June 24, 2011

"Winning the right to marry is one thing; being forced to marry is quite another."

Lawprof Katherine M. Franke explains:
If the rollout of marriage equality in other states, like Massachusetts, is any guide, lesbian and gay people who have obtained health and other benefits for their domestic partners will be required by both public and private employers to marry their partners in order to keep those rights. In other words, “winning” the right to marry may mean “losing” the rights we have now as domestic partners, as we’ll be folded into the all-or-nothing world of marriage....
As strangers to marriage for so long, we’ve created loving and committed forms of family, care and attachment that far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow legal definition of marriage. Many of us are not ready to abandon those nonmarital ways of loving once we can legally marry....
But we shouldn’t be forced to marry to keep the benefits we now have...
I was going to say that if heterosexual couples have been excluded from domestic partnerships — as they are here in Wisconsin — then you'd have to open up domestic partnerships to them too. But I think it would be acceptable to have a 2-tier approach to state-sanctioned relationships just for same-sex couples who are already in domestic partnerships. No new domestic partnerships would be accepted. Now, perhaps Franke thinks domestic partnerships are a great innovation that should be open to same- and opposite-sex couples. I don't see a good reason for the state to maintain 2 different types of marriage-like relationships. I didn't like the "covenant marriage" approach either.

210 comments:

1 – 200 of 210   Newer›   Newest»
Scott M said...

we’ve created loving and committed forms of family, care and attachment that far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow legal definition of marriage.

hu·bris (hybrs) also hy·bris (h-)
n. - Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sheesh!!!

Never happy are they?

The whining never ceases.

Shouting Thomas said...

As strangers to marriage for so long, we’ve created loving and committed forms of family, care and attachment that far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow legal definition of marriage.

Jesus, what an asshole!

Althouse, don't you recognize the BS rhetoric of the radical left from the 60s?

Freeman Hunt said...

But we shouldn’t be forced to marry to keep the benefits we now have...

Oh bull. So now you really are arguing for special privileges?

Look, if you want the benefits of married people, get married. If you're not serious about getting married, you don't get the marriage benefits.

Geeze, people are grabby.

Mickey said...

Maybe it's none of our business what contractual relationships consenting adults choose to enter into.

SGT Ted said...

In other words, they will have to follow the rules for heterosexual couples, which is you don't get to put your squeeze on your insurance unless you marry them. In order to prevent fraud by freeloading off of someone else's insurance that you aren't related to.

The line about being "forced" to marry is bullshit. No one is forced to marry anybody. DO you want the bennies of sharing insurance like heteros? Then marry your squeeze like heteros have to. Either you are equal, or you are not.

Once again, homosexuals activists see themselves as a special class that shouldn't have to follow the rules that the rest of us have to.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Being forced to marry."

Forced?

I guess Lands' End is forcing me to buy their merchandise with this new catalog. They won't let me take advantage of their summer discounts unless I buy their products. Why can't I just get a check for the difference between the regular and sale price without buying anything?! Unfair, unfair!

SGT Ted said...

As strangers to marriage for so long, we’ve created loving and committed forms of family, care and attachment that far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow legal definition of marriage.

This is complete and utter bullshit too. You homos ain't better than anybody else. Your relationships are no better or worse than anybody else.

Shouting Thomas said...

When I read something like this, the first thought that comes to my mind is:

This woman is a complete fucking fake!

And, I mean in every way.

Her homosexuality is fake. She took it up for ideological reasons. She's a fashionable, ideological lesbian.

Which means, she doesn't have a clue who she really is.

I'll repeat what I've said here many times. The pressure to conform to leftist ideals is so great that people are becoming queers to conform to the political pressures of the community in which they live.

I've seen in it in every era, hetero and homo. Weak and vicious people will twist their sexuality into any kind of mess in order to be trendy and to win approval of the leftist community in which they live.

People who do this to themselves are very dangerous.

Lance said...

What's the opposite of heterosexual? It's not homosexual, because that's just gay men, right? Or maybe there's not an exact opposite?

Scott M said...

Maybe it's none of our business what contractual relationships consenting adults choose to enter into.

The polygamists will thank you. Most of the SSM types I've ever debated with, wouldn't support you on this if it includes polygamists. As Freeman suggested...grabby.

jimbino said...

I've been in a heterosexual partnership for many years and think it about time the government got out of the business of specially favoring any kind of domestic relationship. If business partners can maintain relationships through contract, so can domestic partners, straight or gay.

I've long opposed extending marriage rights to gays, and only because it would diminish the pool of persons (singles) who go through life disadvantaged while being taxed to support the marriage nonsense.

So it's poetic justice that gays are now going to be forced to marry and suffer like the married heteros do for their special privileges.

Geoff Matthews said...

This is called having your cake and eating it too.

Scott M said...

This is called having your cake and eating it too.

Homophobe...

jamboree said...

hahahaha.

I don't. Gay people have to get married just like us, or we get domestic partnership benefits too - state-by-state.

I saw this coming a mile a way btw. I've just been waiting for the reality of the *societal marital obligation* to hit after the honeymoon period.

Way back when my parents got married, their family didn't automatically get coverage. They did by the time I was born, but not when my oldest sibling was. I find that truly bizarre and cruel considering women didn't work that often back then.

The Crack Emcee said...

You'd be willing to go insane for gay people. You're definitely not as critical of them as I am "my people." You'll just keep on demanding the rest of us keep trying to wrap our heads around bullshit that isn't worth the time or grey matter.

Wake up, Ann:

It's becoming silly.

The Crack Emcee said...

I was forced to divorce and I didn't see anybody crying for me.

Shouting Thomas said...

This woman has serious psychological problems that she's refocused into a political bitch.

Remember my comments about the Weathermen and their sexual antics in the Utopian hippie commune?

Those people were psychological messes. They weren't saving the world or starting the revolution. They were basket cases, acting out their mental problems in their sexual hijinks.

This woman is the same damned thing. She's a psycho. A very functional psycho, but a psycho nonetheless.

Freeman Hunt said...

The state favors marriage because the stability it encourages is good for society and especially beneficial regarding the outcomes of the raising of children.

You can agree or disagree with the idea that the state should try to mold society in that way, but I think it's hard to argue that the state has any similar interest in encouraging less committed, less stable relationships.

edutcher said...

Oh, Christ! The militant homosexuals bitch and whine about not being able to marry (because they only want to have access to each other's health benefits) and now, when they may get same-sex marriage, start whining about being "forced" to do so to qualify for said benefits because the rules say so, just like all the breeders have to.

This is the kind of hypocritical overreach we've seen with the feminists, public sector unions, and the anti-war creeps.

Which hopefully will end with them being equally discredited.

sean said...

Why shouldn't the state maintain two or more types of relationships? The "good reason," which Prof. Althouse "do[es]n't see" is that there is desire for such options, and the state, and the legal system it administers, exist to serve the felt needs of its citizens.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Shooting themselves in the foot. This will undermine support for gay marriage. Logically, it has to: "We already have something better than marriage, but we demand you give us the right to marriage, too." That's like, "We already have a Porsche, but we demand you give us a Mustang, too." People are going to say, "You like what you have? Then keep it! You don't need the other."

Stupid, stupid, stupid...

Shouting Thomas said...

... the state, and the legal system it administers, exist to serve the felt needs of its citizens.

President Reagan: We're the government and we're here to help you."

A recipe for a monstrous, insanely overreaching Nanny state.

The felt needs. Jesus fucking Christ almighty!

Trapper Townshend said...

I sometimes wonder why people who are against same-sex marriage don't use the words of the Frankes of the world more often. There are so many gay and "queer" activists out there who are like her and who say stuff like this all the time -- it would be so easy. They tend to be academics, writers, "thinkers," people who are constantly churning this kind of thing out. A group like the National Organization for Marriage would never have to write any of its own copy -- they could just blockquote the stuff.

Thanks for highlighting the "covenant marriage" thing, Professor. I did not know it was a legally binding thing in three states. Your blog post on it, though, doesn't really address how you feel about it -- it addresses how you felt about the Huckabees' political stunt.

Shouting Thomas said...

Fake ideological lesbian.

My bet: she's screwing men but won't cop to it.

m stone said...

"covenant marriage" doesn't sound like a bad idea to me if both parties agree to the concept.

I see it as a possible solution to any type of partnership or relationship problems. Some problems. Other people will see covenant as restrictive.

I notice that Ann did not say "we didn't like...the approach."

A good conversation for any couple to have IMHO.

Sixty Grit said...

If she is a lesbian, shouldn't that be "flannel needs"?

Scott M said...

A good conversation for any couple to have IMHO.

Can a triad have that conversation?

Shouting Thomas said...

I was forced to divorce and I didn't see anybody crying for me.

An excellent point, Crack.

Have you read about Thomas Ball, the guy who set himself on fire to protest his treatment by the New Hampshire Child Protection Services?

He was driven from his family, deprived of his children and impoverished, although he was never convicted of a crime.

AJ Lynch said...

Employers should just give the exact same amount [for fringe benefits] to every employee no matter whether they are gay, hetero, engaged, knocked up, married, committed. Employers and the state should get out of the middle because these special interest groups [aka whiners as perfectly named by DBQ] are never f-ing happy. And, Althouse for some reason, dances lightly around this issue when she should call them what they are - librul pussies.

And Althouse, we need more rules and more "tiers" like the Chinese phone book needs more Chins.

Marshal said...

Another case where critics of leftism are proven correct by events.

Gay activists don't want equal rights, they want special rights: check.

Gay activists who claim this is not about money are lying: check.

The whining by gays and singles about how government somehow "favors" marriage is historically ignorant, as virtually all leftist positions are. For virtually every year I've been married our income taxes are higher than we would pay as singles.

As for insurance, if the government hadn't corrupted the market in their effort to get something for nothing insurance wouldn't be tied to employment and that wouldn't be an issue either. So the leftists first cause the problem, then complain that it is somehow a violation of their "rights".

What pathetic people.

Marshal said...

"AJ Lynch said...

Employers should just give the exact same amount [for fringe benefits] to every employee no matter whether they are gay, hetero, engaged, knocked up, married, committed."

I disagree. Employers should give the cash to their employees and those employees should buy the insurance and other services they want. Just like we go to a restaurants and grocery stores instead of having a meal plan and buying at the company general store.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: The state favors marriage because the stability it encourages is good for society and especially beneficial regarding the outcomes of the raising of children.

What group of politicians sat around, looked at all the options, and decided on the one we have?

Our marriage laws are based on hysterical reactions to multiracial couples and bigotry towards Mormons trying to marry more than one women.

Historically, children were considered personal property. No one cared about them. They had animal protection laws before they had child endangerment ones.

And our system isn't the best one for stability. Worshiping your ancestors and being tied to their tombs, or some sort of collective family property is the most stable system. The Catholic Church broke that system up where they could, and they are the largest anti-family organization in the history of mankind.

(People have no sense of history anymore!)

Larry J said...

Mickey said...
Maybe it's none of our business what contractual relationships consenting adults choose to enter into.


For public employees, it actually is our business because tax dollars are being spent to pay for those benefits. If a hetero couple has to be married to get the benefits and some form of marriage is available for the gay/lez community in a particular state, it's only fair and reasonable that they have to obey the same rules as anyone else.

Employers should just give the exact same amount [for fringe benefits] to every employee no matter whether they are gay, hetero, engaged, knocked up, married, committed.

Benefits are expensive. Just health insurance alone costs thousands of dollars per year for each employee. Like many private sector employees, I pay a certain amount per pay period for different types of benefits. I don't know about other companies, but my employer has one rate for employee only, a higher rate for employee + spouse (or significant other) and a higher rate to include children. This seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Thorley Winston said...

Have you read about Thomas Ball, the guy who set himself on fire to protest his treatment by the New Hampshire Child Protection Services?

He was driven from his family, deprived of his children and impoverished, although he was never convicted of a crime.


There are probably a lot of fathers who can make a legitimate and compelling case that sometimes child protective services wrongly deprived them of their children.

A man who kills himself by deliberately setting himself on fire in public is not one of them.

AllenS said...

Prof. Franke: As strangers to marriage for so long, we’ve created loving and committed forms of family, care and attachment that far exceed, and often improve on, the narrow legal definition of marriage.

Oh, bullshit.

Prof. Althouse: But I think it would be acceptable to have a 2-tier approach to state-sanctioned relationships just for same-sex couples who are already in domestic partnerships

Oh, double bullshit. Let's have different water fountains for the races.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Strong families lead to blood-feuds, nepotism, inbreeding...

"Family" is something society as a whole should fight against, not for.

Trapper Townshend said...

Our marriage laws are based on hysterical reactions to multiracial couples and bigotry towards Mormons trying to marry more than one women.

My understanding is that polygyny creates a problematic surplus of unattached men.

I've long opposed extending marriage rights to gays, and only because it would diminish the pool of persons (singles) who go through life disadvantaged while being taxed to support the marriage nonsense.

What a remarkably ineffective way to make a political point.

Fred4Pres said...

Welcome to the club gay folk. With rights comes responsibilities. And obligations.

woof said...

Katherine M. Franke doesn't represent the attitudes of most gay people who would happily marry if it were legal.

Seven Machos said...

Ridiculous. I had this big long post typed out about marriage and equality. Then I realized: fuck it. This huckster is only interested the whole Goddamn sacred deal for cut-rate health insurance.

Cunt.

Freeman Hunt said...

Jason, I don't think it matters what one thinks marriage was originally based upon or how it compares to entirely foreign systems.

Within the American society that currently exists, marriage is a stabilizing force.

Seven Machos said...

My understanding is that polygyny creates a problematic surplus of unattached men.

Yes. The issues are not at this point religious at all. We don't want a bunch of irresponsible young men running around, with erections. Not good for any society.

Freeman Hunt said...

People who have and support children are the ones subsidizing everyone else. The single and childless, unless they are somehow as engaged in the rearing of children as parents, subsidize no one overall.

Seven Machos said...

Freeman is, as always, spot on. What's more, singles are exactly the same as debtors to humanity in terms of its continued success while people who have children are creditors. Think about it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Maybe it's none of our business what contractual relationships consenting adults choose to enter into.

It is when you are talking about insurance and other legal contracts.

A group contract treats all members of the group equally. If you must be married hetero to get benefits AND gay marriage is also available, then you must be married gay to get benefits.

The reason for marriage is to prevent people from willy nilly adding dependants to their coverage. It would be impossible to keep track of and leads to fraud and abuse of the contract.

The gays whined, sniveled and threw giant hissy fits to be able to get "married" and now they want to whine and snivel about getting married.

Bunch of spoiled brat babies.

woof said...

The gays whined, sniveled and threw giant hissy fits to be able to get "married" and now they want to whine and snivel about getting married.

One women is all gays ?

YoungHegelian said...

This crew seems to skew heavily towards boomers, so I know I can't be the only person here who remembers the gay activists of the 60's and 70's who would never, ever, be caught dead supporting something as insufferably bourgeois as marriage.

I think the 80's/90's AIDS epidemic and the dream of shared health insurance changed all that.

WV: monism Is the ghost in this machine Liebnitzian?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

One women is all gays ?

As much as one right wing nut job = all conservatives in some people's eyes.

Goose/Gander

woof said...

Goose/Gander

But mommy they did it first !

Neither constructive nor mature.

Seven Machos said...

Maybe it's none of our business what contractual relationships consenting adults choose to enter into.

Fair enough. Maybe it's none of the government's business who offers health insurance to which people who happen to be fucking each other under some contractual relationship.

What do you think, chief?

Also, Jason the Commenter sounds like a sad, lonely soul. Sorry, dude. Life is pain, I guess.

Seven Machos said...

Neither constructive nor mature.

Then go away, douchebag. Na-na-na-na-boo-boo.

woof said...

Now the name calling.

Seven Machos said...

Now the bitching about commenters you disagree with instead of making arguments.

woof said...

I made an argument. Making the jump from one law professor to all gay people isn't fair.

Trapper Townshend said...

This crew seems to skew heavily towards boomers, so I know I can't be the only person here who remembers the gay activists of the 60's and 70's who would never, ever, be caught dead supporting something as insufferably bourgeois as marriage. I think the 80's/90's AIDS epidemic and the dream of shared health insurance changed all that.

I was born in 1983, but, see, many of those gay activists are still around. Prof. Althouse has highlighted one of them for us. I don't know how much the dream of shared health insurance changed things, though -- it's not like they didn't think they were entitled to health insurance from the state back in the '60s and '70s.

Trooper York said...

Why would you be entitled to these benefits if you do not get married?

If gay marriage is passed as a legal status and is recognized as valid and binding then eveyone would be treated the same.

You have to be married to get these benefits. Civil unions or domestic partnerships go out the window with the bathwater.

Trooper York said...

And Jason (the commenter) is a good guy.

Not everybody has to be a family man. You can hate family if you want and live your own life without acknowledging or being part of one. This is what diversity looks like.

Otherwise who would take care of all the stray cats.

Seven Machos said...

Woof. Dude. Go to the article. Read it. I know you probably don't have to do this at your junior college and you still pass, but humor me.

Count the plural pronouns the author uses for her side: we, us, and sometimes they. The volume is impressive.

Pray tell: why does the author get to talk in the plural and in sweeping generalization but people here cannot?

Is there a license? Is this dyke better at anything than I am than possibly eating pussy and therefore more worthy of plural pronouns and sweeping generalization?

Trapper Townshend said...

Pray tell: why does the author get to talk in the plural and in sweeping generalization but people here cannot?

Seven Machos, Woof never said Franke gets to talk in the plural.

woof said...

Read it. I know you probably don't have to do this at your junior college and you still pass, but humor me.

I studied elecrical engineering at a major University and didn't go to junior college. I skimmed the article.

She doesn't speak for me or the majority of gay people.

Trooper York said...

"Is there a license? Is this dyke better at anything than I am than possibly eating pussy and therefore more worthy of plural pronouns and sweeping generalization?"

That's a great question. Maybe we can have a pussy eating contest at Coney Island on the Fourth of July.

Trooper York said...

I bet it will get better ratings than the hot dog eating one.

Seven Machos said...

She doesn't speak for me or the majority of gay people.

But she claims to. That's what all the plural pronouns are about.

So your beef isn't really with us. It's with this writer.

Seven Machos said...

That hot dog eating contest always grosses me out. Whereas a pussy eating contest, tactfully done, would be a pleasure to watch.

Thing is, how do we score this event? We've got to be fair.

woof said...

My beef is with this women and the posters who used it to bash all gay people.

Lucius said...

Gay activism has fabricated a myth that gays are *magic* people: and by 'magic' I don't just mean in the old-fashioned homosexual aesthete, 'We dominated High Attic Greece and the Italian Renaissance' sort of way.

This makes me ponder once more Camille Paglia's assertion that homosexuality may be, in some biologically normative way, a maladaption. Not that she (or I) think this makes gay people 'bad' in some fundamental way-- but there seems such a staunch disposition towards melodrama in the queer community today, and not of the Tennessee Williams environment.

"The New Republic" put up a while back Norman Mailer's reportings from the Houston GOP convention of '92. Mostly negative stuff, of course, but his reflections on the two "AIDS angels" at the party conventions (both still alive, I think) and the behavior of young male ACT-UPtivists on the streets was haunting. All that desperation. They were dying--or so they thought-- but angered in a sort of Frankenstein Monster way, vituperating against all humankind.

Here too is this demand, this hunger, for the infinite: a total plethora of options. We must have it every which way! No limits, natural or manmade, can ever be accepted. Just because gay people have a different sexuality, do they think they are entitled to endless rebellion, storming the heavens, demanding that all structures forever must adapt--Now!-- to their demands?

Because they *love* you see, love *differently*. Those words are such magic!

They've self-enchanted themselves with these cant words. Take them in, and they still demand to be Frankenstein monsters.

Seven Machos said...

Are you new here, Woof? I don't know. But gay marriage has been bandied about so long and so often at Althouse that it's like an inside joke. You can and should look it up. You have the technology.

I think we've all earned the right here to use shorthand.

Also, get over yourself.

Trooper York said...

Well there would be several criteria.

Form. Technigue. Duration. Number of orgasms. And of course the number of times you have to come up for air or spit out pubes.

woof said...

If was this post that I was responding to:

The gays whined, sniveled and threw giant hissy fits to be able to get "married" and now they want to whine and snivel about getting married.

Bunch of spoiled brat babies.

Lucius said...

@Trooper York: I'm pretty confident on technique and duration.

I might have to search out feedback on form.

[Okay, that's the last I'm ever going to say on that . . . .]

Trooper York said...

We need some celebrity judges. How about Ellen Degeneras, Anne Heche, Donald Trump, Corrado Soprano and the most interesting guy in the world.

He doesn't eat pussy often, but when he does it is pretty hairy.

Trapper Townshend said...

This makes me ponder once more Camille Paglia's assertion that homosexuality may be, in some biologically normative way, a maladaption. Not that she (or I) think this makes gay people 'bad' in some fundamental way-- but there seems such a staunch disposition towards melodrama in the queer community today, and not of the Tennessee Williams environment.

It doesn't? You're more tolerant than I. If that isn't an objectively bad quality to have, what is?

(Note to Woof: I'm not saying I agree with this assessment of gay people. I don't.)

Trooper York said...

Form is important. When you have your hands in there splitting it open you need to have your pinkies up like you were drinking tea.

Otherwise you get a yellow card.

Seven Machos said...

Woof -- We are here talking about a piece where the author speaks in broad, crass generalizations about gays (though she believes herself licensed to do that because, she reasons, she is on the "gay side"). It it she who is grouping with abandon.

The critics here, such as DBQ, are merely responding in the same vernacular as the article.

Again, your problem is with this author. She started it. She created the broad categories.

I shall have no further truck with you for now, as I aim to talk with Trooper about a pussy-eating contest we're organizing in the nether regions of Brooklyn.

Trooper York said...

Now the question is the flavors that you would prefer. I would think we should have the girls drink a lot of pineapple juice.

woof said...

Wow, you straight people are always talking about sex acts !

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: Within the American society that currently exists, marriage is a stabilizing force.

But that wasn't a reason it was set up, it's just an excuse to not change the unequal laws we have now.

Public school is a stabilizing force in American society, it makes sure people from different social groups share a common experience. Perhaps we should ban homeschooling.

Perhaps we should look at forced church attendance, at a state church. It would be stabilizing, in theory.

You can agree or disagree with the idea that the state should try to mold society in that way, but I think it's hard to argue that the state has any similar interest in encouraging less committed, less stable relationships.

I'm assuming you think the state should try to mold society towards stability.

When you suggest our current system of marriage is the most stability-encouraging option available you're only considering generic people, not specific people. Some people wont marry, they only want civil unions. Civil unions encourage more stability than no union at all.

Probably people would be most happy (and stable) in their unions if they could choose from a selection of options. People are happy being religious in America because they have the freedom to chose which church to join, not because they have only two choices, attendance at one type of church or no attendance at all. Therefore stability would be maximized by encouraging a range of options. People should be able to pick and choose what option they want. And according to your reasoning, you should support the author of this article.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: I don't think a 'maladaption' is necessarily a 'bad' thing-- but it may be, in some senses, counterproductive.

My strong disposition to sit indoors and write poetry-- however it might be related to bad eyesight, pale skin, shyness, ill-temper, or what have you-- does not dispose me well towards being economically useful or a good Defender of the Republic (I mean in armed terms).

Morally speaking, I have no objection to homosexual sex or love. But I also feel no need to brand it 'normative'; it's simply a dissident behavior from a biological stand, and in some big picture sense 'parasitic' on the sexual production of the breeders.

Being a bit melodramatic as an individual isn't so bad-- though it doesn't make you an *artist* either. But I think something takes place (certainly cultural cocooning in urban centers is a big part of this) that inculcates today mental habits that are highly maudlin and narcissistic in the gay community.

Hence the perpetual sense of victimhood and this fragile, 'tragic' sense of self, even in the face of personal prosperity, acceptance, and the fruits of promiscuous opportunity, partnership, marriage, and quite possible all of the above, all at once.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

woof said...

Wow, you straight people are always talking about sex acts !

Now who's generalizing?

Palladian said...

"The critics here, such as DBQ, are merely responding in the same vernacular as the article."

So, because someone wrote something stupid, you're obliged to act like a silly twat in return? Noted.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Trooper York: You can hate family if you want and live your own life without acknowledging or being part of one. This is what diversity looks like.

I don't hate family, and I praise the Catholic Church for releasing the West from its clutches. But I think people are foolish to only consider the positive connotations of family and never its very real dangers.

Seven Machos said...

I feel like judging the pussy eating contest is risky because you just know the East Germans are going to pull some stunt. Then, again, what else can you do?

As far as the celebrity judges, I feel like the men could be better. I don't know who. Bill Clinton? Charlie Sheen? This guy I knew in high school we all called him Catfish because he had braces and he went down on this girl and he was later seen bearing certain public evidence in those braces. I could give him a call.

Also, as far as contestants, my opinion is that it should be a pro-am. Get some world-class athletes in there like Ron Jeremy and Rachel Maddow but also give guys like you and me a chance to compete.

I'm thinking NFL Network to televise because, well, they simply need programming.

Cedarford said...

Mickey said...
Maybe it's none of our business what contractual relationships consenting adults choose to enter into.

===============
Maybe it is our business when taxpayers and businesses and customers pay for those "relationship benefits and various legal and taxpayer privileges - not given to heterosexuals outside marriage.

For all I care Mickey, have sex with a consenting dog. I just don't want you to get full free veternarian health insurance and tax bennies from your relationship.

woof said...

Now who's generalizing?

a) It was meant to be a joke.

b) I was using the same vernacular as the posters who were using the same vernacular as the law professor's article.

c) I was pointing out the irony since it's a complaint often and sometimes accurately directed at gay folk.

Trapper Townshend said...

Here too is this demand, this hunger, for the infinite: a total plethora of options. But I think something takes place (certainly cultural cocooning in urban centers is a big part of this) that inculcates today mental habits that are highly maudlin and narcissistic in the gay community.
Hence the perpetual sense of victimhood and this fragile, 'tragic' sense of self, even in the face of personal prosperity, acceptance, and the fruits of promiscuous opportunity, partnership, marriage, and quite possible all of the above, all at once.


It all sounds pretty dreadful to me. You are a paragon of tolerance, sir(?).

edutcher said...

More to the point: Where, O, where is this "right to marry"?

I recall it nowhere in the Constitution of the United States or any of its Amendments.

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- I do think it's important to make distinctions, and you know I think that. At the same time, why does the gay author get a pass for crassly categorizing while the critics of the gay author responding to her don't?

Moreover, I think this is a better response for Woof and you to make: That woman is full of shit because she so categorically speaks about gay people. I hate when so-called gay rights advocates lob us all together like that.

Again, your beef is with this woman who says she speaks for a group you are in. She is perpetuating the homogeneity of gay and lesbian thought when, as we both know, it's remarkably, remarkably heterodox.

Freeman Hunt said...

Public school is a stabilizing force in American society, it makes sure people from different social groups share a common experience. Perhaps we should ban homeschooling.

The data does not support that assertion.

Perhaps we should look at forced church attendance, at a state church. It would be stabilizing, in theory.

(1) I'm not dealing in theory. I'm dealing in fact. We have mountains of data testifying to the stabilizing force of marriage in society.

(2) I don't think forced church attendance is stabilizing even in theory.

People are happy being religious in America because they have the freedom to chose which church to join, not because they have only two choices, attendance at one type of church or no attendance at all. Therefore stability would be maximized by encouraging a range of options.

(1) You're conflating stability and happiness undefined.

(2) We're not talking about voluntary association. We're talking about what it would be logical for the state to subsidize if the goal is societal stability.

(3) If you offer marriage-lite, is it more likely that a greater number of uncoupled persons become more stable and take advantage of the new institution or that a greater number of would-have-been-married persons opt for a less stable coupling than they would have formed? Given the much larger percentage of society that marries than does not, my money is on the would-be-marrieds-but-not-now being the larger group.

Phil 3:14 said...

Civil Unions for heterosexual couples had some unintended consequences if I recall correctly in the Netherlands. They were less stringent in terms of child support I believe. Though initially created for homosexual couples they ended up being overwhelmingly used by heterosexual couples.

Unintended consequences

rhhardin said...

No one is forced to marry anybody.

Obsolete joke:

My grandfather got married yesterday. He had to.

Seven Machos said...

Ed -- Gays have the right to marry, obviously. No one is going to arrest any gay person for marrying another gay person, throwing a party, buying a house and two cars together, moving in together, sharing furniture, and fucking all night every night until one of them dies.

The issue, without question, is: what does the state gain by recognizing these marriages?

You can answer that question better by first answering this one: what does the state gain by recognizing heterosexual marriages?

Maguro said...

A liberal social engineering project led to unintened consequences? The deuce you say!!

Scott said...

My company doesn't pay spouse benefits to unmarried straight people who are shacking up.

Same-sex couples have to either have a state-issued domestic partnership or civil union certificate, or in states that don't allow it, their partnership status has to be confirmed by a responsible third party.

Freeman Hunt said...

Additionally, as far as plain options go, those are already endless. You can live in whatever sort of adult coupling you'd like.

This is only about legal benefits.

Phil 3:14 said...

And France has had the same experience

When France created its system of civil unions in 1999, it was heralded as a revolution in gay rights, a relationship almost like marriage, but not quite. No one, though, anticipated how many couples would make use of the new law. Nor was it predicted that by 2009, the overwhelming majority of civil unions would be between straight couples.

it can be dissolved with just a registered letter.

Unintended consequences

Fred4Pres said...

But we shouldn’t be forced to marry to keep the benefits we now have.

Yes you should. The alternative is to allow non married heterosexual couples to claim them too. Which is well beyond marriage equality.

Seven Machos said...

This is only about legal benefits.

No way, man. This is also about public schools and Mormons and state churches and thrilling new sporting events.

Trapper Townshend said...

@ Phil 3:14

In Rhode Island this year, the Democratic supermajorities in the House and Senate refused to pass a gay marriage, and offered up civil union legislation instead, but it looks that's going to die because no one -- not anti-gay-marriage folks and not gay-marriage folks -- support it. It has no constituency.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: I assume you're ironizing a tad, but to what purpose I cannot quite surmise.

As one Boucher fan to another, I recall Rebecca West making a comment about a young man "who knew a bit too much about 18th Century art" [paraphrase], by which I assume she implied: he's fruity.

Ironic perhaps, considering the lubricity of his art. But no matter: I'm willing to consider myself 'tolerant' enough to also allow myself to criticize the sort of victimized YA novel-level of self-regard in the gay (activist) community at present: the sense of emergency that demands a bourgeois bauble like 'marriage' even while many prominent gays openly believe that they have more 'open' alternatives and even that monogamy itself is well-nigh a mental disease, not to mention 'unsophisticated' and outmoded.

I'm content enough to have 'gay marriage' sanctioned by the state, provided that it does not result in demands to force its way up upon every church's altar. But how can I be confident of this?

This heaven-storming, no limitations will be accepted, We Are The Vanguard Of Humanity attitude refuses compromises. Placid 'family values'-types are right to be skeptical there won't be further demands for further 'equalities' that amount in fact to preferences.

And right to surmise that many gays, including the majority of opinion-makers, are in fact contemptuous of monogamous marriage as an institution, social norm, or moral ideal.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: The single and childless, unless they are somehow as engaged in the rearing of children as parents, subsidize no one overall.

You keep trying to pick a word or concept and ennoble it. Before it was "stability" and now it is "subsidizing things"; but really, you're just trying to brag about yourself.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not bragging about myself. I only have two kids. That's just at replacement level.

It's people like the Duggars who are doing the major subsidizing.

Freeman Hunt said...

And I was using stability and subsidize separately. The subsidizing comment was specifically addressing a single, childless poster who said he was tired of subsidizing families with children. I was simply pointing out that he isn't.

Seven Machos said...

Jason is not trying to brag about his solitary life as a world-historical loner bent on revolutionizing the basic organizing structure of all of humanity.

Dude is way too humble for that. You have to read between the lines.

Freeman Hunt said...

I love Jason.

lesbianoutsider said...

As a lesbian woman, I find Ms. Franke's remarks to be more than a bit arrogant and smug. I don't know what Cloud 9 community she's living in but the serial monogamy lifestyles of many lesbians and the non-monogamous matches of the majority of gay men are nothing to write home about.

And gee, equal rights is not enough for Ms. Franke. Instead gays should be given privileges that straight shacking-up couples are not entitled to.

Boy, Ms. Franke, you've got brass ones.

The Lesbian Conservative

Seven Machos said...

I normally like Jason quite a lot. This issue brings out the strangest things in everyone, me included. People bring up the most absurdly tangential stuff. And the comments fill up fast.

Gay marriage (or even benefits concerning gay marriage) must serve as a proxy for something much, much deeper in our collective psychology. I wish I was brilliant enough to figure out what it is.

Freeman Hunt said...

This issue brings out the strangest things in everyone, me included. People bring up the most absurdly tangential stuff. And the comments fill up fast.

True.

Trapper Townshend said...

@Lucius: I'm not ironizing. Maybe the Boucher is throwing you.

the sense of emergency that demands a bourgeois bauble like 'marriage' even while many prominent gays openly believe that they have more 'open' alternatives and even that monogamy itself is well-nigh a mental disease, not to mention 'unsophisticated' and outmoded.

Is "bourgeois bauble" meant to reflect the "promient gay" attitude toward marriage, or is it your attitude toward marriage?

Because I don't think marriage is a bourgeouis bauble at all. I think it's pretty important.

I mean, these drama-queen gays that you're talking about, and their ethos (if that's the right word), they killed themselves by the thousands in the '80s. Their forward-thinking "openness" about sex was a literal dead end. I think that's heartbreaking. And I don't mean that in a condescending way, or at least I don't want that to be condescending. There but for the grace of God go I (I was born in 1983, as I had cause to menetion earlier.)

Therefore, when you said that you didn't think these qualities of this kind of gay individual are "bad," per se, no, I really don't get that. They really are bad qualities. Think of all the young men who died in their 20s, 30s, etc., think of all their parents and siblings and friends.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: The data does not support that assertion.

I want to see this data! Segregating people, and giving them less of a chance to interact with large groups of people makes them better at working in groups. Does the military know about this?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: I love Jason.

I keep people honest (and I love you, too!)

edutcher said...

Seven Machos said...

Ed -- Gays have the right to marry, obviously.

They do?

Not in any portion of the Constitution, which is where our rights are enumerated.

If we're talking legalities, and we are, nowhere is a "right to marry" encoded, especially in the Constitution.

Lefties may have talked themselves into a right to marry so their candidates may benefit from the bloc-voting of homosexuals, but that's the only place it exists - in their heads and in their mouths.

Freeman Hunt said...

I want to see this data! Segregating people, and giving them less of a chance to interact with large groups of people makes them better at working in groups.

They exhibit more civic involvement as adults. They are not segregated with same age peers during schooling hours. Not all homeschoolers segregate their children from society. Most prefer to be out about in the community. You assume too much about homeschooling.

Freeman Hunt said...

I keep people honest

I keep people annoyed.

Palladian said...

"They do?

Not in any portion of the Constitution, which is where our rights are enumerated."

Well then where is your "right" to keep marriage heterosexual?

The government should not be in the business of sanctioning people's interpersonal relationships. But of course, the government will involve itself in any activity where it can leech money and tell people what to do.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: Well, I meant I'm content to let Boucher make *me* honorarily fruity, as it were.

Look, I certainly agree that AIDS era promiscuity was a dead end. I think probably, in the long run, promiscuity is a dead end regardless, at least for personal happiness if not for the health of the species.

At the same time, I'm not going to pretend to be contemptuous of clever libertines of either gender/persuasion. I'm a devoted monogamist, but I don't readily cast stones of that sort.

But I don't want to get off on that. What I was saying originally, is: there's just too much romanticism in gay activism. That's the 'bad quality' I was talking about. It's not in itself the most reprehensible of vices: it's not murder.

But it is a mental hangup that rightly causes annoyance and chagrin among outsiders.

Life just isn't a goddamn disco remix of the Eroica Symphony. Just because you're gay and you want 'in' with whatever you think you're still 'out' of, doesn't make you Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People" waving a rainbow flag and flaunting a gold nipple ring.

Hot as that image might be.

Titus? Where are you?

Freeman Hunt said...

This is where I'm coming from:

Perhaps the state should not be involved in people's familial or romantic relationships at all. That is a valid position.

For now, however, it is involved.

Why? Sure, there are cynical reasons like, "to win votes!" But does a logical reason exist? I am able to think of only one: to encourage stability in society.

If you work from there then the government should subsidize only those relationships that encourage stability. Gay marriage would be one. Gay or straight serial monogamy probably would not.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

woof said...

Now who's generalizing?

a) It was meant to be a joke.

b) I was using the same vernacular as the posters who were using the same vernacular as the law professor's article.

c) I was pointing out the irony since it's a complaint often and sometimes accurately directed at gay folk.


So we should read your posts in context, and allow for your quirky sense of humor, and not generalize, and not be overly sensitive?

I agree: that's good advice for all of us. You might want to try it.

n.n said...

Whether homosexual behavior is a product of freewill or due to a biological mutation, it is an unnatural behavior. It does not contribute to the fitness of our species. The same societal functions can be equally performed by heterosexuals, and they are capable of natural reproduction.

That said, unlike other deviant behaviors, which are inherently processed through involuntary exploitation, including: murder, rape, paedophilia, slavery, etc; homosexual behavior between consenting individuals is not known to harm society or the viability of the species.

So, while homosexual and similar deviant behaviors can be tolerated, there is no valid reason to normalize it.

I would suggest that the interests of both couples and couplets be protected by the state in civil unions. The former can be further honored through the acceptance of the traditional marriage compact and participation in the traditional ceremony; neither of which require consent of the state.

Trapper Townshend said...

At the same time, I'm not going to pretend to be contemptuous of clever libertines of either gender/persuasion.

'Kay. I guess I just don't think they are "clever." I mean, there's nothing more dreary than the Frankes of the world. Even the writing they did back in the '60s and before was dreary. I mean, Foucault, good God. If you want cleverness, read A Handful of Dust -- a book that's a real Defense of Marriage.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: And by "you" I didn't mean *you* 'you'.

Generic pronouns. Should be more careful; esp. considering that's a topic covered in this thread.

My apologies.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend
Well, Foucault and this Franke are cant-speakers, buffoons.

But there have been brilliant libertines-- or that is to say, promiscuous sorts at least-- past and present.

If a gay American wants to live on the sexual margins, I don't offer objection. I'm not strictly *against* gay marriage (though frankly I'm not roused to stirring solidarity or urgency by it either).

But I think there should be settling in terms of what kind of legal, contractual 'rights' are expected. In fact this two-tier arrangement, if it excludes heterosexuals, is blatantly unequal.

Moreover, I'm just running out of sympathy for the 'urgency' gay activism insists upon. "Silence=Death" and all this melodrama. Jeez.

Amartel said...

So now the activists who have pushed and pushed for gay marriage, on the ground of equal rights, want special rules for themselves. Fuhgeddaboudit. Welcome to the jungle. We got fun and games. You can have anything you want but you can't have it for free.

So tempted to argue that government should get out of the marriage biz altogether. Tax breaks for people who are raising children in their home. The end. (Ya, I know, the children.)

Gay marriage is a made-up political issue albeit one in which a lot of good but maybe not so bright people have gotten very emotionally invested. This burning need to have the government ratify your personal decisions is quite pitiful. I wonder if most gay people left to their own devices would even care about this issue. I knew gay guys back in the 80s who insisted that marriage was a bourgeois institution for hetero babymaking slobs. (Mom and Dad would be so proud.) They probably changed their minds only because it became culturally advantageous to do so, not out of any yearning to ... have some government clerk rubberstamp a piece of paper with their names on it. This has been the longest and most annoying engagement in history.

Synova said...

"I want to see this data! Segregating people, and giving them less of a chance to interact with large groups of people makes them better at working in groups. Does the military know about this?"

Segregating by age and locking kids up in institutions where they have less of a chance to interact naturally, or learn to form voluntary cooperative groups to reach mutual goals, does not teach them to work well in groups.

Every compulsory group activity where no one can agree on the goal and grades are dispensed the same to the slacker as to the worker-bee as well as the bright person who cooperated but knew it was a bad idea all along but didn't push their better one... teaches people not to work well in groups.

Children brought up to work in a number of small voluntary cooperative activities made up of people of a variety of ages learn goal setting, leadership (over younger ones), following (when they are the less able), delegating, taking responsibility for doing their share since they'll be held responsible by people they *choose* to be with and *care* about, if they decide to slide.

So they learn to work better in groups by being in natural, rather than artificial group environments.

Trapper Townshend said...

Moreover, I'm just running out of sympathy for the 'urgency' gay activism insists upon. "Silence=Death" and all this melodrama. Jeez.

Silence=Death was an ACT-UP thing. People really were dying, only they were dying because their communal-sewer sex culture was killing them. They convinced themselves that Ronald Reagan had run around with a syringe and infected them himself (ever read or seen Angels in America?)

Calling it all melodrama I think kind of misses the point. It really is horribly tragic.

m stone said...

Freeman makes some very good points to the open-minded.

Geoff Matthews said...


Katherine M. Franke doesn't represent the attitudes of most gay people who would happily marry if it were legal.


I don't know if that's correct. Let's take Canada, which recognized SSM starting 2003 (Ontario, the largest Province, was first). Between this time and October of 2006, 12,348 SSM were registered with the Canadian government.

Canada had a population of about 31 million in 2006, with about 22 million 18 or older (estimation,as the age category was 15-64). Assuming 4% of the population identifies as homosexual, this would leave a marriage population of 880,000 homosexuals in Canada, or 440,000 couplings.

With the 12,348 couplings that did occur in this time span, that accounts for about 3% of the total possibility of homosexual couplings.

Now, there are some problems with this, namely I'm not looking at the time since October 2006 (though I'd expect the time span immediately after legalization to be a spike, not years afterward), but this is an incredibly low number. Low enough that it leads me to conclude that while many homosexuals like the idea of gay marriage, the vast majority don't want to get married.

(all numbers derived from Wikipedia)

Synova said...

The military culture deals with the slacker in a group without mercy or recourse or official notice.

Trooper York said...

One thing about this contest.

No designated hitter.

woof said...

Low enough that it leads me to conclude that while many homosexuals like the idea of gay marriage, the vast majority don't want to get married.

Well, I certainly want to get married but can't even get a date.

Palladian said...

"Whether homosexual behavior is a product of freewill or due to a biological mutation, it is an unnatural behavior. It does not contribute to the fitness of our species."

Ah! The appeal to "nature"! Pray, Herr Doktor, what is "natural behavior"?

And how about the "fitness of our species"? How do we determine what constitutes that rather vague notion?

I'm assuming you're pro-abortion. After all, why should we allow people like Sarah Palin to bring "biological mutations" like Trig Palin into the world? It's just not good for the "fitness of our species".

Geoff Matthews said...

An addendum to my earlier post, Statistics Canada, in 2006, counted 45,300 same-sex couples. 7,500 were married, 37,900 were common-law.
So, of homosexual couplings in Canada, 16.5% were married.

I should correct one assumption from the prior post. Stats Canada indicates that 1% of Canadians between 18 and 59 identify as homosexual. This would increase the marriage rate for homosexuals in my prior post to 12%. Apologies all around.

http://www42.statcan.gc.ca/smr08/2008/smr08_118_2008-eng.htm

Trapper Townshend said...

@ Geoff Matthews:

I think it is true that a lot of gay people don't want to get married.

Maybe a sizable number of them are the Frankes of the world, who represent a dated '60s mindset which is dying off. Maybe not.

Seeing a high number not get married doesn't mean that they don't want to get married.

Making gay marriage legal, one might argue, could lead to gay people becoming more assimilated and societal pressure nudging them more towards marriage with each passing generation. I don't know how strong of an argument that is, but it's an argument.

How did the percentage of heterosexual marriages / potential heterosexual marriages compare?

Palladian said...

Typing things on keyboards doesn't seem very "natural"... I think that n.n might be a BIOLOGICAL MUTATION who ist not contributing to zee fitness of ze species!

Palladian said...

Geoff Matthews, what relevance do statistics about Canadians have to a discussion about human society?

Palladian said...

"Why? Sure, there are cynical reasons like, "to win votes!" But does a logical reason exist? I am able to think of only one: to encourage stability in society."

Y'all flushed that argument down the toilet when you invented no-fault divorce.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: Not all homeschoolers segregate their children from society.

I would hope none of them did!

Both public school and homeschooling have problems. Some are the same, some are unique. But by letting people deal with the negative consequences they think they can best handle we give them a chance to solve problems everyone faces, and help make society as a whole a better place.

I just want to apply that same concept to marriage.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: I still see people in "Silence=Death" shirts. I kinda assume it's moved on to a 'gay teen suicide' sort of deal.

Deaths by wasting illness are certainly horrific and grievous. Whether one is right to think of AIDS as 'tragic' in some Sophoclean sense, I'm not sure. Camille Paglia at least suggests that at times-- I know she's invoked 'hubris' and spoken repeatedly of the 'heroic' nature of this doomed defiance of reality [in the sense of expecting rampant promiscuity without consequences, specifically venereal].

But in the generic, non-literary sense: yes, it's tragic.

I'm just arguing about the 'melodrama', as I call it, of a brand of agitation and thinking. I'm not interested in frying a bigger fish.

I'm not sure whether you're haunted by or contemptuous of the waste of that generation of gay men. For my part, one must be humanly sorry for that terrible waste, however foolishly provoked by behaviors I cannot endorse (even with 'protection', bathhouse sex is still a bestial pursuit of empty physical gratification in a way that can hardly avoid being called 'dehumanized').

As things stand, no disease hovers over the gay community, and what few gay teens might kill themselves probably have at least a few non-sexual-identity personal issues that transcend the voyeuristic scolding and mockery that teens will always inflict on teens, regardless of orientation.

But the tone of a good deal of gay activism and, yes, cultural 'production' sounds like they just strode out of Auschwitz. It's insulting and maudlin.

Geoff Matthews said...

For the record, I could be persuaded to support SSM if it also accompanied a ban on no-fault divorce.

Trooper York said...

I think the trophy for our contest will be a golden bearded clam.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Trooper York: One thing about this contest.

No designated hitter.

All the Althouse commenters in one room, all armed with baseball bats. It would be bloody, but it would settle things pretty quick.

Palladian said...

"...(even with 'protection', bathhouse sex is still a bestial pursuit of empty physical gratification in a way that can hardly avoid being called 'dehumanized')"

You talk like that's a bad thing...

Talk about drama queens, Lucius, you're fast becoming the prima donna of this tawdry little operetta.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Synova: Children brought up to work in a number of small voluntary cooperative activities made up of people of a variety of ages learn goal setting, leadership (over younger ones), following (when they are the less able), delegating, taking responsibility for doing their share since they'll be held responsible by people they *choose* to be with and *care* about, if they decide to slide.

So they learn to work better in groups by being in natural, rather than artificial group environments.

Sounds a lot like a one-room schoolhouse to me. We have at least three options now!

Trooper York said...

Jason you lost the thread.

This is a pussy eating contest in Coney Island on the Fourth of July.

I already have sponsers. The WNBA and Arthur Treachers Fish and Chips.

Trooper York said...

I think many (maybe most) of the Althouse commenters might want to sit this one out. Just sayn'

Trapper Townshend said...

I'm not sure whether you're haunted by or contemptuous of the waste of that generation of gay men.

Maybe I'm both, though I think being contemptuous is a failing on my part. Like I said before, I don't think I'm immune to the same temptations.

I'm not interested in frying a bigger fish... But the tone of a good deal of gay activism and, yes, cultural 'production' sounds like they just strode out of Auschwitz. It's insulting and maudlin.

If you're not interested in frying a bigger fish, then I think your point is weak. What you're describing is true of our culture in general. Look at the labor unions.

Lucius said...

@Palladian: Oh for the love of God!

Look, I can stomach a Lord Byron or a Vicomte de Valmont. The occasional ingenuous threesome (of whatever gender-blend) is no objection to standing in good company either.

But I really can't brook bathhouses.

Camille Paglia's quartet of essays to her gay male compadres in "Vamps & Tramps" is moving and persuasive. All the same, brilliant polymath Fessenden, with his hair down to his waist, his inveterate coke habit, and his trawling in bathouses, does not sound like a persuasive icon of the Life of the Mind.

Modernity predisposes us to overindulgence. But that's no excuse. Fucking strangers in the dark is bestial, if anything consensual ever is.

And don't get your knickers in a Sullivan knot thinking 'bestial' means *bestiality*. I'm talking "Hamlet" 'bestial'. Is that too operettic for you?

kimsch said...

Illinois passed and Gov. Quinn signed into law, a civil union bill. It's for both homosexual and heterosexual couples (so they couldn't call it "gay marriage".) What it is, however, is "marriage lite" - some of the benefits without some of the consequences... As it's brand-spanking new we don't know how many of each orientation will take advantage of it.

Carol_Herman said...

In families where two people work ... there were two medical plans to choose from.

And, it covered the kids.

Then, along came divorces. And, lawyers who saw that the kids needed coverage.

Now, a kid can be covered until 25, as long as they're only students.

Now, in Massachusetts, you're getting politicians fiddling with a never-was-before right for people to marry, who aren't man and wife. And, who aren't committing bigamy in the process.

On the other hand, Civil war soldiers married very young gals ... and when they died ... the gals continued to get benefits until the grew old and died.

Geoff Matthews said...

Palladian,

I'm from Canada. Canada doesn't differ too much, culturally from the US, and it has SSM. I'll agree it isn't a perfect fit, but its the best comparison out there.

Trapper,

The 2006 Census listed 12,470,000 married couples in Canada for 2006. Out of a population of 31,612,897 (or, 31 million), that puts 40% of all Canadians as married. If we take only the aforementioned 22 million used in the prior example, then 56.7%.


I understand the idea of integration, but my big worry is the idea that the idea of marriage will change. I can think of different scenarios that this could happen, but this is just my thinking. I could be wrong, or I something could happen that I didn't consider. Making changes like this has unintended consequences, and I'd like to see how this plays out in other countries before we conduct this experiment on ourselves.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Trooper York: Jason you lost the thread.

I never care if I win or lose, as long as I learn something.

P. S. I also love Trooper York.

Carol_Herman said...

"Oh, are you from the bride's side, or the groom's side?"

My dad, who came to America in the summer of 1913, said that weddings were a place a person could go to eat.

So, he said, he'd put on his good suit. And, go into a church. Where the affair started. He then have to tell an usher "which side of the family had invited him). So he could get seated in the right pew.

Marriages had customs that fed entire villages, once upon a time.

Lucius said...

@Trapper Townsend: But see, the labor unions don't think they have aesthetics on their side. They don't really believe they're *poets* or something.

Anyway, I don't move in those circles. Politically I'm interested in stopping the unions; culturally they're a nullity.

Gay cultural discourse has become juvenile & full of melodramatic scenarios. Oh, the alienation! Noone ever died before AIDS, no teen would kill him/herself in a world without homophobia. And there remains a definite subtext that gay love is, simply, superior somehow. More ennobled, resistant. Also--more pleasurable; sexier. And--shhh!-- none of them stupid monogamy hangups either!

I don't necessarily resent something like, say, Michelle Tea claiming she worries about straight women's pussies because they're not 'living up to their full potential' (ie: getting fisted by other women-- though then why shouldn't getting fisted by men be even *more* trying out their potential?).

Doubtless she's just being taunting and, so to speak, flirty. She's actually quite a good writer, though she makes far too much of both her teenagedom and her lesbianism, which basically means (you guessed it) she's ghettoized herself as a writer into the Urban Queer Identity.

But in the sex-positive/queer activist community people take these things so *seriously*. And stupidly. They push libertinism and don't even know it. Then they think heteronormative types are just judgmental, bigoted fools because they don't tolerate them.

They don't ask themselves just how much they've started demanding; or how hypocritical or just confused the complaints about being walled off from respectability are when coming from a platform that often sounds like forced sexual re-education of every teen until everyone's a nonmonogamous bicurious sexplorer with a toy chest worth $500 (from a 'Sex-Positive Dyke-owned Store'!!)

Big Mike said...

But I think it would be acceptable to have a 2-tier approach to state-sanctioned relationships just for same-sex couples who are already in domestic partnerships.

No it's not.

Heterosexual couples, even couples that have been living together for a number of years, still have to marry to get the legal benefits of marriage. Why you think that ought to be different for homosexual couples is utterly beyond me.

Penny said...

There is NO END to "rights fighting" in America, and no victory that will get us further along than exactly where we started.

Trooper York said...

Dude I meant you forgot what the contest was about. You certainly didn't lose the argument.

I figured you just blocked the thought of a pussy eating contest out of your mind.

And I love you too buddy. You are one of my favorite commenters and you have a great blog of your own.

Trapper Townshend said...

@ Lucius

Your last comment leaves me thinking, OK, we don't disagree at all!

It's been fun, but I have to run.
(Aesthetics.)

Jason (the commenter) said...

I can't believe people are having another conversation about bath houses.

Do these things even exist anymore? Hasn't everyone heard of Grindr? There's something to be outraged about that doesn't make you sound like you're a hundred and two.

YoungHegelian said...

@lucius,

"...everyone's a nonmonogamous bicurious sexplorer with a toy chest worth $500 (from a 'Sex-Positive Dyke-owned Store'!!)"

$500! Oh stop it! Now you're just being ridiculous!

Everyone knows a Sybian alone will set you back over $1400!

Lucius said...

@Young Hegelian: Well, I was just thinking a couple of Tantus toys, a bullet and a waterproof Rabbit, a Hitachi with two attachments, some clamps . . . .

Freeman Hunt said...

I would hope none of them did!

I don't know any that do, but I'm assuming that they must exist. (If they're segregating from society, I suppose I couldn't possibly know them.)

I don't see any evidence that children in schools have to do any more problem solving than children who are homeschooled.

Homeschooling, however, is not subsidized besides. Neither is private schooling. Though, based on outcomes, perhaps both should be at the same rate of public schooling.

I would add that schooling has logical purposes aside from stability. It also hasn't been established that public schooling leads to any increase in societal stability over home or private schooling.

Lucius said...

@Jason (the commenter):

Well, Trapper Townshend (afterthefact apologies to same for dropping the 'h') were backtracking 70s/80s context.

Thankfully, Mickey Kaus has kept me abreast of the existence of grindr.

Though, until Camille Paglia weighs in I will not have an opinion . . . .

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Marriage was a social construct that was mainly about property, inheriting property, children's paternity and preserving wealth. It had nothing much to do with love. This is why Catholic priests were forbidden to marry. They might pass along their land and wealth to children instead of the church.

Much of marriage today is still all about money. IRS rules. Social Security. Insurance Coverage.

That isn't to say that love doesn't factor into marriage on the micro level. However, on the macro level, government, society.....it's about money.

I could give a rip about same sex marriage. I just think that if you want the title...."married" you get to play by the same rules as everyone else.

If you don't like the rules...change them for everyone or just shut up....because you really aren't a special snowflake.

:-D

Penny said...

Imagine, for just one minute, that we Americans were suddenly ALL "equalized".

You can't imagine that. Can you?

OK, it's hard to do. But, go ahead. Massage your brain a bit.

Right after you imagine what it would be like to be the richest son-of-a-bitch you know, you'd have to equalize that thought with being the poorest so-and-so you know.

Just when you thought your life was looking up, you'd have to look down at your friend who was having his worst day... ever.

Want to equalize that?

Or perhaps, just what suits?

Is it about money?

Or maybe just about what someone else has that you want?

Hey! They told me that you had "THAT"! And they want some of that so they are all "IT" ... too.

Penny said...

There is NO END to "rights fighting" in America, and no victory that will get us further along than exactly where we started.

Penny said...

And ain't THAT a bitch!

Oligonicella said...

"But I think it would be acceptable to have a 2-tier approach to state-sanctioned relationships just for same-sex couples who are already in domestic partnerships."

But not for men/woman already in a domestic partnerships? Explain why.

Jason (the commenter) said...

There's about 25,000 people watching a live-stream of the NY senate about to vote on marriage equality.

Oligonicella said...

woof --

"Wow, you straight people are always talking about sex acts !"

Woof - meet Titus.

Borepatch said...

"I want equality. It's simple fairness."

Oh, wait - I want to be more equal.

It's all so very tedious.

Palladian said...

"There's about 25,000 people watching a live-stream of the NY senate about to vote on marriage equality."

Jesus, you'd think a bunch of New York faggots would have something better to do on a Friday night!

Penny said...

I was born to die, just like you.

It doesn't get more equal than that!

Yet you... "Want some more"?

Well..fortunately, we're all of us Americans here.

And as a former Girl Scout? I can tell you that there is not a thing quite like a campfire... a marshmallow on a stick, a hunk of chocolate and a graham cracker that seems to be charged with holding it all together.

We American's need some more s'mores!

CachorroQuente said...


It's people like the Duggars who are doing the major subsidizing.


There you go: breeder logic. I don't know which is more astounding, the arrogance or the stupidity.

Penny said...

DAMN, it's raining!

Anyone here who can pitch a tent?

Surely, there must be one? ;)

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't know which is more astounding, the arrogance or the stupidity.

Oops, you made a big typo there. I think "the arrogance or the stupidity" was supposed to be "the utter brilliance or the piercing insight." You must be trying to type on a touchscreen.

woof said...

SSM just passed in NY.

Jason (the commenter) said...

woof :SSM just passed in NY.

That was an amendment, they're voting on the bill now.

Palladian said...

"SSM just passed in NY."

Wow, that's a big surprise.

Penny said...

Aw, Freeman. You need to lighten up now and again.

It's only fair!

Why should everyone else here be having fun while you are slogging along... with what most Althousians would consider to be another mighty impressive point?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Over 40,000 people are watching now! A Democratic state senator denounced everyone who is voting FOR marriage equality.

Penny said...

Course, I don't necessarily count myself among "most".

I'm quite "special" that way.

Marshal said...

"Jason (the commenter) said...

Freeman Hunt: Within the American society that currently exists, marriage is a stabilizing force.

But that wasn't a reason it was set up, it's just an excuse to not change the unequal laws we have now."

This is the most bizarrely ahistorical comment of the thread. Marriage has existed for the entirety of recorded human history, and likely existed much longer before that than since. Yet someone thinks modern Americans "set up" marriage to intentionally reinforce the vagaries of modern society.

People don't end up with these ideas by happenstance. They end up with them because radicals pushing a political agenda control the information flow. And those same radicals coach these same targets to reject information which differs from their indoctrination program.

Penny said...

I might even DEMAND a "special bus" to take me out of here if someone doesn't soon pitch a friggin' tent to get me out of this downpour.

t-man said...

Jason,

I have always respected you as a commenter, but your statement that society should be fighting against the family was a real eye-opener. I simply don't think you are the best voice on this, because you are an adult now and therfore don't need a family for support as a child, and in your situation you have absolutely no stake in society beyond your immediate lifespan. Children do better when raised by their parents and families do have a stake in the future. These are very stabilizing forces.

Luther said...

"singles are exactly the same as debtors to humanity in terms of its continued success while people who have children are creditors"

Wait a minute. While I do at times grumble about taxes, school district taxes in particular, given the results. I do also see it as my obligation to contribute to society, even as a no children marriage.

There are some awfully broad brushes being used in this conversation.

Penny said...

"Broad brushes"?

Yeah, I noticed that too. But since Freeman doesn't usually take an artist's stance, I was willing to follow along at first.

Penny said...

Now? Hey...

Maybe Freeman's not so much herself tonight.

Which is precisely why I invited her to share s'mores under the "big tent".

Freeman Hunt said...

What some of us mean by people having children being the real subsidizers of society is that without children, there is no society.

If everyone went childless, there would, over a short time, be no sanitation, no medicine, no stores, no services, no food, no goods, nothing. The world would be full of old, destitute people leaving out the end of a mean existence.

Children grow into the adults who provide these things within society. Somebody else's kid later becomes your doctor, your grocer, your garbage man, etc. Under the current system, they also grow into the adults who pay for an older generation's Social Security and Medicare. Under a basic system, they would, at least, grow up to fund essential government services like infrastructure and military. And they'd be the people actually providing the infrastructure and military.

That is how people like the Duggars end up subsidizing everyone else.

Penny said...

Now that me and Freeman are out of the rain and under the big tent, I think she might acknowledge that the singles and the childless aren't so much "takers" as they are "choosers".

Titus said...

Welcome, New York State, to gay marriage.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm not saying that the single and childless are "takers." I don't think they're trying to take anything. They just make a choice, and the natural outcome of that choice is that their standard of living is generally subsidized by people who do have children. (The "creditors" line was written by Seven Machos, not me.)

I was responding to the comment from someone that as a single, childless person, he was sick of subsidizing families. My point is that he isn't doing that, and, if anything, it's the other way around.

Jason (the commenter) said...

t-man: I have always respected you as a commenter, but your statement that society should be fighting against the family was a real eye-opener.

Look at the entire planet and at human history: Women have acid thrown at them for breaking with arranged marriages. There are places trapped in poverty because huge extended families own most of the land. Other societies are rife with corruption because people are obsessed with nepotism and getting their family members jobs. Organized crime families and blood feuds are big problems in some places.

It's natural for people to want to help their family members, and it's a human strength, but it's also our major weakness. It's brought down countless regimes and caused endless misery.

Penny said...

Where we would wholeheartedly agree is that we need to give a special eye to what seems to be "working well" for America.

Kirk Parker said...

Freeman,

You're not quite are replacement rate--don't you owe us an additional 0.1 child? Better get busy...

Luther said...

I haven't finished the thread, but...

"That's a great question. Maybe we can have a pussy eating contest at Coney Island on the Fourth of July."

That is a great suggestion, I mean, why not. Everything else goes nowadays, right.

Maybe I'll start liking this progressive hedonist thing after all.

wv - anizer... fill in the blanks.

Penny said...

"They just make a choice, and the natural outcome of that choice is that their standard of living is generally subsidized by people who do have children."

You need to convince me of this particular point, while you don't need to convince me ONE BIT that society is better off when we have children, and then take responsibility to raise them to be thoughtful and contributing adults.

t-man said...

Your answer is that human nature is our enemy? What subsitutes for the family after you've broken it down? The government? That's all there is, buddy.

Freeman Hunt said...

You need to convince me of this particular point,

The grocer, etc argument was supposed to do that, but if it didn't, I'll put it another way.

If my neighbor goes out and spends a fortune on landscaping, that subsidizes my home value. I'm not taking anything from him, it's just that his home value going up makes mine go up too. He had to spend money and time to do it, but I didn't.

Or take pregnancy for example. A couple decides to get pregnant. There is no getting around the fact that the woman has to do most of the work of the pregnancy. That's just how it is. You could say that she is subsidizing the man in this. That wouldn't impugn the man in any way. He's not doing anything wrong. It's just a fact of life.

Jason (the commenter) said...

t-man: Your answer is that human nature is our enemy? What subsitutes for the family after you've broken it down? The government? That's all there is, buddy.

In the West we've taken a lot of the feelings we used to reserve for our families and channeled them into community spirit. Stregthen people's sense of family and they will care less about the wellbeing of society as a whole. And then society might fall apart.

All the historical examples I can think of involve just that. Never people not valuing family enough and then society collapsing.

ALH said...

If Kobayashi is invited to Trooper's Coney Island eating contest
no one else has a chance.

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