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The Marriage Debate

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The results of the 2004 election have left us with one indisputable fact: an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose gay marriage. For all the fulminations and (to borrow a phrase from Karl Rove) bloviations of the left, we are left with a clear and convincing – and at least on a state by state basis, unanimous – verdict.

Now that the election is over and the returns are in, (and having lost overwhelmingly), liberals are returning to what they consider more friendly terrain – the courtroom. In state after state they are now appealing to judges to overturn, throw out and/or otherwise find “unconstitutional” these duly passed, citizen approved constitutional amendments, (most recently successfully so in Nebraska). This from pretty much the same crowd that is heard shouting “every vote should count,” (even in cases where they are legally suspect).

This makes perfect sense however, as liberalism’s victories rarely come at the ballot box, but rather through the hyper-activism of the judiciary. No thinking person can reasonably suggest that the individuals who wrote our Constitution, much less those in the various states who approved and ratified it, in any way felt that they were putting into place something that could be construed as allowing such a fundamental societal institution as marriage to be arbitrarily changed without so much as a vote of the people.

Traditional marriage (involving one husband and one wife) has, throughout the course of the last several thousand years, proved itself to be the most effective institution ever devised to promote the stability and continuity of civilized society. Not to mention the most stable environment for the raising and nurturing of the next generation of our citizenry, (no small item). In light of that successful history, to suggest that you can suddenly change its definition and not expect, or at least admit to the possibility of, negative consequences on society is naïve at best and disingenuous at worst.

The arguments put forward by the left for changing the definition of marriage simply ignore and attempt to divert attention away from the sheer mass of unintended consequences that are likely to develop with any such change. They say these are loving couples who simply want to share their lives together. (Fine, but don’t ask the state to sanction it.) They offer stories about lack of hospital visitation rights for their “partners”. (You don’t need a marriage license for that.)

Probably the biggest doozy of a straw-man in this argument has been in comparing the debate over traditional marriage with what blacks went through in the civil rights struggle. To say the least, this would seem insulting to blacks. The civil rights struggle was about equal rights for all individuals, regardless of race – not regardless of personal behavior.

Even if one sets aside the moral arguments and implications, (which is setting aside a great deal), we are no closer to resolution. The ripple effect on our legal structure involving such issues as insurance, inheritance, child custody, property and so on would be incredible. It would hit our court system like a tsunami, and please no one but the trial lawyers I’m sure.

If these issues weren’t so important, if they didn’t have such overwhelming implications on society, governments wouldn’t require that you obtain a license in order to marry in the first place.

It is established and accepted throughout history that governments have an express interest in promoting the health and well-being of their societies via encouraging and/or discouraging certain actions or forms of behavior. In the case of our Constitution, it is known as “promoting the general welfare.” It is one thing not to have laws disallowing people from entering into various personal relationships; it is another entirely to require that the state officially sanction such relationships.

Liberals maintain that voting on such an issue is too divisive, (which means they know they’ll lose). What they seek is a judicial fiat. One, like the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision, that would re-define marriage without the approval of the public, (much less a vote). They seek to use such a remedy in one state to force all other states to then recognize that marriage – thus changing every other state’s marriage laws by default.

In the case of our country, we are blessed with self-government and self-government depends on just that. It depends on the capacity of free citizens to make reasoned judgments. To be able to look at a set of circumstances and say that they think they’re important. In fact, in many ways, the survival of self-governance depends on the willingness of citizens to make those judgments. On November 2nd, 2004, the voters did just that. And that’s where it should end.

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About Drew McKissick

Drew McKissick is a political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience specializing in political strategy, planning and organization as well as the development of grassroots related political action programs. He has worked as a political activist at the local, state and national levels, and has served in elected and appointed positions at all levels of the Republican Party, including serving as a member of the Republican National Committee. He also writes a regular column providing analysis and commentary on current events.
  • billy

    “An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose gay marriage.”

    So?

    i can stop reading after the second sentence because this piece is faulty. maybe you are right, too bad. fundamental rights arent based on majority rule. next.

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog Michael

    The problem with marriage is that it is a sacrament and a contract. No one wants their sacrament to be subject to the vagaries of contract law. However, it’s not a religiously neutral position for the state to take to enforce one religion’s definition of marriage, even if it is the definition that the vast majority of us agree upon.

    Given that I’ve seen wildly different poll numbers based on how the question is worded, I don’t think the ‘vast majority’ of US citizens has any really deep position on the issue.

    And in any case, a vast majority of US citizens were against the end of anti-miscegenation laws and it was a moral and spiritual victory for all of us when the courts stopped states from banning interracial marriages. The world didn’t end despite hysterical rantings at the time. (I’d love to have seen the equivalent of blogcritics of 1967 on Loving v. Virginia, btw).

    My expectation is that we’ll see that Canada manages just fine with a different definition of marriage and eventually we’ll wonder what the fuss was about. And older conservatives will drop dead of apoplexy and the rest of us will go on.

  • td

    You don’t know how having a minority of gay parents in a society is going to effect it. Just because traditional marriage has the the belief up until now doesn’t mean that a different belief can’t work.

    Belief that the world is flat proved itself to be an effective institution for the basis of early scientific theories and the quest for knowledge of our environment. Just because something has been one way for a long period of time does not mean it is the perfect system.

    Muslims have been taking several wifes for much longer than Christians have been taking only one. Last time I check their civilization is still around. Or what about the Greek civilization. Many of the Greeks were bisexual and it resulted in one of the most ‘civilized’ peoples in history. What you are really saying is that marriage shouldn’t be between two men or women because you don’t like it.

    BUT, this is you’re right. Further, so long as the majority of people agree with you, Federal legislation probably shouldn’t be passed concerning gay marriage.

    However, I don’t see why individual states cannot do as they please. If a state can make it’s own decision on the death penalty then I see no reason why it can’t decide upon gay marriage.

    On a side note: As an outsider looking in, I find it amusing when the right claims that it is more important for society to control the rights of gays to get married than it is to control the rights of individuals to own assault rifles.

  • Peter

    It is very easy to throw around unsupported comments like “to suggest that you can suddenly change its definition and not expect, or at least admit to the possibility of, negative consequences on society is naïve.”

    But what exactly are these consequences supposed to be? There is a slick semantic trick using the “changing the definition” language, but the fact is that NOT A SINGLE change has been proposed that affects heterosexual marriage in the slightest. Not with regards who can marry, not with regards what benefits and responsibilities are involved, not with regards how to end it if it needs to end.

    If marriage doesn’t change in the slightest for heterosexuals, then where are these horrible consequences going to come from?

    The only change that affects heterosexuals in the slightest is the knowledge that the couple next door (who were a couple before) now has legal protections. This is going to destroy society?

    Would someone please explain how something that doesn’t even have EFFECTS can have such dire (and apparently, impossible to articulate) consequences?

    The fact that the majority buys into unadulterated and unsupported prejudice doesn’t make it right. The very fact that people need to change the various Constitutions to make sure gay people are denied these rights makes it crystal clear that they are currently guaranteed by the Constitution.

    If you want to protect marriage, how about protecting it from something that actually affects it?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    negative consequences on society. What a hoot. The world isn’t flat you know, and we don’t grow hair all over and bark at the moon.

    Click on my name and visit a blog filled with pics and links to absolutely wonderful children being raised by gay parents, myself included.

    There are an estimated 4 to 6 million kids being raised by gay parents already. We are in the school system, boomboom, we are in the libraries, boomboom, we are in the daycares, boomboom, the shopping malls, boomboom, we don’t grow fangs at nightfall and we DO have reflections in the mirror.

    Visit some wonderful families sometimes and see exactly who it is, and how many of America’s children, you are actively working to deprive of a stable, secure, legally recognized family foundation. Because whether you decide it’s legal or not, we’re not stopping going on with our lives.

  • CPT_Doom

    The civil rights struggle was about equal rights for all individuals, regardless of race – not regardless of personal behavior.

    Two things – having large amounts of melanin in your skin (aka being “black”) is a biological condition. Being a homosexual is also a biological condition, as demonstrated by every single objective scientific analysis of the phenomenon.

    Point two – even if one continues to hold the religious belief that it is immoral to engage in homosexual relationships, regardless of the biological nature of the phenomenon, marriage is NOT limited by one’s “personal behavior” – at least not if you are heterosexual.

    Convicted murders, child molesters, serial divorcers, drug/alcohol abusers, idiot old rich men who believe hot young women actually love them, all have the fundamental right to be married in this country – even the Supreme Court agreed on this fact for murderers. The pedophile priest who was the first exposed in the Catholic Church abuse scandal – Porter was his name, and he raped literally hundreds of boys and girls – recently got married in prison to an ex-nun. Many cynics believe this was just a stunt by a defrocked priest to impress the parole board, but the marriage is legal nonetheless.

    Our Founding Fathers never could have conceived that gay marriage would be legal in this country, but they also never conceived of people talking to each other via a device hooked by wires between buildings several thousand miles away (aka, the telephone). They also never conceived of information being available at the finger tips of anyone with a computer. Nonetheless, freedom of speech is protected in these media, despite their not having existed in 1783.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Marriage is not about taking care of the other when they are old and in diapers. It is not conferred “benefits” by society to celebrate love, even. Procreation is an essentially component to the survival of any nation and society. A society that doesn’t procreate ceases to exist in one generation.

    That is why marriage holds a central place in every society in history, even in those that allowed homosexual behavior. Many societies didn’t even consider love a part of marriage. But the raising of children and new offspring is critical and that is why benefits are conferred on it (despite the fact we tax married people higher than single people).

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog Michael

    Re: Comment 7:

    “[T]he raising of children and new offspring is critical and that is why benefits are conferred on it”

    So, if my wife and I don’t have children, and in fact medically can’t have children, should we be prohibited from being married?

    It’s interesting that you bring up the “many societies didn’t even consider love a part of marriage”, because that pretty much speaks to marraige in the medieval sense, which was as an act of economic alliance between two families through their offspring. Given that marriage has radically changed since then (giving the lie to Drew’s ahistorical “thousands of years” point above), why shouldn’t this change be acceptable?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    “[T]he raising of children and new offspring is critical and that is why benefits are conferred on it”

    been there and done that. I’m raising a child and she’s my offspring. But actually supposed supporters of this rationale still won’t give me my marriage because of prejudice.

  • Mark in Portland

    Interesting assertion, however the very same stones you seem to be trying to throw at supporters of same sex marriage can be thrown at those opposing it here in Oregon.

    The voters passed Measure 36 last November defining marriage as “one man/one woman” — at that time, the anti-same-sex marriage crowd said they were purely trying to preserve the sanctity of the word “marriage” and their primary spokesman, Tim Nashif, even said that same sex couples should be free to pursue marriage-like benefits through civil unions. Under this rubric, measure 36 passed.

    Now, seven months later, the Oregon State senate passed SB1000, which provides many of the same benefits as marriage but in a form called “Civil Unions.” The same defense of marriage people who said Civil Unions would be okay to pursue in the legislature are NOW against Civil Unions. The Republican Speaker of the Oregon House (the evil Karen Minnis) has refused to let the bill come before the Oregon House for a vote, or will “gut and stuff” the bill, allowing a weird, pared down “reciprocal benefits” version open to any two people living together, in its place.

    I ask you, if Republicans are those protecting our representative democracy, why aren’t the Republicans in Oregon willing to let this bill come to a vote? Seems to me that the Republicans in Oregon aren’t willing to let the people speak, or Republican legistlators aren’t willing to go on the record individually as being for/against civil unions.

    My point is that to paint this as Republicans being above reproach and taking the moral high road is not true in Oregon. Republicans and conservatives are at least as much involved slinking and underhanded non-democratic processes.

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

    Civil Unions for all (homosexuals, polygamists, etc.); Marriages reserved for one man and one woman.

    Solves everything, doesn’t it? :)

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Michael-

    Most infertility can be treated (not all) and any couple who doesn’t want to have children can change their mind inside one cycle. There are legitimate reasons to delay having kids and the state shouldn’t be in the business of deciding what are and aren’t legitimate reasons.

    Now for infertility, which is a pathological condition and an exception to the rule. We don’t establish rules by the exceptions. The rules should establish what is normal and deal with that. It is not normal for people to be rapists, the law should not treat people as if they are. Just because some couples have trouble conceiving does not means we should treat all marriage in the light of infertility.

    A great deal of preparation needs to go into the ideal bringing a child into the world, so declaring a couple married once the kid is born doesn’t make sense. They need to have residence and establish a life together so that they are ready for a child and have the ideal situation for the kid.

    You point to medieval times, but even though marriage was economic alliances it was also for HAVING CHILDREN. It was through the children with allegiance to both families that manifested that allegiance. They could establish treaties or agreements if they simply wanted cash sharing. The kids make the deal permanent.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Mark-

    That is manifest of the problem of this entire discussion. People are discussing marriage because of the emotional connotations of the word. The discussion we aren’t having is what is the nature and purpose of marriage.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    John Bambenek wrote,“Marriage is not about taking care of the other when they are old and in diapers. It is not conferred ‘benefits’ by society to celebrate love, even. Procreation is an essentially component to the survival of any nation and society.”

    To love, honor and cherish;
    In sickness and in health;
    For richer or poorer;
    For better or for worse;
    Until death us do part.

    (or something similar to that)

    Mr. Bambenek, in your effort to “protect and defend” marriage, you have cheapened it by making it into nothing more than a license to procreate.

    If the position against the recognition of homosexuals’ right to civil marriage was based upon pragmatism rather than arbitrary prejudice, you wouldn’t need to do that.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Margaret-

    You assume that I was intending to make marriage solely about procreation. Let’s be honest, studies have shown that two loving biological parents provide the best environment for children. That is most certainly true when the relationship is permanent. You can put any two people with the right body parts together and get kids, doesn’t make it a good environment either.

    The difference with homosexuals pretending their relationships are marriage is taking kids out of the picture and cheapens marriage to be nothing more the sex.

    In the future, don’t look at a comment that is maybe 100 words as the complete worldview of the commenter.

  • http://wisdomandmurder.blogspot.com Lisa McKay

    The difference with homosexuals pretending their relationships are marriage is taking kids out of the picture and cheapens marriage to be nothing more the sex.

    John, that sentence certainly sounds like you’re making marriage all about procreation. Are married couples who choose not to procreate guilty of making marriage all about sex, or do you think there might be other reasons to get married?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Mr. Bambenek, it was unfair of me to make presumptions about your world view with regard to marriage.

    So, let’s talk about families, then.

    Perhaps the fact that there are currently 4 to 6 million children who are being raised by gay parents has escaped you.

    What about them? What practical reason can there be for depriving those children of the numerous benefits that the children of married heterosexuals enjoy right now?

    The best environment for children is a loving and stable home, biology and demographics are no guarantee of either.

    But that lack of a guarantee is not as important to note as the specter of authoritarian social engineering behind the notion that “two loving biological parents provide the best environment for children.”

    It is this sentiment that often leads me to wonder what the authoritarians who support this sort of social engineering have planned for the millions of single-parent families (both gay and straight) out there.

    In these days of casual sexual relationships, no-fault divorces and cavalier attitudes toward marital fidelity, the institution of marriage is under siege from the continuing shifts in social and cultural mores of the last half-century.

    These changes in our modern society could cause marriage to become obsolete, which is a grave threat to the basic foundations of society and civilization itself.

    This is why the legal recognition of same-sex marriage is imperative to preserving its meaningfulness as a social institution.

    Wake up and smell the 21st century, a time in which marriages are based upon love, commitment, trust, loyalty and cooperation, not the acquisition of wealth. And women and children are considered people, not property.

    The redefinition of marriage is essential to protecting it from the unavoidable implications of the many recent changes with regard to the significance of gender in modern marriage and society.

    Or do the authoritarian social engineers who think they know what’s best for everyone have in mind some grand plan to time port us all back to the 19th century?

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog Michael

    RJ says:

    Civil Unions for all (homosexuals, polygamists, etc.); Marriages reserved for one man and one woman.

    Solves everything, doesn’t it? :)

    Sure, why not? Marriage can be a completely private matter between a man and a woman that confers no legal benefits and is not legally recognized, while Civil Union is a legally recognized and binding contract which takes the contractual and financial benefits of the current marriage laws and applies them fairly to all who want them.

    It’s a pretty good plan for getting from what we have to something more fair. I think most people will want both. IIRC, that’s how it is in France.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    The difference with homosexuals pretending their relationships are marriage is taking kids out of the picture and cheapens marriage to be nothing more the sex

    John, click on my name, visit my blog and see how, in this gay relationship, it’s all about kids and has nothing to do with sex.

    sigh.

  • td

    Procreation? lol.

    In order to sustain an isolated community of humans you need a minimum of 3000-5000 people. These are the numbers derived from studying the Polynesian island colonies that survived or did not survive. Last time I checked, America was well above the minimum.

    What about the other end, is there a maximum? Well, China, India, and most of Africa have much higher population densities and they are no better of economically, so more is not necessarily better. In fact, many of the most prosperous European countries have stopped growing in population and it has not negatively affected their standard of living.

    If you study population statistics what we do NOT need is more babies, but rather, more parents. Why, because millions of heterosexual parents don’t want the babies that they have. This is why there is 10 times the number of orphans compared to parents wanting to adopt. And that is only within the US. When you add worldwide orphans into the fold the ratio increase exponentially.

    Finally, if your concern is really about a stable environment for the children, perhaps you should study divorce statistics. 43%
    percent of first marriages end in separation or divorce within 15 years. If all these people are allowed to care for children, why can’t gay parents. How does an unstable heterosexual couple, or a single parent, give a child a better environment than that of a stable gay couple.

    Moving on to civil unions vs. marriage. Yes, the term ‘Married’ refers to a special religious bond in many organized religions. However, the term is not exclusive to these organized religions. And frankly, anybody who is worried about tainting this special bond has obviously not visited the ‘holy’ chapels of Las Vegas where a drunk midget can marry his hooker second cousin.

    So basically, their is no real scientific, nor religious argument that stands up. Your real reason is that YOU just don’t approve of gays. Which is your perogative. I don’t approve of people who own assault rifles. But I have no more right than they do and so I live and let live.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Margaret-

    I find it ironic that you decry social engineers imposing norms on society when that is exactly what you suggest be done to create gay marriage. You aren’t going to get it at the polls, that’s for sure.

    Lisa-

    It isn’t an either or, it’s a both. Taking one or the other out in a permanent fashion cheapens it.

    td-

    There is no argument that can be formulated that you accept, that doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. Talking about unwanted kids is irrelevant to this issue.

    Study the economic effects of rapid population decline… wait 10 years. Europe will make a great case study in this. Unless you believe that 2/3rds of the world’s population needs to die off, those arguments are irrelevant.

    Who cares what I do and do not approve of? I don’t care enough about what other people do in bed to grant or deny my seal of approval to it.

    But again, all the responses show the exact problem I mentioned, no one is talking about what the purpose of marriage should be. Everyone is talking about why their “groups” should have it.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    no one is talking about what the purpose of marriage should be.

    I talk about it, I blog about it, and I put faces on it. You gloss over my comments, and refuse to put faces on the innocent children that you demonize and trivialize by insulting their families.

    And John, your premise that marriage was about ensuring the survival of the species is incorrect. In the past, the purpose of marriage was to ensure the survival of the bloodline.

    There is a difference.

  • http://Druxxx Druxxx

    John

    The ideal world you want to live in cannot exist. One man, one woman in a committed relationship may be the ideal way to raise children. The problem is, that thanks to the Bill of Rights, you can’t legislate ideals.

    We have vast freedoms to choose our lifestyles. You may not like them, but others still get to live them.

    Since you cannot legislate ideals, you have to work with whats out there. No law will stay on the books that states when a women can get pregnant. No matter her lifestyle, should it not be in society’s best interest to have laws in place that are good for the child. Would it not be better for a gay women to have a child as part of a commited recognized relationship.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Mr. Bambenek, social engineering is a methodology in which authoritarian policies are employed as incentives/disincentives to certain habits, behaviors, rituals, priorities and practices.

    Recognizing the civil and human rights of our fellow Americans and our fellow man is justice. It only feels like social engineering to authoritarians who think they should have an exclusive right to determine to who is or is not deserving of that justice.

  • PseudoErsatz

    Thanks, Drew, for this brave effort, especially on Blogcritics. This is the hot button issue for many–as you have seen. There’s not much of a chance of this being treated in a ‘civil’ manner here, as opposing sides on this issue cannot even agree to define what is ‘common ground’ from which to be able to begin a civil argument. Anyone with a religous objection is considered brainwashed, brainless, or evil at best, and those who object to SSM based on ‘the good of society’ will eventually find themselves in the same boat as those who argue ‘for’ SSM, that is, each side making the same points using the same words, the only difference being that the object is to convince people that the other side is wrong. The end result will be that your original subject will be left behind, and the whole thing will turn out to be a contest of sorts that determines who can provide the best “sound bite”.

  • http://www.whiterose.org/michael/blog Michael

    There are legitimate reasons to delay having kids and the state shouldn’t be in the business of deciding what are and aren’t legitimate reasons.
    This I agree with. However, there are many ways in which a homosexual couple could end up caring for a child, including adoption, the death of their next of kin, and the traditional, sloppy way.

    In our case, we’ve chosen not to do so and taken medical steps to prevent pregnancy, but if my sister and her husband were hit by a bus, we’d take her kids on in a heartbeat. So would my gay friends. That’s family values.

    We don’t establish rules by the exceptions. The rules should establish what is normal and deal with that. It is not normal for people to be rapists, the law should not treat people as if they are. Just because some couples have trouble conceiving does not means we should treat all marriage in the light of infertility.

    I’m starting to have some trouble here, because that’s not how I see law at all. We do establish law by the exceptions. Things that do not have exceptions are not things we regulate at law. Nobody requires you to breathe

    A great deal of preparation needs to go into the ideal bringing a child into the world, so declaring a couple married once the kid is born doesn’t make sense. They need to have residence and establish a life together so that they are ready for a child and have the ideal situation for the kid.

    That would be nice, but isn’t true. For instance, in the lower classes in England in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, it was very common for a couple to refrain from marrying until the woman was pregnant. This was a direct result of the economic costs that marriage had at the time for those people.

    You point to medieval times, but even though marriage was economic alliances it was also for HAVING CHILDREN. It was through the children with allegiance to both families that manifested that allegiance. They could establish treaties or agreements if they simply wanted cash sharing. The kids make the deal permanent.

    I don’t think most people who married at the time were able to make treaties, as that’s reserved to sovereign powers, in general. My point was that there have been many shifts in the definition and practice of marriage. Had I been more clear, I would have emphasized that equality for same-sex couples would be minor compared to a number of the shifts that have not caused the world to end.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    it continues that way for awhile, pseudoersatz, but then it does change. It’s just the slowest change I’ve ever seen.

    When Bush first proposed the amendment, and the whole topic was thrown to the forefront, until just a few months back was how long we had to dispute and correct comparisons between SSM and pedophilia or beastiality. It has taken that long for right wingers to comprehend the difference and just NOW, we are moving to the next phase of the discussion.

    It will change, but be patient, some people learn slow.

  • td

    “Procreation is an essentially component to the survival of any nation and society. A society that doesn’t procreate ceases to exist in one generation.

    That is why marriage holds a central place in every society in history, even in those that allowed homosexual behavior.”

    I brought up orphans because you made the point that marriage was neccessary for procreation. Well, for the past 100 years heterosexuals have been procreating at a much faster pace than they are willing to enter stable marriages. Resulting in millions of orphans. So what are you saying is that we need to procreate, but only in stable heterosexual relationships. Well, what do you do with the orphans? Kill them.

    Anyways, I took your advice and looked up the economic results of sudden population declines due to gay marriages. Unfortunately no cases of this phenomenon exist, so I guess i’ll just have to take your word as the all-knowing economic poobah that this will occur in the future.

    I don’t understand your 2/3 need to die comment. I think the point I was making was that we have too many children who do not have a family to grow up in. And that prohibiting gay marriage restricts the number of happy families to take care of these children. So really, you are the one who is saying, screw you, to all those children. That it is better they live in orphanages than be raised by two gay parents.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    looked up the economic results of sudden population declines due to gay marriages. Unfortunately no cases of this phenomenon exist

    not only does it not exist, but check out the fifth headline down on this page.

    You mention economic results of gay marriages. That is a report, and it points out in the first few sentences that the government’s General Accounting Offices agrees with the results, that legalizing gay marriage will save the taxpayers over 1 billion a year.

  • PseudoErsatz

    Slow indeed, Steve S. For example, Drew argues from a sociological standpoint against SSM, using the exact terms and words that those who argue for SSM use–health, well-being, government’s or society’s best interest, what’s best for children, etc. Those who argue from a self-determined religious perspective like Margaret may state that Jesus said, “Love thy neighbor as yourself”, and since I like freedom and choice, then the best course of action is grant the same freedom and choice that I have to those desiring SSM. Whereas one arguing from one of the ‘big three’ religions–Christianity, Judaism, or Islam may quote specific references to the respective scriptures that specifically prohibit certain behaviors that would be logically assumed to occur in a same-sex relationship. Regardless, wordsmiths on both sides are quite convincing. But that is the problem–there is an assumption that everyone who sits around this “table” agrees that the words and terms used mean the same thing to everyone, and that the methods and thought processes one goes through is exactly the same as those that the next person uses. Until this false assumption is dealt with, and parameters of an argument are mentioned prior to the thesis, this argument and many others will continue ad nauseum.

    Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.
    Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    The same-sex marriage debate often appears to be a contest of soundbites because that is all the opposition has to support its position, a position that is as untenable as any stance taken in favor of authoritarian oppression.

    Steve has touched upon an angle that is seldom discussed with regard to the civil recognition of same-sex marriages: capitalism.

    Expanding our recognition of civil and human rights creates economic opportunity and growth, while the denial/narrowing of civil and human rights diminishes economic opportunity and growth.

    Of course the people who wish to avoid discussion of the topic of capitalism as it relates to the recognition of same-sex marriages will attempt to divert attention away from this economic reality with their usual insistences about how this civil rights issue is not a civil rights issue.

    But instead of doing that, why not just discuss the economic opportunities that will be created by the recognition of same-sex marriages, the effects of which Massachusetts businesses that provide relevant products and services have already noticed and profited from?

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    Money will not magically appear if civil unions become the law of the land.

    Try again.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    The Left offers more than soundbites! We can offer reports/data all of which the government agree with about the economic benefits of marriage, about the proven economic, emotional, health and welfare benefits of providing stable family foundations to everybody, etc.

    The Left isn’t soundbites at all. If both sides offered nothing but soundbites, then the Left wouldn’t be winning practically every court case.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    Nobody said money would magically appear.

    The rationale that even the Government agrees with, is in the link I provided earlier. John can dismiss it without reading it, and hope his readers do the same, however it is there for discussion, facts and all, for whoever wishes to read it.

  • PseudoErsatz

    Consider that the government might be more inclined to support a process that ensures its survival. How does the government ‘survive’? By extracting taxes from its tax-payers. Besides immigration, how do tax-payers get produced? Should the government have an interest in supporting (encouraging) the potential procreative union between a man and a woman that creates little future law-abiding tax-payers? Should the government have an interest in not encouraging behaviors and/or activities which are not potentially procreative, I.E., which do not guarantee the creation of more little future law-abiding tax-payers?

    If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.~ Jacques Anatole François Thibault

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Not money, Mr. Bambenek, opportunity. Opportunity is the foundation of capitalism, money is merely the device that is used to measure it.

    PseudoErsatz, the government providing incentives or disincentives to procreation is a form of social engineering, which is an authoritarian practice. And authoritarianism always diminishes economic opportunity, making authoritarianism anti-capitalist by default — regardless of the birthrate of tax deductions who might someday become taxpayers.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    the government providing incentives or disincentives to procreation is a form of social engineering, which is an authoritarian practice.

    with 6 billion people on the planet, are there people out there who truly believe that procreation needs to be encouraged?

    What’s next, thinking we need to encourage people to eat and breathe because they might not if we don’t control it too?

  • PseudoErsatz

    Perhaps, Margaret; I would say that you still have a bit to go in convincing me that this is a civil rights issue. The last I looked, all American citizens–except those that commit some crimes–were provided the same rights:
    Free speech, assembly, religious preference, to be safe in their houses from unreasonable searches, the right to confront their accusers, to demand a jury trial in a civil or criminal proceeding; to own property, travel abroad, buy and sell, and enter into enforceable contracts. Please let me know if homosexuals are not granted these same rights. Just because you say that civil and human rights are being denied does not make it so.

    Would you feel that localities and municipalities impose speed limits on roads and highways to let motorists know who is in control, to prevent speeding, or to keep motorists safe?

  • http://Druxxx Druxxx

    Pseudo

    Are you saying that there are no rights given to married couples, that are denied non-married couples?

    Please clarify.

  • PseudoErsatz

    I don’t think you will find a heterosexual ‘right’ to marriage anywhere in any American legal arena.

  • http://Druxxx Druxxx

    You don’t seem to get the question.

    You are ignoring the rights granted to couples once they marry. Like visitation rights, medical decisions, inheritance.

    Are these not rights that homosexual couples are denied if they cannot be allowed to marry?

  • PseudoErsatz

    You’re appealing to human concepts of “fair play”–things that cannot be legislated–by citing ‘rights’ afforded in Step B (post marriage) before you’ve even got past Step A. Using the same avenue that others must use–the democratic process–convince the legislature to create a new right–a ‘Right for Same-Sex Couples to Marry’ (which, I might mention, has no corresponding heterosexual equivalent), and I have no doubt that Step B ‘rights’ will be inherited automatically. Drew’s original treatise indicated that the use of the democratic process to acquire Step A had universally failed but for the intervention of–pardon my use of the word, Margaret–authoritarian (non-democratic) imposition of judicial decisions–such as what happened in Massachusetts.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    There are 1,700 rights, benefits and privileges bestowed upon married couples. To give you and your spouse those benefits but to deny them to me and my spouse simply because you don’t like us, is a violation of our civil rights.

    it violates my right of equality, my right of equal access and it tramples on the pursuit of happiness, because it fosters discrimination, prejudice, ostracization and condemnation. A government cannot do all those things to LAW-ABIDING TAXPAYERS because PseudoErsatz is uncomfortable with my relationship.

  • gonzo marx

    factoid….there are demonstable social and legal benefits to being in the secular contract of marriage within American society

    factoid…these benefits are denied to those in a same sex relationship

    factoid…no one has yet shown how their Rights under the constitution are injured or abrogated by recognizing the validity of allowing same sex couples to be recognized as engaging the same secular contractual benefits and responsibilities as heterosexual couples

    many opponents enjoy using the sound byte of “trampling on my rights” if SSM is recognized…please demonstrate how

    it has been shown time and again how denying this segment of the population the same legal recognition of their committed relationship infringes and damages their Rights

    there is also the propensity to claim that what SSM advocates need to do is establish some kind of “new” right underthe Law…another fallacious statement designed to color the propaganda spewed out by opponents by loading the connotations of the argument with false premises…

    all SSM advocates are asking for are legal recognition of their civil Rights under the law, and equal treatment as delineated in the Constitution and Declaration….period.

    i don’t see how this is so difficult to understand

    Excelsior!

  • http://Druxxx Druxxx

    Psuado you seem to be forgetting about the concept of tyrany of the majority. Just becuase a mojority of people feel a certin group of people don’t deserve access to potential rights, does not mean it should be so. Just because a majority is created by adding up the biblical literalists and the homophobs, does not mean they should get their way.

  • PseudoErsatz

    Well Steve S, democratically challenge to change the law, allow states to democratically challenge and change the law–leaving out authoritarian judical fiat that overrules the democratic process, and then there can be no legal basis for denial, and you will have your rights. Steve, I am not uncomfortable with your relationship; I am more saddened to discover that you feel that my disagreement with you is harmful to society. Kinda puts a crimp in my free speech/free expression ideal, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    Choosing the person whom one wishes to marry, which is an essential part of the our human right to self-determination, is denied to homosexuals.

    Equal protection under the laws of this land includes the right to civil contracts. The right to the civil contract of marriage is denied to homosexuals.

    There is no denying that this is a civil rights issue, but those who oppose the recognition of same-sex marriages still contrive to make it about their own “right,” to have their arbitrary prejudices remain the law of the land.

    The trouble with the opposition to same-sex marriage is that they cannot answer The Question, “Which civil and human rights will be denied or violated when we recognize homosexuals’ right to civil marriage?”

    If you cannot provide a pragmatic answer to that question, clearly and specifically, then you have no case and your position is untenable.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    I am more saddened to discover that you feel that my disagreement with you is harmful to society. Kinda puts a crimp in my free speech/free expression ideal, doesn’t it?

    I don’t think you disagreeing with me is harmful to society. I also think that rights do not have to go through the democratic process or as you would have it, mob rule, they should be guaranteed.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    PseudoErstaz, I will have to remember that one and pass it along. I don’t know of anybody in my community who has ever encountered the ideology that allowing us to marry is wrong because it crimps on your free speech. That’s a good one and I’ll be sure to pass it along.

  • PseudoErsatz

    This is not a ‘right’ issue, it is a morality issue. Every ‘Right’ comes with a corresponding societal duty. For example, women’s right to vote meant that it is the duty of all society to support and provide for women voters. When (If) the ‘right’ of SSM is forced down upon society, what is society’s duty? What about individuals who are convinced that it is not in society’s best interest? What about churches that refuse to perform Same-Sex Marriage ceremonies, based on history, tradition, liturgy, congregrational impetus, or scriptural interpretation? Will your arguments hold up under scrutiny–I.E., will you have the stomach to accuse yesterday’s moral religous institutions of being immoral? Do you have enough charisma to convince fellow Americans who do not live in Hollywood or in Times Square that these Institutions that have not changed paradigms in hundreds of years are now despensing evil? Can you convince a great many citizens that all of the individuals–who otherwise shop, rent movies from Blockbuster, serve as volunteer firemen, and play with their kids in the park but just happen to disagree with you about your lifestyle choice–are all host to false consciousness, and thus must be legally acted upon by the new morality? This act alone requires redefinition of morality–what is wrong is right, and what is right is wrong. As you squeeze harder, as you look more to courts, special-interest wordsmith legistators, and the entertainment industry to be the standard bearers of your cause, the more you are going to see that Americans have a hard time redefining morality.

  • http://www.landofthefreehomeofthebrave.org/wp/ Margaret Romao Toigo

    You’re right, PseudoErsatz, this is an issue of morality, too.

    So what about the morals of those of us who are enjoying the protections and benefits of marriage while our fellow Americans who are gay and lesbian are being denied that right?

    Is it not immoral, as well as unprincipled and undemocratic, for Americans to arbitrarily create a second class of citizenship?

    The value of my marriage is diminished by this inequity in the marriage laws. I do not think that I am more deserving of civil and human rights than other Americans just because I was born heterosexual, but according to the law (except in Massachusetts), I am and that is an affront to my morals.

    The First Amendment protects and defends the right of churches to marry or not marry whomever they please and recognize or not recognize marriages for any arbitrary reason, which is why the churches that have been performing same-sex marriages (which are not recognized by the state) for decades have been able to do so without legal consequences.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    This is not a ‘right’ issue, it is a morality issue.

    it is both. My family is denied a great many rights because you (generic) have moral issues concerning what I do in the privacy of my home. Legally, I always win that one.

    When (If) the ‘right’ of SSM is forced down upon society, what is society’s duty?

    It’s always been my thought that a recognized civic union must be recognized by the civil sector.

    What about individuals who are convinced that it is not in society’s best interest?

    they do not have to get into a ssm. Take yourself for example psuedo. You are deeply bothered by my loving home filled with family values. As such, you don’t have to do squat towards me and my home. Next question?

    What about churches that refuse to perform Same-Sex Marriage ceremonies, based on history, tradition, liturgy, congregrational impetus, or scriptural interpretation?

    They will still be able to decide what they do within their own walls. Just like always. Just like the boy scouts.

    Will your arguments hold up under scrutiny

    basically they have held up since the first court case many years ago. (my communities arguments)

    will you have the stomach to accuse yesterday’s moral religous institutions of being immoral?

    I have been saying for years that the Christian movement is nothing but a recruiting propagandized cult and the Catholic Church is as evil an ideology as there can be, responsible for the deaths of millions worldwide.

    I think I will have the stomach to accuse religious institutions that YOU found moral yesterday, of being immoral since their inception. Note that I do not apply the evil of the organized religion down to the sleeping, unthinking flock which is it’s base.

    Do you have enough charisma to convince fellow Americans who do not live in Hollywood or in Times Square that these Institutions that have not changed paradigms in hundreds of years are now despensing evil?

    it’s not my duty too.

    As you squeeze harder, as you look more to courts, special-interest wordsmith legistators, and the entertainment industry to be the standard bearers of your cause, the more you are going to see that Americans have a hard time redefining morality.

    According to most all the data I’ve seen, more Americans have come to see me as an equal since 1960’s era than the other way around. I don’t need you or anybody else to welcome me into your home of hatred, pseudo. I just want my government and civically recognized union to be on the same footing as everybody else’s.

    SHOULD YOU think that my relationship is immoral and does not belong there, it is upon YOU to prove that I do not have a place in society there, rather than my responsibility to prove that I should be treated equally.

    So far, your faith has tried and tried and tried and cannot legitimize or pinpoint any so called threat to society by calling my house a home.

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    and save me the ‘I think your family is going to be responsible for the destruction of civilization, but I don’t HATE you.’ crap.

    The Catholic Church is now advocating denying innocent children the rite of baptism, which is the first sacrament in the church and symbolically opens the door to enable a person to have a relationship with God because the church has a problem with a (quote)sin(unquote) that the child hasn’t even committed!

    Now if that isn’t evil, then I’d have to say it’s at least fucked up.

  • http://chadwoodland1@mac.com Chad Woodland

    Ok, as a gay man I have to say:

    1. Prior to the religious right’s quest to kabosh gay marriage I NEVER had an inkling to even have a commitment ceremony. I thought marriage was a trite heterosexual program. Lest you think I’m one of those poor lost lonely souls I have had a partner for 10 years and we’re very happy. Gays not gay marriage is the target of the religious right regardless of their cover story.
    2. I and my partner are professionals and have a great life. We have no need for special treatment, special rights, special considerations, etc… In fact we are probably more stable than any couple we know.
    3. The religious rights stealth campaign speaks of preserving marriage and overturning Roe vs Wade. But I wonder what’s next? Please overturn Roe vs Wade. It would immediately in probably every state be taken up by the legislature and legalized (with some limits to age etc..). The neocons would only celebrate very briefly before realizing they now need a new banner wich has served them for nigh on almost 30 years. So what’s next? Rock music? The Internet? They say there is no rest for the wicked but I would say that applies more to the radical right.
    4. To the government I say stay out of my life. I don’t need your moralization or your attempted do gooder sentiments. I pay my taxes (in spades). I would pay more if you could promise better roads, better schools, more safety, more police, stronger military, etc… But you are too busy designing bills to protect gun makers from law suits?!?
    5. To the radical right…I appreciate mankinds desire to find answers but just because you believe something doesn’t mean its true. Thats a hard thing to swallow for someone who is convinced their OPINION is correct but deal.
    6. In closing as has been pointed out in prior postings majority rules does not always portend a good outcome. Just ask the African Americans or American Indians. There is a place for the courts and the judicial system in these matters. I am not an advocate of judicial activisism but sometimes someone has to stand up for the kid being picked on by the in crowd.

    Thanks

    Chad Woodland

  • PseudoErsatz

    Finally, we are getting somewhere! Both Steve and Chad are realizing that law has to be based upon something more than personal or democratic opinion, or current-event driven popular trends or ‘common sense’, or even ‘conventional wisdom’, which has proven to be fickle as Hollywood marriages! Hmmmm… What ideal transcends opinion? Gosh, I wish we knew of an entity that resides outside of time that could perhaps give us instructions on how humans should conduct their lives. Hmmmm…

  • SS

    When a majority denies the rights and priveledges it enjoys to a minority, and the only good reason the majority can offer is that has always denied these rights and priveledges and no one complained before, this is bigotry.
    Bigotry and religion have been partners from the start.
    Religion does not want to seperate from bigotry, and wants to reestablish bigotry as the fundemental rule of society on which all else is ordered.
    Ethics and virtue, freed from tradition and bigotry, are superior to religion

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    What ideal transcends opinion?

    Natural Law.

    Gosh, I wish we knew of an entity that resides outside of time that could perhaps give us instructions on how humans should conduct their lives. Hmmmm…

    I hope you find some entity to hold your hand, tell you right from wrong and to make sure you are in bed before 8.