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The Absurdity of the Marriage Debates

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This week a study came out that shows how unilateral divorce laws make divorce more frequent. The empirical research shows what any sensible person would already guess — easy divorce laws make for more divorces. This is only magnified by the fact the divorcing party usually has great incentives to divorce and few incentives to stay (independent of whatever marital problems may exist). The fact that this is even a debate in academia shows how politicized and irrational the academy has become. Sure, there are plenty of other reasons to divorce that also drive the high rate of marriage failures, but government incentivizes failure, not success. That certainly doesn't help.

Add into this debate on divorce law the current debate on gay marriage. With easy divorce, marriage has been demoted to the status of a contract. If it's just a meaningless contract, why can't any combination of participants enter into it? A good question that cannot be easily answered when framed that way.

First off, marriage in this society (independent of its religious roots) is not even a contract. Contracts are designed to be enforceable in the event of a breach. Divorce rewards the breaching party most of the time. None of the terms of marriage are enforceable in any real way. There are no options for a spouse to rein in an adulterous partner and the few laws still on the books against adultery are waiting to be declared unconstitutional.

Further, easy divorce ends up putting the entire lives of the parties into the public record and under the control of a judge. One can walk to any courthouse in this country and start reading detailed accounts of broken marriages. Judges have tremendous power to allocate assets, assign living arrangements, and exercise large amounts of control over the parties. This should greatly worry any libertarian.

One wonders why gay people want a piece of that action. Straight couples are putting off marriage because many wonder if it's really worth all the risk. Gay couples certainly aren't immune from divorce either. Marriage is a loaded term devoid of any meaning behind it. It appears that gay marriage is an attempt at social acceptance, not any desire for benefits. Any real look at marriage shows that on the balance, marriage confers a net liability, not a net benefit.

Before discussing who can participate in marriage, the discussion that we should be having is what the institution of marriage should mean. Right now, the institution currently in place in the United States (again separated from its religious roots) is bordering on meaningless. There is certainly no shortage of people who think so considering every time a government program comes down to support marriage, the usual suspects try to stop it.

The fact is, any serious look at the history of the institution of marriage will show that it is a religious institution. Governmental recognition was not only a later development for marriage, but it also is a secondary aspect. The argument that marriage is a legal institution, a mere creation of government, is a profound mutilation of marriage. One would think that the myriad of governmental forms throughout history would have produced a myriad of forms of marriage, but it has not.

If there is going to be public recognition and support of marriage, there needs to be a corresponding public good and duty. Government shouldn't give out money simply because someone wants a paycheck. What public good is fostered by the recognition of gay marriage? The same could be asked of marriage in the way it is practiced here also. The fact is, until the promises made and the obligations uttered on the wedding day are actually binding in any real way, it's hard to find much of a public good.

Instead of arguing the particulars of marriage and haggling over the petty details, it's time the question of marriage in its fundamentals enters the public discourse. What should marriage mean? Should its obligations be actually binding? What public good is to be fostered? These are the questions that really matter.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    one – your assertion that someone “profits” from divorce in any substantial financial means is completely incorrect on it’s face

    to wit: there is a total amount of property and income in the “marriage” before a divorce happens…a single total net worth, then a divorce…no matter how the Judge slices it, it’s still no greater than the total net worth the moment before the divorce is granted

    now, subtract substantial legal fees for both lawyers and court costs

    where’s the prophet….errr, profit?

    secondly, as soon as you stray from the secular legal meaning of marriage (which IS a civil contract..the divorce laws showing the consequences of breaking the contract)you get into the realm of what Individuals, their religions/churches and traditions are as to how it is defined by those being Married in the religious sense

    knocking those two proffered postulates from your prose portends painful precepts purloined, perhaps?

    for John….heh

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    On the one hand, you argue:

    “Straight couples are putting off marriage because many wonder if it’s really worth all the risk.”

    And, on the other hand, you opine:

    “The fact is, until the promises made and the obligations uttered on the wedding day are actually binding in any real way, it’s hard to find much of a public good.”

    You are saying that people are putting off marriage because it’s too easy to get out of, which makes it “risky”(?)

    So your solution is to imprison people in their marriages by making it more difficult to dissolve them?

    Sounds to me like that would make people even MORE reluctant to marry, not less.

  • Clavos

    Most excellent video, gm.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    thanks Clavos for the bodacious praise…glad ya liked, now the Question…

    will it’s Message be understood?

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Under current laws, it would seem that few sane men would choose to marry a woman of child-bearing age.

    Fact: A large percentage of marriages end in divorce.

    Fact: In the event of a divorce, it is much more likely for a man to end up paying alimony to his ex-wife than the reverse.

    Fact: If children are involved, in the vast majority of cases women will get the custody, which usually means that the man is expected to pay a substantial portion of his income towards child support while having very limited access to his own children, who could very well end up being raised largely by the ex-wife’s new boyfriend(s).

    Fact: If a divorced father finds himself in a difficult financial situation, he could wind up in jail (basically, debtor’s prison) for failing to pay child support in a timely manner.

    And even while in a marriage, a husband can be arrested in many states and sent to jail simply because his spouse accuses him of physical assault (even if there is no evidence to back this claim up, many states require officers to arrest the male “offender” and hold him in jail for at least 24 hours in such cases).

  • Zedd

    John,

    This is a well considered article.

    Marriage however is not a religious institution but a social one. Marriage has existed in all cultures. Only a few cultures permitted for temporary connections between spouses but even in those situations the connection was considered legitimate while it lasted.

    The negotiations for marriage did not involve religion but a social contract that was sealed in most cases by gift exchanges. Many cultures required a dowry for either of the gender’s families. The dowry is not a religious ritual. It bonds the one spouse to the other family.

    One of my students is Ethiopian and has a son who just got married. He told me that their weddings here in the states will have up to 700 people attending. The entire community shows up from all over the nation to witness the sealing of this union. This occurrence got me to thinking….

    It takes the entire society, holding similar values about family, revering the bond between man and wife, understanding the large impact on society when the dissolution of this union occurs, to participate in holding the couple accountable.

    However the downfall is that most of such cultures allow for philandering (perhaps they have to??). A man in many of these cultures having someone on the side is not shocking. Its not any less hurtful to the wife but it occurs and is in some way part of the culture. However the other women is not respected and would be shunned if found out.

    What happens in these set ups is that women often find themselves in abusive situations. If not physically abusive, mentally abusive. So we can say that divorce has helped men treat women better in marriage.

    I would conclude by saying that the more society pushes towards equality between the genders, less unrealistic expectations of what a woman is (work horse and sex maven), the more the two families work to keep the two united, the more we let go of the unrealistic expectations of fidelity (sad to say), the more we fully embrace the unromantic aspect of the union and hold on to the partnership and collaborative aspect of it, the better chance the institution will have.

    As for gays and marriage….. that doesn’t compute. WHY must they?

  • Zedd

    RJ

    Did you consider the “whys” behind your bullets?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    I would say that men do often profit from having been married.

    In often cases their success is due to the support of a dutiful wife; arranging their schedule, helping them with things as small as grooming to things as large as negotiating contracts and their upward mobility in business and politics. After a divorce, men often live much better than their spouse, after she has aided in his success, he lives out the rest of his life with the gains while she has to start over managing day care and living expenses.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Re: religious vs social institution

    I’m not sure you can create a brightline distinction between religion and social institutions, mostly because religion is social and always has been. Even hermits formed small societies. But not all social institutions come with the cultic aspects of marriage. There are rituals, invocations of a higher power, special ceremonies and so on that certainly seem to indicate it’s religious components. However, no one considered it a purely religious arrangement, which is why there were plenty of economic or social packages to come along with it (you mention the particular Western practice of dowries).

    I’m not sure the universality of the allowance for men to have women on the side. I can’t speak to Africa, per se, but I know in Christian nations, particularly up to the Enlightenment or so, adultery was just as frowned upon for men as it was for women. The “outside the home” nature of how men operated allowed for them to get away with it more, perhaps, but on the books, the practice was just as shunned. Remember, the entire child support regime was designed specifically as a countermeasure for the philandering husband (not divorce).

    I would highly challenge “unrealistic expectations” of fidelity. That makes marriage a mere temporary economic partnership, and quite frankly, asset sharing should have no privileged place in society. If the vows of marriage are essentially “we’ll share until we stop” then they should incorporate, not marry.

    Gonzo-

    As far as profiting in divorce, another commenter responded to show how this is so… namely child support. Usually (but not exclusively) a woman can decide she doesn’t like her man anymore, dump him, get the house, get child support (and that support doesn’t have to go to the child), can get custody, can interfere with visitation, can lodge false accusations with impunity, and can get a new man while still drawing on the paycheck of the last husband. In what kind of contract can you break the contract and demand the “faithful” party give you a paycheck for 18 years?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    John – still, where is the profit that you contended was there?

    the child support and other considerations are awarded by a Judge for the care of the children created by both parents

    if this is abused by one spouse, then that needs to be dealt with…but all is taken into account when done properly in order to care for the children of said marriage

    your Issues appears to be when some abuse the system, which is completely understandable…

    but the divorce awards are set up to care for those kids…a fulltime job for those 18 years you mention, if one spouse is awarded custody, the other helps financially as their fair share of caring for said children

    can it be done better and more equitably? probably

    but as some kind of profitable venture? that assertion holds no water, either logically or legally, imo

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    I said where the profit is… in what other form of contract can you break it and then get the other party to pay you for the consequences?

    As an aside, even a cursory look at the child support system will show you that it’s not really set up to care for those kids, it’s set up as a profit center for the courts and state government only marginally connected with the welfare of kids. This can be seen from a variety of ways, up to and including the fact that the “child support” award is not based at all on the needs of the child but on the income of the parent being charged and that the check sent for child support need not be spent actually on child support.

    In theory, could it be set up better, sure. That’s my point… the entire regime is set up poorly. You and I agree on that point, we’re just haggling over the particulars.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    what i’m haggling about is your use of the word “profit”..it just ain’t there

    even the parent with custody has less than what was available during the marriage, and the total assets do not grow, but are diminished as i pointed out earlier

    your misgivings are noted, but i contend that you are blowing some things out of proportion, that’s all

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    John

    I wasn’t speaking of Africa. Perhaps my example about Ethiopia threw you off.

    Surely you know that in countries like Italy France and Spain a mistress is not looked upon in the way that we view a mistress. THAT is what I am speaking of. This phenomenon exists in most countries, industrialized and not.

    All activities within society (meaning Europe as well John) involved ritual… hunting, harvesting, et al. In Christian life today for instance, one includes God in everything that they do but it doesn’t mean that the mundane activities in life are religious acts. I say grace before I eat but we cant say that eating is a religious activity.

    Marriage was designed for the survival of the species. If the male knows who his offspring is, he will more likely take care of it (hunt and protect). If he is in a union with a woman and she has no other lovers at that time and it is known by everyone that that is the case, he is more assured that the offspring are his.

    Religion gave commentary on the institution, as it does with everything else, such as eating as we have already established or commerce or investing or hygiene and we can go on.

    Now…….. knowing what you know about the purpose of marriage REALLY, where does it take your discussion?

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    always remember this: conservatives are for less government, except for when they’re for more government.

  • moonraven

    Even the concept of marriage is completely obsolete.

    Speedy Gonzales declared the Geneva Conventions, habeas corpus, the rule of law–and just about everything else he could think of–to be obsolete.

    Oddly, he seems unconcerned about that completely useless appendix in the system of law called MARRIAGE.

    (Perhaps he’s planning on becoming a divorce lawyer once the tar and feathers wear off….)

    I already posted this on another thread–seems more to the point on this one, though:

    Marriages fail because:

    1. Marriage is a medieval concept. In a post-industrial age society we don’t need to produce 14 children–7 of which are supposed to die and 7 of which are to work the field. Get real.

    2. Marriage brings out the WORST in people–all the nasty bits such as leaving the seat up, dropping socks on the floor, watching tv, fishing–these don’t occur until the contract is in place.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    You ask what good can come about by recognizing gay marriage?

    Well, currently, there are over 10 million kids in this country being raised by gay and lesbian parents. The American Pediatric Association has come out with a report showing that the religious condemnations that these gay families endure, stress out these children who are as young as 4 years old.

    Should my partner die, why doesn’t my child get the same benefits your child would get if your partner dies? Recognizing that all families are equal and entitled to the same is only good. There is no evil in that, nor does it lessen the value of one family to recognize another.

    Marriage may have started as a religious institution, who knows however non-religious people get married all the time in city hall. Marriage has completely changed over the years. It used to be a transfer of property, then it was making sure a man had his harem, and on it changes. Marriage has now been wrapped up in the government to provide protection and security for families. All families should get these protections, not just families that you biblically approve of.

    Recently, we attended a family reunion in Virginia. Virginia is one of the most hostile states towards gay families, not only refusing to recognize our relationships, but actually saying in it’s laws that relationships from outside the state cannot be recognized on an equal level with marriage.

    What they are saying is that if my partner had a diabetic attack while we were there, it doesn’t matter if the hospital is gay friendly or even if the doctor was gay or gay tolerant, but that they are required by law to NOT recognize me as a spouse.

    Suppose something had happened to him, and me and our daughter were sitting there in the emergency room. How would you like to be the one to tell a kindergartner that you don’t recognize the only family she’s ever known and the inevitable death that will result from the bigotry?

    There is a story here, complete with picture, of a gay family who encountered that just last february. In 2007, this is still going on.

    A woman and her three children, aged 7 to 13, couldn’t see the only other parent they’ve ever known because of a hostile hospital who refused to consider the patient their mommy. She of course died because they would’t allow the family to make medical decisions.

    We shouldn’t have to prove to you, John, what ‘good’ will come about by recognizing all families as equal. Rather, you should have to prove, what ‘harm’ will come about by getting rid of bigotry, oppression and ignorance.

    And the American Pediatrics Association report showing that the Christian Right in this country, in their assault on families causes undue harm, stress and trauma to children as young as 4 is right here.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    SteveS sez – “We shouldn’t have to prove to you, John, what ‘good’ will come about by recognizing all families as equal. Rather, you should have to prove, what ‘harm’ will come about by getting rid of bigotry, oppression and ignorance.”

    Quoted for Truth

    and for all the times i’ve Asked and never been Answered on that self same Question…i could spit pure battery acid…

    sign me up with the civil Libertarians on this one, folks who want to get married should be able to legally do so under civil jurisdiction…

    nuff said

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Steve

    Stop the drama.

    She could adopt those kids and she would be their mommy.

    BUT, she chose to make up something that is biologically impossible. SHE chose to pretend that she and her partner could have children. THEY CANT. Now she is whining, knowing full well that the laws don’t support her insane fantasy? There are real problems in society. Pretending as if you can make a baby with someone of the same gender and expecting sane people to go along with you is mean spirited, bratty and controlling.

    There are sick, starving, suffering, war ridden, abused people all over the world. No energy needs to be dispensed on this madness.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ummm..any woman who is capable is quite able to have kids without having relations with Men..

    we call them, silly as it is, sperm banks

    one of the purposes for Marriage is indeed children, but that is not the ONLY reason for people to desire it…

    my wife and i can’t have children, does this lessen my Marriage at all after 21 years and counting?

    we call that Logic….kidding, just a Jest

    folks wanting equal Rights under the Law is not “silliness”…ask Rosa Parks

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,
    Gonzo,

    Equal rights to do what?

    Should I complain and throw a tantrum because I cant grow a full beard?

    How is it a right to pretend as if two people of the SAME gender have the “tools” to have kids A RIGHT?

    Also don’t insult us Blacks with such foolishness. Gays have rights as human beings. Full constitutional rights. No less than anyone else.
    .

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    didn’t i just point out that it ain’t all about kids?

    your preoccupation with the biological, rather than the psychological and socio-politic is a bit frustrating when attempting to discuss this topic

    but we’ve done it before, no need to repeat the Dance

    i’m for Individual liberties, in the realm of Marriage, i consider only the civil contract recognized by the government, and consider it an equal protection Issue

    anyone else is, of course, well within their Rights to their own Opinion…

    but i point back up to my quote from Steve…and paraphrase…

    what harm does it do ANYONE to recognize folks as able to be married under the Law? how specifically does it harm or infringe on the Rights of anyone else if other family arraingements besides a man and a woman are recognized legally?

    until someone can answer me that single Question…i just can’t see any reason to not respect equal protection for everybody of legal age

    oh yes…not insulting anyone…Mrs. Parks had those “same human rights as anyone else” too…

    but she wasn’t supposed to take that seat…what “right” covers that in your opinion?

    equal protection…those words are carefully chosen, think about it

    Excelsior?

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    Because we have gone through this before, you should know what the harm is.

    You don’t call a turtle a pig. Its wrong on so many fronts no matter how psychologically ill the turtle who wants to be pig is.

    You know full well that I am for full rights. So the legal aspect is NOT the issue. Gays just want us to pretend with them that they are the same as same gender couples and they CANT be. Its impossible. The closest that they can get to that is if one of them has a gender change and even then the change would be only pretend, like paper dolls.

    Sorry. Its time that we stop playing along with this silliness.

    Now as for your respect for logic, please present some so that we can have a meaningful discussion.

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    Ms. Parks couldn’t vote, vote.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    so, you are saying that the *harm* is because of mislabelling?

    just trying to make certain i comprehend your position…it appears that you contend that the accepted meaning of a word in a legal context is greater than that of an Individual to enter into the very same social contract as others do with equal protection under the Law…is that accurate?

    you do realize that you gender changing example woudl be able to be legally married after the operation, but without that operation, they cannot be wed….yet in neither case can they produce children on their own?

    you also realize that not only are artificial insemination, adoption but also surrogate mothering contracts are among the things hanging in the balance and can provide children, genetic and otherwise, for any family Unit able to take care of them?

    but let’s go back to the baseline…are you contending that this *harm* being done that is the reason for preventing these legal adults to enter into a legal/social contract is because you deem semantics more important and that the meaning of a word has Rights greater than that of a select minority of Individuals?

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    oh and we ain’t talking about Rosa voting…that is another part of the Argument…we are talking about the simple action of sitting down on a bus…much more trivial than Voting….or Marriage

    think about it

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo

    Again, I have no problem with Gays being able to have a legal contract which allows them to have medical and estate rights.

    Yes I do have a problem with the naming of something what it is not. There are very real differences between the genders that cant be ignored. Pretending that they don’t exist just to please a vocal lot is unreasonable.

    Its just as crazy is refuting evolution because the religious right throws tantrums over that issue.

    No one has even proven tie between homosexuality and biology. Why are we all loosing our minds?

    But again, they should have the right to unite. They don’t get to call themselves something that already exists in a completely different form just because they want to.

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    Rosa Parks couldn’t sit because the laws said she wasn’t equal. Had she been equal, no one could tell her she couldn’t sit.

    Think about it.

    So please don’t equate same gender people wanting to use the word marriage to describe their union as being the same as not being considered as full human being. Gays have all of their constitutional rights. Also no one stops them from participating in marriage as it exists. There is no discrimination against them from participating in the institution as it exists. It is they who don’t want to.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    but you appear to be stuck on the semantics and biology

    allow me to say again, equal protection under the Law…

    regardless of race, creed, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual proclivity, hairstyle, musical taste, or personal hygiene (up to medical safety, of course)

    what you call the legal contract is entirely one thing, BUT..it has to be called the same thing for everybody…you don’t want to call it marriage, fine…

    then the government has to get out of the marriage business altogether and hand out “civil union” licenses..and retroactively do the same for all the ones it has ever issued

    or you can just call it all marriage legally…either way…

    equal protection under the Law

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    You seem to overlook that everyone can get married. Gays just choose not to because they are not attracted to the opposite gender.

    Since no one has proven that they are born that way, we can accommodate them under the law.

    As it sits, they CAN marry but THEY choose not to participate. Their not wanting to marry shouldn’t nullify everyone else’s right to choose to marry.

    Think about that.

    I’d like to read your response.

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    I am not STUCK. It is what it is. Nomenclature serves a purpose. It is a distinguishing factor. We use it for scientific reasons and simple communication. If gays were to marry, their marriages would still be distinguished and called “gay marriages”.

    What they seek in the title is acceptance. Its not about rights under the law. There is no right for ones contract to have a particular name. What is available under the law is equity.

  • Zedd

    #29 Should read,

    no one has been able to prove that they are born that way, we CAN’T accommodate them under the law.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    as i said..i’m for equal rights for All people

    so folks of legal age should be able to work this out the way they please in their “pursuit of Happiness” and since there are legal prerogatives that come along with the formalization of said contract…what applies to some, thus should be equally provided for all

    thank you for the confirmation that it’s about the meaning of a word in your view…i’ll stick with the position that the Rights of an Individual are paramount and legal terms evolve to accommodate U.S., not the other way around

    people > legal terms, imo

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    The term is not just legal.

    The term female is not just a legal term.

    The term house is not just a legal term.

    The term money is not just a legal term.

    It is a term first because it represents something, then its used by the legal system.

    Again no one is stopping gays from marrying. They don’t want to.

  • Clavos

    The one good thing about beating your head against a stone wall, gonzo, is it feels so good when you stop.

    Been there, done that. On THIS topic.

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Gonzos got the chops.

  • Clavos

    So do you, Zedd.

    In spades.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    for Zedd…

    The term female is not just a legal term.

    well, as we talked about earlier in this thread…it IS a legal term – if a man undergoes surgery he legally can become a woman, and vice versa

    The term house is not just a legal term.

    again..it is, big difference between that houseboat, a 3 bedroom ranch and an abandoned missle silo…but all are legally “houses” with the proper legalities and codes observed…

    The term money is not just a legal term. “

    it is ONLY a legal term, meaningless in any other context…our currency is by fiat…NOT based on any known Object in the universe..paper and linen and metal representing an Abstract who’s value is only tied to other money!!

    It is a term first because it represents something, then its used by the legal system.

    under the Rule of Law, what is not defined and codified within the legal terms must be examined and delineated under the guidelines laid out as precedent in the Law…

    “Again no one is stopping gays from marrying. They don’t want to.”

    it’s that “Pursuit of Happiness” bit…it’s saying who they can or cannot marry that’s at Issue here

    i just can’t be any more clear, and thus we will have to just disagree…

    or else it just becomes an Argument….no it isn’t…yes, it is…?

    Excelsior?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    these are for Clavos

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • Clavos

    gonzo,

    LOL, you dog!

    Para ti.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    right back at ya, Clavos

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~

    Excelsior?

  • http://FreeIndeed2.Blogspot.com Free

    Great article!

    While I’m very pro-marriage, I believe legal marriage is a sham. As a bible believer, I don’t see why it’s necessary to get a state license (i.e. ask the State’s permission), have a state solemnized ceremony and file a state certificate before a marriage is considered valid to other bible believers. I understand why the state requires it, but I don’t understand why Believers do. Secular marriage is just that, secular. It is a separate creation, which in no way resembles biblical marriage and, since it doesn’t, why fight to “preserve it” as though it has some sort of religious connotation or connection?

  • http://www.savefamily.org SFF_India

    Marriage evolved as a religious institution and the guidelines were well laid out on how to carry out the contract (if one pleases to call it so). This contract is not supposed to have exits, but only in extreme circumstances, then its left to the parties involved to decide how to go about it, with in well defined framework.

    Government interference has messed up with the institution of marriage, incorporating its own framework and forcing it on the parties involved. This has mostly led to dissatisfaction and breakdown of amicable resolution. Reason being, the framework is tilted more in favour of one gender (pls read women), as they are designed in such a way no matter who is more responsible for the break, she gains out of it.

    This has unnecessarily put pressure on the disadvantaged party. Unfair advantage has led to greed and unfair disadvantage to frustration and anguish. What is the outcome….a disorder.

    I can speak for my country (India), marriage dispute has turned into a money making business. With the law tilted so much in fovour of women, that she can get her husband and his parents jailed with one line of complaint in the police station (no evidence is required). And this provision is used to blackmail and extort exorbitant sum of money from the other party involved. Even Judiciary and Executives promote such evil designs and treating men harshly.

    The more the government interferes in marital vows and conflicts, the more disorder there will be in the society.

  • http://lowether.blogspot.com Sam Jack

    If marriage is essentially a religious institution as Mr. Bambenek claims, then the government has to recognize gay marriages, don’t they? Because there are certainly some churches that recognize gay marriage, and to prohibit it gives preference to the beliefs of one church over another. It’s a violation of the establishment clause!

    I don’t understand why two people getting married hurts -you- Mr. Bambenek, and you and many in your generation’s bigoted attitude towards homosexuals will not be enshrined in public policy much longer.

  • Zedd

    Gonzo

    All contracts have qualifying criteria, economic, age, etc. Marriage doesn’t discriminate anyone. By definition it is the union between male and female. Humans come in these two forms. Those who elect to live a gay lifestyle choose not to participate in this social engagement which is ratified by a legal contract. They look(ed) at not being forced to participate in this engagement as a form of liberation (coming out).

    Fair housing exists to allow me the right to purchase any house I so choose. However I must qualify for the loan based on who I am economically. I cant say that I want the Biltmore Estate stating that I should be able to live in whatever home I so choose. There are mechanical reasons that force me not to qualify. I don’t have the funds to purchase such an estate. I could however purchase a house that I cant really afford so that I have a fancy house and belong and not be happy because of the strain. Or I could by the home that suits me financially not having the huge one that I desire. I would be healthy, engage in all sorts of wonderful experiences, travel, love, do all sorts of things but I just could never have that enormous house. Would I be pursuing happiness? YES. I just don’t get my way all of the time. That is what this is about.

    They can have relationships, have legal rights, have ceremonies to celebrate their unions but they are not male and female so what the union is be called will be something other than a marriage. Simple really. What is the REAL problem.

    There is no biological reason for them not getting married. They just don’t want to.

  • crazychester

    I think personal moral beliefs toward this topic distract from the ability to see the big picture. This big picture, as I see it, relates to benefits(Insurance mostly) and penalties(Taxes) based on marital status.
    If the federal and state governments were to remove marital status as a factor in these areas, most of the above arguments would become moot.
    I truly believe that as a payer of premiums, I should be able to choose anyone I deem worthy to extend my benefits to whether they happen to be a spouse, a child, a nephew, or a complete stranger for that matter.
    As a taxpayer, I long to see neither benefit nor penalty bestowed on anyone in the name of marital status.
    I believe we only have two choices regarding this issue. My first choice is to disregard marital status as anything but symbolic in regards to lawmaking. The second choice is to extend the same benefits and penalties equally to whoever chooses the marriage path regardless of their sexuality.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Zedd – it’s about the People, and how they form their Family…filed under “Right to Assemble” next to that pesky “Equal Protection…” bit and nestled under “Pursuit of Happiness”

    so, we are speaking about the Legalities, right and privileges in the legal sense regarding “family”

    to wit – one spouse is in the hospital in dire need of medical attention, but is unconscious and unable to give consent to the doctors…

    now, in one set of circumstance…the other spouse is of the opposite sex, gets to enter as “family” and can make those decisions and allow the doctors to treat the patient…

    in another, the state laws do not recognize the spouse as “family”…no visitation, much less the ability to make medical and treatment decisions for the patient

    also ponder along the same lines, but make it adopted children

    or a dead partner, with a household, retirement/insurance benefits and those adopted kids…

    in each of the three examples, you do NOT have equal protection under the Law for both families

    and THAT is the problem, imo

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    If an individual wants to have a family and has normal reproductive function, they can have it. If they choose not to, it is a CHOICE.

    Until it can be proven that homosexuality is biological and not a matter of preference, than we cant entertain any of this because it is madness.

    As for the legal eligibility to be family, that can be fixed by allowing civil unions. As for being allowed to be a spouse, that is permissible because spouses are male OR female. However marriages consist of males AND females.

    The only thing that you are arguing for is the right for gays to be called husband and wife (married) and they cant because they aren’t.

    What I believe that gays are wanting is not to be gay or considered gay; to live homosexual lifestyles without anyone noticing that they are.

    You see in the civil rights struggle, the issue was not to cease being a minority (of African decent or female). The goal was to accept the difference because it was the difference which caused the discrimination.

    If gays assert that they ARE indeed different and cant marry, than what are they? They are not husband and wife. What do we call them?

    Gays have elected to be what animals haven’t been in the history of this planet. They want however for nothing to change for them with their radical choices. That is an odd expectation don’t you think?

  • Zedd

    “I truly believe that as a payer of premiums, I should be able to choose anyone I deem worthy to extend my benefits to whether they happen to be a spouse, a child, a nephew, or a complete stranger for that matter.”

    Beatifully stated.

    This is the crutial issue. This should be the focus.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    what you believe is immaterial..

    i laid out three completely real scenarios where the lack of legal Rights penalizes some Families where it protects others…

    these are Individual Rights that are NOT currently equally protected under the Law

    you keep skipping this with your hang up on the biology and sexual mechanics, which in this very Thread we show are meaningless due to sex change operations, which have been legally Recognized..

    so two men CAN get married, if one has a sex change operation…doesn’t really make him a woman, genetics are the same as they were…but the cosmetic surgery makes all the difference in this instance

    such is an intrinsic violation of equal protection

    as i stated earlier, you are placing all emphasis on the meaning of a legal term, i think it is an Issue of individual Rights

    both of our cases are clearly stated, i’ve addressed each and every one of your points, you ignore mine

    imo, you are incorrect, and this Thread holds my Reasoning in full with nothing that has been able to refute any Postulate nor the Thesis as a whole

    nuff said…

    Excelsior?

  • Zedd

    Gonzo,

    Thank you for a reasonable discussion.

    However it seems apparent that you have a political view point based on emotion or even a type of solidarity rather than reason.

    Your scenarios would be mute, not an issue if civil unions were legalized. I support civil unions and I support the ability to list anyone on the planet to extend benefits to.

  • Clavos

    Separate But Equal…

    Hm.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    Clavos gets the cookie!

    the point would be moot if some remained mute, but you knew that…

    where is the “emotion” or “solidarity”? in my Reasoning? please do cite what you think you perceive as such

    solidarity i may cop to, if you mean that of a U.S. Citizen and the solidarity we are supposed to share as Individuals with certain “inalienable Rights”….then yes…a fair cop

    but i’m quite content to let the Record on this Thread speak for itself…

    Excelsior?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Who is this Zedd and why does he enjoy typing crap with an air of wisdom?

    She could adopt those kids and she would be their mommy.

    What good would that have done her in the hospital? Kids can’t make medical decisions. And you miss the point that gay adoptions are not recognized in every state. Some states outlaw them. So a gay family traveling from California to Chicago and passing through Utah, ceases to be a family legally while within it’s borders.

    SHE chose to pretend that she and her partner could have children. THEY CANT.

    And all straight people who cannot have children and adopt, all the millions upon millions of them, are pretending? Nonsense.

    Now she is whining,

    No, now she is dead.

    Pretending as if you can make a baby with someone of the same gender and expecting sane people to go along with you is mean spirited, bratty and controlling.

    This shows how stupid you are. A family is a family, how it was created is not relevant to you or is it any of your business. A man and a woman adopt, and by your definition they aren’t a family. You are so bigoted, you cannot see your own hypocrisy.

    There are sick, starving, suffering, war ridden, abused people all over the world. No energy needs to be dispensed on this madness.

    Next time anybody has a problem, they can run it by old Zedd, for he knows what we need to worry about.

  • REMF

    Boom;
    “he” is a lady.
    – MCH

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Not a very good one.

  • REMF

    I respectfully disagree, Boom; I think she’s great.
    – MCH

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Well, in a week and a half my wife and I will have our 24th anniversary…it was about this time 24 years ago that I met her.

    I married her in LV two weeks after I met her…we actually went to Vegas a week after we met, but we didn’t have nough money to party and get married so we decided to party and go back the next week. It was after all pay day the following Friday!

    It was a lust at first sight kinda thing. And eventually, we got to know each other…and now we’re even friends! I think we are…I’ll have to ask ole’ whatshername!

    I did actually marry her for the money…I was active duty and it was a monster pay raise from E-4 single to E-4 married…besides the fact that I could live off the ship if I was married…I could live off the ship if I was single too, but they paid me to live off ship as a married person. And it was enough for an apartment in the LA area…and it was tax free! And they even gave me something called family separation allowance…any time I was gone for more than 30 days I got even more money! They paid me for food and I could eat on board the ship. Single guys got none of this…so marraige had a big advantage in the military…it’s not like that any more…

    It ain’t been all fun and games…there have been discussions in the past about divorce…but we worked it out. I’m a pretty lucky guy to have found the woman I found…or did she find me? Either way, I’m lucky to have found a woman that puts up with me!

    But I have always said…and my wife can attest to this…

    I’ll never have an ex-wife! I may have a late wife…but I’ll never have an ex!

    They’re too damned expensive! Much cheaper to bury her in the back yard!

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    One more thing…if marriage is such a screwed up institution as some of you believe it to be then why do you even care if gays and lesbians do it? If they want part of this clusterfuck let ‘em have it!!!

    I used to fight over the name of it too…civil union..marriage…who cares! More power to them if they can make something work that most “normal” people seem to have a problem making work! Then all the kids can say…marriage is gay…and they’ll be partly right!

  • Stephen

    Zedd,

    “If an individual wants to have a family and has normal reproductive function, they can have it. If they choose not to, it is a CHOICE.”

    This means that hetero couples without normal reproductive function should not be allowed to marry. It also implies that it would be a legitimate “choice” for hetero people to marry someone of the same sex (can’t stomach being forced to make that “choice”? Now you know how it feels to be on the other side of your rhetoric).

    “Until it can be proven that homosexuality is biological and not a matter of preference, than we cant entertain any of this because it is madness.”

    So, it is “madness” unless it can be proven? What then? It becomes “sane”? Somehow I doubt you on this one … But not to worry, for you’ve actually got things exactly backwards: Until *you* can prove that it is *not* biological or in some other way determined (ie, not a “choice”), then denying such folks their rights is madness of the highest order!

  • moonraven

    This toilet is still running?

    I already gave the definitive pronouncement in post 15!

  • zingzing

    and NO ONE CARED!

  • moonraven

    They–and especially you, prefer to keep the toilet running.

    The noise covers the sighs and groans and the shuffle of pages….

  • zingzing

    i haven’t said a thing about this yet. how am i “keeping the toilet running?”

    and i don’t sigh on the toilet.

    maybe i’ll go read the article now, as it is a bambenek article, and his articles are always good for a laugh.

  • zingzing

    “It appears that gay marriage is an attempt at social acceptance, not any desire for benefits. Any real look at marriage shows that on the balance, marriage confers a net liability, not a net benefit.”

    nah. it’s about desiring benefits. marriage is beneficial if it lasts. and those that get married always think it’s going to last. no one goes into a marriage (unless they are evil pricks or moneygrubbers) looking towards the day it ends.

    “The fact is, any serious look at the history of the institution of marriage will show that it is a religious institution.”

    but it is quite independant of christianity, as it was around before christianity, and there have been many, many athiests/agnotics marriages.

    “What public good is fostered by the recognition of gay marriage?”

    what public good is fostered by the recogniztion of any marriage? it allows the couple certain legal rights and governmental benefits. that’s what marriage does.

    no, marriage should not be completely binding. it never could be, unless someone who wanted out could legally be imprisoned for it.

  • moonraven

    We only have your word for it (not sighing on the toilet)–and I for one am inclined to be skeptical….

    Anyway, I am out of here for the day.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    This thread is full of arrogant misinformation about marriage, its definition, the terms surrounding it, and the nature of family.

    1 – Zedd has no logical precedent to show that heterosexual marriage is strictly defined and enclosed by biology or nature. Marriage is, in fact, unnatural, and its definition has always been at the mercy of the society advocating it. Conservatives are currently desperate to solidify that definition in law, in order to make it mean something, both legally and symbolically. Unfortunately for them, it will remain in flux until we’ve reached consensus on it.

    If we trust the human race at ALL, this consensus will be determined by logic… NOT by the heavy-handed demand that marriage “respect the laws of biology.”

    It’s also not a contract. A contract between individuals and a government, kept according to terms legally defined by that government, is an institution, not simply a contract. The only contracts that the government has any business forbidding are conspiracies… contracts that stand to hurt people in demonstrable ways.

    Marriage is an amorphous mass of symbolic codes and legal pseudo-distinctions, supporting a status quo that nobody can identify any more.

    2 – also to Zedd – do you know ANYONE who identifies as non-heterosexual? It sounds like you don’t, although that would make you quite the statistical anomoly. If you DO, would you care to tell them that they’re “pretending to be a straight, heterosexual couple”? That’s an absurd projection of your own sense of superiority.

    Gay or bisexual people (did we all forget even this simple complexity?) are trying to situate themselves in our culture. This involves challenging the major cultural/legal institution that excludes them.

    3 – “Gays have elected to be what animals haven’t been in the history of this planet.” Done any research, home boy? How about these guys: Silo and Roy. And now that the penguins have opened the gates, there’s more information on the way.

    Ultimately, I agree with Moonraven. Dissolve any federal statute for, reference to, or implication of “marriage” (keep previous marriages in place with the grandfather clause, just long enough for the narrow minds of the previous generation to die off). Let the government grant purely legal distinctions, “Civil Unions,” to anyone who’s willing to commit to a long-term legal partnership. Then, if churches want to grant marriages, they can feel free to do it. This is really the only way to protect marriage, and its attendant spiritual commitments, from the interference of legislation and government. Take it out of the government’s hands entirely.

    Then, you know what else you can do? (take this one with a grain of salt, I haven’t really thought it through): since civil unions are now a government service, place a tax on early divorces, so the official sanction on a “long-term partnership” has some teeth to it.

    But in the absence of those options, let’s help the government catch up to the culture it’s supposed to protect. Institute marriage as legal partnership, available to any citizen… not as a misguided appeal to “nature” and religion.

  • Doug Hunter

    “I did actually marry her for the money…I was active duty and it was a monster pay raise from E-4 single to E-4 married.”

    There still are benefits for married couples in the military with housing, seperation pay, etc. . It’s complete unconstitutional bullshit that some people get special treatment because they choose to get married. Not only do married people and those with kids get extra family benefits but they often make worse troops as they’re constantly taking time off for doctors appointments, claiming hardship with their children to get our of deployments, etc.

    The real discrimination lost in all this is against single people. If looked upon rationally, that’s the key to realizing that the whole gay marriage debate is about acceptance rather than the desire for equal ‘rights’. Single people have much more reason to protest and fight over the supposed marriage benefits but there has been no effort in the area. Ask yourself why, think critically and honestly, and you’ll come to a greater realization of what the debate is about…acceptance. (exactly as Zedd described)

  • zingzing

    moonraven: “We only have your word for it (not sighing on the toilet)–and I for one am inclined to be skeptical….”

    you’re the one who brought it up. it struck me as strange. you may have some experience in it, but not me.

  • Zedd

    Jesse,

    You would rather dissolve a system which was established by various cultures all over the globe since nearly the conception of human society for the nurturing of society, establishment of norms, imprinting, etc., because YOU don’t want to be with a woman? AGAIN bratty, simply bratty behavior.

    Until you can prove that you have a biological and not a psychological reason which causes your DIFFERENCE from humanity, we are all simply waisting our time with this discussion.

    Your bulleted assertions don’t make an argument. They simply state that you believe you are right. One example of an anomaly does not make a NORM. Those penguins are freakish, that is why they are highlighted. If it was a NORM among mammals that same gender creatures would engage in such a way, that article would not exist. The other day I saw a documentary about two headed animals of all sorts, 6 legged cows, and other anomalies that were caused by mutation and problems in the womb. Two mentally or biologically odd penguins are no different from these freaks of nature if we are truly honest. Had you presented evidence of ape societies that live and have lived homosexual lives, I would be willing to listen and learn. However you haven’t and yet you want everyone else to change and accommodate YOU, because of what you believe you are.

    How you know what you are born to like is baffling to me. I have a zillion taste based preferences and none of them can i attribute to my biology. And why we should all go along with that is even more weird.

    However whether you deserve love, respect, companionship, fair treatment, is without question. No one should stand in the way of your living your life abundantly. Even if it means telling you when you are being a brat.

    If you DO, would you care to tell them that they’re “pretending to be a straight, heterosexual couple”? That’s an absurd projection of your own sense of superiority.

    This seems to be an emotional issue for you and so I understand you lapse in employing good reasoning….. My “projections” are based on the FACT that heterosexuality is the NORM. I don’t understand what’s superior about doing what comes natural for most people. The word superior does not compute.

    BTW, I’m female.

  • Zedd

    Stephen

    So, it is “madness” unless it can be proven? What then? It becomes “sane”? Somehow I doubt you on this one … But not to worry, for you’ve actually got things exactly backwards: Until *you* can prove that it is *not* biological or in some other way determined (ie, not a “choice”), then denying such folks their rights is madness of the highest order!

    Stephen how old are you. I know that you didn’t intend to say what you have said.

    Listen I don’t have problems with gay people or civil unions. Just like everyone else, I love those in my life and would vehemently protect them against any personal attack.

    That being said, science doesn’t work the way that you just stated. We don’t get to claim stuff and state it as fact and say that it is true unless someone can disprove it. You know that. Claiming that homosexuality is innate is radical. Its been based on people’s feelings within. You know that that is not good enough. Asking society to change based on that is absurd off course.

    Just as we don’t know what cloning will do to the species that will come out of those experiments, we don’t KNOW what same gender parenting will do to the species. Heck we KNOW what divorce has done and we don’t like it. Marriage plays the roll of imprinting (and its not always perfect imprinting but it has a real significant function).

  • Zedd

    Clavos

    Its not separate but equal.

    All males CAN marry females if they so CHOOSE to.

    Blacks could not be White.

    The discrimination was biologically based and not based on preference.

    Gays can marry someone of the opposite sex. They just don’t WANT to (and certainly shouldn’t have to). However it is a choice to participate or not to participate in this very necessary institution.

    Much as parents who CHOOSE not to put their children in public schools because they don’t see themselves EVER allowing their kids to engage in that manner. While they can certainly do so, they don’t see it as an option. The state allows for them to teach their children in other ways as long as certain criterion are met. Certainly not a matter of separate but equal. Just a preference that is accommodated.

    Gonzo: I am surprised that you missed the weakness in Clavos’ assertion.

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Sorry for the long post. This might be the only hot topic that can incite me to anger, so I’m venting it in this forum.

    Sorry I called you my “home boy,” Zedd… it wasn’t intended to be loaded with assumptions about your gender identification. I’m curious — when you keep saying “YOU,” are you referring to me in particular?

    Let’s dispense with a straw-man argument right now: I don’t care whether sexual orientation is natural or freely-chosen. I’ll be happy to accept your persistent argument that everyone chooses a gender identification. The government’s job is to protect the freedom of personal choice as an individual right. In fact, I hate the fact that “nature vs. choice” has dominated the gay rights debate for so long. People have a right to both.

    So on to your logical framework — at what point was it the duty of the society to regulate people to conform to “norms”? In fact, the VAST majority of human behavior, including the behavior sanctioned by governments, is aberration from the natural world. What other animal drinks the milk of another animal’s teat? What other animal declares war on other social groups of the same species? How does human nature dictate that sex between a 22-year-old and a 15-year old, which was probably fairly common among Cave Men, should be defined as “rape?”

    (sorry to the Geico cavemen for that last remark)

    The government doesn’t give a fuck about the dictates of biology, and it shouldn’t. It cares about rights and privileges and the strength of tradition and innovation. Take a look at the people advocating for a “marriage amendment”… their demographic overlaps dangerously with the people who don’t even believe in evolution.

    Your logical framework is unsound, Zedd. Your claim that marriage is constructed around biology and instituted by the government in favor of a biological imperative isn’t tenable, and your claim that the brute facts of biology deserves authority over this aspect of our culture is thoroughly erroneous. I’d call it MADNESS, as you’ve done with the opposing view so many times, but I know it’s not. It’s just an excuse to cling to the status quo.

    Why do I support a change in the status quo? Here’s where you’ll find a logical argument for the federal sanction of gay marriage, grounded in a history of social theory and government policy. The calling of the government is to protect the rights of people, regardless of their lifestyles or personal identifications. The only limit is the rights of their fellow human beings. And this guarantee — drawn from Locke and early social theorists — includes dismantling government institutions that exclude people based purely on distinctions that are benign, but important to those individuals.

    I never asked YOU, or any straight individual or couple, to change, Zedd. You can keep your marriages, and you can even keep your skepticism over the word. When homosexuals have the right to get married, you will still get to keep yours.

    And by the way, you’ve effectively called the gay rights movement “madness,” and you’ve called non-heterosexuals “freaks of nature.” Your circumlocutions no longer compute: “Listen I don’t have problems with gay people or civil unions. Just like everyone else, I love those in my life and would vehemently protect them against any personal attack” is no longer registering with the good faith it might have had at the beginning of this discussion.

  • Les Slater

    jesse,

    Thanks for venting that anger. Right on!

    Les

  • Les Slater

    Doug #67,

    “It’s complete unconstitutional bullshit that some people get special treatment because they choose to get married. Not only do married people and those with kids get extra family benefits but they often make worse troops as they’re constantly taking time off for doctors appointments,…”

    Unconstitutional? Show me.

    Les

  • Doug Hunter

    “Unconstitutional? Show me.”

    Justices have been known to read whatever they want into the document. The gay ‘discrimination’ could be used as an end around as well. (Since gays can’t participate in marriage they are by default single and are an enumerated victim group) Also, laws are already in place in such things as housing that demonstrate the law recognizes the problem. It’s only a small step, a special interest group, and an activist judge away from being interpreted as I describe it.

    My point is that some employers openly and honestly say, yes, we discriminate against single people by paying them less and providing less benefits despite the fact that they perform exactly the same job. That’s wrong.

    If that discrimination were against any established protected group (women, racial minorities, etc. as laid out in the constitution) it would be trotted out as an egregious offense and a crime against humanity and you yourself would probably feign outrage.

    The real question is why you, and the rest of america, have been trained like pavlov’s dog to foam at the mouth at the slightest accusation of racial or sexist discrimination yet aren’t concerned in the least for open and admitted discrimination for other equally arbitrary attributes? Who trained you to be like that and what was their purpose?

    Note: A sidestep to the question is to claim that sexual preference, sex, and race are not a choice like being single. Suffice it to say I believe two of the three are choices and recent court decisions have supported that notion. Also, if some are ‘predisposed’ to be gay it could as well argued that some are not genetically cut out to fit well in a marriage type relationship.

  • Les Slater

    Doug,

    “Also, if some are ‘predisposed’ to be gay it could as well argued that some are not genetically cut out to fit well in a marriage type relationship.”

    Wow!

    “yet aren’t concerned in the least for open and admitted discrimination for other equally arbitrary attributes?”

    That’s why I pointed to your military example.

    “My point is that some employers openly and honestly say, yes, we discriminate against single people by paying them less and providing less benefits despite the fact that they perform exactly the same job. That’s wrong.”

    I presume you know the historical precedant here. Remember the ‘family man’? Remember the role of the family? It was the role of the man to provide for his family. It was a matter of necessity for an employer to grant the ‘family man’ a higher wage. It was not just a question of the wife either. There were the kids.

    The employing class has got the wife to work also. They have destroyed the family.

    In the military example you provided, the government’s policies as pertains to dependants is not only not unconstitutional and not ‘wrong’, but is in fact progressive.

    Les

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    It was my military example and it’s no where near as bad as it used to be when I was in…a lot more folks in the navy get housing allowances now, even single ones…but there is still disparity in how much you get…and it’s based on whether or not your married and not whether or not you have kids…the money goes up when you get married, it doesn’t go up when you have kids.

    But…to comment #67, there’s another way to look at it too…married troops are more stable…most of the time mom, or dad, depending on the situation take care of the kiddies, but I know speaking for myself, I became a much more responsible sailor when I got married and had kids than I ever was when I was single. I’m not saying that I’m all that responsible…just that I became MORE responsible when my wife had kids.

  • http://www.childsupportweb.com Jimmy Verner

    Gonzo, where’d you get this idea? “Remember, the entire child support regime was designed specifically as a countermeasure for the philandering husband (not divorce).” I’ve never heard this before.

  • moonraven

    zing,

    Not only do I have NO experience in it, but I do not know any women who beat off to Playboy magazines in the bathroom.

    Duh.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    @ Jimmy – can’t explain it, cuz i didn’t type it…look again

    @ #79 – don’t know many bull dykes, do you?

    Excelsior?

  • moonraven

    Another homophobe.

    Homophobes are always deeply ambivalent about their own sexual orientation.

    You are giving me more information than I care to have, gonzo.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    lol..me? …a homophobe?

    you truly are Ignorant about some things, aren’t you moonraven?

    you make a false statement about no women pleasuring themselves to Playboy in the bathroom…purely anecdotal on your part…and i toss in that there are indeed a segment of the female population who exhibit the behavior you claim as non-existent

    nice try at the dodge, but you’ve been proven incorrect…..again

    i realize you aren’t getting tired of being wrong so much, but then again, i’m not tired of pointing it out

    Excelsior?

  • moonraven

    Don’t lay coy with me.

    Your term, bull dyke, is offensive. Right up there with faggot.

    Yu have never proved me wrong about anything.

    And you never will, either.

  • Jess

    Jesse,

    No apology needed for your response.

    Now…

    If your argument is that married people receive better benefits than single people, I might agree with you. I’m not sure if there is a tax break for being married. However parents get tax breaks, whether married or single.

    Is your concern that the government invests in the next generation? Perhaps we should get rid of public education? That is another cost to non parents. However i would look at these items as investments into our future. Just as we give tax breaks to businesses and the wealthy don’t pay as much as the rest of us do (proportion wise) because of incentives to encourage wealth in the nation (I suppose). Protest that vehemently…

    If gay individuals want tax breaks for having kids they can have them if their reproductive function is in tact. THEY don’t WANT to.

    You see there is no discrimination if you CHOOSE not to participate in a program that is available to all who are able to participate.

    Now put on your thinking cap. That is where the nature vs nurture thing comes in. IF it is not nature which determines homosexuality, than it is a choice. The choice is not to participate in a program which benefits those who want to unite AND procreate (create the next generation of Americans). Its not unconstitutional because no one is preventing them from attempting to participating in the way to get these government benefits per say. Even infertile couples who want kids TRY to have them and if they are blessed with a bundle, they will participate. No one is discriminated against.

    As for a civil union, it would cure any discrimination that may exist. Those who enter a union by contract may attain benefits from each other be they gay or just single buds or strangers who want benefits or lonely people…. However there is no NEED to change what marriage means in order to accommodate anyone. Marriage is an important institution that molds the next generation. Its always been difficult but so is everything else (job, sports, etc)

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    @ #83 – offensive to who? the term was taught to me by those of said persuasion…never had any problems using it with said folks, and if it offends someone, then context will dictate whether i Apologize to said individual

    either way, it wouldn’t be you

    as for proving you wrong…the Record can stand for itself on each and every instance

    i’ll gladly leave it for the Readers to decide, since i find you not only factually challenged, but delusional or deliberately obtuse as well as intentionally misleading on many counts

    Excelsior?

  • zingzing

    moonraven: “Not only do I have NO experience in it, but I do not know any women who beat off to Playboy magazines in the bathroom.”

    playboy? get out of the sixties. who masturbates in the bathroom anyway? maybe in the shower, but on the toilet? that’s gross. and bringing playboy into the shower is just a waste.

    heh. you’re digging your hole ever deeper, you perv. (moonraven masturbates on the shitter!)

    “Y[o]u [gonzo] have never proved me wrong about anything. And you never will, either.”

    sure he has. he just did. no women masturbate to playboy? are you on crack? not only do lesbians enjoy playboy, plenty of heterosexual females also do.

  • moonraven

    Again, more information than I am interested in having about you.

    You guys sure raise a fuss when caught with your pants down….

  • moonraven

    I think you should re-read my post–I said I DO NOT KNOW any women who beat off to playboy in the bathroom.

    Literacy course needed here; too bad you can’t afford mine….

  • zingzing

    ahh, moonie… when you shouldn’t read into something, you do. when you should read into something, you don’t. your world is a very strange place.

  • Zedd

    Sorry folks

    I posted as JESS. I was preoccupied and typed his name in the Name form line.

    Sorry Jess.

    Zedd

  • http://benefitofthedoubt.miksimum.com/ Jesse

    Zedd,

    Thanks for the response. No worries about posting under the pseudonym. We are all one in the throes of debate.

    As we’re now talking in arguable, policy-oriented terms, I’ll consider your argument and get back to it, if I don’t get distracted along the way.

    Jess

  • moonraven

    We are most definitely NOT all one in the throes of debate.

    One or two of us have something called CRITICAL DISTANCE.

  • Richard Neva

    I cannot agree more! Only fools get married. The fact that the Catholic church deems it a Sacrament in fact condones it as an institution! As a Catholic I choose celibacy!