May 20, 2011

Gallup finds — for the first time — that a majority of Americans favor gay marriage.

But the shift was entirely a shift — and it was a big shift — in the views of Democrats and independents. Republicans stayed put.

Conservatives are conservative. You can be smug about that. But independents moved 10 percentage points in one year. Think about it.

132 comments:

Roman said...

If something is wrong, it is wrong. Getting numbers of people to accept it still does not make it right.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

Peer pressure is almost as powerful as hydraulic pressure.

Nothing but time to do its work.

Baaa, baaa, baaa.

David said...

Americans favor martinis made of orange soda and Thunderbird.

Insane?

Yes.

Lincolntf said...

Okay, I'll think about it. The pro-gay marriage zealots, including the MSM, the Dems and many so-called Libertarians, have spent years (particularly the last few) caterwauling about phantom human rights violations, imaginary "phobias" and the "unfairness" of the American people not all getting on the same page and pretending that two men can be "married" in any real sense.
All of that hysteria, hyperbole and misinformation was enough to sway 10% of Independents. Global Warming nutjobs had much more success with the same tactics.

wv: prood

nevadabob said...

The best thing we can do to combat gay marriage is to allow them to do it so they can experience gay divorce, gay child support, gay alimony, gay splitting of assets ... all the NEGATIVE things that regular married men are required to submit to when their partner decides to take half and go on a fuck spree.

I've changed my tune.

I want gay marriage because once they get it, really, the gays will have nothing really left to whine about.

And it's about time they got to experience what marriage is REALLY all about ... taking shit from the hard-working providers and giving it to the leaches.

LarsPorsena said...

Good! Now it's proponents can get it through popular referendums rather than judicial fiat.

Basil said...

Think about it? Okay, thinking about it, that big of a change by independents in that short of time proves how fickle they are. Meh. Independents are the bane of the the Republic. "Independent" is just a code word for "I have trouble making up my mind because I don't really believe in anything." Give me a liberal ideologue any day. At least she is predictable.

Scott M said...

No move on the polygamy front though, I'm assuming? I would like to know the leading explanations for those changing their minds and how their reasoning would differ SSM and polygamous marriages.

MadisonMan said...

David that's an orange Thundertini, not a Martini(which is made with gin)

Ann Althouse said...

"If something is wrong, it is wrong. Getting numbers of people to accept it still does not make it right."

Even if gay marriage is wrong, you could also think it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want. You could also think that many opposite-sex couples are doing something wrong when they marry, but you wouldn't think it was right to tell them they can't marry.

There are 2 -- at least 2 -- questions of rightness. 1. Whether it's right for those other people to do what they'd like to do, and 2. Whether it's right for me to obstruct their exercising their right to choose what do with themselves. I think a good conservative should answer these questions separately.

The same separation of questions works for abortion. I think there are many people who think under question 1, abortion is wrong, and under question 2, I should not obstruct people from making that choice.

I know putting abortion in those questions may seem to reinforce the opposition to same-sex marriage, but it shouldn't. With abortion, question 2 is especially difficult, because those who think abortion is wrong usually believe that the unborn are human beings, helpless and murdered. But same-sex marriage is different. You have 2 adults, with free will, both choosing to do something.

Jon said...

I call bullshit. It was less than 3 years ago that a SSM initiative failed in one of the most liberal states in the country, in a Dem wave year. Opinions don't really change that quickly without some major event.

What's really happening here is the Shy Tory effect.

This poll, and most of these SSM polls, only provide the binary choice of favoring or not favoring SSM. In this climate of intimidation, where law firms are literally more reluctant to defend anti-SSM legislation than al-Qaeda terrorists, people don't want to give a stranger on the phone a response that could get them labeled anti-gay, so they go with the safe, PC choice.

However, when pollsters provide the third option of civil unions, support for gay marriage drops below 40%.

Chip S. said...

Respondents shift among these three categories over time, so the apparent change in the views of "independents" is some combination of actual changes in some people's views and changes in the way people identify their political affiliation.

According to Rasmussen, over the past 12 months self-reported Republicans are up by 3 percentage points and Democrats are down by 2.5 percentage points. If the new Republicans are all former independents, and the former Democrats are all new independents, those shifts could account for half the apparent change in the views of "independents."

Of course, views on gay marriage are not necessarily split completely along party lines, but the general point stands.

LarsPorsena said...

"Even if gay marriage is wrong, you could also think it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want. You could also think that many opposite-sex couples are doing something wrong when they marry, but you wouldn't think it was right to tell them they can't marry. "

Even if incest is wrong, you could also think it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want. Ya think?

Scott M said...

Even if incest is wrong, you could also think it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want. Ya think?

There's a very real, genetic reason to prevent incest...unless it's between two brothers or two sisters. Is that okay?

Jay Retread said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chad said...

Althouse is only for gay marriage because she has a fag son. She is being emotional, not principled or rational.

AllenS said...

OK, I've thought about it and have come to the conclusion that independents don't have much of a moral compass.

Frank said...

Rush is fond of saying that "independents" do not have a firm set of beliefs...this would seem to prove his point.

LarsPorsena said...

"There's a very real, genetic reason to prevent incest..."

Sorry,that is not a valid argument since "it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want".

Chip S. said...

There are 2 -- at least 2 -- questions of rightness. 1. Whether it's right for those other people to do what they'd like to do, and 2. Whether it's right for me to obstruct their exercising their right to choose what do with themselves. I think a good conservative should answer these questions separately.

Evaluating the relative merits of two competing principles in a particular application of those principles is obviously necessary, but that doesn't mean they are separable. To the contrary, they must be compared directly in order to be evaluated.

gerry said...

2. Whether it's right for me to obstruct their exercising their right to choose what do with themselves.

From a timely article by Paul Rahe:

"Marriage is a matter neither exclusively private nor public. It is a private act between a man and a woman that is graced with a public sanction because it serves a public, as well as a private, purpose. ...Society has a stake in the integrity of the institution. It is the crucible within which the character of the next generation is formed. In its absence, if the institution is severely weakened or destroyed, we will have on our hands a generation unsuited to shouldering the responsibilities that come with citizenship. This is no small matter."

We have a right, a duty, to defend traditional marriage as a component of culture that motivates solid formation of individual values and civic morality. It is right to obstruct individuals who wish to sacrifice the institution of marriage merely to gain societal approval for personal behavioral choices.

Scott M said...

Sorry,that is not a valid argument since "it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want".

Nope. You're wrong. I will fight you until the end of the earth (some time Saturday, apparently).

Borepatch said...

Not getting into the "Gay Marriage is right/wrong" debate (full disclosure, I don't care if Jim and Bob tie the knot, and don't think it effects my own marriage one iota), the key bit is this:

But independents moved 10 percentage points in one year. Think about it.

There's a very good chance that the poll was off, and that this is a statistical fluke. This is a big, big shift, and I'll withhold judgement until I see it confirmed by other polls.

Statistics are an infinitely renewable source of mischief in polling (as well as in science: see the Hockey Stick).

Ann Althouse said...

"Even if incest is wrong, you could also think it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want. Ya think?"

Yes, you should think about it separately. And, doing that, you might think that there should be no criminal prosecutions when the participants are consenting adults, but there should be when there is a minor involved. See? It really is a separate question. Saying it is a separate question is not saying the answer should always be leave people alone to make their individual choices. It's just a separate question to be answered intelligently with respect to whatever issue we are analyzing.

LarsPorsena said...

"you might think that there should be no criminal prosecutions when the participants are consenting adults, but there should be when there is a minor involved. See?"

No..no criminal prosecutions? That's big of you. Why can't they marry under the same logic you use for gay folks?

Henry said...

I'm not swayed by the poll. I was already in favor of gay marriage. I have been for as long as I've thought about it.

If something is wrong it is wrong. The large number of people who reject gay marriage doesn't make them less wrong.

I admit I have a fairly narrow view of the issue. I see it as largely a legal matter. People can bond privately, or in ceremony, without any help of the state. The issue is about how the state treats the matter.

For those arguing against gay marriage on moral grounds I would point out that religious ceremonies wedding gay couples happen outside of the legal construct and have happened for years. You cannot stop that.

For those arguing against gay marriage on sociological grounds, I would ask you what you prefer? People living together without legal bonds? Or people who embrace those bonds and the mutual support that they enjoin.

For those arguing a slippery slope. Whoop de damn do. Everything is a slippery slope and in the wreckage at the bottom is some ridiculous outlier. You can do better than that. If you really want to support the institution of marriage you should take it away from movie stars.

bagoh20 said...

Fatigue. Nobody likes being called names for long.

Chase said...

Ann, your comparison between abortion and same sex marriage in your last comment paragraph is disingenuous at best.

While it is not necessary to have a deeply held religious belief in order to believe that abortion is murder, the vast majority of people who do believe it is murder do so because they do have a religious belief about the value of all human life. Whether you consider that fact right or wrong, it is still the truth. And I am not saying that it is "religious" people, simply that the majority of people hold that religious insppired view.

The same is true regarding same sex marriage. There is no point in discussing it with closed minded people such as yourself - facts don't sway here, and in particular, someone who has spent the majority of their life in a profession dedicated to moral ambiguity - paying, or defending both sides of any issue - is really pretty incapable of having a true moral center. The last attorney able to find a moral center was Nicodemus, and that was over 2,000 years ago.

It's not your fault Ann, it's the way you were raised, and the sum of decisions you have made to this point. Thank you for the forum to express views in, but as Roman said, if something is wrong - and changing an institution that is fundamentally and historically without exception about the joining of two genders - and not just of any two people - is wrong. Morally wrong. There is no moral defense for same sex marriage, only the "feelings" of superiority over "bigots" one mistakenly and self-centeredly believes. People can drown out the still small voice of their conscience inside and spinelessly give themselves over to the crowd but it will still be wrong.

Always Remember that the same crowd who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem as hero on Palm Sunday was manipulated by self- serving morally wrong agents into crying out for His death just 5 days later.

Michael said...

I'm pro-gay marriage...wait, no, that's not even true. Honestly, I just don't give a shit. Why the hell should I be for or against preventing two people, who love each other, the ability to get married? It's not my life and it's not my choice...they should be able to do what they want.

Oh, and to the mentally-retarded religious zealots shouting out against this--shut it. Marriage isn't an institution, but it is an absolute joke. Why should we allow two rednecks who are going to produce sub-80 IQ children or a couple of poor people who just want to get married and have 30 kids to take advantage of the welfare system to get married, but not a couple of gay people?

It's wrong. Gays in the US are a class, and not allowing them to get married is a violation of Equal Protection. The only fallacy with this poll is that Republicans are still a bunch of intolerant bigots.

Scott M said...

My opinion on the matter aside, Henry, your arguments also support polygamy. In the interest of consistency, you're fine with that too, right?

Ann Althouse said...

The reason I'm not deleting Chad's comment is that I think it automatically generates its counterargument and the counterargument is more powerful than anything his words appear to be intended to say.

And I'm saying "appear," because I suspect that Chad is a Moby. Yeah, I just checked his old comments. There aren't many, but look here and here. (Search the page for "Chad.")

I think he's a lefty trying to make conservatives looks like assholes.

Michael said...

Scott, how is that possibly an endorsement of polygamy? You're a moron.

Andrea said...

The thing is, nothing is stopping gays from getting married any time they want. And no, I don't mean "to people of the opposite sex" -- please don't bring up that stupid facetious joke. I mean to each other. There isn't any way to stop two gay men or women from getting together, telling everyone they're getting married, having a ceremony (they can even find a participating church if they want all that stuff), putting up a wedding list on Target.com, etc. Gays can even draw up pre-nups and all those other things that make sure the condo and the cats go to the right person in case of a divorce. This isn't the 50s, no one will stop two gays from doing any of that.

The only thing gays can't get is the so-called official state bennies -- tax breaks for married couples, automatic widow pensions, etc. (BTW, if a woman gets a pension and dies does her husband get it automatically transferred over?) They also don't get that pretty piece of paper from the state saying they're married. In other words, they can't have their marriage be automatically put under the scrutiny and control of the state the way heterosexual marriages are.

Gays have it pretty sweet right now. They don't even have to deal with the common-law marriage property thing some states have! (AFAAK.) I don't know why they'd want to mess it up for a chance at a few dollars off on their taxes, but I don't think common sense is at work here -- it's all about power, and not power for gays either.

Jon said...

CBS News Poll. Aug. 20-24, 2010.

"Which comes closest to your view? Gay couples should be allowed to legally marry. OR, Gay couples should be allowed to form civil unions but not legally marry. OR, There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship."

Legal marriage: 40%
Civil unions: 30%
No legal recognition: 25%

http://www.pollingreport.com/civil.htm

When pollsters provide the option of civil unions, it's 60-40 against SSM.

Hence all these polls that don't provide that option are dishonest and worthless.

Comrade X said...

There are 2 -- at least 2 -- questions of rightness. 1. Whether it's right for those other people to do what they'd like to do, and 2. Whether it's right for me to obstruct their exercising their right to choose what do with themselves.

can you people quit hating on SSDI adult babies now?

Lincolntf said...

"It's wrong. Gays in the US are a class."


bah hah hah... So you're saying that what you do with your junk makes you a special "class" of American? What a fool.

Chip S. said...

Why should we allow two rednecks who are going to produce sub-80 IQ children or a couple of poor people who just want to get married and have 30 kids to take advantage of the welfare system to get married

Probably for the same reason we allow irrational, bigoted rants to be posted on the internet. It's too hard to write a law to stop the practice while preserving the rights of the rest of us.

Michael said...

"bah hah hah... So you're saying that what you do with your junk makes you a special "class" of American? What a fool."

Lincolntf, how fortunate we can't all be as ignorant as you. Being gay isn't a choice, but a genetic predisposition. So yes, I would argue that your sexual orientation makes you a class.

I'm sure pricks like you were also against the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, which made it a crime for two gay men to have sex. Stop trying to impose your sick, misinformed views on other people. If you don't like what two gay people do, then ignore them.

bagoh20 said...

"you could also think it is wrong to prevent individuals from choosing the partner they want."

Who the hell is doing that? I don't see anybody who isn't allowed the partner the want, except pedophiles, and me with Lindsey Lohan, because the judge won't leave Lindsey alone.

It's more like wanting the government to recognize you as a lawyer because you passed the Sesame Street Bar Exam. There are definitions and standards required for the government to confer it's approval, The problem is allowing the government to decide who is married.

bagoh20 said...

Finally a protected class I can fake. If only it got handicapped parking.

Scott M said...

Micheal, what's with the arbitrary resort to name calling?

To wit:

People can bond privately, or in ceremony, without any help of the state. The issue is about how the state treats the matter.

Works for polygamy too and is exactly what polygamists are currently doing.

For those arguing against gay marriage on moral grounds I would point out that religious ceremonies wedding gay couples happen outside of the legal construct and have happened for years. You cannot stop that.

Works for polygamy too and is exactly what polygamists are currently doing.

For those arguing against gay marriage on sociological grounds, I would ask you what you prefer? People living together without legal bonds? Or people who embrace those bonds and the mutual support that they enjoin.

Works for polygamy too.

I'm not arguing a slippery slope argument. In fact, I'm not arguing anything at all. I see no difference whatsoever between SSM and polygamy. Consenting adults doing what they please with no need for the state to be involved. Any agreements (insurance, estate, hospital issues) that currently exist for traditional unions can be easily crafted to include multiple-partner unions.

I care not a whip either way as I would have adults make decisions for themselves. All I'm asking for is consistency.

bagoh20 said...

I doubt that "a majority of Americans favor gay marriage."

They are just tired of being called names and fighting about it. A majority simply don't care much.

Lincolntf said...

Fuck you, Michael. All your screaming and hysteria over "bigots" tells the tale. You want, desparately, for everyone in the country to not only pay attention to what you do in your bedroom, but to stand up and cheer. But nobody really wants to, so you cast yourself as a victim of those nasty Southerners. Fucking child.

Henry said...

@Scott M. I don't think polygamy should be prosecuted (outside of various forms of abuse that are also illegal in the straightest of straight marriages).

Should it be made legal? Probably not. But I'm not too worried about it either way. I have polygamous ancestors and somehow life went on. But polygamy is an outlier and unlikely to gain majority approval. And I am generally in favor of these changes coming at the ballot box, not by judicial fiat.

Western culture has a really restrictive notion of marriage -- binary, hetero, and contractual. I don't expect the binary and contractual to change. I do believe the hetero should change -- mainly because of the contractual.

gerry said...

Why should we allow two rednecks who are going to produce sub-80 IQ children or a couple of poor people who just want to get married and have 30 kids to take advantage of the welfare system to get married

Wow. Have you studied eugenics under Hitler or maybe Margaret Sanger?

Michael said...

Lincolntf, I'm not gay. I hate to break it to you, but every straight person in this country doesn't support the denial of legal rights of a class of people that deserve them. You're an absolute asshole. You can say "fuck you" to me all you want, but it certainly doesn't change what you are, and that's an absolute douchebag.

I feel sorry that you're incapable of understanding or having feeling for those who aren't like you. Obviously, you have no friends who are gay and have never met a gay person. Your ignorance is incredibly obvious.

I know Althouse will stay out of a heated argument like this, but she's in the right. Even if her son was straight, I still think she'd be in favor of gay marriage.

Henry said...

@Scott M -- To follow up on your most recent argument (I missed it as I was composing) your entire premise is a normative one. Hetero marriage is "normal", therefore it precludes polygamy. Any other conception of marriage is not normal and therefore can be tied to polygamy.

In other words, you've tied the normative to both gender and quantity. If I change the normative in regards to gender, that doesn't force me to change it in terms of quantity.

Historically hetero polygamy is much more common than gay monogamy. Why do you assume that hetero marriage is not its own advertisement for polygamy?

Scott M said...

All along, for years now, is that a great deal of the arguments and sloganeering done by pro-SSM people seem to want the door opened wide for themselves, but slammed closed on someone that wants more than one partner in a marriage/union/whatever. It has always smacked of inconsistency borne by selfishness and a "I'm getting mine...you go get yours" attitude, which seems to contravene the equality idealism.

Scott M said...

whew...need coffee. Sorry for the sentence fragment.

Chip S. said...

I feel sorry that you're incapable of understanding or having feeling for those who [aren't like] disagree with you. Obviously, you have no friends who are [gay] social conservatives and have never met a [gay person] conservative. Your ignorance is incredibly obvious.

FIFY.

Hoping for a strikethrough capability on the new site.

Luther said...

Marriage really isn't the issue, acceptance is the root issue, always has been. And after years of relentless, and unrelenting pressure, as mentioned by DT 2012 upstream, society is agreeing to a change in the social construct. I think, as also mentioned, not necessarily out of agreement but because many are plain sick to death of hearing about it.

Chip S. said...

This thread needs a dose of Oakeshott:

To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to utopian bliss.

I'm not saying this is a definitive opinion against major changes to a long-lived social institution, but I do think it's a view that should not be summarily dismissed. There is a major gulf between Oakeshott-type conservatives and Benthamite liberals (in the 19th-century sense) on this issue.

Lincolntf said...

What a chump. You "know" a lot of things about me that aren't so. I imagine that's true of just about every other topic you decide to cry and wail over.
Scream "bigot" all you want, twit. It just shows your willingness to co-opt the grievances of people who have suffered real injustice in order to push your silly little social schemes.

Henry said...

present laughter to utopian bliss

There's a good definition of marriage. :)

Let's extend the familiar, the tried, the limited, the near, the sufficient, and the convenient to more couples. That's what I'm for.

Patrick said...

Prof. Althouse:

There is an additional question you did not consider, which I think goes to the crux of at least some (possibly most, but I don't know) of the opposition to SSM: If the behavior is wrong, the next question "should the behavior be obstructed?" is important. However, the battle for some of the DOMA types is: "Who should decide whether the behavior should be obstructed?" Should the courts decide as a matter of constitutional fiat, or should legislatures decide? I think that question is important, and requires more consideration of principles of power, and separation of power than the press usually gives it. If the majority of Americans really do favor gay marriage, this controversy will fade away if that preference is reflected in legislation. If the courts make the determination, we risk another long lasting controversy such as the abortion debate.

Phil 3:14 said...

And in related news gays couples in the Netherlands have not rushed to get married, even though their country was the first to establish same sex marriage.

Data from The Netherlands' national statistics agency showed 15,000 gay couples have married since 2001. That means just 20 percent of gay Dutch couples are married, compared to 80 percent of heterosexual couples, the agency says.

The blog Gruntled Center, written by a Sociology professor, and a self-described Latte-sipping intellectual Democrat, has regularly posted on marriage and related matters. He previously posted on the less than impressive rush to get married by gay couples in Denmark.

only 5000 people (2500 couples) out of 5.4 million people have taken advantage of the law...I think we can get a rough guess of what would happen here if homosexual marriage were legalized across the board. I think that there would be a rush of marriages at first, but it would quickly taper off. The overall same-sex marriage rate would not begin to approach the heterosexual marriage rate.

madAsHell said...

Why would homosexuals want to be married??

Is there something beyond sharing benefit packages, and taxes?

Scott M said...

and the convenient to more couples. That's what I'm for

Bigot ;)

Scott M said...

Why would homosexuals want to be married??

Is there something beyond sharing benefit packages, and taxes?


To move from tolerance to tacit acceptance to full-metal-acceptance.

WV - (shitting you not) "spous"

purplepenquin said...

If marriage is truly sacred, then why not ban divorce?

Chip S. said...

Let's extend the familiar, the tried, the limited, the near, the sufficient, and the convenient to more couples. That's what I'm for.

The question on the table, I think, is why you're for it. Gerry's 8:39 post states the case against gay marriage in terms of what he sees as the repercussions to society. The counterargument sees things in terms of individual rights. The people who bring up polygamy, incest, pederasty, bestiality, and so forth are basically challenging gay-marriage supporters to specify the limits of individuals' claims to marriage "rights."

You're a smart guy. Can you at least sketch out an answer to those commenters without simply dismissing their questions because they seem ludicrous at this particular moment?

RuyDiaz said...

Think about it....

Very well. If the propaganda machine (two days ago on Good Morning America; two gay dads adopt seven children: aren't gays awesome?) succeeds in cementing a majority in favor of homosexual marriage, I'll file it under the many bad ideas a majority of people accepts because it is socially safe to do so. I'm not going to change my mind about it.

Titus said...

This is a great blog...until it goes all gay.

Chip S. said...

penguin, There's no claim that marriage is sacred anywhere in this thread. There are certainly positions based on the morality of homosexuality, but that's not a claim that marriage is sacred.

Michael said...

Lincolntf, you are a sad, sad little man. I actually feel sorry for you.

sunsong said...

“The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision.” ~ Lynn Lavner

ET1492 said...

Andrea gets to the crux of the matter.

Spouses are entitled to a bunch of costly benefits, provided by the government itself and by businesses (employers) forced to do so by law.

Lincolntf said...

Yeah, Michael, I'm a sad, sad, guy. And you're a babbling idiot with a major persecution complex. Fucking ninny.

sunsong said...

Of course the public is realizing more and more that denying gays the right to marry is wrong. The support for gay marriage is only going to grow because there simply is no good reason to oppose it.

The idea that some groups sense of *morality* should be imposed on society is nothing more than wanting social engineering by the wannabe 'morality police.' It's a desire for big government.

What we need, imo, is more people who live by their own principles and less people who want to force others to live by their principles.

Michael said...

Oh, good one lincolntf. Get angry! It still doesn't change what a close-minded, ignorant piece of garbage you are. You are in desperate need of therapy to help with all of your insecurities, which is likely why you are incapable of accepting those who aren't like you.

Again, I actually feel sympathy for you...and those who have to put up with your anger and intolerance. But hey, whatever, call me a "ninny," I could care less...I'm not the one with the personal issues.

edutcher said...

Polls can be skewed in a million different ways and this one is no exception. Jon's point about referenda results is on the money.

AllenS said...

OK, I've thought about it and have come to the conclusion that independents don't have much of a moral compass.

Believe it or don't, it's common knowledge among pollsters that most independents aren't, only about 7 - 10% of them really are. The rest are weak partisans.

madAsHell said...

Why would homosexuals want to be married??

Is there something beyond sharing benefit packages, and taxes?


AIDS. If they kept their pants on, we would never hear of this.

Lincolntf said...

Keep telling yourself that, Michael.
Be on the lookout, those scary bigots are everywhere!!

ET1492 said...

"Western culture has a really restrictive notion of marriage -- binary, hetero, and contractual."

Can you name one "Eastern" society that has a less restrictive notion of marriage, Henry?

I'd say the U.S. and a few European nations are as liberal as it gets as far as marriage is concerned.

Henry said...

@Chip S. Gerry's 8:38 elides the difference between marriage and traditional marriage. All of the pro-marriage arguments in Paul Rahe's quote apply to gay marriage just as easily as hetero marraige. Associating them to traditional marriage is a normative argument, not a logical one.

Indeed, what Rahe's argument brings out as its contradiction is not gay marriage, but single parenthood. It is the abandonment of marriage by people who nevertheless have children that fits his apocalyptic vision.

As for your carnival of vices, I'm bemused more than anything. On what grounds do you protect your traditional construct of marriage from "polygamy, incest, pederasty, bestiality, and so forth"?

Do you differentiate on moral grounds? Why may not I do the same thing?

Do you differentiate on historical grounds? Hetero polygamy has a long and popular history including a shockingly successful experiment (on the civilization side) in the Victorian United States. Exempt polygamy from your history and you have no argument.

Do you differentiate on sociological grounds? Well now we're back to the argument that begins my reply.

Henry said...

@ET1492 -- Think historical, not geographical.

Chip S. said...

Henry, You are welcome to specify whatever grounds you like. All I asked was that you do so. I'm still not clear on what your grounds are, other than that you have a personal preference for one institution over another. You've also completely confused my request for clarity on your part with my own opinion on the subject, which I have not stated because I remain undecided.

An argument that I would find compelling would be an instrumental one, that would explain clearly what the likely beneficial outcomes would be (greater human happiness being a highly desirable one) and why the concerns of those who oppose are insufficient to override the benefits.

So far I haven't seen such an argument.

Carol_Herman said...

That's on par with saying "And, Americans favor a Black guy for president."

Well, we have one. Because McCain was horrendous as a candidate! And, now you still have a horrendous list of losers, who want to grab the nomination.

After 2012 turns in another loss for the GOP, I am sure Karl Rove will come out with "Jeb Bush" ... to retake the stage of NOTHINGNESS.

Paul Ryan DID HURT republicans! Because Medicare is not the same thing as "teacher's unions."

Newt? He was right. But it was on par with Trump using the "F" word.

People get turned off even when an "event" produces some they not only do, but take for granted that they do.

Carol_Herman said...

So, how many marriages will we get with the "pro-gay" stuff? How many women can Rosie O'Donnell marry?

Will Oprah marry now that her show is over?

Some gays just don't advertise.

And, most men still do the "Arnuld pump-up trot." They use their wives as decorative photo trimmings. While they live their lives to their heart's content.

Penny said...

Independents don't need to have a consistent stance on much of anything. They are free to contemplate one issue at a time, as if it were in a vacuum.

It's only in the voting booth that independents need to FORCE RANK the importance of all their vacuum bottles.

T J Sawyer said...

I do wish that Prof. Althouse would face the class when she lectures us.

I find it disturbing that she is always looking out the window at those times.

edutcher said...

Henry said...

@ET1492 -- Think historical, not geographical.

And those societies are now non-existent.

QED

Henry said...

@Chip S. An argument that I would find compelling would be an instrumental one, that would explain clearly what the likely beneficial outcomes would be (greater human happiness being a highly desirable one) and why the concerns of those who oppose are insufficient to override the benefits.

Consider that the desires of gay couples to legally bond themselves is a profoundly conservative idea. Such bonds underly the stability of the culture. Marriage defines mutual obligations between the couple and creates a reciprocal support system between too families.

Consider that the couple may have kids -- whether from previous marriages, adoption, or guardianship. Marriage protects those children. Two parents (of any gender) creates greater financial security, more direct involvement (because more time) in the children's lives by loving and involved adults, and a better support system in emergencies.

As householders the married couple supports the neighborhood and community. They have a bigger stake in perpetuating working institutions and are more likely to invest in them.

The couple being married enjoys greater human happiness (within the realistic expectations we all know). Their extended families are brought together as well. This is where the importance of ceremony does play a role (as opposed to a just legal equivalent). The marriage supported by its witnesses knows its allies for the long haul in sickness or in health till death do us part. In turn the married couple extend their support outward to others.

I see no downside (other than the James Thurber kind).

Phil 3:14 said...

blogger ate my interesting comment from earlier. Will try and recreate.

William said...

Marriage is a social construct. It is not some inflexible, fixed ideal that exists outside of society--except when society defines it as an inflexible, fixed ideal that exists outside of society. It wasn't so long ago that this was the case. Except among British aristocrats, divorce was impossible. You made your bed and lied in and about it....Nowadays the ideal that people strive for is not undying love but an amicable divorce. Perhaps divorce causes as much collateral damage as loveless marriages, but very few people want to go back to a divorce free society. There is consistency in the opinions of those who wish to abolish divorce and ban gay marriage. All others are indulging in the exhilirating joy of making moral rules that do not apply to themselves.....Straight marriage in this country is in a sad state. Maybe gays will refurbish the institution.

Kevin said...

I think the key is, people don't care because they have other things to worry about. So much else has already gone wrong in this country, that may never be rolled back. Gay issues by comparison are just aesthetics. Nobody cares about aesthetics when everything else has hit the fan.

Metaphor: The Challenger disaster was a huge, huge deal for America. Everyone in my generation remembers where they were when they heard about and saw it. I can name at least half the crew off the top of my head. How many schools are named after Challenger crewmen? There was another Space Shuttle that blew up, tho. I don't even know what it was named, without looking it up. It blew up after 9/11. People cared, but...

Moral: when you're primed for major shit, the piddling shit doesn't matter so much anymore. The loss of a space shuttle would hardly qualify in most people's minds as piddling shit, yet, if you look at our behavior, it is so. Gay marriage isn't piddling shit either. But we're seriously looking at the decline and fall of Western Civilization in my lifetime, which would have been unthinkable when I was a child. Some things by comparison just aren't worth getting up in arms about.

Phil 3:14 said...

In a related matter No rush in the Netherlands for gay couples to get married.

Data from The Netherlands' national statistics agency showed 15,000 gay couples have married since 2001. That means just 20 percent of gay Dutch couples are married, compared to 80 percent of heterosexual couples, the agency says.


This if from the Gruntled Center a blog written by a sociology professor and a self-confessed latte-sipping intellectual Democrat.

He's discussed this issue several times. Here's his post from 5 years ago regarding Denmark's experience that saw the same phenomenon.

His prediction then:

I think we can get a rough guess of what would happen here if homosexual marriage were legalized across the board. I think that there would be a rush of marriages at first, but it would quickly taper off. The overall same-sex marriage rate would not begin to approach the heterosexual marriage rate. I don't think that gap would ever be closed.

Oligonicella said...

Michael --

"Being gay isn't a choice, but a genetic predisposition."

Excellent! News on the genetics front. I'm always interested in breakthroughs and am unfamiliar with the discovery of the gay gene or gene complex.

Could you give us the gene designation so I can read up?

Oligonicella said...

Carol_Herman --

"They use their wives as decorative photo trimmings. While they live their lives to their heart's content."

As their wives use them to display their acquired status and accumulate things they couldn't by themselves.

Usury works both ways.

Phil 3:14 said...

Professor;
Can you investigate why blogger has now eaten two of my posts, both of which linked to the blog Gruntled Center and discussed gay marriage in the Netherlands.

I'll try a briefer version:

see here

Palladian said...

"And I'm saying "appear," because I suspect that Chad is a Moby. Yeah, I just checked his old comments."

Not only is "Chad" a Moby, but "Chad" is the same person as "Jay Retread", who is the same person as "LE Lee", the old troll who coined the hilariously inapt and lame "Althouse Hillbillies". What's especially funny is that he/she wrote some comment under the "Jay Retread" name, then quickly deleted it and immediately posted again as "Chad", deciding that this thread called for his/her Moby persona more than his/her personal attack troll persona.

LOL. Once you move your blog, it will finally be possible to keep track of all these trolls (through more robust comment management on the new platform) and find out exactly who they are and where they come from.

ic said...

Obama's millionaire tax, $200,000 for single, $250,000 for a married couple would do much more to un-marry the gay married couple than anything else. If I were gay, I would settle for "civil union" in which I could enjoy benefits but not have to pay married penalties.

May be it's the brilliant Obama's sneaky way to stick it to gay millionaires.

Phil 3:14 said...

Professor;
Blogger has now eaten three of my comments regarding this subject. Each referred to a post at the blogger blog The Gruntled Center. something is wrong here or you don't like my comments. I assume the former.

Conserve Liberty said...

In order to treat homosexual and heterosexual partners equally we should remove all the tax, asset transfer, insurance, legal and (other) incentives of marriage from heterosexual union.

Then we're all just people choosing our partners.

dbp said...

I think Althouse entirely misses the point with this:

"1. Whether it's right for those other people to do what they'd like to do, and 2. Whether it's right for me to obstruct their exercising their right to choose what do with themselves. I think a good conservative should answer these questions separately."

Marriage is not a private contract between two consenting adults. It is between two consenting adults and the state. There are rights and benefits to marriage and they exist because it is in the broadest social interest for procreating couples to have stable relationships. Homosexual couples are biologically incapable of reproducing with each other and therefore the state has no reason to encourage such relationships.

Brent said...

William,
I do not have the time nor do you have the willingness for me to debunk your ridiculous points. lets just accept that you and most same sex marriage supporters believe in not only the superiority of their positions but also the superiority of themselves above the ones who believe that opposite gender marriage is the only valid form of marriage.

There is just this - historically and for numerous benefits to society and it's future, marriage has always been about the relationship of two different genders. it has never - despite any other restrictive law or rule throughout history (whether racially motivated, class motivated, et al) - been about the relationship of two people of the same sex. Never.

But since you know how much better than everyone who ever lived before you is, how much wiser than those who disagree with you, no matter their number, so much more empathtic, so much more reasonable, you and your kin will plunge ahead unthinking into something that history will prove to be far different in results than what you think it will be..


For those in the future reading this, say starting 40 years from now, put me down for I told you so.

mccullough said...

Gay marriage is not a problem. The number of kids born to single moms is a problem. People should focus their efforts on the second issue.

Lincolntf said...

Lemme guess mccullough, we need more abortions?
Better dead than unwed!

Blue@9 said...

Polygamy vs. Gay Marriage

There's a very good governance-based reason for not allowing polygamy, which is that it's not a bilateral relationship. Gay marriage is no more difficult for the government to keep track than hetero marriage. But polygamy introduces multiple individuals into the occasion.

Man A marries Woman B. Then marries Woman C. Are B and C married too, or are B and C unrelated except for the nexus through A?

Rich Man A wants some tax breaks. Goes down to the homeless shelter, picks out a dozen women and pays them $200 each to sign marriage licenses. Likewise, each of the women can "sell" themselves to numerous men seeking tax benefits.

See why polygamy is bitch, regardless of the moral or sociological problems?

Blue@9 said...

Others:

Man is on life support. He's got three wives, and like most women they can't agree on anything. Who gets to make decisions about his care? Is there a "first wife" primacy? Do we need to put that in statute too?

Man dies without a will. He's got two wives. What if the oldest wife has been married to the guy for 30 years and the newest wife for only a month? Do they split his estate equally? Or does the court split it according to the length of each respective marriage? If they're in a community property state, are the wives also married and the estate held equally between both of them?

How many more laws will we have to generate to deal with multilateral marriages? As with most things, Too Many.

Gay marriage is easy to deal with. Polygamy is a bitch.

Joanna said...

Why would homosexuals want to be married?? Is there something beyond sharing benefit packages, and taxes?
Want to be married? I dunno. Be given the right to choose between marriage and other options available to other couples? *That* I can understand.

Homosexual couples are biologically incapable of reproducing with each other and therefore the state has no reason to encourage such relationships.
I'm a woman who cannot have children. Should I be denied the right to marry a man?

Historically hetero polygamy is much more common than gay monogamy. Why do you assume that hetero marriage is not its own advertisement for polygamy?
Wha??
--

Forget all of the gay marriage talk. After reading about how damn important the institution of marriage is, I have a question. Can anyone give a reason that HETEROSEXUAL marriage should be legal?

dbp said...

"Homosexual couples are biologically incapable of reproducing with each other and therefore the state has no reason to encourage such relationships.
I'm a woman who cannot have children. Should I be denied the right to marry a man?"

There is a benefit to simplicity in law. It would be rather intrusive for the state to assure fertility and coerce breeding. Most heterosexual couples reproduce and the law is thus aimed.

Blue@9 said...

"Can anyone give a reason that HETEROSEXUAL marriage should be legal?"

See, when you put it that way, it destroys the notion that men are in charge of anything. Marriage would barely exist at all if we had any say in the matter.

mccullough said...

As more people have gay friends, relatives, co-workers, etc., the support for gay marriage increases. This will not be an issue in 20 years.

Lincolntf, I didn't say anything about more abortions. Although I'd trade public funding for abortion for the elimination of Medicaid, WIC, TANF, SNAP, SCHIP, and the school lunch program.

Unfortunatley, social conservatives and nanny-state liberals would never agree to this.

Lincolntf said...

Oh for crying out loud, who doesn't have a gay friend, relative or co-worker? This whole "when we get to know them we'll like them" crap is a sham. And this isn't really about "Rights" either, it's about the psychological fragility of people who have apparently been afflicted with a defective gene that programs them not to reproduce (that is the "genetic" argument, right?).

Phil 3:14 said...

Can anyone give a reason that HETEROSEXUAL marriage should be legal?

Of course, the "devil" is in the details of the meaning of legal.

If you mean certain tax breaks, visitation rights etc. then I would say those aren't issues unique to marriage.

So I'd rephrase the question:
Can anyone give a reason why marriage should stated sanctioned?

Chip S. said...

Henry, Thanks for your thoughtful response.

mccullough said...

Lincolntf,

Why do you care if gay people marry each other? What skin is it off your ass? Other than inflicting a psychological injury on your sensibility, what's the problem? Are gays asking you to pay their mortgage, pay for their kid's school lunch, healthcare, etc.?

Who fucking cares. You're a nanny-state whiner who wants to boss other people around. What's the difference between you and Nancy Pelosi?

TEOTWAWKI said...

Marriage was around long before the state was, so the state should stay the heck out of it.

The problem with gay "marriage" is the attempt to co-opt a term with religious/historical meaning. If gay people want to partner up, why is not a civil partnership agreement of some sort, with the state honoring that agreement, sufficient? Why do they need the WORD "marriage"? That seems to be the problem.

Isn't that exactly what happened in Vermont - they received rights, but not the WORD. Thus, they weren't able to bug the religious types with misuse of the word, so they weren't happy.

wv (I kid you not): contort. This is exactly what the gay lobby is trying to do with the term "marriage."

Lincolntf said...

mccullough, you're a nanny state enabler who wants to rewrite the dictionary (and all of human history) in order to make the widdle kiddos feel good about themselves.

dbp said...

"Are gays asking you to pay their mortgage, pay for their kid's school lunch, healthcare, etc.?"

Well yes, sort of. There are real consequences to this: SSI spousal benefits is one obvious example. It would certainly become the law that any business which offered spousal benefits would have to offer them to all employees who qualify via marriage. Many businesses already offer this, but a change in marriage law would require it of all of them.

It is more than hurt feelings which is driving this and anyone who understands the issue knows this.

mccullough said...

No Lincolntf, I just don't tell other people how to live their life when it has absolutely no effect on me.

You're weak. People who aren't afraid of other people have no desire to tell them how to fuck or marry or what to do with their lives. You're scared of other people. Just stay in mansard, Nancy.

Lincolntf said...

I'm not the one telling people how to live, you are. I don't care what anyone does in their bedroom, but to conflate what they do with one of the longest standing institutions in history is absurd. The fact that the issue (always couched in pathetic Civil Rights language) is relentlessly pushed by the same dishonest and manipulative worms who force all the other reality-denying social bullshit onto the country is what annoys me. I don't give a fuck if Johnny does Joey, so don't legislate that I have to.

mccullough said...

Lincolntf,

How does Johnny marrying Joey affect you? It seems to be an affront to your notion of the traditional and sacred institution of marriage. Get over it.

I'm all for getting rid of the other social bullshit, as well. But Johnny and Joey aren't in my pocket and they're not in your anus or your church. So give it up. Quit telling people who they can marry. No one tells you whether you can get married.

And social conservatives are among the biggest recipients of welfare. Look at the per capita welfare benefits of Alaska and Wyoming. Social conservatives, as a group, are welfare queens.

When you look at the economic prosperity of social conservatives as a group in the U.S., or the lack of it, you have to wonder why they cling to their silly notions.

chickenlittle said...

Are gays asking you to pay their mortgage, pay for their kid's school lunch, healthcare, etc.?

Well yes, sort of.


I would also point out that there were real societal costs to fight the scourge of AIDs and HIV. For example, funding for research increased dramatically for those afflicted beginning under Clinton: link. I recall a time when it would have been a shoe-in to get any chemistry research grant funded which promised to cure AIDs using energy efficient buckeyballs (or some combination thereof). That's a lot of cancer and heart disease prevention untreated.

I am not begrudging the costs at all, and perhaps gay marriage will prevent some of the afore-mentioned costs. I mean, that's now water under the bridge. But just don't pretend (and using your pathetic "breeder-hostile" rhetoric) that the gay revolution didn't have real, widespread monetary and societal costs for everyone.

Blue@9 said...

The problem with gay "marriage" is the attempt to co-opt a term with religious/historical meaning. If gay people want to partner up, why is not a civil partnership agreement of some sort, with the state honoring that agreement, sufficient?

If those rights and benefits are congruent with those of regular marriage, sure.


I don't see why people are so up in arms about "protecting marriage" from the gays in the first place though. Marriage is not just a religious institution--it's certainly been found in every culture since recorded history.

There is religious marriage and then there's civil marriage. Getting married in church is entirely different from signing the paper at the county clerk's office. It's been that way since forever, but now that the gays want to get the civil, secular kind, it's somehow a threat to religious notions of marriage? Since when?

If someone could articulate for me a rational, secular reason for saying "straights yes, gays no," I'm all ears. The economics argument (it means we have to pay more SSI!) might fly, but logically you'd eliminate all marriage if that were compelling.

What is the rational, governmental interest in denying gays marriage license? (you know, one that doesn't apply to heteros?)

Lincolntf said...

What is the rational, governmental interest in granting homosexuals special status as a "class"?

Phil 3:14 said...

that should read:

So I'd rephrase the question:
Can anyone give a reason why marriage should state sanctioned?

William said...

@Brent: You completely misread my statement. I don't pass any judgement, pro or con, on gay marriage, divorce, or polygamy. I merely state that marriage is a social construct. Its parameters are not fixed by God but by society. If a majority of people (not a majority of Supreme Court Justices) believe in gay marriage, no fault divorce, polygamy or whatever, my faith in democracy is such that I will go along with the will of the people......I don't know any revealed truths on these subjects. Perhaps divorce should be made more difficult. Perhaps community property laws are unfair to wealthy men. Perhaps gays should be allowed to marry. I'm willing to let the mills of democracy grind out these issues.

mccullough said...

Chickenlittle,

I agree with your remarks about AIDs research. Certainly gay male sex was a huge part of the spread of AIDs. Poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking is a huge part of the increase in heart disease.

I don't think the government should put much money into finding cures for preventable diseases. And I don't think it should be spending taxpayer money to prolong the lives of senior citizens either. But none of this has to do with gay marriage. There will be pre-marital and extra-marital sex no matter what.

David said...

McCullough,

I object to the misuse of the language. Using the word 'marriage' to describe a relationship which is entirely something else is like using the name 'martini' to describe a concoction made with orange soda and Thunderbird. You are lying. That is all.

chickenlittle said...

William wrote:
I'm willing to let the mills of democracy grind out these issues.

That's much fairer than Althouse, who has pretty consistently allied herself with the adjucation of the issue if not outright judicial intervention in support of same-sex marriage.

rhhardin said...

We're all going to hell tomorrow because God is mad at the gay people.

Incidentally the family radio audio stream seems to be running its usual lineup. You'd think there'd be something special for the end of the world.

No Name said...

I thought about it. Gay marriage is still wrong.

Palladian said...

Oh you wacky pretend conservatives, still arguing about this, still intent on using big government to prop up your failed social engineering model, still relying big government and taxes to pay for your funny little religious institutions.

There is only one solution to the gay marriage "problem": The government needs to get out of the marriage business completely. The State has no right to sanction (both the positive and negative sense of the word) what should be an entirely private, religious and/or romantic institution. That way, churches or institutions that wish to marry two men or two women can do so, and those that don't wish to marry two men or two women or otherwise, don't have to. If people want to make it all legal-like, they can enter into some sort of legal contract with each other.

Why do so-called conservatives and so-called liberals not see that this is the best way to protect their institutions, by not allowing the government to define them at all? If the supposedly ancient, sacred, and holy union of heterosexual matrimony is as all-powerful and important as people claim it is, then it will survive fine without the State propping it up and attempting to define it.

I personally don't like the government engineering society, or meddling in religious matters, or telling me what I can and can't do with another consenting adult. It's amusing that so-called conservatives become just like so-called liberals on this issue.

Lincolntf said...

Yeah palladian, not pretending that boys are girls will be the death of us all. Dimwit.

Blue@9 said...

What is the rational, governmental interest in granting homosexuals special status as a "class"?


What special status? All we're asking is that the government cease discriminating against people for no valid reason. If you're a real conservative you should understand that. On the other hand, if you're just another nanny-stater in disguise, you'll come up with any excuse to prop up the arbitrary government decisions that you personally like.

Renee said...

More representative that we don't value the underlying public policy that individuals should be raised by their mother and father in a healthy relationship. It happens.

BTW in British Columbia, Canada individuals from sperm donors are getting more rights to their family tree.

The way the issue of gay marriage is framed, asks what I think of gay people, marriage between a man and a woman addresses a completely different issue, because a man can get a woman pregnant.

Unfortunate, we can no longer see that.

Lincolntf said...

Gotta love the "if you're a real conservative..." bullshit. Is Bernie Sanders a real conservative? Harry Reid? John F. Kerry? They all share your views, so they must be.
Idjit.

Michael said...

Lincolntf, you are a giant, moronic piece of shit, who is incapable of backing up any of your stances with good reason.

Obviously, you don't know anyone who's gay. Are you intolerant and, seemingly, completely uneducated? Yes. There's no reason to be against gay marriage. Fucking prick.

Lincolntf said...

Aww, poor Michael is sad again. Of course I have gay friends, you idiot. Fortunately, they are mostly from MA where the "gay marriage" charade came to fruition years ago (by dint of Judicial fiat per LGBT activist Margaret Marshall) so they're well aware of how stupid I feel the whole thing is. A few even agree with me.

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

Michael. There is no such thing as 'gay marriage'.