish never to have children to get married, as long as they are marrying a person of the opposite sex.

We prohibit people from getting married for a while after they have reached fertile age, even though if feritility was the whole ball game those are wasted years.

We legally permit people to procreate outside of marriage as much as they want.

Furthermore, you blatantly overlook the fact that one of the main reasons gay people want marriage rights is because it will facilitate adoption. In other words, we have too many children at present, courtesy of drug-addicted or underage heterosexuals (for the most part), and gay people want to do their part in helping to ensure that those children are raised in a decent home.

This is the part of the ball that always gets hidden by the anti-gay-marriage camp. They always stress the production of children (which is easy, and not in short supply in this country) while skipping past the important issue of raising children, which is hard and at which this country is failing. We need to enlist any willing, stable parents in the goal of raising this nations' abandoned kids. Gay people in stable, long-term relationships are very useful in this regard. Ergo, the state should be trying to preserve and solidify these relationships.

Please understand: we don't have a crisis of under-procreation in this country. We have a crisis of too little child rearing. Gay marriage could help us here, and I really don't understand what the downside is supposed to be.

Seven Machos said...

downtown lad: What you keep forgetting is that I sympathize with you. I

I've been trying to suggest that gay marriage advocates are going about everything in a terrifically disastrous fashion. You can't call people names and expect them to bend to your political will, no matter what you may be feeling inside.

A better approach here would be to say, "Fuck it," if I may suggest saying "Fuck it" on Ann Althouse's weblog. When did the Vietnam War protests finally become meaningful? When radicals wanted to storm the armories? No. It was when Ken Kesey spawned the Summer of Love and people just tuned out. When did conservativm become meaningful? It was when conservatives decided to set up alternative institutions.

The gay marriage movement is not going to be able to subvert traditional marriage through the efforts of a few judges. What you are going to get is consequences like the Senate voting to criminalize gay marriage. Think about that. With your current strategy, are you moving closer to or further from your goal?

A better approach would be for gays to start their own institutions of gay marriage. Have their own ceremonies. Print their own certificates. Create their own authority. There is no law against this approach, and it would be successful given the wide latitude that the USA has for civil society.

But no, because so many gay leaders are also leftists, and the only authority leftists will accept is the State. Why do you care if the State condones what you do, so long as it does not oppose it?

Marghlar said...

Well, for the people here who favor gay marriage, it is definitely true that they all think that people who disagree with their goals or their methods simply hate gay people.

Show me where I've said that. I don't. I think many do, but not all, and I don't accuse anyone of such despicable behavior until they've taken up the mantle themselves.

I've set up two arguments for gay marriage, one on the policy front and one on the constitutional front. Why not respond to one or the other before painting your enemies with a broad brush and playing the victim?

I'll tell you this, Seven: if you want to convince anyone you disagree with of anything, you'd be wise to tone down your rhetoric. Can you not understand at all why gay people are offended by de jure discrimination? What if I passed a law that said "everyone can get legally married except Seven Machos?" or "everyone gets a tax break except 7M?" Would that not rub a tad raw?

Marghlar said...

Why do you care if the State condones what you do, so long as it does not oppose it?

Because the State's method of communicating that fact is to selectively deny benefits based upon a category it has no right to use as the basis for the judgment.

Where I come from, we call that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine.

Seven Machos said...

What benefits?

Elizabeth said...

Craig, please invite me to your garden party, and don't forget to wear a spiffy hat.

downtownlad said...

Benefits? Your'e joking right?

How about the right to not have to testify against your spouse?

How about the right to marry a foreigner and not have to worry about them getting kicked out of this country?

How about the right to plan a funeral for your spouse, let alone attend it.

How about the right of hospital visitation?

The proposed constitutional amendment would make all of these impossible. And I'm not even getting into the monetary benefits of inheritance, Social Security benefits, etc.

There are over 1000 benefits that come with marriage, most of which cannot be obtained even if you have a lawyer.

downtownlad said...

Seven - I realize that I've already lost this fight. Amendments are passed in almost every state in this nation.

In the meantime - I'm going to do everything in my power to make life a living hell for these people.

They declared war on me. They should expect war in return.

downtownlad said...

Looks like the amendment didn't even get 50 votes.

I'll just have a modified "war" in the meantime.

Avoid flyover country (except Illinois and Wisconsin) and refuse to give up my subway seat to old people (who are big supporters of this amendment).

And oh yeah - give wrong directions to tourists. And make fun of them when they ask where the World Trade Center is by responding "Didn't you hear, they were destroyed????"

Kev said...

Marghlar: "What is the objective criteria by which you find race/national origin/ethnicity/gender in the equal protection clause, but not sexual orientation?"

How about this: Race, national origin, ethnicity and gender are not characterized by behavior. Sexuality is.

I'm not trying to be antagonistic here; I'm just looking for some perspective. I've never understood how people can compare sexuality to race in this manner when they seem to be so completely different.

(Incidentally, as we say in Texas, I don't really have a dog in this hunt; I tend to agree with those who say that a decision like this should not rest with the federal government at all but should fall under the domain of the states.)

downtownlad said...

Kev - It has nothing to do with behaviour. The military bans gay people, even if they are 100% celibate.

Explain to me how that is behaviour?

Gay people are gay even when they are not having sex.

Seven Machos said...

BENEFITS

"the right to not have to testify against your spouse." Yeah, this is a huge one. Because how many married couples did it affect last year? 28? And how many times have you had to testify against your monogamous gay lover?

"the right to marry a foreigner and not have to worry about them getting kicked out of this country" Again, how many people are we talking about here? How many gay people fall in love abroad and can't find any way to get around immigration laws? Cry me a river.

"the right to plan a funeral for your spouse, let alone attend it" Are these rights? If so, they are easily trumpable by contract. Many straight people appoint executors in their wills.

"the right of hospital visitation" When and where can't gay people visit their monogamous lovers in the hospital. You can visit strangers in the hospital.

Sorry, pal. These are weak arguments.

Philip said...

Some seem to think I said people should get married in order to have children, but I did not write that.

What I am saying is that procreation is such a great good that its goodness extends to the act by which it occurs: coitus. Admittedly, I am not making a utilitarian argument, as the point is not to directly encourage procreation. Therefore, I never said the infertile should not get married.

Craig Ranapia said...

Seven Machos:

Oh, please get off the cross we need the wood for something more useful than indulging your martyr complex.

You wrote:
Well, for the people here who favor gay marriage, it is definitely true that they all think that people who disagree with their goals or their methods simply hate gay people.

No, Seven - there are principled arguments against same-sex marriage that I take seriously, because they're made by serious people in a civil and thoughtful manner. But if people like you and Vuljean are going to enagage in hysterical and tendentious rhetoric in a public forum, then please excuse the rest of us if we take you at face value.

And more:
But no, because so many gay leaders are also leftists, and the only authority leftists will accept is the State. Why do you care if the State condones what you do, so long as it does not oppose it?

So, you're a libertarian who thinks the state shouldn't regulate 'marriage' above and beyond any other contract between two consenting, competent adults? Well, again, that's another principled argument but it sure doesn't sound like the one you've been making at the top of your lungs. And it certainly doesn't sound like anything I've been hearing from FMA proponents.

Also it's rather funny how you're willing to lump all FMA opponents as "leftists". Well, as I've explained above it seems to me FMA proponents wouldn't recognise a conservative principle if it bit them in the arse. I can understand why most of the conservatives I know - decent people who place principle over party and aren't necessarily supporters of same-sex marriage - see the FMA for the cynical scam it is. And come November, they will be saying "a plague on both your houses" and staying home.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Seven, I'm having trouble digesting the shock and horror you feign at people's stereotyping of FMA supporters. Throughout these comments you say things like "for the people here who favor gay marriage, it is definitely true that they all think that people who disagree with their goals or their methods simply hate gay people" (emphasis mine) and proceed to call us everything from "facists" to "ridiculous elitists" to "intolerant leftists" to "tyrants" to "would-be dictators" to "dumber than a box of hair" (extra points for creativity there!)... and all that from the safe bunker of an anonymous blogger account. I've rarely come across a more profound model of a principled, fair and respectful debate style. Or not.

Marghlar said...

Vuljean: should a man who has had his genitals blown off in an industrial accident be allowed to get married? Or required to divorce his wife?

If he can get married, don't you need to admit that marriage is about more than coitus?

Marghlar said...

Seven: not being married also complicates adoption rights and parental rights more generally.

But leave that to one side. I would be upset if the state denied lollipops to some people based only upon their sexual orientation, or race, or any other immutable characteristic. De jure discrimination based on factors we cannot change is disgusting, even if a mere token is being passed out. The state has no business doing it. It should either get out of the business of awarding marriage licenses altogether, or award them to gay and straight alike.

Change your hypo. Now that state says that white people can get married, but black people can't. Still think the small amount of benefits make the action insignificant?

Philip said...

marghalr:

was it a buick?

downtownlad said...

I'm not allowed to legally marry a man today, because I am also a man.

But what if I were to get a sex-change.

What then?

Could I then marry a man? Well - that seems silly. The only way I can marry a man is if I chop my dick off?

Could I marry a female? Hmm, that would sure look like a same-sex couple to me.

Or could I marry nobody at all?

Since the amendment is so freaking vague, you can imagine that this would lead to lawsuits galore.

Marghlar said...

was it a buick?

If you like, sure. (If this is a movie reference or something, I am missing the joke...)

You could also take the example of paraplegics who cannot perform the act of copulation.

You see what I'm driving at? All these examples are outside your definition of encouraging coitus, yet all are permitted to marry. Coitus is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for marriage.

Kev said...

Downtownlad: "It has nothing to do with behaviour. The military bans gay people, even if they are 100% celibate."

But I'm pretty sure that there are probably more than a few 100% celibate gay people serving in the military as we speak; wasn't that part of the point of the whole "don't ask, don't tell" policy?

" Gay people are gay even when they are not having sex."

But would they be discriminated against for simply having these feelings? I'm trying really hard to see your point here, but I'm having trouble seeing past the place where behavior comes into play. Having certain feelings is one thing, but acting on those feelings can be something completely different, right?

Marghlar said...

Kev:

Here is the problem. One group of people has a set of behavioral drives. Another group has a different set of behvavioral drives. Neither hurt anybody else by engaging in those drives -- all actions are consensual.

For the government to tell the first group that it can engage in behavior that accords with its natural drives, but tell the second group that it cannot, is despicable.

Imagine if the situation was reversed. You can join the military, but only if you either abstain from sex, or have gay sex. Wouldn't you feel like that discriminated against straight people?

downtownlad said...

Of course they are discriminated for simply HAVING these feelings.

The largest employer in this nation has an active policy of finding out who is gay - and then has a policy that they MUST be fired if that is discovered.

They scour myspace and if they happen to find that you mention you are gay on that site, the largest employer proceeds to fire you. If you are caught holding hands with another guy, you are then fired.

What do you not understand about this? The largest employer in the country has fired 10,000 people in the last decade for being gay. That employer is PROUD of this achievements.

10,000 does not equal "a few".