June 21, 2011

"The state does not recognize domestic partnership in a way that even remotely resembles how the state recognizes marriage"

Writes Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel R. Moeser, reported in the Journal Sentinel:
"Ultimately, it is clear that (the law) does not violate the marriage amendment because it does not create a legal status for domestic partners that is identical or substantially similar to that of marriage. ," Moeser wrote.

In 2006, Wisconsin voters approved with 60% of the vote a constitutional ban on both marriage and a "legal status identical or substantially similar to marriage" for same-sex couples. Wisconsin Family Action, a group that supports marriage as being between a man and a woman, filed suit against the law in September.

It argued that the state-recognized partnerships for gay and lesbian couples are "substantially similar" to marriage and therefore banned by the state constitution.... In May, Republican Gov. Scott Walker asked Moeser to allow the state to stop defending the law against the suit because he believed it violated the state constitution.
There will be an appeal, of course. Instead of commenting, I'm giving you a poll:

Assess Moeser's decision:
It's a sincere but not very good attempt at legal analysis.
It's a sincere and fine example of legal analysis.
It's pure politics, and it's bad politics.
It's pure politics, and it's good politics.
It's a mediocre mix of law and politics.
It's an excellent interweaving of law and politics.
  
pollcode.com free polls

88 comments:

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

If the choice were available, my vote would be: "'Substantially similar' is too vague, and so the problem is with the amendment itself."

Unless "substantially similar" is a legal term of art and I don't know the meaning (which is certainly possible), the term is too vague, and all but begs for this to be decided by the whims of a judge.

And then decided again by the whims of another judge.

And then...

gerry said...

Wow. Wisconsin approved a constitutional SSM ban? I did no know that.

How many heads exploded in Madison?

Coketown said...

How many heads exploded in Madison?

Don't vacuums tend to implode?

Carol_Herman said...

Funny, how when a fella brought a ladder to a teenager's window, and the two of them eloped. They'd knock on a judge's door ... to get married.

Woman gave up her white dress dreams. But she escaped her father's house.

While judge's get only a limited role, actually, in marrying people. And, it's not even legitimate if you haven't been to city hall, where you bought your license.

There's nothing wrong with UNIONS. They're non-discriminatory in places where they become law. And, over in France, where they are ... lots of couples are choosing this method.

Still, ya can't do it with more than one partner. Because bigamy is still a crime. And, it invalidates marriages, no matter how sincere the couple are when they "vow" themselves to each other.

And, you can't burn women on the funeral pyre. Even if this is dicated by your customs. And, you want to claim a religious exemption.

The whole crapola about this stuff is pure "IN YOUR EYE" politics! It's a shame. Because, just like Rock Hudson did, the handsomest of homosexual men still prefer what their looks attract. Which is promiscuity.

Oh, Oscar Wilde said men could marry in a whore house. But then they had rooms that catered to "tastes." And, had nothing to do with being legal.

At least when you hear this crap, you know what party is saddled with the misfits.

t-man said...

I can't comment or vote because I haven't read the opinion yet.

I want to bring up a meta-issue, though. It is a bad idea to have Dane County judges sitting singularly and ruling on the constitutionality of laws. As I understand it, these judges are elected soley by the people of Dane County, and Dane County skews far left compared to the state as a whole. The better solution would be to have a separate court composed of judges elected in statewide elections, such as the Commonwealth Court in Pennsylvania) to rule on such matters.

rhhardin said...

I'm surprised that substantially similar would be approved; a very large part of the oppposition is just defending the word marriage, not a civil arrangement.

Dictionary original-intentionalists.

Fred4Pres said...

You tell me Ann, does it or doesn't it?

clint said...

Not enough information.

What does Wisconsin "domestic partnership" look like?

If it's like an "all-but-name" style civil union, then it pretty obviously violates the amendment.

And "substantially similar" sounds like an extremely stringent standard. The whole point of a domestic partnership law is to provide something "similar" to marriage, isn't it?

clint said...

I'm surprised that substantially similar would be approved...

The voters were given a choice of a straight up or down vote on the amendment as is.

They didn't have the option to vote this down, but instead enact an amendment that just protected the word "marriage."

t-man said...

Having skimmed through the opinion now, it seems full of the exact same legal hair-splitting that the words "substantially similar" were probably intended to avoid. I found it weak and unconvincing.

E.g., reasoning (1) that because everyone has the ability to own property as joint tenants, the fact that only married couples and domestic partners get that benefit automatically means that the law is not really substantially similar to marriage, or (2) although the privilege against spousal testimonial privilege is extended to domestic partners, that doesn't really count because there are other types of tesimonial privileges, (attorney-client, priest-penitent).

There are page after page of such meaningless drivel.

Chip S. said...

I thought that Vaughan Walker's decision was tortured, but this one is simply laughable. Agree or disagree, the intent of the voters is pretty damn clear in both CA and WI. The disdain that those two judges have shown for duly enacted constitutional amendments and plebiscites is appalling.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Well, that was surprising. Those dread words "Dane County" set me up to expect a piece of tendentious hackwork on the order of Judge Walker's Prop 8 ruling-- but (just from a quick skim) Moeser really seems to have nailed it. If you too are pressed for time, the part to read is at the very end: a very long list of the specific ways in which Chapter 770 domestic partnerships differ legally from marriage. Though the summary earlier on of the doubletalk offered by the Amendment's advocates during the campaign is good too.

Marshal said...

There's something vaguely familiar about this tactic. Here's the list of lefties who objected to Obama's decision to do this: .

Browndog said...

Again-

How do you "prove" you're gay?

What safeguards are in place to keep people from fraudulently claiming they're gay, just to receive benefits?

Why are "domestic partnerships" limited to alleged gays?

Why does the government fuck up everything it touches?

mark30339 said...

Many excellent comments here. If the domestic partnership [see http://tinyurl.com/3lvdeb4] were made available to households of adult siblings, and parent/adult child relationships and similar combinations, I could support the idea. I see no reason why people with gay affections should be the sole beneficiaries.

Fred4Pres said...

Here's my poll:

What do you do when you see an Althouse poll?

a. I think, great, Ann has the best polls evah!
b. I find them annoying and leading.
c. Whatever crack and trooper say is how I am going to vote.
d. Ann never includes the obvious answers(s).
e. b, c, and d.

Trooper York said...

I was having a discussion with a very good friend of mine about gay marriage. Specificly as a praticing Catholic how I felt after the Archbishop of New York came out against it.

My position is that I don't care if a "civil marriage" is the law of the land as long as the government doesn't force any religion to have to perform marriage ceremonies in their places of worship. You can have your gay marriage if you want at city hall or a catering hall or anywhere you damn well please. You just can't force your church, temple, synagogue or mosque to hold the ceremony or lose their tax exemption.

If the activists would agree to that proviso than I think it would be eminently feasible to get everyone to support it.

But they won't agree to that.

And if they say they would they would be lying.

Henry said...

From the article:

In June 2009, as part of the state budget, Gov. Jim Doyle and lawmakers approved the partnership benefits for qualifying couples. They include some but not all of the benefits married couples receive, including allowing domestic partners to take family and medical leave to care for a seriously ill partner, make end-of-life decisions and to have hospital visitation rights.

This benefits package is the legal status claimed to be "identical or substantially similar to marriage"?

Good grief. It's a benefits package. I'm with the judge on this one.

David Smith said...

I know that nobody cares, but IMHO:

Marriage is a religious sacrament - the state (or State) should have no part in it. The whole problem would go away if the State/state would butt out and issue "Domestic Partnerships" to all regardless of genital status. Those who want to be married could then petition the religious body of their preference.

Fred4Pres said...

As usual, Trooper is giving you all pearls.

Browndog said...

Read up on why the state of New York "hit a snag" in it's unstoppable gay marriage legalization.

I'm not anti-gay. It's none of my business.

But it's time people wake up to the fact this "movement" has been co-opted and driven by an agenda...

deja vu all over again....

Trapper Townshend said...

You just can't force your church, temple, synagogue or mosque to hold the ceremony or lose their tax exemption.... But they won't agree to that.

Trooper, are churches in Massachusetts forced to perform gay marriages?

Trapper Townshend said...

If the activists would agree to that proviso than I think it would be eminently feasible to get everyone to support it.

What nonsense. If "the activists" included a proviso that places of worship not be forced to hold gay marriages, "everyone" would support gay marriage? That's it?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

I know that nobody cares, but IMHO:

Marriage is a religious sacrament - the state (or State) should have no part in it. The whole problem would go away if the State/state would butt out and issue "Domestic Partnerships" to all regardless of genital status. Those who want to be married could then petition the religious body of their preference.

That's all well and good as long as marriage only involves two people and no one else.

It doesn't.

The law has to get involved when thngs involve children, money, death, powers of attorney, and all sorts of other matters. People split up and people die, and they very often don't make their wishes known before they do or leave a trail of people ready to get along and compromise afterwards- where the law has to step in, marriage as a legal and governmental function is necessary.

(I'm generally* supportive of gay marriage, BTW, it's just a short-sighted argument that we should just make marriage a religious institution in which the state has no say.)

- Lyssa

* I agree with everything Trooper said. They won't stop there, and that bothers me.

BarryD said...

Lyssa, the law can still be there to enforce contracts and settle disputes, just like in business and other arenas. That's the part of "marriage" that you're concerned about, right? You're right to be concerned about these things, just as in business, real estate, etc. The law serves a vital purpose there.

But "marriage" is not the issue. That IS between two people. Note that the law allows divorce -- but it enforces certain contractual obligations. Marriage itself, or the choice to end it, is between the two people.

I think that's what a lot of us mean when we make statements like that. Let the law do what the law is needed for, but keep truly personal matters sacred.

Trapper Townshend said...

I agree with everything Trooper said. They won't stop there, and that bothers me.

Lyssa, when in the USA has a place of worship been forced to perform a gay marriage?

Carol_Herman said...

There aren't enough gay people in the USA, to make this a profitable gambit.

But for lawyers and florists, they're always looking for new niche markets.

While the massive EPIC FAIL of our MSM ... keeps driving this story. Because, otherwise, all their talking heads would have to unzip. And, pee on the cameras.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Paul Zrimsek said...

Those dread words "Dane County" set me up to expect a piece of tendentious hackwork on the order of Judge Walker's Prop 8 ruling-- but (just from a quick skim) Moeser really seems to have nailed it. If you too are pressed for time, the part to read is at the very end: a very long list of the specific ways in which Chapter 770 domestic partnerships differ legally from marriage.

Thanks, Paul! Yes, I agree. I still think "substantially similar" is pretty vague, and gives too much power to the whims of a judge; but Judge Moeser lined up arguments, not whims. Here's the list, for those too busy to chase it down. (Split into multiple posts to fit within Blogger's limits.)

(1) Spouses acting jointly for political purposes are considered an “individual” rather than a
“committee” for purposes of compliance with the registration requirements of political
committees, groups, and individuals. Wis. Stat. § 11.05(10).

(2) Spouses of political candidates are exempt from certain contribution limits to the
candidate spouse’s campaign. Wis. Stat. § 11.26.

(3) A spouse is included in the definition of “immediate family” when the term is used with
reference of a candidate. Wis. Stat. § 11.501(9).

(4) Spouses may obtain joint fishing licenses. Wis. Stat. § 29.219(4).

(5) Spouses qualify for certain reductions in tuition for schools within the University of
Wisconsin System and the Wisconsin Technical College System. Wis. Stat. §§ 36.27, 38.24.

(6) An elderly spouse can participate in the authorized meal programs. Wis. Stat. §§ 36.51,
38.36.

(7) A spouse can transfer a tuition gift certificate in his/her name to his/her spouse to pay all or a portion of nonresident tuition or academic fees, study-abroad program fees at any University of Wisconsin System institution or college campus. Wis. Stat. § 36.53.

(8) Surviving spouses of Wisconsin veterans are, upon death, eligible for burial in Wisconsin veterans’ cemeteries. Wis. Stat. § 45.61(2).

(9) Burial allowances are available for spouses of Wisconsin veterans who die without sufficient means to defray burial expenses. Wis. Stat. § 45.84(1).

(10) Un-remarried spouses of deceased veterans are eligible for loans under the state veterans housing loan program. Wis. Stat. § 45.33(c).

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

(11) Un-remarried spouses of veterans who died on active duty are eligible for short term assistance for subsistence and health care. Wis. Stat. § 45.40(2m).

(12) Un-remarried spouses of deceased veterans are eligible for personal loans from the state. Wis. Stat. § 45.42(2). 50

(13) Spouses and surviving spouses of veterans are eligible for admittance to veterans’ homes. Wis. Stat. § 45.51(2).

(14) The State cannot enforce a lien on a decedent’s home to pay for costs owned for long term community support services if the decedent has a surviving spouse. Wis. Stat. § 46.27(7g)(6).

(15) A spouse is included in the definition of “relative” for purposes of Chapter 28. Wis. Stat. § 48.02(15).

(16) A child may be adopted by a husband and wife, or by the husband or wife of a person who is a child’s parents. Wis. Stat. § 48.82(1).

(17) The State cannot obtain a lien on the home of a nursing home patient to pay for costs of nursing home care if the patient’s spouse is living in the home. Wis. Stat. § 49.496(2)(b).

(18) Marital status is a consideration in equal opportunities for house. Wis. Stat. § 66.1011.

(19) A spouse may control the final disposition, including the location, manner, and conditions of the final disposition of their deceased spouse’s remains. Wis. Stat. § 154.30(2)(2).

(20) Spouses may claim exemptions when marital property is subject to levy, execution, or sale in satisfaction of consumer debt. Wis. Stat. § 425.106(2).

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

(21) Cancellation and non-renewal of an auto insurance policy is prohibited based on marital status. Wis. Stat. § 632.35.

(22) Insurers offering group health benefits plans must offer special enrollment periods to allow persons who marry coverage-eligible individuals to enroll. Wis. Stat. § 632.746(7)(a).

(23) Former spouses may elect to continue receiving health insurance previously received through their spouses. Wis. Stat. §§ 632.897(2)(b) and (9)(b).

(24) A presumption that all property of spouses is marital property. Wis. Stat. § 766.31(2).

(25) Subject to certain exceptions, each spouse has a present undivided one-half interest in each item of marital property. Wis. Stat. § 766.31(3).

(26) Only spouses may be parties to a marital property agreement, which is enforceable without separate consideration. Wis. Stat. § 766.58(1).

(27) The ownership interest and proceeds of a life insurance policy owned by one spouse are generally deemed marital property. Wis. Stat. § 766.61(3)(a). 51

(28) A deferred employment benefit attributable to the employment of a spouse after marriage is generally deemed marital property. Wis. Stat. § 766.62(1).

(29) A spouse may bring a claim for breach of the duty of good faith imposed on the other spouse if breach causes damage to the claimant spouse’s property. Wis. Stat. § 766.70(1).

(30) Upon request of a spouse, a court may order an accounting of the spouses’ property and obligations and may order the name of the requesting spouse added to documents reflecting ownership of marital property. Wis. Stat. §§ 766.70(2) and (3).

(31) If marital property has been or is likely to be substantially injured by a spouse’s gross mismanagement, waste, or absence, the other spouse may seek a court order to limit the offending spouse’s management and control rights in the marital property or to change the classification of the property (among other remedies). Wis. Stat. § 766.70(4).

(32) If a person fails to provide for support of his or her spouse, the spouse may file an action to compel support. Wis. Stat. § 767.61.

(33) A court may require a former spouse to pay maintenance to his or her former spouse. Wis. Stat. § 767.61.

Anthony said...

@Browndog, straight people can get a domestic partnership in wisconsin as well. But why would they when they have marriage.

Trooper York said...

Trapper you just don't get it.

Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean that isn't what the gay community will eventually demand. They will. They will demand everything. Just like any other special interest group.

Look at this way. I don't think it is any of my business what you believe in your religion. I don't have to be a member of that faith or that paticular congregation if I don't want too. I mean some religions think if you eat a pork chop you going to hell. I wouldn't want to join that temple. But I wouldn't want the government to pass a law that said I had to respect the beliefs of people who love pork chops and that we had to serve them in the church cafeteria. That's their right.

The original position was that we needed to pass civil unions. Then it became gay marriage. Eventually it will be that every church, temple and synagouge would not have the option to refuse to perform gay marriages if they want to maintain their tax emptions. That is the end game.

If you are trying to say that it is not you are simply lying. Period.

Trooper York said...

Once again I have no problem with gay marriage as long it does not mandate compliance in violation of religious principles regardless of whether the religion is Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Morman or Muslim.

Mary said...

"Eventually it will be that every church, temple and synagouge would not have the option to refuse to perform gay marriages if they want to maintain their tax emptions."


Hold on to those special privileges you enjoy, Trooper...

Hold on tight!

Trooper York said...

I will give you a simple example.

In New York State they passed a law that legalized gay adoption. Fine as far as it goes. But then they said that anyone who was involved in the adoption process had to not discrimate against gay couples or individuals who wanted to adopt. Catholic charities had been handling adoptions since the founding of this country. But the state said they could not place adoptions if they did not follow the rules that they felt violated their religion. So Catholic Charities stopped handling adoptions at all.

Will the state say that all churchs, temples and synagouges must allow gay marriage in violation of their religious principles or not have marriage cermonies at all. Or lose their tax deductable status because public policy demands that they follow what the government (and even the majority of the people) demand.

Or can those religions be true to their principles however wrong headed you think they might be?

You know the answer to that Trapper
Townshead.

Mary said...

"But then they said that anyone who was involved in the adoption process had to not discrimate against gay couples or individuals who wanted to adopt."

Imagine that.
Placing a perfectly normal child with two perfectly normal parents, who are ready, willing and able to take his care on.

And then insisting that he be placed in that home, with no discriminational limitations attached!

The GALL of these gay people. Who do these citizens think they are??

Trooper York said...

And here is Mary to give you your answer.

Someone who follows their religious beliefs be they be Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Mormon or Muslim is getting a special priviledge.

That's it right there.

Mary said...

"So Catholic Charities stopped handling adoptions at all."


So much for caring about the poor orphaned kids, eh?

Just think of the quitting they'll do if they lose that coveted tax-exemption status.

Imagine. Only the ones who are in it for all the right reasons will prolly continue being Catholic. (not!)

I mean, without the tax exemptions and licenses to discriminatate, why the heck would anyone CHOOSE to remain Catholic anyway? (echoing Trooper...)

Trooper York said...

I am not saying it is wrong for gay people to adopt. Many of them are fine parents. I am saying it is wrong to force a religious charity to place children in violation of their principles.

Of course that is a distinction without a differance to Mary.

Mary said...

"Someone who follows their religious beliefs be they be Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Mormon or Muslim is getting a special priviledge."

Lol.
Tax exempt status for gay organizations? Nope.

The legal right to discriminate against private others who don't share my personal beliefs? Nope.

Sorry Troop, hun. I'm Catholic too. Be there even if my institutions were taxed too. You vacating the pews if your right to legally discriminate against "lessers" is challenged?

Sorry pal. We'll miss you, but we will go on...

Mary said...

"I am saying it is wrong to force a religious charity to place children in violation of their principles."

And I am saying, if Catholic gay people want to step up and also participate in society, and God's work, you shouldn't be such a quitter.

Think of the children. Not the gay ones who are so easy to write off. Think of the STRAIGHT kiddos missing out on good homes because Catholic charities couldn't comprehend their mission going on without the requisite discrimination.

Come back home, when you're ready, Trooper. We'll leave a light on for ya.

Trooper York said...

I like the way you twist it Mary. You are of course entitled to your opinion. And it is the opinion of the people who believe in gay marriage. You would dictate how religions are practiced even if you don't belong to that religion. Because you know best. The government knows best. Your foolish superstitions, rules, Korans, Bibles are just antiquated fossils to be tossed aside because you don't think it should be that way.

And thank you for proving my point. The eventual goal of the people who advocate gay marriage is that every religion will have to conform to the demands as you set them forth and give up their "special priviledges" of what they had formerly chosen to believe.

That is the stark reality.

Trooper York said...

Freedom of sexual preferance must trump freedom of religion.

There you go.

Mary said...

Whasssamatter Troop? Mama called?

You only comfortable debating non-Catholics, like the Professor, who are overly indulgent to religious respect, to make up for their own lack of faith?

I'd bet my rosary beads, and see you an ave or two, to think that Catholics and citizens can't honestly disagree as to the role of our Church's influence on discriminatory society.

We don't need the tax-exempt status to remain independent. Why do you cling so strongly?

Preach the word, and they will follow.

Mary said...

Freedom of choice, not freedom of sexual preference, you mean.

You make your choices, let others be free to make their own as well? That's what Jesus taught -- he didn't "force" anyone to follow him and discriminate against "lessers", and remember what he said about God and mammon anyway...

"They'll have theirs. You'll have yours. And I'll have mine... and together we'll be fine."

You know, my people took to craggy rocks on islands to keep their faith. They didn't quit so easily as you, just because their club membership to discriminate against others was revoked, or they didn't get special tax-exempt status to encourage the work to continue on.

Mary said...

"Freedom of sexual preference must trump freedom of religion."

ps. Guess what? Just like multiple marraiges/divorces in our society, you can have ... BOTH!

Just don't expect any special favors from others, that is. Especially "lesser" others who don't have the right to do that, or even exist, in your eyes, apparently.

Trooper York said...

Mary I am not afraid to debate you at all. You are part of a long line of liberal Catholics who don't accept the doctrines and belief's of the church. I am sure that you like many of these ultra-liberal Catholics would be happy to place children with non-tradional households and you would be more than happy to set them up with an abortion while you are at.

You are entitled to those beliefs and even to believe that makes you a good Catholic.

You are the opposite side of the coin to Mel Gibson and the Latin Mass fanatics.

Hey but enjoy your sense of superiority and your belief that your way is the right way.

I don't know if my way is the right way. It's not the way for a lot of people in a lot of other religions. I don't think it is the governments place to tell them what to do. You do. That's the differance right there.

Mary said...

"I like the way you twist it Mary."

And I like the way you shake it, brother!

(Who says incompatible thoughts means two people can co-exist thoughtfully under the same big tent?)

Browndog said...

Like I said: agendas...

Eh, Mary?

Mary said...

"You are part of a long line of liberal Catholics who don't accept the doctrines and belief's of the church."

Really? Tell me what parts of those docrines and beliefs I don't accept exactly?

(Hint: be sure you fully understand the Church's position on these issues, and what my personal practices are, before you go casting that stone with your specked eyes...)

You simply assume superiority, and then when you don't automatically receive it, well by golly, there's got to be something wrong with ... the other guy!

Nice cheap shot on abortion too. Tell me, do you really use a baby's life, and death, to prove some point about how attached you are to those promised privileges?

If you're threatening to "quit" because you can't discriminate with tax blessings, will you encourage abortions too in your rebelliousness?

I think you need to look in a mirror. You, not me, is the one telling governments what privileges they should allow, according to our shared religious dictates.

I'm confident enough in my faith that I know the real messages have nothing at all to do with lobbying governments for the legal right to discriminate against others, and get a tax break for doing so.

Mary said...

"I don't know if my way is the right way."

Maybe talk to your priest, a nun, or other religious clergy.

Your way is not the right way, not according to Church teachings.

And to foist your own personal errors on us all, via the government ... that's not the American way either.

Trooper York said...

By the way you can't have mulitple marriages in the church. In theory of course. In reality there are many when the people pay for an annulment. Not to say that doesn't happen. Corruption has been in the church since Peter slipped an extra
loave and fish out of the basket.

But multiple marriages in violation of the sacrement of marriage is not the Catholic way. The state can not come in and say that the church has to marry people who were married in the church before. Or marry them in a temple when they didn't get a get.
Can they?

Cause that's basicly what you want to do.

Trooper York said...

Well Mary I am pretty sure that my priest and my bishop and most of the people who sit in the pews next to me will believe what I believe and not what you think.

I thank your for your lecture but I am humble but confident that most people think the way that I do. I could be wrong. But I don't think so.

I have to go cook dinner but it was nice to talk to you.

God bless you and yours and I will say a prayer for you this Sunday and light an extra candle to St Jude for you.

I always ask him for mercy for me and I will ask for some for you as well.

All the best,
Your Pal
Trooper.

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

Pardon the Interruption:

If you question your faith as a Catholic, and find yourself in a state of doubt-

Mary will feed your doubt, and turn you.

Enough of this-

"Mary" is hardly doing God's work here..

If I were Trooper, I wouldn't walk, but run to Anchoress..go read...fill your soul with joy.

I know you, Mary.

You think you have a live wire in Troop-

You don't.

Go away.

Mary said...

"Cause that's basicly what you want to do."

I do???

Funny, my position is anti divorce, anti abortion, and anti discrimination in government social work.

If a gay person wants to adopt, or foster, in civil society, they should be permitted to do so. Regardless of what one's own personal religion teaches...

I don't think the Church should be involved in lobbying the government to discriminate in society. What we do within our own walls, in our own pews, is up to us...

Also, plenty of gays and lesbians have successfully taught and "raised" children. Because they were celibate though, within the Church's teachings and never identified primarily by their sexual preferences though, you just thought to call them "Sister", "Father" and "Brother".

Similar to all those gays who honorably served our nation in the military over the years.

You simply can't argue that carrying your own Church's prejudices, for better or worse, over into civil society where all people are affected, not just the ones who share our (yep, you and me) orientation and upbringing, is best for society.

Not when there are needy children waiting for a responsible home that puts their needs first. Not when there are loving couples, capable of committing in civil marriages and assuming all the benefits and responsibilities one (not multiple) marrriage entails.

You and I have no right to take that away from our fellow countrymen, just because they don't share your and mine personal religious beliefs.

But congrats. So far, you're totally winning that battle with the strawman you're debating...

Mary said...

"I am pretty sure that my priest and my bishop and most of the people who sit in the pews next to me will believe what I believe and not what you think."

Oh, that explains it.
I belong to a conservative congregation.

You must go in for one of those "modern" parishes where you do some kind of majority vote -- what are you thinking? what are you thinking? what's the popular belief? -- rather than one that relies on doctrine to educate oneself on the role of homosexuals in the Church, and as Catholics, in a bigger society as well.


I'm going to take your "bowing out gracefully" as a sign that you just don't have the intellectual Catholic chops to continue this discussion honestly. (Betcha never really competed honestly in debate club, prolly discriminating against letting half the members into the club to firm up your chops, so to speak... Sometimes secular society is a good place for that, to see how you honestly measure up against others.)

St. Jude is my friend! But please, spare me the pieties.

You've said enough negative, dare I write intentionally misleading and hateful, things upthread about me to make me doubt the full sincerity of your prayful beliefs.

Pray if you want, but please, send them on to a charity of your choice, and don't direct them at me. I'm covered, if you know what I mean.

Mary said...

"If I were Trooper, I wouldn't walk, but run to Anchoress..go read...fill your soul with joy."


LOL @ competitive Catholicism. "She's more Catholic than you are."

But at least you're not pretending to belong to our faith, I'll give you that. You don't need to be excused, because my faith simply doesn't apply to you.

Private space and all.

Sigivald said...

I was reading the decision, and it seemed pretty plausible - until I got to the point where the Judge tried to tell me that Section 770 Domestic Partnerships were substantially unlike marriages for purposes of the law because only same-sex couples could get one, while only opposite-sex couples could get a marriage (page 33).

To use that as a foundational point for "not ... even remotely resembl[ing]" is shaky at best, and disingenuous at worst. I'd categorize those as "the same god-damn thing applied to the target population" rather than a point of dissimilarity.

(Similar, he should be reminded, does not mean identical. A pair of shoes is similar in its pairness to a pair of puppies, despite puppies being very unlike shoes; if a law banned grouping shoes and puppies in substantially similar ways, you couldn't get around it by claiming that shoepair and puppypair aren't both similar in their pairness...)

(Similarly, the immediately following differences between marriage partners and civil union partners based on kinship - because plainly the issues of inbreeding don't apply, civil unions are totally not like a marriage, no sir.

Christ, I'm basically on the side of supporting same-sex marriage [though I'm completly meh about using the TERM marriage, I'm also perfectly fine with an identical rights-and-benefits package, as a matter of principle], but this attempt at argument is infuriatingly daft.

Is Jude Moeser trying to make me change my mind by arguing so ridiculously there?

(He might even be right on the more substantive points, but he's sure as hell stretching on these, and this doesn't build my confidence.)

Browndog said...

You're done...for now.

Take the flies with you....

See you next time-

Milwaukee said...

Chastity is considered a Fruit of the Spirit. Just because somebody is heterosexual or homosexual doesn't mean they need to be having sexual relations outside of the sanctity of marriage.

Let's think about the children. Men and women approach the world and others with very different mindsets and emotions. A child learns important and different things from each. In our self-centered hedonistic society children and families are coming in last. Europe has had a Muslim migration of millions, and they are losing this soft jihad. If we don't value families that support children, we as a society will falter and fail. While some homosexual couplings will want to have children, it won't be the same for those children as if they had heterosexual parents.

Loads of people claim to be Catholic. Even Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden claim to be Catholic. Some things have to be sorted out by comparing the person's writings with the standards of the Church. Somethings will be sorted out by God.

tfmaguire42 said...

"Substantially similar" is one of those phrases that invites judicial interpretation. You don't really know what the law means until the judges (ultimately the WI SC) weigh in.

Since Moeser is the first one to take a crack at it, he is free to interpret it in any way he can reasonably defend.

MadisonMan said...

As others have asked: Exactly what does 'substantially similar' mean?

The people who crafted the amendment, and who insisted during the campaign that it wouldn't be used against domestic partnerships, must have had an idea.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Lyssa, when in the USA has a place of worship been forced to perform a gay marriage?

To my knowledge, it hasn't*. Can you promise that it won't in the future? I didn't think so.

* That is, I don't know that a place of worship has. I am aware of a photographer in New Mexico who was sued for refusing to photograph a gay commitment ceremony due to her beliefs, and I am aware that Catholic Charities was forced to cease adoptions in Mass due to their reservations (note that they didn't refuse altogether) about placing children with gay couples. (A far worse result than houses of worship being forced to do anything, IMO.) You can't look at those results and tell me that that's not right around the bend.

- Lyssa

lyssalovelyredhead said...

BarryD, you're splitting hairs about meaningless semantics. Yes, we could have what we now call marriage and call it something else and the law could handle it, but it would be no different than what we have now, which we call marriage.

Society finsds it necessary to have a standardized contract, the one that we call marriage, that settles these matters between the sorts of romantic couples who intertwine their financial and offspring-related affairs. There's no two ways about it; unless you expect humanity to stop coupling off. Whether that thing that we call marriage often has a religious or similarly personal implication or not is immaterial.

- Lyssa

lyssalovelyredhead said...

(Obviously, I made my 9:13 comment before reading as far as Trooper and Mary's exchange. Aside to TY: Well played, my friend. You make me think about going to mass again.)

Mary said...

Fear not, Lyssa.

Churchs are protected by the First Amendment, and anyone trying to "force" a gay marriage on them would have their protections upheld in a court of law.

Just as gay people are legally enforcing their rights too, not to be discriminated against. Except that's not the First Amendment, but the Due Process and Equal Protection of the laws argument.

All citizens are held to be equal under the law, regardless of their inherent, immutable sexual orientation. It's just a bit fearful at first for those who feel entitled to take their private discriminations into the public realm.

Mary said...

*saving a seat in the pew for Lyssa*

Plenty of room around here lately. Come on back home, sister friend!

Trooper York said...

Back again from dinner to see how it is going.

Once again you are twisting it as you do so well Mary.

It is not public but private that is at issue here. Gay marriage should be the norm for all civil and public matters. It should not be dictated to be the standard for the religious observances of any religion be it Catholic, Protestant, Jew or Muslim. I do not believe that the Court of Judge Sumi or Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg or the wise Latina Sonia Sotomayer will protect the private religious practices of conservative faiths. I don't trust them. I don't trust you to stand up for religious freedom.

Even as henious a douchenozzle as Fred Phelps is entitled to practice his religion as he sees fit. Or the Imans on Atlantic Avenue who preach jihad against the infidel. I certainly don't agree with them. But I don't feel I have the right to dictate how they run their church. Hey I think that if Bill Hendrickson want to then is it great if he marries three women if that is what he wants to. I think it is wrong to forbid that just as it is wrong to outlaw a religion that adovcates and performs gay marriages. I just don't think the government should compel people to practice their religion and organize their sacraments the way they want. The way you want.

Trooper York said...

And I want to say that when Palladian and Jason (the commenter) get married I would be happy to run the bachelor party and supply the dress for the bride.

Trooper York said...

Whoever that might be.

Mary said...

"I don't trust them. I don't trust you to stand up for religious freedom."

You need to trust the First Amendment, and America's system of just laws that brung us thus far, Trooper.

Don't be afraid. You have let your fears affect your reason.

Within the walls of your Church, your practices can continue unabated. Remember what you said upthread? Even in this day of multiple civil divorce, no one has forced the Catholic Church to amend their policies. (The annulment thing is strictly internal, made by monetary choice perhaps, but nothing gays or outsiders have done.)

The actual truth, if only you could open your eyes fully and see it, is that your own fears are causing you to think that your own religious beliefs are protected not within the walls of your own church, but outside too, so that you can force civil socity to also adopt your prejudices against individuals who are unwelcome in your own private space.

But the law says, you don't have that right. Do as you will in private, as your own sacraments allow. But don't assume that the law will provide a shelter for such discriminatory treatment until the end days.

Remember: you can always retreat to those rocky crags if need be. We've been in Dark Ages before, our faith has been tested, and still we live to share Jesus' message of unconditional love for others.

Some say, it's the greatest gift of all. Surely if Jesus' message has withstood the tests of time, your minor fears today can be conquered as well.

And if, ultimately, you don't have faith in Jesus' Gospel message, then you can rely on that rock-solid First Amendment guarantee that has consistently protected Church's to privately practice the religion as they see fit.

Have faith. We'll all come out ok in the end, if only you understand the public/private distinction and where your own personal rights end to dictate what the civil government can and cannot do unto others.

Trooper York said...

Oh I am not afraid Mary. I do have faith that it will work out. In one way or another.

And I think that we agree that gay marriage should be a civil right.

Where we disagree that is that the government can make it a religious requirement. That the sacrements will be dictated by the government. It has happened before. And that they will make the attempt to do that again. I am not afraid of it. But I am sure it will happen. Sooner rather than later.

The question is what happens next.

Mary said...

Let me put it this way:

If you reject the idea that gays are fully vested citizens with the right to marry under your religious practices, you are fully entitled to that belief.

When you try to impose your own personal religious views on all of society -- by passing laws that do not permit gays to marry, or worse, permit them only to marry someone of the opposite sex, then you are taking your own religious practices out of the Church and attempting to impose those personal privite religious beliefs on the whole of society -- those who share your views, and those who do not.

In your religion, you can continue to say "Gays Can't Marry". In civil society, you get no such heckler's veto, or privileged right to deny the marital benefits to others you are able to enjoy yourself by virtue of being born heterosexual.

That's what America is all about, Charlie Brown.

Mary said...

"That the sacrements will be dictated by the government. It has happened before."

Name me once when any of the 7 Catholic sacraments were dictated by the American government.

Forced marriage? Forced communion? Denied last rites? By the government?

I really don't understand where your fears are coming from, and I really do wonder what kind of Church you practice in that the government is interferring with.

Trooper York said...

Take yes for an answer Mary. You forgot what this dialouge was about. I said that gay marriage should be a civil right but that government should not force religions to perform or bless or in any way have anything to do with if they do not want to do so.

Agree or disagree?

(And of course if a church or temple or mosque wants to do so then that's just fine. That's what Episcopalians are for. Just sayn')

Trooper York said...

I wasn't talking about strictly just the Catholic church. Polygamy as a practice of the Mormon church was outlawed by the governmetn. Currently female circumcision as practice by Muslims is outlawed in most jurisdictions. The smoking of ganja a sacrement of the Rastafarians is also outlawed in many jurisdiction.

All instances of where a religious practice or "sacrement" has been outlawed by the government.

I don't think that Catholics are special. They can do the same thing to marriage if they want.

Trooper York said...

That is to say marriage as a sacrament as defined by the doctrine of the Catholic church. Which should be defined by the church and not the government. That is the crux of the matter. It's that simple.

Trooper York said...

Personally I think many of the doctines of the church should change. Specifically they should look into the ganja thing. And peyote.

It could be the "Button of Christ." Just sayn'

Mary said...

"You forgot what this dialouge was about."

No. That's untrue. And I certainly don't think "gay marraige is a civil right".

But I do think, if civil society offers marriage and the corresponding benefits, then civil society cannot discriminate on people based on sex. Two men, two women, one man one woman -- each union must be treated equally as the two individuals are treated equally under the law.

If you want to call it civil unions, fine. If you want to call it marriage, fine too. Either way, you have to treat those two mixed gender couples the same as you do an opposite sex couple.

Leave the marriage (which people equate with the sacrament, perhaps) to the private religious institutions.

What you can't have is something discriminatorily special in civil society too called marriage by the State, that is not also open to non-religious-practicing others.

So if you want to have "a right to civil marriage", then you cannot discriminate in non-relious civil society between homo- and heterosexual marriages.

Just as, in the Catholic Charities case, secular society need not discriminate against heterosexual or homosexual people who are quite capable of responsibly raising children.

But definitely the Church retains the ability to withdraw from sexular society and practice such discrimination in private. First Amendment guaranteed.

Mary said...

"Personally I think many of the doctines of the church should change. Specifically they should look into the ganja thing. And peyote. It could be the "Button of Christ." "


Funny but despite your fears and professed faith, you sure do seem to get off ridiculing Catholic beliefs and practices.

Take care. Out.

North Dallas Thirty said...

All citizens are held to be equal under the law, regardless of their inherent, immutable sexual orientation.

So according to Mary, those whose inherent and immutable sexual orientation is towards animals, or children, or multiple spouses, must be allowed to marry whatever attracts them sexually, or they are being discriminated against.

A better tack to take would be to acknowledge that civil marriage is a privilege, not a right, extended in much the same fashion as a hybrid car tax credit -- to encourage a behavior believed to be beneficial to society.

Opposite-sex marriage clearly benefits society by providing a stable framework for the raising of the children that invariably result from male-female relationships. In exchange for this, society willingly shoulders extra cost to encourage such behavior.

Same-sex relationships, however, do not benefit society. Therefore, there is no need for society to support or encourage them, since the consequences of gay and lesbian promiscuity do not negatively affect children or result in children being produced.

Milwaukee said...

Really, it isn't about the partners. Opposite-sex couples being married: a commitment to live together and create a home, a nest, where children will be born and nurtured is of vital importance to the perpetuation of society. When the birth falls too low, something else has to take the place. In Europe they have Muslim immigrants, who have a faith which sustains them, and they are propagating like crazy. We need to have families having babies. Unfortunately, there can only be one Number One Priority. If we make it "breeders" then same-sex couples suffer. If we try to promote same-sex to equality with opposite-sex, we will fail. Their can't be equality, because balancing doesn't work. So bending over backwards to accommodate households which naturally don't support children will diminish those households that do. When these 20-something, 30-something, 40-something couples are 40 to 50 years older, there will be nothing there to support them. We need children: that's where adults come from. We also need religion: religion gives hope and vision. Christianity has worked fairly well with this capitalism thing we got going here. We don't need hedonistic self indulgence.

Before the government took over, Christian charities did a lot for orphans, widows and the poor. Christians have been to model of doing good deeds for people not of their own kind.

Mary said...

"So bending over backwards to accommodate households which naturally don't support children will diminish those households that do. When these 20-something, 30-something, 40-something couples are 40 to 50 years older, there will be nothing there to support them."

Plenty of gay people have extended family, and children in their lives too.

As I mentioned upthread, non-married priests and nuns, and unwed aunts and uncles have been helping children for years and years.

In your veil of discriminatory beliefs, you might not believe that to be true, but it is.

Sadly, with the sky-high divorce rate and out-of-wedlock birthrate, plenty of heterosexual couplings leave plenty of societal baggage for the non-wed and childless to pick up the pieces.

Our taxes, our affections, and our role modeling of solid, non-discriminatory behavior and beliefs permits us not only to function fully in civil society, but to flourish also.

Don't be afraid. And please, don't blame the failings of so many married heterosexual couples on those who never participated in the process, in the first place.

Put the blame for society's current dysfunction where it rests, not making some societal "others" into scapegoats for the failings of men and women who married in haste, and weren't able to live up to their inital committments.

Mary said...

"So according to Mary, those whose inherent and immutable sexual orientation is towards animals, or children, or multiple spouses, must be allowed to marry whatever attracts them sexually, or they are being discriminated against."

Just to be clear,
"No. You are wrongly attributing those beliefs to me."

Choose another scapegoat or strawman to best, please.

Or try attributing those beliefs to yourself, if indeed you have a sexual attraction toward something other than another committed human being who shares your love and pledges lifetime fidelity, even when the going gets rough...

Tomodog said...

I don't understand. A couple who are in a committed relationship and are of the same sex are different from a committed couple of the opposite sex. Dismiss offspring and raising children, and they are still different. Why is it an obligation of the state to take up this undeniable difference and make it indistinguishable? Equal protection under the law? Is the law so blind? Willfully? Would we accomodate Frankenstein's monster. The 'next' set of zombies? I'm OK with gay. The real question is, "equal outcomes," under the law, isn't it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"...I'm going to take your "bowing out gracefully" as a sign that you just don't have the intellectual Catholic chops to continue this discussion honestly...."

Actually Trooper is spot on with respect to Church doctrine on this issue.

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