May 31, 2012

1st Circuit says Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

"The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage and denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns."
The court didn't rule on [whether] states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal. It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.
ADDED: Here is the opinion. After concluding that the equal protection doctrine requires minimum scrutiny (but not "the extreme deference accorded to ordinary economic legislation"), the court switches to discussing federalism. Congress uses the concept of marriage in many federal programs involving taxing and spending, and it normally relies on the states' determinations of who is married, but — the court says — that doesn't mean Congress is required to do so.

The court looks at the 10th Amendment but distinguishes this case from Printz and New York v. United States, which involved Congress commandeering the internal operations of state or local government. And the court looks at the Spending Clause doctrine and finds no limitation, because Congress is merely defining the terms of various spending programs.
However, the denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married does burden the choice of states like Massachusetts to regulate the rules and incidents of marriage; notably, the Commonwealth stands both to assume new administrative burdens and to lose funding for Medicaid or veterans' cemeteries solely on account of its same-sex marriage laws. These consequences do not violate the Tenth Amendment or Spending Clause, but Congress' effort to put a thumb on the scales and influence a state's decision as to how to shape its own marriage laws does bear on how the justifications are assessed.
That's quite a sentence! There's no violation of the 10th Amendment or the Spending Clause, but because federal choices affect how states may decide to exercise their powers, the court will give congressional decisions less deference.
In United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000), and United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995), the Supreme Court scrutinized with special care federal statutes intruding on matters customarily within state control. The lack of adequate and persuasive findings led the Court in both cases to invalidate the statutes under the Commerce Clause even though nothing more than rational basis review is normally afforded in such cases.
The Supreme Court has made somewhat similar statements about the need for scrutiny when examining federal statutes intruding on regulation of state election processes. Nw. Austin Mun. Util. Dist. No. One v. Holder, 129 S. Ct. 2504, 2511 (2009); cf. City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 534 (1997) (calling RFRA a "considerable congressional intrusion into the States' traditional prerogatives and general authority to regulate for the health and welfare of their citizens").
True, these federalism cases examined the reach of federal power under the Commerce Clause and other sources of constitutional authority not invoked here; but a statute that violates equal protection is likewise beyond the power of Congress. See Moreno, 413 U.S. at 541 (Douglas, J., concurring). Given that DOMA intrudes broadly into an area of traditional state regulation, a closer examination of the justifications that would prevent DOMA from violating equal protection (and thus from exceeding federal authority) is uniquely reinforced by federalism concerns.
This is a remarkable move! The enumerated powers cases involve judicial line-drawing about what matters may be governed by federal law and what are left exclusively to the states. The cases about rights concern what is left to individual citizens. It's one thing to say that federalism concerns affect what is governed by federal law and what is left exclusively to the states, quite another to say that the realm that belongs to the individual increases or decreases based on federalism concerns. Our rights are bigger when states have interests and smaller when they don't? The court seems to be creating a hybrid of rights and state interests.

Or we might understand this as an idea about deference to Congress: The question isn't so much whether Congress has power or not, but whether the court will see the lack of power. What the court is doing is looking at all the factors that affect how closely it ought to look at what Congress has done. Although as a matter of doctrine, the official level of scrutiny is minimum — Congress need only have a legitimate interest that's rationally related to the policy it has adopted — the fact that this isn't just economic legislation makes the court look a little more closely and, separately, so does the fact that the states are burdened in an area they have traditionally controlled.

With the degree of scrutiny established, the court goes on to the interests that supposedly support DOMA. One is "preserving scarce government resources."
But, where the distinction is drawn against a historically disadvantaged group and has no other basis, Supreme Court precedent marks this as a reason undermining rather than bolstering the distinction. Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 227 (1982); Romer, 517 U.S. at 635. The reason, derived from equal protection analysis, is that such a group has historically been less able to protect itself through the political process. Plyler, 457 U.S. at 218 n.14; United States v. Carolene Prods. Co., 304 U.S. 144, 152 n.4 (1938).
Another purported interest is "to support child-rearing in the context of stable marriage," but the court finds "a lack of any demonstrated connection between DOMA's treatment of same-sex couples and its asserted goal of strengthening the bonds and benefits to society of heterosexual marriage."

A third interest is "moral disapproval of homosexuality":
But, speaking directly of same-sex preferences, Lawrence ruled that moral disapproval alone cannot justify legislation discriminating on this basis. 539 U.S. at 577-78. Moral judgments can hardly be avoided in legislation, but Lawrence and Romer have undercut this basis. Cf. Palmore v. Sidoti, 466 U.S. 429, 433 (1984).
Lastly, it was argued that Congress, facing a period of changing state laws, had an interest in "freezing" the law in place, taking "a temporary time-out." But, the court says, DOMA isn't framed as a temporary measure.
If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congress' will, this statute fails that test.
Invalidating a federal statute is an unwelcome responsibility for federal judges; the elected Congress speaks for the entire nation, its judgment and good faith being entitled to utmost respect.... 
But what about deference to tradition — the tradition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman? Why can't Congress base its law on that?
Traditions are the glue that holds society together, and many of our own traditions rest largely on belief and familiarity--not on benefits firmly provable in court. The desire to retain them is strong and can be honestly held.
For 150 years, this desire to maintain tradition would alone have been justification enough for almost any statute. This judicial deference has a distinguished lineage, including such figures as Justice Holmes, the second Justice Harlan, and Judges Learned Hand and Henry Friendly. But Supreme Court decisions in the last fifty years call for closer scrutiny of government action touching upon minority group interests and of federal action in areas of traditional state concern.
To conclude, many Americans believe that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, and most Americans live in states where that is the law today. One virtue of federalism is that it permits this diversity of governance based on local choice, but this applies as well to the states that have chosen to legalize same-sex marriage. Under current Supreme Court authority, Congress' denial of federal benefits to same-sex couples lawfully married in Massachusetts has not been adequately supported by any permissible federal interest.

114 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I approve. (Big surprise, I know)

Can the Govt get out of the marriage-sanctioning business?

Matthew Sablan said...

I approve too. It's not the federal government's bailiwick (or any government's, really)

Andy R. said...

Romney is trying to solve this with his support for a federal marriage amendment. Because changing our Constitution to enshrine bigotry against gay people is what we need right now.

MadisonMan said...

support for a federal marriage amendment.

Does it ban divorce?

Were I asked to sign something supporting such an amendment, that would be the first question out of my mouth, followed by Why not?

cubanbob said...

The court didn't rule on [whether] states without same-sex marriage cannot be forced to recognize gay unions performed in states where it's legal. It also wasn't asked to address whether gay couples have a constitutional right to marry.

30 states have a ban of gay marriage. This ruling is idiotic in that it doesn't address this fact and the fact whether gays have a fundamental right to gay marriage.
The ruling doesn't clarify anything but rather muddies things up even more. The feds also have marriage related matters in federal statutes, yet another mess. The circuit court should have ruled on way or another across the board. Yet another mess for the Supreme Court to rule on which will be hated by the losing side all because Obama and Holder are total screw ups. The democrats could have repealed the law when they had a chance but didn't and Holder broke his oath of duty by deciding as a matter of his personal policy not to do his job and defend the federal statute. Another fine mess courtesy of the democratic party.

If the democrats really believed in gay marriage and had any political courage and principles they would have passed the analogue of the civil rights act for gays.

MayBee said...

I'm for gay marriage, and I'm for state legislatures or voters deciding if they want that social shift.
I agree with this ruling. It seems wrong that a married couple would have to file as two singles. Plus, how does that even work, if one works and one stays home?

Andy R. said...

Also, marriage equality is going to keep winning in the courts because basically the only people now who are opposed to equality are cranky bigoted christians and there aren't that many cranky bigoted christian judges and the arguments of cranky bigoted christians aren't very persuasive in court.

Ironclad said...

We need to enshrine in the Constitution a prohibition of any legal discrimination OR preference for any "protected group".

DOMA is an example of Federal Overreach too - let the States sort it out.

MayBee said...

Why should an amendment defining marriage define divorce? Why throw in a superfluous argument about such an amendment?
Should pro-gay marriage laws also ban divorce? We're letting people marry who they really want now, so no divorce anymore.

n.n said...

If there is no objective standard (e.g. natural order) for distinguishing between couples and couplets, then there is no legitimate basis for continuing discrimination against any form of consensual association.

cubanbob said...

Andy R. said...
Also, marriage equality is going to keep winning in the courts because basically the only people now who are opposed to equality are cranky bigoted christians and there aren't that many cranky bigoted christian judges and the arguments of cranky bigoted christians aren't very persuasive in court.

5/31/12 10:59 AM

You forgot Negroes and Mexicans. They voted against gay marriage in CA. Your problem is that voters when given the choice vote against it. Don't bet on the SCOTUS to uphold this.

Thorley Winston said...

"The appeals court agreed with a lower court judge who ruled in 2010 that the law is unconstitutional because it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage . . .“

Seems like a specious ruling. DOMA doesn’t prohibit any State from defining civil marriage the way that it wants; it just says that other States don’t have to recognize a marriage from another State that is anything other than between a man and a woman. If a State wants to redefine civil marriage as including same-sex couples or choses to recognize same-sex relationships that other States classify as “marriages,” they’re still able to do so under DOMA.

Mitchell said...

The stupid name, Defense of Marriage Act, is a good enough reason to strike it down.

cubanbob said...

MayBee said...
I'm for gay marriage, and I'm for state legislatures or voters deciding if they want that social shift.
I agree with this ruling. It seems wrong that a married couple would have to file as two singles. Plus, how does that even work, if one works and one stays home?

5/31/12 10:59 AM

Its too bad for a lot of straight people that as married they have to file a joint return. For a lot of people that results in a much higher tax for one or both spouses than each filling as singles.

Ken said...

cubanbob,

This ruling is idiotic in that it doesn't address this fact and the fact whether gays have a fundamental right to gay marriage.

It's a solid ruling because the Constitution decision doesn't mention marriage at all. The fact that you think it's "idiotic" because states can define marriage means you don't understand the 10th amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

TWM said...

"Also, marriage equality is going to keep winning in the courts because basically the only people now who are opposed to equality are cranky bigoted christians and there aren't that many cranky bigoted christian judges and the arguments of cranky bigoted christians aren't very persuasive in court."

You also forgot cranky, bigoted, and often times homicidal Muslims.

X said...

the only people now who are opposed to equality are cranky bigoted christians

and you. you want special rights for married people, bigot.

EDH said...

An attorney defending the law argued that Congress had a rational basis for passing it in 1996, when opponents worried that states would be forced to recognize gay marriages performed elsewhere. The group said Congress wanted to preserve a traditional and uniform definition of marriage and has the power to define terms used to federal statutes to distribute federal benefits.

The article didn't mention what level of scrutiny the court applied in its decision, did it?

BarrySanders20 said...

I think this is right on an equal protection basis, though it also fits my personal view, so it is easy for me to see it that way.

Andy, the religious crank here is you. There are not enough "cranky bigoted Christians" to be a majority in all 30 states that have banned gay marriage, including Wisconsin. In fact, many non-religious or barely religious people are against it, even those who vote D. There are also Christians and those libertarians who tend to vote R who support gay marriage. Your shrillness is counterproductive to your cause.

Bryan C said...

"The ruling doesn't clarify anything but rather muddies things up even more."

Not really. The ruling appears to say that the states define marriage, the federal government can't second-guess an individual state's definition, and that federal benefits apply equally to all married couples. That seems pretty clear. If you want lasting change, focus on the states.

BarrySanders20 said...

One thing that I think people miss in this debate is that states have never had to recognize, through full faith and credit, any laws or court orders from other states that violate the public policy of the forum state. This is and always has been an exception to full faith and credit.

So if Wisconsin forbids gay marraige, it need not recognize the gay marriage of a couple who amrried in Iowa. This is true with or without DOMA.

cubanbob said...

Ken said...
cubanbob,

This ruling is idiotic in that it doesn't address this fact and the fact whether gays have a fundamental right to gay marriage.

It's a solid ruling because the Constitution decision doesn't mention marriage at all. The fact that you think it's "idiotic" because states can define marriage means you don't understand the 10th amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

5/31/12 11:08 AM

Full faith and credit. So a Boston Marriage is legal in Boston but not in Florida. As I said, its a mess. Long Arm statues and enforcement of judgments. Just to name two. I am for gay marriage but this judicial hair splitting makes things worse not better. DOMA makes sense until such time there is a federal political solution such as the analogue of the Civil Rights Act for gays.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Andy, the religious crank here is you.

Andy isn't a crank. He's uneducated, incurious, psychologically unwell, and consumed with hatred for people that lack his willing outsourcing of intellectual processes to whatever fads sitcom writers are currently focused on. Very much an object of pity.

Bender said...

Congratulations!

And for your grand prize, you now finally get the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, where it will be soundly shot down.

traditionalguy said...

The Court is saying that the lifestyle of gay men living together (That was a crime 10 years ago) needs protections equal to the protections given to man-woman child bearing pairs that were always seen as the basic building block of our Paternalist western civilization.

It's a brave new world. The court is saying they don't care about the past, and everyone should get used to it.

edutcher said...

Anybody wanna bet the court was more interested in the part about (it) "denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns" and a whole lot less about "it interferes with the right of a state to define marriage"?

And, yeah, the word, "benefits", is the crucial part.

Andy R. said...

Also, marriage equality is going to keep winning in the courts because basically the only people now who are opposed to equality are cranky bigoted christians and there aren't that many cranky bigoted christian judges and the arguments of cranky bigoted christians aren't very persuasive in court.

Except when they're based in fact.

In any case, there'll be a Republican POTUS and Congress appointing judges the next 4 (and probably more) years.

And, the further down the road we go, the arguments of the cranky bigoted homosexuals are going to carry less and less weight as more and more people see what they really want.

PS Always thought this was a gimmick by Willie to distract people from L'Affaire Monica.

Andy R. said...

From Andy Borowitz ‏@BorowitzReport on the twitters:
"Republican politicians fear that if same-sex marriage is legal their boyfriends will give them ultimatums. #DOMA"

edutcher said...

And we all know how the world hangs on Andy Borowitz' word.

Ken said...

cubanbob,

I am for gay marriage but this judicial hair splitting makes things worse not better. DOMA makes sense until such time there is a federal political solution such as the analogue of the Civil Rights Act for gays.

Would a Civil Rights Act for gays be good for gays? I think it's pretty clear that the Civil Rights Act has been a disaster for blacks, leading directly to the destruction of the black family and a dependence culture.

As with most "problems", the best "solution" (since these aren't problems and even if they were, the best you can get is a trade off, not solution), is for the government to NOT intervene on behalf of or against.

Christopher in MA said...

Your shrillness is counterproductive to your cause.

Hat has nothing but shrillness. He's incapable of arguing the case for gay marriage; all he does is keep vomiting out white noise about "bigots," "Christianists" and "civil rights." He has no interest in presenting a solid, grounded reasoning as to why "gay marriage" is a worthwhile endeavor, nor as to how it would affect society at large. He's a child, only able to see the world through the prism of his own genitalia.

"Republican politicians fear that if same-sex marriage is legal, their boyfriends will give them ultimatums."

As I said. Hat is a child.

Andy R. said...

He's incapable of arguing the case for gay marriage

Governments shouldn't discriminate against gay people.

Happy?

MadisonMan said...

@MayBee, because the people pushing such an amendment, in my experience, have touted it as "saving traditional marriage." What better way to save it than to ban its dissolution?

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what the other Excitable Andy (Sullivan) has to say about this. Ten years ago he was pushing the federalism angle, and ridiculing the idea that adoption by one state government could in any way force any other government's hand.

Renee said...

But with the federal tax code, it favors a marriage status for the benefit of children. Marriage tax code only works in your favor once you have children and one spouse makes less/no income.

With all the talk of fatherlesness, we need a marriage tax code that helps lower income families, because there is no federal benefit for them to marry. In fact it is more beneficial to stay unmarried for federal benefits.

I think federal law hurts low income families more then a gay couple.

Christopher in MA said...

"Governments shouldn't discriminate against gay people. Happy?"

Governments shouldn't discriminate against anyone. Yet they do. All the time.

Try again.

Andy R. said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what the other Excitable Andy (Sullivan) has to say about this

Ask and you shall receive: DOMA On Life Support

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

traditionalguy said...
The Court is saying that the lifestyle of gay men living together (That was a crime 10 years ago) needs protections equal to the protections given to man-woman child bearing pairs that were always seen as the basic building block of our Paternalist western civilization.

It's a brave new world. The court is saying they don't care about the past, and everyone should get used to it.


Are you saying that my marriage is less than yours because my wife is unable to have children? Fuck you.

Ken said...

Renee,

With all the talk of fatherlesness, we need a marriage tax code that helps lower income families, because there is no federal benefit for them to marry.

Because what we need more of is social engineering by government. How about the government treat each individual the same, regardless of race, color, age, income level, etc.?

Renee said...

OK, Try living a neighborhood with high levels of fatherless homes. Nothing wrong with promoting dads in the home. Not social engineering, dads save taxpayers the social costs down the road.

Andy R. said...

Hat has nothing but shrillness. He's incapable of arguing the case for gay marriage;

This is silly for a couple of reasons. First, it's not like there are a bunch of people hanging around the comment section on Althouse waiting to be convinced about the merits of gay marriage. That happens out in the real world. I'm well aware of the impact that being an out gay man has on the world and it's clear that the rapidly increasing support for marriage equality is related to queer people coming out of the closet. Arguing isn't required, just showing the world what gay people are like, and what gay marriage is like and what gay couples raising children is like convinces people all on its own.

Second, it's not like there is a shortage of arguments in favor of marriage equality. You could spend the rest of your life reading books, articles, court transcripts, etc. It's a little silly to pretend like you can't ingest any of this unless I provide it for you in the Althouse comment section.

Third, people need to own their bigotry. It's not my job to convince you not to be a bigot. It's 2012 in America. Don't act like it's on me to convince you to do the right thing.

Fourth, there are political arguments that are worth taking seriously and those that have reached the point of ridicule. We saw this for a while with creationists who were always trying to get into debates with real scientists. There was a brief period of engagement, and now the real scientists have realized there is no need to engage with the dumb crazy creationists. Who cares what a bunch of dumb christians think about science? Now you sometimes see the creationists tugging on the shirtsleeves of the scientists whining about how they won't debate with them. It's pitiful.

There are plenty of other examples of this. 9/11 truthers for example, some of the Ron Paul conspiracy theorists, or the birthers. If someone wants to argue that Obama needs to be taken off the ballot because he was born in Kenya, I'm going to think they are dumb or racist or crazy and point and laugh at them. It's not worth my time to engage.

Same thing with the anti-gay bigots. You think a bunch of cranky old christian bigots deserve to be taken seriously? I've seen nothing to make me think their arguments aren't a total joke and will be quickly swept into the trash can of history.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Sorry Tradguy that was too harsh. But I hate the child bearing argument. If child bearing is the basis then polygamy should be legal.

Marriage has long evolved to include non child bearing couples. Old people can marry, etc. marriage is an institution that is designed to provide stability in relationships.

I don't care if two guys or two girls want to get married if one man wants to marry two women or cousins want to marry.

Now having said that, I do object to father marrying his child or brothers and sisters marrying. I admit I am inconsistent on that point.

Moral is that different people draw the lines at different places. So is equal protection the answer? Is it better to let voters decide what is marriage or better to get government out of marriage all together?

Ken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay said...

Andy R. said...

Second, it's not like there is a shortage of arguments in favor of marriage equality. You could spend the rest of your life reading books, articles, court transcripts, etc. It's a little silly to pretend like you can't ingest any of this unless I provide it for you in the Althouse comment section.


Laugh out loud funny.

Note: you can't even reference all these "books & articles" nor can you list out an argument.

Everyone reading knows why.

Jay said...

I'm well aware of the impact that being an out gay man has on the world and it's clear that the rapidly increasing support for marriage equality

You and your silly, ignorant ilk, have done nothing but set your cause back.

Your "outing" has hurt the cause, bozo.

And if 30 states voting down gay marriage over the last 10 years is increasing support for marriage equality then I'm the King of Djibouti.

Idiot.

MayBee said...


Its too bad for a lot of straight people that as married they have to file a joint return. For a lot of people that results in a much higher tax for one or both spouses than each filling as singles.


That's very true. Obama even wants to define "the wealthy" differently for married vs. singles.
And what is "head of household", anyway?

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

Governments shouldn't discriminate against gay people.


Hysterical.

That is an "argument" when I guess you're in the obviously abnormal, gay category.

The government discriminates every day, all the time.

So that word doesn't mean what you think it means.

Alex said...

I really wonder why hatman gives blacks, Mexicans and Muslims are free pass on their gay hatred.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

He's incapable of arguing the case for gay marriage

Governments shouldn't discriminate against gay people.


The government doesn't; homosexuals have the same Constitutional rights as everyone else.

Government has, however, reserved the right to regulate how some social institutions are maintained.

You're not allowed to marry your mother, either.

Ken said...

Renee,

Not social engineering

Seriously? Enacting government policy in order to change the social order is "not social engineering", huh? Did you know that fatherlessness is a direct result of similar social engineering? In essence the government enacted policy that resulted in the poor social situation you're talking about and your solution is even more policy actions? Why not just let people alone, to live, rise and fall according to their own decisions?

Bender said...

Arguing isn't required

This is what passes for legal reasoning these days.

Equality really is not the issue. No one is opposed to equality for all persons. No one is opposed to equality for persons having a same-sex attraction. With respect to marriage, same-sex attracted people should be treated equally.

But none of that has anything to do with the underlying and foundational question of how is it logically and/or ontologically possible for a person of one sex to "marry" a person of the same sex?

To be sure, one can advance various irrational explanations, or one can merely impose it as a legal fiction, but as a matter of the truth of the nature of marriage, "same-sex marriage" is an impossibility. It is not marriage, it is the counterfeit of marriage. It is Monopoly-money marriage.

That is not bigotry, that is not irrational animus. Rather, it is reason. It is no more unfair or harsh than the fact that it is impossible for a father to be a mother, no matter how much he might want to be a mother, and vice versa.

The only way that "same-sex marriage" can exist is by force, by the despotic imposition of a fiction. Hence there is never any real attempt to persuade people or otherwise explain how it is possible for the impossible to exist.

Andy R. said...

Note: you can't even reference all these "books & articles" nor can you list out an argument.

You want me to list every single book and article in favor of gay marriage? Or are you just looking for a recommendation from me of one to read?

Andy R. said...

And if 30 states voting down gay marriage over the last 10 years is increasing support for marriage equality then I'm the King of Djibouti.

What do you think is going to happen in Maryland?

Rabel said...

I'm pretty sure that the President is outraged at this decision:

"Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress.

And I would like to remind conservative commentators that for years what we have heard is that the biggest problem is judicial activism and that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.

"Well, this is a good example and I’m pretty confident this court will recognize that and not take that step”

MayBee said...

@MayBee, because the people pushing such an amendment, in my experience, have touted it as "saving traditional marriage." What better way to save it than to ban its dissolution?

Yeah, but I don't think you or anybody else thinks that banning the dissolution of a marriage is the way to save traditional marriage.
They aren't going to be persuaded by that, and it really isn't related.

MayBee said...

"Ultimately, I'm confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected congress.

And I would like to remind conservative commentators that for years what we have heard is that the biggest problem is judicial activism and that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.


Genius, Ravel.

(I swear my word verification is a photo of a grave stone)

Bender said...

And to be clear here, the "same-sex marriage" agenda really is NOT about freedom. It is about restricting freedom. It is about compelling other people to agree that what is a lie is true. It is about imposing by force that agenda upon people whether they like it or not.

rcocean said...

Does anyone really think this has anything to do with the actual constitution?

Hopefully the SCOTUS will find a new right to Gay marriage in the constitution and bring this farce to an end.

cubanbob said...

Ken said...
cubanbob,

I am for gay marriage but this judicial hair splitting makes things worse not better. DOMA makes sense until such time there is a federal political solution such as the analogue of the Civil Rights Act for gays.

Would a Civil Rights Act for gays be good for gays? I think it's pretty clear that the Civil Rights Act has been a disaster for blacks, leading directly to the destruction of the black family and a dependence culture.

You are conflating LBJ's welfare state expansion with the simple granting of civil rights to blacks. While parts of the civil rights and voting rights bills have some questionable aspects, such as affirmative action and disparate outcomes the fundamental aspect of granting blacks the same right to vote is simply stating that absent a specific set of circumstances in which convicted criminals lose aspects of their civil rights, what these bills did was in terms of legal rights put blacks on the same plane as whites.

As civil rights act for gay marriage is a proper political solution, not a judicial remedy that creates more issues and really solves none.

Roe is still highly contentious after nearly 40 years. No one seriously belives and argues for the repeal of the rights of blacks to vote today. No granted the people of 30 states have voted against gay marriage, but then again so did a number of states in the past with race laws.It takes time and political courage for nationally elected leaders to take the risk and pass national legislation to put gays on the same plane as striaghts to marry. It wouldn't take much of a bill to state that marriage between two people of the same sexual orientation is permissible in the UNited States and that all other state restrictions on marriage stay operative (such as polygamy and incestuous marriages ). So far the national consensus isn't there yet but it is getting closer.

Rusty said...

Pookie Number 2 said...
Andy, the religious crank here is you.

Andy isn't a crank. He's uneducated, incurious, psychologically unwell, and consumed with hatred for people that lack his willing outsourcing of intellectual processes to whatever fads sitcom writers are currently focused on. Very much an object of pity.



But he looks FABULOUS!




God, but gay people are tedious.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

What do you think is going to happen in Maryland?



I know the black pastors in Baltimore & Montgomery County are going full tilt to get the message out that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. They're also reminding their congregations that MLK would oppose gay marriage.

Duh.

Dave said...

This ruling dealt with the constitutionality of DOMA's provision that the Federal government not recognize state sanctioned same-sex marriages. Personal feelings or beliefs about who should or shouldn't be allowed to get married don't matter in this discussion. The fact is that some states have laws that sanction relationships which DOMA forbids the federal government to recognize. The conflict can only be resolved by repealing DOMA or finding it unconstitutional.

California's situation and the fed's response provides a good example. The California RDP (registered domestic partnership) law created a relationship designation which is legally identical to marriage in everything but name. Registered Domestic Partners come under the same community property law as married couples. There is no way that the federal government can deny that. California requires RDP's to file a joint tax return, but the IRS can't allow a same-sex joint return because of DOMA. So, the IRS requires each partner to file a return with an adjustment for community property which means combining income and taxes which can include self-employment tax. Obviously, the IRS has no choice but to recognize the existence of California same-sex civil union (and marriage since some were "grandfathered-in" with the passage of Prop.8). So, self-employed same-sex couples can be in the position where they are paying into social security jointly like other married couples but being denied access to spousal benefits. This isn't about getting "something for nothing." It's about getting what you've paid for.

Consider what's happened since the end of "don't ask, don't tell". The legal spouse of a member of the military can't be recognized or provided the same benefits given to other spouses. What if a military couple get's married? DOMA says these relationships don'e exist. Ultimately, DOMA has to go.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"But homosexuals weren't asking for the right to marry anyone. They were asking for the right to marry someone. Still others worried that if one state granted such a right, the entire country would have to accept same-sex marriage. But legal scholars pointed out that marriage has not historically been one of those legal judgments that the "full faith and credit" clause of the U.S. Constitution says must be recognized in every state if they are valid in one state. [!?] And if there were any doubt, the Defense of Marriage Act, designed expressly to prohibit such a scenario, was passed by a Republican Congress and President Clinton in 1996." -- Andrew Sullivan, 8/13/01

"My civil marriage license in Massachusetts is indistinguishable in every way from all the heterosexual civil marriage licenses in Massachusetts. And yet the feds choose not to recognize mine, but to recognize the others. They have no right to trample on the freedom of states to arrange their marriage laws as they see fit - whether by outlawing gay marriage or allowing it." -- Andrew Sullivan, 5/31/12 (thanks, Other Andy.)

How will Sullivan try to square this circle? By arguing that the feds are trampling Massachusetts' freedom to define marriage, but North Carolina is not? If his position in 2001 was really that one state shouldn't be able to force another state's hand on SSM, but should be able to force all the other states at once at the federal level, you must admit that he was being awfully cagey about it.

Pookie Number 2 said...

God, but gay people are tedious.

In my experience, that's not universally true. Some are ignorant cowards like Andy, careful to only accuse certain religious groups of bigotry. No-one takes them seriously, because they contribute nothing to the conversation.

Others are perfectly pleasant, but they are blessed with a maturity that whining douchebags like Andy cannot even understand, much less possess.

Lyssa said...

Bender, your 12:20 argument is passionate, but it is not persuasive. You merely state, over and over again, that the coupling between same sex partners is not marriage. There is no more evidence for that then there is for the opposite conclusion.

The fact of the matter is that, in our current society, a significant number of people have chosen to engage themselves in relationships that, but for the legal recognition (in many states), is indistinguishable from what many hetrosexual married couples have. They will continue to do this, legal recognition or no. The sole distinction is that children are not a possibility, but that is only a distinction from some hetro relationships - for many, children are not possible. Our legal system now, with regards to marriage, is based around the ideas that children may or may not exist in a marriage, and that both parties are equal in rights and responsibilties regardless of sex.

When members of homosexual relationships decide that they want those legal rights and responsibilities, there is no reason that it is in any way distinguishable from hetrosexual marriage, and several states have chosen to recognize this and allow that legal recognition.

This is marriage. Just claiming that it is not and can not be is unpersuasive and says nothing.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...

You want me to list every single book and article in favor of gay marriage? Or are you just looking for a recommendation from me of one to read?



No, because you're not capable.

As we've seen your "arguments" are shouting "discrimination" and "bigotry" and "Christians"

Gee, I wonder why your idea hasn't caught on?

Dave said...

Reader's Digest version of my previous post -

Now that some states grant marriage or civil union rights to same-sex couples, the ability of the federal government to enforce DOMA has already been compromised by conflicts with tax and property regulations as well as the repeal of DADT and things will only get worse. DOMA will have to be repealed or found unconstitutional.

Pookie Number 2 said...

I'm actually in favor of less governmental intrusion overall, including in marriage. Nevertheless, I recognize that there are serious concerns.

Before he went off the deep end, Andrew Sullivan tried to distinguish between prohibiting homosexuality and prohibiting incest, but he was ultimately unsuccessful. His argument was that families need to be a safe, non-sexualized zone, so it was in society's interest to keep families unsexualized. Anyone that's ever had kids knows that boys and girls tend to self-segregate, which means that popularizing homosexuality also sexualizes what is clearly a desirable 'safe' place.

MayBee said...

Bravo, Lyssa.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

Note: you can't even reference all these "books & articles" nor can you list out an argument.

You want me to list every single book and article in favor of gay marriage?


Do you want a list of every book and article that said the Cultural Revolution was a good thing?

Or that Hitler was the best hope of Europe?

Hell, would Hatman like a list of all the articles that said the Facebook IPO would be a real money maker?

David said...

Tradition?

Sorry. It's part of the wrong tradition. If it was a permissible tradition it would be ok.

Tradition is fine as long as it's my tradition, not your tradition.

This of course is why Andy and others are compelled to define marriage as between a man and a woman as bigots.

Not sharing your viewpoint does not make people bigots, Andy.

edutcher said...

Lyssa said...

The fact of the matter is that, in our current society, a significant number of people have chosen to engage themselves in relationships that, but for the legal recognition (in many states), is indistinguishable from what many hetrosexual married couples have

That doesn't make it a good idea. A lot of people will tell you that the casual sexual relationships entered into by many heterosexual couples is a lousy environment for maintaining society, too.

There's a reason societies over the centuries and all cultures have favored married families as the best arrangement. Citing one bad arrangement as a justification for another isn't going to work.

Christopher in MA said...

A very interesting comment, Lyssa. That's the sort of thing I wanted to hear from Hat. I don't know that I fully agree with your position - actually, I prefer the government get out of the "marriage business" altogether and allow people to arrange their tax shelters, visitation rights and so on as they see fit.

My queasiness (for lack of a better term) with SSM is that we simply have not had any sort of "control set" for an appropriate number of years to determine how such an arrangement will affect the traditional family. Will the push for SSM lead to polygamy? Or to sibling marriage? We don't know, and I find it very disingenuous to say "oh, that will never happen." It wasn't so long ago that the "equal rights" push for gays was accompanied by the soothing refrain of "don't worry, we'll never ask for same-sex marriage."

Is the slippery slope there? Perhaps, perhaps not. I should love to be proven wrong. I just feel that we are taking a great leap into the unknown, throwing away millenia of custom for a shiny bauble.

Now, that, Hat, is how I would try to debate you were you honest. But you're not. Your continued refrain of cranky old Christian bigots reveals your real motivation. Tolerance is not enough for you. We must approve.

And, as a final note, I do like the charge of bigotry. I suspect the extent of my gay friends would astound you. I don't dislike gays.

I dislike you.

Ken said...

cubanbob,

You are conflating LBJ's welfare state expansion

Maybe. "The Great Society" was a direct result of the Civil Rights Act.

with the simple granting of civil rights to blacks.

Didn't the 14th amendment do that? I understand that many states violated this amendment, but did the civil rights act (of 1964) really "grant" blacks their civil rights?

to put gays on the same plane as striaghts to marry

Is marriage a right? People over use the word "right" to simply mean "things I want". I'm not particularly excited about the government regulating anything, but I get nervous when people start talking about "rights", when it's clear they have to real clear definition of what a right is. Rights, by and large, means the right to do {insert right} without government interference. When people talk about the "right" to marriage, this is an inversion. This is a direct appeal to have government intervene into your life and regulate part of it (and a very intimate part at that).

Bender said...

Sorry Lyssa, but the burden of persuasion is not on those who recognize the nature of marriage as understood throughout human history. The burden is upon those who advocate for the fiction of "same-sex marriage" to at least attempt a definition at marriage. This they have largely refused to do. Instead, they have argued side-issues, like equality.

At most, they have advocated for a redefinition of marriage. But in doing so, they must admit that a redefinition is substantively different from a definition.

The burden of persuasion is upon those who seek to redefine reality.

Bender said...

I put it to you squarely --

What is marriage?

Merely saying that a male-male joinder is the functional equivilent of a male-female joinder does not answer the question.

Until the SSM advocates posit what the essence and inherent nature of marriage is, there can be no rational dialogue on the issue.

Lyssa said...

edutcher said: That doesn't make it a good idea. A lot of people will tell you that the casual sexual relationships entered into by many heterosexual couples is a lousy environment for maintaining society, too.

The question right now really isn't whether or not it is a good idea - some states have determined that it is a good idea; some have determined that it is not - both are valid determinations. However, the question that was before the 1stC today was whether or not the feds have to allow states to make that determination on their own. The Constitution says that they absolutely do.

On the good idea front, though, I'll add that, as I sort of alluded to above, the relationships will exist, recognized or not. The question, therefore, isn't whether or not it is a good idea for them to exist, but whether or not, given that they will exist, it is a good idea to recognize them.

I agree with you on casual sex - I would argue, in fact, that this actually points the opposite - allowing and recognizing gay marriage shows that you approve of the stable, legal relationship, not the casual.

Bender said...

Note that the question of, "what is the essence and inherent nature of marriage?" is different from the questions of whether to require public recognition of such union and/or whether to provide legal protections to such union.

Pookie Number 2 said...

I agree with you on casual sex - I would argue, in fact, that this actually points the opposite - allowing and recognizing gay marriage shows that you approve of the stable, legal relationship, not the casual.

Doesn't that just beg the question? If homosexual relationships are inherently more casual than heterosexual relationships (I have no clue, but I think that Dan Savage makes that claim), then calling it 'marriage' minimizes the stability conveyed by the term.

Lyssa said...

Christopher said: very interesting comment, Lyssa. That's the sort of thing I wanted to hear from Hat.

Please, dear God, do not anybody start thinking of me as a somehow more articulate version of Hat.

My queasiness (for lack of a better term) with SSM is that we simply have not had any sort of "control set" for an appropriate number of years to determine how such an arrangement will affect the traditional family.

I think that your concerns are valid. Of course, as I pointed out to edutcher, this case, in particular, is not a question of good idea. That said, though, I do think that, on balance, I still think that gay marriage is the best way to go.

Societies, and the relationships within them, change. These changes have happened already, to a large degree. Marriage used to be primarily about raising a family and passing land, with romantic love taking a back seat. Now, it's not. Marriage used to be about rigid gender roles, now, it's not. We need to be on the lookout for changes that would be harmful, and articulate exactly why they are harmful. All changes will have some downsides (ex, again, is the women's movement - more freedom that we wouldn't give up, but many negatives as well, including some loss of stabilty to the family). This specific change, IMO, is, on balance, for the better.

Andy R., dear, do you see how nice it is when people debate without calling each other names?

chickelit said...

Bender wrote:

Until the SSM advocates posit what the essence and inherent nature of marriage is, there can be no rational dialogue on the issue.

I'm not they but I'll speak for them. They'll answer: "marriage is what you have and we want it too."

They could could quote Shakespeare: marriage of true minds...admit impediments..,etc.
They will avoid the "two will become one flesh" aspect because for them that teaching must mean sex, and not love. That is their special predicament.

Most unfortunately, some proponents of SSM refuse to acknowledge the distinction of male female unions.

chickelit said...

Lyssa wrote: Marriage used to be primarily about raising a family and passing land, with romantic love taking a back seat.

When did it cease having that function? That's how my family runs...does yours? What has usurped that role and is it a good thing? Is an army of Julia's really such a good thing?

(the last sentence is inflammatory, I know but there's a grain of truth)

Lyssa said...

Bender said: put it to you squarely --

What is marriage?

Merely saying that a male-male joinder is the functional equivilent of a male-female joinder does not answer the question.


I think that my answer was at least implied above, but I'll be more clear:

Marriage is a partnership. It's similar in some regards to a business partnership, but also completely different. It is an agreement, a contract, to share your life, your property, your family, your home, your successes and failures and happiness and despair, with another person, for life (ideally).

This is not what marriage has been in the past, by the way. Many want to put forth the argument that marriage has been one thing forever - this is simply not true. In the past, marriage was about property and offspring, now, those are secondary, optional concerns. At many points in the past, romantic love had no place in marriage, now it is front and center. In the past, it was about rigid gender roles, now, males and females are considered equal partners in marriage.

There are millions of married hetrosexual couples, including my husband and I (for about the next 30 weeks, at least - we've got a baby on the way), who have lived as a married couple in a way that a homosexual couple could also live as married. We share a romantic love, and a devotion to each other's lives, but we did not reproduce (until now). We're equals and eschew gender roles (I outearn him, in fact.)

Have we not been married these almost 11 years? Under everything above, we were and are, but there was nothing that we had that a homosexual couple couldn't (other than legal recognition).

Lyssa said...

Pookie No. 2: Doesn't that just beg the question? If homosexual relationships are inherently more casual than heterosexual relationships (I have no clue, but I think that Dan Savage makes that claim), then calling it 'marriage' minimizes the stability conveyed by the term.

If that's the case, then yes. I don't accept Savage's claim, though (in particular, he's talking about males - I expect whent the dust clears on this issue, we'll find a ton of lesbian marriages, and only a few male). Anyway, like hetrosexual relationships, some are stable and some are not - my concern, though, is that those that are and want to be stable are given the full opportunity and encouragement to do so.

I have no idea why Savage gets the respect he does (not a knock on you for citing him, just in general). As far as I can tell, he's just a blowhard jerk.

Dave said...

edutcher, bender, et al....

The train's left the station.

Talk among yourselves - pontificate - call each other names - pretend that "traditional" marriage existed without substantial changes for millenia - enjoy the self-delusion....

Marriage is a contract between two people within parameters defined by the state and/or a religious institution. There are states and religious institutions in the US which sanction same-sex marriages or unions. Whatever your opinion, other people - fellow citizens - legislators - priests - rabbis - ministers - judges - county clerks - etc. acknowledge and support respecting committed same-sex couples.

Get over it.

Nathan Alexander said...

Lyssa,
You say that homosexual marriage is indistinguishable from heterosexual marriage.

Can you please define or characterize what marriage actually is?

Liberals wanted more poor people to achieve middle class. So they looked at the middle class and noticed the prevalence of home ownership and college degrees. They concluded that if we get poor people to obtain houses and college degrees, they will automatically ascend to middle class.

Can you accept the possibility that what everyone describes as "marriage" is actually just a collection of associated markers?

A wedding ceremony is not a marriage.
Love itself is not marriage.

I posit that marriage is the joining of complements to create a new wholeness. The two becoming one flesh in a manner modern society does not understand or recognize..

SSM does no such thing. I find it extremely sad that the entire nation will pay the price for educating those currently incapable of understanding this.

Look at what happened to the black family as a result of following liberal ideas that tradition and morality can be discarded lightly.

Nathan Alexander said...

Lyssa,
You say that homosexual marriage is indistinguishable from heterosexual marriage.

Can you please define or characterize what marriage actually is?

Liberals wanted more poor people to achieve middle class. So they looked at the middle class and noticed the prevalence of home ownership and college degrees. They concluded that if we get poor people to obtain houses and college degrees, they will automatically ascend to middle class.

Can you accept the possibility that what everyone describes as "marriage" is actually just a collection of associated markers?

A wedding ceremony is not a marriage.
Love itself is not marriage.

I posit that marriage is the joining of complements to create a new wholeness. The two becoming one flesh in a manner modern society does not understand or recognize..

SSM does no such thing. I find it extremely sad that the entire nation will pay the price for educating those currently incapable of understanding this.

Look at what happened to the black family as a result of following liberal ideas that tradition and morality can be discarded lightly.

Lyssa said...

chicklit said:
When did it cease having that function? That's how my family runs...does yours? What has usurped that role and is it a good thing?


About the time that they invented effective birth control. As I said before, my family was child-free for near 11 years, yet still married. Children are now optional to marriage, and yes, I do think that that is (on balance) a good thing.

I 100% agree with you that single parenthood is a terrible thing for society, and that our society suffers for its proliferation. I just don't agree that gay marriage has anything to do with that problem.

Lyssa said...

Nathan Alexander, I said that SSM is indistinguishable from some straight marriages (the ones that don't have children or rigid gender roles). As for what is marriage, I answered that for Bender above.

Dave said...

"Nathan Alexander said...I posit that marriage is the joining of complements to create a new wholeness. The two becoming one flesh in a manner modern society does not understand or recognize.."

Great - go ahead and "posit" to your heart's content!

Since "modern society" does not understand or recognize what YOU do - give up trying to impose your superior understanding on the rest of us... don't waste your time - we're obviously beyond help

chickelit said...

Lyssa About the time that they invented effective birth control.

That's a glib answer. Evasive too. I asked, when did marriage cease to include the raising of children. I think you missread it as when did marriage cease to be defined as raising children or something like that.

Since I missed the mark last time, let me rephrase it as "what special instition is charged with raising kids?" And please don't come back and say that's not an important function whatever you call it.

Jay said...

Dave said...

Marriage is a contract between two people within parameters defined by the state and/or a religious institution. couples.

Get over it.



Um, no, no it is not.

But it is funny to watch you beclown yourself by first asserting marriage has changed, then to pretend it is limited to "two people"

Why it is almost as if you're dumb or something.

chickelit said...

Lyssa wrote: As I said before, my family was child-free for near 11 years, yet still married. Children are now optional to marriage, and yes, I do think that that is (on balance) a good thing.

You write that as if children were a burden not worth bearing. Why is that?

Dave said...

"chickelit said... when did marriage cease to be defined as raising children or something like that."

My friend the rabbi and her wife who are raising two kids or the fictional gay couple on Modern Family might say that marriage is all about raising kids for them.

What's going on here? Is it a contest to come up with the most uniformed, irrelevant "reason" to oppose SSM? I thought the discussion was about a court decision ..

chickelit said...

Dave wrote: Marriage is a contract between two people within parameters defined by the state and/or a religious institution.

Let's Venn diagram here a bit, shall we? You want to expand the marriage circle just a bit to include two (only two! :) more sets of couples. That's fine. Inside that circle is a subset--the subset that produces and raises children. I'm just asking what your name for that subset is. I know you want to say "breeder" but that is unacceptable.

Dave said...

"Jay said...it is funny to watch you beclown yourself by first asserting marriage has changed, then to pretend it is limited to "two people" "

In the United States polygamy and bigamy are not legal, so marriage is between two persons.

Of course, the comment has no actual relevance to the discussion - thanks for the name-calling

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

"chickelit said....the subset that produces and raises children. I'm just asking what your name for that subset is. I know you want to say "breeder" but that is unacceptable."

1. Among those I know with primary responsibility for raising children are parents, fathers, mothers, step-fathers, step-mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, godparents and more... what's the point?

2. You DON'T know what I WANT to call anyone. Saying that you do only reveals your character - not mine.

X said...

let gays marry and let's discuss why people who marry deserve special benefits. a: they don't. you don't think single people should be treated equally?

eric said...

"denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns."

That is a really interesting way to put it.

Not individuals the same rights, but couples the same rights.

Does the constitution now guarantee rights to groups of people, rather than the individual?

Let's phrase that another way,

"denies polygamous couples...."

Oh, you see what they did their? They said couples, not more than 2, just 2.

So, why stop at couples? Why not use the word groups?

edutcher said...

Lyssa said...

edutcher said: That doesn't make it a good idea. A lot of people will tell you that the casual sexual relationships entered into by many heterosexual couples is a lousy environment for maintaining society, too.

The question right now really isn't whether or not it is a good idea - some states have determined that it is a good idea; some have determined that it is not - both are valid determinations. However, the question that was before the 1stC today was whether or not the feds have to allow states to make that determination on their own. The Constitution says that they absolutely do.


And on that I agree with you and opposed DOMA on that basis from day 1.

However, there was a second justification, "denies married gay couples federal benefits given to heterosexual married couples, including the ability to file joint tax returns".

I wasn't aware we had a Constitutional right to joint tax returns and other Federal benefits. My objection to same sex marriage has always been that it's a scam to enable homosexuals access to things to which they would not normally be entitled.

Sort of like an alien marrying a citizen for the sole purpose of staying in the country.

Dave said...

edutcher, bender, et al....

The train's left the station.


As in, "the science is settled"?

Lyssa said...

Chicklit said: Since I missed the mark last time, let me rephrase it as "what special instition is charged with raising kids?" And please don't come back and say that's not an important function whatever you call it.

Ideally, children would be raised within a marriage. I have no qualms with that. But that doesn't mean that all marriages have or require children. Or do you consider couples that do not (or cannot) have children as not really married?

Lyssa wrote: As I said before, my family was child-free for near 11 years, yet still married. Children are now optional to marriage, and yes, I do think that that is (on balance) a good thing.

You write that as if children were a burden not worth bearing. Why is that?


That seems like an enormous stretch (check the "Lyssa" tag here, and see my very excited announcement of my own pregnancy a few weeks back - BTW, my baby has elbows this week. Elbows!). But I certainly do think that, if a couple would prefer not to have children, either permanantly or for a while, it is a good thing that they have that ability (with the caveat that they have to open to the fact that accidents are always a possibilty, of course). Do you really disagree?

chickelit said...

@Lyssa: Congratulations!

Or do you consider couples that do not (or cannot) have children as not really married?

Of course not. I just wanted to point out that the definition and franchise of marriage has grown and expanded to include more and more members while still including the original members. Eventually, the bubble will get too big and too inclusive. I also take Bender's point that the word marriage should at least be definable if it is going to be discussed in a legal sense. I was just extending this by asking what is the name of the unit or institution which produces kids. Dave seems to clearly have the "it takes a village" definition which I find tenuous at best.

I also think we are on a collision course in this country over the meaning of the word marriage vis-a-vis religion. Many European states seem to have avoided this collision.

Lastly, a while back Althouse hosted a very perceptive discussion of what marriage is not vis-a-vis the discussion of gay marriage and monogamy. Characters like Dan Savage should be a cause for worry because by and large too few gay males are standing up and saying that that guy's definition of marriage is wrong for the public at large.

gutless said...

How did we reach the point where the SSM issue is taken seriously? It is absurd on its face from any reasonable, rational perspective other than "because we want to pretend.". One may call such associations a marriage but they are not and never will be. Really, proponents should be laughed at. It is not bigotry to recognize the ludicrous.

chickelit said...

X said...
let gays marry and let's discuss why people who marry deserve special benefits. a: they don't. you don't think single people should be treated equally?

@X: I for one don't. Raising children is both enormously rewarding and costly at a personal level which I'm not sure that many singletons even appreciate. Yet it is essential to society is it not?

One could argue that replication could become a job and paid a living wage. But even then, I doubt many childless would go for it as a fabulous career.

I've never seen statistics saying that singles tax society less (certainly unmarried mothers tax society more). I think society may have it just right when they tax singles more.

Revenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lyssa said...

Thanks, chicklit!

I don't think that we disagree all that much, when it comes right down to values. We could hash out why I think that the line should be here and you think it should be there, and I'd bet that we'd wind up seeing eye to eye more than it seems.

Christopher in MA said...

In the United States, polygamy and bigamy are not legal, so marriage is between two persons.

No, they're not legal. Not yet. Neither is SSM fully legal, though you certainly think it will be. I honestly do not see how you can possibly say, don't worry, we'll let the gays marry, but the polygamists and bigamists are SOL. The same arguments you're using for SSM can, with nary a tweak, be used to justify the others.

Lyssa, many congratulations and thanks for your kind comments. I enjoy talking with you.

Dave said...

"Chickelit said...Dave seems to clearly have the "it takes a village" definition which I find tenuous at best."

Perhaps my response wasn't clear and led to some misunderstanding. you asked what I called people with primary responsibility. I know children being raised by their birth parents - but also some who have step parents because of death or divorce, as well as other cases. Close friends are raising their grandchild (now legally their adopted son) because their son's wife committed suicide and the son was murdered. I wasn't suggesting a large group having primary responsibility.

Regarding "it takes a village" - well, it does. Beyond the family we rely on our communities for support - schools, hospitals, libraries, churches, etc. None of us does it all by ourselves.

Revenant said...

I would just like to point out something to the people arguing that marriage is primarily about raising children:

The median age of first marriage is 27. The median lifespan is 79. That's 52 years of marriage. Raising a child takes 20, including pregnancy.

Figure three kids, spaced two years apart. That takes us to 24 years of kids and 28 years with just the two of you.

What purpose do those almost three extra decades serve, if they aren't serving what is ostensibly their main purpose?

Peter Hoh said...

Gutless asked: How did we reach the point where the SSM issue is taken seriously?

If you are still following the thread, I recommend Francis Fukuyama's attempt to answer that question in his essay, The Great Disruption.

Peter Hoh said...

Traditional Guy @ 11:25: The Court is saying that the lifestyle of gay men living together (That was a crime 10 years ago) needs protections equal to the protections given to man-woman child bearing pairs that were always seen as the basic building block of our Paternalist western civilization.

The law already says that the lifestyle of Newt Gingrich (divorcing your wife and marrying your affair partner was a crime 100 years ago, in some states) needs protections equal to the protections given to man-woman child bearing pairs that were always seen as the basic building block of our Paternalist western civilization.

Lyssa is exactly right. Marriage has already been redefined.

Lyssa, I seem to have missed your announcement on other threads. Congratulations!

Revenant said...

How did we reach the point where the SSM issue is taken seriously?

A large enough percentage of the generations raised to hated and fear homosexuals died of old age.

Christopher in MA said...

A large enough percentage of the generations raised to hate and fear homosexuals died of old age.

Christ. I should have gone all in on strawman futures on InTrade. I'd be a rich man by now.

Rusty said...

I have been married 25 years this July.
Believe me when I tell you........................................Oh! Hi, honey.
They are the best 25 years of my life.
Yes. They are.
The best.
Right away, hon.