March 17, 2013

Scott Walker entertains the notion of entirely extracting government from the business of recognizing marriage.

On "Meet the Press" today, David Gregory asked Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: "Are younger conservatives more apt to see marriage equality as something that is, you know, what they believe, that is basic, rather than as a disqualifying issue?" Walker said:
Well, I think there's no doubt about that. But I think that's all the more reason, when I talk about things, I talk about the economic and fiscal crisis in our state and in our country. That's what people want to resonate about. They don't want to get focused on those issues....
Later, pushed to talk about a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Walker said:
Well, the interesting thing on the generational standpoint is I've had young people ask me-- I think an appropriate question is not expanding it to include folks who are not one man and one woman, but rather questioning why the government's sanctioning it in the first place? And that would be the alternative, say not have the government sanction... marriage period. And leave that up to the churches and the synagogues and others to define that....
This is an issue that's been raised time and again in the comments to same-sex marriage posts on this blog. Virtually any time I write about same-sex marriage, this suggestion comes up.

Chris Matthews jumped all over Walker's idea: "Well, you can't get away because here are issues of Social Security payments and all kinds of things involved in that. And rights of prisoners and rights of people in the military. You have to recognize spousal rights."

Marriage is very deeply embedded in so much of what government does. How could you disentangle it now? It's interesting to think of what might have been if government had stayed out of marriage all along, but that's not the question. I think the only way forward is to recognize same-sex marriage, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right, so the political discourse can move on to other subjects — including the usual railing about activist judges.

192 comments:

MayBee said...

I hear people say that about getting government out of marriage and it makes no sense. Why should that even be what we want?
It's so unlikely it becomes a meaningless idea

chickelit said...

I think the only way forward is to recognize same-sex marriage, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right, so the political discourse can move on to other subject — including the usual railing about activist judges.

There's always more than one way forward. I hope they allow states to deal with the issue on a state-by-state basis.

AllenS said...

We're $16+ trillion in debt. Why in the fuck are we constantly talking about this bullshit?

MayBee said...

There can't be a right to SSM, though. It will happen because people want it to happen. A right opens up a whole 'nother can of worms.

Sim said...

Hopefully the government, along with the constitution, recognize same-sex marriage as part of an ever-changing society and respect their choices.

@AllenS, i second your opinion about the debt situation. It is truly a massive burden.

David said...

Forget it folks. This cake has been baked. Now wait for the class actions asking damages (reparations) for all the years of violation of the right to marry. Gonna piss off the black people, for sure. Reparations for gays and not for them?

AJ Lynch said...

what AllenS said.

Gahrie said...

. I think the only way forward is to recognize same-sex marriage, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right

This is a perfect example of our country's problems right here. You, a Constitutional law professor, our hoping that the Supreme Court will create a "right" that you favor.

The Supreme Court doesn't "bless us" with rights, or create rights. It protects the ones given to us by our creator and enumerated by the people in the Constitution.

Gahrie said...

I think the only way forward is to recognize polygamous marriage, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right

Gahrie said...

I think the only way forward is to recognize slavery, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right

Shouting Thomas said...

I have no idea why the eggheads are always bullshitting about some gay problem, but they always are.

They were bullshitting about some gay problem or other when I walked on the campus at the age of 16 in 1966. (As I remember, the bullshit back then was that, if only guys would blow each other, we'd attain world peace.)

They'll be bullshitting about some other gay problem as soon as they get done with this one.

Whatever the gay problem is, it's innate to being gay. It isn't the result of some sort of persecution.

This has been the dumbest dumb shit controversy of my life. It's already settled in NY State, where I live. More bullshit ahead.

They eggheads don't know why they're always bullshitting about some gay problem, either. I suspect it's some type of status mongering.

etbass said...

I've seen the SSM issue discussed coountless times on this blog. Just about every time, someone asks how you would justify confining marriage to monogamy. I have yet to see any SSM proponent post a serious answer to this. Have I just missed it?

Michael K said...

This is a phony issue, albeit a current fad. The country is careening toward the abyss, Cyprus is previewing what we suspect is the future of bank accounts and this is what have to talk about. I have to give it to the gay lobby; they are 3%, at best, of the population and, because we are sympathetic about the AIDS epidemic, they have the whole country turned upside down.

Typical of the level of maturity of the electorate.

bpm4532 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MayBee said...

Yes, the "blessing us" idea is troubling from a constitutional law professor. Perhaps it is some of her famous humor.

Shouting Thomas said...

@Sim,

See my remark above.

Gays will still be pissed off and unhappy about something when this is issue is decided, and the eggheads will start bullshitting about the next thing we have to do to prove we like them.

Baron Zemo said...

Civil unions should be all that the government should be able to confer. On both Gays and Straights.
That will handle the insurance, social security, inheritance and all those things that are the reason why we are talking about same sex marriage. Right?

That works for everyone right?

Let "marriage" as a sacrament or rite be determined by the religious faith of the participants.

No problem.

Ann Althouse said...

The GOP will be better off if the Supreme Court trumps this political issue. Democrats will may rejoice publicly, but privately they should curse.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And where, exactly, in the constitution, is this right mentioned, suggested, or even hinted at?

Ann Althouse said...

"That works for everyone right? Let "marriage" as a sacrament or rite be determined by the religious faith of the participants. No problem."

This was a hypothetical I used for an exam a year ago. Everything got renamed for governmental purposes.

CWJ said...

More bullshit from AA on this. Walker's comments are revolutionary, and the activist wing of the gay lobby's collective head has got to be on the verge of exploding.

Take government intervention into marriage out of the picture and the drive for SSUnions loses all its clout moral and otherwise.

Whether or not we could get the state out of marriage is irrelevant. We probably can't. What Walker's comment did was lay bare the fact that there is no moral argument here, and that the demand for state sanctioned SSUnions is nothing more than oportunitic legal and economic expediancy.

Its because the activist wing of the gay lobby needs the blunt club of the state to back them up. Otherwise they have no case.

That said, I'm still very much in favor of civil unions for those who want them and are willing to abide by the responsibilities as well as rights that come with them.

Shouting Thomas said...

Your goofiness on this issue is mind boggling, Althouse.

Although, as I said, eggheads have been incredibly goofy all my life over this crap.

You've lost your common sense completely here.

That said, it's decided.

Now on to the gay's battle to shut down religious freedom and freedom of speech.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And where, exactly, in the constitution, is this right mentioned, suggested, or even hinted at?

Ann Althouse said...

Converting existing marriages into another form could be characterized as a violation of the due process right.

Renee said...

Then call it by its real name "civil unions". Marriage is embedded in our laws, but why? The original intent is no longer valued, so call it what it is. Civil Unions.

Anthony said...

I think the only way forward is to recognize polygamous marriage, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right

It will come. And, as etbass points out, none of the SSM proponents want to even discuss that. One really wonders how concerned about "rights" they'll be when the Mormons and muslims start demanding their "rights".

Chip Ahoy said...

Later, pushed to talk about a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Walker said:

FOCUS! You little dick.

Renee said...

But they were converted into another form, when they redefined it in Massachusetts. They changed public policy completely here.

hombre said...

"and, because we are sympathetic about the AIDS epidemic, they have the whole country turned upside down."

You mean the AIDs epidemic where a hugely disproportionate number of identified (by the CDC) HIV/AIDs cases involve men who have sex with other men?

That epidemic? The "accidental" one?

Methadras said...

There are texts from governmental scribes going back 8k years that show marriage licenses and who married whom. Good luck with divesting government from marriage. I can tell you one thing, they will surely know how to fuck it up further.

edutcher said...

Walker's giving the straight (no pun) Libertarian position (no pun again) on the issue.

He's also trying to keep from being sidetracked.

Shouting Thomas said...

I have no idea why the eggheads are always bullshitting about some gay problem, but they always are.

Because they're faaaabuloussss!!!!!!

Ann Althouse said...

The GOP will be better off if the Supreme Court trumps this political issue. Democrats will may rejoice publicly, but privately they should curse.

That ignores the century-long attempt to destroy the Constitution.

And, considering the Demos are on the wrong side of this, maybe they'd be better off if SCOTUS finally recognized the Tenth Amendment.

Converting existing marriages into another form could be characterized as a violation of the due process right.

Supposedly we have a right to life that's being trashed on a daily basis.

Methadras said...

AllenS said...

We're $16+ trillion in debt. Why in the fuck are we constantly talking about this bullshit?


We aren't talking about it. The leftards are making it the issue that requires a response. Unfortunately, it's another one of their squirrels...

timkb4cq said...

This part of the 14th Ammendment:

"No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

is the usual Constitutional cite, and indeed it could be interpreted that way although I very much doubt the authors would agree with such a reading.

I think the Federal Government has no business deciding the definition of marriage. It's certainly not an enumerated power and probably not necessary or proper to one of those powers. However I suspect the High Court will eventually extend a penumbra of the 14th ammendment as our lovely host thinks it should...

Rick67 said...

"Marriage equality". The language stacks the terms of debate right from the start.

I am not necessarily against same-sex marriage. But I am getting tired of the casual presumption that one point of view is already the one true point of view thus loaded language like "marriage equality".

Shouting Thomas said...

That epidemic? The "accidental" one?

In fact, gays have turned this around to be the cornerstone of their claims of "persecution." It was something that straight men, namely Republicans, did to them. President Reagan seems to have been the primary cause of the AIDS epidemic.

alwaysfiredup said...

"I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right"

Oh dear lord...

Surely, SURELY, as a law prof you could phrase this to be less off-putting.

Bob said...

Is there a designated queue to address these issues? I am surprised the polygamists are aggitating already since one is an artificial limit. You should have a right to determine what is your right civil union number. Who monitors the grievance queue?

Bob said...

Is there a designated queue to address these issues? I am surprised the polygamists are aggitating already since one is an artificial limit. You should have a right to determine what is your right civil union number. Who monitors the grievance queue?

AllenS said...

If the Supreme Court or anyone else wants to find out what the word marriage means, may I suggest opening a dictionary.

edutcher said...

Shouting Thomas said...

That epidemic? The "accidental" one?

In fact, gays have turned this around to be the cornerstone of their claims of "persecution." It was something that straight men, namely Republicans, did to them. President Reagan seems to have been the primary cause of the AIDS epidemic.


Of course, it has nothing to do with the fact that a homosexual pastime in the 70s and 80s was to fly down to Haiti (where the disease had been brought back from Africa and was running rampant) and buy a little boy for the night.

If the "low information" voters ever grow up, this will be one of the first things they outgrow.

edutcher said...

AllenS said...

We're $16+ trillion in debt. Why in the fuck are we constantly talking about this bullshit?

But we have no debt crisis.

Haven't you heard?

I-am-not-a-Dictator Zero told this past week.

Palladian said...

Marriage is very deeply embedded in so much of what government does. How could you disentangle it now?

I'm one of the commenters who consistently advocates getting the government out of the business of sanctioning and regulating marriages, and I consistently hear people complain about how this idea is "far-fetched" and unfeasible. Well, the idea upon which the United States was founded was, at the time, far-fetched and unfeasible. Monarchy, tyranny and despotism were so deeply embedded in so much of what government did, how, you may have asked the Framers, could you disentangle it in 1789?

The answer to that is simple: you disentangle knots methodically and with patience, and you do it because that's part of what being American is about, or used to be about: the idea that everything can be re-thought, re-configured and changed, that nothing, especially the government of the people, should be allowed to become sclerotic and tangled in the first place.

The Democrat party, in one swipe, completely upended the entire health care industry in America, an industry as "deeply embedded" and "entangled" in American life and American government as civil marriage, and yet somehow so-called liberals had little problem with that revolutionary act.

To deny the possibility of change to a government function, especially one such as marriage which is not mentioned in the US Constitution and will not significantly affect people's physical health and a major industry, like the health care "reform" will, is frankly un-American.

AJ Lynch said...

The govt could take 10% of the money in her bank account and Althouse will still be blabbing about SSM.

CWJ said...

Palladian, thank you for that.

AJ Lynch said...

Sorry AllenS, it has been revised to read:

The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife, and in some jurisdictions, between two persons of the same sex, usually entailing legal obligations of each person to the other.
b. A similar union of more than two people; a polygamous marriage.
c. A union between persons that is recognized by custom or religious tradition as a marriage.
d. A common-law marriage.
e. The state or relationship of two adults who are married:

Bob_R said...

You are probably right. Recognition is the only relatively easy way out of this mess. But of course, there is one way to achieve Walker's result quickly. The Supreme Court could declare that the recognition of marriage by the state is the establishment of religion and declare it unconstitutional. It's not going to happen of course (maybe even because it's incorrect legally.) But the problem is caused by the entanglement of the state with a fundamentally religious institution.

CWJ said...

Palladian, I do think however that while there was great dtermination on the part of the founders, while there has been continuing determination on the part of the statists, there is little political determination on the of those who would extract the state from marriage.

Shouting Thomas said...

Recognition is the only relatively easy way out of this mess.

No, it isn't the way out of anything.

It's just the precursor to the next battle, which will be the gay activist assault on freedom of religion, speech and assembly.

phx said...

Some of you hate the government. If you do why you would care what it recognizes anyway?

betamax3000 said...

I've got a can of Campbell's Cream of Worm Soup and I have a can-opener, so here goes...

Money line: I think whatever penumbras the Constitution may emanate encompass Gay Marriage well before they reach abortion: the Pursuit of Happiness is alt least agreed upon by the two beings in question.

I believe that, ideally, Government should not be involved in the Marriage department, but -- as Ann has stated -- that is now (mostly) baked in the cake.

However, I do believe that Government can step back to a 'Plus-One-Guest' arrangement in the relevant intertwined financial matters: Gay, straight, etc etc -- as an adult you can declare one other adult to be your Government Partner. Your Catholic husband, your gay wife, the homeless guy who always says 'hello' as you walk by on the way to work: just pick one, check the box on the forms and be done with it, damn it. Hell, now 'single' people could do it for one another -- even more tasty Equality frosting.

Let Marriage (and re-marriage for that matter) be defined by the Church you attend or the Tree you worship, the Government will cash your tax checks regardless (for those who pay taxes -- another can of worms, of course). If the Government can screw up the School System / Budget / Whatever It Touches I really am not concerned about them being the bulwark of Responsibility.

I realize that many will not consider this enough -- they want condoning, not accepting. Still, I would rather the fights to come be fought on a clear-cut Hill, and let God sort it out later: the Home-Schooled shall inherit the Earth.

As for The Children (TM-thingie here): children are born into hardship every day -- it is always The Best of Times and the Worst of Times. The amount born out of wedlock -- by percentages alone -- scares me more than gay adoption. Myself, I am more worried about the child born to two New York Times subscribers: thank God they often choose not to reproduce at all.

So: a truce. Gay Marriage for Guns. In fact, maybe we provide all newly-wed gay couples with a complimentary fire-arm: it would be nice to meet them at the shooting range. Then maybe we can focus on this Debt that will drown us in our bickering, regardless.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Marriage is very deeply embedded in so much of what government does. How could you disentangle it now?

That IS the issue and the question. Tax codes, inheritance laws, social welfare laws, insurance to name just a few government controlled items that affect marriage and married people.

To make things "fair" and "equal" would require a complete and total revamping of the laws on a Federal and State level.

We can't get our elected officials to even make a budget. What makes us think they can do an overhaul of these laws? They can't.....and furthermore....they won't. They will just pass yet another layer of crap law to shovel on top of the existing crap laws.

AllenS said...

phx said...
Some of you hate the government.

Care to provide any names.

phx said...

So: a truce. Gay Marriage for Guns.

Fuck no. I was gonna offer you funding for abortions.

phx said...

Care to provide any names.

No, if you don't hate the government don't worry about it.

Palladian said...

Some of you hate the government. If you do why you would care what it recognizes anyway?

Even for you, that's an incredibly stupid assertion and question. As someone that posts a large number of comments, you really need to sharpen up.

phx said...

Even for you, that's an incredibly stupid assertion and question.

How so?

AllenS said...

If you ever do any geneaology, you'll see that the governments of almost all nations have been involved in the recording of such marriages between a man and a woman.

If two men want to form a partnership, let them find another name for it. No, you can't use the word marriage, automobile, jar, shoe and most other words.

Renee said...

I should of calmed down, I apologize. The problems of the Internet.


Living in Massachusetts, I've seen the effects. We don't value the importance of mothers and fathers, well we do but we have ineffective ways of bringing them together as a whole.

What was most frustrating, here was the same-sex couples demanded that a child's birth certificate have both of their names as if they were indeed both biologically related to them.

Vital records on a birth certificate, should realistic reflect who the person is.

In a previous post, Titus talked about the city I live in, which is Lowell. Working class and with low marriage rates. Fathers are involved at birth, but over time the couple splits up. Nothing is done, to encourage to stabilize the family as a preventative measure.

Titus bragged how he received oral sex at the YMCA, my children get their swim lessons at then talks about how gross my city is.

The progressive upper-middle class treats the the lower 'blue collar' like crap here. The Democratic Party is actually very polarized, the richer progressive dominate. The working class just accepted whatever, with little power. The unions no longer represent us.


I'm actually in agreement with much of the needs of gay individuals and addressing their relationship needs. One of those relationship needs shouldn't be denying a child his/her mother or father.

The curse of this originates more with the fertility industry which is financially profitable, mostly by educated affluent couples who postponed having children and seek out sperm/egg/surrogacy, then it does with homosexuals. The fertility industry though pushed for 'reproductive rights' of gay couples. The ability to buy babies by means of preconception contract.

The child has no rights to kinship conceived by these circumstances, compared to a child naturally conceived from heterosexual intercourse who have every right to both paternal and maternal family members.

The argument is that a child of a same-sex couple should be treated the same as a child of a heterosexual couple, then both children should have access to their mother and father.

I deal with the fall-out of the total breakdown of family everyday, I was public policy to reflect the problems of fragile families. I want legal terms to define that every child has a mother and father. I'm being deny that.


That's incredibly sad.

wyo sis said...

"Some of you hate the government."

I have to admit that I'm starting to hate the government. I'm especially starting to hate the people in government who are supposed to represent the people and have ethics and don't.

AllenS said...

Renee, don't believe anything Titus says.

betamax3000 said...

RE: phx said...
"Fuck no. I was gonna offer you funding for abortions."

I will not lie: I would spend the funding on vodka and candy cigarettes.

I would kind-heartedly give the candy cigarettes to deserving Children, of course.

edutcher said...

Renee said...

I should of calmed down, I apologize. The problems of the Internet.

Don't apologize.

You have every right to be outraged at what the Left is doing to this country.

The Lefties come in here trailing all sorts of moral high dudgeon calling anybody who disagrees with them bigots and racists and anything else you can think of and they're only doing what somebody at Kos or the union local or their poli sci prof told them to come over here and say.

You, at least, make sense. You've had a chance to see how this "policy" really works. You know what's going to happen to other parts of the country and you're trying to make people see the truth.

Stick to your guns and be proud you have some principles.

You don't have to apologize for anything.

SteveR said...

The reason that civil unions and the various legal ways to treat partnerships equally, is that it doesn't solve the main problem for many same sex couples. They want to be accepted by the state and the church as equals. That means marriage just like Jack and Jill can do in the sanctuary of a church with the okay of five Supreme Court justices.

Chuck said...

Prof. Althouse;

Huh?

You "hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right..."?

Say what? Since when was the Supreme Court in the business of 'blessing us with constitutional rights'? I thought they were in the business of constitutional interpretation, and working on judicial review of legislation. Not "blessings."

I hope that the Supreme Court "blesses me" with a new Cadillac and a Rolex watch.

Since you are a highly intelligent person, and an expert in constitutional interpretation, I am curious what you think is a plausible basis for the Court to extend such a blessing. Given that whatever the Court decides to bestow as a "blessing," it is taking away from individual states. If the test for reviewing DOMA and California's Prop 8 is not "rational basis," what is the proper test? And if the test is rational basis, how does DOMA or Prop 8 offend?

phx said...

I will not lie: I would spend the funding on vodka and candy cigarettes.

What the hell are we going to do with you, betamax3000?

phx said...

I have to admit that I'm starting to hate the government.

wyosis fair enough. So my question to you is, do you give flying fig what kind of marriage the government does or doesn't recognize? And if you do, given that you're starting to hate them anyway, why do you care?

betamax3000 said...

Re: Ann said
"Converting existing marriages into another form could be characterized as a violation of the due process right."

If Government were to follow a 'Plus-One-Guest' rule' (TM-thingie here) would due process apply if all previous benefits remained the same?

betamax3000 said...

phx said...

"What the hell are we going to do with you, betamax3000?"

I'd say banish me to Gatsby posts but it seems that would only cause other problems.

Hagar said...

The Supreme Court cannot "bless us" with a non-existent Constitutional right.

It is the word "marriage" that causes the problem for people.

It is not that hard for the Federal Gov't and the States to get out of the "marriage" business. Just declare that for the future "marriage" is a religious ceremony outside their purview, but existing "marriages" will be accepted as Civil Unions for taxes and other secular purposes.

phx said...

I'd say banish me to Gatsby posts but it seems that would only cause other problems.

Yeah, I saw that. You have a popularity problem with someone there.

Achilles said...

At least this discussion started on the path to sanity before our esteemed host dismissed it as impossible. It will soon be a plank in the Republican Party platform that marriage is at the least a state issue. Rand already proposed removing it from the tax code.

Any critical thought applied to this issue by people who want his country to succeed and prosper will show that we have much more important things to worry about. At best the people pushing this are trying to distract from real problems. The root problem for SSM is that the government is involved at all. Our federal government is one of the most disfunctional entities in history. It needs to be forcefully removed from our lives.

We are still talking about this while Europe is heading over the cliff. Savings account levies? A much more interesting topic would be what would happen if DC pols tried to do this in the US. It is obviously one of the motivations behind gun control. You think they would have passed a savings account levy if citizens in Cyprus were armed?

edutcher said...

The whole idea of marriage is to protect spouses (particularly the stay-at-home kind) and dependent children.

The government has every right to determine rights and responsibilities.

In our case, that right rests with the states.

Roadkill said...

The problem with Same Sex Marriage is that it opens up a pandora's box of issues that we probably don't want to deal with.

Justice Scalia saw a lot of this coming 10 years ago in his dissent to Lawrence v. Texas, 2003.

"State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding."

It's readily apparent that SSM is here and will be nationally codified in short order. Also apparent is that adult incest (sibling and parent-child marriages) and polygamy are certainly next, since all justifications for SSM would apply to these relationships as well.

So, is there a line, anywhere, and if so, how will we ever draw it?

ed said...

@ Gahrie

"The Supreme Court doesn't "bless us" with rights, or create rights. It protects the ones given to us by our creator and enumerated by the people in the Constitution."

You're forgetting the penumbra of the umbrella of the awning of the cockleshell of the reflected shadow on a latrine wall of unenumerated rights as recognized only when someone on the Supreme Court has a wet fart.

Because evidently I do not have the right to not have a federal drone hovering over my yard or a DEA SWAT team breaking down my door, shooting my dogs and handcuffing me on the say-so of a drug abusing informant looking to buy his freedom but two gay men have the right to bugger each other in privacy.

But then again if you look at the various opinions set forth by the multitude of SCOTUS decisions you can find just about any kind of idiotic retarded nonsense because it appears to be more of justifying what the justices want rather than what the Constitution actually has written.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "
So, is there a line, anywhere, and if so, how will we ever draw it?"

I do not intend this glibly, but I would suggest two consenting adults.

phx said...

"I want to ride in the front of the bus!"

"You know what? Maybe we should just get out of the public transportation business anyway."

Nonapod said...

I don't "hate the government" any more than I love it. It is what it is, a large conglomeration of systems and human beings. Like any large system, the bigger and more complex it gets, the more inefficiencies there are and the more potential points of failure there are. And when human beings are involved, the bigger a system gets the more opportunities there are for general malfeasance, graft, and exploitation of the various inefficiencies there are. Granted, most people who work for and in government are generally decent people, but a small percentage of them are opportunistic cheaters who are more than willing to take advantage.

betamax3000 said...

Blogger phx said...

"You know what? Maybe we should just get out of the public transportation business anyway."

Agreed.

wyo sis said...

I have to admit that I'm starting to hate the government.

wyosis fair enough. So my question to you is, do you give flying fig what kind of marriage the government does or doesn't recognize? And if you do, given that you're starting to hate them anyway, why do you care?


Yes, I do give a flying fig what kind of marriage the government recognizes, because I have to live in the country that results from what the government recognizes.
I care because, at least for now, I can still have a say about who the government is.
Not caring and hating are not the same thing. And, to be truthful, I don't hate the government. I'm just really angry about what is happening to it.

edutcher said...

ed said...

@ Gahrie

"The Supreme Court doesn't "bless us" with rights, or create rights. It protects the ones given to us by our creator and enumerated by the people in the Constitution."

You're forgetting the penumbra of the umbrella of the awning of the cockleshell of the reflected shadow on a latrine wall of unenumerated rights as recognized only when someone on the Supreme Court has a wet fart.


This, of course, is the same sort of inspiration that led the Court to determine abortion was a right under the Fourth Amendment.

betamax3000 said...

Currently my rhetorical bumper-sticker would read:

The More People In My Life That I Meet
The Less Government in My Life That I Want."

AprilApple said...

"The government is the one thing we all belong to."
--Barack Obama

sleep well!

Andy R. said...

When people say "government should get out of the marriage business" they mean two different things.

One group of people mean that government should stop using the word "marriage". Government should use a different word, like "civil union", and that status would be available to straight couples and gay couples.

The other group of people mean that government should stop recognizing these relationships between people. If two people want to have any kind of legally enforceable relationship they need to do that on their own with wills and living wills, and powers of attorney, and all this other stuff. The government would be treating everyone as individuals, and courts would enforce whatever agreement people had between themselves.

Walker seems pretty clearly to be referring to the second version of this. It's why he's using the word "sanction". So this discussion about switching the word that the government uses isn't responsive to his concern.

Within this thread, people seem to be using "government should get out of the marriage business" to mean two different things and are talking past each other.

I'm curious which of these two options conservatives/Republicans will prefer, because they both have pretty distinct downsides for them.

Renee said...

@AllenS

The details and references of places the Titus mentioned, made me to believe that very much what he was saying was real.

The whole idea of gay tolerance was that they wouldn't be meeting up at rest stops at the highway and out in the state parks or in the bathrooms of public buildings anonymously, that they could be open in their relationships and 'get a room'.

Renee said...

Andy R.

Probably the second.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "One group of people mean that government should stop using the word "marriage". Government should use a different word, like "civil union", and that status would be available to straight couples and gay couples."

The ''Plus-One-Guest' arrangement (TM-thingie here) would also include single people. Every adult would be able to designate a Legal Partner in Government concerns.

You could even designate your Lawyer.

Nonapod said...

As to this issue, I have no problem with the idea of "getting the government out of marriage", which means no more tax benefits and no more assumed inheritance. I'm pretty sure I'd be in the minority on that though.

Unknown said...

I thought Althouse's original post was a tounge on cheek reference to how we just moved on after the Supreme Court blessed us with Roe v Wade. Her follow comment leaves me scratching my head.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

When people say "government should get out of the marriage business" they mean two different things.

One group of people mean that government should stop using the word "marriage". Government should use a different word, like "civil union", and that status would be available to straight couples and gay couples.

The other group of people mean that government should stop recognizing these relationships between people. If two people want to have any kind of legally enforceable relationship they need to do that on their own with wills and living wills, and powers of attorney, and all this other stuff. The government would be treating everyone as individuals, and courts would enforce whatever agreement people had between themselves.

Walker seems pretty clearly to be referring to the second version of this. It's why he's using the word "sanction". So this discussion about switching the word that the government uses isn't responsive to his concern.


No, he means he doesn't think government should be regulating it.

And I don't hear anybody saying "marriage" should cease to exist entirely.

Those nightsticks to the head really had an effect, didn't they

Unknown said...

I thought Althouse's original post was a tounge on cheek reference to how we just moved on after the Supreme Court blessed us with Roe v Wade. Her follow comment leaves me scratching my head.

Unknown said...

I thought Althouse's original post was a tounge on cheek reference to how we just moved on after the Supreme Court blessed us with Roe v Wade. Her follow comment leaves me scratching my head.

betamax3000 said...

The ''Plus-One-Guest' arrangement (TM-thingie here) would keep the same tax benefits and assumed inheritance with the Legal Partner.

The Legal Partner can also be dragged down by shared financial liabilities, just like current 'traditional' marriage laws.

betamax3000 said...

Under the'Plus-One-Guest' arrangement one couls still -- of course -- choose to live À la carte.

wyo sis said...

There are so many pros and cons to any of the proposed actions. Why not stay with the known pros and cons that have existed for centuries. Why make up a lot of new ones?

Because 3% of the population are really upset doesn't seem like a good enough reason.

Hagar said...

Just to clarify for Andy R. and edutcher,

Marriage qould be a religious matter.
Civil Unions would be a secular matter that the legislatures of each State and the Federal Government would be free to define as they wished for their own purposes in accordance with their various Constitutions.

Roadkill said...

betamax3000:

"I do not intend this glibly, but I would suggest two consenting adults."

YOur formula is what's called, in the legal community, a "bright line," but of course it opens the door for inter-sibling (sis-bro) and inter-generational (Dad-daughter/Mom-Son) marriages which in all probablility will be tax-avoidance shams but might just in a few cases be real love between consenting adults.

Is that what you are advocating? If not, what mitigatory steps do you recommend?

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

And if the Federal Government finds a 'right' for persons of the same sex to marry, or a 'right' for polygamous marriages, or a 'right' for folks to marry their pets ...

...how will that reduce the size and scope of Government?

Ceterum censeo Carthaginem delendam esse.


Titus said...

I could describe the Lowell YMCA in detail if you like.

The gym is gross you have to go down a ramp to get to the machines.

But I thought it was important to experience trash. I was slumming it big time-although some of the old manufacturing buildings that are now lofts seem somewhat cute...but in fucking Lowell.

I went there on a Saturday or Sunday. I wouldn't do that with any children around. I have standards.

Andy R. said...

And I don't hear anybody saying "marriage" should cease to exist entirely.

Well, we're talking about what the government is going to do. These seem to be the reasonable options:

1) Government uses the word marriage, it's only available for straight people.
2) Government uses the word marriage, it's open for gay and straight people, no incest or polygamy.
3) Government uses the word marriage, it's open to anybody, incest and polygamy included.
4a) Government uses the words marriage and civil union, marriage is for straight people, civil unions are for gay people.
4b) Government uses the words marriage and civil union, marriage is for straight people, civil unions are for other people (polygamy and incest included).
5) Government switches to civil union, it's open for gay and straight people, no incest or polygamy.
6) Government switches to civil union, it's open to anybody, incest and polygamy included.
7) Government stops recognizing any relationships, people are free to set up whatever binding contracts they want.

Am I missing any feasible options?

edutcher said...

Hagar said...

Just to clarify for Andy R. and edutcher,

Marriage qould be a religious matter.
Civil Unions would be a secular matter that the legislatures of each State and the Federal Government would be free to define as they wished for their own purposes in accordance with their various Constitutions.


Now you're just dealing in semantics.

Marriage or civil union, the principle of protecting family remains the same. The whole idea of this is to give to the family certain rights and privileges which encourage people to marry, procreate, and stay together.

To foster a unit independent of government.

That's the real issue.

wyo sis said...

"Marriage or civil union, the principle of protecting family remains the same. The whole idea of this is to give to the family certain rights and privileges which encourage people to marry, procreate, and stay together.

To foster a unit independent of government.

That's the real issue."

Yes.

Renee said...

@Allen S

Yeah Titus is claiming standards as he has sex in public places... BTW that YMCA has a daycare/preschool in its facility!

Children are there all the time in the day and after school. Plus children sports and a swim team.

Andy R. said...

"The whole idea of this is to give to the family certain rights and privileges which encourage people to marry, procreate, and stay together."

Do you realize that you're in disagreement with Walker? Do you realize he's saying the government should stop recognizing these voluntary relationships at al?

Andy R. said...

Do you realize that you're in disagreement with Walker? Do you realize he's saying the government should stop recognizing these voluntary relationships at al?

"Should" is too strong a word. Walker isn't explicitly advocating this. But it's the idea that he is discussing with his answer. No more government recognition at all.

creeley23 said...

How about redefining all relationships as a tax and settling it that way?

This way the Supremes could solve the deficit and move on dot org.

AEH said...

Don't people do prenuptial agreements to determine what the the spouse should not get? If the government stopped defining marriage, couldn't they still allow certain benefits to be given to whatever. For example, if you are a veteran, you are x dollars paid out upon death (I have no idea how this works, just a hypothetical). You could go to a lawyer and have it sorted out in a will that would deal with the x dollars to whomever you wanted. They could be children, spouse, girlfriend, whatever. People could use lawyers to help divy up benefits that would typically go to a spouse of the oposite gender however they would like. It would be gender and number blind, just work with the dollar amount. To me, that would seem reasonable. If you want people at your death bed, do the paper work. Then people who don't believe in the concept of marriage can still get whatever they want out of a partnership, and the religious can have their ceremony before God as well. To undo benefits would need legal help, so, would be similar to divorce, so lawyers would still have work.

Andy R. said...

I think a lot of people are working toward this option:
"2) Government uses the word marriage, it's open for gay and straight people, no incest or polygamy."

But as soon as that happens, everyone who is excluded is going to start fighting to get their relationships recognized as well. I think eventually more and more people are going to switch to the last option:
"7) Government stops recognizing any relationships, people are free to set up whatever binding contracts they want."

Synova said...

The military rights part is less complicated than it might seem. At least when I was in it was possible to have as a legal dependent, an adult who was not your spouse.

Separating military benefits from "marriage" actually would not be that difficult. The military already does not view your spouse as a legal equal in any way shape or form.

As for being stationed with a spouse, that's never guaranteed anyway. So they change it to a preference in the computers to be stationed with the other service member listed.

This would actually be sort of nice and I wonder if the Army might not already do something similar when you hear about someone who enlists together with a friend and they go to the same unit, or when we hear about brothers being stationed together in Iraq.

... I just heard someone say "fraternization"... well, so? So you still can't have sex with someone in your own unit. Don't BE in the same unit. And put whomever you like down for "assign me at the same base with this person if you can"... and who cares if that's someone you live with or just your buddy from high school?

betamax3000 said...

@ Roadkill:
My comment "I do not intend this glibly, but I would suggest two consenting adults" was aimed at the pedophilia/polygamy end of the argument, but your point is valid and clear.

Re: "which in all probability will be tax-avoidance shams": Let it Happen. The tax system is corrupt, let the corruption be shared in pairs equally. There are worse loopholes, and more people might give a damn about Inheritance Taxes, Capital Gains, etc.

Re: "(sis-bro) and inter-generational (Dad-daughter/Mom-Son) marriages... ...might just in a few cases be real love between consenting adults" (please pardon the ellipse if it misstates your point).

Again -- Let it Happen. Currently if an unemployed Mother and unemployed Son (legal age, both) are having a sexual relationship they are still receiving their Government Unemployment checks, correct? They could still co-sign on a loan for a cool new orange Camaro? In NYC they might not be able to get Big Gulps but that applies to everybody, incest or not, even Woody Allen.

Yes: you painted me into this corner, bastard.

phx said...

"The government is the one thing we all belong to."
--Barack Obama


I don't think so.

Panda Jerk said...

Palladian @ 6:16PM

Fuckin'A man. F'n A.

I've read nothing beyond that comment. Don't think I want to.

Synova said...

What the state covering marriage does is impose a default set of contracts on the marrying couple.

If you take this away from the state you go to the "walk-in-wills" place in the strip mall and you pick out the marriage contract you want from the pre-fabricated pre-nuptuals... In what situation can the contract be dissolved? How is property divided depending on who breaks the contract? How is custody of children handled and what financial responsibilities are involved? How *long* does the contract last?

Science fiction is full of this stuff... "I signed a 5 year co-hab with a reproduction rider and option for renewal..."

Maybe you don't even want marriage, maybe it's just a domestic-coop contract.

As for the laws that try to encourage people to get married and stay married... taxes could still allow claiming dependents and the financial benefit (so long as your spouse is responsible) is what it is. Building a life together with another person in a domestic partnership (sex or *not*) is financially smart and divorce is expensive.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "How is property divided depending on who breaks the contract?"

Easy. In that situation the Government takes Everything. Talk about Government creating incentive for stability.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

phx said...

Some of you hate the government. If you do why you would care what it recognizes anyway?

I don't hate government, but even if I did, that would not mean that I hated the country. I oppose ssm because I think marriage is good for society so society should treat it as special. If you treat all relationship as special, then no relationship is special.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "If you treat all relationship as special, then no relationship is special."

At this point I would prefer that the Government treat no relationship as special.

I fear the Government often chooses Unwisely. As such: cruel neutrality?

LilyBart said...

in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right


Why don't I have the right to marry two men? or three?

Or be one of five wives?

Jane said...

So gays are always whining about the supposed 1000 benefits the federal government bestows on married couples. How 'bout we dump the bennies for everyone except dependent spouses, that is, a woman (or man) who lost income in order to be the primary caregiver for young children. You don't even have to provide marriage-related benefits -- other countries credit stay-at-home caregivers with a year's Social Security accrual at average levels for each year of no income and a small child, instead of giving her a benefit based on the husband's earnings.

RecChief said...

I think what he is getting at is an idea that I have liked for a long time. That is, a civil union for everyone, and if you can find a church that recognizes your union, go for it.There are downsides to this approach, but it actually is on the side that libertarians and conservatives should be able to get behind, namely the issue of property rights. Interesting that the first thing that Matthews went for was SS. Since, in most cases, same sex couples don't have children, therefore their disposable income is higher their whole lives. This opens a door to a tradeoff for means testing SS benefits. Just an idea.

n.n said...

While homosexual behavior is the prototype of evolutionary dysfunction, it is also a minority behavior which can be reasonably tolerated. The people pursuing its normalization likely have ulterior motives. Those people participate in heterosexual and homosexual behavior, and through various acts of prestidigitations, they have succeeded to normalize denigration of individual dignity, devaluation of human life (e.g. premeditated murder/abortion/choice), and bribing half the population through promises of redistributive and retributive change.

Oh, well. What matters is that their faith in a simian heritage remains intact. The principles of evolution are inconvenient artifacts which can be selectively exploited to abuse their competing interests. In fact, that is the main tenet of their faith: selectivity. Don't dare harsh their mellow or they will surely commit to emotional, economic, social, and political extortion.

Has anyone else noticed the corporatist nature of left-wing ideology? The principal difference between left-wing capitalism and right-wing capitalism, is that the former operates through establishment of monopolies or monopolistic practices enforced through government (i.e. force).

Still, the Soviet communists never resorted to normalizing dysfunctional behaviors in order to appease their population. I guess their contemporary successors have learned from their predecessors and now enjoy progress through normalizing corruption and dysfunction.

Forward to the past. Where dysfunction ruled the landscape and people aborted... I mean sacrificed human lives to purchase favor from their [mortal] gods.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

I think a lot of people are working toward this option:
"2) Government uses the word marriage, it's open for gay and straight people, no incest or polygamy."


No, they're not. Thanks to Lawrence, the polyamory crowd and the incest really isn't that icky crowd are already lobbying.

phx said...

"The government is the one thing we all belong to."
--Barack Obama

I don't think so.


If you really believe that, there is hope for you - after all, when the Romster was winning, you were actually conciliatorial, so you do have some sense of reality

n.n said...

RecChief:

Yes, that is a viable solution. Tolerance for certain classes of dysfunctional behavior, not normalization. It is in the interest of society, and humanity, to promote behaviors which engender evolutionary fitness.

That said, perhaps if the men and women who participate in homosexual behavior raise their united voices to condemn premeditated murder, then we can find common alliance to realize, perhaps not positive progressive, but marginal (i.e. compromise) progress.

Then again, the choice has been made. It is dreams of material, physical, and ego instant (or immediate) gratification. The calls for human and civil rights is now made for profit. The men and women who practice homosexual behavior will not betray their heterosexual patrons, and their patrons will not relinquish their right to commit premeditated murder, or hire an assassin, in order to preserve their wealth and welfare.

Then again, why should they. When they can purchase or manufacture democratic leverage through bribes or fraud, respectively.

chickelit said...

Titus bragged how he received oral sex at the YMCA, my children get their swim lessons at then talks about how gross my city is.

Renee, I think Titus despises children and thinks dogs are better anyways. What he said about the pool is pretty gross. I'm upping my level of Titus mockery on your account.

n.n said...

Synova:

Once we dispense with biological imperatives, then there is reason to evaluate unions of two or more people with other criteria. Perhaps their relationship can be incorporated. Then they can order their relationship by different levels in the corporation. The head of household would then become the CEO, etc. Instead of writing off children, they can write off other "productive" expenses.

There must be a creative way to accommodate all forms and manner of relationships, which will not offer preference to humans engaged in sexual relationships.

Darleen said...

I think the only way forward is to recognize

same sex marriage
polygamous marriage
group marriage
familial marriage

if not, why not? Since obviously the "march of history" is making marriage about who/how many you "love" then stop pretending you can limit it by sex, number or consanguinity.

Palladian said...

n.n., not only are you totally full of shit (evolutionary dysfunction? LOL, as the kids say) but you commit the far worse sin of being one of the worst, stuffiest, most intolerable writers in the Althouse comments section. Seriously, you sound like a severely padded term paper.

Palladian said...

Since obviously the "march of history" is making marriage about who/how many you "love" then stop pretending you can limit it by sex, number or consanguinity.

Exactly! I know it's hard for statists of the righty and lefty variety to understand or accept, but it isn't (or shouldn't be) any of the government's business how consenting adults organize their domestic, private lives. If you want to moralize about why you think certain behaviors, couplings or domestic arrangements are wrong, counterproductive or destructive, do it privately, through a church or other social group, or by yourself. But, as I said, it is none of the State's business.

Why do some social conservatives need to socialize morality? If you require the government, with all its coercive power, to shore up your social values, you're failing. Privatize morality! Privatize marriage!

creeley23 said...

I'm one of the commenters who consistently advocates getting the government out of the business of sanctioning and regulating marriages, and I consistently hear people complain about how this idea is "far-fetched" and unfeasible.

Palladian's comment at 6:16 is best of thread, as others have said. I recommend clicking the link and reading Palladian in full.

Althouse's post and comments are IMO sad examples of ad hoc thinking. Obstacles are not important when her marriage agenda is at stake. Obstacles are important, though, when it comes to objections to her agenda.

I don't have words for her hope that the "Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right."

Palladian said...

It's the only solution to this marriage "problem" that respects both religious or socially conservative people and gay (and other) people wishing to formalize their personal relationships, because it removes the judgement of the State altogether from moral questions.

Read the US Constitution. Brilliantly, there is nothing about morality and there are no moral questions at all, save for the idea that the Constitution's (and the Union's) purpose is to protect innate and eternal freedom. It doesn't wrestle with morality, or try to define social policies because the Framers, I think, understood that governments are not equipped nor should be expected to serve those functions. Would that we would return to that ideal.

chickelit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Achilles said...

7) Government stops recognizing any relationships, people are free to set up whatever binding contracts they want.

At this point it should be clear that we are moving to 7 On Andy R.'s list. As long as this is an issue that government regulates it will divide this country. The people who want this fight to continue on both sides do so to the detriment of this country.

Our federal government is terrible. It needs to focus on the enumerated powers it was given. It seems to be ok at national defense, building some roads, and to the extent they stay out of politics run a court system. Outside of this what does it do well? Take my money and give it to other people? The fewer things it does the less polarized this country will be. But that is not the goal of some people is it?

chickelit said...

creeley23 wrote: I don't have words for her hope that the "Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right."

How about "Bless This Hot Mess" suitable for framing?

Not to needle a point or anything.

Andy R. said...

WE DON'T WANNA MARRY
WE JUST WANNA FUCK
SMASH THE CHURCH
SMASH THE STATE

Andy R. said...

7) Government stops recognizing any relationships, people are free to set up whatever binding contracts they want.

At this point it should be clear that we are moving to 7 On Andy R.'s list.


The funny thing is that people opposed to marriage equality used to say that we can't let the gays get married or it would destroy our state marriage system. Now those same people are saying that they want to destroy our state marriage system so that the gays can't get a piece of it.

For the radical queers who wanted marriage destroyed, you're doing the work for them. Cheers.

Palladian said...

The people who want this fight to continue on both sides do so to the detriment of this country.

Brilliantly put. The "gay marriage debate" infuriates me because we shouldn't be having it. It is not a question for the secular State to answer. It serves no purpose except to divide people who could otherwise agree on so much.

Every time that I think about the textual foundations of the United States, I come close to tears considering the unique brilliance and clarity of those both ordinary and extraordinary men and their nearly unprecedented ideas, and I am moved to despair at how far we've strayed from those ideas. It was a brief bright point in the dark, despotic history of human civilization, and it may soon be forgotten and lost for a very long time, perhaps forever.

EMD said...

Andy, I'm on board with #7.

But can we shame the dude who marries a dog?

EMD said...

Palladian, your original post is gold.

Palladian said...

WE DON'T WANNA MARRY
WE JUST WANNA FUCK
SMASH THE CHURCH
SMASH THE STATE


Fashionable nihilism! Revolutionary patois as fashion accessory! It definitely goes with the hipster outfits. But once you've shot your load and smashed around a bit, then what?

Palladian said...

Thanks EMD and others for the compliments. It infuriates me, this notion that a band of 18th century rabble could have upended thousands of years of unquestioned monarchical ideals, but we can't possibly change some ill-conceived power co-opted by our government because it's too "embedded".

John Lynch said...

Terrible idea. Throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Andy R. said...

I thought the war in the Republican Party was going to be about supporting marriage equality for gays or opposing marriage equality for gays.

America won't accept opposition to marriage equality, but the Religious Right won't accept support gay marriage.

But maybe the war in the Republican Party will be about keeping state marriage or doing away with state marriage.

Either way, it will be fun to watch.

bbkingfish said...

Matrimonial anarchy.

Achilles said...

Thank you for the kind words Palladian. I have agreed with Your posts on this issue since before I started posting here and was just a browser. Consensus is coming on this issue and people who act and discuss in good faith will come around.

People who want freedom to succeed and want equal treatment in general, the classic liberals, are realizing that the government will never grant equality. In a democracy all it grants is a tyranny of the majority. This is why we were formed as a republic with a very limited government of enumerated powers.

For most of history anti-gay sentiment has dominated and the majority by government impetus enforced a moral norm on society. People like Andy R. Obviously did not like this. But now that the tide has turned these people who were once on the minority side of the argument are using government power to destroy institutions others in the country hold dear. Out of spite? A true sense of vengeance? Either way they are tools of people who are using this topic to distract from their malfeasance.

And now that the generally traditionalist side is falling apart they lash out. They cling to this argument and allow themselves to be distracted from fundamental problems that will take our government down and ruin our economic system. The United States has done more to lift the world out of poverty and spread freedom to the oppressed of the world not just through interventionist policy but by providing an example of what true freedom can do for people. But the statists are not happy with the success of this experiment. They can't come out and say they want to take over your life, but they can keep divisive issues in front of the electorate and keep us all angry at each other. While you people argue they print money off at fed and loot this country with "stimulus" and "investment" in their cronies endeavors.

Everyone allowing this discussion to envelop them is a tool.

Rusty said...

Andy is finally going to be a bride.

edutcher said...

Andy R. said...

The funny thing is that people opposed to marriage equality used to say that we can't let the gays get married or it would destroy our state marriage system. Now those same people are saying that they want to destroy our state marriage system so that the gays can't get a piece of it.

Do you actually read the drivel you post or just copy and paste it?

I thought the war in the Republican Party was going to be about supporting marriage equality for gays or opposing marriage equality for gays.

America won't accept opposition to marriage equality, but the Religious Right won't accept support gay marriage.


No, America doesn't support same sex or any of the other weird perversions of marriage, including pederasty, incest, bestiality, or polyamory.

But maybe the war in the Republican Party will be about keeping state marriage or doing away with state marriage.

That's the war between the Libertarians and the Conservatives.

Lefties like Hatman want to destroy everything because they think it's what they want.

JHapp said...

Getting the state out of the marriage business is a first step towards ending that nanny state pickle we are in as it diminishes the role of social security.

Rusty said...


Lefties like Hatman want to destroy everything because they think it's what they want.


I'm not sure Andy really knows what he wants.
Since marriage between a man and a woman has standing in law if you destroy that standing you're opening up the law to all kinds of permutations as to what constitutes marriage.
The only logical step for the state is to not recognize marriage at all and simply deal with individuals.
Walkers idea has merit.

Paco Wové said...

"I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right"

Next on Althouse's list: Amendment 28 to the U.S. Constitution - The exposure of hairy calves and knobby knees being disturbing and detrimental to the commonweal, the wearing of shorts by men shall not be permitted.

I'm sure there's some penumbra in the Commerce Clause that will permit this.

Paco Wové said...

That's what people want to resonate about

Personally, I'd like to resonate about the bold innovative plan by the Cypriot government to seize bank deposits. Hey, if you really needed that money, you wouldn't have just left it lying around unused!"

jimbino said...

What we need is a constitutional amendment that states that "no law of the land may consider sex, race, religion, marital status, [etc]" when defining rights and responsibilities of a person ...."

A rational person would think that's what the Fourteenth Amendment already says, but he would be wrong.

In this country, you may sexually mutilate a little boy, but not a little girl.

Marriage is the term used by gummint to convey special rights on some folks so as to shamelessly sidestep the Fourteenth Amendment. Marriage is not discriminatory. Hell, if you want special privileges, just get married!

Only problem is that those privileges are denied to those in many arrangements, not only to gay partners, but to two sisters, aunt and nephew, and others who share households.

It would be less discriminatory if the gummint were to offer all those special deals to those who partnered up at a fitness club. You want special feeding rights at the nanny-state trough?-- all you need to do is join a fitness club. Even aunt and nephew could do that!

jimbino said...

What we need is a constitutional amendment that states that "no law of the land may consider sex, race, religion, marital status, [etc]" when defining rights and responsibilities of a person ...."

A rational person would think that's what the Fourteenth Amendment already says, but he would be wrong.

In this country, you may sexually mutilate a little boy, but not a little girl.

Marriage is the term used by gummint to convey special rights on some folks so as to shamelessly sidestep the Fourteenth Amendment. Marriage is not discriminatory. Hell, if you want special privileges, just get married!

Only problem is that those privileges are denied to those in many arrangements, not only to gay partners, but to two sisters, aunt and nephew, and others who share households.

It would be less discriminatory if the gummint were to offer all those special deals to those who partnered up at a fitness club. You want special feeding rights at the nanny-state trough?-- all you need to do is join a fitness club. Even aunt and nephew could do that!

Renee said...

Achilles, Most of those who are poor are in or came from father absent homes. The socioeconomic divide really depends if your mother is married to you father. This matters most for the working poor. If fathers and marriage mean nothing to children, then I don't want a single parent complain how hard it is
(It is hard, though).

Marriage when it was embedded in our public policy had children needs in mind. That is no longer the case. Then repeal all marriage laws and focus on fathers as not being apart of the family, but as dead beats who don't pay their child support.

Men are more then sperm and money for clothes for school.

Renee said...

Meanwhile Instapundit links a Wall Street Journal on The New Unmarried Moms.
http://m.us.wsj.com/articles/a/SB10001424127887323826704578356494206134184?mg=reno64-wsj


" If their age. These parents often go on to have another child (or children) with another partner (or partners), creating a family maze of step parents, siblings, grandparents and homes. As a great deal of research has shown, such instability is one of the greatest risks to children's well-being. It greatly increases the likelihood that they will experience academic, social and emotional problems like poor grades, drug abuse and (perpetuating the cycle) unmarried childbearing."

Darleen said...

Sorry Palladin, while the Fed Constitution doesn't say anything about marriage, states and The People do have a right & duty to define the public institution.

Anything other than man/woman marriage is discriminatory against children and society has an abiding interest in what happens to children.

Why same-sex advocates objectify children as property is beyond me in their so-called "I have a 'right' to love whomever I want and YOU must affirm it!"

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, I've been arguing that for ages. Let there be government-recognized civil unions; replace "marriage" with "civil union" everywhere the word appears in Federal and state law. Consider everyone who is currently married a partner in a civil union, but, going forward, decouple the two concepts: If you want to get married, do so via whatever ceremony you wish; if you want the legal benefits of a civil union, register your civil union.

98% or so of the remaining opposition to gay marriage is about the concept of marriage. Lose the word, retain all of the associated rights, and there will be essentially no opposition. Why not?

jim murray said...

Marriage is very deeply embedded in so much of what government does. How could you disentangle it now?

It can't be disentangled now but a start could be made. How do you make dinner? You start.

Inga said...

"Sorry Palladin, while the Fed Constitution doesn't say anything about marriage, states and The People do have a right & duty to define the public institution.

Anything other than man/woman marriage is discriminatory against children and society has an abiding interest in what happens to children."

3/18/13, 8:29 AM

So Daeleen, what do "The People" have to say about seniors, who are post menopausal marrying each other? There will be no children born to that couple.

Inga said...

Oh sorry Darleen. I can not imagine that society would not see it as cruel to disallow marriage between heterosexual seniors, immoral to make seniors live in sin.

Darleen said...

Inga

Straw argument. We make statutes covering the greatest interest for the greatest numbers. There will always be exceptions.

The minimal best place for a child is with his/her bio-dad/mom who are legally committed to each other. The statute is crafted accordingly.

That infertile couples can also make use of that statute is of no interest to the state. FERTILITY isn't the issue, it is providing a legal framework for those instances in which procreation is a natural consequence. - vast majority of marriages.

Darleen said...

Inga

Why can't two spinsters marry each other? I mean, as long as you don't want to be "cruel" then why should such ladies be allowed the default legal protections of marriage, even as they are just sisters, not lovers?

X said...

I'm very worried about the poor able-bodied male widows who won't be able to support themselves without my taxes.

Inga said...

Darleen, the framework is in place already for procreative couples. Gay couples getting married legally, doesn't affect the legality of a straight couple marriage in any way. Your argument that marriage is for the best interests of children is weak.

If marriage is decoupled from civil unions, straight couples will be upset. Why not recognize marriage in gay couples too? Why does it affect anyone other than the couple marrying?

Ann Althouse said...

"Why can't two spinsters marry each other? I mean, as long as you don't want to be "cruel" then why should such ladies be allowed the default legal protections of marriage, even as they are just sisters, not lovers?"

A man and a woman can marry without having any sexual relationship and live like brother and sister. If that's a personal decision that individuals can make, what business is it of the governments how any 2 consenting adults arrange their intimate life.

jr565 said...

Inga wrote:
Darleen, the framework is in place already for procreative couples. Gay couples getting married legally, doesn't affect the legality of a straight couple marriage in any way. Your argument that marriage is for the best interests of children is weak.

And yet that was the entire basis for codifying marriage the way that it was. And yet you say it's weak. If THAT"S weak, then on what basis is legalizing gay marriage not weak? What social purpose does gay marriage serve? Having a framework based on biology that has the parents of children raising those children seems pretty important. What is the basis for gays marrying? Its pretty arrogant of you to be so dismissive of traditional marriage and its social function, simply because you want gays to get married.

And NO marriage that is currently being restricted would affect the legality of a straight couple in any way either. So then, woudln't that mean we shoudl allow for polygamy? Or, is that argument, like most of your arguments similarly baseless?

jr565 said...

Ann ALthouse wrote:
A man and a woman can marry without having any sexual relationship and live like brother and sister. If that's a personal decision that individuals can make, what business is it of the governments how any 2 consenting adults arrange their intimate life.

A brother and sister CAN have a sexual relationship and live like lovers and not brothers and sisters. IF that's a personal decision then what business is it of government how any consenting adults can arrange their intimate life.

And note. you CAN live the life you want so long as you aren't petitioning govt to normalize your relationship. So a brother and sister COULD be lovers in secret,but does it hold that because they are consenting adults and because they organize their life that way we should now normalize incest?

jr565 said...

Oh sorry Darleen. I can not imagine that society would not see it as cruel to disallow marriage between heterosexual seniors, immoral to make seniors live in sin.

How old was Zorba the Greek when he fathered his kid?

EIA said...

"I think the only way forward is to recognize same-sex marriage, and, in fact, I hope the Supreme Court blesses us with the requisite constitutional right, so the political discourse can move on to other subjects — including the usual railing about activist judges."

Move on to other subjects? You mean like when the Court took up the contentious issue of abortion (traditionally a state regulatory issue) and settled it once and for all in Roe vs. Wade? So that it never troubled the national discourse again? And enhanced the stature of the Court in the eyes of the public? And where the process of selecting and confirming judges was maintained as bi-partisan effort focused solely on their technical competence? That sort of closure and freeing up of the national discourse?

jr565 said...

Palladian wrote:
Read the US Constitution. Brilliantly, there is nothing about morality and there are no moral questions at all, save for the idea that the Constitution's (and the Union's) purpose is to protect innate and eternal freedom. It doesn't wrestle with morality, or try to define social policies because the Framers, I think, understood that governments are not equipped nor should be expected to serve those functions. Would that we would return to that ideal.

So, was gay marriage legal or was marriage defined a certain way even then? THe bill of rights and constitution was not some anarchist statement that allowed for anything. You have a right to happiness so long as you live within the framework set by society. The founders had no problems defining marriage. SO long as you lived by the rules, you were free to marry. But that never meant that marriage was literallly an open book.

If people want absolute freedom, they shouldn't be living in societies.

CommonHandle said...

I don't see the entanglement issue on its own as being sufficient to shoot down the idea. To use Matthew's objections as example, I don't see why Social Security payments couldn't have other defined beneficiaries, or why prisons couldn't allow for a small list of visitors outside of family relations. I think that there may also be advantages to having a separate legal contract - independent of the social and religious context of marriage - that will necessarily force people to think more clearly about the actual obligations that they're about to take on. Also, the whole "just because something's difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be done" cliche.

Then again, I'm still new to this "marriage" thing myself... Was mildly boggled by the process of filing jointly for the first time, and I'm still not entirely comfortable with this whole "life insurance" thing that, until last year, I never gave a moment of thought.

CommonHandle said...

I don't see the entanglement issue on its own as being sufficient to shoot down the idea. To use Matthew's objections as example, I don't see why Social Security payments couldn't have other defined beneficiaries, or why prisons couldn't allow for a small list of visitors outside of family relations. I think that there may also be advantages to having a separate legal contract - independent of the social and religious context of marriage - that will necessarily force people to think more clearly about the actual obligations that they're about to take on. Also, the whole "just because something's difficult doesn't mean it shouldn't be done" cliche.

Then again, I'm still new to this "marriage" thing myself... Was mildly boggled by the process of filing jointly for the first time, and I'm still not entirely comfortable with this whole "life insurance" thing that, until last year, I never gave a moment of thought.

Rusty said...

. Hell, if you want special privileges, just get married!

Or be a woman.
Or be handicapped.
Or(fill in the blank)

Inga said...

Jr.
So senior citizens should continue to be blessed with marriage as long as one of them can procreate? What about two old sweethearts, both beyond childbearing years? Should they live in sin? How mean hearted.

Inga said...

What if the old female doesn't feel she can raise her old husbands offspring? What about two disabled heterosexuals, that cannot procreate? Or were physically unable to care fo adopted children? Should they be denied marriage?

jr565 said...

So senior citizens should continue to be blessed with marriage as long as one of them can procreate? What about two old sweethearts, both beyond childbearing years? Should they live in sin? How mean hearted.


THat's silly. The institution is there to promote a structure to best take care of kids, but that doesn't mean that everyone getting married MUST have kids.

They meet the criterion specified by society in what constitutes marriage. Society doesn't make people submit doctors tests to determine if they are fertile to marry.

jr565 said...

What if the old female doesn't feel she can raise her old husbands offspring? What about two disabled heterosexuals, that cannot procreate? Or were physically unable to care fo adopted children? Should they be denied marriage?

No.

jr565 said...

Society doesn't take marriage on a case by case basis and apply standards based on the particulars of the couples case. Do they REALLY love each other? Lets get the state on the case before we give them a license. No.
Do they meet the requirements. Are they old enough? Check. Are they a couple? Check. Are they a man and woman. Check. Are they a brother and sister? No? Check. If they meet those requirements then why would they be denied a license?

Inga said...

So marriage is more than just protecting the children. It just might be about an old fashioned notion....love.

Renee said...

And love makes children... right?

Renee said...

Igna, Love what about love for the child? What about a mother and father loving the child?

I may have never been married, I don't need a man to have a fulfilling life. But objectively speaking my children need their father. The arrangement works out well, when I and father actually love one another.


Yes, some couples are infertile, some may be too old to procreate. But at the best legal rational a man and a woman can conceive a child, and obligations are held to that child.

The government's interest in marriage was about the children, that was why it embedded it in it's public policy.

Inga said...

Renee, old adults beyond childbearing years are perfectly able to love one another to the same degree as a young couple. Love does not always mean children will follow.

Young couples whether they be heterosexual or homosexual love and care for their children. Unless they are abusive parents and then they don't deserve the children they've been blessed with, either by procreation or adoption.

Inga said...

Also Renee, do me a favor, it's Inga, not Igna:)

Sigivald said...

"Well, you can't get away because here are issues of Social Security payments and all kinds of things involved in that. And rights of prisoners and rights of people in the military. You have to recognize spousal rights."

No, you don't "have to".

You can

A) remove them entirely (none of them are Constitutionally mandated, after all) or

B) make them not dependent on the State calling a thing by the name "marriage".

jr565 said...

So marriage is more than just protecting the children. It just might be about an old fashioned notion....love.

So Inga, do polygamists not love each other? If they love each other why would you oppose it?

jr565 said...

Do those who want to marry kids not love those they want to marry? Does a brother not love a sister he also wants to marry? Does a bigamist not love BOTH his wives?
If love is the criterion, why would we deny any of these people the right to marry those they love? Hmmm, Inga?

jr565 said...

What about marriages of convenience where people don't really love each other? Should society deny THEM the right to marry? Since its about love, and they don't really love each other then should they be allowed to marry?

Inga said...

Jr. What makes you think that polygamous marriages would be something that most Americans would oppose? It's time will come.


As for marrying your goat, or your child, or your father, nope. Not healthy. Bad things could happen to the offspring biologically/ genetically.

Inga said...

Jr. You wouldn't want a son that ate underwear off the clothesline. ;)

chickelit said...

Inga lectured Renee: old adults beyond childbearing years are perfectly able to love one another to the same degree as a young couple. Love does not always mean children will follow.

Can you for once not make every thread about you?

Darleen said...

What makes you think that polygamous marriages would be something that most Americans would oppose? It's time will come.

Ah! There you have it.

Time to destroy marriage by redefining it out of existence.

When "everyone one is special" no one is special.

Inga said...

Modern man redefined marriage from biblical days, did they not?

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

Inga

Want to show me where in all history marriage did NOT combine male/female?

And moving away from polygamy elevated women to helpmate rather than property

which is what defining away marriage is trying to make of children.

chickelit said...

@Inga: Were you formally in a gay marriage?

The reason I ask is because if you insist on equating straight marriage and gay marriage then by definition you were.

This leads to another question. If SSM marriage is mandated, will the term "same sex marriage" be used at all?