July 23, 2014

Marco Rubio's social conservative manifesto.



Here's the full text. There's good, there's boilerplate, and there's the predictable effort at grappling with the discrimination against gay couples that some people feel sure belongs in the social-conservative platform:

[T]raditional marriage... is the definition of marriage that I personally support – not because I seek to discriminate against people who love someone of the same sex, but because I believe that the union of one man and one woman is a special relationship that has proven to be of great benefit to our society, our nation and our people, and therefore deserves to be elevated in our laws....

Those who support same sex marriage have a right to lobby their state legislatures to change state laws. But Americans, like myself, who support keeping the traditional definition of marriage also have a right to work to keep the traditional definition of marriage in our laws without seeing that overturned by a judge.

Our nation has in the past demonstrated a tremendous capacity to work through issues such as this. And I believe it will again. Doing so will require those of us who support traditional marriage to respect those who support same sex marriage. But it will also require those who support same sex marriage to respect those of us who support traditional marriage, for tolerance is also a two way street.
People who experience discrimination are going to have trouble tolerating the discrimination supported by those who think the discrimination is a good idea, but I get the feeling Rubio sees that in the end, Americans will accept same-sex marriage and wonder that acceptance didn't come more quickly. Or why would he refer to working through the issue? The resolution is coming soon enough. Please don't be too mean to people like him who are communing with the stragglers on the road of progress. That's how I hear it anyway. Meanwhile, this social conservatism is ruining its reputation, and I wish that if Rubio really cares about its survival into the next generation, he would rip this retrograde plank out of the platform.

63 comments:

rhhardin said...

Once the word marriage is changed, what was the argument about?

It's no longer possible to think.

Maybe someday marriage will be rediscovered and get a new name.

Titus said...

He will never be president. The base despises him plus he doesn't have any core convictions.

The republicans are really screwed in national elections. In the primaries they have to go full wingnut to win which dooms them in the general election.

They still have the south though!!!!

Brando said...

Rubio seems timid about taking any stand that isn't conventional GOP boilerplate ever since he got burned a bit over his immigration stance. It'd be nice for more GOP candidates to signal support for same sex marriage, arguing not that opponents are necessarily bad people but that their own rights are not affected by allowing gays to marry, and that this is the more consistently libertarian position on the issue.

Brando said...

I agree that one day not long from now Republicans will be embarrassed that their party was so hostile to gay marriage for so long.

Meade said...

"Our nation has in the past demonstrated a tremendous capacity to work through issues such as this."

I wonder, to which specific "issues such as this" he refers? After all, traditionally, an American citizen was defined as white, adult and male. How long did our nation work through that issue?

Edmund said...

I've heard multiple places that polling shows a dramatic, phase-change like shift in public opinion on SSM in the last few years. It's overwhelmingly supported by younger voters. It's got good traction in the middle and upper classes. It's a done deal in the court of public opinion, especially in many of the swing states.

The Republican campaign management professionals are telling candidates and donors that it's a dead issue and will be the law of the land in a few years, probably by Supreme Court diktat. So, they advise candidates to adopt a position such as Rubio has (tolerance by all, support the political process), or to avoid the issue entirely.

Doug said...

I get the feeling Rubio sees that in the end, Americans will accept same-sex marriage and wonder that acceptance didn't come more quickly. Or why would he refer to working through the issue? The resolution is coming soon enough. So, it's not possible that Rubio is suggesting that one day gays will accept domestic partnerships as full legal protection from all the hurt they have had to endure, and they will stop trying to f*ck over heteros and marriage?

Bob Ellison said...

Rubio is boring. His voice is not presidential.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

This guy is the new Charlie Crist.The GOP base doesn't trust him because he showed he wasn't worthy of trust. That is a difference between republican and democrat party voters. Democrat party members don't care if their candidates are liars, cheaters, plagarists, rapists, racists, hypocrites or manslaughterists, as long as it says (D) after their name.

Lem said...

"communing with the stragglers on the road of progress..."

And all roads lead to Rome?

YoungHegelian said...

Whatever may be the future fate of SSM, we can all do without the goo-goo eyed commentary of just how gay activists are just sweet folks who just want their day in the sun like the rest of us.

I'm sorry, I lived through the 80's, and I witnessed how gay men fucked themselves to death, in spite of being warned that their behavior was a health disaster. I remember when herpes showed up as a STD, and it scared the shit out of straights, who promptly changed their behavior. It didn't kill gay men, so by the time AIDS showed up gay men had an herpes infection rate of about 90%, which became a ready conduit for the HIV virus.

I also remember the nutjob radical lesbian feminists, who claimed that every aspect of my sexuality oppressed women. What happened to these radical lesbian nutjobs? They're all tenured in endowed chairs at major universities. Do they ever get called out in public by "moderate" gays? Sure, about as often as Salafists get called out by "moderate" Muslims.

These people have absolutely no activist tradition of "rational" moderation. As the behavior of the gay community in every vote on SSM has shown, they're out for the blood of my faith & for the faiths of everyone who disagrees with them.

The LGBTQ activists community is part of the post-modern Left, and they share its totalitarian impulses. Is it theoretically possible to have full rights for gays & carve out the necessary space for religious freedom of conscience? Yes, it is. But not with these guys. The destruction of faith is in their DNA & it has been since the birth of the modern Left in the French Revolution. I wish I could tell you that in some future encounter it won't be me or them, but, sadly, I think it'll turn out that way.

Revenant said...

Any Republican candidate who makes gay marriage an issue during the 2016 elections has already gone a long way towards losing my vote. "Making sure gay marriages aren't recognized by state governments" should not be on any sane person's Top 1000 List of American Problems.

If lefties bring it up, ignore them and re-focus on the economy. You know -- the thing pretty much every demographic group in America considers the #1 priority? Homosexuals and fundamentalist Christians included?

m stone said...

Rubio is simply stating that we go by state law for resolution, a rather simple solution, but reasonable.

Declaring that Rubio got burned on one issue and is simply conceding on another or that he is screwed politically is sidestepping the question. We are still a nation of laws, most of which have not been judicially overturned on gay rights.

Hostility comes from his opponents, most effectively in this environment with not a lot of thought as to repercussions.

The 1.6% have a clear stake; others jump on the bandwagon for reasons that don't persuade me. But then, I have a moral position that others may not subscribe to. Do Democrats have an articulated moral position on gay rights?

Tom said...

My issue is that our politics represent our values (sad, huh?!) -- Our values are not legislated by government. The problem for the "social conservatives" is that our national attitudes on this subject are changing tactically (meaning that same sex marriage is becoming legal at a fast rate). But our values on freedom meaning freedom for everyone aren't changing -- they're growing and expanding. And in this case, the rights of a minority must be protected by the court when the majority fails to do so. When the subject of same sex marriage first came up, I supported a slow, legislative approach -- because we were changing a 10,000 year old definition and none of us knew for sure what the unintended consequences would be. But it's obvious that same sex marriage has not triggered the apocalypse. Nor is the tolerance of sin a sin itself (I think Jesus was pretty clear on this). Further, it's also more apparent to me now that this is a civil rights issue, not just a special interest issue. And civil rights are protected by our constitution, not by something as transient and malleable as mere legislation.

D. said...

>People who experience discrimination are going to have trouble tolerating the discrimination supported by those who think the discrimination is a good idea, <

your university "discriminates" all the time: admissions, grades, financial assistance et al. you are opposed to the traditional definition of marriage which is: one man-one woman. gays can do that too. soft bigotry of low expectations.

Tom said...

maybe it should be a Man-a-Fisto!

Revenant said...

traditionally, an American citizen was defined as white, adult and male. How long did our nation work through that issue

For around 80 years, ending 146 years ago. Which makes the use of the word "traditionally" a bit odd.

Besides, the actual tradition -- i.e., common law -- was that a person of whatever color, born in a nation, was a citizen of that nation. Legislatures had to actually pass statutes to change that.

K in Colorado said...

YoungHegelian, I wonder how many young gay men in the 80's would not have f_cked themselves silly if they would have had the chance to be married, not told they were deviant, or perverted for loving another man? I've never understood how promoting marriage and monagomy for everyone was anti-family values or would destroy the concept of a hetero family and bring down society.

I think it would strengthen society. Just look at the divorce rate for Christian, church going couples - 50%. And I don't think you can blame that on gays and SSM.

n.n said...

Bigamy, polygamy, incest, et cetera... all loving and not so loving relationships must receive equal protection.

Our nation... and, frankly, humanity, is not ready to accept universal equality. Only through progressivism/incrementalism, accompanied by executive, judicial, and legislative order, will people reject both nature and religion. If they won't, selective exclusion creates moral hazards, which will need to be reconciled by future generations.

Revenant said...

I remember when herpes showed up as a STD, and it scared the shit out of straights, who promptly changed their behavior.

You're remarkably well-preserved for a man who is hundreds of years old.

Kirby Olson said...

It seems that every person has to pursue happiness - it is a fundamental right. It's just that for the gay left - or at least for the Valerie Solanas left - happiness is a warm gun.

Paul Kirchner said...



Absolutely correct. And let me add he doesn't seem very bright. Maybe he's campaigning for the VP slot.

buwaya said...

There really is no way to accept gay marriage independently of the rest of the package of fashions that go with it. This one thing cant be cut out and adopted, the whole comes along for the ride. There is no duty, no self-sacrifice, no family obligation, no altruism, no real community, no firm spot to settle civilization.
How do you rationalize the suppression of your appetites ?
Let this in, and any man who stays with a woman for the sake of her children is a chump. After him the deluge, and why not ?
It is no accident that the US birthrate is already collapsing.

n.n said...

I agree with his position on abortion/murder. It is trivial to reject arguments based on spontaneous conception or a superior right which grants legal protection to aborting/murdering a wholly innocent human life. However, while social assistance may be merited in exceptional circumstances, it is imperative that civilized women and men understand the value of human life, and learn moral principles which moderate their behavior, especially when their "choice" may lead them to terminate a dependent human life.

Gahrie said...

I wonder, to which specific "issues such as this" he refers? After all, traditionally, an American citizen was defined as white, adult and male. How long did our nation work through that issue?

Except the "White" part? Not long enough.

Static Ping said...

"The republicans are really screwed in national elections. In the primaries they have to go full wingnut to win which dooms them in the general election."

Ah, yes, the permanent Democratic majority. It will be spectacular. It will be less "glorious wonders" spectacular and more "exploding fertilizer factory" spectacular, but spectacular nonetheless! Look! We promise such a magnificent set of rewards who are true believers! Which will last until they bankrupt the country and leave the "right side of history" to the Chinese or the Russians or the Caliphate or the New Republic of Texas or whoever else shows up. Maybe Brazil. People incessantly predict their rise into superpower status. Maybe they can back into it as the only folks left standing. It worked in "Alas, Babylon" which should make it obvious to those in the future that it was fiction.

But we'll have SSM! And maybe even free birth control! Think of the concept of being able to marry whoever you want without the danger of unwanted pregnancy, assuming that is an issue, as part of the last request before the local brigands commence the execution! Just like the African Queen! Think of all the inheritance tax to be saved... oh, wait.

Mark said...

Every Republican who makes any statement on this subject will cross some part of the conservative sphere, the only way through is to make no real statement at all.

It's a huge issue for the next decade of Republican Party elections as society has moved on without them yet a significant part of their base will go to their graves fighting gay marriage.

Best hope is to be like Walker and just fall into repetition how his personal opinion dies not matter and avoiding saying anything publicly.

YoungHegelian said...

@Revenant,

You're remarkably well-preserved for a man who is hundreds of years old.

Go read a popular text on sexuality from the 60's like "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex". Herpes isn't even mentioned as an STD. The existence of an STD in a marginal population is a very different thing than an epidemic.

@K

I wonder how many young gay men in the 80's would not have f_cked themselves silly if they would have had the chance to be married...

You've got to be kidding? You think that's why young men want to fuck so much? Because of their hurt self-images? Fuggedaboutit!

Terry Canaan said...

Shorter Rubio: "Tolerate my intolerance or you're a bigot!"

Revenant said...

How do you rationalize the suppression of your appetites ?
Let this in, and any man who stays with a woman for the sake of her children is a chump. After him the deluge, and why not ?


If abandoning your kids is something you want to do, you could at least have the balls to own it. Don't blame gay people for your own worthlessness as a father.

Titus said...

Republicans should do a Walker on gay marriage. Otherwise, they are fucked and won't win national elections.

The tide has turned on the gay, get over it, you lost. If you can't get over it it means you are old and eventually will die and not in consideration.

Even young republicans are ok with fag marriage.

Now move on taker old republicans or please just die.

thanks and have a super summer.

David said...

The Republicans will continue to lose elections because of their terrible handling of social issues and the immigration question. As a consequence we never get a decisive debate on issues of growing government control, taxation, job stimulation and work incentives and the other governmental questions that affect our economic health and personal freedoms. Cruz and Rubio are supposed to be very smart guys. They probably are, again proving that intelligent people can do really stupid things.

David said...

Revenant said...

If abandoning your kids is something you want to do, you could at least have the balls to own it.


Divorcing your spouse is not abandoning your kids. You (and your spouse) are making their life more challenging, but you are not abandoning them.

chickelit said...

Meanwhile, this social conservatism is ruining its reputation, and I wish that if Rubio really cares about its survival into the next generation, he would rip this retrograde plank out of the platform.

By the same token, the economic free-for-all, let-the-immigration-flood-gates-open economic suicide isn't helping the party of social liberalism either.

Funny how Althouse doesn't exhort liberals to conserve their economics for a chance of meeting in the middle.

chickelit said...

Titus does for gays what Crack does for blacks.

chickelit said...

Could it be they are related, behind the mask?

Static Ping said...

"Shorter Rubio: "Tolerate my intolerance or you're a bigot!""

Well, that's how tolerance is supposed to work, right? I think so-and-so is a jackass who in any right society would be un-ceremonially dragged out on the street and shot, but since we have this tolerance thing going on I let him do his thing. Oh, I probably grouse about it and try to convince others that I'm right and the other guys are wrong, but with words and letters to the editor and protests. Having those guys arrested and their houses burned down by the mob is for animals.

Furthermore, I will believe that the tolerance mob actually cares about intolerance when they start denouncing Muslims, who are well to the right of the social conservatives on various sacred cows. Oddly, the same gang that sees social conservatives as some sort of beyond the pale disgusting give that other religion a pass or actively support them. Makes me think that it is less about the SSM thing and more about animus. We have a word for such people: "bigot." Or maybe it is just politics. If the social conservatives held identical views but voted for the other party they'd be AOK! Actually, that is bigotry too, just a different kind.

Oh, and it is quite possible for both sides to be bigots. That has been the norm for human history. My side is right, the other side eats puppies raw! I'm pretty sure most of them thought they were on "the right side of history." Most of them are just history, many essentially forgotten altogether.

A final warning. When one side declares the other side to essentially be illegitimate in their society, that tends to get messy. The quantity and quality of the mess varies as the history books can attest, but it is generally not pleasant for anyone, other than outsiders that loot the countryside in the chaos. Do be careful of how you treat your fellow man, even if he is a ignorant dingus. We've all been the ignorant dingus.

buwaya puti said...

What is "worthless" anymore?
Isn't that judgment just a leftover of outdated childhood programming?
I can't forgive you for calling me "worthless" either, because forgiveness also is now also a meaningless concept.
Its Alastair Crowley's world now.
We are free!

Revenant said...

Go read a popular text on sexuality from the 60's like "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex". Herpes isn't even mentioned as an STD.

Herpes has been a known STD for hundreds of years.

Also, the behavior change in heterosexuals was due to HIV, not herpes. Heterosexuals kept right on blissfully passing along the herpes virus for a couple of decades after the epidemic started.

Anonymous said...

I'm not too keen on Rubio but I take his point. Which appears to be about lawfare.

Its not for judges to rewrite our constitution. No representatives have written a redefinition of marriage into our federal constitution. As a matter of fact, they did just the opposite with DOMA.

But through lawfare, the left attempts to change our constitution. Instead of going through the hard work of convincing people that laws need to be changed.

This, I believe, is rubios point.

Anonymous said...


"The tide has turned on the gay, get over it, you lost. If you can't get over it it means you are old and eventually will die and not in consideration."

This goes straight to Rubios point. Just like the left has claimed the fight over abortion was over after Roe. But its not. Because judges aren't the way to do it.

The tide doesn't turn by unelected opinion polls telling us what we believe. Nor does it turn by judges rewriting our laws because they think they know better.

The tide turns through elections and law making and convincing the people you're right. Which the left hasn't done yet. Instead, they have forced this upon us and insisted everyone loves a shit sandwich.

Its not going to work out in the long run. Let's hope the fools who forced this on us pay a heavy price for their evil.

gadfly said...

Rubio wasted his breath after his first sentence.

Don McLean got it right.

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news
But she just smiled and turned away
I went down to the sacred store
Where I'd heard the music years before
But the man there said the music wouldn't play
And in the streets, the children screamed
The lovers cried and the poets dreamed
But not a word was spoken
The church bells all were broken

Chuck said...

Brando said...
"I agree that one day not long from now Republicans will be embarrassed that their party was so hostile to gay marriage for so long."

Why should Republicans ever be embarrassed? No matter when, or if, they drop their "hostility" to gay marriage?

Will, for instance, Republicans suffer some special obloquy if they accede to the gay lobby in 2016, or 2019, instead of 2013 like Hillary Clinton did?

The Democrats -- Obama and Clinton most prominently -- have shown us the way. You can oppose same sex marriage as long as it is politically expedient, and then flip and say that you've evolved. What's the penalty for doing that? What penalty, from gay rights activists, has Obama suffered? What about Clinton?

Jessica said...

K in Colorado- Why would you promote monogamy for everyone? There are many currently in plural relationships (polyamory/polygamy) or who would like to be but who would say they are oppressed by current laws discriminating against them who would tell you that confining love to just two people runs counter to their experience and shouldn't be the standard against which everyone else is judged. They would tell you that monogamy is simply a relic of the same traditional marriage that you declare so wrong and bigoted. I continue to be surprised that those who support gay marriage don't support plural marriage. If marriage, in our culture, is now simply an emotional relationship between two people, with gender now being arbitrary, why not extend society's support and tolerance to those in plural relationships? If two is good, surely three or more is better.

And this is a question for whomever, meant in sincerity because I truly don't understand: Traditional marriage as it was understood in the past seems to be something like this: one man and one woman only because sex makes babies and kids need a mom and a dad and marriage was the societal institution designed to connect kids with a mom and a dad. Now we no longer believe moms and dads are both important for kids and procreation no longer factors into the definition of marriage. The definition of marriage today seems to be: an emotional relationship between 2 consenting adults that can be entered into and exited out of at will. So my question is this: why would the government be interested in the emotional relationships of some citizens but not all? Why is the government now interested in giving support and special financial and tax considerations to certain couples but not other human relationships? What is it about couples that makes them more important to the government than single people?

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

When Rubio allowed the establishment sodomites to turn him out on Immigration, he was damaged goods. Then he took the deer in the headlights drink of water in the middle of his Republican response speech and that prety much insured that he has risen as high as he is going to.

SGT Ted said...

Let this in, and any man who stays with a woman for the sake of her children is a chump. After him the deluge, and why not ?

That is already happening and it isn't because of gay marriage. It is happening because of overly entitled heterosexual women and sexist family law.

SGT Ted said...

Shorter Rubio: "Tolerate my intolerance or you're a bigot!"

Leftwingers and alleged "liberals" say pretty much the same thing. They just pick different, more palatable targets for their intolerance.

Brando said...

"The Democrats -- Obama and Clinton most prominently -- have shown us the way. You can oppose same sex marriage as long as it is politically expedient, and then flip and say that you've evolved. What's the penalty for doing that? What penalty, from gay rights activists, has Obama suffered? What about Clinton?"

Shameful as the Democrats have been on this issue--only turning when the political winds blew right for them--they're going to benefit from having turned before the GOP did, and especially at a time when the GOP does tolerate hostility towards gays within the party. I'm not just talking gay marriage bans--though those nonsensical laws are certainly going to be embarrassing relics anyway--but also politicians embracing "conversion therapy" and referring to homosexuality as a mental illness. Craven as the Democrats have been, they're going to look like the lesser of two evils.

Late turns on issues can still benefit you as long as you did it before the opposition--look at the Democrats on civil rights in the '60s (you almost never hear about LBJ's hostility towards civil rights in the '50s because he became a champion when the winds blew right for him).

Despicable as I think Hillary is (on just about every issue, but certainly the gay issue, when she has almost completely gone with whatever would help her or her sex offender husband politically), she will get the gay and gay-friendly vote so long as she's the Democratic nominee, because she almost certainly will be running against a Republican who kowtows to his party's anti-gay base, and oppose gay marriage at the very least. She'll be seen as the lesser of two evils, and I can't much blame the gays if that's the way they see it because the GOP has long been hostile to them.

And I get that for many this is not a matter of picking on gay people, but supporting a religious traditional belief that marriage should be only between a man and a woman. I understand that even as I disagree with it--but you must also understand that for gay people it really amounts to "I'm personally opposed to something that affects me in no way whatsoever but I will use the power of the state to prevent you from having something important to you." So of course gay people will be alienated, as well as those who don't see why gays should be prevented from marrying. As these are otherwise demographics that could be open to other policies supported by the GOP, it basically kisses off potential voters at a time when Republicans need everything they can get.

No, it's not right that Hillary or Obama get a free pass from the pro-gay marriage crowd for what really amounts to political maneuvering--but this is indeed what happens.

Justin said...

So my question is this: why would the government be interested in the emotional relationships of some citizens but not all? Why is the government now interested in giving support and special financial and tax considerations to certain couples but not other human relationships? What is it about couples that makes them more important to the government than single people?

One obvious answer is that married people tend to be more financially stable and therefore less likely to need government assistance. So there's an economic incentive for the government to encourage marriage.

There've also been studies that suggest marriage has a positive impact on health, which is again something I'd think the government has an incentive to encourage.

And I don't think the argument about kids faring better if raised in a two-parent household is lost. I just think people are beginning to understand that the outcome for kids is the same regardless of whether the parents are same or opposite sex.

jimbino said...

All of us were born atheist and single. We have to be brainwashed by religion to consider getting married.

Chuck said...

Brando it is funny that you bring up the Democrats and civil rights in the 1960's. Because, with a lot of built-in press favoritism, the Democrats came up with all kinds of Great Society ideas. A massive welfare state of a size and scope unknown. The housing projects of Harlem and Detroit and South Chicago. Aid to "families" with dependent children which essentially meant state adoption of millions of fatherless black families. Each and every small individual decision seemed right; just doing good. Just like "marriage equality" feels right. At the time. With full-throated cheerleading from the press. And decades later, we can ponder the larger net societal effect.

I'm not even so terribly concerned about the reality of same sex marriage as social policy. I'm a lot more concerned about the wretched injury to our legal system, by contorting the Fourteenth Amendment to create a federalized legal right to same sex marriage over the power of the individual states to regulate marriage.

I say to SSM proponents exactly what Justice Scalia would; go out and win elections. Change the state laws if you think your side is right. Or amend the U.S. Constitution if you think it requires federalized protection. Just don't ask the federal courts to create policy on the fly just because all of the nation's law school faculties are for it.

Anglelyne said...

Brando: And I get that for many this is not a matter of picking on gay people, but supporting a religious traditional belief that marriage should be only between a man and a woman. I understand that even as I disagree with it--

If you think that opposition to ssm, even among the traditionally religious, is just some variant of "coz the bible said so, duh", then, no, you don't understand the people you're disagreeing with.

...but you must also understand that for gay people it really amounts to "I'm personally opposed to something that affects me in no way whatsoever but I will use the power of the state to prevent you from having something important to you."

Well, as I've noted before, there's really no talking to people so thick and/or irrational that they're incapable of even seeing that their opponents aren't on board with their basic premises. (Anti: "I think policy X will have destructive consequences A, B, C, so I'm agin' it." Pro: Not "I think you're wrong about the consequences because E, F, G", but "But but but policy X won't affect you, personally, in any way! You're just a hater!" Have we always been this retarded? Maybe so.)

If "gay people" think that opponents of ssm oppose ssm while believing it will affect them, and society, in "no way whatsoever", then "gay people" are operating on the same mindless level as people who swallow the "war on women" propaganda. It's funny how the "argument from butthurt" is given dignified attention when it is attached to one issue, by people who will laugh it to scorn when it is attached to another.

So of course gay people will be alienated...

I see no point to the continued existence of the GOP, so it's all good. Pander to Peter, alienate Paul, pander to Paul, alienate Peter. Whatever.

Jessica said...

Justin- thanks for your response.

I tend to be quite skeptical of studies of marriage being applied to the gay marriage debate (on either side) because:

1) Any long-term studies of marriage had to have accrued participants before gay marriage was legal. The definition of marriage was closer to the traditional definition which is quite different from what it currently appears to be. Gay marriage advocates minimize the importance of gender differences, but it's far from clear that the gender differences are inconsequential. It's a really radical departure from the classic understanding of marriage to make that claim, so making inferences from that data to the current issues would be inaccurate. The comparison wouldn't be the same. The most you can say is that marriage appears to be beneficial so maybe it will continue to be so. But since the current definition also includes no-fault divorce, then the expectation of permanence and the reality of permanence is lacking. So it's difficult to say that the modern definition of marriage will lead to the previously seen goods of marriage (stability, etc) under the old definition. If these things don't matter, than we should be able to call any human relationship a "marriage" and see the benefits accrue, which again is an argument for extending marriage definitions to include plural relationships.

2) I don't think scientific studies are going to solve this issue. Simply saying that kids do better in a 2 parent family could be argued is the exact same discriminatory deploying of science that had been used again gay marriage advocates only now the line is redrawn and we're using science to discriminate against single people and plural relationships. Anecdotally, some kids say it doesn't matter to them while other kids say that they do miss having a mother or a father or that it harmed them in some way. Respect for the variety of experiences of these kids means that we can't ignore either opinion, but on balance, I don't think it will have any impact on the marriage debate at all because we've decided, as a society, that marriage has nothing to do with children.

3)I'm unaware of studies that have directly compared 2 same-sex parent households with 2 opposite-parent households, controlling for appropriate factors (like socioeconomic status or education) that show equivalent results. Again, I don't think those studies will be done because the numbers are so low as to be negligible (for research purposes, you need a large number to see real differences between populations) and because no matter what the studies show, people's minds won't be changed one way or the other.

Many thanks.

Chuck said...

Brando, characterizing the opposition:
"I'm personally opposed to something that affects me in no way whatsoever but I will use the power of the state to prevent you from having something important to you."

No. The current American same-sex movement does not want the right to be left alone. The same-sex marriage advocates want somethng from all of the rest of American society. They want our representative democracy at the state and federal levels to sanction marriage for them. They essentially want something from the state. This is not a case of their wanting to be left alone. They want everyone to bend the traditional definition of marriage, and all that surrounds marriage, to fit their needs.

Of course it could easily be done, as with a Constitutional amendment setting up prohibition, or ending prohibition, or giving women the right to vote, or giving 18 year-olds the right to vote. Or, most importantly to Loving v. Virginia, ending all forms of racial discrimination.

An amendment. If the same sex marriage proponents want to pursue that avenue, it is open to them. Let's vote on it.

Brando, I think that a future SCOTUS ruling on a federal right to same sex marriage will do as much to kill off traditional marriage believers every bit as much as Roe v. Wade killed off the pro-life movement.

Brando said...

"I say to SSM proponents exactly what Justice Scalia would; go out and win elections. Change the state laws if you think your side is right. Or amend the U.S. Constitution if you think it requires federalized protection. Just don't ask the federal courts to create policy on the fly just because all of the nation's law school faculties are for it."

Well, that's just it--this is on balance helping the Democrats win elections and before long you'll see the GOP adopting the pro-SSM position. Wait about ten years--the cracks are already showing. Though I don't really get the idea that this issue is inappropriate for the courts--it's not outrageous to find gay marriage rights protected under the 14th Amendment. It may be an arguable point, but it's certainly not absurd to make such a finding.

"If "gay people" think that opponents of ssm oppose ssm while believing it will affect them, and society, in "no way whatsoever", then "gay people" are operating on the same mindless level as people who swallow the "war on women" propaganda. It's funny how the "argument from butthurt" is given dignified attention when it is attached to one issue, by people who will laugh it to scorn when it is attached to another."

First, if you haven't heard opponents of SSM use traditional religion as part of their argument then you must not have been paying attention. Sure, some opponents haven't made any reference to religion, but many absolutely have.

Second, I know the antis have made the argument that letting gay people marry will cause societal problems (similar to single parent households, or nonmarried households) but the pros are, to say the least, unconvinced that letting gay people have marriage rights has any real effect on anyone else. The way I see it at least, my marriage is unaffected by two gay men getting hitched--and I have yet to hear a good argument for why gay marriage is bad for society. I generally prefer to see fully both sides of any argument, so if I'm missing something I'd be happy to know.

But my own opinion is hardly the point--I wouldn't likely cast a vote over that issue--rather it's the overall alienation by the GOP of the moderates due to issues like this. You could argue that it's better for the GOP to be right than to win, but then that will mean more Democrats giving us more of what we've seen for the past six years.

Better no loaf than half a loaf? I know I'd prefer the half loaf.

sunsong said...

barf

Anonymous said...

Jessica said:

"Now we no longer believe moms and dads are both important for kids and procreation no longer factors into the definition of marriage."

You should look up the frightening statistics about single parent children then make your judgement.

Facts are tricky things.

As to Rubio, like Rand Paul, he has no career beyond what he is but is deluded into thinking he has.

Brando said...

"The current American same-sex movement does not want the right to be left alone. The same-sex marriage advocates want somethng from all of the rest of American society. They want our representative democracy at the state and federal levels to sanction marriage for them. They essentially want something from the state. This is not a case of their wanting to be left alone. They want everyone to bend the traditional definition of marriage, and all that surrounds marriage, to fit their needs."

To the extent that government has any say as to what can be considered a marriage--and while I'd like to see government stay out of marriage, and simply define civil unions for purposes of legal rights such as visitation and inheritance and leave marriage in private hands--that's not the situation we're in. By requiring the government to treat same sex couples the same as heterosexual couples, is this really "imposing" anything on anyone? Practically speaking, how does this affect anyone else? I'm not being argumentative so much as genuinely curious because I don't understand the opposition. I don't think opponents are bigots and it's unfair when they get tarred as such, but I have a hard time understanding what they see as so wrong about SSM--let alone why that wrong was severe enough to justify changing state constitutions and making national campaign issues out of it.

(I do get that it gets thornier when we're talking about anti-discimination laws, particularly when they run against religious freedom--but I'm talking narrowly about SSM here).

"I think that a future SCOTUS ruling on a federal right to same sex marriage will do as much to kill off traditional marriage believers every bit as much as Roe v. Wade killed off the pro-life movement."

I agree that a court ruling won't end the debate--changes in overall opinion will do that (as it did with Brown v. Brd of Educ.) and Roe energized the pro-life movement which felt cheated out of the democratic process. But courts really shouldn't be focused on political effects so much as interpreting the law.

Revenant said...

Divorcing your spouse is not abandoning your kids.

Well, provided you're the one awarded custody.

Revenant said...

What penalty, from gay rights activists, has Obama suffered? What about Clinton?

Obama suffered no backlash because most people assumed he was lying when he said he was against gay marriage. They were right.

The embarrassment future Republicans suffer won't come from gay activists. It'll come from future conservatives. Wanting to marry is a conservative desire, and conservatives are currently fighting it. That's embarrassing.

"So, in the early 21st century marriage rates were declining throughout western civilization, and you guys decided on 'prevent more people from getting married' as a top item for your platform? Smooth."

Anglelyne said...

Just a heads up, Revenant, but garage appears to have taken to posting under your name:

The embarrassment future Republicans suffer won't come from gay activists. It'll come from future conservatives. Wanting to marry is a conservative desire, and conservatives are currently fighting it. That's embarrassing.

"So, in the early 21st century marriage rates were declining throughout western civilization, and you guys decided on 'prevent more people from getting married' as a top item for your platform? Smooth."

Anglelyne said...

Brando: First, if you haven't heard opponents of SSM use traditional religion as part of their argument then you must not have been paying attention. Sure, some opponents haven't made any reference to religion, but many absolutely have.

I've heard a lot of “traditionally religious” people argue against ssm from a coherent world view informed by religiously-derived concepts, like natural law. I've heard a lot of proponents of ssm use progressive religion as part of their argument (hey, nobody testifies like Reverend Althouse when she gets going), also in the context of a coherent world view based on concepts derived from their faith. To dismiss all of that as “argument from religion” is to beg the question.

Yes, I'm sure I've heard some dumb fundie argue "but Leviticus!", just as I've heard brain-dead proponents bleating "equality!" or "civil rights" as if they're magic words that should settle the issue for any right-minded person. I'm not puzzled by pro-ssm stances predicated on secular philosophical or sociological axioms which I consider problematic or false – they make perfect sense in the context of the assumptions underlying the proponent's point of view. So I don't have a lot of patience with all the "I just don't understand" stuff, or the “but they got nothin' but 'God says so'” line. (At bottom, "the great sez who?” applies to everybody's moral assumptions.)

Second, I know the antis have made the argument that letting gay people marry will cause societal problems (similar to single parent households, or nonmarried households) but the pros are, to say the least, unconvinced that letting gay people have marriage rights has any real effect on anyone else. The way I see it at least, my marriage is unaffected by two gay men getting hitched...

Your reiterating your views on alleged possible harms of gay marriage has nothing to do with the point you're addressing.

But what the hell, while we're here: well, which is it? You either know what the antis' arguments are, and are unconvinced by them, or you don't know what they are. The waffling between "I think opponents of ssm are wrong about its possible harmful effects of ssm" and "I just don't understand why opponents of ssm are against something that doesn't affect them" is annoying.

...--and I have yet to hear a good argument for why gay marriage is bad for society.

Yadda yadda yadda, just as I have yet to hear a good argument for why "marriage" applies to a relation of two people of the same sex. The point is that what one considers a "good" (i.e. persuasive) argument in this matter is very much a product of his philosophical assumptions, the priority he gives to different values, his ultimate preferences about what sort of society he wants to live in, and his understanding of what conditions produce and maintain what kinds of societies.

Tina Trent said...

If Rubio's name was Mark Smith, nobody on the Right would be hanging their hats on this banal boilerplate.

Embarrassing identity politics from righty politicos dreaming of their own "articulate" Barack Obama candidate.

And a dollop of bigotry of soft expectations thrown in. Oh well.