October 12, 2009

"I am sick to goddamned death of the Obama administration. Give me an honest enemy any day over a snake in the grass."

A comment over at Pam's House Blend, where they are talking about the White House adviser who apparently conflated the gay community and "the Internet left fringe" and said something that has gotten paraphrased as "those bloggers need to take off the pajamas, get dressed, and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult."

86 comments:

John Lynch said...

Well, who is "the internet left fringe," then? Doesn't it have to be someone?

AllenS said...

Sorry, Pam, but this is above his pay grade.

Jason (the commenter) said...

He gets the Nobel Peace Prize one week, the next week he's declaring war on Fox News and gay bloggers.

AJ Lynch said...

When I read the comment threads at the Wapo, I am very surprised [and heartened] at the number of commenters who have turned against the Obama admin on other issues.

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

(Damned stuck keyboard)


e gets the Nobel Peace Prize one week, the next week he's declaring war on Fox News and gay bloggers.

Another example of competence and and priorities brought to you by the Obama-Pelosi-Rangel Administration.

miller said...

Is it too early to laugh uproariously?

Be careful what you wish for, is all I can say.

WV: eysses, Gollum's seeing orifices

Kev said...

(the other kev)

Boy, Pam is really stirring up the wing nut chum, isn't she?

traditionalguy said...

When he can,the amazing Mr Obama has a first tendency to honor good Muslim traditions.That is good news, unless you are a Homosexual, or a woman, or a Christian, or an Atheist, or especialy a Jew. It works for him.

former law student said...

In the mornings I often post wearing Bermudas.

AllenS said...

Onions?

rhhardin said...

If you scythe your lawn instead of lawn mowing, sometimes you'll find an intact but surprised snake atop the windrow to your left.

The scythe design not only piles grass neatly, but also snakes.

The lesson of this as a metaphor is unclear.

Der Hahn said...

...realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult.

Post-partisan joined post-racial under the bus.

Hoosier Daddy said...

realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult

And here just a mere year ago we were told Barrack Hussein Obama (Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmm) was elected with 'a huge majority' and a 'mandate for change'. Now we're a closely divided country.

The narrative changes more often than my shorts.

Alex said...

I think Althouse is concern trolling here.

traditionalguy said...

The new typing school exercise: "Now is the time for all good men to came to the aide of their Communist Ruler for Life".

Fred4Pres said...

Why doesn't the White House just call them faggots or fairies? I mean, they just love channelling this Rahm Emanuel tough guy crap all the time (or perhaps they get their clues from "Ari Gold" on Entourage.

Oh here is an Ari Gold Lloyd comment.

Lem said...

..conflated the gay community and "the Internet left fringe".

where does the hard hitting SNL fit in to this vast left wing conspiracy?

MayBee said...

and realize that governing a closely divided country is complicated and difficult."

I bet this is what Karl Rove would have loved to have said to young Senator Barack Obama, who came into the public conscience knowing exactly what Bush was doing wrong and said so loudly and frequently.

Pogo said...

Face it, gays:
You fucked up; you trusted him.

Dark Eden said...

I hope they all realize they're racists now.

MadisonMan said...

I am heartened that the anonymous WH official has poked a hornet's nest with the old "Some people" rhetorical crutch.

If "some bloggers" are doing something you don't like, gee, why not name them. It's not hard.

It would be so nice to purge the "Some people" crutch from DC.

Leland said...

I blame the Mormons.

MayBee said...

What I would love to see come of this is the Gay Rights movement separating themselves from Democratic party politics.

I donate to the Human Rights Campaign and fervently believe gay people should be able to get married legally. But I'm a fiscal conservative. I don't like getting appeals for gay rights that bash "right wingers".
They should be more independent, and welcome more people to their cause.

DADvocate said...

Reminds me of what Malcolm X had to say about Goldwater and Johnson.

Malcolm X considered Johnson a "fox" and Barry Goldwater a "wolf."

Malcolm X writes in his autobiography, "In a wolf's den, I'd always known exactly where I stood; I'd watch the dangerous wolf closer than I would the smooth, sly fox. The wolf's very growling would keep me alert and fighting to survive, whereas I might be lulled and fooled by the tricky fox."

Fred4Pres said...

Fiction becomeing fact:

Maybe the White House is channelling Don Draper from Mad Men? Draper made the "you people" comment last night when Salvador, the closeted gay guy, rebuffed the advances of some gay Lucky Strike executive, and Draper/Sterling Cooper fired Salvador for it (the implication being why didn't Sal just reciprocate the queer advances and take one for the "team" since he queer anyway).

That is what the WH is saying. Why don't gays just shut up and let them take care of health care. They don't have time to cater to the queers now, they are elected. Of course, Mad Men is fiction and set in 1963.

ricpic said...

Does this mean that christians and capitalists rank as high as cocksuckers to Obama?

DADvocate said...

I see another Andrew Sullivan column coming.

Roger J. said...

looks like Obama is screwing the gay community--so my question for the pissed off gays--what are you going to do about it? vote republican next election? sit the next one out? outrage ultimately has to express itself in political action to have any true meaning. Looks like the next step is up to the gays.

Bissage said...

I’m still trying to get used to the idea of a community that has no gate.

chuck b. said...

It would be nice if Republicans could make some overtures to the gay community. Is there really no common ground?

We're one of the very few, if not the only, liberal constituencies likely to ever protest this president. There are conservative gay groups and moderate and conservative gay bloggers in place... Take advantage of it.

Elliott A said...

Governing is very difficult...when you have no idea what you are doing.

Why do we keep hearing the term "gay rights"? As far as I can tell, they have all the same rights I do. (Hetero speaking) They are seeking special treatment and dispensations, not "rights". Whether they are deserved or proper is another debate. (Despite my general conservatism, I have no problems with marriage, civil unions, whatever. I do object, however, to groups asking for "rights" that are not, or groups that try to take "rights" from someone else.)

former law student said...

As far as I can tell, they have all the same rights I do.

Well, you can pick a spouse you're sexually attracted to. Gays can't just yet.

m00se said...

YOu know, it was Bush's non-support for gay marriage that put Sully over the edge against him - how much do you want to bet that this will be Obama's Waterloo for Sully?

Republican said...

Dear Gay Community:

There are many Republicans who support your desires to enjoy marriage, family health care, children, etc.

We don't care that you're gay-we just care that you're liberal!!

Elliott A said...

@fls- Gays can marry any member of the opposite sex they choose, same as me. I can't marry several members of the opposite sex, or someone of the same sex. Tell the poor folks in Utah there is a difference.

peter hoh said...

The gay community really needs to learn from the pro-life community. They helped elect W., didn't complain much, and then their patience was rewarded.

Beth said...

Gays can marry any member of the opposite sex they choose, same as me.

But why would any gay person do that? That's a silly, specious argument. If that's all you have, you have nothing.

Beth said...

so my question for the pissed off gays--what are you going to do about it? vote republican next election? sit the next one out?

Good questions, all.

Depends on the office, and the Republican, as far as voting GOP. I await the new GOP that isn't in thrall to the religious right and perpetually apologizing to Rush when someone fails to "get" his nuanced, deep, extremely sophisticated satire. I won't hold my breath, though.

I'll support candidates who challenge the Democratic incumbents - some primary challenges would be useful at least to unnerve incumbents who do lip service to gay constituents but never come through for us.

And yes, I'll sit out an election if there's no good option, or vote third party.

We've long since quit donating to any organization that has shown up at the Obama White House for their cocktails and photo ops. Screw them. They don't represent us.

peter hoh said...

Gays can marry any member of the opposite sex they choose, same as me.

Arianna Huffington, Suzanne Craig, and Gayle Haggard were not available for comment.

Steven said...

Beth, the law guarantees to people who like alcohol and to people who like marijuana alike the chance to drink booze, and forbids them alike from smoking pot.

Equality before the law does not carry and never has carried a guarantee that everyone's desires will be equally open to gratification before the law, merely that everyone's legal options will be the same before the law.

The question is not equality of rights for gays and straights; the heterosexual man and the homosexual man already have equal rights. It is about the scope of universal rights, which is restricted for both equally. The fight to allow men to marry men is a fight to make both heterosexual and homosexual men freer, to expand the number of rights for those who are already equal.

(We can, of course, instead discuss the problem in terms of equality of the sexes. Women, unlike men, are not free to marry women, which is an inequality. Similarly, men, unlike women, are not free to marry men. But part of the reason the ERA was defeated was precisely to preserve this specific inequality.)

montana urban legend said...

There are plenty of ways to hold the Obama administration to account for not pushing ahead quickly enough with its promises to gays. But is the headline really necessary? I mean, (feigns exasperation) like, hello? D-RAMA!

daubiere said...

"Gays can marry any member of the opposite sex they choose, same as me. "

ah theres that dumbass old argument again. marriage is a sham rackett run by the government but the so-called small-government conservatives are totally happy with that.

marriage is not mentioned in the constitution. therefore the government shouldnt be able to regulate marriage in any way.

im surprised no one here voices this position.

Beth said...

Nice how that "equal" thing comes out to heterosexual people do get to marry in a way that meets their desires and gay people don't. That's equality for you.

Beth said...

Just while we're on the subject of liberal objections to the Obama Administration, I'm not enthused about his visit (finally!) to New Orleans on Thursday either. It's all photo ops: visiting schoolkids, doing a Town Hall (on my campus; I had to reschedule a lecture for it). No interest in the wetlands, the canals and the faulty pumps the Corps has installed, nothing important.

He is a uniter, not a divider: both Harry Shearer (liberal) and Steve Scalise (La. GOP rep) have pointed out that Obama will be zipping out of his abbreviated stop here for an evening fundraiser with wealthy libs in San Francisco. What kind of hope do they get for their support?

Beth said...

Okay, even while I'm irritated by him, I am glad Obama is coming to UNO's campus and not the over-privileged Tulane. Even if it means there'll be nowhere to park Thursday.

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

Beth--I always appreciate your viewpoint--thanks for sharing it, espcially so because you provide it based on your personal opinion and not as a member of a particular group. Obama it seems to me is a polarizing figure, not unlike most politicians, who think only in terms of voting blocs, raising money, and winning the next election. Fortunately for the republic the worst that can happen is that there are only at worst seven more years of this administration--and the republic did survive the alien and sedition acts of 1792 and brought in the democrats.

Just Lurking said...

"They should be more independent, and welcome more people to their cause."

I agree. I think they have a lot more supporters that are right leaning than they know. For some people, when they realize that "the gays" are their sisters, their brothers, their kids, and sometimes (surprise!) one of their parents, love trumps politics.

Big Mike said...

@Roger, not to mention the Sedition Act of 1918, which brought the Republicans into power.

Big Mike said...

@Beth, glad to see your comments on this issue. Personally, though, I'm hard pressed to imagine you voting Republican under any circumstances, so you are pretty much stuck.

Beth said...

just lurking - that's the best argument for being out, and living one's life in the light, not the shadows. I wish that for those of us who want to serve our country honorably.

Beth said...

RogerJ - we keep surviving politicians, left and right. That's our strength. I've never been wooed by a politician; I work my side of the spectrum, but I don't have a lot of enthusiasm about the political class, on either side of the aisle.

Beth said...

Big Mike, you're pretty much right, except on the local level. I've voted GOP on local offices. I think it's interesting that people on the left and the right are dissatisfied with our parties.

elHombre said...

(3:29) "Gays can marry any member of the opposite sex they choose, same as me."

But why would any gay person do that? That's a silly, specious argument. If that's all you have, you have nothing.
------------
(5:28) Nice how that "equal" thing comes out to heterosexual people do get to marry in a way that meets their desires and gay people don't. That's equality for you.
------------
(5:06) [A]h theres that dumbass old argument again.... [M]arriage is not mentioned in the constitution. therefore the government shouldnt be able to regulate marriage in any way.

If the argument were "dumbass" and/or if "desires" actually had something to do with legal rights and equality, there would be a significant body of constitutional juridical authority supporting gay marriage.

"Dumbass" and "unfair" don't cut it logically or legally.

Beth said...

elhombre - we make our laws. They don't come to us from a cabbage patch. People argue for what those laws should be, and yes, sometimes they make dumbass, specious arguments.

elHombre said...

@Beth: What in the world is that supposed to mean?

Revenant said...

Nice how that "equal" thing comes out to heterosexual people do get to marry in a way that meets their desires and gay people don't. That's equality for you.

Well, yes, Beth. Just like there is equality among taxpayers. The ones who want to pay high taxes are able to pay high taxes, and the ones who want to pay low taxes... also get to pay high taxes.

Equality under the law means everybody gets to do the same things, not that everybody gets to be happy.

montana urban legend said...

It's probably supposed to mean that people can recognize their rights in greater detail over time. The courts are forced to catch up with the people by interpreting the laws that the people will into force as a reflection of those rights.

Even Antonin Scalia isn't as antagonistic to the existence of democracy, as contemptuous of its legitimacy, or as deaf to its needs, as elHombre is.

Forgive me if I've misunderstood you, Beth. But having listened to elHombre's snide and paternalistic shots against social progress (and other things) over the last few months, I believe I can offer a more responsive explanation for his reply than he would dare to.

But it would be nice to see if you could be at least as successful in opening his steel cage of a mind as anyone else might hope to be. Good luck with it, though.

montana urban legend said...

See, here's an example:

If the argument were "dumbass" and/or if "desires" actually had something to do with legal rights and equality, there would be a significant body of constitutional juridical authority supporting gay marriage.

What Homeslice is missing is that the nature of homosexuality wasn't very well understood by those courts at that time. Any courts which would have been in a position to make these rulings would have had to understand homosexuality well enough to apply the arguments for gay marriage, for that body of law to exist.

Homosexuality has been a social taboo in America for, basically as long as the country's been up and running. Inspired by Rome we were, but founded by Puritans. So where would there have been any impetus to publicize the (now largely self-evident) argument that homosexuality is not a choice? What reason would have existed for clarifying that observation?

None. Not in law anyway.

So now that the gay marriage issue has come to the forefront, it becomes clearer and clearer that denying homosexuals the right to marry denies them the same right to pursue happiness that everyone else would be denied if they were forced to marry only within their own sex or gender. This is evident because people now seem to recognize that they, as heterosexuals, don't choose whom to become to attracted to. Ergo, why should we assume that homosexuals do?

How happy do you think elHombre would be if the laws of the land restricted his choice of marriage partners only to other men?

(I get the impression that elHombre hasn't enjoyed very pleasant long-term relations with significant others, so that might not be the best example. But I could be wrong. For whatever reason, he might be too cranky and joyless to use as a personal example, but the rest of you should get the point).

In any event, unpersuaded by the fundamental human dignity deprived to gays by denying them of rights that others enjoy, elHombre seems to rest on this specious argument that "desires" have nothing to do with legal rights and equality.

But if that were the case, and if the majority of the people in this country were forced to enter into institutions grounded in love and attraction with people for whom they felt neither, how quickly do you think those laws would have changed? How quickly do you think a long-held right would have been newly recognized within this action as a sound basis for doing so?

Faster than a New York minute.

But elHombre's from Texas, so maybe he works at a slower pace.

montana urban legend said...

Sorry, make that "only allowed to enter into institutions grounded in love and attraction with people for whom they felt neither" instead of "forced to enter" in the last paragraph.

Again, these rights will be recognized and the arguments utilizing them will develop sufficiently for the courts to catch up on the gay marriage issue. Even if Homeslice is still coming to terms with the reality of why this will, and should happen, sharper people are moving ahead. Some people are just more perceptive. The legal articulation of what more and more people are increasingly capable of perceiving will happen though - just like it happened in the case of civil rights.

peter hoh said...

For Elliott and El Hombre, here's a line from a sign at the DC march: If Liza (Minnelli) can marry two gay men, why can't I marry one?

Your argument -- that gay people can already marry someone of the opposite gender -- is rather similar to a "defense" of marriage that was offered when the issue was interracial marriage. That is, white people can marry white people, and brown people can marry brown people, so there is equality before the law, and no reason to remove the laws banning interracial marriage.

The law changes, and those changes come from people. That's what Beth meant when she wrote that laws "don't come to us from a cabbage patch."

elHombre said...

@Pompous Montanus aka Montana Urban Legend:

Thank you for your multiple posts sharing your professional legal opinion as well as offering me the benefit of your professional psychological assessment. (8:17,8:36, 8:47)

This is probably the point at which I should mention that I was putting my ass on the line politically in the early 1980s at the behest of the gay community to bring about the repeal of "Infamous Crime Against Nature" laws in my home state.

Presumably, this was before you buggered your first Montana ewe and prior to the time that obsessive trolling on the internet by insignificant pipsqueaks like you became a substitute for actually making a difference.

Again, thank you for sharing.

montana urban legend said...

Hey, Homeslice - No problem!

But I wonder, how successful were you with that project? I mean, I take it things are a bit regressive in Texas compared to a lot of other places around the country, so it must have been a difficult challenge.

But your graphic comments regarding bestiality and my own alleged insignificance lead me to believe that you are somewhat bitter about the episode.

Either that, or I did manage to make a more coherent argument for the legal rights of gays to marry than you thought you could.

I mean, despite the lack of any difference you say I could make with just a keyboard, an ethernet connection and a solid mind - you seem, for some reason, a bit jealous.

But the last thing I would want to do is get off-track with too much legal and psychological analysis. So instead I'll just say, once again, no problem!

Oh, and you're welcome.

elHombre said...

@Peter Hoh: The argument offered by Elliot is not mine, which has nothing to do with its efficacy.

The discussion was about rights, not laws. As it stands today the vast majority of states have laws prohibiting gay marriage. In the domain of laws, as opposed to rights, then, it seems particularly fatuous to argue as though "the people" favor same sex marriage. Those laws clearly didn't come from a cabbage patch.

Prohibitions against miscegenation are not analogous to prohibitions against same sex marriage.

Revenant said...

Your argument -- that gay people can already marry someone of the opposite gender -- is rather similar to a "defense" of marriage that was offered when the issue was interracial marriage.

It is also similiar to the "defense" of marriage offered when the issue was bestial marriage. In fact, it sounds like every argument of the form "you're not allowed to marry X, because X is a Y". Some of those arguments are entirely legitimate; others are not.

So offer something better than "you sound like those old racists" as an argument, peter.

elHombre said...

Pompous Montanus wrote (9:49): But your graphic comments regarding bestiality and my own alleged insignificance lead me to believe that you are somewhat bitter about the episode.

Actually, the "episode" resulted in the successful repeal of the law. It wasn't a milestone for me, but I felt pretty good about it. BTW, Texas is not my "home state."

Your "legal argument" is not a legal argument. It is simply speculation about what may or may not come to pass. Your exalted opinion about it is part of the Lake Wobegon Effect that characterizes your posts here and, presumably, your life. Has no one bothered to inform you that you do not occur as a Renaissance man?

As for your insignificance, it has little to do with me other than that I recognize a pipsqueak when I am exposed to one one.

Cheers.

Auggie said...

Daubiere-

re: "marriage is not mentioned in the constitution. therefore the government shouldnt be able to regulate marriage in any way.

im surprised no one here voices this position."

As a conservative I totally agree, but a little context is important. The governments only real interest in marriage is the creation of a growing group of future tax payers in the most stable environment, and heterosexual couples have the best shot at that...homosexual couples don't. Please note I'm not talking about caring loving families, I'm merely talking about reproductivity. I think the government should be out of it completely, but just understand that's why it's in. That point if view could make the battle easier, and could take advantage of the polling that shows significant national support for the concept of gay marriage as long as it's not called "marriage". Get the government out the equation completely.

peter hoh said...

Prohibitions against miscegenation are not analogous to prohibitions against same sex marriage.

Laws against interracial marriage are among the most recent marriage laws to change. It's not unreasonable to look back at the arguments that were made as that change was taking place. This is not the same as suggesting that homosexuality and race are analogous.

Among other things, Loving was decided when popular opinion was still very much opposed to the idea of interracial marriage. In 1968, according to this graph, 73 percent of Americans surveyed disapproved marriage between blacks and whites.

This speaks directly to the idea that the majority MUST approve before some change is made. However, I don't wish to see same-sex marriage come about because of a court case. I want to see it come about because of legislative action and referendum.

Rev, it's not just the argument that X cannot marry Y, it's the disingenuous cuteness of "gays can marry, as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex." Such an argument addresses the fundamentals of this debate as well as the "If you are opposed to abortion, don't have one" bumper sticker addresses the concerns of pro-lifers.

It's not conducive to a bumper sticker or a placard, but it's clear to me that marriage has already been fundamentally redefined in a way that makes it hard to justify the exclusion of same-sex couples.

For better or worse, marriage today is the temporary union of two people who want to be united as such, subject to termination by either party, without cause. This is a far cry from the cultural and legal understanding of marriage a few generations ago.

A man could divorce his wife in order to marry the woman with whom he is having an affair, and there's not a state in the union that would prevent them from marrying.

Somehow, we tolerate this. But the idea that two men or two women could marry raised enough concern to bring about the Defense of Marriage Act and numerous state constitutional amendments prohibiting same sex marriage.

montana urban legend said...

"Has no one bothered to inform you that you do not occur as a Renaissance man?"

Insofar as you are a nobody, I suppose so.

But other than you and the other nobodies here, no, people don't seem to feel this need to say the things about me that it makes you feel better about yourself to say about me.

"As for your insignificance, it has little to do with me other than that I recognize a pipsqueak when I am exposed to one one."

Why not stick to professional opinions, seeing as how no one's paying you to write anything they would read for pure interest alone?

Or are there other accomplishments you wish to inform us of? If so, revealing them might make your crankiness seem less notable. Because you sound like a very lonely person. And that could catch the attention of not only pipsqueaks such as myself, but people with a more clinical interest in your grouchy and generally anti-social nature.

If you're more than just "above average" Homey, why become so bothered by others? At some point, claiming an interest in just deflating pomposity doesn't cut it.

And just out of curiosity, is there a judges' panel or some other metric for identifying what constitutes something extraordinary?

I have a feeling that if you actually took some pride in your accomplishments, you would become less bothered by the ordinariness of mere mortals. Mere mortals who offer the "ordinary" argument that you still couldn't seem to bring yourself to disagree with or rebut - despite giving a hard time to everyone else who attempted it.

An ordinary argument can still be a good one and a successful one. A man as humble as yourself should realize that, Homeslice.

peter hoh said...

Auggie, a few years ago, I thought that civil unions might be a possible compromise. It's not just that gay people got uppity and started insisting that marriage mattered. The other side dug in, too.

Quite a few of the state amendments prohibiting the state from recognizing marriage as anything but the union of one man and one woman took it another step and prohibited the state from recognizing anything like civil unions.

Here's the language from the second half of the Virginia amendment:

This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

Rudy said...

Am real tired of this "marriage" card being played.

So you also can't marry your child or your parent (of either sex, by the way), and there are some other rules like that. And in this country, the rules also say one at a time.

So if you want some sort of legal arrangement with someone you care about that doesn't fit these rules, call it something else and stop whining.

Anga2010 said...

These arguments aren't about equality of hetero/vs/homo sexuals. It really comes down to equality of the sexes.
If you believe, as I do, that women and men should have all the same rights (and responsibilities) as citizens of these United States, then I ask you: If a woman can marry any man she wants to, why would you deny this right to any man?
I say this as a conservative who is not gay, not that there is anything wrong with that.

Beth said...

Oh, Rudy's tired of this! Everyone change the subject, okay?

jkmack said...

you know, I guess Ann Althouse is doing real pennance with the posts she has put up the last month or longer.... but the fact of the matter is, we would all feel much better if she would just scream out one cathartic statement to the effect that she fucked up voting for BHO, and will work tirelessly to correct that monumental error..... very cathartic indeed :P

Beth said...

jkmack, why would that make you feel better?

I'm disappointed in a lot of things Obama has - and has not - done. I would have voted for Hillary were I allowed to vote in the primary. But I don't regret voting for him. That's no guarantee that I'll vote for him again. That is very much on hold. But I find it hilarious that the Re-Education Squad wants to hear Althouse recount, publicly.

Sounds pinko commie-ish to me.

peter hoh said...

Rudy, a couple of generations ago, it was not possible to legally wed your mistress. Now it is.

See, the law changes.

And if guys can go around marrying their mistresses, then it's hard to play the sanctity of marriage card.

When I started debating this issue 15 years ago, same-sex marriage was not recognized by any governments, state or national.

Now, four U.S. states and half a dozen nations perform same-sex marriages. It's slow progress, but it's progress.

Nate Silver crunched the numbers and concludes that Mississippi will be the last state to approve same-sex marriage, in 2024.

peter hoh said...

In fairness to Nate Silver, it's a model, not a set of predictions.

Here's a better link to Nate Silver's number crunching on the topic of same-sex marriage.

It's probably way too optimistic, but it's an interesting model.

Revenant said...

Rudy, a couple of generations ago, it was not possible to legally wed your mistress. Now it is. See, the law changes.

Er, what? Men have been marrying their mistresses for thousands of years. It's even in the Old Testament, for pity's sake.

Now, four U.S. states and half a dozen nations perform same-sex marriages. It's slow progress, but it's progress.

Yes, it is. And it would be best if it happened that way, too -- democratically, not by judicial fiat.

Jamie said...

Hear hear, Revenant - as I'm reading down this thread, I'm seeing lots of people up in arms about gay people's inability to marry whom they choose in most states, coupled with the observation that law changes over time. But the thing (ISTM) that got the whole DOMA mess going was that those who subscribed to this point of view weren't interested in going through the legislative process to enable the change; they wanted instant change by judicial fiat. DOMA was the Defense of Marriage Act because the perception from the other side was that marriage as generally understood was under attack. (Many of us breeders tended to take exception to that.)

Is it an injustice to have to wait around for what you believe is an idea whose time has come? Well... the point of that old but true chestnut is that if an idea's time has come, nothing will be able to hold it back. We're getting there, darn it. Attacking society's fundamental understanding of marriage is, for me and I infer many others, vaguely to seriously threatening, because we don't and can't know what the unintended consequences of such a change will be; ANY change in normative marriage, including taking government out of the picture altogether (which in principle I think could be a good idea, but which I still hesitate over because of the unintended consequences thing), is something I believe we should approach with caution.

Todd said...

I have followed this thread through and have a couple of comments (for what they are worth).

This first is based on the comments of montana urban legend:

I have often felt that the acceptance of gay marriage would be the end of traditional marriage and it is currently known. My logic is as follows (and anyone please feel free to point out any flaws): Currently marriage is between two peoples of the opposite sex (ignoring some restrictions like parent/child & brother/sister). Eventually same sex unions (regardless of what they are called) will be accepted and legal everywhere (I feel that this is inevitable). Once this is accepted and legal, what would be the legal grounds to stop three men or three women from getting married? If the new definition of marriage is divorced from procreation, why not let three men or three women join in a union? Once that sort of arrangement has been sought and won in court, then it will come back around to mixed sez groups. From an equal rights perspective, if three men or three women can enter into a legally recognized union, why not two men and one women or two women and one man? At the end of this road, any combination of group marriage will be recognized, from one man and one woman all the way to X men and Y women.

And this second is just my comments:

I also think that the single largest obstacle to same sex unions (besides those proponents of this construct that insist on calling it marriage instead of something else which really tends to be received like a stick in the eye to the traditionalists) is the government. The last thing the government wants while social security is going bankrupt is to have the rolls of widowed spouses swell with same sax partners that will receive spousal benefits until they pass away. The tax implications are none to easy either with additional dependent mixes to help shrink the list of single filers.

former law student said...

it would be best if it happened that way, too -- democratically

Somebody needs to study up on the tyranny of the majority. If the majority decided that gays' destiny would be as a source of protein, only the judiciary could stop it.

And sure same sex unions would not have the same characteristics as opposite sex unions. I'm sure Princeton, Harvard, and Yale are different now compared to what they were before they started admitting girls. But the goal of equality of access became more important than maintaining tradition.

Beth said...

Yes, it is. And it would be best if it happened that way, too -- democratically, not by judicial fiat.

Revenant - what about a combination of lawmaking and court rulings? For example, would a court eventually have to decide whether states have to accept the marriages performed in other states? What rules govern that now - if a heterosexual couple marries in a state where the can get a license and marry on the same day, or in a state more hospitable to the age of the couple than their home state, does their home state have to accept the marriage as legal? Will that issue eventually result in same-sex marriages being legal in states that don't allow them now?

Revenant said...

Somebody needs to study up on the tyranny of the majority.

Not applicable in this case.

There are two supposed rights at issue here:

(A): The right to have one's marriage recognized by the government and enjoy the corresponding benefits.

(B): The right to have the laws that govern us determined through majority will, except in cases where the law would violate an inalienable right (e.g., freedom of speech).

Opponents of gay marriage want to violate right "A". Proponents of gay marriage who favor achieving their goals through judicial fiat want to violate right "B".

The key difference is that "B" is an actual right and "A" is something gay marriage supporters made up. Opponents of gay marriage aren't violating anybody's rights. Many proponents of it are. I, myself, vote in favor of gay marriage. But I don't delude myself into thinking anybody has a right to have the government recognize their marriages. That idea is bullshit.

If the majority decided that gays' destiny would be as a source of protein, only the judiciary could stop it.

And it would be good if they did, since unlike the right to legal recognition of gay marriages, the right to life really does exist.

Revenant said...

For example, would a court eventually have to decide whether states have to accept the marriages performed in other states?

To the best of my knowledge, states are not obligated to recognize marriages performed outside of the state. A marriage is a license, and state licenses aren't automatically transferable.