October 4, 2006

Wisconsin marriage amendment.

I didn't make it to the debate at the law school last night about the constitutionality of the proposed amendment banning gay marriage, and I can't find a press report with interesting detail. If you were there, tell us about it in the comments.

Anyway, I'm interested in these poll results, showing likely voters split 53-39 in favor of the ban:
Those labeling themselves liberal were strongly against the amendment, while those calling themselves conservatives were strongly in favor. Regular church-goers and those calling themselves "born again'' also were strongly in favor, polling data suggests. Black likely voters also appeared strongly in favor.
That last point poses a dilemma for liberals working on getting out the vote, doesn't it?

131 comments:

Cedarford said...

It's been a bad political play. The big moneymen of the Democratic party - Hollywood, top lawyers, Jewish businessmen and financiers- are completely, wildly in favor of what has curiously become the centerpiece of the gay agenda. Gays have pushed it with what appears to be overzealousness, Framing it as a civil rights issue, which alienated blacks. calling people who disagree on religious and moral grounds - bigots.

But all the states that have voted on it have appeared to weigh against Hollywood values, and courts trying to shove it down people's throats.

It probably would have lost anyways, but the self-righteous, condescending, and belligerant behavior of gay activists has only widened the margins. And caused lasting divides in a Party now held together only by Bush-hatred.

Which, without gay marriage on state ballots in 2004, would have ended Bush-hatred with the election of John Kerry. Ironic, isn't it?

Gerry said...

It would pose a problem only if they were as concerned, or more concerned, with defeating the amendment than they are with electing liberals.

Experiences in other states suggest that it really is not that much of a problem. Liberal GOTV efforts will proceed unabated, and the measure will likely pass.

Scott W. Somerville said...

How does the Foley outrage play into this? Foley is a gay man, not a "pedophile," and Democrats and the media are playing with fire when they stir up homophobia for political ends. I would predict the anti-gay-marriage numbers would jump as a result of Foleygate.

Too Many Jims said...

"Jewish businessmen and financiers"

Did I really just hear someone say that?

There may be many fine, unbigoted reasons for the Wisconsin marriage amendment. "Jewish businessmen and finaciers" is not one of them (both because it is bigoted and it is a bad reason).

And I thought the "Bush won because gay marriage was on the ballot" was just a liberal talking point.

Vee said...

Schweber argued against the ban. He went first and also got rebuttal. Throughout the night, he emphasized his belief that there is no rational basis for the amendment. He was preaching to the choir, so he moved quickly through all kinds of material, and he squeezed in a little humor (nothing memorable - just well timed observations).

Jordan Lorence got off to a bad start with the audience by explaining his role in Southworth v. Bd. of Regents, and by remarking that the University was not complying with its holding. He acknowledged that he did not expect to change anybody's mind during the debate. He began by talking about polygamy in the mid-1800s (and its parallel to the present situation with homosexual marriage), and cited a case that stated one of his big themes: the government can and should regulate marriage. He was heckled a bit when he talked about "inevitable male sexual urges and the domination of women without the protection of marriage" or something to that effect, but the audience was otherwise respectful.

While the moderator did his best to keep the debate moving, there was too little time for questions. Students lined up to talk to both speakers at the end, but Prof. Kidwell pretty much kept Lorence all to himself. (During the debate, Kidwell got Lorence to acknowledge that the language of the proposed amendment is broader than necessary to "protect" marriage.)

Edward said...

Jim C: Someone who is bigoted against one minority group (like Jews) is often bigoted agaist other minority groups (like gay people).

Think about that for a while, and I would also recommend that you reconsider your statement that there might be "many fine, unbigoted reasons" to support the Wisconsin marriage amendment.

Scratch the surface of the real motives that people have for supporting this amendment, and you're likely to uncover a lot of unsavory, usually unexpressed prejudices.

mark said...

The "dilemma for liberals" here is created by the Republican's cynical use of social issues to divide and distract the voting population. So: a black voter who might tend to vote "Democratic" could be swayed to vote otherwise by this issue.
The first comment here is almost incoherently emotional, if not offensive.

Simon said...

Those numbers make perfect sense if one considers that a lot of people are going to vote for this amendment who don't think of themselves as the kind of people who'd vote for the ban, who will not admit in public that they're going to vote for it, but that nevertheless have decided to vote for it.

Edward said...

Scott: I've seen no evidence at all that Democrats are stirring up homophobia over the Foley scandal.

The Democrats are smart enough to be able to support equality for gay people and, at the same time, denounce Foley and the Republican establishment that facilitated his misbehavior.

Heterosexals as a class don't have their rights taken away or restricted on account of the sexual misbehavior of a single heterosexual. Gay people do not deserve to be discriminated against simply due to Foley's aberrant behavior.

Anonymous said...

Jim C, Edward,

I think you ought to reread Cedarford's comment.

He was making a factual point -- that Democratic supporters are Hollywood types, lawyers, Jewish businessmen and financiers. That may or may not be true. It may or may not be an unfounded stereotype. But it's not necesarily bigoted. And it wasn't presented as a reason to reject the proposed amendment.

I don't know enough about Cedarford to know if this statement fits into larger pattern that suggests bigotry. But this comment on its own doesn't seem to make Cedarford a bigot.

You seem to be doing exactly what supporters of the amendment are doing -- assuming that anyone who opposes it must be bigoted, and then must be bigoted against other groups, too. Neat trick, that.

Can we please tone down such accusations?

Anonymous said...

...the Republican's cynical use of social issues to divide and distract the voting population.

Mark -- you might want to go up a few posts and read Doyle's comments. It's hardly a uniquely Republican phenomenon.

Pogo said...

Re: "Foley's aberrant behavior"

According to Beyond Same-Sex Marriage: A New Strategic Vision For All Our Families and Relationships, "Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others."
and issues a demand for
"Recognition and respect for our chosen relationships, in their many forms."

So in light of that, I ask: Aberrant how and why? What norm or standard are you referencing that is violated, when the document above clearly espouses rejecting such a narrow, bigoted view of 'correct' relationships.

mark said...

Pastor: oh, I agree with you--I used the same words as the post you've indicated (divide and distract)to make the point.

Freder Frederson said...

that Democratic supporters are Hollywood types, lawyers, Jewish businessmen and financiers.

Oh no, and just because Hitler accused the Jews of destroying Germany and selling it out doesn't mean he was a bigot either. He was just stating a fact.

Edward said...

Pastor Jeff: I recommend that you go back and read Cedarford’s posts yesterday to the thread entitled “I am fairly sickened by the Republicans…” Also read the responses to Cedarford there.

Cedarford’s rank bigotry was exposed for all to see within that thread.

It’s almost never innocent to bring up the fact that a large number of people who work in Hollywood are Jewish. Who cares? Only bigots tend to make a big deal about that.

What if Presbyterians or Methodists are represented in a higher proportion in a particular profession than they are in the general population? What does a person gain by harping on that fact?

Pogo: So we meet again for intellectual sparring -- although I really don’t want to waste my time today having a long discussion with you about why sexual relationships between adults and adolescents or children are wrong. The only reason you want to start this debate is to make your ridiculous point that support for gay rights leads inevitably to a slippery slope of endorsing a whole host of bad things.

Well, I have news for you. Gay marriage and other forms of gay legal equality will not lead to a whole host of social pathologies. In fact, gay equality makes society stronger and more just.

We’ve basically had this debate before on the Althouse site months ago, and I don’t want to rehash it all now.

Freder Frederson said...

Which, without gay marriage on state ballots in 2004, would have ended Bush-hatred with the election of John Kerry. Ironic, isn't it?

And all the "gay marriage" (or more correctly anti-gay marriage proposals) were placed on the ballots in 2004 in a cynical attempt to appeal to fear of homosexuals and "liberal" out-of-control judges.

The laws are not necessary and an overreaction to a state supreme court ruling in one state. They are meant to rile up the conservative base and attempt to draw traditionally democratic voters on the basis of one social, and mostly nonexistent and certainly nonthreatening, issue.

How on earth will the two guys who own the antique store in your town being able to get married impact your family, your marriage, or society as a whole negatively? I really don't understand at all.

Zeb Quinn said...

The sanctity of traditional marriage is a much more deeply-held construct than gay activists or other social secular progressives realize or want to admit. For 5000+ years in western civilization marriage has meant one thing, and one thing only: the union of a man and a woman. People who nowadays vocalize those words in the current debate aren't necessarily just stating a religious belief when they say that. They are stating a fact, a societal, historical, cultural, and anthropological fact. It goes way beyond being just something articulated by the Christian right. Way beyond. Every single place that this issue is put on the ballot and left up to the wishes of the people, gay marriage loses, and loses bigtime. And it's not just red states. The best illustration I know of comes a state with which I am very familiar, Oregon.


Oregon ranks right up there in the top 2 or 3 as the most unchurched state in the country, and it may even be #1. This means that Oregon has the fewest percentage of its population who attend church than any other state. And, coincidentally or not, Oregon is also a big-time blue state that seizes upon and adopts the most liberal ideas and liberal candidates to be had. All of it's state-wide state-level elective offices are held by liberal Democrats. It hasn't had a Republican governor for over 20 years, and even then he was very liberal and very libertine. John Kerry carried Oregon, no sweat. As did Gore. As did Clinton twice. In short, if there was ever a state that would hve embraced and passed gay marriage, Oregon is it. So consider the fact that in 2004 anti-gay marriage folks managed to put on the ballot and get passed by the voters an initiative that amended the Oregon Constitution to specifically define marriage as being between one man and one woman. At the same time that it was voting for overwhelmingly for Kerry, Oregon voters were also overwhelmingly passing a measure to ban gay marriage. Think about that. Let percolate down and fully sink in. It obviously means that there were many, many, many Kerry voters who, while they were busy supporting and voting for Kerry, were also at the very same time advocating for and voting for a state Constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. Try to reconcile that with the suggested premise that it's only the so-called religious right --the fundies-- who believe that marriage means one man one woman, and ought to be preserved thataway. It's a cultural value that runs much deeper than that.

Simon said...

Edward said...
"The Democrats are smart enough to be able to support equality for gay people and, at the same time, denounce Foley and the Republican establishment that facilitated his misbehavior."

According to this loony, it's all Joe Lieberman's fault: Foley's behavior and the ensuing scandal "[i]s the Direct, Downstream Result of Liebermanism." It's so refreshing that after six years blaming Bush for everything, they're finding a new scapegoat: now it's all Lieberman's fault.

Pogo said...

Re: "I really don’t want to waste my time today having a long discussion with you about why sexual relationships between adults and adolescents or children are wrong"
I can see why not. I just don't understand how you can defend picking and choosing amongst behavioral and cultural norms ad libitum.

I don't think you can defend it in light of the demand for "Recognition and respect for our chosen relationships, in their many forms."

You want to limit the debate to your comfortable talking points, and pretend that the Pandora's Box of relarionships sanctioned by the leftist authors "Beyond Same-Sex Marriage" necessarliy includes what Foley has done. But you cannot.

So I ask: How can you criticize Foley? What normative stanard can you be alluding to, when you ask us to reject similar norms?

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

/I really need to preview before my AM coffee...sigh

To latch on to Zebs point:

Mark: The "dilemma for liberals" here is created by the Republican's cynical use of social issues to divide and distract the voting population. So: a black voter who might tend to vote "Democratic" could be swayed to vote otherwise by this issue.

Thats simply not true. The "dilemma for liberals" is that their party is fragmented into special interest groups that don't support each others postion. The Republicans don't need to sway the black voter who might otherwise vote Democratic - blacks are the most anti-gay demographic in the US. Their culture opposes homosexuality to such an extent that gay blacks males are the most closeted of all gays.

Edward said...

Pogo: I'm not trying to limit the debate. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I typed my fingers off months ago responding to each and every one your absurd nightmares about the "Pandora's Box" that gay marriage will supposedly usher in.

I'm all for free, fair and thorough debate. I just don't want to rehash a topic that was thoroughly covered months ago. I also think a time comes when it may be pointless to debate someone whose mind is so obviously closed.

Why don't you ask Ann Althouse to re-post the link to the threads for the lenghty discussion that we carried on earlier this year on the subject of gay marriage? If she agrees to do this, then you can re-read all the things that I said about this subject back then.

Pogo said...

Re: "I also think a time comes when it may be pointless to debate someone whose mind is so obviously closed."

Closed mind? Mine or yours?

I'm not asking you to rediscuss what you're tired of. I'm asking you to define why you find Foley's behavior "aberrant". I think you are being hypocritical, defending norms that you simultaneously ask me to violate.

I don't believe we've discussed Foley before yesterday, so don't say 'we've discussed all that before'. You don't wish to discuss, I suggest, because their is no logical way for you to denounce Foley by the mechanism of a cultural norm that also denounces gay marriage. You can't pick and choose.

So by what standard do you reject Foley plying a 17-year-old for a gay encounter, but defend gay marriage between Foley and the same 17-year-old?

tjl said...

"For 5000+ years in western civilization marriage has meant one thing, and one thing only: the union of a man and a woman."

Have you looked at the Bible lately? The Hebrew patriarchs were hardly so restrictive. Plural wives, concubines ... no problem.

Edward said...

Fenrisulven: Yes, the available evidence does suggest that homophobia is unfortunately more rampant in the African-American community than in the American population at large.

Bigotry within a minority community that has itself experienced a long history of oppression requires a great deal of careful consideration.

One thing it doesn’t call for, however, is for gloating by the Republican Party about how they can now win over a large slice of the black vote by exploiting African-American prejudice against gay people.

In addition, black homophobia in no way justifies opposition to gay marriage or other anti-gay opinions, as some Republicans claim. Just because African-Americans have a history of oppression does not give them greater moral authority or cover to express bigotry toward another minority group.

Finally, never forget that the African-American community is hurting itself through its own homophobia. The sick, deeply closeted and duplicitous lives that many black gay men lead in order to maintain ties to their own ethnic group are a direct cause of the much higher rates of AIDS in the black community. Have you ever heard of the destructive phenomenon of the “down low”?

bearing said...

Actually, tjl, even then, where men often had multiple wives, a marriage was still the union of one man and one woman.

Such a man had multiple marriages, and each marriage was the union of him with one wife. If one marriage was dissolved for some reason, the others were unaffected.

This is not the same thing as polyamory in which one so-called "marriage" includes more than two people.

Pedantic, that, but true.

I object to the creation of the legal fiction that is called "same-sex marriage," on the grounds that it's an oxymoron, and it looks to me like people are trying to get courts to amend the English language. Scratch me if you like.

Fenrisulven said...

One thing it doesn’t call for, however, is for gloating by the Republican Party about how they can now win over a large slice of the black vote by exploiting African-American prejudice against gay people.

We're not gloating about it. But we recognize that blacks aren't being served well by the Left, and they know it too. I only bring it up to highlight divisions in Left's structure - alliances of convenience that will splinter.

Just because African-Americans have a history of oppression does not give them greater moral authority or cover to express bigotry toward another minority group.

Preaching to the choir. In my experience, blacks are the most racist demographic in the US.

Fenrisulven said...

I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. We're going to suplicate ourselves to Sharia Law anyway - homosexuals will be executed and polygamy will be the norm.

We should revel in our idealism while it lasts. We'll need these memories of What Used To Be to get us through the days ahead.

Sorry, just wanted everyone to glance out our Ivory Tower and across the courtyard. They'll be at the gates soon.

Anonymous said...

Edward,

Fair enough. As I said, I haven't read other comments by Cedarford. I think one can reasonably read his comment about "the big moneymen" as having been made only to contrast other Democratic supporters who are turned off by gay marriage.

Of course, as Freder points out with typical hyteria, illogic, and irrelevance, there's a long and sad history of seeing secret Jewish powers at work behind the scenes.

I just hope that we can state facts (Jews disproportionately support Democrats; other Democratic constituencies don't share support of gay marriage) without assigning bad motives and assuming the worst.

yetanotherjohn said...

I would be interested on your take on the latest Mass. court ruling interpreting Rhode Island laws as not prohibiting gay marriage, thus allowing Rhode Islanders to marry in Mass. Of course this begs the question of what the R.I. people were doing going to the trouble to sue in Mass. to marry if there was no barrier in R.I.

Since one of the arguments against the amendment in Wisconsin was to trust the Wisconsin courts to "get it right" without an amendment, you now see yet another case of the Mass. judges making it harder for the status quo keepers in other states. If you don't speak definitively on the subject, they will interpret your laws and constitution for you.

The poll you cite would put Wisconsin at the low end of the majorities who support the amendment. But consider the low end has about a 20 point gap to switch, which makes it an overwhelming political position.

At the root of the problem, it is not whether gays should marry (I suspect that the numbers for and against are both well under a majority and about equal). The 600 pound gorilla which makes this an across the board large majority is the idea of judges looking at a document written nearly 200 years ago and suddenly finding new rights which would have shocked the writers.

So the question is if there are other issues that have the same ingredients to make similar campaigns. The three main ingredients would need to be a sizeable minority who feels strongly on the issue, activist judge ruling that expands rights where they didn't exist before and a sizeable population of liberals celebrating the expansion to make the swing voters fear that activist judges will continue to impose their view on how the world should run by judicial fiat, rather than legislative majorities.

Kelo came close, but the state legislatures moved quickly to enact state protections. I'm not sure I see another issue out there like this, but we shall see.

Too Many Jims said...

Pastor Jeff,

Before I posted I read, re-read and re-read again (to be redundant) cedarford's post.

First, you said: "You seem to be doing exactly what supporters of the amendment are doing -- assuming that anyone who opposes it must be bigoted, and then must be bigoted against other groups, too. Neat trick, that.

Want to know what a neat trick is? Claiming that I didn't read someone's post carefully enough when you clearly didn't read mine or Edward's carefully. If you had read mine you would have seen that I said that "there may be many fine, unbigoted reasons for the Wisconsin marriage amendment." If you had bothered to read Edward's post carefully, you would see that he is taking me to task for allowing for the possibility that there are unbigoted reasons for the amendment.

Second, you say: "He was making a factual point . . . [which] may or may not be true." Actually, no. Factual statements are never false. If someone believes a "factual point" that is false they are wrong. My observation of cedarford is that he(?) rarely provides citations for sources of his "facts". I would point out that facts (even "true" facts) can be used to construct an argument that is bigoted (for example, I have no doubt that at least one Jewish financier is a big moneyman of the Dems and opposes marriage amendments).

Third, as to why I found the argument bigoted, what relevance is it the "Jewishness" of the businessmen and financiers who support the Dems? I understand the argument that Hollywood power is outside the cultural mainstream. I understand the argument that top lawyers (though I usually see it expressed as "greedy trial lawyers") are outside the mainstream culturally and are dangerous. I even know that businessmen and financiers wield a disproportionate weight in this country. And I know that in that group, there are Jewish people and non-Jewish people who are "big moneymen of the Democratic party." I can see the argument that these businessmen and financiers (Jewish and non-Jewish alike) are out of the mainstream culturally but I can't see a non-bigoted explanation for the argument that Jewish businessmen and financiers are opposed to the amendment. There must be something about their "Jewishness" that makes it relevant to note they are "Jewish" when including them in the list of Dem beig moneymen, while excluding non-Jewish businessmen and finaciers from the list.

reader_iam said...

So by what standard do you reject Foley plying a 17-year-old for a gay encounter, but defend gay marriage between Foley and the same 17-year-old?

Surely it's possible to separate these two issues and use two different standards.

I still maintain that the real issue with regard to Foley isn't, one, homosexuality, or even consent, pedophilia, ephebophilia (which does get into gray area) etc. etc. etc. (At least so far as we know, right now.)

It's about unequal power relationships, exploitation of a subordinate, etc. etc. etc. In other words: the norms appropriate to work places (and, though not applicable here, school settings etc. etc.).

Shorter: The issues related to the concept of sexual harassment.

I don't see how that relates to gay marriage at all. Or any discussion of any sort of marriage.

Pogo said...

Re; "Shorter: The issues related to the concept of sexual harassment. I don't see how that relates to gay marriage at all. Or any discussion of any sort of marriage."
So the only aberrancy of Foley is simple sexual harrassment?
Will he be forgiven if it is found that he was seeking out former pages no longer working for the Congress?
And if it's sexual harrassment that burns you, why does Bill Clinton remain in the fold?

The tie-in between Foley's behavior and gay marriage is this: one cannot claim standards for behavior violated by Foley trying to date a 17 year old gay page and simultaneously argue that those same cultural norms permit Foley to marry a 17 year old gay page.

Fenrisulven said...

It's about unequal power relationships, exploitation of a subordinate, etc. etc. etc. In other words: the norms appropriate to work places (and, though not applicable here, school settings etc. etc.).

I would add domestic enviroments, and topple that house of cards ;) One reason older men acquire trophy wives is to establish an unequal power relationship. I'm sure it works the same across gender lines.

Pogo said...

Re; "Surely it's possible to separate these two issues and use two different standards."

I agree. And I was trying to divine exactly what standard Edward was using, and on what basis he finds that one norm needs to be affirmed, but the other rejected.
Why?

Simon said...

ReaderIam:
"[The Foley situation is] about unequal power relationships, exploitation of a subordinate, etc. etc. etc. In other words: the norms appropriate to work place"

Well, if that's your opinion, then surely you join in full Ann's evaluation of Bill Clinton's conduct. You will denounce Clinton's behavior, which was also solicitation between two consenting persons. That, too, was about "about unequal power relationships [and] exploitation of a subordinate." This is about conduct which is morally unacceptable, for several reasons, including the one quoted above. The side-circus is about liberal hypocrisy in attacking Foley for engaging in conduct they have no moral objection to, and in fact defended when Clinton did it.

reader_iam said...

Simon: Not only would I and DO I join in that assessment of Bill Clinton's behavior, but I have said so, a number of times. And in comment threads here, I daresay even repeatedly and explicitly.

I believe the last time was on one of the threads about Feminism and Bill Clinton ... .

Anyone want to dispute that?

Freder Frederson said...

The side-circus is about liberal hypocrisy in attacking Foley for engaging in conduct they have no moral objection to, and in fact defended when Clinton did it.

Interesting, I recall very few "liberals" defending Clinton for his behavior vis a vis Monica Lewinsky. As I recall, the almost universal reaction among liberals was that the behavior was indefensible. Our objection was that it, or that lying about it under oath in an investigation that was obstensibly about land deals in Arkansas, did not rise to an impeachable offense.

Likewise, Although what Foley did was reprehensible, I am not sure that it deserves criminal prosecution or even his expulsion from Congress (he did after all resign). Now the cover-up is a whole different matter.

Fenrisulven said...

There must be something about their "Jewishness" that makes it relevant to note they are "Jewish" when including them in the list of Dem beig moneymen, while excluding non-Jewish businessmen and finaciers from the list.

Shared values. Same reason most fire-fighters & law enforcement are WASP, same reason media is liberal, same reason so many of my fellow Marines come from broken/dysfunctional families.

Yes, there is a history of bigots blaming Jews for faults in the professions they dominate, but not every reference to that is bigoted.

All A are B. Not all B are A.

reader_iam said...

LOL.

I do believe you're implying I'm a lib, Simon! Not the first one to think/say/imply that, and it doesn't bother me, by the way.

Well, I'd say I'm a mix. But I've been characterized by an array of sources--the Daou Report and Blogometer, jump to mind immediately, but they're not the only ones--as a righty, for posts I've written.

To which my typical response is: "I'm pretty sure true, down-the-line believers of either side wouldn't have me."

Still LOL.

Pogo said...

I can assume by the lack of response that there would have been little Democratic outcry had Foley simply divorced, and gone to Massachusetts and married the 17 year old, instead of merely trying to date him.

reader_iam's portrayal of herself is correct, by my recall.

Simon said...

"As I recall, the almost universal reaction among liberals was that the behavior was indefensible."

Which is why Clinton is, these days, a complete pariah among democrats; you'd never get liberal bloggers posing for photographs with him, glowing with pride at being in the man's presence - still less, feminist liberals, who naturally, are especially incensed by Clinton's behavior. Clinton is regarded as persona non grata among liberals, just as Foley is now persona non grata among Republicans. Is that what you're telling us?


"Our objection was that it, or that lying about it under oath in an investigation that was obstensibly about land deals in Arkansas, did not rise to an impeachable offense."

Lying under oath to the grand jury is perjury. 18 U.S.C. §1623(a). Perjury is a high crime, "high crime" being in contradistinction to "petty crime."


"Although what Foley did was reprehensible, I am not sure that it deserves criminal prosecution or even his expulsion from Congress (he did after all resign). Now the cover-up is a whole different matter."


Right. The cover up is worse than the crime. It's so obvious to me now: if the story is just about what Foley did, then his resignation essentially ends the utility of the whole sordid mess to Democrats, but if you can tie some kind of conspiracy to it, if you can make it about what the House leadership did and didn't know or do, rather than about what Foley did, then you can turn this into a weapon against the GOP as a whole. The transparent desparation to find some kind of mud that will stick, to leverage anything you can into an electoral weapon is contemptible.

Fenrisulven said...

Interesting, I recall very few "liberals" defending Clinton for his behavior vis a vis Monica Lewinsky. As I recall, the almost universal reaction among liberals was that the behavior was indefensible. Our objection was that it, or that lying about it under oath in an investigation that was obstensibly about land deals in Arkansas, did not rise to an impeachable offense.

Incredible.

"Clinton's sex life is none of your business"

"He had an affair, its between him and his wife"

"Its just about sex, MoveOn.org"

Freder Frederson said...

So by what standard do you reject Foley plying a 17-year-old for a gay encounter, but defend gay marriage between Foley and the same 17-year-old?

By the same standard I would find it creepy for any fifty-some year old person (man or woman) trolling for and sending sexually explicit emails and instant messages to high school students (male or female). Hell, NBC news has based an entire TV show around it.

Freder Frederson said...

Incredible.

And those statements defend Clinton's behavior how? Saying that something is not a matter of public interest (after all Lewinsky was an adult, unlike the teenagers in this case), is not the same as "defending" the behavior.

I agree with you though, that the argument that your quotes did demonstrate an effort to downplay the seriousness of the issue among some on the left, but if that's the best you can do, they don't constitute a "defense" of the conduct as simon claimed earlier.

Freder Frederson said...

The transparent desparation to find some kind of mud that will stick, to leverage anything you can into an electoral weapon is contemptible.

Man, where have you been? The Republicans have raised this to an art. That is what Karl Rove lives for.

Fitz said...

"Black likely voters also appeared strongly in favor.
That last point poses a dilemma for liberals working on getting out the vote, doesn't it?"


The last point poses a problem for gay marriage as well. The social conservatives have always pointed out (as is the case) that marriage is considered a foundational social institution. (Like private property is to economics)

Wide spread liberal (& Democratic) opposition to gay marriage can be traced to genuine concern for the breakdown in the family, especially the black family. Seventy percent illegitimacy rates among the underclass & one third of children overall being born into single parent households tends to lessen ones radical instincts.

African –Americans themselves understand this intuitively. Strained attempts to assert that “marriage doesn’t have anything to do with marriage” or “you can change the definition of something without changing that very something” collapses in the face of 40 years of family breakdown predicated on cultural leftist assumptions about human nature. (or the lack thereof)

Pogo said...

So Freder finds Foley's behavior "creepy".
Yet some people find gay behavior creepy. Do you support that conclusion, simply because they feel it, just as you do about something else?

Again my question: what standard are you supposedly invoking to condemn Foley that gay marriage does not also violate?
"Creepiness"?
What sort of standard is that?
Where does it originate?
What is the philosphical basis against "creepy" behavior?

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven,

I am glad you brought up the symbolic logic angle, because quite frankly my point is primarily a logical one.

(1) Some Jewish people (A) are businessmen and financiers (C) who are big moneymen for the Dems and support gay marriage(D).

(2) Some Non-Jewish people (B) are businessmen and financiers (C) who are big moneymen for the Dems and support gay marriage (D).

Then why would one say that A are C&D rather than just saying some C are D? There must be something about being an A that makes it noteworthy. In this case the only thing that distinguishes A from B is the religion of someone who is A. Now if one were to show me that the A's who are C (or C&D for that matter) dominate the B's who are C (or C&D) I would see the point, but I would want to see some statistics to back that up since it is contrary to my understanding of C's and C&D's.

Pogo said...

Jim C
FWIW, I don't see the point or value in noting whether Democratic financial support comes from any particular faith.

Certainly, Jewish families have trended left, and Evangelicals right. So what? Why bring it up? If it's a general concern about media bias, it adds little useful information, and begs the appearance of bigotry even if not intended as such. At a minimum, it's gratuitous.

peter hoh said...

The Althouse comment threads used to be a bit more enlightening.

Too Many Jims said...

Pogo,

I think I completely agree with everything you just said.

Simon said...

"And those statements ["Clinton's sex life is none of your business"; "He had an affair, its between him and his wife"; "Its just about sex, MoveOn.org"] defend Clinton's behavior how? Saying that something is not a matter of public interest (after all Lewinsky was an adult, unlike the teenagers in this case), is not the same as "defending" the behavior."

So you're saying that when Clinton undertook morally-repehensible actions in his private life, those actions should not be used as political ammunition against him, which Foley's morally-reprehensible actions in his private life should end his political career? It's staggering that you fail to see that these positions are hopelessly in tension. Moreover, your attempt to distinguish the Lewinsky sitution fails, because the page was over the age of consent. Either you must concede that the age of consent should be raised, because a sixteen year old is not enough of an "adult" to engage in sexual behavior, or you must concede that there is no difference between Lewinsky being sexually harassed by an older man and this page being sexually harassed by an older man. You cannot defend Clinton's conduct while persecuting Foley's. As Pogo pointed out, the party of sexual promiscuity, gay marriage and Bill Clinton is in no position to criticize.

Moreover, it seems readily apparent that Democrats are no more genuinely interested in what happened to this page than they were in Valerie Plame's employment status; this is yet more patently disingenuous faux-outrage from the party that places no moral opprobrium on such behavior other than when it suits their immediate political need, and which seeks to weaponize anything it thinks might lead it back into power.

Anonymous said...

Then why would one say that A are C&D rather than just saying some C are D? There must be something about being an A that makes it noteworthy.

Maybe because it's typically assumed that businessmen and financiers are Republicans? Maybe it's because evangelical businessmen aren't Democratic supporters?

Or maybe because the commenter was drawing a distinction between one group of traditionally Democratic constituents and another, and pointing out their disagreement over gay marriage?

This is getting rather stupid. The first commenter did not say or suggest that "Jewish financiers" was a reason to oppose gay marriage. The whole point of the post was divisions in the Democratic Party, not some Jewish power cabal.

Simply mentioning that Jewish people have tended to 1) succeed in business, law, and entertainment, 2) vote Democratic; and 3) support gay marriage is not per se a bigoted statement. It may reflect bigotry, but it does not necessarily do so.

Stating that propserous Jews financially support the Democratic Party and favor gay marriage does not mean one believes The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. That some people here believe so is evidence of the bigotry I mentioned earlier.

Joe Baby said...

(Sorry for the length, but getting a comment thread back on track often requires a good heave-ho.)

I'll leave the "fall of western civilization will result" argument aside.

There is something preeminent/unique about the pairing of 1 man + 1 woman. It's vital that society recognize this uniqueness + encourage such pairings. (Yes, a society with the power to tax, jail, and force conscription is probably not out of line to encourage social relationships that benefit society as a whole.)

We know that children can only result from a man and a woman. I'll go out on a limb and say that it is good for society that people alive now have children. Yes, future "parasites" created by "breeders" will pay FICA, work in the hospitality industry and start 401k's. Everyone, regardless of orientation, is benefited when heterosexuals pair and conceive/raise children. (And it is a pairing of heterosexuals that creates children, contrary to what certain celebrity couples may think. When heterosexuals pair, children often result. When gay or lesbian partners pair up, no amount of willpower, effort, or desire will produce a child.)

However, we know that gay or lesbian couples can obtain children thru or via the help of a 3rd party, whether by intercourse, adoption, or insemination. Adoption can cost $1000's or require overseas trips. Intercourse, of course, requires finding a person and doing the deed. For a gay/lesbian couple to obtain a child requires planning, action with intent, and/or biological material from a third person.

For a heterosexual couple to conceive a child, it requires little more than a few wine coolers and a Peabo Bryson CD.

Because heterosexual pairings can so readily conceive children without planning or forethought, society has a special interest in seeing that children are conceived/raised in stable pairings. Society recognizes (or, in the case of African-Americans families, society ignores the importance or has given up, to all our detriment) the importance of encouraging stable units to raise unexpected children. The societal interest is in creating and maintaining the stable unit as early as possible, and not to be ambivalent as to allow/encourage assorted repairings or lack of pairings.

Because heterosexual couples are the only pairing capable of conceiving life, society has a unique interest in promoting that type of marriage. The ramification of children and the special interest in minimizing the impact of unexpected children are unique concerns because (attn: heresy ahead) heterosexual pairings are not the same. Traditional marriage is the outgrowth of the societal interest in seeing that pregnant women are protected and provided for, children are raised in a stable pairing, and that men do their fatherly duty. These are unique concerns to heterosexual pairings, and as such are worthy of special societal protection.

(Later on we can discuss the gender implications of gay/lesbian marriage and why women would ultimately bear a disproportionate burden if traditional marriage was abandoned.)

Fenrisulven said...

peter hoh: The Althouse comment threads used to be a bit more enlightening.

They still are. You've just gotten smarter. Right?

Freder Frederson said...

Wide spread liberal (& Democratic) opposition to gay marriage can be traced to genuine concern for the breakdown in the family, especially the black family. Seventy percent illegitimacy rates among the underclass & one third of children overall being born into single parent households tends to lessen ones radical instincts.

And this is an argument against gay marriage how? Considering that the breakdown of the black family came during an era when gay marriage was not even an issue, how can it even be a factor? And how can giving a group of people who want to get married the right to get married further damage the prospects of a group of people who apparently don't want to get married (apparently because big, bad, liberal government encourages them to stay single so they can become welfare queens and buy their Cadillacs--or so Ronald Reagan would have us believe).

Freder Frederson said...

So you're saying that when Clinton undertook morally-repehensible actions in his private life, those actions should not be used as political ammunition against him, which Foley's morally-reprehensible actions in his private life should end his political career?

No, I said they were not grounds for impeachment. I didn't say Foley should have been expelled either. I didn't defend the liberals who said Clinton's actions were none of our business either. Apparently you have serious reading comprehension problems.

Either you must concede that the age of consent should be raised, because a sixteen year old is not enough of an "adult" to engage in sexual behavior, or you must concede that there is no difference between Lewinsky being sexually harassed by an older man and this page being sexually harassed by an older man.

I don't have to do any such thing. I may think that the law has no business criminally prosecuting two high school seniors for getting a little too frisky but yet may find it morally reprehensible if one of the same senior's teachers, pastors, friend's parents, or employers is using that position of power to try and get in his or her pants.

If you can't see the difference, or between a high school student and a college graduate, then it is really pointless in continuing this discussion with you.

Fitz said...

Joe Baby

Thanks for getting things back on track.

(I hope we can now dispense with discussion of Jewish Identity politics)

“Because heterosexual pairings can so readily conceive children without planning or forethought, society has a special interest in seeing that children are conceived/raised in stable pairings.”

Your reasoning is congruent with the New York Supreme Court. Its also important to point out that the overwhelming number of people are heterosexual, and only those pairs can produce children. Other pairings may be stable, but it is in societies interest children raised NOT only in a stable household, but rather in a household made up of each child’s natural Mother & Father. In this way the introduction of same-sex “marriage” standard explicitly states that a child’s natural Father (or Mother) is non-essential to marriage. That any combination of adult is sufficient.

Freder Frederson

“And this is an argument against gay marriage how? Considering that the breakdown of the black family came during an era when gay marriage was not even an issue, how can it even be a factor?”

Back in the 1960’s when the cultural left was arguing for no-fault divorce laws; one common refrain often heard was: “What do two people getting divorced have to do with your marriage?”
Another variant is “If the couple down the street gets divorced how does that effect your marriage?”
The divorce rate at the time was around 8%
The slant of the question is meant to put the questioner on the defensive. To put the burden of proof that SS”M” will effect the overall marriage culture on the social conservatives.

“And how can giving a group of people who want to get married the right to get married further damage the prospects of a group of people who apparently don't want to get married”

To answer your question

So called gay “marriage” does two things necessarily. (that is it follows axiomatically from the very definitional change)
#1. It androgynies the institution.
#2. It separates it from any necessary connection to procreation.

You can have this type of yuppie coupling as our ideal, but it fails to promote (and indeed undermines) the integration of the two sexes as a essential part of marriage. Most people are heterosexual and only opposite sex pairs can conceive children.
Your standard explicitly states that a child’s natural Father (or Mother) is non-essential to marriage. That any combination of adult is sufficient.
It further reinforces and locks in the notion that all family forms are inherently equal. They are not.


there is a philosophical maxim that reads – “If it’s everything it’s nothing”-- We cant defend what we cant define. You are attempting to severe marriage from its historical and biological heritage, this will have a net effect. (leaving aside the already discernable effects in Europe) That effect is that marriage is outdated and any family form including single parenting is acceptable.

Kirk Parker said...

Jim C said...

"Jewish businessmen and financiers"? Welcome to Cedarford's world. :-(

He's a regular over at Belmont Club, and while he at times has worthwhile things to say, there's always this antisemitic pall over everything...

Fenrisulven said...

Yah, its not like you guys are trying to marginalize his points by implying he hates Jews or anything...

Anonymous said...

It’s almost never innocent to bring up the fact that a large number of people who work in Hollywood are Jewish.

Are you serious? It couldn't be done out of admiration or even just as a simple observation? That's pretty paranoid -- and it's amazing that you have the ability to know and judge people's intent.


If you had read mine you would have seen that I said that "there may be many fine, unbigoted reasons for the Wisconsin marriage amendment."

You assert bigotry on one person's part, and then want to be congratulated that you're accusing him of less bigotry than someone else? Show me where Cedarford said that Jewish support for gay marriage was a reason to oppose it.


Factual statements are never false.

Really? I cannot make a factually false statement? All right! I hereby declare that I make $100K per year! Of course they can be false.

My point is that Cedarford made a factual statement (Jews support Democrats) which is subject to verfication. You are the one who assigned a negative motive to the factual statement.


facts (even "true" facts) can be used to construct an argument that is bigoted

Of course. So what? They can also be value-neutral, can't they? Why are you so quick to assume bigotry?


I can't see a non-bigoted explanation for the argument that Jewish businessmen and financiers are opposed to the amendment.

Maybe that says more about you than Cedarford.

How about this: Jews tend to be more socially liberal and support the political party that reflects their views. How is that bigoted?

Cedarford's comment was not about Jewish power, but the tension created by the Democratic party's support for gay marriage -- tension that exists because of constitutencies with different values.


It's either factually true or not that Jewish businessmen and financiers are "the big moneymen" of the Democratic party. I don't care one way or the other. It makes no difference to me whether gays, unions, or one-armed pachinko players support the Democrats. Those are facts which can be verified.

Cedarford may be a bigot. The comment may come from anti-semitism. I don't know. But you can't prove it from what he(?) wrote. You're the one assuming a value judgment and finding bigotry that on the face of it just isn't there.

Seven Machos said...

There is something seedy and vaguely sinister about saying "Jewish businessmen and financiers" because, whether the writer intended it or not, it make everyone instantly think of anti-Jewish propaganda.

Why not say "wealthy leftists" or "wealthy businesspeople" or even "a nutty group of aging Jewish leftists with money to burn on grossly out-of-touch political causes that are doomed to fail"?

I don't think there is anything about Jewishness that causes people to favor gay marriage. Sometimes, it really does seem like there is something in the character of Judaism that causes believers to be smart, hardworking, and professionally successful. But that's a good thing.

Fitz said...

Should Gay-Jewish-Financers, who are ultra-leftists be allowed to get “married”.
Or should Mel Gibson produce a film that inspires pogroms against Gay-Jewish-Financers for their role in crucifying Mel Brooks.

Anonymous said...

There is something seedy and vaguely sinister about saying "Jewish businessmen and financiers" because, whether the writer intended it or not, it makes everyone instantly think of anti-Jewish propaganda.

Seven, I'll take your words at face value. All I can say is it doesn't do that to me.

I know that many people would spit out the word "Jew" with venom, fear, hatred, or envy. But is it not possible to talk about "Jewish people" or "Jewish businessmen" without rancor or bigotry?

peter hoh said...

Fenrisulven, no I'm pretty sure I haven't gotten smarter. I'm seeing more partisanship, gamesmanship, whatever you want to call it in these comment threads. This is moving from feeling like a bull session among friends to some sort of Crossfire shouting match.

Seven Machos said...

Pastor Jeff -- The problem is that too many anti-Semites in the past have said "Jewish financiers" too regularly. I say "peanut butter." You think "jelly." I say "Jewish businessmen and financiers." You think "Hitler."

We can use the term "Jewish financiers" in good faith, but to almost everyone who sees it, it doesn't appear to be in good faith. (Just like we can use peanut butter without jelly.) We want to avoid the appearance of bad faith for the exact reason that this conversation is happening.

Simon said...

"And this is an argument against gay marriage how? Considering that the breakdown of the black family came during an era when gay marriage was not even an issue, how can it even be a factor?"

Because liberals are not interested in gay marriage qua gay marriage, they are interested in it as part of their wider program of destablizing traditional societal institutions. I think Fitz is right to draw a parallel to the quickie divorce movement, but the simple reality is that while you can pick out specific examples like abortion, the death penalty and homosexuality, liberals are at bottom hostile to any traditional values to place a restriction on their choices, while simultaneously demanding the substitution of a whole new constellation of restraints (speech codes, for example). Having torn up the social opprobrium on divorce, their next target is the underlying definition of marriage as consisting of a man and a woman, and beyo0nd all doubt, the next target after that will be the definition of marriage as involving two people. The endgame of this project is the abolition of all traditional restraints on personal conduct.

Simon said...

Incidentally, in terms of the big picture, I'd add that I see quickie divorce as far more destructive to the sanctity of marriage than two persons of the same gender being married for life. I would personally far rather we spent our time re-writing divorce laws to make it rather less easy to get a divorce absent situations of domestic violence (specifically, I would abolish no fault divorce), but I realize that the vast majority is against me on that point, and it's likely that that ship has sailed. I'm not especially bothered by same-sex marriage, what I'm bothered by is where its logic and its proponents are inexorably leading us.

Pogo said...

Simon
Well said.

peter hoh
Then for God's sake, do some illuminatin' and leavenin' and bring some beer.

Really, I am trying to raise a typical bull session point: what are the standards by which the left operates and why?
And why is that seen as me being partisan?

Or, more likely, does anyone really give a shit what I say?
Pardon my french.

Freder Frederson said...

Back in the 1960’s when the cultural left was arguing for no-fault divorce laws; one common refrain often heard was: “What do two people getting divorced have to do with your marriage?”
Another variant is “If the couple down the street gets divorced how does that effect your marriage?”


There are a whole lot of other factors beside the rise of no-fault divorce laws (which after all merely eliminated the requirment that one partner declare that the other committed some divorcable offense, even if it was fabricated), such as the changing role of women in the workplace. The simple fact that women could actually afford to get divorced probably had more to do with the rise in the divorce rate than any other factor.

You are attempting to severe marriage from its historical and biological heritage, this will have a net effect. (leaving aside the already discernable effects in Europe) That effect is that marriage is outdated and any family form including single parenting is acceptable.

I am doing no such thing. Marriage has been for many things and purposes and things throughout history including solidifying alliances, ensuring property transfers, uniting tribes, and just for plain old fashioned love.

A lot of people get married with no intention of having children and many are physically incapable of it. Does the fact that these heterosexual couples get married diminish other heterosexuals marriages? How many couples in this country, if asked, would say the primary reason they are getting married is to have children? I bet it is a very small minority.

Simon said...

"I didn't say Foley should have been expelled ... I may think that the law has no business criminally prosecuting two high school seniors for getting a little too frisky but yet may find it morally reprehensible if one of the same senior's teachers, pastors, friend's parents, or employers is using that position of power to try and get in his or her pants."

Oh, so presumably you find it morally reprehensible for a high school senior's "teacher[], pastor[], friend's parent[], or employer" is sexually harassing them, but you would argue against that person being fired? It's morally reprehensible, but that's not something people who hold positions of public trust should lose their jobs over...Right?

You also seem to be having a problem grasping what Clinton was impeached for. Clinton was impeached because he perjured himself. For purposes of impeachment, it doesn't matter what he perjured himself over, only that he did. And if you disagree with that assesment, then stand ready to explain why Scooter Libby should stand trial for perjuring himself before a grand jury called to investigate a completely different crime.

At least MadisonMan has the decency to admit that he's inconsistent. You just want to have it both ways and hope no one notices.

Seven Machos said...

Simon brings up something very interesting. I'm not especially bothered by easy divorce or same-sex marriage. I'm not especially bothered because:

1. Easy divorce. If I want to leave my wife, I can simply leave my wife. It would be difficult for a court to compel me to live in the same house with someone. If I want to be effectively single, it's not that hard.

2. Gay marriage. If I want to enter into an effective gay marriage, I can have an exchange of vows and a big party, move in with the person, buy property with the person, adopt kids, make a will together, etc.

What's really at issue here is government recognition and somehow stamping out social oppobrium. There is absolutely no requirement for a democratic society to give government recognition to something most people oppose. Government can do very little to stamp out social oppobrium.

Simon said...

"I am [not trying to sever marriage from its historical and biological heritage]. Marriage has been for many things and purposes and things throughout history including solidifying alliances, ensuring property transfers, uniting tribes, and just for plain old fashioned love."

Marriage has indeed been used for many purposes, and not always for love - but throughout history, whatever purpose it has been entered into for, it has been entered into by one man and one woman. You are not trying to change its purpose, you are trying to change the definition of what it is.

Boiling water has been for many things and purposes and things throughout history, including the preparation of tea, the sterilization of medical instruments, the cooking of good lobster, and the making of rahmen noodles. What you propose is not the equivalent of a new use for boiling water, but to arbitrarily declare that the new boiling point of water will henceforth be seventy degrees.

Freder Frederson said...

I would personally far rather we spent our time re-writing divorce laws to make it rather less easy to get a divorce absent situations of domestic violence (specifically, I would abolish no fault divorce), but I realize that the vast majority is against me on that point, and it's likely that that ship has sailed. I'm not especially bothered by same-sex marriage, what I'm bothered by is where its logic and its proponents are inexorably leading us.

Well, spare me imposing your Victorian morality on the entire country. If me and my wife decide that we are better off not married, the state has no right to intervene in that private decision and tell us, "no, you are stuck with eachother". It is none of your damn business, either. Why the hell should a Republican, who is supposed to be all about small government, want to be interfering in my personal affairs?

Seven Machos said...

If me and my wife decide that we are better off not paying ridiculously high taxes, the state has no right to intervene in that private decision and tell us, "no, you are stuck with this absurdtax bill". It is none of your damn business, either. Why the hell should a nutty leftist, who is supposed to be all about individual freedom, want to be interfering in my personal affairs?

Indeed, Fred, spare me imposing your morality of Henry Wallace and Eugene Debs on the entire country.

Freder Frederson said...

but throughout history, whatever purpose it has been entered into for, it has been entered into by one man and one woman.

Nonsense, even in this country you will find legally recognized gay marriages and it is recognized by several mainstream religions including Christian denominations. Some Catholic Nuns wear wedding rings to demonstrate that they are married to Christ. Throughout the ages and in many religions and in many countries even today polygamy is legal. Several European countries including Spain recognize gay marriage and several are very close.

As for the boiling point of water. It varies greatly with elevation and pressure. I could easily make it boil at 70 degrees by placing it in a vacuum chamber. On the celisius scale it boils at 100 at sea level and at 573 Kelvin. So it all depends on your perspective and how you are measuring it.

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- In one of the most consistently liberal states in the Union, a huge majority of the people is going to vote against gay marriage. Majorities are also against polygamy. Catholic nuns are not married to anyone.

Also, Spain is one of the last countries I want to look to for how to conduct civil law. What with its glorious history of tolerance and all that.

I find myself sometimes rooting for this Amendment to pass just because of the flippancy and lack of willingness to engage people who disagree on the side I actually tend to agree with.

Freder Frederson said...

If me and my wife decide that we are better off not paying ridiculously high taxes

Well, of course you are required by law to pay taxes. It is your responsibility as a citizen and a duty required by the state. The state doesn't make you marry anyone. I realize some posting on this page would like to make all sex outside of marriage illegal, but thankfully that hasn't happened yet.

You volutarily enter into a marriage contract and it is a personal commitment between two people for which the state grants you certain rights and privleges. If you wish to dissolve that relationship, it should be up to you, just like any other private contract enforced by the power of the state.

Seven Machos said...

If you are required by law to pay the tax rate set by the government, the law certainly can be that the government only will recognize heterosexual marriages between two people.

There is nothing constitutional about gay marriage, or the tax rate, or where you can park, or if you can feed the squirrels in the park.

Revenant said...

The "dilemma for liberals" here is created by the Republican's cynical use of social issues to divide and distract the voting population. So: a black voter who might tend to vote "Democratic" could be swayed to vote otherwise by this issue.

One might just as well condemn the Democrats' cynical use of economic issues to trick black voters -- who tend to agree with pretty much all of the Republicans' social-conservative agenda -- into voting for them. :)

Freder Frederson said...

Majorities are also against polygamy. Catholic nuns are not married to anyone.

My point was in response to simon's ridiculous argument that "throughout history, whatever purpose it has been entered into for, it has been entered into by one man and one woman." I guess that is one of those "factual" statements that just isn't true (along with his equally ridiculous assertion that water always boils at the same temperature or that there is only one way to measure temperature).

You may not like it, he may not like it, but gay people get married all the time. Their marriages may not be recognized by the State and the fact that they get married my frighten you and somehow threaten you (which I still don't understand how), but gay marriages are an every day occurence in probably every state in the country.

peter hoh said...

Just remember that it was the icon of the cultural left, Ronald Reagan, who helped usher in the era of no-fault divorce.

Simon, there's an interesting op-ed in the NYT Oct. 1 about no-fault. I found it on the family scholars blog www.familyscholars.org which is a good source for marriage-related issues. For the first time in years, a state has passed a significant revision to no-fault rules, and the effort to "reform" the "fault-based" system in New York has stalled again. Perhaps the pendulum is swinging, however slowly, back again.

The problem with reforming no-fault isn't a simple one. It's probably more a cultural problem than a political one.

Pogo said...

Yeah, that works.
Marriage is merely a kind of contract, no more meaningful than buying a car, and having no more impact on society than creating or dissolving a fruit stand.

It's your choice. well, except smoking. No, you can't smoke. And trans fats? Out. Racist speech? Forbidden. Religion anywhere on the schoolgrounds? Out, out, out. Compulsory Medicare.? Of course! Alcohol? Oh my word! Not above 0.8!

But marriage? Whatever. Do your own thing, you know. Whatever floats your boat. Man-man, man-boy, man-man-girl-girl. Why not?
As long as they aren't smoking, who cares?

Freder Frederson said...

There is nothing constitutional about gay marriage

Traditionally, marriage laws have been handled by the states. The only major exception I can think of was when the Supreme Court belatedly struck down anti-miscegnation laws in 1967. Lord knows the states weren't going to do it by themselves. Alabama and Mississippi didn't get around to striking theirs until the last few years and even then the ballot initiatives to overturn them passed by disgustingly small margins (garnering only about 60% in favor).

One might just as well condemn the Democrats' cynical use of economic issues to trick black voters -- who tend to agree with pretty much all of the Republicans' social-conservative agenda -- into voting for them.

And what would that be exactly? I'll agree blacks tend to be homophobic but what about the rest of the social-conservative agenda do they agree with? Are they particularly anti-abortion? Against affirmative action? For tax cuts for the rich? Pro war? Against comprehensive health care reform? For privatization of Social Security?

Too Many Jims said...

I apologize in advance, because I realize I was part of what caused us to get out in the weeds on this.

Fenrisulven: I wasn't trying to marginalize his points by suggesting that he hates Jews. I was trying to point out that his (in my view) bigoted argument distracts from whatever fine and unbigoted arguments for the amendment exist.

Pastor_Jeff: Quite frankly Seven and Pogo have made the point I was trying to make. They have done so much more articulately and more succinctly than I have. (Though, in my defense, they were not told to "reread" the original comment, nor accused of "assuming that anyone who opposes it must be bigoted, and then must be bigoted against other groups, too".)

I have seen cedarford around here but I cannot recall ever seing him say anything that used the word "Jew". So I had no reason to think anything of it. While I did not call him an anti-semite, it is clear that many at the Belmont Club (I place where I seldom go) believe him to be. If you want to wade through some of his comments, google "cedarford Jew Belmont Club" or something of the sort. You will see that some of his comments seem innocuous (as you believe his comment here to be) other comments, not so much. Over at Ace of Spades, Ace banned cedarford for "virulent antisemitism and racism".

You said: "Maybe that says more about you than Cedarford."

Well apparently, the first time I can recall seeing cedarford's name within 20 words of the word "Jew", I was able to discern that this statement might be bigoted. Maybe that says something about me. You see the words and try to re-write his words to make them unbigoted and acceptable. Maybe that says something about you.

Seven Machos said...

Fred -- My whole argument on this subject on this blog has been exactly that "gay people get married all the time," that "gay marriages are an every day occurence in probably every state in the country."

Gay marriage is not prohibited. You have admitted that. Awesome. And no one, except for the utterly inconsequential "God hates fags" crowd cares. The reason this kind of amendment ever makes it onto a ballot is only because gay activists demand the government's and society's and the community's approval for these marriages, which, as you yourself admit, already exist.

What do you care about society's manifest approval. Isn't lack of prohibition the same basic result?

People aren't comfortable with the government's and society's and the community's open, manifest approval for these marriages. What you are doing by forcing the issue is giving the minority of people who are really against any gay marriage the political space to push the law in their direction. The goofy political strategy of the pro-gay marriage side has been to force most people to decide on something they would rather simply leave alone. Look what happens.

Freder Frederson said...

Yeah, that works.
Marriage is merely a kind of contract, no more meaningful than buying a car, and having no more impact on society than creating or dissolving a fruit stand.


There is a civil and social aspect to marriage (in many countries the dichotomy is much more explicit than it is here). My point is that the state is ill-equipped to police the health of individual marriages. To say that making divorce harder will make marriages better or benefit society is just addressing the symptom, not the disease.

Seven Machos said...

Reading throught my own comments, like the narcissist I guess I am, I sense a contradiction I want to clear up.

On gay marriage, I think most people range from truly don't care to a little queasy to for it, but not really in my community, to against it just a little. This vast middle range will vote against gay marriage but they would never think to put it on a ballot.

Steven said...

Our objection was that it, or that lying about it under oath in an investigation that was obstensibly about land deals in Arkansas, did not rise to an impeachable offense.

You seem to have your history misremembered. Clinton didn't lie about the relationship under oath in an investigation into land deals in Arkansas. He lied about it under oath in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, where the plaintiff was entitled to ask about his sexual history by a law (the Violence Against Women Act) Bill Clinton himself signed into effect.

The perjury was accordingly a declaration that Presidents are not bound to respect laws that they themselves sign into effect, if it would cause them embarssment and posible personal financial loss to follow them. The refusal to remove him from office was, it follows, an affirmation that committiing felonies to those ends is not a srious offense.

Amazingly, people who have conceded this are now complaining about Bush violating laws that he didn't even sign, with intent not to save himself from embarassment but to defend the country!

Anonymous said...

Jim,

I think the difference is that Pogo and Seven Machos pointed out that Cedarford's words could sound bigoted, whereas your first comment assumed bad motives ("it is bigoted"). I appreciate that in your last comment, you've at least said his statement "might be bigoted." That's a crucial difference.

The reason I asked you to reread Cedarford's comments is that you chose to focus on one wording and misconstrue his point -- which wasn't about a Jewish cabal at all, but divisions in the Democratic party among different constituencies -- one of which happens to be affluent Jewish donors.

I still don't see how their Jewishness was intended to be a slur or a threat, as opposed to a description, but I understand the unease with the formulation.

And I'm sorry my first comment was unclear. I was responding to both you and Edward (who clearly implied that there is no unbigoted opposition).

Fenrisulven said...

I wasn't trying to marginalize his points by suggesting that he hates Jews. I was trying to point out that his (in my view) bigoted argument distracts from whatever fine and unbigoted arguments for the amendment exist.

Thats cool. Back on topic - re the splinter groups of the Left - I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the recent anti-semitic remarks & actions of groups like FDL and Kos. Seems if anyone wants to complain about anti-semitism while staying on topic, that would be a good place to start.

AlaskaJack said...

Simon is exactly on target about contempory liberalism. Its adherrents worship at the alter of what they call "the Self". One of their dogmas is that the "self" must remain absolutely free to make unconstrained choices about whatever life role it wants to play and whatever rules of personal conduct it wants to follow. This means that the primary purpose of government is to protect and foster this notion of freedom. And so its laws must insure that neither tradition, religion nor any other authority be allowed to interfere with this creative freedom.

Why they think a nation full of such selves will be able to survive past 2 or 3 generations is never explained.

Fitz said...

Freder Frederson

“You volutarily enter into a marriage contract and it is a personal commitment between two people for which the state grants you certain rights and privleges. If you wish to dissolve that relationship, it should be up to you, just like any other private contract enforced by the power of the state.”

The advent of no-fault divorce began a period were the marriage contract became the ONLY contract were unilateral breach by one party constituted no penalty. The law effects culture (as it did with no-fault introduction), new proposals for waiting periods, and the reintroduction of fault based distinctions may help us as a society view marriage as more than a convenient expression of temporary amore, but rather the foundational institution it is.


“You may not like it, he may not like it, but gay people get married all the time. Their marriages may not be recognized by the State”

But they don’t get “married” you can co-opt this word through constant repetition, but that in itself has consequences. We are talking about a historically rooted widespread social institution made up of a man & a woman. People need (and will continue to need) a word to describe that particular institution. Its sad that your need for feelings of social inclusion trump your ability to see the importance of maintaining the standard of children being raised by their Mother & Father.

“I'll agree blacks tend to be homophobic but what about the rest of the social-conservative agenda do they agree with?”

Who said anything about bigotry? (except you) Perhaps African-Americans are particularly aware of the harm done when the institution of marriage breaks down. Perhaps they understand the reasoning in privileging the natural family & encouraging people to strive to provide children with their own Mother & Father in a stable marriage. Is it possible that you are self-obsorbed rather than blacks being bigots?

Revenant said...

And what would that be exactly? I'll agree blacks tend to be homophobic but what about the rest of the social-conservative agenda do they agree with?

Abortion, school prayer, the role of religion in public life, and child discipline.

Also school vouchers, if you count that as a social issue (I wouldn't).

As for your list of issues, I have to wonder what drug you were high on when you decided that tax cuts, health care and social security weren't economic issues. The only social issue you listed is affirmative action, which you are correct in thinking blacks favor -- although, ironically enough, polls tend to show that white Democrats support affirmative action more than nonwhite Americans in general do.

Pogo said...

OT, but I have never understood the word 'homophobic' as used here.

Are people really 'afraid' of gays, as in actually fearing them?
If I am unafraid of my lesbian neighbor, but I don't agree that marriage needs to be defined to met the current cultural winds, is there a less demonizing term for my view?

Or was that the whole point?

Edward said...

Pastor Jeff: I’m sorry to say this, and it’s probably not the wisest thing to say from a political standpoint, but I really do think that virtually all opposition to same-sex marriage is based on bigotry.

By bigotry, I mean ignorance, misunderstanding, intense dislike, and at times actual fear of homosexuality.

Those of you posting here in opposition to same-sex marriage usually lack a historical perspective regarding how civil rights movements develop over many decades, even over centuries.

Opinions similar to those you express here today about gay people and their civil rights were expressed repeatedly decades ago about women and racial minorities, especially African-Americans.

Casually bigoted remarks about women and African-Americans largely went unnoticed and unopposed in America for decades, even for centuries. Laws and attitudes that oppressed women and African-Americans were rarely labeled as the manifestations of bigotry that we now know they were.

More enlightened generations from now will look with disgust on this string of state constitutional amendments outlawing legal recognition of same-sex marriage, and they will understand that these amendments are nothing more than expressions of bigotry on a mass scale.

Most of you are probably middle-aged heterosexual men who have always been at least very uneasy about homosexuality, and your original negative feelings were shaped by homophobic religious doctrines and nasty, bigoted attitudes acquired in schoolyards.

None of you were probably raised being presented with fair and objective information about gay people. Most of you were probably actively taught to fear and dislike gay people.

If this is true, and if you’re not willing to admit that this negative, clearly bigoted information that you received about gay people early in your lives in no way affects your opinion about gay marriage today, then I think you’re being less than honest.

Generations growing up today are not being indoctrinated the way you were to dislike and even fear homosexuality, and they are going to have very different attitudes about gay marriage. In fact, they already do have very different attitudes about gay marriage, but they may not yet represent a majority of voters in this country. That will one day change.

Freder Frederson said...

But they don’t get “married” you can co-opt this word through constant repetition, but that in itself has consequences.

What do you mean they don't get "married"? There is both a religious and civil meaning to the term. A marriage can be recognized by religious authorities and not recognized by civil authorities and vice a versa. In some countries, the civil ceremony is completely separate from the religous one and only the civil marriage is even recognized by the state (You can have your church wedding, but until you go to the courthouse and have your civil ceremony, you are not officially married).

The dissolution of marriages is much the same. If you are Catholic, you might think you are divorced, but unless you get an official annulment from the Catholic Church there is no way you are getting remarried in the Catholic Church and if you get married outside it might get denied Mass if you run into a priest who is a stickler for the rules

Fitz said...

RE: “homophobic”
“Are people really 'afraid' of gays, as in actually fearing them?
If I am unafraid of my lesbian neighbor, but I don't agree that marriage needs to be defined to met the current cultural winds, is there a less demonizing term for my view? Or was that the whole point?”


Yes it seems to be a strategy to pathologies the opposition as being the social deviants.
In the Original Greek it would mean “fear of sameness” or “fear of oneness”

Medically speaking its possible to develop a “phobia” over almost anything (snakes, spiders, closed spaces, open spaces) But the idea that whole swaths of the population suffer under an “irrational fear of homosexuals” is more politically convenient than intellectually enlightening.

It seems that they pine for a term as powerful as “racist” in dealing with those who appose their agenda. The rest of their vocabulary (such as heterosexist, and heteronormative ) has such subversive connotations that it is left in academia and off the front pages of the NYT.

Freder Frederson said...

Abortion, school prayer, the role of religion in public life, and child discipline.

And where is the great groundswell of Black support in line with white social conservatives on this? And when and where is child discipline a major issue?

Fitz said...

Edward

“Opinions similar to those you express here today about gay people and their civil rights were expressed repeatedly decades ago about women and racial minorities, especially African-Americans.”

Race is not sex, and neither is whom one has sex with. The problem with the argument from analogy, is it is merely that; an analogy. It’s strength rises and falls on the power of the analogy.
Gay people were not brought here in chains, forced into chattel slavery and then lived under apartied for 200 years.
We fought a civil war with a countless death toll to end slavery and insure equal rights for blacks. We also (and this is crucial in your spurious analogy) have three different constitutional amendments that attempted to address this historic inequality. One of them is the 14th on which you so slavishly and narrowly rely. Each amendment was ratified by the people. This was done democratically through a vote. We also have the various civil rights acts ratified through legislative action. Indeed the most important right fought for was the right to vote. Human suffrage goes to the heart of our law. The right to be counted and heard. That’s what this country is, an experiment in popular sovereignty. This applies equally to the 19th amendment as well.
Every “fundamental right” in our constitution has been voted upon and ratified by the people. It is equel justice UNDER THE LAW, that is written above the supreme court. We the people decide what those laws aught be. They don’t simply proceed from spurious and weak analogies. Indeed the co-opting of the moral authority of civil rights language not only insults my intelligence, but insults African Americans generally.

All of this is for naught however. It is a mere procedural argument. It pales in comparison to the deeper truth about what we exalt as a family. What we hope our Sons & Daughters will aspire to, and how we best organize and raise our families.

Anonymous said...

Edward,

You attribute opposition to gay marriage to intolerance, ignorance, fear, hatred, and bigotry. That's quite a list, but I don't think that position will cost you any political points. It's quite a commonly expressed belief.

I don't know if you've read the comments here and elsewhere on Althouse about opposition to gay marriage, but I think you'd see reasons other than the ones you've mentioned. Such a study might be quite informative -- but you do seem to have already decided for yourself why people oppose gay marriage, what it says about their upbringing, how they are ignorant of history, and how they feel about gays and their own sexuality.

I think one would have to be omniscient to make perfect moral judgments, but it looks like you've covered both those bases. Thanks at least for being honest.


Opinions similar to those you express here today about gay people and their civil rights were expressed repeatedly decades ago about women and racial minorities, especially African-Americans.

We need a separate pronoun in English for 2nd person plural. I hope you don't mean me personally, because I haven't made any comments here today about gay people or civil rights. All I've talked about is not assuming the worst about people based on scant information.

Or are you putting me in a group with others because you're willing to assume my beliefs based on externals? You're not bigoted against pastors, are you?

I hear that's often the result of fear, misinformation, and poor upbringing.

Edward said...

Fitz: Homophobia’s similarity to racism is strong, but its similarity to sexism is even stronger.

Just as women have been oppressed since almost the dawn of human civilization, and just as their most basic civil rights have only been guaranteed under law for less than a century, gay people have also been oppressed since almost the beginning of time, and their civil rights are only now beginning to protected under the law.

This rash of state constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage is only a backlash against the tremendous progress that the cause of gay equality has already made in the past thirty years.

Gay people may not have been enslave like African-Americans, but denying them the right to marry and even outlawing the sexual expression of the very real love that exists in their romantic relationships (I’m referring to sodomy laws, which were only recently abolished) are actually very similar to the way slave couples were split apart by their owners and like the laws against interracial marriage.

Like the age-old oppression of women, the age-old oppression of gay people has always been reinforced by toxic religious doctrine.

The similarities are not total, but they are very strong indeed.

Edward said...

Pastor Jeff: I notice how you ignored my question about exactly what you were taught about gay people in your youth and the extent to which this early information you received about homosexuality influences your position on gay marriage today.

I’m not bigoted against pastors. My own brother is one.

I also don’t claim to be perfect about these matters. I’ll be the first to admit that I was raised with a certain number of racist views that I’ve had to unlearn in my adulthood.

Dej said...

Tears fill my eyes after reading some of the comments posted here.

I am a married lesbian, currently living in Wisconsin. (My partner and I married in Canada.)

Why shouldn't this issue be on a ballot? Somebody tell me how this is not about equality and civil rights. To wit:

Steve next door marries Cheryl. As a result, Cheryl and Steve share health, retirement, and legal benefits extended by this state to married couples.

Why should my partner and I be denied these same benefits? We are in a long-term, committed relationship. It's no more complicated than that.

Anonymous said...

Edward,

I didn't see a question mark anywhere in your comment, so you can forgive my not answering a question you didn't ask. All I saw were declarations, assumptions, accusations, and judgments.

What was the question?

If you really want to know what I was taught, how it influences me, and what I believe, you could start by not making assumptions and accusations. You've already told me you think I'm ignorant, bigoted and homophobic (and my parents were, too). That doesn't make me want to open up my life to you.

Fitz said...

Edward
“This rash of state constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage is only a backlash against the tremendous progress that the cause of gay equality has already made in the past thirty years.”

Couldn’t it have something to do with the institution of marriage? I mean maybe, just maybe (1 in a 1000 shot) have something to do with this important, indeed foundational social institution?

Of coarse I’m going further than that. Mine is not a defensive crouch. I find you to be deeply inhumane and narcissistic in your demands. 40 years of a sexual revolution has given us 50% divorce rates, 70% illegitimacy rates and falling rates of marriage overall one third of all children are born out of wedlock, cohabitation and un-chosen childlessness. The social scientific evidence for divorce and Fatherless-ness is in. It leads to sky high crime, depression, suicide, violence, gang activity, and a perpetual cycle of child abandonment.
For gays to throw the entire institution up for redefinition is the height of self absorption.
We can and must rebuild the social institution of marriage. Its important that all children are born into married households with their own natural parents. This standard should be advanced not undermined. The institution of marriage is infinitely more important than a vehicle for homosexual inclusion.


Dej

“Tears fill my eyes after reading some of the comments posted here.”

Tears fill my eyes when I think of all the young people who grow up in households never knowing their own Mother & Father.

“Why should my partner and I be denied these same benefits? We are in a long-term, committed relationship. It's no more complicated than that.”

Because those benefits a reserved for married men & women. Society privileges their relationships above all others in order to promote the natural family.

Dej said...

Pastor Jeff: I have a question for you. Do you agree that my partner and I should be denied the same benefits that this state extends to heterosexual couples? My partner and I are in a long-term, committed relationship -- so much so that we exchanged marriage vows in Canada.

My employer -- a state institution -- does not offer health and dental benefits to domestic partners, but it does so to married partners. Why should we not enjoy these benefits? (We pay our taxes and are good little workers, dangit!)

Dej said...

Tears fill my eyes when I think of all the young people who grow up in households never knowing their own Mother & Father.

Huh? All of the children of gay and lesbian parents that I know have close relationships with their biological mothers and fathers!

Because those benefits a reserved for married men & women. Society privileges their relationships above all others in order to promote the natural family.

Huh? What makes a heterosexual couple more "natural"? Eyeglasses are not natural, but we haven't voted against those! Moreover, there's a massive difference between what's natural and what's moral.

Joe Baby said...

It wouldn't take a dive into the penumbras of the constitution in order to set up benefit schemes whereby an employee could name any one adult as beneficiary.

We need not create marriage-like status to accomplish this.

But I think we all know that the agenda is much larger than health insurance (or right to visit someone in a hospital, which has an easy remedy).

Seven Machos said...

Dej -- What about Earl and Sue, who live way on the other side of town from you?

Earl and Sue have a fraction of the appliances and discretionary income that you and your partner have. Earl works at the factory on the outskirts of town that makes wooden beds for tractor-trailers. Sue has a spotty history of clerical jobs and currently is a cashier at a little convenience store. Neither Earl nor Sue has any health insurance whatsoever. What about them?

Cry me a river. What a disgusting, shrill, selfish argument. I want to force a radical change onto a society that doesn't want the change (by about 3:1) so that I can pay less for health insurance.

Dej said...

Joe Baby, my agenda is simply to enjoy whatever state-granted rights my neighbor enjoys, given that we pay the same taxes and are both law-abiding citizens.

But you're right about what employers _could_ do to set up benefit schemes. Unfortunately, after several years of debates, mine has yet to do so.

My sweetie just came home, so I'm signing off for now.

David said...

I'm only a casual reader of the site and even more casual commenter, and I've seen several anti-semitic postings from cedarford. I've called him on one and others have called him on others. I'm a little surprised that other seemingly civilized commenters have been oblivious to this.

Edward: What about if I would willingly accept a democratic decision to allow gay marriage but absolutely reject the courts forcing that decision. Am I a bigot, too?

yetanotherjohn asked about the recent Massachusetts trial court decision holding that two Rhode Island women can get married in Massachusetts because the court couldn't find any constitutional clause, statute or decision that said that Rhode Island wouldn't allow same-sex marriages. My guess is that the case, or at least this holding, will be overturned on appeal. Goodridge, the case that allowed gay marriage, considered the argument that no where was same-sex marriage explicitly prohibited. The Court held that that argument was wrong, because the word "marriage" means a man and a woman, that's what the legislature clearly intended, so that's what the statute means. The Court then held that that meaning was unconstitutional. If the Court wouldn't use that argument for its own state's law, I doubt it will do so for Rhode Island.

My guess is that the entire opinion, and not just that holding, will be reversed.

Fitz said...

Dej

“Huh? All of the children of gay and lesbian parents that I know have close relationships with their biological mothers and fathers!”

Does this mean you think society has an interest in insuring that children are attached/stay attached to their own Mothers & Fathers?

“Huh? What makes a heterosexual couple more "natural"? Eyeglasses are not natural, but we haven't voted against those! Moreover, there's a massive difference between what's natural and what's moral.”

If you can brush back the tears and stop saying Huh? (by the way- I believe you when you infer you don’t “get it”)

Perhaps this section New York Supreme Court Ruling will clarify the reasoning.

“First, the Legislature could rationally decide that, for the welfare of children, it is more important to promote stability, and to avoid instability, in opposite-sex than in same-sex relationships. Heterosexual intercourse has a natural tendency to lead to the birth of children; homosexual intercourse does not. Despite the advances of science, it remains true that the vast majority of children are born as a result of a sexual relationship between a man and a woman, and the Legislature could find that this will continue to be true. The Legislature could also find that such relationships are all too often casual or temporary. It could find that an important function of marriage is to create more stability and permanence in the relationships that cause children to be born. It thus could choose to offer an inducement -- in the form of marriage and its attendant benefits -- to opposite-sex couples who make a solemn, long-term commitment to each other.”

”The Legislature could rationally believe that it is better, other things being equal, for children to grow up with both a mother and a father. Intuition and experience suggest that a child benefits from having before his or her eyes, every day, living models of what both a man and a woman are like. It is obvious that there are exceptions to this general rule -- some children who never know their fathers, or their mothers, do far better than some who grow up with parents of both sexes -- but the Legislature could find that the general rule will usually hold.”

Joe Baby said...

Dej,

Your right is equal to that of your neighbors. The right is not absolute, however, nor is any right. I cannot marry someone under a certain age; nor someone who is already married; nor someone of close relation.

Society has seen fit to limit marriage to certain conditions. Are these conditions discriminatory? Are any conditions permissible?

It brings us back to the central question, addressed earlier -- what is the purpose of marriage?

Seven Machos said...

Joe -- Clearly, the purpose of marriag is to get a discount on your health insurance.

Fitz said...

And if you dont get a discount - you should make a Federal case out of it! (although not quite yet...it seems)

Anonymous said...

Do you agree that my partner and I should be denied the same benefits that this state extends to heterosexual couples?

Depends on what rights you're talking about -- The right to vote? The right to life? Or are we talking about the "right" to have the state favor your relationship?


My employer -- a state institution -- does not offer health and dental benefits to domestic partners, but it does so to married partners.

I'd suggest you take that up with your employer, or ask when you're considering employment. Lots of jobs offer no health benefits, and some offer benefits to any domestic partners.

Why would you possibly care what I think about your health care benefits? And why is this a state issue? Are health care benefits now an inalienable right?

Revenant said...

Steve next door marries Cheryl. As a result, Cheryl and Steve share health, retirement, and legal benefits extended by this state to married couples.

Why should my partner and I be denied these same benefits?

For the same reason I'm denied those benefits as a single man. Because society doesn't want us to have them.

This isn't about equal rights. This is about joining married heteros in having *more* rights than the rest of us. As a single person is there any particular reason I should be enthusiastic about that? Why shouldn't I be allowed to, for example, share my state health benefits with my friend and tennant, who doesn't have any of his own?

Oh. Because you don't think that's important. But your marriage is.

Edward said...

To all of you who have commented on my bigotry post:

All I was trying to say is that if you look at civil rights movements from the long-term historical perspective, you get a much better understanding of the attitudes and motives of most people supporting these anti-gay marriage amendments.

I grew up in the Deep South, and I know from personal experience that the amount of racism in the attitudes of most White Southerners only a few decades ago was absolutely nauseating.

Something similar could be said about attitudes about the rights and capabilities of women who, may I remind you, didn’t even have the right to vote in federal elections just one century ago.

I know for certain that the level of bigotry and prejudice against gay people in most parts of this country was absolutely overwhelming. For goodness sake, gay sex itself was criminalized in many states until just a few years ago. Do any of you realize how barbaric such laws are and what extreme levels of animosity toward gay people these laws reflect?

Previously oppressed groups have made rapid civil rights progress in the last hundred years, and so have gay people. Social conditions and attitudes that prevailed prior to each major civil rights advance now seem horribly bigoted and unjust.

I just think those of you against same-sex marriage should reflect more on this long-term historical perspective before you make such categorical statements in opposition to marriage rights for gay people.

I also ask that you reflect more on you own personal evolution in your own attitudes about homosexuality and gay people since your youth. I bet that all of you are far less homophobic now than you were twenty years ago, forty years ago, or during your own adolescence.

American society has evolved a great deal on these issues. Each of you has probably already evolved a great deal on these issues. If this is true, I would be more cautious than you are in your opposition to gay marriage.

Seven Machos said...

1. Gay marriage is not illegal.

2. It is comical to try to equate the "struggle" for "gay rights" with the civil rights movement. Are married gay people getting lynched? Are gay people not allowed to vote? To own property? We can all rest assured that there are a lot of older black people who would have liked (and would still like) to be treated in the terrible, awful, prejudiced way that gays are now treated.

3. If you want to get free health insurance from a spouse, marry a straight person of the opposite gender.

Cedarford said...

Tsk. Tsk.

I started commentary off with an honest commentary on the divisions that gay marriage has set off in the Democratic coalition between member parties - traditionalists like Catholics, unions, Hispanics, blacks - vs. "Progressives" - Hollywood, jewish businessmen and financiers, trial lawyers.

But of course ran into the still-prevalent belief that certain "victim groups" are immunized from criticism - especially religous groups, and ANY criticism or discussion about their role (in a negative context) is BIGOTRY!

Why do you think it has been so hard for Western leaders to criticize aspects of Islamic civilization? They have studied our culture carefully and seek to claim the same immunity.

To have that immunity is POWER. Ability to pursue goals of a specific individual agenda or collective agenda without impedence. It all but guarantees a weakened opposition, and many think it is the key to victory. If it persists, and the hypersensitivity by some to any discussion is cast as prejudice, why shouldn't all seek that Perfect Place - a group wielding great power and ability to influence events - but which may not be discussed???

For years, criticism of Hollywood was forbidden as a sea of sleaze and PC was pumped into movie theaters and TV screens....sure, some critics could mention lesser quality, but had to be avoidant of any mention of a political agenda at Hollywood...because the Moguls, writers were such victims! Who wanted to launch a "new era of fascism" and "MaCarthyism" by questioning things like - why thousands of movies cast Nazis as villains, but only a handful of anti-communist products existed after the mid-50s?

Some even held that criticism of Hollywood product was itself per se antisemitism.

The result of having so many groups who could claim "oppression", "victimisation" was of course that we had to blame the "oppressor race and civilization" for all problems.

With the Democrats, it is impossible to analyze them and their internal dynamics without understanding who has the money clout, which groups are critical to elections (blacks, Midwest progressives, the unions, city machines). Who has the organizational power? Who runs the Democratic front groups - media, netroots, Soros network, Hispanic activist, Foundations.

And who within the Democrats loses out to competing special interest groups? And why? As blacks and hispanics clearly did to the forces pushing the gay agenda? The discussion of Republican dynamics in a way are easier because few of their constituent groups claim the "immunity for criticism" Prize. Heavy donor groups to Republicans are openly discussed and Pork&Policy is dissected for evidence of their moneymen's clout. And the one Republican group that was inclined to claim immunity by victimhood - the evangelicals - were demonized by the Democratic media generations ago and put on the table. But Republicans still struggle with how to criticize core Democratic groups, Fronts. And both Parties, the whole West - have great difficulty in honestly debating the merits and threat of external groups claiming "oppression" such as economic refugees demanding the US and Europe keep an Open Border for tens of millions to pass through, hypersensitive 3rd World nations stuck in their own messes but blaming "oppressor peoples", and of course, the Islamists. All who have studied the power of immunity for "victim's groups" in our colleges and wish to be on the same footing - to neutralize Western opposition, cause them to lose confidence in their culture and ability to fight back.

Returning to the Democrats, the loudest proponent of Jewish clout and ability to set the agenda of the Party is AIPAC. Which proudly noted on it's website that the Democrats recognize how indispensible Jews are to it with 50% of the donations to DNC coming from Jews - only 2.8% of the population.

AIPAC of course is worried about only maintaining rock solid support of Israel and takes comfort in that level of donor clout, but that clout works on other issues...as reluctant black wardsmen told to push gay marriage as a critical issue to their constituents learned. Now, it is interesting that some here on this thread that find the idea of croticising Jews or Muslims pure bigotry have the willingness, the comfort level, to call blacks reactionary and bigoted in certain arenas. Something others, that still hold to "black immunity from criticism" would take strong offense to.

Others, like David Horowitz, note the influence of the "Shadow government", the interlocking network of progressive groups, donors, foundations, and legal activist entities..where about half the leadership and half the money to run - is progressive secular Jewish, half progressive Gentile.

It is even evident in the Front group that brought down Foley. C.R.E.W. was started by a wealthy progressive Jewish lawyer and a Jewish philanthropist who headed ProFunds as a Left counterweight to Judicial Watch. It's staff, beginning with Melanie Sloan, are largely Jewish lawyers with backgrounds in Democratic machine legal work or in other Leftist Front groups. Their goal is to use law and internal rules to attack Republicans, while doing a few minor attacks on Democrats for minor "ethics" violations to maintain their non-profit status and mask their existance as another Democratic attack Front. Anyone that looks at C.R.E.W. - its Board, it's funding, it's Staff background will know exactly what is going on ....except those that demand no scrutiny on grounds that analysis of commonality would show "official victims groups that cannot be commented on".

Which of course negates any analysis.

This is the same thing that has happened for 5 years with the "War on Terror". An extreme reluctance that still persists in many quarters to analyze the Islamic component of it - on grounds that Muslims "suffered" in past history - therefore it is Bigoted and Wrong to see what factors in Islam make 98% of terrorism come from Islamic groups. It is PC stupidity at it's worst. It is impossible to understand, let alone defeat Islamic Jihadi terrorism, without a frank and open discussion of Islamic religion and culture's influence on it, Islamic goals, Islamic motivation.

As an Arab commentator sadly said after Beslan, "It is a terrible truth that while not all Muslims are terrorists, not all terrorists are Muslims, most acts of terror come from Muslims in current times. So we must not fight and resist scrutiny of what is causing that."

BTW - The Belmont discussions involve Democide, and who was involved in early Communism, when most of the killing happened, 1918-50. Which, similarly, is impossible to understand without a frank and open discussion of the critical role Jews played in the philosophy, the creation of the Red Terror, the Gulag system, work in the arms of State enforcement of revolution like the Checka and NKVD, the Ukraine famines, the destruction of Russian Orthodox priests and churches. And the internal war between Jewish and Gentile leaders over whether Communism must be indigenous to a nation that goes to it, or transnational and borderless - like Islam - as Trotsky and others in his camp argued...

If we look at history, any group has credible victim claims. Is it wrong to criticise Chinese actions because 18 million died in WWII? Is it unacceptable to question Iranian policy because so many died under Greek pikes?

Edward said...

Seven Machos: Your advice that gay men should get health insurance simply by marrying straight women provides much better evidence than any I’ve cited so far about just how homophobic some of the posters to this thread are.

You’re so homophobic and blinded by your opposition to same-sex marriage that you’ve become irrational.

I would hope that at least one or two of the anti-gay posters here would denounce your homophobia, although I’m not holding my breath for any of them to turn on one of their own.

I also wonder what Ann Althouse thinks about your idea that gay men should simply marry straight women in order to get the benefits of marriage.

Anonymous said...

Jim C, Edward,

I see your point.

Let's just pretend my earlier comments regarding bigotry were about an unnamed, theoretical commenter, shall we? In that case, I still stand by them.

Joe Baby said...

Edward,

Have to be honest -- standard for homophobia seems to have slipped. No slurs, no stereotypes -- just discussion over society and marriage.

Policy differences now qualify? And if so, and a gay man disagreed w/ gay marriage, does he also deserve a pejorative term?

Seems that the definition is now equated to those who disagree.

BTW, if we can't argue policy, what can we argue? You've gone down the road of psychoanalyzing the motivations and upbringings of your opponents. I'll give you the respect of not following you down that road.

Revenant said...

For goodness sake, gay sex itself was criminalized in many states until just a few years ago.

13 out of 50 is not what I'd call "many states". It is also worth nothing that nine of those thirteen didn't ban "gay sex", but sodomy in general (definited not simply as anal sex, but as a wide variety of nonreproductive sex acts, oral sex included) and applied those laws to heterosexuals and homosexuals alike.

Do any of you realize how barbaric such laws are and what extreme levels of animosity toward gay people these laws reflect?

Calling them "barbaric" is a bit silly -- they're no more barbaric than laws against prostitution, consentual incest, or any other form of sexuality that is harmless but widely viewed as deviant and wrong. But in any case the animosity was in most cases towards nonreproductive sexuality in general, not to gays in particular. Only Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri singled out gays for special condemnation.

I just think those of you against same-sex marriage should reflect more on this long-term historical perspective before you make such categorical statements in opposition to marriage rights for gay people.

I happen to be for recognition of gay marriage. I just think the notion that a *right* to such recognition exists is stupid. Blacks were entitled to equal treatment under the law because it's right there in the Constitution. Women are entitled to equal treatment with men due to a wide variety of Constitutional amendments and federal and state laws. But there's nothing out there that so much as implies a right for a man to have the government grant him recognition of his marriage to another man.

Seven Machos said...

Edward -- That's me. Homophobe. And when you call people names like that, it adds immensely to your credibility.

But what about the vast, vast contingent of sick, backward-thinking straightsinglepersonphobes who think that single people should not be entitled to free insurance from their girlfriends, their roommates, or the dude they met at the bar last night? What about their plight?

Seven Machos said...

One more thing, I have determined that Edward, because he disagrees with me on this public policy issue, is a sick, twisted straightophobe.

Get help, Edward. Please. Before you cause more grievous pain and hurt. Your disagreement with me over a public policy issue that is on the ballot this fall in Wisconsin is endangering lives.

reader_iam said...

The advent of no-fault divorce began a period were the marriage contract became the ONLY contract were unilateral breach by one party constituted no penalty.

Putting aside the whole topic of gay marriage, that's a very interesting observation indeed.

Freder Frederson said...

I started commentary off with an honest commentary on the divisions that gay marriage has set off in the Democratic coalition between member parties - traditionalists like Catholics, unions, Hispanics, blacks - vs. "Progressives" - Hollywood, jewish businessmen and financiers, trial lawyers.

I'm sure this little diatribe and account of the vast left wing Jewish Conspiracy was much more compelling and inspirational in the original German.

So what you are saying is that Hitler was right. He stood up to the Communists and the Jews and refused to buy into their cries of victimhood. Maybe he got a little carried away, but his goals were noble. Isn't that the gist of what you are saying?

And I like how you blame the Jews (and Democratic Jews at that) for bringing down Foley. That is truly paranoid and completely misstates the facts.

Putting aside the whole topic of gay marriage, that's a very interesting observation indeed.

It might be an interesting observation. Too bad it is 100% wrong.

A couple can't get a no-fault divorce (or any divorce for that matter) in this country until both parties agree to the terms. No-Fault is specifically reserved for those couples who mutually agree to split and don't want to assign blame for the failure of the marriage on the other.

Revenant said...

A couple can't get a no-fault divorce (or any divorce for that matter) in this country until both parties agree to the terms

Meanwhile, back in reality (a place Freder seldom visits and is therefore unfamiliar with), most states require nothing of the kind in order for a no-fault divorce to be granted. And a good thing, too, since no-fault divorce is the only kind of divorce that *exists* in fifteen out of fifty states -- if no-fault divorce required mutual agreement by both parties, it would be impossible for any woman in California to leave a husband who didn't want to give her up.