February 7, 2012

Prop 8 ruling from the 9th Circuit is expected momentarily.

At 10 a.m. Pacific Time, noon Central.

UPDATE: The court holds that the ban on same-sex marriage violates equal protection.

AND: Here's the opinion [PDF].

ALSO: What Prop 8 did, the court writes, was take away the designation "marriage," and that word matters:
We are excited to see someone ask, "Will you marry me?", whether on bended knee or in text splashed across a stadium Jumbotron. Certainly it would not have the same effect to see "Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?". Groucho Marx's one-liner, "Marriage is a wonderful institution... but who wants to live in an institution?" would lack its punch if the word "marriage" were replaced with the alternative phrase. So too with Shakespeare's "A young man married is a man that's marr'd," Lincoln's "Marriage is neither heaven no hell, it is simply purgatory," and Sinatra's "A man doesn't know what happiness is until he's married. By then it's too late." We see tropes like "marrying for love" versus "marrying for money" played out again and again in our films and literature because of the recognized importance of the marriage relationship. Had Marilyn Monroe's film been called How to Register a Domestic Partnership with a Millionaire, it would not have conveyed the same meaning as did her famous movie....
You get the idea. The judges are old. I mean... marriage — even just the word — matters.

271 comments:

1 – 200 of 271   Newer›   Newest»
Bender said...

Realize that the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals is routinely the appellate court most reversed by the Supreme Court, often with quite sharp opinions criticizing the lunacy of that court.

write_effort said...

I wonder how Justice Kennedy feels right now.

ricpic said...

The People are so benighted. Once more the Anointed save us from the will of the Benighted.

edutcher said...

Looks like we'll see which side wants some changes on the Court more this year.

Crunchy Frog said...

Lower court upheld, 2-1. No surprise there. Still waiting to see full text. Expect "super" en banc hearing to follow, if it doesn't go immediately to SCOTUS.

John Stodder said...

Funny how the high courts are almost a negative asset to the side that wins in a high-profile case

Politically, it helps the right that the court has gone left in this case.

Politically, it will help the left if the court goes right on Obamacare, as expected.

wv: comate

shiloh said...

hmm, that equal protection bugaboo that so annoys conservatives.

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate the numbers. Prop 8. 9th Circuit. 10 AM.

11th-hour save?

Bender said...

I wonder how Justice Kennedy feels right now.

Jester Kennedy is beyond compunction.

Mark Nielsen said...

@MM: I appreciate the numbers. Prop 8. 9th Circuit. 10 AM. 11th-hour save?

And High Noon with Supreme Court appointments on the line this November.

Curious George said...

Did I just hear a big cheer from Utah?

AJ Lynch said...

Count me shocked NOT.

Simon said...

Unintentionally hilarious line in the opinion: "The People of California are largely free to structure their system of governance as they choose, and we respect their choice." (Op. 27.) Translation: "Californians may enact those laws that we will permit by whatever means they choose."

edutcher said...

shiloh said...

hmm, that equal protection bugaboo that so annoys conservatives.

Hmm,

Since equal protection was meant to protect blacks' civil rights, something the Left and the Democrats ignored for a century, it would seem it annoys Lefties a lot more.

Equal protection, however, has nothing to do with creating another privileged class. Marriage is about protecting the rights of the stay-at-home spouse and dependent kids.

cubanbob said...

I suspect the Supreme Court will find all kinds of errors the trial judge made and reverse both the trial and appellate courts and remand it for a new trial. By a judge not so obviously partisan as the original trial judge.

Simon said...

write_effort said...
"I wonder how Justice Kennedy feels right now."

He is likely to be the only member of the court who isn't exasperated and worried, because while he, like every member of the court, knows that the cert petition is a bullet headed for One First Street Northeast, he, alone among the justices, knows what Anthony Kennedy will decide.

Chip S. said...

"...we respect their choice..." to about the same extent as abortion advocates respect the SGK Foundation's choice.

Slightly more accurate version: "You have the right to choose correctly."

Jay said...

Certainly it would not have the same effect to see "Will you enter into a registered domestic partnership with me?"

ah, the modern liberal jurisprudence hard at work...

wef said...

How does this ruling avoid undermining anti-polygamy laws? Let's hope it doesn't. I myself am anxiously waiting for the ninth to find a constitutional argument for gay polyandry.

Mark O said...

So, the word "marriage" has meaning, but it's application over history to a specific coupling does not? In each of those cited examples, it was man and woman. I don't find that line of reasoning to be useful in making a decision.

Next, a court will use an equal protection analysis to declare higher salaries unconstitutional.

Everything's free, but us.

Mark O said...

Polygamy? That was determined by Loving v. Virginia. Just waiting.

bagoh20 said...

"We are excited to see someone ask, "Will you marry me?"

Speak for yourself!

DADvocate said...

Monroe's movie could easily be called "How I Suckered a Millionaire" which also uses a little double entendre.

Will two heterosexual people of the same gender be able to marry each other? I could see someone doing this for health insurance or other reasons of financial benefit. Or, do the people have to claim to have a sexual relationship (although lots of married couples don't). A huge can of worms in my book. Equal protection means equal protection, unless you're a man and the other party is a woman, of course.

David said...

We have now come to the point where the judiciary routinely steps in to resolve difficult controversies that the political process is still grappling with. I do not think that the equal protection argument here is frivolous at all. I could see the present Supreme Court affirming a ruling like this, and not just by 5-4. Nevertheless, even though I favor gay marriage, this makes me uneasy. In the long run decisions of crucial issues by small elites is not good for democracy or freedom.

Dan in Philly said...

Weird to think that a constitutional amendment can be unconstitutional. I guess it's a subtle thing beyond my ability to comprehend.

bagoh20 said...

So all we needed was a better word and we could have avoid all this kerfuffle?

How about "fuckage"?

I do get excited when someone asks: "Will you fuck me?"

DADvocate said...

I don't find that line of reasoning to be useful in making a decision.

They quoted the great philosopher Sinatra for Chrissake!! And, YOU don't find it useful!

John Stodder said...

I don't know why the right can't give up on this issue. Other than it being a change to what was done previously by time-honored tradition -- something the right instinctively opposes, and often not without good reason -- gay marriage is nowhere near as disruptive to rooted social and economic arrangements as, say, Obamacare.

Change is inevitable, especially a change like this one, where all that's really being proposed is to open a time-honored institution to people who were previously excluded from it. The conservative position that I could support is: Don't rush into it. See how it works.

Well, we've had a few years with it now in several states and overseas. Is it really so bad? Are heterosexuals abandoning their vows? Are children suffering because of it? I think at this point, the burden of proof has shifted to the right to make evidentiary arguments that the change that has taken place is harmful. I don't think they can do it.

The one person the right should fire from further involvement in this issue is Maggie Gallagher, the master (mistress) of circular logic that is only persuasive to those already prejudiced against gay marriage.

You get the feeling that most intelligent right-wingers have gone through a moment of being horrified by gay marriage, followed by being forced to recognize that while it is a great issue to stir up the grassroots and to raise money from the great unwashed, it's empty calories intellectually. It all comes down to "I don't like gay marriage because it bothers me. I didn't spend my girlhood fantasizing about weddings so I could see gay people having them. And I would sure hate it if my son or daughter wanted to marry someone of their own sex." Yeah? So? You can't stack that up on the scale of concerns with the government trying to force religious institutions to violate their consciences and rules. Allowing gay marriage forces it on nobody.

Triangle Man said...

Marriage is about protecting the rights of the stay-at-home spouse and dependent kids.

@edutcher

Remind us again how Althouse and Meade fit into your personal view of marriage?

Simon said...

Mark O said...
"So, the word "marriage" has meaning, but it's application over history to a specific coupling does not?"

That's the slight-of-hand here. To hammer the decision into the theoretical confines of substantive due process, the courts have to say that the case implicates a fundamental right. Well, of course it does, they say! It is absolutely settled that "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival." Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967) (quoting Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942)). And that's true. The problem is that the long tradition that identifies marriage as a fundamental right presupposes the semantic content of the word "marriage." So here, the plaintiffs and the judges simply assert that what is at issue is "marriage," note that marriage is fundamental, and done. Unless you challenge the whole SDP enterprise, you're done. Case closed, game over, beat it you bigots.

But marriage isn't at issue here. That's precisely the point. What we're talking about here is not something that either the tradition as a whole or any individual link in the chain would recognize as the "marriage" of which they spoke.

John Stodder said...

Weird to think that a constitutional amendment can be unconstitutional. I guess it's a subtle thing beyond my ability to comprehend.

A state constitutional amendment can violate the United States Constitution.

But you know that.

If, say, Illinois passed a state constitutional amendment banning gun ownership, you would not express the same phony confusion.

TMink said...

I agree with the justices that the word marriage matters. I just prefer the historical and accurate meaning of the word.

Trey

Matthew said...

"I don't know why the right can't give up on this issue. Other than it being a change to what was done previously by time-honored tradition -- something the right instinctively opposes, and often not without good reason -- gay marriage is nowhere near as disruptive to rooted social and economic arrangements as, say, Obamacare."

In this case, it is an example of the court reaching the right conclusion (there should be marriage type contracts for homosexual couples), through a tortured, illogical process.

bagoh20 said...

John, the argument is that government bestows benefits upon the married for the benefit of child support which has little to do with gay marriage.

I think having children by whatever means should be the only route to those benfits, hetero or homo, no kids , no benefits.

Rich said...

On a quick perusal it looks like a narrow ruling, limited to situations where a state originally expressly extended marriage rights to same-sex couples and then takes them away. It is unlikely to have much direct applicability outside California, most likely a Reinhardt measure to insulate the ruling -- to the extent possible -- from Supreme Court scrutiny.

traditionalguy said...

And what was the use of voting on Proposition 8?

Was it only a political charade to incite the heteros to make donations and vote?

Or was it an attempt to uphold Biblical righteousness in the post Christian era?

The Gay Community is equal now. So what?

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton can come out of the closet?

bagoh20 said...

An analogy would be if white men demanded being identified as a minority group. Even though they actually are, that's clearly not the historical meaning of the word, and people would get pretty upset at those trying to just change the word to mean what they want...or is that what already happened in the first place?

Xmas said...

Very circular reasoning. A state judge rules that the CA state constitution infers the allowance of same-sex marriage, the voters of the state change the constitution so it explicitely doesn't and then a Federal court says it's unconstitutional to change your constitution...

Alex said...

A great day for civil rights.

Levi Starks said...

Equal protection?
not if your current place of residence is in your mothers uterus.

victoria said...

Finally the court is on the right side of the issue. I am all for marriage equality!!!!


Vicki from Pasadena

John Stodder said...

But isn't marriage kind of a rara avis in our legal structure already? Its legal definition is weak tea derived from its common-law and spiritual roots, but not to be confused with it. There is no reason to defend the list of legal privileges and rights associated with marriage from being accorded to gays. It costs society nothing to share these benefits equally, and on those grounds impossible to argue they shouldn't be shared.

Now, on the other hand, I would vigorously oppose a law or regulation that required a religious institution to provide the sanction of marriage "in the church" to a gay couple if its tenets are in opposition. It's not my business or government's to tell a church, mosque or synagogue where to bestow their blessings.

It's kind of like how I look at the abortion issue. There are plenty of places to oppose abortion: 1. Don't have one. 2. Teach your children to shun them. 3. Don't patronize doctors that give them. 4. Don't allow yourself as a taxpayer to be forced to pay for them. All of that is more meaningful than turning your government into a police force against abortion.

Ditto gay marriage. 1. Don't marry someone of the same sex. 2. Pass on your values regarding this matter to your children as best you can. 3. Don't attend a church that allows them. 4. Fight against government efforts to force your church to provide them. All that's fine, allowing you to maintain your position while acknowledging it's a pluralistic society and you can't decide such things for everyone else, especially not with the government as your weapon.

Paul Zrimsek said...

There's something fascinating about watching this decision tiptoe along the knife-edge-- the distinction between 'civil union' and 'marriage' is, at one and the same time, important enough to constitute a civil-rights violation, and too unimportant for the people's insistence on the traditional definition to serve any rational purpose.

As both a gay-marriage supporter and one who falls on the "distinction without a difference" side of the knife-edge, this decision looks to me like another friendly-fire incident for the cause. The best compromise available at the moment-- letting gays marry without calling it marriage-- has been taken away, at least for now in the 9th Circuit.

caseym54 said...

The judges find that there is no difference whatsoever between a same-sex and an opposite-sex marriage, and therefore the amendment is unconstitutional.

I support gay marriage, but this ruling doesn't pass the laugh test.

Michael said...

I think this is just fine. But. It is still not marriage. And it won't be even after there are massive numbers of "married" gays paying child support and alimony. It won't be even after the vile custody fights and the squabbles over the pre-nupts. It won't be marriage ever. Because a sexual union of the "married" partners cannot create a life.

Paul Zrimsek said...

On a quick perusal it looks like a narrow ruling, limited to situations where a state originally expressly extended marriage rights to same-sex couples and then takes them away.

It's narrow on another dimension as well: it's critically dependent on the fact that civil unions were left in place-- and that they are (according to the court) legally identical to marriage in every respect but name. I don't know whether this is the case anyplace else in the country.

Fr Martin Fox said...

John:

Lots of folks -- not just "the right" -- aren't going to give up on this because this is a Trojan Horse. There are folks too naive to see it, and there are folks who know it all too well, but are happy to see the Greeks get in the city.

The real agenda is creating a new "normal" that will be imposed on everyone. Not--as has been piously claimed till this moment--that this is about "diversity" and "openness."

The new "normal" will be that a family is whatever anyone says it is. There is no natural family, composed normally of a father and a mother--and anyone who says there is, is a bigot.

The new "normal" will be imposed as widely as possible. It is already being introduced into schools, down to the kindergarten level. It has been imposed on the military. It is widely celebrated in entertainment by "entertainers," who--if the entire industry gathered, couldn't produce a baker's dozen of working brain cells.

How widely? Well, consider what's happening with contraception and abortion-drugs.

The Obama Administration has mandated that every employer, almost entirely without regard to religious or moral objection, must pay to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs as "health care." Only those religious entities that primarily employ their own, and primarily preach their religion (as opposed to providing meals, medicine, education, etc.) will be exempted. For now, at any rate.

Note also that when the Catholic bishop responsible for members of the military issued a letter--to be read at all Masses for military personnel--regarding this, the Army stepped in and censored the letter. A line had to be taken out; and the letter, priests were told, was not to be read, but the Army graciously allowed it to be posted.

Consider also that the issue of "family" has already arisen with adoption agencies, and charities in D.C. Catholic charities have been knocked out of adoptions in two states, precisely because Catholics will not submit to a new definition of "family."

The issue is not, is not, about whether any two or more people can tell others they are "married." You can do that now.

It is not about whether you have hospital visitation or inheritance. That's a smoke screen.

No, it's about one thing only: gaining the moral approval of society as a whole. Meaning that anyone who dissents will be a bigot.

Because, of course, that's the best way to shout down anyone who asks too many questions.

The good news is that reality always wins in the end. Unfortunately, the cost of obstinant pretending can be very high.

Jay said...

And what was the use of voting on Proposition 8?


I don't know, but my question is, what is the use of living in California?

dbp said...

"marriage — even just the word — matters. "

Logic, common sense and democracy don't.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

The modern phenomena created by the left where competitive youth sports has been turned into a self-esteem workshop IS recognized by 'utes for what it is - that is, they know who really won that soccer match or baseball game despite the coaches calling it a 'tie'.

Same with the left trying to turn marriage into something it 'aint.

The real-life participants know the difference.

But, don't tell the left - shhhh!!!

wv - minti

Michael said...

Fr Martin Fox: Thank you.

Chuck66 said...

I am confused. Any laws saying marriage will remain between one woman and one man, applies the same to everyone. Just as laws against marrying your sister or brother apply the same to everyone.

Does a law that says I cannot purchase insurance that doesn't include free birth control violate the equal protection clause?

Tank said...

Jay said...

And what was the use of voting on Proposition 8?


I don't know, but my question is, what is the use of living in California?


Well, to be fair, Cali is pretty nice in lots of spots. Very nice. It's the people there who are mucking it up (well, have mucked already).

Dan in Philly said...

Wierd that the left tries to claim all of this philosophical high ground while denying any argument from the right. Let's take one by Mr. Stodder:
"It's kind of like how I look at the abortion issue. There are plenty of places to oppose abortion: 1. Don't have one. 2. Teach your children to shun them. 3. Don't patronize doctors that give them. 4. Don't allow yourself as a taxpayer to be forced to pay for them. All of that is more meaningful than turning your government into a police force against abortion. "

It all seems like he's got it going on there, doesn't he? Of course, it totally ignores the central point of those who oppose abortion by posing a straw man which can easily be knocked down. He's pretending that the right only wants to oppose abortion due to moral outrage and the consequense is intrusive politics - hense the "if you are against abortion don't have one" garbage.

This of course denies the argument that the unborn person being killed is a person at all, which is the main argument of those opposing abortion. If he were to accept the reality that a person who is not yet born is indeed a person, and worthy of protection under the law, his straw man falls apart and his oh so clear seeming logic is revealed for the muddying BS it truly is.

Why not go a step farther? "If you are against beating your children, don't beat them." "If you are against murder, don't commit one." "If you are against slavery, don't own a slave." If you deny the personhood of the victim in each of those cases, you have the same logic as presented here, and ignoring the same objection in each and every case.

Why do I bother? Partly because I hate the idea of children being killed without so much as a whisper of protest by those who say they are interested in human rights, and partly because the poor logic offends.

Chuck66 said...

"Will two heterosexual people of the same gender be able to marry each other?"

I actually asked an HR person that at a very PC company I used to work for. She said that you had to show some kind of a committed relationship (such as living together for a long time) to get free benefits for your same sex partner. I wanted to ask if that means I had to prove I was having anal sex with my roomate.


The legal issues are so huge there that you could drive a 747 throuh it.

Bender said...

The equal protection argument is frivolity on mile-high stilts.

Equal protection analysis turns on similarly situated people being treated similarly. And under that analysis, homosexuals have the exact same right to marry as heterosexuals.

That is, a "gay" man has the same right to marry a woman as does a "straight" man. And a straight man does not have any greater right or ability to "marry" a man than a gay does.

There is no -- none, zip, zada -- equal protection issue here.

John Stodder said...

Same with the left trying to turn marriage into something it 'aint.

The real-life participants know the difference.


Of course there are limits on what you think you know another person knows.

But even accepting this is true, why doesn't this argue for the right dropping its opposition to gay marriage? Nothing will change certain aspects of straight marriage that are unique to it vs. any other status. Why assume a change in the law threatens that specialness? There's no evidence for it, and without evidence, you don't have much to fight with.

Chuck66 said...

The reason why even moderates should oppose changing the definiation of marriage is because the left has pledged a scortched earth policy here. They pledged to destroy everyone and everything that doesn't go along.

Want a perfect example...look at the student in Shawano public schools. There were to opinion pieced in the school paper. One supporting gay adoption, one opposing. The student that wrote the opposing one called called into the office the principal and was verbal attacked and abused. It was quite nasty.

John Stodder said...

This of course denies the argument that the unborn person being killed is a person at all, which is the main argument of those opposing abortion.

It doesn't deny it. But I don't think the right makes that argument consistently.

I don't deny that an abortion ends a human life. But I don't believe the state has the right to tell the mother carrying that life that she must carry it or face criminal penalties. I think it's reasonable to allow the woman to terminate that life, pre-viability, if it's within her moral code to do so.

Abortion is very difficult, morally. I don't think my pro-choice position is something to celebrate. But I can't bring myself to turn the state into a weapon against women who want to get an abortion.

By comparison, though, don't you think gay marriage is incredibly easy? Who is being hurt by it?

Bryan C said...

"Will two heterosexual people of the same gender be able to marry each other? I could see someone doing this for health insurance or other reasons of financial benefit."

Sure, why not? Marriage is, historically, as much a financial arrangement a social one.

edutcher said...

Triangle Man said...

Marriage is about protecting the rights of the stay-at-home spouse and dependent kids.

@edutcher

Remind us again how Althouse and Meade fit into your personal view of marriage?


Is not Meade the stay-at-home spouse?

And they can always adopt.

shiloh, for example.

There's someone that needs some strong discipline and good role models.

In any case, homosexual marriage is about getting other people to pay for AIDS treatment because one "spouse" fooled around and now can't work and thus has no health insurance.

And, yes, Father, well said and thank you.

Chuck66 said...

There were to opinion pieced in the school paper.

Make that.."There were two opinion pieces in the school paper"

The Unknown Pundit said...

John Stodder

Well said.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Although I haven't seen too many make this argument, I will make a libertarian argument against this push for "same sex marriage."

And it is this: where does the state obtain the power to determine what marriage is? It's one thing to regulate an institution that precedes the state and the state does not claim the power to create or destroy; it's another to claim the power to change it's very essence.

Now, a very fair criticism can be offered that we have gone rather far down the road, with the state wrecking the permanence of marriage by way of too-easy divorce law.

However, it is simply a fact that while marriage has--through all human history--been polygamous, and not terribly convenantal, it has always been heterosexual.

The frequent citations of those broad-minded Greeks and Romans, who supposedly were totally cool with homosexual behavior and relationships, only serves to make the point: when did any of those enlightened societies recognize "gay marriage"? Why not? It surely wasn't Christian or Jewish opposition, nor animus to gays. So why?

Because they saw what we cover our eyes so as not to see: that marriage arises out of human nature itself, and essentially pertains to procreation.

And please spare us all the citation of individuals who cannot procreate; that's as persuasive as saying, because some people are born blind, therefore it's erroneous to speak of a normal, natural operation to the eye. We know what the eye is for; and we know what human sexuality is for.

John Stodder said...

The reason why even moderates should oppose changing the definiation of marriage is because the left has pledged a scortched earth policy here. They pledged to destroy everyone and everything that doesn't go along.

Then fight THAT. Fight for freedom of conscience. Fight for the freedom of a religious person to express a viewpoint that a secular like myself might not agree with.

Don't fight to use the law as a police power against homosexuals wanting to get a marriage license.

Political correctness is far more harmful than gay marriage.

Fr Martin Fox said...

So the question is, why does anyone who purports to favor individual liberty want to expand government power in this manner?

I'd love to see a court say, "sorry nothing in the federal (or state) constitution gives the state power over this. This is overreach." Which it is.

Determining what marriage is means determining what family is; and ultimately, it's about human nature and identity itself.

Is there nothing beyond the competence of government?

Chuck66 said...

John S...the problem is those of us who don't want to support gay marriage and homosexual causes don't have any power. Look at what happened in Shawano this past week. Look at the bakery in Cleveland, or the photographer in Arizona, or the Boy Scouts in California, or Catholic Charities in Boston and Chicago, or the B&B in Illinois.

Or Target Corporation.

We are being ruled by the Gaystapo. And they have all the power.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"There's no evidence for it, and without evidence, you don't have much to fight with."

And the only constant is 'change'.

One could argue there will never be evidence for it, if looking through the prism of natural offspring. On that point, we can agree.

John Stodder said...

The equal protection argument is frivolity on mile-high stilts.

Equal protection analysis turns on similarly situated people being treated similarly. And under that analysis, homosexuals have the exact same right to marry as heterosexuals.


Um, who's being frivolous here?

This is reductio ad absurdum. It is a couple that petitions the state for the right to obtain a marriage license, not an individual. It is the couple that is turned down in a regime where gay marriage is illegal.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Is not Meade the stay-at-home spouse?

And they can always adopt.

And for all we know, Meade is still able to scatter natural children all over the landscape. The state has a legitimate interest in keeping him at home.

John Stodder said...

John S...the problem is those of us who don't want to support gay marriage and homosexual causes don't have any power.

Under the First Amendment, you certainly do. You're wielding that power right now, writing here.

I think against that lawless school principal, you've got a First Amendment case. The family should get a lawyer.

And if not, you can fight for laws that allow students to say anything they want in the school paper. Work to clarify that the supposed wall between church and state does not apply to student expressions of religious beliefs.

Take some of these other issues off the table and fight political correctness. That would be my advice.

Andy R. said...

It's fun watching all the religious people rail against gay marriage.

Do they not realize they have lost?

Jay said...

Then fight THAT. Fight for freedom of conscience. Fight for the freedom of a religious person to express a viewpoint that a secular like myself might not agree with.

Don't fight to use the law as a police power against homosexuals wanting to get a marriage license.


Alternatively,

The radicals seeking to redefine marriage could fight to persuade their fellow citizens of all the "goodness" of their positon.

Instead, they just get 2 judges to write "unconstituional" and you're in the corner clapping.

G Joubert said...

It's high time for a Title VII-type law that, inter-alia, creates a government agency which can tell religions and churches what they can and cannot believe.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...
It's fun watching all the religious people rail against gay marriage


Its fun watching bigots like you show the true face of the homosexual movement.

Do they not realize they have lost?


As I've said before, since the future is largely defined on who shows up and gay males have a lower life expectancy than straights, good luck with all that.

Jay said...

And if not, you can fight for laws that allow students to say anything they want in the school paper.

The people of California just fought for a law you're saying is ok to be struck down.

Stop while you're behind with the logic, champ.

Andy R. said...

As I've said before, since the future is largely defined on who shows up and gay males have a lower life expectancy than straights, good luck with all that.

I'm guessing this means we can put you among the group of people who don't realize they have lost.

Fr Martin Fox said...

There's no getting around this: this is about what marriage IS.

From forever, marriage's essence has been heterosexual. Who denies this?

So if that is now extracted from the essence of marriage, what IS marriage?

What is it?

Two people who live together for a long time? How long?

Two people who have sexual relations? So two people who don't have sexual relations can't be legally married? How does the state enforce that?

Once you extract procreation from the essence of marriage, then why can't cousins and siblings and parents and children "marry"? Because you think it's icky poo? Who cares? What about their "equal protection" right? Two siblings together seek a marriage license. Why refuse them?

And, of course, why should marriage be limited to two spouses? Where does that come from?

While not an expert in the anthropology of marriage, I have a strong suspicion that's Bible-based. Now that the Natural-Law basis for marriage has been removed, why isn't the legal restriction on the number of spouses an illegitimate imposition of religious values? Why shouldn't a Muslim sue over this?

It seems to me the resulting legal doctrine is that marriage is...nothing.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

I'm guessing this means we can put you among the group of people who don't realize they have lost.



Lost what?

When this ruling is struck down, what will I have lost, clown?

PS: How's gay marriage doing when it is actually put to a vote?

Keep chanting "you won" as if it is true.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"And if not, you can fight for laws that allow students to say anything they want in the school paper."

Right. The short answer is, we just need MORE laws. This, the prescription for bigger government, more oversight, and subservience to those in the black robes.

Brilliant.

Jay said...

By the way, there is such an urgent constitutional issue here that the majority’s opinion claims to be unique to the circumstances of California.

In other words, they're not trying to really say that the US Constitution is being violated.

Or something.

Revenant said...

I'm torn between being happy the marriages will be recognized and being annoyed that the court exceeded its power to recognize them.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"There's no getting around this: this is about what marriage IS."

Agreed.

Homosexual 'marriage' is artificial.

The litmus test being procreation.

Try to argue and nuance your way out of that.

Michael said...

Andy R: You can call it what you will, but you cannot create another life with your partner. Sorry. "Marry" yourself silly but you will not be truly married. Get a ring, sign a prenupt, adopt a child. Sign a paper, find a pastor. Coach ball. Go to PTA. Sorry. Not married because it is not naturally possible for you to create another life with your spouse. And at that, my friend, you truly lose.

Henry said...

I am strong proponent of gay marriage, but seriously, who is writing this stuff? Is this the "Including the Kitchen Sink" section? I understand the semantic importance the court places on the word "marriage" as it applies to the case, but does this laundry list as argument have to be so trivial?

And so incomplete!

How can Ellen Degeneres joke "Take my wife ... please" if Proposition 8 isn't overturned?

And why didn't Love in the Afternoon get a mention? How can the dewy-eyed Kristen Bell seduce the dissolute old Demi Moore into marriage if the word "marriage" is disallowed?

(Okay, it's a remake. I'm not saying it would be a good remake.)

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

As I've said before, since the future is largely defined on who shows up and gay males have a lower life expectancy than straights, good luck with all that.

I'm guessing this means we can put you among the group of people who don't realize they have lost.


Glad Hatman realizes it.

I had thought he'd never heard of the Roe Effect.

Which seems to be already in the process of being felt.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

To satisfy a social science requirement, I took an elective course in college almost 30 years ago called "Social Deviance". We looked at many kinds of deviants in society: biker gang members, drug addicts, prostitutes, serial killers, career criminals, etc.

But we spent some time talking about sexual deviancy as well. Sadomasochism, pedophilia, polygamy, and yes homosexuality.

In less than 30 years, the homosexual lobby first succeeded in pressuring Congress to devote more taxpayer resources to research and find remedies for AIDS (even though far more people suffer from cancers, diabetes, etc.).

Now the homosexual lobby has persuaded society to not only accept and normalize a behavior that I was taught less than 30 years ago is a deviant behavior, but also to bestow on couples who engage in it and who promise to be a monogamous committed couple the most sacred status a couple can have in society.

That's some oppressed element in society.

mtrobertsattorney said...

John Stodder's arguments miss the point. The question is, in a democractic society, who should have the authority to decide whether to change the definition of a word that has traditionly carried with it important consequences for that society?

Mr. Stodder sets out reasons why he thinks the definition of marriage should be changed. But he does not address question of who should have the authority to make, or refuse to make, this change.

Bender said...

Who's being frivolous here?

You, Stodder, that's who. Learn your equal protection case law.

See, e.g. Vacco v. Quill, 521 U.S. 793 (1997)

Bender said...

By the way, the Fourteenth Amendment, including the Equal Protection Clause, pertains to INDIVIDUALS.

If you want something dealing with couples or groups, you have to look to First Amendment Freedom of Association.

Henry said...

@Rev -- I'm with you, for the most part.

But the argument the court makes is specific to California, so I'm willing to stay open-minded.

That said, I think the ruling may have some strange consequences. First, what the court argues into a law is a kind of reverse ratchet theory that allows one court to glorify the rulings of another and preempt democracy in the process. The California Supreme Court granted marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. The people democratically overturned those rights. The Federal court reinstated those rights based partly on their prior existence.

Second, I'm afraid that the argument used by the 9th circuit may actually hurt attempts in more conservative states to at least pass domestic partnership laws and other protections. The ruling suggests that if a state passes something that looks like marriage, the state may not longer restrict the granting of the license to marriage. It's a slippery slope argument reified.

On the other hand, legally, it retains a barrier to the polygamy/polyandry slippery slope so beloved of gay marriage opponents. So long as the state doesn't grant to group unions a legal structure that resembles marriage, the courts can't find that they also deserve the term.

Joe said...

I just prefer the historical and accurate meaning of the word.

No you don't. You prefer the modern, non-homosexual meaning of the word.

The appeal to tradition is phony since traditional marriage isn't the romantic ideal of the mid-twentieth century. Moreover, to which tradition are we appealing?

n.n said...

The institution of marriage is derivative from the natural order. With this ruling they confirm that our biological imperative (i.e. evolutionary fitness) is no longer the priority for humanity. In fact, as productive physical relationships are no longer the defining feature of marriage, then there is no legitimate reason that physical intercourse should be a considered feature at all. The institution of marriage should be afforded equal access to all consensual relationships, including: prostitution, polygamy, vocational, professional, friendships, acquaintances, etc.

This effectively nullifies the value of marriage to human society and the progressive philosophy would suggest that any and all relationships now be afforded equal consideration.

Jay said...

Interesting reading, not all gay people are so eager to ring the wedding bells.

Oh, and the people who founded the gay rights movement wanted nothing to do with marriage. They were with feminists in the 1970's opposing that oppressive institution.

DADvocate said...

You prefer the modern, non-homosexual meaning of the word.

Was there some civilization in the past where homesexual marriage was officially recognized?

We're witnessing the deterioration of logic and social values.

Currenly, no one, regardless of gender, race religion, national origin, sexual orientation, etc, can marry someone of the opposite gender. Sounds pretty equal to me.

Jay said...

With this ruling they confirm that our biological imperative (i.e. evolutionary fitness) is no longer the priority for humanity.

Of course not, but they believe in evolution!

They're all nihilists anyway. They believe the earth is over-populated and humanity is bad for mother gaia.

Tank said...

Andy R is a racist.

And.

One opinion from NRO:

The Ninth Circuit has just ruled that Proposition 8, the California marriage amendment, is unconstitutional. Presumably to try to make review by the U.S. Supreme Court less likely, the majority’s 80-page opinion claims to be unique to the circumstances of California. Specifically, Judge Reinhardt says that because same-sex couples had already been allowed to marry in California and California law allowed them all the benefits of marriage, it was necessarily the case that the only reason voters in California passed the amendment was animus towards gays and lesbians.

Why is this ruling so implausible? First, the Fourteenth Amendment was not intended to, and cannot reasonably be understood to, mandate a redefinition of marriage. Second, the actions of California voters in defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman while allowing same-sex couples all marriage benefits actually suggest the opposite conclusion — that voters wanted to preserve marriage without doing anything to harm tangible benefits already enjoyed by same-sex couples, hardly an act of hatred. (The court has ironically provided a disincentive to pass laws extending benefits short of marriage redefinition and invited litigation in every state that has.)

Remember that the only reason California had same-sex marriage at all was a state court ruling. So today’s decision, in effect, says that only courts can be trusted to handle the sensitive issue of marriage and that they can do so utterly without regard to settled understandings of the Constitution, of what marriage is and is for, and of the respective roles of citizens and judges. This decision is a threat not only to marriage but to republican government.


Sorta makes sense, as opposed to this ruling. On the other hand, I don't much care about whether gays can marry, and I don't think it's important. The time and energy we spend on that 2% of the population is absurd.

I don't care much what they do in private, but can't see how they have any "right" to the word marriage either.

Isn't there a WI law prof around here? Wonder what her professional opinion is.

Chef Mojo said...

It won't matter what SCOTUS decide, because by the time SCOTUS gets around to deciding this case, it will be moot. California will have passed a new initiative amending the California State Constitution to permit gay marriage. SCOTUS will look at that, and punt.

Folks, gay marriage is here to stay. Too bad. As long as you don't have to perform the ceremonies in your churches, temples and mosques, what the hell are you worried about?

DaveW said...

You get the idea. The judges are old.

If one of them wrote that passage they're not just old - they've entered a second adolescence.

John Stodder said...

Mr. Stodder sets out reasons why he thinks the definition of marriage should be changed. But he does not address question of who should have the authority to make, or refuse to make, this change.

In essence, I'm making political strategy arguments. I'm imagining I'm in a room with a bunch of avowed conservatives, all riled up over today's decision, and I'm making an argument why it's time to move on, and why it's okay to move on.

You've raised one of many good legal points in opposition to the court's decision, which sounds pretty flimsy, and itself seems to be kind of a strategic feint. Bender's argument obviously impresses some people too, although I would still argue it is frivolous to say, "Hey, nobody is saying a gay person can't get married!" As if that's what the argument was about. Come on.

But it's all beside the point. The right is costing itself valuable political capital and allowing itself to be portrayed as intolerant, and for what?

So just take what I'm saying in that spirit.

Marriage seems to exist in a weird legal and cultural space, in that its "meaning" has changed through time. Everyone here is a fan of Downton Abbey, right? Well, one thing that show provides is a perspective on marriage that, to some, could be as repellent as gay marriage is to some today, e.g. marriage entirely undertaken for financial reasons, for the sake of a parcel of property.

The point being, marriage is like a snowball rolling downhill, picking up cultural debris on its way down. Now it's picked up our new tolerance with regard to homosexuality. I say, tip your hat and let it roll.

Joe said...

My point was that appealing to history ignores that marriage traditionally isn't what it is today. For one, in traditional marriage, the wife was the physical property of the husband. In other cultures, siblings could marry. Miscegenation was prohibited by many cultures.

Is this argument really about what marriage is ideally, about what marriage is from a purely legal standpoint or is it really all about the financial benefits the state offers?

(On a purely legal basis, you could argue that it's definitely in the interest of the state to allow marriages of any type. Inheritance is but one reason; giving someone essentially power-of-attorney without requiring a lawyer is another.)

Tank said...

Bender said...
By the way, the Fourteenth Amendment, including the Equal Protection Clause, pertains to INDIVIDUALS.

If you want something dealing with couples or groups, you have to look to First Amendment Freedom of Association.


Under the 14th, wouldn't an individual black man have the same right as an individual white man to marry a woman?

chickenlittle said...

Stodder wrote: The point being, marriage is like a snowball rolling downhill, picking up cultural debris on its way down. Now it's picked up our new tolerance with regard to homosexuality. I say, tip your hat and let it roll...

...thus creating a nice slippery slope visual.

Revenant said...

"With this ruling they confirm that our biological imperative (i.e. evolutionary fitness) is no longer the priority for humanity."

Of course not, but they believe in evolution!

The above exchange is so dumb it makes my head hurt. It is essentially the same as saying "they believe in gravity but don't want to fall to their deaths".

Bill said...

Jesus Christ, who the hell cares? It's not my marriage, so I could care less.

Jay, I hope you fall off a bridge. You are a total and complete asshole.

Henry said...

With this ruling they confirm that our biological imperative (i.e. evolutionary fitness) is no longer the priority for humanity.

Actually they did no such thing. The address the issue in terms of the law. See all of section 1. They point out that Proposition 8 is actually too limited in scope to address the issue of biology (it made no change to the statutes governing parentage) AND, in fact, California statues 'place a premium on the "social relationship," not the "biological relationship," between a parent and a child.

Quite frankly, the Court's ruling has no bearing on "biological imperative" because of the fact that the biology is imperative.

R. Chatt said...

If I understand this ruling this is not about changing the definition of marriage. This is about the fact that government can not enforce discrimination against a minority even if the majority of people want it.

Prop. 8 attempted to overturn the Ca. Constitution which had upheld the equality of gays, including the right to marry. Prop. 8 had no basis for doing that.

It all comes down to "We're queer, we're here, get used to it." Queers aren't going back into the closet, and they aim to live normal lives as full members of society. Get used to it.

Andy R. said...

It warms my heart to see how cranky many of you are about gay marriage.

If I ever get gay married, I'll be sure to dedicate it to all of you.

You sad angry people who want nothing more than to hate and oppress the gays realizing that you've lost this one.

Gay marriage is coming to America.

shiloh said...

"Jay, I hope you fall off a bridge. You are a total and complete asshole."

Again, on a good day lol and apologies to assholes.

Darrell said...

There once was a man with a hat-

Who decided to fellate a cock fat--

It started to spew, forcing hat brim askew--

Causing Andy to come here and rant
about Conservatives and Christians
while wearing his cocked hat.



In honor of Darwin, do consider that if it is not a positive survival characteristic, it's a defect or negative feedback loop.

Garriage (Gay Marriage-garry, garried)) may not
the huckleberry of your dreams. How about voters naming the term? Does that violate equal protection?
'Civil Unions' might sound pretty good then.

Nothing's over until it's over.

Revenant said...

You sad angry people who want nothing more than to hate and oppress the gays realizing that you've lost this one.

Apparently Andy is secretly Gavin Newsom. :)

Palladian said...

A pyrrhic victory, because there is a fundamental problem that isn't solved: the State should not concern itself with marriages of any sort. This back-and-forth is pointless. No subsidies, no licensing, no further problems. The State isn't supposed to answer moral questions, and if conservatives were honestly for reducing the scope of government, they wouldn't look to the State to solve moral and religious and personal and social problems.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

It warms my heart to see how cranky many of you are about gay marriage.

If I ever get gay married, I'll be sure to dedicate it to all of you.


Marriage as an act of hatred.

And I doubt anything Hatman ever does will really be gay (in the proper sense).

He's too busy hating everybody who doesn't agree with him.

You sad angry people who want nothing more than to hate and oppress the gays realizing that you've lost this one.

And how are homosexuals oppressed?

You have the same Constitutional rights as everyone else.

Gay marriage is coming to America.

Not with people like Hatman and Dan Savage fronting for it.

chickenlittle said...

Darrell coined "Garriage"

Cute, but does that make "garage" a homonym?

Palladian said...

I love how some of my fellow faggots (like Andy) seem to view this issue not as a matter or rights but as just another way to "stick it to the man!". But then, that's how the adolescent mind works.

You and the Statist social conservatives truly deserve each other's miserable company.

John Stodder said...

thus creating a nice slippery slope visual.

Are you going all Rick Santorum on me?

The Unknown Pundit said...

Don't Tread 2012 -

Homosexual 'marriage' is artificial.

The litmus test being procreation.

Try to argue and nuance your way out of that.


My widower father, at age 76, married 72 year old widow lady. I don't think they are concerned about procreation but they are just as married as two 20 somethings. So your litmus test is meaningless.

Palladian said...

I mean, it's funny that both "sides" of this issue are equally loathsome.

Methadras said...

What protection under the 14th do these people have? They are citizens of the USA no? So what rights of theirs were violated?

chickenlittle said...

@Stodder: I'm just in it for the words and metaphors. What else is here? (there being the real world).

I tend to agree with Palladian: rites are not rights.

Cedarford said...

Dan in Philly said...
Weird to think that a constitutional amendment can be unconstitutional. I guess it's a subtle thing beyond my ability to comprehend.

================
If you look at the history, you had an embrace by lawyers dressed in robes of the Gay Cause...and a series of rulings that instructed the lowly masses that the would obey the elite lawyer's social engineering diktats. Because it was unconstitutional not to obey the whims of lawyers dressed in robes legislating from the bench and their Final Word on all matters.

Their arrogance has peaked now - when the people amend the Constitution as a democratic recourse to judges powers, the lawyers dressed in robes are now saying that any Constitutional Amendment they don't like can be found unconstitutional.

The legitimacy of judges does not rest on the near-religious worship of judges alone to order society by their inscrutable readings of sacred parchment. It rests on public support of an ostensibly fair and impartial judiciary that applies law to adjudicate disputes.

It doesn't even rest on the parchments that can go from legit to mere stinking pieces of paper in the public's eye - if the masses come to believe that whatever is written can be twisted and parsed anyway a cabal of lawyers wishes them to read.

Hopefully SCOTUS will reverse..but even SCOTUS is now seen as body of solid liberal or conservative "votes" with stray independence at times from a "swing justice". So even SCOTUS has lost some legitimacy from usurping the democratic will to the People.

What if respect for the courts legitimacy falls enough that the Executive Branch again determines as Jackson and Lincoln did - that the best outcome for the people they serve is to refuse to comply with "court orders".

Gingrich is unstable, totally unfit to be President - but he is right that the Courts have attempted mightily to position themselves above The People. With elections and votes having no consequences if lawyers in office disagree, The States, the President and Congress..as beholden to the ultimate, unaccountable final authority in all matters in America..and it is past time to put the lawyers dressed in robes back in their place. Otherwise, we no longer have a democracy and the People have no say in their fate.

Damon said...

XMAS gets this dead right. If this is appealed to SCOTUS they will take it in a heartbeat. That first line of the opinion is so repulsive in its contention.

Revenant said...

In honor of Darwin, do consider that if it is not a positive survival characteristic, it's a defect or negative feedback loop

You're assuming homosexuality is genetic. That is not an established fact.

You're also assuming "less likely to have kids" = "less evolutionarily fit". But that's not true at all. Nature offers countless examples of lower overall fertility (or even sterility in some/most of the population) being a survival benefit for a species.

Alex said...

Nature offers countless examples of lower overall fertility (or even sterility in some/most of the population) being a survival benefit for a species.

Oh really?

Fr Martin Fox said...

The Unknown Pundit said...

(of prior comment about "The litmus test being procreation.")

My widower father, at age 76, married 72 year old widow lady. I don't think they are concerned about procreation but they are just as married as two 20 somethings. So your litmus test is meaningless.

Sorry, but that's a dumb argument, and relies on a straw man.

Please cite where anyone said, ever, that marriage required a male-female couple demonstrated fertile. That has never been the claim.

The issue is that marriage is essentially about procreation, hence it involves those who normally (and even in late years are theoretically) capable of it.

Your argument is the equivalent of rebutting the claim that eyes are about seeing by citing those who are blind.

Andy R. said...

Nature offers countless examples of lower overall fertility (or even sterility in some/most of the population) being a survival benefit for a species.

This is a fool's errand. People are opposed to gay marriage because they are hateful bigots and they only mention genetics when they think it might support their cause but are clearly too ignorant/dumb to understand the science behind it.

Christopher said...

If Mary and Andy R. are representative of those supporting gay marriage then I don't see it being accepted any time soon.

I'm fairly libertarian in my beliefs and have been mostly indifferent with this issue but these two douche bags really are pushing me towards the opposition.

They're the two person equivalent of a gay pride parade. They convince nobody to support them and merely creep out the spectators.

Alex said...

The problem with modern conservatives is they this romantic notion of marriage which never existed. As recently as 50-60 years ago women felt they had no choice but to find a husband for economic survival. Then with the economic revolutions and feminist liberation, women no longer needed a man for survival. Now people try to marry for "love", but it's a fairly recent concept.

Darrell said...

Garage? Homophone, maybe. In certain countries.

And didn't that woman have to hit Garage with a telephone receiver to get him to stop?

garage mahal said...

Jay, I hope you fall off a bridge. You are a total and complete asshole.

He's our asshole though!

Amartel said...

"Prop. 8 attempted to overturn the Ca. Constitution which had upheld the equality of gays, including the right to marry."

No, Prop 8 did not attempt to overturn the CA Constitution or the equal rights of gays. It added a provision to the CA Constitution defining "marriage" as being between a man and woman: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
The proposition did not affect domestic partnerships in CA.
But the crybaby pussies of the universe want a government stamp of approval to validate their unions and they're going to have a big screamy insulty stabby tantrum until they get it. Because that's what oppressed victims do.

Revenant said...

Oh really?

Yep. Bees, for example, are almost entirely infertile; only the queen and a handful of drones reproduce. Most bees are sterile females.

Among mammals, many species (humans included) appear to have an evolved tendency to become less fertile when living in crowded conditions. Unrestricted population growth is a threat to the entire species, after all.

Christopher said...

Mary also demonstrates the dangers of people on the internet believing that they're funny.

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

The Shakers did a good job showing up for the future. Oh, wait. . .

And those bees! Oh, wait. . .

Peter said...

Alice in the 9th Circuit of Wonderland:

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘marriage,’ ” Alice said.

The judge smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

“But ‘marriage’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.

“When I use a word,” the judge said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said the judge, “is which is to be master. That’s all.”

Harsh Pencil said...

I would like to see what Father Fox (and others) think about this argument (which is not in jest).

Marriage is not about children or procreation - it is about the regulation of (properly understood) sex. Not only can two men not marry, properly understood, they can't have sex either. Basically, Bill Clinton was right. Oral sex isn't sex. It's a sexual activity, but it isn't sex. It's what people do when they want to climax but not have sex. Same with sodomy. Men sodomize each other because it is the most reasonable facsimile to sex they are capable of. But it ain't sex.

I believe this is part of Catholic doctrine. If two heterosexuals can't have sex, the Catholic Church will not marry them. They don't have to be able to procreate, but they have to be able to have sex.

Jenner said...

Is there some kind of bet going on amongst the appellate court judges - like how much silliest can they insert into their opinions and still get away with it? Judge Posner, with his public domain images, was leading until now.

Revenant said...

This is a fool's errand. People are opposed to gay marriage because [blah blah blah]

Andy,

Don't assume my support for gay marriage is indicative of interest in your opinion.

You're here to hate on people you don't like. That's not my motive. Go away.

Andy R. said...

It's 2012. If you can't make up your mind between supporting gay marriage or the hateful bigots then you are part of the problem.

Christopher said...

And yet you're suddenly so defensive over such a minor remark.

Don't worry, I'm sure you'll one day get a chuckle out of somebody. I mean it probably won't be here and it probably won't be intentional, but still it could happen.

Christopher said...

Andy R.,

It's 2012 the vast majority of people couldn't give two shits.

Patrick said...

Andy -

There is a measure on the ballot in fall for an amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Although I am a relatively recent convert (I oppose the amendment), I am glad it is on the ballot. It gives those opposed the opportunity to engage and convince those who favor it. I hope that they do so.

In other words, I hope that they do the opposite of what you do.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Harsh Pencil said...

I would like to see what Father Fox (and others) think about this argument (which is not in jest).

Marriage is not about children or procreation - it is about the regulation of (properly understood) sex. Not only can two men not marry, properly understood, they can't have sex either. Basically, Bill Clinton was right. Oral sex isn't sex. It's a sexual activity, but it isn't sex. It's what people do when they want to climax but not have sex. Same with sodomy. Men sodomize each other because it is the most reasonable facsimile to sex they are capable of. But it ain't sex.

I believe this is part of Catholic doctrine. If two heterosexuals can't have sex, the Catholic Church will not marry them. They don't have to be able to procreate, but they have to be able to have sex.


Well, there's a lot of ideas here, so I'll do my best to respond overall.

The really short answer is, you have some valid points, but in the end, your points don't invalidate the assertion that marriage is essentially about procreation.

The reason I say that is that you're right, society does have an interest in regulating sexual behavior. The notion that it's all totally private is inane and tone-deaf. When a baby happens, the life or death, care or neglect, of that child, is not "private." When sexual behavior results in the spread of disease, that's not private. And the conflicts and problems that arise out of sexual liaisons, adultery, broken relationships, replacement relationships, etc., are surely not private.

There is a difference between what is traditionally called "Natural Law" and religious doctrine. Speaking for myself, and the Catholic Church, the question of marriage being essentially heterosexual, because it inherently is oriented to procreation, is not about a specifically religious doctrine.

After all, the pagan Romans and Greeks understood this about marriage--even if they had other notions about marriage that were rather different from that of Jews and Christians, yet they hardly proceeded from the same religious matrix.

Now, there are those who simply deny Natural Law, or treat it as an ink-blot test; it is whatever one says it is.

Well, along that road one can--if one goes far enough--deny any other sort of claims to objective truth. Is there any objective content to morality; to beauty? But I deny that Natural Law is a "religious argument" for the simple reason that folks of many religions, and of none, are equally able to recognize it, and argue from it.

What's more the case is that more and more folks of a secular bent are casting Natural Law aside, leaving only those who are religious to refer to it.

At any rate, you then ask about controlling sex--and you refer to Catholic teaching on sexuality.

Now this will, I admit, get a little abstruse but bear with me.

The Catholic Church does, indeed, argue for sex to be always within marriage, and always to have the potentiality for procreation. Hence some sexual acts are obviously lacking in that, and therefore they are immoral.

In arguing this, even here the Church argues significantly from Natural Law, but it also relies on Revelation--i.e., religious doctrine. So, depending on exactly how one discusses a particular Catholic teaching about chastity, it may involve more Natural Law, another point may involve more explicit reference to Revelation.

Even so, I would make this distinction: when talking about marriage, there is both more of a common-good issue at stake, and there is also a lot more common ground. I.e., however much we think all our teachings on this subject comport with Natural Law, we know that we can appeal to a much broader consensus on what marriage is, as opposed to when sex acts are moral or immoral.

Christopher said...

And still she tries.......

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

It's 2012. If you can't make up your mind between supporting gay marriage or the hateful bigots then you are part of the problem.

And what if gay marriage is the problem?

And people like Hatman are the hateful bigots?

PS The year is irrelevant. The issue was the same in 12 AD as much as 2012 AD.

chickenlittle said...

Alex wrote: Now people try to marry for "love", but it's a fairly recent concept.

Is the word "love" to be found in the new legal right of marriage, as it is in the rite? The marriageable pool for unmarried heterosexuals in CA also just changed; they now have the legal right to chose from a pool twice as large, for whatever reason, fiduciary, etc. There might be some stigma to get over for those not in love and this is clearly an unintended consequence, but it may be its undoing, given time, especially if reasons for marriage revert to more historical notions: property, inheritance, etc. On the other hand, some may applaud this.

Darrell said...

The 9th Circus Court, giving a million "Recall Walker" petitions to the Left each time they rule. I bet victory tastes pretty sweet until the SCOTUS overturns them and the bitter, bitter tears flow.

Rabel said...

To qualify for a domestic partnership in California you must meet these criteria:

297. (a) Domestic partners are two adults who have chosen to share
one another's lives in an intimate and committed relationship of
mutual caring.

and

(A) Both persons are members of the same sex.

So if the new ruling stands, it's not much of a stretch to see heterosexual same-sex marriages between BFF's being legal.

Because (A) is self-reported and (a) would seem to be unconstitutional.

Why do it? Money.

Gideon7 said...

The magic word is 'marriage'. Marriage is fundamentally a religious act. Government needs to get out of the marriage business and leave it to the churches. If Alan wants to marry Bob, fine. Go to the Church of Freddie Mercury (or whatever) get married, then sign the civil papers and mail them in. Ditto for all marriages.

The push for having the State recognize the word 'marriage' (as opposed to civil unions) is a stalking horse to attack people with religious convictions and to marginalize them in society.

Remember stems cells, and how we all had to immediately allow aborted fetuses to be used for tax-payer funded science because it could save so many lives? Remember how Michael J Fox and Christopher Reeves got on TV to plead for it? (Yeah I know Reeves was dead.. creepy.) Yet when scientists found out that adult stem cells worked just as well or better than stem cells from aborted babies, the urgent lobbying to have the State fund stem cell research all but evaporated almost overnight.

Having the state recognize only civil would remove 'gay marriage' as a similar attack-weapon against people with religious convictions. This is why the gay lobby opposes civil unions so fiercely, demanding the State recognize marriage even though legally a civil union is exactly the same for all government purposes.

Once the full force of the State is behind gay marriage the next step will be to force it to be normative in all public discourse. For example, next the State will force wedding cake makers and photographers to work at gay weddings regardless of their religious convictions (this has already happened). Later, any church pastor who condemns gay marriage from the pulpit will be persecuted for hate crimes (already happened in Canada and Europe).

The whole thing is an attack by the left on those with religious convictions, nothing more.

Rabel said...

Oops. Swapped capital A and lower case a.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Harsh Pencil:

I noticed a point of yours I neglected to address...

It is true that for a couple to marry in the Catholic Church, they at least have to have the capacity to consummate the marriage. Although it would rarely come up, if--somehow--a couple revealed to me that they were absolutely, certainly, and utterly incapable of consummating the marriage, I would not be able to marry them-because marriage presupposes consummation is possible.

(That said, they presumably could marry civilly; the difference is, they couldn't say they were in a sacramental marriage--which is a specifically religious dimension to marriage beyond the natural/civil reality.)

Anyway, the thing is, the Church's refusal to marry two men or two women isn't because the sex they presumably will have is immoral--we wouldn't marry them even if they never had sex. The issue is that they are playing pretend, and they don't get a real priest or a real Church to officiate for that.

Jay said...

Revenant said...


The above exchange is so dumb it makes my head hurt. It is essentially the same as saying "they believe in gravity but don't want to fall to their deaths".


No, and I'm sorry you can't understand.

But you did make a stupid comment on the matter.

So there is that.

Jay said...

Bill said...

Jay, I hope you fall off a bridge. You are a total and complete asshole.


Thank Bill, Happy Black History month to you too!

Jay said...

R. Chatt said...
If I understand this ruling this is not about changing the definition of marriage. This is about the fact that government can not enforce discrimination against a minority even if the majority of people want it.


Epic, epic fail.

You may want to read up on the matter.

Thanks for participating.

Pastafarian said...

This is one of those 50/50 issues for me -- I'm ambivalent.

I'd be happy to go along with John Stodder's reasoning and give in on this issue, if I thought we could get something for it -- if the left would make some concession in return.

But it's quite the opposite, isn't it? This sort of development is just a continuation of the ratcheting of society away from the traditional nuclear family with a mother, father, and children. That's why conservatives dig in their heels on this issue, to stop the slide into the abyss.

And Revenant, I'm not sure if you meant to use the honey bee as an example of a species that thrives despite their unorthodox breeding assignment, seeing as how their population has been cratering. But that's another fear of conservatives: Our economy relies upon an increasing population.

I just wish we'd hear more about these gays and their issues. It's certainly under-exposed. I wish there'd be some television shows or movies about the topic, since it's such a huge percentage of the population.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Gideon:

Not to dispute all your points, but, no, marriage is not fundamentally a religious act.

People with no religion get married all the time. How is it a "religious act" for them? Are they not really married?

I don't know about any other religious body, but the Catholic Church certainly recognizes two atheists can be validly married.

Now, I'm sympathetic to the argument that marriage should be an essentially private act, except I'm dubious that will work.

That said, if:

> There were no income tax, and

> Health insurance was something you bought on your own, rather than have provided either by government or your employer, and

> Education were not a government, but a private, enterprise, and

> Government were just a whole, whole lot smaller and less intrusive, then...

A lot of the putative grievances about "society" not validating "same-sex marriage" go away.

In short, how about vastly expanding the private sphere across the board, first--then we can talk about "privatizing" marriage?

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

This is a fool's errand. People are opposed to gay marriage because they are hateful bigots and they only mention genetics when they think it might support their cause but are clearly too ignorant/dumb to understand the science behind it.


That's a nice bit of projection you have going there you hateful little gay boy.

But, no matter how many times you wish it away, homosexuality won't become compatible with evolutionary biology.

Pity.

Bart DePalma said...

"Opinion by REINHARDT, Circuit Judge:"

That ought to ensure a Supreme Court reversal.

Christopher said...

Pray tell, what did I learn?

That you think if you repeat the same joke a few times it will suddenly start working? That nothing including "lol" has ever actually been funny?

What I said originally was that I don't care about this issue one way or another but that you and Andy R. make terrible spokespeople for your side of the argument (granted I did use more colorful language). Given your responses I see no reason to change this belief.

I still don't care how this turns out. I won't lose sleep if gay marriage is suddenly legal or if it remains illegal. I will, however, say that people such as yourself have probably set the gay marriage movement back years simply by acting like douche bags.

chickenlittle said...

The whole thing is an attack by the left on those with religious convictions, nothing more.

Andy R. sure puts a face on that attack.

AJ Lynch said...

"What Prop 8 did, the court writes, was take away the designation "marriage," and that word matters:"

Nah - Prop 8 tried to reverse the bastardization of the word "marriage" into something it's never been.

Pastafarian said...

Did you know that there are more Mormons in this country than there are homosexuals?

Think about that. Now consider how many television shows there have been with characters that are homosexual; or that center on that issue as a primary plot device.

And movies, and music, and on and on.

And how many shows focusing on Mormons have there been? One, that I can think of, and it wasn't too flattering for Mormonism. How many shows have characters that happen to be Mormon?

I was actually shocked by this stat -- I expected there to be far more homosexuals than Mormons, based on the number of cultural references to each.

I wonder why there hasn't been an outcry to include polygamy in the definition of marriage.

Fr Martin Fox said...

By the way, the issue I think gets ignored in all this is the "privatizing" of the bonds of society.

At various points in the history of many nations, enough bonds that form commonality among people have, indeed, been "privatized"--so that you end up with several overlapping societies, living their own ways, in the midst of each other.

Unfortunately, all manner of bad things happen in conjunction with this, sometimes because of it.

On the one hand, there may be a lack of interest in maintaining existing social structures and political entities, precisely because folks have been told to take their way of life "private."

Or at some point, those invested in the civil super-structure find they have done a great job of cultivating a significant minority that is, to their larger order, "subversive."

Or, at some point, those who are "other" become a handy scapegoat for some demagogue.

The point is, a society needs a common vision. It is a moral vision (note how many advocating for "gay marriage," in this thread, make arguments about right or wrong--that's a moral argument).

So let's set aside all this happy talk about pluralism. It's not about that; it's about replacing one, common moral vision with another. And at some point, it becomes a Procrustean Bed on which some recalcitrant folks must be fixed.

The dishonesty is that if so-called "same sex marriage" were advocated as part of that cause--"We want our society to adopt a new, common morality"--then who thinks that wouldn't get more push-back? Hence the Trojan Horse of "choice."

Methadras said...

Andy R. said...

This is a fool's errand. People are opposed to gay marriage because they are hateful bigots and they only mention genetics when they think it might support their cause but are clearly too ignorant/dumb to understand the science behind it.


And so, the retarded butt pirate opens his maw again to reveal his stupid. Hey Andy R. I challenged you to show me one example of where homosexuality is genetic. Put up or shut up. Clearly you are a world-class backpeddler with this schtick of sandwiching anyone who doesn't support your homosexual marriage with only being a homobigot. Stay classy, twink.

Amartel said...

Your H8 is showing.

Methadras said...

Andy R. said...

It's 2012. If you can't make up your mind between supporting gay marriage or the hateful bigots then you are part of the problem.


Actually, you unpolished turd, are the problem. You want government sanction of acceptance of your deviancy as a special right but not allowing a majority of voters to help shape public policy through their right to vote. You and your cohorts on the day of Prop. 8 passage already had your legal briefs typed up and spell checked all waiting to be submitted to the courts to have it overturned. Your kind and your advocates have effectively sent a chill down the electorates spine because if you don't like something, you will seek judicial activism as opposed to legislative or electoral answers.

If you think your incessant childish needs to inject yourselves are so compelling, then why got the route of the judiciary? Clearly you would think that there are enough sympathetic heteros out there that will take up your false cause of wedge issues like marriage (which homosexuals really never had an interest in being a part of other than to stick it to heteros) to bring it before the electoral body of californians to merit voting on making it legal. Guess what? It's a fail and the only way you can gloat is when you have the black robes backing you up. Way to build support and get people on your side, pussy.

Kirby Olson said...

Rub a dub dub,
Three men in a tub.

JackOfClubs said...

So, evidently, the equal protection consists of gays now having the right to be as cynical about marriage as Groucho, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Sinatra. What a victory!

Palladian said...


It's 2012. If you can't make up your mind between supporting gay marriage or the hateful bigots then you are part of the problem.


You're one of the few people who comment around here that regularly display "hateful bigotry". But, like Alvy Singer, you're a bigot for "the left", so it's okay.

There is no issue for the government to solve here, no "bigotry" to be righted, if the State simply lost the power to regulate any kind of marriages. It's a question I always have for both gay activists and social conservatives: if the "institution of marriage" is so important to you, why do you seek the approval of our (supposedly) secular government? If marriage is an ancient institution, why is it in danger because the 200-odd-year-old US government makes pronouncements about it either way? Why do you wish to use the power of the State for social engineering, the same way the lefties you so despise do? If the State had no opinion about marriage, and no influence upon various religious and social group's definitions of marriage, everyone would be happy. But, of course it's not about that for many activists on either side. It's about making the other "side" suffer.

And Jay & Methadras, there may not be a genetic basis for homosexuality, but there is a genetic basis for stupid, and you guys seem to be carrying some of those bad genes, just like Andy R.

Methadras said...

Lol Mary, the faux smooth and suave commentariat with all the prepackaged glib rejoinders at the ready. Calling people haters ghetto style.

Christopher said...

"See, if your opinions don't matter, then how you perceive me matters even less."

Oh I realize my opinion doesn't matter to the court, and if I thought that you just might have been able to make a point. But I am simply making a statement about how you are hurting your own cause and you keep responding.

I suppose it's the old who is the bigger fool question: He who makes the statement that doesn't matter or she who decides to respond (repeatedly).

Hey, you should respond to every post by everyone whose opinion doesn't matter just to show them how much you don't care about what they are saying.

That'll show'em.

I await your next response which tells me how little my opinion matters.




Oh, and LOL...
See, it never accompanies anything funny.

Pastafarian said...

Mary: "Hey --- I LOVED the Donny and Marie variety show."

OK, I forgot that one. Two shows featuring Mormons; hundreds, thousands, featuring LGBT characters or themes.

"The "traditional" version of marriage, the one that promises healthy families and stable children with families self supporting and not government funded, went to the wayside years ago."

I believe that's what they call "making the perfect the enemy of the good."

I don't have stats to back this up and I'm pretty much just pulling it out of my butt, but I think we produce more happy, well-adjusted, productive members of society in traditional nuclear families with a mother and a father.

And I'm sure that Ellen Degeneres' kids are great. But not all families with two moms have such intelligent, witty, wealthy moms. I'd wager that a whole new crop of serial killers will be coming up soon from the ranks of boys raised by two bull dykes who hate men and raise their boys to loathe themselves.

If I found a little nick in the trunk of my apple tree, I wouldn't grab an axe and start chopping into it. Similarly, the fact that there are fewer traditional families now than there have been in the past is no reason to take steps to make them even more rare.

Gideon7 said...

In their opinion the 9th Circuit Court wrote, “All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same sex-couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation 'marriage' ... Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.”

Ok, fine. The judges say that because California has civil unions the word 'marriage' has no purpose and has no legal effect.

If marriage is fundamentally an act with no government purpose then government needs to get out of the marriage business. Leave it to the churches.

Ah, but that would not further the agenda use the power of the State to force homosexuality to be normative in all public discourse.

It seems like the court is trying to have it both ways.

Jay said...

And Jay & Methadras, there may not be a genetic basis for homosexuality, but there is a genetic basis for stupid, and you guys seem to be carrying some of those bad genes,

Yeah, wake me up when you point out anything I've said is factually incorrect.

Thanks in advance.

Palladian said...

Yes, Pastafarian, because father/mother couples never raise serial killers...

Palladian said...

"Yeah, wake me up when you point out anything I've said is factually incorrect."

No, please, keep sleeping. It will prevent you from cluttering up another thread.

Jay said...

Palladian said...


No, please, keep sleeping. It will prevent you from cluttering up another thread.


Alternatively,
you can stop making idiotic posts.

Palladian said...

"If marriage is fundamentally an act with no government purpose then government needs to get out of the marriage business. Leave it to the churches."

That's the only solution fair everyone. But, as you say, it wouldn't give one group or the other power over people, so that's out.

Methadras said...

Palladian said...

And Jay & Methadras, there may not be a genetic basis for homosexuality, but there is a genetic basis for stupid, and you guys seem to be carrying some of those bad genes, just like Andy R.


Ooooo, burn. You got me good Palladian.

Methadras said...

Gideon7 said...

If marriage is fundamentally an act with no government purpose then government needs to get out of the marriage business. Leave it to the churches.


That would be true until the militant homosexual doom troopers start suing churches for not letting them get married in them. Then you are back to all kinds of chaos from those that inherently generate chaos by their very existence because it's so trendy and stuff.

Simon said...

John Stodder said...
"I don't know why the right can't give up on this issue."

For one thing because it implicates the power of the state. Does the government have the authority to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that predates not only this government, but Anglo-American civilization specifically, and indeed all human civilization of any kind? If it does, then government can redefine anything. You want habeas corpus? Great. You're entitled to habeas, but we've changed the meaning of it, so now it doesn't do you any good. Oh, don't bother telling me, I'm well aware that the courts will resist that, but they have absolutely no principled basis on which to allow the government to redefine marriage while insisting that habeas corpus retain the understanding by which it has hitherto been defined.

Pastafarian said...

Palladian: "Yes, Pastafarian, because father/mother couples never raise serial killers..."

Of course they do, you're right; and as I said, I'm just pulling this out of my butt. But I do worry about boys that have been raised by two moms, in general. Intuitively, I could picture that producing dysfunctional young men a very high percentage of the time. Not every time; but maybe 20% of such boys will be sociopaths, while, say, 2% of boys raised in a nuclear family are sociopaths.

Again, all pulled from my butt. I doubt that such statistics exist...yet.

Palladian said...

This is not the topic in which to pull things from your butt, Pasta.

Simon said...

Methadras said...
"That would be true until the militant homosexual doom troopers start suing churches for not letting them get married in them"

And let's be candid, that's next. Anyone who thinks that we are seeing the very last item on the agenda of this movement is hopelessly naive.

Methadras said...

Mary said...

I said "Hate", not H8.


So did I. Did the english language elude you right there?

You're getting yourself all confused with your labeling again...

I'm sure under the definition of confusion I'll see your self portrait of a question mark staring back at me.

Revenant said...

How many shows have characters that happen to be Mormon?

Few characters have any firm religious beliefs at all. Few members of any identified religion and even fewer atheists and agnostics. Just a vague theism.

It is nigh-impossible to use an actual religion in a comedic or dramatic fashion without offending someone.

Palladian said...

"Of course they do, you're right; and as I said, I'm just pulling this out of my butt. But I do worry about boys that have been raised by two moms, in general."

Oh, me too. Remember this exchange in Woody Allen's "Manhattan"?

Isaac Davis: I got a kid, he's being raised by two women at the moment.

Mary Wilke: Oh, y'know, I mean I think that works. Uh, they made some studies, I read in one of the psychoanalytic quarterlies. You don't need a male, I mean. Two mothers are absolutely fine.

Isaac Davis: Really? Because I always feel very few people survive one mother.

Pastafarian said...

That's just it, Simon; and Fr Martin had a great comment about this at 4:20 (it's always 4:20 somewhere.) What's next?

I wouldn't mind giving ground on this issue, and on the pot-head's mary jane (speaking of 4:20), but we don't get anything in return, in fact, we lose ground with each such concession.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Methadras said...

"That would be true until the militant homosexual doom troopers start suing churches for not letting them get married in them."

It's already happening: http://coffeeshopatheist.com/blog/2012/01/nj-judge-orders-methodist-resort-to-perform-same-sex-marriage/

Palladian said...

"And let's be candid, that's next. Anyone who thinks that we are seeing the very last item on the agenda of this movement is hopelessly naive."

And what will be your Catholic Stormtrooper's next move against us homos then, Simon?

Methadras said...

Simon said...

Methadras said...
"That would be true until the militant homosexual doom troopers start suing churches for not letting them get married in them"

And let's be candid, that's next. Anyone who thinks that we are seeing the very last item on the agenda of this movement is hopelessly naive.


I thought I was being candid. This has been the true agenda all along. To forcibly make churches accept homosexuality as dogma by government dictate. Urkelcare is already stabbing at religious liberty within the church, so being having homosexuals now attack the church on its own turf is where they will make their next bid. It's already begun by homosexual clergy suing the church. It's how they have already infiltrated.

Jay said...

Palladian said...


And what will be your Catholic Stormtrooper's next move against us homos then, Simon?


To point out your endless separation of church and state hypocrisy for starters.

Methadras said...

Palladian said...

And what will be your Catholic Stormtrooper's next move against us homos then, Simon?


What, you mean that whole compassion and love the sinner, not the sin thing too much for you? So homosexuals and other deviants infiltrating as clergy and almost bringing the church down isn't enough?

Cedarford said...

I liked Simons 4:52 post a lot. If all commonly accepted terms can be redefined on court whim thus changing the law by word-parsing, then nothing commonly accepted as meaning something, like habeas, or a new meaning of what is or not properly defined as "press" or "religion" as the lawyers dressed in robe see it - is safe from a whole new interpretation by judicial diktat.

Palladian said...

"I wouldn't mind giving ground on this issue, and on the pot-head's mary jane (speaking of 4:20), but we don't get anything in return, in fact, we lose ground with each such concession."

But you see, it's not your "ground" to give. You (through the State) have usurped a power over people that you shouldn't have. Your framing of the issue (and many gay activist's framing of the issue) assumes that marriage is for the State to define, as a positive right, but I hold that it is not.

Just as it is not within the State's legitimate power to force any church or group to accept a definition of marriage that it does not choose to accept, or that does not accord with its beliefs.

We need to fundamentally change the way we view the State, and the powers we allow it to usurp, or these sorts of issues will destroy us as a nation.

Revenant said...

Does the government have the authority to redefine the institution of marriage

Correction: does our government have the authority to define what constitutes "marriage" for government purposes.

Answer: yes. They always have. This is nothing new.

Palladian said...

It's funny to me that you social conservatives can't seem to see that I'm on your side, at least in that I want to take away the power of the State to decide what is and isn't marriage. But you don't actually want that. You want, like any Statist type, to use secular power to punish those who don't live the way you want them to live. And the Andy R. types want to use secular power to punish you for your opinions and beliefs.

The issue is freedom for everyone, but that's not what most people want.

Revenant said...

in fact, we lose ground with each such concession.

Lose ground in what?

Palladian said...

"Lose ground in what?"

In their ability to use the secular State, and its coercive power, to enforce their preferred religious dogma.

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