October 10, 2008

The Connecticut Supreme Court finds a right to same-sex marriage.

WaPo reports.

86 comments:

Bob said...

Was it an aura, or an emanation?

dbp said...

They are amazing explorers, always finding new things in 200 year old documents!

Simon said...

dbp, the ruling is based on the Connecticut Constitution, which isn't 200 years old (it was adopted in 1965). Not that the right to marry someone of the same sex is probably in that document, fairly construed, either, but I don't know what the law is in Connecticut, so we should hesitate to assume that they're wrong.

Host with the Most said...

Prop 8 is going to pass in California.

When I ask my friends and fellow churchgoers what they believe should happen with the 11,000 couples that married these last few months since the California Supreme Court decision, most of them say just leave 'em be. They don't want any more fighting about the issue.

Interesting.

Rich B said...

Are there pictures? Did they use metal detectors?

Darcy said...

Yeah, I don't really care about this, and I'm pretty conservative.
Well, I think I am, anyway.

I read an article a couple of years ago, and I can't recall who wrote it, but this conservative writer was making the argument that we should be applauding and supporting those who want to make a legal commitment in a loving relationship.

I wish I could remember who wrote this, but it rang true to me.

Host with the Most said...

Jerry Brown, Our Moonbeam Attorney General here in California, decide to rename the Prop 8 "Limit on Marriage" (original title when collecting signatures to qualify for the ballot) to "Eliminates Right of Same Sex Couples to Marry".

But that is entirely disingenuous on Brown's part, though his stated aim is clear in doing so.

The proposed initiative eliminates the future "right" to polygamy, incestual marriage, and any form other than a man and a woman. And Brown knows it.

But his "holier than the unwashed citizens of California" move has only helped anger enough fence sitters. Prop 8 has gone from 54% against in May (meaning it would lose) to 49% for / 42% against just last week. And that matches the internal polling of the "No on 8" group.

The first pro-Prop 8 commercial featured a film of Gavin Newsome, Mayor of San Francisco, proudly telling everyone that it's (gay marriage) coming, "whether you like it or not".

Numerous Pro-Prop 8 supporters have sent thank yous to Mayor Newsome for helping to so vividly make their point about judicial fiats.

ElcubanitoKC said...

Well, l'chaim.

Revenant said...

Prop 8 is going to pass in California.

What's your basis for saying that? Every poll I've seen for the last month or two shows it losing, usually by quite a lot.

Seven Machos said...

Who needs legislatures? Autocrats should make all of our laws.

Trooper York said...

God bless. I hope they are very happy. The best thing I ever did was to get married. I hope it works out for them the way they want and that they are happy.

Host with the Most said...

Rev,

Read the post I wrote at 11:29.

Here's the polling history:



May 2008 Field Poll 40 percent FOR / 54 percent AGAINST / 6 percent Undecided
July 2008 Field Poll 42 percent FOR / 51 percent AGAINST / 7 percent Undecided
August 2008 PPIC Poll 40 percent FOR / 54 percent AGAINST / 6 percent Undecided
Sept. 2008 Field Poll 38 percent FOR / 55 percent Against / 7 percent Undecided
Sept. 2008 SurveyUSA 44 percent FOR / 49 percent AGAINST / 7 percent Undecided
Sept. 2008 PPIC Poll 41 percent FOR / 55 percent Against / 4 percent Undecided
Oct. 2008 Internal polling, "No on 8" 47 percent FOR / 42 percent AGAINST / 11 percent Undecided
Oct 4-5, 2008 CBS News/SurveyUSA 47 percent FOR / 42 percent AGAINST / 11 percent Undecided


AND, don't listen to the ones saying that the polling company is not reliable because:

1) The anti-Prop 8 groups didn't dispute the SurveyUSA polls when they agreed with the trend going down.

2)The anti-Prop 8 groups internal polling shows the exact same results as the latest SurveyUSA poll.

3) This issue always underperforms on polling:
in 2000, during the electoral battle for Proposition 22, "...the Field Poll reported that support for that initiative was approximately 50% in the months leading up to the election, while the measure received more than 61% of votes at the ballot box. In May when Field was reporting that support for the initiative was at 40%, the Los Angeles Times survey found support at 54%.

AlphaLiberal said...

The effort by the Republican Party to make gays and lesbians second class citizens will be lasting badge of shame on them.

This entire issue is a farce. It's an electoral ploy to distract and divide people. It is a classic right-wing tactic of demonizing a small, unpopular minority and stripping them of rights in order to get support and divert attention.

It's also a farce to say homosexuality is a "Christian" issue. Jesus Christ never once preached on homosexuality. Jesus Christ did preach on love, tolerance and humility.

What part of "Judge not lest ye be judged" don't these right wing Christians get?

And:

- gay people getting married of legally-recognized marriage has ZERO effect on hetero's getting married.
- Churches should be free to marry or not marry whoever they want to. But our legal system should not be used to inflict one church's religious doctrine on the rest of society.

Paul Zrimsek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

"The effort by the Republican Party to make gays and lesbians second class citizens will be lasting badge of shame on them."

And Barack Obama and Joe Biden consistently express their opposition to same-sex marriage. So, badge of shame on them too, right?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'd be interested to learn how DeltaMinusLiberal knows that Janet Peck and Carole Conklin brought their "electoral ploy" of a lawsuit at the behest of the GOP.

michael farris said...

"And Barack Obama and Joe Biden consistently express their opposition to same-sex marriage. So, badge of shame on them too, right?ę

Yep. Absolutely.

rhhardin said...

I assume the court insisted that it be put on the ballot.

rhhardin said...

We don't need no stinking badges.

Chip Ahoy said...

I never understood objections to same-sex marriages. Why wouldn't breeders want non-breeders to experience the same joy of divorce settlements? That just seems selfish.

The "it weakens the institution of marriage" argument doesn't fly, on the contrary, it strengthens the institution.

A few weeks ago I went to a party of artist types. There was an unmarried gay couple who had adopted a child of another race. How they did that is not clear to me. But I've heard of stranger adoptions by gays, adults adopting adults, lawyers in fact, to establish legal lines of property rights. (Incidentally, the triangle of three males, two adopted by the third are now dead, all three, so what ultimately happened to the property, which was considerable, I do not know. Except they owned one of my paintings and I do know where that went.) The little tyke at the party was the center of attention. How everyone doted on that little guy. It was quite amazing. But that got me thinking about the legalities behind that adoption, but since I didn't care to ask, those lines of thought just fizzled out to unresolved loose threads. That must have been how they engaged that arrangement legally, loosely, that is, not being lawyers themselves.

Lorelei Leigh said...

And Barack Obama and Joe Biden consistently express their opposition to same-sex marriage. So, badge of shame on them too, right?

Exactly right. I think the issue that the two camps are closest together on is gay marriage and rights.

The dark spot of the VP debate was both of them talking about gay marriage. Palin's tortured language about "tolerance" was troublesome, and Biden's troublesome argument that the Constitution grants same-sex couples benefits and entitlements but doesn't grant those same couples marriage rights (and his refusal to support gay marriage otherwise) was torturous.

Shameful all around.

mccullough said...

Chip Ahoh,

Adoptions by gays is legal in every state except Florida (unless they repealed it or it was struck down).

How is adoption not a good thing? Too many kids are born to unmarried parents, especially black kids.

I'm with those who support gay marriage (shame on you McObamaPalen) and adoption by gays.

It certainly would be better if legislatures passed this stuff themselves instead of the courts imposing it, but the reality is that marriage and adoption are a good thing. Maybe it will shame heterosexuals into being better spouses and parents.

mcg said...

And Barack Obama and Joe Biden consistently express their opposition to same-sex marriage. So, badge of shame on them too, right?

Well, yes, but the difference is we know that Obama and Biden are practicing the leftist equivalent of the Islamic practice of taquiya. In other words, they are lying through their teeth, but they are forgiven by their supporters because they do it for the sake of advancing their political religion, and the lies are directed towards the moderate and rightist infidels.

Once they have sufficient grasp on the required political levers they will start pulling them. Once again Obama will be in favor of, for instance, repealing DOMA, as his wife has indicated they will do. His interpretation of the Second amendment will drift back towards D.C's again. His support for FISA-style regulation will fade away. His newfound belief in tax cuts to stimulate business growth will give way to the temptation to raise them to pay for his programs.

Revenant said...

Host, thanks for the polling information. I think you're reading too much into the most recent poll, though, since the margin of error is large enough that the "no" side could still be winning. Looking at the actual polling data, the swing in polling results appears to be almost entirely due to a massive shift in support among younger voters. I'm skeptical that any such shift happened, especially over so short a period of time.

Trooper York said...

In Ancient Rome, rich patricians often adopted adult plebeians to continue their family bloodlines even though they were not related by blood.

I have often begged my richest client to adopt me as I would cook wonderful holiday dinners and take care of them in their old age.

As long as they left me all their money.

rhhardin said...

The objection is to appropriating the word marriage.

What a marriage is probably isn't exactly known (like what a chair is isn't exactly known, not because anything is hidden but because nobody knows where the word should go), but it ought not to be defined by the courts in whatever directions the court chooses, just as if it thought it could define pi.

Stanley Cavell has an interesting line - I wonder if it exactly fishes out the problem here or if it's just a coincidence - in describing the origin of modern marriage

I want to say that with the birth of [philosophical] skepticism, hence of modern philosophy, a new intimacy, or wish for it, enters the world; call it privacy shared (not shared with the public, but from it). I supose this is registered, among other places, in the history of marriage, in the shift from politically arranged to romantically desired marriage. Here is a reasonable opening way to consider what is enacted in Antony and Cloepatra in the shift from Rome to Egypt. To consider it simply a shift from political honor to romantic passion leaves out the erotic of Rome (importantly in the dominination between males) and the political in Egypt (in the equality, or, say, role reversals, between lovers).

Disowning Knowledge in Six [Seven] Plays of Shakespeare, p.21

mcg said...

Jesus Christ did preach on love, tolerance and humility.

Yes, he did. He also preached on sin, judgement, and hell. Don't pick and choose, AlphaLiberal. Don't spout off about the John 3:16 Jesus if you're going to ignore the John 3:18 Jesus.

Darcy said...

I love this place.

Did I say that out loud?

rhhardin said...

con't

And the desire to appropriate the word marriage is then the desire that same-sex affairs should be enough to make the world; like feminism, or masculism if there is such a thing.

Nothing is essentially missed out on. They want a court to determine that.

ElcubanitoKC said...

And AlphaLiberal/michael's effort under this an many other handles to make fun of gay people and to use "gay" as an insult will also be used as a badge of shame. How can he live with it?


.

ElcubanitoKC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Step 1: the court must "find" the right of same-sex marriage. Step 2: Then they allow the lawsuits to fly against churches and ministers who will not offer their premise or service for the ceremony.

Not that there is anything wrong with a non-elected judiciary actively working to eliminate religion from our communities.

Darcy said...

Indeed, ElcubanitoKC.

(I keep wanting to shorten your handle :))

Rich B said...

What if the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy prevents the Federal Government from knowing how much money I make and thus ruled the income tax unconstitutional?

Do you think the jurists would be hailed for their devotion to the living constitution?

If you are just going to make things up, we can dream can't we?

ElcubanitoKC said...

Darcy said...
Indeed, ElcubanitoKC.

(I keep wanting to shorten your handle :))

12:56 PM


EKC or EC would work.

LarsPorsena said...

Jurists discover new rights the way I
find loose change in the penumbra of my sofa's cushions.

Revenant said...

What if the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy prevents the Federal Government from knowing how much money I make and thus ruled the income tax unconstitutional?

The income tax was expressly made constitutional by the 16th amendment. The court would need to explain which of the last 11 amendments made it UNconstitutional.

Even if they did somehow pull that one off, the government could just set the tax rate at a flat $100 million per person, but allow for a hardship exemption to reduce that if you could show that your income couldn't support it. That would get around the privacy loophole, because you would be voluntarily revealing your income in order to avoid a tax burden.

Rich B said...

Can't have it both ways, Revenant. Clearly, capital punishment was acceptable at the time the Constitution was written and did not conflict with the prohibition on cruel and unusal punishment. If the right to privacy is found, then the 16th amendment is retroactively unconstitutional. Evolving standards, you know.

Spread Eagle said...

The effort by the Republican Party to make gays and lesbians second class citizens will be lasting badge of shame on them."

When and where in western civilization has same sex marriage hitherto ever been an official rite, and are you therefore saying that all of our forebears back into antiquity also wear that lasting badge of shame? Me, I can't help but suspect that all of known human history got it right and we in the last 5 years got it wrong.

Beth said...

ann, absolutely -- the Democratic candidates are just as shameful. Never forget that DOMA passed under Clinton, also.

mcg - they're not lying. I don't believe for a minute that there's a Democrat stealth marriage agenda.

The objection is to appropriating the word marriage.

rhhardin, that doesn't explain the breadth of what is banned in most of these state amendments. Many of them don't stop at marriage, but go on to undermine civil unions, employer benefits for same-sex partners, and so on. So the folks behind these amendments aren't just worried about semantics.

Trooper York said...

If you invite me to your wedding, I would come Beth.

Plus I could probably sell two wedding dresses. Sweet.

Danny said...

Ah, the harmonious mixture of gay rights and states' rights.

ElcubanitoKC said...

On the one hand, I support gay marriage or whatever you want to call it for obvious reason.

On the other hand, I am always worried about a potential backlash against these court decisions.

On the one hand I want it to happen in my lifetime.

On the other hand, I want it to happen in my lifetime, but correctly, so that it will stay.

Oi...

mcg said...

mcg - they're not lying. I don't believe for a minute that there's a Democrat stealth marriage agenda.

Beth: then why has Obama pledged to overturn DOMA? It's one thing to say he didn't support it at the time; it's another to pledge its repeal. Why take a supposedly principled "federalist states-rights" stand allowing states to decide for themselves about gay marriage, and yet be so determined to repeal an affirmation of such federalism?

Trumpit said...

"Sex should only be permitted between a willing & wanting willy and a tempting & twitching twat, in the missionary position, because doggie-style is nasty & animalistic (but fun)."

If I were the attorney general in Califorinia that is how I would have entitled the right-wing, evangelical Christian-sponsored bigoted hateful initiative.

Beth said...

Trooper, I'll put you on the invitation list, should that ever happen. And plan for more than two dresses - we have a few bridesmaid dress debacles to avenge.

Beth said...

mcg -- if he's pledged to overturn DOMA, then it's not a stealth issue. He's not lying to anyone. And why do we need DOMA, anyway? If it's an issue for the states, constitutionally, why does Congress need to "affirm" that? If it's not, then DOMA is a mistake.

mcg said...

mcg -- if he's pledged to overturn DOMA, then it's not a stealth issue. He's not lying to anyone.

That dog don't hunt. His pledge to overturn DOMA is inconsistent with his claimed position on allowing states to decide their positions on gay marriage. They are not logically compatible. He is either incapable of consistency on this issue or he's lying to one constituency or the other.

And why do we need DOMA, anyway? If it's an issue for the states, constitutionally, why does Congress need to "affirm" that? If it's not, then DOMA is a mistake.

You may have a point here. Given the propensity of both state and federal Supreme Courts to overrule the clear positions of the people, DOMA may be irrelevant. The Supreme Court may very well trample on it just like the Supreme Court of California trampled on the clear legislation of that state.

But if we grant for the sake of argument that our Supreme Court will respect DOMA, then the law provides explicit support to states to determine their own policies about marriage. If states are compelled to honor other states' laws concerning marriage, then does that not diminsh their ability to self-determine on this issue?

And even if we don't "need" DOMA, that is an argument for the ineffectiveness or futility of the law. It is not an argument for overturning it. We have lots of unnecessary laws on the books. Why pledge to overturn just one of them?

Trooper York said...

Cool Beth, but I can put your girls in dresses that will actually be pretty cool. Just sayn'

Cedarford said...

Alpha liberal - what a fine pile of steaming, fly-buzzed gay talking points! You've outdone yourself! Congratulations!

AlphaLiberal said...
The effort by the Republican Party to make gays and lesbians second class citizens will be lasting badge of shame on them.


I guess that is the lasting badge of shame all human civilizations have shared since the dawn of time - until activist judges began "magically!" finding a basis to claim new rights unwritten in any Constitution. Rights clearly NOT in the writer's intent. Anymore than they favored the "unwritten" right to cannibalism, beastiality, or cyberhacking...


This entire issue is a farce. It's an electoral ploy to distract and divide people. It is a classic right-wing tactic of demonizing a small, unpopular minority and stripping them of rights in order to get support and divert attention.

No, it is just gays adopting the Obaman argument that anything embarassing to him is a "distraction" from the "real issues". And please note that this is not some attack out of the blue on a poor minority just sitting around and trying to get along. It is a counter movement that started when that "poor minority" began aggressive, in-our-faces efforts to shove their agenda down the majority's throat and say they must abandon their majority norms without a vote because a pack of Leftist lawyers dressed in robes "sez so". And of course the gays fear putting it to a vote.

It's also a farce to say homosexuality is a "Christian" issue. Jesus Christ never once preached on homosexuality. Jesus Christ did preach on love, tolerance and humility.

You mangled up the "what would Jesus do" by purporting that the New Testament shows complete speech texts, not actual fragments. He did talk about sin, judgment and hell. He did not repudiate in any speech, Old Testament norms on social conduct but signaled new revelations supplanted old Hebrew code. Unless Christ was a jewish lawyer from NYC - he wasn't talking about gay marriage being OK. And all Christians believe that Christ spoke through the 4 Disciples that wrote the Gospels, the true Word. Which includes Paul to the Corinthians.

What part of "Judge not lest ye be judged" don't these right wing Christians get?

The famous maxim "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone" not NOT say the whore was without sin. Nor did Christ follow-up by leading all the normal and gay whores in Jerusalem to a new whorehouse under "divine protection". As far as we know, he performed no marriages..straight, polygamous, gay, or man to sheep..

And:
- gay people getting married of legally-recognized marriage has ZERO effect on hetero's getting married.


It does, because it alters the meaning of an agreed-on social norm - and dilutes the privilege and moral weight society gives to certain titles.

A Court could rule that the unwritten words of a Constitution should allow any civilian 1st Responder or military doctor who "saves a life" be given the Medal of Honor..and not have the matter voted on by the People. That would change the meaning of the Medal, and seriously dilute not just it's meaning and criteria for Selection, but also dilute its privilege and moral significance.


Churches should be free to marry or not marry whoever they want to. But our legal system should not be used to inflict one church's religious doctrine on the rest of society.

Ridiculous. Churches are extended the privilege of doing certain secular acts and holding certain secular jobs by the will of the State. We limit them. We don't allow ecclessiastical courts or Sharia. We don't allow some Mullah to marry off whoever he wants to, particularly 4-5 12-year old virgins to the same guy in America. We don't allow gay Catholic priests to marry their altar boys. We don't allow Muslims to bypass Family Court give the male instant child custody and avoid all alimony simply by saying "I divorce thee!" 3 times to the worn-out or nagging bitch he wishes to dump out of his household and onto welfare.

You also attempt, a la Excitable Andy, to make it all an issue of "intolerant right-wing Christianists" - while other religions have worse bars on putting little homo dolls on wedding cakes. And where atheist societies hold sway, historically, gays were killed or marginalized or sent off to the camps and Gulags.

SGT Ted said...

Where did they find it? In the toilet stall with Larry Craig?

SGT Ted said...

I never understood objections to same-sex marriages. Why wouldn't breeders want non-breeders to experience the same joy of divorce settlements? That just seems selfish.

Exactly. Gays need to suffer equally with the straights. It's only fair.

Salamandyr said...

To my knowledge, there is no bar to the government prejudicing itself for or against differing kinds of associations. Two friends could create a company as a LLC, a corporation, or a couple of other arrangements I'm not familiar with. Depending, each would operate under a different set of strictures and privileges.

Likewise even similar arrangements can have discriminatory effects applied to them based on behavior. Contrast the differing tax rates between a corporation that builds in the suburbs and one that builds in a blighted area "enterprise zone".

It seems to me that the government has similar ability to grant similar benefits to certain kinds of social arrangements as well. A pair-bonded gay couple aren't forbidden from marrying, they simply don't get all the cool benefits (and legal responsibilities) that a hetero couple that decides to marry get. It merely seems the government would have to show there's a compelling interest in encouraging people to engage in legally recognized heterosexual pair-bonding.

MadisonMan said...

Trooper, how can pretty bridesmaid dresses help Beth's need to avenge?

I have a picture of my wife in layers and layers of fuchsia! Talk about an ugly dress! And matching shoes of course.

ElcubanitoKC said...

MadisonMan, was she the bridesmaid?

Revenant said...

Can't have it both ways, Revenant. Clearly, capital punishment was acceptable at the time the Constitution was written and did not conflict with the prohibition on cruel and unusal punishment.

Um, capital punishment is constitutionally permissible in the United States, first of all. Secondly, it is hardly strange that "cruel and unusual" is an evolving standard, since those terms only make sense as subjective human appraisals of the punishments in question. There is no such thing as objectively cruel treatment of a criminal.

If the right to privacy is found, then the 16th amendment is retroactively unconstitutional.

The right to privacy was derived, as I understand it, from several of the original ten amendments, and extended to the states by the 14th amendment. The 16th amendment was enacted after those amendments and thus overrides them (and the entire rest of the Constitution). In other words, since the income tax was expressly made constitutional in 1913, in could only be unconstitutional if something changed in the last 95 years.

mcg said...

Secondly, it is hardly strange that "cruel and unusual" is an evolving standard, since those terms only make sense as subjective human appraisals of the punishments in question. There is no such thing as objectively cruel treatment of a criminal.

That's absolutely right. The key is not whether or not "cruel and unusual" evolves; rather who decides what its current definition is.

Trooper York said...

Well I always take the oblique approach. If we can make her bridesmaids look really hot, she can turn to them and say: "Now that wasn't so hard you stupid bitches."

Plus her wedding pictures will look much better.

I just to make it clear that I want Rick Smits autograph(inside joke...I really mean inside).

Revenant said...

if he's pledged to overturn DOMA, then it's not a stealth issue. He's not lying to anyone. And why do we need DOMA, anyway? If it's an issue for the states, constitutionally, why does Congress need to "affirm" that?

There are two separate issues: what each state recognizes as a legitimate marriage, and what the federal government recognizes as a legitimate marriage. The issue cannot "be left to the states" entirely unless the federal government stops recognizing marriage altogether. So long as the federal government recognizes married couples (e.g., on tax returns) there needs to be a federal standard for what counts as married.

Revenant said...

The key is not whether or not "cruel and unusual" evolves; rather who decides what its current definition is.

It should pretty obviously be the courts. If the legislature was allowed to determine if a law violated the Constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment there wouldn't be any point in having one in the first place. It would amount to a ban on passing laws the legislature doesn't feel are appropriate.

William said...

The left believes that there is some higher morality at play with capital punishment, abortion and gay marriage. This higher morality trumps the will of the electorate.....I differ with the majority on many issues. However, I am painfully aware that I have been wrong many times in my life. I am willing to defer to the opinion of the majority. I wonder about how many other issues the left claims a pre-emptive moral right....Example: For the past forty years, FARC in Columbia has claimed the right to kidnap and trade drugs in order in insure a more equitable distribution of wealth. Ridiculous comparion? Well, why should the slippery slope only slope towards the right.

Cedarford said...

mcg - That's absolutely right. The key is not whether or not "cruel and unusual" evolves; rather who decides what its current definition is.

And lawyers dressed in robes have a firm conviction that the public is singularly unqualified to determine what evolving public standards are. That is a function only judges, in such close touch with and in tune with the common American...can best determine.

Beth said...

Thanks for that clarification, Revenant. In that case, I obviously oppose DOMA for how it defines marriage.

mcg - I still don't think the Democrats mean to overturn DOMA and then move to nationalize gay marriage. It's a bone, a symbolic promise, as usual. We'll overturn DOMA, so you gay people need to vote for us! But that's all they'll do.

mcg said...

It should pretty obviously be the courts. If the legislature was allowed to determine if a law violated the Constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment there wouldn't be any point in having one in the first place. It would amount to a ban on passing laws the legislature doesn't feel are appropriate.

I agree only halfway. Obviously the courts are the final arbiter; I agree it would be meaningless if it were entirely in the hands of the legislature to control. At the same time it is similarly illogical for them simply to apply their personal views on what is appropriate. After all, even if we grant them full discretion to judge the "cruelty" of a punishment, its "usualness" necessarily requires a survey of precedent and state law.

mcg said...

I still don't think the Democrats mean to overturn DOMA and then move to nationalize gay marriage. It's a bone, a symbolic promise, as usual. We'll overturn DOMA, so you gay people need to vote for us! But that's all they'll do.

If the Republicans promised, "We'll get Roe v. Wade overturned, but we're not going to do anything more to advance the anti-abortion platform. We're content to let the states decide." Do you really think pro-choicers would accept that? I know the analogy is flawed because a reversal of Roe v. Wade would trigger immediate abortion bans in some states. But the point is that everyone understands that it's the first step in an anti-abortion agenda, and to support the first step is to support the agenda.

So it goes with DOMA. Overturning DOMA is utterly useless except as part of a long-term strategy to nationalize gay marriage. The Democrats can claim all they want that they don't intend to go along with any further steps. Doesn't matter. It's the gay marriage lobby's intent. And the Democrats are agreeing to support one of the first key strategic steps in that intent.

Besides, if they succeed in overturning DOMA, what's the next promise they're gonna make to pander to them during the next election cycle?

blake said...

Where did they find it? In the toilet stall with Larry Craig?

Ohhhhh! So that's why his stance is so wide!

hawkeyedjb said...

Here in Arizona, we have a constitutional amendment on the ballot (prop 102) to outlaw gay marriage. One of the arguments against it is "it's already illegal and there's no need for a constitutional amendment." Now, I'm not opposed to gay marriage but I understand the arguments of those who say ONLY a constitutional amendment will accomplish what they want. The courts seemed determined to prove them right.

Revenant said...

t the same time it is similarly illogical for them simply to apply their personal views on what is appropriate.

So far as I know, nobody on the Supreme Court claims the right to rule punishments cruel and unusual on the basis of their personal feelings. That's why some of them actually DO rule things cruel and unusual, of course, but they are careful to lie about their motives. So (for example) the official reason for banning the execution of child rapists is that, allegedly, the general consensus is that it is wrong to do so. That's total horseshit, but there's nothing to be done about it short of waiting for the people who ruled that way to die or quit.

Revenant said...

So it goes with DOMA. Overturning DOMA is utterly useless except as part of a long-term strategy to nationalize gay marriage.

The Democrats talk about overturning DOMA because talking about overturning DOMA keeps homosexuals on the Democratic plantation, just like the equally-empty talk of repealing DADT did for the last 15 years.

They have no interest in *actually* repealing it because even within the Democratic Party the people who strongly oppose the idea of gay marriage outnumber the people who strongly favor it. My guess is that the legislation will die in the House, saving Obama the inconvenience of having to decide whether he was lying to the public or lying to the gay lobby.

Methadras said...

What this appears to me is a bulwark against a national amendment drive to outlaw homosexual marriage. If enough states have their judiciary find these new rights out of whole cloth, then it would render the point moot at the national level. Since the Amendment process takes as long as it does, the hope is, is that if enough states institute these new rights, then it will psychologically tamp down the majority of peoples desire to rise up and fight what has already been proclaimed a right.

Methadras said...

Furthermore, if states start to pass initiatives on their ballots as a matter of state constitutional amendments like Prop. 8 is, then you may start seeing a fight about homosexual marriage on the national level. However, I think a lot of that depends on whether these initiatives fail and by how much. If there is a wide margin of No votes vs. Yes votes, then a national fight will dwindle.

This however is a State Constitutional Amendment fight. If this goes on the California Amendment, there is no recourse to fight this as being Unconstitutional. Even California admits that in the long run the financial impact is meaningless in terms of actual revenue generated by this initiative. Just my 2 cents.

Beth said...

I'm agreeing with Revenant on this one. There's no such thing as a useless gesture in politics, not if it's aimed at stringing along a constituency. Next election? They'll pander on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or some other issue.

Synova said...

I don't think that someone could persuasively argue that heterosexuals have a Right to marriage.

In what way?

Not only do you have to find someone willing to marry you but that person has to fit into a very narrow list of qualifications, only one of which is that he or she is the proper gender.

Getting married at all is not a Right. Not for anyone.

Is this how Obama can say health care is a Right? Change the meaning of the word?

Isn't that the argument? Those people have a Right that I don't have? Only they don't. Marriage seems always to have been harshly limited, at least anywhere that it's been formalized.

This isn't to say that changing those limitations to allow same sex marriage isn't a good idea. I think it is. But just because I think that it is a good idea for a variety of reasons doesn't mean that I think the argument that it's a Right is a good argument or that the fact that Courts are finding that there is a Right to marriage isn't, at the least, worrisome.

Revenant said...

They'll pander on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or some other issue.

Much like how the Republicans pandered on taxes throughout the Bush administration. Funny how in four years of solid control of both Congress and the White House they never managed to get around to passing permanent cuts in either income or estate taxes. They had plenty of time to yammer about gay marriage and stem cells, though. Assholes.

Revenant said...

if states start to pass initiatives on their ballots as a matter of state constitutional amendments like Prop. 8 is, then you may start seeing a fight about homosexual marriage on the national level.

"Start to pass initiatives"? Where have you been? There are 25 states with constitutional bans on gay marriage, mostly as a result of amendments over the past ten years or so.

mcg said...

So far as I know, nobody on the Supreme Court claims the right to rule punishments cruel and unusual on the basis of their personal feelings.

Louisiana v. Kennedy: “[T]he Constitution contemplates that in the end our own judgment will be brought to bear on the question of the acceptability of the death penalty under the Eighth Amendment.” Coker, supra, at 597 (plurality opinion); see also Roper, supra, at 563; Enmund, supra, at 797 (“[I]t is for us ultimately to judge whether the Eighth Amendment permits imposition of the death penalty”).

mcg said...
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mcg said...

Much like how the Republicans pandered on taxes throughout the Bush administration. Funny how in four years of solid control of both Congress and the White House they never managed to get around to passing permanent cuts in either income or estate taxes.

Solid control? They never had a filibuster-proof Senate, did they? We all know that the sunset provisions were added to the tax code to make the Democrats (and John McCain the RINOS) go along.

mcg said...

The Democrats talk about overturning DOMA because talking about overturning DOMA keeps homosexuals on the Democratic plantation, just like the equally-empty talk of repealing DADT did for the last 15 years.

They have no interest in *actually* repealing it because even within the Democratic Party the people who strongly oppose the idea of gay marriage outnumber the people who strongly favor it. My guess is that the legislation will die in the House, saving Obama the inconvenience of having to decide whether he was lying to the public or lying to the gay lobby.


FIne. Then let's agree that the Democrats are lying to someone, and disagree to whom they are doing so.

Beth said...

Revenant, you and I get along much better when we're both disenchanted with the whole enchilada. Cynicism is refreshing, as I always suspected.

Revenant said...

mcg, I don't see how the passage you quoted represents the justices claiming the right to decide things based on personal feelings. They say they will use their judgment, and obviously judgment is what we expect from a judge.

Revenant said...

Solid control? They never had a filibuster-proof Senate, did they?

Spare me. Reagan mysteriously managed to get tax cuts through a *Democratic* Congress; the notion that you need a filibuster-proof supermajority to pull it off is complete nonsense. It just requires making some trade-offs. The Republicans decided to expend their political capital on massive spending increases, new entitlements, and the usual social-conservative horseshit. They just repeated the "tax cuts" mantra to keep the rubes turning out at the polls.

Something else worth considering is that if, as you claim, you need a filibuster-proof majority in order to secure tax cuts, there is no reason whatsoever to vote Republican for tax reasons. They aren't going to HAVE a filibuster-proof majority -- not next year, not two years from now, not twenty or fifty or a hundred years from now in all likelihood. Our two-party system makes it virtually impossible for either party to achieve that level of control unless the other party monumentally screws up for year after year. E.g., like the Republicans did during the 2000s.

The song and dance that "if you give us even MORE power, we promise we'll actually do the stuff we promised to do the last time you voted for us" is a line politicians feed to the suckers. Democrats are doing it right now to *their* voters, to explain why they haven't done jack shit to end the war during the last two years despite the fact that all they needed to do was defund it.

mcg said...

Reagan mysteriously managed to get tax cuts through a *Democratic* Congress; the notion that you need a filibuster-proof supermajority to pull it off is complete nonsense.

You said solid control, not I. I'm disputing that they had that. And Reagan also ended up raising taxes after his initial cut, so let's be careful before we hold him up as a standard-bearer for ramming things through Congress.

Just checking the Roll Call, McCain was the only Republican Senator voting against it; another one did not vote. And they still got only 58 YEA votes. There was a razor-thin majority in the Senate back then, and it took Democrats to pass just about anything.

It just requires making some trade-offs.

Uhh... like a sunset provision?

The Republicans decided to expend their political capital on massive spending increases, new entitlements, and the usual social-conservative horseshit.

Look, you'll get no argument from me about the failure of Republicans to exercise fiscal discipline. If you want to complain about that you're preaching to the choir. But I'm a bit cynical really and I frankly think the spending increases were gonna happen regardless, sunset or no.

mcg said...

So heck I was wrong, McCain didn't go with it, even with the sunset provisions. But with Enzi out as well there were only 48 Republicans. It could not have passed without Democrat support.

Revenant said...

You said solid control, not I.

Right. And they had solid control of Congress. You chose to define "solid control" as "a filibuster-proof majority", which is dippy. The Republicans held both houses by a large enough majority that they wouldn't even need to make every member of their *own* party happy in order to get important legislation past. They could lose all the RINOs and still have a majority. That's solid control.

There was a razor-thin majority in the Senate back then, and it took Democrats to pass just about anything.

They had a 55/45 majority for two years after the 2004 elections. It didn't take Democrats to pass ANYTHING then -- even if the usual handful of left-leaning Republicans voted with the Democrats they still had a majority. There was nothing stopping them from making the cuts permanent then, and they didn't even try to do it.

Uhh... like a sunset provision?

The sunset provision was put in there to give Republicans something to campaign on when the sunset provision ran out. I mean real concessions: Spending cuts to get the Democratic and Republican budget hawks on board, pork projects to bribe moderate Democrats, better committee seats for key Senators, all the usual stuff that the ruling party does when it actually *wants* to pass a bill.

The reason the tax cuts weren't made permanent is simple: if they were permanent, Republicans couldn't use their imminent end to scare people into voting for them.

mcg said...
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