May 16, 2008

After the California decision, will same-sex marriage become an issue in the presidential campaign?

I should do a proper post on the California Supreme Court decision that found a state constitutional law right against the state's ban on gay marriage. I should have done it yesterday, but I was moving from Brooklyn back to Madison, and I did not accomplish the timely, bloggerly thing. I'll get more legal later. Right now, I want to be political.

The decision has us thinking and talking about same-sex marriage again, and that will affect the presidential election. McCain, Obama, and Clinton all take the same position on the issue — a weaselly triad of ideas they hope are not too touchy: 1. give equivalent rights, 2. don't call it marriage, 3. leave it to the states. But this doesn't mean the issue won't have an effect.

Adam Nagourney writes:
Even if Mr. McCain does not wield [the issue] as part of his fall campaign — and his political associates said he almost certainly would not — history suggests that independent conservative advocacy groups would seize on the ruling to try to define Mr. Obama and his party [and Mrs. Clinton!?] as culturally out-of-step....

[T]here are differences of nuance in how the Democratic and Republican candidates talk about the issue that could have resonance with socially conservative voters. For example, Mr. Obama’s campaign explicitly said that he “has always believed that same-sex couples should enjoy equal rights under the law, and he will continue to fight for civil unions.”

In California, Mr. Brown is leading an effort to force a voter initiative that would overturn the court decision. If Mr. McCain decides to back such an initiative, it could provide a point of contrast that conservatives could use to hurt Mr. Obama.
Would McCain do that?
And an initiative could bring out more conservative voters at a time when Mr. McCain’s advisers see a small hope of putting California in play.
That would be big, but I can't picture McCain making that move. As Nagourney points out, that would set him against Governor Schwarzenegger.

But isn't there something subtler that McCain can do?

McCain only needs to stimulate feelings that things are changing too fast, that courts are taking over too aggressively, and that unknown, worrisome things might happen— unless stable, restrained judges are put in place. McCain is, in fact, already doing that. Yesterday's strong example of judicial activism resonates with what McCain has already said about judges.

I think the fear of rapid change will affect voters in the presidential election, especially since we expect the Democrats will control both houses of Congress. Do we really want a Democratic President too? Do we want, in addition to free-flowing legislative change, a President whose judicial appointments will be rubber-stamped in the Senate?

Now, Obama's message has been change. He's committed to that message, and it can be turned against him — a feat that becomes easier in the aftermath of the California decision.

188 comments:

The Drill SGT said...

On the surface, all three candidates have the same message: Mr. McCain supports marriage “between a man and a woman” and opposes any legal recognition of a same-sex relationship. But he is against an amendment to the Constitution, backed by many conservatives, that would ban same-sex marriage. More pressingly, he is at a point in his campaign now where he is seeking to appeal to moderates and Democrats uncomfortable with Mr. Obama; Mr. Dowd argued that emphasizing social issues would repel those groups.

Mr. Obama and Senator Clinton are more explicit in their support of civil unions, but both campaigns were quick to restate their views that the candidates believe the act of marriage should be between a man and a woman, a formulation that seems to have succeeded in taking the sting out of the issue.


however, both Dem's and their advisers wink and nod when they get in front of Gay groups when it comes to the "oppose gay marriage part". you could see that in their respective responses yesterday.

where McCain differs is in the area of Judges. that is a clear distinction where he can use the CSSC decision to highlight the impacts

Mortimer Brezny said...

I absolutely agree with this post. I think those Republican judges did McCain a favor.

Henry said...

Not to get off-topic immediately, but if McCain and Obama fall back to the weaselly idea idea of equivalency in same-sex marriage, I want the follow-up question to be this: In your administration will you press Congress to change the law the prevents gay men and lesbians from serving in the military?

It's easy for both Democrats and Republicans to duck (or leverage) the same-sex marriage issue by pretending it's all about judges.

They can't make that pretense when it comes to the military. That one is all about Congress.

The Drill SGT said...

rereading the clip I posted, it appears McCain may also oppose civil unions.

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salamandyr said...

So was this right predicated on the US or California State Constitution?

To follow up on Henry's digression, one of the only clear ways to get out of the military immediately is the gay clause. It makes me wonder if those stop lossed translators were only gay till their discharge papers cleared.

MadisonMan said...

Can you be prosecuted for falsely claiming to be gay to get out of the military?

It's not like there's a scarlet-H thing anymore with being gay -- at least in many places. If it's not illegal, I wonder that more people don't do it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Excellent Post Althouse. One of your best.

Put another way, should McCain make a pitch for divided government. Do we want change that won't disrupt our lives (McCain) or do we want it rammed down our throats (Obama).

rdkraus said...

I'd like to see your analysis of whether there was actually language in the CA constitution that supports or requires this decision, or did they just make it up (like Roe v. Wade).

Mark Levin was tearing the decision apart on the radio last night and made the justices sound like "typical liberal activist judges" just making law. He made a pretty good case on the radio.

One good point was how the decision could equally apply to multi party marriages (even though the Court "said" it did not).

I don't care either way about either gay marriage or even multi party marriage. Let adults do what they want. I am concerned about Courts doing "whatever they want."

rhhardin said...

The objection to gay marriage is that the meaning of marriage isn't among the explicit institutions in society, and people want to be sure that its unsettled meaning remains unsettled until an explication shows itself to fit what is known about marriage.

For instance what part fecundity plays ; I'd claim it's a lot.

To the male at least, what remains mysterious about the woman is mysterious because it refers to an unknowable future, unknowable because it refers to a child.

You might want to preserve that for marriage, keeping it in the concept, so to speak.

Fritz said...

Perhaps Obama can discuss this ruling when he meets with Ahmadinejad. My understanding is that there is little if any homosexuality in Iran.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Good post. The observation that people may want change, but at what pace is spot on.

The Calif. Supremes have handed a winning campaign issue to McCain. The selection of judges who will rule from the bench for life is a serious matter. People are already afraid of activist judges and in outraged disagreement with some court decisions like Kelo and Roe V Wade. The feeling is that we (the people) are outnumbered by a few in black robes who are not elected but are rather appointed for partisan reasons. These few who can decide the fate of the nation and of people upon what seems to be whims and penumbras. The person who has the power to appoint these despots needs to be very very closely scrutinized as Obama has not been. What kind of judges would Obama chose? Hmmmm??

McCain can run with this. And YES the gay marriage decision will affect the upcoming national campaigns and be a BIG issue.

Bob said...

McCain could claim that John Edwards has been promised a Supreme Court seat in exchange for his endorsement of Obama, and it's not as silly as it sounds; Edwards is strongly liberal, a lawyer, and young enough to be influential on the Court for decades. Some have said that Edwards has been promised Attorney General in an Obama administration, but Supreme Court is far more likely, given Edwards' ego.

Richard Dolan said...

Ann asks whether the Calif decision provides McCain with an opening for a more subtle political argument than an all-out assault on gay-marriage per se.

I think so, and it's the same argument that worked for the GOP in '96. One-party rule is Washington is a recipe for overreaching. Since the Dems are in control of Congress and likely to remain so, is it such a great idea for a Dem to be in the White House too? The only institution that consistently gets a lower rating than the president today is Congress, and we know who's been running that show for the last two years. Why would anyone think things would be so wonderful if a guy at the left-most fringe of the Congressional Dems becomes President?

Ann notes that Team O's "change" theme can be turned against him. Of course. Accepting that the mood of the country favors "change" (meaning, at its most basic level, someone other than Bush as president), we are bound to get that kind of "change" no matter what. So, while we're getting a new president anyway, we may as well shoot for a change for the better. Ann talks about changes coming too fast as the potential line of attack for McCain. I don't think "speed" is the best methaphor -- "direction" would work better here. Team O evidently agrees. Their basic attack against McCain is that, by electing him, the country would not be changing anything: he's just Bush-redux, running for the "third Bush term."

Team O is plainly vulnerable to an attack that O would represent change all right, but all of it heading in exactly the wrong direction. The Calif decision plays into that attack line on many levels. McCain gets to choose which level he will pursue it. And pursue it he most definitely will (at least, if he wants to win and I think he does).

PS: MM asks "Can you be prosecuted for falsely claiming to be gay to get out of the military?"

Yes. False statements to a Gov't official can be prosecuted, and it doesn't normally matter what the subject matter of the false statement is. While there are many provisions in the federal criminal code (and, no doubt, in the Uniform Code applicable to the military) that might apply, Title 18, section 1001, is a prosecutorial favorite. It says that "whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legilative or judicial branch of the Government of the United States ... makes any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation" is guilty of a crime. Prosecutions for false statements under Section 1001 are quite common.

I haven't looked to see whether DOJ has ever prosecuted anyone for the kind of false statement you are asking about. It doesn't seem likely that the military would refer such a case for prosecution, since in the all-volunteer system we have now, the military might be glad just to be rid of the miscreant even if the soldier were using a false claim to get out. Without a referral for prosecution by the military, it's unlikely that DOJ would learn about the case or have any interest in pursuing it even if they did. But if the military were pressing for a prosecution, I don't see any reason why DOJ couldn't pursue it.

Yachira said...

BREAKING:

(2008-05-16) — Federal agents and National Guard troops surrounded the gleaming white temple-like San Francisco enclave of an isolationist sect after the black-robed “high priests” of the group yesterday declared themselves to be above the laws of the state of California.

In a move reminiscent of recent raids on polygamist compounds elsewhere, authorities prepared to seize documents and computers, and to rescue any young interns or clerks who might have fallen victim to the cult’s bizarre, extra-legal rituals.


http://www.scrappleface.com/?p=2976

P. Rich said...

The CSSC decision would be valid if, and only if, it could be unambiguously shown that the CA constitution requires such a ruling. Otherwise, the actual situation, we have yet another activist court deciding on the basis of political correctness rather than law and saying in effect, "We are making this decision because we can, and to hell with the people of California. Special homosexual "rights" we are inventing trump established societal values, the will of the majority and the constitution."

Palladian said...

Clinton: Well, I have long advocated domestic partnership laws and civil unions, to me...

Lehrer: That's different from marriage.

Clinton: Well, marriage means something different. You know, marriage has a meaning that I... I think should be kept as it historically has been, but I see no reason whatsoever why people in committed relationships can't have, you know, many of the same rights and the same, you know, respect for their unions that they are seeking and I would like to see that be more accepted than it is.

Lehrer: But not with the context of marriage.

Clinton: Yeah, I, I think that is, you know... First of all, I think that it is unlikely, if not impossible, to be something nationally accepted in our country, but I also think that we can realize the same results for many committed couples by urging that states and localities adopt civil union and domestic partnership laws."

From an interview with Hillary Clinton on "The Brian Lehrer Show" on WNYC Radio, June 18, 2003, my own transcription

Michael_H said...

"In your administration will you press Congress to change the law the prevents gay men and lesbians from serving in the military?"

Gay men and lesbian women serve in the military. The official policy, passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives, and signed into law by President Clinton prohibits the military from asking a prospective enlistee or officer about that person's sexual orientation. It also prevents a member of the military from telling others about their orientation, whether straight, gay lesbian or bisexual.

Palladian said...

The only logical solution to all this, rather than tinkering with constitutions and adopting discriminatory half-measures is for the State to completely get out of the business of sanctioning domestic marriage contracts. But that's a real, revolutionary change and would would lose a lot of revenue so look for it to happen around the same time there's a White Christmas in Hell.

Palladian said...

"It also prevents a member of the military from telling others about their orientation, whether straight, gay lesbian or bisexual."

Yes, but you can talk about your wife or girlfriend if you're man, or your husband or boyfriend if you're a woman. But if a gay person refers to their partner, it's grounds for a court-martial. That's discriminatory.

MadisonMan said...

http://www.scrappleface.com/?p=2976

I wonder if the authors of that piece intentionally wrote the ironic last line: You can’t set up your own sovereign nation within its borders, and make up your own set of rules that counter the will of the people and violate the law of the land.

Is it just fine for the people to make a law -- via proposition -- that violates the Constitution?

Paddy O. said...

but you can talk about your wife or girlfriend if you're man, or your husband or boyfriend if you're a woman. But if a gay person refers to their partner, it's grounds for a court-martial. That's discriminatory.

The only logical solution to all this, rather than tinkering with constitutions and adopting discriminatory half-measures is for the military to completely get out of the "talking about husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend" business.

:-)

knoxwhirled said...

could claim that John Edwards has been promised a Supreme Court seat ... and it's not as silly as it sounds

gee, thanks for bringing up that nightmarish possibility... now I've lost all hope that we'll ever stop hearing about the "Two Americas"

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Obama has already demonstrated a willingness to toss gays under the bus in the pursuit of votes (see South Carolina primary and his pander to socially conservative black voters), so there's no reason to believe he won't do it again in order to get elected.

As it was, the existing law in California wrt civil unions was precisely the type of legislation that Obama & Clinton are on the record as supporting (and McCain as well, depending on the day and his mood).

The California Supreme Court is far from being an activist liberal court. A close reading of their decision demonstrates the one supreme law of the land, the Law of Unintended Consequences, rather like the Americans with Disability Act on the federal level, where a large part of what opponents predicted would happen, and were derided at the time for predicting would happen, has happened, and almost entirely by judicial fiat.

amba said...

The Calif. Supremes have handed a winning campaign issue to McCain.

I think that's exactly right. Mortimer, by calling them "Republican judges," almost implied that that's why they did it!

Kirby Olson said...

Obama has said on p. 233 of the Audacity of Hope that he is against gay marriage, but later he waffles and says that he is perhaps being a close-minded bigot and is open to reevaluation of the topic as time goes on.

TMink said...

After reading the Clinton transcript I am amazed to see that I agree with her. Who knew!

I do not see any future for McCain with the conservatives. He is not one of us. His best pitch to us is that he is not as off the mark as his opponents in terms of national defense and perhaps health care.

I think he should continue to pull for the center and hope that Obama gets the nomination. It is easier to find the center against Obama.

But I am voting for Alan Keyes.

Trey

Mortimer Brezny said...

The Calif. Supremes have handed a winning campaign issue to McCain.

I think that's exactly right. Mortimer, by calling them "Republican judges," almost implied that that's why they did it!

Let me be explicit! Those GOP judges did it on purpose out of party loyalty.

Chris said...

I absolutely agree that this can only help McCain vs. Obama. Obama and Clinton are in an impossible situation, trying to have their cake and eat it too. The CSSC decision makes it ever harder for them to waffle as they have done precisely because it labels their stances discriminatory. The very nature of a separate category for same-sex couples (and why conservatives feel the need to preserve the distinction) is because it carries with it the stigma of something less than whole recognition of the relationship by the state. However, these are not activist judges legislating from the bench, so although McCain might try, he shouldn't get too much traction railing against the judiciary. The judges decided that "the difference in the official names of the relationships violates the California COnstitution" because: 1) homosexuality is not a choice but is, like race or gender, something inherent, therefore the standards of "strict scrutiny" apply in determining whether different treatment violates the California constitution's anti-discrimination provisions; and 2) under strict scrutiny, legally calling the relationship something other than marriage "impinges upon a same-sex couple's fundamental interest in having their family relationship accorder the same respect and dignity enjoyed by an oppostite-sex couple." Simple logic, no?

downtownlad said...

Wow. Miracles of miracles, Palladian is actually making sense.

Nonetheless, this issue is irrelevant. McCain doesn't need to make gay marriage an issue. He already has the bigots in his corner - after all he's running against a black man.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yesterday's strong example of judicial activism

Ann,

When you are ready to "get legal" on this...I'm interested in hearing how this decision is a strong example of judicial activism and not a strict interpretation of the law. Is it because their decision was anathema to some...this makes it activism? Or is it because it takes a position that is supposedly out of the "mainstream?" Or is it something else? What makes them "activist judges" and not just judges folllowing the law.

Your reading of California's constitution (assuming you have) would be the only way you could declare whether or not these judges were "activists."

Also, to those who think the decision was "too fast" or something people "weren't ready for," I'll remind you that, 24 hours after the decision, the streets of California aren't flowing with blood or throngs of people having nervous breakdowns or rabid gay people forcing straights to acknowledge their gay weddings. I'll also remind you of Massachusetts...has that state descended into anarchy because of gay marriage?

Also, the rule of law and the dignity of thousands of gay Californians who wish to marry is not contingent upon other peoples' "feelings." This so-called "change" that they're not "ready for" is so outrageously irrelevant because it's a change that in no way, shape or form affects them. If someone can cite an instance of how a gay marriage has affected a straight person's livelihood, please do so.

It makes you feel icky? It goes against your values? Well, there are lots of things that are icky and immoral that are legal. Have you been on the internet?

There are some who will never be okay with gay marriage, just as there are some who weren't (and still aren't) okay with "interracial" marriage.

If we were a nation that had to rely upon lulling people into accepting things they are innately inclined to reject, we would not be the United States Of America.

Seven Machos said...

Since when do we prevent gay men and lesbians from serving in the military?

Henry, check the statute. Read it carefully. Then, get back to us.

Thanks.

Seven Machos said...

Bob -- Please. Let's give Obama some credit here regarding the selection of Supreme Court judges. Do you really think that Obama would pick an otherwise completely unaccomplished trial lawyer from a middling law school who won some sketchy tort cases and then ran for the Senate and served a term?

I'm not voting for Obama, and he is my least favorite of the three serious candidates left, but he's not doing that.

downtownlad said...

Gay men are kicked out of the military even if they stay in the closet.

FACT - The Bush Administration has kicked people out of the military after they have scanned facebook and found out that people were in school plays and thus automatically assumed they were gay.

Look it up.

Seven Machos said...

I'm interested in hearing how this decision is a strong example of judicial activism and not a strict interpretation of the law.

Zach -- Come on. Even a person of your remedial intellect is smart enough to understand this without the help of a better mind. Try as you have tried, you will not find any part of the California constitution that says "The legislation cannot pass a law preventing gay people from having their marriages legally recognized."

Therefore, it's not a strict interpretation of the law.

You can grasp that. I know you can.

downtownlad said...

And McCain does not have the same views on this issue as Hilary or Obama - however much Ann wants to stick her head in the sand and pretend that is the case.

FACT - McCain voted for the Arizona state law that would have not only banned gay marriage, but would have banned any kind of legal recognition for gay couples whatsoever, including health insurance benefits for domestic partners.

downtownlad said...

The same Arizona amendment that was so extreme that even the people of Arizona voted it down. But McCain was for it.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown -- Right. Look it up. You tell us wild stories a lot -- usually about gay people getting beheaded by Donald Rumsfeld and the like -- and promise that they are true if we just look them up.

Everything you read on the Internets isn't true. But come on. Humor us. Show the page at trilateralcommission.com.

George said...

See this excerpt (Episode 3) from the PBS series "Carrier." Lots of not asking and not telling.

downtownlad said...

Wild stories? Name one. You can't.

Revenant said...

The very nature of a separate category for same-sex couples (and why conservatives feel the need to preserve the distinction) is because it carries with it the stigma of something less than whole recognition of the relationship by the state.

I don't know many people opposed to gay marriage, but the ones I know who are genuinely believe it isn't real marriage. They're not looking to attach a "stigma"; they just don't want something they value -- marriage -- to be cheapened and trivialized by the state.

Yeah, yeah, I know, gay marriage doesn't cheapen hetero marriage. I agree. The point is, many of them don't.

Ger said...

...that courts are taking over too aggressively, and that unknown, worrisome things might happen...

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Or so predicted Dr.Venkman.

I'm sure the pinhead pundits of the time had similar dire concerns after Loving v. Virginia.

And looky here - our next president is the offspring of a marital arrangement that used to be illegal and a hanging offense in some parts of the country.

Perhaps that would be a good blogging that year in history segment. What did the knuckledraggers predict after Loving - Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Same sex couples should have the same marriage rights as straights. I'll never understand why that idea gets so many yahoos all worked up.

Seven Machos said...

FACT -- No government in the United States has ever banned gay marriage.

FACT -- You, Downtown Lad, can marry your homosexual lover in any state if you can find someone to perform the ritual.

FACT -- You can live together.

FACT -- You can make sweet love all night, every night.

FACT -- You can adopt children (in many places).

FACT -- You can work for thousands of companies that will provide health insurance for your spouse.

Now, Downtown, tell the one about how the government can ask you to testify against each other in court. Because that shit happens ALL the time

Henry said...

Seven, Michael H -- Parsing the statue doesn't make it any less of a bad idea:

In February 2005, the Government Accountability Office released estimates on the cost of the policy. Cautioning that the amount may be too low, the GAO reported $95.4 million in recruiting costs and $95.1 million for training replacements for the 9,488 troops discharged from 1994 through 2003.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_ask,_don't_tell

Seven Machos said...

Ger -- We live in a democracy. The will of majority reigns except in cases where certain rights are enshrined in law.

The issue here isn't what's backwards. It's not whether some people are yahoos. It's WHO IS THE ENSHRINER? The legislature and, in California, law made directly by the people are properly the enshriners. If you believe anything else, you are a jackbooted thug. There's no way around that, even if you are really cool and progressive.

Furthemore, the Loving v. Va analogy doesn't work. The federal Constitution after the Civil War clearly imputes to the federal government the right to strike down laws against racial segregation.

Here, gay people are not segregated and they are not being prejudiced because they may freely enter into monogamous heterosexual marriages.

Have a nice day, fascist.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Therefore, it's not a strict interpretation of the law.

With all due respect, Seven, I'm wondering how you arrived at that conclusion. Eugene Volokh has two good posts on the decision. The first post contains this observation:

4. The ban on same-sex marriage can't pass muster under strict scrutiny (pretty much a foregone conclusion, given how demanding strict scrutiny generally is).

You may object to their strict scrutiny, but that doesn't mean it wasn't just that.

Seven Machos said...

...Wherein point flies over Henry's head.

Gays serve in the military. Period. The law is that they have to be gay clandestinely.

Sorry I had to waste valuable time spelling that out for you.

Palladian said...

"or rabid gay people forcing straights to acknowledge their gay weddings."

Rabid gay people aside, this decision does force "straights" to acknowledge their "gay" weddings, because it gives a civil sanction to such a union. It also, presumably, offers the financial benefits of marriage to a gay couple, thereby affecting, even in a small way, the tax contributions of everyone in the state.

And, of course, it continues discrimination by the state: discrimination against single people. Why is it acceptable that the State exacts financial, legal and other retribution upon those who choose not to marry? Bottom line: There is no non-discriminatory way the State can sanction civil marriage, therefore the State should not be in the business of sanctioning any marriage, just as it does not sanction other religious sacraments such as baptism

"I'll also remind you of Massachusetts...has that state descended into anarchy because of gay marriage?"

Massachusetts was already in a financial quagmire of high taxes and strangulated bureaucracy well before it decided to sanction "gay" marriage.

"Also, the rule of law"

Rule of law? The entire enterprise of civil marriage violates the "rule of law".

"and the dignity of thousands of gay Californians who wish to marry is not contingent upon other peoples' "feelings."

Spare us the melodrama. It is not the State's interest or business granting "dignity" to anyone. If you need the State to give you a feeling of "dignity" then you're an even sorrier sap than I assumed you were.

"This so-called "change" that they're not "ready for" is so outrageously irrelevant because it's a change that in no way, shape or form affects them."

See above.

"It makes you feel icky? It goes against your values? Well, there are lots of things that are icky and immoral that are legal. Have you been on the internet?"

Irrelevant. The "icky" things on the internet do not have the financial and legal support of the State. "Icky" things exist because the State chooses not to interfere with them. Sanctioning civil marriage is an act by the State, an affirmation and is therefore not equivalent. Affirmation is not the same as ambivalence.

And before you pull out the tiresome "self-hating" moniker, I absolutely support the rights of any persons to enter into a marriage, with or without a religious blessing. But I believe that such a union is none of the State's business.

What bothers me (and I assume some of the non-gay people here) is not the idea of gay marriage but the frighteningly nonchalant and slippery way the judiciary of the State of California decided the issue. Any freedom loving person should fear government by judicial fiat, whether or not the result is favorable to your beliefs or not. In this case I'm happy that a wall of discrimination has come down but unhappy that the toppling of that wall strengthened the even greater wall of discrimination against the unmarried. I'm also unhappy at the way the "result" was achieved, and troubled at the sneering schadenfreude exhibited by the "victors". If you want to be happy for gay people in California, fine. But it seems that you're happier to stick it in the face of the people who don't happen to agree with you. That sort of juvenile triumphalism is quite off-putting.

Seven Machos said...

Ronin -- Because gay people are free to enter into monogamous heterosexual marriages that are recognized by the state. I'm not one iota of the constitutional scholar Volokh is, but he's wrong if he thinks this a strict scrutiny issue. You can't change your blackness or your gender. Maybe you can't change your sexual identity, either, but that's not stopping you from marrying someone of the opposite gender.

(And if you think there aren't very many sexless marriages out there, well, you are either very idealistic or you don't know any old people.)

The state has many, many, many valid reasons to recognize monogamous heterosexual marriages -- birth, death, property transfer, inheritance, for tax purposes, and I could go on and on. That's the argument for why the state recognizes marriages in the first place. It has to, just for the census.

That state has no need to recognized gay marriages and, obviously, the citizenry doesn't want it.

Palladian said...

Marriage is not a right. It's a religious institution in which the State should have no interest.

"I'll never understand why that idea gets so many yahoos all worked up."

"Yahoos" tend to get worked up when the State further entangles itself in a religious or domestic matter that it shouldn't be involved with to begin with.

downtownlad said...

Well now we know that Seven is living in another parallel universe.

The United States government has banned any federal recognition of gay marriage as have 41 states.

By using the term homosexual, you've proven yourself to be a bigot. Calling someone a homosexual is equivalent to calling a black person a nigger.

It is illegal for gay people to sleep together in about a dozen states.

It is illegal for gay people to adopt in Florida.

It is illegal for gay people to even enter into a contract with each other in Virginia.

Gay people can be fired just for being gay in more than half the states in this country, including the federal government which routinely fires 1000 gay people a year (just for being gay).

Please list the "thousands" of companies.

But seven - complete ignoramous that he is - thinks that gay couples have ZERO inconvenience except for the right to not testify against each other in court.

But Seven is a moron, because he doesn't realize that a gay person who happens to fall in love with a foreigner will not be able to bring his spouse into the country.

Seven is a moron, because he doesn't realize that a gay person's will can be overturned by a bigoted relative, who challenges the will in court.

Seven is a moron, because he doesn't realize that a gay person's spouse will not get social security benefits when their partner dies.

Seven is a moron, because he doesn't realize that a gay person's partner will have zero inheritance rights if a will was not created (which costs money).

Seven is a moron, because he doesn't realize that a gay person does not have the right to visit their partner in a hospital. And in fact there are many documented cases where a lifelong partner was refused access to their partner's deathbed (by bigoted family members like Seven).

Seven is a moron, because he doesn't realize that gay people can not make medical decisions for their partner in the case of an emergency.

Sorry Seven - When you don't know what you're talking about, you should just shut the hell up.

Henry said...

The law is that they have to be gay clandestinely.

Not that that's a problem or anything.

Since the law took effect, the number of gay and lesbian servicemen and women expelled is near 12,000.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1707545,00.html

Seven, tell me again who's missing the point?

amba said...

the one supreme law of the land, the Law of Unintended Consequences

That's freakin' brilliant, Randy.

This will now be the second time this election, which should be about national security in the age of terrorism and the economy, has been hijacked by a red herring: first race, now sexual orientation. Seems to me our endless obsession with these things shows that we still, as a nation, have it too easy.

Palladian said...

"By using the term homosexual, you've proven yourself to be a bigot. Calling someone a homosexual is equivalent to calling a black person a nigger."

Speaking of tiresome...

There is no good word for homosexuality. I object to the word "homosexual" on aesthetic grounds, but it's hardly the same thing. I prefer "queer" or "faggot" but your mileage may vary. "Gay" is, unfortunately, the best choice for polite conversation but is too familiar and informal for serious discourse.

Mortimer Brezny said...

What bothers me (and I assume some of the non-gay people here) is not the idea of gay marriage but the frighteningly nonchalant and slippery way the judiciary of the State of California decided the issue. Any freedom loving person should fear government by judicial fiat, whether or not the result is favorable to your beliefs or not.

Exactly. This is not coded bigotry or knee-jerk right-wing hatred of judges. It is an informed, critical opinion. Most importantly, it is right.

Seven Machos said...

By using the term homosexual, you've proven yourself to be a bigot. Calling someone a homosexual is equivalent to calling a black person a nigger.

Out of all that ridiculousness, Downtown, I just want to highlight that one sentence. It was so much better than the one about homosexuals not being able to enter into contracts with each other in Virginia. So if the Verizon guy is a homosexual, and you are a homosexual, does that mean that you can opt out of your cellular contract before the year is up and avoid paying the $175?

To me, that's a feature, not a bug.

Again, however, it's that one sentence that got me. I had no idea that homosexual was such a taboo word. Not fudgepacker. Not carpet muncher. Not fairy, fag, faggot, or poof. But homosexual.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Seven, it seems to me that you aren't talking about the decision, you are talking about the general issue (one that, although I am gay, I don't particularly care about). The specifics of the case at hand had to do with California law, not federal law. As the court points out, duly enacted legislation brought about the decision. It seems a little odd to find those who regularly lambaste courts for usurping legislative authority taking this court to task for not usurping legislative authority and overriding laws passed by the duly-elected legislature.

downtownlad said...

"Homosexual" derived from a clinical term when being gay was classified as a disease and a mental disorder. And when it is used it always ALWAYS used with contempt.

So actually - I change my mind. It's WORSE than nigger.

downtownlad said...

Well now you know Seven.

And for people who always doubt this, I always tell them to go to Google News and google the word "homosexual" and the word "gay" and compare/contrast the stories that come up and determine whether the story is anti-gay or not. If they use the term "homosexual" it is guaranteed to be anti-gay. If you don't believe me, just look:

http://news.google.com.hk/news?hl=en&tab=wn&ned=us&q=homosexual&btnG=Search+News

Seven Machos said...

Ronin -- I have for many moons respected your opinion. I hope you know that. However, this sentence makes no sense to me:

It seems a little odd to find those who regularly lambaste courts for usurping legislative authority taking this court to task for not usurping legislative authority and overriding laws passed by the duly-elected legislature.

Please elaborate.

Richard said...

What a silly issue. I saw gays on the news last night publicly crying tears of joy at the court's decision -- actually weeping. Just think about this. Our grandchildren will read that while the world sank deeper into the Islamic fascist abyss, while the United States lost its preeminence as a global economic superpower, this generation was debating whether two people with the same general genitalia setup can tie the knot. We have lost our frickin' minds.

Palladian said...

"Exactly. This is not coded bigotry or knee-jerk right-wing hatred of judges. It is an informed, critical opinion. Most importantly, it is right."

Of course, but remember that we're dealing with people that are into "feelings" and look for "dignity" from the government.

Naturally there are ignorant bigots who also object to the decision of the California supreme court for ignorant, bigoted reasons. But that doesn't imply any ideological kinship with other, legitimate disagreements about the decision.

Seven Machos said...

Downtown -- Over all the times you and I have discussed this issue in this forum, the one thing you hve to learned about me is that I am not prejudiced against homosexuals -- or against you for being a poof.

I am only prejudiced against you because you are stupid.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Then quit responding to him, and he will go away! ;-)

downtownlad said...

And Palladian - exactly what discrimination are you talking about with single people besides the tax issue?

Tax rates should not change with marital status - agreed.

But there are over a 1000 laws in this country that facilitate things based on marital status, such as insurance, medical decisions, immigration for spouses, etc. That makes complete sense. What does not make complete sense is limiting those rights to heterosexual couples but forbidding them from gay couples.

You're incredibly naive if you think that those 1000+ laws can be simply removed from the books.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Seven,
The state's Constitution guarantees personal privacy and autonomy, but it doesn't say anything about who can get married (correct me if I'm wrong), therefore, if it's ok for straights, it's ok for gays. That's what strict interpretation is. As I said last night, if you don't like it, you can sign the petition to amend the constitution so it is explicit. If you live in California and stepped foot in any Wal-Mart paking lot at least 50 miles east of the coastline, you probably already did.

Also, don't think that the irony of you repeatedly calling people "fascists!" hasn't gone unnoticed.


Palladian,
Spare me the melodrama. While I think I agree with you, the plea for the State to get out of the marriage business is about as likely to happen as marriage divorce rates falling. If you want to center your argument around a call for something so hypothetical and far off, you can't expect anyone to take you seriously.

I don't think you're self-hating, you just aren't passionate about gay rights. As a voter, citizen, etc.etc., gay marriage is low on my list of concerns. But now that this happened, in my home state, I am happy to support the decision.

downtownlad said...

Actually seven, I'm 100% certain that my IQ is at least 20 points higher than yours.

Henry said...

Seven, I'm not sure why we're arguing. Let me rephrase my original point without getting into the weeds.

There's a law that results in 500 to 1000 people being unnecessarily discharged from the military each year.

If either candidate promotes the idea of civil unions as "equivalent to marriage," I'd like them to follow-up by considering Don't Ask / Don't Tell.

A candidate who promotes civil unions is promoting a legal institution whose use by gay men and lesbians would get them discharged from the military.

What, exactly, does each candidate propose to do about that?

downtownlad said...

Zachary - I agree. Gay marriage is not my top issue either. Taxes are more important, as is my right to employ immigrant labor at the lowest wage possible (much below minimum wage).

But since George Bush and the Republicans have decided to make gay marriage the most important issue in the country since 2004, even higher than terrorism, I have made it my mission to keep pounding on this issue and to be as persistent as possible in bringing this up again and again and again.

After all - the end of civilization is at stake - or at least that's that Dubya, McCain and Hagee would have you believe.

downtownlad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Sorry for being unclear, Seven: that was a general statement directed at the "usual suspects" I've seen parading here and there on new & opinion shows and pages. It seems to me that the court decision was quite predictable given the other legislation passed within the state of California in recent years. As I said earlier to no one in particular (although amba noticed it - Hi Annie! Hope J's pneumonia is letting up), it is yet another fine example of the Law of Unintended Consequences in action.

The various acts of the legislature, although not addressing this issue specifically, rendered the deliverance of this verdict inevitable. The same can be said of myriad rules and regulations that have blossomed in the most unlikely places as a result of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

"Homosexual" derived from a clinical term when being gay was classified as a disease and a mental disorder. And when it is used it always ALWAYS used with contempt."

That's not true. The person who coined the clumsy word "homosexual" was Karl-Maria Kertbeny, who was a human rights campainer and pamphleteer:

"During 1869, in the course of these writings, Kertbeny coined the word "homosexual" as part of his system for the classification of sexual types, as a replacement for the pejorative term 'pederast' that was used in the German and French speaking world of his time. He called men who are attracted to women, heterosexual, he called masturbators monosexualists, and called devotees of anal intercourse, pygists."

"Homosexual" was the first attempt to create an non-pejorative term for same-sex relationships.

Seven Machos said...

Ah, IQ, the most uncredible statistic ever created.

I'm sure that the "IQ" of the people who favor gay marriage is collectively very high. During the takeover of Springfield by MENSA, there was a law passed that prohibited sex except for certain times during the year, when it was mandated. For most people, this meant less sex. For the leaders, however, it meant a lot more.

All of this doesn't change the fact that there is no constitutional provision mandating that the state recognize gay marriages, or the fact that the people overwhelmingly reject it.

If only we lived in a society ruled by brilliant, homosexual philosopher kings...

Palladian said...

"While I think I agree with you, the plea for the State to get out of the marriage business is about as likely to happen as marriage divorce rates falling."

Of course divorce rates in CA will now be rising with all the new entrants into the marriage market there. And the end of State sanction of marriage is as likely as State sanction of gay marriage was a few years ago. After all, the CA supreme court could apparently discover that all State-sanctioned marriage is unconstitutional at any moment, finding the justification covered with dust shoved under a penumbra.

Palladian said...

"If only we lived in a society ruled by brilliant, homosexual philosopher kings..."

Ah, where are you now, Alexander the Great?

Seven Machos said...

Henry -- That's a fair question, I guess, but a bit of a gotcha one.

It comes back to the same basic issue: the citizenry is pretty overwhelmingly against recognition of gay marriage. As we learned in 1994 or so, people are also overwhelmingly against gays openly serving in the military.

The thing to do here is to change people's minds, which will change the laws. Judges forcing law upon people is undemocratic, unfair, and un-American. It doesn't solve political problems; it causes them to fester. Consider the abortion issue.

Laws mandating racial equality, on the other hand, have a sound constitutional and legislative basis and, as much as we have lingering racial problems in this country, only a small, silly, and relatively quiet minority is bothered by the issue.

downtownlad said...

The people of Califronia don't reject it.

Let's not forget the wondrous news that lots of the bigots who voted in 2000 against gay marriage are now dead. Hallelujah. The vote in 2008 will be decidedly different, and the pro-gay marriage people will win - mark my words.

California is not a bigot state.

And here is proof about the military kicking people out of the military for being a "thespian".

http://jonswift.blogspot.com/2006/07/dont-act-dont-trill-thespians-in.html

God damn America.

Palladian said...

Hilarious that DTL would cling to an "intelligence" quantification system that came out of the same 19th century German psychological classification movement as the dreaded term "homosexual".

IQ = HATRED!!!!

chickenlittle said...

Actually, I much prefer the shorter word "homo". It gets the same point across and only causes confusion when discussing molecular orbital theory.

Seven Machos said...

Zach -- Gays can get married anywhere. The state doesn't recognize it. Big deal.

I'm not sure why recognition by the state matters. I just don't understand it. If a tree falls in the forest, and the state doesn't recognize it, does it still make a sound? For fascists like you, I guess not.

downtownlad said...

I definitely believe in IQ. And I'm Jewish too, and Jews have an IQ on average that is about 15 points above the average person. That's why Jews do so well despite being such a small segment of the population. Sloan is right - we are going to take over the world - and he is doomed - he just hasn't accepted his fate yet.

TMink said...

Chris wrote: "The very nature of a separate category for same-sex couples (and why conservatives feel the need to preserve the distinction) is because it carries with it the stigma of something less than whole recognition of the relationship by the state."

Not for this conservative. Marriage is a sacrement, it is a religious commitment. Same sex partnerships would be a matter for the state, and I support them. But marriage is a union between a man and a woman. A spiritual union I might add!

What Claifornia has done is wrong. It violates the separation of Church and State.

God I loved writing that last part!

Trey

Palladian said...

"It gets the same point across and only causes confusion when discussing molecular orbital theory."

Or when reading the Gospel of John Vulgate Bible...

TMink said...

"Laws mandating racial equality, on the other hand, have a sound constitutional and legislative basis and"

Indeed. And race is not a behavior.

Trey

Palladian said...

"I'm not sure why recognition by the state matters. I just don't understand it."

You don't understand the financial and legal benefits bestowed by the State on people it considers "married"? Maybe you are dumb.

"And I'm Jewish too"

There's another group to be embarrassed to have you as a member.

chickenlittle said...

Ecce Homo- that's not a stand alone example of the term.

downtownlad said...

Well Seven, perhaps you'd understand if you'd met friends like mine - friends who panicked when their partner of 10 years had to go to the hospital and almost died. His partner was not an American citizen and he was not able to make emergency medical decisions for him. That is 100% truth. And they considered themselves married and had a ceremony, wear rings, etc.

His partner lived thank goodness. But do you understand how infuriated that made my friend feel. What if his partner had died?

And two of my gay high school classmates committed suicide, because their families rejected them. The stigma that society places on gay people contributed to that. Legalization of gay marriage would go a long way to lessen that stigma, and yes - that's exactly what the wingnuts fear.

I don't forget that stuff.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Gays can get married anywhere. The state doesn't recognize it. Big deal.

I agree. Lots of people disagree, obviously.

I'm not sure why recognition by the state matters.

Because most people seek validation of their worth from external sources, and the government is, on the whole, the easiest and least judgmental of available sources. True, it is also usually about money and power, as in "How much will you give me if I let you have the power?" One way or the other, it is a real vote-getter. That said, those already on the gravy train are not usually interested in adding the baggage of others in the fear it may slow or the portions become smaller.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - You're not Jewish, so you don't get to decide that. And we're an exclusive group - so don't even try - we won't take you in.

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- You are arguing that the state shouldn't be in the marriage business at all. Aren't you?

I figured I'd have your support here.

amba said...

And if you think there aren't very many sexless marriages out there, well, you are either very idealistic or you don't know any old people.

Seven -- guess you don't know any old people who still get it on. LOL

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I'm not sure why recognition by the state matters. I just don't understand it.

Oh, I know.

Unless you're gay and yearning to raise a family with the same protections and equality (in name and in legal status), you will never understand it. I bet you wish you were gay so you could understand!

Seriously, I don't understand it either. I think marriage is lame. But this isn't about me and it isn't about you.

Seven Machos said...

And two of my gay high school classmates committed suicide, because their families rejected them.

State recognition of gay marriage changes this how?

Palladian said...

"The stigma that society places on gay people contributed to that. Legalization of gay marriage would go a long way to lessen that stigma, and yes - that's exactly what the wingnuts fear."

Ah, another believer in the mystical power of the State to change people's lives. Some libertarian you are.

And, taking a page from your etiquette and sensitivity book, I'd suggest your suicided friends were weak-minded to begin with. After all, you survived the "torment" of being gay and rejection by your family (well, it helped that you cowered in the closet for the majority of your life). Maybe it's because you're Jewish. They're the superior race, according to your twisted little brain.

Seven Machos said...

Gay, smart Jews are the superiorest of all.

Palladian said...

"And we're an exclusive group - so don't even try - we won't take you in."

Again, to adopt your tactics: Fuck you, racist bigot!

Really, you're hilarious, Mary.

Palladian said...

"Gay, smart Jews are the superiorest of all."

Yes, hilarious coming from the girl that constantly screams about America being racist and bigoted.

And how do you know I'm not a Jew, downtownlass? Did you check the membership rolls?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

What Claifornia has done is wrong. It violates the separation of Church and State.

God I loved writing that last part!


If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?

Also, you loved writing it so much that you couldn't even write it properly.

Palladian said...

"Palladian -- You are arguing that the state shouldn't be in the marriage business at all. Aren't you?

I figured I'd have your support here."

No, because you're pretending that "marriage" as recognized by the State has no benefits other than psychological. That's not true.

Henry said...

Henry -- That's a fair question, I guess, but a bit of a gotcha one.

I don't think so.

I think Ann is right that all three candidates want the issue of same-sex marriage to go away and so adhere to a weaselly equivalence of civil unions and marriage.

Bringing up the fact that civil unions would be off-limits to our service personnel forces the candidates to clarify their actual principles (for or against).

On the legal issue, I'm probably closest to Ronin's thinking. We're also talking about a state constitution, and who knows what you might find in those?

Palladian said...

How'd your date with Chris Althouse-Cohen go, Zach?

Palladian said...

You two would be an adorable couple.

downtownlad said...

And yet again Palladian resorts to the ad hominem attacks.

Really - how utterly predictable. How utterly boring.

And really Palladian - Take a class on sarcasm will you.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

I think Ann is right that all three candidates want the issue of same-sex marriage to go away and so adhere to a weaselly equivalence of civil unions and marriage.

So do I.

Bringing up the fact that civil unions would be off-limits to our service personnel forces the candidates to clarify their actual principles (for or against).

I agree, presuming any of them has any principles in this regard. I've seen ample evidence the opposite is true in all 3 cases.

downtownlad said...

And yes you heard it here - Palladian REJOICING in the fact that two of my friends committed suicide - calling them weaklings

That's pretty sick.

Good night.

Palladian said...

"And really Palladian - Take a class on sarcasm will you."

I already have a Phd in Sarcasm.

Seven Machos said...

Fair enough, Palladian. But marriage also brings plenty of responsibilities and pains in the ass, often as a result of the state.

The idea of the state not being involved at all, while it's not going to happen and is arguably not even feasible -- that idea would have real advantages in practice.

As for this medical thing that keeps getting brought up, it's throwing out the baby with the bath water. Wouldn't it be easier and more sensible to just change the law about who can make medical decisions?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

You two would be an adorable couple.

I wish!

Mortimer Brezny said...

Palladian REJOICING in the fact that two of my friends committed suicide - calling them weaklings

Actually, he called them weak-minded, because they lacked the willpower to keep living wih dignity. And he thinks you shouldn't be looking to the State for dignity. Try the mirror.

Palladian said...

"You two would be an adorable couple.

I wish!"

Keep the faith, honey. And don't worry about the age difference (didn't you say you're 31?); my boyfriend is 21 and I'm 32 and it works out fine. And you do look mighty fine for an old man :)

chickenlittle said...

"The stigma that society places on gay people contributed to that."

I growing body of the coastal populace is also trying to stigmatize people like me, for being "white", for being "male", for being a "breeder".

Fortunately, that population not effective in getting itself into the gene pool and is not a long term threat. Gotta love nature.

Palladian said...

"Fortunately, that population not effective in getting itself into the gene pool and is not a long term threat. Gotta love nature."

That's why teh gay is so insidious! They keep popping up whether they breed or not, in Kansas, Kennett Square and Kirkland!

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

And yet again Palladian resorts to the ad hominem attacks.

That's rich, coming from the likes of you, with your voluminous record here.

Really - how utterly predictable. How utterly boring.

Almost every person who frequents here could write your posts for you, invective included. There is so little original, well-reasoned or thoughtful material that it would be child's play if it were not so hate-filled and bigoted.

And really Palladian - Take a class on sarcasm will you.

It seems that you could do with a remedial course yourself, as some of your supposed sarcasms sound as if they are genuinely held beliefs on your part.

I pity you. You admittedly made some bad choices in your life and now you will not rest until the rest of us have well and truly paid the price for them. Good luck with that.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Thanks Pal....but 31 is old? Yikes.

Palladian said...

"Thanks Pal....but 31 is old? Yikes."

Only according to some of the nastier queens I hear around New York. Oh, and the pornographic industry.

Jay Paul said...

Looks like this issue may be the Typhoid Mary of this election season. Since the Democrats are picking up support from Evangelistic Christians and want to be seen as good ole church going folks, they don’t want to even talk about same sex marriage for fear of being branded by the Republicans as anti family. (You know, the man-woman kind) The Supreme Court won’t want to jump in on this issue either, the California decision will most certainly be appealed but I see the court stalling on reviewing this one. What do you think?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Palladin said: It also, presumably, offers the financial benefits of marriage to a gay couple, thereby affecting, even in a small way, the tax contributions of everyone in the state

In California the State had already granted financial benefits to "domestic partners". Domestic partnership” is a new category of law that was created to extend rights to unmarried couples, including (but not necessarily limited to) same-sex couples Filing state tax returns, health insurance coverage etc. Now domestic partners can enjoy the same divorce, alimoney and QDRO nightmares that married people get to enjoy.

The Feds don't allow joint tax returns for domestic partners and this law doesn't affect anything on the Federal level....just the State's level. Social Security survivor's benefits are also a Federal issue. Until civil unions, domestic partnerships, and now the hodgepodge of State by State name changes to marriage, are officially recognized by the Federal Government and the IRS the tax benefits are not going to be immediately passed on to same sex marriagees. Things like the IRS tax deductiblity of insurance premiums paid by your employer on the spouse of a covered employee. (for example: if the employer pays premiums on a married husband and wife the premiums are deductible to the employer and not taxable to the employee. If the premiums are paid on a domestic partnership the part paid for the non-spouse partner are taxable to the employee)

So, basically some new financial benefitsmight be obtained by this law but not much. As I financial planner I would like to see some sort of stanardization nationwide on this issue. It would make my job easier :-) And it IS all about me.

Revenant said...

FACT: No government in the United States has ever banned gay marriage.

In the sense that when the two gay men were thrown into prison for violations of vice laws it wouldn't be because of the marriage ceremony...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

DTL: many of your objections to Seven re: inheritances, hospital visits can be taken care of by a good ....ahem...financial planner and and an attorney familiar with these issues. I've been involved in several plans for same sex couples, even before the domestic partners act, and we have had no breaking of the legal documents or financial arrangements. Even though some family members have tried to interfere, they were thwarted. When children are involved it does become problematic. Very sad.

The other items are Federal issues: immigration, social security, IRS taxation. The change at the State level doesn't do anything for those issues. So in effect, this isn't the big deal everyone thinks it is.

reader_iam said...

They keep popping up whether they breed or not, in Kansas, Kennett Square and Kirkland!

I'm loving the reference to Kennett Square. Only wish I knew where it came from.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Marriage and its benefits developed to allowed a couple to procreate and nurture a new generation, something not only impossible, but unnatural in a gay or lesbian couple.

Based on that alone, same sex marriage should be illegal.

Not that I care what any pair (or more) of consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedroom; its when they drag their bedroom onto the front porch that I gain a right to object.

There is not a single individual right that married partners have that cannot be dupicated by legal documents, with the exception of tax issues (which are not individual, but group rights, based on membership in a specific group), and the tax issues are again because of the need to nurture children.

Yes, it is true that those documents can be easily undone, about as easily as a divorce can be granted.

Why the push for same sex marriage? In my opinion it is simply about acceptance, a forced acceptance of unnatural behavior. Sorry, I will not be forced to accept your behavior as normal, now take your private behavior back into the privacy of your home and out of my street.

chuck b. said...

It now seems likely that McCain, Obama, and gay marriage (via ballot proposition to ban by constitutional amendment) will all be on the California ballot this November.

From my skewed Bay Area perspective, I don't see, no, visualize campaign abstractions about "change" influencing voter decisions. Iraq will overwhelmingly influence the presidential selection, and personal views will influence the marriage decision.

No way to know for sure--but that's my take. Even outside of California, I'm not sure who the fence-sitters are that will switch from Obama to McCain based on the gay marriage decision.


(It's annoying that the strike and /strike HTML tags don't work in Blogger comments.)

vbspurs said...

I haven't read all the comments on this topic, because for me, it's redux from yesterday and other days.

But to answer the question:

It will only become an issue if Obama waffles during a Presidential Debate on the topic.

"Are you in favour of including same-sex marriage in the definition of marriage in this country, and would you appoint justices to those ends?"

Since he's courting moderate Republicans, and hoping to consolidate his support from ex-Hillary voters (like Chris, no doubt), it will be crucial to them how he answers.

But since this issue really doesn't resonate with or interest me, I'm more interested in his reply and rationale rather than his position.

Cheers,
Victoria

Palladian said...

"Sorry, I will not be forced to accept your behavior as normal, now take your private behavior back into the privacy of your home and out of my street."

Really? Well I will not be forced to accept your behavior as normal, either. Now take your private behavior back into the privacy of your home and out of my street. I pay the same taxes you do (more probably, since you probably make a lot less sweeping toilet stalls than I do at my job) so they're my streets as well. I'm tired of seeing and hearing your drooling, screaming spawn, wriggling evidence of the grisly reality that you've mounted your fat-assed wife at least once or twice. And, while you're at it, pay your fair share of the taxes required to maintain my street and educate your nasty offspring, rather than taking that discount that you get because you have a (small) dick and your wife has a (smelly) pussy. I'm tired of the State subsidizing and legitimizing your tedious romantic endeavors. Either the State should do the correct thing and stop meddling and sanctioning romantic behavior, or these "rights" need to be extended to everyone, and every group. My feelings about the imperious manner with which this result was achieved are written in comments above this. I'm simply responding in kind to your bigoted assertions that I keep my relationships silent while you parade yours through the streets.

I apologize to my fellow commenters who I hope will understand the reason I used such intemperate language. I don't mean to impugn anyone's marriage or children except this particular bigoted douch-bag.

Revenant said...

Marriage and its benefits developed to allowed a couple to procreate and nurture a new generation, something not only impossible, but unnatural in a gay or lesbian couple. Based on that alone, same sex marriage should be illegal.

As should marriage by elderly men and women, presumably.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Rev, you really are on a roll today. I'm still chuckling over your previous one-liner.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Chuck B: You're probably right, but I'm wondering if that ballot proposition will make it on the ballot after all. Unless they accurately anticipated the terms of the court's decision, what are the odds it will be tossed off the ballot as being unconstitutional in its wording?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

As should marriage by elderly men and women, presumably.

Hey!! Actually many elderly people don't marry even though they might like to, since one of them will lose their SS or widows/ers benefits.

My aunt lived in 'sin' for 20 years because if she married she would lose the benefits from her deceased husband's pension and other goodies like insurance, etc. (He was a Colonel in the Air Force and the benies were very very good)

The outrage!! The government forcing old people to shack up. /sarcasm

Walter said...

So, I read the thesbian link that downtownlad posted and I am now sure that Ann is right. I used to think that downtownlad was a "man that likes to have sex with other men"* activist who would also troll.

Over the last few weeks, it has because clear that he is troll first, which makes everything else he says suspect, as you can not tell what is the truth and what was made up as part of the trolling. This is clear because you can see him try to hijack to focus on the "men that like to have sex with other men" cause, even when it is a strech.

* if homosexual is bigoted word and gay is poor euphemism for homesexual, what is a good replace word for "men that like to have sex with other men" ?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Yes, I'm loving Rev and Palladian today.

That Redneck post was almost too perfectly aligned with the typical "religious conservative" talking points to be real, hitting every note on cue. I guess he's had lots of practice saying what he said, which is weird because you'd think it'd be a subject that he'd like to avoid talking about, unless of course talking about it does something unnatural for him that neither he nor we were aware of...until now.

IncandenzaH said...

Just catching up, but HAD to respond to Seven Machos further up, when he wrote: "Wouldn't it be easier and more sensible to just change the law about who can make medical decisions?"

Actually, the California decision's beauty is that no new laws (that's zero... bupkes... nada) are written (or even changed). It simply opens existing law to same-sex couples. So, actually, no: It would not be easier and more sensible to "just the change the law."

What the Supremes did was much easier. And terrifically sensible.

Revenant said...

Thanks, Randy. :)

Palladian said...

"What the Supremes did was much easier. And terrifically sensible."

Of course it's sensible to you, since you agree with the results. Just wait until the Mystical Lawyers in Magic Gowns decide to pull the same decision-by-fiat nonsense for a result with which you don't agree. Then what do you do? Will you be gloating then? Or, more probably, squealing like a stuck pig?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Palladian, the problem is that your behavior is not something that is in the best interest of the state, is it? You can remember how long the Shakers lasted, due to the fact that they were not permitted to procreate, and therefore same sex marriage should not be subsidized by the state for the same reason- it tends to lead to zero population growth.

I'm not advocating criminalization of your behavior; I’m just not advocating recognition that it isn't aberrant. And I really don’t care what you do behind closed doors.

I don’t understand the name calling and derogatory descriptions either. What did I say to cause such bile? All I ask is that you keep your private activities private, and not parade what 90% of society considers abnormal; is that too hard?

I understand that you (and your 10% or less of the country) consider your proclivities normal, and it is the rest of us who are weird, but, sorry about your luck, it is a majority rule, and no matter how normal you consider yourself, some of your activities are not.

Revenant, the problem there is the state denying a right to a couple based solely on their age, a right that otherwise they are entitled to. Which is allowable when the participants are not of legal age, otherwise its not.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

ZPS, I actually missed quite a few of the religious right points- I never mentioned The Bible at all.

I tend to think that religion is the result of society needing rules, and a omnipotent being to enforce those rules when nobody else was watching.

I am very serious when I say I don't care what you do in your own home; why is that so hard to accept?

Seven Machos said...

Incandenza -- Right. This decision isn't going to cause any problem or political upheaval. None at all. Nope. It's not going to energize religious conservatives. It's not going to make all kinds of problems down the road for the federal government and other states.

Nothing to see here. Move along. This thing is all settled.

IncandenzaH said...

Palladian, sorry if you took my comment to be "gloating." It wasn't that way at all. And I understand the frustration of folks who feel powerless against those berobed folk who interpret the laws to be sure they're being fairly and equitably prosecuted. Am I disappointed in some court decisions? Yes. Do I disagree with many. Yes. But I'm not a stuck pig about it, which is why I'm so entranced by the spectacle here at Althouse's place. I mean, I've never seen so many people so up in arms about something that really has absolutely nothing at all to do with them (unless they are in a same-sex relationship, of course).

As I wrote on another thread yesterday, how about I don't vote against your marriage and you don't vote against mine?

Revenant said...

Revenant, the problem there is the state denying a right to a couple based solely on their age, a right that otherwise they are entitled to.

No, age discrimination doesn't enter into it. Your words:

Marriage and its benefits developed to allowed a couple to procreate and nurture a new generation, something not only impossible, but unnatural in a gay or lesbian couple. Based on that alone, same sex marriage should be illegal.

An 85-year-old woman decides to marry the nice young (i.e., 77-year-old) man she met at the nursing home. Procreating and nurturing a new generation is both impossible and unnatural for them -- and as you stated, that fact alone is reason enough to make the marriage illegal.

IncandenzaH said...

Seven, I think you're talking to somebody else, because I never said it wouldn't make a political difference. Perhaps it will. We'll see, won't we? But what I am saying is that it's been a long 9 years since Proposition 22... and a lot has changed in the electorate in California since then.

Also this (from Adele Stan in The Guardian):

"A funny thing happened in 2006. Playing the same game during the 2006 mid-term congressional races, right-wing activists got a gay-marriage-ban proposal placed on the ballot in the state of Arizona, and it failed, despite the backing of the state's popular Senator John McCain."

So feel free to beat the bigot drums again. I'm betting they don't really rally the troops so well, anymore, though. Good luck w/ it, though.

Seven Machos said...

If so much has changed with the electorate, why hasn't the legislature passed a law reflecting the change?

Must be that notoriously reactionary state government in the Golden State. That's why the judges had to do the legislative work.

Revenant said...

If so much has changed with the electorate, why hasn't the legislature passed a law reflecting the change?

Um, Seven -- they did, twice. Schwarzenegger vetoed the laws and said he'd let the courts decide the issue. They did.

Mind you, the legislature *shouldn't* have passed those laws, since doing so overrode a state referendum.

Palladian said...

"I don’t understand the name calling and derogatory descriptions either. What did I say to cause such bile? All I ask is that you keep your private activities private, and not parade what 90% of society considers abnormal; is that too hard?"

Yes, I'm afraid it is too hard, unlike your flaccid member, dribbling away on your shoes.

What did you say to cause such bile? I don't like being called "aberrant". So a hearty fuck you. We're not going away. You've lost the battle and the war. Sorry about your luck. And if you try to shut me or any of us "aberrants" up again, as you have done for millenia, you're in for a nasty fight this time.

Seven Machos said...

Poor word choice on my part, Rev. Two lawmaking branches?

I think, though, that the fact that the lawmaking branches couldn't agree on a law only proves my point. How could it be that public opinion has changed so overwhelmingly if that's case?

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Revenant, your reading of my words would work, if I had declared same sex marriage to be valid to folks of some ages, but not folks of others.

Yes, and 84 year old woman has as much chance of beoming pregnant as any man, but to deny a man and woman of a certain age the same rights as a man and woman of a different age, with out any overriding public concern (i.e. minors) is not part of any valid public policy.

like wise a distintion is not made when a man and woman marry on their palns or ability to have children. But, to deny some traditional couples the right to marry because of individual circumstances is again against public policy.

and neither of these circumstances compare to a same sex couple.

Seven Machos said...

I have to agree with Palladian here. Aberrant does have a rather negative connotation. It's not a real constructive word to use if you are seeking common ground.

It's better than that dreaded word "homosexual," though, apparently.

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

Palladian, considering the sole purpose of a sexual act is the creation of the next generation, how can any sex act that categorically eliminates that possibility not be aberrant?

And yes I consider any of the various acts that will not lead to procreation between a man and a woman aberrant as well. Not illegal, not immoral and not a sin, but still aberrant.

I also want to make sure you understand that although I may consider what ever you may do in private aberrant, I do not consider it abhorrent. It’s not a case of hate the sin, but not the sinner; it’s more a case of hating the moving and blurring of what should be a bright line.

Revenant said...

Revenant, your reading of my words would work, if I had declared same sex marriage to be valid to folks of some ages, but not folks of others.

The correct response would have been for you to admit you were wrong about inability to procreate being grounds for refusal to recognize a marriage. The repeated attempt to make this an age discrimination issue is weak.

Age isn't the issue, as I explained already. The point is that the 85-year-old woman is incapable of procreation and raising a new generation. Their lack of natural procreative ability is a simple biological fact in both cases.

You're trying to say "yes, but they would be able to reproduce if their bodies weren't decrepit". Yeah, and Tom and Tim would be able to reproduce if Tim was a woman. Biological reality is inescapable in both cases.

reader_iam said...

considering the sole purpose of a sexual act is the creation of the next generation

OK, now I'm sure ed-red is just baiting.

MadisonMan said...

He's certainly not masturbating.

reader_iam said...

Pitched ... and ... hit!

You're the man, madisonman!

An Edjamikated Redneck said...

No reader, I'm not.

I just happen to hold what is probably, in some quarters at least, an unpopular opinion, and I am trying to defend that position.

If it sounds like I am baiting or performing other troll-like acts, my apologies.

I also must apologize if I am unable to accurately explain myself.

There are at least several dozen people in this country who hold deeply felt opinions that they are unable to explain to someone else's satisfaction.

It also appears I have made an enemy of Palladian, not something I wanted to do. I have been reading the comments here for well over 2 years, and occasionally commenting when I felt I had something to add, and have always appreciated his comments. I am sorry my opinion on this issue differs from his and our differences became acrimonious.

Ger said...

Senor Mas Macho says:

"We live in a democracy. The will of majority reigns except in cases where certain rights are enshrined in law."

Yeah, yeah. We all know how wonderful the tyranny of the majority is - just ask blacks, women, other minority groups how well the majority has treated them over the last few hundred years.

He blathers on:

"The federal Constitution after the Civil War clearly imputes to the federal government the right to strike down laws against racial segregation"

Yet it still took more than 100 years and activist judges to finally do the right thing.

With his three remaining brain cells he throws out this gem:

"Here, gay people are not segregated and they are not being prejudiced because they may freely enter into monogamous heterosexual marriages."

You know...I believe that you truly do believe that to be a true statement. More's the pity.


Palladian says:

"Marriage is not a right. It's a religious institution in which the State should have no interest."

If marriage were solely a religious institution we would have no need for this struggle.

If it was just a situation of small minds encumbered by silly religious dogma this issue could be easily ignored.

However, once the government injected itself into marriage by according special rights for those the law allows to marry it is no longer JUST a silly religious ritual. It is a matter of fairness and equal treatment for consenting adults - be they same-sex couples or mixed-race couples or...

Palladian said...

MadisonMan, LOL

"Palladian, considering the sole purpose of a sexual act is the creation of the next generation..."

Oh how happy your wife must be....

"I am sorry my opinion on this issue differs from his and our differences became acrimonious."

You're not sorry, or you wouldn't have stated your opinions in the way that you did. I am quite tolerant of other opinions, and I can happily befriend liberals and conservatives and everything in between with equal ease. But just as I cannot tolerate downtownlad's nonsense, neither can I tolerate someone with your paleolithic moral opinions who expresses them in such a condescending and self-righteous manner.

Now excuse me, I have to go be aberrant with my 21 year old latin boyfriend. Maybe I'll fuck him in the street, which in your book is apparently equivalent to holding hands. Have a miserable evening! And for God's sake, keep your hands off your naughty bits! Society might collapse!

Palladian said...

"It is a matter of fairness and equal treatment for consenting adults - be they same-sex couples or mixed-race couples or..."

Or what? 6 men and a little lady? A whippet and a limpet? A Persian cat and a fax machine named Doris?

Why, ger (hehe), do you accept the state's discrimination against single people? Why all these special rights for "couples" (or multiples)? Sounds like you're a bigot yourself. What did single people ever do to you?

Trooper York said...

" if homosexual is bigoted word and gay is poor euphemism for homesexual, what is a good replace word for "men that like to have sex with other men"

Tomcruiseologists.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

the sole purpose of a sexual act is the creation of the next generation

The outrageousness of the statement is very Titus like, but then the actual theory behind it is sooo not at all something he would adhere to.

The sole purpose of a sexual act for me is to have a great, great time. Happy Gay Pride Long Beach, everyone!

Seven Machos said...

Ger -- Right. The United States has been awful for minorities. Awful.

Anyway, where were you for the first 85,000 years of human history?

Also, here's an ill tip: read the activist cases you, I guess, cite, and try to see if you can find what actually using the words of the constitution to find constitutional rights looks like.

Note also the civil rights act.

But, yeah, dude. You are enlightened. Everyone else is hicks, and they should live the way you want them to.

reader_iam said...

I suppose at this point it would be a bad idea to even attempt an explanation of why one might not have a problem with civil marriages for gay people AND not have a problem with "discriminating" "against" (put in separate quotation mark sets on purpose--not a typo) single people?

Yeah, consider it rhetorical.

Trooper York said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trooper York said...

So this is where everyone is hanging out. I was busy posting about dogs and BO's lapel pin.

reader_iam said...

I'm speaking in a very, very narrow sense--having to do with public funding of education and exemptions for dependents, and, really, not having so much to do with singles, per se, but rather parents of dependent children (regardless of marital status or sexual orientation).

Zachary Paul Sire said...

I heard Tom Cruise will be riding in one of the float's at this year's parade. He's too short and creepy for me, but I like his "friend" Will Smith.

reader_iam said...

Personally, Trooper, my favorite comment of yours today (though not here) had to do with bra-fittings. Maybe try to work in something similar over here?

Trooper York said...

Well soon it won't matter as every single person will have an adopted Chinese baby. Big tax breaks.

Seven Machos said...

There is no question that single people are discriminated against by the institutions of society and by the government in certain instances (e.g., the tax code).

The question is whether that discrimination is balanced by the fact that single people -- largely -- are not contributing to society in the very basic way of reproduction. I don't suggest that they are not. I'm just pointing out what I think the broader societal issue is.

Trooper York said...

I will reader but only if you tell the story about your first bra fitting.

We just fit a woman with a size 46F.

Oh the humanity

Seven Machos said...

Oh the huge mammaries.

reader_iam said...

I think it's to society's benefit as a whole, single or married, gay or straight, to have an educated populace. (In this sense, whether or not one thinks there are problems with the current public education system is mostly beside the point.) Therefore, I don't have any problem with paying into that. I hasten, for context, to say that I didn't have a kid until 39, and even though I now have one, completing second grade, he's been in private school--100% funded by us in after-tax dollars--from day one. So I and my husband, from a tax standpoint, are really in the same situation as childless (childfree, if you prefer) people insofar as school taxes go. It's not a "screw you" thing, in other words, at least on my part.

Trooper York said...

Big as your head dude.

Shit big as freakin' Easter Island head.

They say more than a mouthful is wasteful, but what do you do with an ocean full.

And it's murder on your back..

Seven Machos said...

Was it attractive? Or was it all too much?

reader_iam said...

Trooper, not on your life. And certainly not here.

Trooper York said...

Well with the new bra she really looked great. Some women who are petite and curvy are called a "pocket venus." She was the oppisite of that. She is a whole lot of woman and any man would be very lucky to date her.

Revenant said...

A Persian cat and a fax machine named Doris?

Where the hell would they register for gifts???

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Pet Smart and Office Depot, I presume.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...

Reader: While I tend to agree with you, if I were living in Washington D.C., I'd rather resent the $25,000 per year per pupil expenditure given the results.

Ralph said...

Where the hell would they register for gifts???
Office Manx.

We have 4 official cats where I work, plus another ~5 strays that hang out in the sheds. One of them likes to sleep on my printer, but she's been fixed, so there's nothing goin' on.

reader_iam said...

Randy: I made particular distinctions, or at least tried to, for a reason. Manifestly, I have, and have had, issues with implementation & etc. At the same time, I resist the idea that society as a whole--and even subgroups within--don't have a stake in a generally educated society, and that this is somehow more a private, rather than public, good. With whatever, and all, its flaws, we in the U.S. are, and have been, on balance, immensely benefited by having a public school system to which all have can have access. I'd go so far as to say that we have immensely benefited by being a country which has that as fundamental, shared and collectively and publicly supported value and imperative.

I know that there are those who will disagree. And I know that there are those who are, at best disillusioned and, at worst, utterly contemptuous of the system. I could (and, as some are aware, can) write a fairly eloquent indictment of certain aspect.

But moving up a couple of rungs, philosophically speaking, it's so clear, to me at least, that it's worth preserving not just the bab[ies], but also the bathtub. It's how to throw out the dirty, stagnant and/or tepid bathwater while preserving the former that's the problem.

That's the biggest challenge of all.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

of certain aspect.

Should be: "of certain aspects of the system, myself."

Revenant said...

With whatever, and all, its flaws, we in the U.S. are, and have been, on balance, immensely benefited by having a public school system to which all have can have access.

I doubt think most of the kids in the current public school system derive nearly enough benefit from it to justify the huge amount of money poured into the system. If they did, parents who can afford it wouldn't be so quick to yank them out and put them in private school.

reader_iam said...

Revenant:

1) See It's how to throw out the dirty, stagnant and/or tepid bathwater while preserving the former that's the problem.

2) What I'm resisting is the subtext of throwing out the whole concept, and I resist, disagree with and even disapprove of that strongly (which is partly why I don't resent paying the taxes, even while I have and express criticisms of the current implementation).

I doubt think most of the kids in the current public school system derive nearly enough benefit from it to justify the huge amount of money poured into the system.

But they--and we--benefit FAR more than if it was jettisoned and we were magically transported back to whatever halcyon time people who have no problem with throwing out the baby with the bath water are apparently imagining.

If they did, parents who can afford it wouldn't be so quick to yank them out and put them in private school.

So quick, my ass. You don't know enough to make that judgment. Also, it hasn't been easy to afford.

Also, I didn't "yank" my child out of public school. On the other hand, I am, indeed, "yanking" my child out of PRIVATE school, in favor of homeschooling him (and not due to the "not-so-easy-to-afford factor).

I think people make HUGE assumptions about how private schools--even very fine ones--are automatically so much better and are free of some most commonly complained about problems with public schools. In fact, based on my experience, I laugh at those assumptions.

Revenant said...

But they--and we--benefit FAR more than if it was jettisoned and we were magically transported back to whatever halcyon time people who have no problem with throwing out the baby with the bath water are apparently imagining.

I guess. But so far as I can tell pretty much nobody's actually advocating what you're talking about.

What is generally advocated is a partial or full dismantling of the existing government-run school system, which produces poorly educated children at high cost. Typically the suggested replacement is a voucher system wherein the parents choose how to spend the education dollars associated with their children. That would be entirely superior to the current system.

So quick, my ass. You don't know enough to make that judgment. Also, it hasn't been easy to afford.

When I said "parents" I wasn't making a backhanded reference to you -- I was making a general statement about the fact that public school is so worthless that almost all parents with the means to do so pass on that "free education" in favor of alternatives. Think on that -- over a quarter million dollars of "free" education, K-12, and they turn it down. That, right there, is rock solid proof that it isn't worth anything remotely close to a quarter million.

reader_iam said...

That would be entirely superior to the current system.

And that's just one of the assumptions which I used to hold myself, but which I have come to question, for various reasons. I think the problem is entirely larger (not bigger; larger) than what is generally imagined.

For starters, why do we think that private school (or voucher school) teachers and administrators, in the aggregate, attended different schools from their public school counterparts or that their backgrounds, again in the aggregate, are profoundly different?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

and a lot has changed in the electorate in California since then.

Yes. A lot of them are immigrants (illegals who vote and legals who vote) from Catholic Mexico. We know the Church's feelings on homosexuality and the Mexican Catholics are very good Cathoics.

Just thought I would stir the pot a bit. But it is true.

Revenant said...

For starters, why do we think that private school (or voucher school) teachers and administrators, in the aggregate, attended different schools from their public school counterparts or that their backgrounds, again in the aggregate, are profoundly different?

Because if private school teachers and administrators are incompetent, they get fired. Public school ones do not. Similarly, if a private school routinely produces a lousy education for the money the parents are sending it, the parents stop sending their kids to it. Thus, private schools have an incentive to improve. Public schools have absolutely no incentive to improve. Indeed, the usual government response to lousy public schools is to throw more money at them.

Public schools suck for the simple reason that the people in them draw the same salaries and enjoy the same job security whether they do a good job or a lousy job. That's why pretty much ALL government services suck compared to the private sector. The government has no motive to improve; it isn't like we can easily shop around for a different bureaucracy.

blake said...

As should marriage by elderly men and women, presumably.

Yes, although historically, many elderly men get younger wives and continue their reproducing ways. Also, childless marriages are traditionally easily annulled.

Red's using the wrong term. It's not a matter of "natural" or "aberrant". It's a matter of "does (or should) society care?"

Lotsa gays have historically been married (to the opposite sex), had children and raised them just as anyone het couple did. That's what was expected.

I have a great uncle, in fact, who sired three daughters, and otherwise cavorted with men. Hell, if the stories are true, my namesake was homosexual and married, though he didn't live long enough to reproduce.

Young societies tend to be very fragile and very concerned about non-procreative sexual practices. Established ones aren't.

But the logical approach--barring removal of government from the transaction entirely--would be to define marriage in terms of what the benefits the state.

Since that would involve putting a fair amount of hurt on divorcees, I doubt that's gonna happen.

blake said...

I think Rev is right that the free market can only help the school system.

However, what reader is seeing is also true: I've seen a lot of private schools, and they all suck, too. Some of them suck slightly less.

Money won't fix this by itself. Educational theory has been gutted. Teachers are all required to take the same classes which the better ones recognize are worthless. The worst take more of those classes and run for school board.

The only thing the free market can do is reward success, if it's stumbled upon. (Which happens periodically in, say, the Los Angeles USD, but which is killed as thoroughly as possible as soon as it's discovered.)

Besides, reader, isn't it really the attitude that a certain level of education should be universal the important thing? We have that, just not the actual implementation. (I.e., kids are illiterate and innumerate.)