June 2, 2015

Alabama legislature is halfway through the process of ending the state's participation in licensing marriage.

With the U.S. Supreme Court about to bar the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage (in all probability), Alabama is stepping up to the option of ending the state's role in licensing marriage. The bill has passed the senate and is under consideration in the house. Couples will make their own contracts and file them in the courthouse.

Also in Alabama, the chief justice of the state supreme court, Roy Moore, is saying that if the U.S. Supreme Court requires marriage to include same-sex couples, it's "an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run." He adds: "And I think there are people who would like to see this country destroyed.... I’m not saying that everyone who’s homosexual wants to see the country destroyed. I’m not saying that. I’m saying there’s a push for it."

ADDED: Posting that and rereading it, I observe that I've presented that completely neutrally, and yet it seems to me to express my disapproval of what the Alabama legislature is doing and and Justice Roy Moore is saying. I'm just adding this postscript to observe that the legislative action and the judicial statement, standing alone, work as their own criticism. Nothing needs to be said. Oh, Alabama!

135 comments:

Wally Kalbacken said...

Well, I like it. I think it is the only avenue open to states, short of supporting a federal constitutional amendment exempting states from the Equal Protection Clause as it would apply to the regulation of marriage.

Patrick said...

I don't think they've thought this through. For many reasons, families need certainty about the status of their relationships.Inheritance, child support, medical decisions, lots of things are in limbo when marriage is erased. I'm not saying those things cannot be handled without marriage, but simply erasing marriage without some plan to account for all of that will lead to chaos.

Also, Justice Moore jumped the shark years ago.

Gahrie said...

I wish these damn ignorant flyover hillbillys would learn to listen to their betters.....

Time to bring out the whitewash and start training the sheep again....

Unknown said...

What is your beef exactly then professor? If rounding like the language, show us how it's done. Or is it just your tireless advocacy for normalization of homosexuality at work here?

Roughcoat said...

What is the significance of the state not having a role in licensing marriage? What does this mean? What are the consequences? I don't have a clue.

Fritz said...

Liberals demand credit for destroying marriage.

Patrick said...

In addition to practical considerations, I still think that the states have very strong reasons to maintain and even support marriage and families. Removing any mention of families and marriage may be a libertarian's dream, but without families, things continue to be worse for individuals. The state have a role in defining and even defining that family status. Alabama if making a mistake.

Eleanor said...

It will be a boon for lawyers. Instead of giving the state a few bucks so you can enter into a well-established contract, people will either have to pay a lawyer to draw up a pre-nup or have a lawyer on retainer to settle disputes as they come up. Or maybe Alabama will come up with some "common laws" that kick in after a couple has co-habited for a certain length of time or produced a child. The latter might actually be helpful to all of the baby mommas and daddies out there since they aren't entering into the state's marriage contract as is.

clint said...

The justice should be embarrassed -- and yes, just quoting him was sufficient to express your disapproval.

The legislature seems to me to be doing the right thing for the wrong reason.

A whole lot of the debate in this country over marriage is confusing a religious marriage with a state-enforced contractual relationship. The two traditionally go hand in hand, but they aren't the same thing. They obey different rules (equal protection vs. God's commandments) and involve different ceremonies and obligations. (Try suing in court to enforce those traditional wedding vows -- it's a verbal contract in front of witnesses. I've even got the videotape.)

Separating them *should* make everyone happy. Equal protection under the law for everyone -- including Social Security survivor's benefits, joint filing at customs, no estate tax, everything. And the wedding ceremony you got at your church can be just for whoever you and congregation think it should just be for. Go ahead, exclude the gays, and interfaith couples, and divorcees, and whoever else you feel like excluding.

Of course, it won't make everyone happy. But it should.

Walter S. said...

There is something to be said for getting the states out of the marriage business---or, short of that, turning the states' role into a less important legal technicality. It seems to me that if you care too much about whether some state official thinks you are married, then you have already lost something.

Gahrie said...

Is it beginning to feel like Weimer Germany, the first French Republic or the Cultural Revolution to anyone else?

I denounce myself.

Walter S. said...

More people should listen to clint.

khesanh0802 said...

Ann, You are not neutral when it comes to issues of gay rights. You may like to claim it but any impartial observer would scoff at your claim of neutrality. I have no problem with your position, but don't try to deceive yourself about your neutrality.

hombre said...

Why shouldn't Alabama end its role in licensing marriage? If the state's duly elected representatives are not permitted to regulate the institution in accordance with the will of their constituents, why participate at all? Seriously?

As for Justice Roy, he's mostly guilty of oversimplifying?

David Begley said...

This is incredibly stupid. What about divorce and child support? Breach of contract instead of divorce? Substantial performance? Waiver? Do all contract remedies and principles apply? Promissory estoppel? Will the Restatement of Contracts and Corbin replace AL statutes?

Extreme overreaction to Federal overreach.

traditionalguy said...

Divorce lawyers hardest hit. The legislature needs to establish a EQUITY jurisdiction that grants alimony, child custody and visitation rights enforcement and of course attorney's fees.

harrogate said...

"Liberals demand credit for destroying marriage."

Right. it's liberals' fault the Alabama state legislature is fucking crazy.

hombre said...

"This is incredibly stupid. What about ...."

BFD. The lawyers will find a way, they always do.

If SCOTUS wants to define marriage, perhaps they should go all the way and prescribe the particulars. This is great stuff!

harrogate said...

"Is it beginning to feel like Weimer Germany, the first French Republic or the Cultural Revolution to anyone else?"

No. It's just some people throwing temper tantrums because Teh Gays have rights now.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Southern man don't need you around anyhow.

MikeR said...

"What about divorce and child support?" What's the problem? There's no child support when they're not married? And divorce? What if they're living together, does he have rights to her earnings?
Who told you a state has to handle these things? And if they do, who told you that you can force conservatives to handle it like liberals want? You want to control it, take care of it yourself.
When my daughter and son-in-law got married, they had a religious ceremony. A few weeks later, someone convinced them that they ought to get it registered, so they wandered over to the court and did it, whatever. In their eyes, the religious ceremony was what counted.

Mark said...

So sad for the people of Alabama, to have these idiots representing them.

So many unconsidered consequences. Hatred is never a good source of legislation.

MikeR said...

This is no different from a wedding cake.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"With the U.S. Supreme Court about to bar the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage (in all probability),"

The folks, or persons, or heros, who knows?, whom think there was never any exclusion because all had the same rights--namely to marry a man if they were a woman or marry a woman if they were a man--aren't heard even after having had spoken.

So now, the new(!) thing is, why don't those ugly-thinking-from-dark-places-people just ignore what marriage was, because ???there was never any reason for the tradition??? or ???the logic requires child rape if history be a guide??? or ???fuck me I'm an asshole bigot.

I choose fuck me I'm an asshole bigot, and I can't imagine the proof (not evidence, alas) agin' me.

Beaver7216 said...

Seems like a logical step. The state had a role in assisting families with marriage laws but once you take out the procreation aspect what are you left with? It seems odd that the state basically is saying that sex is so important that it should be limited to couples, hetero or not, in a long standing, committed relationship and that we, the state, will reward them for this. That is a religious concept. As society heads to a majority unmarried, many for life, why give special rights to married, based on this sex contract? Why not allow anyone to "marry" without the sex aspect-siblings, favorite relatives, best platonic friends, etc. Asexuals and non-sexuals have rights too. Isn't this what the Supreme Court Justices were after when they inquired about liberty versus equality.

Louis said...

This makes me sad.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

All had the same rights, cee for example (which I think Vic Hanson means when he writes "cf.") my previous comment, although you might want to note although I've seen it before and others have pointed it out, it still just ain't stickin'.

Changing definitions ought be done, perhaps even with the definition of "marriage."

How that happens is fun and games we've gleamed.

Okay.

Then.

*

*"Okay then" is a sly Coen brothers reference to show a) I am hip b) I ain't no anti-semite and I know for sure what semite means and then lastly c) I GEORGE BUSH YO!!!! !!! !!! !!!!!!

rhhardin said...

Evidently consent of the governed is disappearing. Why is that?

sunsong said...

Won't they still have to recognize and honor marriages performed in the other states? Folks will just get married in another state...

NotquiteunBuckley said...

My words are shit.

I had honesty thought for years that HUNTER S. THOMPSON blew his brains throughout his home with a shotgun where his grandkids heard.

Again, it was a pistol.


This is literaly litterrally liteeraly literaaly literallly literrallly literrally

the best Hunt Thompson refererence EvAr.

sean said...

Glenn Reynolds and various other libertarian law professors have been saying that the State should get out of marriage regulation for years. Prof. Althouse didn't mock them, because, like most law professors: (i) she thinks it's appropriate to mock the yahoos in flyover country, but never nature's aristocrats, the people with high LSAT scores, and (ii) like most tenured cowards, she doesn't want the unpleasantness that comes with insulting people around you, when it's so much safer to insult people you will never see.

paminwi said...

If marriage is to be prescribed by the Supreme Court there should be Federsl offices where the marriage license,if necessary, should be gotten. No state involvement. For the state everyone files their incone taxes as individuals since there is no state involvement in the process. (Don't most states make more $ from single people anyway?) Since the license is federally issued you can still file a joint return for them. Child support can go thru Federal courts and lawyers can reap the dough since it will be a much bigger deal and family courts can handle all the BS that happens with child support, custody, divorce, visitation, etcetera.

Let the gays run the family courts since they seem to know what is best for all of us.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

1st reason rh is it never existed.

If it did, define it.

It would take decades to begin to define it with any accuracy.

Obama will be remembered as a Light-bringer who brought Equality to the Racist American Ethos.

Still, I applaud your efforts toward honor, except when you allow all the medias' influence, vast vast vast, to end your humanity, like hurting a child does to any entity, but most especially the human one.

David Begley said...

I would ALMOST like to see AL county officials refuse to issue same sex marriage licenses in an act of civil disobedience. But it would quickly degenerate into a media circus when the federal judge sends a U.S. Marshall in to enforce an order. It would be dramatic. CNN would even interrupt its car crash coverage for breathless reports from the courthouse.

The cultural war has been lost on this issue, sad to say.

But at least we will have Scalia's dissent. It should be his finest ever.

tim in vermont said...

So many unconsidered consequences. - Mark

ROLL ON THE FLOOR LAUGHING MY ASS OFF at Mark's complete obliviousness to the irony of his statement.

chuck said...

Maybe the Puritan's were on to something.

tim in vermont said...

Write your own vows boys and girls, boys and boys, girls and girls, groups of all sorts!

Pre-nups for everybody!

Phil 3:14 said...

What about all of the laws tied to marital status?

tim in vermont said...

What about all of the laws tied to marital status?

Flush them with your crap and flatus!

NotquiteunBuckley said...

"all probability" is my newest fun thing to phrase away with.

There is a definition for "half probability" or a "preponderance of probability" or "reasonable probability" or "probative probabilty" or "probation's protability" or whatever yo, so jus' do you wan.
\


This is a link saying "In a Big Country Dreams Stay With You

David said...

Letting a thousand flowers bloom in Alabama!

Groovy.

tim in vermont said...

Maybe the SCOTUS should just write all the laws for the states, save elected legislators the trouble of governing and they can be freed up to pass proclamations regarding the state tree and naming overpasses and the like.

Joshua Barker said...

This is not, and has never been, about gay marriage or gay "rights"... It is, and always has been, about destroying every last vestige of Christian morality and the utter obliteration of the classic Judeo-Christian world view. It's not about "equality"... It's about normalizing and mainstreaming (and ultimate ascendancy) of a value set that is diametrically opposed to anything not directly rooted in the worship of self...

trumpetdaddy said...

Alabama is on the right track here. What the radical SSM activists have always wanted is forced validation. If the state treats a contract of this sort as merely a contract, same as buying a car, then the desired approval and validation is denied. Marriage will go back to being only granted by religious authorities and the whole church-state mixing thing is dissolved. And self-hating gay people can go back to being self-hating without needing to drag the other 98% of the population into their drama.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

"So many unconsidered consequences. Hatred is never a good source of legislation."

This legislation is a consequence of the hatred homosexual activists have for Christians and marriage.

Fen said...

it's "an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run." He adds: "And I think there are people who would like to see this country destroyed.... I’m not saying that everyone who’s homosexual wants to see the country destroyed. I’m not saying that. I’m saying there’s a push for it."

He's spot on. The Left wants to destroy Family because it competes with the State.


"All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state."

Carol said...

*sigh* Just because libertarians like make the facile argument that the state should "get out of the marriage business" doesn't mean some damn fool state has to go and pass a law. God knows the libertarians don't give a fuck about any of the institutions about which they so glibly opine

Mountain Maven said...

We're doing 60's, Phase II, with neither the optimism nor the soundtrack

Luke Lea said...

There is the question of whether the purpose of the institution of marriage is not to affirm the love or promote the happiness of individuals, but to provide social stability to the biological family for the acculturation of children, upon which the transmission of culture -- including the sentiments and ideals that underlie our democratic society and its liberal institutions -- depends. The state may have a compelling interest in privileging the biological family by means of the institution of marriage.

Titus said...

I mean how many gays are there in Alabama? The consequential ones fled after getting a HS diploma. Truman and Tennessee wrote about their homelands but were the toast of Ptown and NY-after fleeing and taking up residence in safe waters. The rest of them that still live there deserve whatever is coming to them-trains to "special" camps-look there
is a disco ball in the car with Madonna music.

Urban coastal fags don't give a shit about flyover fags-really we don't know.

If you can't afford to move to fab gay states just get over it and accept your fate.

Southern and red state fags are the worst-and they are generally uneducated and po.

Personally, I don't want to know of some fag who is a train conductor or Target worker-that is not what who we are....generally.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

You see, folks see "literal" and other folks empart reality.

EMPART ain't a word yet?

What fuck year I be mackin' yo? 2015?

Where Pac at yo, I knew that &^&7* *& was fakin' yo.

Where Pac yo?

Lem said...

Nice going, Alabama.

Gahrie said...

God knows the libertarians don't give a fuck about any of the institutions about which they so glibly opine.

Yeah its all those damn libertarians causing all our problems......

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, You are not neutral when it comes to issues of gay rights. You may like to claim it but any impartial observer would scoff at your claim of neutrality. I have no problem with your position, but don't try to deceive yourself about your neutrality."

That's beside the point. The original post was presented with absolute neutrality. Yes? Yes. And it works as a negative statement about itself. Please address that observation.

Ann Althouse said...

"Glenn Reynolds and various other libertarian law professors have been saying that the State should get out of marriage regulation for years. Prof. Althouse didn't mock them.."

And what did I say about that? It's in the arcive. Do you know? Find out, and get back to me.

MikeR said...

"And it works as a negative statement about itself. Please address that observation." You have a negative attitude, so it seems negative to you. To me it seems that Alabama is doing the natural thing. Your attitude isn't that much of a subject for a post, or for commenters to address.

Yancey Ward said...

I have long held the position that the state has no business at all licensing marriages. Adjudicating contracts, yes, and applicants don't have to let the state even do that- there are arbitrators for hire, afterall. The Alabama Senate is doing the right thing. I hope the House and Governor do the same.

Cog said...

Alabama is onto something. The Supreme Court's redefinition of marriage will, by implication, end the state's investment in the fact that children benefit from being raised by their own loving mothers and fathers under the same roof when that can be made possible. The possibility of procreation was always the primary purpose for the state to license marriages. The Supreme Court's redefinition will make that reasoning anachronistic.

Fen said...

"The original post was presented with absolute neutrality."

"And it works as a negative statement about itself."

La la la one of these things is not like the other...

Jack Wayne said...

Most of you are missing the crucial point. If Alabama really does get out of the marriage business, then that means the preachers and priests will not be performing a state/legal function during a marriage. The ceremony will be strictly religious. So a preacher ca exclude gays from that ceremony. Plus, the state is not in the business of condoning a gay Union. It's just another contract with clauses that will need a court to rule on in case of disputes. Win/win for Alabama.

Michael K said...

"Right. it's liberals' fault the Alabama state legislature is fucking crazy."

Harrogate, you should stay in blue states as long as possible. When they degenerate into chaos like Baltimore, maybe you should think about emigration to some sympathetic place like Greece.

I don't think Alabama needs you.

Federal marriage license sounds OK to me with church weddings for those who want them and who want the traditional kind.

Anonymous said...

If you think you can come after me and mine and we are just going to let you destroy us, mock God, and pervert His will without a fight, you've deluded yourselves.

Alabama is just the first return volley in a very long war. The progressives have been advancing and destroying Christianity in all its forms for decades now in the United States. Eventually, enough is enough.

For now, fighting back in court and legislation is enough.

I give it another five to ten years before that's no longer the case.

Anonymous said...

Your observation is like concern trolling.

See Fens response. I didn't see it as negative at all. Instead, quite positive. Because I'm biased.

Those who see it as negative are also biased, in the other direction. But you're like the reporters in the media. You've convinced yourself you're not biased.

Birches said...

The easiest analogy would be comparing it to Bull Connor shutting down all the pools in Birmingham instead of integration.

But that's not an apt comparison, is it? It would be more like firing all the city paid lifeguards and letting anyone bring in their own privately paid lifeguards to use the pool. Maybe I'm missing something, but nothing prevents Richard and Thomas from filing a contract, right? I know the article Althouse cites says that it would, but I can't see how they could if the State stops licensing marriage.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

So instead of a "marriage" license, the State will record Civil Union types of contracts. The persons are legally united under a contract or a Civil Union. In California the Civil Unions were granted all of the rights as Marriage license holders. Benefits, work days for family etc.

If you want a "marriage" after you have your Civil Union or Contract recorded, then you can go to the religious institution that will have you and your ceremony.

How is this that much different in Alabama?

The Federal issues will need to be dealt with on that level. Social Security, estate tax rules, inheritance etc. Those items are still NOW not defined and nothing has changed at that level whether Alabama has marriage licenses or contracts for same sex marriage. The Supreme Court is looking at this now, but it doesn't affect the State level mechanism.

I think Alabama has made a brilliant move.

Static Ping said...

Our government wrecks pretty much all it touches these days. It is hard to see how this could actually make anything worse, other than the state or feds intentionally making it worse. Why not? See what happens. Anyway, if marriage is going to be for the sake of adults rather than children it's not like it matters anyway. As a government institution it is basically pointless. Just make some rules on who gets what stuff when you die with the option to override as see fit.

I would also like to point out that historically the "idiots" have often had a point. The really stupid ideas that ruin everything tend to come from two camps: people acting on emotion (anger, greed, lust, desperation, religious fervor, etc.) that did not think things through, and people who are not as smart as they think they are and have come up with schemes that sound great but don't work. At the time it is often difficult to tell who is who. Never assume that you are the brilliant one. As they say in poker if you cannot identify the sucker at the table, then it is probably you. Suckers rarely know they are the suckers until it is too late.

hamiyam said...

Finally, someone is recognizing that marriage is a concept, not merely a word for which the definition can be changed, and understands that the concept is unalterable...draw me a square circle, will you?...and the concept of marriage has a basis in nature which thankfully is recognized by theologians who would have religious institutions exercize control of its use.
Go for it,Alabama!!

n.n said...

That's one way to negate pro-choice doctrine, avoiding the creation of moral hazards through selective exclusion/inclusion. Good for Alabama. Now to reject sacrificial rites (i.e. wicked solution), establish a uniform law to proscribe killing ("wicked problem"), and restore the basic right to life that has been denied to unwanted or inconvenient human lives.

Chuck said...

Today’s opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct. I noted in an earlier opinion the fact that the American Association of Law Schools (to which any reputable law school must seek to belong) excludes from membership any school that refuses to ban from its job-interview facilities a law firm (no matter how small) that does not wish to hire as a prospective partner a person who openly engages in homosexual conduct. See Romer, supra, at 653.

From Justice Scalia's monumental dissent in Lawrence v Texas.

Professor Althouse is well within that hegemonic "law school culture" that Justice Scalia anticipated/described. Even if she weren't personally within it, the culture remains overwhelmingly tilted in a single direction.

Eustace Chilke said...

If there are no marriage licenses that doesn't mean there are no marriages. Marriage and family far predates any state sanctioned arrangements. If there are no driver's licenses that doesn't mean there are no drivers. People will braid hair after cosmetology licences, or whatever, are forgotten. Homosexuals can call themselves married and I can say it ain't so and the state can stand aside and that's how it ought to be. Why, overnight, can everyone on the "right" side of this issue demand more then just to be left alone. No, the moral high ground must be seized and badthink must be stamped out. This really does look more and more like an anti-thoughtcrime crusade.

jimbino said...

This is a great development! If the Alabama idea spreads, it could bring an end to the federal tax breaks and other benefits accorded married folks to the detriment of all of us singles.

cubanbob said...

A marriage license is a pre-nup with the State's terms. What isn't clear from the article is whether or not AL is going to require certain requirements for marriage contracts that are privately entered in the state. I suppose in AL the divorce lawyers will instead do all of the negotiating before the parties enter into contract. Cheaper in the long run I suppose for those who get divorced. If adults who are otherwise legally capable of entering into contracts, could they form a plural marriage contract? Al could find itself becoming a Mecca for American Muslims or Mormons.

RecChief said...

why would you disapprove? don't you believe in the separation of church and state?

Smilin' Jack said...

Also in Alabama, the chief justice of the state supreme court, Roy Moore, is saying that if the U.S. Supreme Court requires marriage to include same-sex couples, it's "an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run."

Silly Roy. Doesn't he know global warming will destroy us first?

warrl said...

The judge is a bigoted fool. The Alabama senate is at least on the right track, albeit probably for the wrong reasons.

The government should get out of the business of defining and recognizing "marriage" but should seriously consider defining and recognizing "civil unions" (dang I wish there were a shorter and more poetic term) with whatever privileges, penalties, default terms, and immutable terms the state may find appropriate.

I don't see why Althouse objects, let alone why she thinks that merely stating the fact of what the Senate has done should define or support her objection.

Ken B said...

Your phrasing is not neutral at all. The wording about barring "the exclusion" of certain couples characterizes the existing law as an act of exclusion not definition.
After the cruel neutrality embarassment (you had already cast a primary vote for Obama!) I suggest you forego claims of neutrality and settle, as the rest of us do, for simply trying to be fair.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand all the opprobrium unleashed at the Alabama move. What they've done appears to be just like how you get married in Germany. I signed a contract with my spouse. In the mayors office. Without benefit of clergy. Church marriages are not recognized by the State as legitimate.
Yet they somehow get divorces, inherit real property, all those things that morons like Mark think are so insurmountable.
I understand that France, Spain, Belgium, and other countries have similar marriage laws.

Pianoman said...

"Your move, Lefties."

Will this protect bakers, photographers, and the churches? Can a baker in Alabama refuse to participate in a SSM once this law is passed?

Anonymous said...

I am an evangelical Christian. I think it is time to chisel the words "In God we trust" off the wall in the Senate chamber. And drop Christmas as a federal holiday in the spirit of being true to our national beliefs.

Renee said...

A marriage license is a pre-nup with the State's terms. What isn't clear from the article is whether or not AL is going to require certain requirements for marriage contracts that are privately entered in the state."

And the state can change the terms whenever it pleases. I signed up for one thing in 2000, and its radically different 15 years later.

Mick said...

How are you so on board with the destruction of America while in your Ivory Tower of academia "law prof"?
Voted for the Usurper twice and now so committed to "homosexual marriage" as some kind of "right".
If you represent "smart" then I would say no wonder it all happened.
The Intelligista were on board with America's destruction.

Renee said...

Does anyone get married on a church anymore?

Or even in a building?

I don't get the trend of marrying outside?

What is wrong with buildings, why does the bride & groom get shade of a gazebo & we sit in folding chairs in the sun.

Why is the bride asking all guests to wear cream or tan?

No, I'm not going to Disney World for your wedding.

No, I'm not buying you anything from Macy's bridal registry when you already jointly own a home have stuff.

I care deeply about marriage, but I hate weddings.

Aussie Pundit said...

Ending the state's interference in marriage: good.
Hyperbole about the end of civilization: bad.

Since actions count for more than words, Alabama is ahead on points, all things considered.

Brando said...

Gay marriage is "an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run"?

There's a lot of things that could "literally" cause the destruction of our country at some point, but if men marrying men does it, I owe Mr. Moore a beer.

I can sort of understand people saying they personally don't think a gay marriage is legitimate, even while I disagree--and how the law should recognize such marriages in terms of preventing private discrimination is a matter for discussion. But this apocalyptic hysterical talk about how gays marrying each other will destroy our society? That's insane and no one will take it seriously. And it's an embarassment for a state's top judge to say stuff like that in this day and age.

tim in vermont said...

Sounds to me like Alabama is being very forward thinking in this. Get the state out of the business of "marriage" completely.

The very fact that Althouse complains shows that what "liberals" want is to control a religious institution, that is, marriage, while propping up its zombie body for appearances. But they are destroying it. They want something like marriage with its social and cultural ramifications? They can build it themselves.

After all, a kid needs a father like a fish needs a bicycle.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

This is one more step in American disestablishmentarianism and liberals should be celebrating at their victory.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Guess I'm going to have to google whether Alabama elects its judiciary.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not saying that Judge Roy Moore is someone who fondles young boys that come to his house to talk about law. No, I'm not saying that.

I'm not saying that Judge Roy Moore routinely hammers on his wife's breasts so they are black and blue because it gives him a big raging stiffy. No, I'm not saying that.

I'm not saying that Judge Roy Moore embezzles state funds meant to be used to clean the Alabama Supreme Court. No, I'm not saying that.

MadisonMan said...

I'm not saying that Judge Roy Moore smokes a ton of Marijuana every single day in the privacy of his own home. No, I'm not saying that.

I'm not saying that Judge Roy Moore voted for Barack Obama. Twice. No, I'm not saying that.

I'm not saying that Judge Roy Moore has secret vide ocameras that take up-the-skirt movies of every woman who enters his chambers. No, I'm not saying that.

Michael K said...

"That's insane and no one will take it seriously. And it's an embarassment for a state's top judge to say stuff like that in this day and age."

I think it is a bit exaggerated but the point is that the trend is toward unraveling of civilization. Marriage and family was a bulwark of western society. It is under constant attack from the left. Libertarians are also participating but they don't want to tear down western civilization like the left does. It took thousands of years to build and only about 50 to radically weaken.

There is a very good easy that applies. A small quote:

the belief that, regardless of what the ruler does, the polity he rules must necessarily continue. This is perhaps the most essential, if seldom acknowledged, insight of the post-modern “liberal” mind: that if you take the pillars away, the roof will continue to hover in the air.

And :

There is a corollary of this largely unspoken assumption: that no matter what you do to one part of a machine, the rest of the machine will continue to function normally.

A variant of this is the frequently expressed denial of the law of unintended consequences: the belief that, if the effect you intend is good, the actual effect must be similarly happy.


The excerpts are from a comparison of Obama and Gorbachev by David Warren.

MadisonMan said...

If the state of Alabama is actually getting out of the business of Marriage, good for them.

If this is an Artful Dodge to accept or not accept contracts, well, they've got some work to do.

Brando said...

"I think it is a bit exaggerated but the point is that the trend is toward unraveling of civilization. Marriage and family was a bulwark of western society. It is under constant attack from the left. Libertarians are also participating but they don't want to tear down western civilization like the left does. It took thousands of years to build and only about 50 to radically weaken."

The weakening of marriage as an institution (and family bonds in particular) is obviously a problem for society, but this began long before gay people started pushing for marriage rights (which first became an issue in the 1990s, and not until the early 2000s did any states start to recognize gay marriages). Plus, there's no logical connection between gays getting married and traditional marriages falling apart.

If Moore was talking about marriage in general being abandoned as an institution, and blamed lax divorce laws and social programs that benefit single-parent households, that's one thing (though of course stricter divorce laws and cutting benefits to single parents has its own issues). But Moore is trying to connect gay people getting married with families falling apart and society falling, without showing anything close to causation.

HT said...

Titus,

Tennessee Williams is not from Alabama.

HT said...


Renee, your comment is the funniest on here.

One thing I will say is that it was only after I left the state and to a large "coastal" metropolitan place that I started to notice that a lot of gay people thought you were being gay was to be anti Christian. I am exaggerating only slightly to make a point. What I'm trying to say is that they equated Christianity (it was usually Christianity) with all about hating gays. The vitriol they spilled against the religion was shocking, and I had a hard time understanding it, and I was always liberal and voted for the Democratic Party of the United States of America. I also thought, so I guess that means they don't want to participate in it? (They were always from a Christian background, semi religious or fully so.) They had absolutely no problem being just as judgmental and narrow-minded. It continues consistently to this day. It's gotten boring now. It's so .... anti intellectual among other things. So lacking in curiosity.

HT said...

The last thing I will say - because I can hear people going, "a blog post about how the state is shutting down marriage because they want nothing to do with gay marriage, and all you can say is you think gays are anti Christian?" - is that yes the chief justice is elected there, and that he seems to be making a greater mess of things, and I don't know how it's going to be straightened out so to speak. It's just a no good situation all around. I thought we were done with him, but he came back (Moore). Yes, all of this is easier to take when one is not actually there, inside the box.

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tim in vermont said...

Titus,
I remember a time when Democrats cared about the poor and uneducated. Now color or identity is more important. You seem to be a better representative of what Democrats are today.

MadisonMan said...

I don't get the trend of marrying outside?

This, a million times over.

Let's all sit out in the baking sun, squinting as the sun dazzles us by illuminating the white wedding dress. Bonus points for mosquitoes and biting flies, or Earth that is super soggy because of heavy rains that were happening 20 minutes ago, making the bridal party freak out.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renee said...

Alabama has the 4th highest percentage of children born to unmarried mothers. It also has a putative father registry.

(c) A person filing a notice of intent to claim paternity of a child or an acknowledgment of paternity shall include all of the following:
(1) The father's name, Social Security number, date of birth, and current address.
(2) The mother's name, including all other names known to the putative father that have been used by the mother, Social Security number, date of birth, and address, if known.
(3) The father's current income and financial information by attaching a child support obligation income statement/affidavit form to be prescribed by regulations of the department.
(4) The child's name and place of birth, if known.
(5) The possible date or dates of sexual intercourse.

- See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/alcode/26/10C/26-10C-1#sthash.jYExZDXt.dpuf "

Talk about the state getting into your personal business.

Todd said...

Carol said...
*sigh* Just because libertarians like make the facile argument that the state should "get out of the marriage business" doesn't mean some damn fool state has to go and pass a law. God knows the libertarians don't give a fuck about any of the institutions about which they so glibly opine

6/2/15, 8:52 PM


But that is part of the point. Let them try it if they want to. That is the reason for the States and State rights. 50 little experiments instead of one massive one. This may turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread. It may turn out to be a massive cluster f*ck. Who knows at this point but better to have one state try it than jam it down the throat of all 50! We have recent experience with one-size-fits-all and it not only blows big time but is/will be a mother to undo.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
khesanh0802 said...

Ann;

Of course it works as a negative statement. That's why you included it. Stories are slanted by what is included and what is left out. The statement by the judge had nothing directly to do with the action of the Alabama legislature. You added it because it illustrated why you think a bunch of nut bags live in Alabama. You could as easily have left it out and the "news" would have been the same.

Caroline Walker said...

Notice that much of the argument in favor of SSM proceeds from despair: "Heteros already make a mockery of marriage with casual divorce so...."
And of course this is true.
Also, sterile sex has replaced childbearing as the summum bonum of the American Civic Project. So I get how people -- esp young people -- really don't "get" what all the fuss is about.
This is about empowering the State to define what Family means, what Marriage means, and using force to compel acquiescence. Marriage and Family, traditionally understood, precede State jurisdiction, which is why it behooved the State to recognize it. The only reason the State was involved in regulating and recognizing this unique domestic relationship was to protect its future taxpayers from instability and ruin. The State has no other reason to meddle in personal relationships, period.

HT said...

Unknown, I kind of see that your response is in reaction to something Titus wrote, but it is far more disturbing. I really wish you would delete it.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Sure, Alabama seems to be burning the marriage village in order to save it. But if the state accepts filing of all contracts, might this let in polygamy through the back door? In the end, Alabama may be the most licentious state.

Renee said...

No one even gets married in the state that they reside in....
http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/destination-wedding-reasons-to-decline-invitation-to-best-friend-s-wedding

Couples spend 18 months planning a vacation, instead of preparing/discerning if marriage is the right choice or separate. Making everyone create a prenup, but be the best think to prevent divorce or prevent people marrying in the first place, gay or straight.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I've been saying for more than a decade that this is exactly the way to go. Define "civil union" to include all the "incidents of marriage" as they now are; change "marriage" to "civil union" everywhere the former appears in the code; and you're done. If you want to get married, in contradistinction to civilly unified, do it in church. Separately from the civil union.

Of course, it's too late now, with so many states offering gay marriage. No real way to put the mushroom cloud back in that nice, tidy uranium sphere.

Unknown said...

The fundamental AA question is a real litmus test. If you are pro homosexual marriage, the initiative sounds terrible and the post is negative. For everyone else, it seems pretty logical.

Brando said...

"I don't get the trend of marrying outside?"

I've been to maybe a dozen outdoor ones, and with a handful of exceptions, it was boiling hot and no place to be in formal wear. When the weather does work out, it is very nice out and scenic--but there's such a risk of weather not cooperating that it doesn't seem worth it.

Anglelyne said...

hombre: Why shouldn't Alabama end its role in licensing marriage? If the state's duly elected representatives are not permitted to regulate the institution in accordance with the will of their constituents, why participate at all? Seriously?

'Cause that will spoil the fun. But no matter - even if the above were both do-able and done, the aggrieved will move on to suing churches for "discrimination" for refusing to participate in SSM. (I'm sure the lawsuits are already in the pipeline.)

As for Justice Roy, he's mostly guilty of oversimplifying?

The funny thing is, what Moore says here is pretty much what certain gay-marriage activists themselves have said about their goals. Only diff is that they see all that "destruction" in a positive light.

Franklin said...

Isn't this precisely what people were talking about when they said that gay marriage would lead to the destruction of marriage? Of course it won't destroy the concept of marriage as an institution, but it would inevitably cause the destruction of the State recognition of it.

EMD said...

I have long held the position that the state has no business at all licensing marriages. Adjudicating contracts, yes, and applicants don't have to let the state even do that- there are arbitrators for hire, afterall. The Alabama Senate is doing the right thing. I hope the House and Governor do the same.

I am kind of shocked that something so Libertarian is happening here. Of course, the ones responsible in Alabama don't see it that way. I'm always impressed at how both teams (D and R) love the power and force of the state when it's on their particular side of the ideological aisle. It's complete hypocrisy.

HT said...

I got curious about the vote, and looked it up. Two conservative Republican white dudes, one Democratic black dude (so few D's left).

Sens. Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, and Sen. Phil Williams, R-Rainbow City, were two of three “no” votes.

Both are military veterans and expressed concerns about a possible negative impact for military couples if they didn’t have state-issued licenses.

_______

I love it - Rainbow City. So sweet, so naive.

Ah Alabama.

bbkingfish said...

Textbook expression of GOP Take-our-ball-and-go-home-ism.

EMD said...

Textbook expression of GOP Take-our-ball-and-go-home-ism.

So, you're upset that gay marriages would now be able to happen in Alabama?

Anonymous said...

1: A same sex "marriage" isn't a real marriage.

2: If five members of the Supreme Court are going to prove to be vile oath-breakers and impose their delusions on the nation, good for Alabama from doing everything it can to fight them.

3: The only people who should be suffering from shame and disapproval are the people claiming that same sex marriage, an idea that didn't even exist the last time a Constitutional Amendment was proposed and then passed, is mandated by the US Constitution.

Renee said...

@gregq

But it is a real relationship, that needs its own name.

I can not endorse same sex behavior, but I can endorse the interdependence and care two people of the same sex have for one another.

I can understand the practical & logistics that legal recognition may bring.

My issue is when two men or two women deny the existence of the other biological parent.

I'm for truth and honesty, being open & acknowledging one's orientation & relationship is OK. Telling your son that your female lover is equal to his biological father is well a lie.

Step parents can be great, but they do not nullify your relationship with biological parents & relatives.

Fen said...

The weakening of marriage as an institution (and family bonds in particular) is obviously a problem for society, but this began long before gay people started pushing for marriage rights

That's poor logic. You might as well say "the foundation of the house was already weakened, so what's the harm in adding a new room?"

Renee said...

@Fen

Alabama wants to rebuild from scratch.

Gay marriage is DOA

Fen said...

Uh oh. You commenters have been bad! Prepare to have Althouse front-page you as a bigot.

Renee said...

No.
Just a difference of opinion.

Adult centered public policy vs. Child centered.


damikesc said...

This is incredibly stupid. What about divorce and child support? Breach of contract instead of divorce? Substantial performance? Waiver? Do all contract remedies and principles apply? Promissory estoppel? Will the Restatement of Contracts and Corbin replace AL statutes?

Extreme overreaction to Federal overreach.


SCOTUS seems unconcerned with the ramifications of their decision in re gay marriage. Not sure why AL should care. If the state isn't allowed to actually recognize marriage as they see fit (and, note, they didn't try this with interracial because gay marriage is really different), then why even play the game?

Gays were GIVEN the option for civil unions.

They didn't want it. They wanted "marriage".

Well, tough shit. The state doesn't want to give it to them.

They played their hand terribly. And the actions of activists has turned me, at the very least, into a vehement opponent of gay marriage. I give no shits about their "rights" as they clearly give no shits about the rights of others.

damikesc said...

The weakening of marriage as an institution (and family bonds in particular) is obviously a problem for society, but this began long before gay people started pushing for marriage rights (which first became an issue in the 1990s, and not until the early 2000s did any states start to recognize gay marriages). Plus, there's no logical connection between gays getting married and traditional marriages falling apart.

How many of the activists pushing gay marriage also were pushing no-fault divorces and the like that ruined traditional marriage?

Feminists have hated marriage as a concept (but not as a money making idea for women, apparently) for a long time.

gerry said...

I know in Germany a couple getting married way back in the 1930s first had to go to a government official and do the necessary paperwork and be joined in a civil ceremony, and then they would go to their church for a religious service, if they wanted to. While Germany is now Europes's economic powerhouse, the precipitous fall in its birthrate does not bode well for its future.

Marriage, as a life-engendering institution was butchered by my hedonistic generation, the baby-boomers, with no-fault divorce and misguided sexual permissiveness. The gay agenda has completed that destruction, and its sterile and absurd definition of marriage will be the rationale for more of what Alabama is doing. The state will have its marriage, and religious celebration may or may not follow, depending upon the sentiments of the partners.

Marriage is no longer a big deal because it now can be, apparently, anything anyone wants it to be.

AlbertAnonymous said...

"I'm just adding this postscript to observe that the legislative action and the judicial statement, standing alone, work as their own criticism. Nothing needs to be said."

...and yet you felt the need to say it anyway.

Don't look now Professor, your bias is showing (again).

Honestly, what does "work as their own criticism" mean unless you're clearly pushing the biased views that we all know you hold.

Titus said...

The thing for a young fag living in flyover state is to start strategically plan the escape early-like at least by 10.

What skills do you need to make the jump from large Monsato farm to small, organic, free range farm to table? Grades, talents, relationship, etc are vital to fleeing.

Unfortunately, for the fags that didn't make it out of grossie states their fates are signed, sealed, and delivered-they will die there.

Poor planning on their parts.

Unknown said...

Very well HT, I'll accept that as a tribute to the power of my words. Done. He is almost certainly a mere character anyway.

n.n said...

gerry:

To be fair, homosexuals are not technically "sterile". Since the liberation of women from the kitchen, they can now choose to -- kill their child -- rent their womb to homosexual males, and men can sell their sperm to homosexual females. Not that this is a novel enterprise, but it is notably progressive.

HT said...

Thank you.

Sean Gleeson said...

Ann, I am very curious to hear the reasons for your disapproval of the bill in Alabama. Do you mind if I tell you my thoughts? I went and read the bill, and it seems to be a streamlining of the marriage registration process. It does not "get the state out of marriage regulation" the way a libertarian might wish, but it eliminates two-thirds of the bureaucratic steps. As I understand it, the current procedure for getting married in Alabama requires three steps, which I will summarize as: (1) get a license, (2) have a ceremony, and (3) file the papers. This bill would let every couple skip right to step 3. Licenses would no longer exist, and ceremonies would be optional and unofficial.

But other than this streamlining, the bill seems to have no effect on marriage law. A marriage performed the new way would legally be just like a marriage performed the current way. All this worry I'm reading (about how it could disrupt inheritance and taxes and divorces and custody and full-faith-and-credit and whatever else) seems misplaced, since it leaves all of that body of law untouched.

I'm not saying there can be no good argument against the bill. Presumably the current licensing regime performs the useful function of denying permission to any couple who is not legally authorized to marry for any reason (e.g., nonresidency, consanguinity, minority). Without the licensing step, I suppose the danger is that some couples will unknowingly contract invalid marriages, only to find out a month or so later that they are still single, when their contract comes back rejected. Is that your objection? Because it seems that this danger can be minimized with a clearly written instruction sheet. "Before submitting your marriage certificate, please be sure you are both over 18, have lived in Alabama for X months, are not siblings, and have no current spouse." It can be part of the form they turn in with their papers, with checkboxes and everything, like a 1040EZ.

Renee said...

@Sean


The marriage license felt more like a party permit for the past 30 years.

Peter said...

It's difficult to see what effect this will have (other than to further increase the percent of children born to unmarried mothers in Alabama) as Alabama will still be required to offer "full faith and credit" to marriages (including gay "marriages") performed in other states?